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Comment Re:Finally a chance to do things right (Score 0) 275

All citizens will use Dvorak keyboards, the metric system, drive on right hand side of the road, nonsmoking, use vi text editor, do not use system d

...replace tabs with spaces, 3 spaces per tab. Use a base 12 number system (this of course conflicts with the metric system, we'd have to create something better). Tau instead of Pi.

Comment Re:Forget Mars... (Score 2) 348

From what I read elsewhere, one of the Martian moons would become a way station for the initial flyby and landing missions.

The thing about a mission to Earth's moon is that if there is a major failure it would only take a few days to return to Earth. It would still take months to get back from Phobos or Demos.

Comment Re:Forget Mars... (Score 4, Insightful) 348

Colonizing Venus with floating cities is a far more sexier venture.

...or at least send a solar powered robotic drone into the atmosphere. The winds can get a little rough (over 200 kph) but we would have a freakin' plane flying around through the clouds of another world.

Before sending people to Mars we should send a practice mission to the moon for 2 years. If you can't send people to the moon and have them survive on their own for 2 years, you certainly can't send them to Mars.

Comment Re:It's Hillary time! (Score 1) 271

Russia's interests are not the same as the United State's interests. Russia needs a defensive buffer, a ring of countries around it where it can project power beyond its border. Historically, this is what has saved it from being destroyed by Napoleon and Hitler. They also need an economic block of countries that it can directly control, rather than being surrounded by independent free market countries that it has to compete against. The primary interest of the United States, on the other hand, is to prevent any regional power in the world from becoming a global power. The consolidation of power by Russia is seen by the United States as a push to become a global power again. Islamic terrorism is not an existential threat to either the US or Russia, especially since both countries are now flush with oil. Russia is up against the wall now and sees itself threatened by the West. Putin is fighting back every way he can. If he feels threatened enough, he may do something that spirals out of control.

Comment Re:It's not aliens (Score 1) 282

If they are a K2 civilization we are no competition yet and they can stop us before we become competition. The only resource they would need from us is information, as we are a limited resource--a complex biosphere/technosphere. One thing they probably want to know is if we will destroy ourselves before becoming a K2 civilization. Are we approaching a "Great Filter"?

Comment Re:It's not aliens (Score 1) 282

It is in their best interest to study us in detail. A space-faring civilization will, for purposes of survival, need to know the distribution and rate of development of other technological civilizations in order to get an idea of what their potential competition will be like. Raw data about the development of technological space faring species is the most valuable commodity in the universe.

Comment Re:Really? You need to ask this? (Score 2) 102

lol okay. Tell me how that matters to anyone that's not a megalomaniac. Does it put food on the table? Help people pay their hospital bills?

This is actually an interesting topic. Is it more beneficial for an individual to live in a country with more or less global power? Does global power translate to a better life for a country's citizens? An argument against this is that a global power has to spend resources outside of the country to maintain its power, like for the military, and for financial aid to weaker allies. But there are economic returns for those military expenditures--military dominance does lead to better access to different markets and resources, whether gotten implicitly or explicitly. For the individual, you could say that it's best to live in a small country under the protection of a larger power, like Denmark, where the country can invest more in its citizens. But Greece is also a small country living under a larger power, and Greece has lost economic control over its destiny. Ultimately, the destiny of Denmark relies on the benevolence of greater powers. I'll tell you this, when travelling abroad there is a big difference in how you are treated between being an American and being from, let's say, Sudan. It's a sad commentary on the current state of affairs, but a human life from a country with greater socio/economic/military power is treated as having more value than a life from a poor country.

Comment Re:Really? You need to ask this? (Score 1) 102

EU isn't a country... also without the UK the entire rest of the EU is smaller than the US.

A group of countries can work together to become the dominant global power, both economically and militarily. A united Europe does have the potential to become the dominant global power, and when making strategic plans for the future you must take potentials into account. But as demonstrated by Brexit, Europe lacks the common will to do so.

Speaking of potentials, if Russia and Germany aligned together (like they did in the late 1930s) they could become a dominant global power. Germany with its high-tech economy and Russia with its natural resources and military/intelligence structure, they compliment each other well. The two were getting very cozy not too long ago, but the crisis in Ukraine strained their ties.

Comment Re:Really? You need to ask this? (Score 2, Insightful) 102

China's growth has been impressive, and it is a fantastically dynamic country, but it still has significant disadvantages. The portion of its population that is still in poverty exceeds the entire population of the United States, and its government is ramping up its repression of dissent, which is a troubling sign. The transition to a consumer economy will not be easy, and there is still the danger of uprisings. I'm old enough to remember talk of the Soviet Union destroying the American Empire, a united Europe destroying the American Empire, OPEC taking over the world, Japan rising and surpassing America, and now of a Chinese Century. Somehow the US is still on top. The US has so many inherent advantages, and the rest of the world so many inherent disadvantages, I don't see a loss of American dominance until at least 2050. China will require a significant social reorganization before it can surpass the US, and it looks like the pressures on infrastructure caused by climate change will probably derail that possibility.

Comment Re:Wah! (Score 2) 407

The term troll is actually derived from a fishing troll, because it lures people in. It has nothing to do with the actual fictional monster that is a troll.

The verb describing what trolls do is 'troll'. So trolls troll. Oh well, might as well call a group of trolls a troll. A troll of trolling trolls. On the internet its not like there is any such thing as an individual troll anymore. All the trolling can come from one or many sources, it no longer matters. If you meet a person in the flesh who has trolled you probably would never see their trollishness. For sanity's sake it is best not to think of trolling coming from human beings, but from some collective id, lurking in the same dark home as Yo-Sothoth.

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