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Comment Re:Nerver try to predict the future (Score 1) 250

Right?! There's a very "end of history" vibe in this piece. Remember when we almost had all of physics understood in 1910? Remember when desktop computing finally got good in 2005? Remember when the perfect sailing ship came out in 1840?

Writing a piece that essentially says "ah, the future is finally clear to me" is a sure-fire way to get a humbling dose of revolutionary disruption.

Comment No one expects the Spanish Inquisition! (Score 1) 357

Science is not exempt from Dogmatism and Groupthink, as is the case with all human institutions. The Italian researchers may not even know how often their thinking is pre-empted (what water? says the fish). Alice Dreger wrote a book on runaway bias in soft sciences:

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/19/books/review/galileos-middle-finger-by-alice-dreger.html

Comment Re:Fallacy (Score 2) 329

I agree with this to a point (i.e. that still happens but it's getting a little better).

What really matters is the relationship. My company has an Chinese executive who spends weeks a year renewing relationships and trust. It's expensive and hard to do outsourcing right, but when it's done well it is transparent to the consumer and adds wealth to both countries.

Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 1) 645

From your link: "This assessment, however, does not take into account issues such as dispatch characteristics, capacity factors, fuel and other costs needed to compare generation technologies"

Poor capacity factor techs are inappropriate for baseload. Think of the small example: one windmill on your house. That's obviously not appropriate because the wind will stop blowing (and you can't store energy). You have to pair the windmill with a baseload generator that has the capability to run your whole house, but you can turn it off when the wind is blowing. Baseload with quick on/off: hydro, nat gas. Your property may not have geography for a dam, so you run the gas generator when the wind stops---not too bad.

The windmill only saves you gas, not a gas plant. Full redundancy is required, which isn't cheap. It is dishonest to talk about solar or wind without considering capacity factor (until an energy storage system is invented).

Comment Re:That's exactly right (Score 2) 645

This is spot on. No matter what the environmental catastrophe (Global cooling, global warming, climate change, overpopulation, recycling, deforestation, hunger), "they" always demand the same response: a big step back in quality of life. This thinkprogress piece is a perfect example of it: decarbonization is just the latest red-herring. If they were serious about carbon qua carbon, they'd embrace the only acceptable zero-carbon baseload generation technology. Since carbon is just a tool to achieve their real end, nuclear is [unacceptable, impractical, immoral, whatever].

This is pretty obvious to me. Maybe I have my crazy mother to thank for shoring me up from common manipulation techniques.

Comment Re:Security has not kept pace with technology (Score 0) 82

These celebs are fine at operating their tech, as evidenced by their growing collection of self-nudes.

Try to imagine a licensing course of study that will protect against this kind of attack. How quickly does it turn into an 2-year IT security certificate? That's way way way too much to ask of your market.

A different analogy that might be more relevant for you is card-skimmers. What do you really need to reliably ID a good card skimmer? An engineering degree and about 5 years of experience with electromechanical product design. Is it reasonable for the bank to require us to ID them?

Comment Re:Security has not kept pace with technology (Score 4, Insightful) 82

This is a failure of industry, not a failure of individuals. Do we require drivers to be mechanics? Fliers to be aeronautical engineers?

Starting from zero, it is astoundingly complicated to maintain personal information security--we don't see it like fish don't see water. Industry's response can't be to limit the market for connected devices to themselves.

Comment Re:Climate Change (Score 0, Troll) 344

Definitely. Groupthink is strong in science and we miss out on a lot while a fad is in full swing.

In AGW, you definitely begin any study with the answer already defined for you. If you uncover things like a pause or no warming in Antarctica (which could lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms in play), you better bury it or be shouted down.

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