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Comment: Re:Like the space shuttle-------- (Score 2) 140

by Third Position (#48530473) Attached to: NASA's Orion Capsule Reaches Orbit

There's certainly some truth to that. We keep hearing this is going to be the vehicle that's going to take us to Mars. Excuse me? Exactly how is a vehicle that can only carry 6 people carry supplies for even one person for nearly a year? Also, it's supposedly designed for missions lasting at most 21 days. They'd better be strapping it to a really fast rocket if they expect to get to Mars and back in 21 days!

Comment: Re:PR works well? Where? (Score 1) 413

by Third Position (#48479919) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

Whilst it is possible to see Germany as having had a stable governmental system despite PR, in most other countries it has caused substantial instability, to the extent that in many countries PR is tweeked to reduce its impact, e.g. Greece where the party with the most votes gets an extra tranche of MPs. By contrast Belgium's record of 18 months without a government as a result of PR should be a warning to us all.

Is that an indictment or an endorsement?

The great virtue of 'first past the post' is that it forces parties to appeal to a wider group than their obvious supporters; know nothing tea partiers mashed up with business advocates are lined up against a mixture of union placemen and minority activists. The process of coalesce has got to occur somewhere; the belief that it is best done in the spotlight of publicity of the floor of the legislature is somewhat unproven, at best. Certainly the collapse of both the Weimar Republic and the French 4th Republic are usually blamed on their use of PR; I remain to be convinced its the optimal solution.

That sounds more like an indictment of democracy itself. I'll point out that if Wilhelm had remained on the throne of Germany, neither the collapse of the Weimar republic nor the subsequent unfortunate events would have been possible. Those are entirely the fruits of democracy.

Comment: Don't take the bait! (Score 1, Troll) 327

by Third Position (#47666761) Attached to: California May Waive Environmental Rules For Tesla

If Musk is as smart as I think he is, he's not gonna touch California with a ten foot pole no matter what they dangle in front of his nose. Don't feed the parasites! Just let the bloodsuckers collapse under the weight of their own stupidity. He'd be doing the rest of the country one huge favor.

Recent research has tended to show that the Abominable No-Man is being replaced by the Prohibitive Procrastinator. -- C.N. Parkinson