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Comment Son of a b... he's got a world domination plan (Score 5, Insightful) 226

He's already going to space.

If he gets to build up digging know-how, he'll be the first to actually make a shitload of money off asteroid mining.

Best part: r&d possibly largelgy paid for by public money (first NASA, and maybe now he can acceds some infrastructure funds or public contracting for the boring part)... That's one hell of a way to hack the system. Go him! :-)

Comment Re: No man is an island (Score 1) 267

If they're not causing any harm, blasting music, doing damage, then they're hardly endangering society, are they? :-) They're not covered by my post then.

The original discussion was about airbnb renting. I laid out how making an excessive business model out of that harms society, a lot. That's when you (personally, or as part of the society through regulations - whichever the law permits) have every right and obligation to interfere.

Comment No man is an island (Score 1) 267

Even if you think that you're entitled do doing with your home whatever you want to, that's not entirely true.

You live in a society. This has implications regarding what you can and what you should do. The obvious example would be me setting $UNPLEASANT_INDUSTRIAL_PLANT on my own property next to your apartment, effectively killing its worth or your ability to use it.

But there are also finer, albeit none the less important implications. Take the social one for example: in Berlin, Europe rents have climbed by a factor of up to 2-3x in the past 10 years. Living space is at a premium, but there are hundreds of airbnb locations at a walking distance of few minutes of anywhere within Berlin. And I'm not talking the occasional unoccupied a self-sufficient grandma may have to offer in a slightly too-large aparment. Those who offer rooms for rent ofter offer several appartments (up to 40), not only single beds. In fact, average number of beds offered per user are around 3 (see http://airbnbvsberlin.com/). In other words, it's a business. People prefer to not rent their (surplus of) apartments to normal people, but to airbnb customers instead.

Why should you care?

Because that effectively fucks up society as a whole. The same societe *you* live in, and that you're relying on in order to survive. When people who own an apartment choose to rent it at prices similar to hotels, essentially everyone who can't afford to sleep at a hotel every night can't afford to live in a city, period. You think you're unaffected because you happen to own an apartment right now? Well, where do you think your kids are going to live 20 years from now, or their children when their turn comes? (Set up a tent in the woods? You know that wild camping is illegal in large parts of Europe, right?...) Or what do you think your city going to feel like when everyone who lives there is either a tourist, or an amateur hotelier, renting 30-40 apartments to tourists?

Comment Re: In the end... (Score 1) 121

No need to chew on anything.

I think it's a far stretch from plants exchanging information via pheromones to postulating empathy, but to each their own. If you think they hurt, you may want to not put them to agony (why would you?) Then again, if *I* thought they hurt, I'd probably try to stop you if I caught you; but I don't, so I won't.

As to the imposing views on others... The guy stealing acts according to his belief (or whatever). I act according to mine in stopping him (or not, depending on the context). I see no opposing principles here.

What i'm not going to do is chop his hand off to "save his soul", or make him swear by the Bible and the Constitution that he's not gay and hates commies or whatever... you get the picture.

Before you construct another example showing how I contradict myself, remember that this is no pissing contest about who can formulate a set of clean, self-consistent, non-contradicting set of rules to live by. To my knowledge, that's not possible (as in: impossibility is even mathematically provable). My post was just meant to give a different perspective on Buddhist philosophy. If there was a set of rules to follow blindly, and somehow have everything for everybody turn out optimal in every situation, I'm pretty sure they'd be mandatory by now everywhere in the world.

Comment Re: In the end... (Score 1) 121

thanks for stepping in - I don't characterize myself as Buddhist (in a religious sense) either, but after ~2 decades of Buddhist martial arts, the philosophy inevitably begins to creep in. what you say is the western interpretation of it: it kind of describes Buddhism, but doesn't quite do the idea right.

Buddhism, as I understand it, actually has one core principle, which leads to two main consequences.

the principle is: all separation (between parts of the "universe" - us, others, animals, objects...) is only an illusion. try to overcome that illusion and you overcome the idea of suffering; after all, your hand doesn't suffer from having to wash your butt daily, they're both part of the same body.


(1) let others do want they want, we're all the same. [this one is massively misunderstood: it doesn't mean be passive to other people's misdeeds or needs. quite the opposite. it means don't impose your views on others (there are too many viewpoints, and yours is not necessarily the only valid one), but you can and should act in consequence of what you believe is right. for examoke: don't preach to me about being honest, but do stop me from stealing or do expose me as a liar.]

(2) be compassionate with everything that feels (e.g. living things) - we're all the same. if one part hurts, the whole hurts, and that includes yourself.

and then of course there are various religious rituals and lots of philosophic decorations, but the above is the essence.

Comment Re: Or skeptics (Score 1) 502

did you ever heard the parable of the guy who jumped off the roof of a skyscraper, and as he blasts by the windows and balconies, nearing the asphalt, everyone tells him "brace for impact!". finally, about the time he flies past the 2nd story, he's fed up with it and screams back "oh shut up already, you ivory tower bastards, you people've been telling me to 'brace for impact' since I've jumped, but guess what: everything' going peaches so far and i'm having fun - so you're all lying idiots with an agenda to trick me! ever herd the story of the boy who called out wolf?"

no? well now you have.

Comment Bad comparison (Score 4, Informative) 83

Romania is one of the most advanced countries with regard to internet infrastructure. I'm paying 30 euros for a guaranteed 90/90 Mbit optical cable business connection, including 8 IPv4.

Residential net speeds are mostly Gbit, with actual Gbit p2p transfer rate within city limits, and 100 Mbit outside (nation wide, essentially only limited to the bandwidth of the server one is accessing).

Also IPv6 adoption advanced furthest, several of the solutions are being discussed internationally for wider adoption (don't ask me details, don't know much about it - but I'm a Romanian living in Germany with friends in tech management of one of the two largest Romanian providers).

Comment Re:From what I can tell (Score 3, Insightful) 535

Not going to change much for the average person.

EU is a bunch of national politicians patronizing their voters first, by introducing unpopular laws and measures they couldn't possibly introduce directly.

Then it's the same national politicians patronizing each other across borders -- Greece, Italy, Spain, Britain, even Germany... everyone gets their share of being patronized against doing useful stuff, necessary for the middle and the lower class citizens.

Last but not least everyone is being patronized by Big Business, who's effectively running the EU.

If Brits succeed in exitting, then if anything, it will at least show the rest of the EU conuntries that doing things just "because EU" is not the only option. That hast at least a marginal hope of getting some useful change.

Don't get me wrong, the concept of a unified Europe is cool. But the EU is not a unified Europe, it's a patronizing institution run by business, for business. We can try this again in 20 years, properly done, startgin democratically first and economically later, not the other way round.

Comment Re:Jingoism and Nativism (Score 0) 242

How is "thinking globally" going to help me, Joe Random Small Person? That's a trick phrase of big corporations designed to enable them to use global markets; but when rules are deliberately adopted to deliberately keep customers from using the same "global" principles (region protection, visa restrictions, work permit restrictions for foreigners, e.g. in the US) "thinking globally" is just a scam to me, the small man.

It's destroying local economy and drains capital which could have otherwise been invested in local economy.

Comment Word limit not helping (Score 5, Interesting) 160

Publushing in high-ranking journals is often subject to various limits, i.e. 2500 words for an article, or 120 words for the summary etc. Having a conplex but interesting story to tell can then be quite challenging. Intricate language, with peer jargon, is often very compact. It's very rewarding to use it... :-)

Comment Re: New study shows... (Score 1) 428

You're both wrong.

kJ-intake = kJ-spent(working) + kJ-spent(heating) + kJ-spent(maintenance) + kJ-expelled.

Expelled part is indeed small.

Heating is a huge chunk, unless you're in thermal equilibrium with your surroundings (i.e. "dead" in medical terms). Varies greatly on individual basis - why do you think some folks are always freezing, and others never?

Maintenance ist also a large part: replacing tissue, hair, lubricating joints etc. You're also less prone to illness when you're well-fed (not obese - that would be dysfunction of its own).

Comment Re:Uber is as safe as taxis (Score 1) 471

It's not only about perceived safety from driver abuse, safe driving etc. Regulations are there -- at least in some european countries, like Germany for example -- to ensure a standard of operating safetey, both from technical and commercial point of view.

For example, regulated taxis have stricter requirements with regards to technical maintenance. This is something you generally want! Just think about that for a moment: every time you take a ride, you're otherwise getting into some stranger's car, which could have been checked as long as 23 months ago for technical flaws, and may have been driven for 200.000 km or more during that time (he's a professional driver, being on the streets for a living). May have working safety belts or not, may have working airbags or not, bad tires... Hell, it may not even have properly working brakes for all you know! Not good.

Authorities actually go a long way to ensure that taxis adhere to more reliable technical standards.

Then there is the insurance issue: regardless of how safe, sooner or later an accident will happen. May not be with you in the car, but somebody else... but it's still happening. In that case, you want to be certain the driver is properly insured, and his insurance policy will cover any damage that may occur to you (life-long wheelchair for example?).

This is something that a taxi licence in civilized countries will ensure. Not happening outside the regulations, though.

Want to drive people around? Fine. Check your car as often as required by regulations, buy the proper insurances, respect any other passenger safety measures *and* *document* *that* *process*, then you're good to go. Oh... that costs money? Can't compete with taxis then? ...well, guess why!...

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