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Prehistoric Garbage Piles Created "Tree Islands"

d1r3lnd Re:Very misleading (111 comments)

It's not that misleading - it was trash. And while you seem to be getting awfully worked up about the hypothetical political pull of this article, I'd like to note that environmental stressors (including oil, and, yes, even nuclear reactors) have affected the Earth long before our species even existed, and will no doubt continue to do so well after we're gone.

I'm sorry, what I meant to say is that you're a special snowflake and your mere existence will leave an indelible mark on our world.

Oh, the hubris of mankind.

more than 3 years ago

China Plans To Mine the Yellow Sea Floor

d1r3lnd Re:Unfortunately, this is what we do (223 comments)

Anyone who is serious? What, the rest of us are light-hearted jokesters?

Hey guys, we're innovating our way out of resource scarcity! What crazy shenanigans will we think up next?

If you'd like to claim that I'm being overly optimistic, I remind you that I have the entire history of the human race supporting my theory, and you've got a long line of doomsday-prophesying crackpots backing up yours.

By all means, try to convince me that subsistence farming the Olduvai Gorge with a few thousand other folks is the way forward. The relentless drumbeat of human progress will go on regardless.

about 4 years ago

The Future of Tech Support

d1r3lnd The future of tech support... (105 comments)

The future of consumer tech support is that your increasingly senile neighbor is still going to call you every time she has a problem with her POS desktop inkjet printer that you helped set up back in 6th grade - only because your mom made you (since you're such a smart young man and I'm sure it won't take you more than half an hour) - even though you now live in a different state that is 3 time zones away, goddamnit.

more than 4 years ago

'Peak Wood' Offers Parallels For Our Time

d1r3lnd Re:There have been lots of peaks (604 comments)

Yes, agriculture can lead to mass deforestation - unless a society industrializes, and thereby reduces the pressures that strip timber from the land for heating and cooking fuel. Again, INDUSTRIALIZATION reduced the economic returns of slavery to the point where it was no longer viable. It is widely suspected that "alcohol and drugs" (the former is also the latter, by the way) existed in pre-agricultural times, although there is obviously no written history to support this claim (WRITING being another one of those wacky technological benefits). Even so, I'd say your claim that alcohol and drugs are unmitigated evils is debatable, at the very least.

Climate change / ecological damage happened even prior to the development of modern economies; you won't find giant ground sloths or mastodons roaming North America - they were hunted to extinction thousands of years before Europe discovered the New World.

Over-population is a claim about the carrying-capacity of the world, and technology raises the carrying capacity, so again, I really must disagree.

Hunter gatherer / subsistence farmer societies are not without impact. And no, they were for damn sure not better off than we are now. It's nice that you have the leisure time to daydream about the noble savage, but understand that had you been born at that level of technology, you'd more likely than not be dead several times over before reaching your current age, let alone doing so with your level of nutrition and relative dearth of crippling childhood diseases.

Yes, technology HAS made us better off. Indeed, I will go further than that - it is the most powerful, if not ONLY, way of doing so.

more than 4 years ago

'Peak Wood' Offers Parallels For Our Time

d1r3lnd There have been lots of peaks (604 comments)

Peak Whale Oil, for example. Of course, the rising cost of whale oil led to the development of new technologies and new sources of energy - like kerosene.

There are many, many, many examples of people pointing out the impossibility of then-present trends continuing. Of course, if trends can't continue, they won't.

If you want an American patriot as an example instead of Engels (communism! gasp, shock, horror) take a look at Gifford Pinchot. An early leader of the Conservation movement, first Chief of the US Forest Service, quite a guy. Peak timber, peak ore, peak coal - he wrote about 'em all, back in the day.

While it's well and good to be aware of these things, and the market tends to reward those who make some smart bets on that basis - human beings have always found ways to satisfy their wants. Some are more sustainable than others, but necessity is the mother of invention, and sustainability/entropy is really only a concern when faced with a finite "universe." Technology is the key that gets us out of that box, and if we have to consume resources in order to make new ones available to us, well - such is, has been, and will be life.

more than 4 years ago

Secure Communication Comes To Android

d1r3lnd Sure it will (150 comments)

Just like encrypted email! Everyone uses that...

more than 4 years ago

BP's Final "Top Kill" Procedure For Gulf Oil Spill

d1r3lnd Re:20? Try just last year BOZO !! (593 comments)

I'm not sure that "BOZO" is really the correct term to be using, especially given that the link you provided states quite clearly that the explosion happened 5 years ago.

more than 4 years ago

PETA Creates New Animal-Friendly Software License

d1r3lnd Re:FLOSS software? (356 comments)

Because by eating your mmmmmm grilled beef, you're indirectly consuming 10x as many plants as you would otherwise?

Trophic levels - important to understand in a world of 6 billion + humans.

more than 4 years ago

New "Circuit Breaker" Imposed To Stop Market Crash

d1r3lnd Re:Good Fix... (460 comments)

You're an idiot. Arbitrage doesn't "suck" profits, it distributes them. Look up the Law of One Price, and then tell me why you think it's a bad idea that arbitrage exists. Hell, why allow trading at all? Seems like allowing for markets is GUARANTEEING market failure!

Numbnuts, all of you.

more than 4 years ago

Call In the Military To Blast Rogue Satellite?

d1r3lnd Re:A space bulldozer (243 comments)

Actually, space debris will clean itself up over time... the question is just how long it will take.

Launching a "space bulldozer" would then require periodic refueling, add in the risk of the space dozer itself becoming an orbital hazard (do you think orchestrating collisions between the space dozer and its targets would be easy and reliable?)... it's not exactly a feasible solution at the moment.

What you're suggesting is a bit like suggesting that we keep a refueling tanker in the air at all times, just in case any commercial jets run out of fuel.

more than 4 years ago

Climate Change and the Integrity of Science

d1r3lnd Re:It won't work (1046 comments)

Just because you have a collection of facts does not mean that you are guaranteed to be correct about what they mean. For example, here's another perfectly true collection of facts:

The fact is, even the best climate "models" are woefully inadequate - they have a hard enough time explaining the data we already have, let alone predicting what values we might expect in the future. They're also remarkably incomplete. Yes, I know they're "only models" and that means that they're simpler than real life. But do you know what they're modeling? The whole fucking globe, which is a complex fucking system. There's only so much simplification you can get away with, and to be perfectly frank, present models are missing too much.

Look at earlier models - with their 100 foot deep "oceans," and all the other completely completely ignored confounding factors. Do current models fix some of those flaws? Sure, but there are plenty of flaws they haven't fixed. Find me a climate model that accurately accounts for the effects of clouds. What about all the biomatter at the bottom of the ocean, which, by the way, we've barely even studied?

Yet for DECADES, these folks have been claiming that they know they're right, they know why, and we should engage in some kind of large scale terraforming project on the basis of their half-assed models.

Do humans have an effect on the environment? Undoubtedly. Do we know what kind of effect, and how much, and why? Not yet.

more than 4 years ago

Martian Gullies Explained By ... Sand

d1r3lnd Re:Terraforming (97 comments)

Easily mined on Earth. Not easily hauled into orbit for space-based industry.

more than 4 years ago

Martian Gullies Explained By ... Sand

d1r3lnd Re:Terraforming (97 comments)

Hey guys, let's take the most easily accessible resources in the solar system and then drop them into the giant fucking gravity well of a planet we don't live on.

Awesome plan, dude.

more than 4 years ago

Gardening On Mars

d1r3lnd Re:And (262 comments)

What you want is a closed loop. For hydroponic gardens, which is what you'd be using in space, tilapia are an excellent source of both protein and fertilizer. That's why tilapia are so often used in aquaculture - in an environment like a rice paddy, they are part of a symbiotic relationship.

Plus, it's a lot tastier than reconstituted soy mush.

more than 4 years ago

Does HP + Palm = Facepalm?

d1r3lnd Well, what's the punchline? (236 comments)

Oh right, this joke doesn't work on the internet. Thanks for trying, though.

more than 4 years ago

Japan To Launch Solar Sail Spacecraft "Ikaros"

d1r3lnd Re:Thin sails (138 comments)

Well yeah, but you could make it 100x thicker and all that debris whizzing around would still poke holes in it. This way, it's light enough to be a.) cheap to launch and b.) actually efficient enough at harnessing the solar "wind" to move its mass.

more than 4 years ago

Cleaners Paint Over Priceless Art

d1r3lnd Hrm. Bit of an overstatement, innit? (69 comments)

FTFA: "In 2008, a London wall bearing one of his stencils was said to have sold on eBay for almost $500,000."

It's not actually priceless, then. Besides, the guy's still alive, and might even have the stencils, still.

more than 4 years ago


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