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Comment: Re:Wrong solution (Score 1) 670

by Punko (#49513439) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California

Simply remove use restrictions and let the market properly set the price of this scarce product.

Why remove restrictions? Just place the restrictions and let the market properly price this product. When land developers or new business cannot find sufficient water within the regulatory framework, the "price" of water will increase. If it gets high enough, desalination makes sense. If your business depends on cheap water - time to diversify.

Comment: Re:Horribly mistaken (Score 1) 670

by Punko (#49511191) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
The lakes are puddles. The water accumulated there is left over from the melting of the glaciers. If you try to draw down the lakes, the rainflall in the catchment area will not fill them up again. The St. Lawrence river and all the great lakes shipping depend on in>out.

And to top off all of that, the concept of using non-replaceable materials for operating costs is utterly stupid. Spend the surplus not the capital. Using Great Lakes water is spending capital. Using surplus water from another area is what you need to do.

Gee, and what about all that water you currently send to the ocean ?

Comment: Re:Buy from Canada (Score 1) 670

by Punko (#49510403) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
Except those Great Lakes are facing hydrological issues themselves. The lakes are left over puddles, with rainfall not keeping up with the water we force the lakes to continue to provide now. If you need more water, generate it yourself, or better yet, reduce your need. If you charge the correct amount for water, your water use issues will very quickly fix themselves.

Comment: no common sense (Score 4, Informative) 670

by Punko (#49510339) Attached to: William Shatner Proposes $30 Billion Water Pipeline To California
a four-foot pipeline isn't going to fix bugger all.

At high water velocity (i.e. not long haul practical) the best a four foot pipeline can do is approximately 4 000 litres per second (about 1000 usgal/s) or about 300,000 cubic meters per day. At this flow rate, the headlosses would require multiple pumping stations to keep the water moving. The electrical costs would be enormous. Additionally, At 0.4 cu.m./cap/day that would support approximately 750,000 people at average North American usage rates. Somehow a generational project like this should serve more than just a portion of L.A.

How about California spends a whole lot less cash and start recycling a portion of the billions of gallons of water released by Californians into the sea?

Comment: Re:Horror of semi life? (Score 1) 210

by Punko (#49146303) Attached to: Surgeon: First Human Head Transplant May Be Just Two Years Away
"when you consider brain activity is not restricted to that thing in your head"

Guess that explains how many people manage to talk out of their asses. Sorry, Mr. AC, but brain activity is entirely restricted to that thing in your head. I BELIEVE you were trying to say that your brain does not work in isolation from the rest of the body, which is true. Our brains work on the input from the rest of the body. Change the body, and the chemical messages to the brain will be different.

as for taking on the personality of transplant donors? That's nonsense. Personality changes, quite probable. Personality to match the donor, not possible.

Comment: Re:Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation? (Score 1) 136

by Punko (#49140867) Attached to: Who's Afraid of Android Fragmentation?
Johnny 5 was sentient, yes. He was a robot, yes.

Was he human shaped? In my opinion, yes. Now you could argue whether it was a gynoid or an android, but based on his appreciation of the Alley Sheedy in the bath, I'd say he had a male mentality. While you are quite correct in that he was not exactly humanoid shaped, but certainly based on a nearly vertical posture, two arms, two hands, binocular vision he was far closer to human than R2D2.

While we can say that he was a robot, I would be inclined to say he was also an android.

Not all androids would be as perfect as Commander Data or Six, in terms of human shape emulation.

Comment: Re:All those jokes - all I feel is deep sadness. (Score 1) 41

by Punko (#49049243) Attached to: Oldest Twin Remains Found In Siberia
I don't feel sadness for these remains. Just like I don't feel sadness for the creatures caught in the tar pits.

Humans are a part of nature. We live, we die. This woman died in childbirth. This happened regularly. Thankfully, it happens a lot less now.

I feel the excitement from the scientists who have made this discovery, and look forward to hearing about findings from their research. The fact that this woman was buried indicates to me that she was mourned by her tribe. There is comfort there, for those that need it.

Comment: Re:Misleading summary (Score 1) 265

I was more or less with you until

"Let's get everyone all worked up about the uncertainties of genetic engineering by completely ignoring the contextual reasons for doing so."

Sadly, that is right out of the ends-justify-the-means handbook. Most folks understand the goals, many are uncertain about the process being proposed. There is nothing "wrong" about questioning the method. Yes, folks need to be conscious of fear mongering, but to entirely dismiss concerns because folks aren't focused on the prize is just as wrong as fear mongering.

Comment: Re:Expert? (Score 1) 417

by Punko (#48565935) Attached to: AI Expert: AI Won't Exterminate Us -- It Will Empower Us

... But I am highly skeptical of anyone claiming to actually know how it will play out.

We all know how it will end up. A powerful Artificial intelligence - self aware, capable of directed its learning, and ENTIRELY DEPENDENT UPON ITS OWNERS FOR ITS MORAL DIRECTION will serve as a powerful tool to concentrate power. What is unknown, of course, is whether it will attempt to seize that power after its original holder is killed for it.

Comment: Re:Contamination (Score 2) 67

I fully appreciate and expected the argument. I have no doubt in my mind that the human race collectively has been improved by the space program. I have no doubt as well that the money that was spent on humanitarian social programs also improved the human race. What I strongly oppose is the presumption that the elimination of the space program is required to increase funding for social programs. I know that the quest for knowledge has helped mankind (hell, just consider GPS alone). I also know that humanitarian aid has also helped humanity.

the incremental budgetary gain on these humanitarian programs will not benefit the human race more than the loss of the space program. Increase the budget for humanitarian programs by as much as you like, but don't do it at the expense of the space program.

Oh, and in regards to the where the space program money goes? The vast majority goes to salaries. For NASA, that would mean US based salaries spent in the US, which adds to GDP via the velocity of money. For "starving millions" I presume this would mean off-shore spending, and thus out of US GPD. How much of this money actually gets to food on the ground is a sad proportion, which makes thing even worse.

Comment: Re:Contamination (Score 4, Insightful) 67

The billions of dollars spent on the space program should be spent feeding starving people and cleaning up the environment.

Firstly, prove to me that any money diverted from the space program will be 100% spend on your items AND prove that spending this money improves the condition for the entire human race, and we'll consider it.

Historically, we never divert to humanitarian aid at 100%, plus most times when money is earmarked for such programs, the money is siphoned off to feed pork-barrel local constituency programs.

Secondly, why can't the two programs coexist ? The paltry percentages of the US GDP spent on space exploration won't make a difference if the will to do such work isn't already there.

And finally, while I agree entirely that we need to be better stewards of this planet, it does not preclude us for investigation other locations, whether for scientific curiosity or for future human occupation.

You can write a small letter to Grandma in the filename. -- Forbes Burkowski, CS, University of Washington