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Comment Here we go again... (Score 0) 137

Congress, the Senate, whatever... They've been announcing their "bold 'new' vision" to go to Mars virtually every year or two since we landed on the moon. What has been done so far during the 45 years they've kept up this bullshit? Absolutely nothing! For decades they have been spending billions and billions of dollars on programs that are ALWAYS canceled. ALWAYS!

This is a complete waste of time and money. NASA is not simply completely useless at achieving any sort of bold vision, it is actively harmful. They deliberately sabotage efforts that are not subservient to their bureaucracy. Government subsidized launches directly compete with private launch systems that do not have the luxury of spending billions of dollars of taxpayer money, and thereby retard if not utterly stymie their development. That SpaceX has managed to succeed has nothing to do with NASA and everything in spite of them. (Without government launches, the private satellite industry would have had loads more money to contract with private launchers like SpaceX.)

If we get to Mars, it will be because of people like Elon Musk, doing it his way. If NASA has any part of it, it will be simply to go along for the ride, solely to grease the palms of the bureaucrats sufficiently that the government doesn't actively oppose Elon Musk's efforts.

Comment Re:Still not adding up (Score 1) 243

Mr. Khan is not saying that IQ does not exist or that it isn't important or useful. He is saying that to 'praise' a child for something innate is not simply unhelpful, it is actually harmful. Praising them for effort on the other hand does not at all 'lower' their IQ, but builds up self discipline and will power which when combined with whatever IQ they have, will generate far better results.

I know this first hand. I was born with a genius IQ. I taught myself to read at the age of four. It took me two weeks to learn enough to read comic books out loud to my little brother while he looked at the pictures. Everyone around me praised me for how smart I was. I was never praised for making an effort.

The end result is while it has always been really easy for me to learn stuff, to understand things, the hardest thing for me to do is to make an effort.

I did nothing to deserve being praised for my IQ. I did nothing to earn my IQ. My IQ was an accident of birth, as much as my hair colour. Should I be praised for being blond?

Making an effort on the other hand is something people do, it is something that can be learned, it is something that is praiseworthy. By making that the source of a person's validation, you can help a person evolve into someone who has the ability to make effort. Praising a person's IQ however gains them nothing other than to potentially give them a false sense of ego.

Comment Re:But people forget what MENSA concluded (Score 1) 561

You are just flat out wrong. While IQ alone is not a guarantee of success, other qualities like work ethic, goal orientation, etc., are every bit as important, all other things being equal, high IQ DOES correlate to greater success. It is possible that one study that you saw did not show this, but this has been studied a lot, and ALL the studies I have seen show a correlation.

Comment Re:BS, as usual. (Score 4, Insightful) 401

You missed my point entirely. My point is that the price mechanism ensures that resource consumption is always sustainable. As resources get scarce and harder to extract, the price rises. The rise in price can be HUGE. Right now we burn coal and oil for instance, for energy because it is cheaper than the alternatives. If demand increases outstripping production sufficient to cause a price rise of only a factor of three, oil and coal will no longer be burned for energy, as the alternatives will be cheaper. This price point would be reached LONG before there is 'no more' coal and oil. The same principle applies to all other resources.

We never get to the point where were run out of things that get scarce. Instead we find alternatives. The price of the alternatives might well be high, but they will be cheaper than the original resource. The higher prices in turn serve as a break on consumption. A free market ensures that the system is sustainable. Only to the degree that states attempt to intervene in the price mechanism, or societies that simply never had such to begin with, can you wind up with a situation in which resources get completely used up.

Comment BS, as usual. (Score 3, Insightful) 401

A climatologist, likely with a political agenda, a math grad student, and a political science BA, put together a model that shows that if growth trends continue in a finite system, the system breaks. No shit sherlock! Except that such growth trends do NOT continue. Any increase in resource consumption results in an increase in price. Any increase in production results in a reduction of price. If the system gets to a point where consumption outpaces production then the price rises, and it can rise a lot! This results in people using less of the resource and finding alternatives.

Any such models that are built without the input of an economist should be automatically discarded as being total BS.

Comment Re:collectables have a limit. (Score 2) 76

There are 2500 tons of gold mined each year on earth with a total supply of 165,000 tons already mined. It will be quite a while before asteroid mining will make any appreciable dent in this supply, and until it does, it won't have much of an effect on it's price.

Meanwhile, the most money to be made from asteroidal material won't be their importation to Earth. It currently costs $10,000. a pound to put material into orbit. I expect virtually everything mined off planet will actually be used for off planet construction and manufacturing, including gold.

Comment That's not a tornado. THIS is a tornado! (Score 3, Interesting) 86

It was a few decades ago, but in my teens I had occasion to spend a weekend at a fireman's weekend where a great many and varied workshops were being given on any number of esoteric aspects of firefighting, and some of the more mundane. I took some of the mundane workshops on forest fire fighting and such. But I made my weekend more of a relaxed affair so I would have time to wander and see what everyone else was up to.

One group was busy creating fire tornadoes, and putting them out. But what I am referring to here, is nothing at all like what is featured in this video, or anything at all like Hollywood has ever dared venture.

The group was training in how to assault oil fires and extinguish them with a water hose, which is no mean trick. To make matters more complicated for them, dead center of the oil fire was a husk of tanker truck tank. This sat in the middle of a concrete pool ~10 meters square (30' x 30'). The pool was filled with six inches of water. The instructors would dump a full oil drum of oil into the pool, creating an oil slick that covered the entire surface. The training crew ready, they would toss in a match.

Now THAT is a fire tornado!

The result was a literal tornado of fire, a veritable solid pillar of flame that would do Moses proud! Thirty feet in diameter, this vortex roared so loud you could barely hear the shouted commands of the fireman as they assaulted the monster. It ripped and twisted, the spiraling cylinder reaching easily a hundred feet or more, straight up. The flame was dense red, and so intense there was nothing opaque about it. Pure fire, at it most intense.

I sat there for hours watching as they put it out, and lit up another, over and over.

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