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Comment Ninety-nine percent of the land is not used ??? (Score 1) 202

He loses a lot of credibility with this statement. What I guess he means is the land is not occupied by people. But if you take a look the land is heavily used for grazing, timber, mining. I've flown over and driven over the US quite a few times and it really depresses me. The Mississippi is turned into a big drainage ditch. From the ground I see cattle grazing everywhere and they have huge effects on the original ecosystem. The ranchers that have been protesting out west about grazing on government land have gotten in trouble for burning native shrub so it can be replaced with grasses better for cattle. Even historically there has been much fighting over land in the west, they were called the range wars. Montana was the most famous, but there has been lots of other wars over water, fences and sheep vs cattle.

Comment I'll be suprised if VR goes anywhere. (Score 1) 47

I use google streetview a lot, basically as a virtual tourist. I even put together my own little library - museum of my favorite places:
http://xweb123-001-site1.myasp...
but I talk to people and I'm shocked at how few(actually none) people are into using google streetview to explore. Although, there are whole web sites devoted to streetview pics of hookers and people urinating in the streets. Quite a few people say its somehow wrong to see the world through streetview and you should go there in person to see it for 'real'. Problem is I only have the budget to see a fraction of the world for 'real'. 90+ percent of the people I talk to only want to do facebook and Netflix on the internet. Maybe VR will take off but it will surprise me.

Comment Re:The printing press (Score 2) 397

I agree with printing press. I think the modern era began with the printing press. it was the basis of both the Reformation and Scientific revolution. Before the printing press, ideas circulated so slowly it was looked a more as reference material. After the printing press ideas spread so quickly that ideas became a collaborative effort, almost a conversation between people that never met.

Comment Re:Or let us keep our hard-earned money (Score 1) 574

yeah, because you see you have an above average income and lifestyle and figure I know better that the average so I should be able to make all the spending decisions about my money. But the instant you hit the wall, you get long term disease, become permanently disabled in auto accident, or my fear get accidently shot by one of the gun nuts, you will be singing a different tune.

Comment High Risk + Low Success = High Cost (Score 3, Interesting) 245

This sounds tough, but how much of the high risk- low success operations being done contribute to the high cost of health care in the US? maybe in some of the high risk situations somebody needs to say no. sorry, but costs are out of control and we need some realistic assessments. On a similar note, its been some years since I've heard people say ' I don't care how much it costs, if it just saved one life it was worth it.'

Comment Re:Ever killed a poacher? (Score 1) 176

Personally I shrug my shoulders over it. Population of Africa is growing so fast. Plus it the perfect location to feed Asia. Long term there will be no habitat for free ranging animals. OTOH, I don't mind that people are trying to stop poaching, it would be interesting to see how it plays out and its important to change peoples ethical outlook. But long term I wouldn't put money on big animals coming out a winner.

Comment Re:Planet Earth Failure Modes (Score 1) 265

ok, so starving people today is not a compelling example that food sharing doesn't happen, how about this:
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06...
Hoarding Nations Drive Food Costs Ever Higher

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/new...
Food hoarding by governments keen to keep prices low is pushing prices higher

http://www.scmp.com/business/c...
Memories of 2008 food crisis push Asian countries to hoard grain

Comment Re:Planet Earth Failure Modes (Score 1) 265

trust me, if there is a world wide crisis that affects agriculture, things will change very quickly. A drought in California is regional, so people wouldn't get to excited about that. Also, food sharing doesn't work all that well right now. there are lots of people starving in different places the world. I tried to look up info on max exporters, US is number 1 and has in the past 60+ years been the only one that really affects international prices. France is listed as 2, but that's because of the high value wine, cheese they sell. Brazil and Argentina are emerging big exporters of basic food crops, and they are increasing fast, the limiting factor seems to be infrastructure to get crops from fields to ships. I grew up on a farm and read quite a bit about world food supply, its not nearly as elastic as you are saying.

Comment Re:Planet Earth Failure Modes (Score 1) 265

My impression is this would be a world wide event. Kansas and other areas would be similarly bad off, its just they didn't have good information about what was going on there in 1815. Also, I wouldn't want to depend too much on 'sharing'. I suspect a lot of countries will go into hoarding mode.
Good News:, I did some further investigating. The Tambora volcano was a 10,000 year event on the VEI, Volcanic Eruptions Index.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/...

Eruptive Volume: 100 km3 (20 cu mi)
Type: Ultra Plinian
Frequency: 10,000 years
Example; Tambora (1815)

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