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Comment: Re:Not really needed anymore. (Score 1) 191

The average wait for a white person to vote in Michigan is 7 minutes. The average wait for a black person to vote in Michigan is 46 minutes.

In Florida, Ohio, Indiana etc those ratios are much bigger.

Yeah, you still need affirmative action. It may be that slavery is like original sin and it can never be washed away and once you start a country that is based on owning other humans, you're never going to be redeemed completely. It can get better, and it can get worse, but it never goes away.

Comment: Re:Easy answers (Score 1) 196

by PopeRatzo (#46822875) Attached to: 'The Door Problem' of Game Design

I've been playing the Rise of the Triad re-do lately, and I've noticed lots of doors. I mean a LOT of doors. I've also noticed that they all open. Either you can open it now or it's locked and you can open it later or it will open with a bad guy behind it and it's not for you to open at all because it opens from the other side, but dammit it will be opened at some point if you continue exploring.

The ease of movement of those old FPS games is a stunning contrast with the newer 3rd person shooter console games like Tomb Raider, which feel like you're controlling a marionette with rubberbands instead of strings and you're never sure if you're going to jump over that obstacle or use it for cover. The Mass Effect series is the same.

One third-person shooter that felt natural was Saints Row 3 and 4. But even there, as well-done as those games were, there would be some clumsiness. In an FPS like Half-Life 2, there was none of that.

Comment: Re:why not just have a baby earlier? (Score 1) 328

Really, my college education was a waste.

Good luck affording a house for you and your children to live in without one. 30 years of dual incomes and financialisation have placed a home firmly outside the reach of most single income households, and at this stage quite a few double income households.

Make no mistake, no mistake whatsoever. These women are not pursuing abstract "careers". They are perusing the income and job-security needed to buy and live securely in a family home. And like the rest of us, they are losing.

This happened in Japan beginning in the 1980s. The birth rate there has plummeted. If you don't produce affordable, aspirational accommodation, people will not settle down.

Comment: Re:Big Whoop. (Score 1) 87

by PopeRatzo (#46802839) Attached to: SpaceX Successfully Delivers Supplies To ISS

Unlike every previous launch, however, we the taxpayers are paying a fixed price to SpaceX, instead of the bloated cost-plus contracts that are large part of the reason why there hasn't been much progress in manned spaceflight in the last four decades.

Well, it's theoretically less expensive, but not yet. If you extrapolate out 50 missions, you start seeing SpaceX making an actual profit instead of a projected profit based on a fee stream.

My problem is that the entire thing still relies on government. If there is value in a "private" space industry, it hasn't been found yet.

Further, none of the profits ever materialize if you look at the external costs of the federal government already having done the hard work. Unless you believe SpaceX started with a clean sheet of paper and didn't make use of the past half-century of government space programs.

At best, you can say that there's a place for government and private industry to work together on the really big things like space travel. Without the government over-spending, there's good reason to believe we'd never have seen any space program at all. Or, convince me that without the initial public investment, any private company would have done the basic research required to send the first satellite into space.

Comment: Re:Frist pots (Score 1) 317

by ObsessiveMathsFreak (#46802317) Attached to: I expect to retire ...

Your entire argument ignores the fact that the support of the Upper Middle class as a whole -- the entire top 10% -- is the most vital component of the general support for the top 0.1% and 0.01% of the population. Without the consent and indeed approval of the highest half quartile of the population, no regime will last very long. The present one retains this high support, and will do so until such time as the pension pots of the top 10% are raided wholesale, or wiped out by inflation.

Comment: Sunk Costs (Score 5, Interesting) 279

The additional $41,950 is allocated towards sunk costs including

  • - Cosmetic designs of a hand like-prosthetic to prevent adults staring uncomfortably and children exclaiming "cool"!
  • - Insurance/class action insurance for when the prosthetic ends up injuring/irritating one or more users or people, or things, or otherwise perishable or damageable entities the hand interacts with.
  • - Robustness to last through more than, say, 10,000 cycles before snapping into brittle plastic shards.
  • - Salaries and children's college funds for the scientists, designers, and MBAs running the prosthesis companies
  • - Salaries and children's college funds for the academic and medical researchers involved in prosthetic studies, both mechanical, psychological, and sociological

Meanwhile, the 3D prosthetic hand has only the following sunk costs to cover.

  • - ~$10,000 investment in quality 3D printer
  • - The time taken find and to add the most saccharinly kitch music to 3D printing application videos on Youtube.

It's important to remember to keep the background details out of perspective... or in perspective, depending on whichever context you'd prefer to hock.

Comment: Maybe it's the weightlessness (Score 1) 70

Your having been to space is no guarantee that you're not crap-on-the-floor looney.

I would have thought that we've learned better than to pay too much attention to former astronauts. They might well be right about the asteroids, but I still think we should go ahead and get a second opinion on this.

The first version always gets thrown away.