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Comment Re:So, ponder this... (Score 5, Interesting) 676

The military is a broadsword, not a scalpel.

Military-scale violence cannot be done in half-measures -- one should only draw one's sword if he's going to use it, and then one is committed, forget all bullshit so-called "rules" -- fight to win and utterly crush and humiliate the enemy. In this sense, laws of war are counterproductive; it lowers the threshold of organised violence way too far, and we end up with a long list of pointless scuffles and police actions, and with a lot of the backwards parts of the world just hating us.

(Laws of war were invented by fucking-idiot country gentlemen in 1945, when we had just come out of a no-holds-barred mechanized, industrialized war, and it was disciplined Western armies fighting disciplined Western armies. The fact is, many of the people we fight, fight like animals, and they do not fight Marquis of Queensbury Rules...) These men were not men of vision -- they were fools who just like Versailles, sowed the seeds of future conflict.

If I were president of the world, we would have not gone into Iraq or even Afghanistan, but I certainly would have had IS cut to pieces, if they existed. Thanks to 9/11, we have the perverse situation where the Americans invaded Afghanistan and Iraq, riled up the Muslim world; yet we now can't act decisively against the biggest bunch of fascists since the Nazis.

*facepalm*

I think we have something to learn from the Russians in this sense. They understand these aspects of using organised violence way better than the West does. I would be comparing notes with them -- they have good experience of losing, then winning spectacularly against Islamist opponents.

If you're going to have blood on your hands -- it'd better be for a damned good reason. I wish our so-called leaders would think way harder before resorting to force. There IS a time and place for force (human nature being the way it is), but it's getting used way too often.

Comment Re: So we're not going to over-react this time, ri (Score -1, Troll) 676

You pretty much nailed it.

For most people, out of sight is out of mind. And being across the Atlantic, it's easy for Americans to forget that Europe and the Islamic countries were locked in an existential struggle for millennia. Each has its own VERY different way of seeing the world, and a VERY different vision for the future.

They have COMPLETELY forgotten that the Muslims have _ALWAYS_ hated us. They hate us because we're white and Christian. They hate us because they think they should rule the world, and because by merely existing, we stand in their way and we are holding them away from their birthright (i.e. our stuff and our territory).

Americans (the left wing kind anyway), have a hard time seeing that some otherwise-reasonable people aren't friends, and aren't interested in being friends -- this is a big blind-spot in the American psyche. They think that everyone else is civilized like they are, and it's a total head-fuck for them when illiterate backwards Third World peasants show up and (surprise! surprise!) start _behaving_ like entitled Third World peasants. These people see kindness as weakness to be exploited. We're seeing this in Europe right now -- with the millions of people showing up, demanding their handouts and free houses.

Comment Re:So we're not going to over-react this time, rig (Score 1, Insightful) 676

Without knowing the back-story, the Morrocan restaurant firebombing could've been intra-ethnic score-settling for all we know.

Muslims have had a beef with America as long as America has existed. Don't believe for a second that Muslims can't dish it out as good as they take it.

You're being disingenius about ISIL. ISIL is the same shit -- only the flies are different.

The white slave trade (where literally millions of white people were abducted into slavery by Muslims), has been whitewashed out of history. But the Muslims hate America, because America, very early on, ended the white slave trade by force.

American actions may have been counterproductive at times ("moderate" terrorists, *cough* *cough*), but Americans haven't waged war against Islam and Muslims per se; they have, however, fought dictators and extremists (just as they fought the Barbary pirates). If this upsets Muslims, then this reflects poorly on the Muslims, not Americans.

You give these people way too much credit.

Comment Re:So we're not going to over-react this time, rig (Score 0, Offtopic) 676

Blaming "foreign policy" is victim blaming

Islamists, if deprived of that excuse, would rapidly find another. "Foreign policy" is just a bullshit post-hoc justificiation -- and convenient, because they can force us to change our foreign policy to tip-toe around Muslims, so we have to tip-toe around them, and give them more free shit and lebensraum.

No quarter to fascists. We should be hanging the pigs, not making excuses for them.

Comment Re:Oh? (Score 1) 267

There's progress on the materials front. But there's still tons of risk that needs to be retired.

It's a bit concerning though that nobody's built a working tritium breeding blanket yet. And afaict, ITER's test blanket module program is going to be a bit half-arsed. This should be a top priority.

Comment This is stupid (Score 3, Insightful) 267

Are the Ray Kurzweil and singularity fanbois / public masturbators off their meds again?

Fusion: D-T fuel is the best fuel for any prospective fusion power plant on the horizon. Heating and confinement are solved problems. Materials that can withstand the massive heat/radiation loads of working reactors are the biggest problems right now. These machines weigh hundreds of thousands of tons. You're NOT going to ship a fusion reactor into space any time soon.

Space: it costs tens of thousands of dollars a kilogram to ship stuff into LEO. And these stupid basement-dwellers are seriously talking about bootstrapping an ENTIRE industrial infrastructure in space to mine a resource which is actually an inferior fuel, for fusion plants that don't exist yet.

It should be a criminal offense (or at least happy-slappable offence) to air such inanity and stupidity in public.

Comment Re:Q: heat (Score 4, Informative) 223

Heating (and confinement) are now basically solved problems in magnetic confinement machines. The Wikipedia article says that they'll be using bog-standing microwave heating (they don't say exactly what), and neutral-beam heating in W-7X.

Both tokamaks and stellarators have to 'twist' the magnetic field around the torus (since paths around the inside of the torus are smaller than the outside, leading to instabilities). Tokamaks achieve this by inducing a current through the plasma to induce the twist in the magnetic field using a huge solenoid or other means; stellarators use external coils.

The former are prone to catastrophic disruptions (which in extreme cases, can unleash strong forces that could, in the absolute worst case, physically break the machine); the latter are more stable, but much harder to manufacture.

Comment Re:Shouldn't these things ... (Score 4, Insightful) 223

Nope. With these kind of magnetic confinement machines and the way they scale, the bigger the better (quite literally).

This is why we need to build a stupendously huge and expensive machine like ITER to demonstrate anything approaching economic power output for the energy required to confine and heat the plasma.

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