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Comment Re:Pierson's Puppeteers (Score 5, Interesting) 315

It's a strange attitude to have, because it implies that everyone else should be trying to murder them to protect themselves.

Isn't that what we've been doing for most of human history? Family against family, clan against clan, tribe against tribe, village against village and so on for most of human existence?

Most of European history from the Greeks onward can be seen as some kind of action/reaction to this dynamic. Established civilizations expanding their territories for both economic accumulation but also attempting to build buffers against other expanding or migration civilizations that threaten their borders.

Roman history can easily be interpreted as a continuous defensive expansionism designed to check the destabilizing influence of Germanic migrations from the North and Parthians in the East from time of Marius all the way to Marcus Aurelius. Much of European history from the 7th century through the 12th century can be defined as action/reaction to Viking expansion, from then on attempts to fix borders against expanding Mongols and Islamic armies from the conquest of Hungary, the Crusades and through the Siege of Vienna.

You could argue that almost purely economic colonialism on the part of Europeans didn't even really start until the general borders of Europe were largely established and fortified and external threats were minimized in the 17th century and even then such expansion was motivated by political and territorial stalemates of a fairly established European states and borders. The "new worlds" were conquered for their economic value but this can easily be explained as defensive maneuvers to outflank their local European rivals as well.

And the European conflicts from the 100 Years War, 30 Years War, Spanish Armada, the Napoleonic Wars all the way through WW I and II are attempts to establish hegemony and secure borders within Europe itself.

It would seem that the entire course of human history can be interpreted as a series of conflicts designed to secure specific regions against outsiders who threaten territorial independence and economic security.

Comment Re:The MS Merry Go Round. (Score 5, Interesting) 161

Ain't no suspecting required, just look up Barancles Nerdgasm's "I was fired" video on YouTube. He was part of the testing team and talks about how pretty much all the QA and testing teams for Windows were fired and makes it clear the vibe at Redmond was pretty much Insider for alpha testing, Home and Pro is the beta, Enterprise is the actual product...which is of course the only version you have to rent instead of buy.

This is why I'm telling my customers to stay far away from Win 10 and if they get a new PC with that POS OS? I point them to Win 8 OEM which you can get quite cheaply (and once upgraded to 8.1 with Classic Shell is just Win 7 with some speed tweaks) because even with the new OEM systems it doesn't take more than one or two patches before I'm getting calls that shit is broken.

Now I've had every version of windows since 3.1, including the shitastic WinME and the bloated irritating Vista...Win10 IMHO is the worst product they have EVER came out with bar none. WinME? You could hack in some files from Win98 SE and make it a decent if not good OS. Vista? You could use NLite to chop out the crap and make an okay, not as good as XP X64 but an okay OS for daily use. And of course Win 8/8.1 you could just slap on Classic Shell and take out the crapstore and telemetry crap and its a good solid performer...Win 10? IMHO its not even beta quality, with every update just as much shit gets broke as gets fixed and frankly until Win 10 I had even forgotten what a BSOD looked like simply because how well previous versions past XP handled major errors. Its just not a good OS folks, its buggy, has baked in spyware and ads, it doesn't even look nice, its just a bad product.

Hopefully by the time 8.1 (if not 7) is reaching EOL they will have given Nutella his walking papers, if they haven't? Well I don't think there will be a Windows business to worry about really, it'll just be legacy installs while everyone is on Google or Apple OSes. Ballmer tried to kill the company being a faux Apple, Nutella is trying to finish the job by being a faux Google.

Comment Re:Just what America needs (Score 2) 149

Let Asians build the world's fastest trains and the continent-wide energy systems we can only dream about. We have lawsuit AI technology we can use to rob each other blind as we cash those unemployment checks.

But at least this new automated-lawsuit system will keep a lot of lawyers employed.

Oh wait...

Comment Re: More BS (Score 1) 114

Why? As soon as a machine can do a task for me (presumably with superior ability) what is the point in me also knowing how to do that task?

What's the point in learning how to orient yourself to your environment without using your short-battery life phone? You're joking, right?

When the zombie apocalypse comes and EMP weapons have wiped out your GPS, it will be fun watching sweet summer children like you stumble around blindly.

Comment Re:More BS (Score 1, Interesting) 114

If a human driver, using the same map and their set of eyes, can't get the guy to his front door, what makes him think a car programmed by humans will be any better, especially by humans who have never seen the place you're going to?

When I was in college, and for the first couple of years of grad school, I drove a taxicab. Not a fruity Uber car, but an honest-to-god hack. For part of that time, I drove an actual Checker Marathon, which may have been the finest automobile ever built.

Decades later, I can still find my way around that city (Chicago), to any address and give you the best route. If you dropped me blindfolded anywhere within the Chicago city limits, I could find my way (as long as I was allowed to take the blindfold off after you dropped me). If there are Uber drivers who can't find their ass with both hands, it has nothing to do with maps. Maps? Pshaw. Learn your town and don't rely on the goddamn Google maps for everything. Learn how to navigate by the stars like we did back in my day (only partly kidding).

Comment Re:Followed by: (Score 5, Insightful) 324

Well, to be honest with you, I don't have much time for either side. I think the Liberals, but more particularly the Left have done a lot of damage to AGW acceptance simply by trying to integrate into their own economic mumbo jumbo, and trying to beat conservative elements over the head with it. They've made one of the supreme challenges of humanity at this point of time and politicizing it for their own ends). The conservatives, on the other hand, are often just people easily manipulated by large commercial interests who want to delay significant responses to AGW long enough to maximize profits. That's why the fossil fuel companies fund crap "think tanks" like the Heartland Institute, because they serve to give conservative and libertarian types a pack of memes to trot out every time the topic of global warming comes up. A pox on both their houses, I say. Both groups are populated by idiots and demagogues.

To my mind, the time has come to simply look at the best way of dealing with the problem. For me, the simplest way and the way that it is the most market oriented is carbon pricing. Start upping the price of fossil fuels, thus allowing market forces to concentrate investment on alternatives. I don't even care if governments pocket the cash. The whole point isn't reinvestment of carbon taxes, but rather to create an artificial scarcity. This solution should be eminently favorable conservatives and libertarians, because it favors their economic approach, but of course, it will cost the likes of the Koch Brothers money, so the game goes on.

Comment Re:But of course (Score 1) 324

Absolutely correct. What people forget is that the Mississippi used to have flood plains all along its path. When there was heavy rain anywhere along its course, the waters would raise and it would overflow its banks depositing rich soil and silt all along the way. Now, we've replaced the flood plains with housing developments and mini-malls.

That's not so much the case in the Baton Rouge area because of the protected Atchafalaya Basin and the big lock between it and the Mississippi. In other parts of the Midwest, though, you're absolutely right. Wetlands are for water, not for strip malls, oil pipelines or fracking sites.

Comment Re:Followed by: (Score 5, Insightful) 324

As with any branch of science that uses statistics, no one can say that any specific event has a specific cause where multiple causes are possible. For instance, you can't tell whether a specific decay event in a lump of plutonium was caused by radioactive decay, or maybe a stray high energy cosmic ray. But what you can do is measure a large number of decay events and come up with the most probable explanation. This is true of all statistics, and it's why we have tools like statistics.

So if anyone points to a specific storm and says "That's AGW", they're not going to get much support even in the climatological community. But if someone states "The number of major floods and the intensity of those floods is increasing, and the most likely agent is AGW", well that's a statement of probability.

Comment Re:Followed by: (Score 2, Insightful) 324

Because scientific theories are just totally about what part of the political spectrum you're from.

You do understand the universe doesn't give a flying fuck whether you're a liberal, a conservative, a libertarian, an anarchist or a socialist, right? It really doesn't. CO2 absorbs and re-emits solar radiation on the liberal and the libertarian equally.

Comment Re:Driving in reverse (Score 0, Troll) 137

But, does that mean that the removal of the physical headphone jack from the iPhone 7 is actually a form of social progress?

The removal of the headphone jack is basically the same as killing whales for oil.

It's bad for the environment, makes people mad but is a profit center for Apple and their "strategic partners".

Fuck Apple and fuck Tim Cook.

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