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Comment Re:Emissions fix? Call me skeptical... (Score 1) 57

I'd love to see an independent, third-party certification that there isn't discernible loss in MPG or power.

Heck, I fully expected that. See, I thought VW would release a firmware patch for emission testing equipment. All VWs would start passing, no need to bother the owners with coming in for the recall.

Comment Re:Code should be as concise as possible. (Score 1) 95

One-letter variable names alone provide far too little job security, except for l and o. This is much better code:

for (godzilla=pokemon, godzilla+=l; godzilla<jesus)
    lllillilil = llliliilil + llillilill;

Did you think I was adding one to godzilla in the for clause? You're not worthy to maintain my code. Seriously, I got stuck maintaining a code base where some genius used l as a variable name everywhere - he now works for Microsoft Research (not making that up).

Comment Re:The title is misleading (Score 1) 120

Personally, I think those detectors are very likely to be a waste of time. We're just building what are basically better neutrino detectors, not because there's any reason to think dark matter will interact with them, but because it's a detector we know how to build!

I guess partly it's a case of whether dark matter is "massive particles that interact via the weak force" or "massive particles that interact weakly" (via some other force) - if it's the latter, these detectors aren't likely to work.

There are lots of theories about what the "WIMPs" really are - there's no evidence of weak force interaction, it only sets an upper limit on their interaction cross-section. Heck, even that's only true if dark matter was found in equal amounts of matter and anti-matter in the early universe, which is a heck of an assumption since we don't understand why familiar matter had such a matter/anti-matter imbalance early on. If dark matter had the same imbalance, then far more possibilities open up, as long as it doesn't interact with light (or I guess the strong force, as these detectors should really have worked in that case).

Comment Re:String theory is just that: a theory (Score 2) 120

But we just proved it doesn't exist.

No, that's not what TFA says at all. You can't even blame a misleading Slashdot headline here: you just made that up. A detector was built to find a very specific kind of matter. It didn't find anything. No real surprise, as there was never any reason to think it would - it was just the sort of detector we already knew how to build.

Hence, my theory is just as valid, that EM has both mass and is a wave

Yes, that's called "Quantum Field Theory", and it's what nearly everyone believes. Doesn't explain anything that dark matter explains, though, so no.

Comment Re:Great news everyone (Score 5, Interesting) 120

No, it is more than that. Astrophysicists give the attribute of "gravity" to dark matter. In fact, that was the reason they promulgated the idea, i.e., galaxies would fly apart otherwise so there must be something we cannot see which supplies the extra gravity.

They do not entertain the idea that maybe their laws are wrong, or that some other phenomenon might be affecting gravity.

That was true quite a few years ago, when there were many theories for galactic rotation rates, including MOND (precisely "the idea that maybe their laws are wrong"), hot dark matter, and cold dark matter which might be WIMPs or MACHOs.

Then we got more data.

WIMPs won out because they also explain gravitational lensing and the early universe. The cosmic microwave background radiation observations were decisive. The predictions made WIMPs were right on the money - turns out the early universe had just the predicted amount of (a) matter, that (b) wasn't moving near the speed of light, and (c) before block holes, brown dwarfs, etc could have formed.

That's how science works. Scientists do not lack creativity - there was a whole forest of ideas to explain galactic rotation rates. But as more observations of unrelated phenomena come it, only "some sort of particle" was left standing. Falsifiable theories were falsified.

This experiment was a bit silly IMO - it was just a detector much like the detectors we built for neutrinos, which had never shown any signs of dark matter before. It was very much a case of "well, we know how to build this sort of detector already, so let just build a big one and hope for the best".

Comment Re:It's obvious it won't accelerate offshoring (Score 2) 194

Yeah.... But half of my department are h1b or some sort of opt/ept graduates, so this would fuckin kill my startup. No way can I pay 100K to someone with next to no experience.

There's a whole country full of people with "next to no experience" - the country you're living in in fact, which should be quite convenient.

Comment Re:Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 1) 126

Do you have any evidence of this? When cars replaced horses, automobiles presented manufacture, repair, and refueling jobs almost immediately.

Car-related jobs did very little to replace horse-related jobs at first (number-wise). It was only after cars had been around for quite some time that Ford made them cheap enough that more people could own cars than previously owned horses that job replacement started to become meaningful.

Manufacturing brought product after product into the purchasing ability of common man that he either could never have afforded, or only afforded for the head of the household.

That's been the trend. The new jobs are in stuff that previously only the wealthy could afford, but now suddenly most people can afford due to automation. People who can predict those products going forward stand to make a great deal of money.

far as Helicopter Money, it's not so much about the money as it is circulatory pressure.

We know that's not true from decades of deflationary pressure in Japan. The truth is: you can't push on a rope. Economies can stagnate, even collapse, for lack of money supply, but it doesn't work the other way: you can't create demand for money by increasing the supply.

Pensions were long common until the private sector made them unfashionable. The gov't typically pays about 15% less than the private sector, making up for it via pensions and benefits

I used to live in Alameda County - their pension obligations were 100% of their budget, and they were far from the worst in California. It's a common story - most states have similar problems at the state level, and most major cities and counties face it to one degree or another. Pensions were under-funded for decades from a combination of assumptions of 90s stock market growth continuing forever, lifespan not increasing, and politicians not giving a shit about any problem they could kick down the road.

BTW, jobs at the federal level now typically pay more than the private sector. Aristocrats vs commoners.

Comment Re:Doing Trump's work for him (Score 1) 414

Needs it for what exactly? You keep asserting that unimproved land has some mystical value, but I'm not seeing it. The majority of such land in the US is owned by the government - local, state, and national parks. There are a few huge private ranches, to be sure, but they're more trophies/status symbols than wealth. There's some unimproved land in the US that's actually rented out, but that's mostly "reverse sharecropping" that more-or-less pays for the property taxes, and again not a source of meaningful income.

Land becomes valuable when you build something useful on it (and not always then).

Comment Re:Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 1) 126

Past trends/patterns are not necessarily future trends/patterns.

No, but they're the best, sometimes only, evidence we have.

One thing that is different is that automation in the past mostly enabled people to do more, NOT replace them.

Nope. A great many professions have disappeared, or nearly so, over the centuries.

Can YOU see it? The "New Thing" wasn't so hidden in the past.

Everything's obvious in hindsight, but no one saw (or very few) what was coming, jobwise, until we were well into ramping up those new jobs.

The only possibility I see right now is the "customization economy" where people get customized cars, landscaping, kitchens, etc.

Customization will take off in areas where the base good both becomes nearly free due to automation, and where it works as a social status signal. Moving from "owning X confers status" to "your customization of X confers status, since everyone can own one now" is the one obvious trend. Heck, that's already most of fashion.

I see "Helicopter Money" (HM) theory as one possible solution.

"And we all had plenty of money, but there was nothing that money could buy". More money without producing more goods and services doesn't really achieve anything.

We also have rotting infrastructure that needs repair, but no means to fund it.

We certainly have the means to improve it, we just lack the will. The vast majority of state and local taxes these days goes to pension plan funding. Those money helicopters seems to hover over people the government likes - funny how that works.

It may take a combination of HM, taxing the rich, socialism, and public works to crack this puzzle.

That puzzle was cracked by capitalism every previous time, but this time is different because ... well, apparently, because you want free money.

Comment Re:Jobs vs. purchasing power (Score 1) 126

There will always be jobs, at least until the Singularity. This is just the Nth automation transition since the Industrial Revolution begun. It's no more (or less!) scary than any of them.

The disaster you're predicting was predicted over and over throughout history, and it's just as wrong this time.

Comment Re:Jobs... (Score 2) 126

And yet Trump keeps telling his rubes that jobs are coming back. They are not coming back. Workers will be replaced by robots.

There are barely more manufacturing jobs in the US than there are farming jobs. Those aren't the jobs people care about - we're a service economy now. Automation threatens to displace service workers the way it already has manufacturing workers - but that's far enough out that neither Trump nor his supporters are complaining about it.

OTOH, service jobs (especially low-skilled) are being lost to lost to recent immigrants, and that's an immediate problem that a president can do something about. That's really the core of Trump's appeal, in fact. The very wealthy of course only want unlimited immigration, because lower wages helps that crowd. OTOH, unlimited immigration is not at all popular with people struggling to keep their low-skilled job as it is.

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"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked." -- John Gall, _Systemantics_