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Comment It Only Makes Sense (Score 1) 48

Conclusions in TFA (The Fine Article) make sense.

I remember in College, back in the Dark Ages of the 1970's. Communications Theory. That has been known since the late 1940's.

For any system, at the bottleneck points there is a saturation level. When you try to get higher throughput, it saturates the bottleneck, and the throughput either breaks down, or slow substantially.

Ever been stuck in traffic? If so, then you have experienced this effect.

Ever tried to run a large Database on a Windows box? Slowdown and crashes happen.

For every system there is a limit to the communications that can be throughput.

The Internet works by having a massively parallel structure, but every Node on the Internet can only connect to a limited number of other points. The number of connections maintainable has risen as our technology has improved, but there are limits at each step of the way. Sorry guys, that's not because of software or system design, it's a basic result of physics. We can't get unlimited performance out of any foreseeable hardware. Software will always be limited to something less than the limitations of the hardware. There are limits.

This study was about the power system, but it applies to all systems. There is going to be some point of maximum benefit. Trying to go beyond that point will be largely an exercise in frustration. It will only be by changing the physical network that further expansion will be practical. That's the bad news.

The good news is that the current Internet isn't at that point. Yes, it is beyond the capacity of 1990. But, we have changed the parameters of the Hardware. We've even outgrown the capacity of the software from the 1990's. (TCP/IP V4) That's why we are moving slowly to IP V6. but V6, while 'infinite' for today's hardware will also be outgrown someday. Until, that is, our hardware reaches the real physical limits. Only then will we be stuck with no further performance improvements.

Research labs have already reached the physical limits. we know what they are. Fortunately, we probably won't be there for around 10 to 20 years.

Diamond semiconductors, Graphene, circuit elements that consist of fewer than 20 atoms. All these things have been done. Just not economically or reliably. That will come in the future. It'll be fun to see.

I wonder what we will be doing with Petabyte thumb drives and 1000 processor tablet systems?

My Grand-kids will be finding out.

Comment Re:Obvious (Score 1) 1237

No, Newt has been pushing this idea at a low key level for 20 years. He really wants to do it.

I did some back of the envelope calculations, and it could be done for around 400 Billion Dollars (Though not by NASA, which would easily triple the costs), roughly the cost of a small war. That gets you the minimum population for a space based new US State.

I guess that will give you an idea of Newt's devotion to a balanced budget.

Santorum just wants to level Iran. That's more of a mid sized war, (probably in the neighborhood of $800 Billion,) which also gives us insight into Santorum's devotion to a balanced budget.

Obama of course doesn't care. Inflation will take care of the problem. Make the dollar worth only half what it was when he took office and the debt will be cut in half.

That's the system Jimmy Carter used. Back then, people could deal with it by sending both Husband and Wife out to work. But, how will families double their incomes this time around?

Wages never do quite keep up with inflation. No matter who wins, you lose.

Mr. Paul just wants to eliminate the Federal government.

Romney won't say yes to any of these without a detailed study. That probably means that he doesn't want to upset anyone, but he also doesn't want to waste the nations resources either.

So, for me, it's one "You're crazy", three noes and a maybe.

Comment Re:A Breath of Fresh Air (Score 1) 1237

the UN has already analized the global population issue. Population is currently declining in Europe (including Russia), most of Asia, North America, and India. Population growth is slowing in the Muslim world and in Latin America. It is projected to slow soon in Africa.

Overall, the current global population is around 7 Billion, and is expected to peak around 2050 at 9 Billion, then decline slowly for the rest of the Century.

Oh, and projections published in Scientific American earlier this year put the current food production as able to feed around 8 Billion, with expected increases by bringing third world farmers up to the level of American farmers to a level that would sustain around 15 Billion people. Some European farmers get even higher productivity that American farmers.

The current famines of the world are political problems, not resource problems.

The problems of the next 25 years will be related to the lack of labor, not to a surplus of labor. Europe is balancing their population decline with cheap Muslim labor. The US is balancing their population decline with cheap Mexican labor. Japan is balancing their population decline with cheap Philippine labor.and so it goes.

Comment Re:and slashdot ... (Score 1) 1237

Slashdot is actually center left to left. Only HuffPo is farther out there in crazy land on the 'left'. CNN is slightly to the right of Slashdot, while PSB and MSNBC are slightly left of Slashdot. CBS is about even with Slashdot. Fox News is of course quite right for the Slashdot perspective, being slightly to the right of Center. Out further to the Right (about as far as Huffington Post is to the Left) is Newsmax, and even further right is Front Porch Politics, which is for folks who think rednecks are too Liberal.

That's for here in the US. Fox of course belongs to Rupert Murdock, who doesn't really have any political opinions, but uses polling to find where the center of the market is, then positions the Editorial Board to be at that Middle. In England, it means his publications are quite 'left wing' for the US. In the US, that means Fox News, with Bill O'riley and all of his friends.

If you see from this, you can pick out where you are on the scales. But a simple one dimensional number doesn't really reflect reality. It's actually more of a three dimensional space. Left to Right is Fiscal, are you concerned about things like inflation and paying your bills? Front to back is then Centralist verses Local government. Or totalitarian verses Anarchist. Up and Down would be more Rational verses Emotional. Science is largely Rational, while popular movements like environmentalism are largely emotional. Religions fall almost anywhere on the RE scale.

Oh, and by the way, Rational doesn't mean right. For right, you have to compare your positions to reality. Many times in the history of Science (or religion) people have found that what they had proven didn't match reality. Emotional reasons also can correspond to reality at times.

Personally, I fall to the right on preference to paying verses woing. I see the advantages from the capacity for a National Debt, but I also see the dangers. We are close to the limit right now. I am also closer to the Anarchist side than the Totalitarian side though not by a whole lot (People and personal freedom is important for society and should have preference over conformity, but 'total freedom' is destructive to the people around you. We need some limits, not many, but some.), and much closer to the Rational than the emotional side. On personality tests, I come out as extreme rational.

Neither major party is a true fit for me. In minor parties, the Libertarians are to me pushing an unworkable system. It's a grand idea, but they have no way to make it work without hurting a lot of people, so, I take the best of a collection of poor choices.

Barak Obama, I knew 4 years ago would be a repeat of the catastrophic Carter presidency. so far, he's right on target for that 'honor'. I am registered as a republican, as they usually do less damage than the Democrats do. I don't see any ideal candidates, but Mitt Romney is the best of the bunch. That includes Santorum and Obama. It's too bad that both parties are dominated by their particular extremists.

It's not as bad as the G W Bush years were. Bush was always just the least bad of the final candidates. So, it isn't ideal, but Romney is a good choice.

Comment Re:Pots and Kettles (Score 1) 1237

Sorry not true. The Republicans are against most of the popular environmental movements, but actually favor the real environmental scientists. It was a Republican President that created the National Parks systems. It was a Republican President (Bush) who pushed to only allow limited drilling in the Arctic national Wildlife Refuge. Republican Regan expanded much of the wetlands reserves. Republican Nixon initiated the Environmental Cleanup funds.

Ecological scientists are against Wind power expansion, as it kills so much wildlife. Ecological scientists are mostly pro nuclear, as Nuclear power plants have a much lower environmental impact than do Coal, oil, natural gas or Hydro. It is also lower in impact than large Solar Power.

Republicans, and some Democrats favor each of these. Ecological movement people generally favor what the Ecologists don't. Hydro, Wind and Solar are their darlings. so is Bio Fuel, which the Ecologists see as expanding the areas that are farmed, and thus destroying many existing habitats.

To say that one party is the party of Science while the other is not is unsupportable. There are things that Republicans support that democrats don't. There are things that Democrats support that Republicans don't. Most science is supported by both parties.

Disagreements are in areas that are not really settled. Climate change is one of those, as to date, none of the predictions have panned out. When they can predict things that actually happen, then it will be different.

Bush ignored the Global Warming people, because their predictions were always wrong. But, he continued to fund them, Whether Democrat or Republican Congresses were in session, at least in his proposed budgets.

Similarly, both Bush and Obama have continued to support NASA in Space Development. The NASA budget has been and continues to be around 0.5% of the overall Federal Budget.

The same can be said of Health research, Biology, Physics, Chemistry, Computer Science, Astronomy and so forth.

Of course, the same things that I have said about President Bush are also true of President Obama.

Comment Re:Pots and Kettles (Score 1) 1237

I live in John Mccain's senate district, and Sarah Palin helped McCain quite a lot. She rallied a base that was rather blase about the Senator. the name calling and baseless lawsuits were intended to silence her, as the established Liberal interests that control most of the press are quite afraid of her.

Her actual positions are not as 'right wing' as you assume. She favors limiting the government to what it is actually responsible for.

As a Mayor, that meant roads, sidewalks, schools and infrastructure (water and sewer). It also meant zoning that was responsible to the community.

As a Governor that meant getting paid for state resources used by large businesses, and allowing Alaskans to use Alaskan resources. It also meant roads and such. It didn't mean larger government offices without any duties.

For Washington, she is against 'earmarks', that is monies added to a bill to buy support from some particular candidate. She is against deficit spending except in time of War or National Emergency, but doesn't really know what it would take to balance the Federal Budget. That is not a problem, as it is constitutionally mandated that only Congress (House and Senate) can do that. Nationally, she is also in favor of measures to aid education and families with handicapped members (she has a handicapped child).

Calling her 'Right Wing' or 'Fascist' is a mislabeling. Yes, she likes the Tea Party groups, but not the Occupy groups. However, those two groups have more in common than they have that they disagree with. 'Right wing' is a near meaningless label, while 'Fascist' is a reference to Mussolini's old Italian Socialist Party. It was the Communists that made 'Fascist' an insult. The Communists and the Fascists were rivals for taking over Italy in the 1930's with promises of easy prosperity. People in American Media and University Educators who wanted the Communists to win used the Fascist term to denigrate anyone who disagreed with Socialism during the 1950's and onward.

The term 'right wing' comes from the early 1930's, in Italy, the Communists sat on the left side of the legislature, while the Fascists sat on the right side. However, both wings were socialist. both were also violent and intolerant of any other opinions. Kind of like most self styled Liberals today are.

As the Republicans do not currently favor socialism (government control/ownership of the means of production) they cannot be properly be honestly called Fascist. In American politics, that would be the 'left' wing of the Democratic Party. Even they are only weakly socialist, though. They don't want the responsibility of ownership, just the profits.

but, I do recognize that the Republicans aren't really 'Conservative' either, nor are they really aligned with Adam Smith's philosophies (Wealth of Nations).

Comment Re:Santorum claiming that.... (Score 1) 1237

Santorum isn't the best the Republicans can come up with, that would be Romney. But, the Evangelicals who want to control the Republican Party can't stand the thought of a Mormon in the White House. It might make people look at other religions, and question the lack of real faith in the Evangelical communities.

Four years ago, the Evangelical leaders said they would rather have the Devil than Romney. Well, they got what they wanted.

Not that Obama is a devil, but he is against most of the things that the Evangelical leaders say they want.

This year could still be a repeat. that would be a tragedy. Barak Obama appears to be a nice person, but he is a terrible leader, and his strategies are a disaster. I remember Jimmy Carter. This is just a repeat. I don't think that Mr. Santorum has what it takes, but he couldn't be worse than what we have now.

Comment Re:So says the religious guy. (Score 1) 1237

The actual scientists are on both sides in this debate. Each side insists that they can disregard the opinions of the other side.

It is much more politics than science for both sides. That will continue until reality matches either one or the other. So far, it doesn't match either one.

Time to continue the research.

Comment Re:So says the religious guy. (Score 1) 1237

I think what you made is urea and a few simple amines. this has been done repeatedly since the 1950's There is quite a lot of argument about whether it could ever lead to RNA, or not. (So far the Or Not side is winning.) The nucleotides are formed in a vacuum with UV light. They have been found in several interstellar clouds (Panspermia anyone?)

Sorry but that doesn't make you a god, or even a chemist. It does mean that you have made a little bit of fertilizer. The great problem is of course to make the RNA into strands that will self fold to produce active enzymes. That hasn't happened yet anywhere. Let us know if you succeed.

Comment Re:So says the religious guy. (Score 1) 1237

It's easy to reproduce the evidence.

First, find a large interstellar dust cloud. "The Earth was without form, and Void, and Darkness was upon the face of the Deep."

Second, Organize it so that a planet is formed at the proper distance from the new star, with the proper controls so that a stable climate can form. (Current analysis of planets suggest that this will require the planet to have a large moon. Otherwise, solar tides will over a span of several tens of millions of years create a large amount of precession that will cause the climate to vary too widely over the whole planet for the survival of anything larger than a bacterium. This is not conclusive yet, but is tending that way.)

Third, allow separation of components to occur. "and God separated the waters above from the waters beneath" This is a natural process, and you should only need to check that it is done. "And God saw that it was good".

Fourth, allow/encourage life to begin.

Fifth, allow/encourage life to expand, first in the oceans, later on Land. While the Bible is silent on this, Geology indicates that this is when a breathable atmosphere forms.

Sixth, allow/encourage life to diversify on land, finally creating something that looks and acts more or less human. How you create these things is something that the Bible is silent on. Many religious philosophers espouse the view that it is some kind of magic. that saying a word did it. But, what the Bible actually says is that God said something would happen, it did happen, then God looked at it and found that it met his expectations. Once again, while science can disprove the assertions of some religious philosophers, it doesn't disprove what little the Bible actually says about the process.

Now, sit back and contemplate it all. (That's the Seventh Day)

This should only take a little less than a half a dozen Billion years or so. If you can change reference frames easily, and if you have sufficient computation and physical resources available, you can pass the whole thing off in a single week, relative time. (The Bible in several places mentions that God is in a different Reference Frame than we are.)

If you can do that, then you will have gained enough experience to look and see if something similar happened here on earth. Until you can do that, then no controlled experiment is possible that can make that determination. That means that what you espouse isn't science. It's really just Philosophy that makes dozens of unproven and probably dozens of other unprovable assumptions.

Finally, I find it interesting that the Bible order of Creation and that found by Paleontologists is so similar. Most other creation myths (Greek, Mayan, Egyptian, Indian, Norse, and so forth) don't have nearly the same order as what we have found. For this, please remember that what the King James and other English translations give as "Great Whales" is actually "Great Serpents", and would fit quite nicely with the Jurassic to Cretaceous periods. Also, "Animals" in the original language only refers to Mammals.

Sorry but the Bible and Science don't actually disagree on what happened. Only on Who. As the Bible gives no information on How, while the science answers mainly on How, I am quite willing to accept the scientific explanation, with some reservations. I believe that there are still unanswered questions. Darwin's explanation can't explain the paleontological facts of punctuated equilibrium that the fossil record shows. Survival of the Fittest can however explain the long periods of relative stasis in the Fossil Record. But, when the changes happen, they apparently happen quite fast. Why? We really don't know.

This just means that there is more science to be done. That's good news. More to learn is always good.

What little I have seen of 'Creationist Science' is not very good. It just doesn't stand up to scrutiny. Stand up to scrutiny it must. The goal of any Scientist should be to tear down if possible, ANY accepted standard, and to propose a replacement. I think that a replacement (or partial replacement) for the 'Survival of the Fittest' will happen, and seems to be happening. Darwin expected to have that happen, so I guess that in this I am only agreeing with Darwin. (How droll!)

Look at how long it took Geologists to accept that Wagner was right about Continental Drift. Biology is in for something rather like that over the next 20 years. It should be exciting.

We can almost make a simple bacteria right now, but we still can't make it from scratch, without interfering in the process. With time, we should get better, but will we be able to just put the parts in a tube and watch it begin to live? I hope so, but I have doubts about it too.

Yes, there is still a lot of science to be done.

Comment Supervision (Score 1) 349

For students younger than College age, supervision is needed in the classroom. What was told here was that the Teacher had trouble monitoring the students, and so avoided the problem by removing the tool. For teachers without the proper background or without the proper tools, this would be a good approach.

What the tablets (or netbooks or whatever) need is to have the teacher able to monitor what programs are running, and shut down any non-educational ones. That vital piece of the puzzle was apparently lacking. Letting the kids just use the tablets without any monitoring is going to be an epic FAIL. The problem came from up the IT food chain in the School District.

This problem is not really a new one. When I was in school, it was common for a student to slip a comic book into his/her textbook to read during study time. A simple blank piece of paper also works, if you have a pencil or pen. (Remember passing notes in Jr High and High School. It hasn't stopped, just gone more high tech.) My Wife, a remedial reading teacher in a Jr. High school, confiscates several cell phones each semester for texting in class. The phones are turned into the office, and the parents have to come and pick them up.

Tablets are really just one more distraction if they are not locked down.

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