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Comment Re:I'm torn.... (Score 1) 663

Hehe, around here I don't expect marijuana to be called medicine even if it was proven to cure cancer.

So, unfortunately, no, that would be mirtazapine instead. Definitely recommended to anyone feeling an urgent need to gain weight, sleep for 20+ hours and take a vacation from stress.

Comment Re:Can't hurt (Score 1) 663

It's already fairly well known how to reduce weight without going the diet route; pretty much any stimulant will do the trick. And as some of them are barely on the level of coffee when it comes to addictiveness and have a side effect profile that certainly would compare favourably to obesity, I have a hard time seeing why they're not used for weight loss more than they are. I can't come to any other conclusion than that it's about still wanting to view obesity as a moral failing to justify not treating it. And I say that as someone on the underweight side of the spectrum.

Comment Re:I'm torn.... (Score 3, Interesting) 663

Frankly, being 'naturally' fairly slim, but having been on medication that first made me gain more than 40 pounds, and then on other medication that made me lose those 40 pounds again and had me basically stuffing as much sugar and fat into myself as I could stand and still losing weight, I have gained some respect for the idea that it might not actually be that easy for an individual to control.

At the very least it's certainly possible for medications to move around the body's perception of hunger from anything between having to basically force things down to not ever being full. For someone stuck at either end it must be a complete horror, and anyone managing to override such an urge through sheer willpower has certainly earned my respect.

Comment Re:Problem with Samsung ... (Score 1) 80

The all-eggs-in-one-basket per company isn't so much a company strategy as an investor strategy. The investors in public companies prefer if the companies divest any non-performing asset, as they themselves don't end up with all the eggs in one basket, but are instead free to move in and out of companies and sectors without getting a lot of overhead in the deal.

Whether it's good for the companies themselves is of course another issue...

Comment Re:HAHAHAHA! (Score 1) 231

When the signs and lane markers are covered by snow and ice it will just default to using the same markers everyone else is using; the crashed cars driven by idiot humans who thought they could see the lane markers.

Seriously though, no autonomous vehicle would be dependent on lane markers as the sole feature for positioning, you need to use a multitude of inputs ranging from using markers to using LIDAR to map geometry of the area, through projection of probable trajectories and even to using prior knowledge or map data of the road. You have to have a multitude of independent systems cooperating, validating and agreeing on the most likely model for the current reality. Any autonomous vehicle deemed safe enough to actually operate autonomously should be significantly more capable of reliably assessing the situation than the average human. If any climate presents a difficulty for the detection and navigation part (as opposed to purely physical performance limitations) for an autonomous car it should not be allowed into traffic as it's obviously nowhere near capable enough to trust with human lives.

Comment Re:Exodus (Score 2) 692

The logistics of having an exodus making a significant difference are somewhat difficult though. Consider the current birth rate of 350K new humans per day and compare with the lack of orbital launch capacity. Then try to figure out how to reach the manufacturing capability to build hundreds of city sized starships per year. One of the variables is going to have to change in some way or spreading across the galaxy isn't going to do much to reduce earth population.

Well, maybe someone will find a couple of dozen stargates tucked away somewhere.

Comment Re:Men's Rights morons (Score 1) 776

Still, when you look at some proxy variables for discrimination, such as imprisonment, homelessness, victimization rates in violence, suicide rates and average lifespan it's quite interesting how most groups suffering discrimination are overrepresented in those negative outcomes. Except when it comes to women vs. men, when apparently women are so discriminated against, yet somehow seem to avoid actually suffering from the worst outcomes that usually follow such discrimination.

But well, hey, they're not as well represented on corporate boards, which most men are.

Comment Re:Still photos (Score 1) 447

Hopefully an autonomous system would be designed so well that no human pilot could think that. See for example NASA's Adaptive Control tech; even if that's made to assist human pilots, the fact that it can actually bring some semblance of control to a plane that has lost function and form in many ways shows what can actually be done.

And as Air France Flight 447 shows, pilots may very well do the completely wrong thing, ignoring every correct procedure intended to prevent disaster.

But the most important, and often overlooked, part of such a system would be that you cannot skimp on the electronics. With an autonomous plane, if there's a problem with frosting over on sensors, you're grounded. There's no 'but the pilot is human so he can fly blind if the autopilot fails'. It has to be 100% reliable, all the time, and with massive enough over-redundancy that the plane would essentially already have to be falling apart into pieces for the overall control systems to fail. That would of course be a significant help to human pilots as well, as it sometimes seems they're being used as an excuse to live with flawed instruments and quality deficiencies in the planes.

Comment Re:Still photos (Score 2) 447

Yeah, a better compromise is removing the pilots. If it's possible to build an autonomous car, building a completely automated plane is a simple exercise in comparison. Run it on cargo for a few years, leave an option for remote control, but frankly, between terrorists, suicidal pilots, drunk pilots and pilots doing the completely wrong thing, it's time to look for a more long term solution.

Comment Re:Oh, *BRILLIANT* (Score 4, Interesting) 317

You can find any number of stories about people without any acting skills convincing those professionals that they are psychotic. Frankly, it's just a question of presenting the correct initial criteria, of which the first one will be 'being delivered by the police', and confirmation bias will take care of the rest. Seeing a lot of pathology simply doesn't help that much when symptoms are as vague and subject to interpretation as they are with mental illness.

Usually people seem to have a harder time convincing the professionals that they are, in fact, perfectly rational and not suffering from any serious mental illness. That will of course be an uphill battle against confirmation bias; they are, after all, in a psychiatric holding facility.

The confusion of a staff member is measured by the length of his memos. -- New York Times, Jan. 20, 1981

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