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Comment Re:Useless academic is useless. (Score 2) 462

Since fusion on a stellar scale is already producing approximately 120 watts/square meter to any spot near earth orbit, any outer space program capable of mining the moon is far more capable of erecting solar sails that can use part of the solar wind and light pressure to maintain geosynchronous orbits, even for locations not in the "24-hourorbit" geosynchronous orbit used currently for inexpensive satellite communications and patented by Arthur C. Clarke.

There is simply _no point_ to tritium based fusion powerplants, even with cold fusion, given the expense and rarity of tritium. And certainly there is no point to fusion powerplants when solar power from solar sails is so much less expensive and so much more manageable, with already existing technologies. It's merely an engineering and finance and political problem, not an unsolved scientific one that would have many of the same social problems.Weaponizing fusion is as easy as weaponizing solar sails: the difficulty is _not_ weaponizing fusion power, reguilating it to prevent a catastrophic chain reaction.

Comment You invert science and ethics (Score 1) 530

You're not too far off the truth, but it's only a half truth. The global warming/climate change cultists are getting their money from big-govenment sources that have at least as vested an interest in producing results that can be used to argue for increasing government authorities and funding as the oil companies have in the dissenting research. This is a common fact of life in academic research - funding sources are never perfect.

Ethical researchers will not compromise their results, and take what funding they can get as a result. They may go from one source to another frequently in order to keep working, and typically run on a shoe-string.

Unethical researchers find a good titty and make sure their results always line up with that prominences interests without needing to be told. Whatever their other problems, they tend to do very well at keeping the funds flowing and that counts for more than any of us really want to admit.

The people that are best at funding in climate research decided years ago that anyone who denied their faith in 'global warming' were not to be reasoned with but rather to be excommunicated, shunned. They have turned their departments into churches, and away from science. You cant even get a passing grade, let alone a degree, without mouthing the creed obediently. If you manage to get a degree before you start doubting them, you still wont get funding from anyone except the fossil energy companies, so it wouldnt be any surprise at all that they are funding virtually all of the real science that's going on in the field today.

And sad as it is (they are figuratively fossils themselves, and need to die) it's still better this way than if they were not doing this and NO ONE would fund climate science anymore, period.

Comment Re:He wanted to visit Torino, so he wrote a paper (Score 1) 462

"So he wrote a paper on the ethics of Lunar Mining that actually considered possible ethical objections to the proposed activity. Is that so odd?"

Not in abstract, but the specific objections seem odd, to say the least.

"After all, do we really want whalers on the moon?"

Whalers are people too.

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Journal Journal: Rodeo Clown Foreign Policy Gets No Respect 4

Daladier, a classic leftist politician of the era, became Prime Minister three times. French politics were rough and tumble, with alliances made and dissolved, and little attention paid to foreign policy. There was a general refusal to acknowledge that Germany was re-arming and preparing for another round. Daladier was a voice in the wilderness. He saw the threat coming from Ger

Comment Re:It's a shame, but... (Score 1) 249

In fact, I'll go one further. A hundred years from now, the same people (descendants, anyway) whining about too much carbon will be whining about too little as giant procesing plants suck it out for everything from internal combustion engine fuel to plastics to god knows what.

"We're starving plants!" they will (correctly) yelp. "We're gonna induce a new ice age!" they will (correctly) worry.

I'm surrounded by idiots, cogs serving memes spreading and reproducing.

Comment Re:I resemble that remark (Score 1) 81

Why not just admit you have no idea what you are talking about, instead of spouting unintelligible nonsense?

What I was saying is that you were speaking in a legal context. Therefore, the words you use have specific technical meanings. And it is a *fact* that "murder" does not apply to "abortion" in the legal context. And this has not one damned thing to do with morality. This doesn't mean abortion is not wrong, or is justified, it only means that, in this context, it is not murder. It's a fact. Your denial of it only makes you look retarded.

Comment Re:Python? Really? (Score 1) 242

I really think there is a lot of devil in the details that you gloss right over with that. Get a good glue-man to use good libraries and give him a job that is suited to those tools and you should expect a good product. But give him a job those tools are not suited for and you should expect crud. The language of implementation is only one variable among many. It's possible to write junk in any language.

Using a well reviewed library might allow you to avoid all kinds of easy and common mistakes. But relying on code you dont understand makes it harder to debug the result, and that just might be an understatement. It's always going to be possible to accomplish tasks with fewer cycles using hand tuned code. The counterargument is that you can usually hand tune only 10% or less of the code, after it's running, and get 90% of the benefit that way.

So ideally it seems large projects would have a life cycle starting with RAD in ObjC or Python or whatever you want, leading to a stable form which would then be relentlessly optimised into a mature and reliable product. I can remember seeing that happen occasionally in the past, but last few years programs seem to be considered obsolete before they really clear beta.

On top of that I see a disturbing trend towards low level stuff like device drivers being done in RAD languages, but that's another subject.

And yes, all too often the choices wind up being made for financial reasons by people that havent the slightest clue what the ramifications of their decisions will be.

Comment Re:I resemble that remark (Score 1) 81

Governments are subservient to the economic powers that created them.

Governments are composed of individuals, who make decisions, no? So, while I don't think the laws of Economics are avoidable, I don't think that's an excuse for cheerfully unethical/immoral decisions.

Comment Why bother (Score 1) 530

100 years from now will be far more different than now is from 1913. Keep technological progress in high gear. That yields far greater results than everything else put together.

They would have worried about stuff we find trivial or irrelevant. Wherefore crush the economy if in 50 years robots can move everything trivially, or giant vats of bacteria can produce fossil fuels, so to speak, pulling it out of the air, making the use neutral again?

Not only do not worry (too much) about it, the usual command and control solutions will slow this tech growth, leaving us worse off, not better. 2013 tech in 2013 is way better for quality of life than 1973 tech in 2013 -- or 1953.

Comment Re:Idiocracy (Score 4, Informative) 628

"Driver alledges his dispatcher told him to answer the phone even while driving and he did so, claiming this led to the accident. Company has written records of disciplining some driver employees for not immediately answering phone calls, and ex-employees are available to testify that this was cited by their management in termination. Preliminary investigation showed dispatcher and management did not know the laws of the state where the acccident occurred re. cell phone use. Dispatcher and other management had signed statements on record with their insuror stating they educated their drivers in all applicable state and local laws as part of regular training, and in fact were given a discount on insurance prices for their internal safety program."
            That's not a hypothetical - that's settled case law. That's two independent lines of proof, either of which would probably have resulted in the same court decision by itself. The company in question paid millions for both the settlement and in fines by the time the whole matter was over.

Comment Re:Charges? (Score 1) 7

Maybe for some, but (as a non-gun owner) I'm mainly fetishing liberty, and really tired of those who seek to use the legal system for punishing the innocent.
Now, maybe if we could extend the definition of marriage to encompass a polygamous relationship with one's arsenal, we could find some sweet spot in the modern absurdity that can protect the simple notion of the 2nd Amendment.

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