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Comment: Re:News? (Score 1) 101

by khallow (#49550967) Attached to: 7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead

What fucked up ethical system do you have that doesn't start by saying human life is inherently valuable?

It is we who choose to make human life valuable or not. And there are easy to conceive global collapse scenarios such as a global famine where human life has negative value - each additional mouth to feed takes food from everyone else and causes more suffering.

My view on this is that the economic mechanisms of trade and private ownership of capital have done far more to make human life valuable than any system of ethics. One can say the same of technology progress, particularly in agriculture, transportation, and labor saving devices.

Comment: Re:they've been trying to "join" for a while (Score 1) 74

by khallow (#49550801) Attached to: German Intelligence Helped NSA Spy On EU Politicians and Companies

Those double agents are not working in the interests of their country, they are working in the interests of the corrupt US corporations that control the US government.

You went way off the rails here. NSA has already done a lot to undermine corrupt and non-corrupt US corporations and nothing has been done about it. They still get their usual captive revenue stream (which let us note, will flow no matter how unhappy the business world gets about it). Just because large corporations are more useful to the US intelligence community than you are doesn't mean that they're in charge. It just means that the large corporation has some opportunity for profit as long as they continue to play ball. The tail, corporations aren't wagging this dog.

Do you really believe that curbing the power of businesses is going to result in the NSA spying less or hinder the other power grabs that the US federal government routinely engages in?

One of the huge things routinely missed in this topic is that business versus government is the huge informal division of power in democracies throughout the world. Making businesses absolutely subservient to government is another step towards tyranny. Sure, I don't think it's a good idea to let businesses rule our societies. But neither do I think it's a good idea to cripple them so much that they can't help us resist tyranny from the government side.

I can't help but think that you are an unwitting shill for a statist ideology which seeks to knock out the obstacles to rule.

Comment: Re:It is also a supervolcano. (Score 1) 151

by khallow (#49543147) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized
Larry Niven used Uranus and nuclear fusion of its atmosphere to move the Earth, via a series of flybys in the story, "A World Out of Time". I personally was thinking more loops of asteroids doing flybys of Earth and Jupiter, slowly transferring velocity from Jupiter to Earth and various other planets and bodies of interest. And yes, while the occasional impact by a misplaced asteroid would suck, getting baked by the Sun probably would suck a lot more.

Comment: Re:Get inside their heads (Score 1) 294

Even in a world of strictly monetary values, very few own copyrights that held their value so long after creation. It's not everyone's monetary value that's being preserved, but rather that of a few. Limited duration IP has value even in the world of pure monetary value.

That's the power of a good ethics system. That it holds even with widely divergent moral viewpoints.

Comment: Re:It is also a supervolcano. (Score 5, Informative) 151

by khallow (#49542641) Attached to: Yellowstone Supervolcano Even Bigger Than We Realized

I thought it was widely known that when Yellowstone finally does go up, that will be an extinction-level event. Most of the planet will become completely uninhabitable for decades.

Not true. We need to remember that there are more than 100 known caldera eruptions of the Yellowstone hotspot as it migrated from eastern Oregon to its present location over the past 16 million years. None of these eruptions, including the big eruption of 2 million years ago, are tied to known global extinction events over this time period.

Sure, if you were a plant or animal with a limited range too close to one of these supervolcano eruptions, you were out of luck, but we don't see global impact over the known lifespan of the hotspot. If it were remotely as bad as you claim, we would have seen some obvious signs of it in the fossil record, which we don't.

Further, why would the Earth's atmosphere become unbreathable? Sure, there's a lot of ash and gases released in a supervolcano eruption. But the Earth's atmosphere is much bigger than that and most of those gases, aside from carbon dioxide and other relatively insoluble gases, would wash out in rain. The remnant that remains in the stratosphere wouldn't have much effect precisely because of how little there is in the stratosphere.

Prepping for this is a joke. No power, no running water, no crops, no breathable air on the surface, for years and years. Your basement shelter won't keep you alive for a month under those conditions.

Enough lead time and you can prep for anything nature throws at you other than universe-scale problems like the heat death of the universe. Maybe even that can be managed successfully though I'm not feeling up to it.

Comment: Re:"Full responsibilty?" (Score 1) 331

by khallow (#49541547) Attached to: Drone Killed Hostages From U.S. and Italy, Drawing Obama Apology
And if you look at how international law is created, such as the Geneva Conventions or the various nuclear nonproliferation treaties, your impression of the strangeness of international law would no doubt endure. This stuff is created by ad hoc groups of diplomats (which would be the bodies analogous to legislatures in the law making process) pulled together for the treaty in question. And they nakedly pursue the very specific interests they represent which may or may not be the specific interests they claim to represent. Legislatures have similar fig leaves, but those tend to be more carefully placed.

An nescis, mi fili, quantilla prudentia mundus regatur?

"But this one goes to eleven." -- Nigel Tufnel