QuickReaction, Sunday-1

Real Life Tractor beam might sort particles: Typical of the get-your-attention headline this article details, relative to the headline, a rather minor accomplishment, but then actually indicates the value of the discovery for practical applications (not towing things). Is this the way science advances have to be sold? To some gullible part of the public will they think this will scale up?

Didn’t I say so: So someone Forbes will publish sees the potential of driverless cars as well. This is an achievable technology, somewhat akin to going to the moon, i.e. no major breakthrus required. BUT, it will take work and since cars drive on public roads governed by laws it takes government. And the cars have to be tied to standards and also somewhat protected against liability (the first time one crashes the public will has a hissy fit despite the fact that drivers crash cars and kill people all the time). It’s still a fragile technology that needs encouragement. I hope more (even somewhat conservative) organizations will jump on this bandwagon. The cost-benefit analysis the article provides is interesting. I looked at more from opportunity POV than cost-savings, but I should have counted that. So even a supporter, like Forbes, still doesn’t look (fully) at the opportunity side. Big advances in automation now are the best bet for continuing U.S. economic prosperity, even though advances in robotics will exacerbate the unemployment problem.

Facts won’t matter: I’m amazed that Forbes would even publish an article that Obama has been the lowest spending president since Eisenhower, but there is no way the Repugs would believe this and after the drumbeat of lies on FauxNews, with the regular media also reporting the various “crisis” the public would simply disbelieve this article and assume it’s liberal lies – come on, folks, Steve Forbes is a shill for Obama, think again.

Insightful view of Facebook: An individual, to Facebook, is the sum of their interactions with the site — can never be more. You are a collection of data, beginning as an empty vessel when you sign up, and gradually growing in complexity and depth. Make an Impact of Wired World article from this.

Blame the buyers: This is a typical article that suggests it wasn’t the duplicity of Wall Street selling known toxic assets as it was the stupidity of the buyers to buy it. Well, sorta. We keep ignoring the role of one Alan Greenspan and the wrong-headed monetarist policies. These guys think that cheap money stimulates the economy (ha!, do you guys remember the Depression). What cheap money does is squeeze people who want to make a reasonable return with conservative investments, like pension fund managers or old-farts. Cheap money forces these people to consider the shit investments and they did, in droves. Yep, Goldman Sachs spun gold out of excrement, but without desperate buyers they might have stuck with “if it looks too good to be true, it is” So, prosecute the banks. A whole bunch of individual bankers should be contributing billions to Geithner’s retirement fund since he stopped Obama from going after some scalps.

Lifespan explained by power law? An interesting article that suggests on broad scale that longevity of critters and plants is explained by power law of size. The scientist declaring this conclusion is a physicist and thus has been criticized and discounted by the biologists, so the dispute over the finding is as interesting as the finding itself. This same situation was presented recently when a real-known climate skeptic recanted after redoing his data, again a physicist contradicting the specialists but also listening to them and adjusting. Science finds a way, doesn’t it. Too bad religion and Repugs stick to falsehoods even once proven wrong.

New space arms race: It’s clear we’re continuing to develop space interceptors. This might apply to the mouse-that-roared (North Korea’s comedy leader) in case they actually build a rocket, but more likely it’s aimed at the growing battery of spy satellites, esp. when Iran gets into the act.

Sarah Palin affirms Repugs are out of touch: Denial and more denial. Defending the republic by declaring that a raped woman has to carry the baby to term so it can be evidence. The Repug war on women continues unabated. Ryan is off on his Randian nonsense again. But now the vote rigging is going to save the day so that the Repugs can create apartheid in this country and thereby maintain power from a minority position. Good thing it’s still a few more seconds until the news is preoccupied by 2014 elections.

Davos crowd is too optimistic: Without that much good news and especially good fundamental the oh-so-fashionable Davos crowd as declared the world economy to be hunky-dory, until the next manufactured crisis that is, of course. Admittedly signs are more promising now than last year but to assume sanity has been restored with a few temporary rollbacks of the austerity bandwagon is too optimistic. Ryan wants to be speaker and will find a way to manufacture a deficit crisis in the U.S. when in fact there isn’t one (won’t the Repugs be embarrassed when Obama 2.0 balances the budget, the second Democrat to do so, but it won’t matter). Plus the gigantic unemployment in Spain and other sunny EU countries is going to continue to haunt Europe. And just wait until Bibi starts the war with Iran. Sorry fellows, this world is filled with more things that can go wrong than go right.

Yet another attempt to wrap prudery in religion: I’m really sick of all these business owners who operate in public, with public protection, and under public laws, hiring workers from the general public then turning around, out of prudery and greed, and trying to deny their workers health care on the flimsy excuse of religion. Since when did religion get elevated to controlling public policy? Oh yes, forgot, since Reagan and the Repug empowered the Taliban religinuts in this country.

Oh good, yet another Israeli tries to commit the U.S. to starting war with Iran: So Israel finally admits what anyone knows, that their military does not have the capability to take out Iran’s nukes, so naturally they talk about how we can do it, with the obvious implication that because we can we must. Didn’t Iraq and Afghanistan prove anything – the U.S. can no more “surgically” take out Iran’s program than Israel can, but Israel is prepared to sacrifice any number of U.S. lives and funds just so Israel can maintain its own nuclear superiority. Will we be stupid enough to fall for this?

Virginia certainly seems to have the most loonies now: Idiots like this clown are bad enough when you just encounter one at a party with the Fed conspiracy notions, but that such an idiot actually holds political office tells you all you need to know about the sad state of the state of Virginia. And I just thought all the liberatarian nuts were in Arizona and Utah. Fortunately these guys are mostly just entertainment, but is idiot can vote on other things. Do Repugs think government is just grade school elections? Can we have some adults with IQs higher than room temperature, please!

Stupid nutrition fad exposed: At least someone else can see how silly many of the nutrition fads are, in this case gluten-free diets (I wonder how many of those doing it even know what gluten is, or the precursors, gliadin and glutenin, or have any clue this is a protein, not a carb. With billions to be made peddling disinformation books and silly food products no wonder bogus nutrition information is all over the place. While it’s one thing that Americans know little science or economics or civics they should at least try to learn something, real and serious, about what they put in their mouth instead of listening to silly celebrity gossip.

About dmill96

old fat (but now getting trim and fit) guy, who used to create software in Silicon Valley (almost before it was called that), who used to go backpacking and bicycling and cross-country skiing and now geodashes, drives AWD in Wyoming, takes pictures, and writes long blog posts and does xizquvjyk.
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