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The Strangeness of the Mars One Project

Caspian It's not a 'free market v government' thing. (246 comments)

I'm as far from a 'free market religionist' as one can get. I'm a ridiculously left-wing hippie-dippie liberal. To me, this isn't about some sort of mad faith in Adam Smith's Invisible Hand. It's simply a reaction to the fact that our government would rather allocate huge sums of money to things OTHER THAN manned space exploration.

For instance, the military. And the contractors that support the military.

NASA's budget has, quite simply, been far too small to support an envelope-pushing manned space flight program for quite some time. Witness how the Shuttle (1970s tech!) was used into the 2010s. NASA's manned spaceflight program stalled some time in the 80s and never really recovered. (It may have been the Challenger tragedy that made funding NASA significantly harder; I don't know. I'm not a politician, nor an economist.)

Quite simply, the government ISN'T doing it. And it probably won't, for the forseeable future. Who does that leave, with the kind of money to go to space? Corporations.

It's simple logic. Has nothing to do with 'the corporations are better than the government' or any sort of rhetoric at all. It's just "[X] isn't doing it, so [Y] is gonna try, because it's something some people want."

about two weeks ago
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Young Students Hiding Academic Talent To Avoid Bullying

Caspian Re:Parents (684 comments)

THIS.

about 2 years ago
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GOP Study Committee Director Disowns Brief Attacking Current IP Law

Caspian Re:The party of anti-regulation (176 comments)

They only take stances against regulations that impact the ability of the very rich to get richer. For example, they're against evil evil anti-pollution restrictions, because those cost rich companies MONEY. However, the ever-extending copyright terms MAKE rich companies money-- so it stands to reason that they'd be all FOR those "restrictions".

about 2 years ago
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GOP Study Committee Director Disowns Brief Attacking Current IP Law

Caspian Re:of course (176 comments)

Uh.

No, the GOP is NOT "more closely aligned with the ethos that could back copyright reform than the Democratic party." While the Dems may be more heavily entrenched in big media circles, the Repubs are most DEFINITELY in favour of "helping the 1% get one-percentier". Ever-extending copyright terms definitely benefit the 1%. As long as it's making the rich richer, it's in the GOP's interest, even if it's primarily being pushed by people from the Dems' camp.

about 2 years ago
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GOP Study Committee Director Disowns Brief Attacking Current IP Law

Caspian Re:The GOP is very divided. (176 comments)

It's also worth noting that, as instituted by the government, 'marriage' is HARDLY a religious sacrament. You go down to City Hall and fill out a form. It's a legal contract.

(Also, there are plenty of religions ready, willing and able to marry gay couples, so, yeah, your "ERHMAGERD GUMMINT IS REDEFINING RELIGIOUS TERMS!1" argument just don't fly. Which religion is the benchmark? Yours? I see, then. So you want the government to enforce the terms of YOUR religion for a secular institution. Yes, marriage is now a secular thing. You don't need to enter a place of worship to get married. Get with reality.)

about 2 years ago
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Former Australian Cop Wants Jail For Internet Trolls

Caspian Re:Do Not Want! (254 comments)

I'm sorry, but-- having been a long-time VICTIM of trolling-- I must point out that most trolling is unambiguously INTENDED to harass and to cause emotional distress-- "for the lulz". It doesn't take a rocket scientist to read some of the shit kids post on 4chan and recognise it IMMEDIATELY AND UNAMBIGUOUSLY as deliberate bullying, plain and simply-- harassment, which (yes) SHOULD be illegal.

more than 2 years ago
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Former Australian Cop Wants Jail For Internet Trolls

Caspian Re:*shrug* (254 comments)

[D]efending the trolls who are just being crass and crude is simply keeping our freedoms intact.

Okay, I'm gonna call bullshit here.

Trolling is deliberate cruelty and harassment. It shouldn't be legal. It's an ABUSE of freedom and should be curtailed.

more than 2 years ago
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Do We Need a Longer School Year?

Caspian Re:nonsense (729 comments)

See, I could agree with the idea of letting the kids and/or parents choose when their vacation is. I highly disagree, however, with the idea of reducing or eliminating vacation days given to kids. Some (many? most? all?) kids NEED those vacation days.

more than 2 years ago
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Do We Need a Longer School Year?

Caspian Great. Just what kids need. (729 comments)

No time off from mindless busywork which doesn't, by any stretch of the imagination, prepare anyone for the real world.

No time off from senselessly time-consuming homework. (Why is it that students are given homework anyways? In the real world, your boss doesn't generally give you 'homework'; you work your 8 hours and you're DONE FOR THE DAY.)

No time off from cruel and sadistic bullies.

No time off from incompetent and disinterested teachers.

No time off from the mind-numbingly uncaring bureaucracy of the school administration.

No time off from waking up before dawn to trundle out to the school bus, alone and half-awake.

I'm 33 years old, and I look back at my school years as some of the worst times of my life. The suggestion of eliminating the summer respite would only make an already grueling and unpleasant period of every person's life significantly worse.

Now, there ARE ways to improve our school system. They don't involve adding more time to the school experience. They involve, among other things, tailoring the curriculum to the needs of each student, reducing the focus on mindless drilling for standardised tests, reshaping the curriculum to focus on useful real-world skills, transplanting money currently spent on sports (which should have no place in an academic environment anyways) and other non-academic things such as ROTC into better textbooks, better teachers, and perhaps even undoing some of the damage idiot parents in this country routinely do to their children (such as teaching them that Earth is 6,000 years old and was created in six literal 24-hour days, for example). They also involve treating students like human beings and not mere items on an assembly line, and ensuring that every student is treated with dignity. (The epidemic of school bullying needs to end NOW.)

more than 2 years ago
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Verizon Customers: Say So Long To Unlimited Data

Caspian So long, Vzn. It's been swel. (303 comments)

But I guess I'll be moving to Sprint this summer. That Evo 4G is looking mighty sexy right about now.

more than 3 years ago
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Charities Upset Over Chase Facebook Contest

Caspian You take the good with the bad. (464 comments)

Is this really surprising, people? REALLY? They're just playing CYA. Chase obviously doesn't want to step on any political "hot buttons" on either side of the aisle, so they're somewhat arbitrarily disqualifying charities affiliated with both "liberal" causes (less restrictive laws on marijuana) and "conservative" causes (anti-abortion). Although I'm sad to see the former disqualified, if it means one of my banks (full disclosure: I am a Chase customer) doesn't give money to some anti-choice lunatics, I'm happy.

Chase might not have predicted that highly politically charged charities would make it into the top $foo list. Not every charity is something everyone can get behind, like the Stop Grinding Baby Kittens Into Soup Foundation. (I will now stand back and wait for one of you knuckleheads to talk about how you support the grinding of baby kittens into soup...)

more than 4 years ago
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Of childhood "building" toys, my favorite is ...

Caspian Re:Robotix ruled (785 comments)

As much as I hate to agree with Mr. "God spoke to me", seconded. Robotix was pretty amazing.

about 6 years ago

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