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Comment: Re:Not all good (Score 1) 328

by Kvan (#45398941) Attached to: Scientist Seeks Investment For "Alcohol Substitute"

Drinking or taking "recreational drugs" allow to momentarily hide problems by reducing the amount of thoughts, but when the relaxed state vanishes, the problems appear more acute and one feels even more miserable.

That comes with a huge YMMV. Lots of people simply do it to have fun, not to escape anything.

Comment: Re:For once, I agree with Gartner (Score 1) 754

by Kvan (#45080313) Attached to: Digital Revolution Will Kill Jobs, Inflame Social Unrest, Says Gartner
I absolutely agree that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg in white collar job automation. However, many of those jobs were already offshored, so I think the effects once management catches up will be even more profound in places like India and the Phillipines.

Comment: Re:Yup, we're boned (Score 1) 510

by Kvan (#44690047) Attached to: International Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty On Warming
*A* pollutant, for which we had replacements ready to go (if slightly more expensive). This is on an entirely different scale.

The reduction goals in Europe are also going to be hard to achieve. The cap-and-trade system has all but broken down, which has removed all incentive for industry to reduce emissions, and Germany is moving from nukes to coal and gas. The European goals are also only half the story, as a significant contributor to EU reductions is industry moving or leaving - which is in most cases highly likely to lead to a net increase in global emissions.

Comment: Re:Pocket Computers (Score 1) 352

by Kvan (#44684227) Attached to: The World Fair of 2014 According To Asimov (From 1964)
e-cigarettes are also growing explosively right now (on track to becoming a $1B industry this year), and there are already tons of luxury products in that category. I think that will take over almost all cigarette use (in the West), and pipes and cigars will become even more niche than they are already. Barring legislative shenanigans from the neo-puritan crowd, of course.

Comment: Re:One thing is for certain... (Score 1) 352

by Kvan (#44684161) Attached to: The World Fair of 2014 According To Asimov (From 1964)
Europe varies vastly in the use of paper money. The Nordics, helped in no small part by the lack of a tipping culture, tend to use cash less than the US. Generally the further south you go, the more popular cash is - with the UK as an outlier. Anyway the whole thing is about to change with mobile payments that my only prediction is these will be too disruptive for us to make predictions beyond 10 years.

Comment: Re:Yup, we're boned (Score 2) 510

by Kvan (#44631591) Attached to: International Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty On Warming
I conclude it is fucked because there is absolutely nothing in the history of mankind to indicate that we're able to come together across nations, races, religions and tribes and sacrifice for each other (and especially for the future) on the scale that would be required to make a meaningful dent in emissions.

It also seems I may not have been clear - I'm talking about practical mitigation of the effects of warming, not warming itself. Seawalls, finding new farmland, resizing drainage in cities and such. That's what we should be looking at now. We're in complete agreement on why it's hopeless to spend scarce resources on prevention of warming.

Comment: Re:Yup, we're boned (Score 2) 510

by Kvan (#44631479) Attached to: International Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty On Warming
A big problem with climate change is that it responds so very slowly. Even if we somehow magically stopped all emissions by 2020, we would still be facing increased global temperatures and rising sea levels for a century or more. As it is, the earliest we could probably hope to significantly cut emissions (at least without addressing population growth) is likely closer to 2050, at which point many of the adverse effects will already be in full swing. So even in the best case we need to start working on our mitigation of the effects today.

Also, while hope might spring eternal, I honestly don't think a deal will ever become politically possible. Nobody is ever going to come out and tell 5 billion poor people that they'll just have to stop trying to better their lives, for everyone's sake. And no matter how many people die from GW-related effects, precious few will give up their steaks, their plane trips, their 19C house temperatures etc. Any politician who tries to force them to will be voted out ASAP.

Comment: Re:Yup, we're boned (Score 2) 510

by Kvan (#44631315) Attached to: International Climate Panel Cites Near Certainty On Warming
Build dikes and seawalls, plan for evacuation and rehousing, create higher elevation farmlands where lower elevations may be flooded, plan for droughts and emergency irrigation, resize drainage in cities to cope with increased rainfall, improve natural disaster response and legislation... there's plenty of things that could be done today to prepare for tomorrow. Knowing people though, most countries won't start until it becomes truly urgent.

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.

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