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Comment Re:why is science so mistrusted? (Score 5, Insightful) 276

Nonesense on every count. Scientists have largely supported trusting institutions that support science, and institutions that make conclusions that are based on scientific skepticism.

Nobody IS saying that "replace coal now or millions will die" is a scientific conclusion. It is a policy conclusion based on a scientific conclusion. What they do say is that carbon increases heat absorption, we're increasing carbon output, and the temperature and weather is measurably changing. But policy is never a conclusion of the scientific method. Policy is the logical conclusion that rational people make in the face of scientific evidence and in light of facts revealed by the scientific method. The very idea that there should be evidence to support a policy conclusion, as opposed to the fact conclusions upon which the policy conclusion is based, indicates that you basically have no understanding of either science or policy.

I don't know, likewise, any scientist who has ever used any evidence derived from the scientific method to conclude that in a scientific sense that "god doesn't exist." What scientists typically and rightly say is that we don't need god to explain the evidence, that god is not a testable hypothesis, and that god is basically irrelevant to our theories and ideas. Only in the fevered imaginings of fundamentalists are scientists drawing the conclusion from scientific evidence and methods that god doesn't exist. They just don't do that, because by and large they know that this would be absurd.

Comment I'm going back to school in CS at age 52 (Score 1) 772

I've been product managing and architecting for a years and now I'm out of work at age 52 with no obvious prospects for re-employment. I decided the developers were always having more fun than the managers. So I took my first course in c++ last month at a local community college (2nd quarter CS.... objects, linked lists, pointers, etc.). It was hard, but not impossible.

I have the same questions. Objectively, the idea of becoming a developer in your 50s is ridiculous, absurd, silly. But here's another thing that's even more ridiculous. - Getting up in the morning and having to do things that you don't give a damn about. So with my unemployment checks and savings I'm back to school to see how far I can go in the art of coding.

Will this enable me to support my family? I have serious doubts about it. On the other hand, it's not like there are other options falling out of the trees. It will take a least a year or two before I can even walk in the door and say "Hey I'm an old guy with some new skills... (and a lot of experience around software development)... what terms are you willing to hire me on?" If I do this thing, I'll do it the honest way, not pretending to be a 20 year old developer, and not asking for the salary of the experienced 50 year old project manager that I am.

Will it work? Will anyone bite? Hell if I know. But I do like playing with code, so I'm taking baby steps down that road and we'll see where it leads.

Comment URLish searches are fine (Score 2) 548

If you use Chrome, it hardly matters whether you type a url, a search term, or a URLish search term. I don't even think about it anymore. Just mash my fingers down on the keyboard and either I get where I meant to go on the first try, or the one more click on the search results and I'm there. Anyone got a problem with that?

Comment First good thing I've heard about him... (Score 1) 544

This has always been my "vegetarian" ethic. I don't eat animals that I'm not willing to kill. I couldn't kill a cow, so I don't eat cows. I think I could kill a chicken or a fish, and so I eat them. The fact that Zuckerberg has the money and time to put my theoretical schema to the test doesn't bother me. I applaud him.

The problem with meat isn't the killing, it's the lying. He's addressing the lying... and the hiding and the pretending. Good on him. Kol ha'kavod.


Cooking With Your USB Ports Screenshot-sm 188

tekgoblin writes "Wow, I would never have thought to try and cook food with the power that a standard USB port provides, but someone did. A standard port provides 5V of power, give or take a little. I am not even sure what it takes to heat a small hotplate, but I am sure it is more than 5V. It looks like the guy tied together around 30 USB cables powered by his PC to power this small hotplate. But believe it or not, it seems to have cooked the meat perfectly."

Comment nah, send self replicating molecules (Score 1) 662

Whatcha wanna do here is send small self replicating molecules.... accelerate them at the speed of light toward habitable planets in some kind of accelerator gun... let them land on the distant planet and start evolving... wait a billion years or so and voila... they start sending radio signals announcing their arrival.

It will be "us", but perfectly adapted to wherever "we" land.

In fact, that may be how we got here. We may be the aliens finally reporting back to the mother planet right now.

Comment Re:great (Score 1) 155

Forgot sense of humor?

We value sticking together... we value it in our mutual decision (hers, mine, my spouse's) to be next door neighbors with our mother/mother in law... we value it in our hopes to remain near our children when they are adults... and we raise our children under the guidance of the always apt maxim "be nice to your children, they may be picking your nursing home... or deciding whether you can live next door or in their house."

"ignorant", "stupid", "lie" -- seriously, is there an eye rolling icon big enough for this kind of nonsense?

Comment Isn't Google Earth a larger digital picture? (Score 3, Interesting) 207

It seems like Google Earth qualifies as a much larger "picture".... continuously linked pixels creating a visual representation of reality resembling that which you would see if you looked with your eyes.

Define "picture" or "photograph" as you will... many map databases integrate images to create images that are vastly larger and more interactive.

Comment Re:great (Score 3, Insightful) 155

>(1) Yes, families do have the option to look after older members to a certain degree, and it's sad that parents in some societies are encouraged to separate themselves from their children and vice versa;

(2) But not everyone has children. Recall also that children are a huge unearnt burden to the state, while older people have already paid their national insurance / social security / whatever contributions and are just getting the care they paid for. We are all better off because we do not breed out of concern about our frailties; >

My preteen children year old are on firm warning... they can move out of state, but we parents are coming after them and moving into their attics/basements/spare rooms. There is no escape. And we live what we talk, taking care of our mother/mother-in-law next door.

Are we better off if people do not breed for the purposes of old age insurance? I doubt it. We are better off if people do not breed excessively out of fear that disease will utterly deprive them of offspring for old age, but it is probably more sustainable to "entrain" children in the care of parents out of a sense of duty, than it is to free them to maximize their income and then tax that income to pay "someone else" to provide elder care.

We might ask "would it not be more efficient for a lawyer or engineer to earn $200 K and pay someone else $50 K to watch an elder?" but that is probably a rare case. The cost of quality care is the cost of middle class income anyway, roughly, so why should this family service be exogenized into the market as opposed to remaining endogenous to the family?

Well there is ONE very good reason and that is that women are the vastly predominant providers of elder care services. Marketizing those services enables women to have public careers as opposed to be locked into the family care giver role... mother to children, nurse to elders... for their entire life. Families are only "free" if you ignore the lost opportunities they tend to cause for women.

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Truth has always been found to promote the best interests of mankind... - Percy Bysshe Shelley