Please create an account to participate in the Slashdot moderation system


Forgot your password?

Comment: Re:lettice under LED grow lights? (Score 1) 119 119

Yeah, that's gotta be more efficient than overalls and a flannel shirt, riding a tractor in a field...

The places I'm thinking about humans don't go into much at all, most of it's robotic.

And while it's more expensive 'right now', consider the expense of growing crops in South America to ship up to the USA.

The economics of it is complex, to say the least. What it amounts to is that you're spending 200+ times as much per acre, but you're getting something like 100 times the productivity, lower shipping costs, and less ruined product by the time it reaches the stores.

Comment: Re:Therac 25 (Score 1) 82 82

What's that got to do with UI changes and user experience?

Don't know about the Therac, but I've read of a number of cases where poor user interfaces resulted in warnings being ignored and medicine being given improperly. Presumably in order to 'protect' themselves the company had every little possibility throw a warning, to the point that they didn't have a 'I really mean it this time!' warning. Stuff like administering around 50 times the intended dose of an antibiotic to a person.

Comment: Re:Dwindling airable land? (Score 1) 119 119

I think what the Libertarians fail to realize is that farmers, as a general rule, are not smart enough to diversify or maintain course.

I tend to consider myself a moderate libertarian, but even I recognize that 'diversification' in this sense is expensive in that it wrecks your efficiency. As was mentioned earlier, a lot of the equipment that makes farming corn profitable even with lots of competition is extremely specialized for working with corn, but still freaking expensive, even if it can process tens, hundreds, or even millions of acres of corn a year. Seriously, some of those big harvesters are measured in acres harvested per minute.

Thus, in order to make a profit, you need to be as large and specialized as possible. The demand for staple crops - corn, wheat, rice, beans, and such is high enough to justify said investments year in and year out. It's a rather high amount of capital investment, so normally speaking you're only going to see fields expand at a limited pace year to year.

As a result, even 'diversifying' can kill your business as you're out-competed by the specialists.

On the other hand, having seen multiple meltdowns and supply shocks, I can tell you that I do NOT want to see this with food. It's bad enough that pork spikes because of some disease(last one I think was imported from China, killed 2/3rds of the piglets infected).

The problem is that while I'm philosophically against paying farmers not to farm, the situation is freaking complex, and any transition from the current situation to a more philosophically 'pure' one is going to have to be carefully planned. I can't give two shits about e-businesses, the housing market, or automobiles in the face of how bad a truly screwed we could be in a 'farming crash'. We have enough problems, real and potential, with our food as is.

Comment: Re:lettice under LED grow lights? (Score 1) 119 119

That's what cellular construction would be for - the bugs get into one room, or maybe one building. You then do the equivalent of nuking that area, repairing whatever was broken that let the bugs in before hitting it with whatever's necessary to kill all the bugs, their eggs, etc... Then you restock/reseed.

But seriously, I've seen what they do in these rooms - they wear the same sort of clean-room gear people working in chip fabs wear.

Comment: Citation needed (Score 2) 1202 1202

You'll need to do some googling, I can't teach a full econ class here.

Not least because you're hopelessly unqualified.

But the TL;DR version is that every country that tried austerity has recovered more slowly than every country that didn't.

Please list these countries that had a choice about austerity, and which countries you're comparing them to.

That and the entire justification for austerity was in that one spreadsheet that turned out to have a glaring error.

You seem to have missed the slightly more obvious justification of avoiding a debt spiral.

Comment: Re:Slippery slope (Score 1) 265 265

I'll tell you up-front that I do believe in a God and that this God is the uncaused cause that set everything else into motion. As this is a personal belief, it won't have much to do with my response to you, but I thought I'd mention it to add some perspective. By "personal belief", I mean "go form your own". I for one cannot stand the mindless group-think experience of most churches I've visited and the "security" of being surrounded by the like-minded is worthless. I think Big Questions like "is there a God?" are things you have to decide for yourself.

OK. I find the belief in unfounded god/s is one of the leading causes of murder, rape and mutilation etc throughout history. It has also repeatedly held humanity's progress back and tend to be non-democratic and unreasonable in nature having no place in schools or modern life in general.

The massive mainstream religions have become like a corrupt government. They served a purpose and provided people something they felt they needed, but various control freaks long ago realized they can also be used to control people. Like Jim Marrs says, religion and the monetary system are the two major methods of controlling people. This doesn't mean that currency of some kind has no legitimate use (barter has lots of problems) and it likewise doesn't mean that religion can only control people.

I mean, I've read the Bible. I'm not an expert, but I can say that I'm well familiar with it, specifically the words of Jesus Christ. When I read the words attributed to him, I see exhortations to be humble, to love your neighbor as you love yourself, the importance of forgiveness, turn the other cheek, etc. I've read multiple translations and they all agree on this point. I just can't find any teaching of Jesus that can be construed as "murder, rape, torture, etc are all perfectly acceptable". Those calling themselves Christian and claiming to have read the same Bible should have observed the same.

I argue that if there was a god he/she/it would not need any believers nor would he need them to be offended to defend his/her/its name or honour.

The actual concern for this comes from the idea that the Creator wants to have a relationship with the created, rather than just watch us like an aquarium or snow globe. It's also believed that people have an inherent longing for such a connection and don't have a full life without it.

The perversion used to control people is this idea that you must behave a certain way and become a certain typecast sort of person or else you're faulty in some serious way. It's just a way to enforce conformity, not in a "top-down" way but in such a way that the conformists themselves would feel ashamed to appear otherwise.

I've also argued to more than one religious person, that I doubt a term like "god dammit" would actually offend any serious God-concept. It seems like a childish position to me, to envision God as some sort of scolding parent. I know human beings who wouldn't actually be offended by terms they dislike; why should Almighty God be more petty than they? It just makes no sense to me.

If I believe, wholly and deeply in divine pink unicorns a legislation demanding that others respect such an unfounded belief would be an insult.

If you also had multiple witnesses providing written accounts of this, and said unicorns performed what appeared to be miracles in front of large crowds, and many people found this convincing and credible, well then you might be onto something.

The very questioning of belief is repeatedly a cause to offend some. After all, the only unforgivable sin is to deny the holy spirit, should such a spirit exist in the unlikely event that spirits become factual.

My own concept of God includes a desire for us to question everything worthwhile, and this certainly qualifies. Einstein said "the most incomprehensible thing about the universe is that it is comprehensible". I personally wouldn't want to create mindless robots with no sense of awe or mystery, no genuinely satisfying curiosity; they would never reach their full potential. If I can see what would be direly wrong with that, I assume a being infinitely more advanced than myself can also see this.

If by "unforgivable sin" you refer to Mark 3:22-30 and Matthew 12:31-32, this refers to permanently rejecting the Holy Spirit. In the context of Mark 3:22-30 the Pharisees tried to falsely attribute Jesus's powers to Satan ("ruler of the demons"). This represents a conscious rejection, a misunderstanding so profound that its bearer actively resists truth, even when it happens in front of them. It's the idea of someone seeing an act of God and calling it evil. In many matters not involving religion, this is how psychotic people operate: they've convinced themselves that the wrong thing to do is expedient, justified, expected, etc and therefore good ("greater good" is a common one).

Like Bill Hicks mentioned, I personally suspect that we are God's way of experiencing Itself subjectively. That would make questioning, reasoning, and personal refinement all the more important.

Not exactly a front-page story anymore, but when I read your post, it got me thinking.

Comment: Re:You don't understand the universe (Score 1) 232 232

And why do you think they'll out compete people taught to be flexible and open minded?

Because in practice, that default position morphs into "incapable of critical thinking about objective reality and causality, and spending your life trying to make sense of the world while being poisoned with a crippling case of mixed premises and moral relativism" - that's why. Being open to new facts is important and wonderful. But being an intellectual invertebrate is unfortunately what's generally being indoctrinated.

Comment: Re:Price is a second order function (Score 1) 288 288

Hmm... You do not think the companies supplying these millions and millions (across the globe) generators are going to reduce prices with their new higher demand? I do not think it will happen right away but it seems only logical that the price will go down.

Them already having 'good' economy of scale means that any drop in price from the higher demand will be swamped by other, more or less random changes. Changes such as Chinese worker's next pay raise.

Additionally, I suspect that the generator and all of its bracing and attachments would weigh much less than the trailer plus all the attachments.

Trailer wheels don't have to be that heavy, and you don't need a completely through axle. A steering system does add weight though.

As for the battery - I figure that it'd have a standard 12V to start it. You can pull enough energy from an auxiliary plug to run the electronics, but starting an engine is a different ballgame.

There is the issue of cost. Renting them is likely to be the first option.

Twas my first thought. Buying them from the dealer with the car - that's an extra step I'm hesitant on.

As for auxiliary batteries, well, that would quickly exceed the weight allowance of most cars.

As for your RV, if it's draw is 'intense' even when parked, you might have a problem with your electrical.

I most certainly don't see towing multiple trailers - if your RV is a trailer type, put the generator in it! I think I mentioned somewhere of having an adapter kit so you could mount the generator on most trailers assuming you have some room, but I don't think it was here.

Why? Because let's face it - people take RVs camping where there isn't necessarily electricity all the time, there's space for a generator and fuel tank(in most), and it's all round handy. All you have to do is run the wiring so it helps power the towing vehicle.

Comment: F-16 panel flew off in flight (Score 4, Interesting) 371 371

Some other fool did not install the panel properly, and left one of the three nuts off. Distinctive nuts, used in only one place.
Someone found it overnight, and held it up at the morning meeting. "Anyone know where this goes?" Unfortunately, I did not recognize it as a part one of my systems.

Aircraft flew, panel breaks off, punching several other holes in the side as it departs.
Training mission aborted. much sheet metal work needed.

Actual repair cost? Unknown, but easily 5 figures if not more.