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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 180

In practice, they don't actually make switches that big, instead they use, say, 20x20 switches and then cascade them in really clever ways to simulate the 100x100 panel with far fewer actual interconnects.

Not sure where you get this. I've seen 256x256 routing switchers in the field, Grass Valley has a product with configurations up to 2048x2048.

Comment Re:If the odds are against you (Score 1) 168

A free market requires the possibility of competition to create efficiency and any of the other benefits of a free market. The nature of infrastructure is that building two copies of it, which you would need in order for the kind of true competition that brings about the benefits of the free market, is an inefficiency that dwarfs any efficiencies you could possibly hope to achieve through competition. There is no way to build two sets of roads everywhere so that different road-building companies can compete on service (and besides, the necessity of all those roads being built on property owned by those companies would mean they would have to have enormous amounts of capital just tied up in owning the land, it would be vastly more expensive for everybody). And if you've looked at your bill from Comcast lately and compared it to the prices of equivalent service in other countries, you would know that privately-owned utilities with no competition and no regulation will overcharge for their services relative to the cost of providing them. The only reason that private electricity generation is available at a reasonable price is because the government regulates it to keep the price close to the cost of generation. Because, again, running two sets of power lines to every building would be a gigantic inefficiency.

To summarize: There is no way to have privately owned and operated infrastructure in a way that is both maximally efficient in terms of total resources required to implement it, and provided to the consumer at a competitive price. It just can't happen, and this is why infrastructure is best implemented by a non-profit entity such as government.

You see, if you paid for services, you could just buy them in the free market, you are not looking for that, you are looking for subsidized services, so that you, personally, do not have to pay for them

I do pay for them... Through taxes, you see. I pay for the infrastructure that allows me to do business exactly proportionally with the amount of financial benefit I am able to receive from access to that infrastructure. You call this "theft," I call it "thank god I live in a country where I don't have to pay a toll every time I go out for a drive."

Besides, assuming that an employee and employer are mutually benefitted by their employment arrangement (a big stretch, employers typically have far, far more negotiating power, but for the sake of this debate I will say that their relationship is mutual since that's something you would agree with), the employer benefits *just as much* from the employee's ability to drive to work as the employee does themselves. If a business has, say, 30 employees, it would be fair to ask that business to pay 30 times as much toward those roads than any individual employee is paying, either by paying for the roads directly or by increasing employee salaries.

So you see, even under your private infrastructure arrangement, the cost would mostly be borne by business owners, because they are the ones who benefit most financially from having access to that infrastructure for themselves and their employees. Except with private infrastructure, it would cost the society more due to overhead involved in individually billing a lot of people for individual use. It's a lot more efficient for the society to build one set of infrastructure, levy taxes that pay for all of it, and let the actual providers of that infrastructure focus on providing it rather than worrying about how to monetize it.

Scandinavia went through its own huge recession 20 years ago, to fix it they started moving in the direction of freer market, the opposite direction from the one you are moving towards.

A freer market, yes, but still a massive welfare state. These are not mutually exclusive, and in fact a welfare state and the large tax burden it brings (Denmark's tax burden is around 50% of GDP) can actually create a *freer* market, because individuals have less short term financial pressure. You can turn down an inequitable job offer because you can afford to wait around for a better one, you can devote your time to further schooling without worrying about how to pay for it. At the same time, employers have the right to hire and fire whoever and whenver they wish, and have no minimum wage. There's no need to regulate workers' rights when workers have the true financial freedom to not accept work that they find inequitable.

And I don't want to live in Scandinavia, by the way, they export natural resources while they can get them out of the ground, that welfare will end, they will have the same problem that the rest of Europe has then.

Most of Denmark's economy is service industry and government. It'll survive peak oil better than Saudi Arabia will.

Also Somalia isn't a 'libertarian utopia', there is no protection of private property in Somalia

If people can pay on an individual basis for basic infrastructure, why can't people pay on an individual basis for protection of their private property? Surely if anarcho-capitalism could actually work in practice, we would actually see it work in practice in areas with no effective government?

But no, what actually happens in the absence of centralized power is a situation where a whole bunch of people fight each other to become the new centralized power. That's how humans work.

Comment Re:If the odds are against you (Score 2, Insightful) 168

why would anybody pay income, corporate, payroll taxes at all if not paying them did not result IRS and other governmental agents with guns coming after them?

Maybe because I actually like a lot of the services that the government provides in exchange for my tax money, and recognize that receiving the benefits of living in a society requires me to pay my share of the social contract?

It does not work

I have but a single word for you that disproves your entire notion that a welfare state can't work: Scandanavia. Seriously, read up on the economic and social policies of the Scandanavian countries. Especially Denmark. According to every raving lunatic libertarian, any country with those kinds of policies should be a complete and utter hellhole... Except, it's one of the best places to live in the entire world by almost any standard you measure it by.

You want to live in a libertarian utopia where there are no taxes and everybody is absolutely free? Check out Somalia some time.

Comment Re:Seems like a tremendous waste (Score 1) 197

No, the point is that the Saturn V was expected to get a CSM and a LEM sitting on top of an S-IVB into LEO. The S-IVB was expected to get the CSM and LEM to the moon. You can replace the S-IVB and everything above it with whatever the fuck you want and the lower stages don't give a shit because it's just mass to them. The reason the Saturn V had such high specifications is because everything you need to get three astronauts on a lunar trajectory is *really fucking heavy*. If you replaced the astronauts, fuel, and other equipment required to go all the way to the moon with something else of equal mass, the Saturn V could put that into LEO just as easily as it sent astronauts to the moon.

The nature of rocketry is such that a very light thing in a very high orbit tends to start out as a very heavy thing in a lower orbit. From the perspective of the lower stages of your rocket, a heavy thing in a low orbit is just a heavy thing that needs to be put into low orbit, regardless of whether it eventually ends up burning a bunch of fuel to put itself in a higher orbit, making itself lighter in the process, or if it just sits in that low orbit forever.

Comment Re:Seems like a tremendous waste (Score 3, Informative) 197

LEO is on the way to the moon. The Saturn V delivered to LEO a payload consisting of the Command and Service Module, the Lunar Module, and a booster with enough fuel to put all of the above on a lunar trajectory. You could replace all of this with any arbitrary payload of equal weight and the Saturn V would be able to put it into LEO.

Comment Re:Seems like a tremendous waste (Score 5, Insightful) 197

Saturn V wasn't used to boost large payloads to LEO

On a lunar mission, the Saturn V would put the Command and Service Module, the Lunar Module, and a booster with enough fuel to put them both on a lunar trajectory, into LEO. That's a pretty damn large payload, the largest payload to LEO of any single vehicle ever produced. The fact that the payload eventually boosted itself the rest of the way to the moon isn't relevant to the vehicle's ability to put mass into LEO.

It is the nature of rocketry that any small mass in a high orbit will tend to get there by going through a period in which it is a large mass in a lower orbit. In a staged rocket, it is useful to think of each stage as its own vehicle, with all of the stages above it as its payload which it is capable of delivering to a certain point.

Comment Re:Awesome but... (Score 1) 282

Perhaps one day when we have more experience we will be willing to launch a vehicle directly into its target orbit - One hour from the launch pad to being in sight of the ISS should certainly be possible. However, in this circumstance, caution is the ruler of the day. This will be SpaceX's first ever attempt at an orbital rendezvous. There's nothing on board that is using consumables to survive, there's plenty of time to slow down and get things right while remotely piloting a never-before-flown spacecraft into an incredibly expensive space station with several people on board.

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