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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

blue9steel Re:Once again, resource shortages come down to ene (353 comments)

You're talking about indirect solar & reverse osmosis, that's a different ballgame. In direct solar basically they pump the seawater into into an evaporation pond that has a transparent ceiling and a gravity collection system for the water. No power involved except the pumps to get the water into the pond.

I am not an industrial engineer and I'm sure there are many factors to consider, however small scale systems generally have a production value of around 6 liters per square meter of collection surface per day. (http://pure.ltu.se/portal/files/2778020/soa-seawater_desalination.pdf)

Groundwater usage is only about 20% of total, so about 310,403 million liters per day. (http://pubs.usgs.gov/fs/2009/3098/pdf/2009-3098.pdf) I don't think there is any point in trying to replace surface water usage since that appears to be functioning normally. Given that amount we're looking at 51,734 sq. km. worth of collectors. The land area of the US is 9.872 million sq. km. so that's about 0.5%, not nothing but it sounds roughly workable.

To put some scope on this, lets talk about my home state of Oregon. Just eyeballing the water usage map, we probably use 5,678 million liters of groundwater which is 946 sq. km. of direct distilling capacity needed. If we assume 10 plants (for which there is plenty of room in the near coastal areas) and include some room for overhead you're looking at 3000 acre parcels. Throw in some space for pipelines and solar power generation for the pumps and it looks pretty feasible from an engineering and land use perspective.

11 hours ago
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

blue9steel Re:Once again, resource shortages come down to ene (353 comments)

Actually if you have some land it really doesn't take much more energy than to run the pumps using direct solar desalinization. There are plenty of areas near the coast that don't see much use currently that could be repurposed for this if we had some sort of rational water policy. Good luck on that though.

yesterday
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Western US States Using Up Ground Water At an Alarming Rate

blue9steel Re:Colorado has California over a barrel (353 comments)

Yes, and with their aggressive nature and huge military force that's something we should really be worried about.

yesterday
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

blue9steel Re:Breaking news (610 comments)

ExxonMobil is worth over ten North Koreas, and has zero influence.

Excuse me while I laugh myself sick.

2 days ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

blue9steel Re:Breaking news (610 comments)

The inverse is not really possible as the state is just too damn big to be captured.

How quaint. Tell us, which alternate reality do you live in where the top corporations don't have earnings larger than the GDP of most countries?

2 days ago
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Why Are the World's Scientists Continuing To Take Chances With Smallpox?

blue9steel Re:The problem is... (189 comments)

No one who wasn't literally insane would try to use smallpox as a weapon, the infection would inevitably spread back to the country which initiated it

Yes, because there aren't any insane people around who carry a grudge against us.

3 days ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

blue9steel Re:Um, ok. (610 comments)

That seems to be the best compromise for the moment, though there are signs that this system trends towards Fascism.

3 days ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

blue9steel Re:Um, ok. (610 comments)

If you have a better system we're listening. I know I've looked and ever other alternative is either worse even in theory or based on wishful thinking.

3 days ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

blue9steel Re:Breaking news (610 comments)

Actually feudalism had pretty strict rules about that. You're talking about autocracy which is something completely different. Many feudal societies slowly slid into autocracy while maintaining the outer forms as more power accreted to the king and away from the dukes, earls & barons.

3 days ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

blue9steel Re:Breaking news (610 comments)

A weak state isn't a requirement though it's one possible solution. In a strong state the private interests just work to capture the state instead.

3 days ago
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Experiment Shows People Exposed To East German Socialism Cheat More

blue9steel Re:let me correct that for you. (610 comments)

Their intent was to make the same argument that the soviet union did: that they weren't actually communist, "yet".

Well, by Marx's definition they weren't. The Soviet Union had, in theory, achieved the dictatorship of the proletariat, which is an intermediate system between capitalism and communism. In my opinion in was more dictatorship than proletariat, but that's not surprising given human nature. Centralization of power always leads to abuse.

3 days ago
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Activist Group Sues US Border Agency Over New, Vast Intelligence System

blue9steel Re:No Decent Solution (82 comments)

Eventually a unified world government is more efficient but since that scares the hell out of a lot of people that will never happen until we remove money (corruption) from politics.

So never then? The solution isn't to assume that corruption can be ever fully eradicated. The solution is to design systems that minimize and compartmentalize it.

4 days ago
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How One School District Handled Rolling Out 20,000 iPads

blue9steel Love computers but where is the strategy? (285 comments)

They've been shoving computers into school since at least the Apple II days, if not earlier. I'm not seeing much of a coherent effort to actually use them in some transformational way. I mean, if you're going to go with flip classes (pre-recorded lectures at home, problem sets at school) then this is probably a necessary step. If you're just going to keep teaching in the same way then this seems like a massive boondoggle. Sure, the kids and parents will love it because they're not paying the full price for it, it'll be subsidized by increased property taxes on everyone who lives within the district.

4 days ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

blue9steel Re:Big Deal (261 comments)

Sorry, but if you have a better system for doing stuff, we're all ears.

Well, at the very least the UN should switch to a bicameral structure with one chambers membership being more closely aligned with actual country power. Say a combination of land mass, population and wealth for a reasonable proxy.

about a week ago
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UN Report Finds NSA Mass Surveillance Likely Violated Human Rights

blue9steel Re:The U.N. Finds... (261 comments)

Every government is the enemy of human rights and liberties.

Even if that were true there are no alternatives.

about a week ago
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US Marines Demonstrate Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector Prototype

blue9steel Re:Another boondoggle (90 comments)

The last time US ground forces were put in the fight prior to aerial decimation of the opposition was?

WWI probably. Why would you want to? It's pretty much the cornerstone of our entire war fighting doctrine to gain air superiority and then pound the heck out of our adversaries prior to full engagement. I can guarantee you the air strikes on D-Day were coming fast and furious. We spent nearly five months before that destroying the Luftwaffe in order to ensure air superiority prior to the invasion.

about a week ago
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US Marines Demonstrate Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector Prototype

blue9steel Re:Phew! (90 comments)

Don't worry global citizen, the glorious forces of the United States Military still have paratroopers and air power to reach you in your time of need!

about a week ago
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US Marines Demonstrate Ultra Heavy-Lift Amphibious Connector Prototype

blue9steel Re:But does it have more KILLING POWER? (90 comments)

A transport configured LCAC can carry 180 fully equipped troops. The full size UHAC will have similar dimensions so I don't imagine it will carry much more than a company at a time. With the much larger carrying capacity though it'll be able to move a lot more heavy equipment per load which means consolidating the beachhead and moving inland should go much faster.

about a week ago
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The debate over climate change is..

blue9steel What we know (278 comments)

1) CO2 is definitely being released into the atmosphere, no question on that one
2) CO2 does have an energy retaining effect so higher levels definitely increase global energy retention
3) A 10% smoothed exponential moving average of the NOAA land + ocean temperature anomaly data looks pretty convincingly positive to me, so I think we can safely say temperatures are going up, at least for the period 1977 to present.

There are really only three points of legitimate contention:

1) Are the human caused effects larger than the natural variability of the system, the evidence is strong but not yet irrefutable
2) If something bad is happening and we're causing most of it, are the costs of mitigating it less than the costs of enduring it? This one seems poorly explored so far, I have yet to see a really good analysis. I happen to think the tail risks are high enough it's worth it, but not everyone agrees.
3) If we are going to do something, what should we do? I don't think there is any consensus on this at all. My personal opinion is put a carbon tax into place and let the market sort it out but that's not exactly uncontroversial.

about two weeks ago
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ChickTech Brings Hundreds of Young Women To Open Source

blue9steel Re:Selective Service (158 comments)

You're right of course. Heinlein had the correct solution, namely that all conflicts should only be initiated by referendum and that anyone voting yes is automatically drafted if it passes.

about two weeks ago

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