Member Profile

Total number of comments: 10 (since 2013-11-28 16:37:36)


Showing comments 10 - 1

  • How Trump's Erratic Isolationism is Helping China Rise
    • I heard a rumour, through friends working in the NZ government, that Chinese mandarins are worried that the vacuum left by Trump is sucking China in faster than they think wise - effectively, by no action of their own, creating a situation of imperial over-reach for them.

  • Could a post-Scalia court restore Campaign Finance Sanity & pull back from Plutocracy?
    • I think Obama's course is clear - quickly nominate the best non-partisan jurist he can find, because of these facts;

      Obama will want to nominate someone.
      The Republicans cannot hope for a right-leaning nomination.
      The Democrats ambitions are served by any non right-leaning nomination.
      Prolonged obstruction will harm Republicans even more in upcoming elections and then a Democratic President would nominate not just this one but possibly another left leaning justice.

      Thus I think the odds are pretty good Obama will nominate someone within, oh, two weeks.

      It's in his and the Republicans interest and it will be acceptable to Democrats to have Scalia replaced by a non-right leaning justice.

  • The Cost of Whistleblowing: Being consigned to the Minimum-Wage Underclass
    • I treat minimum-wage workers a little better, too. If I have to complain about something in a store, I keep the worker out of it and focus on solving the problem. I take a bit more care in the restroom not to leave a mess.

      One would think a well mannered person would not need to learn to behave better or be tidy from an experience of being on the receiving end of their poor manners.

      As long as people live such that it requires personal reception of abuse to develop empathy little will change in such places.

  • Dear Press: Stop Enthusing About Habitable Planets until People like Va.'s Cuccinelli Stop Destroying this One
    • It's not absolutely impossible to travel to other stars, we could one day build generation ships and do it.

      But there's no point to that because when you're able to build generation ships and live indefinitely in space between the stars you're removed any need to make the trip.

      At that point you have all the resources and er, space you need for ever.

      I think it's a bit harsh to rag on enthusiastic forward looking folks because one is upset about an economic system that isn't their responsibility ravaging our environment.

      It sounds a little like the mean spirited arguments against the space program from sixty years ago that complained it was wasted wealth that should be spent on feeding people when the technological advances in weather observation alone repaid the investment many times over and was the basis of our dawning awareness of how much we were polluting.

      We didn't know how much damage was being done until we got into orbit and looked down.

  • Nuke'em: Russia's Plan to Nix Meteor Danger
    • The requirements for currently constituted crewed missions are unrelated and often opposed to those which would be needed for any practical mission to intercept and divert a possible Earth bound target.

      A nations experience in remotely controlled and autonomously capable probes operating at a far remove from Earth is much more relevant than an ability to transport people to near orbit.

      And in this the U.S is vastly more capable and successful than Russians have ever been.

      It is a mistake to consider the U.S's current embarrassment over lack of crew rated launch vehicles relevant to a possible need to send one or more quickly built, fast travelling, remotely operated tools to intercept and affect a distant target.

      It would be exactly the sort of misjudged mistake one can often criticise the U.S government of making to waste resources aimed at this problem on the exponentially more expensive manufacturing of crew rated capabilities rather than the more relevant engineering problems of locating, reaching and affecting a relevant threat.

    • The US does not have a current manned spaceflight program,

      Which is relevant to practical efforts to avert collisions exactly how?

      A practical effort to divert a possible collision would not be a crewed mission. A pusher or other practical tool sent to a target would be guided and controlled by the same excellent remote capabilities that the U.S has demonstrated in many missions - the ongoing Cassini, Curiosity and even Voyager probes for example.

      The U.S lack of interest in funding and inability to manage what has been funded for crewed flight does incur a loss of status and embarrassment but the only part of that which might be taken to speak to an inability to contribute to a threat averting mission is the dysfunctional high level decision making of the U.S

      Not it's engineers and technicians, who could be expected to rise to the challenge respectably in an emergency that prompts politicians to stop screwing around.

      That Russian scientists are full of ideas on how to act is no surprise. So are U.S scientists. Your commentary says nothing meaningful about who would be best able to deliver the tools on demand.

  • Questions I ask myself about Connecticut School Shooting
    • In my life I can recall two occassions when I was enraged so much that I literally saw a red haze before my eyes.

      Both in my school years and both times I threw furniture around me and the second time comically attacked a much bigger boy than I who easily brushed me aside.

      I can easily imagine in a place where one could be so angry and have easy access to firearms a similarly enraged person killing.

      Though I don't think such rage survives the time required to plan and travel to enact an attack. That requires a disassociation from considering consequences no healthy person would achieve.

      But both situations would be ameliorated by less access to weapons.

      However the U.S does have a constitutional gaurantee to weapons useful for defence of home and hearth. It seems to me no cultural and legal change is possible without the nation choosing to modify that gaurantee.

  • Companies are Mining your Facebook/ Twitter Info... and Selling it (Beckett)
    • I don't understand why people think this shouldn't happen with Facebook, Twitter et al. I can see why they would wish it didn't, but these are commercial sites operating for profit.

      They are not public services and the constraints on them are commercial, not social contracts.

      If people don't like it, well, don't use them.

      But for some reason today there seems to be an expectation that the facilities of social media should be available on terms as if they were public infrastructure.

      They aren't. Would people like them to be?

  • Dear Mr. Romney: Palestinians are Poor Because You Stole from them and Kept them Stateless
    • a privileged white man worth a quarter of a billion dollars

      That phrase, "person worth x dollars" has always bugged me.

      A person may have x dollars, but are they worth what they have? It seems to be a phrase designed to reassure everyone that peoples station in life is deserved - you are what you have and it'a all that you're worth, obviously validating the wealthy.

  • Jordan Plans Green Star Trek Theme Park
    • King Abdallah needs to move his country more rapidly toward being a parliamentary democracy with full legal rights and liberties for all citizens, of the sort characteristic of the United Federation of Planets in the Star Trek universe.

      I think you are mistaken in your characterisation of Star Trek.

      What was routinely portrayed on TV was much more akin to a fascist society. Election of authority was never depicted.

      All authority exercised was always by military commanders. Very occassionaly people with civilian sounding titles (President, Governor) were present but always were instructed by Star Fleet authority. Civilian authority was generally portrayed as subservient to military command.

      Without money people still had access to enormous resources but only at the behest of meaning Star Fleet controlling the resources.

      You may remember the continual storylines of researchers seeking Star Flett aid and permission to go about their business. On what basis do you imagine people were given resources to expend?

      Gene Roddenberry famously said that Star Trek was obviously not about a future society, not an attempt to predict the 23rd Centruy but about current society. It was storiers about the 20th Century in an environment that offered opportunities for reflection.

      I think the increasing presence and authority of the military over the decades of it's production reflected U.S society qwuite accurately.

Showing comments 10 - 1