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Comment: Official Transcript of Drill (Score 1) 27

by argStyopa (#48657981) Attached to: ESA Carries Out Asteroid Impact Drill

Moderator: OK folks, drill is beginning.
Breathless Lacky: Attention important people! Deep space radar shows that a major asteroid strike is due in less than a week! It is likely to have global damage potential, scouring the seas and filling the skies with fire. All human life, in fact all life on earth is potentially at risk.
VIP1: Thank you. Do we have a spaceship that we can use to get away?
VIP2: No, sir. ... ... ...
VIP1: OK, well then, let's call this one complete. Drill ended after 0 minutes, 28 seconds:, Asteroid 1, Earth 0. Thank you all for your participation. Please join us next year, we're shooting for 30 seconds.

Comment: Re:Except that.. (Score 2, Interesting) 251

by Shakrai (#48653823) Attached to: TSA Has Record-Breaking Haul In 2014: Guns, Cannons, and Swords

These are people that probably have a valid conceal carry permit, don't normally fly, and just worked out of habit only to have their stuff confiscated. Meaning, that while it was an error they can't get their stuff back.

If you forget that you're carrying a firearm you probably shouldn't have a concealed carry permit in the first place I say this as a Second Amendment supporter and holder of a concealed carry license in a State (New York) where it's pretty damned hard to get them. What excuse is there for neglecting to remember the fact that you're carrying a firearm?

I concur with your sentiment about meas rea, FWIW, but still....

Comment: pain works (Score 1) 283

by argStyopa (#48653799) Attached to: Putting Time Out In Time Out: The Science of Discipline

Pain is possibly the oldest, most effective stimulus to changing behavior in the history of, well, life.
To suggest that human behavior isn't modified by pain is to imply that humans are somehow intrinsically different than every other kind of life on this planet.

I doubt that is true.

Now we can talk all day about the long term effects of pain on spent beings, and the concomitant damage that can be done emotionally, socially, or in terms of relationships. But if I'm going to take you seriously as a real scientist (and not just a flake with an agenda) you need to concede that pain CAN change behavior, and that in some cases the behavior change may conceivably be worth the effects.

Comment: Re:Shorten the working week (Score 1) 597

by argStyopa (#48646307) Attached to: What Happens To Society When Robots Replace Workers?

Because they're not "just feeding their family and keeping a roof over their heads"?

At least in the US, what we call "poor" are ridiculously well off by current world standards, and even very comfortable compared to relatively recent US norms. US "poor" typically have cell phones multiple tv's, computers, car(s) and a residence larger than middle class Europeans.
http://www.heritage.org/resear...

Living a life that would have comfortable in the 1970s - 1 cheap tv, no cable, no computer/internet, one cheapo car, no cell phone, smaller meal sizes, no convenience food - you could have a family of 4 right at the poverty line with out much trouble.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 678

by Shakrai (#48638281) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

So will a million other factors, most of which can't be foreseen or predicted. Would your Grandparents have foreseen the day that you could access the entirety of human knowledge on a device that fits into the palm of your hand?

The Earth and humanity have never been and never will be static entities. The climate has changed a great deal during the geologically insignificant amount of time that humans have been around. Most of those changes occurred before we started digging carbon out of the ground. Changes will continue long after we've moved past carbon based energy supplies. The notion that the climate was "ideal" during some specific period would be laughable if there wasn't a serious movement trying to use it to make public policy.

Comment: Re:As long as we're being more specific.... (Score 1) 678

by argStyopa (#48636747) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

Not at all? Why would it?
I think it's great that we work to fix things that we understand and have clear, quantifiable paths forward.
My objection to "climate change" isn't what you seem to believe.
My objection is that it seems to have sucked all the air out of the room for the public to pursue real, tangible, projects that can materially improve life - mostly for the billions on this planet that live in squalor.

But hey, you keep paying indulgences for your sins, er, I mean 'carbon credits' (and that $ goes where, exactly, once it's done salving your conscience?) to make yourself feel like you're "doing something".

Comment: Re:Myth Confirmed... (Score 1) 89

by cayenne8 (#48635313) Attached to: Did Alcatraz Escapees Survive? Computer Program Says They Might Have

Of course. Maybe not where you live, but in a great many parts of the world public transport is excellent.

Well, unless specifically stated, since Slashdot is a US centric site, you assume most statements are about the US.

And aside from a few cities here in the US, there really is no viable mass transit system here. Everyone pretty much needs a car.

Comment: Genetic changes as a result of development (Score 1) 56

by argStyopa (#48634077) Attached to: Scientists Discover That Exercise Changes Your DNA

....aren't we skating a hairsbreadth from Lamarckism?
I recognize that the article doesn't imply that these genetic changes have any impact on the reproductive genes, but is it absolutely impossible that these methylation changes have some impact - if even only generally, for example on overall fitness of the offspring - that would almost be Lamarckian?

IANARG - I am not a reproductive geneticist - but as my amateur understanding is that a woman's ova are all in-place early in life, while a man's sperm are made anew regularly, I'd imagine this (hypothesized) impact could only apply to males' reproductive cells anyway?

Comment: We suck as a people (Score 2) 28

by argStyopa (#48633975) Attached to: Kepler Makes First Exoplanet Discovery After Mission Reboot

Seriously, we do.

The fact that we're finding other PLANETS is now so humdrum that this gets 7 comments, this smells very much like the latter Apollo missions "Oh, we've got guys on the moon again? Zzzz."

If I simply posted something controversial*, like an entire article about how "global warming is bullshit", that would get 300 comments, easily.

*of course, I can't use /. as my personal blog. I'm not Bennett Haselton.

Comment: As long as we're being more specific.... (Score 2) 678

by argStyopa (#48633931) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

I'll trade the label of 'skeptic' for 'science denier' sure, but I'd ask that people stop using the blanket term 'climate change' when they really mean 'a host of sweeping economic, societal, and governmental changes that spend $billions and $trillions to effect what we optimistically expect to be trivial changes in a dynamic system that we mostly don't really understand and have been unable to reliably predict, and which only coincidentally SEEM to conform to a leftist agenda that otherwise nobody was listening to'.

That'd be great, thanks!

I have yet to see any problem, however complicated, which, when you looked at it in the right way, did not become still more complicated. -- Poul Anderson

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