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Comment: Re:Riiiiiight, because that's what this issue... (Score 2) 390

by TheSync (#48267339) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

Sadly, we likely lost the war on Global Warming back in the 70-80's when China industrialized. Oil was too cheap to force innovation in renewable power.

Oil is not the big CO2 source of China - coal is. China would love to get rid of all coal and move to nuclear, and they plan to have 150 GWe of nuclear by 2030. Unfortunately, today they have 707 GWe of coal.

Comment: Re:I'm all in favor... (Score 1) 403

by TheSync (#48245389) Attached to: Black Swan Author: Genetically Modified Organisms Risk Global Ruin

Genetic mutations are largely a constant. Every generation will continue to exhibit mutations, the vast majority of which have no impact on procreation and are either carried on, or not.

But any effort to create a protein or change regulation changes the metabolism, which can be a selection pressure when competing for resources with native strains that don't spend the energy to make those proteins. For example, genetic alterations in bacteria for DNA computing elements) can disappear rapidly in a culture, sometimes this happens on the order of hours.

Comment: Chemistry (Score 1) 323

by TheSync (#48144981) Attached to: How English Beat German As the Language of Science

In the late 1950's, my father had to take German as part of his chemistry grad school (think Adolf von Baeyer, Fritz Haber, Otto Wallach, Richard WillstÃtter).

Now as far as I see, the highest SJR ranking German-language titled journal is Journal fur die Reine und Angewandte Mathematik founded in 1826, but most articles in it are English language.

Also ironically Springer Science+Business Media, a leading scientific journal publisher mainly of English language journals, is based in Germany.

Comment: Re:Fine! (Score 1) 365

by TheSync (#47994553) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

but that doesn't change the fact that they are robber barons.

Or "robber barons" concept is a socialist myth. In fact the companies founded by these people generally pushed forward technological or business solutions that revolutionized the economy and made people's lives better. For instance, Standard Oil dramatically decreased the price of oil products (not what you'd expect from a "monopoly").

"Robber barons" is a concept invented by their inefficient competitors to try to hassle them with useless anti-trust laws.

My reading of generosity of "robber barons" is that they considered themselves very lucky, were sitting on a ton of cash, and wanted to do something beneficial to society with that money.

At the same time, many also wanted to have lasting monuments to themselves because they were megalomaniacs. But the truth is that many CEOs tend to be that way. If you believe in yourself enough, other people tend to follow you. That's one of the reasons you pay multinational CEOs so much is because it takes a rare person crazy/megalomaniacal enough while also being reasonably intelligent and socially capable to get tends of thousands of people to take orders from you. And also if you are rich, people tend to kowtow to you as well. It is a bit like...government! Only instead of voting them out of office, you can choose not to buy from them if you don't like the product.

Comment: Re:Fine! (Score 2) 365

by TheSync (#47994379) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Companies like Nike have been steadily moving their labor to the next cheapest place whenever people start asking for fair wages and working conditions.

Actually the evidence indicates that multinational firms routinely provide higher wages and better working conditions in poor countries than their local counterparts, and they are typically not attracted preferentially to countries with weak labor standards.

On the other hand, if manufacturers are forced to stay in high labor cost countries, they will simply use more automation and employ fewer people. US real manufacturing output is near an all-time high, yet US manufacturing jobs are down 35% from the peak in 1979. This is not just a US trend, but typical of all advanced economies.

Comment: Re:"stashes its cash" (Score 1) 365

by TheSync (#47994255) Attached to: Microsoft On US Immigration: It's Our Way Or the Canadian Highway

Whenever we tax rich people, we're disincentivizing them from being rich, which discourages them from spending their money.

I'm going to tell you that if my family's tax rate goes up any more, my wife is leaving the technical labor force and staying home with the kids because we won't be able to afford the child care. So there will be one less productive technical worker, and less business for the child care workers. That is reality.

We're not "super rich", but we're not bad off at all, although we live in a high-cost area where our jobs are.

To thine own self be true. (If not that, at least make some money.)