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Comment Humans are really adaptable (Score 1) 522

Disaster may hit the planet, but we've had hundreds of millions of years of multicellular life, and humans are likely the most adaptable variety yet. I don't think there's any reason to suppose humans will be completely wiped out by any global-scale disaster that doesn't wipe out essentially all land-based life. We haven't had one of those kind of disasters yet, so I don't see it happening any time in the next 1000 years.

Yes, there will likely be a disaster of global proportions, and I sure don't want to be around for it. I seriously doubt, though, that it could be an extinction level event for humanity.

Comment Re:Vasectomy (Score 1) 372

Had mine at 25 - walked in, dropped the pants, lay down for about 10 minutes of Seinfeld. Took two Advil and got a ride home. Went to work the next day with no lasting pain or issues. Definitely no regrets.

I did go to a doctor who does only vasectomies though - dozens a days, so he's likely quite proficient at it compared to some.

Comment Re:Welcome to Canada (Score 2) 101

Sparsely populated in Texas is a completely different thing from sparsely populated in Northern Canada. Loving county Texas has some 80 people in 1700 sq km. There's scarcely a spot in Texas more than 5 miles from a road.

Ellesmere island has around 150 people over 196,235sq km. Giant swaths of the north have absolutely no one living there at all. I haven't checked, but it wouldn't surprise me if you could draw out an area the size of texas with no one living there at all.

Comment Re:Umm, iced over? (Score 1) 101

Winter roads are only drivable in winter. In summer they're just lakes and muskeg. I've lived in several communities that are fly-in (or boat-in) only all spring summer and fall, with just a few months of road access when everything freezes over. When it comes to arctic conditions on real roads, I'd certainly rather drive in -40 than just below freezing - snow is much grippier in the real cold than it is at warmer temperatures.

Comment Re:A problem (Score 1) 241

You'll still need someone to define the solution set - what a correctly looking program behaves like. In photo recognition, the problem is fairly well defined already and the hard part is writing the output. For most programs though, the hard part is deciding what the problem really is? Which data do we need to capture? Who can access it? Which aggregates/reports do we care about? By the time you've answered all the relevant specification questions, you've basically solved the problem already without an expert system needed to get you the rest of the way. I guess you could argue, that that's what a compiler already is.

Comment Re:If not now... (Score 4, Insightful) 1023

This is why we need to completely drop the minimum wage and bring in a basic income. If something can be done by a robot, then there's no reason a human should be doing it. Productivity will keep going up with fewer and fewer workers needed, but we're still going to have people who need to live and consume.

Comment Re:Sounds like a good thing (Score 1) 85

This isn't data like health or tax records - those they're keeping. It's things like fisheries data from the 1950s - what was caught where and when, which birds were living in northern Saskatchewan in 1985, etc... It's largely mundane data, but when researchers need to look for trends in trying to manage fishing quotas, being able to get that old data is invaluable.

Comment Re:The problem is that landfills are too cheap (Score 1) 371

This is the critical short-fall in over-emphasizing the individual right. It's not merely short-sightedness. Each individual can be perfectly rational in not doing the extra work to sort recycling, as there is almost no benefit to them to do so, and essentially no harm if they don't - in fact if recycling is charged for, then there is a loss for them to recycle. From that point of view, one would be foolish to recycle.
However, on a large scale, it's a benefit to each individual if everyone recycles, so it's again rational to vote for measures that force everyone to pay for recycling through taxes, and to fine people for not sorting recycling.

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