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Comment Re:My Off Grid Experience (Score 1) 281 281

Thank you. Is more of a tiny house/cabin then or a just a bit more remote typical suburban home? I'm interested in that whole tiny house movement, but it seems to be hard to find good, quiet nice spots to live here in Europe compared to the U.S. For some reason, my personal standards seem to rise with respect to the awesomeness of the plot of land to build on and at the same time they fall with the amount of space available inside :D

Comment Re:Maybe in a different country (Score 1) 498 498

You say

[...] many people that kill themselves do so because they are in the grips of simple biochemical processes [...]

and

[...] many young people just kill themselves because they don't feel they fit into the world, or because they fall in love with someone that doesn't reciprocate. [...]

Do you see these groups as largely overlapping or distinct?

Comment Re:No thanks on Nuclear proliferation... (Score 1) 281 281

I would say we have no other option than nuclear and this will become VERY evident in the next decade or so.

Oil prices are going up. The talk about peak oil does make sense.

But peak uranium and thorium are still a VERY LONG way out!

As soon as it really starts to impact our lifestyle, I bet that people will start building nuclear power plants again. Our current squabbles and distake for nuclear power is just the sign of decadent NIMBYs.

People talk about (nuclear) WW3 because of Ukraine. So that would be a devastating war about oil resources, using nuclear power in entirely the wrong way. How crazy is that??!

Comment Re:Same old, same old. (Score 1) 798 798

I think there's a kind of deep inability on the part of adults to distinguish between rough play that got a little out of hand and a bully who's completely out of control. I can't see any school policy fixing that.

I would say some adults, but not all. I had my share of bullying in school, but there were teachers who actually were quite aware of who was the asshole. However, many teachers seem to be unfortunately emotionally blind to these kinds of situations. Or they just don't want to deal with it. I don't understand it.

Comment Re:Comparison to code bugs a bit flawed (Score 1) 236 236

No, I think you misread me. What I am saying is: Lets say you are an engineer in Iran and you work on WMDs and know they are going to be used. Working on them wouldn't be ethical.

I think what I am trying to say is the old 'I have just been following orders' thing. And in a way, because of 'ethical' implications, I believe 'working in and with the system' -and maybe even things such as change control- might have parallels to that idea of 'just following orders'.

As others said, the best thing the engineer could have done (if I understand everything right), is to go public and say: We have this flaw, we need to fix it!

I think the next best thing actually is to not follow change control guidelines - in that way 'orders' - and fix the problem, even though management says that he should bury the data that says that the switch is faulty, and hide from management that you fixed it. Of course, 'next best' could and probably should already be considered as some sort of 'bad'.

I might misunderstand the whole situation though and it what sense the engineers did/didn't make the situation worse.

Comment Re:Comparison to code bugs a bit flawed (Score 1) 236 236

Professional Engineers have an obligation to act ethically, not an obligation to be right all the time.

Not saying you are wrong, but 'acting ethically' can be complicated: If you engineer WMDs or similar, is it ethical to adhere to the design and workflow guidelines of the change control system?

I understand that in almost all cases, it makes a lot of sense to work according to the rules. And if the rules came into place from ethical considerations, it is ethical to follow the rules. But that's not necessarily true in all cases.

Comment Re:Until warp drive is invented... (Score 2) 292 292

First of all, science is trying to better understand the world, by making models predicting something. It isn't engineering.

In that sense, I think science is always a refinement of the understand of reality. Of course, there is now quantum mechanics and there is relativity. But if you go back in time before that, most of the basic ideas in (mechanical) engineering are pretty much settled since Newton got hit by the apple. And if there are humans in a 1000 years, they will still be ruled to a large extent by gravity!

I think we are approaching at least a phase where experiments and 'engineering' (and here I call everything except fundamental physics 'engineering') has to catch up with our knowledge of physics. In the sense of testing and exploiting what we learned about reality so far. The LHC and Icecube, examples for machines for doing fundamental (particle) physics, are already km-scale. Maybe we need to be able to see more subtle effects and maybe on scales that are either inaccessible or not easily accessible to us to make new 'great' discoveries? If so, I think, yes, science is indeed running out of 'great' discoveries. But maybe because we will need (I guess a VERY long time) to catch up with our engineering first.

Comment Re:"Collapse" is an overstatement (Score 1) 401 401

Lets take about the scenario 'nuclear annihilation': Tell me what you think will happen if the nukes vaporize a significant fraction of civilian nuclear power plants and their inventory.

Also, what happens to the already depleted oil resources? They magically reset, 'start at level 1' again?

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