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Comment Re:Really? (Score 1) 248

Go ahead and tax the hell out of me. I'm okay with that. Just spend the money for something meaningful. I didn't get to where I am on my own. It's my JOB to give back. Well, more my responsibility. Life's short, do what you can with the time you have.


I have kids, and the question I ask myself is: What sort of society do I want to leave for them? This is a bit different from the usual "better world" stuff (although a habitable planet would also be a nice legacy!) I mean, I could just set them up for life or something, but I'd much rather leave them a functioning society where they can rely on their fellows (and vice versa) than one where they (and the other descendants of lucky bastards like myself) are insulated from communal life by a fortress built of money that has no empathy and may let them down at some point (didn't somebody once describe wealth being vulnerable to moth, rust and thieves?)

My kids have plenty of advantages already, but a more important one would be a society built on empathy and compassion, not on fear. And that is something we can give to everyone.

Comment Re:Let's face it... (Score 1) 260

How so? At no point does the Bible state that God only created humans nor does it exclude the idea that he created beings not in his image. I'm no biblical scholar nor a Christian but I don't see where it is incompatible or anything. It doesn't even extend to beyond the Earth so far as I know, except for the heavens which can be defined in a variety of ways. I have read the entire Bible but I didn't really understand all of it so I may be missing something. I should probably read it in a format other than the KJV.

Indeed. C.S.Lewis' Space Trilogy is a good fictional example, and his essay Religion and Rocketry is his take in an apologetic vein.

(Not to mention Jesus' I have sheep that are not of this fold remark.)

Comment Re:Manipulate people opinions (Score 1) 133

Actually, no. The cause is not enough exercise/work. You can eat as many calories as you want as long as you expend enough energy to compensate, anything less makes you fat.

See how easy it is too justify the exact opposite. I can actually say that my version is more accurate to real life because you eventually reach a point where you are spending so much time expending energy that you cannot consume more calories and the system can reach equilibrium. You cannot go the other direction and expend so little energy that you can eat nothing. Besides, sitting on your ass all day and eating almost nothing will have its own consequences (poor circulation, bed sores, atrophied muscles, etc) whereas leading an active lifestyle generally prevents those problems.

While your rhetoric is impeccable, the reality is that it is difficult to burn enough calories through exercise. (The may have been your point, but it is hard to tell.) If you want to lose weight, you have to eat less than you burn (which is the point the GP was trying to make in an abbreviated fashion.) I have been training in tae-kwon-do for about 30 years now, and the caloric burn for my weight is about 800/hour, which is pretty high up on this list. In spite of this, I found it far more effective for weight loss to simply reduce snacks and meals,, swap carbs for protein and fat, and reduce sugar than to try to add more workouts. You get a lot more weight loss for your time and willpower. I mean think about it - a couple of doughnuts, vs an hour's workout plus travel time? If you have a life outside of the gym, it's a no brainer.

Comment Re:You are Confused (Score 1) 417

Historical evidence is always nice, but if what you say about the baseline data is true (I'm not an expert), we may have to rely on modeling. It's the ocean food chain, FFS, so we should be cautious IMHO.

As for acidification, you are correct that it is buffered, but as I pointed out to another respondent, the buffering is provided by Ca ions - which is the real problem, not the ph levels.

Comment Re:You are Confused (Score 1) 417

Maybe you should get up to HS level chemistry. The Ocean is a _buffered_ solution. Which makes it require an order of magnitude more of anything to change it's ph past the buffer levels.

Yes, but the buffering is provided by Ca ions, which means that the ph is not the issue, but rather what happens to the CaCO3 equilibrium. There is a nice description with citations here. That summary also points out that bleaching is a bigger problem for coral than acidification, but TFA is about studying the impact of this chemistry on other life forms.

But my original point was that this stuff is not extraordinary science, and your adding Le Châtelier into the mix only moves the needle by about 20 years to the late 1800s...

(Oddly, enough, the same kid is taking HS chemistry this year, so I'll get to brush up a bit, but it is surprising what you can remember from 40 years ago when breakfast this morning is a mystery!)

Comment Re:it's wrong (Score 1) 90

On the other hand, keeping orcas (orca = latin for "hellspawn") is quite appropriate. The more you read about their behavior in the wild, the more you feel that they're way too far along that same combination of "smart" and "malicious" that humans are for comfort - killing for fun, using live animals to play catch, hunting animals only for their favorite cuts of meat and then letting the rest go, holding great whites upside down so that they go tonic and can't resist being leisurely eaten, belching up food to bait birds to come to the surface while lying in wait, learning how to freaking crawl on a beach to get at seals that think they're safe and teaching these sorts of skills to their young, etc. Some populations don't even seem to see fish as food, only having interest in killing mammals. Best to teach them who's in charge before they get uppity and evolve opposable thumbs ;)

OTOH, the ones we have here in the Pacific Northwest seem to eat mostly salmon and be lot more um civilised. Which makes them even more human-like I suppose.

Comment You are Confused (Score 3, Insightful) 417

And there, folks, is the attitude that The True Believers have towards anyone who questions their religion/hypothesis/politics, despite the fact that extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. They definitely don't have the latter, so responses are as above or 'shut up' or 'fuck off' or...

You are confusing "extraordinary claims" with "extraordinary impacts". One is a scientific term, the other an economic term. The fact that CO2 will acidify the ocean is elementary school chemistry (my kid did a science fair project to demonstrate it in 5th grade). It really isn't rocket science. The impact on the ocean food chain is also very well documented (which is what the article is about), but it is not an extreme claim - it was predicted back in the mid 1800s and wasn't particularly controversial then.

To give a completely different example, an asteroid impact destroying civilisation is not a extraordinary claim if you have any familiarity with the fossil record and basic mechanics, but it would certainly have an extraordinary um impact.

Comment Re:Unions (Score 1) 585

Instead of spending millions lobbying why don't the unions start worker-owned companies? Because they can't cease making demands of "capitalists" anymore than a flea can jump off a plump dog

Maybe because the corporate structures provided are totally inadequate to the point of seeming to discourage that form of organisation?

True story: About 20 years ago, my business partner and I tried to set up such a business in Washington State. We looked at the state-provided structure (called a T-corp) and learned that it required every person who had ever worked for the company at any point in time to be compensated from equity for life. There was no way to buy out former employees! We ended up forming an S-corp with funky by-laws, but most people don't have the education and resources to figure things like that out.

Comment Re:Insecurity culture.... (Score 1) 585

It's enabled managers to avoid that unfortunate human trait of compassion, feeing them to make hard nosed business decisions where employees are just another resource. The reason Japanese companies last so long is that the managers, no matter how high up, feel personally responsible when they have to make people redundant, like it's a personal failure and something they should apologise for. In the west they feel the opposite - it's a triumph, money was saved and the business streamlined, and they deserve a fat bonus.

Part of the empathy gap (at least in ANZAC cultures) is caused by massive wage inequality compared to European/Japanese cultures. In a country like the US with a population of ~300M, the "1%" constitute a group of about 3M. At this scale, they clearly should have no difficulty surrounding themselves with people in similar circumstances, and in practice wage (and wealth) inequality can create serious barriers (often actual walls) between them and the rest of the society. Such segregation is documented to reduce empathy. Moreover, reducing such segregation requires active choice, which in turn depends on the empathy that you are trying to create! So the only way to create greater inter-class empathy appears to be to force the wealthy to associate with the rest of society. And the only way I know of to do that is seriously high taxation rates (either of income, or property or both) that cannot be avoided by moving to Texas or the Cayman Islands.

The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time.