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Comment Re:Global warming has become hopelessly politicize (Score 1) 429

What started out as a well-supported observation that the earth was starting to slowly warm...

Actually that's just the recent history, going back to, say, the early '80s. The dogma before then was that human action was forcing the next Ice Age early, particularly through sulfur dioxide emissions from burning coal increasing the reflectivity of clouds. And it was a very big thing, e.g. strongly influencing the science fiction of the time.

While your characterization of the environmentalists is more or less accurate (except that they've been pushing this since the '60s or so and they're essentially a religious cult) I think you've constructed a straw man for the "other side". Ignoring the tiny fraction of people who are Objectivists let alone the small fraction who are that sort of extreme libertarian, your idea that the other side blindly trusts "mega-corporations" is entirely without foundation.

Seriously, do you think we're that stupid or naive? Suffix something with big- or mega- and we're less inclined to view it favorably, let alone trust it. Although we at least (mostly) don't object to the very ideas of capitalism or profit, so corporation are not born with some form of Original Sin.

Comment Who's going to bell the cat named the USA? (Score 2, Informative) 865

We've got the world's most capable military by a very large margin, more than half our citizens own guns and know how to use them (to quote the Japanease Admiral, a rifle behind every blade of grass), etc. etc. etc....

Only an egghead from a country that started to disarm it's subjects almost a century ago (the Bolshevik revolution terrified the U.K. ruling class) could suggest such lunacy.

Comment Re:Notes (Score 1) 569

I know it's true for me; after I commit a lecture to paper (with a fountain pen, mostly for low friction with the paper) I only have to go back to my notes for a few items. This doesn't seem to be true for things that I type (granted, I didn't formally learn to touch type although I of course do nowadays).

Comment Re:Money (Score 1) 317

You ignore how ICBMs are political weapons in a way that "cheap-ass panel vans" aren't. There's a big difference in the posture of a nation that can deliver a nuke over one or more of your cities in 30 minutes and one that might, if they were so inclined, smuggle in one or more in some period of weeks or months.

Comment Re:More than just those three reasons (Score 1) 387

Thank you for a reasoned and fact filled reply; I'll keep my eyes out for this development---gaah, but there's just too much to follow, and medicine is twice removed from my science field of chemistry and then there's all that tasty CS....

However, with the politicization of science becoming a red hot topic (e.g. see the recent two "mistakes" the IPCC has admitted to (GlacierGate and frequency of disasters)) this has to be followed.

Comment Re:More than just those three reasons (Score 1) 387

No, because it's very clear that politics hasn't strangled this line of research and nonetheless it hasn't lived up its proponents' claims (the reasonable one, I'm not talking about Edwards' ravings), because they were lying about where the field was.

There have been 10s of adult stem cell research therapies proven and 0 embryonic. If there was just even one the story would be different.

Comment Re:Let me take you back 25 years (Score 2, Interesting) 387

A few notes on your excellent analysis:

China's demographic problems are starting to hit now, much earlier in the game than Japan, due to the forced One Child Per Family problem. For the aging, it's called e.g. the 4-2-1 problem, 4 grandparents have 2 parent have 1 child, who all of the parents realize is going to have to provide for all of them. So they save like mad instead of consume at levels that would build up their domestic market, a critical part of Japan's success.

And the 2020 problem is going to be 10s of millions of men who can't find wives, not thousands. 22 million if I recall, but I'm not sure if that matches the 2020 date, but it will be soon.

Finally, there's the big problem that this model is likely to work less well for China because of scale (10 times Japan's population) and Japan not having the countries it exported to be what in what looks to be a long term Great Recession (or worse). Probably the worse period for Japan that way was the 1970s, and what they did then (e.g. export early small not so high quality cars) worked well, enough that they were going like gangbusters in the 1980s, when they were predicted to take over the world. As we know, that ended in tears. I suspect it'll be a lot more messy in the much less cohesive PRC.

Comment Re:This improves the rate of progress for all of u (Score 1) 387

I have a wild guess that if you forbid basic research in one area you won't get practical results in it.

Then it's a good thing we didn't? Only ban was on Federal funding on creating (or using) new embryonic stem cell lines. Federally funded research could use the 22 existing at the time of the "ban", and other funding (including the 1-2? billion in the California program) wasn't restricted.

And all the research shows that we aren't anywhere near the applied level ... but it's being promoted as applied (see other thread I previously referenced), and see the other reply in this thread for why that's a bad idea.

Comment Re:This improves the rate of progress for all of u (Score 1) 387

Would have helped if you'd read the other thread I linked to....

Anyway, you have 22 fingers on your hand? I'm impressed.

But the basic point (see other thread here) is that embryonic stem cell research is being prompted as applied not basic research. This is a bad idea, if for no other reason than that the promoters are getting caught in their lies (e.g. the California government org set up to administer their program). This along with other currently more well known lies like AGW will make it harder for all scientists to get funding in the future. Very short term thinking, yes?

(I support basic research, just not lying about it.)

Comment Re:More than just those three reasons (Score 1) 387

No, I'm saying people have tried, they've failed, we understand why, and that promoting it as applied research ("... people like Christopher Reeve are going to walk, get up out of that wheelchair and walk again") is fraudulent. And that claiming our scruples in avoiding research to a very small extent---there never was a total ban, only a ban on using Federal money to create new embryonic stem cell lines, as I remember---is holding us back is just not true in any way I know of.

In this field as so many others, politics is the death of real science.

Comment Re:More than just those three reasons (Score 2, Interesting) 387

If anyone could cite a single therapy to come from embryonic stem cell research your comment might have some force.

Unfortunately, solving that is equivalent to figuring out cancer (and that's essentially what you get when you put embryonic (undifferentiated) stem cells in animals); this is basic research pretending to be applied. Look at e.g. the recent equivocations of the California state organization that's administering their effort.

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