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Comment Re:Technology... (Score 1) 465

Thing is though, we're not going to work out how to build a sustainable colony on Mars on paper, then send people (or robots) there to build it sight-unseen. We'd build prototypes here on Earth first, like how we tested out the Mars rovers in Earth's deserts first. The propulsion technology to get stuff to Mars is largely a solved problem by now. What we need to solve is what to build when we get there, and how to get it built, which means developing robots to build sealed "biodomes" or whatnot in inhospitable places here on Earth first -- to test the technology to make sure it will work when we strap it to a rocket and send it to Mars -- and then, by the time we're ready to strap it to a rocket, there's not a whole lot of need to actually do that anymore, besides just "because it's there".

Which is still a perfectly fine reason in the long term, and if romanticism about people on Mars gets the technology funded and developed that's great, but one way or another we're going to be building Earth-bound versions of it first, and those "prototypes" themselves will then have already solved any practical problems that might have motivated the Mars mission.

Comment Re:Self-sustaining civilization on Mars (Score 2, Insightful) 465

The same technology it would take to build self-sustaining colonies on Mars could much more easily build self-sustaining colonies on Earth. Mars is already a desolate wasteland; if we could work out how to survive there, then we could, much more easily, work out how to survive Earth becoming a desolate wasteland, even if we couldn't stop other people from making that happen.

Until we can have self-sustaining cities at the poles, in the middle of the world's deserts, on the seafloor, etc -- all much more hospitable places than Mars -- then talking about building one on Mars is a pipe dream. And once we can do that on Earth, that's much of the existential risk mitigated right there; nuclear winter, climate change, meteor impact, meh, doesn't really make anything worse than they already are underwater/on Antarctica/in the Sahara.

Comment Re:Great (Score 1) 40

I don't understand when the scam is. He makes crappy books by scrapping public-domain services. Okay, probably low-quality and not much added value, but could be useful. He pushes them up with fake review. Okay, immoral, but a lot of people do it. Just read the negative and average reviews before buying and you should avoid it, no ? Am I missing something ?

Comment Re:couldn't coexist with their English neighbors (Score 1) 201

I know you're joking, but modern day colonists could haul a billion Bibles and not add any weight, thanks to modern storage. They also wouldn't need a printing press, for the same reason. OTOH, the printing press was used to jack the timbers and save the ship, so maybe they should have a lightweight jack on board, just in case. :)

Comment Re:Free Speech (Score 1) 637

Are you joking?

Explain to me the difference, if any, between Palmer 'retaliating' against Clinton, and Insomniac 'retaliating' against Palmer.

ANY claim Palmer can make to 'free speech' must also extend to Insomniac. Any claim Palmer makes against Insomniac must also apply against Palmer. Either both Palmer and Insomniac have the choice of who to associate with, who to engage in commerce with, and to attempt to sway others to similar thinking, or either of them can.

Comment Re:The size of the farm shouldn't matter.... (Score 1) 190

Apple's dictation software (PlainTalk) was running on System 7.1 Pro 20 years ago, using local hardware 100's of times slower than what I have in my pocket. Basic NLP code was running on the Newton, which was 1000x slower and still managed to handle the basics on top of the handwriting recognition. "Speakable Items" let me run user-writable AppleScripts to automate tasks and was just missing dictatable variable names.

I helped Apple wreck a nice beach.

Comment Re:Anti-Hillary is not Pro-Trump (Score 1) 852

If you live anywhere but the few swing states, a vote for anyone BUT a third party is throwing away your vote. You won't make any difference in the outcome of the election (because you're not in a swing state), AND you won't make any difference in either party's policies (which they adapt to court voters who defect to third parties). All you're doing is voting for the status quo, in which case you may as well have not voted.

Comment Re:Not for me anymore.... (Score 1) 241

I support the idea of Tor, but in practice I never understood how anyone would want to run an exit node. I ran a relay node for a year or so, then I started noticing network problems: some websites would just hang. Upon investigation they were hosted on some large cloud provider. Upon further investigation I found my IP on some minor blacklist. Reading about that specific blacklist, I saw that running a Tor exit node or relay could land you on it. I stopped my tor node, used the removal form of that blacklist, and 2 days later everything was working again. So really it's more headaches than it is worth.

Comment Re:Asinine. (Score 1) 436

Whaddup, fellow liberal gunny?

The issue isn't 'gun violence,' the issue is 'violence.' Somebody wants to massacre a room full of whoever, they're going to massacre a room full of whoever, guns or no guns. Chainsaw, propane tank, backpack full of molotovs (mix in egg whites in the right proportion for simple napalm,) cube van, diesel/fertilizer bomb, baseball bat, whatever.

Comment I hope Reddit is happy. That dude is probably dead (Score 5, Informative) 137

Not kidding. When I was in specialized military training program we saw crazy looking dude with a unkempt uniform and absolutely no personal hygiene. We made a couple snide remarks amongst ourselves and later mentioned the guy to an instructor.

He told us that the guy was from Saudi Arabia. He also told us that every foreigner in the school always passed. A few years back, he didn't specify how many, a Saudi officer took the course and failed. The government beheaded him and apologized to the school.

So, good job Reddit. If he had a family, their probably gone as well.

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