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Comment Re:Cost of access is key. (Score 1) 373

You know, TFA actually said exactly this. Initial exploration was funded by Government until costs could be calculated, and then funded privately. Neil's point was that the exploration of Mars would follow the same pattern that history has followed until now: Government exploration, private exploitation.

Comment Re:How much for the Diversity Initiative? (Score 3, Insightful) 115

The above paints a (probably accurate) picture that Intel is cutting $300M in R&D and starting $300M in Diversity Initiatives. The STS highlights "Independent individual [student] research", and is (likely) funded out of the R&D budget. It seems like a pretty clear message of valuing genitalia/pigmentation above talent/competence. I disagree with this corporate value stance, but it is not my company.

I really hate to think of the R&D scientists/engineers who will be laid off, go without equipment, or be unable to investigate new projects because the company believes that more representatives having certain genitalia or pigmentation should instead be subsidized. Doubly so for student researchers (bearing the wrong genitalia or pigmentation).

Comment Re:Who has the rights to the moon's resources? (Score 1) 214

In other words, the law is extremely unfair and biased.

If you believe that this law is unfair/biased in the favor of mining companies, I suggest that you start one.

The laws are structured in the same manner as many others: if you can take it, its yours. The oil in the middle of the Pacific doesn't go to "the citizens of all involved countries [on the planet]", it goes to the first to claim it. The "gold in them hills" belongs to the first to grab it.

Comment Re:Indicative of General Attitudes (Score 1) 153

Certainly, and that is borne out in the numbers.

I've been having a hard time figuring out where I stand on this. The $ rate for researchers is roughly equivalent (100K average for senor scientist, 89K average for normal,, so there is a good argument to be made for the NIH grant decision authority: "if I can pay someone with 10 extra years of experience for roughly the same money, why shouldn't I?". There is also a good argument for young scientists who claim "we have less than half the economic opportunities which were presented to the previous generation; this is unfair, and 10 years worth of scientists will be lost."

Comment Re:Indicative of General Attitudes (Score 4, Informative) 153

Parent is likely a troll, but I'm going into the numbers.

From 1980 to 2008, the average investigator age at NIH has gone from 39 to 51. Source:

In 1980, I had to derive the damn number (, the median worker age is approximately ~31, while the 2013 average worker age is 42.4 (

The average age of workers has increased by 11 years while the average age of investigators has increased by 12 years.

Research grants are a "winner take all" system where the total amount of research money is roughly constant ( Essentially, the older researchers are displacing the younger ones in the field through simply outcompeting for funding and working longer careers. Younger researchers, without funding, simply leave the field, as the old eat the young for breakfast.

Comment Re:Disturbing (Score 1) 331

Florida here.

Here is a minimal sample plan for in-state Florida college (where we didn't screw things up):
Insurance - covered at the student health center (catastrophic covered by parent)
Food - $100/month, rice/beans (my budget as an adult) - $1200/year
Tuition - 39credits/year @ 212.28/cr = $8.2K/year (source:
Transportation - Bicycle, SERIOUSLY
Housing - offcampus w/shuttle @ $600/month (includes utilities and roommates, "luxury living" source: - $7.2K/year
MISC - haircuts, bike repairs, incidentals, pocket money, $100/month = $1200/year

Cost - 17.8K/year.

But how will someone ever pay for this?

Part time job at campus library at lowest-salary-university-will-pay-you. 20hours/week @ $8/hour = $8K/year.

Assuming that tuition never goes up and the student never obtains a marketable skill (dishwashing @ $10/hour, CAD drawing at $12/hour, copywriting @ $15/hour, freelance website design @ $20/hour, etc.), college costs about $10K/year, or $40K for the total package.

Note that a "student paying their own way, working their through college on minimum wage" is actually an option. Minimum wage is nearly $8/hour. 40 hours of minimum wage is $16K/year, which is just enough to cover college when considering the Earned Income Tax Credit and Making Education Pay Tax Credit.

Additionally note that no scholarships were to be had in the above calculations. Florida has a program called "Bright Futures" whereby a student with 1170 SAT score can get tuition 100% covered for all 4 years of college (cost reduced to $10K/year).

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