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Comment Re:So Simple (Score 1) 128

Obviously, we should just speak English, ssslllloooooowwwwww and LOUD!!!!! Everyone understands that. Especially aliens, who are all just humans with weird coloration and skin conditions.

Well based on everything I've been taught about alien life, mostly its just a variation in forehead configurations... And their females all have interesting chest-bumps.

Comment Re:Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 1) 178

Simplification yes. Banks didn't know exactly which loans would go bad. However those insurance pools had to have loans that were low risk and loans that were high risk. Something the banks did know. If you have 100 loans of which 40 are low risk 50 are led risk and 10 are high risk. That's. 10% chance that a loan will go bad in that pool. It might not be an actual high risk loan that is bad but that is besides the point.

Comment Re:Don't contact aliens. Don't. (Score 1) 128

You come across a giant ant hill, one that populated by ants that could probably bite you but unlikely to ever kill unless you let them. What do you do?

What do you do, lets see.

You take your most nasty villains and you stake them out on the ant hill and cover their genitalia with honey.

I wonder if thats whats happening here...

Comment Re:core point (Score 1) 128

If they have an atomic model other than the concept of electrons and protons they don't have advanced electronics and so no means to detect the Voyager message other than after it impacts their planet.

Alternatively, if they actually know about physics our representation of the atomic model might make as much sense to their physicists as the Ptolemaic representation of the solar system (with its epicycles) might make to our astrophysicists and be equally unintelligible.

(sorry, with all due respect to physicists I can't help but think that humanities understanding of physics must be infantile).

Comment Re:Universal language of elements (Score 1) 128

Oh no you don't. I've got Walking Dead, Doctor Who, ST-DS9 and ST-Voyager to finish binge watching first. I don't need to be adding Stargate and it's offspring to the list.

If you cherry-pick episodes of ST-DS9 and ST-Voyager so you watch the actual storyline episodes and skip the ones which are, basically, just about people sitting around in their uniforms complaining about their lives, they can be packed into a easy weekend of viewing.

Even Sliders can be made quite viewable in this fashion, except replace 'sitting around in their uniforms...' with 'moralising about other cultures which they know nothing about'.

Comment War. Thats what happened. (Score 1) 81

Millions of years ago Earth, Mars and Venus formed an artificial Klemperer rosette in the habitable zone around the Sun.

The advanced civilisations which produced this artifact went to war. Mars and Venus' orbits were wrecked. Mars was hit by 'planetbuster' bombs and cracked open, its molten core spewing out into space and collapsing on itself. Venus was subjected to bombardment by comets and turned into the hell-hole it is today. Only Earth survived mostly intact.

Either that or the civilisation which produced the rosette went into decline and could no longer maintain the technology that kept this unstable formation from breaking up into what we see today.

Comment Re:Why would anyone be shocked? (Score 2) 178

the thing with 2008 isn't that 20% defaulted. it's that the banks built an insurance pyramid scheme to borrow more money and one bank was left holding the bad debt.

Bank A , B , C and D each have 100 loans of which 95% are good and 5% are bad. Each bank is maxed out on loans they can legally, and fiscally move. to make more money they need to insure the loans.

So Bank A and Bank B take 50 loans each 45 good one and the 5 bad ones and get insurance from bank C. This gives Bank A and B the ability to take on 20 more loans each with at least 2 of them being bad.

Bank C goes to Bank D for insurance and gives Bank D their 5 bad loans as well as the 10 bad loans from Banks A and B. this gives Bank C ability to also take on 20 more loans.

Bank D is now holding 190 loans including 20 bad ones and their risk went up from 5% to 10%.

Wash rinse repeat. they did this until one bank had 20% plus bad loans in their portfolio. when it collapsed all the cross insurance collapsed as well. That is why 75% of the government bailout loans were repayable in 4 months. The banks just needed to cover short term costs with the pyramid to each other.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 246

The problem then becomes the creation of the test itself, and how and by whom it is scored.

Remember the rich will demand special testing for themselves, in special rooms, so that if nessecary bribes can be passed around.

You have to remove the ability to bribe the graders. Then it becomes how has the answers. do you test intelligence or do you test knowledge. memorization is easy to cheat against intelligence is not but requires graders who now the subject.

Comment Re:Give me a raise (Score 1) 281

Perhaps that's because you are naturally a techie who has been able to adapt in order to progress on a career path. Perhaps it would be better if you could remain a techie but continue to accrue seniority and raises if that opportunity was available to you. Likely it is not, and you made the best move you could under the circumstances.

Comment Re:Outside factors (Score 2) 173

I took an algorithms course at Harvard. It was just as hard as anything I took at MIT, and I took 18.313 back when G.C. Rota was still alive (greatest math teacher ever, by the way).

Of course there are people who are there because they're "legacies", and I suppose they take different courses, but the kids who get in because they're smart are pretty damned smart.

As for left-wing indoctrination, Harvard is a bastion of the establishment. The prep school crowd in particular has been thoroughly indoctrinated in the perfection of capitalism and the moral entitlement of the ruling classes. It doesn't mean that some of them aren't apostates, of course.

A freelance is one who gets paid by the word -- per piece or perhaps. -- Robert Benchley