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Isaac Asimov: How Do People Get New Ideas?

Jack9 Well worth reading? (145 comments)

> Asimov's essay, which is well worth reading in its entirety:

No, it isn't. John Cleese's thoughts on the matter are much more thoughtful and thought provoking. He's had a lifetime to consider it. Although he didn't make much progress, it was more than Asimov.

http://petapixel.com/2014/10/2...

2 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Jack9 Re:Robots (350 comments)

> we'd need to be consuming millions of times more energy in order to match what's currently being captured by our CO2 emissions

With backpack reactors, we'd have that. Our CO2 production would dwindle (fossil fuels are so 2015) and now everyone has a personal energy generator AND one in their car and their house, maybe one for the garage, etc.

> Energy: I don't see any evidence that it's energy limiting population growth:

Energy is always the limiting factor in a population. For most creatures, this is in the form of limited food sources, but for humanity it's about distribution, expressed by socioeconomics. I believe the population decline is combination of things. As modern humans have a rising standard of living (thanks to better information dissemination and distribution methods), they are increasingly reluctant to split resources with offspring, as it's a competitive disadvantage and the educated humans recognize it (children at half the fun or my high end lifestyle at 100% fun like those people I see on TV). The humans that are multiplying the fastest are generally not far above the poverty level and those beneath are pragmatically unable to afford it. So I totally agree on the basic premise. It's possible that humanity has had a unique response that mirrors the "beautiful ones" of the John Calhoun's utopian mouse experiments leading to this sub-replacement fertility effect. For the most part, we're capable of keeping our standard of living above barbaric levels, so some people just preen themselves in their niche. These are just casual beliefs from a white male, of course.

Back to energy theorycrafting....if I could generate useful energy (potential to kinetic) at will, I can move any resource anywhere. Price of milk and fuel would dwindle to nothing. It would wreck all types of havoc, economically. I can ignore friction and timescales by laterally scaling production, limited by the ability to automate with...power. Water in death valley, no problem? Let's just pump a river over there from our thousands of desalinization plants that we can setup with pocket generators. Waste production would require Mr Fusion style solutions.

> And assuming your ship, robots, corpsicles, reactor, etc,etc,etc can survive inert for thousands of years, why would you assume solar panels and capacitors would not?

Poor corpsicles. Currently, our energy storages are quite fragile, that I know about. At high velocity, almost any dust from say, a long dead rogue planetoid or comet, would shred most terrestrial materials in transit. I guess wrapping it all up in a tungsten steel alloy ball or rock (like an asteroid) wold work if we could get it to open after being frozen solid and semi-thawed in a couple thousand years, but your (whatever)engine that started up the transit will probably be non-functional. This is why I mentioned the nebulous "Durable" energy storages. You'll have to have the ship float around a start for awhile to store up enough for a landing routine or have an internal generator. Maybe a trick using fissionable material that brings 2 chemicals together after a 5k year halflife would suffice for restart. As long as the rest of the internals were properly shielded and I don't know how feasible that is as it would take a LOT of energy to move an asteroid at any reasonable velocity. I've never heard of aneutronic fusion so I'll have to look into that. It may change my thinking.

I may be wrong on a number of assumptions, but limitations are what I imagine based on my experiences. I'm no space geek, but I do watch a lot of TV and remember a time before the first space shuttle.

5 days ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Jack9 Re:Robots (350 comments)

I'm not trying to be overly negative here as you have a number of viewpoints that I agree with, but I don't agree with some particulars. Please take this all with a scifi heaping of salt.

> you can only destroy one biome at a time

Terraforming (badly) as we will at the start, I think it's well within the realm of possibility that humanity will be able to wreck a few at a time.

> We appear to be on the cusp of unlocking fusion,

A lot of your views stem from energy availability whereas I come from an energy scarcity standpoint. Even with pocket reactors, the human population will grow to consume a limiting resource (like fissile material), wasting most of the output trying to figure out how to best exploit it. Imagine the ignored terrors of a world without energy constraints (forget global warming, how about global heating of the planet from waste heat!, thx Niven). I just don't believe in virtually costless energy generation. That being said, I would like to see the Loch Ness Monster if it turned out to be a reality.

> Durable energy storage? Why?

Primarily to power the robots/terraformers of the future as they traverse the vastness of space. Even fusion energy is going to run out or flat out eat through containment in interstellar marathon, so you'll need something to wake up after a long hibernation with a small nuclear jump start. It's the only workable strategy I would even consider, for a 5k year journey and THEN it needs to do real work that will cost...more energy (simple to fabricate clause was to ensure the robot will be more likely to self-repair or multiply). Collectors will continue to get better, but only marginally so it's about material science and efficiency. Even if we populate the solar system with robotic helpers, we'll generally want them to exhibit the same behavior rather than have a random one take a meteorite and irradiate lifeboats or projects under construction, etc. Smaller is better for nuclear, imo.

Those are my thoughts, for what they are worth. Also, fuck Beta

about a week ago
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White House Wants Ideas For "Bootstrapping a Solar System Civilization"

Jack9 Robots (350 comments)

This is almost the same as asking how we are going to transition to a galactic civilization. From the mile-high-view, quit trying to put humans in places where they have trouble surviving for any period of time. You have to port an ecosystem with you and can still lose it all in a single incident. We haven't even conquered our own biome yet (at least not without a number of side effects). Spaceships with humans is not the answer. Everyone born on Earth will likely die on Earth (with rare exception). This isn't wrong or worrisome insofar as there are no good alternatives yet. System wide or interstellar, it's the same problems at different scales. Ain't nobody helping you halfway between neptune and pluto, nor between the stars.

Durable energy storages that are as simple to fabricate as possible, should be at the top of the list for expansion into the solar system. We basically know what materials are available and what energy sources we can play with. We have long-range communication down to the best case for overriding automation, but our computer science doesn't have a lot of science behind software reliability. One result has been that our automata aren't too bright yet. Let's keep working on understanding the mind while bumping up the work on machine learning. Work on genetics for the far-future possibility of launching biological samples interstellar distances (naturally we will test them in our own solar system first, if we get the chance).

about a week ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

Jack9 Re:Summary (254 comments)

> Wouldn't it have been simpler, clearer to write something like:
> In the past 16 years, marathon runners have cut the world record from 2hr 06:23 to 2hr 03:23. But as they get closer to the 2 hour mark, further improvements will
> become progressively harder to achieve.

Maybe the intent would have been clearer to others (it wasn't confusing to me). Either way, I certainly like puzzles and this is /. Having a bit of fun with phrasing, is not clumsy from my perspective. The statement is, simply, clever.

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

Jack9 Re:Not the first amendment. (742 comments)

> If some of those laws enable companies to unreasonably stifle free speech then that would be a violation of the first amendment by proxy.

I wish I had +1 for you sir!

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is There an Ethical Way Facebook Can Experiment With Their Users?

Jack9 Re:Yes. It's called "informed consent." (141 comments)

> I take it you didn't read the first half of my post. Seriously, this is not a complicated distinction.

I don't agree with the distinction. I stand by my statement. There is only a question of degree and depth of analysis.

> Remember, the entire point I'm trying to make

That's not what you are communicating and obviously not your point, as the majority of what you're saying is trying to convince me that my conclusions are spurious.

> So, not only are you not listening to what those people are saying, you bring out the content-free insults that don't actually address the arguments being discussed.

I abhor the selective application of logic, under the guise of logic and I don't equate that to insults. Cargo-cult (eg Bandwagoning) is not an insult, it's just a behavioral pattern.

Good luck with your efforts to change people's minds about nothing in particular.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is There an Ethical Way Facebook Can Experiment With Their Users?

Jack9 Re:Yes. It's called "informed consent." (141 comments)

> Of course not. That kind of change is totally off topic.

I totally disagree. It's specifically the same. Many companies regularly perform macro/micro experiments (Digg, /. beta, etc), if we are going to call them such. There is only a question of degree and depth of analysis. You should really take up the ethical ramifications of paint colors chosen by market chains to influence human behavior.

> Why is it that people who are supposedly highly educated, experience [observation: your low /. UID] and used to dealing with complex issues have such an insane ignorance with regards to the Common Rule?

The Common Rule does not apply here. The Common Rule is a federal policy regarding Human Subjects Protection that applies to 17 Federal agencies and offices. It does not apply to federal agencies that have not signed the agreement (e.g., Department of Labor, etc.).

> This type of casual dismissal is what I was talking about above

There's nothing objectively special about name-calling it "human experimentation". That doesn't bother me in the slightest, when it's observably false.
Every single person who is offended by this, seems to be on a bandwagon to nowhere. I disagree with your interpretations and you have not added anything to my thoughts, on the matter.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Is There an Ethical Way Facebook Can Experiment With Their Users?

Jack9 Re:Yes. It's called "informed consent." (141 comments)

Changing how your website performs text output is not experimenting with users. It's really annoying when /.rs start buying into misnomer. There's no need for consent when I move a button, nor when facebook changes an algorithm. Take a breath and reconsider.

about three weeks ago
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Japan's Shinkansen Bullet Trains Celebrate 50th Anniversary

Jack9 Re:And still nothing in the US (111 comments)

> So high-speed rail is a really good deal.

It was not and still is not.

> move the same number of people by air and highways (4,295 to 4,652 new lane-miles of highway plus 115 new airport gates and 4 new runways)

Those stats are completely made up and are modes of transportation are for orthogonal needs. You aren't going to stop that growth. This kind of quackery estimation is what has landed California in the money pit of the HSR Browndoggle.

about three weeks ago
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The Physics of Space Battles

Jack9 Re:In space (470 comments)

> I believe a simpler and more sensible explanation for the roar of the TIE fighters flying through space is that nobody on screen heard them

A long lost recording on PBS, of Lucas speaking at UCLA, is where the theory of the TIE exhaust came up. I watched it as a child. I don't remember if it was Lucas or a student that brought it up...nor can I find a copy of the original recording. Whatever that's worth.

about three weeks ago
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The Physics of Space Battles

Jack9 Re:In space (470 comments)

> no one can hear you explode.

Of course they can...if someone is sufficiently close and the shockwave hits a reverberating surface containing an atmosphere that can transmit the resulting sound waves to your auditory sensor. The TIE Fighter sounds were ion streams (from their engines) hitting the hull. That's how close they got to the Falcon!

about three weeks ago
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Combating Recent, Ugly Incidents of Misogyny In Gamer Culture

Jack9 Re:"Death to Gamers and Long Live Videogames" (1134 comments)

> She even admitted flat out on twitter to having sex for publicity,

Am I the only one who doesn't think this is wrong?

Prostitution is all but legitimized in modern culture. The social morays have shifted, I feel. Mad Men had an entire subplot dealing with this AS ENTERTAINMENT. This is just a spotlight on what practices are regularly hidden. If not, it's just standard defamation, but I'm not sure why people would be outraged.

about a month and a half ago
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In Maryland, a Soviet-Style Punishment For a Novelist

Jack9 Re:Sue the bastards (441 comments)

Let's hope so.

about 2 months ago
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Where are the Flying Cars? (Video; Part One of Two)

Jack9 Answer: Helicopters (107 comments)

We have flying cars, they are called helicopters. They are dangerous and appear (to the public) to be notoriously hard to fly...partly because people keep using them as flying cars/platforms.

about 2 months ago
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Injecting Liquid Metal Into Blood Vessels Could Help Kill Tumors

Jack9 Re:Not gonna happen (111 comments)

What's the effect of a strong magnet force on that mix? I'm not very familiar with magnetic properties of most metals, but maybe that could contain the metal or shape it that another process can be applied to fix it in place?

about 2 months ago
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Big Bang Actors To Earn $1M Per Episode

Jack9 Re:It's not that much (442 comments)

Two and a Half Men star Charlie Sheenearned $1.25 million an episode at the end, with his comedy co-star Jon Cryer getting paid $550,000. Hugh Laurie earned $400,000 (£255,000) per ep in season 7.

I'm consistently disappointed by TBBT, so this 1M/ep is rather surprising. Not worth it, other than to rely on a working formula...TV seasons are akin to movie sequels, in this aspect and they have nothing to replace it with.

about 3 months ago
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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Jack9 Re: where's the money?! (213 comments)

> you're confusing logarithmic closeness with geometric closeness.

Me? Now I know where your name comes from. Good luck.

about 3 months ago
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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Jack9 Re: where's the money?! (213 comments)

If it's within a factor of 10 it's close to me. Again, you can't really convince me otherwise by redefining what YOU want "close" to mean.

about 3 months ago
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Vint Cerf on Why Programmers Don't Join the ACM

Jack9 Re: where's the money?! (213 comments)

> No. Not even close. At that rate, we would be adding a billion people every 6.8 years.

Yeah, that sounds about right. So I'm going to disagree, hundreds of thousands is close, regardless of what numbers you want to pick from.

about 3 months ago

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