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Comment: Re:History is written by the victors (Score 1) 467

by bware (#48270567) Attached to: Imagining the Future History of Climate Change

And climate change doesn't destroy climate globally anyway, it just changes it around. We'll likely end up with more arable land overall long term under the most severe climate change scenarios, even if the transition is more disruptive.

Aside from any consideration of the geological time scales it takes to turn tundra into topsoil, climate change is not going to change the length of growing seasons or daily sunlight. Stupid plants, insisting on not growing in the dark.

Comment: Re:Timeframe? (Score 1) 135

by bware (#48132613) Attached to: Feces-Filled Capsules Treat Bacterial Infection

No wonder they have such a small sample. After the informed consent form I'm sure lots of people told the researchers to gtfo.

If you had C. diff, you'd be doing everything including licking doorknobs at a urgent care clinic to try to get some healthy gut bacteria back.

I'm guessing they had people lined up and turned away for the study. Except they'd have to have their friends line up, because if you have C. diff, you can't wait in a line. For anything. Including the toilet.

Also, could an MD please provide the usual time frame in which diarrhea runs its course? 8 weeks being an improvement sounds just weird.

C. diff doesn't go away by itself. Antibiotics, if they work, work by killing everything off in your gut (again - because lots of times, you're going to have to do multiple rounds of ABs), then just hoping that other bacteria get back in there before the C. diff re-establishes itself. Else repeat, until the subject dies.

IAAD, BNTKOD*, but for some reason I know way more about this than I ever wanted to.

*I am a doctor, but not that kind of doctor

Comment: Re:poor training for industry jobs (Score 1) 283

by bware (#48093971) Attached to: Glut of Postdoc Researchers Stirs Quiet Crisis In Science

Most science professors don't know what is involved in commercial work, don't know the relevant skills for commercial work, and don't have a network for landing jobs for students in industry. There are far too many professors who don't know how to train their students for anything other than academic work, and some who are adamantly against training their students for jobs outside of academia.

And they shouldn't. I'm a scientist too. When I came out of school, into industry (not that long ago! I worked in industry before going back to get my graduate degrees, and after), there was an expectation that industry was going to spend a couple of years training one how to work in industry. Industry doesn't do that anymore. Expecting professors to both train people to work in industry, and do cutting-edge research is unrealistic. Especially since they likely haven't themselves - you don't get tenure by going off and working in industry.

The model is broken, but it's broken on both sides. Too many people get accepted into grad school, and industry is no longer willing to train people to be useful. Which is not the job of university either. It can't be all on one side.

Comment: This isn't about theft, it's about anonymity. (Score 2) 299

Or rather lack thereof.

It's law enforcement that's pushing so hard for these kill switches.

Right now I can walk into a T-Mobile store, buy an iPhone with cash, pay the first month with cash, and get a burner smartphone with a data plan. No ID, no name, no address, no credit check.

If this law is implemented, the ability to buy a smartphone anonymously goes away. You'll have to show an ID. For this law. How else will they know whether you're the person who can request that that phone be bricked?

This isn't about theft, the police don't give a shit about theft. If you don't believe that, try reporting one. This is about removing the anonymity of burner phones.

Comment: Re:Actually... (Score 1) 123

by bware (#47696403) Attached to: No, a Huge Asteroid Is Not "Set To Wipe Out Life On Earth In 2880"

If a doctor recommended surgery, and the mortality rate was 1 in 4000, I'd make damn sure the benefits outweighed the risk. And I'd update my will.

That's right in the ballpark for general anesthesia by itself. When I signed the release form, it said 1 in 2000, but then they knocked me out (yay, propofol), so my memory might be faulty :)

Relative risks of common events is something people are just not good at estimating.

Comment: Re:The utility/need/desire exists (Score 1) 107

by bware (#47673477) Attached to: Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part One of Two)

But outside the big cities, which comprise less than 2% of the land area of the US, there are lots of use cases for a flying car.

Unfortunately for flying car manufacturers, big cities are where most of the population lives, and where most of the wealth is concentrated. If most people in the US can't use them, and the rest can't afford them, market forces work against a flying car being affordable.

Comment: Re:Crazy Parakeet Man (Score 1) 259

by bware (#47610733) Attached to: The Man Who Invented the 26th Dimension

When the "get random nonsense published" prank war hit physics, it's no surprise it was a string theory journal that fell for it.

Are you referring to Sokal? http://www.physics.nyu.edu/sokal/transgress_v2/transgress_v2_singlefile.html/

That wasn't published in a string theory journal.

While I'm not the biggest fan of ST, I'm not aware of any prank publications in a refereed physics journal, and neither are the first three pages of a search.

Comment: Re:Ethical is irrelevant. (Score 1) 402

by bware (#46652067) Attached to: NASA Can't Ethically Send Astronauts On One-Way Missions To Deep Space

Not detracting from what the colonists did, but they knew that they only needed to pack enough food and water for the voyage and the settlement time, plus the knowledge they could breath was an additional bonus.

And they also didn't require many billions of dollars of taxpayer funding to support their one-way trip - they paid their own way.

If someone wants to build a rocket to Mars in their backyard using their own funding, then go ahead, and any ethical considerations are your own, with the caveat that local and federal prosecutors might have different opinions than yours.

That said, another analogy is that we don't allow institutions to perform medical experiments on people that will cause harm to them, even if they volunteer with full knowledge of the consequences. We, as a society, consider this to be immoral.

While I know that society often puts people in positions where harm might very well occur (test pilots, astronauts, medical procedures), the usual assumption is that every effort will be made to prevent harm. I'm struggling to discern how this is different.

It may be - it's just with two minutes thought, I'm not able to articulate why it's ok to kill an astronaut on a one-way mission and it isn't to kill a person in a medical experiment that might well save lives. Because in the latter case, it's definitely something society has decided not to allow.

Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it himself. -- A.H. Weiler

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