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Comment Re:It's simple (Score 1) 211

That's true with most drugs. But the whole point about taking drugs is that you tend to over-use them because they are enjoyable. (This is equally true with legal drugs like alcohoil).

Except when they cause psychoses, which are (or should be) very expensive to treat as they have long term effects.

Overdoing them is not inevitable. It depends on the person and the drug. Most people don't over-do alcohol even though it's got a pretty high potential for addiction. Some drugs, such as psychedelics, are self-limiting and most people tend to use them less rather than more. This is because there's a short-term tolerance effect that stops you being able to repeat the experience daily and the experience can be too intense at times which causes you to voluntarily stay away.

Regarding your suggestion that psychedelics can lead to psychosis: this is at best contentious. For instance, there is even evidence for the opposite: that people who take them have lower rates of psychological distress. I'm sure there are individual cases where psychedelic drug use resulted in a psychotic episode, but the implication of recent studies is that the drug use is a trigger and not a cause. Other triggers can include things like stress, bereavement, etc. In other words, psychedelics do not appear to hold a privileged position as a cause of psychosis. It's actually a pretty interesting field of research.

Comment Re:It's not affordability, it's safety (Score 1) 211

I think you greatly underestimate the public's appetite for risk. We've been willing to watch our sons and daughters die by the thousands to take villages and hilltops only to give them back a week, a month or a year later with zero long-term achievement and right now politicians running for President are advocating to ramp that up.

I can't imagine that the public would be turned off by deaths associated with a Mars mission failure...

You surely know that what you're saying isn't true. War deaths, even pointless ones like Iraq, are tightly knitted into the Nation's ego by nationalistic rhetoric. The public's acceptance of those deaths isn't because of an "appetite for risk", it's due to their belief that these deaths are a sacrifice the nation must make to maintain "their Freedom." "Freedom" being a word that has had its meaning twisted rather horribly in recent years. Hence every patriot has a "Support our Troops" bumper sticker, etc. On the other hand, even deaths of a single person (e.g. Amelia Earhart) in pursuit of adventure or or knowledge have a deep emotional hold on people because they're not tied to the myth of the Nation and so are seen more clearly in their own terms. When Challenger exploded, NASA stopped shuttle flights until the causes were known - the public would have tolerated nothing less. The same will be true of Mars.

Comment Re:It's simple (Score 1) 211

Something seems odd about the health-related care for drug use number. It seems much too high. I did a google search and this is the first thing that came up. The NIH drug abuse guys put the number at 11 billion USD, which seems more likely to me, given that most illegal drug use is just cannabis.

Comment Re:What User Experience? Everyone Left. (Score 1) 170

Face it, Gnome was ruined, perhaps even sabotaged. Year after year, they turned their backs on users, removed any power the user might have had all in the name of making it "clean."

Gnome should either stand or die and a lesson: do not design by infatuation.

Everyone left.

Did they leave? You might be right, but what are the stats on the market shares of these desktop environments? I can't find anything.

Comment Re:how many simultaneous users? (Score 2) 280

10 Mbit/s (if it is a real 10, and not an "up to 10") is plenty to stream one video from NetFlix, Hulu, Amazon etc. (unless you are trying for one of the rare 4K streams). But if you have multiple users in the house, you will need to allow for times when they all want something different at the same time.

I'd be happy 99.99% of the time with 40 Mbit/s. If Google fiber ever gets here - I don't think I'd notice whether it was 100Mbit/s or 1Gbit/s more than a couple of times a year.

Indeed. I have a 1 Gb connection at work and 20 Mb at home. I don't notice any difference between two except when I'm pulling in large quantities of work-related data or, weirdly, when I'm making an SSH connection to Goddady. Probably my fault for placing myself in a position where I need to do the latter.

Comment Re:No escape (Score 1) 381

What I mean by 'serious democracy' is where people actually participate beyond voting in the elections. They write, debate and discuss the affairs of their nation with each other instead of talking about sports or reality tv shows. This whole philosophy of 'don't talk religion or politics' is the bullshit that promotes the ignorance that pervades our society and has effectively turned us into a consumer culture.

I agree, but of course for this to be effective you also need a political system that hasn't sold itself out to capitalism and is still a democracy of the people. Switzerland is a good example of how things can work. It's easier for them because there are only 8 million people there, but it's still encouraging to see a system like that working.

Comment Re:No escape (Score 1) 381

One only has to look at the TV to see that serious democracy no longer exists

I don't disagree, but what do you mean by "serious democracy"? There is no one thing called democracy: there are many ways of running a democratic-like system. It's just unfortunate that in some countries the people seem happy to accept that "voting" == "democracy".

Comment Re:Almost as if (Score 1) 696

Except it really is. 3 near-death experiences in 3 months, last time I tried to bike to work every non-rainy day in the summer. There is no way I will ever be on the same roads as SUVs. If we're not going to build bike paths, then we need to ban SUVs. Or make killing someone while driving an SUV carry a mandatory penalty of life without parole. Maybe that'll get Sally-Soccer-Mom and Big-Shot-Bill to stop fucking texting while they drive their road tanks.

Anecdote != evidence and you can get killed quite successfully by a mini on the roads. It doesn't require an SUV, all it requires is an inattentive or drunk driver. I have a friend who was killed on hist bike this way in upstate NY. That still doesn't make me consider the activity to be dangerous.

Comment Re:hyperbole again (Score 1) 246

You may hold that view right up until the day your favorite closed-source software gets end-of-lifed with major security bugs in it, so you have to buy it all over again. Of course that never happens.

Similar things also happen with open-source projects. They sometimes get abandoned or changed in horrible ways and you have to jump ship. You don't always find a good alternative. Over the years I've been screwed in this way by both free and non-free software. I find it somewhat surprising that I've been labelled a troll for pointing this out. I think many of us have experienced it with things like Gnome 3 and even the early KDE 4 releases.

The life of a repo man is always intense.