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Comment What's wrong with money? (Score 0) 330

Assuming the city really is making money (and I agree that needs to be determined), what is wrong with using red light cameras to do that? If people want to make a voluntary contribution to the city coffers, let them go ahead. There is no need to run red lights - if someone decides to do so, and accepts the risks and penalties, that is their right (at least to the point where they put someone else at risk).

Comment Sophisticated technology (Score 3, Interesting) 354

We have always assumed that humans are essentially a very sophisticated and complex version of the most sophisticated technology we know. Once it was mechanical clockwork, later steam engines, electrical motors, etc. Now it is digital logic - put enough of it in a pile, and you'll get consciousness and intelligence. A completely non-disprovable claim, of course, but I doubt that it is any more accurate than previous ideas.

Comment Re:Maple Syrup Strategic Reserve? (Score 1) 399

I have been investigating the state of the maple syrup industry for a number of years now. I have determined that this year a new record was achieved - it was at least the 243rd successive worst year in history for maple syrup production. (The best year in history occurs approximately three times per decade on average.)

Comment Re:Obesity (Score 1) 504

OK - this study: https://encrypted.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=chronic%20illness%20canada&source=web&cd=4&ved=0CFUQFjAD&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.gpiatlantic.org%2Fpdf%2Fhealth%2Fchroniccanada.pdf&ei=VBN6T4-5N8rp0QHn3vGoDQ&usg=AFQjCNFkNG2k1ReuE_oxF-pMf78NLvowgg&sig2=g7Vzwd5KJiWRC0tr1_UfAQ&cad=rja says 35% of deaths in Canada are due to heart disease, stroke, and atherosclerosis, 29% to cancer, etc. The study isn't directly comparable to the CDC study, since the methodologies differ, but the numbers are fairly comparable.

Comment Re:Donald Knuth (Score 1) 510

No - most of the work in most modern code is done in the (presumably) highly-optimized libraries. The application-specific code typically has little effect on performance. (The application design probably does, though.) That's a lot of the reason programming isn't as interesting as it used to be. Young uns just don't know what they missed.

Comment Re:Currently... (Score 1) 904

Only if you can find some way to make the economics work, and we don't seem to be able to do that. Most people do not want to push wheelchairs and wipe butts for a living, and even those jobs are being substantially automated. Virtually all manual labor can be eliminated with current or easily foreseeable technology, and our society doesn't like paying people who don't work, needed or not.

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