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Comment Re:They can't afford it (Score 1) 412

you want to dramatically expand government expenses and raise taxes?

[citation needed]

Most of the people advocating UBI point to the fact that the gains from reducing the bureaucracy concerning welfare to approximately zero means a dramatically reduced governmental expense, not an increase.

Whether taxes would need to be raised or not depends on many factors, not the least of which is how large the UBI needs to be. Some sectors could see raised taxes, some could see lowered.

Comment Re:And... (Score 1) 139

“This song is Copyrighted in U.S., under Seal of Copyright # 154085, for a period of 28 years, and anybody caught singin it without our permission, will be mighty good friends of ourn, cause we don’t give a dern. Publish it. Write it. Sing it. Swing to it. Yodel it. We wrote it, that’s all we wanted to do.”
- Woody Guthrie, typescript to "This Land Is Your Land"

Also, perhaps not so incidentally "The melody came from a tune that A.P. Carter had found and recorded with Sarah and Maybelle Carter prior to 1934 and was not original to Guthrie." (Wikipedia)

Comment Re:Metric Conversions? (Score 2) 123

Yes. Why are you mixing metric (meters, kilogram) with Imperial units (hour)? Shouldn't you be using a base 10 system for keeping time if you're going to be a pompous ass?

The hour isn't an Imperial unit.

It isn't metric either, but it is among the non-SI units mentioned in the SI. The second, along with the other units in the GP, is not only metric but also part of the SI system that most of the world uses these days.

How's that for pompous? ;)

Comment Re:The point of nukes (Score 1) 230

There was for example little or no "collateral damage" when we bombed Japan, or for that matter Dresden.

There was huge amounts of what we today call collateral damage, but back then they didn't use the term "collateral damage".

It was more or less seen as inevitable that there would be civilian losses and damage to civilian infrastructure even if the intended target was military (as it almost invariably was, with some notable exceptions - the Blitz for example specifically targeted civilians and civilian infrastructure).

It wasn't until the 1991 Gulf War "collateral damage" started to get used as "unintended civilian losses".


Capitalism allows the unrestricted exchange of things, including those things necessary for human life, between human beings. That statement can be made of no other economic system.

I beg to differ. Any number of economic systems allow for unrestricted exchange of things between human beings; capitalism is hardly unique in that aspect.

Capitalism is more inherently humane than any other system.

A system where both the means of production and the end product of labour is torn from the worker's hands and given to the company owner to distribute as he sees fit can never be called humane; it is more akin to slavery than anything else, especially when the system rewards the company owner for distributing as little as possible back to the worker.

Corporations - those with publicly held stock (ownership) - are a method for funding large activities and protecting those among the owners who have no control over the corporation's actions.

Why would anyone without control over a corporation's actions ever be allowed to call themselves "owner" of that corporation? They're financiers, money-lenders. This notion that they're somehow entitled to an ever-increasing return on their investment is one of the more troubling aspects of capitalism, since it allows money to generate more money without anything other than more money actually being produced.

Those who run corporations can and have been sent to prison for illegal activities.

I don't think I argued this doesn't happen - although it probably happens far, far less than it should. But then again, who makes the laws? In many places, it's the same people that run the corporations. Indirectly, of course, through lobbying, campaign financing, and just plain old good-old-boys networking.

"State Capitalism" is an oxymoron..

You could at least have googled it. It's not like I came up with the term here and now.

A state monopoly on business prevents the freedom that must necessarily coexist with capitalism.

While I don't disagree that a state monopoly on business prevents freedom, it is because capitalism by its very nature prevents individual freedom. As a wage labourer, you have no true freedom; you're only free to go from one (hopefully gilded) cage to the next, from one master to another, always a slave. We can't all be bosses.


You can refuse to be a customer and/or employee of a business and they can't shoot, jail or rob you.

You can refuse to be a customer and/or employee of a business, but you can't refuse to be a customer and/or employee to all of them.

Capitalism is inherently inhumane, putting the good of non-humans (corporations) before humans, as well as sociopathic in forcing the majority of humans to labour for the privileged few (company owners).

And before someone wilfully misunderstands me: Soviet Union-style "communism" (in quotes because it's communistic in name only; it was really state capitalism) was worse, but that doesn't mean capitalism is good; it's just a tad bit less worse in some aspects (and worse in others)

Comment Re:This does make a little more sense (Score 1) 37

Space? Space is easy. It's just big.

And hard to get to.

And rather hazardous, what with the radiation from solar storms, the risk of hull breaches from (micro)meteorites, the problem with cooling/heating, the lack of oxygen (or anything to create oxygen from), and so on and so forth.

It's not exactly a walk in the park.

Yes, the pressure difference is just 1 atmosphere rather than then 1 atmosphere/10 meters of the ocean, but on the other hand there's no DNA- and electronics-destroying radiation in the ocean, you're actually inside a very efficient heat sink, and have all the oxygen-containing molecules you'd ever want, and you're a lot less likely to get your hull punctured.

Bottom line is that neither space nor the deep sea are "easy", and that's part of the reason we don't generally go on vacation there.

Comment Re:A remarkable number of people are idiots (Score 1) 367

"Remember, half the people you meet are dumber than the average."

While not strictly true, because of median/mean ambiguity, the word "dumber", and that you probably don't meet statistically random samples of people, it's still useful because it makes people think "waitaminute, that can't be right" - and then they have to realize that it's probably not, but IQ is also not some objective measure of dumb/smart. It's probably not really a good measure of anything but the ability to do well on IQ tests.

An IQ score only has meaning in relative terms of the population on which it is measured, as "IQ 100" is by definition just the median test score of a certain population. Each standard deviation up or down is +15/-15 points, so 85-115 should contain about 68.2% of the population, with only 2.1% or so being lower than 70 and another 2.1% being higher than 130.

Comment Re:Year 2100 is (Score 1) 298

past the life expectancy of anyone we could conceivably give a crap about.

I'll be long dead in 2100.
My son will be dead in 2100.
His children though, my grandchildren, may very well be alive in 2100.
Their children, my grand-grandchildren, are very likely to be alive in 2100
My nieces and nephews, born between 2009 and 2015, may very well be alive in 2100.

And conceivable for you or not, but I do "give a crap" about them, even the ones not born yet.

Comment Re:Work with cloned mice (Score 1) 203

There is no scientific explanation for the phenomenon of consciousness - no theory about how it arises, not even a definition of what qualifies.

There are several scientific theories - multitudes even - about what consciousness is, how it arises, and what qualifies.

You should also try studying some philosophy; philosophy of mind has been the subject matter of thousands of books, theories, discussions, and theses all the way back to Plato.

Comment Re:So when will this actually happen? (Score 2) 372

So when will all of this destruction and devastation actually happen?

I distinctly recall hearing about how major cities along the U.S. eastern seaboard would be under water "within a decade" back in the mid 1970s. It didn't happen.

Then we were supposed to be completely out of oil by 1990. It didn't happen.

The next prediction was that the ozone layer would be almost completely depleted by 2002. It didn't happen.

Then we were told global warming would spiral out of control by 2011. It didn't happen.

It gets harder and harder to take these claims from environmentalists, scientists and politicians seriously, when they're so wrong again and again and again.

It's not even a case of efforts to mitigate the problems actually having any effect.

Most of the time these efforts haven't even started by the time the problem has either resolved itself, or been shown to have been a load of bullshit in the first place.

When a scientist says "if the current trend continues, X will happen", media reports it as "X will happen".

What they don't report - and what people like you seem unable to understand - is that the current trend DIDN'T continue because people, governments, nations, actually DID something about it.

So the ozone layer is still here (slowly recovering) because we stopped spewing CFCs into the atmosphere. We MADE SURE the trend didn't continue.

We still have oil because we go to silly lengths and spend ridiculous amounts of money to find and extract more. Fracking, anyone? Oil sands? Deep-sea drilling?

The point many scientists - and more and more regular people, and even some politicians in some countries - are making is that unless we DO something, if we allow the current trend of climate change to continue, it is - sooner or later, but most assuredly - going to make this planet a worse place to live than it already is.

It's not going to fix itself, much like the ozone layer wouldn't have just fixed itself. We're going to have to fix it, and a good start is to stop making it worse.

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Egotist: A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me. -- Ambrose Bierce