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Comment: Re:Nature is a cold heartless bitch (Score -1) 310

*You* do. Perhaps evangelical christians who believe that every species ever to exist was created 6000 years ago, and one lost, are never replaced, believe that as well. And of course, tween girls love cute animals.

Me, I'm on nature's side :) The cruel, hard facts of natural selection is what we can thank for the advanced life on our planet thus far, and I've got no reason to believe that any human has the wisdom to decide when such cruel, hard facts should stop.

Comment: Nature is a cold heartless bitch (Score -1) 310

Mod parent up - nature doesn't care if cute animals survive, or if large animals survive, or if *any* animals survive. Imagining that there is some non-anthropogenic aesthetic out there that is superior to anthropogenic demands and needs and desires muddies the issue.

Yes, killing the Dodo bird off may one day be the death of the human species as an alien plague comes through and destroys every other edible animal, and only the Dodo could have fed us. I suppose you could come up with fanciful scenarios for any given extinct species. But thus far, throughout the anthropocene, no matter how many species have gone endangered or extinct, humanity has *thrived*. Speculating on some hypothetical apocalyptic tipping point seems particularly faith based.

Comment: If selective pressures select against megafauna... (Score -1) 310

...isn't that just evolution?

Do we really think that it would be a *good* thing to make sure that no existing species today ever goes extinct?

Do we really have any evidence that a slower rate of extinction is a good thing? Just comparing the year 1500 to 2014, I'd argue that whatever the cost in species removal, humanity has improved it's lot by leaps and bounds, even considering the graphic amount of suffering still available the world over.

I'd like to see a more quantifiable definition of "troubling". Sounds like undue alarm without some specific harm that can be linked to 320 terrestrial vertebrates disappearing...like a decline in health, wealth, or population of humans.

Comment: Selective pressures (Score -1) 310

All of us rational folk here believe in evolution through selective pressures - you might have some disagreements on exact evolutionary paths, or whether in some cases lamarck was right (interuetero environmental effects, for example), but bottom line, the emergence of species depends on selective pressure.

So, when we talk about "mass extinction", which sounds really scary, let's realize that this kind of thing isn't only natural, it's *necessary* for evolution.

A more interesting measure might be this - what is the total biomass that existed before humanity, and what is the total biomass now? Changes in species distribution and existence might shuffle the deck a bit, but do we really believe that there is less life on the planet now than before humans? Maybe each large fauna was replaced by the equivalent mass in insects, or smaller animals, but does anyone actually think for a single moment that we have *less* life on the planet now?

Comment: Spam filter, anyone? (Score -1) 956

by hsthompson69 (#47511605) Attached to: The Daily Harassment of Women In the Game Industry

Why do people feel the need to actually read crap emails people send them? Send them to the spam bin, and move on.

Just because people on the intarwebs say something, doesn't mean you have to listen.

Maybe there's a market here for a "harassment filter", that looks for offensive word keywords, and just marks them as spam?

Anonymous harassment from spammy advertisers or misogynistic trolls seems like they have the same, workable solution.

Comment: Re: Ah, the sweet smell of turnover. (Score -1) 282

In a large, bureaucratic organization, it's not unheard of to take 4 weeks just getting the laptop, email, and other access to systems set up. Then, trying to drop someone into a gigantic set of infrastructure that's poorly documented means months of just figuring out who the hell you talk to to solve problems.

Now, if you jump into a small, agile organization, you can certainly be doing great stuff on day one, but in the hellish grind that is corporate america, simply navigating the paperwork means that it takes months to learn the real organizational graph of who can get what done.

Comment: Ah, the sweet smell of turnover. (Score 0) 282

1. Hire contractor.
2. 6 months to train them up.
3. 6 months of actual work from them.
4. 6 months using them to train their replacement.

Lather, rinse, repeat.

Given the sheer amount of time it takes to get someone effective in a large bureaucratic organization, it is *mind-boggling* that critical staff positions end up being held by contractors who have to do the contractor dance. Most companies have tricks they use to avoid the contractor dance (reclassifying something as an SOW, rather than hourly position, for example), but that's just another dodge to avoid actually hiring someone and giving them employee protections.

Most large projects take *years* to get to fruition - if you're going to use contractors for anything other than dumb, grunty labor that takes a tech only a week to get up to speed in, you're abusing people and destroying value.

Comment: Re:Too many words (Score 1) 98

by hsthompson69 (#47504399) Attached to: Researcher Finds Hidden Data-Dumping Services In iOS

We're missing a number here - how many requests were *made*?

http://cdn.bgr.com/2013/11/app...

The data for the US is almost laughably vague. It could very well be that 1000 requests were made, and 1000 requests were granted.

100% success rate in complying with requests sounds pretty cozy to me...

Comment: Re:It's always the other guy's fault. (Score -1) 211

by hsthompson69 (#47503139) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

So how does one learn how to colonize space without "slinging meat bags" out there?

You do that part last.

Assume for a moment that it'll take 500 more years to actually get things together enough where we can send robot fleets to the moon to build habitable modules there. *Then* start training your meat bags...or start off by sending a colony of dogs or cats to survive there. In any case, you don't spend the next 500 years wasting effort on meat bags, you focus on the technology that needs to come *first*.

Actually, I'll make one more caveat - if you did want to practice the whole meat bag support thing, you'd want to start off with a manned mission to the bottom of the marianas trench, to establish a human colony there. You'll get a real quick idea of just how much stuff you need to prep before supporting a colony for any amount of time.

Comment: It's always the other guy's fault. (Score -1) 211

by hsthompson69 (#47495433) Attached to: Apollo 11 Moon Landing Turns 45

You're right - we don't get to blame Obama for everything until he's out of office, and then we can spend two terms doing so. Obviously people blaming him now are simply jumping the gun.

That being said, we shouldn't have a manned space flight program. It's a ridiculous luxury item, and frankly, even the moon shot was more about hubris and cold war competition than actual science.

Space flight is important, space exploration is important, but slinging meat bags into space is decidedly *not* important.

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