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Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 39

I believe there is a big difference between being introverted and having social anxiety - I think I qualify for both descriptions but I see them as two separate things. Being introverted just means you need alone time and don't crave so much social interaction. Social anxiety is a paralyzing fear that prevents you from being able to interact socially even when you want/need to. Lots of introverts are happy being introverts but I have a hard time believing that anyone with social anxiety wouldn't desire a cure.

Comment Re:Fracking to relieve tectonic pressure (Score 1) 265

Keep in mind that the Richter scale is logarithmic. A 9.0 releases a million times more energy than a 5.0 (and a 5.0 is still quite destructive). So if you want to dissipate the energy of a 9.0 in a series of 5.0 earthquakes you are going to be shaking continuously for years.

Comment Re:Facebook use and lattes (Score 1) 80

The carbon impact from FB is also much bigger then they are claiming - I am sure that is just the power consumption at their data center, and does not include the power to make the equipment used at their data-center, nor the power to transmit all that data from them to the end-user, nor the power that the end-user's computer uses.

Comment Re:useless idea person... (Score 1) 217

A two-week short course sounds pretty silly. 2 semesters sounds better. And a well-structured programming course for non-majors should focus less on the particulars of a certain language and more on how to think logically and break a problem down into parts. These are skills that many people lack and which will serve people well even if they never do more programming in their life. It just happens that programming is an ideal structure to teach this in. This is also why geometry is a good thing to teach, even if most people don't use it - it's the only exposure many people get to the concept of a logical proof.

Programming also helps with communication - I can write a set of instructions for another human to follow, and think of every detail and break it down step by step. This is a skill I got from programming. Most people can't do it.

Plus there is a need for everyone to have a well rounded education to understand the things in the world around them. This includes the humanities, physics, chemistry, biology, and technology.

Comment Re:No hardware or software fault? (Score 1) 80

when the sender doesn't get an acknowledgment, it retransmits the message

When your round-trip communication time is on the order of 10 hours you might want to modify that strategy.

(not that it is hard to do so, just transmit the message multiple times with a sequence number so the client can detect the repeats)

Comment Re:Raise awareness? (Score 1) 76

I vote for the people who fund the telescopes or nukes. What I can do, personally, is vote for people who support funding programs to detect asteroids (and funding for science in general). I don't lie awake worrying about asteroid strikes, but I do try to voice my opinion for reasonable public policy.

Comment Re:Distributed environment? (Score 1) 76

the overall reflectivity drops with the square of the asteroid's diameter

Wouldn't it increase with the square of the diameter, because that's the surface area? Mass of course increases with the cube of the diameter, so the surface area to mass ratio decreases by the power of 3/2 with the diameter. The rest of what you said sounds right, so yes, it does take a really big telescope to detect them a long way off. The "average Joe" discoveries usually happen when they are already very close - too close to do anything about them.

Comment Re:"as a means to raise awareness ..." (Score 1) 76

But what is the reasonable precaution here? You say "Much Bigger Rockets" a few posts ago but what do you do with them? Do you build them and just leave them sitting around and hope we can knock an asteroid out of the sky with one? If instead we build the capability to detect all killer asteroids 20 years out (which seems reasonable with today's technology (it will be expensive, but less so than our wars)) then we would have 10 years to build a big rocket and get it to an asteroid and give it a tiny nudge, and a tiny nudge would be all it takes if you do it when the asteroid is still 10 years away. A detection network probably involves an array of space based telescopes and supercomputers to crunch the data, and we probably get a lot of good side uses out of that. There are lots of good side uses for big rockets too, but they don't help you deflect asteroids if you can't detect them years in advance.

Also regarding you comment on lightning and shark attacks, those kill individuals, not humanity. Big difference.

Every successful person has had failures but repeated failure is no guarantee of eventual success.

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