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Comment: Re:The problem is... (Score 1) 184

by sFurbo (#47513911) Attached to: Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

[...] the ideal virus to use as a biological weapon is a virus with long, mostly asymptomatic infectious phase and a high mortality rate.

No, the ideal biological weapon does not spread from person to person. Any disease that does is guaranteed to infect your own population as well; it is basically a gun you can't aim, or a doomsday device (though not literally, it doesn't kill everybody).

Comment: Re:The problem is... (Score 1) 184

by sFurbo (#47513689) Attached to: Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

As an educated guess, the study into smallpox has been to figure out out why it is so contagious so that we can build our own great contagion.

Or to figure out why it is so contagious, so we can better treat future diseases that uses the same methods. Without more information, it is hard to tell which end goal is more likely.

Comment: Re:IF.. (Score 3, Informative) 561

by sFurbo (#47322217) Attached to:, Mensa Create Dating Site For Geniuses
Intelligence (as measured by Spearman's g factor) is one of the best predictors for pretty much any measure of success or talent. People who excel at art or sports are also people with high g. The IQ test has one of the highest correlations Spearman's g of any test, so IQ test measures a lot more than how good you are at doing IQ tests.

Comment: Re:low carb and low PUFA vs high Omega-3? (Score 1) 166

by sFurbo (#47244733) Attached to: "Eskimo Diet" Lacks Support For Better Cardiovascular Health
Isn't the smell fishy, as in primarily coming from trimethylamine from reduction of trimethylamine oxide? In that case, it would not be that closely linked to oxidation, though it might still correlate with it (as they both increase with storage).

I don't have a citation (well, unless "personal communcation" is accepted). It was stated in a presentation about stability of fish oils, but that is not solid enough for the confidence in my original post. I am sorry for that.

With regard to the manuscript you linked to about how the oxidation state of fish oils affects the lipid profiles, it is a small study (52 participants, 17-18 in each group) and it seems that they did not correct for multiple comparisons (but I might be missing that). Looking at their numbers, it seems that the largest effect is that the group that got the good oil started out with higher blood pressure (systolic and diastolic), lower blood glucose and higher cholesterol, and than normalized on these measures, except for cholesterol, where they more than normalized. I am not even sure this meats the "hypothesis-generating" state.

Comment: Re:Union tactics (Score 1) 121

Part of it is due to the dislike of monopolies, which is founded on the fact that they skew the market to the disadvantage of the non-monopolist. A union is basically monopoly on (a certain type of) work. Saying "no union member will work for you if you employ non-union workers" is equivalent to Microsoft saying "you can only buy Windows if all of the computers you sell comes with Windows installed", the latter of which is illegal. So why should the first be legal?

That does not explain why boycotts are frowned upon.

Comment: Re:What happens if (Score 4, Informative) 281

by sFurbo (#47244023) Attached to: Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool
The difficulty is updated every 2016 blocks, or roughly every two weeks. If the amount resources spent on mining was suddenly reduced extensively, the mining would just go much slower until the next update, so no one would be able to take advantage of that (although it could be problematic for bitcoin, if e.g. the update went from 10 minutes to 100 minutes). After the next difficulty update, the difficulty would be low, but if the mining pools were back up, you would not be able to control bitcoin. Even if the update rate goes to 1 minute, this will only persist for 201,6 minutes, or a few hours.

All of this is assuming that no other response was done in the two weeks after the DDOS.

Comment: Re:Disruptive technology (Score 1) 507

by sFurbo (#47222323) Attached to: Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

Real people don't behave like numbers in an economics text-book. This is easy to see as economists are wrong as often as they are right when they try to predict a future trend.
Take the acting profession in the UK. A poll was recently done of people who consider themselves professional actors - to the extent that they spend UKP 150 on a professional casting website.
The average wage in the UK is UKP 26,500 per annum. Poverty level for a single person with no dependants is said to be below UKP 6600.
Only 2% of actors were earning UKP 20,000 or more.
75% were earning less than £5000.

I don't think that example shows economists being wrong, it just shows people putting value in being an actor, enough to offset the (extremely) low wage. It does show me being wrong - I had not accounted for that possibility. But do you want to prohibit most of these people from being actors in order to increase the wage of the rest? If you don't, then why would you want it for taxis? If you do, I can only say that I disagree, that I think people should be allowed to choose a untraditional life if that makes them happy, but I have no arguments save that.

Why should we have to adapt to the natural level of taxis, rather than manage the level to suit us?

Because the natural level is a Pareto efficient state, which is something we should strive for from a resource allocation point of view. And because it follows from accepting that people are autonomous agents, and have the most knowledge about their own lifes, which is something we should strive for from an ethical point of view.

Comment: Re:Disruptive technology (Score 1) 507

by sFurbo (#47220635) Attached to: Uber Demonstrations Snarl Traffic In London, Madrid, Berlin

That equilibrium may be at the poverty level, which wouldn't be good for drivers.

If there are other, more well paid jobs to have, it wont be, as taxi drivers will chose other occupations. If there aren't, that is a much larger problem than the amount of taxis.

It may be at the level where streets are clogged with taxis, which wouldn't be good for other road users.

A taxi is not much more road space consuming per traveler than having a private car. If the equilibrium amount of taxis is where the roads are clogged, road pricing (or even tax on cars or fuel) is a better system to reduce clogging than restricting the number of taxis.

It may be at a level where it's impossible to get a taxi to certain locations or times of day (The famous "I don't go south of the River".)

If there customers paying enough to get south of the river, it wont be. If there isn't, restricting the amount of taxis is only going to make the problem worse.
In fact, that last one sounds like a problem introduced by an artificial limit on the number of taxis. Do you have any examples of it in cities where this is not the case?

% A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back the when it begins to rain. -- Robert Frost