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Comment: I'm shocked. Shocked! (Score 1) 141

To discover that one of the USA's middle eastern client states might have been provided with the materials for nuclear weapons just in case the USA had to throw a bomb or two at a particularly stubborn oil producing country without making the USA itself an immediate target for nuclear retaliation.

Comment: Vegetarianism and dinner at Uncle Harry's (Score 1) 343

by gestalt_n_pepper (#46797059) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

When I was a student, I discovered that if you restricted your diet to grains, vegetables, eggs and cheap cheese, you could get through a week very cheaply. Crock pots were your friends.

When I was in school, the Hare Krishnas were still a thing. Free vegetarian dinner every Sunday (We called it "Sunday dinner at Uncle Harry's"). Hilarious mockery thrown in as an extra added bonus. They may be loonies, but the food was awesome.

Comment: Thanks, Captain Obvious! (Score 1) 804

by gestalt_n_pepper (#46766479) Attached to: Study Finds US Is an Oligarchy, Not a Democracy

Beyond the local school board, is there anyone out there who actually thinks their vote counts for anything? Anyone?

Vote in anybody you want. Vote in your fucking dog. Money IS political power - the only kind that matters. If you think anything else, I'm pretty sure I've got a bridge to sell you.

Comment: Hasn't changed since the 70s (Score 1) 791

If the same behavior occurred between two adults, the perps would be going to jail. It might be time to start adding that little life lesson to high schools.

When I went to high school. The spineless swine who get to be school administrators *always* punish the victims of bullying, not the perpetrators (usually, the popular kids or athletes). The victim is just one kid, usually powerless, who will be out of their life in a few years. The families of the perps are many, and they're often as dangerously aggressive as their spawn.

Comment: Stupid is as stupid does.... (Score 1) 313

by gestalt_n_pepper (#46743795) Attached to: Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

Going to the moon is expensive AND pointless. You have to do everything you do in Earth orbit, but it has to happen farther away from safety and at the bottom of a gravity well. There's absolutely nothing of value on the moon that couldn't be gotten cheaper by snagging bits off of a water bearing comet, or bringing that same water or up from Earth, for that matter, or mining a few local asteroids in-situ.

Look, gravity is *bad* and expensive. You don't go looking for it. You simulate it a bit with centrifugal force when necessary, but that's all.

Comment: The magical scenario is "gradual social decay." (Score 4, Insightful) 733

by gestalt_n_pepper (#46736901) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

In either a sudden collapse, or gradual decay, much will be lost. Let me remind you that when the Roman civilization decayed, technologies as simple as the making of cement were lost.


Not exactly what we'd consider "high tech." It demonstrates just how fragile our scientific advancements are. They can be wiped out by a few generations of relative illiteracy for the great mass of survivors. In three generations, electric lights are a distant legend and those ubiquitous round copper disks find their most frequent use as quick, easily made arrowheads.

Comment: Internet is the new liberal arts degree (Score 2) 1037

by gestalt_n_pepper (#46676491) Attached to: How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

Originally, a liberal arts degree was supposed to teach a person how to think independently. History, political science, anthropology, psychology, sociology and so on, forced you to see different world views and solutions. It actively worked against the kind of drone-like social programming instituted by public schools and trade-school-only mentality of universities. Naturally, "liberal arts" was slowly propagandized into a dirty word. Politicians *hate* citizens who think, and won't toe the line. The internet, which no politician was bright enough to predict or evaluate, has blown that out of the water. Kids today are more likely to read news on or than NBC, NPR, Fox, MSNBC or any other USA-centric propaganda outlet.

Mayhem may well ensue. :)

Comment: Bloggers beat journalists, because mainstream "jou (Score 2) 156

It's not that bloggers are great, but what passes for journalism in the USA is little more than a bad joke. Fact checking? Broad knowledge of the world? Deep thought? When was the last time you saw any of that from a "professional" mainstream media journalist? Even the Economist has become hopelessly myopic and superficial.

That's not the only reason. Intellectually, most of the journalism majors I met in college were fighting it out with education majors for last place. Try and explain something as complex as resource depletion or peak oil, and their heads looked like they'd explode.

Consequently I find that I read bloggers with great enthusiasm (e.g., while simply rolling my eyes at the "news" on MSNBC, Fox or NPR.

Comment: On the sort of good side (Score 1) 703

We probably won't be able to economically sustain the production and use of hydrocarbons at an industrial scale much beyond the next 30 years (We run out of money first, then net energy, rapidly followed by supply chain breakage all the while enjoying price feedback spikes). That takes about 300 exajoules of heat energy off the table each year, plus many fewer particulates and much less CO2. While that may not be enough to stop the methane releases that spiral global warming out of control, we at least slow it down.

Oh, and about 6 billion of us die from starvation.


Life is difficult because it is non-linear.