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Comment: Re:Some potential, but hardly for a genuine leap (Score 1) 200

by khallow (#48951981) Attached to: NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

No other mode of transportation has to carry its own reaction mass and throw it away. Not bicycles, cars, trains, ships, submarines, or airplanes.

Actually, jet airplanes do. A significant portion of their thrust comes from the mass of jet fuel, oxidized and ejected out the rear of the jet engine.

Second, every single mode of transportation has reaction mass. For modes that travel on ground, the Earth itself is the reaction mass. For airplanes, it's mostly pushing air. For boats, it's pushing water.

Finally, it makes no sense to talk about transportation modes that don't go where you want them to go. Rockets are horribly inefficient in comparison to cars, but cars can't drive to space. While there are ideas, such as the space tether for making a genuine road to space, they rely on having enough economic activity from Earth to space to make them viable. That market has to be created by a less efficient mode of transportation first.

Even then, space tethers and similar systems need some sort of reaction mass to keep the system from getting pulled down over time by all the payloads coming up. But that need not be provided by a high thrust chemical engine.

Comment: Re:Ion Thruster (Score 1) 200

by khallow (#48951675) Attached to: NASA Looking At Nuclear Thermal Rockets To Explore the Solar System

An Ion thruster (of any variety) is not *remotely* a replacement for a nuclear thermal engine.

Unless of course, you don't need an engine with high thrust to weight which is the case in most space activities. And nuclear thermal won't be used for boosting stuff from Earth's surface, the most important high thrust application. I just don't see your argument.

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 420

by khallow (#48951477) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change
Well, from my point of view, we in the US have done the things you want for decades and are worse off for it. We've "invested" and ended up with "debt", we're tried to plan for the future and ended up with "too big to fail" and an educational system several times more expensive yet less effective than it should be, we have a permanent underclass of unemployed in the name of trying to help them, and losing ground in a lot of areas that the US shouldn't be losing ground. The greedy, self-absorbed rich have done just fine by your "social programs", but what about the people who you actually meant to help?

We did what you want, and it turns out to be shit. So why is digging that hole deeper virtuous?

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 420

by khallow (#48947915) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

People don't do that anymore, so we need a different solution.

People don't plan for the future anymore. People don't fund blue sky science anymore. People aren't responsible for themselves anymore. People don't think for themselves anymore.

Because why bother when you can have government do all of that for you?

Comment: Re:"Support" != actually sacrifice for (Score 1) 420

by khallow (#48947831) Attached to: Most Americans Support Government Action On Climate Change

Actually, liberals do want to pay for government programs... that's WHY democrats have a more favorable view of taxes; as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr said: "Taxes are what we pay for civilized society."

But not with their own money. You can with like-minded people step up and pay for all the social programs you want. Simultaneously, you would completely eliminate any "conservative" criticism because they wouldn't have a say in how things run.

That you could get civilization without all that eye-rolling.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 262

Or releasing genetically modified mind blowingly hot humans into areas with human overpopulation issues, so that all the offsprings or grandkids are infertile.

I think it more likely that someone will engineer a sexually transmitted disease which induces infertility and is tailored to ethnic groups that they don't like.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 262

No, if your population had 1000 births but 1000 deaths in a given period of time, you are not experiencing population growth.

If you have positive population growth, it isn't because your population is experiencing a negative rate of deaths.

The ugly fact is that in low food conditions, more people die faster. This is not good for population growth.

And yet population growth still happens. As I noted, birth rate goes up too and there are plenty of examples of places over the past century that had low food supply yet still had high population growth rates. It's only when a society transitions to not enough food per person to keep everyone alive (which incidentally happens frequently during a war or famine so that it's not just a slight change in food per person), that we transition into higher death rates than birth rates.

My point here is that the dynamic between population growth and decline doesn't gradually nose over as food supply and wealth dwindles.

The original response was to your notion that developed world affluence keeps population growth in check. I'm pointing out that wealth actually helps populations grow. I generalize wealth creation as the result of capitalism, and opposition to it as socialism.

And I'm pointing out that you are merely wrong here. We have lots of evidence that wealth at all levels of modern human development correlates with lower population growth. Your generalization is wrong as well. Capitalism is not defined as things good for society, such as creation of wealth, and socialism as things bad for society, such as taking wealth away. They are merely somewhat different approaches to similar problems.

Chinese and Venezueleans may call themselves socialist, but if their action is to support an activity that ultimately helps grow wealth (which in turn grows the population), they are actually supporting capitalism. Socialism is to reject that activity out of some twisted sense of obligation to some "greater good".

So call them "socialists" because of their actions then. It's a silly argument to make and again depends on a white hat/black hat view of capitalism and socialism which isn't true.

I personally heavily favor capitalism in a society, but I don't make the mistake of discounting socialism policies just because because they don't work at the huge doses that have been tried over the past couple hundred years.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 262

I don't know that you could call anyone in Chinese government truely socialist anymore. The only socialist programs I can think about is the big projects they do, and their central planning (power, infrastructure....).

Bingo. Environmentalism is not socialism. It is a third independent attribute. Another example of this is the antics of the former USSR which among other things nearly destroyed the Aral Sea.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 262

Remember we're talking about population growth. It's not just about reproduction, but whether you can sustain a growing population.

No, population growth is about reproduction not sustainability. It's an ugly fact that poorer people have more children even in low food conditions.

They're forces that push against each other.

Ok, I see your use here. I'll just point out that "opposite forces" quickly lose their meaning when there are more than two forces in play.

But that's what socialists want. If they had their way (and some will say they do in some places), they would implement policies which restrict oil production and consumption. I say they scream bloody murder because currently, the socialists aren't winning that battle.

I disagree. Chinese socialists aren't on board with this and they're a huge part of the group. Socialists from oil-producing countries aren't on board either (eg, Venezuela).

But having said that , I do believe the shrillness of the arguments for global warming has a lot to do with losing the overall war for that.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 262

Except for the fact that 1 affluent human uses more resources than 10 not so affluent.

Think about it. If we were somehow to hold affluence constant, the affluent population will have shrunk slightly, while the not so affluent population will grow exponentially. Even a small population of not so affluent will eventually consume more than a vast affluent population, unless you check their population growth somehow.

Comment: Re:So.... (Score 1) 262

That hedonist couple that the other AC joked about may not reproduce, but in all their consumption, they have directly or indirectly employed and fed hundreds if not thousands of people, and those people will reproduce. From the farmers who grow their food to the 3rd world workers who assembled their computers, all those people get to work and feed themselves and have more kids.

The developing world people would have reproduced anyway, and if they were less affluent, they would have reproduced more than they actually did!

What keeps human population in check is socialism. It is the equal and opposite reaction to capitalism.

It's not an opposite to capitalism. After all, we have plenty of societies that have combinations of both capitalism and socialism. And socialism can curb population growth in the same way as capitalism by making most people a bit more affluent.

Socialism screams bloody murder about global warming telling us we need to stop using oil.

This is a non sequitur. Screaming about global warming doesn't make people go away or reproduce less.

Friction is a drag.