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Comment: Can I have it a bit warmer please? (Score 1) 264

I would like the temperature raised by 10ÂF. That would be most pleasant. Oh, wait, we're already making significant progress on that! Bravo! I like.

(If you want to complain about warming please move to Vermont or Maine, or any other northern region this time of year. We'll show you why warming is such a great idea!)

Comment: Does a pig need leaches? (Score 1) 215

by pubwvj (#48410383) Attached to: Do Good Programmers Need Agents?

Agents work in the entertainment industry because the talent is switching between gigs frequently so they need someone keeping work lined up for them.

As an employer: In the programming industry a programmer with an agent would be a big "DO NOT HIRE" flag to me because it tells me this programmer is not stable.

As a programmer: I would see an agent as a leach that is siphoning off a percent of my income with no benefit to me. Call it the stupid tax.

Comment: Re:Paralyzed yet Fully Aware (Score 1) 105

by pubwvj (#48401569) Attached to: How To Anesthetize an Octopus

When you demand a citation try just Googling. It's faster and right there at your finger tips. It's there even if you're not lazy. I would not want to take the joy of learning and exploration away from you nor encourage your lazy tendencies so consider finding the citations as an exercise for your mind and path to self-improvement.

Comment: Re:No programming? (Score 1) 200

by pubwvj (#48401497) Attached to: A Worm's Mind In a Lego Body

This is the goal. That will provide the platform, the OS so to speak, for then overlaying the data set which is the user's personality allowing us to transfer ourselves from a dying human organic body to a immortal machine body.

I should say immortal with the slight qualifier of, "until the manufacturers obsolescent you and fail to offer a forward path for your legacy data set." Bummer dude. You're out of date.

Comment: Paralyzed yet Fully Aware (Score 5, Insightful) 105

by pubwvj (#48396163) Attached to: How To Anesthetize an Octopus

This reminds me of the cases where they used Curare for anesthesia. Turns out all it was doing was paralyzing the motor systems so the still fully conscious patients couldn't scream or otherwise react as the surgeons operated.

Might be a good idea to ask the octopuses afterwards if they remember from during the anesthetized time period. This can be done and would find out if they're really out cold or if they're just locked in.

Comment: Not Random (Score 1) 41

by pubwvj (#48389467) Attached to: How To Mathematically Predict Lightning Strikes

Lighting is not nearly as random, or unlikely as people seem to think. We live along a lightning prone ridge where copper ore veins come to the surface. I can tell where not to stand, provided you want to live, and where to go if you want to get hit by lightning. One can feel the charges building. It is not random but rather physics.

Comment: Re:So, does water cost more? (Score 1) 377

by pubwvj (#48381993) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

I know very well what a hybrid is. I do genetics. Part of doing farming. I think you don't have much connection with the real topic. Theory only takes you so far.

What I'm seeing in many of the comments is a complete disconnect from the realities of farming. The farmers in Africa don't need Big Ag heavy iron intensive farming. They need small scale sustainable practices, seed stock and livestock that they can work with at low overheads without a whole lot of high tech and annual costs. Because people on SlashDot have become so disconnected from the land they don't tend to understand what small scale farming, the type done at the 4H level, really means. These aren't 10,000 acre wheat fields with dozens of huge combines. It's small scale. Different world. Sustainable. Reality. Something that will last through each collapse.

Comment: Re:So, does water cost more? (Score 1) 377

by pubwvj (#48381809) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

Yet just because it has become uncommon in Big Ag does not change how important and valid it is. Don't confuse the practices of the Big Ag producers with best practices. Small farmers are still doing selective breeding of their own stock, both plants and animals. I do. I now a lot of other farmers that do. It's a very common practice - just not at the Big Ag level.

Comment: Re:So, does water cost more? (Score 1) 377

by pubwvj (#48379107) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

"Why is the farmer responsible for saving the best seed to improve the next generation instead of a big corporation?"

Simple: Vertical integration. The more I do as the farmer the more money that sticks to my palm rather than getting paid out to "Big Corporations" and out as taxes. Farmers use vertical integration for the exact same reasons Big Corporations use it - we improve our bottom line.

"Why shouldn't farmers best seeds possible"

And there's the quandary. You see the seed that I save and select over the generations is the BEST seed for my growing conditions, soils and management. The seed provided by Big Corp is designed to work with their pesticides and herbicides, their artificial fertilizers and equipment which the farmer must then buy into as well increasing the farmer's costs. Best does not mean the same thing in all situations. My seed stock, be it plant or animal, is far better than Big Corp's, for my situation. This also gives me control over my systems rather than putting me under the thumb of Big Corp.

"We don't expect farmers to build their own tractors"

Funny you should mention that because actually farmers tend to be engineers and inventors, often building machinery and systems for their own use. Farmers tend to be on that leading edge of technology while the big manufacturers like John Deere are producing for the masses. If a machine doesn't do what I need I either modify it or build my own. Standard Operating Procedure on many farms.

Comment: Re:So, does water cost more? (Score 1) 377

by pubwvj (#48379029) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

You and several of the other posters are demonstrating your disconnect with agriculture. We've been using hybrids for thousands of years. Hybrids are not new. Seed doesn't go bad using it year after year. Good selective breeding involves saving your best seed and stock to make the next generation and with each generation it gets better. Crossing to gain new traits is standard operating procedure.

Don't buy into the Big Ag mantra that you can't do this stuff yourself. It really isn't all that difficult.

Comment: Re:So, does water cost more? (Score 4, Interesting) 377

by pubwvj (#48374705) Attached to: How 4H Is Helping Big Ag Take Over Africa

You are demonstrating a classic lack of understanding about farming and agriculture. Reality is not the either or situation that you hypothesize.

In the real world we save our best seed and livestock year to year using that to grow the next generation. With each generation the plants and animals become more adapted, stronger and do better with the local conditions. The seed and livestock are free, other than having to save some back from the harvest. This is how we have traditionally improved our stock, both plants and animals, for thousands of years. It works without paying high prices for fancy seeds.

Thus the option is #0, which you completely neglected to consider.

Nothing will dispel enthusiasm like a small admission fee. -- Kim Hubbard