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Comment Re:Okay. (Score 1) 139

Some Christians. I am not really the person to defend people whose only defense against the DSM IV definition of delusion is that they are explicitly exempt from it (because else any religion very much fits the definition perfectly), but it should be said that not all of them are THAT delusional. Only a rather tiny minority, and close to 100% of that minority residing in the USA, actually believes that.

That definition was changed in DSM-V. Significantly. The delusion no longer has to be demonstrably false. Now, they can believe that it is true, and still be diagnosed with a mental illness, if their behavior warrants it. But it also means that it is up to the clinician making the diagnosis. Parents who sincerely think praying is going to heal their child should not be penalized for holding that belief if the clinician determines there is no danger to the child. As long as their delusions are doing no harm in the opinion of the clinician, they fit the exemption. But it will be harder to ask for an insanity defense -- they will have to face their crime for what it is if the child dies.

Outside the US, new earth rubbish plays no significant role.

Ahh, yes. But it does play a significant role in the U.S. It is perhaps unlikely, but it is certainly possible, especially if any one of the current GOP candidates for president actually win, that somebody that (emphasis yours) delusional could achieve the highest office in the land. You really, really don't want an American president, a man who can call down a nuclear strike if he thinks it is necessary, to believe the earth is only 6000 years old, and to believe there is an invisible man in the sky telling him to do it... .

Comment Re:buh, bye (Score 1) 495

The other reality and I am not sure even Jeb! gets it is that Trump is the best thing that could have happened to him at least as far as the primaries go.

The whole "anchor baby" conversation the other day with him getting testy isn't good. What Jeb! needs to do if he wants to win is stay the hell out of the spot light. Let Trump continue to suck up all the oxygen.

Trump will flame out sooner or later, he has too. Trump is smart guy but the rules of the game are different in politics there is only one Trump, if one of hits bets does not pay off its over. Its not like the world he is accustom to where if one entity goes bankrupt he has ten more pull capital out of and try another new business. Outspoken as he is eventually he will say something people can't get passed in a careless moment.

As long as Trump stays front an center the votes won't hear jack about any of the other candidates. At some point after Trump craters the voters are going to be left with 14 other candidates they have hardly heard of and a name they know "Bush". That will be enough to win a primary. I don't like it but its true.

No, I don't think Trump will flame out. He is saying things that the xenophobic, racist, Evangelical Christian base of the Republican party wants to hear. The GOP helped create the conditions for a Trump-like candidate, starting with the Southern Strategy that put Nixon in the Whitehouse. Fox News helped too, by mainstreaming the same calculated paranoid, racial fear mongering to its audience. Fox News is the most widely watched program in the US, reaching tens of millions of voters every fucking night. So, no, the Donald is not going to flame out. In fact, the rest of the clown car that is the GOP nomination race are falling over themselves to move to Trump's right. Attacking the 14th Amendment seems to be the current tactic -- two-thirds of the GOP nominees are promising to end jus soli, which is the source of all the "anchor baby" angst that Trump is currently capitalizing on.

Comment NREL tool is a good alternative (Score 1) 105

I used the National Renewable Energy Laboratory's System Advisor Model (SAM) tool when I designed my 16kWdc rooftop array. You can download SAM from the NREL site. They also have a web-based tool called PVWatts that is far less detailed, but is definitely easy to use and produces a very reliable estimate if you are thinking about a PV array.

For what it is worth, rooftop solar is facing stiff opposition from utility companies and energy producers because it directly affects their bottom line. Changes in net metering regulations that favor the existing energy production infrastructure over locally produced alternative energy are becoming more common as the fossil fuel industry fights to retain the status quo. Without going on a rant about it, I watched my seven year ROI on a $42k project evaporate because of changes to Arizona's net metering regulations put in place this year by the bought-and-paid-for-by-Koch Industries Arizona Corporation Commission.

Comment Re:Already propagating (Score 1) 663

Thanks to a complete failure of the media,

I don't know that it is the media's responsibility to report every bad side-effect that a minority of people experience to some common food additive. They'd be so busy reporting on what affects a minority that the main news would never get covered.

Indeed. The bar for food and drugs is 3 sigmas. That is pretty high, but not as high as it could be -- physicists need 5 if they want to claim they've discovered something "new." To put it in perspective: If, in your double blind clinical trials, subjects who use your food additive or drug report negative/adverse/null effects in only 1 case out of 3000 subjects, FDA approval is pretty much a done deal at this point. The FDA already requires disclosure of negative/adverse/null effects on all packaging, so why does the media need to get involved? If you aren't already interested enough in reading the label on the shit you are putting into your one and only body, there is no amount of media that can help you.

Comment Re:Drones (Score 1) 313

One of the things that has consistently mystified me about Americans' complacency with drone warfare is the underlying assumption that our current monopoly on drones is going to last forever. If it's ok for the U.S. to use drones to assassinate "terrorist" anti-American agitators in Yemen, what are we going to say when China starts using drones to assassinate "terrorist" Chinese dissidents on American soil, or Europe, or elsewhere? For all intents and purposes, we're already using killbots, and the really important point here is that airborne killbots can be used (for now) with impunity across borders.

"American Exceptionalism" basically means we allow ourselves to commit war crimes with impunity.

What is there to be mystified about? If any other state actor with drone technology does anything like what you are suggesting, they will cease to exist as a state, period. They know what would happen. The Romans used salt to make sure Carthago delenda est; America will use Strontium 90. America's social order may be iffy, but their ability to come together and destroy other nations when provoked is a matter of historical record. They have more than enough nukes left in their arsenal to pave any ten countries if provoked, and I am pretty certain random drone strikes killing Americans in Des Moines would be provocation enough. You are right about American exceptionalism, in the sense that "He who has the ability to destroy the planet, controls the planet." And before you point out that lots of nations have nukes, ask yourself this one question: In the seven decades since our species developed nuclear weapons, what was the nationality of the only human in history to use a nuclear weapon in anger? Here's a hint: He actually did it twice.

Comment Re:I have no fear of AI, but fear AI weapons (Score 1) 313

This is one of those "You only hear about the failures" situation. No one hears about the crazy kid that was given psychiatric counseling and decided NOT to use an ak47 to kill everyone.

There have not been 4 attempts to do this (Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, North Korea), but 400. We stopped well over 90% of them, but you don't hear about them

As for those people you mentioned, many of them were hamstrung by ethical people whose refusal to kill slowed down their crazy lessons.


1) False equivalence. Hitler, Stalin, Saddam, and North Korea's dictator are equal to a kid with an assault rifle? Really?

2) Fallacy of the fourth term. You made a pretty interesting argument with your psychopathic tyrant with an army of amoral killers, but now you are suggesting that it was ethics that slowed them down, not morality. I can see why you made the switch -- unlike morality, ethics can be prescriptive -- but you need to revisit your premise since you introduced a new term.

Comment Re:I have no fear of AI, but fear AI weapons (Score 1) 313

The problem is not the rise of an AI revolution.

Instead, it is the rise of a human psychopathic tyrant working with a force of soldiers that obediently kill at his command, with no chance of moral rebellion within his own force.

morality is often cited as a reason to control technology when it enables behavior that somebody doesn't like. The same class of arguments was used against file sharing twenty years ago, the Pill fifty years ago, and alcohol a hundred years ago, and we all see how successful those arguments were. the problem with hanging your argument on morality is that morality is not a standard of behavior, it is just a description of a certain kind of behavior. So, indeed the problem is not the rise of an AI revolution, but nor is it the rise of a psychopathic tyrant with AI killers at his/her command. The problem is convincing people that living in a world with autonomous weapons is better than living in a world where autonomous weapons are banned.

Comment Re:Yes (Score 1) 138

Um, that's utter crap.

I beg to differ. clock for clock, AMD blows Intel out of the water. Clocks-per-instruction (CPI) is a useful metric when it comes to comparing CPU horsepower across differing architectures, and AMD is the clear winner when you do. In an understandable decision, Intel listened to their marketers, who told them, "we need higher clocks than our competitors, because that's what people want to buy." So Intel chose long instruction pipes so they could get higher clock frequencies, and then focussed on minimizing the inherent penalties (like having to flush said long pipeline on a branch instruction.) Intel's branch prediction algorithms are excellent, but they can't erase the branch penalty caused by those long instruction pipelines. That penalty is why an AMD running at half the clock speed of an Intel processor (and therefore costing 1/2 to 1/3 as much!) does as much or more actual computing (CPI) than the Intel.

Comment I don't think they asked any gamers... (Score 1) 277

Doom, but not Quake? Pac-man and Tetris, but not Space Invaders or Defender or Donkey Kong? WoW but not EQ or EVE? And no mention of any of the rogue-likes? Where is Civ, and Halo? I truly hope the curators are not going to commit the same kind of errors around inclusions and exclusions that rendered the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame irrelevant. You know what I'm talking about -- The Who, but not Jethro Tull? Kiss, but not Deep Purple? Pink Floyd, but not The Moody Blues, ELP or Yes?

Comment Re:Just wondering (Score 1) 227

There is no solution to this problem that involves restricting drones, because that won't stop the bad guys. The only solution is to ensure the Killer Drone can't get to your high-value target.

Yes, but.... To the government's internal security apparatus, there is no useful distinction between a law abiding citizen with access to lethal technology (guns, explosives, drones, etc) and a terrorist --- they must assume the former can and will become the latter under the right circumstances (see T. McVeigh and T. Kaczinsky) -- so restricting public access to terrorist tools is is exactly what is going to happen, in the name of public security.

Comment Re:big news! (Score 4, Informative) 299

Distributed storage capacity has the potential to even out the prices over the day and match consumption and production. It also solves a major issue with most renewables. It would be even more interesting if people were allowed to store cheap electricity and sell it back during expensive hours for profit.

true, and in a free market, that is exactly what would happen. sadly, the US energy market is no where near free. In the last three years, Koch Industries has successfully lobbied legislative bodies in 17 states to impede the deployment of alternative energy, and to drastically roll back, if not outrightly abandon existing programs. Case in point: net metering, where the utility company monitors power use and credits a homeowner for power sent back to the grid. In 2014, right here in sunny Az, three Koch-funded candidates were elected to our five person Corporation Commission, which, among other duties, sets utility rates. in february this year, they announced two structural changes that effectively kill net metering. the first change eliminates the ability to bank your credits over the length of a year, meaning that the credits needed to offset months where your PV array doesnt cover your power use are no longer available. the second change reduces the amount of money the utility will pay for your excess production, from full retail to less than half of wholesale. Arizona was seeing fairly strong growth in rooftop solar, until that announcement. in march, new residential solar permits were down 42% over Mar 2014. so far in april, there have been zero new residential permits.

Comment Re:why must human ancestors be involved (Score 1) 89

Mostly because Humans are the only ones that love killing each other.

Dont see prides of lions killing the pride next door just for shits and giggles

Sure they do, if you count sex. Male lions will kill rival males in other prides so they can take over mating rights. Both male lions & female lions will kill the cubs of rival prides.

I think you missed GP's point. The behavior you describe is the result of selective reproductive pressure over millions of generations of lions. It is hardwired into the lion's genome, and is quite rational behavior for any organism looking to optimize its reproductive probabilities. . But sometimes humans kill even when it doesn't optimize their reproductive probabilities. As far as we know, humans are the only organisms that kill for sport.

Comment Re:call the library ? (Score 1) 246

Wouldn't it be smarter for the police to call back the library, and ask if there's anything going on ?

what, and miss an opportunity to scare the fuck out of^H^H^H^H^H^H^H^H demonstrate their readiness and capability to the good citizens of Hopkinton? what Hopkinton obviously needs is a show of force from their police, less the taxpayers get it into their heads that reason and logic is more important than killing terrorists, even fake ones like the idiots responsible for this particular swatting.

Comment If you aren't farming, you are being farmed... (Score 1) 249

Evolution can only occur in a non--zero-sum environment -- > energy.out for an organism or collection of organisms, if only by a hair, otherwise you get stasis, and ultimately death, when a more dynamic organism begins to farm you. Cooperation is a strong strategy, and Dawkins' insight that selection operating at the gene level can account for altruistic behavior (altruism being the ultimate cooperative behavior) at more macro scales was nothing short of brilliant. This paper pretty much provides a model that accounts for one player co-opting the successful strategies of other players in the iterated prisoner's dilemma. If you play an MMORPG, you are participating in this model of co-opted cooperative behavior. Take WoW, for example: inferior players are paying Blizz for the privilege of being farmed by superior players for gold, or PvP honor points.

Comment Re:What's the difference between China and EU? (Score 0) 222

What kind of vile scum are you to equate free speech for political change with videos of people chopping heads off and incitement to murder?

Because they are both forms of expression, when they are on youtube. One may be considered vile and reprehensible, and the other not so much, though I'd wager you have never seen a Tea Partier rallying the base, if you think speech for political change can't be vile and reprehensible, as well. What kind of dolt are you to not separate the medium from the message?

Science is what happens when preconception meets verification.