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Comment: Re:Misleading summary (Score 1) 261

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.

Comment: Re:What is it? (Score 1) 145

Well, my son has a rather nasty allergy to egg protein (yolk and white), so cookie dough that doesn't include eggs is one of those bonus things. Sadly, most things that act as a 1:1 substitute with eggs fail in some way, as there is no artificial egg that covers all the things that eggs are good for. While I agree that getting "unnatural" chemicals out of foods is generally a good thing, I am also willing to acknowledge that manufactured foods change as our available raw ingredients change.

Comment: Re:Mining rights? (Score 1) 3

by Punko (#48244077) Attached to: Asteroid mining company Planetary Resources launching first spacecraft
There are no mineral rights. If a state claims you products on the way back to earth, or intercepts your minerals before you can get them, who are you going to complain to? Its not mineral rights, it will be pure you can take all you like, but you can only keep what you can defend.

Comment: Not what they said (Score 5, Insightful) 571

by Punko (#48148985) Attached to: Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project
From the Lockheed Martin site : “The smaller size will allow us to design, build and test the CFR in less than a year.

After completing several of these design-build-test cycles, the team anticipates being able to produce a prototype in five years."

They ain't got nothin' yet.

Comment: Re:Google's forgoten its obligation to shareholder (Score 1) 134

by Punko (#48081823) Attached to: Google's Security Guards Are Now Officially Google Employees
Thank goodness that "obligation to shareholders" does not include a 100% fixation on the bottom line. Governance is about achieving value, which is not the same as maximizing share return. Feel free to vote with your feet, if you don't like the way the company you bought into is being run.

"Now here's something you're really going to like!" -- Rocket J. Squirrel