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Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 253

You are correct in principle but wrong in practice.

Your belief that the fragile ecosystems would have self-destructed long ago is based on the belief that the ecosystem has always been fragile.

The truth is that the ecosystem USED to be dynamically stable, 100 years ago.

But then a top level predator came in and started screwing around with it. Namely Man. We divert water, and the dynamic ecosystem compensates. We kill the other predators, and it compensates. We fill the air with too much carbon di-oxide and it compensates. We pump poisons into and it compensates more.

But after all this stress, it has reached it's compensation capacity. Now it has BECOME fragile. It wasn't fragile 200, 100, or even 20 years ago.

The reason it didn't self-destruct long ago is that it was strong 100 years ago, but isn't anymore.

If you screw around with anything long enough, eventually it becomes fragile and tiny little change will push the whole thing over.

I am not saying that the mosquito will be that change. For all I know, we can do another 50 things before we push it over the edge. But I am saying that your argument is itself heavily flawed and does not hold water.

Comment: Re:More ambiguous cruft (Score 1) 436

by gurps_npc (#48939645) Attached to: The Gap Between What The Public Thinks And What Scientists Know
The patent issue is real. But that is not about science, it is about law and politics.

But the fear of 'setting genes loose' is pretty worthless.

It is based on several false concept 1) that normal life is stable and doesn't mutate. Cat's don't suddenly give birth to dogs. Mutations occur naturally ALL the time. As such, the few, tested mutations that humans can engineer are an insignificant risk compared to the number of natural ones. It's like living at the bottom of a mountain known to have land slides and being concerned that your neighbor has a catapult pointed away from your house, but some wind storm might turn the catapult around and activate it, firing a single boulder into your house.

2) That humans are far more powerful than we are. The fear is that the mutation created by scientist will be so incredibly different and unusual, that it will be dangerous. Not so. Genetics has been improving at a snail's pace. We can barely predict someone's eye color, let alone control it. The changes we are making are so insignificant - and will be for such a long time - that it's like being scared of a mouse. By the time that mouse is an elephant, we will have far more safeguards and know how to deal with it.

3) Finally and most importantly, it's based in ignorance. The non-scientist doesn't understand it therefore they fear it.

Comment: Waste biofuels (Score 2) 189

by gurps_npc (#48939497) Attached to: New Study Says Governments Should Ditch Reliance On Biofuels
Biofuels are great, as long as they are made with waste products. That is, certain agricultural products create a lot of waste - we eat ears of corn, not the stalks. The countries that have made biofuels work do it by using the waste products of edible plants. There is no plant around that is anywhere close to profitable to grow just for fuel. That kind of agri-energy only 'works' if you give huge government subsidies. But if you happen to be growing an edible plant with a high amount of agricultural waste, you can easily and profitably turn that waste into energy. Note, normally we do other things with that waste - turn it into fertilizer, etc. To be a truly viable bio-fuel, the biofuel creation process must be more profitable than the alternative disposal method.

Comment: Problem was underinvestment (Score 5, Interesting) 396

by gurps_npc (#48914859) Attached to: "Mammoth Snow Storm" Underwhelms
Up until recently, the US weather prediction was SIGNIFICANTLY inferior to European. They talked about the American Model vs the European Model, and the European Model was consistently correct.

People have finally begun to realize this problem, and created a new American Model. The predictions of large NYC and Philly snowfalls came from the Old American Model. The new American Model, along with the European Model, both correctly predicted the snowfalls.

The New American Model requires significantly more computer power to use. It has not been thoroughly tested. But expect to see it being used more often after this success.

Comment: Re:Crash-testing & strength? (Score 1) 128

Most of the plastics used in 3d printing are high strength.

Remember, you can print a gun now - so it is roughly equivelent to metal.

You may have to make certain arts slightly thicker, but I don't see any problem with crash-testing and safety standards.

What I do see a problem is COST. Usually 3d printing is very expensive when compared to mass produced. Not only are materials more expensive, but the time of the 3d printer is worth money. It takes time and effort to 3d print, rather than pour stuff into molds. There is a reason Ford adopted the Assembly line.

I see this kind of thing being a rich man's toy, not a real person's car.

That said, I can see replacement parts being made this way. Cheaper to store 10 lbs of print stock and 1,000 designs, than 1,000 parts each weighing 0.16 oz.

Comment: There is no shortage, but (Score 1) 512

by gurps_npc (#48884399) Attached to: Senator Who Calls STEM Shortage a Hoax Appointed To Head Immigration
the problem is all about money. Similarly, the solution is all about money. Currently foreign workers tend to earn about 20% less than actual citizens

What we should do is simple - let anyone and EVERYONE in that wants a short 6 month work visa. Charge them a fee, around $1,000 for the visa. Also, don't let pregnant women purchase the visa. Require any business hiring them to pay all standard US taxes plus an additional 20% foreign worker tax. Finally, have the foreign workers list all jobs they took during the period, offering them a sizable bounty if the employer turns out not to have paid the tax.

Businesses can now get the people they really truly need - but have to pay the same amount of money.

Foreigners that are desperate can enter and work here - without the US having to worry about work visas being used to obtain citizenship for kids.

The government gets a boost of information and far fewer criminals would bother trying to sneak into the US just for work. Lets us concentrate on the terrorists and drug smugglers instead.

Comment: The ominous humm.... (Score 1) 820

by gurps_npc (#48877275) Attached to: Fake Engine Noise Is the Auto Industry's Dirty Little Secret
As Sgt. Schlock says, "I like the soothing sounds I get out of this one.

Who are we to take them away?

Of course, by the same argument, do you really have to make it a requirement? Better to make it an option so that those of us that don't want the extra noise don't have to pay you extra to get it.

Which is the real point of course - stop charging me for things you think I want, without getting my specific permission. This clearly should be an add-on option, not a requirement.

Comment: Re:Result of the Glengary Speech . (Score 2) 263

by gurps_npc (#48869695) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees
Incorrect.

Your basic problem is you don't understand how the world works. You live in a black and white world where there is either success or failure, nothing in between. The real world has grays and colors.

The real word DOES pay off on a good try. It does so all the time. People go to college and fail out. Yet they still do FAR better with the partial education they got then people that graduated:

In the real word, people get married have children, and then divorced. Their marriage failed. but ask them if they wish they had never got married - and never had those children - and they will say HELL NO. Not to mention the fact that they learn from their failures.

The same applies to businesses. The far majority of small businesses are outright failures by pretty much any meaning of the word. How do they keep on going? Simple - the owner works a shit ton of overtime and barely manages to pay his bills. People that could work for someone else making $200,000+ a year, struggle on an effective salary of $50,000, all because they would rather work for themselves than be a cog in someone else's machine.

Same applies to art - see Vincent Van Gogh. Just read his life story, it's clear that trying does pay off. The world, his friends, his family all paid off for his good try at being an artist, even though he clearly failed and committed suicide because of his failure.

The real world routinely and consistently pays off on a good try. That applies to survival, business, relationships, art, and pretty much everything else.

Yes, a perfect win does pay off better than a good try. But you live in fantasy world if you think that a "good try" doesn't pay off.

Comment: KILL THE CAMERA, KILL THE NERDYNESS (Score 0) 324

by gurps_npc (#48868831) Attached to: What Will Google Glass 2.0 Need To Actually Succeed?
1) If you point a camera at everything, you are just an paparazzi douchebag begging to be punched. It doesn't matter that cameras have become de-rigeur on other technology, this isn't other technology.

2) Make it look like a REGULAR pair of glasses. Don't try to make it all Apple-chiq. There is a difference between a signature piece of technology that you take out to be cool, and something you are wearing all/most of the time. The first wearable tech should be unassuming and blend in, not stick out like a sore thumb.

Now for the stuff you should add in that only a face worn PDA can/should have. A) Project to both eyes for real 3D displays

B) Monitor your eyes. Not only should blinking be a command, but a solid camera pointed at your eyeball should be able to detect health issues.

Comment: Schools? No. Cops, yes? (Score 4, Insightful) 323

Schools are not law enforcement agencies. Worse, they have repeatedly proven they are not trustworthy - even worse than cops. They are VERY easy for rather small minded, viscous people to take over, as repeatedly shown in Texas and other states. School boards are elected, not appointed, in small elections where most people simply don't care. This lets highly motivated fanatics take them over.

A prime example is how many school boards illegally try to harass black students in the 60s and homosexual students today.

Schools jobs are education, not law enforcement.

They can in no way be trusted with passwords.

The real problem is that people expect the schools to deal with the bullying. NO. Bullying is a criminal matter and the cops need to get involved. If the child in question is a severe bully, arrest and charge him.

If not, have social workers take over - and let the social worker assigned to the case have access to the password, not some school board.

Comment: Result of the Glengary Speech . (Score 1) 263

by gurps_npc (#48867277) Attached to: The Tech Industry's Legacy: Creating Disposable Employees
If you haven't seen it, Alec Baldwin gives an incredible good performance in a one shot scene in Glengary Glen Ross. The speech itself is just an incredible mastery of art. Too bad it's also evil. The key line is "Coffee is for closers." which means that only winners get perks.

In that scene, he effectively preaches what I call "douchebag capitalism". The heart of his speech is that people should only be rewarded for success, not for trying. It is based on the false belief that success is entirely based on your innate nature, rather than on the tools you are given or the environment you are in.

So if you are a "Coffee is for Closers" person, then you fire all the people that are not closers. Then you hire a bunch of new people, hoping to get at least one 'closer'. Repeat Ad Nauseum.

The problem is it is based on a false world view. In reality, success is far more often built on the work of others. Whether any individual does well is usually mostly dependent on three things:

1) Have you been given the powers and tools necessary to do your job in your current environment (i.e. has your boss screwed up? - are you trying to sell gold plated crap in a recession? )

2) Your social skills. Can you make friends with your fellow employees and customers? Do they like AND trust you?

3) How hard you tried.

As proof, I will tell you what every HR person in the world knows - when you advertise most jobs you are generally flooded with resumes of people - all of whom on paper are competent to do the job. You are not looking for the one person that can do the job, but instead the person that fits into your corporate culture the best. Someone you will get along with, not someone that will miraculously solve all your problems.

Finally, and most importantly - how hard you tried is often determined on whether you are properly incentived for things BESIDES total success. It's not enough to give coffee to the winners, you also have to give it to the second placers.

Frankly, if an employee has not tried hard enough that usually means the BOSS has screwed up, not the employee.

Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd. - Voltaire

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