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Comment Re:Of course the spin is people are... (Score 2, Insightful) 693

*grabs popcorn*

So the dog finally caught a car. Now we get to watch what happens when a bunch of idiots vote against their own best interests and have to face the consequences. Take this a preview of what's coming in November for the good ol' US.

I don't know about you guys, but I'm having a ball.

Comment Legislation Can't Fix Incompetence (Score 5, Insightful) 660

This should be obvious, but I guess politicians need to be seen doing something, and apparently reasonable gun control in a country that makes up a 1/3 of violent gun crimes just isn't going to fly.

The guy was nuts. He had a documented history of being nuts. His friends thought he was nuts. His family thought he was nuts. And yet, he could still get plenty of ammo and guns. The problem wasn't that there wasn't enough surveillance. The problem is that no one was paying attention to the information that was ALREADY AVAILABLE.

"Oh, I see you have a history of being bat shit insane. Here, let me get you a special discount on our Sandy Hook signature line of guns."

Comment Re:Uh, really? (Score 1) 412

What, like Guantanamo Bay was going to be closed under President Obama?

And for the millionth time, a president can promise ANYTHING but he/she has to have the support to do it.

Presidents aren't gods. They can't just wave their hand and make shit happen. "I will close Guantanamo!" made a good sound bite, but anyone with a partially functioning cortex should have realized that doing so is a lot more complicated than simply saying "CLOSE IT".

And that's really the problem with elections in general. It's why people have low confidence and trust in politicians. Politicians have to market themselves, and they have to do it in the 5 minute attention span the news/people have. But at the same time, they have to deal with problems who's answers are anything but simple. How do you resolve that?

Well, right now we have politicians delivering sound bites that are tailored to sound good, but if you actually stop and think about what it is they're talking about the sound bites are really just fluff. The actual implementation and execution of said sound bites may be quite difficult or impossible, especially if you're going to be meeting opposition.

So go ahead and vote for whoever "sounds" better to you. But keep in mind that doesn't mean they're going to get anything done. Obstructionism is the word of the day in politics.

Comment Re:The denialists need to be dealt with somehow. (Score 1) 331

I'm not convinced you care about the future either. There are much more important problems than global warming such as overpopulation, poverty, destruction of arable land, habitat destruction, corruption of human society, nuclear proliferation, and environmental pollution. A key problem with climate change mitigation is that these greater problems are routinely compromised for token efforts in climate change mitigation.

No, the key problem here is don't understand the wide range of consequences and impacts climate change will have. Overpopulation is an issue that will be made much worse by climate change (migration). Poverty will be made worse by climate change. Arable land destruction will be made worse (already seeing some of that and it's only going downhill from there). Habitat destruction will be worse (goes without saying). So on and so forth.

Humans are terrible when it comes to assessing long range threats. Most people simply have no concept of how much everything today relies on our formerly stable climate. When you hear those estimates of trillions, it's not some off the cuff number. Really smart people sat down and researched the chain of consequences.

Worse, this isn't a problem we can magically make "go away". At best it would take decades of dedicated effort to undo the damage of the past 150 or so years. So when we get to that "oh shit" moment, not only are we ill equipped to actually do anything about, there will be an additional several decades after that where things will get worse due to the lag in the climate system.

If we deal with these other problems, then untrammeled climate change is not a big deal. Human societies, particularly modern ones readily adapt to conditions that changed on the centuries long time scales we speak of. If we don't deal with these problems because we're putting our resources in preventing climate change instead, we would still face disaster.

Bullshit. All it would take is a slightly altered change to mid-level jet stream patterns and most of humanity would be seriously fucked. The largest food exporters on the planet rely on a stable climate to produce said food. The small percent of arable land that produces most of the world's food is within a narrow band of latitudes. A small change and bam, drought. We already had a small taste of that when Russia ceased exports a few years ago due to extreme heat and drought. Imagine if the same thing were to occur in the US midwest where the aquifers are already pretty much exhausted.

Human societies have FAILED in the face of regional climate changes. Entire empires have collapsed due to drought. Computers and iPhones are not edible.

The status quo does a good job of fixing these other problems while climate change mitigation efforts have been notorious for being harmful and counterproductive, prioritizing extremely weak climate change mitigation over the bigger problems.

I think the fundamental bankruptcy of your beliefs is that you can't show that your so-called "give a damn" is better than doing absolutely nothing. It's not fair to the people who don't think so much about the future, when you do and come up with ideas worse than doing nothing.

More BS. Other than a couple countries who have gone ahead with renewable initiatives jack shit has been done to reduce the carbon footprint, as evidenced by the never ending increase in atmospheric CO2. It's a global problem, and requires global solutions but we're to socially retarded as a species to work on that scale.

Check that, some organizations like the US military that actually do make long term plans have been preparing mitigation efforts. They're realists. They know nothing will be done about it, so might as well be ready when the shit hits the fan.

Comment Re:Luddites? (Score 1) 1052

You confuse rich people with flashy people. There are plenty of wealthy people who don't flaunt their wealth in this manner. It's never good to rub people's faces in the fact that maybe you have something they don't. Nothing good ever comes of it. And there are plenty of people who own the "bling" and can't really afford it, living beyond their means for as long as they can keep up the juggling act. Never judge a book by its cover.

Precisely. I'm quite well off, but you'd never know it by just looking at me or where I live. I could easily afford a McMansion in a ritzy part of town, but I choose to live in a normal middle class house in a normal middle class neighborhood. I could have a couple of new Mercedes, BMW's, or Lexus's but I have couple of moderately aged Prius's. I could be wearing expensive brands of clothes, jewlery, etc. but I wear old jeans and shirts.

There are flashy people, and there are rich flashy people. But I'd be willing to be a large percentage of "rich" people you wouldn't be able to pick out of a normal crowd/neighborhood. They didn't get rich by buying expensive homes/cars/etc.

Comment Late (Score 1) 515

I was introduced to programming when I was a sophmore in college. There was a course on 3D programming using the new API called OpenGL that sounded interesting.

Ever have one of those things that just seemed to naturally click for you? That's what it was like. Took to it like a fish to water. Just regret it took me so long. But it's not like everyone or every school had a computer back then.

Comment Re:Campaign season (Score 1) 607

If I may speak for a second on behalf of everyone in the rest of the world...

America, you have just shy of 325 million residents. I don't know how many of those are natural-born residents eligible to run for US President, but I assume the percentage is fairly high. Let's say at least 275 million people. How is it that from such a huge number that these are the best people you could come up with???

You guys really need to dig deeper for political talent. We in the outside world are getting worried about you if the current crop of clowns is the best you can find!

Yaz

Let me help you a little with that.

First, you're approaching the problem completely wrong. Sure, the constitution has a minimum set of requirements to be electable as president but no one takes that seriously. The first and most important requirement to run for president is money. Lot's of money. That narrows it down to a couple percent of the population. Then you have to narrow it further by looking into who would actually want the job and the scrutiny it brings, which most don't want. Then there's the "favors" and political clout, which again most don't have. We have two major political parties that have effectively created barriers so high that most couldn't cross them to even be considered a candidate. Etc.

At the end of the day you wind up with a very small group of people to select from. And when you've got a bunch of people who have been subjected to crap political games for pretty much the past 16 years, you get a lot of anger and resentment (not to mention apathy). That's a perfect recipe for creating an election like the one that's shaping: an egomaniacal podium thumping idiot stoking and feeding of the anger of the population and a quasi-corrupt fixture representing the status quo.

Saw this coming from a mile away. So did a lot of others. Just didn't expect it to be so soon.

Comment Re:Roughly 25%-35% of warming due to solar changes (Score 1) 166

I did some looking into the effects of solar changes on global and solar-system temperatures, because I wondered how much of an effect it might have, if any...

You didn't do shit. Your conclusions are garbage, and contradict basic solar observations (solar output has been dropping, not increasing). You provide no sources or citations. You provide no verifiable evidence. You provide no methodology, error analysis, or pretty much anything else you'd expect to find in any sort of research.

There are plenty of real scientists providing real research on the topic. Start there, then try again.

Comment And people wonder why I laugh... (Score 1) 267

...when they tell about their weird and bizarre conspiracy theories. The brains have been infected by Hollywood.

As this article points out, there's still a good chunk of tech that hasn't been changed for decades even in critical systems. There's no super 'leet next age UI. There's a monochrome monitor with a prompt that says "feed-the-badger>" with a tape drive and an 8" floppy.

If ain't broke and has 1200 pages of mimeographed documentation then it's still good.

Comment Re:"Up to" (Score 1) 146

This is really stupid. Fitbit has never claimed that their products were ECGs. The heart rate is an estimate, and the estimate can be greatly impacted based on a large number of factors. It's a freakin' optical sensor. Everything from dried sweat to lose bands to body hair can interfere with the measurement.

They're activity trackers. They're supposed to help track your general activities across over the course of a day, not give you a detailed medical diagnostic on your heart rate. They're an estimation tool to help you manage your activity, calories etc. They don't need to be (and are not) 100% accurate, but as long as they are in the ballpark they can help you get fit.

If you're overweight or have a fitbit and aren't getting healthier, the problem is NOT because it's off when measuring your heart rate.

Comment Re:Thought he retired... (Score 2) 257

Bill Nye is as much a climate scientist as Al Gore. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and used to work for Boeing. Yes, he is billed as a "science educator," but he gets his information on "climate change" the same way the rest of us do, from the MSM. Getting your information from Oprah Winfrey or Judge Judy is just as valid.

No, unlike you he does actually research the material. And really, at a basic level the physics, chemistry, math, etc. is simple enough that even a high school AP student could get through it.

You don't need a Ph.d to understand the basic mechanisms involved.

Comment Re:Makes perfect sense.. (Score 3, Insightful) 201

Islam is the Scientology of the Dark Ages - created by evil men to control other men and (especially) women. Don't make excises to defend this lie !

Ever read the old testament? There isn't a hell of a lot a difference between the atrocities there and those found in the Koran. Same theme's too.

If you think the Jewish and Christian religions are based on rainbows and kittens then you really haven't read the Torah/Bible/etc.

Comment Re:Judge for yourself (Score 4, Interesting) 476

You are completely missing the point. This isn't about left or right. It's about trademark.

For example, you can't just take some trademarked item, make some merchandise, and sell it. It doesn't matter if it's Mickey Mouse, Coca-Cola, or Bernie Sanders. If there is an established trademark, you need to get permission first.

This isn't even a story. It'd be like some random schmuck making and selling Star Wars related merchandise without getting permission.

Comment Re:Climate is not weather (Score 1) 837

How much of that is caused by man, and more importantly, how much will be caused by man in the next hundred years or so, has not been established. The models that purport to be predictive disagree with one another; disagree with the actual observed climate; offer no precursor climate event that shores up their ideas; suffer from precursor climate events that contradict their ideas; and are almost certain to be massively disrupted by technological change even if they were spot on WRT today's conditions anyway.

This is pure nonsense. There is a rather large and voluminous work exactly on this subject, called the IPCC report complete with a full list of references to peer reviewed scientific research. From that one source you can dive into as much detail as you want about the models, modeling, errors, unknowns, assumptions, etc.

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