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Comment Re:For values of 'nearby' that equal 'still very f (Score 1) 344

Just to be clear, the proposed cost of this "get to Alpha Centauri in 20 years" project is $100M for a "nanocraft" that moves at 0.2C. To put this number in comparison, it is approximately 2.3% of the cost of the Large Hadron Collider, which we built. It is not inconceivable that, within 50 years, we could place real, live, people on this planet. That said, it would require a re-prioritization.

Comment Re:Well, that sounded extremely patronizing. (Score 1) 317

Here's the thing... Do you think anyone n that country that would have been a recipient of a chicken would have refused them? If so, the Government did not act in the best interests of those people. If they were the majority, you could seriously claim that the Government was not acting in the best interests of its people (it total).

Comment Re:back to work ? (Score 1) 244

Okay... Feel free to answer the question then:
"Where do insurance companies get the money to pay for medical care, especially the elderly?"
Go ahead, try not to say "from their customers."

What's not to "buy" ? Insurance companies take money from all clients and distribute it to clients who are covered and get medical care. Nearly 100% of the cost of more-than-trivial medical transactions is "passed on to other clients".

Comment Re:Cost of access is key. (Score 1) 373

You know, TFA actually said exactly this. Initial exploration was funded by Government until costs could be calculated, and then funded privately. Neil's point was that the exploration of Mars would follow the same pattern that history has followed until now: Government exploration, private exploitation.

Comment Re:How much for the Diversity Initiative? (Score 3, Insightful) 115

The above paints a (probably accurate) picture that Intel is cutting $300M in R&D and starting $300M in Diversity Initiatives. The STS highlights "Independent individual [student] research", and is (likely) funded out of the R&D budget. It seems like a pretty clear message of valuing genitalia/pigmentation above talent/competence. I disagree with this corporate value stance, but it is not my company.

I really hate to think of the R&D scientists/engineers who will be laid off, go without equipment, or be unable to investigate new projects because the company believes that more representatives having certain genitalia or pigmentation should instead be subsidized. Doubly so for student researchers (bearing the wrong genitalia or pigmentation).

Comment Re:Who has the rights to the moon's resources? (Score 1) 214

In other words, the law is extremely unfair and biased.

If you believe that this law is unfair/biased in the favor of mining companies, I suggest that you start one.

The laws are structured in the same manner as many others: if you can take it, its yours. The oil in the middle of the Pacific doesn't go to "the citizens of all involved countries [on the planet]", it goes to the first to claim it. The "gold in them hills" belongs to the first to grab it.

Comment Re:Indicative of General Attitudes (Score 1) 153

Certainly, and that is borne out in the numbers.

I've been having a hard time figuring out where I stand on this. The $ rate for researchers is roughly equivalent (100K average for senor scientist, 89K average for normal, www.glassdoor.com), so there is a good argument to be made for the NIH grant decision authority: "if I can pay someone with 10 extra years of experience for roughly the same money, why shouldn't I?". There is also a good argument for young scientists who claim "we have less than half the economic opportunities which were presented to the previous generation; this is unfair, and 10 years worth of scientists will be lost."

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"Necessity is the mother of invention" is a silly proverb. "Necessity is the mother of futile dodges" is much nearer the truth. -- Alfred North Whitehead