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Comment: Re:Well. (Score 1) 119

by Khyber (#46820287) Attached to: How Apple's Billion Dollar Sapphire Bet Will Pay Off

"Sapphire is hard... 9 on the Mohs scale, and the only substance harder is natural and synthetic diamond"

Not even close. Boron is harder. Tungsten is harder with a Vicker's maximum of 2400, Sapphire 2300. Sapphires won't scratch my pure tungsten ring.

"and the only substance harder is natural and synthetic diamond. I find it difficult to believe..."

Well, given your lacking education on material hardness, not a surprise you can't believe.

Comment: Re:Difference between erratic & erotic (Score 3, Interesting) 296

by Jeremiah Cornelius (#46819419) Attached to: The US Public's Erratic Acceptance of Science

Doubt "Big Bang"?

Well you should.

It can be said that: Under the conditions for which we need a working model, this 'Big Bang' hypothesis behaves in a way that consistently explains our extrapolations from observable phenomena. It also introduces some inconsistencies when take as a factual occurrence, when we introduce additional extrapolations from different phenomenal observations at quantum level. For those, notions such as "time" or "location" seem to be irrelevant, if not non-existent. This demolishes the very concept of actual measurement in any possible way - so let us posit additional models that require among other things, the hypothesizing of multiple, non-observed dimensions that nonetheless allow our maths to be validated and not face the ontological consequences of nothing being real.

Zeno had similar preoccupations, with time and position.

Comment: Not new, not news. (Score 1) 165

by fyngyrz (#46813345) Attached to: The Ethical Dilemmas Today's Programmers Face

Making a sword or shield? What if it breaks in battle? Making a wagon wheel? What if it breaks down in the middle of nowhere? Making a horse harness? What if it fails pulling a carriage uphill? Making a chair? What if it fails when some person sits on it? Making a steak? What if it has a sharp bone sliver in it? Writing a control system? What if you miss something? THEN YOU FIX IT, that's all. Be as careful as you can of those things you can think of; ask for help so you have a chance to get more than a narrow view. But when something goes wrong, the "I should be totally safe, and I'm gunna sue ya" thing is a sickness, not a feature of a well functioning society.

All this "total safety, all the time" hysteria is really wearing. It's hurting us more than it's helping us.

A well lived life will entail risk, and probably lots of it. Not to mention non-optimum choices made for reasons you'll look back upon with utter confusion later. Or, you can live in a pillow-sided room eating only gruel that was sterilized by gamma rays. I know what I choose. Do your best, learn from your mistakes, remediate any that you can, and move on. If some crap you bought breaks, throw it out and replace it. If you got hurt, try to heal. End of story. The ethics are obvious. The smothering is insidious. But I think it's going to get a lot worse before it gets better. There's far too much money in finger pointing. And we're just too stupid, collectively, to do anything about it.

Comment: Re:Government is a tool (Score 1) 239

by Jeremiah Cornelius (#46811319) Attached to: Google and Facebook: Unelected Superpowers?

Who creates money?

Government does. Notice that every major currency in the world is backed by a government or in the case of the Euro, a group of governments. You have to go pretty far down in scale before you find currencies that aren't government-backed, such as BitCoin or currencies in MMOs.


Look into Federal Reserve system. It is not Federal. It does not maintain a reserve. It is a consortium of privately owned and undisclosed banks.

In modern, neo-Liberal economic societies Government borrows money from private, central banks. This money is called into creation as debt. The creation of the money is an act of the bank - an accounting phantom - entering new assets as black ink on their ledgers.

Government no more "creates money" under this scenario, that you do, by using a credit card.

If "governments" backed the money, they wouldn't declare "austerity" programs on their own constituency - but instead issue jubilee forgiveness, with full restoration of productive capacity, etc. Instead, the EU and US BOTH "bail out" creditor institutions, ceding all right to their own resources and productive capacity to ownership by the bank.


Comment: Re:TSA-like Money for Fear (Score 2) 265

You've just stated you completely fail to understand the nature of EMP. The most dangerous EMP event is a large nuclear warhead exploded high above the ground, too high to do any meaningful damage on the ground. The damage is caused by the electromagnetic radiation released from the blast as EMP. It only takes one explosion. That isn't a nuclear Armageddon. It is returning a major post-industrial computer based society to a horse and wagon based economy in seconds, without having the horses and wagons to do the work not to mention the computers, computer controlled vehicles (engines), and other electronics.

Having watched Dark Angel I used to think a hydrogen bomb could do that kind of damage. But AFAIK the biggest man-made EMP ever to damage a city was caused by Starfish Prime. It was a 1.44 megaton H-bomb detonated high in the atmosphere, which caused damage in Hawaii, 1,445 kilometres (898 mi) away. The power didn't go out, though, and the damage was limited. Clearly, the EMP from an H-bomb is bad for electronics, but I doubt there's any way that a single bomb of realistic size could knock the entire United States back to a "horse and wagon based economy".

You have to ask: if someone wants to attack with an H-bomb, what is more likely: that they would use it as a normal bomb to kill people, or as an EMP to knock out power and damage electronics in less than a 1000-mile radius? Given the seemingly limited devastation (and the need for a rocket in addition to the bomb itself), I think terrorists would surely choose option one. I imagine option two might be considered as part of a World War 3, in which case the aggressor might well use several bombs, and EMPs could be just the beginning of our worries: "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones."

There is another source of EMP that could be more devastating than any single man-made bomb: see the Carrington Event.

Comment: Re:Makes Sense to Me (Score 1) 325

by Seumas (#46807761) Attached to: Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

I enjoy kids, but when I sit down and figure out the math, I don't like them enough to risk my retirement (or early retirement). This is the driving force behind making sure what kind of people I get involved with and ensuring that protection is always a necessary precaution. There are also a lot of other things I would like, in life, but am not willing to risk a couple hundred grand or more on for the limited return that comes with it.

If I were a multi-millionaire, it would be a simple thing to accept (well, no it wouldn't - lack of sleep, diapers, screaming, babysitting, teen years, mooches, layabouts, etc). Not being a multi-millionaire, it is an easy decision -- just like deciding not to buy a yacht is an easy decision.

I just feel bad for my parents. The burden of raising three children has made it a difficult life of sacrifice and less reward or stability. One, likely, without even any promise of affording a retirement as they now approach that age. This won't be a burden I shoulder, however. As most parents desire for their children to have more successful lives than they had, I will be saving myself that burden. (But let's be frank, I'll probably die very young from shitty health anyway, so it isn't like there's a long retirement to contend with anyway!).

Comment: Re:Or foregoing kids altogether (Score 1) 325

by Seumas (#46807653) Attached to: Women Increasingly Freezing Their Eggs To Pursue Their Careers

Better to be smug about being child free than smug about being burdened with children that you can barely tolerate and can't afford.

Kind of like all those "smug" people who rub it in everyone's faces that they didn't get 0 percent down mortgages that they could never afford and therefore didn't go into financial ruin due to poor decision making. The audacity of such people!

Possessions increase to fill the space available for their storage. -- Ryan