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Comment Capitalism has made similar mistakes (Score 1) 51

Capitalism made the same mistake when Ireland relied too heavily on potatoes because they grew so well and were profitable ... until they all got sick.

Lesson: don't put all your economy in one basket, whether you are commies, socialists, capitalists, or some mix.

Comment Re:This is a bit absurd... (Score 1) 196

My gods, programmers have gotten lazy. What's next, extra CPU consumption for bold text? The system slowing down every time it beeps?

Or, we could at least allow for the possibility that the behavior was unintentional. If you've never written a program that inadvertently spins a core rather than correctly blocking while waiting for the next event in the event loop, then feel free to cast the first stone, but I imagine most programmers have made that mistake.

Comment Laumerlicious stuff (Score 1) 346

Chris, know what else would make a superb movie from Laumer? The Long Twilight. That book is awesome fun.

It has superhumans, aliens and alien artifacts, AI constructs, alien empires, broadcast power, several quite different levels of plotting, alternate history, near-future tech, military aspects of various ages, a love story, revenge, reconciliation... and it's all reasonably doable, movie-wise.

Any Laumer fan who hasn't read it... I highly recommend it.

Comment Re:As usual, more detail needed (Score 1) 117

Generally speaking you should never, ever change your behavior based on the results of a single study -- even a controlled, double-blind study, much less an epidemiological survey. You should wait for a comprehensive literature review paper in a high-impact peer reviewed journal before you consider a result reliable.

That said, correlation is still quite valuable -- to researchers. Science doesn't have the resources to come up with quick, definitive answers on a question like this, involving a complex system that is expensive and ethically tricky to monkey with. So science spends a lot of time doing safer, more affordable stuff like looking for epidemiological correlations, until it can justify spending a lot of rare research dollars on something more probative. And those dollars are about to get a lot rarer too.

Comment Re:A way better solution (Score 1) 234

Literally never seen another stuck signal, and that was a temporary kit pulled from the trailer of a work vehicles. What makes you think this is a big problem?

And signals should change periodically WHETHER OR NOT the loops detect a vehicle. Anything else is a design flaw. It just adjusts the timing if vehicles are detected on one and not another.

P.S. traffic lights pre-date mobile phones by quite a bit. It's not a problem. Guess what country had the world's first?

Comment Re:Similar (Score 1) 186

Kiribati is going underwater. Does anyone else care? *sigh*

I could rob you and beat you to pulp. Would anyone else care? The answer is that wise people would care, because they'll know if I get away with that I'll be getting away with a lot more.

Same with climate change. Yes, Kiribati may disappear. But the Kiribatians aren't the only people who will pay; in fact most people in the world will end up paying. The way this works is that we all get some up front economic benefit from unregulated carbon emissions and we all pay for the consequences later, but the trick is that the benefits and costs aren't spread uniformly. Some people make a killing on cheap fossil fuel and then can move the bulk of the resulting assets out of the way of climate change. The worst hit are those whose wealth is in land -- the Kiribatians obviously, but also farmers in places which become unsupportably arid.

Comment Re: Oh well (Score 1) 186

I don't think it's greed. I think it's wishful thinking.

And it absolutely would be great if there were no downsides to burning all the fossil fuels we can lay our hands on. Most people on this site are too young to remember the smog we had in the 1960s and 1970s; they're imprinted on a time when gas was cheap, air was clean, and anthropogenic climate change was (as far as the general public was concerned) undreamt of. Who wouldn't want that to be true?

Comment Indie Movies are the way to go (Score 1) 346

Sure, the Super Hero block busters are fun, they are like roller coasters. Not much intellectual stimulation, no real plot to speak of, no real story either. I hesitate to call them "movies," I think "blockbuster" is perfect.

Don't get me wrong, I like "blockbusters" sometimes, but there are so many really really good films being produced that have to go to netflix or amazon because there is no screen space at the theaters. "Beauty and the Beast?" are you f*&^&*king kidding me? Sure, its good to see Hermione with a day job, but its on every damned screen in the theaters.

We need to differentiate between "big" movies and all the others. The "big" movies need to cost more. The other movies should cost less. Then there will be openings for better "movies."

Comment Re:Death really is unnecessary (Score 1) 122

Death really is unnecessary from an evolutionary standpoint. We have grown beyond the need to pass on genetic traits that allow us to adapt to changing environments since mankind uses technology to do this.

That makes death unnecessary for humans to adapt. Death is still necessary from an evolutionary standpoint.

Without death, why reproduce? Without sexual reproduction, we don't mix our genomes. No mixing of genomes, no selection.

So death is still necessary for evolution. Technology just means we have additional options for adaptation besides evolution.

Comment Re:Broken cleanup mechanism? (Score 1) 122

Does this mean we have an internal cleanup mechanism, but somehow it's gotten subverted over the years?

You're making the assumption here that living a very long time was the goal. It isn't.

Evolution optimizes around having the "best" grandchildren. In species that reproduce sexually, frequent mixing of genomes is the primary source of variation, and thus selection for "best". In order to avoid exhausting local resources, the old have to die to free up resources for later generations.

But with the relatively small number of children humans produce, that death ideally happens after the grandchildren are relatively well-established. Grandma and grandpa take some of the workload off the parents for raising our nearly helpless newborns. But after the grandkids can help gather with the adults, the grandparents are not nearly as beneficial. So they die.

Comment Re:Wonder why (Score 1) 191

8: After a while you don't even notice it. There is definitely less yard work noise etc. than suburbs

I have to agree with this one heartily. When I lived in the suburbs of Phoenix, not only did I have to listen to barking dogs day and night, there was also constant leaf-blower noise. It was a maddening, loud din. To me, suburbs are the noisiest places possible to live. In cities with high-rises, you have some sirens now and then, and train noise if you live next to a rail line, but no leaf-blowers and no dogs at all hours. In rural areas, it depends on how close your neighbors are, but here listening to dogs barking all day and night seems to be the norm from everything I've seen and experienced. I've lived in all 3 BTW.

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