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Comment Re:Mischaracterization of problem (Score 1) 231

I would think the context was sufficient to clarify which of the several meaning of hard was being used.

By your own example doing 100 problems requires 10x as much time and mental energy doing 10. What word would you use to describe the increase in labor? Clearly digging a swimming pool with a spoon is qualitatively different than digging a seed-hole.

I had a horrible time with math in grade school, especially multiplication - my brain just doesn't store trivia well: 7*6 = ....? Couldn't tell you offhand. On the other hand I'm quite good at understanding and interrelating the underlying concepts - so I can say okay 6*7 = 6 + 6*6 (one that I do happen to remember) = 42, but that really increases the workload when doing it dozens or hundreds of times. Once I got to algebra, where it was understanding and application of concepts and patterns rather than memorization of trivia I excelled, and now one of my degrees is actually in mathematics.

Comment "Developing world" is a moving target (Score 1) 48

Hate to break it to you, but while some preconceptions still exist the data shows that South America largely exited the so-called "third world" stage some time ago - there's still problem areas, but for the most part you've pretty much caught up with the developed world by most measures. As a rule you're not yet as rich, but you've managed to harness most of the major benefits of modern technology. Asia and Africa are the remaining problem spots, and much of Asia is currently progressing quite rapidly.

It's important to remember that progress is *extremely* uneven in these places, varying wildly from country to country, and even more wildly between different regions within a country - take China for example: The major cities are among the most technologically advanced in the world, yet much of the population are still basically subsistence farmers without electricity, and who are lucky if their region even gets cell-phone coverage. Most of Africa is in far worse shape. Think of your country 50 years ago, and realize that many places still have a ways to go to catch up to that point.

For a rough estimate of technological penetration, I present this image of the Earth at night. Take a look at your region, and compare it to others. Especially Africa.

Comment Re:surprised!!!! (Score 1) 704

Ideally yes. But I've yet to meet a saint in this life, and I certainly don't expect to meet one who wants to become a cop. And in the situation as it exists - do you really want to be the office snitch, especially when you know that sooner or later you'll be going into life-threatening situations with these people at your back?

We don't need saints, we just need a reliable channel to slap down those officers who abuse their power badly. I'm all for subjecting officers to much harsher penalties for their infractions than normal citizens, especially if those abuses involve abusing their power and privilege, but we must always remember that they too are people, with all the frailties we ourselves possess. If we ask them to be saints we will only ever be disappointed.

Comment Re:Unregulated currency (Score 1) 704

Without taxation how do you suppose one should pay for enforcing the regulations and providing police protection?

And with taxation, how do you propose to keep the powerful from exploiting it to their own ends?

If we can answer the second question, or at least moderate the excesses we'll be on the right track, and hey, we've only been looking for a solution for a few thousand years. Maybe the mass connectivity provided by this internet thing will help once it begins to mature.

Comment Re:Consequences... (Score 1) 261

>Sure, but allow the insurance company to sue the oil company...
Works for me

>Don't think of it as siphoning...
If it were mostly going into a reserve fund/ being paid out for ongoing remediation I'd agree, but that's not usually how insurance works, lucrative profit margins must be maintained after all. With extensive regulation and oversight we could perhaps bring overhead down to only 30% or so, lets see how the medical insurance reforms play out in practice, shall we?

Comment Re:the last thing Americans need... (Score 1) 166

That seems unlikely. I'm no biologist, but I do know 1000 food calories = 1 million real calories, divide by 3600 seconds in an hour gives you 278 calories/second, or 7.18 horsepower. Even with biological inefficiencies that's a *lot* of power for one person to consume continuously for an hour.

Okay, so a little more research and it looks like it is possible, but you need to be doing something *seriously* intense.

Hey, can't fault you with playing to your strengths. Myself I find exercising regularly difficult to maintain, I'm doing good if I manage to a few minutes worth of strength training scattered through the day. A couple more tricks I found on the diet side that were quite helpful: Fiber is your friend - the calories are mostly not accessible to our biology, so they don't count. Oatmeal, 100% whole grain bread, etc. (What can I say, I'm a carb addict. I can at least reduce the impact...), and obviously cut out as much sugar as possible - it was a little rough moving to fresh fruit for sweetening my cereal and such, but now that I've acclimated I usually find those oh-so-appealing candy bars cloyingly sweet. I still indulge from time to time, but I often find myself putting half away for later. Victory!

And do try the small flatware/small bites, I was astounded at the difference it makes. Modern flatware has gotten huge, especially the dessert pieces. I use the dessert pieces from a set I inherited from my grandparents. Only thing I've found new in the same size range is stuff intended for feeding babies, but some of it's not too ridiculous.

Comment Re:Still a ways to go...until we get where? (Score 1) 131

Well, since the charging stations mostly don't exist at present there's nothing to replace, though the thicker wire required for a higher-power charging station would increase the expense of new construction somewhat. And for household charging, well, very few people are going to be traveling 1000+ miles a day, most of the extra capacity is so that on the rare occasions you do, your battery has plenty of charge. If it takes a few nights to get back to a full charge after a trip to grandma's house that's probably not an issue.

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