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Comment: Life is risky... (Score 1) 478

by Genda (#44762925) Attached to: Schneier: We Need To Relearn How To Accept Risk

We hate to see our children get injured, so we wrap them in wool, then bubble wrap, with a layer of nerf for good measure. We put them in schools that won't crush their fragile egos, declaring everyone's a winner. These pampered, protected children grow up into risk averse adults. Without getting them killed, there's a lot to be said for teaching kids and adults to take chances, push beyond their limits and discover both the cost and value of living a larger life.

Comment: Re:Blind Sense (Score 1) 164

by Genda (#44762139) Attached to: Genetic Convergent Evolution: Stunning Gene Similarities Among Diverse Animals

Sorry, there've been bats since the early Eocene around 52 million years ago, and since the ancestor of cetaceans came from land around 30 million years ago (and had no reason for echolocation), the trait was developed as they evolved into ocean going creatures while bats were happily echo locating the whole while. Sorry, interesting hypothesis... how did you account for echo locating genes getting back from cetacean to land dwelling animals?

Comment: Re:Explains SciFi Shows?? (Score 1) 164

by Genda (#44762085) Attached to: Genetic Convergent Evolution: Stunning Gene Similarities Among Diverse Animals

Actually xeno-biology is fascinating. You could base information encoding structures and chemistries in endless ways, and it's possible to imagine the DNA role being taken by all kinds of other carbon based structures (include complex sugars.) This all speaks to organic chemistry like our own. There's no reason that far more exotic chemistries that don't live in liquid water or require fatty acids couldn't exist, even complexes of other states of matter (plasma, or the thin skin of a neutron star where neutron degeneration could create phase changes,) Many of these ideas have been the source of good science fiction, and the well has hardly been tapped. Still looking for forward to the possibility of exotic life on Titan!

Comment: Re:Absolutely the case (Score 1) 369

And you best believe there are a nation of lefties howling like banshees about it. Nobody who believes in human rights, personal liberty, or due process thinks the Patriot Act is anything less than a Neo-Fascist Nightmare come true... I'd be happy to introduce you to communities of Dems looking to impeach Obama.

Comment: Re: Absolutely the case (Score 1) 369

This is a complicated problem. We're just getting out long drawn out wars, that have bled our economy dry. The rebels aren't exactly a bowl of cherries and picking the lesser of the two evils is quick becoming a full time job. Our closest bar fight partner just begged off. How big a barbeque do you have? Pin pricks, or ground the entire Syrian air Force? Boots on the ground? What are the repercussions in the region for any of the choices we make?

The US just marching into people's countries to whip a little Texas justice on them like Walker Texas Ranger is getting a little old.

Comment: Re:Shaky? (Score 4, Insightful) 369

The problem with false conviction actually involves a variety of issues, incredibly poor handling of eye witnesses, prosecuting attorneys counting coup towards political advancement and the punishment proffered on innocent defendants who refuse to plea out because of their innocence (and conversely innocent defendants that choose to plea out rather that face draconian sentences.)

All off this is weighted heavily against poor. Public defense is a joke in most states, and nonexistent in the very places it's most needed. Our system has slowly been reworked to criminalize poverty, mental illness and public protest. I can understand the informed of other nations wondering what the hell happened to the USA. I know I do.

I bet the human brain is a kludge. -- Marvin Minsky

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