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Bill Gates: Piketty's Attack on Income Inequality Is Right

Elder Entropist Re:Let me get this right (838 comments)

Money isn't actually something that has value in and of itself, it is an abstraction for something that has value. The actual value is on the work it represents and the value add that work creates. If money just sits there doing nothing and not producing more work, it is not a benefit to the system.

Capital is good when it is invested into more production. In the past, that was primary accomplished by the bank investing your savings or the stock market doing the same into companies expanding their production.

Much of the problem with modern capital is that instead of investing into more production, it is focusing on non-productive or anti-productive strategies - downsizing (anti-productive), stock buybacks (increases stock price but no investment into real wealth production), bubble speculation (gambling).

about two weeks ago
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Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

Elder Entropist The only way humans.... (275 comments)

Frankly, the only sustainable way to colonize Mars is to terraform it. It's doable, if expensive, in only a few hundred years. Having colonies there beforehand, however, would be counterproductive since you'd likely need to bombard it with comets to up the volatiles.

about 4 months ago
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Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

Elder Entropist Re:DÃf©jÃf vu (275 comments)

Completely true. And all of the uninhabited area of Earth (Arctic Lands, Antarctica, Sahara and other deserts, Siberia, etc) is far, far nicer than Mars for humans to live in.

about 4 months ago
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Elon Musk: I'll Put a Human On Mars By 2026

Elder Entropist DÃf©jÃf vu (275 comments)

Sending them to space is totally not a viable means to compensate for population growth on Earth. The cost for each person is so astronomically high we couldn't afford to send more than a handful of people. The way to get population under control on any planet is to get people to have less kids.

And for the same reason, the only viable way to grow a population on a colony past a bare minimum is to get them to have more kids.

about 4 months ago
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Future of Cars: Hydrogen Fuel Cells, Or Electric?

Elder Entropist Re:Hydrogen has more potential to be economic (659 comments)

You're unlikely to approach 50% efficiency in converting water to hydrogen onboard a car which is done by USING ELECTRICITY. Which would then have to pass through your 50% (real world) efficient fuel cell to turn back into electricity to drive the electric motors that fuel cells drive.

Battery recharge efficiencies are near 90%. Even in a fuel cell car it would be stupid not to use them to store regenerate breaking power.

about 5 months ago
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California City Considers Restarting Desalination Plant To Fight Drought

Elder Entropist Water costs (420 comments)

"Even at $0.25 / L you're looking at a very expensive source for water when desalinization happens."

Yet still much cheaper than the bottled water everyone drinks.

about 6 months ago
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Elderly Mice Perk Up With Transfused Blood

Elder Entropist Ozzy (178 comments)

Ozzy uses young bats.

about 6 months ago
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Really, Why Are Smartphones Still Tied To Contracts?

Elder Entropist AT&T No-Contract BYOD (482 comments)

I went from $80/month phone subsidized 2-year contract to $45/month no contract BYOD on AT&T.

about 6 months ago
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Are Bankers Paid Too Much? Are Technology CEOs?

Elder Entropist Stock Options. (712 comments)

The "salary of $1 a year" is pure B.S. for all the CEOs who employ it. They get compensated in stock options worth millions. They get bonuses worth millions. They get jet planes and other perks given to them by the company. As an added benefit and tax dodge, they only have to pay lower capital gains tax rates on the stock options rather than what they would pay if it was a salary. That's why the real figure that should be reported is TOTAL compensation, not salary.

http://management.fortune.cnn....

about 8 months ago
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Math Models Predicted Global Uprisings

Elder Entropist Chavez was elected, he didn't gain power in a coup (265 comments)

He attempted a coup in 1992, but that failed.

He gained the presidency though legitimate elections in 1998.

Though he certainly wasn't very committed to democracy while in power.

about 8 months ago
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Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

Elder Entropist Re:No, because they are not compatible (551 comments)

It's expensive to add to an existing home. It's much cheaper to put in a newly constructed home and should be highly encouraged for new construction.

about 9 months ago
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Should Nuclear and Renewable Energy Supporters Stop Fighting?

Elder Entropist Re:No, because they are not compatible (551 comments)

That would be nice. Unfortunately, almost all recent nuclear plant commissions (at least in the U.S.) are still using the old designs from 40 years ago instead of anything newer.

about 9 months ago
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Hacker Says He Could Access 70,000 Healthcare.Gov Records In 4 Minutes

Elder Entropist Re:New job for NSA (351 comments)

Well, at least you know it isn't vulnerable to SQL injection attacks.

about 9 months ago
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China's Government Unveils 'China Operating System' To Great Skepticism

Elder Entropist Re:before you go there (223 comments)

EVERY spying initiative people are complaining about recently was put into effect when G.W. Bush was President. But then it was necessary because of the terrorists, right?

about 9 months ago
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Mars One Selects Second Round Candidate Astronauts

Elder Entropist Re:A scam for the gullible (216 comments)

Agreed. And if they do send people those people will almost certainly starve or suffocate.

Biosphere 2 is our best attempt at creating a self-supporting closed environmental system. At 3.14 acres stocked with complex (and sensitive) vegetation, air and water supplies and support machinery weighing an untold amount of gigatons costing $200-300 million with relatively cheap Earth-based construction techniques and labor - not to mention Earth solar insulation for power and vegetation growth unlike what will be available at Mars, it couldn't produce enough food or oxygen for a mere 7-8 people.

There is no way at anything near current or foreseen launch prices that anything like that could be duplicated on Mars, let alone exceeded.

about 10 months ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

Elder Entropist Re:Libertarian does not equal conservative... (1030 comments)

Unless the states want to make laws regulating companies like require labeling or such in which case the Supreme Court has to step in and quash the state regulation.

about a year ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

Elder Entropist Re:Rate Case nightmare (1030 comments)

This will force utilities to break up their charges into actual power production and infrastructure maintenance which means tons of extra work in getting government approvals for the rates they charge costumers.

I think doing this would be a good idea. My water company splits its charges this way. Not sure why the government approvals would take so much more work.

about a year ago
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A War Over Solar Power Is Raging Within the GOP

Elder Entropist Re:Shouldn't pick winners/losers... (1030 comments)

"Contrary to popular belief, and many a breathless article, the government does not, in fact, book a profit on student loans. As New America's Jason Delisle has explained, that's because the Congressional Budget Office is required by law to use a bizarre and faulty method for determining the cost of government loans."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/wp/2013/05/20/no-the-federal-government-does-not-profit-off-student-loans/

about a year ago

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