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Comment: Nuclear can be OK if... (Score 1) 389

by VernonNemitz (#47417721) Attached to: Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis
If we concentrate on fusion, not fission. Today there are a number of researchers who think that the theoretical problems of fusion have been solved enough that all we need to do is invest money in actual hardware. But the existing entrenched interests keep opposing such investments. Well, that's what THEY say, anyway. But they are certainly right that fusion, when perfected, will be less problematic than fission, especially with regard to wastes.

Comment: Re:Procedural (Score 1) 100

by VernonNemitz (#47319689) Attached to: Building the Infinite Digital Universe of <em>No Man's Sky</em>
I'm imagining ten thousand different players exploring in ten thousand different directions, and every time something is procedurally generated, it either needs to be remembered for the next player to come along to that same location, or the generator has to be super-well-done, to reach a given point from ten thousand different directions, and the same landscape/space-scape/whatever gets generated every time.

Comment: Re:Which means (Score 4, Interesting) 347

by VernonNemitz (#47310151) Attached to: Evidence of a Correction To the Speed of Light
There seems to me to be a slight error in the original article. Neutrinos have been determined to possess mass. It is only a slight amount of mass, but it precludes them from being able to travel at exactly the speed of light. How close to light-speed do they normally travel? I can't say. But it is reasonable to think that the distance from Supernova 1987A to Earth should have led to a slightly later arrival time, for neutrinos, than if they had actually traveled at light-speed.

The preceding relates to another thing, the quantum-mechanical mechanism for interfering with the actual speed of light. Those pairs of virtual particles that form also have mass. That means, while they temporarily exist, they also cannot be traveling at exactly light-speed; they have to be traveling slightly slower.

Comment: Re:environmental benefits (Score 2) 339

by VernonNemitz (#47123335) Attached to: The Energy Saved By Ditching DVDs Could Power 200,000 Homes
Something they might not have taken into account is the "view it again" factor. Sure, the manufacture of DVDs has a significant environmental impact. But when not simply thrown away after being purchased, it means that saving a movie for a few years, and then seeing it again, does not have the same environmental impact it did the first time. It might be interesting to see how many "views" are needed to make owning a DVD a better environmental bargain that streaming its content.

Comment: Re:no Ghost_no "singularity"_only sci-fi (Score 1) 426

You missed the point, regarding E.T.s --each such species (even if only one per hundred galaxies) represents yet another way that Nature would have found to build a brain that can host enough consciousness for self-recognition. With hundreds of billions of galaxies out there, one such type of brain per hundred galaxies would mean there are billions of ways to build such brains. And so I repeat, anyone who thinks "no variant of computer hardware will ever be able to do that" --especially when we are deliberately copying brain-designs into our computer hardware!-- is just not thinking clearly.

Comment: Re:Ghost in the machine? (Score 4, Insightful) 426

"Non-computable" does not mean "non-copy-able". In other words, consider the sort of consciousness associated with recognizing oneself in a mirror. Humans are not the only animals that can do that. Among those that can are quite a few other primates, dolphins, elephants, some species of birds (certain parrots), and even the octopus. So, think about that in terms of brain structure: Birds have a variant on the basic "reptilian brain", elephants and dolphins have the "mammalian brain" extension of the reptilian brain, chimps and gorillas have the "primate brain" extension of the mammalian brain, and the octopus brain is in an entirely different class altogether (the mollusk family includes clams and snails). Yet Nature found ways to give all of those types of data-processing equipment enough consciousness for self-recognition. And after you include however-many extraterrestrial intelligences there might be, all across the Universe, well, anyone who thinks "no variant of computer hardware will ever be able to do that" is just not thinking clearly.

Comment: Re:Venus isn't Earth's "twin" really at all. (Score 1) 135

by VernonNemitz (#46809073) Attached to: Venus' Crust Heals Too Fast For Plate Tectonics
I think the authors of the paper have overlooked something. It has been discovered that if we pump water into the ground along a fault line, we can literally lubricate the fault and help the plates slide past each other. (Side note: sounds like a good way to prevent major earthquakes, but nobody wants to be responsible for causing the initial quakes associated with unlocking long-locked plates. The problem with that attitude is, those quakes are eventually going to happen anyway, except they will be bigger and more catastrophic then, than if deliberately caused now.)

Anyway, on Earth we have lots of water, including water deep underground, presumably doing SOME assisting of tectonic plate motion. Meanwhile, on Venus it has always been too hot for much water to percolate deep underground....

Comment: Re:wonder bout... (Score 2) 218

by VernonNemitz (#46786769) Attached to: MIT Designs Tsunami Proof Floating Nuclear Reactor
"on the seabed" means it becomes vulnerable to earthquakes. A handy adage to keep in mind is, "If it is sitting on the floor, it can't fall and break --but it will get kicked." MIT definitely needs to address the "storm" issue --the "Ocean Ranger" was claimed to be "unsinkable" (much like the "Titanic"), and look where it is now. Perhaps the place to put it is NEAR the sea-bottom, so waves and storms can pass harmlessly above it, and quakes can pass harmlessly below it. Then the only thing to worry about are sinking ships hitting it, and big meteors hitting it, and so on. Relatively rare!

I find you lack of faith in the forth dithturbing. - Darse ("Darth") Vader