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Comment Beam me up Scotty! (Score 1) 185

So, now we can assemble the molecules, just add in disassembling (or at least being able to read/scan what molecules are present etc.) and we've got beaming technology. Sorry that we'll have to kill you after we copy you (once we've got confirmation that your copy has been assembled at the destination), but the copy probably won't mind.

Comment Bad dreams have a purpose... (Score 1) 114

Maybe it would be a better idea to leverage the bad dreams...which are, among other things, ways that we cope with the real world or things in it that we're "afraid" of. I would think that simply denying/blocking someone's ability to have the bad dreams could be worse. We need to learn how to work with how things work, rather than assume they're wrong and try to change them.

Sometimes we're able to process the bad dreams and move forward, sometimes that's not as easy as it sounds...especially for those with PTSD. Forcing someone to have good dreams sounds like giving them a kind-of blocks the pain receptors (as I understand it) rather than fixing the actual problem.

Advil is OK for some things, but it won't fix a broken leg.

Comment Re:Sure, but... (Score 1) 481

Sure, as is the possibility that something would hit the earth. But, that's one way that we explain the dinosaurs going extinct. Though I'm no math-head, I would assume that our chances for being hit would increase...even a tiny, tiny amount.
I now refer you to Murphy.
I don't want to come off as a chicken-little, just want to voice an additional note of matter how unlikely it might be.

Comment Sure, but... (Score 1) 481

even if they do get it into a stable orbit around us, what's to stop something else (another asteroid) that we'd usually not worry about (because it wasn't going to come too close) going ahead and hitting the orbiting asteroid, and possibly sending it our way (or just destabilizing it's orbit).

I guess there's lots of things they could do...but all of them have risks...does the reward out-weigh the risk (and the effort)?

Comment Re:Here's what I'd do (Score 1) 396

Let's break it down:
  • "there are serious problems with Kiva" you have any actual substantiated facts that would hold up to scrutinization?
  • 'local "loan enforcement" agents harassing people who received these loans'...Kiva doesn't actually loan money to people, it gives money to MFIs that make the loans. Kiva does try to vet and rate the MFIs on a number of levels, but I can't imagine it's perfect. Kiva gives lower, and lower ratings to MFIs that aren't performing up to the standards, and has disassociated itself with MFIs in the past.
  • "the interest being charged to the people you're lending to is often effectively much higher once everything is considered"...many of the interest rates of Kiva MFIs do seem high, however, once the rate of inflation in the given country is taken into account, and what the current bank loan rates are, the numbers come into perspective. No, they're not perfect, but they're better than a loan-shark, and it's still their choice whether or not to take out a loan.
  • It's not a perfect system, India (where Micro-loaning was pioneered) is definitely having lots of problems, but Kiva doesn't operate in India.
  • There are going to be MFIs (or their employees) that might be crossing the line regarding getting a loan repaid...however, that could be exacerbated by the fact that maybe the person shouldn't have been approved for the loan in the first place, and/or that the person misrepresented their ability to repay the loan.

Should the few "bad eggs" put the whole idea out to pasture? Do you have another site/company that you recommend, or are you just against the whole idea?

Comment Re:Here's what I'd do (Score 1) 396

You're welcome. I've given away more than 50 Kiva Gift cards, and haven't had as much impact as this single comment on /.

You might also be interested in joining a Kiva Team. My favorite is Atheists, Agnostics, Skeptics, Freethinkers, Secular Humanists and the Non-Religious at It helps promote healthy competition, and helps other people at the same time.

Comment Re:Here's what I'd do (Score 2) 396

You're correct. Your losses are much greater than mine. I've been with Kiva for 2 years this month, and I'm at a default rate of 0.58%, but the average Kiva user has a default rate of 1.08%.
It definitely "pays" to review the loanee (how they're going to use and payback the money...loaning to groups generally helps guarantee more of a return), and review the MFI, it's default rate and current rating etc..
A 30% loss is significant...and can't be written off as a donation. So loan carefully if you'd rather get your money back.

Comment Re:Here's what I'd do (Score 1) 396

If you were actually interested in getting a loan, look for a Micro Finance Institute. If you're in the US, look for ACCION USA or Opportunity Fund, though I'm sure there are others. If you're not in the US, then you'll have to do a bit more research...but there are lots of MFIs around.

Comment Re:Here's what I'd do (Score 4, Interesting) 396

Better yet, use the $1000 to make 40 loans to people all around the world at Make sure the loans are short term, so they'll be done within the 6 month time frame. You won't make any money...and there is the risk of loosing some of what you've loaned, but the Karma (and good feelings) of helping 40+ people around the world should far out weigh the $3.50 or more you might make in interest. -Chris

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