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Comment Re:this makes no sense at all (Score 2) 341

Sorry, but 1 foot isn't the worst case scenario. It's the "Probably not more than" scenario. The worst case is actually measured in meters, but is probably unlikely. (It requires massive releases of methane from submerged methyl cathlates.)

(Actually, even that isn't the worst case. A real worst case would be a dinosaur killer size asteroid impacting near Antarctica. That would lead to a tsunami perhaps a thousand feet high, and .... well, the rest wouldn't really matter. But all of Antarctica would melt. Steam might not reach the Arctic. Land strikes are much more survivable)

Comment Re:Why not just move? (Score 1) 341

Well, the real problem is that if the water rises enough to submerge much of SF., it will also submerge, in salt, or brackish, water, much of the San Jouquin Valley. This is a lot of prime agricultural land.

I'm still not convinced that this is a good answer. I suppose it doesn't hurt to look at it as an option, but I think a better place to place the barrier is at the Carquinez Straits. Urban areas can be rebuilt on pilings, but that doesn't work very well for farm land.
N.B.: A dam at the Carquines Straits would also cause tremendous flooding in the San Joquin valley, but it would be flooding with fresh water (Sacramento River). There are lots of crops that would do nicely in that kind of situation. Rice, e.g., and Mangos, though they don't mind salt so much. Sugar cane. Cotton would probably need to move elsewhere, but that's not a real problem. Olives and almonds would still be good choices on the higher ground. Etc. Perhaps some aquaculture.

Comment Re:So... (Score 1) 341

FWIW, we are probably already committed to considerable sea level rise from things that have already happened. The oceans are warmer. The albedo of the Arctic has decreased. etc. It's not at all clear that it's still possible to avert massive Arctic melt. Antarctica seems a bit more stable, but even there parts of it are already showing the effects of warming.

It is my suspicion that we are already committed to a thorough melting of Greenland during summers. I hope that the melting of the permafrost won't release enough methane that we're committed to further than that. Remember, these effects are slow, and there are lots of time lags built into the cycles. And there are complex feedback cycles. None of the models include all the effects. It's seriously impossible, Even if we knew enough, as it would be compuationally intractable, and what use is a prediction, if you don't finish the calculation until after the event has happened? So all the models are simplifications, even where we have the data to be more accurate.

Comment Re:That's all very nice (Score 1) 526

I've supported candidates before. Some of them got in. I was uniformly disappointed. Perhaps some of the ones that didn't get in wouldn't have disappointed me. But I have speculations (based on observations which are hardly proof) that a part of the reason that some of them didn't get in was because they intended to keep their promises.

It is a characteristic of the "plurality wins" electoral system that it will settle down into a quasi-stable state with two parties. Majority wins (e.g. Condorcet or Instant Runoff Voting) do not have this characteristic. In those voting systems what the populace actually wants has a larger effect on which candidate will get elected. (We found that recently in a city election, where we were using IRV. The candidate actually elected was not the person who got a plurality during the first round, but was someone much more acceptable to the populace at large. Granted, city elections don't have a large presence of party politics, but analogs are present.

Comment Re:That's all very nice (Score 1) 526

How can you vote for smaller government, when the party that SAYS they stand for smaller government increase the size of the government faster than their opposition?

If there were a viable alternative, then you might have a point. If candidates were compelled to keep their campaign promises, then you might have a point. But as long as we have plurality wins voting, we're going to get one of two power mad psychotics. Just pray whoever we end up with isn't also a scociopath.

Comment Re:Weasel words (Score 1) 526

I think you don't understand how the drug laws were imposed in the first place. Often against tremendous public opinion. Just not active enough opinion that they would do anything about it. (Alcohol prohibition was a separate case. It's a part of the war of the sexes. When a large portion of the male population would off fighting a war, prohibition got voted in. Getting rid of it was a real problem, and we are still suffering from the after effects that it caused, e.g. a major increase in organized crime.)

P.S.: Organized crime isn't interested in a drug that doesn't carry significant penalties (or hefty import duties). Doesn't matter for this subject whether or not it's addictive, though naturally it prefers more addictive drugs. Watch out if tobacco is ever made illegal.

Comment Re:Discouraging underage use? (Score 1) 526

I'm quite willing to believe that there are biased studies, but that doesn't make them all wrong. IIRC there was one that studied the effects on certain classes of neurons, or possibly certain brain structures, that don't usually finish development until the late teen-age years. If found that marijuana, interfered with the proper development of those structures. They were involved in finer aspects of judgement and motivation.

I've no reason to believe that study was biased. I can't remember the instrumentation that they used, whether it was MRI or something else, but it was a highly significant, and not judgment-based, conclusion. Of course, I didn't read the original report, so this could be reporting error. You're not only getting a third-hand report, but also one that can't offer you a citation. Do, however, notice that this isn't the same study that was reported above. And I know (remember) nothing about the sample size, or even if it was in the report I read.

Still, that's a plausible report. And the people I have known that started smoking pot before they were in college were a bit ... flakey. So the conclusion is also plausible.

Comment Re:This is a good thing. (Score 1) 736

You don't need to side either for or against the humans to realize that this will eliminate whole categories of jobs. It will create a few new ones, but not nearly comparable in number. And those new jobs will create additional opportunities for automation.

This is the patten that's been working since the industrial revolution. It's what lead to "the consumer society". And it shows no sign of slowing down.

Comment Re:Out of jobs? (Score 1) 736

Sorry, but you argument would say you should have chosen management or research. And there's a lot more managers. OTOH, I don't suppose middle management is particularly safe either. Around 30-40 years ago I wrote an essay on the subject called "Be a garbageman", but I'm not really sure that's actually a good choice now. A lot can be done by redesigning the jobs.

Comment Re:Name game (Score 1) 196

No. Making a stable profit is a niche that should be encouraged. Nothing has the ability to grow forever.

If the company is stagnating, it becomes quite important to identify the reason. If it's because of market saturation, then KEEP DOING IT RIGHT. Return profits to the share-holders, if you're a corporation. But be sure to keep your eyes open for a better way of doing whatever it is that is your specialty. But be very careful that in doing so you don't stop DOING IT RIGHT.

Change for the sake of change is foolish.

Comment Re:Government vs terrorists (Score 1) 395

That's true, but ...

E.g.: The Department of Health, to operate properly, needs to have records on you. They can share those records.

N.B.: While in principle it should be possible for the end user (patient) to have control over those records, in practice a large number of separate people (medical specialists, at least) need to be able to access them simultaneously. This makes real security of the information impossible (or at least I have no idea how one could do it). And THIS means that as more and more information is needed by the Department of Health (e.g., your DNA sequence) and as advances allow more and more to be done with the information (e.g., your DNA sequence)...well, eventually other parts of the government will be able to access that information, and use it to produce an estimate of how you will act in various situations. (It need not be accurate for people to do it.)

P.S.: There have already been attempts to categorize people as "proabale criminals" purely on the basis of their DNA. So don't think it will never happen. It may never be accurate, but that's a separate question.

Anyway, because of this, it makes sense to consider the government as a unitary entity, even though the various parts of it don't coordinate. It's probably more of a unitary entity than is a sponge, though possibly less so than is an earthworm.

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