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Speed Cameras In Chicago Earn $50M Less Than Expected

stoploss Re:a better idea (369 comments)

Or teach them to put covers on speed camera lenses...

You need to expand your concept of civil disobedience

13 hours ago
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Google Announces Motorola-Made Nexus 6 and HTC-Made Nexus 9

stoploss The Nexus 9 is a major disappointment (201 comments)

I was eagerly anticipating the Nexus 9. However, when I read the Google product page I was very disappointed.

For $400, I expected it to have 3+ GB of RAM and more than 16 GB of storage. What kind of specs are those? Is this 2012? Hell, I would have been willing to pay even *more* for a Nexus 9 if it only had decent specs, but alas, that's not an option.

Guess I will have to wait for a viable 64-bit Android tablet. Maybe next year.

about a week ago
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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

stoploss Re:To GMO or not to GMO? (82 comments)

Here you go: some people are applying the precautionary principle due to concerns about potentially as-yet undefined health concerns from consuming GMO foods. "Non-GMO glucose", while an imprecise term, putatively means the glucose was sourced/refined from non-GMO stock materials and thus would be unlikely to have any of the possible contamination they wish to avoid.

Do try to keep up.

about a week ago
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Lockheed Claims Breakthrough On Fusion Energy Project

stoploss Re:It is small, not sure it consumes less than 100 (564 comments)

I have a 1MW block of concrete you'll be interested in seeing;

Actually, I would be interested in seeing you input 1MW into a block of concrete. Got a youtube link?

In the meantime, ob. fun bideos

E=MC2
There is far far far more than a megawatt of energy in a block of concrete already.

Oh for the ironic, ignominious pedantry fail.

about a week ago
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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

stoploss Re:To GMO or not to GMO? (82 comments)

Absolutely true. The Agent Orange used in Vietnam was approximately 99.5% pure herbicide. Of course, that remaining 0.5% was TCDD...

For example, I'm convinced that in the future people will be revolted thinking about the pharmaceuticals and metabolites we currently dump out untreated from our wastewater treatment plants (and thus the people downstream from us consume).

about a week ago
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Companies Genetically Engineer Spider Silk

stoploss Re:To GMO or not to GMO? (82 comments)

Someone gave me one of those organic Kind Bars the other day that listed 'non-GMO glucose' as an ingredient. "Thank God!" I thought. I hate it when my C6H12O6 has it's genome altered! And to think, they say the opposition to genetic engineering is just ignorance and marketing.

Yes, and the polio vaccine that had SV40 contamination was pure to the limits of detection at the time (i.e. they had no idea it included SV40 or that SV40 was a threat).

If the vaccine batches had been labeled "non-green monkey serum" as appropriate then that would have correlated with a lack of the adverse outcomes caused by SV40 contamination that the people who were exposed to the other vaccine lots were exposed to.

Your attempt at satire is puerile. In fact, in case you couldn't follow the logic I will restate the point in small words.

1. Nothing is completely pure.
2. Some contaminants do bad things to people, even at levels we can't measure today.
3. Sometimes it takes decades before these problems are found by scientists. By then the damage is done.

But eat the kind bar, or not. I don't care.

about a week ago
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Who's In Charge During the Ebola Crisis?

stoploss Re:No the constitution is fine.. (279 comments)

"general welfare" as part of the spending power section is all that congress
needs to craft well considered laws.

Not true. The historical record very clearly shows that the "general welfare" clause was a restrictive clause, not a permissive one.

This is the only sane interpretation; otherwise, the entire Constitution is subsumed by this this one clause and the Constitution then becomes, "Fuck it all, guys, do whatever you want."

Which, of course, is what happened. I dislike having a written constitution for this very reason: it's insulting to my intelligence for the Supremes to take the verbiage of this document and twist it around to rubber stamp whatever the feds have decided to do anyway.

Because the feds cannot be restrained—they are going to do whatever they want regardless—I'd prefer they not lie and tell me that this is what the founders intended. I vastly prefer the straight-up honesty of an unwritten constitution followed by, "Pray I don't alter it any further..."

about a week ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

stoploss Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (193 comments)

This is all very reasonable and seems like a good critique to put forth in the context of debating Republicans. I certainly hadn't noticed this contrast before you pointed it out.

I still assert that the meme that claims Eisenhower or Reagan would be considered Democrats today is demonstrably false. It is apt, of course, to note how the ratchet of an increasingly authoritarian federal government has turned, particularly after the election of Woodrow Wilson. Therefore, I would concur that Eisenhower (and potentially even Reagan) might not be considered electable today given their vision of a more limited role for the federal government.

Not even the GOP wants federalism anymore.

The progressives' vision has shifted the Overton window on that. No one can be elected on a platform calling for the repeal of the present incarnation of Johnson's Great Society or FDR's New Deal programs, for example. So, from that perspective, all GOP presidents have been Democrat, even at the time when they were elected. It's just yet another example why the meme is absurd.

Where the Republicans and Democrats really clash is on the social spectrum. Both parties wield the federal government as a cudgel against freedom, but they differ in which rights they wish to suppress. And unless people can start pointing to how Eisenhower/Reagan were pro choice, gay rights, etc advocates and the GOP has shifted rightward from that... it's obvious the meme just doesn't work.

about a week ago
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First Man To Walk In Space Reveals How Mission Nearly Ended In Disaster

stoploss Re:Mars one? (122 comments)

Though it would be interesting to see how long a Bear would take to open a CCCP'd space capsule.

I bet these bears would be quite adept and preconditioned to try it.

about a week ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

stoploss Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (193 comments)

You raise better, more coherent points than sjames did.

However, it occurs to me that Washington and Jefferson are still venerated across the political spectrum despite being unelectable today. Mostly because of their status as slaveholders, and in our modern society we see that past sins of certain kinds are rarely forgiven.

I guess I hadn't noticed that Democrats don't hold up their historical figures as champions of their perspective. Not too many are still fond of LBJ, I take it, despite holding dear to his legacy of massive expansion of the welfare state.

I will pay closer attention to this party idiosyncrasy in the future.

about two weeks ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

stoploss Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (193 comments)

I see you have decided to recuse yourself from rational debate. Your fallacy is... strawman!

So sorry, but we do have some lovely parting gifts for you, though.

about two weeks ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

stoploss Re:Lame way to run (254 comments)

I was contrasting doping as an intrinsic activity (done with one's own body) as opposed to "people using bench-shirts and other individuals", which you called out as rendering a record "pointless" because they couldn't accomplish it themselves. Obviously, doping allows one to accomplish something with one's own body.

Biological advantages are incredibly pertinent when talking about world records. You can't just hand-wave them away by saying an Olympic shot-putter wouldn't do well in a marathon. Was the shot-putter a prospect for holding a world record in the marathon or in shot put? That is to say, your point would only be logically consistent if there was only one single world record for "sports". As in, one person was nominated champion of all athletics. Since that is not the case, biological advantages certainly come into play as they benefit particular individuals in particular sports.

My point is that there is always inherent unfairness in sports and it seems pointless to try to eliminate it. I even gave an example where the attempt to equalize the competitors has resulted in unethical positions being taken by sports authorities.

I also am going to call out your rejection of records for certain tactics in competition: it's arbitrary. I agree with you that it's lame to have people running in front of you to draft behind, but no one seems to think that having a higher intrinsic lactate threshold or longer legs is "unfair" or resulting in a "fabricated record". Hell, or "being male" as the world sporting associations have all tacitly admitted is such an advantage that being female needs to be a protected class. If we're going to allow that distinction as an "unfair advantage", then where do we draw the line?

Personally, I would suggest just recording all the objective data points and allow everyone to determine who was the world record holder based on their own criteria. Are you the world record holder in the non-amphetamine doping, non-bird-leg genetic haplogroup, male, 175–180 cm tall, under 35 age class for a marathon run on a course that ended more than 50% of the distance from the starting point on a day where it was between 15 and 20 C? Okay, what about amphetamine-using females in the 18–23 age group who ran on a circuit course with more than 400m elevation delta?

It's not like we can't handle that kind of data parsing these days via interactive apps.

about two weeks ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

stoploss Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (193 comments)

We aren't going to agree about this, because you are insistent upon conflating the social policy spectrum with the economic policy spectrum when they are orthogonal.

Consider gay rights. A "few" years ago, support for gay rights was reserved for the likes of anarchists like Emma Goldman. Now, the cultural/legal shift is all over but the whining. The Democrats were on the leftist/liberal aspect of this. So, despite your claim that there is no "left" in this country, there is indeed a true social "left" as demonstrated by this cultural revolution.

Unless you are shilling for one of the two main particular political parties, why not present objectively true statements? Here, I'll help you out: Eisenhower came into office when the top marginal tax bracket had a tax rate of 92%. He presided over having that lowered to a 91% rate... and helped to lower the deficit while still embarking on a crash program to expand our nuclear weapons program. Subsequently, LBJ lowered the top tax rate from that 91% to 77%. Who looks more Republican now?

Oh, wait, I only took a single fact out of context, and we didn't discuss LBJ's mammoth "Great Society" social programs (economic leftist) and warmongering (is "being from Texas" a pole on the warmongering political spectrum?)

Furthermore, to take your cherry-picked choice of "universal healthcare", you should probably provide a cite indicating that Eisenhower supported such a social program because apparently 100% of modern Democrats support this. I think you'll face an uphill battle trying to paint him as a Democrat given this excerpt from his message to Congress: "For most Americans, insurance--private, voluntary insurance-provides a sound and effective method of meeting unexpected hazards which may be beyond the capacity of the individual to bear. [...] I recommend, consequently, the establishment of a Federal health reinsurance service to encourage private health insurance organizations in offering broader benefits to insured individuals and families and coverage to more people."

My point is to illustrate that the economic and social policy spectra are indeed orthogonal, that the Overton Window shifts, and therefore qualitative comparison statements like yours are misleading and/or disingenuous unless qualified to the point of being objective comparisons of fact. Otherwise, I could claim that all modern GOP presidents, including GWB, were basically Democrats because they are all deficit-spending Keynesians as opposed to the GOP of the pre-FDR era. Or that all modern Democratic presidents are basically Republican because they don't support slavery. Such a debate devolves to cherry-picking comparison points—typically outside of historical context—and it is absurd.

about two weeks ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

stoploss Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (193 comments)

I think this "former GOP president would now be considered a modern Democrat" meme (usually Eisenhower or Reagan) is either deliberately disingenuous or ill-informed.

Got a lot of calls from modern Democrats for crash nuclear weapons program expansions? Maybe these calls are from the pro-life wing of the Democratic party that's in favor of government deregulation and privatization.

The assertion made by this meme isn't any more apt than trying to claim all modern Democratic presidents could be mistaken for Republicans because the Democrats were on the wrong side of history by being the pro-slavery party while the Republicans made abolition a key plank.

Both parties have changed significantly over the past 100 years, and not for the better.

about two weeks ago
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Experts Decry Randomized Ebola Treatment Trials As Unethical, Impractical

stoploss Re:Our PC society will be our demise! (193 comments)

And yet from today's perspective, Eisenhower could be mistaken for a Democrat.

And yet from a right / left linear political description, Hitler and Stalin were polar opposites.

You don't necessarily have to subscribe to the Political Compass approach, but it's patently obvious that the social and economic spectrums of politics are orthogonal. Anyone who tries to persuade to believe only the left/right alternatives exist is probably running for office in a first past the post voting system.

Both modern Democrats and modern Republicans are highly in favor of the authoritarian, interventionalist state. Federalism used to be a differentiating factor, but no longer.

about two weeks ago
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What Will It Take To Run a 2-Hour Marathon?

stoploss Re:Lame way to run (254 comments)

So, I take it you're in favor of doping because that's an individual, intrinsic activity.

Otherwise, where do you draw the line? Biology is inherently unfair. The Kenyans who keep setting these records have a genetic advantage (they are from a particular tribe), and males have such an advantage over females in many sports that natural females whose unaltered bodies hypersecrete testosterone are forced to undergo surgery/hormone therapy in order to become "female enough" to be allowed to compete. Yes, forcing dangerous medical interventions upon healthy individuals in the name of righteousness.

At some point, these idealists have become twisted, unethical Torquemadas, a parody of themselves wherein at least some of the dopers are on better moral ground than they are.

about two weeks ago
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Antiperspirants Could Contribute to Particulate Pollution

stoploss This study is irrelevant (70 comments)

The world can burn if it comes down to a choice between that and my antiperspirant.

And, yes, I'm aware of the distinction between an antiperspirant and wholly inadequate deodorant-only.

about two weeks ago
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Fusion Reactor Concept Could Be Cheaper Than Coal

stoploss Re:Cold Fusion News (315 comments)

Experimental results trump theory.

True. But rigged demos do NOT trump theory. Call me when Rossi allows third parties to completely fabricate the experimental apparatus rather than being forced to submit to using his black box.

Otherwise, Occam says this is probably just another Tilley Electric Vehicle. I predict "mechanical breakdowns" will occur any time the Rossi black boxes are forced to operate under controlled observation long enough for their concealed power supplies to become exhausted. Just like the Tilley vehicle did when it was demoed on the race track.

Beware any "inventor" who claims patent protection is insufficient and he must rely on secrets/black boxes instead.

about two weeks ago
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Sharp Developing LCD Screens In Almost Any Shape

stoploss Don't bother RTFA (60 comments)

Yes, I know, who RTFA around here anyway? Well, I was intrigued by the concept so I wanted to see some images of products, prototypes, mockups... hell, I would have even settled for scammy kickstarter-type "product renderings".

Instead, it's just a wall of text. That wall of text is useless without pictures.

about two weeks ago
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Complain About Comcast, Get Fired From Your Job

stoploss Re:Not the first amendment. (742 comments)

Your mistake is believing that your rights flow from the government, rather than the Bill of Rights specifically stipulating things the government cannot do.

Your inverted perspective is precisely the reason many founders were against the Bill of Rights: they feared that people would eventually lose sight of the fact that the Constitution whitelists powers for the government, rather than whitelisting rights for the People.

Their point was since the Constitution stipulates powers for the government, and, for example, restricting freedom of speech was not an enumerated power, it is obvious that the government has no power to restrict freedom of speech. Thus, the Bill of Rights is superfluous because we, the People, already naturally had these (and many other) rights.

The Constitution has no enumerated power that allows the government to "enable companies to exist in the first place". We already had the right to form companies, build houses, live, work, and pursue happiness without requiring the blessing and forbearance of the federal government. You know, because they have no power over any of that (c.f. the reminders given by Amendments IX and X).

Before you knee-jerk, take note of the fact that I have not argued in favor of companies restricting employee speech. Rather, I take issue with your dangerously flawed understanding of our rights.

about two weeks ago

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