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Comment Re: Worst of both worlds (Score 1) 116

Exactly. It is highly disingenuous to compare modern drones to the hobbiest model and miniature aircraft of the past. The hobbiests tended to be pretty sensitive to other peoples' feelings and to general notions of aviation safety. Part of it was, I suppose that the cost of such aircraft was fairly high, but it was also part of the gentlemen's agreement that went along with entering the hobby. Now when any beer-swilling asshole with a spare $200 can go and buy a drone with video camera on it, it simply isn't the same hobby at all.

Comment Re:Gun Registry (Score 1) 116

The problem is that there aren't convenient "air" borders between states, so this, like, say, radio frequencies, are an obvious place where the Federal government has a role. Perhaps you should review why it is exactly the Articles of Confederation were ultimately seen as near worthless and the Constitution that is in place tody was written.

Comment Re:Gun Registry (Score 1) 116

No liberty is absolute. Speech, for instance can be limited, either civilly (if you sign an NDA and then violate it), or criminally (revealing state secrets, or treason as some call it, is an example of how speech can be limited under criminal statute). The Founding Fathers intended liberties to expansive, but not absolute. In such a way, limiting some forms of gun ownership is no different than, say, laws against shouting "fire!" in a crowded theater.

Comment Re:Toys (Score 0) 116

When you violate my privacy because you're either a sicko or a moron, then I expect my government to do something to make sure you find a more appropriate use for your toys.

The real solution is, of course, to require each drone to have a unique signature that can allow it to be traced to its owner, so when the owner gets this bright idea that he should be able to hover over someone's house and take video of their wife or daughter sunbathing in the back yard, he can be tracked down and dealt with suitably.

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 1) 115

It takes a lot to actually wipe out a human population. It has happened, but in general, a lack of local resources, while leading to high mortality, also leads to migrations. The fact remains, however, that the developing world has far higher birth rates than the developed world, and that many nations in the developed world are actually in a net population decline, where immigration is discounted. Among the worst are Japan and Spain, but most industrialized nations have birth rates below 2.1.

Comment Re: A model can't confirm any hypothesis (Score 1) 115

A model based upon data and able to predict future observations is, well, by definition a demonstration of the validity of a hypothesis.

It strikes me that you may be committing an etymological fallacy, using a definition of the word "model" that doesn't really fit with how scientists use the word.

Comment Re:Cable TV companies = Cable internet companies (Score 1) 249

That may keep them going for a while, but we're probably little more than a decade away from fiber roll out in many areas (even my small town of around 20,000 people is seeing fiber coming soon). Cable's business model is doomed, and even the networks are likely to put a lot more investment in online streaming offerings as they see cable's ability to deliver their product to large numbers of people fade.

I give cable ten, maybe fifteen years at best.

Comment Re:Meh (Score 1) 115

Or we could, you know, reduce pollutants and emissions, rather than hoping that somehow in a just a few generations an immunity develops (hint, it would take a lot more than a few generations to develop communities to pollutants, and in some cases, like say mercury or carbon monoxide, it's hard to imagine any evolutionary pathway that would lead to immunity).

Comment Re:Meh. (Score 4, Insightful) 115

Bullshit. Rich people tend to have far far better health care. The size of your parents' wallet is not genetically heritable, therefore your claim that somehow Darwinism would solve the problem is utter crap. As with all Social Darwinists, you either twist what Darwin was saying, or you just simply don't understand it.

A few points:

1. Cooperation is as much a result of Darwinian selection as competition. Humans are social animals, not solitary hunters. Even Neanderthals appeared to take care of their infirm, for chrissake.
2. You can legally inherit money, but it confers no genetic advantage. A moron can just as easily have a trust fund as a genius.
2a. There is an at least partial caveat to that, in that poor nutrition during the key developmental years that is often found in the poorest societies can in fact stunt cognitive development. But again, that still doesn't mean rich people are genetically superior, it just means good nutrition and health care allows them to reach a sort of maximum of cognitive development that members of poor societies are often deprived of. The same would happen to a baby born in a rich society if it is deprived of protein and calories necessary for development.
3. There may be a genetic component to earning lots of money; in that either intelligence or risk taking behaviors can likely influence a person's ability to earn money, but high intellect and risk taking can also be associated with some potentially deleterious behaviors as well (i.e. links to depression or, in the case of risk takers, to physically or legally dangerous exploits).
4. The wealthier society, the lower the fertility rate, which generally means it isn't the poor societies who are going to be wiped out, but rather the wealthier ones, which is why they end up having to build big walls which they then are forced to open the gates to because to remain economically viable you need to have some way of generating the required 2.1 children per female to at least maintain a stable population over time.
5. As one can see from poorer societies, women can produce a number of offspring even if their average lifespans are considerably less than your average citizen of an industrialized country, so the idea that "Darwinism" (whatever you mean by that) is just going to leave all the nice rich people in place, and all the poor people will drop dead doesn't even make any bloody sense.
6. Social Darwinism has about as much to do with Darwinism/evolutionary biology as horoscopes have to do with astronomy. It was long ago debunked, but remains oddly popular among Libertarians in wealthy countries who either directly or indirectly benefit greatly from the labour of people in poor societies, and who seem to feel that it somehow justifies that pecking order. If Social Darwinism resembles any kind of evolution, it is the Lamarckian evolution that Darwin set about strongly critiquing in his theory.

Comment Re:Our financial foundation is strong (Score 0) 90

The reality is that they've been overstating cash flow for a while, using asset sales to maintain a positive cash flow. Revenues have been in the dumps for years, and BB has largely been living off the large cash reserves it accumulated during the boom years of its business. They should have shuttered the windows a long time ago and returned the investors the cash, but they had managed to turn BB into some sort of weird stock cult, and had legions of idiots running around declaring "any day now, BB is going to take off again" even as the stock plummeted.

BB has been dead for seven years now, it's just that there was enough cash in the bank to keep the corpse twitching.

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