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Altherion

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    Altherion

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  1. Altherion

    US politics - When the Barr's so low.

    No... at least not between only those two. Keep in mind that Turkey is much more powerful than Syria and is a member of NATO. Realistically, messing with them is just not worth it -- that's why they feel confident enough to invade Syria in the first place. Realistically, the Syrians will go to the UN and ask the Turks to leave and the UN might support them because this is just too flagrant a violation of international law. However, if that doesn't work out, it's just barely possible that Iran will get further involved on behalf of their ally (which at this point is practically a client state). Syria alone against Turkey isn't going to happen, but Iran and Syria against Turkey is not entirely implausible (and NATO may stay out of it because Turkey is clearly the aggressor here).
  2. Also, he has always had a few bad games per season and it must be pointed out that even with this bad play, they still scored five touchdowns (albeit with help from defense and special teams) and left some points on the field because their starting kicker is injured. The way they scored two of those touchdowns is a bit surprising to me though. I vaguely recall the Steelers refusing to do quarterback sneaks because of the risk of injury to their star quarterback whereas in this game, I think the Patriots tried it three times (two were touchdowns and one failed just before the touchdown that made it 14-0). Surely if there is one quarterback in the league with whom one would not want to take this chance, it's Brady. Not only is he one of the eldest to ever play, but he was never relatively big or strong in the first place. So what gives? Are quarterback sneaks not that likely to result in injury?
  3. Altherion

    Electric Cars - Advise?

    Unlikely. Aside from the facts that almost nobody wants them and that by the time they're made street-legal, they're not much more eco-friendly than regular EVs, you have to keep in mind that they'll be operating in an environment of predominantly internal combustion cars. The "golf cart" type of EV will force cars behind it to initially slow down and then speed up to pass it which means that even if the EV itself is slightly more efficient, it more than offsets that with the extra energy expended by other cars. Electric cars don't need to be as performant as the Teslas or the Porsche Taycan, but they do need to at least match the performance of regular cars.
  4. Altherion

    US Politics - I'm not orange I'mpeach

    The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court presides over the trial, but his role is fairly limited. The only real question is whether the impeachers can get 67 Senators to convict on at least one charge. That said, I'm sure Roberts is up to any legal maneuvering required -- he's been a judge at the highest levels long enough to have seen it all.
  5. Altherion

    What shouldn't be done...about climate change

    The last sentence is a good description of not only electric cars, but most actions that would mitigate climate change if they were taken by a sufficiently large fraction of humanity. Insulation costs money and so do solar panels. Even something like changing one's diet away from processed and packaged foods requires stores nearby that sells fresh ones and typically extra cash to buy them. And it's even worse in poorer countries.
  6. Altherion

    What should be done... about climate change

    This is indeed a different kind of guilt, but if we were going to feel it, I think we'd have felt it long before now. Ignoring the future completely and considering only today, humanity has already driven a large number of species to extinction, destroyed a wide variety of ecosystems (lakes, forests, swamps, etc.) in various parts of the world and has even managed to noticeably pollute the global ocean. I think when this is brought up to most people, they feel bad and perhaps angry that this has happened (and continues to happen), but I don't think people feel guilty (I certainly don't and I've probably spent more time reading about the damage than most of Earth's population). Survivor's guilt mainly happens when somebody very close to an individual dies. I don't think this is going to be the kind of cataclysm where such a thing is common; Australians can rely on air conditioning (which, as with many mitigation strategies, makes the original problem worse for everyone). As to guilt over modern means, I really don't see it except in certain cultures and even there it's often a minority opinion. For example, even after seven decades of propaganda, more than half of Americans think the use of atomic weapons in WWII was justified. I think it would just be humanity behaving as it has throughout recorded history. There have always been disasters, both natural and man-made, and there have always been societies that survived and societies that did not. The only difference here is that the calamity will be both global and man-made -- we've never managed to do such a thing before.
  7. Altherion

    What should be done... about climate change

    Maybe and maybe not. The kind of guilt that you speak is relatively new. The vast majority of history consists of various groups slaughtering and/or enslaving other groups and while individuals may have felt some guilt (or maybe not; we have relatively few records on this score), the groups were quite vocal in celebrating these actions. In fact, even today, the guilt is specific to certain cultures and far from universal even within these cultures. I am not sure of this, but I believe it to be a cultural luxury enabled by unprecedented prosperity and so I think it's much more likely to fade away than intensify should the worst case scenarios come to pass.
  8. Altherion

    US Politics: Flaming the Flamenco Flamingo

    He doesn't stand out in terms of ideas, he's not particularly likable and I suspect if people took a closer look at his pharmaceutical money and the shenanigans of his subordinates while he was mayor of Newark, he'd be in trouble. The field is too crowded with more interesting candidates for him to get much support.
  9. Altherion

    The Simulation hypothesis

    But that bring back mormont's point: if the purpose and background of the simulation can be anything, then what difference does it make? Yes, it solves the problem of evil which plagues most religions, but it does this at the cost of all guidance for what to in this world. It does make for some good science fiction though. Here's a short story in the form of a YouTube video. Interestingly enough, in the situation this story describes, the pain-free world you describe later would probably signal the end of the simulation.
  10. Altherion

    International Thread 3

    Actually, inviting Russia to the Polish ceremony would be rather awkward given that the anniversary in question was directly enabled by a pact between Germany and the legal predecessor of Russia (the USSR) and in fact the latter also invaded Poland two weeks later. The Poles must be glad to have an excuse not to invite them. Not particularly. Serbia has been an ally of Russia for a very long time (recall how WWI started) and they still have good relations, but keep in mind that the Serbs are currently trying to join the EU. There's no obvious reason for Poland to have acted as they did; that's why the Serbs are so angry.
  11. It doesn't work that way. Even setting aside the regulatory hurdles, nuclear power only provides energy for electricity -- you still need some kind of propellant for momentum. The few nuclear-powered aircraft that have flown all rely on moving air from in front of them to behind them at high speeds. There were some ideas of using the nuclear reactor to heat the fuel and expel it backwards at a high speed, but you still need to bring a lot of fuel along so you have not saved much complexity to offset the nuclear reactor.
  12. This would be amazingly fast. It's not the finished product, but going from the first flight test for a completely different kind of engine to an orbital flight in a matter of months hasn't been done for decades. It'll be really cool if they pull it off.
  13. It's a question of casting the first stone. Yes, the crowd that followed included quite a few people who are significantly more prominent, but it's not obvious that they would have acted had she not gone first. I don't think she miscalculated: without that incident, she is unlikely to have gotten this far (it's the thing she's most famous for). Her problem is that nothing else came up which would allow her to make a second impression.
  14. Altherion

    Workable Objectivism (Ayn Rand)

    It works until it doesn't and depends a lot on what happens when a lot of people get tired of not being heard. You're hoping that their ideas will simply stop being propagated altogether, but, judging from history, it's quite possible that a small fraction of these people will eventually choose to express themselves in ways that are far more difficult to prevent and nearly impossible to ignore. What is "deplatforming by the people"? All of humanity does not get together and decided what is and is not acceptable. In person, deplatforming is mostly performed by small mobs of sufficiently angry individuals. Online, the vast majority of both deplatforming and its close relative, demonetizing, is done by colossal multinational corporations which command more resources and have more clout than nearly all 19th century governments. And worse, nobody knows what is and what is not acceptable to them because their primary motivation is money so some offensive things are allowed if they're sufficiently popular while tamer stuff is banned because it's not as popular. You keep bringing up the fascist wannabes, but in absolute terms, there's way more censorship of other stuff. In fact, this illustrates the central problem of not just Objectivism, but all libertarian philosophies: if government is limited or ineffective, society will eventually be dominated by structures of the same scale as governments, but now they'll be private ones and no longer responsive to electoral pressures.
  15. Altherion

    International Thread 3

    This is not as reassuring as you make it sound. It's true that mutually assured destruction worked for the US and USSR and you can make the argument that it will work for any other set of states, but keep in mind that there is quite a list of accidents, false alarms and misinterpretations which would have resulted in consequences ranging from a nuclear detonation to all-out thermonuclear war. The Cold War adversaries were lucky in that the chain of people who were responsible for acting on the false alarms and misinterpretations always included at least one sufficiently skeptical individual (usually several of them) and the safeguards build into the system were adequate (if sometimes just barely) to prevent the accidents from turning into catastrophes. The more countries playing these games, the more likely that somebody's luck is going to run out.
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