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Comment: Re:Boo, you fad killer! (Score 1) 111

by orgelspieler (#49346867) Attached to: The One Thousand Genes You Could Live Without
What if that is the gene to be allergic to poison ivy, and we just didn't think to check for that? There's no way to know that a gene doesn't just serve some rarely-used purpose. What if it increases your intelligence by 1%, or some other feature that is affected by hundreds of other factors, like weight or hairline. Or maybe that gene's function is being suppressed by some epigenomic thing. Even the GP's suggestion of making changes isn't a winner, either. If the gene has a subtle purpose, changing it isn't going to make any obvious changes.

Comment: Re: what if NASA gets the wrong 4 meter-or-so boul (Score 1) 97

I think there's already a 2030 mission in the works to send the boulder back with flowers, chocolates, and an apology letter inscribed on a golden disc that reveals a YouTube compilation of Carl Sagan quotes if placed in a laserdisc player. (The instructions on the sleeve for constructing such a device simply say "This product has been discontinued" in a mixture of pulsar coordinates and atomic oscillations.)

Comment: Re:Maybe you should have read more than one senten (Score 2) 264

I don't think that blaming the victim is inherently immoral. There are several moral codes, including the Abrahamic faiths, that include some aspect of blaming the victim. For instance rape victims are supposed to be stoned to death, under most circumstances. Basically, if they are within earshot of others, then obviously they didn't yell loud enough, so they should be punished. There's an allowance for a woman who is outside walking around beyond where others can hear her. I disagree with this specific rule, but there is obviously room for debate on whether or not blaming the victim is immoral.

I happen to think it is perfectly reasonable for those who have not done due diligence to bear some of the burden when they get scammed. For instance, if I give money to somebody soliciting at my doorstep for a charity I've never heard of, I share some of the responsibility for my loss. Worse, I have given a scammer funds with which to propagate their misdeeds to more victims. I think this position is perfectly moral.

Saying somebody is not moral just because they don't share the same morals as you is fallacious at best, and quite possibly hypocritical. I think it's immoral to cut off the hand of a thief. I think it's immoral to commit adultery. I think it's immoral to pay CEO's 100x what their laborers make. But if you happen to think that these things are A-OK, it doesn't make you an immoral person. It just means we have different values.

Comment: Re:Move more, eat less (Score 2) 494

by orgelspieler (#49328833) Attached to: Hacking Weight Loss: What I Learned Losing 30 Pounds
I'm the same way. I hate throwing away something that hasn't completely turned into slime mold. Easy solution that doesn't involve throwing anything away: Bring reusable leftover containers to dinner. Cut meal in half. Put one half in container. Eat the other half. Bring container to work the next day for lunch. As long as you're not eating super-bad-for-you food all the time, this should help you lose a good 15-20 lbs. If you find that you haven't eaten the leftovers in a couple of days, put them in the freezer (since throwing them out will make you twitch). Plus you don't end up throwing away as much Styrofoam as you would using restaurant to-go boxes.

Comment: Temperament and copyright (Score 3, Interesting) 59

I don't see anything on the Kickstarter or description on the website about the temperament of the Bösendorfer on which this was recorded. I hope that they did not use a standard equal-tempered piano. That would be missing out on a great opportunity.

Also, I noticed the following on the back cover of the CD: "(C) 2015 Navona Records ... Unauthorized duplication is a violation of applicable laws." Yet at the top it says that they hope you share the music. What gives?

Comment: Very True But It Is a Useful News Item Nonetheless (Score 5, Insightful) 169

Most people who follow space stuff already know that Mars One is either a scam or simply delusional... although I suppose it's nice that other people are starting to notice this too.

I think it's important that a possible change of heart internally is seen by any of the other members. A lot of time when I read about instances where people get sucked into, say, a Nigerian money scam or worse Scientology, it often becomes a serious issues because they were first tricked into giving a little bit of money and then a little more until it's a sizable sum in total. At that point it's very hard to get out because you're mentally holding yourself prisoner there with the logic that if you quit now, you've lost that investment and you're going to look like an idiot. But, through inaction, you maintain the outward appearance of knowing what you are doing and your investment is still good -- hell, it's even growing because they need another small to medium sized payment. And down down down you go into the trap. It takes a lot to not chase your bets and to say, "I fucked up by giving them the $99 applicant fee but better quit now than waste anymore time and resources. Lesson learned."

And I think the fact that a DOCTOR (no matter what kind or what validity) says, "I paid the money, I saw they were preparing me for the biggest snuff film ever and I got out." Well, now the average person involved in this project can say, "He is right, I came to the same realization, I'm no stupider than this academic." This is why there are support groups out there for gambling problems and cults escapees. The ideafication of your exit is sometimes important than your ability to make your own decision ... because without that your decision only has one option and it's the wrong option.

Comment: The Rise of Joke Theft on the Internet (Score 2) 90

by eldavojohn (#49268695) Attached to: Interviews: Ask SMBC's Creator Zach Weiner a Question
I'm not talking about your humorous Sarah Silverman satire video but the actual people who misappropriate a joke for their own. I've seen it on Facebook where someone reads a joke on Reddit or XKCD or SMBC and just rehashes it as their own idea in a post knowing that no one else out there could possibly be wasting their time on something like SMBC. Do you see this as frequently as I do? In all honesty does this bother you or merely flatter you? Is it just a natural unavoidable quality of memes or do you think it's more sinister?

Comment: Tile (Score 1) 108

by orgelspieler (#49256577) Attached to: The Internet of Things Just Found Your Lost Wallet
Does anybody remember Tile? I chipped in when they were doing their initial fundraising, but I never heard back from them. Anyway, it was pretty similar to this. But it would even work if your lost thing was far away, as long as enough people use the Tile app. The idea was to turn everybody's iPhone into a thing finder for lost stuff. Pretty ingenious, but it delves a little too far into the creepy realm for most people. "You want to use *my* phone to find *your* stuff?!"

Comment: Re:Freedom, liberty and privacy, and the police (Score 1) 160

by orgelspieler (#49251801) Attached to: LAPD Police Claim Helicopters Stop Crimes Before They Happen
At the Sonic where I worked some 15 years ago, we gave a large discount to cops. The hope was they'd spend more of their lunch/dinner breaks at our drive-in and deter any ne'er-do-wells. We never thought of it as corruption, just being nice to public servants in exchange for some token presence/deterrence.

Comment: Re:Has anyone studied? (Score 4, Insightful) 262

by eldavojohn (#49249211) Attached to: US Wind Power Is Expected To Double In the Next 5 Years
Okay first off, I just wanna say whoever modded the parent up is walking evidence that this site has become a complete shithole. It's not just Dice's fault, folks. The community moderates unadulterated feces to the top these days.

Has anyone studied the effect on the environment of taking all of that energy out of the wind? What if seeds and dust aren't carried as far?

This is such an unfounded concern, I'm not even sure where to start. I grew up in the prairie of Minnesota and I could only hope that the wind is reduced there. It is absolutely brutal at times and causes erosion and top soil loss. Why do you want dust carried far? What seeds are you concerned about falling too close to the parent plant? I just, this hasn't been studied because there's nothing to argue about. Like solar there's a lot of energy to be harvested. There's no way to harvest all of it, a lot of it is dissipated as friction against water and earth and I can't think of one positive purpose of that friction.

How does that affect terraforming?

How does that affect our ability to transform the planet into a more livable human environment? I can't even parse this or apply it to the topic at hand. "How does that affect X?" when X has nothing to do with the discussion just sounds like fear mongering.

What about migratory birds? Has anyone bothered to solve the problem of mass kills during migration season?

This is well documented and researched but I am constantly confused as to why "migratory birds" are the stipulated losses. It's any birds. Migratory or not. And the numbers have been scientifically estimated to be 140,000 to 328,000 per year. But we're getting smarter about designing these windmills to prevent avian death.

These questions will never be answered

Well, the first two are just too fucking vapid and inane to be answered. The latter, I've answered for you.

, I don't think, because the politics that drive wind power are the same as those that drive anthro climate change - "We're right, shut up if you disagree?"

You know, that could be said about any politics anywhere because modern politics are about inaction and hot air. Companies and scientists are trying hard to expand our energy portfolio away from fossil fuels. And that's smart whether it's biofuel algae, solar, wind or even failed corrupt initiatives like corn ethanol. In the end there are going to be regionally localized energy productions that will account for a large amount of that local populace's consumption. This will likely still be augmented by fossil fuels -- maybe as emergency or backup but I don't think we'll ever see them completely removed from the equation.

The Earth is going to be destroyed by people (on both sides of the political aisle) who refuse to take a reasoned approach to our energy crisis. The root causes of our energy shortage, climate change, starvation, hunger, crime, and disease, are all one in the same: OVERPOPULATION.

We're 7 times as numerous as the Earth can sustain. Unless and until we fix that problem, our habitable climate WILL be destroyed.

Scientifically, can you explain how you came to calculate the multiplier of "7 times as numerous as Earth can sustain?" Because the idea that the Earth can only sustain a nice round even number like a billion people raises suspicions. But it's pretty evident that nothing is going to talk sense into you, Malthus. Science and human ingenuity has gotten us past radical adjustments to population crises ... let's hope it can continue on and even help us abate the horrors we have committed against the environment. Please stop inventing caveats to working solutions or claiming that concerns are not being herd. It's just a petty attempt to grind one of possible sources to a halt.

Comment: Re:And this kids, is why you should pirate all mus (Score 1) 386

Yes and somehow you still got Mozart, Beethoven, Bach, Handel, Bizet... want me to continue the list?

Music worked fine without copying for centuries

Are you seriously going to contend that the great masters never copied themes, styles, instrumentation, structure, etc. from each other and past masters? You are clearly not a musicologist. There are several examples. Wikipedia even has article subsections devoted to the topic. Handel was probably the most famous for doing this. Most of his borrowings were from his previous works, but sometimes from teachers or soon-to-be-rivals. Bach's entire Orgelbüchlein was based on extant sacred themes (Lutheran chorales, to be precise). But many more examples abound: Shostakovitch and Brahms from folk music, Beethoven from Mozart, Mozart from Bocherrini, the list goes on and on.

An inclined plane is a slope up. -- Willard Espy, "An Almanac of Words at Play"