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Comment: Burst Forth, Publish Your Policy Report! (Score 5, Insightful) 213

If you look at this list, the majority of these problems are man-made. Other than a super volcano and an asteroid impact, the solution seems pretty simple. We must abandon all technology and kill all but a small percentage of the population. And those that are left must live in isolated groups. That way there will not be a world wide disease outbreak.

Yep, that's the only option. There's nothing between doing nothing and that option. It's all we have. And if anyone starts to talk about mitigation strategies, planning ahead of time or devoting a single cent of taxpayer money toward preparing for it, we are just all going to have a meltdown and throw a tantrum with teabags on our hats. Thank god we have these strawman arguments for what these ivory tower Oxford elitists are telling us to do: eliminate the human race to protect the human race. I cannot believe they would actually come to that conclusion but there it is, right in the article. Those environmentalists will have us starving in mud huts by the end of the month if we just sit by and let this academic report go unabated and without criticism!

*tortured sigh*

Comment: Re:Planets are gravity traps. One prison for anoth (Score 1) 131

Hm, indeed. But Mars will be a consumer of resources as far as the Earth is concerned, as it will not return energy or materials to the home world. It provides adventure and a limited amount of room for the fortunate; it can't ship back things we need, AKA power from powersats, or metals, or even habitats for animals that will be wiped out soon enough. As a side note, it would also consume our best and brightest, so the net effect for Earth would be negative again. Yep, we can do both - but Elon Musk is a Mars-only guy. And he doesn't understand electromagnetic launching from Earth, as he thinks we have to fire the ship through atmosphere at escape velocity right from the railhead, when instead you only require a few hundred miles an hour to eliminate the first stage. He is great, but he needs a little advice.

Comment: Re:Planets are gravity traps. One prison for anoth (Score 1) 131

Given another option - leaving - human behavior changes. The Americas performed that function for Europe once, and now we need new Americas. Some will fight for the same old reasons - property owners, mostly - but the usual crew of poor and crazy and criminal will leap at the chance to start over. And the people in the sky will quickly outnumber the people on Earth.

The idea isn't to move people off-planet to ease population crowding, anyway. We can't ship enough - they are born faster than that. The need is to move industry and power generation off planet (and to provide a new place to live too!) so that enormous new energy and material wealth can shower down on the beleaguered overpopulated world. That gives us breathing room to bring living standards and education up to a level people limit their childbearing voluntarily. It happened in Mexico - their birth rate dropped to replacement levels when a certain level of prosperity and education was achieved. We need to do this to leverage our abilities to save our own asses down here.

Comment: Planets are gravity traps. One prison for another (Score 1) 131

It would be a mistake to leave, at great expense, a gigantic gravity trap like ours just to fall down yet another on another planet. Free Earth or solar orbit, or libration points among the planets, are the place to colonize.

Mars has limited room. Population growth would cover it in less than two centuries, not to mention suburbia syndrome, which would have the first settlers become real estate moguls selling to wealthy later arrivals who each want to buy ten thousand hectares of Martian land to build the equivalent of a ranch. Not only limited room, but immediately wasted room as they emulate the American property model. And they'd point guns at anyone taking "their" land, so don't picture a Star Trek utopia.

Free orbital spaces - rotating terraria - could be built out of asteroidal or lunar material ("rail gun" launched, using a recirculating bucket on a track to fling it into a manufacturing complex where abundant solar energy could power the industry. Build large structures (Babylon 5, tho I never saw the show) that rotate to create a down, air, containt whatever landscape or factory settings you want, grow their own crops, and house tens of thousands to who the hell knows how many once people figure out how to build BIG ones. In contrast to Mars, the environment would be compatible with humans. And so much asteroidal material is out there - even ONE could supply thousands of terraria - that we could house hundreds of billions. And point being, really - anyone who tried could go. Enough room for everyone. If Earth doesn't suit you, build one of your own. Mars, on the other hand, will be limited from the get-go. Not that I wouldn't go to Mars, to stay, one-way ticket, to live out my life. But I'd rather be part of a much bigger picture.

I noted Musk was going the wrong direction earlier this year. Can't blame him - NASA and the most vocal "crazy" scientists have been talking up Mars for sixty years. But I don't think he ever read "The High Frontier" or any of the 1975 Ames studies on space colonies (should be christened "terraria" - Kim Stanley Robinson takes the credit for that name, its perfect). He also doesn't understand that a electric launcher doesn't have to speed a rocket to escape velocity - just a few hundred miles an hour over a cliff would do to eliminate the need for a multistage rocket.

Focusing on Mars - or Luna (it ain't the Moon! It has a name! Lost cause I know) will waste another half century when we could be creating a far larger, and richer, and superior endeavor. And the industrial capacity of orbital settlements would be immense. Need an umbrella to shade the Earth? No problem, about ten years with downtime capacity on the terraria fabricators, and we have a parasol. Need ten million tons of titanium to build superrails or superhighways? Sure, splashdown where you want it. Earth needs to get the crushing industrial poisoning and overgrowth moved off planet. And it would be better, cheaper, and practically unlimited. We're grasping for oil when we are surrounded by enough energy to supply our civilization ten thousand times over just above the atmosphere. Poisoning our water supply for one last dreg of crude.

Comment: Re:More giveaways to non-workers (Score 1) 65

by Catbeller (#49057793) Attached to: California Floats Conditional Approval For Comcast/TWC Merger

I do hope there is a hell so John Calvin is burning eternally on a pile of gold for what he has done to the western world. Good Burghers who obviously are virtuous and rewarded with money by God's will for their business skills, and the worthless freeloaders destined to hell for their laziness; it informs all that we do. That world view is based on hatred of the poor, who somehow are getting Something for Nothing, and complete blindness to the hereditary wealthy you are draining you of every penny you make or borrow. They play on your jealousy *of the poor* for Godssakes. Darn those Lucky Duckies!

Comment: Re: bullshit (Score 1) 65

by Catbeller (#49057767) Attached to: California Floats Conditional Approval For Comcast/TWC Merger

"I got that service in asia. Why cant I have it here?
You are ok with getting ripped off, so others should be too?
Nice philosophy. Cork sucking icehole. Go die in a ditch"

I think we need less - or none - of the both-sides neoliberal accommodation to the assholes robbing us blind and more "Go die in a ditch." Seems to work brilliantly for the neocons. Sometimes there is no arguing with a robber; they are assholes and need to be called assholes, before we toss their carcasses into the aforementioned ditch. Figuratively, of course. This isn't a polite discussion about law - this is aiding and abetting mass robbery of he public. BILLIONS of dollars flowing into the accounts of MBAs in the name of the "free market". There Ain't No Such Thing As A Free Market! Simply witness the truth of it. They have the juice and the money to take over their own regulators, and have done so.

Comment: Re: 8 - Isn't going to happen even if it happens. (Score 2) 65

by Catbeller (#49057725) Attached to: California Floats Conditional Approval For Comcast/TWC Merger

It is nearly impossible to create a local carrier. Witness: no local carriers. All bought up by Comcast. Free markets create monopolies when the realities of the situation does not support multiple versions of the same service. Hence we go to what works - the local utility model. Kick the bastards out.

Comment: Re: 8 - Isn't going to happen even if it happens. (Score 3, Interesting) 65

by Catbeller (#49056017) Attached to: California Floats Conditional Approval For Comcast/TWC Merger

"8 is related to a pre-existing requirement from awhile ago, they just want it extended for 5 years and to apply to the merged area, but even so, then what, whos going to use it or build a business around it knowing it will killed off after 5 years?"

Who? An organization who just wants to provide broadband, instead of a corporation which wants infinitely increasing revenue. For instance, a municipal government, or a companied chartered by that government. Who can also simply say "It will be so!" and lay the lines whereever they are needed.

I really don't care about the motive to make infinite profits. Water and electric and gas were provided for over a hundred years at a reasonable cost. People got paid to run and maintain the systems, and it worked. They're selling our municipal utilities off while we're speaking. Result: prices are doubling and will redouble, and service goes down or practically disapears, the systems disintegrate, and a few billionaires get rich.

Comment: Re: Cue the delusional "legitimate use" posts. (Score 3, Insightful) 215

by Catbeller (#49035325) Attached to: Russia Seeking To Ban Tor, VPNs and Other Anonymizing Tools

"If you define "crime" properly, pretty much _everything_ anybody does on the Internet is criminal."

Well said, and correct, Anonymous poster. "Criminal" has no meaning, or any meaning they wish.

In Russia, criticizing the Orthodox Church will see them slam you in prison, and calling out Putin as a pedo will get you and half a restaurant radioactively poisoned with polonium, which only comes from government nuclear reactors.

In Israel, trying to leave your ghetto may get you killed, tortured, or dumped in prison, or all three.

In Saudi Arabia, pretty much anything is "criminal" (except, of course, anything royals choose to do, including creating and running Al Qaida).

Everything and nothing is a crime. Bedspreads are golden sprinkler cookie clowns. See? So much fun when words mean nothing at all.

Censorship

Russia Seeking To Ban Tor, VPNs and Other Anonymizing Tools 215

Posted by samzenpus
from the no-secrets dept.
An anonymous reader writes Three separate Russian authorities have spoken out in favor of banning online anonymizing tools since February 5th, with particular emphasis on Tor, which — despite its popularity with whistle-blowers such as Edward Snowden and with online activists — Russia's Safe Internet League describes as an 'Anonymous network used primarily to commit crimes'. The three authorities involved are the Committee on Information Policy, Information Technologies and Communications, powerful Russian media watchdog Roskomnadzor and the Safe Internet League, comprising the country's top three network providers, including state telecoms provider Rostelecom. Roskomnadzor's press secretary Vadim Roskomnadzora Ampelonsky describes the obstacles to identifying and blocking Tor and VPN traffic as "difficult, but solvable."

Comment: Re:Avoiding versus evading (Score 1) 129

by NewtonsLaw (#49027009) Attached to: HSBC Banking Leak Shows Tax Avoidance, Dealings With Criminals

That's what I always thought but here in New Zealand, avoiding tax is also illegal. Any mechanism designed solely to reduce one's legal tax liability is considered to be unlawful avoidance of tax and punishable as such.

Don't you love the way that governments put the collection of taxes above all else -- giving the IRS and their equivalent more power than any other arm of the state.

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