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Comment Re:Wow. (Score 1) 87

I wonder if they should work with pharma and come up with some new and improved hypnotics for a Mars journey. It might makes sense to have long-haul astronauts "zoned out" for several hours per day. They could keep a patch or some kind of autoinjector connected with a drug to counter-act it in case of emergency.

Comment Re:Dude plays race case, threatens upper managemen (Score 1) 271

People are afraid of our legal system, and things are usually about making sure you can defend yourself against a lawsuit.
I had a friend who got a million dollar umbrella insurance policy when he put in a pool - just in case of a tragedy where a neighborhood kid drowned, he didn't want to be sued. The fact that you and a lot of others probably think "that's not a bad idea" means that lawyers have weaseled their way so deeply into our society that it's now the default behavior.

Just think about that. And watch things in your daily life. Our legal system is built to sustain the profession of lawyers. And do they actually make things better for everyone else, or just themselves?

Comment Re:Wow. (Score 4, Informative) 87

This is different from a submarine in some important ways. On a Submarine, you have many dozens of people to interact with. You are physically confined, but you have some social variety. Your mission is dangerous, but you have the comfort of knowing that it's been done before. Tours are, IIRC, 6 months long.

A Mars expedition is different. You're going to train with these people continuously for at least 5 years. During that time you'll constantly be on your best going-to-church-with-grandma behavior and never speak up about grievances because your actions are being monitored ad nauseum by a legion of shrinks. Then you finally get the mission go and you spend (optimistically) 3 months in a space the size of a minivan. Remember your last trip in a minivan? Imagine being trapped in it for 3 months with 5 other people while NASA is scheduling your day down to 15 minute increments.

If a thousand things you can't control happen to go right then you land on Mars. EVA suits on, and you finally escape that (obscenity laden) capsule. You see a horizon for the first time in what feels like forever. Then you work your ass off for a month and have to climb back in that (expletive) minivan for a risk-laden trip back home that takes even longer than the trip to get there. ... and during the entire trip you don't have a single shower.

It's not "exactly" like life on a submarine, is it?

Comment Re:Good Idea! (Score 1) 34

Their minidisc stuff wasn't bad in the late 1990s. It had some DRM limits if you recorded digitally, but I don't remember it being a pain and it was way better than cassette for general reliability and analog recording.

I think they managed to screw this up when MP3 came along, bringing in more DRM and limitations while trying to stay relevant.

Comment Movies are down, TV is up (Score 1) 34

Sony Pictures reported an operating loss of $64.9 million on revenues of $3.28 billion for the six months ending in September.

But television program production is doing OK, Sony now sees the combined movie and TV unit generating about $8 billion in revenue for the fiscal year, with an operating profit of $25 million.

Comment Re:Remote work is validated once again. (Score 1) 144

Clearly humans, possessing more developed language and sophisticated intellectual capabilities, have been able to develop more sophisticated social organizations than other primates.

But it doesn't stop them from displaying regressive behavior that shows pretty clearly while we've branched off into a new species we still carry a lot of primal instincts from our ancestors.

Comment Re:saving money (Score 1) 109

Is that US-only or is that the story they are telling?

I look at Spain and Italy and Greece and while they didn't have the best economy to start with, it was the bailouts that did them in.

I also wonder, where did these billions come from? The stock exchange is a zero-sum game. So who paid these billions to the taxpayer?

Comment If only... (Score 1) 183

If only there were some sort of central repository of information that you could query to quickly find the answer to your question, ideally in less time than it took you to click Reply, type in your question with extra unimportant information, click Preview, then click Submit.

Comment Re:Self-fulfilling Prophecy (Score 2) 306

I always thought the elite schools attracted people not for their education but for the benefits of their social connections to a lot of rich and well-connected people.

What would Facebook be if Zuckerberg had instead gone to Purdue or Texas A&M instead of Harvard? How much of his success is due to the fact that he had access to a lot of rich and influential people?

Comment Re:Dude plays race case, threatens upper managemen (Score 2) 271

Maybe that's because the majority of slashdotters don't need to worry about waking up black or female. Waking up old, however, awaits us all...

Do not regret growing older. It is a privilege denied to many.

And I strongly disagree with the GPs assertion that there is "nothing inherently wrong with bringing attorneys into it."
That seems to be such a pervasive sentiment that it has made our society one that actually believes we need lawyers to behave like reasonable people. It's a self-fulfilling prophecy that has been created by - you guessed it - lawyers.

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