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Comment Re:What???? (Score 3, Interesting) 495

As an engineer for over 30 years, it has been my experience that we see what we want to see. In my office, some engineers are religious and some are not. Some are conservative, some are not. The two groups overlap, but are not a 1:1 mapping. I would have to say that the majority are not particularly religious, but where I live, there isn't a particularly large religious community.

I would prefer to say that most engineers are determined and intelligent, and tend to succeed. If any of them were to become fundamentalist in a particular religion, I would have no doubt that they would become successful in that activity

Comment Re:"Never" == "Life span of humankind" (Score 4, Insightful) 378

Over the not to distant future, socialism will shut down the western producing companies (leaving no production) and space travel will stop.

Socialism will be the end of space travel ?

I'm sorry, but what will kill human space travel will be the fanatics who decry that having taxes pay for such things as NASA when such expenditures do not return immediate benefit. Politicians now (in the US at least) consider the next presidential election cycle as being long-term planning. This ongoing unblinking focus on short term gain for long term pain, will be what stops humanity from space travel.

Consider this: Some of the groups that are doing the most in advancing space exploration include the Chinese and a partnership between European countries. Hardly anti-socialists (from an American perspective). Russia Japan India also have space programs, as well.

The only way human beings may move past Mars is through long term, negative profit,science-based programs. The kind of programs that are shut down by dollar focused, shareholder driven, anti-science political leaders we seem to be stuck with these days.

At least in the depths of the Cold War, the one-upmanship lead to positive gains in human space travel.

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 284

I do not believe that filling out the form had to be mailed out. It could have a number of shapes and configurations, but the census would need to be signed as a legal document (for its veracity) which even in this day and age, requires a physical paper to be signed.

My apologies for using voluntary, in the discussion on taxes. What I meant to say, is that our taxes are paid with a very high level of compliance with a minimal amount of enforcement. It is most certainly not voluntary in the way of say charitable donations are voluntary.

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 1) 284

It would be ridiculous (IMO) to place someone in jail for 3 months for failing to complete the census. However, completing the census remains mandatory. If it is only a survey, then the data will be biased as many people will simple consider it too much of a bother to deal with.

If someone is so very dead set against filling in a census document with generalized information about their household, then the fine might actually be used. Given that no one has ever been fined (if the gov't comments concerning this are correct) then this speaks to rational discussions between officials and the delinquent household in question. By making it mandatory, you get better data (so say the statisticians who are the experts on this). If this means people complete the census under threat of punishment, it may decrease the number of delinquent households that officials will need to deal with to get the information completed.

Voluntary methods don't cut this kind of data collection.

Also bear in mind, we Canadians pay our taxes voluntarily at a very high level of compliance. Oh, there are penalties for not paying taxes, but you be amazed at the length the gov't will go through to have the proper amount paid without penalties. If you're a jerk about it, or have been intentionally hiding taxable income, then you get the stick. Most folks who'f delayed paying taxes (several years behind) or made honest mistakes can get the proper taxes paid up with no penalties. However, without the threat of actual, live penalties, you'd never get the level of compliance needed.

Comment Re:a paper crime (Score 2) 284

And yet the asshole who preceded him spent years trying to "fix" a criminal court/prison system that had all forms of crime rates decreasing for years.

Most of us want the government we have to do better with the money they are given from us. This means making rational, well-thought out, science supported decisions. To do this, one needs good data. Statistics Canada were world renowned experts in this, and yet the previous government decided they were irrelevant to their decision making.

The previous government made all sort of criminal justice policy decisions with very long term repercussions WITHOUT any evidence to support this "Canada is better with tougher sentences" position.

Comment Re:Tradition (Score 2, Insightful) 284

A census can only be mandatory. If its not mandatory, its a survey. Requiring residents to complete a census of their households is hardly onerous. At no time has anyone ever faced a fine or spent time in jail for failing to complete the census. There is a penalty, because under law you cannot have an action declared mandatory without a statement of penalty for failing to comply. A sign of good things to come. A return to rational, science and evidence based decision making. Not basing policy on unsupported beliefs and ideology.

Comment Its the last line in the summary (Score 1) 60

"And the business model is proven around the world."

This is why he wants traditional methods. Control the wire, control the cost of the signal. using satellites, balloons, drones - they work with beams to a spot in the sky. who can control the beams? If someone other than the local bully . . . err telcom controls access to the 'net, their business model.

Give me the ability to walk around my local telcom to get an internet feed from someone who ONLY does internet (not a subsidiary of an integrated tv/telephone/broadcast media producer, distributor and internet provider) and I'll jump in an instance.

ASHes to ASHes, DOS to DOS.