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Comment Re:Research to extend lifespans should be banned (Score 1) 124

I think causation is a mental crutch to help us navigate the world of patterns around us but should not be thought of "real."

You say this just after you wrote, "if you drink poison it will kill you instantly."

You are on to something though. I'd say, "we use 'weakly founded' assertions of causation as a crutch to help us navigate the world of patterns around us." IOW, we stereotype everything all the time, because we just can't individually analyze every person and every circumstance.

Comment Re:The actual real problem with Mars... (Score 1) 102

no launcher company has a stock from which they pull a rocket

Back in the 1960s, that's exactly what we did. (We and the Sovs made a lot of ICBMs, all of which were dual-use.)

NASA would go to Convair and say that they needed an Atlas for a specific mission. Convair would then go pick one out of inventory (they were taken out of ICBM service by 1965) or on the production line and tag it for use on a certain mission, then test to see that it still worked.

Nowadays, "customization" is on the order of "how many standard-design SRBs do you want strapped to the first stage, and which of a handful of standard-sized fairings do you want on top".

You could say, "see, you just admitted that they're customized", but I disagree with that definition of "customized".

Comment We've got to cut them some slack. (Score 1) 129

This wasn't some incompetent scammer with a poor grasp of English. "Rimasauskas even went so far as to create fake contracts on forged company letterhead, fake bank invoices, and various other official-looking documents to convince employees of the two companies to send him money" shows that he went to some length to look legitimate.

Comment Re:Cognitive Dissonance (Score 1) 412

It would be more correct to label them as "natural" and us as "sub natural" or "artificial".

It's all a matter of the frame of reference.

Would you start calling the folks at IBM "Gods" because they created watson and dropped him into a simulated world like world of warcraft?

I sure wouldn't, but Watson would.

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Uncertain fortune is thoroughly mastered by the equity of the calculation. - Blaise Pascal