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Comment Re:That would be penny wise and pound foolish (Score 1) 222

Well, a lot depends on how your actions fit into your long term vision, if anything. "We'll just rebuild this neighborhood and everything will be hunky-dory" is obviously not a long term plan.

The reason the Netherlands flood control makes sense is that the value of 25% of their country's land area far outweighs the cost of reclaiming it, as simple as that. When the net present value of keeping the flood waters off a piece ofland exceeds the net present value of the use you'll get from it, then it's time to abandon piece of land.

Comment Re:Exaggeration is not Necessary (Score 1) 222

Well, if you *insist* on being pedantic, what they mean is "It's not going to stop before it causes a degree havoc most people would find inconceivable."

I think they kind of expect people to understand they're not claiming that the water levels will rise, drowning the Moon, inundating the Sun, and eventually filling up the entire universe.

Comment Re:"...need to be prepared..." (Score 3, Insightful) 222

Sure. Or sooner if you are economically tied to businesses or people near the coast; or businesses or people not near the coast; or businesses or people not near the coast but dependant on others that are. That's the downside of living in a modern economy. I didn't hold any toxic mortgage backed financial instruments, but I sure felt the pain when the capital markets went tits up in 08.

Comment Re: No one should *ever* wonder why... (Score 1) 269

The lack of understanding what a conservative is on slashdot never ceases to amaze me. Its called smaller government and enforce laws that are already on the books instead of creating new ones.

There you go, you explained your own mystification away. You define the conservative program by what conservatives want. Everyone else defines it by what the people conservatives vote for do when they get into office, which is spend money and make government even more intrusive.

Comment I propose a solution. (Score 1) 232

Any time the cops stop an autonomous car they have to pay the owner of that car $1000, no matter what the reason for the stop. Compared to the legal costs of what comes after a legitimate stop, that's nothing. But it would dissuade police from developing a pattern of frivolous stops.

Comment Re:No one should *ever* wonder why... (Score 3, Interesting) 269

Well, I agree government is dangerous -- so is anything that is powerful. Max Weber defined the state as the organization that has a monopoly on violence.

But the blame isn't with the liberals, or the conservative libertarians, neither of whom want this kind of data collection. It's with the conservative authoritarians who want to expand the power of the police.

Comment Re:Clickbait title ? (Score 2) 233

Well, I think it's more complicated than that. People are not just ignorant of the limitations of knowledge, they're ignorant of the limitations of ignorance.

In fact, I'd say faulty appeals to ignorance are much more common here than faulty appeals to knowledge. People will say "How can we know X when we don't know Y?" when in fact it's quite possible to know X without Y, and in any case we actually know a lot more about Y than the poster thinks.

Comment Re:n=6? Seriously? (Score 1) 94

This is exactly what I was going to say. It's often a mistake to big early with an experiment because you risk finding statistically significant results that are practically significant. People expect BIG effects from a vaccine. When you take a vaccine it's like you're a sample of one: you want a very high chance of it making a practical difference to you. Nobody would take flu shot that reduced their chance of contracting flu by 20%.

But "effective" is only half the story. You have to show "safe" as well, and that's where you need huge trials.

Comment Re:Unfortunately (Score 1) 467

Fortunately, as illustrated by the stats and interview listed above, the real world doesn't seem to operate like you imagine. Muggers don't point guns at people who may also have guns.

The point that you still can't seem to grasp is that the real-life mugger doesn't want to have to murder somebody for the money in their wallet. If pulling out a gun while mugging someone is likely to escalate into a kill or be killed situation, the mugger will leave the gun at home.

You speak as though you'd be pretty at ease with murdering people, but most people don't want to do that for various reasons. It sounds like you think that all criminals are cartoon or Hollywood villains.

This illustrates what I was originally saying about using the silly "good guy"/"bad guy" descriptors. A threaten-you-for-money-bad-guy isn't necessarily ok with killing people in cold blood. "Badness" is a continuum and attributing maximum badness to every "bad guy" is silly and shortsighted. Raising the risk involved in committing a mugging does seem to reduce the number of muggings instead of just increasing the number of murders.

I'm at a loss for why you can't seem to make this simple connection.

Comment Re:Depressing (Score 1) 705

It's not arbitrary. Producing the next generation of mankind is essential to the ongoing operation of society. If you don't do it, society collapses when people reach retirement age.

It's not punishment for philandering, it's punishment for refusing to uphold your human duty to reproduce yourself.

I paid over 20,000 in personal income tax last year as a single man. I don't mind that a large amount of that is subsidizing families, because I will need the children those families produce when it's time for me to retire, unless I wish to freeze in the snow.

When you cheat on your spouse, and you fuck up the family that I paid for, you didn't rip off the tax man. You ripped ME off, and I don't care what the tax man says, I don't fucking like it, and I don't want to accept it, and I want ALL that money back. With interest. Not so that I can spend it on a second vacation, but so that it can be given to a more deserving family.

Comment Re:So what? (Score 2) 102

Well, when you're appropriating a common phrase you do have make some effort to make that stand for your product. It's not enough to pick a phrase out of the air and claim it's yours. Nike did this with "Just Do It," and they obviously succeeded because most people who don't live under a rock would be able to identify Nike as the company that uses this trademark.

And if I understand how this works it doesn't mean other people, even corporations with competitive products, can't use that phrase. They just can't use that phrase in a way that is intended to create an association between that phrase and their product. So a different watch maker could say in it's ad, "One more thing you'll like about our Swiss automatic diver is never having to buy a battery again." That is if I understand this right.

Any sufficiently advanced bug is indistinguishable from a feature. -- Rich Kulawiec