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Comment It's already happened a few times already... (Score 1) 468

"Secretary" used to be the most common job according to some interpretations of BLS reports. The Word Processor made that role largely obsolete and now self-service:
http://www.npr.org/sections/mo...

So nowadays it's "Truck Driver"... wait a bit longer until autonomous vehicles make those delivery jobs go away. Wouldn't call those middle-class jobs, though.

Counterpoint: Sales and Services are the most common job in the US today, along with maybe some form of Educator:
http://www.marketwatch.com/sto...

It'll still be a while before those social jobs are automated away.

Comment Re:That's not even all (Score 1) 300

Odd things happen, such as Chernobyl and Fukushima, yes.

Well, let's be honest: neither of those incidents were odd or unforeseeable. In the case of Chernobyl, we had an experimental reactor (and I don't mean it was new - I mean it was specifically built for them to screw around with and see what happens) designed with a highly positive void coefficient. It was an insane design that was not passively safe and it was purposely operated in a reckless manner. The "accident" that took that place down happened when they shut off the already limited safety features and ran more experiments. Keep doing that over and over in a design that isn't passively safe and you almost can't help but have it end in disaster. If nothing else, any rational person could easily see that what they were doing was dangerous as Hell. And the Soviets knew what they were doing was dangerous as Hell which is why they did it there and not next to, say, Moscow for instance.

In the case of Fukushima, the plant design's manufacturer (GE) identified design flaws in the plant's containment measures back in the 1970s. And they came up with a remediation plan and published it to everyone running that design. In the 1970s. And the company operating the plant at Fukushima chose not to do what GE told them they needed to do in order to ensure containment in the event of a catastrophic failure. And the regulators in charge of ensuring the plant was operated safely allowed them to do that. So the plant ran for decades with a known design problem and nobody did anything about it. So again, this wasn't exactly a surprise that as soon as something went wrong, bad stuff happened.

Ain't no magic here: if you run known-unsafe designs, you're risking bad things happening. If you run safe designs, then catastrophic failures do not (and, physically, cannot) result in catastrophic consequences.

Comment Re: Nuclear power is proven safe... (Score 1) 300

Contaminating the whole Pacific Ocean? ....

Were you absent the day they taught physics in physics class?

And again, nuclear power is safer for human life. Accounting for Fukushima, accounting for Chernobyl (which by the way wasn't a power plant - it was a research facility conducting extremely dangerous experiments and a weaponized plutonium factory which also happened to have excess power to dump into the local grid, but that's alright, we'll include that one anyway because it still doesn't change the outcome), nuclear power is the safest source of power generation we have. Per kwh generated, it causes less loss of human life than anything else, including wind, solar, and hydro.

It's not hard to understand: if it's safer per kwh generated, then scaling out with other options presents a greater threat to human life and supporting other options is directly supporting the needless deaths of human beings.

Comment Re: hazardous processes (Score 1) 300

Running coal and oil power plants affects (at the very least) the local environment horrifically if nothing goes wrong. What do you think happens in the case of a major issue with nuclear power? You think the whole world gets consumed by a black hole or something? Nuclear power is proven safe, effective, efficient, and capable of handling base power loads. It's safer and more scalable than any other option. We already have nuclear power plants on a large scale and in great numbers, but you don't hear about them because they run for decades without incident. They run at 90%+ capacity day-in and day-out quietly providing power for people around the world.

Nuclear power results in less loss of human life per kwh generated than any other source of power. That includes solar, wind, hydro; you name it. Nuclear power is simply safer. We can make it even safer by stopping the resistance to replacing older nuclear plants with newer, better ones.

Comment Re: mdsolar (Score 3, Interesting) 300

There were numerous teams around the world actively working toward powered flight at the time. As for the apparent quality of their design, you're applying modern standards of what a prototype should look and feel like to a vastly more adventurous era. It's one of the reasons we made massive strides during the first half of the 20th and now typically make far more incremental advances: we're terrified of failure, particularly if there's any risk to any human life. It's the reason a design like the YF-12 would never be allowed to fly these days. On paper, the design decisions made to allow it to fly as high and as fast as it does are laughably insane. But it flew, and its 1950s design set records we still haven't broken.

Comment Re:Can't wait to get one in my watch. (Score 1) 156

Not really that surprising: the physics is relatively simple and well-understood. As such, all we're really talking about is choosing to avoid negligently flawed design decisions. The overwhelming fear of huge medical lawsuits is enough to at least do that much (though unfortunately often not much more, particularly on the security front).

Comment Re:That's not even all (Score 2, Insightful) 300

No, yet more people die in the production, installation (this is the big one for solar), and maintenance of solar per kwh generated than they do for nuclear power.

Radiation is scary because you can't see it, but the dead don't care whether it was radiation or a fall or electrocution that caused it. Want to save lives? Push for nuclear.

Comment Re:mdsolar (Score 1) 300

We already have safe, reliable nuclear power plants. We have them all over the world. The challenge with nuclear is no different from any other project that deals with hazardous processes (and this includes coal and oil power plants among many other things): reasonable standards for building, operation, and inspection free from bribery, corruption, and incompetence, which are rigorously enforced. In some places (mostly the western nations), this isn't that hard to do. The designs are already rock solid and have been for a long time (minus the RBMK reactor designs, which were never a safe solution, but which weren't designed with safety as a high priority - they were experimental reactors and weaponized fuel factories). The plant at Fukushima was an early design which would have still be safe had the company operating the plant bothered to perform the remediation steps provided by the design manufacturer (GE) for known problems in the design. Had the regulators and inspectors forced them to perform those steps, even the plant's owners' negligence wouldn't have been allowed to carry the risk of the catastrophic failure following the earthquake and tsunami there.

We have great designs which have run at >90% capacity for decades on end without issue. We know exactly how to operate nuclear safely. In fact, per kwh, nuclear is the safest power production in the world. (yes, safer than hydro, solar, and wind - look it up, you'll find workers dying from falls, burning to death, drowning, etc). What we need to do is come up with a way to supply power to places with shitty governments at a rate that's cheaper than fossil fuel plants (for the environmental impact issues there) without giving them the opportunity to fuck up nuke plants or weaponize them. Solar, wind, hydro, and geothermal will all play their parts in our worldwide energy future, but the fact is that well-run nuclear is our best, safest, most sustainable option for a backbone. Nothing else scales like it except fossil fuels and those wreck our environment pretty badly until they're all used up (which is pretty shortly - relatively speaking).

Comment Just another form of Gerrymandering (Score 2, Interesting) 576

The electoral college just means that your vote counts for whichever party is predominant in your state, no matter what you actually voted for. The "predominant" party in your state is pretty arbitrary, though, depending upon how successful the parties are at gerrymandering: https://www.washingtonpost.com...

The US form of representative democracy is just an illusion to make you think your vote matters. US democracy is not intended to be just or fair... its only practical purpose is a safety valve to preserve itself by preventing a bloody revolution if one party becomes too unpopular.

Comment Re:Incentives aren't the problem. Shills are. (Score 1) 106

I'm absolutely blown away at the absolute cluelessness of this decision. It is as though their management never actually bought a product on their own website, never sold any product anywhere, and couldn't be bothered to ask consumers or sellers what they thought. The resulting decision is utterly naÃve.

As someone who absolutely refuses to trust any "I received this product at a discount" reviews, my wish would be this: leave the incentivized reviews alone, but provide me with a filter that I can click to make them disappear. That way when I see 200 reviews for a product, and all but 5 of them vanish when I use the filter, then I'll know not to bother.

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