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Comment Re: She testified there weren't any (Score 1) 572

If they wanted to minimize the blow to her, they would roll it out in one big swoop. That way it would be a story for a few days and then be over (aside from the occasional snarky comment). Rolling it out slowly means that it will pop up many times during her presidential campaign. If anything it looks like her old office really, really wants her to fail.

Comment Re:"at least the next hundred years"? (Score 1) 235

No. The primary limiting factor for building a self sustaining colony in space is the extreme price tag on getting anything out there - $10,000 per pound. Unless we solve that, space colonization is going to be somewhere between extremely slow and research only. Given the physics involved, prices are unlikely to drop low enough for regular people to be able to leave Earth without a wealthy benefactor. While we certainly do not need to get billions of people into space, I don't think that we are going to be able to achieve the stated goal with less than one million people leaving Earth. The sheer scale of the endeavor boggles the mind.

Comment "at least the next hundred years"? (Score 1) 235

"By that time we should have spread out into space, and to other stars, so a disaster on Earth would not mean the end of the human race. However, we will not establish self-sustaining colonies in space for at least the next hundred years, so we have to be very careful in this period."

Establishing just one colony in space that is self-sustaining and able to expand without Earth in the next century is extremely optimistic, even if humanity decided to focus its productive power on it like a global Apollo program. Given the scope of the task, I think millennia is a more reasonable timescale for such an endeavor. And as an aside, if we are able to focus on just one task, maybe world peace or an end to global warming would be better tasks?

Comment Re: Now... (Score 1) 412

Biological evolution is still alive and well. Go back a few centuries and survival to adulthood was as much a question of luck as it was a question of hardiness and wealth (of your parents). Furthermore, the traits needed to survive and prosper a few centuries or a few millennia ago are not necessarily the same as are needed today. There is a short article on it on wikipedia.

We also need to realize that evolution is not just biological. It is also sociological. Different cultures are not necessarily equally adept at making the most of their situation. Naturally, as the situation change, the desirable cultural traits change, but the culture does not always manage to adapt before it collapses on itself or another culture becomes dominant.

Comment Re:Yes, it's time. (Score 1) 702

Coins are much easier to make forgeries of compared to notes.

In Denmark the coins have a denomination from kr 0.50 to kr 20, which is roughly $3. The highest denomination Euro coin is 2 Euro, which is a bit over $2. It is not my impression that we have significant problems with counterfeiting. Wikipedia has a nice list of the number of seized Euro coins since 2001 here.

Comment Re:Sigh... (Score 1) 402

Only a UX designer would [snip] throw any usability principle to away and replace them with a shiny Adobe Reader DC

One of the worst changes in the new UI for Adobe Reader DC is that a significant part of the UI is now *white*, causing it to lead my eyes away from the document that I am reading to the bloody UI. One should think that UI designers actually had taken the time to investigate the results of some 30 (40?) years of research into graphical UIs. One result that stuck in my mind is that you should design your UI to sink into the background while the actual task of the user should be highlighted. Earlier versions of Adobe Reader managed this by having a gray background for the UI so that the (typically white) document would stand out.

UI design and implementation is such an important part of making a useful program that it just baffles my mind that Adobe and others hire UI designers that don't seem to know what the hell they are doing. I suspect that Garth Braithwaite is looking to get the people who do know what they are doing into Open Source UI design, which would be a good thing for all of us.

Comment Re:Asylum-seeker flood is destroying Europe (Score 1) 965

And on top of that, the asylum seekers are very unevenly divided between the EU countries.

I actually made a note of that in my post ;-) This is largely due to a number of rich EU countries trying to keep out the refugees and get others to foot the bill for the wars in the Middle East, while other countries - Germany, Sweden, Greece and Austria - who did not take part in making the mess are now paying for it. My point is that the crisis is in the EU system itself.

For example in Finland, at the moment the average number of persons coming to the country is several hundreds a day, even though we are about the most distant country. You can compare to the birth rate which is about 150 babies a day. And you have to multiply that number because of family reunions. At this speed Finns are going to be minority in Islamic country within relative short time even if the immigrants didn't make any babies and much faster as in reality they too make babies.

I think you need to redo the math on that. Let us say that "several hundred" is 300, so the number of new people in Finland is 450 per day. Finland has a population of 5.5 million, so it would take 5.5e6/300 ~= 18000 days ~= 50 years at the current rate of immigration for there to be as many migrants as there are Fins.

Germany alone expects up to 1.5 million asylum seekers this year. And the next year is probably going to be worse as the number of asylum seekers wasn't as high at the beginning of this year, but the flow of asylum seekers has been constantly accelerating.

And Turkey, which has a similar population as Germany but is a lot poorer, has taken 2 million. Lebanon and Jordan has taken 1 million each. There is also a limitation on the number of refugees. The population of Syria was 22 million before the war started, 5-6 million of whom have fled the country. Even assuming that the entire Syrian population is fleeing to EU (which is quite unlikely), we are looking at 4% increase in the EU population. In my world, that is a manageable population increase if EU actually manages to get its shit together.

Comment Re:Majority doesn't matter. (Score 1) 965

The latest Christian fad is to load up a remote controlled plane with bombs, attack weddings and the like, kill everyone there and claim that they were all terrorists. I haven't seen the insides of such operations, so I cannot tell if the people involved pray to their God before the attack and praise their God after having unleashed the bombs on unsuspecting civilians.

Comment Re:Asylum-seeker flood is destroying Europe (Score 1) 965

I have heard quotes of roughly ½ million refugees entering EU this year. The population of EU is ½ billion. That is 1 refugee per 1000 citizens. In one year. Compare that to a birth rate of 10.9 births per 1000 citizens per year. Or compare that to Turkey who has received 2 million refugees out of a 77 million strong population. During WWI, 1 million people fled from Belgium into Holland, France and Britain. Anyone calling the current migration a flood or a crisis either lack perspective or are a populist trying to gain popular support from it.

If there is a crisis, it is that the response to such a limited challenge from the EU countries has been so impotent and feeble. Only three countries has shown any form of leadership while the rest has been trying to get everyone else to foot the bill for the last 15 years of war in the Middle East. And those three countries weren't even a part of the crazed Coalition of the Willing (and neither was France).

Comment Re:Burden of proof. (Score 1) 73

200 out of 2000 is a 10% success rate

If by "success" you mean "good enough to test on mice". How many were good enough to test on humans?

Good point. TFA does not specify how their screening process worked, though. TFA also does not specify how many actually helped against malaria, just that one was really good, nor does it say anything about testing the herbs against other ailments.

The manifest problem with "traditional medicine" isn't that none of them work, but that so damned few work, and yet fools still run around saying how all traditional is soooo great.

It is my impression that many practitioners of traditional medicine actively refuses to let their methods be subject to clinical tests, so we have no empirical data to estimate the ability of the treatment to heal a given ailment or its side effects. Mighty suspicious.

Comment Re:Check your math. (Score 1) 73

TFA does not say anything about the remaining 199, just that one of the 200 herbs selected for mice test was very successful at treating malaria. For all we know, the 199 others could be anything from toxic to useful against malaria. It is also worth noting that the 2000 herbs were not claimed to be good against malaria, but they were only tested against malaria, so some could feasibly be good against other ailments.

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