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Comment: Re:Public cynicism about fusion (Score 5, Interesting) 146

by MyLongNickName (#47747211) Attached to: Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

You seem to be perfectly willing to sell out the long term future for the medium term, which is the weirdest case of short-sightedness I've ever seen.

And at this point, I think you are deliberately misstating my argument. Fusion is a dream at this point that the most knowledgeable in the sciences say is at least 60-80 years away from economic viability. Don't believe me? Look at the ITER roadmap, publically available. And the reality is that the visionaries are usually overoptimistic. You and I will be dead before it becomes viable and our children as well. And that is assuming this becomes viable as there is always a risk when talking about advanced tech like this. Even if you are convinced the science will work out, political upheaval could mean that we can't see the project through to the end. Just imagine a more indebted US and Europe having to cut science and a China that no longer has a market to sell to and collapses on its own centrally managed bureaucracy. Insert your own worst case scenario and you see why century long, multi billion dollar research projects are risky.

So, fund it? Sure. But not at the expense of something that is a sure thing and will have a huge benefit now. You state that solar is somehow selling out the long-term... unless you mean over a billion years from now when the Sun goes nova, I'm not sure how this is remotely accurate.

Comment: Re:Public cynicism about fusion (Score 2, Interesting) 146

by MyLongNickName (#47747047) Attached to: Princeton Nuclear Fusion Reactor Will Run Again

It may be cynicism, but it is well placed cynicism. I'm all for funding fusion research, but the reality is that we are decades away from seeing anything remotely economically viable.

And the other reality is that we do have solar which is already economically viable but still behind fossil fuels (if you forget about externalites). If I were king of the world, I'd fund solar heavily because it can do good NOW. Serious good. World saving good.

And, yes, it is a false dichotomy to say we can only fund one. But the other reality is that we have only so much money for the sciences and one dollar spent on one project is one not spent on the other. If I were King of the world I'd also cut military spending and fund sciences much more heavily.

But, alas, I am not King of the world.

Comment: Re:Dangerous... (Score 1) 399

Basically, parent post is nothing more than a straw man argument. I do think we need to do more to ensure we have good teachers... I've run across a fair number who have no business leading a class. Whether I bitch about prison guards isn't relevant.

As far as parents "not doing their job" that is simply not true. Studies today show that mothers are just as engaged as their parents and grandparents in terms of quality time. Fathers of today are, overall, more engaged than their parents and grandparents.

I personally spend an average of 15 hours a week working with my 8 and 10 year old working on foreign language, computer programming and their normal schoolwork. Even if I did not spend that much time, I'd still be allowed to complain about the quality of a program that my tax dollars support.

Straw man argument. +5 insightful. Gotta love slashdot.

Comment: Re:Where is everybody? (Score 1) 155

by MyLongNickName (#46045391) Attached to: Studies Say Earth Won't Die As Soon As Thought

The drake equation does not take into consideration that most civilizations destroy themselves when they achieve the point of being able to communicate

One other point... we have a data set of less than one to work with, ourselves. I do not think that we can extrapolate based on our experience. Can we say with any kind of certainty that other species would follow a similar evolutionary path as ours? Would a smaller planet result in a slower evolutionary process and less global conflict once intelligence does arise? I don't know the answer to that or the thousands of other questions about how intelligent life arises. Regardless, one data point is worthless in trying to extrapolate to a whole universe.

And the reason why I say we have LESS than one example... our data point is still in progress. Perhaps the last few centuries were growing pains and we will finally mature... perhaps you are right and we destroy ourselves.

Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it is too dark to read.