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Comment Re:Prayer can help your code life. (Score 1) 102 102

I know God is real, and I've come to discover prayer does help too.

Interesting; I found just the opposite. When I was a programming n00b working on my C assignments in college, and it was the night before it was due and I couldn't figure out why it was crashing, I tried praying, hoping, wishing, random changes to the code, furrowing my brow at the screen, loud cursing, exhaustive special-case-logic, and a dozen other increasingly desperate non-methods to "make the code work" without actually understanding it.

Just before the 4 AM deadline for submissions, the code would still be crashing, so I'd give up, email in the non-working code, and get a poor grade.

Eventually I realized that the only way to get the code to work was to understand what I was doing, and that if I didn't understand something I needed to learn about it (through experimentation, or reading the man pages, or asking a fellow programmer for help, or simplifying the program to make it more manageable, or etc) until I did understand it. Once I understood what was really going on under the hood, the nature of the problem (and therefore its solution) usually became obvious and trivial.

I think it was this more than anything else that cemented my atheism -- the repeated experience of prayer not making a bit of difference, followed by the realization that only the application of logic and observation would lead me to the correct solution.

Comment Re:Oh boy, here we go... (Score 1) 182 182

with the costs going up across the board as it is, we dont need any new taxes. especially here in NY

You misunderstand how a carbon tax would work.

It would be revenue-neutral, which is to say the money collected by the tax on carbon would be used to reduce the tax load of the population as a whole. All the money collected would be given back to the taxpayers.

As such, costs would actually go down for everyone except people/businesses who emit a lot of CO2.

Heavy CO2-emitters would pay more, of course, which would give them a clear economic incentive to find less CO2-intensive ways of doing business, which is the point of the exercise.

It's a great example of the sort of "market-based reform" that Republicans used to champion as an alternative to command-and-control strategies, back before they went batshit.

Comment Re:Oh Great! More Central Planning! Just what we n (Score 1) 182 182

It would do more than completely eliminating coal burning plants. Transportation generates a similar amount of CO2 to coal burning power plants.

CO2 emissions in transportation are being reduced as well, via higher fuel economy standards, development of electric cars, etc.

This isn't a scenario where any one improvement will "solve" the problem. The problem has to be attacked on many fronts simultaneously, and all of the partial reductions will start to add up over time.

It's a massive restructuring of our society and economy on shaky grounds.

Hardly. The proposal merely sets targets and leaves it up to the individual states how to reach them. The states don't even have to submit a proposal until 2016, and don't have to start making any actual changes until 2020. The administration is bending over backwards to make this as easy as possible, and still conservatives are crying like they're being waterboarded.

What happens when the next imaginary ecothreat comes through?

There's your problem -- you think global warming is imaginary, and therefore the amount of resources that can justifiably be allocated to fighting it is zero. There's no point in discussing mitigation strategies with when you haven't even accepted that there actually is a problem that needs to be solved. Most likely at some point in the next 5, 10, 15 years the evidence will become obvious enough to overcome your ideological blinders; but in the meantime the rest of us need to start working on a fix now, rather than waiting for you to be convinced.

Comment Re:Won't somebody think of the miners? (Score 1) 182 182

Legislature? Obama doesn't need any stinking legislature. He's Emperor Lameduck! He rules by executive order!

Interesting fact: In 2014 the Supreme Court ruled that the Clean Air Act gives the EPA not only the authority to regulate CO2 emissions, but the responsibility to do so.

So you're right, Obama doesn't need the legislature to do this, because the legislature already gave him (or more precisely, gave the EPA) the power to do this back in 1970.

If the legislature doesn't like what the EPA is doing, they can of course pass new legislation limiting what the EPA can do. Assuming the legislature is still capable of passing anything, of course.

Comment Re:Meaningless (Score 4, Insightful) 182 182

The US power industry puts out 5% of the worlds carbon and this plan will cut it by 1.5% over how many years? China on average is bringing on a new power plant every 10 days. Please explain how this insignificant but costly plan is going to affect climate change?

The same way that going to the gym once or twice helps a person lose weight -- not by a whole lot, but you have to start the ball rolling somehow.

Also, it's a lot easier to convince other nations to reduce their emissions when you've started reducing your emissions first. Otherwise they just accuse you of "do as I say, not as I do" hypocrisy.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 272 272

I agree they have no obligation. I was pointing out that hypocrisy of acting like they are green or trying to help the planet when they clearly are not - which it sounds like you agree with me on.

Which is better for the planet, an auto industry that is moving towards renewably-powered electric cars, or one where electric cars remain an insignificant niche market indefinitely?

Because Tesla is the company that is driving the move towards the former by making electric cars that people actually want to buy, and scaling production up so that people can afford them.

Just because you don't like the means they are using to achieve that goal doesn't mean they aren't heading towards that goal.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 272 272

The problem is not want to buy but can afford to buy. Tesla is at the high end of what I would consider the car pricing range if you leave out the super premium and exotics. As a result, many people who might preferentially buy one simply can't afford one.

Sure, but that's only an issue if the regulations specify Tesla levels of performance and efficiency. I'm suggesting the regs could be written with the most efficient ICE automobiles on the market *today* as the benchmark for what is feasible. These are by not necessarily fantastically expensive, nor are they hair-shirt city cars. The Mazda 3 is a four door sedan that seats five and has an engine that delivers 184 hp at 26 mpg city/35 highway; MSRP is 18.8K$. If you need a people mover you can get a seven passenger Mitsubishi minivan rated 25 city/31 highway for 23.2k$.

It's clear that the current state of the art in ICE makes affordable, practical cars that exceed the current average mileage technologically feasible. They're being sold now. If on the other hand you want high performance, e.g., to go 0-60 mph in under 4 seconds, then you're talking big bucks and exotic technology.

What manufacturers won't be able to do is slap a tarted-up body on a primitive $26,000 truck chassis, call it an SUV, and charge $50,000 for it. I'm talking about the Silverado based Suburban. I think there's a place in the world for such vehicles, but it's insane to charge an additional 24k to slap two rows of seating in place of a pickup bed; there's plenty of headroom to charge a gas guzzler tax on that one.

Comment Re:Not surprising (Score 1) 272 272

Indeed. But it's also true that change per se puts more stress on less innovative or agile companies, especially companies that have massive investments sunk into older technologies. No matter what rules you set it'll benefit some companies over others; rules that are very favorable to GMC would be unfavorable to Tesla and vice versa. They'll both argue that rules that benefit them the most are best for the country.

I'll say this for Tesla's position, though: the notion that it's physically impossible to build fuel efficient cars that people will want to buy is balderdash.

Comment Re:Insecurity culture.... (Score 1) 538 538

they transform his life-time into working-time

I would love to be a fly on the wall when the ghost of proletariats-future explains to Karl how "now trending in the proletariat zeitgeist of the year 2015" is incessant chatter about why there's still so little content available in 4k.

Karl: What's 4k?

Ghost [glancing furtively at iWatch appointment calendar]: Ahhhh, we have a little bit of catching up to do, don't we? How about we just leave that unanswered for now and call it a night?

Comment Re:Insecurity culture.... (Score 1) 538 538

Anyone who doesn't bother to understand how a 401(k) works deserves the penalties they get.

Aside from being the reincarnation of Marie Antoinette, you're probably one of those guys who mainly eats berries, nuts, and seeds because the paleolithic digestive system has not yet caught up with modern living.

I suggest you pack a copy of the American tax code dealing with the 401(k) into a time machine (if it will fit) and t-fax it back to Leibniz or Goethe or Voltaire or Darwin for a second opinion concerning it's common-man sex appeal.

Comment Re:Bigger Danger: AI to Deliver packages (Score 1) 232 232

Why? The people who had the foresight, work ethic, and brains to create or own the robot workforce have NO legal, ethical, or moral reason to "share" the fruits of their labors (or laborers) with others

Because in a world where 99% of the people are literally unemployable (because anything they can do, a robot can do better and cheaper), the alternatives are grim -- either mass starvation, or civil war.

If you want a piece of the pie, work your ass off and buy a piece, or go and make a pie of your own.

Yes, I'm familiar with the standard conservative moralizing. But that approach only works in a world where those actions are possible, and in the scenario we are discussing, they won't be.

Comment Re: Sure you can. (Score 1) 469 469

OS X on the Mac has FAR more chance of attracting interest from Joe Consumer than Linux does.

You would think, and then Apple decides to solder the RAM onto the Mac Mini and the Mini I can buy today configured as close to identical to my buddy's Mac Mini from several years ago (quad core i7, SSD, upgraded to 16 GB) costs half a grand CAD more today than it did then.

Because of this stupid speed bump, the small office where I'm presently working went back to Windows in a recent IT refresh after we had all pretty much convinced ourselves to make the collective jump to OS X.

Maybe we could have made the initial outlay work at 8 GB per machine instead of 16 GB (saving ourselves CAD $240 per machine) but then we would have ended up with boxes permanently capped at 8 GB.

If we were certain out company would double in size over the next two years, we could have handed the RAM-crippled Mac Minis off to junior staff and brought in another wave of less-crippled Minis at that time for the regulars.

Wouldn't it all have been so simple if we had an Apple-like certainty concerning our future staffing levels and revenue growth?

Just think, we could have used the Mini as a corporate status symbol to keep new employees in their proper place, instead of having a culture where an employee says "hey, I need to test drive all these memory heavy apps to get my work done, can we rush out and get me some fat sticks at a fair street price?" (In our shop, we tend to run beefy compute on actual servers, which is where we'll spend the money saved on the client side.)

No wait!

Using RAM-crippled hand-me-downs could have negative impact on corporate culture. I know! We'll give everyone an identical, over-speced OS X mini tower so no-one complains.

No wait, second edition!

We'll get a pickup truck full of cheap-ass used Windows 7 boxes with four memory slots each and treat them as interchangeable and disposable. Then when we're back in a revenue-positive situation, we'll take a look at the post-Skylake landscape to see whether Apple has regained its sanity.

%DCL-MEM-BAD, bad memory VMS-F-PDGERS, pudding between the ears