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Comment Re:Interesting (Score 3, Informative) 756

In any first-past-the-post election system, you will end up with a two-party system. Very occasionally, a third party will displace one of the majors, but then end up as the despised mainstream party.

Brazil, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Ireland, Israel, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, The Philippines, and several other countries with persistent multi-election multiple party systems would beg to disagree.

Comment Re:Why do I get a bad felling about this?.... (Score 1) 254

They know that rocket science is hard and involves many years of setbacks from expected schedules. While Musk is very good at producing rockets, he's not so great at realistic timeframes. Recall that he stated that the first Falcon Heavy launch would happen sometime in 2013. Repeated delays now have the first launch being expected in 2018. Musk announces timeframes for if everything goes perfectly, which is a very low probability possibility when dealing with rockets.

Yes, Musk will get us to Mars eventually, it just won't be quite as soon as he first announced.

Comment Re:like what? (Score 1) 537

Good for them. ROI is good for the investor. You must know that here is no obligation (moral or otherwise) to fix other people's problems, or to develop technology that fixes other people's problems.

Sure there is an obligation, at least if you admit one has an obligation to better oneself. Measured altruism is self-interest. If a someone can develop a technology that fixes other people's problems, those people will not only pay for that technology, benefiting all parties involved, but they will also have more of some resource now freed up by that technology to devote to developing some sort of other beneficial technology themselves. Overall standard of living increases as a result, including one's own standard of living.

If one has an obligation to improve oneself, or one's standings, one necessarily also has an obligation to help others so as to enable them to better help oneself(or some other person who then could help oneself).

Comment Re:First SpaceX Missions To Mars: 'Dangerous and P (Score 2) 412

Ultimately, the answer is simply this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?... Everything else is just a justification, true ones of course, but never the primary reason.

Some people get it, some people don't. I happen to be one of the people who do, and that's okay. It sounds like you happen to be one of the people who don't, and that's okay too.

Comment Re:"Probably"? (Score 2) 412

Those considering this need to completely rethink propulsion and come up with a plan for getting people not only there, but home.... safely and expediently, in time scales measured in hours or a few days at most... not weeks, and certainly not months. Otherwise, any rocket we send them up in may as well be their tomb.

Why? Why do you think that colonists want to return to place they left? And why do you think that Earth is necessarily a better tomb for every single person than Mars would be?

Comment Re:I would ... (Score 2) 412

If any part of Musk's plan involves indenturement, or stakeholder value increase, and does not come out upfront say that the one and only purpose is colonization, for the sake of colonization, it needs to be treated with revulsion and derision.

The former is how you secure slaves in space based manufacturing.

Why would anyone want space slaves for manufacturing when they could use industrial equipment and manufacturing robots that are far cheaper than having to supply expensive food/water/air/medical/misc to maintain slaves? There just isn't any advantage to slavery anymore, and especially not when you get into space.

Comment Re:root problem (Score 4, Interesting) 136

Yes it is the major issue. Which always brings to mind my favorite proposed solution: Mine neodymium from asteroids, use it to construct a massive rare earth magnet ring around Mars, and watch as Mars' solid metal core once again becomes magnetized and creates a planetary magnetic field. Sure, it would be a truly massive project, but it would be easier by orders of magnitude as compared to trying to restart the magnetic field by liquefying the mantle and outer core of Mars. Plus, we wouldn't have to worry restarting Olympus Mons.

Comment Re:Why not just kill them all? (Score 3, Interesting) 150

While I agree with the conclusion, I do beleive you arrived at it a bit incorrectly. It's that mosquitoes don't fill any useful ecological niche. Their sole purpose in the environment is to make things suffer, and they don't have any positive contributions which even come close to evening that out. This is a rare thing that should enable us to slaughter them in massive quantities to the point of extinction without any noticeable effect on the environment except that more people will be willing to go on nature walks.

Comment Re:Larger landing area (Score 1) 342

It sure seems that if a larger landing area was available, so that the rocket didn't have to lean so far to adjust to a very small target and thus could prioritize staying vertical, it would be able to land successfully.

Or they could get their engineers to take a look at the PID system they're using so that the rocket could correct for the error by making more gradual adjustments sooner, it wouldn't have to lean so far.

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