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Comment Re: Everything is an art (Score 1) 426

Oh I get it. He just said, "... dah. Whatever."

Efficiency is what reduces disease, poverty, and human suffering. Your experiences are limited by your ability to use your time efficiently; society's balance is limited by the efficiencies of its broad systems--economics, education, government, the like. Your inability to maximize the efficiency of your life limits your leisure time and the quality of your leisure time; while the inefficiencies in society means somebody else doesn't get leisure time, since they're too busy starving in the frozen wasteland we call a back alley mid-winter.

Why catch fish efficiently when you can do it with joy and pleasure, or flair and gusto?

Of course. I'm rich. I just sip my champagne, unzip my pants, and piss on the starving homeless with flair and gusto.

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 281

Yet I made a comparison illustrating the breadth and scope of providing power for ALL OF EUROPE, showing that we'd need a land area of ALL OF CONNECTICUT AND RHODE ISLAND.

The original discussion wasn't about this cute little toy to light up 0.0002% of the world, but the viability of lighting up 0.01% of the world.

Comment Re: Cool! (Score 1) 426

The ones I first worked out on my own were that all whole numbers were the result of the sum of a single set of only primes raised to powers (2^3 + 5 + 11^2) or the *product* of a single set of primes raised to powers (2 * 3^2 * 7). Then some teacher told me there was no chain rule for integration, and I found the chain rule essentially a mental mathematics strategy for solving complex derivatives, so I took the next 40 minutes to analyze several integration exercises and produced integration by parts (which we learned about a week later--what a waste of time). Simple stuff.

My favorite one was physics tensile problems. I *hated* tensile problems. To solve a tensile problem, we had to carry out a seven-step algorithm in which we'd break down each angle into its horizontal and vertical component vectors, then solve the right triangle for each, and combine the solution's horizontal and vertical vectors, solving for the hypotenuse.

In that picture, consider T1 and T2 as the length of those sides (they're the tension on each rope or whatnot they represent). M is the hanging mass. As it turns out, you can get a triangle by placing a line of length M between the top left point (where angle Theta is) and the bottom right vertex (where T2 meets the vertical wall); or by moving T2 *without rotating it* such that any of its vertexes connects to any of T1's vertexes, and then connecting the remaining two with a line of length M. I recognized this largely by mathematical result.

Pick a set. You'll either end up with two sides and an angle or two angles and a side. You can now glance at this diagram, apply the Law of Cosines, and solve it in one step. When I showed my physics teacher, he said he didn't see any mathematical reason that would work, although it *did* work on every problem we tried. Should have asked the Asian chick who took every form of math there was when she went to college; my teacher was largely a materials science type of guy.

Obviously, this one's my favorite because it's a *much* simpler way to tackle an irritatingly tedious problem *and* my academic superiors could never understand why it worked. That means I didn't waste my time figuring out some mathematical trick I could have found by flipping a dozen pages ahead in the book. As far as I know, this is a known technique, but *very* few sources mention using either the law of sines or the law of cosines to solve tension triangles.

This is why math was always fun for me. I reflected a lot on how it all fit together.

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 281

Building a solar facility isn't a no-op. It's not like you can say, "We built a house there and put sheds and structures all over the place, and tromp all over it with machines and boots; but nobody paved it, so we didn't destroy the ecological habitat." You definitely do not want ecological habitat thriving among your solar panels and concentrating reflectors.

Comment Re:Excess (Score 1) 281

Most of what I said is platform-agnostic. We happen to not put solar thermal dishes on roofs, but they still take up a lot of space and are still comparable to rooftop solar: rooftop solar still capitalizes on already-used land, and so doesn't have to be as efficient. It's the other drawbacks that come into play, which are the same if you're doing PV panels, burning coal, or running a nuclear ABWR; each technology and each particular mode of deployment has its own strengths and weaknesses in terms of start-up cost, fueling costs, land area usage, waste, and maintenance.

You said power generation at point of use frees us from infrastructure needs. Whether that's solar PV, solar-thermal, geothermal, gas line, or nuclear, the counter-argument I gave applies. Granted, you can get a lot more power out of a nuclear generator strapped to your roof; but then you need a whole nuclear generation management facility on your roof, and on the next roof, and the next, and they all waste nuclear fuel because they have to overgenerate some of the time AND HAVE NO INFRASTRUCTURE TO SHARE POWER.

Transit of any electricity--nuclear, solar, faerie labor--incurs the same losses. That doesn't change either.

All in all, you just responded to a concrete argument of "you're making shit up and arguing against that" with "Uh. Well. Your mom."

Comment Re:Cool! (Score 1) 426

More to the point, I know how people are capable of catching a ball. Have you ever wondered why you can just look at something, see it moving, step to where it's going to be, and grab it? How about throwing a rock and hitting it, even though the impact point is 20 feet away and it'll take a second to get there, with both objects moving? Don't you need some serious algebra to work that out?

I not only know why, but I know how to leverage the same facilities to do other things. Hell, I know why a few weeks of therapy is more than twice as effective as drugs at long-term curing of severe depression. I know why Ben Pridmore can memorize the order of 27 decks of cards in 3 minutes. I know why I was always better at math than my classmates.

You, on the other hand, seem to be focused on small outcomes. Someone explains an efficient process of planning and architecture to you and you go, "... oh. The pieces all make sense. I knew all this shit already!", even though you didn't. You knew about the pieces, but not about how to assemble them, or how to leverage them to accomplish things well beyond what you'd have thought your level of skill could accomplish. It's a common behavior in human thought processes; people are often not introspective, reflective, or creative.

Now tell me what creativity is.

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