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Comment A simplistic dream (Score 1) 73

A simplistic dream would be a power grid:
- that anyone can buy power from at a "retail" price
- that anyone can sell power to at a "wholesale" price
- where the difference is used only to maintain the grid (ie. non-profit)
- where prices may fluctuate hourly to reflect supply/demand
- that has no other rules, to keep it simple.

I say a "simplistic dream" because, as I understand it, there is no simple way of actually doing that given how our power grids currently work. Plus there are the politics.

The goals of such a setup are to promote market forces on a level playing field for anything from small homes to large power companies to encourage more efficient management of the energy that is produced.
If we don't have enough power, then a new power station would become profitable.
If day/night supply fluctuates too much, then a new large battery bank would become profitable.
If enough individual homes build their own systems, then that would reduce the need for power stations.

To reduce the risk of carbon fueled power stations, tax the carbon fuel... by a lot.

Comment Re:Liberals (Score 3, Insightful) 585

Yes and no.

Yes: For any society to survive and improve, anyone and everyone must be able to voice their concerns, any concerns. And anyone should be able to voice any angle for everyone to get a more complete view of the problem. Because the more complete our understanding is of a problem, the better our solution will be.

No: Offensiveness for the sake of being offensive, will alienate people. This causes communication breakdown, and so people will cease to communicate constructively. I'm not talking about offensiveness due to ignorance or oversensitivity of the reciever. I'm talking about malicious offensiveness.

As to political correctness, I see three groups:

1. The PC crowd. They fully embrace the No argument above, and use that to impose bigoted taboos. eg. In the US, black people can call each other nigga in mass media, but others can't even mention the word for fear of being branded racist. And don't call someone fat, unless you're even fatter. If those aren't bigoted taboos, then I'm the son af a llama.

2. The "offensive" crowd. They fully embrace the Yes argument above, and in doing so inadvertently justify the PC crowd. Saying something that is clearly intended to upset someone and then saying "You have the right to not be offended" is a good way recieve a well-earned fist in the face. But, again, I'm not talking about inadvertently offending someone. Shit happens, cope with it.

3. The "respectful" crowd. They understand both arguments, and insist that everyone should be allowed to say anything (Yes) but... without intentional malice (No). Malice of any kind is anti-social, and anti-social behaviour breaks down society. What the other two crowds need to understand is that it's not the choice of words that matter, it's the intent that matters. Once people begin to get used to the idea that hurtful things are seldom said or done maliciously, then they can get used to coping with that. Not that's not so easy when one is under actual attack. Please don't confuse this with PC.

Ideas and opinions are not your enemy, even, and especially, if you disagree with them.

Indeed. For example, last night my tenant was watching a documentary about homophobes in Russia, and I end up almost defending them even though I disagree with homophobia, because by actually listening to all angles I seem to have a better understanding and empathy. But being PC, he hasn't developed that ability.
How can we possibly approach social issues contructively when people ridicule what is politically incorrect?

Comment Re:This hole paleo thing (Score 1) 315

It's true that our modern life styles are better now than ever before, in countless ways. But they still suck in some ways too, so there's still room for improvement.

It's easier to adapt our societies to work with our bodies' needs, than it is to force or evolve our bodies to conform to current social expectations.

Understanding the environments in which our bodies evolved, including paleo lifestyles, helps us better understand some of our bodies' needs.

But I do agree with you that mimicking is probably counterproductive. Our bodies weren't designed, but evolved, for paleo lifestyles, so the fit is by no means perfect (which is why we're able to be healthier in modern societies). Trying to retrofit our modern lifestyles to become more paleo-like seems to me rather simplistic.

Comment Re:Guns are the problem. (Score 1) 822

You could probably save more lives by make driving a little bit safer.

Yep. I agree with that. People do take some things out of proportion and overreact (such as shark attacks in Australia as a prime example). But I'm not sure that this is one of those things.

Personally, I'm glad that I live in a country where we don't carry guns. The equivalent of a mass shooting here would be someone running around slashing people with a sword.
Heard of any such incidents lately?

This statistic...

52 people died this year from falling off ladders. small compared to...

More than 30,000 people are killed by firearms each year in this country
More than 30 people are shot and murdered each day
Homicide is the second leading cause of death among 15-24 year-olds
And the primary cause of death among African Americans of that age group

And in other countries...

Gun Homicides (average annually):
Less than 50: Japan
Less than 150: Germany, Italy, France, etc.
Less than 200: Canada
More than 10,000: USA

This does not take into account population sizes, but even if it did, the US would still "win".

Of course there are murderous people all around the world, and accidents will always happen. But most types of guns (especially the ones US'ians seem to like to carry) are tools designed to make killing easier. So either US'ians don't know how to handle guns safely (in which case they should not be allowed to carry guns) or they rather like shooting each other (in which case they not should be allowed to carry guns).


"No, no, I don't mind being called the smartest man in the world. I just wish it wasn't this one." -- Adrian Veidt/Ozymandias, WATCHMEN