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Comment Re:Thought Experiment (Score 1) 160

Where do you get resources without a gravity well? Certainly not an object like Enceladus, which has a very large gravity well. Maybe a tiny asteroid, but it's highly doubtful that it's possible to land on an asteroid using a solar sail (that doesn't has a laser propulsion source anymore)... at least not in less than millions of years. Even if you did land on the tiny asteroid, extracting metal from it is not going to be possible using a few grams of spacecraft.

Comment Re:Thought Experiment (Score 1) 160

Light sails may work for an interstellar cruise, but chemical rockets are the only viable theoretical way to land and take off from a planet/moon you haven't built a space elevator on. We're talking about an interstellar trip that's only theoretically feasible for a vehicle that weighs a few grams, and you're talking about adding a 200,000+ kilogram rocket to it.

Comment Re:International Space Station (Score 1) 20

There's plenty of benefit for China -- not so much the ISS itself but what cooperation on it entails. It'd mean equal access to research, and the ability for their scientists to collaborate with American scientists, unlike the current situation where NASA employees are strictly forbidden from Chinese contacts. More importantly, it'd be a boon for Chinese industry -- currently any project involving NASA is strictly forbidden from working with any Chinese company, which is not good for the bottom line.

Comment Re:Simulation (Score 1) 175

I suppose you could connect to the meta-universe internet and then hack into a robot to remotely explore the real world from within our simulation. You're technically not leaving the simulation, but if you're using VR to control the robot that exists in the real world then it's practically speaking the same thing.

Comment Re:Simulation (Score 2) 175

You've got to consider the scale of the technology too in comparison to the competence. Blizzard games can be largely simulated just by a spreadsheet and a relatively simple random number generator. Atomic level simulation of a leaf flittering in the wind blows a WOW server away. Let alone an entire universe.

If the universe is a simulation, it's much more reasonable to assume that only my own experience is being simulated. If only the things I'm presently aware of have to be simulated, the computing power required is pretty low -- particularly as I don't have the expertise to examine leaf flittering at the atomic level, and at any rate the simulation can simply alter my memory to remove any mistake that I discover. The simulation may well have only been turned on a minute ago or might reset each day before the flaws become an issue. Simulation + Occam's razor = solipsism.

Comment Re:Wonderful news ... (Score 2) 177

This is a city in Sweden, so it's safe to assume that health insurance comes from the national health insurance program, the city would not be buying private coverage for their employees. Thus, even if it the 6 hour days save money overall for the government at all levels, it costs the city money they don't have.

Comment Re: Seeing is believing (Score 1) 202

This distance from say the city of Tunis to the rain forest is about the distance from Los Angels to the Atlantic Ocean. Transport over that distance can only be justified if water sells at the destination for as much as oil does -- which it does not, unless you're about the little bottles of premium water that foolish westerners pay absurd prices for.

Also, it's not insane politics to not wish to be dependent on other countries for water -- it's common sense. Same reason countries subsidize their farmers in order to avoid being dependent on cheaper food imports.

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