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Mr. Schmidt Goes To Washington: A Look Inside Google's Lobbying Behemoth

careysub Re:Is it: "Don't Be More Than 49% Evil" Now? (113 comments)

Okay - you think Google is evil. I'm less happy with Google than I was in years past, but I'm still willing to argue that assessment.

Which entity would you choose to replace Google today?

Wrong question. What should a socially responsible megacorp that has overwhelming dominance in the primary communication system of the 21st Century do when confronted by a corrupt political process? Just quietly do business-as-usual, supporting the corrupt process, further entrenching it?

Google cannot avoid engaging with the pay-to-play system, but should it actively support it, or use its wealth, power, influence and access to challenge and expose it?

Voters have negligible power to make any change in the iron triangle of bought politicians, mouth-piece "think tanks", and corporations eager to buy legislation and elite "opinion".

2 days ago
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First Glow-In-the-Dark Road Debuts In Netherlands

careysub Re:Weather (182 comments)

A snow covered road is unsafe to drive on for the general public (no 4-wheel drive and no snow tires/chains) - so removing the snow is generally a very high priority (plows and salt). The times when snow is covering the strip will be rare.

2 days ago
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Russia Wants To Establish a Permanent Moon Base

careysub Re:Talk is cheap (312 comments)

This is a Poe's Law post if every there was one.

Is this guy serious or being over-the-top satirical?

3 days ago
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Mr. Schmidt Goes To Washington: A Look Inside Google's Lobbying Behemoth

careysub Is it: "Don't Be More Than 49% Evil" Now? (113 comments)

We knew the "Don't Be Evil" motto was an ideal that could not withstand the rigors of the modern international marketplace. But how large a portion of "evil" is Google now comfortable with?

3 days ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

careysub Re:His data doesn't accurately reflect global temp (844 comments)

...

(Oh, and for you global warming nuts out there: please forgive me for examining this intellectually.)

We "nuts" will forgive you when you do decide to examine this intellectually.

Your current offering fails to even attempt this.

You start with "I may be a bit ignorant on the subject" and then go on to show that indeed, you truly are. To address this "intellectually" you need to actually be willing to do a little hard work - read real research summaries and become familiar with why the objections you pull off the top of your head make you look foolish (hint: they actually are foolish).

3 days ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

careysub Re:Buy a Prius as your next car... (844 comments)

Ah, the awesome combination of towering hatred and towering ignorance!

No, the all-powerful hippies are not holding corporate cowering helplessly in their thrall.

Do you know how many actual, real nuclear power plant projects in the U.S. have been halted by environmentalist opposition? None. Zero. Nada. Zilch. It is impressive in fact how completely all attempts to halt nuclear power plants through protest failed.

But weren't all those nuclear power projects abandoned at the end of the 1970s halted by those d*mned "extreme environmentalists"? Nope. It was lack of electrical demand - those plants were planned under the idea that the rapid growth in electricity consumption of 1950s and 60s would continue forever.

The high capital costs of nuclear power plants make them unattractive investments compared to coal and natural gas plants. Only government subsidies (or a carbon tax) could make them cost competitive. It is good old profit-maximizing capitalism that has been holding nuclear power back.

There are in fact nuclear power plants starting construction right now - Units 3 and 4 at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant in Georiga. The plants project might have started a couple of years sooner - but what was holding it back was were the federal subsidies demanded by the private companies. At the start of this years the final i's were dotted on those subsidies ($6.5 billion in loan guarantees) and the plants are going forward.

3 days ago
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Study Rules Out Global Warming Being a Natural Fluctuation With 99% Certainty

careysub Re:Buy a Prius as your next car... (844 comments)

We can only power about 10% of the US with wind before we are disrupting the jet stream. Small amount of wind power is good, sure. But it is fated to be a small portion.

Are you just making this stuff up? This is a complete nonsense.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

careysub Re:post apocalyptic is not medieval (723 comments)

It's a lot cheaper to get iron by melting a car engine block - no matter how rusted - than smelting it from iron ore.

Right you are. If you have fireclay (deposits are found all over the U.S. and the world) then you can make cupola and crucible furnaces that remelt steel. Any sort of fuel can be used in a crucible furnace. And these furnaces are readily constructed on a small scale, but can be scaled to very large units too. There are hundreds of billions of tons of steel lying around.

3 days ago
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Ask Slashdot: Are You Apocalypse-Useful?

careysub Re:Medical doctor (723 comments)

This presumes you have access to magnets. That's...not a given, since you need iron working. Iron working is actually hard to bootstrap - it's why the bronze age preceded it.

Umm... why would we need to bootstrap "iron working" again? There are hundreds of billions of tons of high quality refined steel (compared to the iron of ages past) laying around to be remelted and reworked. Do you believe it will all evaporate?

3 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

careysub Re:Ability to design and write software... (578 comments)

The "cake" referred to in "let them eat cake" quote means the crust at the bottom of a cauldron.

Citation?

"Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" refers to brioche, a rich sweet bread, sort of like a cake. Not said by Marie Antoinette though, it was attributed to an unnamed "great princess" by Jacques Rousseau in his Confessions, but Marie Antoinette would have been too young to be this princess.

5 days ago
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Michael Bloomberg: You Can't Teach a Coal Miner To Code

careysub Re:Right! (578 comments)

If 'custodial engineers' were to drop everything and become programmers, who'd do the dirty work that they do?

Nobody is talking about re-training people that are usefully employed. They are talking about re-training people whose jobs are disappearing. Robotics is advancing very rapidly. Jobs for unskilled people have been disappearing for decades, but the past is nothing compared to the avalanche of disappearing jobs that may soon be coming. History shows that, in the long term, economies adjust and everyone benefits from productivity improvements. But the short term transition can be brutal.

...

It is essential that we keep the timelines straight on how jobs are lost, and then eventually regained in a true Industrial Revolution. We are currently in what should be called the Cybernetic Revolution, the only true successor to the original IR in terms of its effects on employment.

In the original IR there were rapid losses of employment (starting in textiles) as factories went up starting around 1780. Optimists, who prate about how 'the IR really wasn't so bad' argue that by 1840 the average wage had risen to finally exceed pre-levels. As with today, talking about average wages hides the extent of poverty with a society, but more importantly it ignores the fact that the gap between 1780 and 1840 is sixty years, and other more systematic analyses pretty much keep this same gap for the employment picture turn-around, though shifting the dates of both start and end forward slightly. This means the typical worker rendered a pauper in mid-life by the start of the IR never benefited, their children never benefited, their grand-children rarely benefited, it was only their great-grand-children that found ready work at good wages!

The promise that eventually the economy will adapt and replace the lost jobs is one that won't be seen for a few generations. We need to have policies in place now, as the jobs vanish, to keep the workers and their families from ending up in poverty, and these policies will need to be maintained and updated for several decades to come.

It is notable that a quick perusal of conservative policy sites (National Review, etc.) for suggestions on how to deal with this problem of inevitable long-term unemployment find by far the most common is to suggest that job salaries be subsidized by the government to create employment. The really aren't any other alternatives that might conceivably work - only government spending to stimulate the economy can step in. (But how taxes should be raised to finance this is never discussed.).

5 days ago
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Ties of the Matrix: An Exercise in Combinatorics

careysub Re:Must be a slow news day.... (51 comments)

Perhaps published earlier, but I had never heard of this. To those of us intrigued by topology and algorithms (and a bit of whimsy) this article is absolutely delightful. I'll have to pull out one of my ties and try some of these out.

about two weeks ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

careysub Re: (1036 comments)

...There isn't even evidence that he actually existed...

Only if you create a novel, idosyncratic definition of "evidence" that does not apply to most of the rest of ancient history. And you grossly overestimate how "abundant" surviving Roman records actually are.

The absence of any physical contemporary artifacts bearing the name "Jesus" is no surprise.

Did you know that before 1961 we did not have a single physical artifact attesting to the existence of Pontius Pilate, even though he was the Roman 'ruler' of Judea for ten years? A single inscribed stone turned up in that year, and remains the sole contemporary physical evidence of his existence. It would be an extraordinary surprise to find any similar physical evidence of Jesus, lack of such is what would be normally expected.

There are several non-Christian sources that refer to Jesus and which modern critical scholarship indicates were not later interpolations by Christian scribes: Tactitus, Suetonius, Pliny the Younger, Josephus (no, it is not regarded as an "obvious forgery"), and Mara Bar Serapion. Most ancient historical figures (who were not rulers) are known only from references in later accounts.

There is written record of the church creating the mythology surrounding the name Jesus that they use today (The First Council of Nicaea), but that's about it.

You are showing that you really, really don't know what you are talking about. We have a substantial number of early Christian/Gnostic documents from the 2nd century AD (not later copies) that document accounts of Jesus going back many decades. The earliest is from around 120 AD, only about 90 years after the death of Jesus. The Gnostic manuscripts are particularly valuable since they represent a branch of the Jesus tradition that was ultimately rejected by the Church, they are not dependent on the "official" texts.

about two weeks ago
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How the Internet Is Taking Away America's Religion

careysub Re:Having lived through the period in question (1036 comments)

...The evidence that Republicans have compassion is easy to find, look at their donations to charity....

And if you do look at these "donations to charity" stats you see that a presumed "Republican charitable superiority" is entirely due to counting all contributions to churches as "charity", and thus the higher percentage of Republicans being church-goers makes them automatically more "charitable".

The thing is counting all church contributions as "charity" is a function of U.S. tax law, which gives a large tax payer subsidy to religion. It is not a function of giving money to your own church actually being intrinsically charitable.

While church goers are easily convinced this is the case, that they are veritable saints for giving money to their church, the fact is that nearly all of the money is being spent on themselves in running what is in essence a religious social club. The money goes to paying for the church facilities they use, the church personnel that minister to their perceived needs, and services that they themselves consume (childcare, religious educational programs, etc.). If you look at the balance sheet of a typical church, only a small fraction (usually less than 10%, often much less than this) is spent on helping other people, the normal notion of what "charity" actually means.

Don't believe me? If you go to a church check its annual budget, nearly all churches make these available. You can also do an experiment by Googling and checking church budgets at random.

Also look at this survey and analysis of church budgets, done by a major inter-denominational organization. If we go down the average column item by item, the only items that might actually be charity to others are the "Programs Expenses" which total 14% on average, and the only sub-items that are clearly charitable are the two "benevolence" line items which together total a whopping 3% of the budget. Most of the other items are simply programs consumed by church members and their families.

It is an odd form of charity that is spent on one's own self.

about two weeks ago
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Japan Orders Military To Strike Any New North Korea Missiles

careysub Re:Bad Neighbors (107 comments)

All leftist ideologies have always resulted in totalitarian dictatorships. It's not incompatible. Dictatorship is the only logical conclusion of any leftist philosophy.

And yet that socialist hell-hole of the entire OECD (outside of the U.S.) has no totalitarian dictatorships.

about two weeks ago
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Was Eich a Threat To Mozilla's $1B Google "Trust Fund"?

careysub Re:And yet they supported Obama (564 comments)

Robert Byrd repudiated his association with the KKK, and apologized (repeatedly over the years).

Eich repudiated his opposition to gay marriage, when?

What is it with the right-wing and false equivalences?

about two weeks ago

Submissions

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Climategate Review: Round Two

careysub careysub writes  |  about 4 years ago

careysub (976506) writes "The report by the second of three panels constituted to investigate the conduct of the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has come in. This panel was a scientific review panel set up in consultation with the Royal Society to examine the integrity of their research methods, and whether there research supports their conclusions.

The key assessment:

We saw no evidence of any deliberate scientific malpractice in any of the work
of the Climatic Research Unit and had it been there we believe that it is likely
that we would have detected it. Rather we found a small group of dedicated if
slightly disorganised researchers who were ill-prepared for being the focus of
public attention. As with many small research groups their internal procedures
were rather informal."

Link to Original Source

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