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Comment Re:Old movies (Score 2) 219

Forget obscure, old is enough. Copyright should exist as a means of supporting creative works, not a way for large media corporations to sit on something in perpetuity and collect revenue with the only expense being 'investments' in congress to extend copyright.

I'm more than willing to pay for something new because that supports the production of creative works I like enough to give time and money to. Music, movies, books, video games, sure, I will and do buy them. But there's are many things out there that are several decades old and should have fallen into the public domain years ago, and for those I feel no such moral obligation. If the media companies want to avoid piracy, they've got options. I pay for Netflix, I pay for Amazon Prime, there's plenty of options for them to get a piece of the pie even with things that really should be free anyway. If they can't play nice and want to prove just how greedy they are, screw 'em.

Comment Re:Um, duh? (Score 2) 285

Not just that, but those with means have much more opportunity to do the exceptional things so-called elite colleges are looking for. Feeder schools with high rates of getting pupils into elite schools are a thing for a reason. An average kid with means is still much more likely to have an outstanding resume than an exceptional one student from a more modest background.

Apologists will say admissions at these places are money blind, but the reality is they just use proxies. It's the class equivalent of saying 'I'm not racist, but I won't hire people with funny names like Jose, Latasha, or Ahmed.'

The old saying 'Elite schools are where the wealthy launder privilege into credentials' once again holds true, and still no one cares. No one is holding them accountable for their classism. Point it out and some asshole accuses you of 'class warfare.' Far as I'm concerned, their should be an academic boycott of these places until conditions improve. It is baffling to me that, for all the progressives in academia, no one wants to touch this subject.

Comment Re:NIMBY in full effect (Score 2) 445

That's a useless suggestion: people who need organ donations are generally not suitable to donate, and they know it long ahead of time.

Except in cases of injury, or where only one organ is the problem.

Well, one reason is a concern that doctors and hospitals might be less interested in saving you if that means potentially damaging donatable organs. There are many other reasons as well.

Considering that, far as I can tell anyway, virtually every medical organization on earth denies that happens, that seems an extremely unlikely and unreasonable concern. I would not be surprised if there were isolated incidents, but by that logic you should wear body armor in case someone stabs or shoots you. I think its much more reasonable to trust the opinions of major medical organizations than put stock in baseless fears pulled out the usual place.

Comment Re:NIMBY in full effect (Score 1) 445

Good point, I forgot to apply Hanlon's razor to the situation. I should have said prick or conspiracist with unreasonable fears. If there were any evidence whatsoever that organ donors die at a higher rate in emergency situation (are emergency medical staff even aware of your status in those situations?), it would be huge medical ethics news. Somehow I doubt that is the case.

Comment Re:NIMBY in full effect (Score 4, Insightful) 445

I think they should be tied together. Unless you have some sort actual medical reason as to why you should not be an organ donor (HIV infection, ect.) opting out should put you on the bottom of the donation list should you need it. If you contribute to the system, you get priority if you need the system. Otherwise, you go to the back of the line. Don't expect to receive if you're not willing to give.

I just don't get the mentality of people who refuse organ donation. If you're dead, you're dead, why take other people with you? It's one last act of good that could save lives and, seeing as how you're never going to use them again, costs you absolutely nothing. How big of a prick do you have to be to look at that proposition and reject it?

Comment Re:Define "Fully" automated (Score 1) 278

It's (kind of) both. It is true that a lot of pruning and training goes into getting fruit trees to be the desired shape, but there is also a genetic component. Trees which have been bred to be short (and usually also cold tolerant & disease resistant) are used as rootstocks for a lot of fruit trees, with the above ground portion that produces the fruit being grafted onto those roots. The end result is dwarf trees that are easier to work with. True, this isn't genetic engineering, but it is a bit more than just pruning.

Comment Yes (Score 4, Insightful) 278

The ultimate thing about farming is that it is not easy. Harvesting of fruits and vegetables, in particular, is long, hard, laborious work. As economies develop, there's going to be less people wanting to do that for the prices consumers want to pay. Mechanized harvesting is already employed in a lot of agronomic crops (corn, rice, wheat, soy, ect) and some horticultural crops. The difficulty is going to be getting machines that are able to tell when to pick, how to pick, and how to avoid damaging the crop. Some things might still have to be done by hand (pruning of tree fruit, which is an art and a science, comes to mind), but in general, mechanized agriculture will be the future, and I think that's a good thing.

Comment Re:As a scientist... (Score 3, Insightful) 55

Also a scientist; I say it's not even piracy. Piracy is downloading something you didn't pay for. If I download, for example, the new Star Wars VII or Civ 6, that would be piracy, because I would be getting something that someone else made, with their money, with the intention of making a return on that investment, without paying a fair price for it.

On the other hand, if you download something that was made at a public institution, build and run with public funds, by a group in some part funded by public money grants, than that is not stealing; that is getting what you are owed. Demanding that someone should have to give $39.99 to some leech-weasel publishing company to get access to something they already paid for is the real piracy going on here. Elsevier and their ilk are stealing from the public.

Science needs to be open to everyone, not just those of us lucky enough to have institutional access (and hell, where I am, I don't even have easy access to all years for all journals, stupid as that is). I've no sympathy whatsoever here for them, and I'd bet they don't even lose money anyway when some curious individuals 'pirate' scientific articles, because most people aren't going to pay $40 for something that may or may not be pertinent to what they want to know. I'm not at all one of those people who rejects the idea of copyright and IP in general, not at all, but Elsevier and the rest of them are thieves, and they can take their copyright and shove it up their ass.

If science piracy is giving the public access to what they are entitled to and supporting the principle of scientific openness for all people, than long live science piracy.

Comment Re:They can go pound sand (Score 3, Insightful) 197

Bollocks, what of all the GE crops like Golden Rice, BioCassava, Bangladeshi Bt Eggplant, and Brazilian golden mosaic virus resistant beans developed exactly for that purpose? These of course are equally opposed by anti-GE activists, probably more so because of how they disprove your claim. Besides that, GE is such a broad term that you might as well say cooking exists solely to make McDonald's money.

Comment Re:GMO (Score 3, Interesting) 197

You are right that political issues don't make you anti-science, but the vast, vast majority of complaints about GE crops I see claiming to be 'political issues' are simply nonsense dressed up to justify irrational opposition. I'm not sure which specific patent problem you are referring to though.

You are also right that we need better regulation. The regulations on GE crops are so strict right now that only one non-corporate GE crop is presently in use right now...the Rainbow papaya, developed by the University of Hawai'i, and even the creator of that one believes that the only reason that one made it is because it was released before the regulations became stricter. Very recently we saw approval of an apple by a smaller company. If you want to avoid excessive corporate control by Monsanto (which by the way isn't actually a monopoly considering that the are several other similar companies out there, like Pioneer, Syngenta, Bayer Crop Science, and Dow AgroSciences) then what we need are regulations that will allow innovations like this to actually come to use instead of being shelved indefinitely, which is the fate of most university developed GE crops.

Comment Re:guess again (Score 1, Insightful) 249

It's like guns. I respect Second Amendment rights, but that doesn't mean I like someone shooting wildly in a crowded area. My right to not be shot trumps the rights of others to shoot. Same thing here. You choose, seemingly out of sheer spite, to be a disease vector, fair enough, just never do it around the rest of society. If your right to not put something that, in the vast majority of cases, is negligable into your body overrides my right to not get sick and possibly die, fine then, my right to not get sick and potentially die overrides your right to live in the rest of society.

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