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Comment Re:China is just the cheapest producer like Saudi (Score 1) 199

Don't think "right now today", think five years from now. If you only think today, you'll always be in crisis management.

The number of ipods 10 years ago? What does that matter? If you want to look at ipods, look at how many people have owned in the past 10 years. Most people are on their 3rd ipod at this point, with two previous ones in the trash. Think about the amount of electronics we've thrown away in the past 30 years.

By the way, what makes recycling successful is not that demand outweighs supply, it's that the cost to make new is more than the cost to recycle. Aluminum takes 20 times as much energy to extract new as it does to recycle. That's why recycling is driven. All that is really necessary is for the cost to recycle to be less than the sale cost.

I haven't seen anywhere where recycling rare earth metals have been done near as cheap as extracting new quantities

Before last month, have you seen recycling of rare earth metals anywhere? It's been economical to recover the gold in circuit boards for five years or more now. We already have places to drop off old computers in the US. To add rare earths to the mix is not a stretch.

Comment History repeats? (Score 1, Interesting) 199

In 1920 the operators at AT&T striked. This led AT&T to pick up the pace and change it's entire network over to switches and the rotary phone. AT&T had resisted this prior to it realizing how vulnerable it was to a strike.

It would be just history repeating itself if this action by China led us to a way to replace Rare Earths entirely rendering them obsolete. But that still depends on us being able to duplicate the effects.

Comment Re:And technology? (Score 1) 325

Joy. You'd create a generation of idiots who can not do the simplest thing in there head and would be slaves to a machine that they could not even double-check.

Anyone who cannot cope with mathematics is not fully human. At best he is a tolerable subhuman who has learned to wear shoes, bathe, and not make messes in the house. ~Robert Heinlein, Time Enough for Love

Comment Re:some ideas Re:I agree (Score 1) 484

Different personality, I guess. Also, as Slashdot notes, the site is US centric as are most of the readers and the staff. A number of people are not the kind to take political questions seriously. We have a lot of rhetoric (or cynicism) when it comes to politics in the US.

I'm curious about something, as it might help me understand you a bit more. What country are you from?

Comment Re:some ideas Re:I agree (Score 3, Informative) 484

Ok, I'm quoting the original points here for reference. By the way, I find it somewhat 'ironic' that the UK parliament is used as an example of a 'modern' democratic system when the US system was based upon the UK parliament.

1 get rid of a lot the states powers,
2 the parties need to get party discipline and throw out the "nutters".
3 have strict uk style election campaign limits
4 replace the vast expenditure on tv campaigning with uk model of party political broadcasts.
5 have more equal constituency sizes (which will stop small agricultural states leaching of the bigger ones)
6 force all organizations (Unions and Company) to run a political fund for any lobbying and have it confirmed by vote every 7 years with opt out allowed)

(1) would require an amendment to the US constitution. The powers of the Federal Government are spelled out and those not explicitly spelled out are supposed to be reserved to the states. A general way to think about the US is 50 different countries, each with their own president government and constitution, with a common limited government superior to them to make sure they get along. To take more power away from the states and give it to the Federal Government, you'd have to amend the constitution.

(2) Easily done, but seems to misinterpret US elections. The parties could get rid of the 'nutters' (although who are the nuts depends on who you are) but that doesn't prevent the nutters from getting elected. The US doesn't vote for parties, it explicitly votes for individuals. One party or another can back an individual, but it's not required and on election day you're voting for a person, not a party.

(3) Probably some issues with our 1st amendment and prevention of individuals from running campaign adds. The US has a very broad definition of Freedom of Speech that is basically unheard of anywhere else in the world.

(4) See (2), basically the same reason of voting for an individual instead of a party.

(5) We would have to change how elector's districts are divided up and this would require an amendment of Article 1 Section 2. The electors are apportioned among the states, but no state can receive less than one. In order to have 'more equal' distribution, you would have to have one person representing people in multiple states. Also, I'm not necessarily sure of the point behind it. The parent pokes at "small agricultural states" receiving a disproportionate share of Federal Dollars. Well, see here. The agricultural states are (usually) the ones getting less back in dollars than they pay in taxes. The smallest one is Wyoming and it gets 84 cents back out of every dollar it pays in taxes. It looks like we do not have this as a problem.

(6) May actually be possible, but I'd like to know why "every 7 years" was chosen instead of something more often or less often.

I'm still genuinely curious. Is your constitution based on voting for individuals, not political principles? Don't regard this as an attack, but I'd appreciate a short explanation :)

I answered this above without realizing you had asked this at the end of your post. I don't take it as an attack. The answer is yes and I realize the US is very much in the minority when it comes to this. Although, I wonder if you mean "political parties" instead of "political principles". The only time I know of when we don't vote for an individual, we are voting for a pair of individuals (President and Vice President). The President and Vice President are elected as a pair, one running for President and the other for Vice President. On no ballot I know of will you find Party X or Party Y except as a subheading under an individual who we are voting for. We also vote for a lot of things all the way down to Dog Catcher in some areas (no joke). Here's an incomplete list of people in my area we'll be voting for on 2nd November. Here's one from where I used to live. They only have five things to vote on this year. One year, there were over twenty.(again, no joke) We vote on A LOT of things in the US.

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