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Comment Re:The science behind GMOs show they are safe. (Score 1) 272

You know northern Italy is as rich per capita as southern Germany (the richest part of Germany), and both are comparable to Austria and Switzerland? The state of southern Italy is a long and sad history in which the US has no small responsibility (let's use the mafia to help restore order, what could go wrong?)

If you want some extremely high-tech, very specific tooling, you don't go to Germany, where they deal with simpler, larger scale things. You go around Bologna.

It is a huge myth that the latest crisis had anything to do with "being lazy" or "corrupt". It is a sad story of macroeconomic mismanagment, from the crisis countries before and the troika after.

Comment Re:UK EU more problems than solutions? (Score 1) 341

Human rights protected by the treaties, guarded by the Commission (even though the European Court of Justice is not part of the EU). Because you sure as fuck can't trust the current lot with our rights. This article as a case in point.

Of course, access to a huge market, amazingly well regulated (you want to know what happens when regulatory capture takes place? look at the US...)

Comment Re:Why are they in the EU again? (Score 4, Insightful) 341

Of course, But the insane-foaming-at-the-mouth anti-EU types are not stopped by facts. They just really hate the fact that society is turning liberal and that despising people because of their colour of sexual preferences is frown upon. So they hope to turn back the clock by shutting the frontiers. At the end of the day, these insane arguments are just the death throes of old people whose world is slipping away. The new one is much better, but it does not reflect their prejudices, and the dissonance is just too painful.

How unsurprising that the the charge is lead by a newspaper whose editor in the 30s was a literal Hitler-admirer. They haven't changed their politics.

Comment Re:Why are they in the EU again? (Score 1) 341

Ha. The worse abusers of the system are the fucktard anti-EU types. Nigel, Geert and Marine, I'm looking at you. But it is true that there is a tendency to use a mandate in Brussels as a back-up (when, you know, you lose the big national elections). Which is sad, because the EU parliament is a remarkably well-functioning body. Probably something to do with the fact that it enforces compromise and discussion.

Comment Re:Why are they in the EU again? (Score 1) 341

"Ever closer union" is in the preamble of every treaty since the treaty of Rome (1957). It is a myth that you joined a free trade union. There was -- and still is -- one, the EFTA. But you decided in favour of the superstate, like nearly everyone.

This is because free trade agreements are cute, but nowhere as useful as an integrated market, which means something like the EU commission. Everyone has their own little petty self-interest, traditions, clients. Which means that for the market to work, you must make sure the politicians are simply not allowed to "protect" those that line their pockets. Of course, everyone hates that (because everyone can think of this 1-2 specific scam they are not allowed to run), but it is for the good of all.

Comment Re:Motivated rejection of science (Score 4, Informative) 661

I'll just leave this here.

Last time we had the kind of temperatures we are heading for, the dinosaurs ruled the Earth. Normally, organisms have millions of years to adapt to these kind of changes. This is how we are headed to an extinction event.

Comment Re:Why the hell... (Score 2) 661

The "scientific method" is a way to verify what is true. The set of observations Humanity has accumulated across the millennia and the theories that explain how these observations mesh together _is_ Science.

And it is very much something you have to learn to build upon and further your understanding. Science education is no oxymoron, you simply misunderstand what is Science.

Comment Re:Motivated rejection of science (Score 2, Insightful) 661

Nice misinformation here. The situation _is_ catastrophic. We _are_ in big trouble. Do not mistake the insane German policies [1] for a model of how things happen when you want to curb CO_2. The climatologists know very well how bad the situation is. Simply, it is so bad that they realise at this point people are not willing to listen to the truth, so they _minimise_ the risks.

[1] We would like solar, but really, we need energy, and since our crazy greens won't allow nuclear, we go for coal.

Comment Re:Motivated rejection of science (Score 2) 661

You misunderstand the scope of the problem. The issue is that there is a very real risk that we might be headed towards a global extinction event. Which no amount of money is worth enough to compensate for.

Further, it is a "risk" because it is a future event. But at this point it is also a very highly probable one. And you talk about religion, which is probably one of the root of the problem: too many people refuse to consider the risk because religion.

There is further a lot of uncertainty about whether we have time to let the kids make up their mind -- it's pretty clear at this point that solar/wind are the future, but the present is coal, and this might kill us. We would not have this problem if the ecologists had not killed nuclear, but it's probably too late for that. Post-apocalypse execution squads hunting for Greenpeace activists might make for a good film, but it won't help.

Comment Re: Motivated rejection of science (Score 1) 661

But the whole thing is: these models were and are pretty much correct. Simply, rates cannot go below zero (they can, and this is called a tax on capital and is apparently politically impossible in the US, so they can't). Many people forgot to consider what happens if rates hit the zero lower bound.

But people who did wonder about that found exactly what is happening now.

Beware people who will not trust models to their limits: they might be worried about the validity of the model, but in many cases are afraid of what they might learn.

Comment Re:Not so sure about the language... (Score 1) 216

Within the bounds of what is in the library, with horrible syntax and little structure.
Because you do not have structure available, you cannot have large programmes. This in turn means you are stuck with what Stephen Finds Interesting(TM). This has left me very much unimpressed: when I look at a language demo, I care about how elegantly, tersely and legibly you can express and structure notions. This is terse, but not elegant or legible. Also, expressing anything not already there seems really daunting.

1/10 would not care to use.

Comment Re:Peanuts (Score 1) 263

Dude, this would work if people were any good with numbers. Basically, if you have a competition, the best liar who low-balls their estimate gets the job. And then due to the sunk-cost fallacy, manages it to completion.

As it is, a honest estimation will only lead to your project never being funded, no matter how worthwhile it may be. And frankly, seeing the benefits of funding fundamental research, that would be immensely more costly for society in lost opportunity than whatever cost overrun. So the socially responsible thing to do is to lie about the costs.

Alternatively, you could teach people and their representatives to understand numbers and not freak out when they hear ONE TRILLION DOLLARS. 'Cause absolute values mean nothing. Fat chance.

Comment Re:Dallas? (Score 5, Informative) 263

This is true, but no so simple: in a straight line, you gain energy with the distance. When going round, you lose energy to stay in the loop as a function of the radius (the infinite radius case brings you back to the straight line). Thus, each time you want more energy, your collider ring needs to have considerably larger radius (following a third power law). At some point (basically the point after this proposal) you have to loop around the solar system :)

Comment Re:Pentobarbital (Score 5, Informative) 1160

No. Europe's position is a longstanding one. And as the EU is a larger market than the US, an EU law forbidding a drug company to help with capital punishment carries weight.

The link with the spying thing is that US companies may be faced with the choice of picking either one or the other market, if privacy directives from the EU come into force. And this is terrifying for US companies, because, again, the EU market is larger.

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