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Comment Re:And the US could turn Russia into vapor (Score 1) 878

The question at that point is whether the world's latest little dictator will be satisfied with Ukraine (and perhaps former Soviet possessions in Eastern Europe like Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, etc.) or whether he will proceed to invade Germany and France. If he does invade any country besides Ukraine it would obligate a NATO response but I'm unsure if Obama would follow treaty obligations (direct war with Russia) or if it would be the effective end of NATO. Anyway there's a ceasefire until Mar 21, so the nuclear holocaust will likely not occur until at least this weekend.

Comment Re:Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Water (Score 1) 273

Money's one thing, physical resources are another. Since all the major economies of the world are using fiat currencies that are not guaranteed by a physical resource, the value of the currency is at best determined by the strength of the governments/militaries behind it. Whether there's enough of it to go around has more to do with how those in power choose to distribute it or allow it to remain distributed. As far as resources go (including money), you are right that wery often shortages are created artificially in what are on the larger scale petty squabbles to gain power for one's own government, corporation, or self.

Comment Re:Yo Dawg I Heard You Like Water (Score 1) 273

It is basically a scientific certainty that there are other habitable planets out there. Eventually this planet will be destroyed. That doesn't mean humans should be irresponsible, but there is something to be said for harnessing resources in a responsible way with clear goals so we can get off this rock. Then we'll ony have to worry about brane collisions destroying the fabric of the univerese. And there are always going to be unknown consequences; even not taking action will result in unknown consequences, it's just the nature of life.

Comment Re:Tell me again (Score 1) 918

Well you're right, it isn't the only way, but the economic incentives are a big part of why people join the military. I wouldn't characterize the military as 'volunteer' because almost every soldier is being paid to fight. In fact conscription, without any deferments, in some ways comes closer to a volunteer force because the cop-out that the war must be justified because people are choosing to fight it disappears. But if we had conscription suddenly the wars would become much less popular, and leaders would have too think a liitle more before making idle threats.

Comment Whittling? (Score 1) 198

Ok, I'm pretty sure this is a typo, as I can't figure out what any of this has to do with the definition, "To cut or shape wood with a knife" (wiktionary), but I'm at a bit of a loss to say what was actually intended... dwindling maybe? Still it doesn't seem an easy mistake to make. Although maybe if I'd RTFA I'd have found out this has to do with cooling down while shaving wood off a stick... Oh also wary instead of weary unless you're falling asleep while whittling.

Comment Re:Why is this here? (Score 1) 629

I agree that our more base traits seem to have survived from prehistoric times well into the present, but things like the exploratory drive seem to be redirected actually--yes, there is space exploration, and the technology is more advanced, but the accomplishments are arguably lesser: walking on the Moon vs. having a space station in low Earth orbit. And even if people were willing to make a one-way trip to colonize Mars--a trip perhaps of similar magnitude to our civilization as crossing the Atlantic was for Renaissance Europeans--there does not seem to be sustained initiative and funding from government to accomplish it. Even so, explorations are made, but they are largely being made inwardly, with computers in countless fields including math and medicine.

Comment My own experience (Score 1) 573

I started in Linux using Ubuntu, back around Breezy Badger I believe. At that time there was a fair amount of configuration that had to be done manually, but increasingly Ubuntu shifted towards doing things through GUIs with a fair amount of automation. And Ubuntu was great for its large repository of packages, etc. Eventually though I tired of having to install binaries that sometimes lacked the features I wanted--including in the kernel itself. And Ubuntu actually discourages compiling your own kernel. So I ended up switching to Gentoo, which is exactly the opposite--aside from helpful build and maintenance scripts everything is managed by the user including that compiling a kernel is a standard part of the install process. I don't think I'd recommend it for someone who hasn't really worked very much in the terminal. Even so it is a tremendous learning experience to build a kernel and one that I definitely think every serious Linux user should at some point pursue. Arch might be a good compromise, seeing as how it is based on Gentoo but uses more precompiled binaries. That said, I haven't used it myself.

Comment Re:I was switched... (Score 1) 260

Adding to this, this poll caught me into my habitual learn-to-do-things-left-handed-again phase... I'm faster than most of my peers at typing and I credit this to having some skill in both hands; even so I do strange things like stretching with my left hand to hit the h, so in typing I'm almost more left-handed (although I realize in a sense I'm just not typing correctly).

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