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Comment: Re: Security theater (Score 3, Insightful) 224

by knightghost (#49328163) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

There is no silver bullet, but calling psychology a delusion only shows ignorance of the science.

"Soft Sciences" are really just those with many variables. Training and experience deal with those rather than hard formulas that can be computed through software.

Is that person nervous or relaxed? That comprises hundreds of variables. Are they defensive to questions? What about their return trip (while they are thinking they won't return)? etc etc etc

Security is also layered. First is basic software profiling based on information about the person and flight. Second is physical screening. Third is behavioral screening. The list goes on.

I'm a frequent traveler and see the TSA has 90% theatre. That won't change because the voters only want a warm fuzzy feeling, the politicians only care about votes and kickbacks, any sensible TSA executive gets fired, airlines are constantly trying to eliminate security for cost savings, and screeners are minimum wage employees (untrained, inexperienced). There's simply no driver to improve the situation.

Comment: Re: Security theater (Score 4, Insightful) 224

by knightghost (#49326961) Attached to: $1B TSA Behavioral Screening Program Slammed As "Junk Science"

The problem here isn't the science, it's the pork.

Behavioral science is half of a police officer's job. Problem is (besides pork barrel mismanagement) is that minimum wage TSA don't have the training, experience, or often the intelligence to use it effectively. Many airports that do this effectively will simply hire a good local police department to accomplish it.

As for bashing the TSA, every time they try to do something reasonable (like ok nail clippers) they get fired by the politicians. So track the problem down to the source - dishonest politicians and the apathetic and ignorant public that votes them in.

Comment: Re:Wind is (Score 2) 262

by knightghost (#49250567) Attached to: US Wind Power Is Expected To Double In the Next 5 Years

All of the wind and weather on planet Earth is a result of temperature inversions caused by solar heating. It seems to me that energy from wind should be less efficient than energy from solar due to thermodynamics. Why then is solar more expensive?

That response was a perfect demonstration as to why engineers really need to study basic economics. And also take a more comprehensive look at issues.

Production is free. Harvesting is expensive. Distribution is expensive. Time shifting is expensive. etc. Add it up.

Comment: Re:Wind is (Score 1) 262

by knightghost (#49249621) Attached to: US Wind Power Is Expected To Double In the Next 5 Years

Costs: Wind: 6 cents/kw (but 30 c/kw with infrastructure), solar 60 c/kw, natgas 9 c/kw, coal 7 c/kw, nuclear 12 c/kw, hydro 3 c/kw.

Problem with wind and solar is that they are intermittent, but the distribution and storage are extremely lacking. You run into the huge issue of peak need vs lowest production - in just seconds. It'll be a couple decades before either is economical (assuming you ignore government market manipulation).

Comment: Re:i'th Post (Score -1) 366

Politicians/Marketing twist everything for their own use.

The problem with scientists and engineers is that they don't understand economics or sociology. Is climate change man made? Of course it is, that was settled scientifically over 2 decades ago. Are we all going to die from it? No, so quit making it seem scary. Are the coasts going to recede? Of course they are - but over a long period of time and they are constantly rebuilding. The key at this point is to stop government bailouts when things flood (I.E. $60b wasted bailing out NY and NJ from storm Sandy when 99% of the damage was self induced). People's adaptation ability is astonishing swift when they have to pay for their own mistakes.

Comment: Re:ok, so it's not unstoppable (Score 2) 341

by knightghost (#49152903) Attached to: We Stopped At Two Nuclear Bombs; We Can Stop At Two Degrees.

Global warming is a great thing - just ask Canada, especially the places that are currently -40 degrees.

Scientists need someone that knows marketing. We don't care about what they talk about... link the argument to our pay or something useful.

Final thought... comparisons are to rebuilding today's infrastructure as if it wasn't constantly changing already. We have decades and perhaps centuries to adjust - ever hear of constant improvement?

The major difference between bonds and bond traders is that the bonds will eventually mature.