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Comment: Re:Hidden Files section? (Score 1) 335

Nah, you're not very knowledgable yourself. I'm not an expert either but at least read up a bit on history rather than referring to wacky websites

Agreed, you aren't an expert, and you don't seem to have enough of an understanding of the issue to make informed judgments about either my views or what is going on. Instead you are substituting your personal wacky views for hard facts and statements by the Islamists about why they are doing what they are. Maybe you could explain how it is that you know better than they do why they are doing what they are doing? You do realize that there is a long history of insurrection and conquest by Muslim peoples that predates "Western imperialism," don't you?

If reestablishing a Caliphate is of "minor importance" and "among the most silly," then why do they keep declaring them? Why are so many Muslim peoples drawn to them?

Your views seem to be little more than a restatement of politically correct nonsense unconnected to the facts.

Comment: Budget never reformed (Score -1) 56

by amightywind (#47792179) Attached to: NASA's Competition For Dollars
This is all because even though there was a deep recession NASA's budget was never reformed. Over the decades more and more non-core programs accreted. Obama didn't help by axing Project Contsellation, or declaring the central role of NASA one of muslim outreach. So here we are, with our center piece program dependent on Vladimir Putin! Way to go America! Is this where you really want to be?

Comment: Re:But is it reaslistic? (Score 2) 335

Have you ever actually tried to do a serious engineering project from scratch based only on what's in the published literature in any field without consulting somebody who had actually done it? It's actually really hard. The devil is always in the details, ...... It's usually nice to have somebody around who can say, "Yeah, we tried that and it didn't work. ....

Maybe you haven't noticed, but the Middle East is full of countries that have had WMD programs involving chemical and/or biological weapons, and even some nuclear programs. The expertise is out there.

The idea that they're on the brink of a devastating weapon that nobody in the DoD thought to prepare for during the Cold War when we had the entire Soviet weapons program working on it seems like a stretch.

The Cold War is long over and the resources assembled to be prepared to fight if it ever went hot started going away long ago, not unlike the heavy lift space rockets (Saturn V) built to go to the moon. Even the people that knew how to build some those things are retiring and dying. They have already had to try to recreate lost knowledge for materials in nuclear weapons. Knowledge and infrastructure a perishable, and that's assuming you aren't actively dismantling them. There are things we could do in the 1950s and 1960s that we can't today without recreating large industrial programs that would take years to put in place.

Being prepared to fight the Soviets 25 years ago doesn't necessarily buy us anything today.

Comment: Re:But is it reaslistic? (Score 1) 335

There's a difference between "being prepared" and "Oh, shit, let's panic!" When this stuff comes up, the public reaction is usually the latter.

Is the public reaction generally panic? I don't think so. Where do you see the public panicking? The actual reaction is largely indifference by most of the public while commentators like you claim the public is panicking and therefore we should do nothing.

These guys aspire to all sorts of stuff and if even half of it were realistic they would have taken over the world by now

But they have taken over countries before, and endangered many others. You're almost building a strawman there.

The reality is that their resources and competence don't match their aspirations and our policy responses should take that into consideration.

The reality is that they have caused enormous damage and killed many tens of thousands of people (at least) using meager resources. In the manner of the classic guerilla they often take what they need from the government.

Some nutbar in a cave announcing his intention to get hold of a hydrogen bomb and blow us all to hell should cause us to spot check the security of the known hydrogen bomb storage sites. It shouldn't cause us to start digging billion dollar fallout shelters under every major city or grounding airplanes whenever somebody uses the word "hydrogen."

You're not getting that right in several respects. We should continue to secure all sorts of nuclear related materials, as we have been, to prevent dirty bomb attacks, or the theft or illegal sale of fissionable material. Requiring emergency shelters in new construction of various type of buildings as some countries do wouldn't add much to the cost and could pay off in many different disaster or attack scenarios. The nutters in North Korea already have nukes and missiles, the Iranians aspire to them, and eventually others will get them. Some of the nutters likely to end up with nukes may find their destruction an acceptable trade-off if they get to badly damage the US. Just 9-11 resulted in $100,000,000,000 in damage to the US economy. What do you think it would have been had New York been attacked with a nuke which would destroy more than one building? Patting yourself on the back for not "over reacting" to the aspirations of "guys in a cave"* is going to be cold comfort if you need shelters to meet other emergencies and you don't have them.

*Who have already managed to kill thousands of Americans and probably well over 100,000 around the world.

Comment: Re:What a stupid question (Score 1) 108

by khasim (#47791893) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Best Phone Apps?

Asking nerds what apps are good is like strolling into a literature forum and asking "I haven't read a book in 15 years - anything new out that you think is good?"

Well this "Twilight" series is a best seller. As is this "50 Shades of Grey".

I really with the old Twilight Zone was still running. I think that that premise would make a great episode.

You can measure a programmer's perspective by noting his attitude on the continuing viability of FORTRAN. -- Alan Perlis