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Comment: Re:Hispanics replaced by... (Score 1) 86

I hate to break it to you, but the original article stated "The labor shortage spurred Tanimura & Antle Fresh Foods, one of the country's largest vegetable farmers, to buy a Spanish startup", and its link to the company website brings up a page that starts off with "Plant Tape is a visionary and innovative company founded in Spain".

The AC responded "So the guys from Mexico will be replace with... hardware from Mexico?"

Why you're mentioning the word "hispanic" is beyond me.

Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 409

There are countless more recent examples I could have written about.

So go ahead then, because I think it's really silly whenever a new Muslim atrocity occurs, especially when it comes to women, that some apologist comes along and talks about things Christians did centuries ago.

Are you obtuse? Did you read what I wrote? I am criticizing monotheism as a whole. I probably despise extremism more than you do. I just see the historical context, and I see aspects of extremism in America that are similar to Islamic extremism. That is not being an apologist. It is being a realist.

Comment: Re:You're not willing to pay (Score 1) 86

Or more to the point, to compete with strawberries grown in other countries under whatever conditions they deem acceptable.

I've long supported the concept of a VAT-equivalent for pollution (PAT = Pollution Added Tax), where goods are taxed at fixed rates for different pollutants embodied by each manufacturing step, goods leaving the PAT zone are rebated, and goods entering the PAT zone are taxed based on an estimate of their embodied pollution, similar to how VAT works with value changes / rebates / taxes. VAT serves as a way to tax goods without unfairly harming the competitiveness of your products and favoring imported goods, and PAT could extend that logic to pollution controls. But maybe PAT isn't enough. Maybe we also need a HRAT, a "Human Rights Added Tax", which imposes extra fees based on things like human rights abuses, poverty wages, etc embodied in the production of a product, to provide a level playing field for countries with higher standards.

One would have to handle things relatively, of course - a poverty wage in southern California is not the same as a poverty wage in Nigeria, for example, and you don't want to make international sales prohibitive for poor countries simply because their per-capita GDP isn't sufficient. But I'd find it fair to add extra costs at the dock for products produced by factories with inhumane working and living conditions, etc, which keep workers trapped in such conditions by all sorts of means (threats of deportation, threats of violence, unpayable "company store"-type debts, etc). So a strawberry farm in Nigeria paying its workers $2,50 an hour wouldn't be seen as abusive (like one in California would) since that's over double the average national wage and easily meets local cost of living expenses - but a Nigerian farm that left its workers exposed to toxic doses of pesticides and threatened to seize everything their workers own if they try to quit would be seen as abusive even if the nominal salary was $2,50 an hour.

Comment: Re:mobile-health industry... (Score 1) 90

by SuricouRaven (#49558195) Attached to: Apple's Next Frontier Is Your Body

Watt was just as bad himself: As soon as he came up with that peculiar gear arrangement he patented it himself.

Watt delayed steam tech by some years. He wasn't willing to work on high-pressure steam research himself - he regarded it as too dangerous, with the tendency of early high-pressure engines to explode if you sneezed around them - but he did use his many patents to drive out of business anyone who did start developing high-pressure technology.

Comment: Re:edu-babble (Score 3, Interesting) 244

by catchblue22 (#49557799) Attached to: The Future Deconstruction of the K-12 Teacher

Sounds like dystopia to me. Something about a bunch of kindergarteners staring at a giant screen seems very 1984.

I think the truly intractable problem is that such a system would centralize control of the educational system. Centralize it right down to every single word that is presented. The true power of the public education system is that it gives teachers a great deal of independence in what they say in the classroom. Imagine a situation when something terrible happens in our democracy. Someone seizes control. The system gets even more perverted than it already is. Then imagine an educational system where children only received "approved" resources. No independent human teacher. Just video and text. If the children don't get information from the media, then they will effectively be blind to reality.

I know this is hypothetical, but I think it demonstrates my point, that independent teachers are an essential buffer against tyranny emerging in our democracy.

Comment: Re: Do not (Score 1) 119

by PopeRatzo (#49557337) Attached to: Liquid Mercury Found Under Mexican Pyramid

A bunch of workers hanging their body weight on the lever end would raise the stone a foot or two. You prop the stone with some timbers, shorten the lifting rope, and repeat. When the stone gets to the next level of the pyramid, you rotate the lever arm horizontally and pivot the stone to the next step.

Sounds plausible, except how does that lever get the stones to the top of a 455' structure? The widest "step" doesn't seem like it would allow room for enough guys to exert 800 lbs on a lever, much less for the lever itself. And we're talking a pretty long lever by the time you get halfway up. Then, you've got all the limestone sheathing to put up and you have to make sure the inside chambers are there, and accessible..

However they did it, it's pretty remarkable. I got to see it once up close and it's amazing.

Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 1) 409

DON'T pretend that "all religions are equally wrong"; they are not.

I don't say that. I assert that mono-theistic religions have shown themselves capable of equally vile fanaticism, most especially when they are combined with the levers of power of the state.. See my post above.

Comment: Re:Remember Hypatia (Score 3, Insightful) 409

Yes, Christians did that 1500 years ago.

Muslims killed Sabeen Mahmud yesterday.

Pray forgive me if I see the Muslims as a significantly larger threat.

There are countless more recent examples I could have written about. However, Hypatia is in my opinion more relevant. Before 400AD or so, Roman and Greek society was based around classical foundations of rationalism and philosophy. Yes they worshipped gods, but there was tolerance for the worship of many different gods, and by extension tolerance for fundamentally different world-views. Classical civilization created great art, great philosophy, great mathematics, great architecture. We owe our systems of laws, of money, of art/drama to classical Greco-Roman civilization. And the fact that Greco-Roman civilization had flaws (e.g. slavery) does not change the greatness of what they accomplished.

In the early-mid 300AD's Constantine came to power as emperor of the Roman empire. He made Christianity the state religion of the empire. Christianity spread like wildfire, snuffing out anything that opposed it. The instance I referred to earlier, Hypatia's murder, is commonly thought of as the end of the Classical Era. In Hypatia's school, it is possible that astronomers theorized that Earth travelled around the Sun. If an astronomer had thought this, the idea would have been discussed and possibly accepted. In the new christian world, to suggest an such an idea would be blasphemy and would result in the suggester being executed in some gruesome manner.

The adoption of Christianity in as the state religion in Europe led to what is commonly known as the Dark Ages, a period of about 1000 years in which European civilization stagnated. Progress in the arts, in knowledge of the world (what we would call science), in philosophy largely came to a halt. Europeans largely forgot how to build great buildings. This era is thought to have begun to come to an end when European intellectuals began re-discovering Greco-Roman rationalism during the Renaissance, and is exemplified in Florence, when the architect Filippo Brunelleschi re-discovered Roman dome building techniques in order to build il Duomo.

When I see these stone-age islamic fanatics trying to hack away at the edifice of modernity, I cannot help but thinking about what christianity did to European civilization during the Dark Ages. I also cannot help thinking of those in America who so resemble these stone-age fanatics, the christian dominionists and those who can best be described as the American taliban. If you think it is only muslims who are capable of fanaticism, you are fooling your self.

"Hey Ivan, check your six." -- Sidewinder missile jacket patch, showing a Sidewinder driving up the tail of a Russian Su-27