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Comment: Unfashionable (Score 1) 686

by MightyDrunken (#47313633) Attached to: Aliens and the Fermi Paradox
Current cosmology theories suggest that only 5% of the energy content of the Universe is matter. We assume that dark matter which accounts for 84% of matter is boring stuff that only interacts with gravity. What if we are missing out on most of the Universe because dark matter has its own dark forces meaning that dark matter is as varied as our matter?

In this case most aliens are made of dark matter, we can't see them and they can't see us.

Comment: Re:[citation needed] (Score 1) 355

"That's why the south pole is colder than the north pole; it's farther away from the sun in winter than the north pole is in its winter."

The main reason why Antarctica is colder is because Antarctica is land and therefore elevated. Combined with its one mile thick ice sheet it is the highest elevated continent on earth. The lack of land at the Arctic means the ice is less stable and therefore makes it much harder for that amount of ice to accumulate. The difference in sunlight reaching the Earth due to its elliptical orbit is about 7% so not a large factor.

Comment: Re:Clathrate gun hypothesis (Score 1) 272

by MightyDrunken (#38236398) Attached to: Permafrost Loss Greater Threat Than Deforestation

There have been several shifts from glacial to interglacial climates during that time. My view is that if massive methane releases were a threat now, then we would have seen something similar during one of these times.

Well according to the article, in those 650,000 years the highest CO2 levels were at 380ppm, we are now at 390ppm with no sign of slowing down. The temperature highs in that period were a little higher than now, but not by much. So we would not expect the methane to be released yet but sometime in the future. As we have done so little to slow down our CO2 contributions that time could be pretty soon.

Comment: Re:Dangerous sign here! (Score 1) 997

by MightyDrunken (#34875550) Attached to: Are 10-11 Hour Programming Days Feasible?
Exactly!

First thought is, will adding new features actually be productive? I sense that the problem is probably not a lack of features but either poor selling or a small market. Adding more features will not fix these business problems.

My 2nd thought is that if you are asked to work 10 hours day it has to be for a limited time as it is not sustainable. Therefore you need a good reason and a goal. If this deal is open-ended what is most likely to happen is all this work generates no extra revenue and burnt out workers.

Comment: Re:Limits? (Score 1) 178

by MightyDrunken (#34175044) Attached to: How To Profit From Planetary-Scale Computing

This is the kind of shit that has madmen and economists thinking you can forever grow an economy in a finite world with finite resources

Umm, you can.

Really?

In you compiler example you cannot keep speeding it up - the fastest it can be is instant. You may argue that the economy can be expanded by creating new industries but again with finite people this cannot go to infinity. A 1% growth rate is a doubling in 70 years this cannot go on for more than a few centuries.

What will happen is that growth will slow and keep on slowing.

Comment: Re:Snowball Earth (Score 1) 582

by MightyDrunken (#34024258) Attached to: Global Warming's Silver Lining For the Arctic Rim
Snowball Earth is an interesting hypothesis and shows us some things about the climate system of Earth - that it is a complex dynamic system with many variables.

The more recent snowball Earth glaciations are thought to have happened as three or four glaciation events with the most recent, the Marinoan, happening about 650 million years ago. At the beginning of these glaciations the CO2 was relatively low for the time and the continents were distributed around the equator.

The mechanism which started the cooling periods is not known, but if they are cold enough the resulting ice can spread down to close to the equator. As ice has a higher albedo, about ~60% compared to the sea which reflects about 6% of incoming light, we get a "positive" feedback where cooling reflects more of the suns energy away from the Earth causing more cooling. This locked the Earth into a frozen period for millions of years. This poses a problem how can the climate system unfreeze now most of the Sun's energy is reflected away?

With much of the Earth frozen, CO2 will build up as there is very little rock weathering as it is all covered by ice and not much photosynthesis either. By the end of the snowball Earth period, CO2 may have risen to 12,000 ppm. The warming effect of the CO2 would have been weaker in this frozen state then it is now, because CO2 traps infrared radiation while most of the sun's light was being reflected in the visible part of the spectrum. This is why the CO2 level had to raise to such a high level to bring us out of this cold phase even though we are presently in a much warmer climate with less CO2. This is physics!

Comment: Re:Well, of course. (Score 1) 738

by MightyDrunken (#33971506) Attached to: Humans Will Need Two Earths By 2030

So what? Recycling alone handles virtually all of that hypothetical supply problem.

Only if the population does not increase, otherwise new resources will have to be gathered or we have a drop in the amount of our material goods.

The first sentence isn't true. Peak oil is quite consistent with free market theory. And the "tripling" in price of oil is the price signal that will encourage people to seek alternatives to oil.

But what happens in that transistion period when the oil price sky rockets? There are trillions of dollars of resources sunk in the petrochemical infrastructure. It will take at least an equal amount of resources and money to replace that with a new energy resource. For this to happen without problems the infrastructure has to be put in place before the shortage and therefore before the market has naturally responded.

Therefore we should be intelligent and realise what the future is likely to bring upon us and act with plenty of time to spare. However too many talk about the cost and how everything is OK now. Yes things are OK now, but what about 20 years time?

Comment: Re:Shameless self promotion (Score 1) 738

by MightyDrunken (#33971420) Attached to: Humans Will Need Two Earths By 2030
??

The water estimate is way off if you actually want to grow and produce things. Considering that agriculture is ~70% of our water consumption and industry is ~20% you can see we are not factoring in alot of water in this calculation.

The linked document estimates 350 million cubic meters of fresh water is required. Considering that the USA alone consumes 470 million cubic meters of fresh water you can see that it gives a very false impression of the resource use of the human race.

So in essence the document is interesting but does not show that we have plenty more resources because it does not factor in much of our actual consumption.

Comment: Re:I hope (Score 1) 107

by MightyDrunken (#33709822) Attached to: Scientists Find New Target For Alzhiemer's

While beta amyloid is like a prion in that the protein is "misfolded" and forms a tangled insoluble protein mass. It is not "contagious" like a prion disease. Beta amyloid is formed after cleavage of the amyloid precursor protein by alpha-, beta- and gamma- secretase.

The current state of knowledge for Alzheimer's is still very hazy, for many years there has been a discussion whether amyloid plaques are the cause of Alzhiemer's or a symptom of some other problem. More pieces of the puzzle are continually being found but what is really happening still remains elusive. An article I read in New Scientist suggested that the plaques themselves may not be the problem. With the real damage being done by the shorter chains which are created when the amyloid precursor protein is first cleaved.

There may be links to prion diseases. This study in mice suggests that non-infectious prions make Alzheimer's worse. While this older story suggests their may be a protective effect. Bleeding edge science can be confusing :)

Comment: Re:Wait till the religion fanatics hear this. (Score 1) 183

by MightyDrunken (#33390904) Attached to: Follow Up On Solar Neutrinos and Radioactive Decay

I've noted Slashdot has a hell of an establishment bias regarding Dark Matter, so don't be surprised if you've never heard of McGaughs paper.

I don't like dark matter as an explanation for anomolies in galaxy rotation. Nor do I want to believe inflation, which apparently solves many problems with the Big Bang theory. But what I have learned to accept is that there is usually a good reason why the consensus theory is considered more likely. For instance with dark matter it can explain many different problems like galaxy rotation, the mass of galaxies, gamma ray fog in the Universe, formation of structures in the Universe...
Also dark matter ties neatly with particle physics, the most popular extension to the standard model, super symmetry, predicts a plethora of new particles. The neutralino for instance fits the bill as a dark matter candidate very well.

Of course we may be right that dark matter is the wrong explanation, but the more likely truth is the majority of physicists are correct on this issue. Damn inflation, I hate it!

"The trouble with doing something right the first time is that nobody appreciates how difficult it was." -- Walt West

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