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Comment Re:Size doesn't matter... when it comes to brains. (Score 1) 568

An elephant's brain is just over 3 times larger than ours and yet I didn't see any elephants walk on the moon or develop great civilizations.

Have you even BEEN three miles underground?!

Everyone knows that the elephant cities are underground, of course you haven't seen them...

And before you dismiss the possibility of elephants on the moon... all I have to say is, "Cloaks of Invisibility" and "Cloaking Devices".

Just because YOU haven't observed it doesn't mean it isn't true.

Comment Re:Egg fraud (Score 1) 101

For instance, while camping, a little warm bacon grease from the skillet will suffice to allow the human hand to fulfill it's duties.

Note to self: Do not allow Spun to prep my food next time we're camping.
2nd note to self: Allow bacon grease to cool away from the fire a while before attempting.
3rd note to self: Research llama farms in NJ.

Comment Re:Lesser known corollaries (Score 1) 101

It is also impossible to crush an egg against your own eye socket, or in your armpit, as these perfectly cup the egg, again dissipating the forces.

Hmm... I'm sure I couldn't crush an egg in my armpit, because all the force I could exert would just deform my somewhat-flabby hairpits. But next time I'm already on antibiotics for some reason, I'll try one against my eyesocket. Seems to me it should be possible, as long as the egg is large enough to bridge the from the upper orbital to the cheekbone. That's just over two finger-widths for me... maybe a jumbo egg would be big enough.

One other thing to note... I've noticed lately that some eggs (especially the cheapest ones) have VERY thin shells. I broke one making Christmas cookies just picking it up out of the carton -- but it's possible it had a hairline fracture I didn't see.

Comment Re:Invite only? (Score 3, Interesting) 284

That's a very interesting point I hadn't considered until now.

The invite system may be yet another way that Google collects information useful to them in selling advertising, etc... they can identify "power brokers" in tech marketing, which would be valuable information to advertisers (and to their internal marketing).


Comment Re:Egg fraud (Score 5, Funny) 101

WARNING: Do not actually try this!!

Try it yourself, you can't crush an egg in your hand no matter how hard you squeeze.

Hey douchebag, that's not true at all. I've got egg all over my desk, my monitor, my pants, and my shirt now.

Of course, it could just be because I used my masturbating hand to do it... that hand is much stronger.

Anyway, it's not the distribution of force over the shell that makes hand-crushing an egg difficult. It's the fact that most people simply can't generate enough force at that position due to how the hand is shaped -- a lot of the force is dispersed by deforming the hand tissue, not the egg. The trick is to have the narrow end of the egg towards your thumb, and to squeeze like you're milking a cow but with the palm, not with the fingers). This loads the first portion of the force exerted into deforming your palm, and the last portion is almost entirely directed into the egg.

Note also that a robotic hand does not have the physiological limitations a human hand does.

Comment Re:Tell it to the plastic clown (Score 5, Funny) 837

Good point. I would have to see the uniforms before passing judgment. Without further information, I would say that in general, uniforms marginalize individuals and make them feel like a smaller cog in the machine.

I've seen the uniforms. I have no problem with wearing one of them, as long as it isn't the red one.

BOSS: Ensign Flayer, you and Scotty head over to the VP of Marketing's office to troubleshoot his docking station.

Comment Re:Not useless at all (Score 1) 582

Not really. Let's say we get rid of metal detectors and all screening today

Metal detectors and some of the other screening is a general measure that can help prevent multiple attack vectors on a specific target (an airplane). It's the no-liquids-over-2-oz rule, and the new sit-in-your-seat-for-an-hour-and-no-hanky-panky-mister rules that are silly.

Comment Re:H-1B is a Fraud (Score 1) 605

From a practical standpoint there is no mechanism to allow that to magically happen. The socialist believes the answer lies in redistribution of wealth (as you have proposed). The pragmatist looks for the simplest workable solution, which may involve walling off the country (in a manner of speaking). The realist knows that this isn't just about pinching pennies but many hundreds of thousands (potentially millions) affected, losing their jobs and their livelihood as this happens.

Those are some very sweeping generalizations, along with a mischaracterization (socialist does not belong in the same set as pragmatist and realist).

The socialist believes the answer lies in redistribution of wealth (as you have proposed).

This is not what I have proposed. Furthermore, free market wealth redistribution is about as far from socialism as you can get. Protectionist policies are much closer to socialism than free movement of labor.

The pragmatist looks for the simplest workable solution, which may involve walling off the country (in a manner of speaking).

I don't know where to start with that statement, it has so many flaws. First, a pragmatist does not seek the simplest workable solution. A pragmatist seeks the solution that produces the desired result, regardless of means. In this situation, a pragmatist with an understanding of economics would not seek a walled garden... because almost all economists agree that protectionism hurts economies in the long run. Even Krugman couches his pro- stance on protectionism with caveats, such as the biggest one -- protectionism only works if there is no retaliatory protectionism.

The realist knows that this isn't just about pinching pennies but many hundreds of thousands (potentially millions) affected, losing their jobs and their livelihood as this happens.

Anyone with half a brain understand that employment rates, immigration, etc affect millions of people. What you describe can be attributed to anyone, from idealist through realist... though the idealist would be more likely to believe that philosophical ideals would carry through to real-world effects, despite lack of evidence. And for what it's worth, realism isn't really applicable to economics. Pragmatism is closer to what you describe when you make that statement about realists.

Retraining isn't going to happen quickly enough to keep us out of a bigger depression in the future if these problems aren't addressed.

Retraining is the only thing that will keep us out of a major depression in the future. Yes, we need to pay the piper now. The tradeoff is to pay the piper later, with a huge amount of interest tacked on. Protectionism stagnates economies, moreso now that trade is so globalized.

The only people benefiting from this in the long-term are the Indians. The decision to outsource labor to India is bad for all Americans. As an American I find the situation disturbing.

I disagree. We have cheaper products because of offshoring, which gives us excess capital to spend on other things. Some of us have greater profits (and while there is a problem with how the cost-savings are distributed, that is attributable to income imbalance in the US, not to offshoring itself). Where do you shop that you never take advantage of cheap offshore labor? How much do you think your consumer goods would cost if they were produced in the US? How much more would you pay for software if it were all developed in the US? What would your standard of living be like if everything you used or consumed were produced with American labor rates? To even think that offshored labor doesn't benefit anyone in the US is just laughable.

Additionally, I think you dismiss my question... are Indians less human than Americans? Is lifting Indians out of abject poverty less important than elevating an already-high standard of living of Americans? I'm curious if you're willing to blatantly disregard the fate of a portion of humanity, and at what point (if any) you'd consider their suffering more important than the need for people (who have access to shelter, food, and some level of medical care) to retrain.

Change is uncomfortable, and yes, some people may have a hard time of it... but the alternative is for everyone to have a hard time of it as our economy gets left behind due to protectionism and retaliatory measures. Just about the only place where protectionism makes sense is in the interest of national security (securing the food supply, etc) and in infant industries.

For some reading on why protectionism is bad, please read Friedman, Krugman, or most any other notable economist.

Comment Re:H-1B is a Fraud (Score 1) 605

Free movement of labor... when you're dealing with two economies where the standard of living is almost an order of magnitude different... means both economies eventually settle somewhere in the middle. That's bad for at least one of the parties.

Only in the short run. It frees up the labor in the wealthier nation to do things that are more productive. And from a humanist standpoint, which is better? To see some people with a ridiculous standard of living need to pinch pennies for a while (while still having housing, cars, all the food they could want, etc), or to see some people continue to live in squalor? Are Indians less human than Americans?

Comment Re:H-1B is a Fraud (Score 1) 605

The problem is you didn't raise the salary to a level competitive with contracting. If you did so, the contractors would be willing to make the employment commitment. Instead, you got a foreigner to take a job that could be done by an American if you were willing to pay the higher salary.

We offered the same rate as an employee that they were willing to accept as a contractor. Not sure if you know how contracting rates work, but they are almost always *more* than employee rates... we offered a substantial incentive by offering employment terms at contract rates. I've never seen equity in offered hourly pay (employee-contractor) before or since then. That's the trade-off for no benefits, lower overhead for the company, etc. These were PRIME offers, and we couldn't find any qualified American willing to do the work as an employee. Well above the six-figure threshold for these positions... it's a function of the niche the jobs were in, I think. But there have to be more niches like that.

Comment Re:Uh No (Score 1) 582

You miss the point entirely. Schneier's points, my point, all of them... because you got hung up on one little detail I threw in, as an exaggeration, to accentuate the folly of trying to stop all attack vectors.

Simple intrusive screening techniques will give us a very high level of assurance that terrorists with the ability to take down or gain control of planes are not allowed on board.

Those simple instrusive screenings are, if I'm not mistaken, exactly part of the security theater that Schneier objects to. They don't *really* make us safer, they just seem to.

What we're talking about are measures to ensure that terrorists do not take down a plane over a populated area or gain control of a plane.

No. That's not what we're talking about -- if you think it is, you didn't RTFA. We are addressing prevention and control of terrorist acts in general, NOT specific threats on a specific target (like airplanes). An entire point of TFA is that looking only at specific threats is pointless and wasteful -- it's just security theater.

Comment Re:Nope (Score 1) 582

Awesome. I love the way you pointed out the numerical editorializing done by the author (despite claims of non-editorialization).

Now, for the sake of completeness:
Let's assume that we're only counting people atoms (and not luggage, clothing, etc).

Atoms transported == people*miles * (atoms/person)

Per this site, there are about 7*10^27 atoms in an average person.

So we're talking 7*10^27 * 11.6*10^9, so roughly 8 * 10^37. In long form, for enhanced visual impact:

We have only one terrorist attack per each 80,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 atom*miles !11!!!one!eleventyone!

How's that for perspective?

Comment Re:Uh No (Score 1) 582

That's a hard line to take.

I don't think the commission got all the data they needed. I think, based on the data they got, the report is the closest thing we have to the truth. So maybe I am a truther... I believe we have reasonable ground for suspecting that not all the pertinent information was released. God, now I loathe myself. Thanks for pointing it out, Maxume!

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