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Comment Re:Good for the young, healthy, & coordinated (Score 1) 947

but devoting significant public resources to it seems questionable. Should cities invest in transportation programs (such as bikeshare) that many residents are physically unable to utilize?

More bicycles leads to fewer vehicles which leads to less traffic, less pollution, less dependence on oil, and less cost for businesses that rely on deliveries. More bicycles also leads to a healthier population which leads to less burden on the healthcare system.

Arguing against public funding for bicycle lanes because some people can't use them is like arguing against public schools because people over 18 can't use them.

Comment Re:How safe? (Score 1) 947

Japan is hilarious for this. First, almost everyone bicycles on the sidewalk, very slowly. That's fine, it's a cultural difference and if they are on the sidewalk then they are out of my way. The problems arise when the sidewalk-cyclists decide to go on the road because the sidewalk is too crowded. They are often going the wrong way, texting while cycling, holding an umbrella while cycling (in rain or snow), and sometimes all three (no hands, the wrong way in the snow!). Recently I had a guy come off the sidewalk onto the road, forcing me into traffic, while HE WAS WATCHING TV on his phone. Antennae out and everything. In all of those situations, I am the one in danger. Good thing I'm (the only one) wearing a helmet.

Comment Some relevant information for speculators (Score 0) 49

1. The paper was in English and it was from a lab in Switzerland. Switzerland has French as an official language, but other than that there was nothing French about this. (I'm pretty sure that lab operates in English). 2. You have to train the computer to recognize certain patterns of brainwaves and train the user to make those brainwaves when they wish to do a certain function. Therefore this is not capable of mind reading unless you train the computer to recognize and distinguish between the brain-waves associated with every thought (or thought-fragment) the participant might ever have. People are working on this (sorry, I don't know how to do html tags). 3. You should conceptually dissociate the brain-waves from the robot. The voluntary modulation of brain waves can be used to control anything, if that thing can accept (up to 3-d, currently) analog input. One application is a robot. I've seen this used to control robotic arms, wheelchairs, videogames (pong, space invaders, doom), lighting, movies, toys, just about anything you can do with a joystick. Really, all they are doing here is creating a virtual joystick in the computer and having that virtual joystick control the robot. 4. Brain control is currently very slow. When the application has intelligence, then the amount that you can accomplish with the relatively slow brainwave input increases as you relinquish control from the participant to the robot AI. For example, it takes a lot less effort to tell a robot you are thirsty and have the robot move to the fridge, open the fridge, retrieve a beer, close the fridge, open the beer, poor it into a glass, put a straw in the glass, bring the glass to you, and put the straw in your mouth (I skipped a lot of steps) than it is to have the user mentally control the robot while it does all of those tasks. But then what happens when the robot can't find the straws? The same is true if you have a joystick with a 'thirsty' button or if you have a joystick that operates every movement of the robot. 5. The brain isn't really designed for smooth continuous movements. A lot of that comes from other parts of the nervous system, like the brainstem, the cerebellum, and the spinal cord. Intelligent robots might not need smooth continuous input. However, your dreams of nimbly controlling an exoskeleton in outer-space battles might require more than having electrodes in a cap on the outside of your head, it will likely require electrodes inside your head, spine, brainstem or some other amazing technology that doesn't yet exist.

Comment Re:Reality... (Score 0) 464

No. It's opportunity and culture. Do you think a rich black German would be a better or worse engineer than a poor white German? Do you think Jews are genetically better lawyers/doctors/bankers or do you think that Jews are more likely to get in to such professions because of strong cultural influence? After living with a few Jewish guys in college, I can assure you that they had a lot of pressure to become successful professionals. One was tall blonde and blue-eyed, another was short and dark-skinned from another part of the word, and the last was average-everything. Doctor, banker, banker. I don't think they shared nearly as much genetically as they did culturally. This is obviously anecdotal but I hope it gets the point across.

Comment Re:Why have any racial indicators? (Score 1) 464

Yes, it should be completely on the science (well, that and the realistic ability of the person to perform it).

How can you rate someone's ability to perform the proposed science without looking at their past accomplishments? To do so you need their name and institutional affiliation. If they are a young scientist without much of a track record then there is even more weight put on the reputation of the institution. And, though this is a lesser problem, grant applicants typically reference previous findings in order to justify their current hypotheses. While you can reference previous findings from all sorts of sources, what better way to show you know what you are talking about than to reference your own peer-reviewed articles heavily?

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