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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:When 9 votes are required to send it ... (1087 comments)

These delusions indicate that you need to go back on your medications.

Accusing people who disagree with you politically of mental illness is another hallmark of totalitarians, fascists, and communists. Thanks for going on demonstrating who you really are.

2 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:Flip Argument (1087 comments)

A politically motivated public trial is exactly what grand juries are supposed to prevent, because dragging citizens through the court because the mob wants to see blood or some politician wants to make a name for himself is not justice. People like you is why we have a grand jury system in the first place. I'm glad it's working as intended.

2 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:When 9 votes are required to send it ... (1087 comments)

Gotta love democracy, eh!! Forcing people who disagree with you to do what you feel is right just warms the cockles of your heart...

No, I oppose it. Fascists like you favor it.

2 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:When 9 votes are required to send it ... (1087 comments)

I assert that most people want the government to improve society.

Well, yes, they do; they want lots of non-sensical things. A large part want there to be an invisible omnipotent spirit that watches them every minute of the day too. Those kinds of delusions are the reason why nations repeatedly deteriorate into fascism, theocracy, or communism.

The error isn't in wanting a better world--everybody does that--the error is in how you people go about it, usually by trying to force other people to do things for you.

2 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:Flip Argument (1087 comments)

I completely agree. If it had been up to the prosecutor, this wouldn't even have gone to the grand jury. But because a lynch mob was calling for blood the prosecutor took it to a grand jury to cover his ass. There simply is no legal case against Wilson. The prosecutor knows that and the grand jury confirmed it. If this had gone to court, it would have ended in an acquittal. So what exactly is it you want?

2 days ago
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Researchers Say the Tech Worker Shortage Doesn't Really Exist

silfen Re:The Same Game (429 comments)

But if we shut down undoucmented workers field labor would receive far higher wages and then those jobs might be much more attractive for American workers.

It would make make it more expensive to farm in the US, which means we'd lose farming jobs to countries where farm labor is cheaper and import their products. If you then impose import duties, the US farm labor would get paid more, but food prices in the US would go up (at the same time, you'd also encourage automation and a shift to less labor intensive crops, so you probably still lose lots of jobs).

Since it's the poorest who pay the highest percentage of their income on food, by combining the two policies, you have accomplished nothing more than to institute a regressive tax and eliminate jobs.

2 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:When 9 votes are required to send it ... (1087 comments)

if there were more blacks on the grand jury, and that grand jury had voted not to send the case to trial, then the appearance of voting along racial lines would have been minimized.

You do not eliminate racism by catering to it and corrupting the jury selection process: doing so would neither be just nor effective.

Even if an all-black jury would have decided not to indict, progressives would have just argued that that is evidence of how stacked "the system" is against blacks and how much the jury members were victims of "Internalized racism".

Remember: perception is reality.

No, perception is not reality. Perception may have political consequences, but the actual situation is independent of your perception of it. Furthermore, the perception you would be creating via tinkering with the racial makeup of juries would have far worse consequences.

Well, they do seem to be great ideas (kinda like Communism).

They only "seem to be great ideas" because you already start with the premise that it's the job of government to attempt to improve society, as opposed to protecting people's rights and liberties. That is "eugenics and forced sterilizations" would have been wrong even if they had achieved what they were supposed to achieve.

2 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:This issue makes smart people go dumb. (1087 comments)

The implicit assumption is in all this is that the police are justified in using lethal force anytime a suspect is in proximity to a (suspected) firearm and there is any suspicion that the firearm, in an officer's judgement, might be used against him.

That's not an assumption, it's pretty much what the rules are.

This gives a lot of leeway to the police with the concomitant potential for abuse.

Police have little reason to "abuse" this leeway; shooting unarmed civilians has no benefits and lots of unpleasant consequences even if you don't get indicted for murder.

In other words, just because the grand jury decided there was no criminal intent, does that imply that the officer competently handled the situation such that there was no alternate but to use lethal force?

I'm sure someone with better people skills could have handled the situation better and without killing. But someone with better people skills has better job options than to become a police officer in Ferguson, or anywhere else.

So, if you encounter a police officer, assume for your own safety that he is an inexperienced, not too bright, and scared man with a license to kill, and act accordingly. Don't point weapons at him, don't argue, don't threaten him, and don't make jokes. It's not an ideal world, but it's the world we live in.

3 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:Flip Argument (1087 comments)

The decision of the grand jury is not the final word in this case, it only means that these charges will not be going any further.

Actually, it is the final word in this case: no grand jury indictment, no case. That is pretty the whole point of grand juries: to protect people from politically motivated persecution by prosecutors.

Maybe the federal government will bring a civil rights case, but that seems even less likely to succeed.

3 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:Flip Argument (1087 comments)

Possibility is not enough to indict. In order to indict, a grand jury needs to find probable cause. That's because being indicted for murder is already a rather large disruption of someone's life.

3 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:When 9 votes are required to send it ... (1087 comments)

Absolutely not. You (and silfen) did not pay attention to what I wrote, specifically the parts about "possible" and "ward against".

Oh, yes, we did pay attention to what you said. You delude yourself into thinking that your beliefs about race are beneficial and just, but in the end, you're of the same political persuasion as the people who brought us segregation, eugenics, and forced sterilizations.

3 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:When 9 votes are required to send it ... (1087 comments)

Actually, no I'm not. But the appearance of racial voting that would not be there in a more equally mixed grand jury.

The grand jury was seated in a fair and representative way. And based on all publicly available evidence, there is no way it could have rationally reached a different conclusion from the one it reached.

"The appearance of racial voting" is in your head because you're a racist. And because you're a racist you're demanding that the grand jury be seated based on racial composition.

3 days ago
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Officer Not Charged In Michael Brown Shooting

silfen Re:When 9 votes are required to send it ... (1087 comments)

There should have been more blacks on the grand Jury to ward against that...

Grand jury selection is (usually) random, and hence statistically representative of the community. Furthermore, you're presuming that this is a racial issue, that both the black and the white jurors disregarded their job and instead just voted based on their political convictions. Is there any evidence to support such an accusation?

3 days ago
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Alva Noe: Don't Worry About the Singularity, We Can't Even Copy an Amoeba

silfen amoebas are hard (446 comments)

The level of intelligence of amoebas is hard to reach: they have to survive in the real world.

AI has therefore set its standards considerably lower: matching the level of intelligence of Berkeley philosophers and social scientists. Here is an example, indistinguishable from its human counterparts:

http://www.elsewhere.org/journ...

4 days ago
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How "Big Ideas" Are Actually Hurting International Development

silfen big ideas also hurt national development (91 comments)

People are always looking for quick fixes and silver bullets, preferably centrally administered and implemented in a few years. They don't work for international development, but they also don't work in national politics.

The best way of achieving prosperity and development is to ensure that people are free to make their own choices, not to dump government aid or programs on them.

4 days ago
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In a Self-Driving Future, We May Not Even Want To Own Cars

silfen city-centric view (453 comments)

Within cities, car sharing works great. Outside of cities and for trips that are several hours long, a "car" becomes a kind of living room, something people like to customize and feel comfortable in for long periods of time. Car sharing doesn't work so well in that environment. And I see much more potential for self-driving cars on long distance trips than for city driving.

4 days ago
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Profanity-Laced Academic Paper Exposes Scam Journal

silfen so what? (134 comments)

There are sham politicians, sham journalists, sham non-open-access-journals, sham universities, sham scientists, even sham-poo. Why shouldn't there be sham-open-access-journals? What are these people trying to prove?

5 days ago
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Linux On a Motorola 68000 Solder-less Breadboard

silfen next... (147 comments)

The 68008 was discontinued 20 years ago, so this isn't really all that useful even as an educational exercise. Why not pick a current breadboardable, cheap microprocessor and get Linux to run on that? That way, other people can benefit.

5 days ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

silfen Re:I'm quite surprised it wasn't (519 comments)

I think this is something that isn't particularly well appreciated - a 32-W RTG does not exist.

You're missing the point. Obviously, it doesn't exist. Obviously, they didn't put one in because doing so would have been more expensive than putting in solar.

I was responding to an article that it is technically infeasible in principle to use RTGs on these kinds of missions, and that's just wrong. Technically, RTGs are superior to solar in most applications outside the orbit of earth. And with an RTG, Philae would have been able to return orders of magnitude more useful data; its design was dominated by its limited power system. And even at current RTG costs, it probably would have been cheaper to put one on there instead of sending half a dozen separate missions to gather the same data.

And the second question to ask is why RTGs are so expensive. They are actually very simple to construct. The major hurdle for producing it is the scarcity of Pu 238. Why is it scarce? Basically because the US has been getting out of nuclear technology due to irrational fears of nuclear power.

RTGs and nuclear power are essential for interplanetary missions; if we're not willing to invest in the terrestrial infrastructure to create them, we might as well just scrap our space program altogether.

about a week ago
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What Would Have Happened If Philae Were Nuclear Powered?

silfen Re:I'm quite surprised it wasn't (519 comments)

The entire system is designed to operate in peak loads much of the time with long idle periods between, you can't downsize the battery that much.

I told you what the Philae lander was designed for: 1000Wh battery discharging over 60h, plus a 140W battery, plus a 32W solar panel to charge the battery. Those are the "peak loads".

And RTGs are heavy compared to their output in the inner solar system.

Philae is designed to operate at 3AU. I gave you the numbers, go look at them instead of waving your hands.

And no, it's not a case of "the cost part itself is largely due to politics", it's that plutonium-238 is simply expensive, period.

Pu 238 isn't "simply expensive", it's expensive because its production is limited by choice. If we decided to power large numbers of probes and devices using RTGs, it would cease to be expensive.

you're talking the need for extreme safety protocols during the process, and proper security. None of that is "politics", it's simply the way it is plus very rational handling procedures.

No, it is irrational fear and unscientific fear mongering, without taking facts into account. You demonstrate the mindset behind that quite well: I gave you numbers and you respond in vague generalities.

about a week ago

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