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Comment: Re:What about long-term data integrity? (Score 1) 267

by crunchygranola (#48463193) Attached to: How Intel and Micron May Finally Kill the Hard Disk Drive

One faction claims it's Apple trying to sabotage upgrades, making it so that if you buy an after-market SSD rather than paying their insane markup performance will become awful. Another faction claims it isn't deliberate sabotage, but rather a lack of interest in testing for unsupported hardware configurations...

Seems like a distinction without a difference.

Comment: Re:Self-expanding factories (Score 1) 152

by crunchygranola (#48452569) Attached to: NASA Offering Contracts To Encourage Asteroid Mining

...Since the laws of nature are the same everywhere, the Seed Factory concept works just as well on Earth, so our first generation design is for here. Later versions will be for more hostile environments like the oceans, deserts, ice caps, and space. Where it gets really interesting is using an expanded factory to make new starter kits. This is very similar to how biological plants reproduce. An acorn doesn't make another acorn directly. It grows into an oak tree first, then produces more acorns.

Good for you! You are proposing to build an actual von Neumann machine. Such things are obviously possible (given the evidence of living things) - but I have never seen a proposal to actual build one, or even a defensible estimate of what would be required to build Humankind's first one.

Any estimate on when we will see this is more than just an electronic document? Currently the WikiBook about this flys at such a high level that it is impossible to tell whether there really is anything here.

Comment: Re:Perspective (Score 1) 308

top 1% AGI is $388,905 (in 2011, the most recent year for which the IRS has final data, reference).

If he makes $300,000 and he considers that a high six figure, then he is not lying at all. Note that $100,000 is a "six figure income", and these days not at all high in the scheme of things. So his statement may just be drawing the distinction of someone making a multiple of "six figure" (three in this case) as opposed to barely breaking that antiquated inflation-devalued benchmark.

Comment: Re:The US already is a civilized First World count (Score 1) 308

Well, we treat them like crap. On top of that they come here and find that they have very few opportunities to advance any more. Why would they want to come here? They'd be better off going to a civilized first-world country rather than the third-world construct we are trying so hard to make the US into.

It might not be a cultural fit for you, but it is a good fit for over 300m citizens (less amnestied illegals).

Unlike other countries, US property is respected enough to not need legions of gated communities.

And yet, the U.S. has legions of gated communities, despite not "needing" them! From the article: "By 1997, an estimated 20,000 gated communities had been built across the country. Approximately 40% of new homes in California are behind walls. In 1997, estimates of the number of people in gated communities ranged from 4 million in 30,000 communities up to around 8 million, with a ½ million in California alone." These are nearly all wealthy people, why are they seeking hidden enclaves?

Other countries have them in quantities large enough to suggest that property is not respected(SE Asia) or to show mass contempt for their citizenry(e.g. Russia).

Russia is the only country you can come up with by name I notice. Why not try one of the real industrial democracies?

In addition, citizens enjoy more personal freedoms (despite what some thinktanks would claim) than nearly any other country in the world. For example, self-defense with a firearm is encouraged in many parts of the country(not just Texas), when many parts of the world wish to restrict it. In addition, speaking up against politicians is not followed by a disappearance, house arrest, or defamation charge.

Let's unpack this bit. Last going first, in which industrialized democracies does speaking up against politicians cause "disappearance, house arrest, or defamation charge"? Your "Russia" example again?

So we are left with that all-essential freedom of unrestricted gun ownership - the freedom to easily murder others. Very, very few gun deaths each year are due to "self defense" killing: for each justified self-defense killing, there are about 35 fire-arm homicides.

Comment: Re:Who opposes cleaner sources of energy? (Score 1) 142

by crunchygranola (#48436433) Attached to: Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

Those measures are increasing my freedom - by making a selection of more efficient appliances for me to buy at low cost, and thus allowing me to lower my power bills, all of which puts more money in my pocket. I thought that was the very essence of the Conservative idea of freedom, more of my own money.

We know what corporations do when such measures are not in place. They don't innovate on efficiency, or provide cost effective efficient appliances. Only by moving the entire industry to more efficient standards to you get economies of scale.

Oddly, this would seem to be the "influence change on the producers" that you approve of.

Comment: Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (Score 2) 142

by crunchygranola (#48436211) Attached to: Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

Keep pushing that canard. No activist has stopped the construction of a new power plant. The problem is financing. Banks don't want to lend the money because of the cost over-runs. That's why the nuclear industry has been pushing the government to guarantee those loans.

1. Shoreham.

Technically, no. Shoreham's construction was completed - it actually ran low power tests. What happened was not it was not permitted to begin commercial operation -- due to its singularly poor siting on Long Island, and Long Island Sound after the local community and state had had time to reflect on the wisdom of this particular license. In light of Fukushima, safety concerns about the siting of one of these first generation nuclear power plant designs were quite reasonable. This was a plant that should never have been built.

Plants more distant from major population centers and critical transportation corridors have not had this problem.

Comment: Re:Thanks Obama... (Score 1) 437

by crunchygranola (#48420753) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

Obama was the one who chose to fund and arm "rebels" in Syria to try and oust Assad, paving way to the rise of ISIS, a group that is now being used as a justification to continue NSA spying.

So, uh, yeah-- thanks Obama!

Wait - I thought the story-line was that Obama did not do ENOUGH arming of the rebels, which created space for Islamist radicals to create ISIS. Shill on, AC.

Comment: Re:So basically (Score 1, Insightful) 437

by crunchygranola (#48420631) Attached to: Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

The Libertarian philosophy is the most self-consistent of all available.

Quite possibly. I would prefer a reality consistent philosophy, especially since Libertarianism makes extravagant claims about economics which is very much an empirical activity.

It requires the fewest "common-sense" exceptions to be practical.

reality-denying assumptions.

Oh my, no. Libertarianism and its Hayekist pseudo-economics twin are quite aggressive about denying the importance of basing beliefs of reality. Can you say "Praxeology"?

LIbertarians and Hayekists hold that their axiomatic principles are the true basis of perfect morality, the best of all possible moral codes, and that social, political and economic doctrines can, indeed must, be derived directly from them without contaminating the matter with social or economic data.

If you dispute with a Libertarian about the feasibility, and desirability of their proposals, you will shortly find them trying to derail the discussion from practical effects to an effort to educate you about the perfection of their axioms.

Comment: Re:reflexes? (Score 1) 114

...I have no clue what it would be like to actually go through life without it. Maybe it's not as "required" as I think it is, so maybe it's not that irresponsible either.

I can help here. Look out the window. Close one eye.

Wow! Didn't everything look totally different and you suddenly had no idea how far away anything was?

No?

I think no. I think things looked almost exactly the same, and still knew how far away cars, and signs, and people, and houses were.

Binocular depth perception is only one many cues your brain uses to interpret the environment's layout.

Comment: Re:Debunked? (Score 4, Insightful) 114

Mod parent up!

Yes indeed. This seems to be making mountain out of a molehill. Here is the operative phrase I think: "wasn't mentioned in any modern-day anatomy textbooks". This may well be the case - are every know structure commonly included in anatomy textbooks? They aren't, you know, atlases or encyclopedias of neuroanatomy that might be expected to contain everything.

As AC shows, the bit about "absent from the literature" seems to have been hype.

Comment: I Like Tom Godwin But... (Score 1) 55

by crunchygranola (#48413827) Attached to: Machine-Learning Algorithm Ranks the World's Most Notable Authors

Take a look at "most important" (highest ranking) deceased author from the 1980s. It is science fiction/fantasy writer Tom Godwin. Number two is Stanton A. Coblentz . Also in the top 20 (in order): Lin Carter, Robert A. Heinlein, Mack Reynolds, Theodore Sturgeon, James Tiptree, Jr., Clifford D. Simak. Forty percent of the top 20 are SF&F authors. Meanwhile we have Tuchman at 101, Sartre at 112, Borges at 254, Tennessee Williams at 439, Toynbee at 526, and so.

Looking at the 1990s, the top loading by SF&F are equally extreme with Marion Zimmer Bradley No. 1, and William S. Burroughs at 748.

Now I feel that SF&F authors are under-appreciated by critics and "the academy" in the English-speaking world, dismissing brilliantly inventive writing in English, when they would praise it as "magic realism" if written in Spanish or Portuguese, but this is just nerd/geek fannishness run amok.

GIGO forever.

Every nonzero finite dimensional inner product space has an orthonormal basis. It makes sense, when you don't think about it.

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