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Comment Re:They tell you upfront it isn't going to be good (Score 1) 110

Are all men equal by that definition of "equal"? Or all women exactly like all other women?

"Men" aren't stamped out of some kind of archetypal "man" mold, nor are all women exactly whatever you think a "woman" is or should be. Both men and women are going to be distributed along a normal curve (or maybe log-normal) when it comes to their fitness for some particular job.

So this raises the question: how much overlap do those populations have? The traditionalist view is that there are manly jobs for which no woman is suitable; the radically opposite viewpoint is that there are no differences at all between the populations for any job. But leaving aside jobs like NFL offensive lineman or surrogate mother, I'd say that unless you take one or the other of these extreme positions it's not necessary to have an opinion on precisely how much overlap there is. The only thing that really matters is the individual you are evaluating for the job. If a woman is the best candidate for an engineering position or CEO or whatever, it literally doesn't matter whether or not men are usually better at that sort of thing.

Comment Re:Not just Southern Spain (Score 1) 180

It's pretty logical why people over history want to believe the world/society/civilization is ending - it makes a superb excuse for extremely localized personal choices and values.

Societies and civilizations always end. That's what they do.

Nobody said the world is ending. The claim is that it's about to get extremely inconvenient for humans.

It's pretty logical why people move the goalposts — so they don't have to actually do anything to change.

Comment Re:Not just Southern Spain (Score 1) 180

"it's about reducing greed."
The whole climate change movement has unfortunately mixed together ethics and science. And used "science" as the "reason" to accept the ethics. You "MUST" cut CO2 and do it in the societal-changing ways we believe in.

Here's the problem. You think they're objecting to greed on some whimsical basis. They aren't. They're objecting to it on the basis of physics. If we continue to live extractively, we are going to continue to force global warming. The biosphere cannot sustain our greed.

I personally am all for a progressive humanity and humanism and more ethical living.

Well then shut the fuck up and stop working against it, idiot.

Comment Re:Not just Southern Spain (Score 1) 180

The 'scenario' is based on a simple yet unproven assumption that a warmer globe means a drier climate in specific localized regions. Yet there is no proof of this or a validated model for this.

We know what weather patterns form deserts, and what produces those weather patterns. Are you saying that we can't take a good guess at what will happen if we simply pour more energy into the existing weather patterns? I suspect that's something we're fairly good at.

With our inability to understand the feedback mechanisms in a warmer world that we've not yet witnessed, we might find that precipitation actually increases in some of these regions.

Yes, we might. But probably not. We've already had the opportunity to observe significant global warming, so our ability to make declarative statements about it is improving over time, and you're pretending that it itsn't.

I call general bullshit on the predictions that always say dry areas get dryer, wet areas get wetter, stormy regions get stormier. Its too simple an assumption in a complex system.

That's not the prediction. This is a prediction about one specific dry area. You know what's more suspicious than a prediction that a dry area will get dryer? Refusing to accept such a plausible prediction. They're making a quite believable claim (adding energy to a system will increase its extremes) and you are making the exceptional counterclaim. It is you with the responsibility of providing exceptional evidence.

Comment Don't just think "change"; think "rate of change". (Score 1) 180

I have known or at least met many environmental luminaries in the course of my career, and as one of them put it: I = P*S/T -- that is to say environmental impact is proportional to population and standard of living, but is inversely proportional to technology.

So the key to avoiding a dystopian future is to keep the rate of technological improvement greater than the rate of population growth. The way to do that is to invest in people. Societies who have lower infant mortality rates have lower birth rates; societies with better education are more innovative.

Will the future way we do things look radically different from today? Yes! Just as the way we do things today look radically different from the past. Change happens in both the environment and human society; it's inevitable. The question is whether it happens at a rate organisms and people can adapt to, and in particular whether we make a conscious decision to direct that change or have it forced upon us.

Comment Wrong in at least two ways. (Score 1) 331

1.) I *do* like the concept of cash. And I always like to have some in my pocket. And I bet there are many people like me in that regard.

2.) Killing cash in developing and third world countries isn't going to work anytime soon. And it will be difficult in quite some 1st world countries too, especially those where citizens have learned to distrust Gouvernment and the banks.

3.) If anyone actually does kill cash, it will be Google and not you guys. Sorry.

Comment Re:Vote-flipping Evidence (Score 3, Interesting) 188

There are already a lot of videos circulating that show vote-flipping, where you vote for A, but the machine records B. Making selfies illegal would make the evidence that this has happeened inadmissable in court.

Are you a cop by any chance? Because you do not understand the rules of evidence. Evidence gathered by a citizen during the commission of a crime is still admissible in court. It's evidence gathered by a police officer that isn't.

Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 1004

You need some sort of hybrid approach, where you convince easiest 99% of people to be peaceful, but retain enough military capability to dissuade the remaining stubborn 1% from doing anything nuts. Which is more or less what we're doing today.

Rather less, I should think. What we're doing today is radicalizing 1% with bombings, drone strikes, interference with democratic elections, etc etc so that we can have excuses for endless war.

Comment This is bad. (Score 1) 166

Say what you will, but I don't like the way things are going in the broad perspective.

Yes, we are the dominant species. And yes that is cool.

But we need to start and act as responsible as we are. Right now we only have one planet and it's probably going to stay that way - any people moving to mars in 300 years probably will go to stay there. Just watching those old films of english colonial lords shooting tigers by the dozen just for the kicks or seeing japanese firms chopping down rainforests in the indonesian sea for precious wood because the imprint of it looks cool on cast concrete (seriously) makes me sick. This sort of behaviour is totally insane.

I actually think it might well placed and targeted eco terrorism/sabotage might even be waranted in a few situations happening around the globe. Ignorant idiots are fucking up the planet and we need a global military force to stop them. Make it really expensive in hardware, money and lives to poison rivers in south america where metals are being mined. Stop bulldozers in the amazon with an AMG shot to the motor.

Comment Re:Positive development (Score 1) 166

The abundance of one species does not a healthy ecosystem make. I have a friend whose family owns a 1700 acre island off the coast of New England. It used to support an enormous white tail deer population -- and not coincidentally it had a plague of ticks, because everything in nature is food for something else. You would not have wanted to visit there back in the 1970s because the tick problem was insane. Everyone in his family has had Lyme disease, which also feasted on the swollen deer population.

Then in the 1980s the Western Coyote made it to New England, and a pack swam out to the island. In a single season they took down most of the deer herd, and now the island is a pleasant and sanitary place to live. And this is not some kind of odd aberration; this is how ecology works. If you disturb an ecosystem (say by killing off all the native timber wolves), weed species take over and they end up riddled with disease.

Weed species the ones who by sheer luck can live in conjunction with or off of large human populations. In a healthy ecosystem they may be cute, but an ecosystem dominated by weed animals can be nightmarish. I know lots of natural science geeks, and for the most part animals don't scare them. I once went for a walk with a girl who picked up a rotting coyote head and put it in her jacket pocket. She was TA'ing an anatomy course and wanted to show it to her students. But even she wouldn't go near a racoon, because unchecked by predation suburban raccoons are chock full of leptospirosis, salmonella and roundworm -- not to mention rabies. Those diseases can and do cripple, even kill people.

A world dominated by weed species would be quite horrible to live in.

Comment Re:More condoms less climate change (Score 1) 166

People per se have almost no impact on climate. It's what people do and how much in aggregate they do it.

Environmentalists are often stereotyped as pessimists, but really most of the people I know who've dedicated their careers are optimistic that technology can address many environmental problems. Sure, they'd like to see the global population stabilized, or even somewhat reduced, because that makes the job of preserving the environment much easier. But they actually believe the sustainability problem can be licked, even without reducing the global population by much.

I'll give you one example of how an actual environmentalist thinks. I was at a meeting with the sustainability director of a major sportswear manufacturer, and he was describing the research they were doing into improving the recyclability of polyester fleece clothing. He made the point that scale is critical to assessing the environmental impact. For a small band of hunter-gatherers, wild animal pelts would be the source of clothing with the least impact; wool would have intermediate impact; a chemical plant that reprocesses coke bottles into polyester resins would have a ridiculously large impact. But if you are making hundreds of thousands of garments, the impacts are actually reversed: the chemical plant has the least environmental impact. Once you turn those bottles into fleece you can continually recycle those molecules into more fleece. He describes recycling as "living off your environmental income instead of your capital."

Environmentalists -- by which I mean the people who are actually working on solutions to environmental problems -- generally believe that even with a large population we can make use of the products of ecosystems without disturbing the equilibria that sustain those systems. As one civil engineering environmentalist I know put it: I = P*S/T ; impact is proportional to population and standard of living but inversely proportional to technology. You can reduce the environmental impact of home heating by reducing the number of people; or you could do it by people getting used to being colder. But you can get the same result by insulating your house and heating it with renewable energy.

It's actually the anti-environmentalists who are the pessimists; they don't believe in people's ability to adapt, and they anticipate nothing but suffering from trying to do anything about problems. Their version of "optimism" is to discount any evidence that problems exist, or to convincing themselves if we do nothing everything will work out for the best.

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