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Comment: Re:BS (Score 1) 336

by cyn1c77 (#46764155) Attached to: San Francisco's Housing Crisis Explained

Wow, I am so sick of Californians stroking themselves. There are 49 other states in the country filled with people equivalently valuable to those in Cali. Try to keep that in mind.

They Bay Area is one of the few economically active places in the USA, that's why housing is expensive there.

If you want cheap housing, go to an economically dying area, like Detroit; or a place with no regulations such that chemicals leak into your house or explode in your face, like Texas.

The Bay area is boxed in by water, limiting available space and it has a high-population density. The land is also scenically desirable. So yeah, rent is going to be high.

Other cities in the US and across the world have the same issues, but don't resort to socialist approaches such as rent control or have the same sense of entitlement (for better or worse). They just let capitalism work things out.

Amazingly enough, they are also able to restrain themselves from insulting other states when expressing any displeasure online. Amazing!

Comment: No quarintine = no containment (Score 2) 111

by cyn1c77 (#46738175) Attached to: Racing To Contain Ebola

Let's see what we are working with:
(1) 90% mortality rate,
(2) No known vaccine,
(3) Spreads by bodily fluids,
(4) Area with poor hygiene,
(5) All experts recommend letting the virus "burn itself out."

Objectively, is there really anything to do other than to strictly and conservatively quarantine every country (and sub-quarantine cities as necessary) with a positive case?

We should not even be sending in aid workers, who could potentially be exposed. Medicine and water can be airdropped.

That's the short term solution. In the long term, you need to educate the population, improve hygiene and infrastructure, and figure out where the infection is coming from. In general, the African governments have not really been interested in doing any of the above.

Comment: Re:Great, just what we need (Score 1) 126

by cyn1c77 (#46731843) Attached to: The Graffiti Drone

graffiti artists are the people responsible for those really cool murals;

The thing is, those "really cool murals" aren't as cool when you find one on your house one morning. Or on your fence that you just had painted. The day that you are having a big party at your house for your staid work colleagues, including your boss.

Comment: Re:Level of public funding ? (Score 1) 290

by cyn1c77 (#46724883) Attached to: Nat Geo Writer: Science Is Running Out of "Great" Things To Discover

Actually, I do think it's a bad thing. You might know the old saying "applied research brings improvements, but basic research brings revolutions".

I've never heard that saying. Google doesn't seem to be able to find it either.

My pet example of this is lasers. The theoretic foundation for lasers was done somewhere around 1920. Long, long before materials were ready for it. Only in the 1960s the first lasers came into existence, huge, expensive pieces of technology that relied on very expensive crystals to work. Only in the 1980s we started to be able to build cheaper lasers, and it took another ten years before they became mainstream in our consumer electronics.

Your example is fantastic, however, because it clearly highlights the OP's point. It took 40 years to engineer the laser after it was theoretically conceptualized. It then took another 40 years to reduce it to a commonplace piece of technology. That's two scientific lifetimes.

My view is that most early discoveries (1800-1900's) were more a result of the development of the scientific method, which allowed a clear methodology to test hypotheses. Later discoveries (1950's) have tracked with technology development, like electricity, vacuum tubes, nuclear physics capabilities, lasers and computers.

We've currently reached a point now where technological development has stagnated relative to the rapid rates previously. Scientists are effectively using the same equipment they had 10-20 years ago, it's smaller, bit faster, but not much better. Additionally, most new physical theories require more than three or four dimensions, which is outside most scientists intuitive range.

If you want to get back to the rapid discovery rates that we have previously enjoyed, we're going to need to develop some groundbreaking technology, be it unlimited energy, computers that are actually more intelligent than us (not just faster), or some sort of evolution of the human brain to open up a new level of human scientific comprehension. And even with all that, people are still going to have to teach themselves an increasing amount of scientific history to catch up to the present, before they can contribute to new developments.

Comment: Re:Don't bother. (Score 2) 509

by cyn1c77 (#46657623) Attached to: The Problem With Congress's Scientific Illiterates

We have another group at a little less than half that are so worn out with work, the 3 kids society said they should have, the junk they spend their money on, etc.. etc.. that they don't have the time to pay attention.

Oh, we pay attention. But there is no one to vote for who will fix the problem since all of the parties collude to keep themselves in power.

What do you expect us to do? What are you doing other than complaining on /.?

Are all the childless people really making more of a difference? I didn't know that clubbing, going to the movies, and trying to get laid really was that effective at motivating political reform!

Comment: Re:Politcs vs. Science (Score 3, Insightful) 291

by cyn1c77 (#46642297) Attached to: NASA Halts Non-ISS Work With Russia Over Ukraine Crisis

This. NASA is not a political body and should not act like one.

You're joking right?

NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) is a government organization that has to appeal to the president and Congress every year for funding and scope. Their employees are considered federal employees on the GS (general schedule) pay scale. NASA has both "national" and "administration" in the title. It doesn't get any more political than that.

How are they NOT a political body?

Comment: Re:Not practical as contact lenses (Score 1) 99

by cyn1c77 (#46623037) Attached to: Contact Lenses With Infrared Vision?

Infrared essentially blocks out normal vision. While this may be useful as wearable computing, it wouldn't be useful if you had to poke around in your eye every time you needed to switch back to normal vision.

You are missing the point. (And must not need bifocals!)

It would be useful if I could put one IR-capable contact lens in one eye, while having a regular lens in the other eye. This would be fantastic for driving at night, or hunting those pesky pack rats that live in my backyard.

Many people who need bifocals use a different lens in each eye for distance and reading. Some also get laser-corrected to this state. Most peoples' brains are able to successfully merge the different images, but some are not. (So it is better to try it with contacts before lasik!!!)

Comment: Re:Other quakes today (Score 1) 114

by cyn1c77 (#46613281) Attached to: 5.1 Earthquake Hits California

As someone who has lived in California for a very long time (probably longer than those seismologists have been alive) and has been through many quakes, my experience tells me that they are indeed mistaken. A 5.1 quake like that is a good thing, because it's small enough that is doesn't cause much damage, but powerful enough that tectonic pressures are released. We might get a few, weaker aftershocks but there is no way that this is leading to a bigger quake.

Look up "geologic timescale" and compare those times that to the lifespan of anyone that you know.

Then think about if human recollection is useful in any way for anticipating earthquakes.

Comment: Re:'Murica! (Score 1) 230

by cyn1c77 (#46613263) Attached to: Geologists Warned of Washington State Mudslides For Decades

> Jokes aside, I never understood why people live in KNOWN dangerous places.

Because it's only one factor. Farmers value the fertile land where floods deposit soil, and it's rarely feasible to live very far from the farm. Traders value the shipping made easier by river or ocean traffic near river heads, but those are likely flood areas. Damming and irrigation and dikes can actually _change_ the shape of the flood plain, making formerly safe areas profoundly more dangerous. Industries rely on the river water or hydro-electric power, and long commutes to work are a subtle tax on every worker's time every day.

Would you pay double the price of your current home, or apartment, to live in a safer place further from your work? Could you afford it?

I'd be more likely to afford it if the alternative was being buried alive under 40 feet of mud.

Comment: Re:Space travel (Score 1) 357

by cyn1c77 (#46608411) Attached to: Gunshot Victims To Be Part of "Suspended Animation" Trials

This sounds more like science fiction than anything else to me. But if it works and the technique becomes viable to handle patient with heavy injurie - and assuming the patients can be kept suspended for long periods of time without creating further damages, I wonder if the technique could be adapted for space travel. It would solve a lot of problems related to long-duration interplanetary travel.

The idea is not new. I just wonder if this could be the first step in this direction.

If you RTFA you'd know that they were only slowing down the cell's metabolic reactions by a factor of 10 or so. They aren't stopping the reactions which, under normal conditions, would result in brain damage after 5 minutes. Thus, for deep space travel (say 1 year of time), you'd need to slow the reactions down by a factor of 10^5. Thus, it is unlikely that this technology would be adaptable to meet that need.

You'd have more luck working out how to freeze the body without tissue damage from water expansion (for example, by replacing the water with a compatible chemical surrogate that did not expand when it froze). At that point, you could deep freeze the body and effectively stop most molecular transport.

Comment: Re:Hack it to add American names like "John Smith" (Score 1) 286

by cyn1c77 (#46605723) Attached to: One Person Successfully Removed From US No-Fly List

No-fly lists simply shouldn't exist, regardless of whether or not they can work. The idea that you can be considered too dangerous (Without a trial!) to fly and yet not dangerous enough to arrest is absurd. As others have said, this is just used for oppression.

Don't worry!

The government is likely working to remove that pesky probable cause standard required to arrest someone.

Their operating standards will soon all be consistent!

Comment: Re:In The Grande Scheme of Things... (Score 1) 38

by cyn1c77 (#46605609) Attached to: NASA Snaps Shot of Mars-Bound Comet

We have the ability as a sentient race to capture and view an image 353 million miles from our friggin' planet.... and as a people, we're still fascinated with tribalism and the Kardashians.

Though we be a race capable of marvelous achievement, we have not yet come to terms with our inner retard.

The "inner retard" is a result of our educational system and societal values. We train people poorly and then create a lot of menial jobs that further blunt their scientific acumen.

Thus, most exciting space objects are sufficiently complex that most people without geophysics or fluids PhD's cannot grasp the significant of them.

Also, for most cases, a rock in space is not much more exciting than a rock on earth. Even with the present comet images massaged and stretched to their limit, we can't even see the core. Instead, we are shown two jets and told that scientists will now be able to measure the rotation axis and rate of the nucleus.

Why is this important? How will it help our understanding of anything other than this particular comet? The only short explanation given:

"This is critical information that we need to determine whether, and to what degree, dust grains in the coma of the comet will impact Mars and spacecraft in the vicinity of Mars"

is both unclear to the layman and also quite boring!

Also, at night you can go outside, look up and see lots of objects further than 353 million miles away. So it really isn't that unique a capability. (I know you left some qualifying details out of your comment, but since you are insulting the general population, I thought that I would point that out!)

nohup rm -fr /&