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Comment Re:Duke Nukem Forever Young (Score 1) 297

If we go into more depth on this, I would say that I see self-driving cars more in replacing taxis than busses, but the mental model would need to shift because taxis are considered a bit of a luxury and not public transport.

The point is that a lot of people would consider taking such a system that do not currently consider taking the bus. Especially in cities, where you spend half your driving time searching for a parking space.

Comment Re:never understood (Score 1) 224

Cutting employees doesn't always mean a company is in trouble.

Of course it does. It means either you made terrible hiring choices for a long time in the past, and nobody noticed and stopped it, or your business went down and now you don't have work for people that you had work for before.

Either one means trouble.

Suppose they improved their production process so they are able to be 30% more efficient. Increases in efficiency often mean that fewer people are needed in the process.

You are right, I add a third one: You ran your company inefficiently for a very long time and nobody noticed.

Efficiency improvements in the order of 30% don't appear overnight. They happen slowly and over a long enough time that your workforce can be adapted.

Comment Re:Duke Nukem Forever Young (Score 1) 297

If you give this a moment's thought, you'll understand why it's a bad idea. Everyone needing their own $50,000 vehicle is the opposite of public transportation.

You heard the opposite of what I said. I am talking about self-driving cars as public transport. So instead of 100 busses, you would have 1000 self-driving cars.

So your idea of a driverless car going from "door to door" is a fantasy.

If you think of self-driving cars as a replacement for public transport instead of a replacement for your personal car, initial limitations are absolutely fine. People are used to busses going fixed route, automated taxis driving only a subset of the streets in the city would still be an improvement. The challenge with the Google approach is that it needs to work under ALL circumstances. By reducing "all" to "a defined subset", you make the challenge one or two orders of magnitude easier.

Comment Re:Duke Nukem Forever Young (Score 1) 297

I don't want to see one dollar in public funds spent to develop this technology or to create infrastructure for a self-driving fleet until we've made actual public transportation affordable and viable,

Maybe you got that backwards? Maybe self-driving cars are what will make public transport affordable and viable? The two main criticisms of it are that it doesn't go door-to-door and that you have to share it with other people, not all of whom you want to share it with.

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

You seriously regard it as acceptable for someone who seeks public office to lie about an issue of public importance? And I'm the one that's detached from reality? I don't even know the relevance of your story about ambulance chasing. What I do know is that if Hillary was running against any sane candidate she'd be taking a serious hit for being caught in such obvious lies. As it stands, people are voting against Trump, not for Hillary, so she'll probably get away with it, but even still.....

I really don't know if you're an apologist for her or if you just are so afraid of Trump that you can't condone any criticism of Hillary. Trump scares the shit out of me too, but I'm still going to vomit in my mouth when I pull that lever for Hillary. Maybe we'll get lucky and a meteor will land on the debate hall, take them both out, and between the two parties SOMEONE sane and respectable will emerge.

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

That's a pretty good argument if you have never told a lie or made a misleading statement

You've now crossed into apologist territory. I tell you that I'm going to vote for her but you still can't let it go, you have to defend her at all costs.

Guess what? I'm not running for elected office!!!! She fucking lied, repeatedly, about an issue of public interest, while running for the highest office in the land. Why is it so hard for you to unequivocally condemn such behavior? We have the right to expect better from those that would lead us. The worst part is the lies weren't necessary. She could have simply said, "I make a mistake." and left it at that, but she has too much hubris to do that.

Here's another video that's telling.


Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

but I actually count her gender in her favor

Her gender is irrelevant. I don't like her because I don't trust her. Neither do 57% of our countryman. You can't attribute all of that to sexism, the "vast right-wing conspiracy," or whatever other excuse the Clintons may point to.

Watch that TDS clip. She lied. It's very obvious and straightforward. As I said many posts ago, hubris. Bill and Hillary have it to a degree that's shocking even by Washington standards.

Unfortunately, as you say, the alternative can't be contemplated. As it stands now I fear that he may well win; I would not have that fear if he was running against Sanders, Biden, or almost any other Democrat. I wish the Democrats had gone with almost anybody else. Or that the Republicans had nominated one of the sane candidates. Alas, that was not to be.

We quite literally get to pick between the douche and the turd. The frightening thing is that the world is a very dangerous place right now; never have our problems been so big while our leaders were so small. *sigh*

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

War is messy. Unlike our enemies, we don't deliberately target civilians. We fight with one hand tied behind our back, obeying the rules of civilized warfare despite the fact that our enemies do not do so. If we chose to play without rules, as they do, we could wipe them out tomorrow.

How do you suppose Ancient Rome would have responded to 9/11? They would have killed every enemy male of military age and sold the women and children into slavery. Be thankful we largely play by the rules of the civilized world, because we could end Islamic terrorism 30 minutes after POTUS picked up the phone if we were so inclined.

Comment Re: Earned reputation versus propaganda? (Score 1) 801

You're really going to play the sexist card against me just because I don't like Hillary? Give me a fucking break dude. She's going to get my vote -- the alternative is too scary to contemplate -- but I don't have to be fucking happy about it, and if you think all opposition to her is grounded in sexism you're delusional. Even The Daily Show dislikes her. When the Democrat earns the scorn of TDS there's obviously something wrong.

Or Trevor Noah is a sexist. Yeah, that's probably it. *sarcasm*

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

You don't count Russia as a peer country? They have the ability to completely destroy the United States 45 minutes after Putin makes a phone call. If nukes are too theoretical for you, consider this: They can occupy several NATO members, overnight, and present us with a fait accompli. Then we get to choose between a protracted war, with a nuclear armed state, or the abandonment of those allies and collapse of the post-1945 world order. NATO would probably win a protracted war with Russia -- assuming it didn't go nuclear, a very big assumption -- since economics, technology, and demographics are on our side, but it would be very costly in terms of blood and treasure.

China is definitely a near-peer country. They already have the ability -- without using nukes -- to make it extremely costly for us to honor our commitments to our Asian allies. They can rain conventional missiles down on American soil -- Guam and the NMI -- and if a conflict went nuclear they could exact a very heavy price from CONUS. The rest of the near-peers are all allies (Germany, UK, France, Japan, Israel) or at least friendly competitors (India), so we've got that going for us at least.

(Actually, I'm glad that we dominate -- I just think it's a bit overkill to do so by so wide a margin.)

Well, that's an interesting observation. You kind of surprised me with that one. Why is it "overkill?" You specifically cited the USN to prove your point but I think you're ignoring the reality that the USN has obligations in every ocean and sea on the blue marble. 10 supercarriers sounds like overkill, but in reality you can only deploy about 1/3 of them at any given time; the rest will be in the yard for maintenance and overhaul. Four of them are deployed right now, which may be four more than anyone else has, but it's still pretty thin coverage when you think about the demands placed on the USN.

Don't get me wrong, I do see a lot of waste with our defense spending. I'm not certain why we still maintain a force of ICBMs when SSBNs are infinitely more survivable. I don't understand why cheap and proven platforms like the A-10 fall out of favor. There's a lot of things I would do differently if I was SecDef. Alas, he hasn't asked me for my opinion. :)

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

If you don't want American bombs dropped on you there's a surefire way to avoid it: Don't kill American citizens or those of our allies.

I have little sympathy for the enemies of civilization. They deserve what they get. They're modern day barbarians and we owe them no quarter or consideration so long as they refuse to play by the rules of the civilized world.

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

We don't do it by ourselves. It happens in concert with our allies and occasionally even with competitors -- Russia and China contributed warships to the anti-piracy efforts off Somalia, for instance. As far as "dominating" the world in military operations, I truly have no idea what he's trying to say. The United States hasn't fought a peer or even near-peer country since 1945. Our current military operations are essentially police actions, against the enemies of civilization, the equivalent of Rome resisting the barbarians, not Rome taking on Carthage.

In any case, the true American power isn't hard military power, but rather it's soft economic and cultural power. There's a McDonalds in most every major city on Earth. People all around the world consume our entertainment, follow our fashion trends, utilize Facebook and Google, and covet the next iPhone. They would continue to do these things even if we decommissioned the 19 aircraft carriers that apparently bother you so much.

Comment Re: A simple exercise (Score 2) 166

What's your point? The United States is a maritime nation. We've always had a strong navy. Traditionally there were other strong navies, but navies are expensive, and nobody else wants to spend the money. Incidentally, we spend less of our GDP on defense than many other countries, and the USN keeps the global commons, e.g., the ocean, open for all.

Comment Re:A simple exercise (Score 1) 166

I don't know from where you hail sir, but what you see as domination I see as the United States engaging in bilateral relations. We have a web of security agreements and alliances, all of which help to enforce the post-WW2 global order. We helped to create that order, along with the United Nations, and despite the many failings of the status quo we haven't seen a major power conflict since WW2. The World is still a messy place but it hasn't engaged in total warfare with tens of millions of casualties.

If you dislike the status quo, well, there's currently a loudmouthed asshole running for POTUS that promises to upend it. He seeks to turn our country inward and withdraw from those agreements that you view as dominating. Should he win -- $deity help us all -- you may well get to see the outcome you desire, but I don't think you'll like it, in the long term.

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