Any species that is willing to wait 250,000 years to avoid a 16 LY trip would never get to space at all. A race needs the drive to challenge obstacles and overcome them if its going to make it to space, not look for excuses to not try.
There is no way the West would attempt to invade Russia after it had already demonstrated willingness to use Nuclear weapons. That is the surest way to nuclear apocalypse. The west would be forced to abandon the Ukraine, and limit its response to sanctions and digging in along the NATO border. Every nation with the means to develop nuclear weapons would look at what happened to the Ukraine, look at what happened to the NATO countries protected by US nuclear arms, and start crash programs to develop or extent their own arsenals. Good bye anti-proliferation.
You could flip that on its head, and say that despite the challenges of a mars colonization mission, and the exponential increase in difficulty that trying to do it in 6 years would add, they wont give worse odds than 1 in 250 that it could happen... given the launch windows, 6 years is too short, even if you really believe in Musk, and think we can colonize Mars... but it does highlight the short windows of these predictions. Just pushing them all out to 2030, and I'd be really interested to see what they start making the odds.
Legislatures should wait to see how things develop, and not ban a product before it causes problems, based on the presumption that it will. Consider the possibility that you could build in driver aids to the Google glass that could actually make driving easier/safer. You could augment human senses with car sensors to identify potential hazards sooner then the average person would see them, or even something as simple as making your navigation info easier to see without looking away from the road at all. Second, to the extent that using them is banned, it should require more then just having one attached to your glasses, it should require that you were actually using it. Its simple with a cell phone, there is no reason you would have it in your hand other then to use it, but with Google glass, you could turn it off while driving and just keep using the same glasses. Ultimately it all comes down to legislators seeing an opportunity to get some free press for passing a law that wont piss off too many constituents, regardless of whether a law about it is really necessary. The basis for a law shouldn't just be can it reduce harm, but can it reduce harm substantially enough to justify an intrusion on our freedom to do it. I don't think banning Google glass while driving justifies that intrusion at this point.
What happens when its raining heavily, and a vehicle going the other way hits a puddle, and dumps a massive wave of water on your windshield? What happens when its full inch of heavy slush? I'd say its a nice addition on top of regular wipers, but I'm very skeptical about replacing them.
Summed it up in one word. Someone offered me the chance to go to mars, hell yeah I'd go, but I'd want to know a lot more about the details of the plan then those guys are providing. There are tons of big hurdles, they can be overcome, but its not gonna be simple, or cheap. I don't think a reasonable person would put faith in the group running this to be able to overcome those hurdles. Now if SpaceX was recruiting for a mars mission, sign me up.
Look at the population density, it is a lot easier to provide services like high quality broadband to a dense population. South Korea - 1,303/sq mi Japan - 873/sq mi Hong Kong - 16,876/sq mi Switzerland - 505/sq mi Netherlands - 1,287/sq mi Latvia - 80/sq mi Czech Republic - 344/sq mi Sweden - 60/sq mi United States - 89/sq mi Denmark - 337/sq mi Only Sweden and Latvia really out perform us without having several times higher population density.
A one time pad is impossible to crack in theory, but may be crackable if the method for generating the pad is flawed. Creating true randomness is a tricky proposition, and I don't see why its safe to believe that "shining a light through a diffusive glass plate" will generate true randomness.
Right, but value in the fashion industry is more about style, aesthetic, and branding. Very little is about improved utility. People will pay 1000% more for a piece of clothing from a famous designer, but not 1000% more for a branded drug, or branded computer when there is a generic of equal quality and utility available.
Suppose I invest $1B in researching a new drug, getting it through FDA approval, and bringing it to market. Then you immediately offer a generic version that is exactly the same composition. Our drugs are functionally identical, there is no way I can offer a superior version because when it comes right down to it, the composition is what valuable, and its easily replicated. How will I make my $1B back when you can offer the drug at a price that never needs to pay back the research investment. Don't get me wrong, the patent system is seriously messed up, but there is a need for patents in some cases.
That isn't even the biggest issue for me. There are several key challenges a real attempt would face, and little to nothing is said about them. 1. Money - Not even considering design, construction or training, and even presuming future price reductions in orbital launch, the launch costs would run north of $100M, and likely much more. Yet almost nothing is said of how that or anything else would be funded 2. Radiation - Both during the trip to Mars, and while on the surface, the crew would be exposed to solar and cosmic radiation, while to some extent increased exposure is just one of the risks, without any mitigation, the crew could be exposed to lethal doses just on the trip there. 3. Landing - Nothing is said of the difficulties of landing on mars. The concept art has heat shields like you would expect of an earth landing module, but nothing is said about dealing with the martian atmosphere. There are of course plenty of other challenges, but that those huge ones are totally unaddressed, and instead they are moving ahead with crew selection, seems very suspect. They are putting the thing they can certainly achieve first, selecting a crew, to distract from the things they may not be able to deal with.
See, thats where it doesn't make sense. They have the infrastructure to make the kinetic energy storage devices and to continue bio engineering, so they should be able to produce solar/wind/hydro/tide power, and did use a limited amount of fossil fuel generated electricity. Even if it wasn't economically viable for the masses, certainly the rich and or gov't would have been able to afford some as a prestige item or for critical purposes. Both solar and wind have major drawbacks, but in a time of such energy scarcity, the draw backs could be lived with.
There were a lot of interesting ideas discussed in the book, but it fails to really explain why things like solar power were not used... at all... not to mention any other form of green energy that is available even today. It seemed a pretty big hole to me.
Actually, I wouldn't worry about the results not getting released. Instead we would get loaded questions designed to influence the results. A skilled pollster could move public opinion pretty far based on how they ask the questions, and there is no way they would be unbiased. "Do you support closing the gun show loophole" vs "Do you support the ban on the sale of guns between private citizens without requiring a gun shop as an intermediary" Same outcome, but will get very different results.
Who needs to come back. We should send a one way craft, there would be countless volunteers even if it was clear that they are never coming home. Once there, you could start working to establish a sustainable off planet colony... Would also make getting there a lot cheaper.