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Comment Re:If you want to know when adulthood really start (Score 1) 261

I don't think they're intellectually incapable as such, I have the impression that most drove responsibly alone. Pretty much all the really reckless driving I saw was showing off or egging each other on and nobody had the social maturity to stand up and be the uncool party pooper.

Probably not intellectually incapable, but I think that the many young drivers greatly overestimate their own abilities. Including when they're driving alone.

To use myself as an example: at 19 I had lightning reflexes and good technical driving abilities, but to think back at how I sometimes drove then (including driving alone) gives me the shudders nowadays (I'm 40). If something unexpected had happened I could have killed myself or someone else due to sheer inexperience. Maybe luckily for me, something unexpected happened while driving at only 50 km/h which caused me to not be able to brake to a stand-still in a moment of inattention, and I hit the car in front of me. Entirely my fault, no injuries to anyone, but substantial material damages. It made me realise how much one needs to expect the unexpected when driving in traffic.

So, nowadays, I'm a very careful driver. I believe that between my 20 years experience and my previously mentioned (but diminishing as the years go by) technical driving abilities I'm at a peak of my lifetime safe-driver-factor. Still, contrary to most men, I consider myself only an average driver. It goes downhill from here, and I'll drive accordingly. My insurance is very, very cheap, and in my case I think it matches the risk :)

And, I have onions on my belt, or something. Sorry for the rambling.

Comment Re: Wow... (Score 1) 219

Unless you have a reasonable expectation that someone is about to step in front of your car, the speed limit in such areas is still whatever is posted. If they wanted a lower speed limit, they'd post one.

That statement should disqualify you from driving a car. While pedestrians are supposed to behave, it's YOUR responsibility to make sure that you never drive in a way that makes it possible for you to run over a pedestrian (or hit other cars, for that matter). It's also insane to insist on driving at the speed limit regardless of circumstances. You're still responsible for being able to stop for *anything* that happens to suddenly be in the road, including a kid running after his ball. You're not "allowed" to run over the kid just because you adhered to some maximum speed limit posted.

No, you shouldn't need a "reasonable expectation" to behave like a mindless robot when it comes to speed limits. Sure, the speed limit posted is a *maximum speed limit*, and it's illegal to exceed it. It's not a mandatory minimum speed. You don't have to "expect" that someone will be stepping into the road, you are expected to be able to stop for whichever hindrance might possibly come into your way.

Oh hell, why am I wasting time. It's not "OK" to hit someone at 25 mph. To wrap it up, I hope you didn't mean what you wrote :)

If you did mean it as stated, I'm out of the discussion. Have a nice day.

Comment Re:Heals (Score 1) 596

Driving in high heeled shoes sound so awesomely stupid that it's kind of impressive in its own way. For the sake of the future of humanity I seriously hope that's a very rare cause of accidents indeed.

I arrive at my car wearing stiff MC racing boots every other day, swapping between vehicles at kindergarten. If I actually drove a car wearing them I should lose my driving license, as should anyone doing something similarly stupid behind the wheel. If anyone in a similar situation don't apply one of the obvious solutions they are unfit to conduct a motor vehicle, and should take the bus instead.

Comment Re:"Habitable Zone" (Score 1) 267

A superbeing may not have an inherent capability to communicate with us (for instance, they may not have vocal cords), but they should be able to figure it out. The next question is whether we'd accept the artificially generated noises from an energy being who is trying to vocalize as actual communication.

This is a very interesting subject, albeit on the verge of philosophy; but a significant difference between us and animals is that humans are capable of abstracting communication beyond the physical transport, whereas animals are restricted to their evolved means of communication.

The cliché is a sequence of prime numbers, which would be a red flag for determining that a sentient being must be the originator. From there it would be possible to establish a dialogue of "challenges and responses" which could be used to establish semantics and syntax for communication. In addition a superbeing capable of observing the Earth and all its comminucations would probably be able to infer understanding of our languages from simply correlating the massive corpus of our public communications with other observable happenings in our community. Whether or not they would have anything to say to us that would be meaningful for us is another question entirely :)

Our lack of ability to converse with ants involves at least our inability to understand/replicate ant pheromones and the presumed inability of the ants to form abstract thoughts and thus understand whatever we had to say. The first would be mitigated if the ants were capable of bootstrapping communications from simple math fundamentals, the second issue makes successful communication essentially meaningless. On the other hand, maybe a simple pheromonal instruction that says "go there" would be hugely beneficial to ants, but so would dropping a pile of sugar beside their mound be.

I would think that our ability to abstract, and to comprehend much of the processes that occur around us, would enable a superbeing to impart more useful information to us than we are able to communicate to ants. But this is still pure speculation; all bets are off when it comes to what the concerns and interests of a being vastly more advanced than us might be.

Comment Re:It's wildly unlikely we should exist (Score 1) 267

I'm not sure what you're driving at. [...] There is likely more than one possible path.

You should be aware that Empiric has a very specific agenda in discussions of this type. Arguing with him (or her) is pointless, as he would have to abandon his entire belief system to accede even one single aspect of your argument. He will, however, go to any length to discredit you and your standpoint.

Just so you know what you're dealing with here :)

Comment Re:Not saying there isn't a problem... (Score 1) 136

Unsurprisingly, Greenpeace has a statementabout him.

"Since then he has gone from defender of the planet to a paid representative of corporate polluters."

It's quite cool that he's actually a real life former good guy turned aspiring supervillain :)
(I know, he's probably a jerk. But that's a requirement for being a supervillain, so who can blame him)

Comment Re:Why is no one asking the obvious question (Score 1) 136

Because otherwise, people who don't understand how something as complex as a multinational trade agreement is negotiated and written, let alone actual international trade, will start screaming about nothing.

Your "nothing" certainly means something to at least one party in the negotiations, or it wouldn't be a part of them. It might be "nothing" they decide to sacrifice on behalf of unknowing third parties, which the third party would see as a problem had they known about it.

I certainly am not competent enough to understand multinational trade agreements, nor do I have to be. I'm very good at designing and querying databases, but for understanding multinational trade agreements I would rather rely on a pletora of experts to sort out these matters for me and present the ramifications in laymans terms, after which democratic input could determine what is acceptable and what's not. All experts will have biases, but I also get to evaluate which experts to trust based on their public discourse. A primary condition for this is of course that complete information about the process is available, which it isn't.

Public negotiations would naturally also be a faulty process, as it ultimately depends on the opinion of lay people assuming a democratic input. As it stands it depends solely on the interests of the economic elite (through political pressure from corporations), which often doesn't coincide with the interests of most of us. Whether you find this problematic or not depends on your affiliation.

Comment Re:Why is no one asking the obvious question (Score 1) 136

...but yet still has the gall to make laws in secret?

On a side note: the whole idea of secret laws is a bit scary. Not only do they enable governments to abuse their powers, it seems that the entire concept is specifically designed to allow just that. "We find you threatening, and we don't need no stinking reasons. Go directly to Jail. Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200."

What am I missing here? Where is Cold Fjord when I need him to enlighten me?

Comment Re:Excellent! (Score 1) 171

Yeah right, I'm going to convert my entire library to a proprietary format that nobody uses.

Well, *you* obviously aren't since you apparently are opposed to it for undisclosed reasons. If you were to do so you'd find that the process requires only a trivial amount of user interaction, and the output would be of high quality functionally equivalent to the original for regular reading.

I do the opposite; I regularly buy Kindle books and effortlessly strip the DRM and convert them to epub for reading on a Kobo. I would say that a maintained calibre library is essential for archival purposes no matter which device you're currently using.

For whatever it's worth, I avoid the Kindle because of its closed nature and semi-walled garden, but I have no trouble recommending the models for their excellent hardware at a low price if the person don't care about its limitations. I suppose Amazon has catched on to the nature of my usage by now, as I never even open the books in their software after purchase, I only download and convert them.

Comment Re:Uh... let me think about it (Score 1) 622

Psychostick - Girl Directions

Luckily most people seem to have catched on to the fact that the street address is the easiest way to share your location, but I occasionally still get people insisting that "No, no, you don't need the address, it's easy to find, you just...".

Why smart phones still aren't able to simply send and parse plain text ICBM addresses (without elevation) in an SMS in a unified manner is beyond me. Come on, how often would an SMS contain a match to the pattern /-?\d{1,2}\.\d{4,9}, ?-?\d{1,2}\.\d{4,9}/ that is not a GPS location?

Comment Re:Should've used protection. (Score 1) 503

Instead of simply looking down on and being mean to those people, wouldn't it be better to give them a "test for WiFi allergy", wherein wifi is randomly enabled or shut off and they have to indicate how they're feeling?

It has already been established that any physiological impact from consumer electronics EM radiation is extremely unlikely. Interest groups decline offers to "prove" affliction because they have experienced that it won't give the results they want, instead it consistently proves that *actual EM radiation* has nothing to do with any reaction the subjects may have.

As with other phobias the impact to health and well-being is likely very real, excluding the attention seekers. "Being mean" and condescending to afflicted people is not constructive. While many of them might be more gullible than the average population for being taken in in the first place, rationality nonetheless stops once real phobia sets in.

I fully believe that anxiety and more severe negative impacts are very real for a lot of those who think they are afflicted. I also believe that it would be better for everyone to recognise this as a psychological issue rather than a physiological one. These people have *real* problems for imagined reasons.

Apart from everything else the "awareness drives" are bad; causing unnecessary anxiety and inconvenience for a lot of people that "don't know anything about technology, but better safe than sorry, right?". Not to mention the people around them who are inconvenienced to a lesser or greater degree by having to accommodate the "afflicted" ones.

Comment Re:I can answer this with only high school biology (Score 1) 172

I can answer this with only high school biology.

No, you can't.

There is no more "more information" in a human body than there is in a mass of single celled organism of equivalent mass. Indeed on the scale of DNA (usually the source of this "misconception": that DNA is a measure of information), each cell of a single celled organism may have MORE DNA "information" than the human genome does.

I don't think you understand what "informaton" in this setting means. Hint: Altoug DNA information would probably qualify in a very roundabout way (as would the the information pertaining to a detailed description of a hen's egg), the informaton they're concerned about here is a lot more fundamental, and exists at a far lower level than DNA. We're talking wich particular types of fundamental particles went into the thing, and indeed which particular particles went in and what particular quantum properties *they* had.

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