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Comment: Re:Potheads assemble! (Score 1) 177

by careysub (#47675583) Attached to: Hemp Fibers Make Better Supercapacitors Than Graphene

but love science when it finds uses for hemp

Because with large scale hemp agriculture, you can always sneak in a few rows of 'the good stuff'.

No, you can't - although the belief that you can is apparently what has kept the hemp business shut down in the U.S. for 80 years (and led to Governor Arnold to veto a hemp cultivation measure in California.

The cultivation patterns are completely different. The hemp crop is grown in dense plantings that lead to tall stalks and few leaves, and then the crop is either harvested before it flowers (if an all-fiber farm) or is allowed to go to seed (if hemp seed is also harvested).

Either way there is no way that a successful drug crop, however small, can be snuck in there. (Not so drug cannabis and, say, field corn though - hiding pot among corn is an old trick).

Comment: Re: Identifiers (Score 1) 113

by careysub (#47576565) Attached to: Countries Don't Own Their Internet Domains, ICANN Says


that's why a naval blockade is a terrorist act of war, and why Japan was justified in attacking Pearl Harbor

A naval blockade is indeed an act of war. I guess you threw the word "terrorist" in there because - you like to abuse what words mean?

But the U.S. had imposed no naval blockade on Japan before the Pearl Harbor attack. The U.S. had halted U.S. trade with Japan in oil and scrap metal (but nothing else), but this is not what the word "blockade" means. A blockade is using armed force to prevent shipping (or other forms of transport) from third parties from getting entering the blockaded nation. Nothing like that was happening. The U.S. had also closed the Panama Canal to Japanese shipping, but again, not a blockade. Japan was free to go 'round the Horn and on to Japan without interference.

Comment: Re: where's the money?! (Score 1) 213

by careysub (#47575317) Attached to: Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Thank God money evolved before humans or else we would never exist.

True Dat.

Before money, the world population was less than a million. Now it is growing by millions a day.

Straight-up barter is not money. "Money" arises when there comes into being a standardized unit of exchange that is independent of the commodity being exchanged. Evidence for that only shows up around 3000 BCE at the earliest, at which point the world human population amounted to tens of million, not "less than a million". The early records of exchange though only involved standardized weights and measures of commodities, not an actual currency of any kind. This shows up around 1000 BC for the first time, and at that point there were on the order of 100 million people in the world.

Current world population growth is about 400,000 per day.

Comment: Re:Advanced? (Score 1) 95

by careysub (#47524047) Attached to: Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

... It is unthinkable that a civilization that old would still be producing significant pollution (at least of a type that we are familiar)....

We often see posters on /. pitching "terraforming" ideas - perhaps creating a biosphere on a planet that initially lacks one. Evidence of terraforming projects carried out by ancient civilizations are "highly thinkable".

Consider one such proposal for terraforming Mars: by injecting "super green-house gases" - chemicals designed to maximize the greenhouse effect - into the Martian atmosphere. One top candidate for this is perfluoropropane - if we find worlds with significant concentrations of this (or other related chemicals) then this might be evidence of deliberate release.

Comment: Re:Hey it is another shot at least. (Score 1) 95

by careysub (#47523947) Attached to: Finding Life In Space By Looking For Extraterrestrial Pollution

Mod parent up!

More generally - what we are looking for in planetary atmospheres (once we can routinely analyze them) is evidence of chemical syntheses that cannot plausibly can arise from non-living physical processes. The arguments made in several posts above (as if it were some sort of refutation) that oxygen is pollution cause by photosynthetic organisms is absolutely correct - detecting large excesses of oxygen (for example) should indicated living systems. But looking for more exotic chemicals never found in nature (on Earth) is one way of looking for technological (intelligently designed) processes. It does not matter whether you choose to call it "pollution" or not, the presence of chemicals and concentrations that do not arise from non-living systems is a good way to try to detect such systems.

Also the popular form of argument seen on this page that "No intelligent species would..." or "All intelligent species would..." is fallacious at several levels. Intelligent species evolving in different star systems are in no way bound to behave the way a /. poster imagines, and one could reasonably expect different behaviors for species evolving entirely independently. We aren't looking for features that "every" alien would produce, just for features that some alien might produce that can be distinguished from non-living processes. If you never look for something, odds are you will never find it, even if it is there.

Comment: Re:Communism and Scotsmen (Score 1) 619

by careysub (#47508949) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

It may not count as a formal logical fallacy, I wouldn't care to argue that point, but while modifying the definitions of things after the fact (a Scotsman is someone from Scotland who *also* doesn't do X, Y or Z) may not create a logically flawed argument, but it moves it into the realm of logically true zero-information statements such as "if red is blue then elephants are unicorns". (I forget the technical term)

The last example is called "vacuously true".

Comment: Re:let me correct that for you. (Score 2) 619

by careysub (#47508847) Attached to: Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

Exactly. The fact that the original article describes East Germany as socialist and West capitalist and then attempts to claim that as the reason subjects were more likely to cheat indicates an agenda....

Indeed there is. The Economist is a conservative periodical, although normally a sane one - and thus would be considered "left" by the former GOP of today. Here though, the temptation for a dishonest smear at "socialism" was just too tasty to pass up. By The Economist's normal standards West Germany was/is a socialist society, though like other successful western socialist societies it is also capitalist (the two aren't actually exclusive, but are commonly found together in mixed systems).

Check out the comments to this fluff piece on their website. Their readers are scathing in their rebukes for this tripe.

(Currently, since Germany has a conservative leader that The Economist approves of, it has been giving Germany a pass on begin socialist, even though the economy and governmental systems have not fundamentally changed under Merkel's chancellorship.)

Comment: Re:Diamond monopoly.... (Score 1) 81

by careysub (#47486191) Attached to: NIF Compresses Diamonds With 50 Million Atmospheres of Pressure

De Beers never destroyed diamonds to maintain scarcity - they just stockpiled them, and then worked to create new markets in emerging economies (the United States, later Japan, then Eastern Europe, now China) and eventually sold them. At one point they had a stockpile equal to several years of sales.

Comment: Re:Fusion? (Score 1) 81

by careysub (#47486149) Attached to: NIF Compresses Diamonds With 50 Million Atmospheres of Pressure

Yep. The main selling point of "natural" gemstones these days is that the lab-made ones are "too perfect!"

Strictly speaking it's because they're "more unique" and therefore "rarer"....

Yet, oddly, the market for natural pearls - by which I mean ones that aren't "cultured", but are formed naturally - collapsed when farmed cultured pearls were introduced, and has never really recovered -- even though they are easily identifiable, far rarer, and "more unique" (I am quoting the misconstruction). Natural pearl production is lower today than it was a century ago. This is a good thing, since it takes pressure off of living communities of organisms, but it is also inconsistent behavior of the market/industry compared to other gemstones.

(I have an explanation for why this occurred for pearls - that "cultured" pearls are considered "real" pearls by the market - but laboratory diamonds are not considered "real" diamonds. Pearls were really, truly rare before culturing made them something everyone could buy -- thus cultured ones were accepted because they expanded the market into a mass market. Diamonds on the other hand were really, truly rare once, but that ended with the discovery of the African diamond deposits in the mid 19th century. After that time they were something everyone could buy, and required an international cartel to manage the supply to keep the price up (in addition to restricting the supply it began an unflagging sales efforts - "diamonds are girl's best friend" - to drive up demand). Artificial diamonds did not change the supply-demand situation, there was already a surplus of natural diamond, but the cartel does not wish for there to be "real" diamonds produced outside of cartel price control. Thus no one who deals in diamonds, and is thus dependent on cartel favor for their supply, will agree that an artificial one is "real".)

Comment: Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 364

by careysub (#47426517) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

The F18 is 30 years old, which is like 120 in fighter aircraft years. We flew the F-86 Saber only 20 years, the F-4 phantom flew 20 (as a fighter), and these are the grey beards of the fighter world from the past. The F-18 is a fine platform, to be sure, but like it or not, it's getting really old for what it does.

Is your claim that the airframes are reaching their service life and need to be replaced by new builds, or are you claiming that an aircraft design undergoes some sort of senility independent of remaning service life?

Please explain why, for example, a new build F-15 or F-18, with 21st century enhancements, would be in adequate to do its job today if that is your argument.

Comment: Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 2) 364

by careysub (#47426457) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere

I see your point, but I don't think we have time to develop anything else.

OK - I'll bite. Why not?

Is there a major war scheduled we don't want to be late for?

Is there an enemy superpower that will outstrip us militarily in a meaningful way if we don't get this plane fielded ASAP?

We really have no viable choice but to fly the F-35 for now so we need these planes in production. ....

It was already argued that we could buy other NATO aircraft that are in production. This option is "viable" even if the U.S. Senators prefer to keep the pork at home.

Comment: Re:R's support lower H1B caps? (Score 1) 341

by careysub (#47337753) Attached to: If Immigration Reform Is Dead, So Is Raising the H-1B Cap

... Anyone who needs software can stand up a software team just about anywhere anytime.

Sure, but is the business able to utilize that team "anywhere" with the same degree of success?

Many, many businesses have learned the hard way that core software development needs to be in close (as in immediate, face-to-face) contact with the business side to translate requirements (often inchoate in the minds of the execs and product managers) into concrete requirements and actual software quickly in a very competitive market place.

It varies greatly by industry, company size, and business objective of course - but often the financial and opportunity cost of trying to get the work done with remote teams, even in the U.S., much less overseas - can be unsustainable.

I have seen many businesses/business units waste months or years trying to compete using remote teams of various compositions, before finally pulling some or all of the development back to a central location, even at higher nominal cost. Witness what Marissa Mayer (not a person I would usually use as a model) did with Yahoo. What she did, she did with some very good reasons.

Arguing that all businesses should be able to use remote teams with equal success is a silly game. Woulda, shoulda, coulda - the fact is many businesses try and fail at this, and cannot afford to keep trying to make reality match theory.

Biology is the only science in which multiplication means the same thing as division.