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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!...

Comment Re: Still not learned from history (Score 4, Insightful) 252

Nah, too early. Most people, out of lack of personal experience, aren't yet terrified enough of a totalitatian govt. thus don't quite know why and how to love a proper functioning democracy.

Wait another decade or so, it will be easier then. More bloody, and will require more work, but there'l be more hands to help.


Comment Re:Is this different from sport? (Score 2, Insightful) 487

Many of us spend our livelihoods trying to enhance human knowledge and experience and abilities through improved software. Hell, half of us would sign up today for an internet implant chip. What's wrong with improving the wetware directly?

The rules are different, but the problems are the same as in sports with steroids. They start to arise when us others, who for various reasons don't want sign up for "improving the wetware directly", don't have any possibility of leaving normal lives anymore. You want super-powers. That's fine. But first move our society away from competitive living to just living. Take away the "winner takes it all" mentality, so you can have your drugs while I won't have mine.

Why? Because "winning" defined as who's better at "enhance human knowledge and expirience and abilities", "being smarter", "be productive", recognize a novel cure for disease" is just as random as "being a better entertainer at sports" -- life, as we live it, is still a game with a relatively level playing field imposed by society. The ruleset may be a lot more complex than sports, but still it has it's own rules and enforcements. Otherwise, in the absence of rules and enforcement, what would stop me from killing your drug-pumped, better-graded child, in order for my clean, very smart, but slightly less-performant kid to have a chance for University later on, too?

Now, we can argue whether society is such a good concept to have or not, but this is a different debate. At any rate, as long as we have one, we need to make sure that every member of society has a decent chance, not only those who would readily put their long-term health at risk for being more productive. (How much "productive" do you actually need, really, that cannot be archived otherwise? And for what, exactly?)

Comment Re:Not much else to say. (Score 1) 838

Regardless of whether it is immoral or not, making it officially legal, society will eventually reach the point where you, if old or sick, will have to justify not the wish to die, but the wish to stay alive until the "natural" end of your days! People will look at you and say "Why aren't you doing all a big favor and kill yourself?"

Comment Re:Of course! (Score 5, Insightful) 264

*sigh* It's even worse than that. IAAP and I was very excited to see this ... at first. The article by the way is very well written (serious science - not a crank). The problem is that the data (figure 2 in the arxiv paper - everyone should check this out btw) on which the author hangs all his hopes is seriously noisy (compared to the size of the "kink" that he superposes on the graph). In other words, if you imagine erasing the drawn-in kink, such artifacts occur several places in the data and are generally not above the noise level.

Not necessarily. When analysing experimental data, keep in mind that it's not only the ~5 points of the kink that carry relevant information, it's *all* the points! Thus, the proper way to look at the graph would be to focus first the lower half (up to the kink), and then on the upper half, and see what's changed. If, for example, linear fits to the separate data regions give separate straight lines, this could mean that there is something in the data.

That having been said: although IAAS (I am a scientist), I'm not a transport measurements guy and I'm not familiar with the state-of-the-art methods in this particular experimental technique... The guys improving their experimental technique would certainly not hurt at all, but for now, I'd leave it to the peer reviewers to estimate the relevance of *this* particular graph ;-)

Comment Re:"Unbiased" can mean "evil" sometimes. (Score 1) 973

I understand your point, but that's no excuse for blowing up civilians.

"With great power comes great responsibility" is a pretty chewed-out phrase, but that's what it boils down to in this kind of "but-they-could-have-been-enemies"-arguments.

Somebody wants to handle guns? Fine. Then find a way to handle them without harming civilians, or GTFO.

You cannot treat military by the same standarts you treat a random person. Whoever has the power to do great damage (e.g. because he's flying an Apache with a 30mm gun on board) cannot afford to proceed with the same carelessnes like you & me would, without that power!

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