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Apparent Islamic Terrorism Strikes Sydney

benjfowler Darwin bait (873 comments)

Islam is merely a lens for losers to focus their rage through. The fact this is "terrorism" is only marginally relevant.

There will always be losers with a chip on their shoulder. There will always be people who are of below-average intelligence, or with poor judgement or impulse control, who will pull stuff like this. What makes Islam so incredibly dangerous, is that it allows this sub-human scum to wield their hate and anger like a weapon against other people.

With luck, this worthless drug-fucked piece of crap will be a piece of medial waste lying in a morgue somewhere. I shall not shed a single tear for him.

4 days ago
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Romanian Officials Say Russia Finances European Fracking Protests

benjfowler Re:"Turk Stream" (155 comments)

in future it has committed to selling enormous amounts of gas to China and other Asian countries, which do not slander it or attempt to harm it.

You must be from the Russian equivalent of the 50 Cent Party.

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness?

benjfowler Re:Meditate? (312 comments)

It can be tough when your family is giving you shit for being 'out of the loop'.

But then, not knowing about some random bird "breaking the Internet" with her enormous butt, is the sort of things I can do with not knowing about...

about two weeks ago
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Ask Slashdot: Dealing With Electronics-Induced Inattentiveness?

benjfowler Impulse control is like a muscle (312 comments)

I struggle with exactly the same thing. OTOH, the real superstar developers I've seen, can instantly achieve cast-iron concentration and focus. So it matters.

I figure that it ultimately boils down to practising impulse control, and trying to avoid distractions. Surfing the web is like a string of thirty-second activity-reward cycles: open a Web page, read it, *boom* dopamine hit.

I have two strategies I use: firstly, I try and maintain my awareness of 'flow' at work, and the little things that break it. Secondly, I go out of my way to find things to do which require achieving and holding focus (but don't overdo it).

Firstly, I find that when I'm working (cutting code), things like slow compiles break my flow, because it's easy to hit Alt-Tab and start surfing shit (until I catch myself, and get back on task). So I find little ways to maintain flow; staying off email, staying off Facebook, staying off Reddit, etc etc. Ringing my terminal when compiles finish, so I can get back on track more easily.

Secondly, I go out of my way to spend my off-hours doing things that require focus, and don't involve a computer. I'm working on a maths degree, as well as teaching myself a musical instrument, and when I establish 'flow' on either activity, I know I'm benefiting. Just the mere act of practising 'establishing flow', has yielded improvements.

I know I've had a good day, when I get home, and I'm too tired to do anything else. Focus is like a muscle; initially it is weak, and needs training up, but with exercise, it gets stronger and stronger.

YMMV.

about two weeks ago
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Practical Magnetic Levitating Transmission Gear System Loses Its Teeth

benjfowler The killer app for magnetic transmissions (103 comments)

Deep-space power systems to run big space probes like Galileo and Cassini are nuclear powered, but use incredibly inefficient RTG... which are only 1-2% efficient.

Somebody (US Department of Energy) was looking to boost this by using a plutonium heat source to drive a Sterling engine coupled to a generator. The problem with this arrangement is that moving parts wear out.

It just so happens that deep space is very cold...

about two weeks ago
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Harvard Scientists Say It's Time To Start Thinking About Engineering the Climate

benjfowler Get the basics right first (367 comments)

If we can't even manage to do the easy things, like limiting human population growth, re-wilding, going after polluters and corporate liability-dumpers, switching away from fossil fuels, etc etc etc, what chance are we gonna have to to do **HARD** stuff, like modifying the weather??

Geoengineering, like CCS, is bullshit trotted out by pro-business 'conservatives' to claim that even if climate change *IS* humanity's fault, then we have an excuse to do nothing, because our grandkids will take care of the problem.

I wouldn't expect anything less from greedy, clueless, Me-generation conservatives, to be honest.

about a month ago
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Russia May Be Planning National Space Station To Replace ISS

benjfowler Better idea (236 comments)

If the Russians want to ditch their share of the Station, why not invite the Chinese to come and take over the Russian segment, hand them all the technology, give them manned spaceflight experience, and then build an ISS2, partnering with the Chinese. Putin+cronies will be cured of their delusions soon enough...

The future belongs to rising countries like China, not with decaying has-beens like Putin's Russia.

about a month ago
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How To End Online Harassment

benjfowler SJWs (834 comments)

The Tumblr SJWs **DEMAND** that any self-appointed victim group not be offended, and that all transgressors be shamed or thrown in jail.

Too bad for them, that there isn't actually a right to not be offended.

about a month ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

benjfowler Re:Bizarre (334 comments)

There is short game, and there is long game.

Relying on our rivals or enemies for a strategic resource they have huge pricing power over, is not a good long-term strategy.

about a month ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

benjfowler Re:Bizarre (334 comments)

Sounds like a nuclear-armed Iran would be good news for us then. The harder they hate and want to fight each other, the less they'll bother us.

about a month ago
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Americans Rejoice At Lower Gas Prices

benjfowler Bizarre (334 comments)

So much for the idea of "making hay while the sun shines" /s

Perhaps all the morons buying hummers and F-150s need reminding that the people selling us all this cheap oil are NOT our friends, and are sure as hell not doing it out of the kindness of their hearts. The Saudis are bottoming-out the price of oil to punish marginal north American oil producers, and the Russians, not because they want to give Joe Sixpack a break.

I'd like to see us putting in punishingly-high tariffs in place against Muslim and Russian oil. More tax revenue to tackle deficits, pressure people to switch to alternatives, help shale oil producers, AND punish our enemies. Win-win-win-win situation.

about a month ago
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New GCHQ Chief Says Social Media Aids Terrorists

benjfowler Yikes (228 comments)

As an anti-libertarian, I'll have a bob each way by saying that while we must accept that after September 11, "business as usual" isn't going to fly (if you'll pardon the pun), this is a pretty poor start from a man who ought to know better.

Absolute privacy ain't gonna happen in this day and age, but Mr Hannigan needs to make it clear they will be held thoroughly accountable by the people they're meant to be serving. To do otherwise would shred any remaining legitimacy they have.

about a month and a half ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

benjfowler Re:Dupes (739 comments)

Redistribution makes sense, up to a point. Most countries in the OECD do better than the US on most important measures on quality of life, and do it far more efficiently. Probably because there is a pragmatic understanding around the world that there are times where open markets make most sense, and there are times when markets don't make sense -- and some kind of redistribution is required. For instance, the British healthcare system shits all over the American system in every conceivable way (except for really, really high-end, experimental stuff -- and I'm sure I could get it in Harley Street anyway).

I blame the American tendency towards a blinkered belief that markets can never, ever fail, and that government, as a manifestation of the collective will of the people, can never do anything right -- an extremist POV everywhere else.

about a month and a half ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

benjfowler Re: No big issue (146 comments)

Sadly, they only get their shit together in times of crisis.

In the meantime, they end up with people like Brezhnev, Yeltsin or Putin -- and they're massively the worse for it.

about a month and a half ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

benjfowler Re:No big issue (146 comments)

The R7 was a straightforward extrapolation of the V-2. They had to change the fuel to synthetic kero, because the drunkard operators kept getting blind drunk on the rocket fuel.

Von Braun's team built mostly brand-new stuff.

about a month and a half ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

benjfowler Re:No big issue (146 comments)

Like the Soviet moon landings? Or the Soviet equivalent of the Viking or Pioneers probes?

Must've missed those. My bad.

about a month and a half ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

benjfowler Re:No big issue (146 comments)

Concur. The notion that the US always loses wars is bullshit. Typically they achieve their military objectives in days, if not hours. And the casulties they take while doing so, are unbelievably low by historical standards. There is simply no comparison. If the Americans want to smash you, you're toast, no matter who you are.

Where these things are lost, is where politics gets involved: the utter catastrophe of the occupation in Iraq was brought to us by the utterly useless, moron American Right (mostly followers of Leo Strauss, who are criminally stupid, yet fancy themselves as philosopher-kings) and its lackeys, namely, Paul Bremer (who should be stabbed in the head because of his sheer stupidity -- EVERYTHING that right-wingers touched in Iraq turned to shit.)

Given the terrible leadership we see in the West these days, it's nothing compared to the joke the Russians must endure now. Everyone thinks that Putin is some kind of insane strategic genius and that he's playing chess while us stupid imperialists are playing checkers. See the state of their economy to decide for yourself whether or not this is actually true. At least when our moron leaders screw up, we can blame ourselves for electing them. The Russians, with their laughable Potemkin democracy, don't even get that.

about a month and a half ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

benjfowler Re:No big issue (146 comments)

The entire point of the X-37b, is that it's incredible value for money for what it does.

about a month and a half ago
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A Mysterious Piece of Russian Space Junk Does Maneuvers

benjfowler No big issue (146 comments)

It's just that Russia are eating Western dust, and have been doing so for ages. They've probably cobbled together a total POS and launched it, just to show the world they can 'compete' in high-tech with the likes of the (extraordinarily capable) X-37b.

Putin is just being a dickhead, and in this case, wasting money showboating. Just a high-tech analog of the usual publicity stunt of getting topless and blasting small furry animals. Nothing new there.

about a month and a half ago
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Statisticians Study Who Was Helped Most By Obamacare

benjfowler Dupes (739 comments)

I'm absolutely gobsmacked at how incredibly stupid right-wingers are, and how they can be so easily convinced to vote against their own pecuniary interests.

Methinks that the white trash who do so ARE poor -- and deserve to be.

about a month and a half ago

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