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Comment Re:Pretend this is slashdot (Score 1) 70

Cervical cancer actually IS caused by BOTH those. Because Cervical cancer is preventable with a vaccine. Now do you think access to preventative care may increase somebody's ability to get a vaccine ? Those two sentences are practically the same thing.

More-over, the lethality of ALL cancers is directly linked to preventative care. The quicker a cancer is detected, the higher your odds of survival - preventative care is the number one way to detect the damn tumour BEFORE It metastasises - i.e. while you can still just cut the fucking thing out.

Comment Re:What kind of jobs? (Score 1) 280

Sorry, not gonna work. Yes, that used to work out back when the American dream could still come true, but know what? It's over. Been over for a long time now.

The American Dream was "work hard, climb the ladder, make wise investments and one day you'll live comfortably".

Doesn't work anymore. You can work your ass off and you will won't get anywhere, earn enough to actually make any investments and you'll never live comfortably. You'll work to your grave.

The new American Dream is "fuck this, try winning the lottery or get hit by someone with money with his car and sue his pants off".

Comment Re:Jobs have been returning to the US for a while (Score 1) 280

Are you seriously telling me that you think the wealthiest-most-wall-street cabinet of all time, and the guy who appointed it, is going to do anything to fix that problem ?
Dude, no, you're about to see the looting taken to a whole new level. Welcome to the Banana Republic of America.

Aloota continua.

Comment Re:Sad to see Trump... (Score 1) 280

>it has to do with the overwhelming majority of people not wanting it.

But that is not, and never has been, the case. A vocal minority didn't want it. Hell there are more people newly-insured now thanks to the ACA than there were people who opposed it. If you were right - the republicans would not be waffling about struggling to figure out HOW to repeal the thing. They are waffling because the political fallout of the repeal is going to be huge and if they can't figure out a way to blame democrats for that fallout they are going to lose a shitload of seats - quite possibly their majorities.
Much as it pains me to say it, they should just go ahead and do it anyway, because Trump is working as hard as he can to get them all shitcanned in the midterms anyway - so they may as well take the fallout - their gonna be out on their asses in 2018 regardless.

Comment Re:Terrorist target? (Score 1) 55

If you're going to detonate bombs large enough to take out a concrete column for a big steel pipe, why wouldn't you do it where you'd kill a lot more people rather than "hopefully lucking into causing enough deflection (by increasing the span) right before the next capsule arrives that it can't decelerate sufficiently in time to handle said deflection, and possibly killing or injuring one capsule's worth of people"?

Airplane attacks were popular because of the ability to kill hundreds of people at once, or to hijack planes and use them as weapons. Not exactly applicable to Hyperloop. And even airplane attacks seem to be falling out of popularity, in favour of coordinated shootings and plowing through crowds.

Comment Re:Sad to see Trump... (Score 1) 280

>Democratic ain't perfect, but they will usually compromise to get the job done. I almost wish they would not.

You're about to get your wish. After 8 years of seeing one of the best democrat presidents of all time being obstructed senselessly at every turn, decried as a radical no matter how centrist and bipartisan and moderate he acted... the democrats are done playing nice, they sure as hell aren't going to play nice with the worst republican president of all time. There isn't a democrat anywhere on the hill who hasn't got the message: compromise will lose you, your seat.

In 2010 the Tea Party gained massive influence over politics, despite never being more than about 10% of the people - and never holding more than 10% of the seats on the hill they controlled the entire thing, right down to the power to twice shut down the entire government ! Because the elections that put those 41 people into government sent a clear message to every other republican that if they compromise in any way - they are doomed to lose their seats too.

Now imagine what happens when the 66%-odd of Americans who hold progressive values take the same stance. 3 Million women marched in America this weekend (and another 2 million around the world) - and not just in the big cities. There were small towns where 50% of the population was marching. You think they'll accept compromise with the guy who declared his inauguration-day a "day of patriotic devotion" like the worst kind of banana-republic? With the guy who, on his second day in office, signed a death warrant for millions of women around the world (the global gag order) and is promising to do the same to them (defunding planned parenthood) ?

Between 1968 and 1988 California consistently voted for the republican presidential candidate. They were the second reddest state in the Union after Texas. In 1992 the republican government went too far. They came up with prop-187, a proposition that essentially denied all public services to anybody who was an illegal immigrant. Just like now, the debate was ostensibly about law-and-order, budgets and the like... but it would quickly degenerate into "too many brown people" every time. And just like now - it was filled with flagrant lies: immigration was, in fact, down at the time, the economic difficulties of California at that time had nothing to do with immigration - they were caused by the end of the cold war and the resulting loss of lots of defence jobs in the state, the school overcrowding had nothing to do with immigration (in fact enrollment was lower than in the 1980s), that was caused by the republican government's massive tax and budget cuts having led to lots of schools being closed.
The centrist wing of the democratic party at the time tried a campaign that still treated immigrants as lesser - they just didn't think prop-187 was a good solution to the problem (they argued that without healthcare immigrant waiters would make people sick, without schooling their kids would become criminal delingquents etc.) but the liberal wing of the party took a different tack. They embraced diversity - and started building a broad coalition with multiple race groups. African Americans, Asian Americans and Latino-Americans were pulled in - and they did serious work to undermine the effects, including organising free citizens-ship classes and helping latino-Americans to become citizens, then register to vote - more than 10-thousand immigrants became citizens with their help in the first year.
By the time of the next election - democrats (And specifically the liberal wing of the party) won the state in a landslide, they've controlled the state houses ever since and the only time they haven't held the governorship was that time with Arnie, and even he had to see all his budgets rejected until he rewrote them into something the liberals could, if not like, at least tolerate. The interesting thing is that, as the democrats ruled California the state went from the worst economic state in it's history post-cold-war to one of the wealthiest states in the union, with the strongest economy, the best employment rates - and the best government services. This success is what has kept the state liberal ever since.
The second reddest state in the union became solid blue - because nativist immigration policy pissed off too many people. If the democrats at ground level are prepared to put in the same effort now, we may just see the entire country turn blue... well except maybe Texas but Texas wants to seccede anyway and I say we let them.
Nativism, excessive nationalism and thinly-disguised racism has a tendency to win when first proposed, and then cause one helluva blowback.

Comment Re:Hornby set? Maglev is "new"? (Score 1) 55

If you think the pressure maintenance figures in the Hyperloop Alpha document are unreasonable, cite the actual numbers you disagree with and explain why.

The main advantages over air travel are that the pressure is much lower, frontal area much lower, allowable spacings far closer (no "air traffic"), no noise pollution, no air pollution, and efficient, direct acceleration of the vehicles, with the tube itself serving as a mounting point for the solar panels that power it.

You clearly have never read the Hyperloop Alpha design document. It does include diversion options. There are regularly spaced emergency exits across the track. Vehicles brake to a stop then roll on wheels to the nearest emergency exit.

As for security: the cars are about the size of monorail cars. So if you're going to assert random things about what security will be like, why not assert it'll be like monorail security?

Yes, the design fundamentally does not work if it's not driverless (you really should read the design document before discussing it).

The costs of tunneling are included in the budgeting in the design document (again, you really should read it). There is no "50km long 7,6m diameter undersea tunnel" leg to it.

Comment Re:Think of why maglev is expensive... (Score 1) 55

Why are you under the impression that putting it in a tube makes handling turbing forces, stopping forces and control more difficult? Inside a tube, all motion is perfectly constrained, and you have a tremendous amount of surface area to magnetic brake against.

The turning radii issues are of course real, and are highly addressed in the Hyperloop Alpha document. Likewise for dimensional precision. For smoothness, their solution is a radial polisher which drives down the tube behind the pipelaying crew and smoothing out each orbital weld (and the pipe itself). For straightness, alignment is maintained by the same suspension/alignment system they use to deal with earthquakes.

As for why maglev trains are expensive - trains are expensive for a wide variety of reasons. Land acquisition and permitting is often the most expensive. Tunnels and viaducts are often a very large component as well. Maglev technology itself often tends to have high bills.

Hyperloop (as per Hyperloop Alpha, not the student competition) isn't maglev, it's an air bearing system. Skis, basically. The pipe is built the same as oil pipeline, and the budget is similar to that of oil pipeline budgeting per unit area per unit distance (oil pipelines have harder environmental issues to overcome and much higher loadings, more significant temperature management issues, etc, but lower precision / straightness requirements, so it's probably a wash). Tunnel cost is minimized by minimizing tube size (the budgeted tunnels are standard rates for tunneled pipe in non-urban areas). Viaduct costs are minimized by a key design feature of Hyperloop - minimizing peak loadings by having frequent, small vehicle launches rather than infrequent, large vehicle launches. Viaduct costs tend to track their peak loading.

As for land acquisition, the costs in Hyperloop Alpha are kept down by a combination of design and cheating. As per design, it's designed to be small enough to fit elevated into highway medians, with the low peak loadings, making overhead suspension an affordable option. Such places are state land, and already permitted for far more environmentally harmful activity (road traffic). This of course requires state buy-in to the concept, but states often specifically pursue high speed transport options. Private land acquisition is limited to places needed to maximize turning radii, and in-city for stations. The latter is the other place that they cheat - Hyperloop Alpha avoids cities. LA and San Francisco are served by it, according to the design, like airports on the outskirts of town; people have to get connecting legs into town. But that would be an unpopular decision, and you would expect the state to insist on greater accessibility (airports are only out of town because they have to be, not because that's a desirable location). Likewise it bypasses cities en route, unlike HSR. Basically, it's designed as something halfway in-between HSR and air travel (both in terms of service and throughput), but targeting much lower prices, higher speeds, and a lower energy footprint.

In short, it's budget savings vs. HSR are somewhat of a combination of cheating (cutting out a lot of what HSR does) and design (keeping track loadings down, profile small, build in the same manner as an established industry (pipeline), and moving your hardware (capital expense) through the system as quickly as you can.

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