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Comment Re:meh, totally predictable plot lines (Score 3, Insightful) 49

If it's from Hollywood, post 1968, then:

1. The villain will be a US military agency, a US spy agency, a corporation/CEO, a gun company, a non-renewable energy company.

Wow, I must have misunderstood the plot on all those post-1968 movies where I thought the baddies were commies, nazis, drug lords, foreign terrorists, domestic terrorists, anarchists, poor people trying to get rich quick, rich people trying to get richer quick, crazy people trying to do incomprehensible things for incomprehensible reasons, wayward do-gooders, megalomoniacal supercrooks, pirates, pirate hunters, aliens, alien hunters, vampires, vampire hunters, zombies, orcs, dragons, ghosts, etc.

If you don't like the simulation you're living in, you can always rejoin us here in reality.

Comment Re: Stop calling it "skepticism". (Score 2) 328

The history of greenhouse effect theory is interesting and well worth reading up on. It was first raised as a possibility in the 1890s, but rejected quickly based on two erroneous beliefs: (1) that the oceans would rapidly absorb any increase in atmospheric CO2 and (2) that the absorption spectra of water vapor and CO2 mostly overlapped. Together these implied that CO2 could not increase in the atmosphere, and even if it did it could not capture any heat that water vapor wouldn't have anyway.

There are a lot of twists and turns in the story, which Wikipedia does a pretty good job of summarizing. I highly recommend reading that article.

Comment Re: Stop calling it "skepticism". (Score 3, Informative) 328

Saying that is so doesn't make it so. There's overwhelming empirical evidence that the Earth has been warming since middle of the twentieth century, particularly from around 1970 onward. This is shown both in the surface instrumental record and in the satellite record.

Comment Re:Ok (Score 2) 74

Let me give a shout out to the London's James Smith & Sons cane shop. A hundred pounds will buy you an umbrella (made in the basement on site) that will be passed down to your distant descendants. When I went there 25 years ago they were still selling sword sticks. I purchased folding model for myself that unfurled to near golf-umbrella proportions. And for the tremendous sum of £140 (which would be £250 today) I bought my wife a magnificent umbrella which she forgot on the subway the first time she used it.

It's worth a visit just to browse. Plus that's the nearest thing to visiting Olivander's Wand Shop that you can do for real.

Comment Re:China's Trump is named Xi (Score 2) 377

Well, I don't think anyone thinks many non-Chinese speaking Americans are going to move there. I think this is targeted at the top tier of immigrant talent, particularly people who may have come from China to the US for school and stayed. For them the equation is more complicated than the one you present, particularly if they feel unsafe, or even unwelcome in the US.

Just to put some perspective on this, as I write this there are 328,547 current graduate students in the US from China. Ten years ago nearly all of these people would have remained in the US -- and these are valuable people to have. Today far fewer do because it's become harder to get a green card, and opportunities.

Likewise there are 166K Indian graduate students in the US, many of whom China would like to lure away when they graduate. It would be better for us that they stay here, but China would very much like to obtain the services of these bright young people with shiny new graduate degrees from American universities.

I'm not talking about the cheap contract labor your IT consultant uses to run your Exchange server; I'm talking about the intellectual elites who create technologies, companies, and jobs. China may be a police state, but that doesn't make them stupid; they value these people. America... not so much. In fact there are places in this country where being an educated white American makes you the object of suspicion.

Comment Re:Michael Flynn Jr believes it (Score 1) 739

The great virtue of Democracy is not in ensuring good government, it's in getting rid of bad governments.

The fact that Congress is so reviled yet stable indicates we're no longer a functioning democracy. We're a plutocracy, where elections are determined by overwhelming advantages in fundraising.

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