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Comment: Re:uhh (Score 1) 505

by Loki_1929 (#48037387) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

When Musk claimed he was going to start a new and successful American car manufacturing company when nobody else has managed to do so in the past half century or so and American manufacturing was considered a sick and dying animal, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. When Musk claimed he was going to start building rocket ships and launch stuff into space and make deliveries to the ISS at a fraction of the cost of anything done by NASA, it was easy to label him a snake oil salesman. But he just went ahead and did those things, successfully, at great personal risk because he's both driven and incredibly capable.

If there's one lesson we should all have learned by now, it's not to bet against Elon Musk. He's a risk taker with dreams greater than just about anyone alive, but I think the worst you can claim about him at this point is that his reach exceeds his grasp. Calling him a snake oil salesman is demonstrably unfair. All the other crazy things he's set about doing are happening before our eyes. Creating a self-sustaining colony on another planet may seem beyond our will our even beyond our capability at this point, but Musk's view that it must be done for the survival of humanity is a view shared by Stephen Hawking and many others. If there's anyone alive today who can make it happen, it's Musk.

Comment: Re:Profitable, if self-contradictory (Score 1) 505

by Loki_1929 (#48036795) Attached to: Elon Musk: We Must Put a Million People On Mars To Safeguard Humanity

I think you'll find that your first argument is a misunderstanding of the term "universe" and actually only applies to the observable universe. Otherwise, one gets into quite interesting arguments about what the universe is expanding into and whether that is infinite and what its laws are. As for matter following the laws of thermodynamics, you'll quickly find that quantum mechanics strongly disagrees with that. The reality is that at small scales, matter (being just one form of energy) follows the laws of chance, and merely has a weighted average toward thermodynamics at larger scales.

The universe is not so simple.

Comment: Re:Bogus justification (Score 3, Informative) 299

by Loki_1929 (#48000327) Attached to: Forest Service Wants To Require Permits For Photography

In other words, if you're Brian Williams and you'd like to film a news story there, you have every right to do so. If you're Michael Bay and you want to film a movie there, somebody probably needs to step in and put a stop to it before the forest is obliterated by a multi-kiloton series of non-nuclear explosions and scantily clad women running around between them.

Comment: Re:Great one more fail (Score 1) 600

by Loki_1929 (#47924143) Attached to: High School Student Builds Gun That Unlocks With Your Fingerprint

The US Constitution was an open declaration of treason against the Crown, which at the time controlled the most powerful military the world had ever seen. It was signed by farmers, lawyers, and doctors who had little in the way of protection against that army and little chance of surviving the fight. To say it was anything less than a suicide pact is absurd. The fact that few alive in this country today have their intestinal fortitude speaks volumes to why we're in decline. They had balls. Somewhere along the way, we lost them.

And if you don't think voting leads to people dying, you aren't paying attention.

Comment: Re:The DHS Is On The Case (Score 1) 207

No the process should be augmented by the district attorney's office who has the resources to protect the public.

Or, alternately, the resources to railroad members of the public into prison cells at the behest of politically connected corporate leaders.

No, The appropriate response is if for the government to appoint a lawyer to advocate for the parent in court. Just the same way the district attorney advocates for victims of crime.

The district attorney doesn't advocate for victims of crime. The district attorney is an advocate for the state prosecuting people accused of committing crimes. That's a critical distinction when you consider that the victims often have little or no say in whether or how the accused is charged and tried.

Comment: Re: The Double Standard (Score 1) 207

Nobody stole the movie. The studio still has it. What someone did was copy the movie without the permission of the copyright holder, thereby committing copyright infringement, which is a civil matter. Or at least it would be if our government weren't the enforcement wing of its benevolent corporate benefactors.

Comment: Re:ADA?? (Score 1) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47598719) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

Yes, as I stated, if you have enough money, you can escape the NHS. I would argue that more people would get better care if they weren't being taxed so heavily to pay for the NHS, particularly if they aren't using it ("double payers"). The existence of a private system pinpoints a painful but obvious truth: that the NHS and systems like it are not the panacea of healthcare they're often hailed as being. For those who would otherwise have nothing available, systems like the NHS provide a safety net that ensures they get at least some level of care, eventually. For everyone else, it can mean long lines, denied care, and other challenges.

US health outcome numbers are skewed by a variety of factors such as gang violence, drug problems, a high rate of imprisonment, a higher percentage of rural communities where access to the latest and greatest healthcare tools isn't readily available, the fact that many low income individuals under 65 don't have regular access to medical care, overuse of defensive medicine, and a number of other things. It's the same sort of challenges you find when comparing any stats between very different countries. If you control for those differences, you'll find that some of the best care on Earth is available in the US, but it's an imperfect system.

Our system leaves some people without access to much care. The NHS leaves some people on a waiting list for years on end and drives others to head to other parts of Europe, India, Malaysia, and even the US for care. Each system has its issues; nobody has completely figured out healthcare just yet. The only way to realistically do so is to so cold and uncaring that even an economist might feel a twinge of moral concern. Nobody wants to pull the plug on grandma, and that's just step one to making a system that can provide a reasonable level of care to all. Step two is kids.

Comment: Re:CLEAN, SAFE, (Score 1) 343

The UK has immense areas available for offshore wind.

Except they keep shutting them down because they're always finding some bird (red-throated diver being the latest) or other wildlife that might be affected by them. The ones that actually do manage to get built are often shut down temporarily due to storm activity.

Comment: Non-technical solutions (Score 1) 61

by Loki_1929 (#47597775) Attached to: San Francisco Airport Testing Beacon System For Blind Travelers

This really seems like an over-hyped, massively expensive technical solution to a problem that could easily be fixed with some volunteer organizations providing guides on an as-needed basis. Here's a thought: require all public high school students to provide X number of hours (start with 200) of public service as a requirement for graduation. Do something similar with college students receiving Federal student aid. Oh look, suddenly volunteers everywhere! And these volunteers can actually adapt to the needs of individuals and don't cost a fortune to implement, update, and maintain!

The Universe is populated by stable things. -- Richard Dawkins