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Comment Re:Use a liberal definition of planet (Score 1) 141

I like the definition of planet based upon any body of sufficient mass to be round (or nearly so to some mathematical measurement).

I prefer this method too- but the level of deviation it has from a perfect sphere before it can be considered a planet would probably be arbitrary... no planet is perfectly spherical.

Comment Re:Ridiculous Extrapolation (Score 1) 372

This is a ridiculous extrapolation; doing the same to health care costs means that health care and education will each be several hundred percent of our GDP in 18 years.

The cost of education is driven by the federal student loan program, the expansion of middle management, and the development of luxury dorms and gyms. I think it's transparent that such costs cannot continue to expand at the same rate for the next 18 years.

Unless we find a way to get insurance companies out of health care it probably will cost more than our GDP to pay for health care each year. We will become ever greater in debt.

Comment Re:Yeah, the bubble will pop long before that (Score 2) 372

20 years ago, I went to a school that was ridiculously expensive for it's time ($25k a year- I had scholarships or I wouldn't have gone), I witnessed all kinds of waste. They did publish where they spent money though so it was obvious where there was waste, I bet they don't now. They keep asking for money donations, but I remember how they wasted it when I was there- no chance in hell I'm giving them more money now.

A simple 3ft brick sign that cost $50,000 (this in a school of only 2000 students- so that was $25 per student for a sign). Sports lost $10million a year. (we weren't a big state school that had leagues of zombies descend on our every game- but we spent big on sports- and no one who attended the school cared or watched. $5000 a year per student lost on sports. That's 20% of our tuition went straight to paying for a bunch of fat kids in helmets and padding to grab each other's bum 13 games a year. (OK, they had other sports besides the American Football, but I'm sure they got the lion's share).

Then we would have speakers like Pat Conroy (multiple a year) come speak to the school (at $20,000 each for a speaking gig). Sure, it was interesting, but worth the money when you would only have a couple hundred students show up to any given event? The school spent $100 for each kid that bothered to show up to each of those events.

When it comes down to it- from that $25k a year probably only half actually got spent on learning. I'm not sure what they waste the money on these days now that everything has skyrocketed in cost. I imagine Presidential manors are a lot more glitzy. There are probably more $50,000 brick signs up too.

Comment Re:I don't care (Score 4, Insightful) 193

Even if you do like kids, bringing them to the world we have today isn't exactly a gift to them...

I know a great many youngster even today who deeply resent our generation's wasteful and selfish way of living, the consequences of which we left to them, and that they'll have to sort out when we're gone.

If that's the case no-one should ever have had kids.

Today, as an average, children are healthier, more likely to have food they need, will be exposed to less crime, have more protections, they're living in an age of more social acceptance, less likely to die in combat (sure, there are always wars, but this is an era of relative peace- over the last several decades globally wars are declining).

People have been saying for decades that the world is in decline and everything is getting worse, but the truth is: there probably hasn't been a better time to be alive. Every generation thinks the generation after theirs is ruined and going to be terrible.

Comment Re:Cool but will teh economics work? (Score 1) 222

In many cities, the rich wouldn't want to live close to their jobs. You're right though, it does sound uncomfortable; it will be surprising if they pull this off to be a smooth ride. I'm sure they can "class up" the cramped interiors if the clientele so desire. It would be nice if they could make this for the masses.

The rich got cars first, rode aeroplanes first, they'll ride the hyperloop first. It will be interesting if cost come down so you and I could ride in our lifetime.

Comment Re:Cool but will teh economics work? (Score 1) 222

I suspect it will only be rich people who can afford to use the hyperloop if they get it working- at least for the foreseeable future. That's OK though. Who knows what the expertise in making these will lead to. Space exploration? Underwater habitats? The skills needed to pull off hyperloop will serve other purposes and engineers that work on this project will found companies that enrich humanity in other ways too.

Comment Re:PROGRESS!!! (Score 1) 222

Part of the scientific method is testing to see if something works.

Obviously they have built something because there is now a test track. The next step is to see- does it work or does it fail. I don't think many people on Slashdot are knowledgeable enough to bet their mortgage on whether hyperloop will ever take off or not.

Personally, I'm glad someone is trying, if it works, it could be an interesting transportation method with novelty value, even if not as a major gridlock solution. If it fails, at least we know now.

I think that someone is trying something new and that is good- work or fail. (and he obviously isn't going to throw money away unless he has scientific advisors claiming they can pull it off). If this fails, something else might be discovered in the process. Try nothing new and nothing new is learnt.

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