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Comment Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 1) 526

The bit about young mathematicians being ground-breakers isn't really proof; that age has gone up steadily as the size of the field (and the amount of learning required to truly reach the top) has increased. A medal devoted to recognizing the work of young mathematicians, the Fields Medal, occasionally gets boycotted because of this ageism.

Age seems to be linked to decreased intelligence because of societal roles more than anything innate: most people stop learning and move into positions in life where they're expected to either pass on knowledge or maintain and manage others. In academia, the tendency for this has been diminishing (no doubt because of ever-lengthening career ladders) and as a result it's been possible to defy that norm. A wonderful example: Bertrand Russell was still active in political activism well into his late nineties.

Comment Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 2) 526

Can you explain how IQ test data is subjective? It was my understanding that it was a bad indicator of intelligence as a whole because the repeatable IQ tests all depend on pattern recognition and other very narrow topics, and that the test itself had a "subjective" component in how the definition of "intelligence" was established—not in the test data itself.

Comment Re:The emperor has no clothes (Score 1) 526

This is not what this news article says will happen. These guidelines are for ALL states, those with or without the liberalized marijuana laws. The only case where the particular states matter is the issue of sales across state lines where one state has liberal marijuana laws and the other does not.

Nothing here says that they'll look the other way in California and Colorado but crack down with federal felonies in Georgia and Virginia.

States already have their own laws and most marijuana prosecutions are at the state leval and not the federal level.

The feds have always focused most of their drug enforcement resources on drug cartels or gangs, so in that sense nothing much is really changing.

Comment Re:The emperor has no clothes (Score 1) 526

It sounds like they will enforce the federal marijuana laws equally in all states, I don't see any favoritism here. However there are states with state laws against its use and states with state laws allowing its use, but that has little to do with the feds. Basically these are common sense guidelines; prosecute the use and growing of marijuana where it affects the federal interests (gangs, cartels, etc).

These laws have always been selectively enforced anyway. Black guy with pot and you get a felony, white guy with pot and you get a misdemeanor or a warning.

Comment Re:Oh noes! (Score 1) 736

Nevermind the increases in safety. Nevermind the new jobs that this will enable. Nevermind the greater standard of living this will bring to all people. We've got to be concerned about potentially lost jobs above all else.

Nevermind the strawman. Nevermind engaging the non-debate, when the real debate is difficult, even for serious minds. Nevermind that throughout the animal kingdom, the unemployed are soon tagged on the ankle or wrist to become unwilling organ donors. It's not like employment has any bearing on survival or mating opportunities. I suspect one testicle well employed outperforms two testicles unemployed. But don't scream too loud when your first nut is clipped.

The point here is not that the swelling ranks of the unemployed and the under-employed moan loudly, it's that they moan badly, as ignorant gits tend to do. Still, even a bad moan is appropriate when your left one is severed by a rusty plutocracy (stored in damp basement wrapped in seven layers of oil cloth for about three hundred years after everyone in arrived in America fleeing this very same thing). Johnny Appleseed didn't fall far from the tree.

Greenspan held this quaint notion that the superpower quants would self-regulate due to interlocking competition of interests. What actually happened is that the superpower quants looked around the poker table and spotted a trillion dollars in Uncle Sam's pocket while he as stupidly wearing an "aw shucks, too big to fail" quasi-libertarian grin on his face. If there's any business that Government should not be in, first and foremost, that business is libertarianism. Of course, once government takes the first fatal step toward libertarianism, they begin to resemble exactly the straw man that libertarians wish to portray it as being. Call it the straw man death trap, and a fine business this is if your agenda is to lead government into the noose swaying above the trap door.

If the hollowing out of the middle class isn't giving plutocrats everywhere a raging boner, I don't know what would. This observation alone ought to give people pause for thought about committing Greenspan's error with regard to Schumpeter's gale of naively presuming that if it ends well once (or any finite number of times), it ends well in all cases.

After the fiscal crisis, did any of the elites go "my bad" and volunteer to repay the public rescue purse for emergency rescue rendered? Have they clucked about government intervention in their affairs so loudly as to set up a private rescue fund with a twelve digit cushion to tide them over their next salivary mishap? Oh, nooooo. That would never happen.

I can't see far into the future on this one. The one thing I'm fairly certain about is that filthy rich old bastards will require small standing armies of man and woman servants to cater to their every whim. So there will be jobs after all, no matter how this tempest in a teacup finally shakes out.

Comment Re:The emperor has no clothes (Score 1) 526

It's only relatively recently that congress has decided that they need to be in the role of executive or judical. Ie creating minimum sentencing guidelines because they felt judges were too lenient (never mind that the real reason was to get votes). Historically congress was limited to creating laws, but not enforcing or adjudicating them.

Now certainly congress and the people retain the power to sue the executive branch if laws are selectively enforced for the benefit of friends or other malfeasance.

(Personally I don't find a problem with this particular issue. However for the issue of same sex marriage in California with the Supreme Court, I do find it to be a lot murkier. I think it's presumably ok for the California government to not bother putting up a defense of the law in court, but given the nature of California that the proposition 8 supporters should have been granted legal standing (after all the voters created the law and are essentially a 4th branch of government with power equal or greater than legislative). Then when it did go back to state court it would have been overturned anyway. Ie, prop 8 overturned on principle rather than some odd loophole.)

Comment Re:The emperor has no clothes (Score 1) 526

I think he does have such power. If there is not enough resources to enforce all laws fully then the executive is certainly allowed to decide which laws to focus the most effort on. Similarly, in a small town the police chief can decide that no extra hours need to be spent enforcing the no-jaywalking rules.

Of course this means it needs to be applied fairly. Ie, if the mayor parks illegally and never gets a ticket but everyone else in town gets a ticket for the same thing, then that's an abuse of power.

Comment Re:How accurate is the sea level rise figure? (Score 2) 137

Not true. You can get shifting in the surrounding rock as things move around, though the effects are complex.

It's earth's crust rising out of the mantle, if anything the surrounding seabed will rise slightly with it, certainly not the other way around.

There's also the differences due to the change of the local gravity field; all that ice has a lot of mass and does currently attract plenty of seawater to it.

Extremely minimal, even if you have 2km sideways pull from the ice there's 6400km of downwards pull towards the center of the earth so water doesn't gather much Heavy mineral deposits or a thick crust directly under the water is different, that adds more compression without trying to counteract the sideways forces.

Comment Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 3, Insightful) 526

I'd lean more towards the explanation that older people have more knowledge and experience which means they're more set in their ways and don't challenge accepted truths like the younger generation does. While it also from time to time produces gems it's also the cause of all the people trying to reinvent the wheel, why go for the new and crazy when you can use the tried and true. It might not be quite as glamorous, but the world needs both highly competent doctors as well as the odd Nobel prize in medicine.

Comment Re:More fallout from Snowdon.... (Score 1) 526

He doesn't give a shit about anything (other than starting another middle-east war which his citizens don't want).

If that's what he wants, then he's not trying very hard. It's been a year since Obama's "red line" speech on Syrian chemical attacks and all we've gotten in the meantime is a bunch of talk. If he really wanted a war, then the casus belli has happened. Where's the shock and awe?

Come next election, he'll just be another half-caste doing the dinner talk circuit to make a living.

I look forward to that time.

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