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Australia Repeals Carbon Tax

arpad1 Re:it is the wrong way... (291 comments)

We over and over do exactly the wrong thing to save the world.

In view of the fact the world hasn't ended perhaps it isn't quite as desperately in need of saving as you seem to believe?

Alternatively, perhaps what you believe to be the wrong thing to do is, in view of the continued existance of the world, the right thing?

about 2 months ago

Powering Phones, PCs Using Sugar

arpad1 I eagerly await... (199 comments)

...the first commercial example. Until then I'll forget about this annoucement since a laboratory curiosity can take a long time to wind its way to commerical production if it ever makes it that far.

about 8 months ago

How Good Are Charter Schools For the Public School System?

arpad1 Re:Horrible for the public school system (715 comments)

1) No they don't. Charters are public schools. Period. Since charters are public schools they can't very well take money from public schools.

2) In fact, it's district schools that can be explicitly and unapologetically selective. They're called magnet schools and unlike charters they generally require entrance exams, require the maintenance of grades above some minimum and can boot kids out for a variety of infractions.

3) Feel free to provide support for this contention. Charter schools are public schools and operate under all relevant, state-level rules and laws. If the state's signed up for Common Core then charters are just as much on the hook to abide by that decision as are district schools.

4) Again, provide some support for this contention.

Since charters aren't, by law, allowed to select their students there's no selection bias. As for "the companies that run them", charters do a good enough job to get the approval of parents. The one glaring difference between charters and district schools is that parents select charters. If parents don't care about funneling public school funds to the companies that run them why should anyone else's voice speak as loudly? You got anywhere near as much at stake as those charter school parents?

about 8 months ago

Earth's Orbit Reshapes Sea Floor

arpad1 Re:The big question is... (55 comments)

I'm a bit unclear on how this scientific consensus works.

What if the percentage of the world's climate scientists who agree with anthropogenic global warming were lower? Would they still be right? Say, if the percentage were 50%? Would that still establish anthropogenic global warming as scientifically valid?

Where's the cut-off exactly?

about 9 months ago

Dispatch From the Future: Uber To Purchase 2,500 Driverless Cars From Google

arpad1 Re:Don't wanna be first... (282 comments)

The question ought to be "what could possibly(sic) do wrong ten years from now?"

RTFA, baby since the rocket scientists who now run slashdot can't be bothered to do it for you.

1 year,23 days

New, Canon-Faithful Star Trek Series Is In Pre-Production

arpad1 By faithful to the canon... (401 comments)

...does that mean there'll be lots of lip service to the Prime Directive while completely ignoring it? Does this mean the captain of an important Federation ship will get into fist fights as part of his duty as well? Will there be significant loss of life among the crew as a regular occurrance during peace time and will the ship regularly engage in ship-to-ship combat during this same peaceful time as well?

If the answer's "yes" then this new production will be faithful to the original.

1 year,26 days

Ask Slashdot: What If We Don't Run Out of Oil?

arpad1 Re:We Wish (663 comments)

Hubbert came up with the peak oil hypothesis. It's not a theory until he demonstrates the hypothesis predicts something. He didn't.

I know, I know. Hubbert predicted peak oil in the U.S. putting the date of peak oil as 1972 and lo! U.S. oil output peaked in 1972.

Of course Hubbert didn't predict any such thing. He got lucky.

How do I know for sure? Because he never issued another correct prediction again. A stopped clock is right twice a day but doesn't have much value for keeping time. Hubbert was right just once.

The 100% doesn't move, other than at the pace of geological time frames.

Feel free to reveal the means by which you've nailed down the quantity of oil that amounts to 100%.

about a year ago

What's Holding Back 3-D Printing

arpad1 Re: Nonsense (348 comments)

Yeah, I could have worded that a bit better. The comment's certainly open to misinterpretation. A couple of folks up the thread have divined the meaning that I wasn't precise enough to make clear.

It's not that you can't build neat stuff with 3-D printers what I contend is, other then AR-15 lowers and high-capacity magazines, there's not much reason to bother. And even in the case of AR-15 lower recievers and high-capacity magazines it's politics that makes building them worthwhile; conventionally-manufactured equivalents are simply better in every regard, including price when you figure in the cost of the printer and the time you'd have to put in to learn to use it.

One respondent has a car door that won't open for want of a plastic part which is known to break. But buying a 3-D printer, and putting in the time to learn how to use the software to draw the part, generate the G-code and deal with the inevitable idiosyncracies of any tool is hardly the sort of solution that most people would embrace. If you were looking for an excuse to buy a 3-D printer that might make the cut but most people would simply buy two of the parts the next time they had to go to a junk yard for one and be done with it.

Another respondent brought up Visicalc which is the sort of thing I had in mind.

The first time those of us of a certain age saw Visicalc in operation is memorable for the harp-accompanied epiphany that results from the realization that a pathologically boring and utterly inescapable task will now evaporate. No one who had to prepare organization budgets had to be sold on Visicalc. It sold itself.

Budgets are still necessary but the only people who now add up long columns of numbers suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder.

That's the sort of transformative change I believe is necessary to propel 3-D printing into society.

about a year ago

What's Holding Back 3-D Printing

arpad1 Nonsense (348 comments)

What's holding back 3-D printing is that there's hardly anything worthwhile to be done with it.

Other then printing an AR-15 lower receiver or magazines what can you do with a 3-D printer that's worth the bother?

about a year ago

Australian Economists Predictions No Better Than Flipping a Coin

arpad1 Re:Economy is not a science. (290 comments)

Umm, so what's the Keynesian excuse for Japan's "Lost Decade" and more recently, America's non-recovery from the it's-all-Bush's-fault recession?

Lots of Keynesian goodness showered on both economies with nothing but massive government debt to show for it.

As for the observation that economics isn't a science, the complete indifference to the scientific method should have made that obvious. The delightful irony is that when the scientific method's applied to the field of economics, the hypothesis being that economics is a science by virtue of its predictive powers, the hypothesis fails.

about a year and a half ago

Interviews: Ask What You Will of Paleontologist Jack Horner

arpad1 Theropod jaw hinge (208 comments)

I understand the reason for theropods having the need to swallow big hunks of meat but that capability would much more easily come from a wide jaw.

Theropods, I would think, wouldn't need to keep a narrow jaw profile like a snake because theropods didn't have to slither into narrow openings. There doesn't seem to be any obviously good reason for theropods to have a jaw that's narrow when they're not swallowing big hunks of meat and wide when they are.

about a year and a half ago

Telling the Truth In Today's China

arpad1 Re:absurdity is everywhere (157 comments)

Not even close to similar. Nothing in common at all and to suggest there is is evidence less of a desire to illuminate then to obscure. Or to find excuses for a failed and brutal ideology.

The Chinese leadership is trying to keep a lid on popular dissent by trying to enforce ignorance of factors which might lead to popular dissent and answers to no one on that score. In representative governments censorship is always a lively issue with those in favor of this or that convenient form of censorship finding themselves very often on the recieving end of unwelcomed attention and not infrequently losing their bid to impose censorship and just occasionally their position of political influence as well.

That's why the results are also not remotely similar. A Chinese citizen who wishes to educate themselves on some contentious issue is very likely to find their way as thoroughly blocked as the strenuous efforts of the Chinese government allows. A British, French or American citizen who wishes to remedy their ignorance on a previously ignored topic will find no such impediments in their path and, as like as not, find information on the topic from government officials.

about 2 years ago

Telling the Truth In Today's China

arpad1 Re:absurdity is everywhere (157 comments)

Not sure if you noticed, but it's absurd to compare voluntary ignorance resulting from having too much information from which to choose to mandated ignorance that helps keep in power an authoritarian elite trying to hang onto that power a little longer even though their decrepit ideology has been repudiated everywhere people have the option to do so.

about 2 years ago

How We'll Get To 54.5 Mpg By 2025

arpad1 Re:I'm no car expert.. (717 comments)

Yes, but those people must, quite properly, defer to their moral and intellectual superiors who know how much meat is allowable, if any and who know how warm you can be allowed to be in winter and who know whether you ought to be allowed to watch TV, how much and what programs and, well, pretty much everything.

Now, isn't it reasonable that the superior should advise the inferior and dictate to them if their inferiority prevents them from properly obeying?

about 2 years ago

Rapid Arctic Melt Called 'Planetary Emergency'

arpad1 Re:Press coverage (757 comments)

Any reason you're trying to divert the subject from the lack of any mention of Antarctic ice conditions to me? I'd be flattered if it weren't so painfully obvious that you'd prefer the question go unasked.

about 2 years ago

Rapid Arctic Melt Called 'Planetary Emergency'

arpad1 Re:Press coverage (757 comments)

There is another polar ice cap. Anyone know what's happening there with regard to ice coverage?

Seems to me that if you're telling only half the story you can't possibly be telling more then half the truth.

If that.

about 2 years ago

Man Orders TV On Amazon, Gets Shipped Assault Rifle

arpad1 Why did this make the cut? (666 comments)

Other then the fact that the guy ordered the TV from Amazon, what's the connection to computers, software, the Internet and all the rest of the technologicawocal world that Slashdot's supposed to have made it its goal to cover?

Is the news that UPS screwed up?

more than 2 years ago

Ask Slashdot: What's the Most Depressing Sci-fi You've Ever Read?

arpad1 Stand on Zanzibar (1365 comments)

"Stand on Zanzibar" by John Brunner was pretty relentlessly depressing and not just in a worldwide sort of way.

No one in the story was happy or had any reason to be happy or had any hope of being happy. Ever. Till the end of time. Even an end to war turned out to be depressing.

Made "The Road" seem like a carefree romp across the countryside.

more than 2 years ago


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