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Comment: Re:Dear Canada.... (Score 1) 522

by ClickOnThis (#48205939) Attached to: Shooting At Canadian Parliament

However evangelical Xians aren't nearly powerful enough or radicalized enough in the West to be of serious concern.

LOL -- yeah, right.

Powerful? Look at the religious right in the USA. In many jurisdictions, politicians have to sing from their hymn-book in order to get elected.

Radicalized? Westboro Baptist Church. Anti-abortionists who gun down medical doctors. And so on.

Comment: Re:Walmart is used to this (Score 2, Insightful) 232

Happened where I live. Hell, at one point there was a sign up "Walmart, coming soon to this location" and then the sign came down. Turns out, a selection of the local 'elite' pushed the city council into doing *something* and now the closest walmart is over a 2 hour round trip. Much to the annoyance of just about anyone under the age of say, 25.

The problem is, with WalMart on your doorstep, the surrounding economy turns into one that can only support jobs whose pay is suitable for someone under the age of 25.

Comment: Re:They'll have rights (Score 4, Informative) 385

by ClickOnThis (#48099877) Attached to: Chimpanzee "Personhood" Is Back In Court

1) Animals already have something resembling rights, in the form of animal cruelty laws; the question here is whether those rights should be expanded to include some of the things guaranteed to humans.

There is a spectrum of opinion on what "animal rights" means. At the very least, I think animal rights include the right not to suffer needlessly at the hand of humans. I doubt anyone would argue that is also a human right. So, continuing in that direction, I don't think it's a stretch to imagine that many human rights can be accorded to animals also.

Arguably, what we humans call animal rights are really just human-law restrictions on our own behavior (and good ones IMHO.) However, I think it captures their intent to call them "rights" so I embrace the term.

2) Plenty of humans (children, or, as someone else pointed out, the handicapped) can't hold down jobs or feed themselves. Chimps and dolphins, on the other hand, typically are able to feed themselves. So what you're saying is, chimps and dolphins should have more rights than children and the disabled?

I don't think it's a question of "more" rights, just different ones, and with the qualifier I mentioned above that we're really talking about human laws, not animal rights. I would say that animals have their own innate sense of rights and justice, and what we think of as their rights is an idealized picture of our relationship with them.

We need another and a wiser and perhaps a more mystical concept of animals. In a world older and more complete than ours they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings; they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth. -- Henry Beston

Comment: Re:Lots of cheap carbon stuff (Score 1) 652

by ClickOnThis (#48075757) Attached to: Living On a Carbon Budget: The End of Recreation As We Know It?

Actually you only need to pear the population down by about 20 million. The top 2% of the world's population consume something like 90-95% of the resources, they are extremely expensive to have around. Remove them and everyone's standard of living jumps significantly.

Except standard of living = energy consumption (or nearly so). So removing the top 2% to increase someone else's standard of living doesn't solve the problem, it just changes who is causing it.

Mod parent interesting. This kind of sounds like the environmental equivalent of Karl Marx's theory of class struggle: when revolution eliminates the privileged class, the lower class rises to take its place. Of course, this hypothetical environmental version of Marx's "worker's revolution" would not solve the environmental problem any more than the political version has solved the class problem, but for a different reason: the planet can't sustain a 2% that consumes like this.

Comment: Re:Horrible attempt to communicate to a broad audi (Score 1) 55

by ClickOnThis (#48044219) Attached to: Laying the Groundwork For Data-Driven Science

This sounds suspiciously like something written by someone with an online MBA: "Each project tests a critical component in a future data ecosystem in conjunction with a research community of users," said said Irene Qualters, division director for Advanced Cyberinfrastructure at NSF. "This assures that solutions will be applied and use-inspired."

If we want the public to continue to support federal funding of the sciences we have to do better than this. I understand the point, but it this needlessly laden with buzz-phrases and it is clumsy.

I understand your point about the technobabble. However, Ms. Qualters' résumé appears to be somewhat less fluffy that the quote would suggest.

Comment: Re:I give up. (Score 1) 137

by ClickOnThis (#48038167) Attached to: Tetris To Be Made Into a Live Action Film

Basing it on the game was an enjoyable element, to a point. What ruined it for me is the ridiculous way the aliens sunk the ships: by hurling these bombs that were peg-shaped (per the game) so that they spun end-over-end, yet penetrated the ship at various points in more-or-less correct orientation (also per the game.) For a species that was capable of interstellar travel, that seemed like a spectacular technological fail.

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