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Comment: Ocean Seeding (Score 4, Interesting) 319

by Scottingham (#48768769) Attached to: How Close Are We To Engineering the Climate?

I've always liked the idea of seeding the ocean to create enormous blooms of plankton (both the animal and plant kind). If we widened the base of that enormous food chain a lot of carbon could be both sequestered in their dead tiny bodies at the bottom of the sea OR in a new wave of fish. Considering how much we fish globally if we artifically increased the supply (instead of wank-ass fish farming) we could be solving a few problems with one concerted effort. Let's start by trying to make the ocean's deadzones...undead.

I mean, what could possibly go wrong?

Comment: Re:7 seats on the Dragon (Score 2) 70

by Scottingham (#48757939) Attached to: SpaceX One Step Closer To Launching Astronaut

The dragon will be in service much longer than the ISS. SpaceX is playing the long game.

I'm also excited to see a future where returning astronauts no longer have to be plucked out of the ocean (old school capsules) or have a really hard landing in a cornfield (soyuz). The super-draco engines on the dragon v2 are designed to be used as retro-rockets so the capsule could land anywhere (softly!) with pinpoint accuracy. Of course, it still can drop into the ocean safely if the engines aren't nominal.

Comment: Re:"while not intended for production" (Score 5, Insightful) 167

by Scottingham (#48749121) Attached to: Mercedes-Benz's Self-Driving Concept Car Is Here

Man will you be surprised in 3-5 years.

Just look at voice recognition's progress within the last two years alone. It had reached a plateau of about 80% accuracy, even when speaking slowly, clearly, and without regional accent. Now? I can mutter drunkenly and it'll get it more often than not. I can say very local business words like Phydeaux (upscale pet store) and get the spelling right!

It's called machine learning. The more experience/scenarios etc these self driving cars get, the better they'll be.

I'd say I'm as confident as you (but in the opposite direction) that within 10 years computers will out-drive humans in all scenarios. It won't even be close. 360 degree sub-millisecond informational input versus our meatbag eyes and reflexes??

Comment: Re:Moving the Goalposts (Score 1) 300

by Scottingham (#48742689) Attached to: Why We're Not Going To See Sub-orbital Airliners

I'm with you!

The cost of fuel is also a large part of his equation. Which could decrease exponentially with fusion/fission derived hydrocarbons on a SF level mass scale. Once the energy is there plentiful and cheap, a lot of economic arguments start getting changed.

What's happened now (fingers crossed for spacex), is that the rocket tech has suddenly become more reusable and puts it closer to on-par with the hardware of airplanes. I could see at the beginning getting a ballistic flight from NY to Sidney in like 2 hours. The dragon capsule lands with retro-rockets on a concrete tarmac.

That would be one hell of a ride!

Comment: Re:Denying Catastrophism, not Science (Score 1) 719

by Scottingham (#48635181) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I'm not disagreeing with your premise at all. Not even with the original shaky evidence of the models. To some degree the more dramatic statements were more from the media reporting than the research itself. Or a university press release.

For every new bit of information we get the models get better. To assume they're perfect to start is silly. To assume that if it slightly wrong it must be completely thrown out is also silly. Incremental improvements!

I offer no evidence to my claims. I don't even claim them as claims, just idle speculation. Personally, I don't care who or what did it or why it's going to happen, but that it will eventually happen.

Comment: Re:Denying Catastrophism, not Science (Score 1) 719

by Scottingham (#48634219) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Could it be possible that the lack of increases in droughts, hurricanes, etc are due to an unforseen buffering effect (or underestimated buffering capacity)? Once the buffer is overwhelmed a whole cascade of 'bad things' could happen in relatively quick succession.

The superior man understands what is right; the inferior man understands what will sell. -- Confucius