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Comment: Re:Humans are the gross, worst spieces ever (Score 1) 86

by khallow (#49497627) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sixth Extinction Rivals That of the Dinosaurs

It is commonly taught they took to hunting with much stewardship. Did they treat the land and environment as modern civilization does now, pushing the limits and then collectively realizing time to back off a little?

Lot's of things are taught. That doesn't make them true. The only real difference between then and now is that humanity has a larger impact on its environment.

Comment: Re:The real extinction (Score 1) 86

by khallow (#49497569) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sixth Extinction Rivals That of the Dinosaurs

Go take a couple of graduate level courses in paleotaxonomy. Then perhaps an introductory course in logic.

You need to have scraped your beak against the rock of Svithjod (which is currently a hundred miles high and a hundred miles wide) once every thousand years and wear it down to a nub before you are allowed to make the above argument.

Comment: Re:The real extinction (Score 1) 86

by khallow (#49492623) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sixth Extinction Rivals That of the Dinosaurs
The developed world already solved the problem of overpopulation. Make people wealthy and allow women to have equal opportunity to men rather than be relegated to baby-makers. Most of the native populations of the developed world reproduce at below replacement rate and continued population growth comes from immigration from the rest of the world and the higher fertility of those immigrants.

Further, if humanity has die-offs, those die-offs will be concentrated in the areas that are having the most trouble with population growth. Even enormous mass migrations or the developed world partially sharing in the pain will not change that. The disease will be the cure, if those areas which suffer from overpopulation don't do anything about it.

Comment: Re:The real extinction (Score 4, Interesting) 86

by khallow (#49492507) Attached to: Newly Discovered Sixth Extinction Rivals That of the Dinosaurs
He's not saying that the extinctions aren 't happening. He's saying that we don't know that they're comparable to the big extinctions of the past. It's worth remembering here that there is a huge problem with comparing modern world extinctions with extinctions in the geological past. First, it is vastly easier to see and catalog species today than in the past where fossilization is an extremely rare event. We can't know what didn't get fossilized.

But creatures which weren't easy to drive extinct, due to numbers, longevity of the species, or widespread habitat, would also be more likely to leave fossils. So we also have that the fossils of the geological past come from species which are more likely to not be threatened by extinction than the usual species today.

Third, species have different meanings in modern and geological terms. Today, we can classify species based on subtle distinctions like behavior, coloration, habitat, and most important, DNA which usually are impossible to determine from fossil records. Fossil species on the other hand, are determined by rather crude morphology traits which can be fossilized. A fossil species is a much bigger grouping than a modern species.

So when you combine all these aspects, you get that extinction of a fossil species is a much bigger deal just on its own than extinction of a modern species and may represent in some cases the extinction of dozens of modern species.

I think a better measure here is extinction at the genus level. Genuses are more likely to have fossil records and we can speak of the relative decline of the number of genuses in a proposed extinction event.

When you do that, I don't think there is a serious comparison at the present between human-caused extinction and geological extinction events. I suspect most genus-level extinctions would be in large terrestrial animals, amphibians, and any genus of organisms particularly susceptible to local habitat destruction. You don't have large scale declines in the number of all land and sea genus-level organisms (which can be fossilized) as are present during major extinction events of the past.

Comment: Re:Balls of steel (Score 1) 319

by khallow (#49490439) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

I have no trouble with people pooling resources and having their First Amendment rights maintained as group. However, if they want limited liability, then I have a problem with that.

It's a standard application of the First Amendment. The whole point is to allow it no matter how much of a problem you or the powers-that-be have with it.

Comment: Re:Balls of steel (Score 1) 319

by khallow (#49484627) Attached to: Gyro-Copter Lands On West Lawn of US Capitol, Pilot Arrested

you can STILL restrict corporate political spending WITHOUT intruding on ANYBODY'S freedom

Of course that is wrong. As ScentCone noted, the law in question was preventing people from pooling their resources (via a corporation, a very common organizational structure for non-profits) to distribute a political message, which is a legitimate application of the First Amendment.

Comment: Re:"Close" Only Counts (Score 1) 339

Just that "close" here is not "close" in terms of a workable solution as the summary had indicated they were close to having the problem solved. And in respect to the summary, I meant only that they are still a long ways off from having a reliable vehicle.

Actually, it is pretty close to solved. They probably just need to improve the control system a little bit.

Second, they have a reliable vehicle by the standards of current rocketry. They aren't competing head to head with a Boeing 747, but vehicles like the Atlas 5 or Soyuz. And a more reliable vehicle is a matter of using the current reliable vehicle a lot to develop the knowledge to build that vehicle more reliably.

Comment: Re:The Hard Way (Score 1) 339

Why do it the hardest and most fuel inefficient way imaginable.

There are two things to note here. First, it's not the most "fuel inefficient" way as your alternative demonstrates (all that crap has to go up as well as come down, that uses far more fuel than the current approach does). Second, fuel efficiency is not that important. The rocket engines that SpaceX is trying to recover are far more costly than the additional propellent required for the current scheme to recover them.

Comment: Re:Shall we play a game? (Score 1) 91

by khallow (#49483637) Attached to: Killer Robots In Plato's Cave

Drones could not be seen or detected, hence used as assassination devices. Iran is successfully killing drones, they are no longer immune to detection.

The US wasn't using drones to assassinate people in Iran. And so what if Iran can do it? It's not the same as someone elsewhere achieving the same feat, particularly without creating a military target in the process. Keep in mind that the US strategy is to always have drones in the air. So it's not that useful to be able to detect drones, because you will always be able to detect drones. Merely detecting drones tells you nothing about whether the controllers of those drones know enough to commit an effective assassination strike.

Study up on DOD and Military expenses, money has never been an object, ever in the history of the military.

The Second World War and the Cold War are obvious counterexamples. The US won both wars in large part because its opponents could not afford to match the US's industrial/economic strength. I don't see that working at all with China in the next few decades. And even ignoring the competition from that emerging superpower, we still have that the US military and its ongoing activities are a huge drain on the US.

To the last part, I think we are close to agreeing except for where you claim autonomous systems would still require humans.

I think a completely autonomous system will eventually be feasible. But then how would you know that it is working as intended? That implies the involvement of independent sensory systems, which would eventually have humans in the loop.

Further, it runs completely contrary to how modern military systems and strategies work. A key aspect of US military development is the combination of improved intelligence of the enemy with more accurate and precise delivery of military force. Manufactured ignorance which impairs decision makers' knowledge of ongoing military activities runs completely counter to that approach. I don't buy that anyone would allow the entire US military to run autonomously and unsupervised (especially given the many constraints that have been put on the US military over the centuries) just so they could have marginally better plausible deniability when it comes to killing innocents.

Comment: Re:Shall we play a game? (Score 1) 91

by khallow (#49477351) Attached to: Killer Robots In Plato's Cave

First part, drones were game changing when they were immune to detection and shutdown.

Drones were never immune to detection and shutdown. Nor is that their draw at present.

Drones are no different than aircraft currently.

Aircraft that are many times more expensive than drones and which contain a human pilot.

. They require a human to pilot and shoot, so morality still gets involved.

The same reasons that morality would get involved in a weapon system with a human pilot, would get involved with any other weapons system. We see it with landmines, for example. The cost/benefit of remote or autonomous systems is different, but your morality should apply equally.

And humans would still be involved. It's not like they'll throw away all information about the kills the autonomous robots are making. After all, they'll want those robots to be more effective, and you can't make anything more effective by ignoring it.

Comment: Re:Humans are Human (Score 1) 361

by khallow (#49474775) Attached to: Can Civilization Reboot Without Fossil Fuels?

but real research demonstrates basic environmental problems including a changing climate and resource depletion as the only contributing factors to every single decline

Except when that real research doesn't, of course.

whereas your postulation is unsupported by evidence

My "postulation" is often well documented in the literature of the time such as the documented behavior and infighting of the Roman elite during the centuries of the empires of Rome or similar activities of other large empires of China and Egypt. Famines, disease, etc are often also documented, which may partially support your claims of climate change.

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