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Comment Strawman! (Score 1) 130

AS opposed to what? Having an article written about in a science journal about another planet that no one cares about, just to dick measure? Let's face it, there's not much in space exploration at this moment that is anything more than pure entertainment, machine or non-machine. Getting an exact date on the end of the universe isn't going to change anything, and in any case, even if the universe did end, there's not a damn thing we can do about it anyway. So in essence, you argument of sending machines to gather content for your entertainment is no more valid than someone who wants people on the red planet. But, if we keep sending people out there, we will figure out a way to do it less expensively, and there's plenty of people that would go, simply because the earth is too big of a pain in the rear for them.

Comment With someone else's money (Score 1) 215

The whole thing about the left, is that they say they are nice because they want to spend someone else's money to do what they want. If they got up and did whatever they wanted to do, on their own, they wouldn't need government. But nope, they want to take everyone else's money to build their wonder society because their own society is too useless to build anything for itself. It's like a cancer, consuming everything in the body of the nation.

Comment Re: invalid data (Score 1) 337

Strasser was one of the guys purged from the party.

From Wikipedia:

In what became known as the Night of the Long Knives, selected men of the Schutzstaffel ("Protection Squadron"; SS) arrested and eventually killed at least 85 people from 30 June to 2 July 1934.[20] Among these were Strasser, who had been included in the purge on Hitler's order.[9][20] He was shot once in his main artery from behind in his cell, but did not die immediately. On the orders of SS general Reinhard Heydrich, Strasser was left to bleed to death which took almost an hour.[21] His brother Otto, who had left the NSDAP in July 1930, managed to avoid the Nazi purge and survived World War II.[22][23]

Comment Flexibility is a feature (Score 1) 904

Electric car advocates continually make the flawed argument that because an electric car can have a daily range of 200 miles or so, it can replace the gasoline car for most users. This isn't true at all. People pay for gas cars not just to be commuter appliances, but to have transportation flexibility. Flexibility matters to a lot of people, even if they don't use it, it matters. It's nice to know that if I wanted to, I could drive my gas car the 790 miles to my in-laws house, or 200 miles to my brothers, or 500 miles to my aunts and uncles. It my cheaper for me to take a plane to go by myself, but, add a wife and a couple of kids, then my transportation cost for each trip is about $100-$150 in fuel and my time in driving.

So, with that in mind, I think the real tipping point for electric vehicles will be total operating time on a charge. That means, I want to be reasonably able to drive 10-12 hours on a long road trip with perhaps an hour time for charging. Once that happens, then electric cars will take over for everyone.

With that said, in a married family, having two vehicles, one for road trips, an SUV, and a daily commuter that is electric, makes a great deal of sense. But most families are going to have that "one" vehicle.

Comment Automate Science (Score 1) 613

The simple answer is, who cares? Why should we be trusting science to a bunch of arrogant people that cost too much, live to short, and have such an inefficient method of programming anyway? Science itself is something that should be automated, to create a world where everyone gets to know exactly how to do whatever they want to do, without all the whiny political bs about it? Wah, women can whine about being unemployed just as much as automated men increasingly are.

Comment It's about results (Score 1) 320

I think it is laughable, when viewed against the net of human history, to say that there is a problem with science. The world is increasingly wealthy overall. However, there is a problem in complexity. There is a misunderstanding even among scientists about the fundamental mathematical underpinnings of information. The butterfly effect and the P=NP problem essentially say that, as far as math goes, we don't know what initial dependency might have some severe effect downstream, and that, if there are too many variables, we can't do much anyway.

Yet, politicians of certain political stripes and some scientists themselves are enamored of the idea that we should have "science based" policy making. Policy making is about masses of people, and too many variables. Thus, even though science can say, "these people are less meat based upon and were be better off", science cannot say "everyone will be better off if we eat less meat so let's make it a law". Indeed, there's a baked in butterfly effect that says any public policy has winners and losers. When we make laws that say, 90% of the people will be better off, well, those 10% are going to be irritated. At some point, as a civilization wanders through its history, it accumulates more and more of those people that were screwed by the law. People being what they are, they don't care about how they might have benefited through being in the 90% groups, but how they were in the 10%. If new science proves that the people in the 10% were actually -right-, then, it only makes matters worse.

From a government perspective, we've actually picked the worst things to apply science to. In most people's lives, it is their diet that matters most and the science underpinning FDA recommendations and recommendations from other food authorities has been fabulously and publicly wrong. Many Americans have grown up hearing that first, butter was bad, then, butter was good, then, corn syrup was better than sugar, then sugar is better. First, its clogging of the arteries caused by cholesterol caused by diet, then, just as every middle aged american devours statins, we find out it is a combination of stress and lifestyle. It doesn't help that the public lumps doctors in with scientists - to them, scientists just means "smart people", and they see doctors screw up enough that every family has the story of the loved one that doctors wronged.

The mistrust of the medical establishment when it comes to diet is epidemic and bipartisan. There's plenty of both tree hugging liberals and gun toting conservatives reading about various health food supplement and other weird nonsense about diet and health and even medicine on the internet. The FDA and the food industry alike are seen as corrupt in the minds of both conservatives and liberals is telling. Granted, they filter that corruption into their own political worldview, but that they don't trust these institutions at all suggests a real problem.

From there, it is easy to see, that if the public doesn't believe any of the science about the thing most common in its life, and the institutions designed to protect that science, then, it is going to be a hard sell for the public to genuinely trust science in anything beyond the latest breakthrough to make their consumer products better.

Comment I'd take the Samsung check (Score 1) 192

So a well funded player rolls out a new camera missing a feature its established and highly regarded competitors have, and a web site gives them a great review. Dang, why didn't I have that domain name! I should write bad reviews of the new Samsung and wait for the next model and ask for a reviewers copy. I ought to get some spending cash then!

Comment So what (Score 1) 160

I think that could, in the modern American political discourse, be the refrain. Have a look at a map. Generally speaking, urban areas vote blue and in favor of some sort of a national vision, whereas rural areas consistently lap up a steady diet of misinformation that says they are supporting the cities when every outlay from the state capitals to even the federal government suggests the opposite is true. The rural areas say they hate government and redistribution of wealth - fine - then let them do without the wealth redistributed to them and maybe cities, unshackled by them, can begin to turn their own finances around.

Comment Enough of the anti-city agenda (Score 5, Insightful) 160

Laws prohibiting municipal broadband are entirely anti-city. In a country where politics is such that cities are routinely decried (while ironically states redistribute their tax revenues to rural areas and suburbs), I think it is time to frame broadband rights as a freedom from government for cities.

Cities should be allowed to be more independent from the states that hold them. They should not be stripped of the competitive advantages that localized economies of scale provide. They should be allowed to offer their own utilities, to toll the interstates that cut through them, and they shouldn't have to pay a gasoline tax that largely serves rural interests, and above all, part of that independence should be to allow them to offer broadband.

Comment There's no such thing as externalities. (Score 1) 441

You invent externalities as if there is some kind of mandate that "Society has to bear the solution to some problem." Here's the reality. I absolutely do not. You can't argue in generalized terms about the affairs of humans in a digital age where everyone is perfectly capable of understanding their economic interests. If I live on a big hill, I don't have to care if your beachfront sinks. If it is cheaper for me to burn coal to heat with, I'm going to burn coal. It's that simple. Raising the taxes on my energy is really, to me, you screwing up my life so that you can have your fancy beachfront house. It's equally not fair, either way, and there's not so much as the notion of external costs as it is you are looking to raise a rent on the poor to preserve your beach property and fancy solar sailboats while the rest of us try and buy bread. We don't need you. We don't need your coasts. There's too many people already, as your side is fond of saying!

Comment Bring it. (Score 1) 441

Your theory of damages is entirely ridiculous. If I burn a mount of coal in Kentucky, then the best you can say is that technically, perhaps, I helped make global sea levels rise. That would suck if you were living in New York or on the coast.

But, let's review the science:

a) CO2 is making sea levels rise and warming the planet and changing the climate. But no mathematical or climate model has been remotely accurate. The models do NOT actually predict climate, and that's really a huge problem. So you can't remove my burning coal mountain, then re-add it, and hold me culpable for anything, with any degree of certainty at all other than your lunatic religion.

b) Any contemplated action proposed by the environmental left, from carbon taxes to transaction taxes, has the effect of creating an enormous economic problem for the poor and middle class. If I 'm poor, I don't care if the coastlines sink. I don't own my building. Landlords do. So screw them! I'll move! Why should I care about your solar panel house in New Jersey with your scenic rich yardwork, when I'm poor in Kentucky? Answer is, I don't. All I see is that you want to make my fuel more expensive, my food more expensive, everything more expensive, when I'm trying to get the basics, and that cuts into whatever savings I have... makes me poorer, and having your cronies take those taxes to build a library for "me" doesn't cut the rusk as some kind of compensation.

So the bottom line is that. If you really want to save the planet, then go right ahead and invest your money in whatever it takes to make green stuff. If it is cheaper, I'll buy it. But if you are going to spend your life making my life miserable to save your beachfront property, when I don't even have property worth saving other than a burning pile of coal and a rifle, then show up claiming you are coming after me, then you're gonna get the rifle, and deserve it!

Comment Re: No control experiment (Score 1) 132

Not everyone has the same harm vs benefit outlook. You might want a perfect green earth but I like cheap energy today and can live with the health risks. We are all going to die someday and at least I want to be warm. So the short answer is, I don't care about your genes and you don't care if people freeze. To each his own. There is no "we".

Comment Actual Reality (Score 1) 136

Well, you have a few stumbling blocks:

a) While the mechanism for AGW is pretty obvious and indisputable, the actual predicted value of climate models has been lacking. That's just a fact. They are getting better, and they will get better, but it is fact that they are inaccurate today.

b) The private sector is already pricing risk due to climate change into models for various natural disasters. Right now this is just best guess based on the models, but as the models improve, so will the risk models based on them. So, the "cost" of climate is something the market is working towards deciding. Until that actual cost is well known and understood by all parties, it will be politically impossible for anyone with any degree of skepticism towards the government in general to agree to let government decide what that price should be.

c) Since, the price of doing nothing is not even agreed to yet, it follows that any mitigate response must be viewed with suspicion, because, you can't compare the cost of action with the unknown cost of damages. A tell tale sign that there is a perceptual agreement on this issue by everyone, purported denier, and believer, is that, most believers remain anti-nuclear power, and I've seen little evidence this administration has even considered increasing research into nuclear fusion.

d) If the climate is always changing, it doesn't matter in the minds of some, if man is changing it or not, when something else will change it just as well.

So, the actual dollars and cents reality is that the proponents of climate change reform are asking everyone to make some rather radical changes in their life, to let there be new winners and new losers, when it is not at all understood how much the winners will win and the losers will lose, if we choose to do nothing but let fossil fuels exhaust themselves or deal with doomsday when it happens. Sure, there's denialism, but by casting opponents of your point of view into that camp, all you've done is basically positioned yourself as someone who is advancing a political agenda with climate change as its mask, rather than fixing any problems of climate change itself.

Comment Re:Straight to the pointless debate (Score 2) 136

There is nothing particularly unusual about our local weather station's story which hasn't been repeated in most cities around the world. So it is not surprising that noisy long term time series need to be cleaned up before being fed into sensitive predictive models. It would be dishonest not to if you know there was a change in the sampling history which required it.

But at that point, aren't you really basically just making it up? Granted, even satellite temperature sensors drift, but it seems that the real long term answer here is to just accept that the historical data is going back in time, and we're really just "guessing" at previous climate, as we simply didn't have the foresight to measure it correctly for the way we want to use it.

Life in the state of nature is solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short. - Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan