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Comment Re:As an option, OK. As mandatory, NO. (Score 1) 77

That's why I said "average intelligence and background." Neither one is sufficient. If you dumb it down too far then there's no difference between your presentation and that of dozens of others working in your same field. If you don't dumb it down - and it's not groundbreaking results, and obviously so - then many, perhaps most, people will lose interest within a minute or so.

Frankly, what I was afraid of is that sponsors of research would start making such presentations a requirement of funding. I still am afraid of that, all the above comments notwithstanding.

btw: my BS was in astrophysics, and I'm working in the tech industry now. I'm not someone afraid of science.

Comment Swap to bifocals (Score 1) 464

When my ophthalmologist suggested progressives instead of my usual trifocals, I tried them. Major fail, same sort of things that you're experiencing. My ophthalmologist advised me that the opticians I used (not associated with ophthalmologist's practice) guarantee the progressives. I told the opticians that they weren't working, and the opticians cheerfully made a set of trifocals at no charge. You didn't say how long you've had these progressives, though. If it's been more than a month or two, you might get a different answer.

Comment Whole house surge protector (Score 1) 236

I don't have one yet but an electrician recently quoted me under $300 (USD) for a whole-house surge protector with a ginormous coverage guarantee (maybe $20K?), installed in the circuit breaker box. No it doesn't provide protection for the internet line. But over my lifetime I've probably spent close to $300 for surge protector strips, and my TV and heat pump and refrigerator are still at risk. So this makes some sense now.

Comment Margaret Atwood / The Tent (Score 2) 410

I bought "The Tent" on a whim. It's a small book of really short stories - 3 or 4 pages. None are related to one another, and every one will stretch both your mind an your horizons. It's a fantastic example of sparse writing: major concepts coming across in very few words. I think my mind would explode (in the nicest way) if Margaret Atwood and Ursula K. LeGuin ever collaborated on a story.

Comment Only profitable option for the coffee companies (Score 1) 228

Genetically-engineering decaf coffee beans is the only profitable option for the coffee companies. Natural decaf reduces their costs by eliminating the decaffeination step. Adding more caffeine wouldn't be significantly more profitable: the current user base simply drinks another cup, so they're paying for extra caf already. The flavor options just redirect sales from one part of the coffee market to another; they neither increase profits nor decrease costs.

Comment Daniel J. Boorstin's "The Discoverers" (Score 1) 293

Daniel Boorstin, Librarian of Congress (1975 - 1987) wrote The Discoverers. It's a book about the people and events surrounding some very early, essential discoveries. Some of the discoveries include

Time (remember, prior to clocks each day had hours of differing duration. The 12 daylight hours were longer in the summer, and shorter in the winter.)

Maps and map coordinates (such as the idea that they should be drawn to scale, or that coordinates were not evil)

the Compass


It's history, not the future view you're discussing, but it does give lots of great insights into the discovery of things that fundamentally changed the world.

"We don't care. We don't have to. We're the Phone Company."