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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.

Comment Who needs a fleet of snowplows? (Score 1) 723

The problem is one of planning not of vehicles. Where I live, snow is a common occurrence every winter, certainly during the warmer days of winter.

The city does have a fleet of snowplows, but when a heavy snow falls, it's not the city's snowplows that handle the load but the graders and other earthmoving equipment of the local contractors. While graders are better with additional pusher attachments, just the basic blade will do wonders.

The main thing is getting organized so that the city can mobilize quickly the equipment of the local contractors in times of need. While it is always costly to hire those guys, it's certainly less costly to do it this way than purchasing your own fleet of vehicles that will rarely get used. Graders get used all the time.


Fear is the greatest salesman. -- Robert Klein