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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

blue9steel Re:No surprise (205 comments)

In reality, all of these claims are only supported by the "research" of S.A. Marshall, and there's no evidence that the guy ever actually did the research that he claims he did.

Yes, his data is questionable and it's unlikely you'd see large percentages of the men not firing at all after their first engagement. Non-veterans, those who have never actually killed or attempted to kill someone, are another matter entirely.

This is like saying that the reason professional basketball teams are so good is because they actually try to score points.

Shooting baskets is not analogous to killing people.

They're a (literal) example of the survivor bias; most of their crappy soldiers die off, shifting the bell-curve to the right.

Over the course of a war most units experience less than 10% casualties which makes this explanation untenable for the general case. There are of course exceptions, in fact some shock units have experienced as high as 300% casualty rates since the replacements keep dying so fast. Total US combat deaths in WWII however was only 291,557 out of 16 million in the military. (even adjusting for fighting vs. support of only 40% this number still doesn't back up your argument)

13 hours ago
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

blue9steel Re:No surprise (205 comments)

The idea that soldiers on the battlefield are reluctant to shoot at each other is complete nonsense.

Actually it's pretty well supported by data. In fact, it's one of the reasons veteran units are so dangerous. Most of the members are actually trying to kill you instead of just shooting in your general direction.

yesterday
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Scotland Votes No To Independence

blue9steel Re:Hmm... (416 comments)

Gitmo closed yet?

Like him or hate him, I hardly think you can blame Gitmo staying open on him. Congress basically refused to allow him to close it.

yesterday
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FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

blue9steel Re: I never thought I'd say this... (318 comments)

I'm registered Libertarian but I think one of the weaknesses of the philosophy the failure to acknowledge the existence of social goods. Also externalized costs, unequal bargaining power, market failures and a variety of other issues which make the world a more complicated place than the party line often seems to promote.

2 days ago
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ISIS Bans Math and Social Studies For Children

blue9steel Re:US is next? (949 comments)

Except for areas which conflict with your religious beliefs, which tend to be many.

2 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

blue9steel Re:Fukushima too (444 comments)

A part of it goes up the stack and is dispersed by the winds, but even if that weren't a big issue fly ash tailings are rarely well contained and often contaminate surrounding areas and groundwater.

2 days ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

blue9steel Re:Lets not forget (613 comments)

Taxes do not work, and have never worked in any history or economics system as an attempt to modify behavior.

Patently false. The tax code has a wide variety of incentives and disincentives now that already modify behavior.

4 days ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

blue9steel Re:Lets not forget (613 comments)

A Pigovian tax is a subset of taxes claiming it will modify a specific behavior.

True but misleading. It refers to a specific kind of behavior, not just any behavior. The kind of behavior Pigovian taxes are intended to modify is the externalization of costs based on a rational economic decisions and self optimization. Why do coal power plants emit CO2, because it's cheaper than doing something about it. Make it cheaper to do something about it than emit it and I guarantee you that behavior will change. Why, because it's in their rational self-interest to minimize their own costs. The real challenge would be to ensure that paying the tax is cheaper than buying off enough politicians to change the law. Of course, this constraint applies equally to regulation. I'm not anti-regulation it just has to be applied to the correct sort of problems. As always, use the right tool for the right job.

4 days ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

blue9steel Re:Lets not forget (613 comments)

Neither slavery nor biased voting systems are examples of externalized costs so obviously pigovian taxes would not be appropriate remedies.

4 days ago
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Extent of Antarctic Sea Ice Reaches Record Levels

blue9steel Re:Lets not forget (613 comments)

A "Carbon Tax" is not the way to solve the problems

Pigovian taxes are the best way to deal with externalized costs within a free market system. The real question is what price should the tax be set at? Choosing an appropriate discount rate makes a large difference in the price to be set. A logical rate would be one that mimics the growth of the economy, so the real GDP growth rate seems suitable, perhaps a trailing 20year average. Given that information at the chart provided by the EPA http://www.epa.gov/climatechan... we're probably looking at a reasonable price of around $61 per ton.

4 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

blue9steel Re:Fukushima too (444 comments)

Fly Ash does not "release" any radiation.

Coal deposits naturally contain small amounts of uranium and thorium, but for the most part that doesn't affect anyone much since it's spread out and underground. After the Coal has burned for power the radioactive elements have been significantly concentrated and are then released into the environment. Is it the same as standing next to a pile of spent fuel rods, of course not, but the amount of radiation released into the surrounding environment by a Coal plant is nearly ten times higher than that of a nuclear plant of similar size.

Annual exposures can be as high as 54 millirems per year. Cancer rates from radiation are estimated at 5.5% per sievert which when converted to 54 milirems gives a 0.00297% chance per person per year. That doesn't sound like much, but the effects add up. Studies of populations living near coal plants have shown effective cancer rates as being 17 times higher than normal.

*shrug* The point is that all power plants are dangerous, but some are more dangerous than others and nuclear is not the worst by a long shot. When we look at health effects on the total population combined with effects on the environment we should be building nuclear plants as fast as possible in order to replace Coal plants.

4 days ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

blue9steel Re:Fukushima too (444 comments)

So still safer than Hydro, Natural Gas, Biofuel, Oil or Coal then?

Fly Ash from coal power releases nearly a hundred times as much radiation per kWhr than nuclear power even when you include nuclear disasters like Chernobyl.

about a week ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

blue9steel Re:Fukushima too (444 comments)

Here's a list from Forbes on deaths per trillion kWhr:

Coal 170,000
Oil 36,000
Biofuel 24,000
Natural Gas 4,000
Hydro 1,400
Solar 440
Wind 150
Nuclear 90

Tell me again how Nuclear is the most dangerous choice?

about a week ago
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If Tesla Can Run Its Gigafactory On 100% Renewables, Why Can't Others?

blue9steel Re:Not just Reno (444 comments)

but then youre one of those idiots who think the point of environmentalism is to kill freedom and impose tyranny on the world.

As implemented it's often true. What's worse is that the solutions implemented are often worse for the environment than the original problem.

Conservationists tend to be rational, environmentalists are for the most part off their rocker.

about a week ago
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Net Neutrality Comments Surge Past 1.7M, an All-Time Record For the FCC

blue9steel Re:what was the SCORE? (81 comments)

It's a Democracy, one dollar one vote.

about a week ago
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China's Island Factory

blue9steel Re:By Country (199 comments)

Unlike America China does not have any ambition of global control

Not yet, it takes a while for rising powers to get to the point of having global ambitions. For China this time is still in the future. If and when their GDP becomes the #1 in the world then it would be time to re-discuss this issue.

about two weeks ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

blue9steel Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

Just for your information, bicycles are part of the traffic!

Bikes are only appropriately part of traffic in places where we haven't yet built bike lanes. The two types of transportation have different maximum speeds, mixing them isn't a good idea.

about two weeks ago
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Surprising Result of NYC Bike Lanes: Faster Traffic for Cars

blue9steel Re:Bikes lanes are nice (213 comments)

Nonsense, I bike & drive and bicycles definitely belong in dedicated bike lanes. On the sidewalk they menace pedestrians, on the street they interfere with traffic.

about two weeks ago
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China's Island Factory

blue9steel Re:By Country (199 comments)

An 11 carrier Navy fleet is not sustainable.

Assumptions to test this hypothesis:
1) Countries other than the US (with carriers) are making rational decisions on how many carriers to buy
2) The total number of carriers a country can support is based on it's GDP
3) Data from Wikipedia about Carriers and GDP is accurate

So, based on that metric it takes $2.28 Trillion of GDP to rationally support one aircraft carrier and the US could support 7 of them.

Problems with this logic:

1) Not all countries have an equal need for aircraft carriers, it depends on the importance of sea lanes and force projection
2) Most countries listed are US allies who are underspending on their military establishment since they know the US will be there to protect them
3) China is an outlier since they have $8.3 trillion in GDP and only one carrier, if they are removed suddenly the data shows it only takes $1.4 Trillion of GDP and the US could support 11 carriers

Conclusion:

Given the US need for open sea lanes in order to maintain trade, a political desire for forward force projection in order to avoid conflict in the continental US and the gigantic size of the US economy it's likely that the current number of US carriers is actually appropriate.

Following those same lines I predict China will build five more carriers amidst rising tensions in the Pacific.

about two weeks ago

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