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Comment: Re:The Search for Life (Score 1) 64

by O('_')O_Bush (#49509641) Attached to: If Earth Never Had Life, Continents Would Be Smaller
<quote>we now know that if we see too much water it could be a sign that there an absence of life.</quote>

Except unless we saw a before/after picture that were billions of years apart, we'd have no idea what the 'baseline' amount of water was for a planet, and therefore would not have any idea how the amount of water at any point in time might relate to their being life or not.

Comment: Re:have to rewrite muc federal law to not microman (Score 1) 150

by O('_')O_Bush (#49499725) Attached to: Incorrectly Built SLS Welding Machine To Be Rebuilt
"and the result is that he gets a bigger budget"

Not always true. Sometimes, he loses the contract and it goes to someone else. Sometimes, he loses the ability to get awarded future contracts. Sometimes, he gets sued but he government to recover the money. It totally depends on the cause.

If a contractor overruns his budget because of unforeseen technical difficulties, that is one thing. They usually are on the cutting edge, so predicting that sort of thing is difficult. If they overrun their budget due to incompetence, that is entirely different.

Comment: Re:regulation? (Score 3, Insightful) 245

by O('_')O_Bush (#49447025) Attached to: 3D Printed Guns Might Lead To Law Changes In Australia
As a multi-gun owner and concealed carry permit holder/user, I'd also like to chime in.

<quote>However, today, the reasons given (by the gun lobby) seem to be heavily oriented toward individual protection. </quote>

There is a good reason for this. Not only is the U.S. not going to be invaded by a traditional army, as you said, but trying to make that argument just gives cannon-fodder for the 'other side'.

The self-defense case, however, is well grounded and supported by the facts. It is well documented that the incidence of homicide by firearm (around 10,000 per year) is orders of magnitude less than the number of crimes prevented by the use of firearms (2,500,000 is the number commonly cited from the FBI's crime statistics, and in some statistics, up to 200,000 women protect themselves from attackers each year by using firearms).

You can go to almost any gun-board and find lots of people sympathetic to that reasoning, not because they are looking for an excuse to protect their gun collecting and shooting sports hobby, but because they themselves were part of that 2.5m statistic.

Within the last few months, my fiance fended off a home intruder using a firearm I had left with her. She didn't need to fire a single shot, but the peace of mind it afforded her was unquestionable.

But it is a complicated issue as well. Both sides are fighting from fear. Most firearm owners LOVE firearms. Just like people love motorcycles or fine watches. They are carefully crafted and finely crafted pieces of engineering. There is a huge body of maths and physics behind internal, external, and terminal ballistics that everyman can share in. One can build their own custom AR-15 just like one might a gaming computer. One can compete with fellow enthusiasts in international shooting competitions and with organizations covering the whole gambit of firearms. To us, it is unthinkable that someone might want to take that away, and we are terrified of that. I'd feel the same about my motorcycles or my dog (which, by the way, one is about 50x more likely to be attacked by a dog than to be harmed by a firearm).

On the other hand, lots of people have an irrational fear of firearms built by ignorance and portrayal in the media as being exclusively the tools of death. Or maybe some even have a rational fear of firearms, but it is hard to find an argument against firearms that isn't grounded in fear.

Two sides anchored in fear leads to some really nasty fighting that probably isn't healthy for a sane debate.

[quote]it's also subtly encouraged the paranoid belief of the tyranny of our existing government. I think this is illogical, but many today here don't.[/quote]

To be fair, given the Snowden/Manning leaks, the LEO drone usage controversy, the police brutality thing... it is hard not to be paranoid.

My biggest fear is that our society is devolving into one like Aus or the U.K. have which pass permanent and pretty severe rights-restricting laws as knee-jerk reactions to whatever moral-panic of the minute ends up being, whether it be guns, vehicles, first amendment issues, or porn.

I was reading a bit about the NYS SAFE Act which was railroaded through the NYS legislature, at midnight, using a special loophole to go against the NYS constitution to prevent it from being debated, and signed into law within half an hour after passing.

The idea that a group of politicians from one city in a state could circumvent the democratic process whenever it tickles their fancy... that terrifies me. No matter what the issue is.

Comment: Re:3D printed guns are no different to any other g (Score 1) 245

by O('_')O_Bush (#49445181) Attached to: 3D Printed Guns Might Lead To Law Changes In Australia
The problem with that idea is that it assumes that firearms are something that are uncommon or rare in the first place. Firearms are incredibly easy for anyone to produce with or without a 3D printer. A used drill press, lathe, or CNC costs the same as a good 3D printer. The scary black rifles like the AR-15 and AK-47s can partly be made with nothing more than a jig and a Dremel or a drill press.

But you are right in that it may be a good idea depending on the country. Australia doesn't have a multi billion dollar drug and contraband smuggling economy walking across its borders every year from Mexico.

Comment: Re: Oh, Okay (Score 1) 587

by O('_')O_Bush (#49414855) Attached to: Hugo Awards Turn (Even More) Political
"Sci-fi used to be about promising hopes, about what mankind can do getting to the stars. Take Star Trek, for example. It led the way into devices we take for granted."

No, Star Trek used to be about promising hopes. Sci-Fi in general has never had that theme. I mean, the year before Star Trek came out, Frank Herbert released the quintessential science fiction novel, Dune, which has the overarching theme that the only way humanity will survive in the long term (this is after they already almost annihilated themselves re the Butlerian Jihad) is by relying on a near god-like figure to enforce a form of anarcho-primitivism on the entire galaxy that humans have colonized.

If that isn't bleak, I don't know what is.

Comment: Re: Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 198 (Score 1) 573

by O('_')O_Bush (#49312743) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic
The DNP has not always been liberal and the GOP has not always been conservative. Before the Southern Strategy politics of the 60s, the DNP was comprised of two factions, the Northern/Progressive Democrats and the Southern/States Rights/Conservative Democrats (KKK included). They had different political ideologies but similar goals. That is why we had weird tickets like the very liberal JFK running with the very racist and very conservative LBJ. After the Southern Strategy politics (by Richard Nixon and the GOP), the State's Rights faction abandoned the DNP for the GOP, and the GOP have had a clear political/ideological divide ever since. Just because Calhoun was in the DNP doesn't mean he was liberal.

Comment: Re: Hasn't been involved with Greenpeace since 198 (Score 1) 573

by O('_')O_Bush (#49312709) Attached to: Greenpeace Co-Founder Declares Himself a Climate Change Skeptic
Probably because he, like the rest of us, have no idea what that person was talking about. Maybe if they were more specific as to what they meant by "mass murder" and in what context (since it was obviously hyperbole), there would be something to address.

Testing can show the presense of bugs, but not their absence. -- Dijkstra