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Comment Re:Insufficiently Realistic (Score 1) 101

Until the dolls literally spray genuine, authentic baby shit and vomit on you in the middle of the night, they are going to be inadequate to the task of dissuading girls from wanting to make babies.

If you can't actually fill them with a truly realistic substitute for unwanted infant fluids, they're worthless.

I don't think that has anything to do with it.

I've raised four kids (youngest is now 15, oldest is 23), and the bad parts of having children, and babies, really have nothing to do with the icky body fluids. I've changed more than a few "blowout" diapers, and even had a couple of kids puke into my mouth and that's really not the bad/difficult part of having and raising children. The bad/difficult part is the commitment required. Kids require very close to 24/7 effort for years, and a lower level of focus and attention for decades. They're financially expensive, emotionally and physically demanding and they require you to be able to deal with your life so you can also deal with theirs.

On the surface, caring for a robo-baby for a few months should be a reasonable approximation of that. Where it falls down is not the lack of body fluids, I think, but the knowledge that (a) it's only a grade, not a life and (b) it is only a few months. (a) means that if you screw it up, it's not so terrible, and (b) means that you know there's an end in sight. Both of those probably significantly reduce the impact.

The schools in my area do something similar, but they don't use a robot, they use a bag of flour. That's not as good in that it won't rat them out for failing to care for it, but it may have another advantage (besides the low cost): It's not cute. I wonder if the robo-babies don't backfire because they get girls thinking about how cool it would be to have a cute little baby all their own.

Comment Re:social experiments (Score 1) 101

Your reading, writing, and math list is pretty dated unless you are talking about the lower portion of grade school. A purely practical program needs to include science, engineering, and computer programming. Without those things a school curriculum would be pretty useless today. About the only thing you'd be qualified for would be pumping gas or management.

Comment Re:Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 1) 640

I'll respond to myself to clarify. A lot of people are arguing the merits the specific examples I choose. I think maybe the timelines, 50's vs now are too long for people to relate to. My point boils down to this, if the real cost of goods has dropped to 1/5th of what it was at a given point, being able to afford 4 of them now might mean a better quality of life but still means you are worse off economically vs those who could afford one before that reduction in costs because you'd need to be able to afford 5 and not 4 to be equally well off economically. For the purpose of determining how we are doing economically it doesn't matter if the things have more bells and whistles, it doesn't matter that people who couldn't afford one before can afford one now, etc. All those things just mean technology has progressed and improved the quality of life for those worse off economically, it doesn't mean they have more raw purchasing power.

Let me take it closer. In the late 80's and early 90's my parents were pizza hut store managers, my father the actual manager and my mother head assistant manager. We had a large 50-60" tv (massive thing) that cost $6k+, we had exotic birds and lizards that cost at least $10k, we had a tanning bed that cost $5k+, we had a telescope that cost about $3k, and a computer that cost $5k+, not to mention thousands of dollars for water beds, funiture, jewelry, the latest games and consoles as they came out, over 2000 movies, etc and two new cars. We could and did get any dental, vision, medical work we needed without substantial issue. My parents were shipped around a lot so we never owned the home but owning is cheaper than renting and they had no issues with credit so they could have afforded to own if it had made sense for them.

Do you think pizza hut managers at the store level could afford that today? No, no they couldn't. I've knew a store manager about 7 years ago who went at least a year with a plastic bag taped over the window of his beater because he couldn't afford to have it fixed. You couldn't afford these goods on that kind of salary today even if the numbers all matched because those goods die and have to replaced every few years, it isn't the cost of the goods, it's the burn rate required to maintain it. You'd need an income of double what my parents made to maintain an equivalent lifestyle today.

Consider the computer for a moment. A modern desktop computer is far more powerful of course and far cheaper. A modern replacement might be as little as $400. So you could buy 12 of them for what our computer cost. Do you think a chain restaurant manager can afford to have and maintain 12 reasonably current computers today? The only way they are even going to come close is if they maintain a high end gaming system and that is all they spend their money on like a mmo addict and even then they aren't going to be able to keep that up forever. We basically just used the thing to keep a list of our movies and track some finances. Someone touched it maybe once a month to update those things.

Comment Insufficiently Realistic (Score 3, Insightful) 101

Until the dolls literally spray genuine, authentic baby shit and vomit on you in the middle of the night, they are going to be inadequate to the task of dissuading girls from wanting to make babies.

If you can't actually fill them with a truly realistic substitute for unwanted infant fluids, they're worthless.

Comment Re:social experiments (Score 2) 101

Actually, blaming it on either Conservative or Liberal is probably misleading. While the idea of "waiting" till you're able is likely conservative, even liberals would tend to agree. And it would be typical of a Liberal to label an unwanted baby as "Punishment", and they would likely want to deter it with such a program that basically enforces that idea.

Therefore, it is my conclusion that REALLY bad ideas come from trying to fit Conservative ideas with Liberal problem solving.

Schools should stick to Reading, Writing and Math, and drop the stupid social experiments that usually cause more problems than they solve.

Comment Re: Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 1) 640

"Having used a heavy old push mower I can assure that whilst on small areas it is no slower than an electric it's much more effort and so on large areas, especially in hot weather, it takes longer."

I should have stated mechanical push mowers but I think your comments are based on that. I would agree that it is more effort and I won't comment on over 60 because I'm not there yet but I think despite being "harder" if you check the clock it still takes roughly the same amount of time relative to modern electric and gas push mowers. Larger commercial mowers and rider mowers are a whole different story as they are a different class of solution that isn't suitable on normal size lawns and are the right answer for large lawns. That said there are certainly lawns that fall inbetween.

I tried to give an example of what a mechanical push mower might look like if we applied modern engineering. The blades would be incredibly sharp and strong and we could engineer them to have flexible joints so they tend to deflect rather than break or chip. The whole thing would actually be too light for the job even built with the same durability and just like you need some weight on a safety razor or to keep a ship upright you'd need some mass strategically added. Since you have to do that anyway you can use a carbon fiber flywheel to be that weight. Modern carbon fiber flywheels can retain energy for years. In the same manner that electric cars use breaking to charge the batteries every time you stop or hit a snag or change direction the momentum can be absorbed by the flywheel and then released to make the pushing easier. You could even design them to charge the flywheel on breaking and steep enough downgrades only engage the flywheel when going uphill. Since a flywheel stores mechanical rotary energy it would actually be far more efficient in this application than the applications most people are looking to use them for where electrical energy is converted to mechancial and back again. This mower would require dramatically less effort to use than the old mechanical push mowers while having the same reliability. Using dry lubricants means the thing wouldn't clog up with in the same way the old ones did with all that oil and that grime also added quite a bit of resistance you had to overcome.

My underlying point wasn't really about the merits of the mower though. My point was that we've progressively moved toward cheaper goods, whether you think that is good or bad, and we've been so successful that having more goods today doesn't mean we are economically better off than those with fewer goods yesterday. The raw steel and hours of human life that go into producing those goods are the bottom line of your spending power, if a factory worker (just picking it because it's roughly the same effort and skill level today as in the 50's) can't purchase goods that amount to the same number of raw resources and labor hours as he could then, he actually isn't as well off economically because his purchasing power has been reduced.

Comment Re: Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 1) 640

"I consider them as alpha predators, just as I wrote, an opinion shared by many. If you domake a distinction between super predators and alpha predators, it is usually based on whether you define it as what a human does without the technology, we have developed, or with it."

Without technology we are actually pretty low on the food chain altogether. That would mean no rocks, pointy sticks, or traps. There are numerous predators in every climate on Earth that could kill us in that case. For that matter most large prey creatures could. We aren't particularly strong, we have no claws, and no teeth. We don't even reproduce quickly enough to have the advantage of being disposable individually and numbers. Without tool usage and organization aka technology the only advantage we really have is that in almost every other species being our size would indicate something far stronger than we are so predators would be inclined to go after what they think would be easier prey but I think that advantage would quickly disappear as predators discovered how weak and easy prey we are (without tools). Further we aren't fast enough or strong enough to catch much in the way of prey. Without technology man would be more of a scavenger than a predator but this is all fantasy because where other creatures evolved other strengths man evolved tool usage and some level of organization.

For the rest. Has it ever occurred to you that I am not ignorant and that I simply disagree with the common assessment and find it to be ignorant and dated? That your definition of death may simply be a bit unimaginative in my assessment? This concept is old, it views the world on a very macro scale and further arrogantly assumes that macro is more important than micro simply because we've largely dominated macro. Who are we to assume that being beneath (too small for) somethings notice makes one less significant than being above (too large for) somethings notice? Eating is nothing more than breaking down the components of a thing and if a thing is not broken down that thing is not truely dead as it may well be possible to revive it... at least it likely would be without the organisms you assess as being at the bottom of the food chain eating them first. To say they are not killing those creatures, including humans, is akin to saying you aren't killing if you take the life of someone who is unconcious or could survive with medical attention. These organisms are doing just that and it is they who deal the true death blow and they do it to eat which is predatory.

More so, you are ignoring the fact that many microbes and insects are in fact lethal even by common and unimaginative definitions of death. Often killing the host, consuming it in various ways in order to use its resources to multiply and reproduce. We use concerted efforts to take down some prey in addition to technology, you can't count that and fail to count the collective activity of a collection of smaller organisms which work as a community to kill and eat. Man has definitely failed to dominate on the insect scale let alone the microscopic scale. If you disagree then you won't have a problem with me taking some time to get a brown recluse colony well established in the walls of your home. Perhaps you'll be suprised when the exterminators only have a small chance of getting them out and you are forced to flee or die, especially when the females go looking for a warm host to plant their next crop of offspring in but I won't be surprised.

Comment Re:BS (Score 1) 155

Single Data points are all I have to reference. And data connectivity wasn't an issue, as we have enterprise class WiFi in the building and the AP was just 20 ft away.

When Google Now (OK Google) can't connect, it doesn't say anythng cute, it says something useful (Unable to connect or whatever)

Its just that everytime I've seen Siri actually used by iPhone people, it is less than what I get with Android and Google Now. The exceptions are the "cute" answers that Siri sometimes gives when it can't actually answer the question. Which is exactly what I saw this time, and gave an example.

Comment Re:Laissez Faire Capitalist Here... (Score 1) 189

Remember that not all municipal utilities are not government owned. Most rural and semirural areas get their water and power from coops (where the residents are members, and (nominally) owners of the utility). The biggest problems involved are startup costs (this is where government can play a role in the form of USF grants from fedgov or loans/bonds from states and towns) and the 800lb gorillas (AT&T, Comcast, etc) who will do everything in their power to ensure these projects fail or are outlawed.

That second part is also where government needs to step in, but I'm not exactly optimistic about that.

Comment Re:Even pros don't tinker with every possible menu (Score 1) 156

Nobody else needs a DSLR, so this is a complete non-problem.

How does this excuse having a terrible interface?

You only think it's terrible because you don't need what it does. If you did, then you would think it's a great interface, because it does what you need. This is how I can tell you don't need a DSLR. You need a simplified, Fisher-Price camera. Sometimes those are great, and I have one. When I am just taking snapshots, that's what I use, because it is simple and good and small and light. I don't use the DSLR at all unless I need something it's got that the super zoom doesn't, like RAW. It doesn't have any more lens.

Because I need to be able to change the setting quickly, and also while holding the camera with both hands.

So make the settings that need to be changed fast easy to change fast.

Yes, that's what they have done. You're just seeing settings you don't need to change and thinking about how inconvenient all those settings are for you, because you think the universe revolves around your balls.

There are a lot of features you could not possibly change faster than the time it takes to pull out a cell phone that given that they are buried in a menu somewhere.

You are completely incorrect. No camera has more than three or four levels of menus and I can navigate a menu structure like that much faster than I can get my phone out of my pocket. I may not have a spare hand at all, so the phone might not be an option at all. I can work my phone menus with one hand. I cannot work the phone and the camera at the same time with one hand.

Your solutions are dumb because they make the situation more complicated. All cameras will eventually have fancy-pants multitouch displays and then there will be absolutely no benefit whatsoever to phone interfaces. In the interim, that kind of functionality is of use only to a subset of users. If a brand did what you describe then the professionals would go elsewhere and the company would rapidly gain a reputation for making toys and then go away.

Comment Re:Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 1) 640

Having no children is also sociopathic - because there would be no next generation of a society.

That would be true only if you couldn't count on other people having children. I'm not buying into eugenics arguments either; stupid people have smart kids and vice versa. It looks like intelligence is more environment than genetics. We need some people to breed. We should (as a species) stop being shit to women who don't breed, so that the ones who really want to (and preferably those who are good at it) can make babies. People doing a shit job of making babies and subsequently doing a shit job of raising them is why we can't have nice things.

Comment Re: Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 1) 640

Yeah, we don't do things like dig huge holes under our homes,

With a backhoe. Ever used a backhoe? It makes digging a five foot trench trivial.

install piping that must be highly corrosion resistant,

You may have heard of this stuff called plastic.

and fight the continuous buildup of mold and other biological growths.

It's a non-issue due to constant air movement. But I guess you're smarter than the various people who are actually doing this already.

Comment Re:Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 1) 640

Yikes! That's a wake up call right there. Always envisioned right-wing reactionary militants as the catalyzing agent for population reduction wars. Just goes to show that any authoritarian agents with power-centric ideologies they value above the sanctity of human life are dangerous as fuck.

You don't get it even slightly, do you? It's going to be the right-wingers who kill you for threatening the environment. Only complete fucking morons think that AGW is invented. The wealthy know that it's real. That's why, for example, Trump is concerned about climate change threatening his golf course. One of the final acts of the Bush administration was to formally acknowledge AGW. The left will keep trying to keep everyone alive, fed, and the like right up until the planet becomes unlivable. The wealthy, on the other hand, have no compunctions about throwing you into the log chipper as the first step on the way to becoming soylent green.

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