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Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 187

Indeed, on both counts. And in particular I like the word "rogue planet". Again you have an adjective imparting additional information about another object ("Rogue X"), "rogue" can be readily quantified ("Not in a stable orbit around any particular star or cluster of stars"), and it's a very evocative term. And rogue planets are absolutely expected according to our current models. They'll be incredibly difficult to find, but they're out there.

We're also coming to the realization that there's a lot of objects, potentially including large ones, that are only tenuously bound to our solar system. And it's likely that we readily exchange this mass with other nearby stars over cosmologic timescales; parts of our solar system (primarily distant ones) likely formed by other stars, and things that condensed during the formation of our star system are likely now orbiting other stars.

Comment Re: 2nd (Score 1) 98

In what way is giving away some "freedoms" you never really needed anyway for the good of the community a bad thing? Society is more important than individuals, we Europeans know that.

A society that doesn't protect "unnecessary" individual freedom is not one worth living in. There are two things to note here. First, it's easy to define any sort of freedom as unnecessary. North Korea has done so, for example. Similarly, the idea of primacy of society has justified all sorts of abuses against people by powerful parties who can convenient align the interests of society to fulfill their own interests.

Second, it is better to black list proven harmful action and behavior (I would go for a much more stringent sort of harm, substantial harm against innocent parties who aren't "coming to the nuisance" or otherwise engaging in behavior that deliberately and expectedly exposes themselves to the harm by choice) rather than white list proven harmless or necessary action and behavior. I shouldn't have to prove to society or government that my desired actions are necessary to me. It simply shouldn't be the business of society or government to make that determination, particular since neither has ever shown any competence or impartiality in doing so.

Comment Re:That's what you get for wording the DMCA that w (Score 1) 76

That's probably why Google is publicizing this. To point out that the DMCA badly needs a disincentive for filing false takedown claims. If only 0.05% of claims are even factually correct (not even considering if they're legally valid), that's a huge problem with the law.

Comment Belongs to the suspect (Score 1) 106

The Echo belongs to the suspect. (Alternate link if you don't trust that site.

You're probably thinking of the San Bernardio iPhone case. Most people think the phone belonged to the shooter. It didn't. It belonged to the San Bernardino County government. They assigned it to the shooter for work use. Apple refused to help the legal owner of the phone unlock it.

Comment Suing the governments for interfering in my life (Score 0) 172

I want to sue all the governments for interfering in my life. This of-course means I want to sue all of you for interfering in my life. Of-course my resources are vastly inadequate for this, but I would love to do just that. I do not want this government 'protection' (read interference and oppression) to exist. But I do feel this is probably going to happen anyway. Need a new planet / new world of some sort without all this in it.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 187

The short of it, Jupiter moves things around; it's very good at scattering other bodies, even large ones. First it dragged outer populations into the inner solar system, then scattered inner solar system material out, and then on its retreat pulled outer solar system material back in. It's actually a very big deal that it did that, as it brought ice into the inner solar system.

Comment Re:I know I'm being selfish, but... (Score 1) 311

And we know that while warp drive might be possible, it's not feasible and we probably won't be seeing it in our lifetimes.

The technology advances are often far more gradual than we would expect (and hope), but no less transformative. Just think (if you're old enough) how life was before the Internet became ubiquitous. Has life radically changed since then? I wouldn't say it has, but many, many parts of our lives have changed radically, things we see and do every day, and mostly for the better.

I think AI is going to be the same. It's not going to manifest in the ways we commonly expect (e.g., computers you can converse with, etc.), but will come about gradually, with software getting smarter and smarter until things we commonly see, say 10-20 years from now, would have to fall under the definition of "A.I." even though it happened gradually enough that it didn't occur to us... because we don't yet have HAL 9000.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 187

1. "Adjective nouns" need to have similarity to "noun" but aren't necessarily a subset. Gummy bears aren't a subset of bears either.

Gummy bears are not a scientific term. Besides, the IAU itself already uses the word dwarf in this manner. Dwarf stars, dwarf galaxies... but carved out an inexplicable exception for dwarf planets.

I'd like to see a citation on this. I highly doubt that you can simulate the formation of a solar system where multiple Mars analogues can coexist in the same orbit

False equivalency. There's a difference between "two Mars sized planets existing in the same orbit" and "Mars' orbit having been cleared". And more to the point, the biggest problem with the concept of Mars clearing its orbit is that its orbit was already largely cleared when it formed. According to our best models, Jupiter reached all the way in to around where Mars' orbit is today, and had cleared almost everything to around 1 AU. Earth and Venus accreted from planetesimals between each other. Mars accreted from planetary embryos ejected to the space in-between Earth and Jupiter. Without Jupiter's migration, simulations produce an Earth-sized Mars and several planetary embryos in the asteroid belt on eccentric / high inclination orbits, something akin to the situation between Neptune and Pluto - except with the embryos nearly Mars-sized.

3. In a geological sense yes. But the current definition of planets is based on orbital mechanics, after which Earth is a lot closer to Jupiter than to Ceres/Pluto.

Huh? By what aspect of orbital mechanics? By semimajor axis and velocity, Earth is much closer to Ceres than Jupiter. Are you talking inclination and eccentricity? Then we should boot Mars in favour of low inclination / eccentricity asteroids.

4. Hydro-static equilibrium as a dividing line is way worse. There are roughly 100 TNOs where we don't really know whether they are elliptical.

Hydrostatic equilibrium can be very easily estimated based on mass, which can be approximately deduced within a range of feasible albedos and densities, and very accurately deduced if the body has a moon. By contrast, it's almost impossible to estimate neighborhood clearing to any distance beyond Neptune, or at all in the case of extrasolar planets. Which, to reiterate, the IAU definition says aren't planets, even though they have an extrasolar planet working group.

We'd have to visit each and every one of them with a probe just to put them in the proper category.

This is utter nonsense.

Meanwhile, it's completely clear which bodies qualify for the "clearing its orbit" rule.

No, it's not. We have virtually no clue what lies in the outer reach of our solar system. As we speak there's a search for a new planet that could be as big as an ice giant. It's a huge open question as to whether it would have cleared its neighborhood, and it will be very difficult to ascertain.

All currently qualifying planets have roughly 99% or more of the mass in their orbit in themselves. Ceres has 30%.

You seem to have some weird concept going on that "semimajor axis = orbit". Ceres has nothing of significance in its orbit. The asteroids are not all in the same orbit. They're certainly more likely to cross each others orbits, but that's not the same thing.

And again, since you apparently missed it: the reason that the inner solar system is largely cleared except for the asteroid belt (and the reason that the latter exists) is Jupiter. Mars did not clear its own neighborhood.

5. The definition should be mutable. Why should a planet that gets ejected keep counting as a planet?

You seriously have to ask why something that hasn't changed but is in a different location shouldn't suddenly be declared to be something entirely different? If you take a rabbit to Canada does it suddenly become a dwarf rabbit?

6. I highly doubt life could form in a non-cleared orbit.

Once again, you're stuck on this misconception that the only orbital parameter that exists is the semimajor axis. And also apparently a notion that stable orbital resonances don't exist.

Orbits can come in a wide range of forms. If you want to see how crazy they get, check out Epimetheus and Janus ;)

As for a life bearing celestial in orbit around another (gas giant) planet: I don't think anybody feels bad about calling that one a moon? As in "Yavin 4".

The funny point with your example being, that whenever you illustrate a large round (hydrostatic equilibrium) moon in sci-fi - Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar, whatever - people invariably keep calling it a planet and having to correct themselves. We inherently recognize "large, round object with relevant gravity = planet", and have to shoehorn our minds into not using that term.

7. "Within each other's periapsis and apoapsis" seems like a reasonable enough definition that neither Ceres nor Pluto qualify for.

Once again, you ignore most orbital elements (seriously, stop right now and go read the Wikipedia article on orbital elements). We don't live in a 2D solar system. And your notion is oversimplified even for 2D.

All of this, let alone other aspects such as mass ratios, resonance, metastability, etc. And it gets even more complicated when you view the solar system not as a 2-body problem but a multi-body problem. Then things like horseshoe orbits, Lagrangian points, etc come into play.

8. Yes that's silly but that'll probably be changed easily enough and has no effect on Pluto.

1) It's over a decade later. Where's the fix?
2) It's just a symptom of how horribly hasty and ill-thought-out their action was.

9. How are you planning to ascertain hydro-static equilibrium for an exoplanet if we can't even do it for Varuna.

What are you talking about? Varuna is the size of Ceres. The fact that it hasn't been declared a dwarf planet by the IAU is again a symptom of the IAU's dysfunction on this issue. See #18. By contrast, we'd have no snowball's chance in hell of identifying all potential orbit crossers for it.

The fact that you bring up Varuna makes me think that you feel it shouldn't be a planet because it's an oblate spheroid. If so, that just reveals yet another problem with your understanding: you need to go look up the definition of hydrostatic equilibrium. Hint: if Varuna wasn't an oblate spheroid, then it wouldn't be in hydrostatic equilibrium.

Comment Re:motivation (Score -1, Troll) 179

What happens is that when people don't get punished for the first few things, they start to realize that the normal limits don't apply, and the bad sorts start pushing the envelope. Eventually ...

... eventually you get Hillary Clinton in control of the Democrat party and being presumed to be the next president. But pendulum does always swing the other way. This sort of thing could easily damage Uber's reputation and user base, in a significant way, at the retail level. Just like with the election, people vote with their feet, especially when it's so easy to just go somewhere else (Lyft, etc).

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