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Comment: Re:Why do we do these things? (Score 1) 77

by KeensMustard (#47586315) Attached to: NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload
You've engaged in a good quantity of confirmation bias there, by selecting tentative technologies that led to transformation and then assuming that every endeavour, no matter how foolish it sounds, will lead inevitably to societal transformation. What nonsense - in amongst our successes, there are numerous boondoggles, and for every successful new technology there are technologies that are made redundant. Human space travel is the latter, an outmoded technology which, like steam trains, we may look back on with fondness but which has no place in our future technology plans. We know that, we've known that since the 60's. It was outmoded even during the space program - kennedy chose the moon mission over a deep space probe not for it's scientific value, but because it conformed to the myth of the american pioneer, and thus brought comfort to the american public in a time of deep anxiety.

Now is the time to shed our anxieties and abandon the comfort pillow of manned space flight. Now is the time to embrace the fact that, like manufacturing, information processing, transport, medicine , the future for space travel lies not in the hands of astronauts/taikonauts/cosmonauts but in the grip of machines. We know it does, we've known that for a long time. Right now, this obsession is holding us back (albeit a friustrated few of us struggle against it's bonds). Advocates of manned spaceflight are like coal miners who insist that only picks can be used to mine coal, while the longwalling machines and draglines sit idle. The image of the astronaut is romantic, no doubt, and full of bravado, like the hard working reaper, chimney sweep, or seamstress. But now, we need to move on. Move on.

Comment: Re:Why do we do these things? (Score 1) 77

by KeensMustard (#47585439) Attached to: NASA Announces Mars 2020 Rover Payload

Enriched Infant formula and other foods - which has probably done more for the collective intelligence of mankind than almost any other single effort in the history of humanity.

Infant formula was invented in the 29th century. It is inferior to breast milk, and the marketing of formula in less developed countries has led to many babies dying (due to the fact that mothers, by necessity, must prepare it in unsanitary conditions, and because it is nutritionally inferior to breast milk), Overall it's invention has been detrimental to our species - and babies fed on breast milk, owing to it's superiority (nutrition wise) consistently score higher in cognitive function. Suggesting that baby formula has probably done more for the collective intelligence of mankind than almost any other single effort in the history of humanity. is a grotesque misunderstanding.

Water purification advances

The russians invented a system to extract water from urine. General water purification is of course not needed because cosmonauts and astronauts aren't drinking out of streams or rivers. When I say invented it, they of course miniaturised a system that already existed prior to space travel. Water purification systems are important, but none of the technology invented for Mir (and later used in the ISS) is relevant to usage on earth.

Solar power

Previous technology that was improved by the space initiative to power satellites. No advancement in solar power is linked to human space travel.

But more important than any one single benefit, eventually we will run out of room. This is not some abstract theory. Sure, we can populate the desert and the ocean, sure we can die from disease and war, but eventually, Earth will not be enough. Betting on exploration is betting on humanity, in the long, long haul.

Your sums are wrong. There are (around) 200 000 more births a day then deaths (Source). Supposing there were a magical place to send these people, the requisite lift capacity would exhaust our supply of fuel within a day or so, and our atmosphere would be irreparably damaged.

And to be clear, no such magical place exists. Mars, for example, would not sustain a days worth of the Earths population increase. It is too cold, too small, too far away from the sun.

Our ancestors built dugout canoes 40,000 years ago. If dugouts had been a waste of a good axe-stone, when there were rival tribes to murder, Columbus would have never found the new world.

Columbus didn't find a new world. He inadvertently stumbled upon a continent that was already populated.

I am betting that humans are a viable species. I am betting that mankind has nowhere to go but up. Look to the future, embrace exploration, it is the only way that mankind can last another 40,000 years.

You're wrong. You've constructed a strawman argument to link the survival of humanity with physically lobbing meat bags into space. No such link exists.

Comment: Re:Not looking good (Score 1) 156

by KeensMustard (#47580053) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released
You missed Goldberry. To imply anything about Tom without considering Goldberry is fraught.

In any case I don't think it's valid to use Tom as an example of anything. After all, we don't really know why he is even in the story, he doesn't fit, and Tolkien refused to say who he was, except to allude ot the possibility that Bombadil was somehow external to the story (i.e. perhaps representing the author himself, or some kind of private allusion to the stories that he used to weave for his children). He doesn't fit anywhere in the pantheon of Arda (mind you of course there are several other characters of whom this is true). He is peculiar, but not contemptible in any sense, which cannot be said of movie Radagast.

Of Radagast himself, we would do well to recall the saying Do not meddle in the affairs of wizards, for they are subtle and quick to anger. That description encompasses Radagast, in addition to Saruman and Gandalf.

You'll note that the affairs of wizards are only ever related to outsiders by Gandalf, and he is not really forthcoming about the nature and detail of those affairs. Consider for example, his initial encounter with the Balrog, his apparent coming back the dead, the detail of his conflict with Saruman (if indeed, there WAS a conflict) that led to him being imprisoned on Orthanc, etc.

Comment: Re:Australia Deserves it. (Score 1) 128

Of course my sidearm will help protect my liberties. Me and every gun owning person, at that.

You and your gun slinging pals are the reason why America, once proud and free, is now under the jackboot of tyranny.

Yes, I do say whatever I like to whomever I like, provided the government approves the time and place, and what I actually say.

Fixed.

I never said I killed a cop, I said; if the case warranted it, I would kill a cop as easily as anyone threatening my life.

You said you wanted to, and that in the event that you did, that your mates would pervert the course of justice to ensure that you went free. You're a delusional psycho.

Never changed my mind, I abide by any laws that do not conflict with my integrity or religion.

Ah right. And what does your religion say about shooting cops and members of the armed forces? Going postal on previous criminal associates? Can you quote the relevant section from your holy texts?

When pressed about this, you suddenly changed your mind and claimed to be straight up and law abiding: "No need to worry about ME saying the wrong thing - no sir! Clean your boots for you sir?"

Feel free to clean my boots and there's a tip in it for you boy.

I'm not a boy, but thanks for invoking that racist imagery. In any case, you completely misunderstood what I said - perhaps due to an inability to read. The description and dialogue were a picture of YOU: YOU begging for the privilege of cleaning the tyrannical jackboot that steps on your face.

You're odd enough, I figure distended anuses would make you feel right at home.

Apology accepted.

Nope, the reason the U.S. is under tyranny came around a century ago. Go read a U.S. history book.

No need: I gave you the reasons why you live under tyranny and you didn't contradict it, instead went off and provided us with lurid fantasies about how badass you are, and how tough your gang is. Fantasies of course, because if you ever faced a real opponent you would curl up into a ball ready to be kicked, learned behaviours from living under the tyranny that you chose.

To deny my right to own a gun, is to open myself and family up to the dangers of criminals who would still own guns, should they be taken away.

You are the only real danger your family faces. Cowardly, stupid, obsessed with firearms, unable to engage in a coherent and rational argument. You're a few steps away from going postal and shooting everyone around you. You are at risk of having a psychotic episode and killing your family yourself, a getting drunk and mistaking your wife for an intruder, or a current criminal associate for a past one and shooting them by mistake.

This is the equivalent of anti-gun nuts threatening my safety and they will suffer for their threats.

Unable to respond intelligently to rational arguments, you just sprout fantasies, and when this fails, resort once again to physical threats. My point is proven.

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 1) 302

by jp10558 (#47575835) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

Plus, the Steam Sale aspect adds some urgency. If I knew that game X was always $2.99, I might never buy it. But If I think I might like to play it, and I know that after this weekend it will be $20 (the price where I would really think about if I wanted the game) but it's on sale for $4.50 this weekend, I'll buy it now *just in case* I might want to play it later.

This is really good for the seller I imagine - they just need a hook on the store that makes me think I might ever want to play the game. So it's also the sale aspect (as I think JC Penny found out with their attempt at "Always low prices").

Comment: Re:Disengenous (Score 1) 302

by jp10558 (#47575787) Attached to: Amazon's eBook Math

That's hard to guess, but I've read free fan fiction that rivaled the best published novels. I've read paid novels that were as bad as some slashdot posts (I imagine they must have been self-published). And I've read plenty of mediocre works on both the hobby and professional sides.

I doubt doing something part time means that is is by definition worse, I'd more likely guess it's slower. So we might get less books each year.

Is that a problem though?

Comment: Re:Send a robot (Score 1) 84

by KeensMustard (#47573217) Attached to: Off the Florida Coast, Astronauts Train For Asteroid Mission

If you ignore the genocide issue, it was still a settlement.

Genocide isn't something that people tend to ignore.

Some people still find the old sci-fi dreams inspirational.

Some people find santa claus inspirational. That doesn't mean we should spend bales of money looking for santa claus.

Comment: Re:Send a robot (Score 1) 84

by KeensMustard (#47570629) Attached to: Off the Florida Coast, Astronauts Train For Asteroid Mission

Best estimates put this at 15000 years ago. Again, what evidence is there that this triggered a cultural evolution?

I was referring to the more recent settling by Europeans, thus the comment about "first emptying them of their former occupants."

Then it could hardly be considered "settlement". We might more accurately call it "annexation", "genocide" (in the south), "real estate fraud", "failure to comply with treaties", amongst other things. And none of those things is at all like constructing a habitat for humans in space. For one thing, there were humans there already, and air, and gravity, and soil, and game, and reasonable levels of radiation. The Europeans who travelled to America did so on the understanding that there was lot's of free stuff, a big land where they could build a house and/or make money. They didn't go there expecting to live in a tiny box, surrounded by vacuum and blasted by radiation. They would think of those environs as a prison - as would any sensible person who had to endure it for more than a few months.

If you want to go into space, that's fine, you and your mates are welcome to fund it, just don't interfere with the funds we need to explore (using robots). And don't imagine it is like Star Trek, it is not like Star Trek.

It's not like star trek. Robots are even less like star trek.

?? That doesn't even make sense.

Comment: Re:Australia Deserves it. (Score 1) 128

So let's summarise: You admit that your sidearm will not help you protect your liberties. You claimed you could say whatever you wanted, whenever you wanted. You boasted about killing cops and having your mates pervert the course of justice for you. When pressed about this, you suddenly changed your mind and claimed to be straight up and law abiding. "No need to worry about ME saying the wrong thing - no sir! Clean your boots for you sir?"

For some reason you thought that implying that i like distended anuses would make me feel insulted.

You are the reason that America is under tyranny. You guys who fantasise about being cold-blooded killers and vigilantes, but when challenged, you roll over and urinate on yourselves like beaten curs. Do you even have a gun? Have you ever, even once, stood up for what is right?

Comment: Re:Send a robot (Score 1) 84

by KeensMustard (#47565145) Attached to: Off the Florida Coast, Astronauts Train For Asteroid Mission

The settling of the Americas counts.

Best estimates put this at 15000 years ago. Again, what evidence is there that this triggered a cultural evolution?

In the event of a very large rock heading our way, there isn't much to do about it - neither robots nor humans are currently capable of diverting it. One way or another, a lot of people are going to die.

As I already pointed out, even at the moment of impact, the Earth will be more habitable than Mars is. And Mars is more hospitable than, say Mercury, or Neptune, or the moons around Jupiter. In other words - at the exact moment that the asteroid hits, the earth will still be a nicer place than anywhere else in the Solar System.

If you want to go into space, that's fine, you and your mates are welcome to fund it, just don't interfere with the funds we need to explore (using robots). And don't imagine it is like Star Trek, it is not like Star Trek.

Comment: Not looking good (Score 5, Insightful) 156

by KeensMustard (#47562683) Attached to: The Hobbit: the Battle of Five Armies Trailer Released
One of the better features of The Hobbit (or There and Back Again) is that Bilbo is knocked unconcious at the beginning of the battle of the 5 armies. And since the story is written from his perspective (or he wrote it) there is virtually no dewcription of the battle itself. SO I was hopeful that we would not be subjected to yet another boilerplate over the top battle scene where actually fearsome creatures (trolls, wargs) repeatedly fail to kill their enemy and participants appear to be able to defy the laws of physics. I mean, for Manwes sake: if i wanted to see acrobats I'd go to the circus. Actual character exposition appears ot be confined to clumsy dialogue. Apparently there is no screen time for visual exposition on the change in Bilbo from comfortable, insular shire hobbit to a slightly amoral but very plucky thief. Instead he (bilbo) needs to convey this through long, confessional speeches with the dwarves, whilst 2 dimensional elves do stupid things.

Life is difficult because it is non-linear.

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