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Comment Re:Not really a Good Result (Score 1) 178

You seem to be assuming that high-energy particle physics research can't apply to daily life in the near-term globally, but you cannot support that assumption. You can't know what useful technologies may come out of the new physics discovered until the new physics has been discovered.

My post is about the politics of getting a future collider approved. The opponents and competing priorities of that project don't have to prove it's philosophically impossible for that project to produce useful results. It's not implausible, and neigh, it's impossible for you to show that future promising cutting edge science won't be up against very highly irrational views of science, including funding for projects that try to prove that great-flood arks were feasible with pre-industrial technology, or that carbon dioxide is beneficial to the environment.

Which is why I say we need more believers of fundamental science. You aren't going to convince them with arguments like "you can't prove we won't change the world!"

Comment Re:Not really a Good Result (Score 1) 178

So not seeing anything is far from a failure...but that does not make it a good result. Indeed I have always referred to it as the LHC nightmare scenario: we find the Higgs and absolutely nothing else which leaves a lot of unanswered questions and no certainty that we will be able to build a machine to find the answers.

The next machine will be (would have been?) so expensive there's good reason to doubt anyone would pay for it regardless of what the LHC found that would grab headlines. I get what you are saying... results justify the spending... but diminishing returns are inevitable when scaling up the same experiment. We're going to have a hard time funding science that applies to daily life in the near-term globally... pure theoretical science doesn't need major discoveries, it needs new believers.

Comment Re:You are the one with the fantasy (Score 1) 566

Enjoy your eight years of being utterly mystified why anything happens the way it does! I'll let you have the last word because Democrats will argue for days without saying anything of value or truth. You can learn rom the discussion, but I know you will not.

I'm not a Democrat. None of the Republican party's problems has anything to do with them. You have been blinded by hatred and apparently taken by a con man. Good luck with that!

Comment Re:Not a Republican defeat (Score 1) 566

In your fantasy world the Republicans united to destroy Obamacare. Versus what it looks like outwardly... that they discovered that universal healthcare has become what the public expects, and now it's really only about how it's funded. If what you mean is that Obamacare is now passed being a single President program and is now Federal healthcare infrastructure to maintain... perhaps you're right.

In your view, Trump has the most to gain from it not passing. Versus what it looks like outwardly, that Trump issued an an ultimatum that most of his own party shrugged off and they won't have lost anything in the process, effectively ending his days as a deal maker in Washington. I don't really see much alternative to this. Did you read the interview in Time? Trump was nearly incoherent.

Perhaps the most stunning bit of fantasy, that Paul Ryan is now taken out of power in the Senate. Versus in the real world where he is, perhaps was, the Speaker of the House having little to do with the Senate. I don't care for Ryan myself, but at this point the Republicans don't have a Speaker problem. If you run two off because they can't unite the party around essentially anything eventually you have to look in the mirror and say perhaps there isn't a party. Hard to see this any other way... this isn't growing pains at this point, these are long established party dynamics Trump was supposed to make irrelevant and move beyond.

And in terms of "undue fuss" ... there's been an overwhelming amount of due fuss. Perhaps when the party can stop giving itself lethal blows, it might be relevant to compare the relative strength of the other party. The way it looks on the outside, the Democrats just have to stand back while the Republicans tear themselves apart.

Seriously, just step outside and look back in. Half of the cabinet lied to Congress during confirmation, lots of resignations over connections to Russians that were hidden or lied about. It ain't going well, and the sooner you notice, the sooner Conservative principles can move forward.

Comment Re:A budget that actually has to budget something (Score 1) 649

The problem of course is macro-economics isn't actually much of a science.

Your perception is one of the main issues we have today in sciences. Really smart people are working on really hard problems with complex systems. And then a bystander feels the entire field is invalid because they can't rationalize it to themselves. Cancer, climate, economies... they aren't that different.

Well as an American I am actually pretty happy with wealth being highly concentrated right here, thank you very much. Maybe that is a moral failure on my part, I don't know. Its hard to really feel guilty about wanting the best for my family and friends though. I suspect in those other places if the shoe was on the other foot many of the people there would feel and act the same way I do.

From the perspective of the global system, the US has transferred so much wealth out of other countries to the US, and little of it ever leaves. Let's say that's a good thing... it makes it all the more critical that our standard of living requires that process keeps happening. If that flow gets cut off, suddenly we need to convert lots of activity. And I think this is the actual bone of contention right now: Do we have spare labor and capital capacity we are wasting right now to do the things that were shifted overseas? One side says we're near full employment and it will actually make us poorer or the jobs will sit unfilled, the other side says jobs have been decimated and people are ready to work. Unfortunately because of the doubt of science the "facts" around that are largely based on political views.

Comment Re:So scared (Score 1) 742

Cars and cellphones are fun to imagine here, but the reality is that China's manufacturing might has little to do with those industries. Every big box store in your city is filled with all kinds of random crap from napkin holders, BBQ grills, decorative Santa statues, and so on.

A toy manufacturer wanted to return their processes back to the US to avoid all of the liability of undetected chemical substitution. They found out there was no manufacturing capability in US for the fancy cardboard boxes which show off the toys but make them transportable. They sourced those from outside of the US and kept on their path. So one can argue that's a temporary problem... but it points to how serious of a factor time and speed of adaptability is here. It can't be done overnight.

Trade wars have real impacts before the market can catch up. A stupid but real example is like the UK where their Toberlone bars have been redesigned to decrease the chocolate content. A scary example is how the international oil trade shut down our domestic shale oil production and bankrupted dozens of companies very quickly.

This is the big leagues! Poor choices at the scale of the US economy have enormous impacts.

Comment Re:Don't think it'll happen (Score 2) 1368

If all he does is chip away at the progress made in the last ten or twenty years, he'll be fine. If he starts taking a pickaxe to things that have been part of America for the last sixty or seventy, all bets are off.

This is really the key, and it depends on if you think he'll do what he's said, or continue to do what he's always done. One way and we elected a White Nationalist Party that wants to kick off of the minorities off White-provided subsidies and shut down the border and all international aid while bombing the hell out of the Middle East, the other way we get the brand Trump and he's really mostly like the rest of the current power structure just extremely anti-Regulation and tax and the social issues are really not actually factor.

Comment Re:Disheartening (Score 1) 164

I wish the new owners of /. well, and I hope they somehow manage to revive it, but I honestly think it's too late, discussion has moved to Reddit or more specialised websites with more active moderation systems. Reddit might be full of trash (including whole subreddits), but the volume is so high, that it's submerged underneath the vast mass and only visible if you choose to go and look for it most of the time.

It seems to me like the big change is that people don't participate in conversation online like they used to, rather than the conversations and experts moving onto somewhere else. Or at least, if they went somewhere I don't know where it is. It's like using the restroom at a bar and coming back to find the crowd left.

For this specific post, I didn't find any particularly inspiring discussions elsewhere about it. But... this kind of news takes time to process and come up with reasonable comments, and Slashdot was always dominated by people that wanted to comment without reading the article so perhaps this one isn't the best yardstick.

But still... I think the phenomenon may be much bigger than Slashdot/moderation systems/owners... etc.

Comment Re:Strict liability? (Score 1, Interesting) 392

Here's what I think your argument is: It was negligent for Tesla to provide a feature that a reasonable person would foresee substantial misuse leading to death.

This kind of product liability in cars has had lots of cases to work through the elements in the past... see Jablonski v. Ford Motor Company as a recent case.

When the use and misuse of a product results in death, the burden of diligence is on both the manufacturer and the operator. If you try to make all products perfectly safe that's an impossible condition. If you let manufacturers off the hook completely that's a wild ride too.

If you're the product engineer that is looking at the data that says when Autopilot is used correctly it's expected to save lives, and only adds to the accident rate if the feature is misused. That phenomenon pretty much describes every safety feature ever added to cars. ABS... great until you try to do the old fashioned pump the brakes. Air bags... awesome unless you put a child seat in the front seat.

So as that product engineer, if you don't roll it out, you'll save a few people who would misuse it, and kill others that would be saved by using it correctly. Beyond case law, basic ethics kick in.

Autonomous cars are going to produce some crazy case law!!

Comment Re:Wow, a page from the Valery Fabrikant (Score 2) 396

There are a few religions with their own country that have seats in the UN, but Islam isn't one of them.

And there are some people that will lie, cheat, steal, and hurt you, but hey don't exclusively belong to any group. They are mixed in among everyone and the most dangerous ones are the ones that wear the same clothes as you.

Comment Re:Shouldn't be legal (Score 1) 127

I have to agree. Statistical guesswork might be the underlying mechanism behind perception, so as uncomfortable as that can be maybe that's all our brains are doing. I think when it comes to judgement, it gets very distasteful quickly to use the same methods. So far we're still at chatbot levels of rational decision making, so while it's amazing and a huge accomplishment to get a computer to describe a photograph mostly correctly much of the time, it's hard to see how any of the predictions being made in the space can be achievable... at least without assuming another major breakthrough.

Comment Re:Capitalism does capitalism things (Score 1) 921

Those C-level folk are disconnected from the reality of everyday people. It's all about profit margins, quarterly statements, shareholder meetings, bonuses and so on. It's not about how their business will crash and burn supposedly affecting their poor employees, it's about earning a single cent than they did before and fuck everyone else.

I think you just described humans in general. Whether it's about other people's jobs, health, the environment, on and on. Giving a crap is about individuals breaking out of the mass and driving the difference. And it's tough. Some of the best organizations out there with the explicit mission of increasing employment for economically disadvantaged people have a negative view by the general public. The same thing applies to organizations trying to boost the health of other people, or the environment.

For a company to be able to fix societal issues like this, they have to be a monopoly, or the law has to change to create the same conditions for all players. And even then you'll end up with a grey market of people willing to arbitrage out the last pennies.

Comment History will always remember the 747 (Score 1) 345

The version of the story I was told was that at the time it was on the drawing table, supersonic transport was the future for passenger travel for everyone. But cargo was not expected to go that way and Boeing felt they needed to split their offering into an efficient giant cargo aircraft and a supersonic transport for people. They designed the cargo transport to have an elevated cockpit so it could have maximum internal space (which became the 747's top deck), and the supersonic transport was ultimately canned. The 747 ended up just as popular for passenger transport as a happy coincidence.

It's not about Europe's elite vs American pluralism. Go over to Europe and see just how elite their airlines are... the US is the one with classes. Going out on a limb, the 747's ability to isolate the classes and provide a swanky bar for those of distinction probably had something to do with it's success. The US pulled the plug on supersonic transport before it ever had a chance to prove itself or not (look up the supersonic airport that is half built in the Everglades, it's still there!).

Comment Re:As a Greek, disappointed from slashdot (Score 1) 1307

The dynamic is pretty simple if you can look at it from the rear view mirror.

Forget all of the countries and the names. To get people out of trouble from borrowing too much, the people that didn't borrow too much have two choices... cut off the remainder and let them sort it out which will be very ugly, or to loan them even more money and cross their fingers that everything will work out.

There's no way that any newspaper story can capture what really happened in Greece, but yet that doesn't matter. It still comes down to whether Greece gets cut off or not. That's why the no vote is so puzzling.. it can either be a bold move to draw the conclusion of a mess that went too far, or a case where the demonstrators burn down their own neighborhood to make a point. I'm not sure which has happened, but if I was Europe, I would would shift from rescuing the economy to rescuing the people and sending food and medicine.

Comment Re:Failure to even Attempt to process the article. (Score 5, Informative) 926

I've manipulated my weight by over 30 pounds down and up since the beginning of the year. I've done it on a schedule based on calorie intake and burn measured carefully. I average 3.5 workout hours a week. I've spent just as much time eating over my calories burned as I have eating under. And I'm not eating superfoods or no carbs, or no fat, or whatever other fad... I'm eating pretty much the same stuff I always have just on a budget. My weight change has been impossible to detect day-to-day on the scale it's been so slow yet the total impact has been huge.

For years I believed the calorie thing was bunk and indeed I managed my "weight" but got fatter and fatter with the scale largely in the same range. When my weight would go up I'd cut back and lose weight... but it didn't impact my physical dimensions. So last year I said that was it and decided to get serious.

Losing weight is a mental task. It's the time and consistency that it takes that is so brutal. Society suffers from a negative feedback loop where everything promises quick results, and when you don't get them, it feels impossible. The reality is losing a pound a week of fat is rapid weight loss. And when your weight fluctuates by a few pounds a day it can take a long time for readily apparent results to show up. But if you stack up 26 weeks of weight loss you will feel like a champion and it didn't take superhuman effort on any given day to do it.

Start today and by the end of the year you'll see major changes. Or you can keep doing what you are doing thinking the calorie math doesn't work and you will probably keep on the same trend line.

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