Follow Slashdot blog updates by subscribing to our blog RSS feed


Forgot your password?
Take advantage of Black Friday with 15% off sitewide with coupon code "BLACKFRIDAY" on Slashdot Deals (some exclusions apply)". ×

Comment Re:Private companies don't do exploration of front (Score 1) 328

And their colony failed. The Spanish, Portuguese, English and French colonies in the New World succeeded because the governments that ran those colonies backed them financially and militarily. At least in the case of the English, owners/shareholders of colonials often received economic monopolies, giving them substantial impetus to make colonies economically viable in fairly short order.

And even though colonies could obviously become self-sustaining in pretty short order, they still required a significant amount of protection from the colonial power, and the colonial powers served as the route to accessing markets.

The Vikings experiments in colonization as private endeavors were mixed successes at best, and ultimately only Iceland survived as a successful colonial enterprise by the early Modern era, with the North American and Greenland colonies failing (though the Greenland colony did manage to hang on for several centuries).

There are probably any number of reasons; less than hospitable sites for colonization that were vulnerable to climactic changes at the top, but also the more limited means of making such colonies economically viable. At least in the North American attempts, the native peoples may have played a roll as well. The Norse simply didn't have the resources at their disposal that the Colonial Powers could bring to bear when they started seizing the New World. The Norse were hardly better equipped than the Inuit and Native Americans they encountered, whereas the Spaniards, French and English had firearms and much larger numbers.

Comment Re:The dark matter between their ears (Score 1) 161

But no one says it doesn't exist locally. Quite the opposite, everyone thinks it does. It's just fucking hard to see.

It's not that cosmologists aren't willing to look at GR, and certainly are, but no potential quantum theory of gravity suggests an alternative to dark matter. And considering we all know there is physics beyond the Standard Model, and the potential for currently only hypothetical or even unpredicted particles, the idea that we should just toss out one of the most successful scientific theories in history because we're confronted with what looks like a lot of extra mass seems absurd.

But I get it. There is a certain type of person, underachievers mainly, whose only contribution to any discussion is to find the gaps in our knowledge and then proclaim researchers in those fields retards. It's pathetic, and contributes absolutely nothing.

Comment Space-based Economy (Score 2) 328

In the very long run, probably. But I think there's probably a route to increasing space exploration and utilization by explicitly avoiding the cost of Earth-to-orbit transport costs. The plan I've seen that has some promise goes as follows:

1. Find some metal-rich and volatiles-rich asteroids and comets (not exactly rare in the Asteroid Belt). Tow these asteroids into a near-Earth orbit and begin extraction and smelting.
2. Set up manufacturing facilities in Earth orbit to build spacecraft and satellites.
2a. We could even "grow" plastics with bacteria or genetically-engineered plants.
3 ....
4. Profit!

In all seriousness, if you created a parallel space-based economy whose sole purpose is to make transporting anything but humans into space, then the whole question of how to make Earth-to-orbit transport cheaper ceases to be an issue. Obviously the startup costs and R&D for such a project are monumental, but in the long run, the rewards would be huge. The whole point of commercial spaceflight is to find a way to make it economically feasible, and this is about actually creating a space-based economy.

Comment Re:The dark matter between their ears (Score 2) 161

They're not manipulating anything. They are observing that there are numerous objects which appear to have a lot more mass than is visible. Unless you think there is something wrong with our Classical view of gravity, then the obvious answer is that there is a lot more matter out there than we can directly observe.

Fucking hell, there's nothing worse than some self-appointed anonymous poster on the Internet who is some fucking arrogant and stupid that he thinks he understands something better than the scientists. And why is it that such arrogant fucktards always end up on /, trying to make themselves look oh so smart.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 4, Insightful) 582

Which is why ISIS is so darned convenient for Turkey. It takes the piss out of the Kurds outside Turkey's borders and thus weakens the overall Kurdish cause. I'm sure the Turkish government is happy enough to take a few suicide bombings on the chin for the strategic advantage gained from allowing ISIS to run rampant and kill lots of Iraqi and Syrian Kurds.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 2) 582

At some point Turkey will overplay its hand. The US and Europe have been forced to tolerate Turkey's double-dealing for some time, but as there is growing accord between the US, Europe and Russia on dealing with ISIS, Turkey's actions are going to see it increasingly isolated. If one of the end results of defeating ISIS is that Russia gains the right of a perpetual warm water port in Syria recognized by the US, then Turkey's place in NATO and as a US ally will be called into question. This downing of a Russian jet for what was the very briefest of incursions was a damned fool move that is likely to have Turkey's allies in the US and Europe scrabbling for cover.

Comment Re:This is why ISIS wins (Score 4, Informative) 582

But does Turkey hate ISIS? The Kurds of northern Iraq have been one of the targets of ISIS, and every Kurd killed by ISIS is another Kurd that won't cause Turkey problems. Why do you think Turkey is the porous border that is allowing people and goods to flow into Iraq and Syria? Because they want ISIS to cause mayhem, kill lots of Kurds and send the message to Turkish Kurds that they'll happily send them to the slaughter too if anyone starts thinking about Greater Kurdistan again.

The Turks have never been allergic to the idea of genocide. Just look at the Ottoman genocide of ethnic Armenians during WWI. I'm sure if the Turkish government thought it could get away with it, it would kill every Kurd it could find

If it's worth doing, it's worth doing for money.