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Comment Re:Goes conservative on gun control (Score 1) 385

Like every country, the US has issues which contributes to violence, etc. To assert that US gun culture is not a significant factor in gun-related violence seems rather ignorant.

Not if you actually study the statistics. Legally owned guns aren't used in crime either in the US (with liberal gun laws) nor Sweden (with very strict gun laws), but if I, for example, correlate the number of firearms related deaths with the number of known (criminal) gang members, I easily get very close.

We're in a recent spat of shootings here in Sweden at the moment, and like the US it's all perpetrated by criminal gang members (the rest are an anomaly). It's just that we have fewer gang members...

So the deciding factor is how easy it is for criminals to acquire guns. (Far too easy with the EU's open borders is the answer in Sweden at the moment.)

Comment Re:Sigh. Way too old for a career change. (Score 1) 90

...and damned if she's not making as much as an associate professor.

Well, judging by the contents of my (virtual) salary envelope they're probably underpaying her then... :-) (I have recent bachelor's and master's making more than I do).

Just saying that "associate professor" may not be setting the bar very high when it comes to payment for services rendered. (Depending on lots, and lots of factors of course, including field and where in the world etc., to on a more serious note).

Me, I wish I'd learned HVAC. People will always need ducts in their houses, and heat and cooling. And there's very little math, which is good.

I remember when I was a PhD student doing "the grind" and how we all used to say that we should have gone in to fine carpentry instead. However, even though I'm not precisely over the hill just yet, and having gone back and forth between academia and industry a couple of times, I've come to the conclusion that while the grass often looks decidedly greener from this side the fence, I almost never actually is, once you've crossed. So even though a man can (and must) dream, little is usually lost in not acting on them.

Comment Re:What Hollande says (Score 1) 328

Yes, well, the Germans aim to fix their problems with load balancing by leaning on the rest of us. Which isn't really solving the problem. They could have been well on their way.

And of course nuclear becomes "expensive" when you let solar and wind eat their lunch when it suits them (i.e. when the sun is out, and the wind is blowing just right) and then throw up your arms in the air when it doesn't.

Taking availability into account then of course nuclear is still dirt cheap. The only competition is hydroelectric (limited by environmental concerns and geographical limitations). And with political stability and production then of course the price would come down substantially, the ones you mention are one-offs. Even so, Swedish official calculations put nuclear at the same price as large scale biomass, and slightly more expensive than wind. (Sun is of course a fools errand for us). But that's not taking the low availability of wind into account (power output is the cube of wind speed, so optimal conditions are very rare).

So, my prediction. basically, we'll lose what industry we have left, and electricity prices will triple. Today, we release about half as much CO2 per capita (less when scaled for industry output) than German. But that'll change as well as we'll switch more and more from our 99% clean electricity to more and more fossil fuel. Just like they do in Germany. When the greens are done, we'll have damaged our economy and substantially increased our CO2 emissions...

Comment Re:Never Got It (Score 1) 227

Well, with your literary background I think you'll enjoy a writer that finally takes literary crime seriously! :-) (Our heroine of course being an officer of a the police organisation that polices crimes against literature.) That said, while they are in the general tradition of "The Hitch-hikers guide...", they're perhaps not quite up to that standard in execution. So don't get your expectations up too high. But a very enjoyable read, still.

And yes. It was mostly pulp. I suspect it's not so much a question of sci-fi getting worse, as it is of us getting older and remembering the experiences of our youth with the perennial rose-tinted glasses.

Comment Re:What Hollande says (Score 2) 328

Because the argument is always that "nuclear doesn't pay". And you did bring that up. That's not that interesting/persuasive an argument if it turns out that pretty much all the alternative don't pay either. Hydro-electric here in Sweden doesn't pay either. If one of those dams went, that would be it. (The fund that's supposed to pay would try up very quickly). But since they're (mostly) government owned, that wouldn't be a problem. Or rather that wouldn't be the problem.

And while France may be moving away from coal, Germany most certainly isn't. They'll keep polluting and polluting due to their "green" Energiwende for decades to come. When in fact, with their increase in renewables they could have gotten rid of all coal by now instead. Something that would have been worthwhile, rather than the mess they seem to prefer.

Comment Re:What Hollande says (Score 1) 328

But the same is true of coal in spades. They also don't pay their cost in full. Not even close. So if we allow coal on the government's dime, there's no reason to allow nuclear on the government's dime.

More importantly in France (as in much of the rest of Europe) the government also owns and operates the plants. So you could well say that they're insured in full, the same way that governments insure everything else it owns. I.e. they don't. If you own the press printing the money, taking out insurance from an external insurance company makes no sense whatsoever. (Here in Sweden it is in fact illegal for me as a government employee to do so.)

Comment Re:Blah blah blah (Score 1) 667

You had "C" for a system like that?! Kids and their newfangled toys. :-) I remember writing hand assembled machine language for that level of architecture, and it didn't have any "operating system" or crap like that.

Was fun though. You were in complete control and could pretty much know everything about the system. Down to tracing undocumented patch wires on the board (only two layer, so visual inspection was all you needed).

Comment Re:Never Got It (Score 1) 227

Yes, I'm keeping my fingers crossed. (Then again, they'll probably mess it up completely. They usually do.)

And I was also captured by Heinlein in my teens, "Space Cadet" may have been the first SF I ever read (remember grabbing it in the school library in middle school). "Have spacesuit", "Wagon train", and then later "Moon" were great reads.

And I did enjoy "Windup girl", but otherwise I'm into lighter reading these days (to alleviate the stress), so I'm currently reading Jasper Fforde's Thursday Next novels. Perhaps not particularly for adults as much as "children of all ages". :-)

Comment Re:alternative approach (Score 1) 1081

In a popular vote, California, a strong democrat state, would have much less power to influence the election than they do in the electoral system, especially with it no longer counting as a winner take all approach. Granted, it is still powerful, but its weight is reduced.

And why wouldn't that be a good idea?

Isn't the idea that the system should be as good as possible, not a tit-for-tat partisan quagmire?

Comment Re:But it's not mob rule (Score 1) 1081

You and other's would do well to read up on this new fangled invention that wasn't available to the framers of your constitution, called "proportional representation". (Unavailabel as it hadn't been invented yet.)

There's a lot of middle ground between "first past the post" and "direct democracy". The latter term refers to systems where the people vote directly on issues. That's not what's being proposed here. What's being proposed is a system where the people of e.g. California can make their voice heard. Something that's not the case today, as conservatives in California have no say in the outcome of the election. They might as well not exist.

Handing out electoral votes in proportion to how many vote for that candidate is a far cry from "direct democracy", and is by far the majority system in the world. It's basically you and the British that still cling to "first past the post".

Comment Re:Amidst Winter? (Score 1) 138

I know it's cold in Finland this time of year, but the first day of winter is still a month and a half in the future.

Maybe in the Anglo-Saxon world. But in the nordics we use the meteorological definitions. Hence, "First day of winter" isn't a day on the almanac, it's officially announced by the met office. (And typically on the news, weather segment).

The official definition of winter being; the average temperature being below freezing for five days in a row. (The other limit being 10C. I.e. above 10C for five days, then it's summer, below then it's autumn.

Comment Re:What? (Score 1) 109

No, he's right. People in general won't hear above about 12k, 16k or so if they're young (kids). Above that, but well within the hi-fi spec, there's a lot of room.

This is illustrated by the standard hearing test (audiogram) that cuts of at 8k. Even the high frequency one only goes to 16k.

So unless you're interested in a nit-picky semantic of what "ultra sound" really means (which I'm not BTW), the truth of the matter is that even though you've been told 20-20k, that's not really the truth at all. That's a very best, idealised, case, and there's a lot more nuance.

P.S. Try something like this for yourself, and people around you. I, being middle aged can't hear beyond 13k, my kids (young teens) are lost around 16-17k. Still plenty of room for "ultrasonics" without destroying your tweeters, or running afoul of compression bandwidths.

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