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Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 1) 333

No, that's kinda the point of evolution. The species that adapted best to it's habitat - or even was already best equipped for that niche- out-survived those that didn't. Random mutations create variety in a species, those mutations which "fit" the local environment better somehow gave that particular lineage an advantage over those lineages whose mutations (or lack thereof) didn't do them as much good there.

Comment: Re:Wow (Score 1) 120

I love the quote, "Five hundred kilometres is pretty much as far as a normal person would want to drive in a single day." Oh, man, I've driven further to see a live show, and driven back essentially the next day

Indeed. Aren't things in Australia nearly as spread out as they are here? 300 miles is nothing. 300 miles won't even get you from Las Vegas to San Diego. I've done that as a same-day round trip. I've driven from Las Vegas to Denver in one day. 770 miles makes for a long day behind the wheel, but it's doable. You can cover 600 miles in 8 hours at 75 mph.

Comment: Re:But what IS the point they're making? (Score 2) 333

I hate "survival of the fittest". It's not actually all that accurate for describing evolution, and it's used to excuse being a jerk so often.

It should have been "survival of the breediest". Anyway...

Many people misconstrue what Darwin meant by "fittest"; he didn't mean the most athletic or strongest, he meant the species that best fits it's habitat, or the most adaptable.

Comment: Re:However minute, risks remain. (Score 3, Interesting) 547

by cyberchondriac (#47527387) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

I'm missing part of a finger, but I can manage. I could live with a limp. But eyesight is a pretty big gamble. Yeah its small. But still higher than lottery.

That's why I opted for orthokeratology. I put my lens for one night, once every 7-ish days, and have 30/20 vision for the first 24h and then 20/20 for the rest of the week.

I used to do this. It's surprising how many people have never heard of this. The downside is of course, discomfort. It's a tad hard to sleep with a hard lens in your eye, at least, it was for me. Also, I find contacts to be a lot of hassle; including the fact that washing my hands so much leads to cracks in my fingertips in wintertime.

Still, I think maybe more people should give it a shot. If you miss a night or two, it's no big deal, which is a nice plus. If you stop wearing them at night altogether, it takes your eyes about 2 weeks to go back to their natural state.

Comment: Re:Astronomy, and general poor night-time results. (Score 1) 547

by cyberchondriac (#47526285) Attached to: Laser Eye Surgery, Revisited 10 Years Later

One common technique for people who are close to or have age-induced presbyopia is to perform the surgery on only one eye, or, depending on the prescription, to apply it in different amounts. The idea is to get one eye which is good for near vision and one that is good for far vision. Sort of the same notion as bifocals, but applied directly to the eyes. Apparently the brain adjusts quickly and effectively to this and you end up feeling as though you have good vision at all ranges as long as both eyes are open.

I'm considering doing that. I'm 45 and my eyes have just begun to change. I'm still generally myopic, but so far the change just requires me to take my glasses off when doing close work. I'm going to give it a couple more years to be sure my eyes have more or less settled, then get surgery on one or both, in whatever degrees will give me the best overall visual acuity and flexibility.

If your eyes haven't actually changed yet, then it's something of a crapshoot. The idea is to adjust your vision based on guesses as to how they're going to change. That said, my optometrist says that they can make very good guesses. The only reason he's recommended that I wait is because I'm not far from the point where guessing won't be required, based on my history of general visual stability and current rate of change.

I tried that with contacts, personally I hated it. I got headaches, and it seemed more like a lose/lose than a win/win. It varies from person to person.
If you do that with LASIK, it's permanent. I'd highly recommend getting some contacts first and trying the monovision thing on a trial basis first.

It's wise to wait on LASIK til later years if presbyopia is just around the corner; for me, it's already here and settled in. My conundrum is choosing between leaving my vision as is and needing glasses for distance, or getting the LASIK and needing reading glasses. I'm hoping that such an operation might lead to a side benefit of reduced presbyopia too, but I haven't done my research on that yet.

Comment: Re:this is a good thing (Score 0) 230

by HanzoSpam (#47442583) Attached to: Geographic Segregation By Education

So if you could remake the world you would be a serf? Because under feudalism that's your only choice, and it doesn't matter how smart you are or how hard you work, your circumstance will NEVER improve.

If I were a serf, I'd be obliged to pay the landowner 1/3 of what I produced on his land. Given that I now pay considerably greater percentage than that in various taxes, serfdom doesn't look like that bad of a deal. My circumstances then, as now, would be determined by how well I made use of the resources at my disposal.

If you're under the delusion that YOU would fare differently because you're (ahem) *special*, realize that what enables that delusion is the democracy and equality GIVEN to you by previous generations of socially conscious activists.

The only thing your democracy and equality have produced is a society where the parasites to vote themselves a living out of the pockets of the productive. Repeat after me: All men are not created equal. Never have been, never will be.

There are only so many chairs at the top, and NONE of them have your name on it peasant.

Neither mine or yours, either then or now. What of it?

Comment: Re:Google already has the technology to fix this (Score 2) 132

by ncc74656 (#47432321) Attached to: How Google Map Hackers Can Destroy a Business

google broke into internet search with the page rank algorithm whose essential purpose is to combat "search engine optimization."

Yeah. They destroy legitimate businesses with their wonderful algorithms...

SEO isn't a legitimate business. If your website is getting pushed into the search-result basement, odds are you're doing it wrong.

Comment: Re:And good luck asking for APAP-free medicine! (Score 4, Informative) 162

by ncc74656 (#47431201) Attached to: Hair-Raising Technique Detects Drugs, Explosives On Human Body

I think most doctors believe its beneficial but I also think they somehow see acetaminophen opiate formulations as some kind of bulwark against abuse. Either because they believe it is so much more effective paired with acetaminophen and you'll be inclined to take less overall or that people "know" acetaminophen is bad in quantity and it will serve as a deterrent to excessive dosage, especially people with a history of drug abuse.

Also, the DEA watches doctors who prescribe opiates very carefully. If some government goon believes a doctor's handing them out like candy, the doctor's most likely going to be called in for some very uncomfortable questions. See chapter two of Three Felonies a Day for some examples.

The way scripts for opiates are handled is also quite different. My wife's oncologist was able to submit the vast majority of prescriptions to her preferred pharmacy electronically; they would be ready for pick-up a short time after. The one time she was prescribed straight oxycodone (or whatever opiate), it was printed on security paper to thwart attempts at altering or copying. It was signed, and some sort of DEA ID number issued to the doc was printed in the header. I had to deliver the prescription to a pharmacy. Her usual pharmacy didn't have it in stock, so I had to find another that did. Once it was filled, I had to sign for it in a logbook (similar to when you buy products containing pseudoephedrine).

Comment: Re:All about trust (Score 1) 107

Honestly, I don't think I've heard but a handful of americans saying that it's fine when we do it.. Pretty much everyone is up in arms over the NSA. What I hear people say - if unapologetically- is that the NSA isn't the only one doing it. And you'll probably never hear much about what the KGB does (I know that's more an equivalent to the CIA than the NSA but I'm not sure if Russia sets up their organizations like the US does).

Still, Google may have a presence in India but it's not an Indian company, per se.

At this rate, it seems like someday in the future we may have to deal with possibility that being on the Internet is like being a celebrity: no expectation of privacy.

You can't have everything... where would you put it? -- Steven Wright