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Comment: Goal is cooling, not reduction of warming. (Score 1) 111

by SuperKendall (#48639905) Attached to: Geoengineered Climate Cooling With Microbubbles

The climate is already changing, the goal is to reduce the amount of change.

The problem is the effort is not to reduce the amount, the effort is to send change, however slightly, in a VERY BAD direction.

We already know the Earth will enter a glacial period again. It may even be tending to do so now, we really don't have the understanding of climate to say for sure.

What we do know is that entering a glacial period is something we would vastly rather avoid over any of the climate warming models to date (now that we know runaway warming is simply not going to happen as the doomsayers predicted). Glacial periods will mean mass extinctions all over, and a huge shortage of arable land unlike the greatly expanded land that can be used for agriculture in a warmer Earth scenario.

It's fine to come up with ideas that promote the reduction of things that in theory increase warming, but it's extremely dangerous (or at least stupid) for life on Earth to do anything on a large scale that promotes global cooling of the atmosphere.

Comment: What about that stupid book is worth US$244? (Score 4, Insightful) 166

by Dr. Spork (#48639385) Attached to: Calculus Textbook Author James Stewart Has Died

I really fucking hate this about academia. It's absolutely shameless to charge college students $244 for a single dumb textbook. It's not even that good. It's just that when a department chooses to standardize on a textbook, the move has inertia and is basically impossible to reverse. Then, the publisher can charge something absurd, and everybody pays it, because it is a required text. It's so dirty, because it's profiteering from people who are often barely making ends meet, and typically buying the book with debt.

What really bothers me is that nobody seems willing to do anything about it. If a big, publicly funded university system set aside some money to create and regularly update their core STEM curriculum textbooks - let's start with Calculus, Physics, GenChem, GenBio - it would certainly cost less than the almost $1000 per student that the textbook purchases cost. These universities have Nobel Prize winners among their faculty, surely they have the in-house resources to create excellent textbooks and distribute them on some sort of open license like CC. Arranging sabbaticals for the authors might cost at most a million dollars, or roughly 4000 Stewart Calculus books. That might be about the number of Calc 1, Phys 1, GenChem and GenBio books that are sold on a single campus in a single year.

But this move would help everybody, not just within the entire UC system that funded the effort, but across the globe. And the costs of updating and embellishing future editions would be far less. I'm so mad that a large university system doesn't just make this happen. And yes, raise fucking tuition by $200 to pay for it, if you absolutely have to. In exchange for textbooks you can have for free (or for printing cost if you don't like digital), everybody will recognize that's a great deal. The courses can explicitly invite students to devise problems for future editions, or to suggest changes and clarifications. And it will bring prestige to the colleges and to the authors, which is worth something too.

If a 6600 used paper tape instead of core memory, it would use up tape at about 30 miles/second. -- Grishman, Assembly Language Programming

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