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Comment Re:inequality (Score 1) 1063

Because pregnancy and childbirth are inherently dangerous, for both the mother and child. Just because a 13-year-old is biologically mature enough to have a child, she is no way emotionally mature enough to care for that child without significant assistance, something even affluent, white (or perhaps especially them?) girls often do not receive. Easy to see how this could lead to higher mortality, through emotional problems increasing the likelihood of suicide, or just poor parenting leading to accidental deaths. And this doesn't even touch the idea of teenage pregnancy being an indicator of poor decision-making overall.

Comment Re:Terrible example. (Score 1) 323

Protests are not meant to cause damage, they are meant to cause awareness. That's why there are legal restrictions to protest, like having to be on public property, etc. "Blocking and discouraging people from shopping" at a business are two very different things. I think you are confusing a protest with a riot.

Comment Re:Billionaire. (Score 1) 418

Anyone who invests "substantial portions of their life savings" on the stock market is gambling, and in this case they lost. What would be the response if "mom and pop" had put everything on the roulette table? They would be pilloried as idiots, and rightly so. Would you still be outraged that they won't be getting their money back? I thought not.

This is no different. The only safe way to invest in the stock market is to distribute your risk: different companies, different industries, and a lot of time. Any other strategy may occasionally pay off, but too many people listen to the siren song of the quick buck.

Comment Re:And so another empire has fallen (Score 1) 910

The problem is that modern communication has made geography irrelevant. Political/religious beliefs are not nearly as geographically homogeneous as they used to be. Nations/states/communities have always defined their boundaries as "us vs. them". How do you draw those lines when "they" live all around "us", and most of "us" don't even live withing comfortable driving distance of each other? You'd have to have some sort of mass migration, sorting people into different regions by shared beliefs.

Comment Re:politics? (Score 1) 816

So the answer then is to not worry about the current trends continuing, because something better will come along eventually? Sure, we might develop cheap fusion energy, or solar systems with 1000x more efficiency than today's, or whatever other silver bullet tech you can imagine.

To me it seems the height of selfishness and self-delusion to rely on what might happen someday than to take the tough steps now to mitigate the impact in case that something doesn't happen (or doesn't happen soon enough).

Comment Re:More government propaganda (Score 1) 816

The point of TFA was that consumption on the scale now occurring in the industrialized world is unsustainable.

Did you manufacture your two cars? Or your big house? Or generate the electricity to run your AC at any temperature you choose? Your justification of "living within your means" is laughable. Even if you are a responsible, productive member of society, you are still consuming resources of all kinds at an unsustainable pace.

And that doesn't even consider what is going to happen as all the billions of people living in poverty and squalor today wake up and demand the same standard of living you currently enjoy. Or are you advocating limiting the development of the developing world?

Barring a breakthrough in renewable energy bordering on the miraculous, there is a finite limit to the resources on this planet. Period.

Why can't we use studies like this as a jumping-off point for individuals to take responsibility for voluntarily reducing their own consumption? (Wasn't individual responsibility the point of the parent? Or did I misunderstand?)

Comment Re:More government propaganda (Score 1) 816

Only idiots or ideologues frame historical and social issues in terms of absolutes.

Every government reduced wealth?? Every reduction increased it???

IIRC, it took several generations for Europe to climb out of the midden-heap left behind by the collapse of the Roman Empire. The same Empire (read: big government, one of the biggest ever) that brought global economic trade (i.e. wealth) and unprecedented public services like running water and reliable roads and public education to most of the Western world.

Certainly there are valid arguments against big government in the modern context, but I must have missed those niggling details in your rant.


Submission + - Student Expelled From School For Tweeting Profanity (whatshawt.com)

OopsIDied writes: A senior student at Garrett High School was recently expelled after tweeting profanity (f**k) from his own home. Supposedly the school has a system which tracks students' social networks after they have logged in at school. Although the tweet was done at home at 2 AM, the school decided that such behavior was unacceptable and that the most fitting punishment was expulsion. He did use a school computer, but it was set up to use the school network even when used outside the school because the school claimed the tweet was associated with the school's IP address.

Comment Re:Interesting... (Score 1) 90

Just thinking out loud here, but... could you maybe engineer some bacterium that naturally develops a biofilm to reduce metal ions from solution (a chemical reaction that has already been observed in cells) to produce a flat, shiny surface, i.e. a mirror? I'm curious what the requirements are for a surface that would be sufficiently mirror-like.

Comment Re:New Business (Score 1) 161

Any rock could pierce armor, provided you could get it moving fast enough. Think about it, depleted uranium AP rounds are significantly softer than some types of rock, but when moving at thousands of feet per second do an excellent job of punching through armor. It's all a matter of kinetic energy, not hardness.

Comment Re:A330 -- No Margin for Error (Score 1) 403

The airliner can't generate enough airspeed "in level flight" to cause structural failure of the airframe or control surfaces. The most likely scenario presented by TFA is that the incorrect airspeed readings caused the pilots to throttle up, nose down, or both, as an attempt to remedy a phantom problem. While falling out of of the sky under full power, any plane can easily exceed its design limits. As posted above, increasing the safety margin means flying lower and slower, both of which cost time and money, or over-designing the aircraft to the point that it is no longer practically or economically feasible to build and operate. Realize that flying is an inherently dangerous activity (just like driving), but we have made the decision that the benefits are not outweighed by the estimated risk. The laws of probability must eventually strike, and some number of random individuals pay the price. If you're not comfortable with that trade-off, I hear the Amish have a pretty good risk-avoidance record.

Comment Re:lacking info (Score 1) 369

How is this "typical" OS you describe going to be mass marketed to the typical user? The vast majority of computer sales will be to people who won't even know what an "OS" is. Sure, there will be a market for power users and developers who would benefit from the enhancements you describe, but that's a niche market at best.

Comment Hmmm...... Border Patrol too????? (Score 1) 156

Maybe coincidence, maybe not. I happened to be crossing the border back into the U.S. from Niagara Falls on Thursday afternoon when the Customs and Border Patrol computers at the entry port started to randomly shut down. It took over two hours of waiting for them to finally call the ATF to run our passports. Lo and behold, the FBI system was their backup! This is the side-effect of inter-agency connectivity: if you CAN successfully launch an attack, you can take down EVERYBODY.

Comment Re:Why would an intelligent lifeform get violent? (Score 1) 344

But these examples are hard-wired (or -coded) responses to specific stimuli/criteria. The entire Terminator premise is that the AI is able to extrapolate from specific situations to a general situation (i.e. all humans without a "friend" transponder/RFID/etc. who are behaving in a specific way are a threat, to ALL humans are a threat). I'm not a roboticist, but it seems to me that this leap of "logic" is not at all inevitable.

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