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Comment Re:I'm not sure this is progress. (Score 1) 188

Brain development is not solely about DNA. If it were, you wouldn't have these problems. The real problem is that at current state of medical development, we can't change the mind easier than the body; no matter how limited our options of changing the body are, the mind alterations seem even more elusive. Whether a medical intervention is better than living like that is anyone's guess. I suspect this is a "there's no good options" kind of situation. Some people are just screwed. Well, nothing new under the sun!

Comment Re:"While this is a victory for common sense" (Score 1) 188

That's not politics, that's linguistics. The languages are related in structure, and the gender structure is largely compatible, hence it makes perfect sense for learners to stick with it so as to avoid confusion. Exceptions may be present in case of languages that collapsed the masculine-feminine axis instead of the animate-inanimate axis in the unstable late-PIE tri-gender system (some languages such as Czech instead extending it into four effective genders with retaining indeterminate/generic masculines). I believe that's some Scandinavian languages, which, however, have many fewer speakers than either of Spanish, French, German, or Russian and other Slavic languages which are definitely compatible with the IE gender structure.

Comment Re:Shows the arbitrariness of style books (Score 1) 188

Compared to personal pronoun use, especially in situations with multiple potential referents, "less" and "fewer" have a lesser (heh!) potential for creating confusion because changing one for the other doesn't obviously change the amount or kind of information. Even if the use feels wrong ("there were less people") it's still clear what was meant.

Also, there's nothing implicitly wrong with liberal arts, as mathematics is one of them. ;)

Comment Re:Got It (Score 1) 188

I'm not sure I'd agree with the word "writing formally". It used to be the default from the times when it was absolutely impossible to avoid grammatical gender in inflected words in English, especially verb forms and indeterminate pronouns. Hence it was used when both when writing and speaking, both informally and formally. Such is still the situation in all the IE languages that have kept this pervasiveness, such as Slavic languages (definitely) and I think many Romance languages as well.

Comment Re:Shows the arbitrariness of style books (Score 2) 188

That's why there's a notion of an idiolect. Different people to prefer to write and speak in different ways and there's seldom absolute rights or wrongs, especially in a language like English without an official governing body. Singular generic "they" hasn't been wrong for centuries. Singular generic "he" hasn't been wrong for millennia. From the perspective of today, both fit some people's idiolects.

Comment Re: It Doesn't Work That Way (Score 1) 267

The population doubled over the last 50 years, and civilization spread in the same time period. You're not going to see the same pattern over the next fifty years as the current decadal growth rate is one third of what it used to be fifty years ago, and unlikely to increase again. Likewise, the same doubling of installed PV capacity, for example, took only something like three years in the recent decade, so even your doubling or even quadrupling of needs over five decades would amount to almost a blip in the short term. Fifty year predictions or social and technical development are completely off anyway so I'm not going to discuss them.

Also, PV panels require no rare earth elements and even wind turbines could manage without them, except that for some wind turbine manufacturers it's apparently more convenient at the moment to use them. I've already responded to this bullshit so many times that I've ultimately come to regard any mention of "rare earths" in connection to solar power as the shibboleth of the ignorant masses that never bother to educate themselves on things they're so eager to complain about.

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