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Comment Re:Boo hoo, just stop rainwater from leaching lead (Score 1) 115

You might not think so, because elemental lead is not water-soluble. However compounds of lead like hydroxides or carbonates are soluble and can form from elemental lead by contact with water, e.g., 2Pb + O2 + 2H2O -> 2 Pb(OH)2.

This is why it's perfectly safe to drink wine from leaded crystal wine glasses, but a bad idea to store wine in a leaded crystal decanter.

Comment Re:Boo hoo, just stop rainwater from leaching lead (Score 1) 115

So as long as you keep the lead from escaping into groundwater (could bury them in a landfill with a clay or plastic lining in a big mountain), this is fine. If lead prices are so cheap that it's easier to mine new lead than it is to recycle it from CRT glass,

True, and true, with reservations. Somebody has got to pay for keeping the lead from escaping into groundwater. Should it be everyone, or the people who benefited from the use of the lead?

And if everyone pays, human nature being what it is people will pay to make the problem "go away" without looking too closely at the details, where "go away" includes "making it someone else's problem."

The thing is, if you could completely internalize all those expenses so the cost of dealing with never just "went away", the market would do a fine job of efficiently managing lead and disposal management as a resource. But that doesn't happen naturally, by itself.

Comment Re:Shiva Ayyadurai is a fraud. (Score 3, Interesting) 66

Well, it's possible that he's mildly delusional, as most of us are about beliefs about ourselves that we hold dear.

It strikes me that Ayyadurai is in a legal catch-22 situation. Let's suppose for a moment he did "invent" email. That would make him a public figure, and the legal standard used to establish defamation is "actual malice. That's a difficult standard to meet.

I assume Ayyadurai's complaint are claims that he is a "fake" or a "liar". Suppose some random shmoe is interviewing for a job, and you tell the interviewer that he's a "liar". That is defamation, unless you have actual reason to believe he is a liar. But if you say the same thing about a politician running for office, it's NOT defamation unless you have actual reason to believe he is NOT a liar. That's because the politician is a public figure.

It seems to me nearly impossible to defame someone by calling him a liar in the context of his claiming to invent anything. His very demand to be recognized for his achievement makes him a public figure, whether that claim is true or not.

Comment Re:Being a satirist means acting like a dick. (Score 1) 898

But that doesn't change the fact he attempted satire and failed.

ooh, please tell us more about this Objective Humor Determining Machine you've hands on.


Now you can take it for granted that no matter how clear the joke, there will be some people who don't get it. It always happens. Successful humor, however, is understood as funny by its target audience. Therefore when a jokester is surprised when people he expected to get the joke didn't, he has failed.

Comment Being a satirist means acting like a dick. (Score 5, Insightful) 898

But a very carefully targeted one. The people who get ridiculed have to really deserve the dickish treatment. You can take a cheap shot, but you can never punch down.

Now I've seen the infamous video and I totally get it. It's a good point, but it totally fails as satire because he ended up screwing with, and then harming the guys in the video, who almost certainly have no idea the significance of what they're doing. How many Jews are in India? About five thousand individuals out of a billion. Zoroastrians are almost 30 times more common in the US as Jews are in India, particularly rural India.

Now he's totally right that the media is stupid, block-headed and hypocritical, and has neither the ability nor inclination to understand him. But that doesn't change the fact he attempted satire and failed. That makes him, at least in this incident, just a dick.

Comment Re:Well you would choose Manchester By the Sea (Score 1) 52

Don't worry. You are a special, unique snowflake. If people can't understand you, they are racist.

Actually people who don't understand me are usually idiots. Some of them are blockheads. Funnily enough racists understand me fine, they just don't like what I have to say.

Comment Re:So how is this any different than before? (Score 4, Interesting) 205

Well, "free market" used this way is a glittering generality. Most people who use it aren't referring to the technical economic sense in which individual consumers and producers make consumption, production and pricing decisions autonomously. What they typically mean would be better described something in the direction of anarcho-capitalism, although many are somewhat selective in their application of that philosophy (e.g. they aren't for the free market determining the number of abortions performed, birth control pills dispensed, or marijuana grown).

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