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Comment Re:Now we need... (Score 1) 196

considering how many people with even modertely useful degrees are under or unemployed; you're not getting those sunk costs back. And that is going to get worse as the population climbs.

Unemployment has nothing to do with population numbers. Many (most ?) countries in this world enjoy low unemployment figures with growing demographics.

No, diversity is not skewed in any direction. A vast number of different factors help or hamper in the reproductive success of any given individual, and as the population increases, even that growth generates new factors, and those new factors also tend to create layers of new factors of their own, etc. For example species that evolve mating rituals also end up evolving strategies that circumvent those rituals, and counter-strategies for detecting these 'sneakers', etc. And changing conditions eventually disturb any dynamic equilibrium they might get at. It never ends at any given point.

Comment Re:Now we need... (Score 2, Insightful) 196

I think if 4 billion humans dropped dead next week, we'd all be better off long-term.

And you're dead wrong, even if all the cadavers mysteriously and magically turned into basic mineral components and were sprinkled all over the planet (instead of rotting wherever they dropped dead, contaminating air and water with diseases durably over the following weeks).

An 8 billion human population is overall better for mankind and also arguably for the planet, than just 1 billion.

Long-term, a forcibly reduced population would mean a lot less human capital (which is our true ultimate cap for progress potential), and a lot less competition for the same environmental resources, incentivizing a higher waste of these resources. Also, we'd be losing a lot of diversity, setting us back evolutionarily, and we'd just end up with more numerous but less adaptively fit individuals. This effect is well known and observed in all kinds of living organism populations, from bacteria to complex, social animals.

Oh and, if you'd honestly believe killing people is ultimately doing people a service, you'd have started killing already. Or are you just a cowardly homicidal hypocrite ?

Comment Something else economists could do... (Score 1) 152

... would be for them to establish sound and sane epistemological foundations for their works. For example they could stop trying to assert they can model human behavior, and instead limit themselves to observations of economical choices made by real, live humans only.

Comment Re:Judging by the story so far... (Score 2) 370

Not all the AM users were cheating spouses. There were also quite a lot of non-cheating spouses checking on who was listed, non-married or divorced people, and users who never got to the meeting-up stage. I'm sure there were a bunch of students genuinely doing research from the profiles' info, too. And they're all affected the same way.

Comment Re:The Sad Puppies won. (Score 3, Insightful) 1042

But the S.F. readers get bored of it much faster... Only the people who think they have a religious duty to "correct" reality have the patience, energy and engagement to stick around when everything goes eye-rollingly consternating.

I had not heard of this whole mess before today, and I find it already tedious just searching for basic factual information about WTF happened and who has been an arsehole and who stuffed whose ballots. I was just hoping to learn of exciting new authors, and now it feels like I'm somehow reading a Twitter argument between some random MRA and my transgender SJW sister.

Comment And another 'heretic' theory... (Score 3, Interesting) 110

... is that hybridization might play a very big role in the appearance of new species, in several different ways:
- apomixis, producing some (most often aneuploid) news organism (which then clones itself indefinitely by fragmentation, budding or parthenogeny, becoming a distinct species all by itself)
- polyploidization, where the different DNA sets just add up and coexist side by side (like in pretty much every angiosperm on the planet, and many other plants, as well as many fish, reptile and salamander species - like Ambystoma platineum)
- symbiotic association, as seen in lichens and also in how mitochondria fused with bacteria into eukaryotes
- recombinational stabilization (a.k.a allohomoploid nothospeciation), where the slightly mismatched chromosomes from different DNA sets of compatible but different species pair up into complex heteroduplexes that end up fragmenting or fusing chromosome segments when the first generation of hybrids starts mating - which very well might be how two chimpanzee's chromosomes fused into our own bigger Chromosome 2.

In the cases mentioned of TFA some of the 'exotic' genes may be explained more simply as introgressions from a past hybridization event with a different species followed by backcrossing.

Comment It goes further still (Score 1) 118

There's more to it still: you can actually exploit the incertitude on the measurements you're using to categorize your subjects into subgroups, in a way to ensure your drug WILL report positive effects even if it has zero real effect. It's very well explained in this short article by Tom Naughton, complete with a numerical demonstration.

To put it shortly: you can design the subgroups' criterion in a way that overrepresents false positives and underrepresents the false-negatives that would otherwise counterbalance them.

Submission + - WalkCar Is A Portable Ride Just The Size Of A Laptop->

An anonymous reader writes: We don’t need Lexus Hoverboard teasers anymore, because we will have something similar to that soon enough. More like a mechanical skateboard, WalkCar is equally effective like a Hoverboard that you can step on to travel from one block to another. It’s about the size of a thick laptop, like the old IBMs but still, it’s portable enough to be carried around in a backpack or a briefcase.

Manufactured by an inventor in Japan, WalkCar looks like a more practical portable ride. It’s made of aluminum and works on lithium batteries.

Kuniako Saito, the developer of this device has done masters in electric car motor controls engineering. His motivation behind WalkCar was a device portable enough to be carried around in our bags.

The device is powerful enough to carry a person on a steep hill. It also has a tendency to navigate through tight courses. Apart from a lot of practice that you require to balance on a tiny surface, its only other drawback is the loud sound while working.

WalkCar is priced at $800 dollars, which is something really cheaper than a $10000 Hoverboard. It’s going to be available for the public in 2016. The developer is also going to start Kickstarter funding soon.

Link to Original Source

Comment Re:Small little feller (Score 1) 153

And I'm not surprised, considering how full of holes and lapses taxonomy is. It's pretty much a pseudoscience as it stands so far. We've been trying to put every critter into a single, discrete box called "species" and arranging those in ways that simply won't fit with the facts. Which order do protoctists really belong to ? Are euglenids plant or animal ? Are myxomycetes fungus or protoctists ? What about racoon dogs, cynogales, etc. ?

Phylogenetic "trees" should really be loose hypergraphs with lots and lots of cycles and a wide circumference.

"The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who, in times of moral crisis, preserved their neutrality." -- Dante