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Comment Re:Unrealistic for you, maybe (Score 1) 422

The US Govt (at least on the Federal level) is mandated by the US Constitution to provide for defense...that is one of its few enumerated responsibilities and powers.

That's for *defense*. We send almost half our budget on defense, but maybe about 5% of our budget actually goes to defense. The remaining 45% is for buying expensive toys from defense contractors to assuage our tribal concerns that the country is undefended. Although we pay our soldiers burger-flipping wages (partly to justify not raising the minimum wage for actual burger flippers), the Pentagon is actually complaining about being overloaded with so much expensive equipment that they can't even keep all of it out of the rain. We aren't safe if our military can only end life on the planet- it should be capable of destroying three or four planets, and at least ten by 2030. That's not defense, it's a parasitic industry that gobbles up nearly half the budget. But people are so entranced by it- guys like Brian Williams who ejaculate when they see a couple dozen Tomahawks being fired- that's almost always a cheap political win. Every government that does nothing for its citizens (e.g. North Korea) resorts to military displays. It's an opiate for the masses.

The Constitution was written when health care costs were not even a conceivable issue at all. For most of American history the Constitution has been considered a working document, designed to be amended as times change in ways that could not have been forseen. That was the 18th-20th century view of the Constitution, but it went out the window several decades ago. At this point, Americans have fetishized the U.S. Constitution like it's an appendix to the Bible, and they quote the Founding Fathers like they were apostles. When amending it is now considered sacrilege, it has completely lost its usefulness. You have the rights you have (and might have needed) up until this originalist attitude set in during the 80s. Now you will never be given any more Constitutional rights, no matter what changes in the near or distant future. Since health care only emerged as a serious problem in more recent decades, you'll never have a Constitutional right to free health care. But you can always kick a British soldier out of your house. That's fucked.

Comment Re:Troglodytes (Score 3, Interesting) 152

All of them, and make no mistake Hillary would have been just as bad.

No, I'm pretty sure she wouldn't have been. I think it's reasonable to assume she would have continued the same kind of policies as Obama. And it was Obama's FCC that started to take Network Neutrality seriously to begin with.

There is no justification for claiming a "Both sides" position here, just as there isn't with 90% of what Trump is doing.

Comment Re:This is retarded conservatism to help 'coal' (Score 1) 401

It's been obvious for a generation that coal was coming to the end of its life. Perhaps they should have looked forward instead of attempting to emulate King Canute.

Pedantic nit: King Canute didn't think he could hold back the tide. He was making a point to the people making unreasonable demands.

Comment Re: Fantastic Shift of Responsibility (Score 1) 116

The problem is like you said when the fact checkers start being wrong you'll stop listening to them, the people who have a different viewpoint than you have the same idea which means everyone will only use these fact checkers with confirmation bias and having fact checkers is utterly useless.

When you're really dealing with interpretation, fact checking is more like a good critic reviewing a movie. Sure, you can just look for the Rotten Tomatoes score and see what the "average" is. But when I read a Roger Ebert review, even when he doesn't like the movie he describes it well enough that I can usually tell whether I would.

Comment Re:Choice (Score 1) 258

Yep they have a tendency to cling like hell to the very things that are making them depressed and suicidal in the first place

This is very, very true. Depression narrows the scope of your thinking, leading to odd circular reasoning and despair over problems that are either solvable or not actually problems in the first place. In your mind, not solving this particular problem in this particular way means that you are a complete failure.

Comment Re:An Artificial Womb Successfully Grew Baby Sheep (Score 2) 179

This artificial womb will save millions of lives each year and prevent millions more from suffering disabilities caused by premature birth.

Your numbers seemed high, so I looked it up.

Preterm birth complications are the leading cause of death among children under 5 years of age, responsible for nearly 1 million deaths in 2015.

Three-quarters of them could be saved with current, cost-effective interventions.

So if current, cost-effective interventions were applied we'd have about a quarter-million lives lost that could potentially be helped by this new technology.

Assuming it would be even more expensive than existing interventions, it would be available in an even smaller percentage of cases than those. But let's say it was equally available. That means ~62,500 lives saved.

It's just a first step. It doesn't need to be a miracle to be worth doing.

Comment Re: Correcting myself (Score 2) 667

I am pretty sure that "we don't want shopping malls to fall on our heads" count as a strong government and public interest.

Yes, I agree, but we're not talking about people misrepresenting their qualifications designing buildings, we're talking about people saying they're qualified to discuss timings for amber lights.

Restricting phrases like "I am an engineer" in the context of someone making final technical decisions concerning building design arguably makes sense, but it's no longer "narrow conditions" when you restrict such a vague, ambiguous, phrase under all circumstances.

I say arguably because if the conversation is something like:

Isaac: I say old bean, you're putting the wrong tensile cable on that suspension bridge of yours. Here, use this rope, should be strong enough
Isambard: Who the fuck are you? What is this crap?
Isaac: You can trust me. I'm an engineer!
Isambard: Oh OK. Hold a moment. There. Oh fuck, the bridge collapsed! I thought you said you're an engineer!
Isaac: I am. An IEEE certified software engineer! I know PHP! Whoopwhoop!

...then that law is obviously a waste of time anyway.

Comment Re:Wonder how it compares to Airlander (Score 1) 117

That accident sure was a black eye for them... but the design is now better because of it. Also, gotta love having an aircraft whose crashes are in slow motion ;) "Coming soon on World's Least Dramatic Air Crashes!"

I imagine for the pilot it was sort of like when you're driving down a slope on ice and you lose traction, and you end up skidding down the whole slope at a several kilometers per hour: First, alarm and futile attempts to regain control, followed by acceptance, then "Okay, you can stop any time now...."

Comment Re:Going Howard Hughes... (Score 3, Informative) 117

Airships are not party balloons; they don't "pop" when you make a hole in them. They have low overpressure and a huge volume to surface area, so a "bullethole" is just a slow leak; it's not even a reason to land. A helicopter is far more vulnerable to small arms fire than a helium airship.

As for what it buys over a helicopter, show me a helicopter that can move 50-500 tonnes payload at a per-kilogram rate cheaper than a freight truck while flying halfway around the world without refueling. Because that's what people are looking to build with this new generation of airships. Even Airlander 10, which is just a commercial prototype for the Airlander 50, carries more payload than the largest helicopter used by the US military, the Sikorsky CH-53E Super Stallion.

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