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Comment Re:With those figures ? (Score 1) 131

I'm sorry. The journals do not have "staff" that peer review the journals. The peers of the authors, i.e. other authors do all the peer review. The only job of the journals is managing those lists of reviewers and assign reviews. With electronic publishing reducing costs, and software to do most of that "managing" there is very little value to those journals. Sincerely, libraries should pitch into a "common" pool. On a national basis perhaps, they should create a number of peer reviewed journals for the various topics.. and instead of spending that 20000$ per journal, they could contribute to the administrative infrastructure of those new journals which could then offer their content openly. I consider that my university's library funds would be better spent that way than paying the indecent fees for minimal contribution from the journals. I certainly know that as I reviewer I don't receive a dime from any of the publications that I review articles for. I think that is OK, but I don't think the indecent cost of subscribing to journals or publishing in open access is justified given that the vast majority of the potential cost of the peer review process is already being externalized by the journals.

Comment Re:If it happens... (Score 2) 109

Unfortunately, most economists subscribe to fallacy of infinite growth. If limiting factors were understood, then a stable economy at its capacity (and healthy) would be more clearly differentiated from a stagnating economy (stable, but below capacity), and you would not have to suffer these collapses. Collapses are a sign of an unhealthy ecosystem, and the same is true of the economy. Until the economy is treated as a subcomponent of the ecosystems it depends on, unfortunately, this is not likely to stop.

Comment Re:What's the point ? (Score 4, Insightful) 185

It hasn't much to do with rational thinking. Mental health is not something that we are conditionned to think about. Among other things, it relies heavily on a fine balance of chemicals in the brain. You have been able to think of your circumcstances rationally, and your are better for it. However, stress can easily lead to despair for various poeople, even if their circumstances are not as dire as those of others. Just as some people may be consumed by rage for no good reason.

Mental health is tricky, and I am certainly not an expert on the subject or on how to maintain it. Hopefully as a society we can move on from it being a taboo subject to people being able to routinely seeking help or just evaluation. How many tragedies could be avoided then?

Comment Re:One slight problem with that ratio... (Score 1) 119

I know very little of astronomy, but I have to wonder at the reason why each of the fusion cyles is shorter... is it only because some intrinsic property of the heavier fuel? I had alsways assumed that the fact that there is only a fraction of the original star mass that makes it to Carbon, and only a fraction of that to each successive element in the list what the root cause the the exponential decay in life expectancy of each fuel source. If that is the case, the reason that each cycle is shorter is the lack of fuel. Now, what if ALL the star is made of heavier fuel from the start? Shoud we still expect a ridiculously short fusion time for the initial fuel? If the answer is no, shouldn't such a star be able to shine for at least a few million years?

This is an honest question by someone who wants to know, not a criticism of the parent post.

Comment Re:Our Universe is Awesome (Score 1) 89

Actually I think honest politicians are probably fairly common. But as in everything, they start small, and locally, and as such things go, we, the voters, eliminated them from the race early on in favor of the politicians that tell us what we want to hear instead of what we need to hear. The result is that the longer lived politicians, are electorally selected to favour those who tell the electorate things that have little relation to reality as opposed to the electorate's fantasy. We really shouldn't complain about our politicians. We get what we want, not what we need.

Comment Are there even any sci-fi shows left? (Score 3, Interesting) 67

Not counting soap opera vamps anyways. Not really sci-fi since monsters of that type are folkloric in orginin, not scifyee. So, if we agree to exclude vamps and zombies (tiresome boring buggers), is there a single actual scifi show on TV? I honestly wanna know. I've been looking for one for a while now.

Comment Re:Moisture inside the dam wall (Score 1) 168

Not sure what you mean by water "invading" earthen dams... but just for the record, earth dams are always full of water that seeps through the component soils to one degree or another. High flow (in cracks say, or because of overtopping) is a problem at it will cause erosion, which may eventually lead to failure, but water "invading" them is not a problem, it's a given.

That being said, you are correct in mentionning that concrete actually requires water to harden through hydration. The problem with cracks in a concrete dam, is that they propagate, and the pressure of the water will certainly help them do so.

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA