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Comment Re:15 years old? (Score 1) 246

As for the climate change issue, I think this is a pretty good stance: http://www.gocomics.com/joelpe...

It's a profoundly ignorant stance, both of the economic consequences of screwing with the world's energy and transportation infrastructure, and of hopelessly misunderstanding the opposition to climate change mitigation.

Comment Re:Ah the right wing story progression (Score 1) 246

Even stopped clocks are right twice a day, but we don't count on them to tell time. Life is more than condescending plots ripped from low budget movies. Show global warming is a problem requiring our urgent attention rather than spin fantasy about how your genius gets ignored.

Comment Re: The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 208

So you'd have to find objects that provide: oil/kerosene (a fuel), liquid oxygen and/or hydrogen (a catalyst) and your precious metal all in close proximity near earth, find multi-billion dollar investors to mine stuff we can easily find on earth.

You can find metal oxides anywhere. With some energy, that becomes LOX and a reactive metal which you can use in either a pressured gas engine or a hybrid (LOX/metal) motor. You wouldn't want to fire it in Earth orbit due to the spew of solids in the propellant exhaust.

Comment Re:Sigh... (Score 1) 208

Alternatively you could just make a bunch of those metal things impact earth and mine it from there (businesses of your proposed magnitude wouldn't care much about environmental or people issues such as wiping a small country off the map).

I did say the dude was crazy. Maybe he read too much Heinlein.

Comment Re: The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 208

Alternatively you could just make a bunch of those metal things impact earth and mine it from there (businesses of your proposed magnitude wouldn't care much about environmental or people issues such as wiping a small country off the map).

Maybe, we should refrain from doing stupid stuff, eh?

Comment Re:The law is ridiculous anyway (Score 1) 208

We can't really discuss the subject with you when you keep asking irrelevant, leading questions. Suppose the previous poster was a hard-core "manifest destiny" type who actually does agree that colonialism is an unalloyed great thing. Or not. It's completely irrelevant to their point about the natives being unable to maintain possession of land they used to occupy.

Comment Re:The treaty says no such thing. (Score 1) 208

I'm not saying it won't happen eventually, but it won't be profitable until we're measuring cost per pound to orbit in pennies rather than thousands of dollars.

In other words, it won't be profitable until the mass for that machinery and propellant comes from somewhere much cheaper than Earth, say the asteroid you're mining.

Comment Re:Restaining growth (Score 1) 208

"Economic growth" can't be sustained forever. A new social model will have to replace that idea. So sorry.

So what when there are at the least, centuries of growth left? After all, not everyone currently enjoys a developed world lifestyle. That's one avenue for growth. Not every society is fully industrialized. That's another avenue. We don't live indefinitely; we don't have massive space civilizations; we don't have post-scarcity conditions; we don't fully understand the universe; we don't have a host of things which we can put into our grasp eventually.

There's plenty of room for growth and it makes no sense to talk about imaginary "new social models" which are irrelevant to a world in growth for the practical future.

Comment Re:Sigh... (Score 2) 208

A private entitey gaining ownership over what is currently public could be looked on as theft from the public.

There are surprisingly few things owned in space by the public or anyone else. If some crazy dude with a bunch of robots can keep the rest of humanity from doing anything with the Moon other than look at it, then he effectively owns it even if no one else agrees.

Comment Re:Absence of Evidence is not Evidence of Absence (Score 1) 197

It's also a matter of intent. Intentionally, being a dick is macroaggression. Accidentally being a dick is a microaggression. But this leads to an important secondary matter, that of interpretation. After all, if I'm trying to be a dick, then by my own viewpoint I am macroaggressing. If I'm not trying, then how does anyone know I'm microaggressing? The answer is that someone observes my behavior and decides it is a microaggression.

That leads to the second observation, that microagression is a matter of perception and subjectivity, often by people with chips on their thin-skinned shoulders. It can be an obvious insult, like assuming someone is a drooling idiot because they're a certain ethnicity. But it can also be something pretentious like someone deciding that the word, "niggardly" is an insult against African Americans even though the word doesn't have racist origins (unlike say, "indian summer"). The attitude is particularly pernicious when the person who perceives the insult is acting as an unauthorized proxy acting on the behalf of an apathetic or completely absent group.

All I can say is that I didn't care before microaggression became a thing and the situation hasn't changed now that I've been made aware of this dire threat to humanity. I think it has to do with the fundamental observation that people can choose not to be insulted by non-insults. Thus, anyone who has a serious problem with microaggressions needs to look in a mirror to see who is responsible for fixing that.

Comment Re:Yeah, but that just means... (Score 1) 197

No, it just means that as education prevails, people are less prone to fall for insane cults.

The anti-vaccination craze? Fad ketosis dieting? Near-worship of media figures like the Kardashians? Climate change skepticism? I'd go on but that's already more than enough to refute your statement.

You would only be correct, if cults had a smaller membership in the past. I'll note that we've had over the past thirty years a sharp drop in both the membership and severity of communism.That directly improves the lives of about a billion and a half people living today.

Comment Re:I thought the secondary payload (Score 1) 53

But, I don't recall the enormous wailing and hand wringing about the USA losing its abilities in space back during the gap in the 70's like there is today.

That's because it was forty years ago. Forty years have passed and we going through the same route of failure again. There are two obvious problems that get ignored here. First, where's the money for payloads on the SLS coming from? NASA has had a nearly constant budget for the last 40 years and SLS consumes a sixth of that budget for little gain.

Second, SLS has terrible economics, particularly low launch frequency and a dependency on the Shuttle supply chain. There's no excuse any more for NASA rolling its own launch vehicle when it can and should be using commercial vehicles. That budget could be buying serious deep space missions now rather than a launch vehicle that will never be well used.

Comment Re:I thought the secondary payload (Score 1) 53

Only if you ignore the much more substantial work that had to be done after Apollo 1 (which required not only a change in the life support system from the oxygen rich atmosphere but also a switching over of much of the wiring to less hazardous materials in case of fire). For example, the solution to Challenger was to not expose o-rings to freezing temperatures. They could have launched again in a few months when freezing temperatures were no longer an issue and the pad was ready for launch again. Similarly, the solution for Columbia was to cross fingers and hope that rare ice impact event doesn't happen on your next few launches (after all, they had over 100 launches with only one lethal ice impact event) while you fix the known problem. Delays of over two years are inexcusable.

All Finagle Laws may be bypassed by learning the simple art of doing without thinking.