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Comment: Re:Who dies from old age? (Score 1) 592

by Kjella (#49800527) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

And people don't usually die of "old age" but of things related to it. When the body gets older, the immune system gets weaker, your bones and muscles decay, your brain gets messed up, and a lot of deaths are in reality just a mix of a bunch of factors that just result in the body kind of shutting down. None of that will happen anymore.

And there's a feedback loop here too, because you a) have less life left to live and b) is generally weaker you get less treatment. A relative of mine is dying from cancer and it's low intensity life-prolonging treatment. If he was 20 years younger, they'd put him on high intensity drugs that would keep the cancer suppressed much, much longer. If he was 50 years younger, they'd probably try a full bone marrow transplant which is a massive procedure that is not only ridiculously expensive but likely to kill the old by itself. So being forever young wouldn't just avoid age-related diseases, it'd open up far stronger treatments as well.

Comment: Re: Exodus (Score 1) 592

by Kjella (#49800383) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Even if it worked (I doubt), this does not mean that you stay young forever. You don't age normally, but all your joints will be used up purely mechanically. Not ageing does not equate to 'no wear'. It doesn't equate to 'no disease', and neither to 'no cancer'. Teeth will decay, nothing to do with age. Even parts of the heart will be used up and not regenerate.
In a nutshell, the non-ageing population segment will be zombies with artificial hips, joints, teeth, heart, and so forth.

Why artificial? All the blueprints are in my DNA. On severe burn victims they do muscle and skin grafts, with sufficiently advanced technology we could grow pretty much anything. The non-ethical way would be to just clone me, zap the higher brain functions and keep for 15 years in a vegetative state you'll have all the organs to fit an adult man. The ethical way would be to find ways to grow just that organ in a lab. It wouldn't be the cure to everything as you could have brain tumors and whatnot but you could get pretty far that way.

Comment: Re:Seriously? (Score 1) 330

by Rei (#49800067) Attached to: Crowdfunded, Solar-powered Spacecraft Goes Silent

I think it's pretty amazing that spacecraft can survive at all out there, given the sort of particles flying around - individual cosmic rays with the energy of fast-pitch baseballs. Thankfully, particles with such high energy have tiny cross sections (they prefer to move through matter rather than interact with it), and when they do hit something and create a shower of particles, most of the progeny is likewise super-high energy and will most likely just move through whatever it's in.

It's more interesting when they strike the atmosphere - each collision creates a new shower of other high energy particles, more and more, spreading out the energy as they descend. In the end, detectors on the surface over an area of dozens of square kilometers simultaneously pick up different pieces of the same cascade kicked off by a single cosmic ray collision.

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 4, Insightful) 92

by Rei (#49798823) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

No, fines for violating export laws.

Being slapped with massive fines is usually pretty good motivation for a company. And given that the US spends nearly half of the world's total military spending, and the EU a good chunk of the rest, simply "hopping overseas" and choosing to serve other markets isn't exactly the smartest of plans, financially.

It's idiodic for a company to wilfully risk sales of hundreds of thousands of units per year to NATO to sell a couple hundred units to Russia. Russia's economy is barely bigger than Canada's. And less than 80% the size of Brazil's.

Comment: Re:Just...wow. (Score 1) 92

by Rei (#49798769) Attached to: Hacked Emails Reveal Russian Plans To Obtain Sensitive Western Tech

You could start by reading more than the first paragraph.

1) They don't have "zero" capability, but they have way too little - only a few hundred modern imagers.

2) They have tried to buy them off ebay before. And it led to arrests. It's illegal to export military-grade night vision equipment without a license, and apparently sites like ebay are well monitored for potential violations.

Comment: Re:Hilarious! (Score 4, Insightful) 209

by lgw (#49798543) Attached to: Chinese Nationals Accused of Taking SATs For Others

Authoritarianism. Following orders. Lack of creativity. Willing to accept the system even when it's wrong.

The skill: "willingness to accept the system, even when it's wrong, and game it for your benefit" is central to engineering, accounting, law, and finance. Almost all of the goof jobs outside of medicine.

Children expect life to be fair. Adults accept that the world is imperfect, and work for success within it (not to say it's not also worth trying to change the bad parts, but in the mean time do something useful with your life).

Comment: Re:EU food ban? (Score 3, Informative) 83

Yeah, but they "cheat" a lot - for example, Belarus has made a mint serving as a reshipping platform for European goods. And for some reason they left Iceland off their list even though we supported the sanctions against them. Still, it's caused major food price inflation (unsurprisingly). Seems kind of a weird way to punish Europe, it seems obvious it's going to have a lot more effect at home than abroad - Russia's trade in food goods with Europe makes up far more of its imports than Europe's trade in food goods with Russia makes up of its exports. But I guess they didn't have a lot of options for "retaliation". I mean, Gazprom is already nearly going broke as it is, turning off the spigots would have rapidly ensured that it did. Oil and gas make up half of their government budget and 2/3rds of their exports - it'd sure punish Europe, but it'd also be economic suicide.

I think they're really hoping that the sanctions will just expire and they'll be able to go back to raking in western capital again. Because if they don't expire, barring some huge unexpected oil price surge, those reserve funds are going to dry up. They expect it to be down to under $40B by the end of this year. What they're going to do when it runs out, I have no clue. They need dollars and euros to buy the goods that their undersized industrial sector can't manufacture. China's a help but not a solution; they don't have the lending power of the US or EU to begin with, and their goal seems to be more exploiting Russia over the situation than offering friendly aid. For example, they got Russia to agree to the cutthroat rates on the proposed "Power Of Siberia" pipeline that they'd been trying to get for years and to let them own greater than 50% stakes on fields inside Russia. They got Russia to sell them their most advanced air defense system despite the objections of the defense industry over concerns that China would do what they always do with new technology - reverse engineer it and then produce it domestically. But who else are they going to turn to? China's basically becoming Russia's "loan shark". And at the end of the day, if it came down to it and China had to chose between the Russian market and the 20-fold larger market of the US and EU? It's not even a contest.

Comment: No need (Score 1) 592

by JanneM (#49797041) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: What Happens If We Perfect Age Reversing?

Living longer won't mean you have more kids. So far the trend has if anything been the reverse.

And "reverse aging" != "live forever". There's still plenty of non-age-related things that can, and eventually will, kill you. In fact, if "reversing aging" does not include "cure cancer" the overall effect on average lifespans will not be particularly large at all.

I suspect this is a complete non-problem.

Comment: Re:Not a new idea (Score 2) 33

by Rei (#49795303) Attached to: GoPro's Next Adventure: Virtual Reality and Drones

I figured they'd tackle something more ambitious than that with their drone offerings - a drone that (barring instructions to do otherwise) follows you around whatever you're doing and keeps the camera on you, trying to get the most epic shots. E.g., you bungee jump off a bridge, it races you to the bottom, keeping whatever distance and filming style you told it to.

But maybe it's just another remote control drone.

Comment: Re:Scientists are generally trusted (Score 2, Insightful) 246

by lgw (#49794189) Attached to: How a Scientist Fooled Millions With Bizarre Chocolate Diet Claims

More to the point, it's impossible to independently (& personally) verify the data and claims of everything that you would like verified. There's not enough time in the world.

Very true. The rational man realizes this, and doesn't hold strong political opinions on the rest of it. We're all going to be ignorant of most science in the modern world - the time has long passed when the educated man could know all of the scientific knowledge there was. It's important to therefore set arrogance aside, and not try to tell others they're idiots, or force your uneducated opinion on others by law, unless you actually care enough to do the diligence first.

Far too many people mistake fashion for education. If you're going to call others fools for trying to stop the teaching of "evolution" in schools, call them fools because you took the time to understand the science, the counter-arguments, and why a smart, ration person could somehow not believe in evolution. Until you understand the other side, and why it's wrong, stay out of the argument. For the evolution case: if you had a solid biology class, this takes just a few days of reading the talk.origins site. It's not an undue burden, and otherwise arrogance about your uninformed opinion is just idiocy.

For newer fields like the climate change debate, it will take longer to dig up the details, as there isn't a handy website that collects all the pro and con arguments. For climate change, can read through the pro and con sites and understand where they're coming from, understand the Vostok ice core data for perspective, spend time pondering the satellite temperature data, and so on.

For any such issue, treat both sides as intelligent people who are in earnest in their beliefs and not trolling, and read enough to understand how this can be true. When you understand how intelligent people can disagree on the issue, and see where both sides are coming from, then you can act out of knowledge instead of arrogance, and stop polluting the debate with idiocy. If your only basis for argument is "everyone knows the smart people believe X, and the losers believe not-X", well, that's fashion, not knowledge. This pretty much applies to anything being debated politically, BTW, not just the science stuff.

Comment: 20% to 40% ??? No. Just no. (Score 5, Insightful) 546

by fyngyrz (#49793209) Attached to: How Tesla Batteries Will Force Home Wiring To Go Low Voltage

To avoid the 20% to 40% power loss when converting from DC to AC

...they're doing it wrong. DC to AC conversion is easily achieved in the high 90% range. For instance, a typical solar inverter is around 95% efficient. And you can do better, it just gets more expensive (although that's a one-time cost, whereas energy loss is a constant concern.)

Someone is pushing some other agenda here.

Comment: Still awesome (Score 1) 413

by fyngyrz (#49793145) Attached to: What AI Experts Think About the Existential Risk of AI

Sure. Did it to myself decades ago. Offspring of my genetic line aren't of the least bit of interest to me; perfectly happy raising kids of other birth who needed parents (5 so far, mostly excellent results.) Plus that whole "all the bareback sex with my SO we want, any time" thing is awesome.

Which, again, is just how I approach feline guardianship. Don't need new kittens from them. Plenty of kittens out there that need to own their own human.

Every program is a part of some other program, and rarely fits.

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