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Comment Re:Fuck the unions. (Score 5, Insightful) 113

Meritocracy only works if it's not a lie. It doesn't magically happen out of nowhere, it's a consequence of a system that can cull bad actors.

Real life is not that system. In real life, bad actors, con artists and CEOs run amok exactly as much as they're allowed to.

Completely deregulate and go full retard (to use what ought to be, but isn't, a more politically correct and inoffensive term for 'free market') and you only guarantee without a shadow of a doubt that your OCRACY is the farthest possible thing from MERIT.

In the best of all possible hypothetical worlds, the best you could hope for is that merit is not actively a disadvantage: nobody's penalized for wasting time and effort getting good. In this world, that's time better spent learning to con people, or building up a social media herd of suckers to fleece, and choose wisely.

Please never all-capitalize meritocracy again. As it is a malicious lie in the absence of a serious and well-organized and administered system with coherent goals and definitions of 'merit', it doesn't deserve even one capital letter, really.

Next you'll be telling me Google, and YouTube, are meritocracy in action. Or Uber.

Comment Re:The general consensus amongst many Americans (Score 5, Insightful) 488

...and that Angels exist, and Elvis can get your wash whiter with this one weird trick.

Science is INTERESTING, chaos theory even more so, and it's easy to see the changes if you know what to look for. The increased energy in the system is already turning all of weather to a parade of freak outliers and unpredictable quirky events that occasionally spike off the charts, and that's exactly in line with the 'chaotic system' model.

I wouldn't have called the 'Earth turning to an alien planet that doesn't support life' thing in thirty years, but if you specify it's to happen in particular (unusual areas) then I'll believe that. Some areas of the planet are already close to uninhabitable and it doesn't take that much to push 'em over the brink. The thing to watch for is not places being rendered uninhabitable by weather extremes, it's more about masses of people/animals displaced because the change is a new thing that nobody's prepared for.

You can probably, right now, buy a 40-year lease on land that might as well be the Moon in 40 years. If you want a real picture of the plausibility of man-made global climate change, don't check scientists or Al Gore, consult actuaries and insurance companies. Pretty sure you'll find they're believers, because they have to actually pay for it if they choose wrong.

Comment Re:Sheesh Dice... (Score 1) 289

I found it very disconcerting that the primary Google search box, as seen on Chrome's empty page, had an advertisement under it. I automatically thought, 'whoa, this must be bad news if anybody's spent THAT MUCH MONEY to promote it'. If it's not money but influence, that's just as worrying.

I don't remember electing Google to dictate the course of society. Some of us are trying pretty hard to elect for instance Bernie to do that, which is a legitimate path to take toward that goal. Getting really chummy with Sergey Brin to have as much of an effect doesn't feel like how society should work.

Comment Re:That settles it (Score 1) 500

Thought experiment: if we did, would it become easier to start a business selling stuff to Americans?

I've been self-employed for close to a decade now, and see a good correlation between people's general state of broke-ness and whether they can spend money on MY stuff. They could increase the minimum wage to $70K and leave me OUT (as I'm an entrepreneur and earn no wage but hopefully my net profits) and I would bet you anything there is to bet, that I'd be doing better.

We're in the future, I can sell over the internet. I have ALWAYS made a significant amount of my global sales to people in 'socialist' Scandinavian countries. They have money to spend.

Comment Re:SO when you pay people... (Score 1) 500

Just a thought, but if I built (or wanted to build) lifted trucks, I absolutely extremely want you to earn 70K or more a year. You being frugal is no use to ME.

Everybody's on one side or another of this equation. There's somebody out there who'd really love to give you a luxurious existence, because their dream job is yacht-maker (or lifted truck builder).We gain nothing from you living small if your dreams would support US (and we in turn would get to dream and support who knows what).

Comment Re:In other news.... (Score 3, Insightful) 500

What's even funnier is, macroeconomics works the same way. See Mark Blyth: everyone who's done austerity has had their GDP collapse to where their debt percentage is higher than it was when they started. If you're a country, you can only spend your way to solvency by pumping money into the economy for people to do things with, and 'invest in swiss bank accounts and offshore tax havens' DO NOT COUNT for this.

People are idiots who want a very primitive sort of moral justice, but the world doesn't actually work that way. Often the world is unjust in people's favor.

Comment Re:Weather of Climate? (Score 1) 273

There have been four massive typhoons at once in the southern hemisphere, at times. Reminds me of some kinds of chaotic flows, where it twitches around in one area for a while before zipping back to the other pole and hanging out: can't predict exactly when, but can very accurately define the 'expectation space'.

We'll be seeing big stacks of cat 5 and up hurricanes. Like four at once, no time to rebuild or recover. Proof of concept is in the North Pacific. It's all one atmosphere, the areas of interest just change—chaotically.

Comment Re:Weather of Climate? (Score 1) 273

The funny thing here is, after being modded as high as 5 and then down to 1 again by angry mobs of trolls for claiming 'we'll be seeing cat 6 or 7 hurricanes' when this is a cat 5, I read the whole thread.

Cat 5 is 150 mph or so. Patricia is hitting 200 mph at times and we hope it slows down. The ratings STOP at 5 because that's considered 'total obliteration and there's no point measuring anything further' (which I beg to differ). The scaling between numbers is roughly 27 mph.

So the one most outrageous statement getting me modded to hell, about how by next year we'll have cat 6 or 7?

That's Patricia. We hope she SLOWS to Cat 5 (150mph obliteration) by the time she hits the coast. So I got a severe mod-spanking from trolls for suggesting we'd see by next year, what's happening right now. The anti-science guys were MAD that I said in 2016 we'd be getting cat 7. If I'd read the whole thread I've have mentioned how we're already there!

Comment Re:Biggest seen since we've been looking (Score 1) 273

We're watching polar ice melt away like crazy, and the reflective nature of that stuff has been a huge deal in not producing a runaway condition.

OUR activities are relatively tiny compared to the effect of all the polar ice melting and those oceans soaking up solar energy directly, and yet for all that our own activities have been sufficient to provide that little nudge that tipped the icecaps to melt that's going to heat the oceans that will get the chain reaction happening in earnest.

It's already too late so it'd be nice if the people who got us into this position had the decency to admit it. But then, how can they possibly contemplate that level of guilt, for at first inadvertently tipping the balance and flinging us into this? Probably didn't mean it, though we've known about this stuff for many decades and there have always been people trying to head off the problem before it was big enough to notice.

Too late. Man up and face the reality, or be flattened beneath 'probably normal weather that's probably always happened'.

Comment Re:Biggest seen since we've been looking (Score 1) 273

Yeah. We would like to think that if something comes along and literally flattens an entire city leaving only rubble, it's a bomb. That's because in our recorded history, we haven't experienced hurricanes that go through major cities and literally flatten them and grind them to powder, but we have experienced warfare and bombs.

If we get the equivalent of about cat 6 or 7 hurricanes (apparently cat 5 only goes up to 150 mph because that was considered to be 'ultimate destructive force', and it's roughly 27 mph to each new level, which requires a far greater hurricane force to create, but we're seeing it in this current record-breaking hurricane and hoping it cools off to just MODERATELY record-breaking rather than 'OMG WTF' grade record breaking)...

That's the grind-everything-to-powder potential of a really big tornado, but lasting for hours not minutes and hundreds or thousands of times the size.

It's not surprising if a normal person doesn't want to believe such a thing could ever be real. But we've made 'em.

Think of it like charging a capacitor and then discharging it suddenly. The added energy going into our climate due to carbon, methane etc. making it trap solar heat (and there's SO MUCH solar heat to be trapped) means we're storing up huge amounts of energy, and then it discharges through these hurricanes, which are getting larger. That's why we've always had cities and not had to worry about weather literally blowing them flat, but now in some locations we are beginning to see weather literally obliterating anything we can build.

And this is why we need higher cat numbers for hurricanes. We'll learn to build structures that can take 150 mph sustained winds, because we're humans and we don't give up. Neither does the energy in the global atmosphere, so eventually it'll matter whether a hurricane is 200 mph for hours or 250 mph for hours, or 300 mph for a few very ugly minutes.

That's our future. The planet will survive, nature will adapt, but we're gonna have to work at surviving what we've made. For all we know there have been previous extinction events when Earth creatures got civilized, started burning carbon or got hit by an asteroid, and then got wiped off the face of the planet.

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