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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

crunchygranola Re:Who opposes cleaner sources of energy? (142 comments)

Those measures are increasing my freedom - by making a selection of more efficient appliances for me to buy at low cost, and thus allowing me to lower my power bills, all of which puts more money in my pocket. I thought that was the very essence of the Conservative idea of freedom, more of my own money.

We know what corporations do when such measures are not in place. They don't innovate on efficiency, or provide cost effective efficient appliances. Only by moving the entire industry to more efficient standards to you get economies of scale.

Oddly, this would seem to be the "influence change on the producers" that you approve of.

2 days ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

crunchygranola Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (142 comments)

I'm an environmentalist. I think converting coal to natural gas is a great idea. So, your general claim is disproven.

This was a Sierra Club lawsuit. The SIerra Club does not equal "all environmentalists".

2 days ago
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Coal Plants Get New Lease On Life With Natural Gas

crunchygranola Re: It's still reacting carbon and oxygen... (142 comments)

Keep pushing that canard. No activist has stopped the construction of a new power plant. The problem is financing. Banks don't want to lend the money because of the cost over-runs. That's why the nuclear industry has been pushing the government to guarantee those loans.

1. Shoreham.

Technically, no. Shoreham's construction was completed - it actually ran low power tests. What happened was not it was not permitted to begin commercial operation -- due to its singularly poor siting on Long Island, and Long Island Sound after the local community and state had had time to reflect on the wisdom of this particular license. In light of Fukushima, safety concerns about the siting of one of these first generation nuclear power plant designs were quite reasonable. This was a plant that should never have been built.

Plants more distant from major population centers and critical transportation corridors have not had this problem.

2 days ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

crunchygranola Re:Beware the T E R R O R I S T S !! (428 comments)

Excuse me, but where did I advocate for terminating all Sunnis? I advocating for terminating ISIS. There is a difference you know.

Obligatory Godwin time: Not all Germans were members of the SS.

And we executed all the Germans who were?

Words fail me, as well.

4 days ago
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Republicans Block Latest Attempt At Curbing NSA Power

crunchygranola Re:So basically (428 comments)

The Libertarian philosophy is the most self-consistent of all available.

Quite possibly. I would prefer a reality consistent philosophy, especially since Libertarianism makes extravagant claims about economics which is very much an empirical activity.

It requires the fewest "common-sense" exceptions to be practical.

reality-denying assumptions.

Oh my, no. Libertarianism and its Hayekist pseudo-economics twin are quite aggressive about denying the importance of basing beliefs of reality. Can you say "Praxeology"?

LIbertarians and Hayekists hold that their axiomatic principles are the true basis of perfect morality, the best of all possible moral codes, and that social, political and economic doctrines can, indeed must, be derived directly from them without contaminating the matter with social or economic data.

If you dispute with a Libertarian about the feasibility, and desirability of their proposals, you will shortly find them trying to derail the discussion from practical effects to an effort to educate you about the perfection of their axioms.

4 days ago
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Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

crunchygranola Re:reflexes? (112 comments)

...I have no clue what it would be like to actually go through life without it. Maybe it's not as "required" as I think it is, so maybe it's not that irresponsible either.

I can help here. Look out the window. Close one eye.

Wow! Didn't everything look totally different and you suddenly had no idea how far away anything was?

No?

I think no. I think things looked almost exactly the same, and still knew how far away cars, and signs, and people, and houses were.

Binocular depth perception is only one many cues your brain uses to interpret the environment's layout.

5 days ago
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Major Brain Pathway Rediscovered After Century-old Confusion, Controversy

crunchygranola Re:Debunked? (112 comments)

Mod parent up!

Yes indeed. This seems to be making mountain out of a molehill. Here is the operative phrase I think: "wasn't mentioned in any modern-day anatomy textbooks". This may well be the case - are every know structure commonly included in anatomy textbooks? They aren't, you know, atlases or encyclopedias of neuroanatomy that might be expected to contain everything.

As AC shows, the bit about "absent from the literature" seems to have been hype.

5 days ago
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Machine-Learning Algorithm Ranks the World's Most Notable Authors

crunchygranola I Like Tom Godwin But... (55 comments)

Take a look at "most important" (highest ranking) deceased author from the 1980s. It is science fiction/fantasy writer Tom Godwin. Number two is Stanton A. Coblentz . Also in the top 20 (in order): Lin Carter, Robert A. Heinlein, Mack Reynolds, Theodore Sturgeon, James Tiptree, Jr., Clifford D. Simak. Forty percent of the top 20 are SF&F authors. Meanwhile we have Tuchman at 101, Sartre at 112, Borges at 254, Tennessee Williams at 439, Toynbee at 526, and so.

Looking at the 1990s, the top loading by SF&F are equally extreme with Marion Zimmer Bradley No. 1, and William S. Burroughs at 748.

Now I feel that SF&F authors are under-appreciated by critics and "the academy" in the English-speaking world, dismissing brilliantly inventive writing in English, when they would praise it as "magic realism" if written in Spanish or Portuguese, but this is just nerd/geek fannishness run amok.

GIGO forever.

5 days ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

crunchygranola Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

Not only that, Chernobyl has also helped to bancrupt the USSR. The cleanup cost enormous, more than a yearly military budget.

Citation please.

This seems an absurd assertion. The Chernobyl clean-up employed about 250,000 people for two years, mostly with low tech equipment, while the Soviet military had about 5 million men under arms, a lot of it very costly high tech gear.

about two weeks ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

crunchygranola Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

I'm curious how a command economy with what amounts to a captive labor force runs out money.

I don't dispute that the Soviet economy as a whole was ineffective, but lack of money for defense spending seems kind of hard to comprehend.

...

Your instincts about the defense spending in the USSR are dead-on. They never ran out of money for defense. They ran short on supplies for everything else, and the civilian economy suffered terribly for it, but defense was always flush with resources.

The USSR had, by the end of the 1960s, a fully militarized economy - the military was first in line for everything, taking so much that by the mid-1970s it stalled economic growth (this before Reagan, or even Carter, was in office). The notion that the Reagan military build-up caused the USSR to fall is not supported by studies of what actually happened, such as Ellman and Kontorvich's "The Disintegration of the Soviet Economic System".

about two weeks ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

crunchygranola Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

The Guardian? The British version of Pravda? Too bad the Guardian's editorial staff can't share a shallow mass grave with some of the many victims of the Soviet Union.

The Guardian is on the extremely moderate UK left: at the last general election it came out in favour of voting for the LibDems (who are now in coalition with the Tories, and have reneged on essentially all their manifesto pledges).

To consider it as extreme left wing, you would need to be some sort of neo Nazi...

No, you simply need to be a mainstream U.S Republican today. Conservative policies of the recent past are now denounced as "Marxist" without dissent in current day Republican-land.

about two weeks ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

crunchygranola Re:Reminder of who not to credit (151 comments)

...

That more reflects his background - street level activist and local politics, where that's how things are done. That's not really appropriate at the national level, where he had very little experience before becoming President. The result is that he views Congress as damage to be routed around (not that he's entirely wrong about that, and I say that as a conservative who's greatly dismayed at the sway the nutjob fringe holds on the Right) and tries to handle that in much the same manner he did back then... which doesn't really work as personal influence and the Party Machine hold much less sway at the national level.

As you say, the nutjob fringe does hold sway over the Right. On an objective basis, there has not been a Congress this obstructionist for more than eight decades. Although the Republicans seem fine with grid-locking government, regardless of the cost the nation, as long as Obama sits in office -- he understandably knows someone needs to actually govern.

Conservative political psycho-babble fantasies about what 'community activists' think need to be set aside. The fact is he is President and needs to deal with issues facing the nation, even if Congressional Republicans do not.

If Obama is actually, in any way, violating the principles of governance in the U.S. you can be sure that a lawsuit would be in the courts, passed up the chain to the Supreme Court, where the right-wing majority there would slap him down.

about two weeks ago
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25th Anniversary: When the Berlin Wall Fell

crunchygranola Re:Darmok (151 comments)

"Your O.S. Trip" - RedGum/Michael Atkinson (1981)

about two weeks ago
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New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

crunchygranola Re:Correlation does not imply causation (132 comments)

Yes, lets base public policy decisions on essays written by cheap sci-fi authors.

You mean based on essays written by a Professor of Biochemistry, and leading popular science educator, who also wrote some fiction?

(The "cheap" shot was way to obvious shilling. Your paymasters should dock you for something so amateur.)

about three weeks ago
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New Study Shows Three Abrupt Pulses of CO2 During Last Deglaciation

crunchygranola Re: Abrupt, but like 100 years abrupt? (132 comments)

Well, given that Obama is a centre-rightist I can't see that you have demonstrated any problem with the premise at all.

The problem with the premise is that it's based on the tried-and-true No True Scotsman logical fallacy, as in "no true leftie would bomb brown people." Obama may indeed be a center-rightist, but only someone preoccupied with ideological purity would reach that conclusion merely by observing his predilection for bombing brown people.

There is plenty of other evidence supporting this conclusion - it is hardly just his "bombing" policies

The way Obama spearheaded the national implementation of Heritage/Romneycare. His Conservative, but deeply misguided policy of austerity - shrinking the Federal government during a lingering depression for another. And these are the most important two policies of his entire 8-year term in office. That defines the character of his Presidency.

about three weeks ago
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MIT Professor Advocates Ending Asteroid Redirect Mission To Fund Asteroid Survey

crunchygranola Re:Congress (116 comments)

... inadequate to complete the identification of 90 percent of hazardous near-Earth objects 140 meters or greater by 2020 as mandated by the law.

This is the problem with Congress. How the hell do you make a law saying you need to identify 90% of something we can't validate at all? Who's going to say when you reach 90%?...

There is a field of mathematics that has this problem firmly under control. It is called "statistics". Constructing a procedure for making this determination would be a reasonable homework assignment in a statistics class, it is no more difficult than that.

about three weeks ago
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We Are All Confident Idiots

crunchygranola Re:Sounds like Slashdot (306 comments)

Eratosthenes pre-dated Columbus by some time...he was not wildly wrong about the circumference of the Earth, but the size of the Atlantic Ocean.

Columbus was wrong about both. Despite having the correct size of the Earth computed very closely by Eratosthenes (we do not know how closely though since the exact size of this "stadia" is unknown), Columbus still accepted a grossly incorrect figure due to his own (flawed) interpretations of ancient geographers.

about a month ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

crunchygranola Most Interesting Part of This (128 comments)

This much older modern human has the same fraction of Neanderthal DNA as modern humans today.

Think about it.

We haven't seen any ancient Modern Humans that have a different degree of Neanderthal ancestry.

When Modern Humans first bred with Neanderthals the offspring were 50/50. If these F1s bred with each other predominantly from then on you would end up with a new breeding population that was roughly 50/50 in heritage. If the F1s predominantly bred with Modern Humans, then the Neanderthan portion would be cut to 25% in the F2, and if the process repeats it is 12.5% in the F3, etc.

This process stops when there are effectively no more pure blood Modern Humans, that the Neanderthal genome has diffused evenly across the entire population. But subsequent re-encounters would inject new Neanderthal DNA and restart the process.

We haven't yet seen any evidence of this history yet. Even 45,000 years ago it was "ancient history" and epoch that passed many, many generations earlier.

about 1 month ago
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Oldest Human Genome Reveals When Our Ancestors Mixed With Neanderthals

crunchygranola Re:Neanderthals are 'modern' humans (128 comments)

Neanderthals are the same. The whole notion of "Neanderthals" being a separate thing is just a miscategorization of traits that modern humans have. Maybe they are rare, and have become less attractive over the millenia, but not any different than any other trait.

Look at Russian boxer Nikolai Valuev

The traits we collectively call "Neanderthal" are a distinction without a difference.

If you were complaining about the "Cro Magnon" concept you would be on solid ground. That turned out to be an imaginary construct. Neanderthals and Denisovans though definitely form a genetically defined group much more divergent from modern human populations than are found between the most divergent populations among modern humans (defined roughly by the San on one hand and everyone who is not African on the other). That said there is only 0.3% variation across the entire Neanderthal-Denisovan-Modern Human super-group. The Neanderthals and Denisovans were real separate breeding populations for hundreds of thousands of years, but still clearly part of one human species.

about 1 month ago

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