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Comment Re:Lasers.. (Score 1) 146

Actually both we and the creatures we call apes are descended from apes. This is because we *are* apes, though an unusual variety. We and our relatives are apes all the way back to when Gibbons separated off, and probably further. Depends on the exact definition you use.

OTOH, I could use a variation of the same argument to assert that we are fish, all the way back until teleosts separated off. Most people don't like that argument, I find it an interesting test of how people think about classification problems, and not substantively significant. It's argument about word game rules, not about anything substantive. FWIW, I tend to be a Cladist (i.e., I count line of descent), so I *do* count people as fish...of a rather weird variety, as I do all other mammals and reptiles. And reptiles isn't a good group unless you include birds as a variety of reptile.

The world is complex, and the natural joints in categories often don't match what looks superficially reasonable. People are apes, apes are mammals, mammals are fish (well, that's a lousy term, but I don't have a better one to hand), fish are chordates, chordates are multicellular, multicellular are eukaryotes. It's like set inclusion, with proper containment (if the containment weren't proper, there'd be no reason to have separate names).

Comment Re:They are too close to their robots (Score 1) 146

While a robot cannot be bullied, a human can bully a robot.

I.e. the human is acting in a way that the human perceives as bullying, but the robot doesn't have the predicted emotional response.

It's quite possible to vandalize a robot without bullying it if you have in your mind the clear belief that the robot isn't responding emotively. And certainly the robot wouldn't be, but people have a strong tendency to anthropomorphize anything that acts as if it were an independent agent (from their perspective). So most people would be bullying a robot were they to vandalize it.

Comment Re:La Niña is about to bite us in the arse (Score 1) 159

Be fair, "the greatest climate disaster" started long before Trump took office. It might even be before Lincoln. It's just that nobody noticed it at the time, because it's taken a long time to build. Trump may, however, be president at a point of inflection (a point, because you can't even roughly model it with simple quadratic function). Things are, indeed, likely to get worse quickly for a bit, but Trump didn't cause that, he's just been refusing to ameliorate it.

Comment Re:OMG Fuck apple (Score 1) 29

Sorry, but it's a reasonable request. It may also be reasonable to deny it, but it's a reasonable request. There's no way that a "driver" who's just been sitting there playing a game on his phone will be able to take over the driving in 10 seconds, so the steering wheel is useless in emergencies.

Comment Re:Next item on News at 10 (Score 1) 89

I think you're wrong. This is my perspective:
  - - - - - -
Sorry, but it's really "expect leaks". Every place has leaks. If your staff considers your actions immoral, then you should expect damaging leaks. If they are supportive, then you should expect supportive leaks. (They may actually be damaging, but their intended purpose will be to bolster your image. Similarly the "damaging leaks" may actually be harmless, or even useful, but their intended purpose would be to injure you.)

People are lousy at keeping secrets, even when they intend to...and they'd often rather seem to offer proof that they "know what's what".

Vetting your staff is supposed to ensure that they consider what you are doing as just and moral. The same as any criminal gang. (Note that I didn't mention legal.) That way when they leak it will be generally supportive.

Comment Re:No. (Score 1) 271

No, that's not normal. 300 mg/day is well below the normal cardiac diet at a hospital. Every time she's admitted she has to fight with the diet kitchen to get food she can eat. People can have LOTS of variation in their needs, much more than is usually acknowledged even by those who are specialists in, e.g., diet, and certainly more than is usually acknowledged by non-specialists.

Comment Re:source (Score 1) 236

Yes, but at the time being discussed I'm not sure there is any evidence for the existence of ocean-viable boats. We're talking well back in the old stone age, and the Pacific near the Aleutians isn't peaceful. At later periods this would be a quite important point, and I'm rather sure that the inhabitants of the Kuril and Aleutian islands would prove to be related well back in time, but probably not far before the invention of the proto-kayak. (They might even not have gotten to the islands before then.)

Comment Re:Why is this even on Slashdot? (Score 1) 99

Because there just aren't enough Microsoft stories anymore, and if slashdot commenters go 24 hours without squee'ing "M$" or "Faux News" somewhere, they feel they have written nothing clever all day. The slashdot editors are concerned about their readers' self-esteem and are happy to oblige them.

Comment Re:Opposite (Score 1) 546

He doesn't know what you're talking about. Most grad students I know, that had to eat ramen noodles near daily to maintain housing and college tuition, that were able to eventually move to a more comfortable economic milleu, have more compassion and common sense than this asshole.

Comment Re:Opposite (Score 1) 546

Don't expect the government to come to the rescue just because you failed to plan for the future.

Of course. But to be frank, you can't even count on that nest egg being there, even if you scrimp and save. There are a ton of ways Wall Street, with the cooperation or active abettance of the US Treasury, can either seize that nest egg, or fritter it away via inflation. Just study the details of economic collapses (starting with Great Depression, particularly Germany, but also look at foreign economic collapses, whether its Argentina, Norway/Sweden, the Asian currency collapse in 1998) and recessions (stuff like the S&L collapse in the late 1980's).

The last near-banking collapse in 2007-2008 should be quite instructive as well. After 75 years of no banking scares, the US/world economic systems nearly collapsed like an Argentinian bank. Basically, the US Treasury and Federal Reserve bailed out the banks by buying their toxic assets, and the 0% interest Fed lending window; the alleged 2009 infrastructure spending bill of under $800 billion dollars was a sham. The banking system didn't even go into near collapse by subprime mortgage loans, they were less than 5% of the entire loan market. It was the unregulated derivatives gambling posed in part by the subprime loans which threatened the entire system, and the short lending that suddenly wasn't there when Lehman was declared bankrupt. And look at who went to prison for the chicanery? Hell, that fucker Jamie Dimon still has a job after the London Whale fiasco lost $6.8 billion dollars. And now Trump and the banks want to reduce SEC regulation and oversight??? And now I'm supposed to "trust" Wall Street and the Fed Reserve ???

Did you really require that last iPhone, TV, new car, gaming-system, vacation-trip, restaurant-visit, bar-visit or could you have skipped it or bought something cheaper that provided the same functionality and saved some $$ for the future?

You see, you're part of the bullshit. A shitload of people don't even have the spare cash for recent model iPhone, or meal at a restaurant. I'm supposed to give up all alcohol for the next 40 years, because if I do that, and invest wisely, I am guaranteed that nest egg will even be there? Its not old people (unless they're poor) giving up cable TV service.

And the young people that builds up debt for school for taking some obscure classes that will never result in any money..

And really, all the 18 year olds, who never had to manage thousands of dollars in loans before, decided they're going to pursue an BS for an IT degree, and don't realize there won't be a job that will pay off the loans they accrued pursuing the degree, are the whole fault of the student loan debt slavery system???

Millennials (don't listen to this pompous asshole who gets his information from print media), realize that your parent sold you a bullshit story that all you needed to do was work hard, get your college degree, buy a house, and set aside money for your retirement, and most likely you will have a relatively comfortable, worry free life. They were lucky enough to live in an era where if you were that careful and responsible, this would probably be the result. What they didn't tell you was that foreign labor markets and now technology would take away those blue collar jobs. They're not telling you now that technology moves so fast, they're going to take away ALL the blue collar jobs, along with the professional jobs, like doctor, lawyer, insurance adjuster, etc. (There will still be architecture jobs, but the available jobs will shrink to a bunch of rich overseas billionaires, and those jobs will go the educated natives (not of this country) that are closer to the construction jobs.)

You do need to "save" money, pare down your discretionary spending, but you also have to realize that the rich people own all the banks, the media companies that tell you to invest your money in investment bank X, vote for guys like Trump or vote for women like Warren (doesn't matter, rich people picked them both during their party conventions) to fix your problems (see how well that's working right now?), and ignore that no one at the top levels of the banking establishment went to prison for the subprime lending fiasco, the LIBOR fixing, and that what happened in 2008 was part of an economic cycle that always comes and goes (even though it hadn't happened like that in 75 years) and how Obama saved the "auto industry", which was true if you were an executive or shareholder, but never mind what happened to the pension or certain bondholders. Its all part of the plan, just like addressing human induced climate change. (What change? Scientists don't know what they're talking about, its a Chinese scam.) Here's a crazy suggestion, maybe its not worth going to college if it means being in hock for over 5 years. Maybe you don't want to put all your assets in one (US) bank account. Maybe realize that your IRA/401K will lose a lot of value if its used to bail out the banks in a future collapse twenty to thirty years from now.

I really wish I had a surefire formula where if you did the right thing, and kept your head down, you wouldn't have to worry about starving on the street or bankrupted by medical bills in your old age. The safest thing to do may be to emigrate to Sweden or Germany, or any place where there still appears to be the rule of law and stable government. Or the safest thing to do is spend your free time in local and state politics demanding actual responsible gov't, or issue activism. Just realize the NSA collects everything about you to protect society from terrorists (like you). And wanting to buy the latest iPhone is like the ghetto kids wanting to buy the latest kicks. Consumerism is another form of economic slavery. Open your eyes and build critical thinking skills.

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