Forgot your password?
typodupeerror

Comment: Re:Responsible party? (Score 1) 65

The outcome is fines paid by one part of government to another, but it does focus the leadership to get it right

Or discourage reporting any incidents. If losing a container of Anthrax means you get punished, then you have strong incentives to not tell anyone and hope you'll find it, rather than rise alarm and put the place in a lockdown.

Comment: Re:Racist science (Score 0) 123

by shutdown -p now (#47441213) Attached to: Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

Are you basically saying that science is a bad thing because it sometimes gives answers which are objectively valid, but which go against your core set of beliefs?

The funny thing with beliefs is that when they do not correspond to reality, they always lose in long term, every single time. If you pretend that gravity doesn't exist, it'll "work" right until the point you walk over the next pothole, while those who stick to objective view will just walk around. Science, in that sense, is a "religion" of objectivity, taking the world as it is rather than pretending that it is what you want it do be. That's what distinguishes it from any other belief system - the only belief inherent in it is that the world is objective and can be studied.

Comment: Re:Intelligence isn't always advantageous (Score 1) 123

by shutdown -p now (#47441199) Attached to: Chimpanzee Intelligence Largely Determined By Genetics

You missed the important part in GP's claim: "past some baseline number".

And that may actually well be true. There's one interesting tidbit that came out of anthropological studies: apparently, earliest homo sapiens sapiens had a better developed brain than we do. This implies, at least indirectly, that they were better at core cognitive tasks (such as pattern matching) that seem to be underlying what we think of as "intelligence". In other words, if you took such an early human and put him in a modern world, with proper nutrition, education etc, he'd likely beat most of the kids in the class.

But then it shrunk. And the reason why is, indeed, that brains are very expensive energy-wise. That's why few other species get it even remotely close to what we have - you basically need to have a very specific set of environmental conditions and random inherited traits to coincide to produce an environment which would cause natural selection for intelligence to that extent in the first place. On the other hand, once it gets a significant starting push, the benefits that it yields long-term are such that it becomes the single most important trait (as you rightly note, there are more humans in the world than bears - indeed, more humans than any other mammals). But there is still an upper cap defined by energy requirements, and apparently we have actually hit that cap thousands of years ago already, and then bounced back slightly.

Regarding passing on genes, it actually doesn't even require having any children to pass on genes. Another way is to ensure the survival and the passing of genes of your relatives - sure, they don't share 100% of them with you, but if they share 50%, and with your support they can have 5 kids where otherwise they'd have 2 and you'd have 2, you (or rather your genes) are statistically better off.

Comment: Re:I've always thought that the best way for Israe (Score 2) 233

by ultranova (#47439903) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

We value life, they value heaven.

According to yourself, you value an personal ancestral connection to the land. And you also said you think it's the same for Hamas. So please don't try to twist things into a "good vs. evil" or even "sane vs. insane" narrative. It's not.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 2, Interesting) 233

by ultranova (#47439771) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

I have a personal connection to this land. So does somebody else. Hence, war!

I'm starting to wonder if the best thing anyone could do for the Holy Land and its residents was to detonate enough dirty bombs there to force everyone to decide whether living there is worth more than their own lives, rather than just their neighbours.

Oh well, with any luck climate change will clear the place through desertification.

Comment: Re:Subject bait (Score 1) 233

by ultranova (#47439667) Attached to: A Skeptical View of Israel's Iron Dome Rocket Defense System

Don't spend the whole comment section arguing about causes and consequences of the conflict, who started it, who deserves is, etc.

Stay on topic and discuss the technical aspects of the missile system, at least that is what should be discussed here.

Why? Surely analysing the mechanisms of society and their failure modes are far more deserving of the title "stuff that matters" than the mechanisms of systems used in the resulting mess. Or do you have some kind of ulterior motive to keep this conflict from being discussed or analysed? Do you, for example, fear that your side - whichever it is - might come up looking bad?

And if that's the case, perhaps you should look beyond whatever gains you think your side might have from the conflict to the long-term benefits of establishing a less violent and chaotic world.

Comment: what should be off the table (Score 4, Interesting) 183

by bzipitidoo (#47438593) Attached to: New Microsoft CEO Vows To Shake Up Corporate Culture

Nothing is off the table? Does the table include lying, doublespeak, file format lock in, using proxies to sue Linux users, bribing and strongarming standardization committee members, the whole embrace, extend, and exterminate strategy that they tried with Java and IE, Windows Genuine Advantage, staying in bed with the copyright extremists of the entertainment industry, continued support of organizations like the Business Software Alliance? Is any of that off the table?

If MS's new CEO isn't acknowledging that they went too far with that stuff, and that the company will go in a new direction, stop being anti-social, stop being evil, then the new CEO represents no real change, just some minor adjustments.

Comment: Re:What is the point? (Score 1) 132

by ultranova (#47438473) Attached to: Biohackers Are Engineering Yeast To Make THC

I'm not a user, but my understanding is that pot is a very hearty plant, easy to grow and cheap to grow. Why invest money, time, and effort in learning to get the THC without it?

Because yeast is still easier, and it would be to everyone's advantage if at least some of the alcohol producers switched to pot. Except the "thank God for dead soldiers" crowd, of course, since they're never happy as long as someone else might be.

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 86

by ultranova (#47438423) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

So your argument against permitting people to hire their services is that it will threaten others' wages? Congratulations, you just cast your vote for no progress ever. Please move back into a cave, and give up your PC.

Strictly speaking, I don't need a PC to stay alive and capable of working. That means the PC is a luxury; I have one because at some point of my life, I had spare income. That, in turn, is an inefficiency - I could had undercut other workers by asking for less. So, if you advocate a perfectly efficient job market yet have anything you could give up without dying, you either are a hypocrite or don't know what "economic efficiency" means.

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 86

by ultranova (#47438397) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces.

No, people have so much debt because they insist on buying things they can't afford. No, you really don't NEED a Tesla. Or even a new car. A five-year-old used car will do fine. Nor do you NEED the latest tech toy. Etc, etc, etc.

So do you agree with me? Because you seem to be saying the same thing I did: employees, in an efficient market, can't afford anything beyond they NEED - in other words, they're just barely surviving. Which is only natural, seeing how "sellers barely survive" is the very definition of economic efficiency in a marketplace, even in the job market.

Which is an awesome thing for anyone who is buying the labour but horrible for those selling it. In fact it's so bad it historically led to the birth of Communism due to unbearable conditions. Sane countries avoided revolution by deliberately introducing inefficiencies - such as labour unions - which forced employee profits up to the point where they could live. The US, on the other hand, uses easy access to credit to hide the truth. But the problem is, debt can't grow forever. As it reaches its limits, both economy and social stability in general deteriorate. The vast majority of people simply can't afford anything.

The US is trying to compensate that problem, in turn, by blaming indebted people for being "irresponsible", when in truth they've done nothing wrong. They simply had the bad luck of being born in a "market liberal" country and believing the lies they were told. Perhaps they could had faced the ugly truth earlier, but in any case the sheer mass of debt build up is forcing the issue now. It'll be interesting to see if US can introduce the necessary inefficiencies to its job market before the smoldering anger passes the tipping point and the country goes up in flames. Judging by comments like yours repeating the frankly stupid propaganda, and the continued arming of the police with military gear, which is odd if the nation doesn't expect to use them in military-style missions against its own population, I'd wager "no".

Comment: Re:Why are the number of cabs [artificially] limit (Score 1) 86

by ultranova (#47437195) Attached to: Lyft's New York Launch Halted By Restraining Order

Why not let everyone who qualifies swim in the taxicab business leaving those who cannot stand the waters perish?

1) Do you really want two-ton land missiles driven by desperate people who are driven to cut corners to stay competitive?

2) More generally, as you noted, a competitive market is a swim-or-sink situation. That means profit margins will get razor-thin. That sounds awesome until you realize that wages are also a form of profits. In other words, a competitive market is good for customers and horrible for everyone else in it. This is the reason why people have so much debt: the entire economy has become a "competitive market" where those participating in it - employees - barely survive, no matter how much it produces. So of course anyone who can tries to use whatever leverage they can to make any markets they're competing in less efficient. It's the only way to avoid starving.

Time is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen at once. Space is nature's way of making sure that everything doesn't happen to you.

Working...