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Comment: Re:Weaker bones and refined minds are not related (Score 1) 110

by khallow (#48672369) Attached to: Scientists Say the Future Looks Bleak For Our Bones

There's no real correlation between skull thickness and gestation. Infants have soft spots (fontanelles) between the bones of the skull that allow the brain to grow faster than bone after birth, precisely because humans need a relatively thick skull protecting a large brain. Child birth would be impossible otherwise.

A "soft spot" increases risk of head injuries. If there's no "real" correlation, then why did you observe that child birth would be impossible without this risky adaptation?

There would be no advantage in a thinner skull.

Except making child birth even more possible and less dangerous.

Comment: Re:So, the sum of humanity's problems ... (Score 1) 207

by khallow (#48672333) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

To bring it down to a truly sustainable level, fish take would have to be reduced by something enormous like maybe 90%.

There you go. Even you can think of a solution, if you really try.

Let's move on to the other problems you mentioned:

Global warming: adaptation, change albedo of urban areas, greenhouse gases reduction, geoengineering.

over-population: Make less people. One way is to keep getting wealthier. Wealthy people have less children.

every ecosystem on the planet in decline: increase habitat and reduce habitat fragmentation, create genome archives for endangered species, determine ways to increase the rate of natural speciation.

ravaged fish stocks: already solved this one earlier.

depleted soils: This is a long solved problem. For example, grow legumes in a field every so often and leaving the field fallow for a year out of four or five.

widespread environmental contamination: pollute less and focus on cleaning up contamination that is actually environmentally significant.

a loss of green spaces: make more green spaces

habitat and species: already addressed with the "ecosystems in decline" problem.

In addition, overpopulation really is a bigger class of problem with almost all of the other problems highly dependent on it.

Comment: Re:bill of rights restricts GOVERNMENT (Score 1) 113

by khallow (#48671515) Attached to: How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm

Being a lesser "weaker" accomplice was still being an accomplice. They may have been benevolent rulers (some of them even let their own slaves go free), but rulers they were.

"Accomplice" has a certain negative connotation that I think is wholly inappropriate here, unless you were an English imperialist, of course.

Peers referring to mostly white, mostly land owning, and most certainly males, sure.

And it means something else today.

Every slave owning business that operated was in a sense chartered by the power seekers.

No. It's not a charter. And you ignore that the slavery laws were at the state level. The US Constitution, even as aggressively interpreted as it is by modern courts, still throws less restrictions on state governments than on the federal government.

You say that, but then you insist the Constitution written by those Founders must have meant YOUR interpretation on what its purpose was?]

Who has a better interpretation than I? There are several characteristics of a correct interpretation. First, it is consistent as it can be given US law. There are peculiar constraints forced on us by the US Constitution. For example, I prefer an federal-level asset tax, proportional voting for all states, and a privatized post office. But all of these things are precluded by the US Constitution.

Second, any such interpretation holds the US Constitution as the highest law of the lands of the US. If a law, treaty, or action runs counter to the US Constitution, then they are illegal and should be blocked or prevented. There should be no case of declaring something to be legal only because it'd be rather inconvenient to reverse it. A recent example of this was the Obamacare law. When the Supreme Court overturned part the law, they decided to enforce what was left (this is called "severability"). The legislature did not put instructions in for how to partition the law should parts of it be overturned. It's not the Supreme Court's place to decide what parts of a law to keep and to throw away. If the legislative branch doesn't provide otherwise, they should only wholly keep or reject.

Third, policy should not set by interpretation of the US Constitution. A classic example of abuse are some of the interpretations of the Second Amendment,

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Somehow, because there is a preamble that justifies the second, active part of the amendment, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms can readily and trivially be infringed upon. For example, arguing that you're not a member of a "well regulated Militia" and hence, should not be able to have firearms. Or the classic, you can have a black powder musket, but nothing more dangerous. Or forcing people to store their firearms at a tightly controlled firing range. Or forcing people to have firearms with constraints like reduced capacity magazines or gun locks. The games go on and the interpretations mean whatever the would-be law maker wants them to mean.

Comment: Re:bill of rights restricts GOVERNMENT (Score 2) 113

by khallow (#48669051) Attached to: How Laws Restricting Tech Actually Expose Us To Greater Harm
I think this assertion is silly just at first glance. Most of people involved in the development of the US Constitution were not of a "ruling class" (except in the weak sense of the role they happened to be in). And their selection was by their peers, often for things such as brvery or performance in the Revolutionary War or respect.

Further, where are the chartered corporations that these power seekers made?

It's worth noting that we can actually look at what the founding fathers wrote and said, rather than just accepting your bit of historical revisionism. For example, Madison said of the charters of the day (in debate on whether to create a public charter, the Bank of the US:

He waved a reply to Mr. Vining's observations on the common law, (in which that gentleman had been lengthy and minute, in order to invalidate Mr. Madison's objection to the power proposed to be given to the Bank, to make rules and regulations, not contrary to law). Mr. Madison said the question would involve a very lengthy discussion - and other objects more intimately connected with the subject, remained to be considered.

The power of granting Charters, he observed, is a great and important power, and ought not to be exercised, without we find ourselves expressly authorised to grant them: Here he dilated on the great and extensive influence that incorporated societies had on public affairs in Europe: They are a powerful machine, which have always been found competent to effect objects on principles, in a great measure independent of the people.

He argued against the influence of the precedent to be established by the bill - for tho it has been said that the charter is to be granted only for a term of years, yet he contended, that granting the powers on any principle, is granting them in perpetuum - and assuming this right on the part of the government involves the assumption of every power whatever.

So there's an example of one of the most important of the founders eschewing the corporation of that time. While I imagine Madison would be dubious of today's legal fiction of "corporate personhood", he would have also resisted the formation of many of the US's current public institutions. And in the few cases where those institutions met his approval, he'd probably disapprove of their considerably enlarged scope.

And on other end of this spectrum was Alexander Hamilton who supported a strong central government and probably wouldn't have had a major problem with much of what has been done since.

Just like now, there was a mix of the many human opinions, vices, and virtues. To say that the founding fathers meant that or this, especially when what they supposedly meant is just a blatantly fantastical reinterpretation of their times through a modern ideological filter, is to lose understanding of them or of their times.

Finally, though I don't see the indication that the times of the late 18th century are sufficiently different from today that we can safely ignore the purpose of the Constitution or the various dangers it was designed to forestall or mitigate.

Comment: Re:As Bad as Ever (Score 1) 207

by khallow (#48667877) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

The nature of humans is the same today as it was 10,000 years ago. Because of that, we are still in the same boat. The environment has changed, the problems have changed, but the state of things is the same. When someone in The West claims things are getting better, it's because the person is deceived by the wave of western success. If you look at the world as a whole, it's still a violent, scary place.

Well, it is a less violent and scary place. That has changed.

Comment: Re:Societal issues don't define stability. (Score 1) 207

by khallow (#48667867) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

There is going to be a huge resource crunch in the next half century as more nations become developed. And unless huge breakthroughs are made in energy storage, solar and wind power is not going to be an acceptable way to make them happy since power grids are horrifically complex. (green energy is already a pain to deal with in developed countries with regards to pushing it back in to the power grid)

Another problem solved by Slashdot. Next.

Comment: Re:The good outweights the bad (Score 1) 207

by khallow (#48667213) Attached to: The World Is Not Falling Apart

The big thing that is worse, I think, is economic inequality

Except that this is not true either. There was a huge increase in income from about the 10% to 75% (that is, the two thirds of humanity who earned more than the bottom 10% and less than the top 25% over the past twenty years (actually 1988-2008). This has resulted in a considerable decline in global economic inequality despite the wealthiest managing to grow their portion of wealth over that time.

A few days back, we had a couple of stories about how automation was taking away jobs. It was instructive how detached from reality the observations were. One person claimed global median income was stagnant (instead it increased over 60% during the above period as the above link shows). Or that automation this time wasn't resulting in the usual (centuries long trend BTW) increases in employment. But if they had chosen to look, they would have seen at the global scale the usual increase in human employment. It was just in areas that weren't part of the developed world.

My point here is that we have a huge perception problem (this example is in the developed world, but there's nothing special about the developed world when it comes to provincial outlooks). If those previous stories had been about ferners takin' our jerbs away, it'd been laughed off as a clueless hick thing. But mersheens takin' our jerbs away? That's totally different even though the latter debate is driven by the same ignorance as the former.

Comment: Re:Established science CANNOT BE QUESTIONED! (Score 1) 718

by khallow (#48666553) Attached to: Skeptics Would Like Media To Stop Calling Science Deniers 'Skeptics'

If infecting a few people means it'll cost you less or make you more revenue in the long run, you'd be stupid not to do it.

"IF". If on the other hand, it doesn't - say because measles has been reduced to a handful of cases per year, then you wouldn't be stupid.

If it is a Miracle, any sort of evidence will answer, but if it is a Fact, proof is necessary. -- Samuel Clemens