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Comment: Re:more pseudo science (Score 4, Insightful) 849

Isn't this the Bill Nye v. Creation Guy debate?

Bill Nye made the point repeatedly that no, of course we can not observe directly with our biological sensing apparatuses the world of 1000 years ago, but we can create a fairly educated surmise of the reality based on what we observe today, combining bench studies with field observations, etc. Ken Ham's argument, repeatedly, was "We weren't there, so we can't know to any useful degree (degree, get it?) what it was like."

Science may be wrong about the anthropogenic nature of global warming, but science is quite clear and confident in its conclusion. Given Science's track record so far, I'm going to bet on it.

Comment: Re:WTF would you think we would enjoy an "audio ve (Score 2) 142

by fortfive (#46632299) Attached to: The Inside Story of Gmail On Its Tenth Anniversary

If this is a joke, it's not very funny. Could have been made funny by robotic voice saying funny things. I would have done an NSA agent conversation accidentally bleeding through.

If not a joke, well, I don't know how to express the superlative of jumping the shark, but this is it.

Comment: Waiting since the '90's (Score 1) 262

by fortfive (#46595859) Attached to: Prototype Volvo Flywheel Tech Uses Car's Wasted Brake Energy

. . .for this to be in a production car. Back then, I read an article in Discover (?) Magazine about Mercedes working on this technology. Then nothing until today. Sounds great, to me.

Also a really interesting tech I read about at that time was smaller motors at the wheels. No need for transmissions and shafts and gears.

Pie in the sky tech I heard about then, too, was instead of brush and coil motors, having charged plate motors.

Still nothing on those last two.

Comment: Re:Reality in the USA.... (Score 2) 529

by fortfive (#46504831) Attached to: The Poor Neglected Gifted Child

This phenomenon is hardly new, nor hardly unique to the US. Just look at old war posters.

I would also argue that it serves a valid purpose to beatify normal (in the scientific definition). Those in the middle of the bell curve are most helpful to society when they are not threatened.

That is not to say we should not put special resources into those at the ends of the bell curve, at both ends, and at any bell curve we tend to look at (e.g. art, science, empathy, sports, and even beauty).

But it is better for society as a whole to promote generally the qualities of exceptionally normal, as that is what most folks are (including us here on slashdot, with a predictably few exceptions).

Comment: Re:I wonder (Score 1) 347

by fortfive (#46333797) Attached to: NSA and GHCQ Employing Shills To Poison Web Forum Discourse

Try to focus on arguments of fact, not arguments of person or source. Then you will weed out most deception.

You are correct to an extent. The challenge is that, in many instances, we cannot all be experts on every topic. Even Bill Nye must rely on the summaries and conclusions of experts. In those instances, we are forced to make judgments--and argue--about sources.

I wish I could propose "reason" as an alternative, but in my own experience and observation, there are some very well reasoned propositions that reach absurd conclusions.

That leaves the Bucky Fuller solution: we have to test our propositions and see how well they hold up. Easier said then done, eh?

Comment: Re:Math, do it. (Score 1) 1043

by fortfive (#45947441) Attached to: Doctors Say Food Stamp Cuts Could Cause Higher Healthcare Costs

Your comment is only true if there is an accessible supermarket. See "food deserts." They do exist, and mostly in really poor areas, where many folks are dependent on their feet or public transit to get around.

Same is true in many rural areas, too, where a trip to town can be very costly.

Comment: Re:Boohoo (Score 3, Insightful) 572

You know, if there was any reasonable evidence to suggest that NSA, CIA, or DHS practices had prevented any attacks, you might have a good point. What evidence there is seems to suggest, however, that "Intelligence" actions have made the world less pleasant for most people, including most people in the US.

The quotes around "intelligence" allude to the fact there are many actions taken by our government's intelligence arms that have little to do with gathering or understanding information. Instead, many of the actions are about maintaining secrecy while doing their best to shape the world.

As a US citizen, I do want the world shaped to my advantage. But according to my morals and observations, my best advantage is served when neighbors respect and appreciate me, not when they fear me.

Comment: Re:"Financial Sense" (Score 5, Informative) 668

by fortfive (#45044549) Attached to: Are Shuttered Gov't Sites Actually Saving Money?

Government owned lands are not public in the sense you suggest. They are a public "trust," which means the government holds the lands in trust for the benefit of the public (theoretically). This is to distinguish us from England, where the lands are owned by the crown, and has no legal incentive to provide any benefit from the lands to the public.

Just like other trust funds, the trustee controls and decides what produces the highest benefit, and is largely free to do just about anything, even screw it up, so long us the trust is managed in good faith.

I make no statement on the usefulness or fairness of this legal construction, I am merely pointing out how it works.

Comment: Re:You mean minimum taxable wage (Score 2) 1106

by fortfive (#43008705) Attached to: The U.S. minimum wage should be

It is, technically, illegal to hire an employee for an unreported cash wage. Small businesses can get away with, but only because they fall under the enforcement radar. And no, simply calling someone an "independent contractor" and issuing 1099's does not provide a loophole, as the law defines who is and is not contractor v. employee independently of applied labels.

The point is, in order for someone to legally work for you, you are supposed to pay minimum wage + taxes, so if everyone obeys the law (ha!), there should be no change in the ration of wage v. cash.

Wage v. salary, though?

The universe seems neither benign nor hostile, merely indifferent. -- Sagan