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Comment: Re:People eat grass? (Score 1) 42

by hey! (#48479163) Attached to: Interviews: The Hampton Creek Team Answers Your Questions

It doesn't matter how much land it takes to create animal protein, not per se, not in relation to sustainability.

The Great Plains once has giant herds of bison roaming across them. Humans could eat those bison sustainably as long as they didn't take enough bison to disturb the equilibrium between bison and grass. Taking one bison out of the equation would simply cause the equilibrium to produce one more bison. Reducing the buffalo herd from 25 million to 600 on the other hand is a different matter.

What matters for sustainability is the disruption of natural systems, not the acreage.

Comment: Re:Federal law has an effect, too (Score 1) 154

by hey! (#48479091) Attached to: Mathematicians Study Effects of Gerrymandering On 2012 Election

They're only required to gerrymander minority districts if they have a history suppressing minority votes.

This is kind of like equitable relief, where the court compels a guilty party in a civil case to perform some action to remedy an unfair action it performed earlier.

Comment: Re:It's a (Score 4, Insightful) 19

by hey! (#48470135) Attached to: Fly With the Brooklyn Aerodrome (Video)

piece of crap with propellor

That's the interesting part.

This is what engineering is about: meeting a need cost effectively. The point of a toy RC airplane is to have fun. Traditionally it was expensive fun that didn't last very very long before you crashed. Having fun for longer with less $$ outlay == better engineering.

Comment: Re:Well of course (Score 1) 323

by russotto (#48469935) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

People in "dirt poor nations" are just as much "people" as here, and just as deserving of jobs.

Yes, people in dirt poor nations are people. But if its them or me, I choose me every time.

No moral wrong happens when a job moves from here to there - arguably the reverse given the safety net in each nation.

So jobs for them and welfare for me? Except of course there's not actually a safety net for non-elderly people with no children. You're not making this any more attractive.

But anyway, the point is that it's only short-term turbulence: China and India will eventually buy a lot more stuff than the US and EU, and will drive vastly more modern jobs worldwide as a result.

Before the short-term is over, I could be dead.

Comment: "Steam" is only half the salary equation (Score 4, Insightful) 278

by hey! (#48469173) Attached to: Is Ruby On Rails Losing Steam?

Specifically: the demand curve half of the equation. The other half is the supply curve. A platform can have *no steam whatsoever*, but so few programmers that the salaries are reasonably high.

Consider Delphi programming. I see Delphi positions come up once in a blue moon -- it's not used much any longer. But those salaries run from $80K to $110K plus. Sometimes you see a Delphi position come up in the mid 40s, but I suspect they're government positions.

I've seen listings for COBOL or PoweBuilder programmers both in the $60K to $110K plus range. You can bet when a company offers $110K for a PowerBuilder programmer it's because it's having a hard time finding one.

Comment: I blame it on the Moon landing. (Score 3, Insightful) 501

by hey! (#48467757) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Why Is the Power Grid So Crummy In So Many Places?

July 20, 1969 was, possibly justifiably, the biggest national ego-validation event in human history. The problem was after that when it came to national achievement, our eyes were firmly pointed back in time. We no longer do things "because they are hard". We're more focused on cashing in on the achievements of past generations.

When you tell Americans we have a backward mobile telephone system, a technologically primitive electric grid and distribution system, and Internet connectivity that lags behind the rest of the developed world, the reaction is usually disbelief. How can that be? We put a man on the Moon -- although by now it should be "grandpa put a man on the Moon."

Comment: Re:Ross Perot is awesome! (Score 1) 124

by hey! (#48467433) Attached to: How the World's First Computer Was Rescued From the Scrap Heap

He was also a conspiracy theorist who had the money to indulge his paranoid fantasies.

He had the phones of his own employees tapped. He hired private investigators to spy on his friends and family, and to dig up dirt on friends of his children he didn't approve of. He went beserk when he found out the designer of the Vietnam Memorial was an Asian American, calling her racial slurs and hiring lawyers to harass the veterans who supported her.

This is a man who thinks that both the Carter and Reagan administrations conspired to hide the presence of hundreds of POW in Southeast Asia.

I often tell my kids "there's no kind of dumb like a smart person's dumb." It's a warning against arrogance. Smart people can get too used to being right when other people around them are wrong. But in truth there is a worse kind of dumb: rich person's dumb. That's because money can give ideas instant credibility with people in a way arguments cannot. There's a strong inclination in this country to idolize rich guys.

Comment: Re:Well of course (Score 1) 323

by russotto (#48464471) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

Making stuff cheaper always creates new job making more stuff, so the first world benefits, and the economies of India, China, and Brazil keeps growing (although China has it's own bubble to work through these days), and the middle class in each nation keeps expanding.

Meanwhile the middle class in the United States contracts, and much of Europe is actually regressing. And there's still plenty of dirt-poor nations (including most of India and China) to drag everyone down.

Comment: Re:The problem is much bigger than energy (Score 1) 628

by wytcld (#48460167) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Are you suggesting that the intelligent response to complexity is surrender to doom?

A dollar here, a dollar there, and soon enough you have a million. An LED here, and LED there, and soon enough you've saved a mountain of coal from burning. Also, you've saved money on the bulb + electricity cost. But if you'd rather waste your money and surrender to doom....

Comment: Re:Well if two google engineers say so (Score 1) 628

by wytcld (#48460101) Attached to: Two Google Engineers Say Renewables Can't Cure Climate Change

Funny thing, wind is already cheaper than coal, and solar is close. Also, even if the article wasn't a gross distortion of the report, being a Standford-degreed Google engineer isn't all that. I've known idiots with similar degrees and positions, and geniuses with neither.

Comment: Re:Well of course (Score 1) 323

by russotto (#48453595) Attached to: LinkedIn Study: US Attracting Fewer Educated, Highly Skilled Migrants

The economy is not a zero-sum game. This is not a race to the bottom. As low cost-of-living places get more and more jobs, their standard of living rises and costs go up accordingly.

It may not be a race to the bottom, but it sure appears to be a race to somewhere much closer to the Third World mean than the First World one.

The world is no nursery. - Sigmund Freud