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Comment Re: s/drug trials/climate change/g (Score 1) 269

Of course you are right, (we are both right), the question is how many events do you need for it to 'stabilize'? In some places we've only had good weather station coverage for less than a hundred years, so it really depends on the variance, and how many random variables are involved. Obviously with climate, there are quite a number of random variables.

Comment Re:Maybe (Score 1) 187

And more to the point, the biggest problem with the concept of Mars clearing its orbit is that its orbit was already largely cleared [nature.com] when it formed. According to our best models, Jupiter reached all the way in to around where Mars' orbit is today, and had cleared almost everything to around 1 AU.

How did the asteroid belt get there, then? That's a question, not a polemic.

Comment Re:Oh, is it 4GL time again? (Score 1) 313

I went through a workshop with some Xilinx vendors a few months ago on their new FPGA tools. They were nice, you could just drag-and-drop an entire CPU design into your FPGA, but at the end of the day, they didn't relieve you of the burden of actually understanding how things worked. In most cases I think you'd be better off just applying the time and effort to learn verilog (which is what I was hoping to get from the workshop, but oh well).

Comment Re:I want to see the results first (Score 1) 313

The problem (I would guess) is imprecision in how words match to reality. For example, you could say, "Tax employment income at 28%, and capital gains at 15%." It's a clear rule, but then what about royalties from a book? Are those employment income or capital gains? And that's a simple problem, then you get into depreciation rules, and what counts as a primary residency for purposes of a tax shelter, and the difference between a contractor and an employee, and it all gets so vague.

Of course, its' also possible that the Dutch contracted with Oracle or SAP and that's why their project failed.

Comment Re:Tesla (not the car company) (Score 2) 108

That sounds like some kind of shamanistic stuff. Get in a trance, travel to the center of the world, get taught while there. Or he was hitting the mescaline. Searching online, it seems like Tesla was extreme in anti-drugs, so probably not. However, his homeland of Serbia seems to have been steeped in shamanistic tradition, so he could have picked it up there. Someone went wild on that wikipedia page, there's a lot of information.

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