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Comment: Focusing on AI would have solved this... (Score 1) 288 288

And a few million other problems that are in the domain of solvable problems within acceptable time and resource constraints. Solve the BIG problem (useful, scalable, humanlike AI) and you solve the energy problem as a side effect.

Instead, Gates is chasing after problems in a random piecemeal way by simply throwing money at them. I hope it works, but the approach is not worth of someone of his intellect.

Comment: Why again is state govt in the marriage business? (Score 1) 1083 1083

Seriously. If you want a religious pledge, you can do that in the dark under a full moon with friends and family present. I still don't understand in any way why any state government should approve/disapprove of my relationship, or why I should care?

I understand that there are legal issues and there's the usual insurance scams that don't let you designate anyone you wish as a dependent. Anything aside from that? Is this just an insurance and inheritance issue resulting from a bunch of dumb, archaic laws?

Comment: Re:A small part of me (Score 3, Insightful) 591 591

No, they didn't vote for it. They employed it as a political tool to get votes. They were happy to benefit from the Koch's astroturf money to do this. Nor did they propose some perfectly workable combination of regulation (force medical care provider price transparency) and deregulation (allow the import of foreign drugs, products and medical services) which would have nipped this abomination in the bud.

So instead of accepting a national health care system of the sort that every other European country and Canada has (and pays for), we got this..... thing.

No, the Republicans didn't write or vote for this, but they sure as shit *caused* this.

Comment: Here's how the disparity happens (Score 1) 473 473

Teenage male sees computer for first time and asks, "What can I make the magic box do?"

Teenage female sees computer for first time and asks, "What can the magic box do FOR ME?"

Most males are goofballs. They like to play, without a goal in mind, just for their own amusement.

This happens to be an excellent way to learn computers.

In contrast, most women want that immediate payoff. They don't seem to like to solve difficult puzzles without getting some kind of sensory/emotional cupcake.

This isn't a good way to learn computers. There is nothing emotionally gratifying about them. No cupcakes.

These traits are not universal, but as many here who've tried to teach women software development and computers have noted, there's a strong statistical tendency in this direction.

Comment: Re:Economic suicide (Score 1) 308 308

No, it would be actual suicide. You can't feed 7 billion people in the world without fossil fuels and you never will. It would be prohibitively difficult even if it was confined to the USA. Food is not grown and transported by magic fairies. It gets from ground to plate, refrigerated because hydrocarbon fuel exists.

Given more time, and less population, this could change. Starvation would take care of the problem, and *boy* would we be green. Well, the dead folks would be, anyway.

Comment: Re:And I plan for a world run on unicorn farts... (Score 1) 308 308

How is most of your food transported?
How is most of your food refrigerated from farm to home?
How is most of the fertilizer mined (or made) and transported on site?
How are the machines that work the land powered?
How do you, personally, get to markets?
How do you power your refrigerator?

For more details, I refer you to this sweetly over-optimistic missive by those wild liberal radicals at the NIH ( http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pm... ). A grimmer, more realistic picture can be found here: ( http://www.wolfatthedoor.org.u... )

Comment: You can't regulate away stupid (Score 2, Insightful) 668 668

People will indulge in homeopathy, chiropractery and crystal healing. OK, they're not the sharpest knives in the drawer, but do you think banning these things will help? How's that worked out for drugs? Or cigarettes? Those have disappeared. Right? Oh, wait, they haven't.

For all these things, put the warnings on the label and let Darwin take care of the rest.

Comment: The battle is won. The war continues. (Score 1) 413 413

It will be back. A little more time. A few more congressmen will be investigated and blackmailed. Small slips of paper with a string of offshore bank account numbers and a dollar figure will mysteriously appear on the desks of some wavering legislators, who know the money will be theirs if they cast a vote for TPP. It's all standard operating procedure in DC.

The oligarchs want this, and by hook or by crook, they'll get it.

Comment: Re:It will be too late. It probably already is (Score 1) 298 298

Actually, we have a pretty good idea about gas reserves. Energetically, they're about equivalent to known conventional oil reserves. This sounds good and will extend us to the end of the century, despite the rapid increase in consumption rates and the energy penalty for trying to liquefy it into a petroleum substitute (i.e. take 30% of the top, energetically)

Coal? Hard to say. It's *there* but using it economically is doubtful. Moreover, the same rules apply. We've long since mined out the easy, very "net-energy-positive" stuff. What's left is a lot of brown coal and bituminous coal that's not so easy, or cheap to get.

The bottom line, however, is cost. Supplying globe spanning "just-in-time" supply chains requires *cheap* transportation fuel. The "cheap" part is what goes away long before we run out of hydrocarbons.

The casualty is an integrated worldwide industrial civilization (and about 6+ billion people who starve). Local areas with access to hydrocarbons and technology to use it survive. Everyone else? Not so much.

Comment: More interesting is that nothing happened. (Score 1) 166 166

Even though they missed these obvious connections, and even though the TSA misses 95% of all threatening bottles of liquid over 3 oz.

Nothing happened.

Meanwhile, over 30,000 people died in traffic accidents in 2014.

Something is wrong here.

Comment: What could possibly go wrong? (Score 4, Interesting) 226 226

A law so secret that you can't even view it unless you're a congressperson, and even then you have to go to a locked room without recording equipment.

But how could that be suspicious at all?

And now we find out it's written and conceived by multinational corporations.

And we all know how benevolent and caring *they* are.

More seriously, anyone who votes for this has been bribed or blackmailed. It's an obvious takeover of nation-states by a globe spanning elite corporate-state.

Algebraic symbols are used when you do not know what you are talking about. -- Philippe Schnoebelen