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Comment: Re:Why no cells in the lab yet? (Score 1) 102

by Electricity Likes Me (#46786065) Attached to: NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life

The sheer scale of the chemistry involved is staggering. The Earth was concentrating the heat and energy of a star into itself, and churning billions of tons of material in millions of different chemical and pressure environments.

At the current scale of things, we're not sure what the early conditions were like - were things mostly concentrated, or was their natural processes which were separating out reaction products to give a domain of purer precursors? And would anyone be happy if we assumed as such before starting such an experiment as a means of reducing the scale of the process?

Comment: Re:Not Evolution (Score 1) 102

by Electricity Likes Me (#46786057) Attached to: NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life

This seems longwinded for a question you ask and answer in the first sentence:

If an early replicator was very sloppy and mutation prone, then any possible advantages occuring by random mutation would have little chance to be tested before other random mutations overwrote them or other mutations killed off the organisms carrying that mutation.

That's the answer. Mechanisms which have too short of a half-life, or too long of one, are out-competed by randomly occurring ones with different half-lives.

Comment: Re:NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin o (Score 1) 102

by Electricity Likes Me (#46786045) Attached to: NASA Proposes "Water World" Theory For Origin of Life

why not grant this to a theoretical god, too?

Because the god adds nothing to the explanation. Hence Occam's razor. Do not multiply entities unnecessarily.

More importantly because they're not granting a non-interventionist god with unknowable. People run in circles to try and have god added to the picture, because in the next heartbeat they then want to tell us all about exactly what he's like and how he definitely hates gays or something.

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 630

No we don't, but the law regarding the use of stolen property is quite different which is what this is more akin too. If you buy a stolen boat, then it can be returned to the rightful owner less costs for improvements you may have made to it (this is something of a classic law school case study since it turns up a lot).

Same story if you inherited stolen money: you'd be able to have the principle plus nominal interest seized, though probably not returns on more complicated investments (I am not a business lawyer).

Where this rightly gets foggier is the use of money which was to support a person: parents collecting social security which was used to support children, who can't realistically be expected to necessarily hold assets equal to the principle. In that case I'd say the correct option is to collect the money out of the estate of the parents but not in excess of the estate's value at time of death.

Of course other posters have it right as well - this isn't anything to do with the IRS other then that they must follow the letter of the law. It's a congressional issue where they need to provide clarifying direction. But I'd wager that a lot of the issue for some people falls more nebulously into "but I inherited that money and it's mine now!"

Comment: Re:Good (Score 1) 630

Well newsflash, just because you get some money doesn't mean you can claim ownership of it if it wasn't legally owed to you.

If the government gives you a $1 million USD tomorrow, you don't get to spend it and claim you thought there was nothing wrong with that. Same story however with private transactions: if you accidentally EFT the money for a house to the wrong account number, the owner of that account equally cannot spend it and claim it must be there's because they received it.

Fiscal law is pretty clear: you don't get to exploit the mistakes of others. That you can in practice is a function of when the amounts are small enough not to matter, but if we're very concerned about government efficiency then we should be very concerned about the correction of mistakes like this.

So long as you claim inheritance from your parents or grandparents, or other relatives, then you're also claiming any debts owed against that inheritance.

Comment: Re:Medical doctor (Score 1) 731

by Electricity Likes Me (#46744995) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

This presumes you have access to magnets. That's...not a given, since you need iron working. Iron working is actually hard to bootstrap - it's why the bronze age preceded it.

Umm... why would we need to bootstrap "iron working" again? There are hundreds of billions of tons of high quality refined steel (compared to the iron of ages past) laying around to be remelted and reworked. Do you believe it will all evaporate?

It's a massive interruption of society with the deaths of millions to billions of people. Why do you presume there'll be useful scrap metal or functional parts to salvage? It's not a civilization on/off switch. After the dust settles, after people somehow survive, how much do you think will be left over from the fall, however it might happen? Stores would be looted, anyone who maintained order is going to vigorously defend it. It's very unlikely you're just going to scrounging up usable metals, fuels and tools to smelt them with, etc.

If something would make your life easier, then the first assumption is that almost everyone else already figured that out and was looting it during whatever calamity was in the midst of happening. Can you even go near the cities? Ground zero for people who will be resource deprived well beyond their local ability to support themselves?

Comment: Re:code review idea (Score 2) 445

by Electricity Likes Me (#46723509) Attached to: Heartbleed Coder: Bug In OpenSSL Was an Honest Mistake

Bingo. There's a lot of people who are willing to declare the unpaid volunteers don't know what they're doing...but have absolutely no patience to try and contribute or agitate for change from within. Which really makes me wonder whether they'd have the wherewithall to run a new project, or you know, do anything at all.

Code that gets written gets run.

Comment: Re:Snowden has jumped the shark (Score 1) 230

by Electricity Likes Me (#46723015) Attached to: Snowden: NSA Spied On Human Rights Workers

In every single one of those cases, the people involved were notionally involved with groups which planned active hostilities against the US government. Notionally. I am not speaking to the specific validity of those claims.

They weren't accused of general espionage. And in one of them, they were collateral damage in an attack which was targeted at someone else. Which, in a program of systemic strikes, is likely to happen.

They weren't accused of espionage. And they weren't now free and clear of being plotting against the US government or its citizens. Snowden's position is rather different - no one's beating the drum for "he's planning to attack the US".

But, since you clearly want to wear your outrage on your sleeve since again, you omitted rather important aspects of your own links, I'm done here.

Those who can, do; those who can't, simulate.