Jay

Jay

  • Commented on Generation Z
    I've seen several startups dissolve into acrimony. The human problems tend to get worse with time, and it gets worse faster when the project isn't going well. A hypothetical space exploration mission might be rather similar, except with less room...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Neither side will win many converts with a tactic of yelling in their face calling them stupid. I find that when I call one party useless and the other horrifying, hardly any Americans disagree. They just disagree about which is...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    You seem young. Go. Give all that a try. The young are full of enthusiasm and the middle-aged are full of disappointment, but you'll never really understand why until you personally get the idealism beaten out of you. When you...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Every four years I get to choose between the party that consistently disappoints me and the party that scares the fuck out of me. I suppose, in some technical sense, this can be considered democracy....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    My parents were baby boomers. In a lot of ways they were way, way richer than my generation....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    I've had some brief correspondence with Greer, and I had a similar experience. When I questioned some of his baseline assumptions (in my case, the whole polytheism thing), he couldn't really explain them. Some of his history is very questionable....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Yog-Sothoth akbar! I think you have a few too many angles in your Kaaba....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    The situation isn't quite analogous, since helium is at a more or less steady state in the atmosphere. Natural alpha emitters on Earth and solar emissions provide a reasonably constant supply of helium. After a little research, you do seem...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    IIRC, atmospheric methane degrades to CO2. Methane is lighter, per molecule, than air. I'm not sure how much of it oxidizes in the atmosphere, compared to the quantity that just drifts out into space....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Just a heads up: In the Arctic, the clathrate gun started firing around 2008. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/11/131125172113.htm Exactly how significant it is in global warming terms is not entirely clear. Also, methane has a much lower lifetime in the atmosphere (14 year...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Within another single handful of years the main obstacle facing solar won't be cost-competition with other energy sources Let's just say that reasonable people disagree in their estimates of how scalable solar PV will prove to be, and leave it...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Money isn't a resource, per se. It's a political system that serves as a proxy for various resources, but does so imperfectly and has other functions....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Genetic engineering has a long latency period. It will be a few generations, at least, before anything much comes of it. The first manifestations are likely to be a cohort of severely messed-up kids, which may be enough to discredit...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Belief systems tend to mutate too rapidly for evolution to really work. The underlying traits that would make a person sustain those belief systems (credibility, small-community orientation, tribalism, &c) are more likely to spread than any particular combination of beliefs....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Your statement is true if the species is at the hard limit of its environmental carrying capacity, and that carrying capacity is stable. But the species don't decide to limit their reproduction; their population is constrained by the available resources...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Check out the world population graph I linked to at #123, and remember that official estimates of this sort of thing are almost always biased toward complacency....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    We need about 3000 humans in our population to avoid slow death by inbreeding, which is enough that they'll split into various tribes. Then we get wars reducing some tribes to extinction and schisms when other tribes get bigger than...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    In the short run, population might stabilize for a while. In the long run, evolution is a numbers game, and spamming the planet with copies of yourself is a strategy that tends to dominate over time....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Too late. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_population...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Not everybody gets much benefit from education, and fewer get much benefit from self-education. Such is life....
  • Commented on Generation Z
    I was using an example; around here "reproductive freedom" is a big deal. There are other examples, which would probably vary considerably by area, but most of them would come down to having far less right to use energy and...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Profit is not a legitimate objective. This is a specific instance of Goodhart's law: "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure." The fact that people are rewarded for generating profit leads inevitably to people...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    They that can give up essential liberty to purchase Green economy, deserve neither and lose both. Any sustainable economy would have a much circumscribed idea of liberty compared to what we're used to. For starters, sustainability implies zero population growth,...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Maintaining one's serfs was part of doing business in that era. That depends on the population dynamics. In the middle ages in Europe, there were usually plenty of the desperate poor. A slave's subsistence was no cheaper than a market...
  • Commented on "Write me something fresh and new, but make it just like the last one"
    Oddly, these women all weigh 110 lbs soaking wet, but each is capable of manhandling three Navy SEALs at once....
  • Commented on "Write me something fresh and new, but make it just like the last one"
    The Laundry is one of those series where the antagonists pretty much have to carry the story. It reminds my of Yahtzee Croshaw's comment that Batman is the least interesting character in anything he's in....
  • Commented on "Write me something fresh and new, but make it just like the last one"
    Not to mention Ghostbusters, or Lovecraft (Dreams in the Witch House)....
  • Commented on Heartbleed note
    The webcomic XKCD has a simple explanation of the heartbleed bug, for anyone interested: http://xkcd.com/1354/...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Elimination of daytime peak will greatly simplify the life of planners in power companies. Except that daytime peak comes back whenever it gets cloudy....
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Here in Florida we have a couple of tropical storms make landfall per year, with a serious hurricane every 5-10 years. It's a real deterrent to putting expensive stuff on your roof....
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