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Comment Re:Nobody will notice or care, outside of the regi (Score 1) 265 265

This is according to an expert on earthquakes:

About 10% of great earthquakes trigger a volcanic eruption, and most eruptions are fairly minor, so the volcano risk is small compared to the earthquake risk.

I live in Olympia, and I like to say that when the big one hits, Mt. Ranier is going to blow, and as the black lightning-filled clouds tower over us in the east, all of the metal bands in town will climb onto the roofs of all of the buildings with all of their equipment and it will be the most Metal day ever. But it looks like experts believe otherwise. https://www.reddit.com/r/IAmA/...

Comment Re:It only works with no scarcity (Score 1) 503 503

Petroleum would certainly be mined if we did not use it for energy, but it's only heavily used in making plastics because of our interest in its chemistry and its historical abundance as a carbon source. We use less than 3% of petroleum to make plastics, and less than 2% of natural gas, and we could easily lower those figures if we had to, with vegetable sources. Back at the turn of the 20th century we would not have developed polymers to the extent that we did without abundant petroleum, but now we certainly could replace it if the economy moved that way.

Comment Re:How can I help? (Score 1) 99 99

we need a new pro-science party

A vote for me gets the IRS the microscopes they so direly need! I don't have PACS, just millions of grad students writing grants! Whatever is leftover from the campaign, I will use to build gargantuan cannons that run on superconductors, that fire invisible stuff! Also I recently read an authortative article that subverts whatever 'fact' you happen to mention at a social function.

Comment Re:Looks like the second stage ruptured (Score 2) 316 316

So? The bad people are everywhere, every goddamn "race" has them in probably exactly equal numbers because "races", just like borders, are imaginary. In Lousiana an entire parish has been refusing to marry anyone for months now, because they don't want LGBT weddings. The only reason they aren't burning people (any more: see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/... ) is because of the pacifying effect of the US's relative affluence (which in turn only due to the recent conquest of this land's natural resources). It's Christians in Africa who are executing men for being gay. There is no more violence in Muslim countries than you could predict by looking at their economies (which we shape with our imperialistic might) and noting the statistical correlation between poverty and violence.

Comment Re:no ones really winning. (Score 2) 194 194

seersucker clad golfbag toting used car salesman marketing drone

I'm stealing this.
This was before my time, but I'm pretty sure that television nose-dived when pay-per-view came along. The television market was devised as radio + pictures, a one-way ticket as far as content. Computer networks were devised as tiers of peers, and once it's on my box, it's not yours. Pay-per-view functions, but it's fundamentally illogical. The content providers have to go through DRM acrobatics to sustain it at all. Premium channels overall make little sense. But online content is starving. Why can't we just pay artists, journalists, and FOSS programmers decent amounts of money? It's because of the seersucker clad golfbag toting used car salesman marketing drones, because some people are aggressive about making lots of money despite lacking skills that are actually useful, and I let them walk on me sometimes.

Comment Re: Corrected headline (Score 1) 305 305

I really really don't think this is true.
"...smelting, soldering, annealing, electroplating, sintering, alloying, low-wax casting, and many other metallurgical techniques independent of any Old World influences", ..., zero, ... incredibly accurate calendars (and not just in Mesoamerica), many of the commonest vegetables at the market, lots of useful animal breeds in general, not just rubber but vulcanized balls, sandals, balloons, rubber syringes, bigger cities than Europe, canals, lots of agriculture... https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...
Western European belief systems, by and large, gave the okay on all sorts of conquest (for god and salvation), whereas native American mythos by and large speak of a relationship with nature. That's not to say that there wasnt plenty of millitant behavior in the pre-Columbus Americas. But it looks like overall, the natives of North and South America were more interested in making lots of food and medicine than making bigger weapons and ships.

Comment Re:The Declaration of Causes of Seceding States (Score 1) 305 305

Note: as a technical note, free persons who commit criminal acts *could* in fact be made slaves today through court action, since you may deny someone their liberty through due process of law. We just don't use this particular loophole within our justice system.


Comment Re: Yeah, right (Score 1) 108 108

As far as life goes, there is a significant biome below the Earth's crust. If you were underground, you wouldn't notice anything other than low gravity and a strong Coriolis effect.

I dunno, I think that all surface water would be gone pretty quickly, and without water I don't think that life would exist even deep in the earth for more than ~300 years (given what I remember about aquifers).

Comment Re:No dignity in witchcraft (Score 1) 668 668

let's create a whole range of "official" placebos. The "red one", the "blue version", the "green style" and so on. With fine print on label : "This is not a medicine. It is distilled water void of any active content with no effect other than potential - but not guaranteed - placebo effect

The green one always fixes my neuralgia. They say nothing in it does anything, but I think it's the green dye.

Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.