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Comment Re:Just what we need... (Score 1) 142

How do you figure? Even assuming humans and our animals accounted for 100% of the planet's biomass, after a single halving that would be reduced to... wait for it... 50%.

No. Percentages do not work that way - it would be reduced to 100% in your example. Let's use some absolute numbers: assume there are 99 humans to every 1 non-domesticated animal. Humanity is then 99% of the population. Halve the human population, and say it's now 49 humans to 1 non-domesticated animal. Now humans are 98% of the population.

Real numbers are surprising on the actual proportions. I offer you this visual representation.

Comment Re:How are these related? (Score 2) 201

Oh yes, the ever-blamed teacher unions. You realize teacher unions actually hate standardized testing? And if one is to believe that teacher unions love keeping "bad teachers" around, what could be better than a building full of "exceptional" teachers recognized by nobody else but the teachers themselves?

Comment Re:Alamo Broadband's complaint (Score 1) 318

You don't know what I did or did not protest in the past. You just want to paint me as a party shill and that's a problem. Can we stop pretending everyone against us is a shill for the other party? Policymaking needs to be more nuanced than that. I think the appalling voter turnout rates in recent elections show that the majority of the country doesn't agree with either side and feels powerless to effect the change they would like to see.

For the record I support overhauling filibuster rules to prevent their abuse. The cat's out of the bag and I don't want to see Democrats do it any more than I wanted Republicans to.

Comment Re:Alamo Broadband's complaint (Score 1) 318

Yeah, no. The Democrats in the Senate can still pull all the same shit the Republicans had been pulling for the last 4 years, and you know they will before it even gets to Obama's desk.

But there is something fundamentally frightening about your statement. Are you saying that our government can only get anything done when it's controlled by one side? That's not the way it's worked over 90% of the last 200+ years. We have always had divided government and managed to get things done. Great things even. Good governance demands a divided legislature finding middle ground, not supermajorities and the kind of destructive partisan brinksmanship we're engaged in right now.

The problem is not the balance of power between Democrats and Republicans. It's that both sides have become increasingly radical, uncompromising, corrupt, and as we have seen lately with the whole Hyde amendment thing, unimaginably lazy.

Comment Re:May you choke on your own words (Score 1) 318

Yeah, mission accomplished and then the anti-government people took the money away. And despite not going to the moon, we've launched a huge network of geographical positioning satellites (GPS), built a space station in an international collaboration of unprecedented scale, and made near-Earth orbit cheap enough for private industry to achieve it regularly. Even without those undeniable achievements, the money spent on NASA space programs has yielded huge dividends in publicly available inventions, engineering expertise in the market, and motivation for our children to be smarter and better than they might otherwise be without such an undeniably awe-inspiring positive influence. Everywhere you look the money spent on NASA has paid off hugely for society, despite constant threats to their budget and cuts to their most ambitious projects. They went to the moon. Imagine what they could do if we still funded them as much as we did in the 60s.

Comment Re:Randian Dumbfuckery (Score 1) 318

Long before seatbelts were mandatory for consumers to wear, they were made mandatory for manufacturers to provide. Even now they are not mandatory to wear in many states. But without government intervention the auto manufacturers may never have provided seatbelts, which have dramatically improved survival rates of accidents. Even though it turns out that consumers really do care about safety.

Sometimes a corporation is too big for any individual's purchasing power to have much influence. Often the individual has many concerns other than the safety of their transportation and just hasn't heard anything about it and so won't exert any purchasing power for their own good anyway. The only way to improve these sorts of situations is for consumers to band together and demand change as a group. They have a name for citizens banding together and making demands. It's called government.

Comment Hyped marketing (Score 3, Interesting) 126

This is Sci-Fi because somebody in marketing thought they could get more buzz if they called it that. It deflects shockwaves, not projectiles. Then again who knows; maybe the blasters in Star Wars just make photon shockwaves? But this just looks like trademark infringement to me.

The sad thing is their clickbait worked. But a shockwave deflector shield is pretty neat tech anyway.

Comment Re:Why not a Mac? (Score 1) 385

You used to be able to upgrade the storage and the RAM pre-Retina. Now the RAM is soldered into the motherboard and the storage is a PCI Express-based (SATA-based in 2012-2013) chip in a proprietary socket. Also, now the battery is a series of bare cells held in place with very strong adhesive, and everything is locked away by pentalobe screws. Easy to repair it certainly is not.

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