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Comment: Re:Once again science get crap funding (Score 1) 189

by allusionist (#35239914) Attached to: X Prize $30 Million Robot Race To the Moon Is On

considering what they're getting from 30 seconds of exposure on the most watched event on television, that $100million is a fantastic investment for the company.

just like the multi-million dollar salaries for the athletes playing in said event are fantastic investments for the amount of ticket sales, merch, food at events, etc they bring in.

the worth of a purchase is based on what it brings to the person writing the check, not to what someone else (or even humanity) could get if the checkbook was in their hands instead.

Comment: CS major trying to wrap my head around this all (Score 1) 312

by allusionist (#34999806) Attached to: Betelgeuse To Blow Up Soon — Or Not

So I'm a comp sci major, and astronomy and cosmology and the physics of the very large and very small fascinate me but I am incredibly ignorant on them. A lot of these (seemingly?) contradictory comments are leaving me confused.

My understanding of relativity starts and stops at high school physics - I understand the basics only. I have a basic understanding (think flashlight on a train examples) of how with c being a constant that three different observers may see the same two events as simultaneous or either one happening first, depending on their relative motion, etc, and that they are all correct from their own frame of reference - and comparing results from different frames of reference is more or less meaningless because they can't be applied to the same problems.

So let's say tonight we see Betelgeuse go supernova. Is it correct in saying that from our perspective that yesterday it was still there, and it's light and gravity had a meaningful impact on it's surroundings, and tomorrow those properties will be different, but from Betelgeuse's perspective this all happened ~600 years ago? That from our perspective it has x+y mass right this second (the supernova starts later tonight, remember), but from its perspective it only has x mass (where y is what it shed as it exploded) at this particular moment, and both are true statements - right now the amount of mass Betelgeuse actually has - not just can be said to have - is dependent on whether you are looking from Earth or Betelgeuse or someplace else?

Or am I way off base here?

Comment: Re:second that. (Score 1) 315

by allusionist (#34292028) Attached to: Oregon Senator Stops Internet Censorship Bill

Are you implying that wasn't the case in all previous revolutions? Aspiring revolutionaries also have better technologies available now than before, so the playing field isn't any more imbalanced than ever before. Just expect more casualties on both sides if such a thing was ever to happen....but with higher populations now, even that is a wash in a sense.

Comment: Re:The free world thanks you Senator Wyden of Oreg (Score 2) 315

by allusionist (#34291996) Attached to: Oregon Senator Stops Internet Censorship Bill

I live in New York and plan on sending a letter of thanks to Sen. Wyden (even if I'm not convinced of his reasons for stopping this, it still desperately needed to be stopped) as well as letters to my own Senators. Will it do anything? No, of course not. Will it have an impact if many of us do? Probably not, but it's certainly worth a few minutes of each of our time to at least try.

The decline into an Orwellian state has been slowed down, at least a little.

Comment: Re:Great. (Score 1) 180

by allusionist (#34131924) Attached to: Breakthrough Portends Cure For the Common Cold
You're half right. A small percentage of diseases are, by chance mutation or whatever else, resistant to the normal form of treatment. They are already present in small enough populations that they are not a substantial threat. However, microbes live in an ecosystem in many ways like the larger scale ecosystem affecting species of complex plants and animals, with typically a much shorter lifespan and higher reproductive rate allowing for microevolutionary changes to occur on a much faster scale. By wiping out, say, the 99% of microbe x that resists easy treatment all at once, the remaining 1% has a chance to thrive and is more likely to reproduce as is their offspring, etc. It does not take long for the total population to restore, except now instead of being able to treat 99% of infections we can now only treat the minority remaining population of susceptible microbes. This makes treatment substantially more difficult and costly because now we're still getting the same number of infections but the percentage of complicated cases is greatly increased - instead of (arbitrary numbers not reflecting any specific disease as an example) 200,000 people needing orange juice and bed rest and 20 needing hospitilization, now we have 100,000 people okay with oj and sleep and 100,020 needing hospitalization.

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