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Submission + - "Inexact" chips save power by fudging the maths (

Barence writes: Computer scientists have unveiled a computer chip that turns traditional thinking about mathematical accuracy on its head by fudging calculations. The concept works by allowing processing components — such as hardware for adding and multiplying numbers — to make a few mistakes, which means they are not working as hard so use less power and get through tasks more quickly. The Rice University researchers say prototypes are 15 times more efficient and could be used in some applications without having a negative effect.

Comment Re:crazy (Score 1) 735

Cool links thanks for those. I do find the models really interesting, and I don't dismiss them out of hand. But they are still just models, and by their own words "there is often a tunable parameter or two that can be varied in order to improve the match to whatever observations exist."

Moreover, it's the assumption of the models' predictive accuracy I take the biggest issue with. On the last link there I see three different graphs with actual temperatures lower than modeled predictions over the last 7-8 years. "That's cherry picking!" you'll say. Ok, then let's collect some data for another 7-8 years, and another 7-8 after that, (the more the better) and then see how accurate it actually was.

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

I read it, and understood it.
Your whole 29% return hinges on the shipper spending 400 to get 800 off his fee from the government. That may or may not be possible. The fee could be an all-or-nothing kind of thing. If it's not, my taxes have to pay someone to discern the level of compliance with the regulation (also, opportunity for corruption there). And the total cost is more than the 1600 because the government is imposing and administering it. Taxes pay the extra EPA workers, IRS workers, Treasury dept. workers, Transportation dept. workers, etc. needed to enforce the law and hand out checks. And if it's reduced hospital fees instead of a check, it's essentially redistributing taxpayer money to whoever goes to the hospital the most, regardless of how much their sickness is due to the pollutant or their not taking care of themselves. (And if you want to try to determine that ratio, there's another slew of government workers and another opportunity for corruption). So if the 400 for 800 isn't possible, or isn't allowed, 1600 gets passed to the consumer, and I end up spending 1600 + ##00 to Uncle Sam so he can send money to some other guy, or give me back just 1600.

It's not a straw man if it's the major policy goal of people in government concerned about the "problem".

Who's negatively effected by the "social cost of carbon"? The whole planet? Do we all send ourselves $20? Or what if we just send a bunch of money to Fiji cuz we think we're making the seas rise. Is that what you want?

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

I'm seeing nothing out of the ordinary here, looks kinda flat over the last 2000 years. Combine that with this, and I'm not too keen on taxing the world or buying a prius.

The little ice age was significant, but not a catastrophe. Also I've mentioned before that it would seem to me that less things live where it's colder, and global cooling would be a bigger problem considering Earth's (geologically) recent history of real ice ages. The warming that got us out of the little ice age was natural, and a good thing. Even if we were to agree on what is significant, it could be natural, and it could be a good thing.

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

Tell me they were recording the number of tornadoes accurately 1000 years ago and you'll have a case.

Growing + transporting food - we're pretty good at that. Gets more expensive if the greenies make gas $10 a gallon. I have no sympathy for someone who chooses to live in a desert.

The US does have the best health care in the world. You don't get that for cheap. Socialized medicine in other countries would be stagnant if not for R&D financed and accomplished by the US.

Comment Re:crazy (Score 1) 735

You've made me think. I like that. Also I apologize for the incoherency at the end there, finals and a 3mo old will do that to a guy.

Fastest and cheapest are words evidently outlawed in DC...

I don't see the the kind of bribery, collusion, or coercion it seems you're looking for. (maybe in order to label me a conspiracy nut?)
Here's how I see the motives of the players involved, and how they benefit:
Politician: Holds the idea that he knows better than everyone else, and would be happy to tell the peons what kind of car they have to drive. Congratulates himself as a savior of mankind whenever he champions the fight for this kind of AGW stuff, thinks "I'm such a man of the people!". Appoints bureaucrats below him, only those that share his views. Benefits when government is bigger because he can tell people what to do more (which he likes), and direct funds to campaign donors, a way to perpetuate keeping his job.
Bureaucrat: Appointed by the politician, this guy is usually really passionate about the views of the politician, including AGW. Highly unlikely to hire people for his department that disagree with him. If he's deciding grants, he'll pick the ones he likes - his job has nothing to do with efficiency as bureaucracy is efficiency's antithesis. If he's in the EPA, of course he supports AGW, it gives them a bigger budget, more policing to do, feeling more important. Bureaucrats benefit from a bigger government, otherwise their jobs would not exist. They want it even bigger because then they can be promoted to lead the new task force (which eventually becomes a department, that never dies) for the new "problem" bigger government is supposed to address.
-- bureaucrat repeats here for # levels because government is too damn big --
Scientist: Fits a line to 150 years of temperature data, says the Earth will boil soon, and calls it "science" because that's his job title. Or maybe he's a real scientist setting up a long term experiment and gets shunned by his colleagues as a denier if he voices any skepticism. But probably not, as I imagine at this point after a couple decades of politicization, only supporters enter this particular field of science anyways. Supports politician, because he wants to send more funds to research like his. Supports big government generally anyways, because he thinks it's government's role to fund all kinds of science.
AGW believer: Actually cares about the Earth. Gives politician their vote, and free reign to do whatever it takes to fix the problem, damn the consequences (or more likely doesn't think about the economic/political consequences). Is either overly afraid of a theorized disaster in the future, or shares the politician's self-congratulating, or both. Wants a bigger government because they actually think government is the solution to their problems.
Business Exec: Buddies with the politician, this guy's business is so big he can handle some extra regulations, and would love to see that since he knows his smaller competitors can't. Gets contracts with the government through the politician.

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

You want to write everyone a check?
So I'm paying $1600 + who knows how much extra in costs passed on to consumers for goods and services due to taxes on businesses, just so I can get some fraction of that back as a check after cuts and transaction costs are taken out? Pretty dumb.

I'm all for clean air, and if LA wants to tackle their smog, go for it. Fine businesses for transgressions of a clean air act until it's economical for them to be clean.
It is quite another thing entirely to be doing something like cap and trade that was estimated to cost trillions, or to have energy policies like the president's where the goal is to have energy prices skyrocket to make people get on bikes or something. Especially when there is doubt in the external cost of global warming.

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

At least you're starting to do cost analysis, you just left out the "benefit" part.

Also (this might have been your pessimism speaking :-p) I utterly reject that it calls into question the survival of the human race. If in 100 years it is actually a ton warmer and things are actually dire, it will become necessary (and economical) to do something about it, and we will.

Comment Re:crazy (Score 1) 735

I just couldn't not reply to his sig.
I don't want to foist religion on anyone.
But an unborn child is another person, and I don't want infanticide to be legal.
Aside from stopping murder, I don't want the government big enough to be enforcing morality on you.
I think a lot of Tea Partiers agree on that - the focus is stopping the current fiscal insanity.

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

Yeah I jumped to the end of the slippery slope there, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't fight anything that moves in that direction.

Who determines the third parties injured by externalities? The government.
Who determines the cost of injuries to third parties, especially for something global like this? The government.
Who then would collect and distribute the tax to those parties (while taking their cut)? The government.

Sorry, but their record of "efficiency" gives me zero faith that they could carry this out, or that there would be no detrimental effect on the economy in the process.

Comment Re:crazy (Score 1) 735

Yeah maybe I wish more conservatives were like me, I never liked Rick Santorum.
I do join with them in detesting the immorality going on, and keeping traditions and institutions that made this country great.
I just don't think the government should be heavy-handed in doing all that by force.
But I also don't want them to go and legalize (read: encourage use of) drugs that are already illegal. All that together is why I've called myself conservative.

Relevant part of fascism: "radical authoritarian nationalist ... totalitarian single-party state"

Comment Re:crazy (Score 0) 735

bigger government --> bigger raises, promotions, staffs, budgets to play with for government workers. Again, not claiming conspiracy here, everyone's just working for their own self-interest, which coincides with bigger government.

Do scientists live off one grant? Where does their next one come from? Same place? oh...
Tenure or not, they're getting cash from Uncle Sam to do research, so are inclined to support bigger government. No bribes or "directed" research (or conspiracy) needed.

Do we cheer on the Black Plague in the 1300s then because it had been warming for a couple centuries? "Must've been those pesky human's fault. That's gotta be why it cooled for a couple centuries afterwards. Wait, there were more people in 1700 than 1300?"
Seems foolish to me to rule out alternative hypotheses on such a relatively short data set, and to assume it's humans' fault.

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

I would agree with you if we were talking about an ice age, since not much thrives on ice.
But you have no basis to know any of these would happen, that would not otherwise happen anyways: "Resource wars. Drought. Famine. Disease. More and more powerful typhoons, hurricanes, and tornadoes." And no apparent consideration for possible upsides, like growing food in Siberia, feeding millions that would have otherwise died.

If Cuba is so great, why don't you move there?

As soon as solar/wind/hydro is economical, I'm there with you. I'd love to use all three at my house and go off the grid.

Comment Re:Wrong Questions (Score 1) 735

I can't reply to all of that, but in general, I simply ascribe more doubt to each question than you do, and more downside to the proposed solutions.
I have more doubt because IT IS NOT SCIENCE when you don't make a prediction, validate the prediction, and get independent verification.
The number of questions are not superfluous because at any one of them if the answer is "no", then we shouldn't be doing things like cap+trade.

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