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Comment Re:This sorta makes me ill. (Score 1) 120

Yeah, man, understanding basic physical processes couldn't possible lead to better technologies/solutions down the road. We know everything we need to now, let's just stop all scientific inquiry, or maybe we should have done that in the 50's, or at the beginning of the industrial revolution, or hell, once we found out how to make fire, did we really need anything else?

If countries were spending like 50% of their GDP on projects like this, you might have a point, but you and I both know the expenditures are relatively miniscule on the level of nation/international budgets, and if you didn't know that and were actually serious about the "trillions of dollars" nonsense, you're woefully uninformed to be commenting on the issue (You wouldn't be alone, mind you- I remember seeing a US poll indicating a significant portion of the populace thinks NASA's share of the national budget is something like 20%, when it's closer to 0.5%*). The basic research into subatomic physics is what made possible the development of nuclear reactors, which are likely going to be increasingly important to our energy future once the cheap oil runs out. Similar for better solar panels, more efficient engines, etc. Basically, if you want to solve technological problems, you should be arguing for *more* fundamental, not-immediately-profitable/usable scientific research, not less. The amount of physics and math graduates being sucked into jobs in the financial industry because they pay so well in comparison to actual useful work is a far bigger drain on our ability to deal with the future than fundamental scientific research, in my opinion.

* Similarly, the National Science Foundation is about 0.2%, and the amount of the Dept. of Energy's budget devoted to research, while less trivial to work out, likely comes to a similar percentage of overall expenditures.

Comment Re:What if it turned out the other way? (Score 1) 561

however I understand that you need a certain level of government for things like health, education, territorial protection (against harm, thief and invaders), roads, money and contract enforcement to raise above the middleageous swamp

I'm not sure how that makes you a libertarian, capitalization or no. Everyone wants to "maximize personal freedom", or at least says they do. By current American conservative standards, your views practically make you a commie socialist.

Comment Re:Yeah (Score 5, Insightful) 585

Pretty much everything you said is either factually incorrect or misleading (and recognizable as silly right-wing memes). I don't think you really care though, you just want to badmouth "Der Libruls".

Hint: Climate scientists are aware of past environmental changes. This is not new information. You are not unusually well-informed. You are not the lone voice of sanity in the wilderness, you are just a loudmouth idiot who doesn't know what he's talking about, repeating nonsense spewed by other, more cynical loudmouth idiots. Your post shows such fundamental misunderstandings of the data and issues involved that it would be best to leave /. and let the adults talk until you can be bothered to look up any iota of information on the subject that doesn't come from the members section of Rush Limbaugh's website. You are literally the equivalent of someone trying to disprove the theory of gravity by noting you can jump up several inches away from Earth, so those science eggheads must have it all wrong. That's the level of ignorance we're dealing with. Go away.

Comment Re:Bipartisan support (Score 2) 548

Government services have become a lot more expensive, SPECIFICALLY the welfare services which interestingly enough are usually required by those who have lesser incomes and therefore pay little or nothing in taxes.

Hey, look everybody, it's the "no taxes exist except income taxes, therefore poor people don't pay any tax" lie/meme! How ya doin' NTEEITTPPDPAT? Still discredited but being used by people trying to justify their hatred of anyone with less money than themselves? Great, I'm fine too. Be seeing you, ya wacky meme, you! Go die in a fire!

Comment Re:Except that.... (Score 1) 548

Dear god, am I sick of the conservative meme that the financial crash was all due to Fannie and Freddie and government policy. Because of course the free market could never shoot itself in the foot due to unchecked greed, collusion, and short-term profiteering, that would be unthinkable!

The main government policy problem was one of not regulating the banks and credit rating agencies enough to keep them from making a bunch of bad loans (no, they weren't forced to), chopping them up and recombining them, giving the results unwarrantedly high ratings, and massively overleveraging them to the point where a downturn in one sector (house values) turned into the collapse of 10's of trillions of dollars worth of funny-money commitments that never should have been made in the first place.

So yes, it was a failure of government, only in the sense that it's a failure of government if buying rope is legal and you use one to strangle a family to death before hanging yourself.

Comment Re:Better idea (Score 1) 341

If you're trying to come off as more informed, you should probably know that it's spelled superPAC, as in Political Action Committee. They can run ads for the candidates and such, but direct bribery is still illegal. Limiting campaigns to only public money would probably solve that, although there are negative free-speech implications to trying to doing so effectively. The other problem you didn't mention is government officials getting cushy jobs after retiring in the industries they were regulating. The solution would seem to be generous pensions and stronger bans on accepting such jobs, which for positions like President and Congressman would essentially mean working for no corporations at all. Advocating such things is likely more effective than calling everyone crooks and sheeple while not knowing correct terminology, but by all means...

Comment Re:Except that.... (Score 1) 548

I'm not saying you're wrong, but pointing out a sepcific something the media should be reporting but aren't, or something they're being misleading about, would be more useful than overly broad if amusingly alliterative statements.

Comment Re:You laugh, and we profit. (Score 1) 247

Assuming we believe you (which is a leap, given that you're making an unlikely, unverified claim on the internet) and that you traded the Bitcoins for millions in actual widely-accepted currency (like US dollars) before the recent drop in value, how many others can you say the same for? And how many others are going to be able to do the same now? Basically, if true, you're just arguing about coming out on top of a kind of lottery pool without actually doing anything useful for anyone else, besides making a miniscule contribution towards field-testing a type of currency that might become popular at some point in a modified form. So... congratulations, I guess? Hopefully none of the millions you extracted came from people who invested money they couldn't really afford to lose.

Comment Re:Maintenance? (Score 1) 990

Research is NOT one thing... you don't do research unless you are interested in implementation.

You seem to be confusing potential interest and actual implementation. I don't know what to tell you, except that even a cursory glance at the history of military development will show a huge number of systems researched and even prototyped that have never been put into practical use, for a host of reasons. I'm not saying it isn't a future concern (not least because it would greatly reduce the amount of people needed to be involved in a country using its military assets on its own population), just that widespread use of fully autonomous weapons systems is hardly right around the corner. The designers and DoD policymakers have seen that scene in Robocop, too.

One caveat is that hybrid systems where a human picks the target and the system does the rest of the work are a bit different, and arguably already in use with long-range cruise missiles and the like. The second-strike ICBM systems you're talking about presumably had their targets preselected.

Comment Re:Maintenance? (Score 1) 990

There is a substantial body of opinion that humans, without any sort of goal to strive for, will simply sit and stare at the horizon.

Who says we can't have goals other than "work a job I hate so I don't starve and can afford a house, car, etc."? That said, I'd always recomment we try to keep nature preserves and such set aside for people who really want to have to struggle to survive while the rest of us are busy creating and enjoying art and studying the universe, etc.

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