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Comment Re:How does space elevator save energy? (Score 1) 139

People claim all sorts of things. While there are lots of problems with a space elevator on a world as large as Earth, energy efficiency isn't one of them.

Personally, I doubt that a space elevator will ever be practical on Earth, but it should be on Mars, and it definitely would be on the Moon. For Earth I'd favor something like the pinwheel. You can think of the pinwheel as a rotating space elevator that doesn't reach as far down as the ground. (You'd probably want to not reach further down than the upper stratosphere to minimize frictional losses.) You fly up to meet the descending arm at the bottom, and unload cargo onto it. Descending cargo can be handled the same way, or you could use a combination of parachutes and lifting bodies. You need to balance freight going up and coming down or you get orbital decay...either it lifts too high or comes down too far, but this can be handled by a station keeping ion rocket, possibly of Vasimir design. Reaching a height is a lot cheaper than going into orbit. This does require a large orbital mass.

Comment Re: At what point do we reevaluate the position (Score 1) 216

Believing capitalism should be regulated doesn't make you a socialist

Wanting to alter capitalism into a more "humane" form through regulation is pretty much the definition of socialist, at least as commonly used today. "Communism" is the hypothetical ultimate evolved form of economy where all the internal contradictions of capitalism have been corrected and all its alienating elements removed. As these "alienating elements" include first and foremost hierarchies of power those sitting on top of them tend to see the mere idea a deadly threat, whether it's achievable in practice or not.

Comment Re:Yeah, but that just means... (Score 1) 201

I may not believe in all the Christianity/God stuff but "believing themselves to be wise they became fools" comes to mind when you Climate zealots hop on your hobby horses.

So what conclusion am I supposed to draw from your best counter-argument being an unrelated religious quote you don't even believe?

Comment Re:The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 211

So the fine point on mining or colonisation is whether it is a territorial claim or a development claim. If you can get up there and colonise or mine, then pretty much you are entitled to claim what you are actually colonising or mining, as a developmental claim. As a territorial claim it should of course be banned, you can not point to the sky and claim to own it all because you have lots of nuclear war heads. It might seem odd compared to claims on earth but in all seriousness it will most likely suffice for the next hundred years or so and we should be doing all we can to promote the space race over stupendously destructive earth bound wars for profits and egos. There is a whole galaxy out there waiting to be explored, experienced and enjoyed.

Comment Re:Violence! (Score 3, Insightful) 479

It really is super double twisty speak to claim showing acts of violence being committed somehow incites violence, kind of fucking late you know, violence is already being committed. Reality is, showing those acts of violence being committed is putting enormous pressure on, to stop committing those acts of violence. So, question, is it an act of violence for a occupying force to drive around telling families they are going to gas them to death or not, (rather ironic considering the source). Honestly it looks like many of the acts of violence committed by the Government controlling that region, are being done purposefully to incite violence in return, so that an excuse can be fabricated to carry genocidal policies, without ramifications from the rest of the world.

Comment Re:Bad stuff happens in war (Score 3, Insightful) 479

Both sides are guilty of atrocities, but this being Slashdot... I'd rather the side that has an industry of designing CPUs for Intel beat the side that has a bizarre totalitarian religion that routinely generates suicide bombers.

One has a totalitarian martyrhood culture, and the other is using them as substitute culprits to avenge the Holocaust on. Why side with either? Unless, of course, your apocalyptic cult sees Israel as a key to its end-of-the-world prophecies, which seems to be the case for alarmingly many people.

Comment Re:Yeah, but that just means... (Score 2) 201

Climate change skepticism?

There can never be too much skepticism.

As evidence piles up there comes a point when you're simply using "scepticism" as an excuse to refuse to believe a conclusion you don't like. For climate change, that point went a long time ago. What ever reasons drive climate change "sceptics", they have nothing to do with science.

Comment Re:We have given megaphones to (Score 1) 201

To be heard, you now have to shout louder and 10x more irrationally than everyone else.

Is the current issue so important that you have to win, even at the cost of making the world a less rational place? No? Then don't shout. Instead, calmly explain your viewpoint. That way you advance the cause of solving disputes through rational discourse rather than shouting the loudest, which should result in the world becoming a better place overall since being rational helps us make decisions that get us what we want and avoid things we don't.

You can't win a war if you obsess over individual battles.

Comment Re:"Failed" push for renewables? (Score 1) 348

The simple matter is renewables will never ever produce enough because energy is different to other resources. The more energy you have and he cheaper it is, the more you can conserve and recycle other resources. So buckets of energy means you can live lakes and rivers to run free to create a healthy environment and desalinate salt water instead. In agriculture, cheap plentiful energy means growing under lights in a multi storey structure very close to demand and allowing farm lands to return to bio diverse forest, that people can enjoy and will create a healthier planet for us. When it comes to recycling cheap energy means land fills can instead be high tech recycling centres to break down waste in required raw materials that can be delivered back to manufacturers (one off capital cost to build but does need very cheap energy to keep going).

Ample energy also means a little more fairness in the world, I set in a fully air-conditioned home and do feel a sense of guilt for those who do not, cheaper and cheaper and cheaper energy all make that all the more accessible to many more. The cheaper and more plentiful energy is, the much better the quality of life will be for the bottom 50% and they don't have much of nothing at the moment.

Comment Re: so, open season on American civilians now? (Score 1) 74

Keep in mind you analogy of the school bully and the bar drunk. So if you are at war with a school bully, the accepted US tactic blow up the school and adjoining properties are guilty by association. If you are a war with a bar drunk, target the bar with drone missiles and if it is a chain target all the rest of the chain because the drunk might be in one of them instead. Lets be clear on the reality of the terror wars, the fantasy Global War on Terror versus the real Global Terror War (where little or nor focus is given on separating the guilty from the innocent and hellfire missiles at $58,000 a pop are fired off like fireworks at Christmas because the investors at Lockheed and Boeing want a new yacht for Christmas).

Comment Re:Build one (Score 3, Insightful) 319

Option three is of course missing, the option I tend to lean to now and have done so in the past. Get to know your local store, and have one assembled out of the parts they stock eg (local to me, find a similar styled store near you).

This gets you a reasonable set of parts, generally at a reasonable price (stocked items discounted rather than ordered in full price) and if you have any problems, well you can annoy the people who actually put you box together. I always prefer buying locally sourced, any problems and customer service a support is one easy short drive away, rather than a call to a foreign service centre there to fob you off, rather than provide a service.

SCCS, the source motel! Programs check in and never check out! -- Ken Thompson