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Science

There Is a Finite Limit On How Long Intelligence Can Exist In Our Universe 204

Posted by timothy
from the never-outlives-the-ballot-box dept.
StartsWithABang writes: The heat death of the Universe is the idea that increasing entropy will eventually cause the Universe to arrive at a uniformly, maximally disordered state. Every piece of evidence we have points towards our unfortunate, inevitable trending towards that end, with every burning star, every gravitational merger, and even every breath we, ourselves, take. Yet even while we head towards this fate, it may be possible for intelligence in an artificial form to continue in the Universe for an extraordinarily long time: possibly for as long as a googol years, but not quite indefinitely. Eventually, it all must end.
Science

The Case For a Muon Collider Succeeding the LHC Just Got Stronger 52

Posted by timothy
from the other-people's-money dept.
StartsWithABang writes: If you strike the upper atmosphere with a cosmic ray, you produce a whole host of particles, including muons. Despite having a mean lifetime of just 2.2 microseconds, and the speed of light being 300,000 km/s, those muons can reach the ground! That's a distance of 100 kilometers traveled, despite a non-relativistic estimate of just 660 meters. If we apply that same principle to particle accelerators, we discover an amazing possibility: the ability to create a collider with the cleanliness and precision of electron-positron colliders but the high energies of proton colliders. All we need to do is build a muon collider. A pipe dream and the stuff of science fiction just 20 years ago, recent advances have this on the brink of becoming reality, with a legitimate possibility that a muon-antimuon collider will be the LHC's successor.

Comment: Re:$70000 is poorest? (Score 1) 270

The more money people have, the less they tend to do for the poor.

According to your logic, the people who do the most for the poor are the poor, which is a paradox since they have little to no resources to begin with. And I'm not sure how we expect the most wealthy to give a greater percentage of their income when we're already taking a greater percentage of it through progressive taxation. But let's go to the numbers. According to the IRS's 2011 numbers, charitable giving is on a bell curve. Apparently, the most charitable are on the income extremes.

It's a shame the middle class won't band together and come after the rich, but those poor idiot fucks won't realize that they have a better chance to win the lottery than to actually work their way into the upper echelons of society

I know you mentioned the lottery in jest, but the poor actually are the ones spending a large percentage of their meager resources on state lottery tickets. Maybe government should get out of the business of suckering poor people into gambling.

Comment: Re:Nothing to do with Climate Change (Score 2) 129

by operagost (#49790555) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

The solution to the ozone problem is a proof that we can do it.

No, it's not. The solution to the ozone layer issue was to ban a narrow range of chemicals that included CFC. We can't ban CO2 because that's like banning life processes. Misguided people want to use the government hammer to get the job done again, not thinking about the impact. Just cutting government loose will give it power over nearly the entire energy industry, on which our entire lifestyle and livelihood rests. It's de facto control of everything. A measured response is required, one that requires as little government mandate as possible.

Comment: Re:suckers (Score 1) 129

by operagost (#49790465) Attached to: Thanks To the Montreal Protocol, We Avoided Severe Ozone Depletion

Freon does not burn.

At all.

You can't breathe burning Freon because it doesn't burn.

But propane does, which you hand-waved away.

We were using freon because its predecessors were flammable. Freon was basically the last invention Thomas Midgley was responsible for that actually helped instead of hurting people-- until we found out it hurt the ozone layer.

Comment: Re:It only increases accountability (Score 1) 293

by operagost (#49783003) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers

Considering that her claim of being docked for damage would indicate a violation of federal law-- and she's a friggin' federal government employee-- either she's a rube, or you are. The only disciplinary deductions allowed are for safety violations.

Besides, a malfunctioning switch is not "damage", it's failure from normal wear and tear. They don't last forever. If the doors don't open or the wheels on the train have to be replaced, is that taken out of their paychecks, too?

Comment: Re:It only increases accountability (Score 1) 293

by operagost (#49782889) Attached to: Amtrak Installing Cameras To Watch Train Engineers
I'm not really anti-union (except for white-collar government employees), but the Amtrak union has really proved themselves to be total asshats during this issue. They opposed the automatic speed controls, because they preferred that another dues-paying engineer be in the cab. I'm sure that doubling the engineer payroll won't have any impact on the budget at all. Now they oppose the cameras, saying they won't improve safety because they only increase accountability, and mumble mumble. Yeah, and cameras in banks and stores don't keep employees from stealing, either. Accountability is what keeps people from failing at their job. Barring a medical emergency, a camera will cover every scenario of human failure. Obviously, the speed controls are what we need and if the GOVERNMENT WHO MANDATED THEM made sure the GOVERNMENT AGENCY INSTALLED THEM we wouldn't be talking about this.

Comment: Re:DoB, SSN & Filing Status?? (Score 1) 85

by operagost (#49782729) Attached to: IRS: Personal Info of 100,000 Taxpayers Accessed Illegally

Make a new law, if you get hacked, you have to pay the person whos data you lost $100,000.

Yeah, that will work really well with the government. Hey, we got hacked 100 times last year. In totally unrelated news, income taxes are going up and we just hired 1,000 new IRS employees because, obviously, those people need more help.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell

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