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Comment Re: Sounds like a psycopath. (Score 5, Interesting) 486

Ernest Becker, in his The Denial of Death, writes that human beings deal with their awareness of their inevitable demise by seeking heroism -- success at doing or contributing to something lasting. Each culture has its own hero-system. In a pluralist society, if one's need for heroism is not being met, one will turn to a system that does meet that need.

Comment Re:If I were king.... (Score 1) 70

Yes, Google was able to copy a vast trove of books. No, we don't really have access to them. Google should say To hell with the US hegemony's stupid copyright laws, and just make them all, without reservation, available from offshore servers for the benefit of all mankind.

Comment Re:Way too lib (Score 1) 485

You seem to imagine that the replicator creates matter from nothing, in violation of the first law of thermodynamics. The high expense of the replicator is brought out in TNG. Also the general scarcity of goods. While the earth gov appears to be either highly socialist or a welfare state that guarantees against starvation and freezing to death, it certainly is forced to make decisions about the allocation of scarce resources.

Comment Against DST and its uglier sister Year-Round-DST (Score 1) 613

There are only two rational choices: switch between the two for the perceived benefits, or remain on Standard year-round. If only one were observed year-round, people and organizations would adjust their schedules to be at what they consider the optimal actual times of day. Some might even have summer and winter schedules. They could and would as easily do this with Standard time as with Daylight. All else thus being equal, only an idiot would suggest that it is better to observe the time of the time zone one hour to the east. Any aliens visiting a planet on which everyone set their clocks one hour off would surely conclude that there is no intelligent life there.

Comment The Rhetorical Value of Redefining Terms (Score 1) 739

The biggest winners from the law include people between the ages of 18 and 34; blacks; Hispanics; and people who live in rural areas.

The article defines "winner" in an odd and deliberately deceptive way, as meaning anyone who did not have a medical insurance policy and now does. Under that definition, even someone who was coerced into something harmful to their self-interest is a "winner".

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig