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Comment: Re:Land of the fre (Score 1) 499

by Immerman (#48631377) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

There's your problem - you were trying to convince people with logic. That almost never works, even among intelligent, educated people. Do a little research on how to actually have a chance to change people's minds - there's even a few good TED talks on the subject, though I can't recall any details at the moment.

Comment: Re:40? (Score 1) 91

by WillKemp (#48631211) Attached to: At 40, a person is ...

At 37 I have been though the 18 barrier, the 21 barrier, and the 30 barrier. They have all felt like non-events. I expect 40 to be similarly anticlimactic.


50's the same. I'll be 60 in a bit over 3 years - i doubt that'll be much different really, either.

Comment: Re:Under US Jurisdiction? (Score 1) 280

by Grishnakh (#48627939) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

Now, on to the fight: America is explicitly NOT a democracy.

Yes, it is. You even say so yourself:

America is a democratic Republic.

"Democracy" in modern parlance == "democratic republic". When the word "democracy" is used in regular conversation, NO ONE is talking about Athenian-style direct democracy, unless they explicitly say so. It's only pedants like you who even think of this.

It was formed that way EXPLICITLY to prevent mob rule.

Democratic republics exist for several reasons. One is because no one citizen can possibly be competent at voting on every single issue that faces a large and populous nation, nor can every citizen be expected to invest that much time into the governing process. So we "outsource" most of the work of governing to politicians called "representatives", and elect them to represent us and do our bidding. The rules you talk about do exist to make sure there's a longer feedback loop, so people's short-term reactionary tendencies don't make a mess of things, and so that there's a rule of law: people have to follow laws, until the laws are changed.

The Constitution and Bill of rights spell out what America is supposed to be. If there is a true need for the Republic to change the rules it is built upon, then there are mechanisms in place to do that... but THEY HAVE NOT BEEN USED.

Yes, they have. The Constitution has been amended dozens of times since it was written, and countless Supreme Court cases have further changed laws. And if you have some kind of problem with a court effectively legislating and deciding law, then you have a problem with English Common Law, which this country was explicitly founded upon.

Why? We can argue about that forever. Regardless, the basic rules from which all other rules rest upon, have not been changed. That means a police state is incompatible with American law; both in the letter and spirit of the law.

Completely incorrect. If case law and legislation (at all levels of government) have resulted in a police state, then a police state is indeed compatible with American law, by very definition.

It's sad how poorly educated in basic Civics most Americans are these days.

Comment: Re:Confused. (Score 1) 205

If we accept your premise that in other countries the situation is reversed-- that the computer fields have much higher ratios of women to men-- I would ask whether those countries view that as a "problem"; do we need to increase the number of men in computer fields in those countries?

Comment: Re:Not completely useless, but... (Score 1) 62

by Immerman (#48627167) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

Well, not with the level of dexterity shown in the video, but give him a few months of practice and I bet he would become far more dexterous. Though the comment about having to operate the joints sequentially rather than simultaneously could be problematic, unless that's just a "training wheels" limitation.

Comment: Re:Let me guess (Score 1) 62

by Immerman (#48626767) Attached to: After 40 Years As a Double Amputee, Man Gains Two Bionic Arms

It looked as though those metal braces were suspending the arms several inches further from his body than necessary. I wonder if I'm seeing it wrong, or if they were perhaps trying to prevent him accidentally ripping out his abdomen with the elbows while learning.

I don't know about power though - granted it probably wouldn't run all that long off a laptop battery, but a human arm doesn't normally exert all that much power, and human muscle is *far* less efficient (18%-26%) than modern electric motors. I mean a soda-sized Li-ion battery can power an electric bicycle for an hour or so, and I imagine having a six-pack strapped to your back would be a small price to pay for a half-day of having arms.

Comment: Re:Under US Jurisdiction? (Score 1) 280

by Grishnakh (#48626693) Attached to: Eric Schmidt: To Avoid NSA Spying, Keep Your Data In Google's Services

Don't be stupid. Anyone who's an American Citizen is by definition an American, whether you like it or not, and whether you agree with them (and their idiotic ideas) or not. They certainly are "welcome" in America, they're Citizens and they were born here. Whether something is against the "spirit" of the founding laws is open to debate, and quite frankly, totally irrelevant since, as a representative democracy, this country (and any other with the same form of government) is supposed to reflect the will of the citizenry. If the citizens are a bunch of fools who vote for police-state laws, then that's what they're supposed to have. You're obviously the one here who opposes democracy and wishes to have an authoritarian government, because any government which does not reflect the will of the voters can only be authoritarian.

Comment: Re:Land of the free (Score 3, Insightful) 499

by Immerman (#48625923) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'

Indeed, though antagonizing your opponents like that probably isn't going to help the cause.

The truth is that pretty much everyone inclined to running gun battles probably already has guns that they carry concealed - law be damned. Or signed up for a shiny blue shield that provides near-immunity from the law. Laws against concealed carry serve primarily to make sure that honest citizens make easy victims.

Comment: Re:As with all space missions: (Score 1) 195

by Immerman (#48625889) Attached to: NASA Study Proposes Airships, Cloud Cities For Venus Exploration

I absolutely agree, and strongly support human exploration in situations where those arms can actually leave their protective tin can to interact with the environment. But hands aren't much good for working with gasses, or in environments that would kill even a man in the best protective suit we can make that would still allow mobility. Deep-sea exploration gets a bit of a pass in my mind simply because it's so difficult communicating through large distances of water with any kind of bandwidth, and tethers introduce all sorts of issues of their own.

Comment: Re:The biggest problem is fluid dynamics. (Score 1) 56

by Immerman (#48625825) Attached to: NASA Tests Feasibility of 3D Printing on the Moon and Other Planets

Sure, it's an expensive toy - far more than *I* would be willing to pay certainly - but it squirts plastic out of a nozzle to make weak, crude plastic "toys". Arguably useful, especially when you're $4k/pound away from the nearest general store, but not remotely in the same league as the professional-grade printers working in laser-cured resin, sintered titanium, high temperature ceramics, etc.

Comment: Eh? (Score 1) 499

by Greyfox (#48625651) Attached to: Reaction To the Sony Hack Is 'Beyond the Realm of Stupid'
What's this "we" stuff? Anywhoo, a portion of the "normal" population IS easily paralyzed by fear or prone to hysteria. Sometimes both. Another portion of them think they are but find they are able to act when push comes to shove. If it weren't for the big-ass herd, the first group would quickly be eaten by bears. Since they're not, we just have to deal with their hand-wringing. Sony obviously knows this, since they were very supportive and didn't just say "We think you're being a bunch of pussies, so show our damn movie already." Mr. Singer apparently doesn't, since that's pretty much what he said.

Economists state their GNP growth projections to the nearest tenth of a percentage point to prove they have a sense of humor. -- Edgar R. Fiedler