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Comment Fall color distraction theory (Score 1) 136

My theory, seriously, is that the fall colors make a strong mental impression and preoccupy the mind with what would mathmatically be described as chaos. The vivid colors are to blame for the strengtj of the impression, but the pervasiveness of the collage of branching forms and "warning" colors is what drives it into sublimation, where it can have a strong effect on analytical productivity.

So, if that theory is correct, the October November effect shouldn't be seen in code from regions where leaves don't turn or aren't so pervasive.

Comment Reeeeeeaalllly? (Score -1, Troll) 365

What is it, a shot of vitamins? Oh, genetically modified whole killed virus, really? Have they published an actual report with evidence proving the existence of whatever virus that is, first? Because without that I think I'd hold them and their snake-oil, premature claims to success, under considerable incredulity!

And what's this? A final phase to be tested on 6,000 clean individuals? Over three years? Perfect, enough time for a super retro-whammy-insane-O version of HIV to quietly spread into the population. What with the low numbers they've been seeing thanks to more easily available information, numbers of HIV cases have decreased and with scientists making huge strdes tiwards new, legitimate cures in the last couple of years, we might actually be looking at the end of AIDS. That's no good, how will Gallo and his cohorts continue to make billions pushing poisons? This whole injecting people with super HIV is a GREAT idea!

Comment It wasn't us! (Score 2) 181

âZ"We're pretty sure it has nothing to do with our decision to smash a huge plutonium powered space probe into it or with the resulting huge purple 'second spot' caused by the resulting plume, which was so large it was visible to backyard telescopes and in general was a sort of shocking embarrassment to NASA when it occured."

"No, this disintegration now suddenly occuring just a few years after that incident has nothing to do with us. Jupiter was in the middle of killing itself, anyways. It was only a matter of time before this happen."


Comment bad precedent (Score 4, Interesting) 145

That's like saying it's okay to junk-up our orbit with space debris. "It's just for a little while", yes, then, people will pay more and expect justice from their government when they demand to be put into a stable orbit. "You condoned it for them, so me, too!" Burial in space should necessitate being put on a tracjectory that would actual take you into OUTER space, not in orbit around the Earth.

Okay, I would accept one stipulation: your container has to be highly magnetized. Whilst in orbit with the rest of the junk, you will have to do some sweeping up and junk collection on behalf of a grateful Earth. Then, when you re-enter, you can bring the junk in with you and you can all incinerate together.

Comment Space colonies aren't made of money, you know. (Score 1) 438

Rockets don't burn cash $$$ to reach trajectory. You don't stuff life support systems with pennies (well... unless you're using them as a reactant in the production of vital gases, but you know what I mean.) Pressurized domes aren't constructed out of stock values. Etc.

There are a lot of great arguments here about how expensive it is just to lift weight into orbit, or do a manned flyby of a gas giant (why the hell would we do that, I don't know).

But, realistically, by the time these efforts are undertaken, money will have little to do with it. You can quote the cost of taking a five-hundred year trip to another sustainable planet on a vessel capable of sustaining ten generations of the inhabitants.

Or, my preferred plan: you invent artificial wombs and just send them with some robotic nanny/professors and a sperm and egg library to whichever planet or itinerary of planets. You could get there and discover it's not as habitable as the astrophysics wizards predicted it should be. Maybe there are bad animals or some kind of noxious gas or germ.

So, maybe you should be prepared for multiple centuries-long journeys before hitting 'jackpot'. Or, maybe you should bring along extinction-event weapons to "cleanse" the planet, and accompany the human-genetic library with an Earth life-form library, but the logistics behind robotically replacing the generational training most animals undergo in order to survive in the wilderness is mind-boggling.

And life would be crappy without animals. But you can't do a selective extinction event, not without a robotic laser-sniper sitting in orbit for a long time selectively studying and then shooting dead just certain animals.

And you don't want to risk your valuable cargo's life by plopping them down in a germ soup their evolution hasn't prepared them for, so you'd have to bring all of the Earth germs along with you somehow. So, another genetic library enters the mix, and there's no sure gaurantee the germs will thrive on the new planet. They're pretty unique to Earth.

But, you *need* the germs, so... you almost may as well have sustained the human occupants the entire time. Even if it was just an "Adam and Eve" model system, reproducing from the sperm bank instead of with each other. Of course, such a low number doesn't bode well for the survival of the species. If Eve cuts her hand changing an air supply fan, and the fan turns out to be coated with the sort of strange-ass organic gunk that grows on space vehicles occupied by humans, and she gets seriously fucked up and died, you're fucked. You'd hope you brought your artificial womb for backup....

My apologies, I digress.

Any way you look at it, it's so "expensive" that you won't find the needed assets in the hand of any one person.

So, the only way you'll ever get out to populate space is if you dedicate the entire population to the effort, and you'd have to have a population that finds itself conducive to a single, unified effort, and also conducive to taking a gigantic hit to the entire concept of private property. You'd need to resurrect Adam Weishaupt. You'd have to lead the world with a resurrected Illuminati zombie. I mean, since we're being imaginative, and all.

You'll have to dedicate all of these mineral resources, engineering and labor resources, time and energy to the effort of producing the mechanisms, launching them, all of it. And there's not going to be any way to afford it unless you either pay just for the human effort or pay just for the mineral rights.

People are going to argue for the former, and so you're going to have to secure the mineral rights through governance. But that ultimately means all the private enterprises, hopes and dreams of individuals that those minerals represent is all going to be squashed. People are going to go without those minerals, so the money you're paying them is going to mean less than it would have before the project started.

So, in real terms it's not going to be about dollars, it's going to be about numbers of people working and going without in order to feed this project. It's going to be about "how many people will I need to convince, how many can I realistically convince, and how am I going to 'convince' them". Especially if you really, really want to send living humans on this journey and not just a seed library.

Because as soon as you say "we're leaving the planet", everybody will fill in the next part, "to go somewhere better", and then the next part "and oh, yeah, 'we' includes me".

So you're going to have a huge number of people who want to go, and the more you try to suppress their effort the more you're going to have to expend for those obvious reasons.

Every way you look at it, undertaking this thing is expensive but not in terms of dollars. For multiple reasons, you'd have to institute what I consider to be some pretty unethical governance in order to accomplish much. And that's just one ethical problem.

Also, you're talking about raping the mineral wealth of our planet in order to go to another planet to rape. What's wrong with your fucking head, first of all. That's the first question I'd like to ask Hawking.

How about if you *don't* use up all these resources in your blind and juvenile escapist fantasy, making this a worse and more oppressed place to be in the process?

Second of all, if you're so smart that you can plan all of this stuff, where's your solution to the Earth-bound problems that you're so certain you want to leave behind? Are you just autistic or something? That's the other question I'd really have to ask Hawking.

If you put down your shitty sci-fi and open your eyes and quit being scared and start interacting with people more, you'll probably even come to enjoy life on Earth.

Comment Re:What a perfect opportunity... (Score 1) 169

I'm sure there are plenty of senior citizens or people with low self esteem who wouldn't mind dying on this asteroid, if you could gaurantee they'll be doing some flyby of other stuff worth looking at before they send-off. Plenty of people would gladly be marooned in space just with a space suit and a huge bag of beef jerky and granola and a big tank of water.

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Math is like love -- a simple idea but it can get complicated. -- R. Drabek