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Comment: Depression is not self pity (Score 5, Insightful) 67 67

Would you say a financially comfortable american with terminal cancer is 'better off' than 99% of the world? - Of course not. Same thing with depression, depression is not self pity, it is a mental illness that has fuck all to do with the size of your wallet. As Robin Williams demonstrated, sufferers are unable to endure living even when swimming in money.

I'm not having a go at you personally, most people who don't understand depression have your dismissive attitude. I suggest you try educating yourself on the subject because odds are you will encounter a loved one with depression at some point in your life and it's handy to know what to do after telling them to "cheer up" doesn't work.

As for TFA, I don't find it surprising that "start up" people have a high proportion of manic-depressives, the manic phase of the illness is characterized by extreme optimism.

Shameless plug for a good cause

Comment: Hearding cats (Score 1) 118 118

Managing engineers has been unfavorably compared to herding cats, both tasks are all about effective communication and (benevolent) manipulation. Engineers generally don't have these skills unless they have had some other life experiences such as (say) bartending at a busy pub. Having said that, most programmers can recognise a good manager if they are lucky enough to encounter one.

Disclaimer: 56, turned down the boss's job a couple of years ago - been there, done that in my late 30's, learnt a lot but ultimately not worth the aggravation at my age. If you don't have a niche, you won''t get good money at any age, in any industry. People who have a marketable niche know what it is, if you are caught in a dying niche...well...maybe you should have been paying more attention earlier?

Comment: Re:Does Uber need executives in France? (Score 0) 318 318

Fucking hypocrite, you don't want to pay "grunts" $60k/yr but I'd bet my left testical that you wouldn't trade jobs with a mexican farm hand for the same amount. Insufferable snobs like you are the first to burst into self-centered tears when life hands you the choice of food vs grunt work.

Comment: Re:welcome to the sharing economy (Score 1) 318 318

The regulations existed long before uber did, "computer dispatch" is so 1970. You can't change those regulations by pretending they don't apply to computers, so ultimately it is uber who will have to change to comply with those regulations, just like every other "get rich quick" scheme that ignores business realities such as compulsory insurance. There's nothing inherently wrong with the uber concept, but flouting the current laws in order to implement it is basically the definition of organised crime.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 318 318

Melbourne Australia, I worked as a driver for 3 years, cabs are cleaned inside and out twice a day. It is the cab driver, not the owner, who is held responsible. Dirty cabs will receive an on the spot fine and will be forced to spend the rest of their shift getting it cleaned and re-inspected by the transport cops. Random inspections at taxi ranks are common. The number of taxi drivers who "stink" is no higher than that found in the general population who ride in the cab. For example, there were several houses in my area that most drivers (legally) refused to service because of the customers odour. Get someone like that in your cab and the stench lingers for hours after they have gone.

Comment: Re:Taxi licenses are crazy expensive (Score 1) 318 318

WTF have your shares got to do with your desire to deliberately trash the life savings of millions of taxi drivers in the western world?. They entered into a contract with the government, if the government breaks that contract by changing the law then drivers should definitely be fairly compensated. Business confidence is important, if the government started breaking contracts as you suggest the economy would go down the toilet faster than a new york rat.

Comment: Re:Whatever means necessary? (Score 2) 815 815

There's strong evidence that the people who built the pyramids were not slaves, it was a religious pilgrimage where the worker received accommodation and food for their entire family. In other words, the whips and shackles are an artifact of hollywood, not ancient egypt.

Comment: Re:Don't let him fool you.... (Score 1) 308 308

Gas was promoted as a bridge between coal and renewables, it has served it purpose to some degree but the efficiency gap between renewables and coal has ceased to exit in the last year or two. There is simply no technological or economic reason to build new coal plants, reducing gas consumption would be the next logical step to get emissions under control. Emissions do not need to be zero, the biosphere is said to be capable of absorbing about 3Gt of CO2/yr, roughly 1/10th of what we emmit right now

Comment: Re:He just lost 50%+ of the vote (Score 1) 308 308

Not everyone believes that CO2 emitted by man is having any significant effect on the planet

Yep, and some people think vaccines cause autism, both groups are factually incorrect and were initially motivated by a morally warped version of financial self-interest. Piers Corbyn uses "secret methods" to scam money from people who are mathematically/scientifically illiterate, he claims to be able to predict earthquakes and the weather but his track record does not match his claims. That you fall for such obvious technobabble just betrays how little you know about human nature, science, and maths.

Comment: Re:Nuclear? (Score 2) 308 308

What's the difference between pumping water uphill with coal/nuclear vs solar/wind. I don't have anything against nukes besides time and cost but "base load" is propaganda invented by the coal industry and supported by the nuclear industry. The demand curve of a modern city is not flat, the flat supply curve generated by "base load" is made to fit the demand curve using dams and gas turbines as fast switching, rechargeable "batteries". Solar and wind can use the exact same technology to manipulate their supply curve into fitting the varying demand. As for air-conditioners, they are at peak use during peak solar generation times, meaning they actually have a better natural fit to demand than "base load" in some specific scenarios.

Comment: Re:Nuclear? (Score 1) 308 308

nuclear is a VERY good bridge between coal/oil/gas and "clean energy".

That was definitely true in 1980. In the 1990's we chose gas as the bridging tech (re: fracking boom), however we have now clearly crossed the gas bridge and arrived on the other side. The massive efficiency gap between generating electricity with FF vs renewables that existed in the 1980's no longer exists. Today the "smart money" is on renewables becoming cheaper than coal in the near future. Here in Australia it's already a "no-brainer" to put solar panels on a new home, and that's with a far-right government that is openly hostile to the renewable industry.

Comment: Re:Nuclear? (Score 2, Insightful) 308 308

but we don't currently have any way to store it in a grid scale type of way

This is FUD spread by the coal industry, they are trying to make you believe "base load" does not need batteries. The truth is that coal and nuclear already have a network of giant batteries called "hydroelectric dams", that they recharge during off peak times when the plant is generating too much electricity. They need dams and gas fired turbines today because their output curve is flat whereas the demand curve of a city is not. In fact all forms of large scale generation need "batteries" for the simple fact that none of them have a supply curve that comes close to matching the demand curve, without fast switching "batteries" such as hydro a grid simply won't work.

Scale: Every coal plant in use today was built in my lifetime, many have been built and rebuilt. If someone had predicted/planned that rate of expansion back in 1960 people would have told them they were nuts. Solar and wind is cheaper than nuclear and in many places on par with coal, extrapolating the current trend in costs, renewables will be significantly cheaper than coal in the next 3-5yrs (coal itself is significantly cheaper than nukes). India is in the process of providing 400m people with electricity (and toilets), they are doing it with renewables because it is cheaper than importing coal from my country (Australia).

There's no economic or technical reason that the current coal infrastructure cannot be replaced with renewables in the next few decades, we don't need better battery tech to get it done, we don't huge subsidies, we don't need resources from hostile nations, and in most locations we don't need (expensive) nukes, we just need the political will to force the electricity industry to clean up it's act, legally define (and require) "clean energy", phase in the punishment for non-compliance in a predictable and achievable timetable then let the engineers within the energy companies sort out the practicalities of implementing it. I'm advocating regulatory "force" here because their 150yr track record of fighting reasonable environmental law strongly indicates they won't do it voluntarily.

Off course if you want to eliminate the grid altogether, then you will need better battery tech.

May Euell Gibbons eat your only copy of the manual!