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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

readin Re:No surprise (218 comments)

"Hell, if I could headbutt another human into oblivion for a mate, I would too. Here's the funny thing folks, humans are animals too! We have all the same urges and evolutionary pressures,"

As any male should know who went to high school. What do you think all that bullying was about? Guys were showing their dominance to win females. Those same urges were why it was so hard for the guys being picked on to just shrug it off or ignore it - how can a male shrug off being humiliated in front of potential mates?

4 days ago
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

readin Re:No surprise (218 comments)

You're right. In a one-on-one fight there is some sense in not killing your rival if he's willing to back down so that you don't have to expend extra energy trying to finish him off.

But when the battle becomes group against group the advantage of mercy is less clear. An enemy left alive has more choices. Rather than accepting that he can't defeat you he may come back with larger numbers. He may jump up and hit you from behind as soon as you turn to battle one of his companions.

In an environment of tribal warfare, it doesn't make sense to kill your local intra-tribal rival because he's likely to be your ally in the next inter-tribal battle.

4 days ago
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Study: Chimpanzees Have Evolved To Kill Each Other

readin There was a question? (218 comments)

This is a case where new science seems to confirm the common sense that old science was questioning. Of course chimps evolved to fight. They fight for the same reasons human tribes fight - competition for resources (including breeding females as a resource).

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

readin Re:Not a problem... (323 comments)

That assumes that all those environments are pointless wastes of space, unfortunately that premise isn't true- those areas of land serve important purpose for example the sands of the Sahara blow across the Atlantic and fertilise the likes of the Amazon rainforest.

A lot of people say "Why don't we geo-engineer the Sahara to make it tropical forest again!" but it becomes almost a zero-sum game, as you grow forests in Africa you decrease the fertilisation of the Amazon and so growth is stunted there in turn.

You're saying Saharan sand is good fertilizer? I wouldn't have though it was true, but if it is I have to wonder if it opens up an opportunity. We take sand from the Sahara to fertilize lands elsewhere - taking it all from one place to begin with. Once we've dug enough sand out to make an area below sea level, we can flood it with water from the Mediterranean Sea.

Benefits:
* More fertile land throughout the world
* A new sea where fish can grow.
* A way to slow or even reverse the rise of the oceans by putting the excess water in the new sea.

Am I crazy? Why?

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

readin Re:Not a problem... (323 comments)

We can debate if cities have higher crime or not. People in cities tend to live longer lives - at least in developed countries. So I am not sure what to make of your dirtier and dangerous point.

Go to a city and sniff. You can smell how dirty they are. I was in NY (Manhattan) a while back and the smell of trash was quite common even in areas that seemed to be quite nice and expensive.

4 days ago
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New Study Projects World Population of 11B by 2100

readin Re:Not a problem... (323 comments)

Vast areas of Earth remain unpopulated. In no particular order:

  • American Midwest
  • Most of Canada
  • Australia's Outback
  • Siberia
  • Sahara and other hot deserts
  • Antarctica — a whopping continent

Sure, some of the above would require some work to make comfortable, but it can be done even with today's technology — by 2100 even an individual (or a family) would convert surroundings to their tastes. And it would certainly be easier, than moving an appreciable quantity of people off-Earth...

I spent quite a bit of time in the American midwest. It is hardly unpopulated. And if it were any more populated than it already is, where would we get our food from?

4 days ago
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Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Maker Mojang For $2.5 Billion

readin Re:Microsoft can now kill Java (330 comments)

Minecraft is the only game out there that uses Java, but the Xbox 360, iOS and such versions do not use Java, so what I expect to see is the Java version gets dumped and work continues on the non-Java versions, which would benefit everyone.

What about people who develop mods for the game? I would like to see modding made easier - a sale to Microsoft doesn't give me much hope.

about a week ago
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Justice Sotomayor Warns Against Tech-Enabled "Orwellian" World

readin Good start (166 comments)

I like that she is speaking out on this, but I wish she would say something about the attempt to repeal the free speech/press part of the first amendment that the Democrats are working on. https://beta.congress.gov/bill...

``Section 1. To advance democratic self-government and political equality, and to protect the integrity of government and the electoral process, Congress and the States may regulate and set reasonable limits on the raising and spending of money by candidates and others to influence elections.
``Section 2. Congress and the States shall have power to implement and enforce this article by appropriate legislation, and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations or other artificial entities created by law, including by prohibiting such entities from spending money to influence elections.
``Section 3. Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press.''.

For clarification, Section 1 will be interpreted as "for any purpose we say 'protects the integrity of government" no matter how far-fetched a regular person would think it is. (see Wickard v. Filburn).
"by candidates and others" will be interpreted as "by anyone and/or everyone"
" reasonable limits" means "however much the party in power decides"
"and may distinguish between natural persons and corporations" means whichever party in power can choose to limit corporations but not individuals, and they can also choose to limit individuals but not corporations. It's unclear to me if it also means they can choose which people to limit (though they'll surely figure out a way to do so).
" Nothing in this article shall be construed to grant Congress or the States the power to abridge the freedom of the press." Given that a straightforward interpretation of this statement would negate the entirety of the amendment, the Court will have to conclude that it doesn't mean what is says and that it does indeed grant Congress the power to abridge the freedom of the press (since you'll need money to buy ink).

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Seeks $58M To Put (Partly) Toward Fighting Ebola

readin Re:cost-benefit (105 comments)

I agree we should fund this. But we should also cut spending somewhere else to pay for it. If Ebola is important enough to spend the money on (and I believe it is) then it is important enough to find the money to spend by cutting other programs. When you see someone proposing spending without explaining how to pay for it as the President is doing here (and plenty of Congressmen are equally guilty), they're not being serious about governing- they're campaigning.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Seeks $58M To Put (Partly) Toward Fighting Ebola

readin Re:Any of our money that Obamebola sends to Africa (105 comments)

How did you get modded down for this? The corruption in Africa is world famous with many relief organizations complaining about how much charity funding the local governments and warlords divert to their own purposes in maintaining power.

about two weeks ago
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Obama Administration Seeks $58M To Put (Partly) Toward Fighting Ebola

readin Re:This is BS (105 comments)

That was good advice to read the article. Why can't Obama ask for a clean bill to fund this Obama thing? If he wants funding to handle the massive surge in illegal border crossers his policies encouraged, then he should pressure the Democrats in the Senate to get to work on the funding bills the House Republicans passed. ( http://www.washingtonpost.com/... ).
Instead Obama is adding his illegal immigration poison pill so that he doesn't get the funding for the child illegal border crossers and doesn't get the funding to fight ebola. All he gets is political points against the Republicans (when the press blames them for Obama's mess) and a chance to usurp more Congressional power because "Congress won't act".

The article also explains how he's trying to renew the import-export bank corporate welfare by attaching it to another important bill. Unfornately, just as the immigration debate shows there are a lot of Republicans and Democrats willing to help their rich friends at the expense of poor and middle class Americans by bringing a lot of cheap labor, the export-import bank will show that that there are a lot of Republicans and Democrats willing to help their rich friends with corporate welfare.

about two weeks ago
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Software Error Caused Soyuz/Galileo Failure

readin Re:Testing is not verification. (157 comments)

Most programmers and software engineers have the limitations you mention because consumers don't want to pay for the high quality software we want to build for them. People who go into the field tend to have some OCD-like traits, and making 'perfect' software is what they want to do. But we're not given time so we learn to take short-cuts.

When software is used in places where it has to work the first time, we'll be more than happy to adapt to the new set of circumstances. There will likely be a few glitches as with any engineering discipline (anyone remember the Tocama Narrows Bridge?), but things will get better when the correctness of the software is important enough to pay for.

about three weeks ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

readin Re:meh (164 comments)

I can understand if there were any clear benefit to use the old imperial units, but there is none (zero, zilch, nada, other than nationalistic pride) and lots of downsides, so is about time you guys enter the 20 century and make life simpler for everyone.

Metric makes it so easy to get calculations wrong in ways that are hard to detect.

1. write you 'n' with 1.5 humps (a habit from writing cursive) or write your 'm' so that it looks like cursive when you didn't mean cursive, and suddenly a nm is a mm or a mm is a nm and your measurement is off by a factor of a million. In Metric all abbreviations in a given dimension differ by one letter, but in Human measurements they differ by 2 or more.

2. In Human measurements conversions usually require a bit of calculating rather than just decimal moving. A double-check shows clearly and easily whether you're in the right ball-bark. With the Reign of Terror measurements if you miscount on moving the decimal you're not likely to notice (or even bother to try) so you can easily be off by a factor of 10.

about a month ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

readin Re:meh (164 comments)

So everyone else makes a mistake and we're supposed to follow? How about if the rest of the world abandons metric and adopts some rational units instead?

about a month ago
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Giant Greek Tomb Discovered

readin Re:meh (164 comments)

America's military got serious about using metric in the 1950s. How have we done since then? When we were using good units we defeated the British, the Indians, the Mexicans, the Spanish, and were on the winning side of 2 world wars. Since adopting metric we've lost Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan (though admittedly one can make a strong case for blaming all of those on Democratic politicians rather than on the military).

about a month ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Sick of Denialists (165 comments)

I'm so sick of Denialists who refuse to except the facts about Communism and the evil it created for hundreds of millions of people.and the threat that it posed to those not yet taken by it.

about 2 months ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (165 comments)

In simple terms the US used communism to implement its own version to control its citizens, we simply refer to it as propaganda, and it continues to this day now they are using terrorism, and this time they want to monitor everyone and every move they make whether they are a threat or just some brainless twit.

Just like we used Nazism to push millions of young men into government service.

Well no, sometimes the monsters are actually real. Look up the history of the Ukraine, and who started WWII in Europe by invading Poland, and the gulag, and...(I could go on and on but I need to get some sleep).

about 2 months ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:Lessons for today's world (165 comments)

Yep replace paranoia over communism with paranoia over terrorism and we have the NEW USA.

To get to paranoia over communism you have to replace paranoia over nazism.

You think it wrong to call the concern about Nazism "paranoia"? It is similarly wrong to call the concern about Communism "paranoia". Communists killed a whole lot of people. They were equally involved in the invasion of Poland that started WWII in Europe. They killed millions in Ukraine through forced starvation. Name something the Nazis did and you can find the equivalent in Communism (except for developing nice cars like the Volkswagen; the Communists didn't do anything like that.).

about 2 months ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:White Werhner von Braun may be many things... (165 comments)

Of course you need to remember that the US government was infiltrated with communist spies and sympathizers. You only need to look at Alger Hiss, Harry Dexter White, Harry Hopkins and the Rosenbergs.

Good luck getting Communism Deniers to admit this. I would be happy if we can get them to admit that Russian Communism was just as evil as Nazism.

about 2 months ago
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Was America's Top Rocketeer a Communist Spy? The FBI Thought So

readin Re:Lessons for today's world (165 comments)

McCarthyism, Salem witch trials, Inquisitions

One of these things doesn't belong here...

How many people were executed by McCarthyism? Sure, some careers were set back, but the same can be said of how we handle racism, sexism, and laws concerning homsexuality? People lose their jobs for speaking their minds due to fears the government will huge amounts of money to be taken from employers as a result of a lawsuit.

You have modern day examples of witchhunts but you choose one from 60 years ago. Why?

And the witches McCarthy were far more dangerous and worthy of being hunted.

about 2 months ago

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