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Comment Don't know much about evolution... (Score 1) 411

... but I do know that
1) genotypes are a direct function of enviro-types
2) the envirotype of 2010 and and of 1900 to the present (antibiotics, changed cultural mores etc.) is pretty different from anything that proceeded it, so of course the genotype will adjust.... if that envirotype hangs around long enough.

On the other hand, while the Western envirotype has shifted, has the planetary envirotype shifted? Isn't the normative human environment still China, India, Africa and Brazil? Must be, because that's where the people live. So whatever evolution is happening for the species as a whole, it is surely happening because of environmental changes facing people living in places other than Europe and the U.S.

Seems to me that for human evolution to occur in a meaningful sense you'd need a big change in some fundamental environmental factors, and they would have to effect most of the planet, particularly the places where most of the people live.

Given climate change and global warming, I'm not even sure we'll be around long enough to measure such effects. 2500 indeed! Good luck getting to 2200, planet earth.

Then of course you can get into different scenarios. What if Asia and Africa are wiped out by global warming, and Framingham Europeans are really a population bottleneck? Well then you could have evolutionary changes to adopt to Framingham environtypes... but only if they persisted over generations.

In retrospect, the antibiotic technology based stage of human evolution may prove to be quite temporary... a few generations. Do you really believe that antibiotics are forever? I suggest you have forgotten the evolutionary potential of bacteria.

The world of 20th and 21st century America and Europe is probably a deviation from the basic human condition of the past (certainly) and African villages and Mad Max warriors and Ghengis Kahn is more like the real future (I predict) and so the forms that evolve to live in the modern world are probably dead ends any way.

I know that you tech optimists find that improbable. You think antibiotics and high energy society are forever. I think African villages and are closer to forever, and that if there is a long run that's more what it looks like. The human forms that can survive in that world will continue to be the face of humanity.

My two cents.

Comment Intel X25-M G2 (Score 1) 467

Intel X25-M G2 (80gb) is a transformative computing experience. Applications boot "instantly". Of course I don't keep data files on an 80gb ssd drive... that's all over on standard 1TB platter. Once I upgrade to Win7 with TRIM I'm hoping for performance to be maintained for a good long while.

Comment Funny that unschooling is news to some people (Score 1) 1345

Round this neighborhood of inner eastside PDX lots of folks are unschooling. The ones I know are middle and upper income, or at least highly educated and downwardly mobile. They bring a lot to the table for their kids.

Plenty of kids need to be rescued by public schools from their home environments, but many home environments are richer than the available public school or private school environment, particularly if you appreciate all the kinds of ladders that kids can use to grow.

The work of education is providing the ladders to climb on. Only the child can climb the ladders.

Comment "did you ever stop to think?" (Score 1) 330

Did you ever stop to think.... how incredibly neurotically self obsessed you'd have to be to want to ""to live our lives with CONSTANT monitoring of our body's medical status?"

Did you ever stop to think what an incredibly low level of bodily awareness you would have to have to need constant monitoring, and to be unable to feel your body without the aid of a machine?

Go take a walk around the block and your body will tell you what you need to know.

The Courts

iPhone Antitrust and Computer Fraud Claims Upheld 273

LawWatcher writes "On October 1, 2008, a federal judge in California upheld a class action claiming that Apple and AT&T Mobility's five-year exclusive voice and data service provider agreement for the iPhone violates the anti-monopoly provisions of the antitrust laws. The court also ruled that Apple may have violated federal and California criminal computer fraud and abuse statutes by releasing version 1.1.1 of its iPhone operating software when Apple knew that doing so would damage or destroy some iPhones that had been 'unlocked' to enable use of a carrier other than AT&T."

Nuke-Lobbing 422

SlideGuitar writes "The following is a fascinating article about how the Navy in the 1950s, wanting to assure that it had a carrier based nuclear force, used A1 Skyraider (single engine propellor driven aircraft) to lob nuclear bombs using a manuever called the "goofy loop" (read the article.) The goofy loop put about seven miles between them and a Mark 7 nuclear device at detonation. The pilots knew that (1) they couldn't get far enough away to survive, and (2) if they did survive there probably wouldn't be a carrier to go back to anyway. There are lots of emails from pilots who did the manuever and what they thought about the whole business."

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It was pity stayed his hand. "Pity I don't have any more bullets," thought Frito. -- _Bored_of_the_Rings_, a Harvard Lampoon parody of Tolkein