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Comment Re:Storage? (Score 2) 478

For coal, this doesn't really matter - it still loses. To pick up where renewables leave off, you want natural gas (or even petroleum) turbines that can quickly be brought on and off line. Coal and nuclear are not really suited to this.

The power industry makes the distinction between "base load" and "peak load" generation sources. Coal and nuclear are best for base load, running 100% capacity as much as possible. Combined-cycle turbines are best for peak load since they can be economically throttled.

The issue is both peak and base load demands are increasing. Turbines make great peak load sources but are poor for base load. TVA -- my former employer -- took coal plants offline due to Obama-era regulations making them impossible or unprofitable to operate (or both). They made up for the lost generating capacity by running their turbines as if they were base load generators. The result? Huge increases in turbine maintenance costs, more frequent maintenance outages, and more unplanned outages.

If the goal is to kill coal you have to replace it with something. Nuclear is a non-starter for most people because of their hysterical, irrational fear of it. Natural gas is cheap but, as stated above, it's not the best candidate for peak load generation. Nothing in the solar or wind column can come close to substituting for any current base load generation technology.

Comment Re:Total regulatory impact 2-3 percent (Score 2) 478

Coal has been made disproportionately more expensive over the last several years by government fiat, not market forces. Burdensome regulation and carbon taxes have made it so. Until recently I worked for TVA (mostly nuclear plants but some coal, hydro, and combined-cycle turbines). Several coal plants were shut down well ahead of schedule simply because Obama-era regulations made them unprofitable to run. Remember, candidate-Obama promised to destroy coal. He certainly worked hard enough at it.

If coal is allowed to float without government interference it will be quite a bit cheaper than renewables and much more abundant. Windmills only spin when the wind is blowing. Solar only works when the sun is out and your panels aren't covered in snow. Coal runs 24x7, rain or shine, windy or calm, hot or cold.

Comment Re:Total regulatory impact 2-3 percent (Score 1) 478

Adapt. Fossil fuels are over. They're too expensive.

Says the guy whose lights and computer are very likely lit by electricity generated from fossil fuels. Who, if he has a car, is likely powered by fossil fuels or has a battery charged by fossil fuels. Or, if he uses mass transit, it's either fueled by fossil fuels or powered by electricity derived from fossil fuels. Whose synthetic plastic materials around him are made from fossil fuels. Who, if he's ever flown anywhere, was in a plane powered by fossil fuels. Who, if he stopped to consider it, would be utterly unable to function today in any useful capacity without power, products, or motive force made possible in whole or in part by fossil fuels.

But hey doesn't it sound all trendy and shit to say "fossil fuels are over"?

Comment Coal won't cut it? (Score 2, Informative) 478

From the DoE:

Major energy sources and percent shares of U.S. electricity generation at utility-scale facilities in 2016:

Natural gas = 33.8%
Coal = 30.4%
Nuclear = 19.7%
Renewables (total) = 14.9%
Hydropower = 6.5%
Wind = 5.6%
Biomass = 1.5%
Solar = 0.9%
Geothermal = 0.4%
Petroleum = 0.6%
Other gases = 0.3%
Other nonrenewable sources = 0.3%
Pumped storage hydroelectricity = -0.2%

So, wind + solar = 6.5%
Coal + natural gas + nuclear = 83.9%

Winner = not renewables

If coal's been on the decline it's only because the Obama administration demonized it and because we had a happy accident of finding an abundance of natural gas. Wind and solar would be nowhere without massive government subsidies.

Meanwhile, I'm still waiting on those fusion reactors.

Comment Re:Who cares (Score 4, Insightful) 296

So when they put out all the paranoid rhetoric that the US is only out to invade and bomb them, are they really being paranoid?

My drill instructor gave me some useful advice about thirty years ago: if someone says they want to kill you, you should take them seriously. Let's keep in mind that since the late 1950's North Korea has been militant, aggressive, threatening, and destabilizing no matter who was in the White House. Various administrations have tried various sticks and various carrots to get them to change all to no avail. If the Norks are afraid of external animosity they only have themselves to blame.

Comment Re:People are more worried about jobs (Score 1) 423

And why is such a monopoly present? Two main reasons:

1. It is economically unfeasible for anyone to bring you service other than the existing provider who is piggybacking on prior infrastructure. In this case, you chose a poor place to live. It's not the fault of the company or the taxpayer that it would cost $10 million in fiber to service 100 rural customers and they won't do it because there's no reasonable return on investment. If you don't like it, nobody is putting a gun to your head saying you have to stay there. Some people move because they want more land, or less traffic, or better climate. Internet service is no different.

2. Local politicians protect the monopoly in return for campaign contributions. Vote the fuckers out, problem solves itself.

Comment Re:The game is too one-sided (Score 1) 423

And nothing of value would be lost.

According to you and your set of values. It's rather arrogant of you to foist those on others.

Yes, plenty of "free" works can and do exist. None exist in any form at a scale equivalent to larger projects with correspondingly larger value (value also being subjective but I'm speaking in generic terms). Suffice to say, there are amazing creative works that contribute to society in ways that could not be practically accomplished in a "free" manner.

If "free" were the rule instead of the exception there would be no market for paid content in a capitalist open-market society. That there is demonstrates your conclusion is not correct.

Comment Re:Committing crime != convicted (Score 0) 384

If you assume criminality for a population you will catch more people from that group in suspicious circumstances, since you know that they are more suspicious.

You could get the exact same results if -- gasp! -- the group in question was actually committing more crimes on average. And FBI crime statistics compiled under the Obama (a minority) administration and under the leadership of Eric Holder (a minority) bear this out. But since you find the conclusion distasteful you disregard it and drum up some completely unsubstantiated conclusion that says it's not that minorities commit more crimes, it's widespread institutional racism in the police and justice system. Never mind minorities are over-represented in the police and have solid representation in the justice system and it's been that way for decades. Never mind this country and its "institutional racism" elected a biracial President twice with solid majorities. Nope, it's got to be racism. That racism has to be widespread and overt to cause the massive bias you cite, but it also has to be subtle and hidden because our PC society tolerates nothing and no one that even hints at bias. This complete and utter contradiction deters you not in the slightest, does it?

Since the black population in America is poorer than the white population, and poorer people are more likely to end up committing crimes anyway, you are asking the black population to behave not just a bit but lots and lots better than the white population would in the same circumstances. As a reward for this you offer only the same treatment they should already be receiving. lovely chap, aren't you.

Now who's being racist? You're claiming that blacks -- who tend to be poor -- shouldn't be expected to live up to the same standards of justice as everyone else, and if they do, they should somehow get more benefits from being law-abiding than whites. And this complete and utter contradiction deters you not in the slightest, does it?

SJW's. If you didn't have double standards you'd have none at all.

Comment Re:I'm with you (Score 1) 384

I've said it before, but this is what folks mean by "institutionalized racism".

No, this is called "objective analysis of data being used to draw a rational conclusion." If someone is impoverished then giving them a loan for a million-dollar house is a bad idea. Period. Race doesn't come into it. Any human or algorithm, when given this same data but leaving out race or gender, will come to the same conclusion. And that's a good thing because it is a rational, informed conclusion based on reality.

What you don't like is reality has unpleasant implications for your ideology and worldview. Reality laughs at you for this. So do a lot of other people.

Comment Re: Simple solution (Score 1) 384

Oh, but this is the whole point of outrage. The average, perfectly objective statistical sample is racist.

How dare you! You must be racist for pointing this uncomfortable fact out! You should be shouted down, your friends must be pressured to abandon you, your workplace must fire you, and your family should be ostracized and forced to denounce your racist views! Everyone knows there is no such thing as objective reality! Truth is merely a construction of the oppressor! Reality is whatever the collective decides it to be and any observations to the contrary are proof of bias!

Comment Re: Uh, no. (Score 1) 384

The problem is when the bias exists in reality, not in perception or opinions.

In such cases, reality must be ignored and a cherished fantasy substituted in its place so no one gets offended in their safe space.

The correlation between socioeconomic status and risk of defaulting on a loan is clear, and it would be silly to question it.

No, it is racist to question it, which means you're racist for suggesting it. And your friends are racist too because they like you. And your co-workers are racist because you sit near them. And your boss is racist because he hasn't fired you for being racist. And your dog is racist because he lives with you. And your car is racist because it carries you and your racist viewpoints to the secret volcano lair of the KKK which you obviously worship because you're racist.

Don't deny it! That would only prove your latent racism! And don't argue with me because only a racist would do that!

(sarcasm disengaged)

I'm sure the above looks and sounds depressingly familiar, does it not?

Comment Re:Or rather... (Score 1) 384

Then your training the AI with the wrong (or at least--incomplete) set of data. You wouldn't train the AI with what markers the human used before the machine was around. You would feed it the history of all the loans made, along with the data from each loan that was collected, and the information about whether it was paid, kept current, or defaulted on and the time-frames for those outcomes, as well as whether money was lost or not and how much if they went bad. Then let the AI make it's own set of determining factors about what loans are more likely to end up in default, and what the risk vs. reward is for giving out such loans on a scale of minor risk to major risk, and decline the more risky ones that have a high chance of going bad.

And they did exactly that. The outcome? It showed (unsurprisingly) those of lower socioeconomic status are higher credit risks. That those same people are typically minorities is utterly irrelevant to the algorithm because the algorithm didn't have that data. Now along come some humans with a SJW chip on their shoulders screaming "you're making a racist AI because the outcome highlights an unpleasant facet of reality!" Yes, by all means, let's make an AI that attempts to ignore reality and embrace the SJW fantasy so we can have an AI that makes shitty decisions leading to things like the 2008-2009 financial collapse (see below)! Clearly that's the best way to go, right?

*In 1995 Bill Clinton loosened housing rules by rewriting the Community Reinvestment Act, which put added pressure on banks to lend in low-income neighborhoods. This effectively penalized banks if they didn't make high-risk loans to people who were not credit worthy. Banks protested because they weren't allowed to charge higher interest rates to offset the risks (they were told THAT'S RACIST!). The government stepped in and said it would back up the loans, removing the risk to the banks. The banks went nuts (who wouldn't? There was no downside for them) making loans. When all of it collapsed, the government had to step in to clean it up with the taxpayers footing the bill.

So yeah, let's not learn any lesson from that at all. I'm sure it'll all work out if we rig an AI to be just as stupid as the humans who preceded it.

Comment Re:Or rather... (Score 1) 384

If the data included any location information it could very well exhibit racial bias as an unintended consequence.

You miss the point entirely. If an objective review of available data say "people on this side of this geographic line default on loans more frequently than people on the other side of the line" that's not racial bias, it is observable, provable fact. You cannot argue you way out of reality by calling reality an "unintended consequence." If the default rates for a given area are higher then the risk to to the lender is higher. There is no other metric that needs consulting to make the decision. Period. End of story.

That people on one side of the line are a different race than those on the other side is completely irrelevant to the decision. And to illustrate that, let's say the situation was reverse and a group of wealthy minorities (think Oprah, Tyler Perry, etc.) lived on one side of that line and a group of impoverished whites (think Honey Boo Boo trailer park types) lived on the other. The algorithm would decide the minorities were a lower credit risk and nobody would think a damned thing about it. Not a single solitary person would scream "but it's racist because it's turning down all the non-minorities!" Everybody would (rightly) say "no, it's turning down people with pathetic credit ratings who are high risks to lenders."

The AI isn't racist. It isn't being taught to be racist. People who are conditioned to see racism anywhere and everywhere regardless of reality are the problem.

Comment Re:Or rather... (Score 2) 384

You're missing what the parent is saying - you can't just tell the AI to ignore race/gender, it's baked into how we talk and act.

No, you're missing the point being discussed, namely an AI that makes loan decisions based on available data. The AI can look at income, credit history, employment, etc. and not know a damn thing about the race or gender of the applicant. Guess what it will find? People of lower socioeconomic status are higher credit risks. Who would've guessed, eh? (that's rhetorical -- anybody who can fog a mirror knows this is true).

That people of lower socioeconomic status are typically minorities is utterly irrelevant to the decision-making algorithm used by the AI. It's only the SJW making the link, claiming the AI is "racist" because the outcomes mean minorities would get turned down more often. NO. The AI isn't racist. It's simply acknowledging and unpleasant reality, something SJW's can't stand, therefore "racist." It's the all-purpose slur of the snowflake generation.

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