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Comment Re:Why? (Score 1) 987

You need some sort of hybrid approach, where you convince easiest 99% of people to be peaceful, but retain enough military capability to dissuade the remaining stubborn 1% from doing anything nuts. Which is more or less what we're doing today.

Rather less, I should think. What we're doing today is radicalizing 1% with bombings, drone strikes, interference with democratic elections, etc etc so that we can have excuses for endless war.

Comment Re:Fastest that you know of (Score 1) 73

Latency is mostly the speed of light from the location to the surgeon. Which is why modern telepresence surgery robots have a buffer to handle that and complete operations locally with guidance from an assistant. The question is more how much information is presented to the surgeon over the pipe, and at what speed it's resolved for imaging. Imaging files are pretty huge, at least the ones I've seen.

You remember the surgical robot in that SF movie Ender's Game? That was one of the surgical robots here on campus. It actually exists.

Comment Re:"The app was never a revenue driver..." (Score 4, Informative) 50

Unlike Twitter itself, which has been making money ...

One of the first steps in protecting yourself from finance weasels is to learn what their words mean. In particular, "revenue" and "profit" are two very different things. For example, Twitter's numbers from last quarter show their revenue from the quarter was over $600 million. Perhaps not Google numbers, but not a lot of companies earn that much in a single quarter. However, their profit was about -$100 million. So of course the sensible thing here would be to get rid of some of the things that are costing more than they are making. If Vine has lots of folks working on it, and isn't in fact pulling in a lot of revenue (raw $), then yes it makes perfect sense for a bean-counter to want to get rid of it.

Comment Re:Reap what you sow (Score 1) 80

It makes more sense when you realize the US is arming ISIS in Syria to overthrow and replace the government, which turned to long-time ally Russia for help.

This is like saying all math makes more sense when you divide by zero. That's quite true, but you can't divide by zero.

There are hundreds of little factions fighting in Syria, the two biggest of which are ISIS and Assad's various loyalists. Those two biggest sides hold completely disjoint territories, and do not fight each other. They aren't exactly allies, but they aren't enemies either, and in Syria today that's as close as you come to being allies. Their meer existence helps each other out, both in military and propaganda terms.

Among the other factions, you have groups that are fighting Assad exclusively, groups that are fighting ISIS exclusively, and groups that are fighting both. Some of these are ethnic-based (the most effective of which are the Kurds). Since they are the most effective against ISIS, the US is primarily trying to help the Kurds. However, the last thing US ally Turkey wants is militarily powerful Kurds, so they support groups that are primarily attacking Kurds, and leaving ISIS and Assad alone.

Comment Re:Positive development (Score 1) 153

The abundance of one species does not a healthy ecosystem make. I have a friend whose family owns a 1700 acre island off the coast of New England. It used to support an enormous white tail deer population -- and not coincidentally it had a plague of ticks, because everything in nature is food for something else. You would not have wanted to visit there back in the 1970s because the tick problem was insane. Everyone in his family has had Lyme disease, which also feasted on the swollen deer population.

Then in the 1980s the Western Coyote made it to New England, and a pack swam out to the island. In a single season they took down most of the deer herd, and now the island is a pleasant and sanitary place to live. And this is not some kind of odd aberration; this is how ecology works. If you disturb an ecosystem (say by killing off all the native timber wolves), weed species take over and they end up riddled with disease.

Weed species the ones who by sheer luck can live in conjunction with or off of large human populations. In a healthy ecosystem they may be cute, but an ecosystem dominated by weed animals can be nightmarish. I know lots of natural science geeks, and for the most part animals don't scare them. I once went for a walk with a girl who picked up a rotting coyote head and put it in her jacket pocket. She was TA'ing an anatomy course and wanted to show it to her students. But even she wouldn't go near a racoon, because unchecked by predation suburban raccoons are chock full of leptospirosis, salmonella and roundworm -- not to mention rabies. Those diseases can and do cripple, even kill people.

A world dominated by weed species would be quite horrible to live in.

Comment Re:Reap what you sow (Score 2) 80

Allowed people to be as abusive as they want provided they're not white

On that note, banning people for being republican

Got an example of either of these? I'm familiar with the rest of the points you cite, but not these.

I follow a lot of people of color on Twitter, and the amount of abuse (and I'm talking about stuff that would get them *arrested* if they did) they are subjected to is just mind-boggling.

And then there's the (non-white) guy I follow who got banned twice because he happens to have the same (very common) last name as the head of ISIS. The only thing that stopped that was when they gave him a check-mark. So I certainly haven't seen any reluctance whatsoever to ban non-whites. If anything, there seems to be a bit of an itchy trigger-finger (just like in real life).

However I don't follow a lot of the kinds of people who, erm..., tend to anger people of color. So I'm thinking you may have seen some stuff I haven't. Care to share specifics?

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