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Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

wronkiew Re:Wrong (389 comments)

Agreed. The right incentives applied slowly could fix the carbon problem efficiently and with minimal disruption, at least in the United States.

I am already lighting my house with LED bulbs, taking the bus, and turning off the AC. That reduced my annual consumption by probably 20 GJ. But 35 years down the road I want to be able to harness more energy than is available to me today, not less. More computers, faster and farther transportation, 3D printing, stuff I can't even imagine yet, it's all going to take more energy no matter how efficiently we use it.

about 1 month ago

Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

wronkiew Re:Ridiculous recommendations (389 comments)

Yes, I was using the term incorrectly. But the report recommends a significant reduction in per capita energy generation. The USA team shows primary energy at 86 EJ in 2010 which is 280 GJ/person. Then they recommend a reduction to 160 GJ/person by 2050, which is 40% less.

about 1 month ago

Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

wronkiew Re:Wrong (389 comments)

For sure there is waste to be excised from the system. But you are thinking in terms of 5-10 years, not 35. In the past 50 years per-capita energy reductions have coincided strongly with economic recession. Over the longer term humans have tended to massively increase their energy consumption, not reduce it. In the last hundred years, per capita energy usage has increased by about 70%. We could perhaps get by with a 50% decrease in energy intensity through efficiency gains, but that requires economic stagnation and a very pessimistic view of the future.

about 1 month ago

Blueprints For Taming the Climate Crisis

wronkiew Ridiculous recommendations (389 comments)

As much as I agree that we need to reduce carbon emissions, these recommendations are a recipe for disaster. The USA research team, for example, recommends something like a 50% reduction in per capita energy intensity by 2050. That is flat out incompatible with human nature in a healthy economy and society. I neither want my children to live in a world ravaged by carbon pollution, nor do I want them living a life of energy poverty. Any sensible solution would avoid both outcomes by greatly expanding the availability of clean energy generation. The fact that no one seems to be willing to chart a course of clean energy abundance makes me suspicious that other motives are at work here besides saving us from global warming.

The French team starts with the only healthy and clean energy infrastructure in the world and _completely_dismantles_it_. Apparently their current administration has recommended that the country phase out nuclear power by 2050, and the team takes this as gospel, replacing it with biofuels. The projected results are predictably disastrous.

The only team to make reasonable recommendations here was China, but they also had the easiest job since China has the most low-hanging fruit and the only serious build-out of clean energy generation.

about 1 month ago

'Curiosity' Lead Engineer Suggests Printing Humans On Other Planets

wronkiew Why bother printing humans? (323 comments)

If we're going to have to send a machine to do it anyway, why not start with a simpler organism? We can design a single-celled extremophile that would be viable on the target planet, then send a probe there to make them. Then all we have to do is wait a billion years or so for evolution to produce an organism that we could communicate with. Wouldn't the result be essentially the same?

about 3 months ago

Back To the Moon — In Four Years

wronkiew Priorities (292 comments)

Grush's plan is sound as far as back-of-the-envelope estimates go. But there is more to this than money. Roughly half of NASA's HSF budget goes to projects that exist only to spend money. As in, you could cancel the projects, reduce NASA's budget by that amount, and you would still get the same amount of space exploration done. Unfortunately, when the budget crunch comes, those projects are never the first ones cancelled. So I think the key to effective long-term space exploration is to establish incremental and self-sustaining capabilities while resisting cost growth in the pork projects.

So, yeah, someday we can send astronauts to the moon. But first we need to figure out how to send people to orbit for "free". And we need to expose the pork projects for what they are while preventing infrastructure from being built around them. You can help! Don't buy the BS that NASA is going to send humans to Mars for 0.5% of the federal budget. When your Science Committee congress-person comes up for re-election, reward responsible oversight and not "vision".

about 5 months ago

Ask Slashdot: How To Reimagine a Library?

wronkiew Tech is a money pit for schools (231 comments)

Whatever you do, don't blow the school's money on a project that is going to be obsolete in five years. Obsolescence should be matched to your annual budget. For example, if you have $1000 a year to spend on something that will last three years, make sure you can replace it for ~$3000. No annual budget? Just buy books.

about 7 months ago

First Survey of Commercially Viable Asteroids Estimates Only 10 Are Worth Mining

wronkiew Wow! (265 comments)

So the authors looked at the number of asteroids that it would be ***commercially profitable to mine with today's technology***, and they estimate ten? That's fantastic news! Let the asteroid mining begin! I am sure once those ten are mined out, the infrastructure will be in place to bring a thousand more within reach.

about 8 months ago

Technologies Like Google's Self-Driving Car: Destroying Jobs?

wronkiew Re:Job security (736 comments)

The singularity is here. It started a few decades ago, but we are only now noticing it because it is accelerating. Kurzweil forgot to consider variance in the capacity of human minds to adapt to change.

And yes, robot cars are one of the horsemen of the technologocalypse.

1 year,6 hours

In Canada, a Government-Backed Electronic Currency

wronkiew Re:mint shit (248 comments)

Yes, you're right. I forgot about that incident.

about a year ago

In Canada, a Government-Backed Electronic Currency

wronkiew Re:mint shit (248 comments)

You really need to familiarize yourself with how crypto-currencies work. To a certain extent, it is the burden of the issuer to prove that their system is secure, so you can rail on how insecure digital, decentralized, and anonymous currency is all you want. However, consider this. Bitcoins are being used in everyday trade right now. The market cap is > $1B last I checked. The FIRST TIME the core algorithm is hacked to give someone free money, the total value of the system drops to $0. That $1B represents the discounted future value of the currency plus a certain level of speculation (and minus a large chunk of investors who don't understand what they are looking at). It includes our collective best guess as to how secure the system is. That is a lot of confidence in the system. MintChip sounds pretty lame, but it shouldn't taint the efforts of better cryptocurrencies.

about a year ago

Millionaire Plans Mission To Mars In 2018

wronkiew Summary contains a lot of speculation (97 comments)

While they have restricted access to the paper that describes how they are going to do this, what Tito is going to do has already been revealed. Most of the sentences in the summary are wrong. Yes the mission will include humans. No it will not be bringing anything beyond what is required to keep the astronaut(s) alive. Astronaut training? You could fly this mission yourself tomorrow if you had the dedication and the planets were aligned. Which they aren't, and won't be until 2018. Word is that this will be a single launch of a Falcon Heavy with a Dragon capsule. Hardware cost could be less than $200 million.

The mission will fly by Mars but not orbit or land on it. Round trip will be roughly 500 days. Crew activities will involve posting photos of themselves with Mars in the background to Facebook, eating space food, and playing lots and lots of Angry Birds. It is possible that a flyby of Venus could be in the mission plan as well. If and when they return to Earth they will not be able to walk again without significant physical therapy and they will be known as the biggest bad-asses in the Solar System.

about a year and a half ago

President Obama Calls For New 'Space Race' Funding

wronkiew Why back to the Moon? (291 comments)

"Should the U.S. go back to its 'Let's put a man on the moon' ideology, or is the federal government fighting an uphill battle against newly emerging private space expeditions?"

Why is that the only choice? Why can't we do something useful in space, like build power plants or prospect for valuable minerals or, most pressingly, deflect asteroids? Those are worthy goals of a new space race. They are achievable with the resources we have.

Oh, right, because none of those involve sending humans to plant American flags on the rocks and planets of space. None of those provide a pretense for NASA to spend billions building a monster rocket that they can't finish and couldn't afford to fly if they did.

about a year and a half ago

Did Benjamin Franklin Invent Daylight Saving Time?

wronkiew I have had enough of this DST BS (395 comments)

What if we just ended it altogether, like so many other civilized countries already have?

Get the ball rolling, sign this petition:

more than 2 years ago

NYC To Release Teacher Evaluation Data Over Union Protests

wronkiew Re:Won't someone think of the children? (557 comments)

2) Teachers penalized for things not under their control - For example, in a large district like Manhattan, if teachers in the high-crime inner-city schools are evaluated in the same pool as the teachers serving students who live on Park Avenue, those teachers will be at a fundamental disadvantage simply because their job is harder.

What makes you think this would be the case? All the test-based evaluation systems I have heard of measure performance above expectations. If you have two fifth grade teachers at the same school, and one's students perform significantly better at the end of the year, year after year, than the other's, that should be reflected in teacher evaluations. Those promoting the status quo seem to have a very difficult time understanding this aspect.

more than 2 years ago

First-Sale Doctrine Lost Overseas

wronkiew Re:The stupidest thing is (775 comments)

I'm pretty sure logos can be both copyrighted and trademarked. For example, the Coca-Cola logo is a registered trademark which has fallen into the public domain as the copyright term has expired. The current Pepsi logo, on the other hand, is copyrighted.

more than 3 years ago

Factory To Make Biodiesel From Chicken Fat

wronkiew Re:They tried that nearby for a few years (207 comments)

Very sad story. The plant had some odor problems in the beginning, but then it turned into a classic case of mass hysteria. People were calling in complaints on days when the plant wasn't even operating.

more than 3 years ago

PA School Defends Web-Cam Spying As Security Measure, Denies Misuse

wronkiew Re:Alternate theory (364 comments)

I think my theory is more viable because it only requires a few butt-covering lies and not a conspiracy. But I guess we'll see.

more than 4 years ago


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