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Comment Self directed/managed teams are not new ... (Score 2) 316

Self directed/managed teams are not new. However to be successful the team must consist of people with high expertise in the various areas where things need to be done. Plus they need to have goal oriented personalities and be team players, willing to do a dirty/uninteresting task at times to get the team to where it needs to be. And most importantly open minded when discussing how to solve a problem, complete a task, etc amongst fellow team members, willing to put one's own idea aside and adopt a colleagues. In other words this sort of structure is not for most people. It can work but the team members must be very carefully and thoughtfully selected.

Comment Re:The movie was good because the book was short. (Score 1) 240

Again, he's not mixing up moles and liters due to scientific illiteracy. He's substituting a term well known to the public for a term largely unknown to the public. Its called artistic license, its a mass market book and movie, its not a scientific paper. Such things are permissible. Also hard sci fi recognizes artistic license and the limits of the audience, the rule of thumb of hard sci fi is plausibility not literal adherence to known science.

From wiki: "Today, the term "soft science fiction" is also often used to refer to science fiction stories which lack any scientific focus or rigorous adherence to known science. The categorization "hard science fiction" represents a position on a broad continuum—ranging from "softer" to "harder".

Comment Re:The movie was good because the book was short. (Score 1) 240

The idiot author doesn't even know the difference between a mole and a liter. It's the sort of thing that fails you out of 10th grade chemistry.

Actually an idiot author would have failed to understand that he is not writing for chemistry students, a bright author would make such a substitution so that the general population who can barely recall that water is H2O could read the book without having to consult your high school chemistry textbook.

Comment The movie skipped many months of activity ... (Score 1) 240

I liked the movie a lot, and I was surprised about how almost everything in the book made it into the movie.

Actually quite a bit was left out. In particular note the "7 months later" notice that is briefly on the screen.

Was it 7 or did I misremember the number of months? In any case many months of activity and drama were skipped. If someone reads the book after seeing the movie there will be plenty of new interesting stuff.

Still, a very reasonable compromise given time constraints and overall a very good adaptation of a book IMO. Only one somewhat regrettable hollywood'ism near the end of the rescue. Quite forgivable given the quality of the reset of the movie.

Comment 401K does not require investing in stocks ... (Score 1) 240

Ah, yes. 401(K)s. I sure want to put my retirement in the hands of the same people who created a bubble market in the US ...

You do realize that investing in a 401k does not require you to invest in stocks and bonds? An interest bearing cash option is available, much like a savings account. Even with the historically low average interest rate your return will most likely outperform social security, especially with employer matches.

Of course if you are decades away from retirement bubbles aren't a problem. When stock prices crash when the bubble breaks your 401k deductions are buying stocks at a cheaper price. That 2007 crash, any stocks you owned already were recovered in about five years judging by the DOW and S&P500 indexes, anything purchased in that timeframe was at a discount and showed a huge gain. Using a NASDAQ index your recovery would have been a little faster. And FYI, you don't have to pick stocks of companies - guess at winners and losers, you can invest in funds that track the previously mentioned indexes. The "averaging in" that occurs via your paycheck's 401k deductions moderate and average out a lot of market volatility.

So no, you are not highly vulnerable to the idiots on wall street unless you try to play their game, pick winners and losers rather than go with an index fund, or are less than ten years from retirement and needing the money.

Comment Lower tax rates fine if loopholes closed ... (Score 1) 240

What, as opposed to the bullshit claim that by cutting the taxes of corporations and the wealthy somehow that improves everybody's lives?

Actually cutting taxes and closing loopholes could work quite nicely, the later offsetting the former, generating the same revenue for the government.

What does not work so well is what we are currently doing. Having high tax rates and lots and lots of loopholes. The former allowing some politicians to make "we're getting money from the rich" claims while the later simultaneously lets corporations and people not actually make those payments implied by the former.

The current system is an incredible engine of corruption. Letting politicians created special taxes, tax exceptions and various loopholes is license to punish opponents and reward friends. That's one of the benefits of some flat'ish tax system (not literally flat, phases in to give those of lower incomes a break) with no deductions. It prevents politicians from engaging in social engineering and political corruption via the tax system. A lower rate does not have to generate less revenue. Take current revenue, calculate the effective tax rate after credits and deductions, make that the "flat" rate with no deductions (again, slightly more complicated than that since it phases in to give lower incomes a break but its still an easy computation for macro economists). Lower rate, same revenue.

Comment Lunar regolith - thermal, radiation, micro-meteor (Score 1) 194

read up on atmospheric pressures and temperatures, specifically the extremes on Mars vs. those on the Moon, and the relative radiation levels. Basically you can use a similar design but you have to overengineer the hell out of it to make it feasible on BOTH, because the Moon has no ozone and has ridiculous 28-day cycles with insane temperature extremes.

Well any equipment dealing with water ice would be in the shade and not subject to lunar temperature extremes, that is how the the ice has survived after all. As for equipment on the surface exposed to sunlight, go underground or make shade. There are lava tubes in places waiting to be used. Or one can build walls from the lunar regolith. Or one can put up a tarp like when camping in the desert, no wind on the moon so its more practical than on mars. The lunar regolith has the advantage of also helping with micro-meteors and provides some radiation shielding.

Comment Energy is plentiful on the moon ... (Score 1) 194

Hey genius. It takes more fuel to split water than you would get afterwards by burning hydrogen...

No. It takes more energy. And transforming energy from one form to another is quite useful, as in converting solar to fuel. Look out a window and find a plant, it is converting solar energy to fuel, sugar, via photosynthesis. On the moon use solar energy to power the electrolysis of H2O into H2 and O2. Or if you happen to have a handy nuclear power source ...

Comment Impact energy distributed (Score 1) 143

These hedgerows were not what people in the US and UK think of when someone says hedges. That was part of the problem, people in the US and UK were not used to seeing vegetation that tanks could not knock down or plow through so it was a blind spot of sorts.

These hedgerows were incredibly large and dense with branches, vines and roots interlocking. When they took a hit from a tank the energy of impact would get distributed, its a little bit like the special fibers and weaves that help to distribute impact energy over a large area in some bullet resistant vests. They needed something to cut these branches and vines to interfere with this energy distribution.

Or maybe think of a net, one wants to cut a slot in the net to pass through.

In Nature there are neither rewards nor punishments, there are consequences. -- R.G. Ingersoll