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  #1  
Old 05-13-2010, 10:39 AM
Bloggingheads Bloggingheads is offline
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Default Bailouts, Evil Computers, and Samurais (Robert Wright & Jim Pinkerton)

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  #2  
Old 05-13-2010, 11:48 AM
sptm sptm is offline
 
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Default Re: Bailouts, Evil Computers, and Samurais (Robert Wright & Jim Pinkerton)

The horrors of war.
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  #3  
Old 05-13-2010, 12:25 PM
nikkibong nikkibong is offline
 
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Default pinkertonian paranoia

Just call it: The Week In Paranoia: Slant-Eyed Edition

Pinkerton has no idea what he's talking about when it comes to China and Africa. For the most part, China is providing economic opportunities for Africans by sourcing manufacturing there, and is also investing in infrastructure projects that the continent desperately needs.

China is providing the kind of long-term economic opportunities for Africans that the West has failed to.

Attention BHTV: If you're going to discuss China, please have someone on who knows what he's talking about. (I'm guessing neither Wright nor Pinkerton have ever been there - let alone speak the language.)

James Fallows is by far the best American journalist on the subject.
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  #4  
Old 05-13-2010, 01:41 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Market Gyrations

These guys touch briefly on a fundamental misunderstanding which is current in the national discussion about the market. The misunderstanding is that the market should be understandable, and that turbulence or volatility is a bad thing. I disagree.

Is it bad if the market drops 1000 points? It may be bad for the seller, but it's good for the buyer. And contrary to popular understanding, there are equal numbers of buys and sells every day. If the sellers are panicking, the buyers are (or should be) rejoicing.

Is volatility bad? Great volatility indicates that people aren't sure how to value stocks. So what? The uncertainty is an interesting and important thing to measure. The complaint that we should understand market movements in real time is a bit of intellectual dishonesty stemming from the subconscious desire to insure a profit.

Did the computers panic for no good reason? Maybe. Why would you hand your investments over to a computer? Don't whine. That's a risk you assume voluntarily.

Was there malfeasance? It's possible. I can imagine some big players who understand the programs could get together and find a way to "scare" the algorithms into selling so they could scoop up the bargains. But that's not a problem that needs legislative correction. It means those who wrote the victimized programs don't have good algorithms. After sufficient punishment, they will improve.

Should we try to understand the crashlet? Sure! Transparency is a good thing and will strengthen the computer programs for every fool who relies on them.

Just remember: A share of Apple should never be thought to have intrinsic value. It's only worth what others will pay for it -- at that moment. If you hold a share of Apple because someone else thinks it's worth $265, then you are holding it for the wrong reason.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 05-13-2010 at 01:58 PM..
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  #5  
Old 05-13-2010, 02:04 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Bailouts, Evil Computers, and Samurais (Robert Wright & Jim Pinkerton)

I know a few slow libertarian creeps myself.
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  #6  
Old 05-13-2010, 02:25 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default World War 5

Is Jim expecting World War 5? He doesn't buy Non-Zero? I think this fits in with the Tea Party nicely: a desperate hope that history will repeat itself in a comfortable, well-behaved way. We're going to overthrow the taxman! Down with redcoats and down with the libs. We defeated the Nazis! Next we're gonna defeat, er, China!
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  #7  
Old 05-13-2010, 02:54 PM
dkschwartz
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Default Re: thoughts from a liberal

The Tea Partiers are just dumb racist white people. There everything thats wrong with America that should be flushed down the toilet. We need more diversity! We need less whites and more blacks and latinos in America. The white race is the cancer of human history. Susan Sontag was right.

The American Southwest is stolen land! Down with captilalism. Deporting illegal immigrants is racist. The border is racist. Republicans are racist.

-a liberal

Last edited by dkschwartz; 05-13-2010 at 02:58 PM..
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  #8  
Old 05-13-2010, 03:02 PM
dkschwartz
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Default Re: why don't we just deport these creeps?

I don't understand why we let these racist Republicans spew there Nazi racism. Why don't we just deport these racist Republicans creeps? They are filth. They don't deserve free speech.

Why don't we just deport all the Republicans and replace them with 30 million Zambians?

-a liberal
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  #9  
Old 05-13-2010, 05:08 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jim's inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

Bob: China will not invade other countries due to Non Zero Sumness.
Jim: They use military force against the Tibetans and Falun Gong.
Bob's knee jerk response: But we are doing that too!
Jim: That's not the same thing and they also deal with dictators.
Bob: But we are doing that too! Karzai!
Jim: Except that we changed that governement.
Bob: Well right, yeah! At least China hasn't invaded anybody recently!


If Jim could have brought himself to criticize US foreign policy unapologetically, at least for the sake of the argument, he could have delivered the knock-out in this debate.

Bob refutes himself. The US is engaged in irrational, "messy and costly" invasions right now despite Non Zero Sumness. So why should Non Zero Sumness prevent China from acting the same way in the future?

Last edited by dieter; 05-13-2010 at 06:05 PM..
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  #10  
Old 05-13-2010, 05:19 PM
bramble bramble is offline
 
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Default Why Tea Party People will drink coffee in the end

In the discussion about the Tea Partiers, Wright and Pinkerton forgot to mention the key characteristic of the Tea Party type. Tea Party People are powerless. That's what unites them. Their powerlessness can be considered from two angles.

1. Conservatism suffered a huge defeat in 2008. The tea parties gave people who felt angry and resentful about Obama and the Democrat's landslide victory a venue to express those emotions. The tea parties were like the various Iraq war protests. The garnered a lot of media attention, but ultimately they affected the policy of the Iraq War very little.

2. The collapsing economy stoked deep insecurities about the health of the country. This can be seen in all the paranoid populist themes on protest signs. Tea Party people don't share Brink Lindsey's basically sanguine view of Neoliberalism's progress from the 1970s to the present. When you get right down to it, a lot of Tea Party people seem to want to return to the economic policies (and in some cases, the social mores) of the Guilded Age, which, to be fair, may just be shorthand for "Anything else but the current system." Since this ambition is quixotic in the extreme, nobody takes their radicalism seriously. Democratic partisans mock it, and Republican partisans try to exploit it.

My hypothesis is that once a) the Tea Party people perceive that conservative power has been restored to any degree and b) the end of the recession calms their economic anxieties, they won't have much psychological motivation to "take back America." In other words, they will give up the tea and go back to their Starbucks.
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  #11  
Old 05-13-2010, 05:49 PM
JoeK
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jims inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieter View Post
The US is engaged in irrational, "messy and costly" invasions right now despite Non Zero Sumness. So why should Non Zero Sumness prevent China from acting the same way in the future?
The fact that US is in the war with Afghanistan, of all countries, does not refute Bob's thesis. US and Afghanistan had not been in a non-zero relationship due to extreme backwardness of that place.
And besides, wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been very, very cheap for an average American citizen.
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  #12  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:02 PM
sirfith sirfith is offline
 
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Default Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism

I wonder if Bob progressive narrative for Times Square bombing being due to payback for American military action in Pakistan applies to the Oklahoma City bombing and Clinton's/Reno's actions in Waco.
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  #13  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:03 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jims inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
The fact that US is in the war with Afghanistan, of all countries, does not refute Bob's thesis. US and Afghanistan had not been in a non-zero relationship due to extreme backwardness of that place.
The non-zero relationship with Iraq (major oil exporter) didn't prevent war either.

And besides, from the viewpoint of an economic superpower most countries contribute only a tiny share to its non-zero sum, so the cost is small. And it is an asymetric relationship. Small nations will side with the superpower, because their non-zero sums depend highly on being allied with said superpower.

Bob just looks at one side of the coin and assumes to much rational behaviour.

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And besides, wars in both Iraq and Afghanistan have been very, very cheap for an average American citizen.
It would be even cheaper for the Chinese Nomenklatura to pursue invasions.
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  #14  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:32 PM
JoeK
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jims inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

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Originally Posted by dieter View Post
The non-zero relationship with Iraq (major oil exporter) didn't prevent war either.

And besides, from the viewpoint of an economic superpower most countries contribute only a tiny share to its non-zero sum, so the cost is small. And it is an asymetric relationship. Small nations will side with the superpower, because their non-zero sums depend highly on being allied with said superpower.

Bob just looks at one side of the coin and assumes to much rational behaviour.


It would be even cheaper for the Chinese Nomenklatura to pursue invasions.
Bob's thesis is weaker than you interpret it. Non-zero sumness makes the war less likely, not impossible. And it doesn't apply equally to all potential conflicts. It should definitely speak to probability of, for example, armed conflict between China and Taiwan. A war between the two would pretty much falsify it.
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  #15  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:45 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jims inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
Bob's thesis is weaker than you interpret it. Non-zero sumness makes the war less likely, not impossible. And it doesn't apply equally to all potential conflicts. It should definitely speak to probability of, for example, armed conflict between China and Taiwan. A war between the two would pretty much falsify it.
I don't think you can consistently make the simultaneous claims that the implications of an argument are shaded, but that the occurence of a single event is all that's required to falsify it.
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  #16  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:45 PM
dieter dieter is offline
 
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jims inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeK View Post
Bob's thesis is weaker than you interpret it. Non-zero sumness makes the war less likely, not impossible. And it doesn't apply equally to all potential conflicts. It should definitely speak to probability of, for example, armed conflict between China and Taiwan. A war between the two would pretty much falsify it.
The question is how he interprets his own theory, which isn't knew btw. It is obvious that cooperation disincentives violent conflict and that opportunities for cooperation can be expanded and fostered with technological progress and political means. The EU was deliberately founded for that very reason.

But Robert Wright seems to believe that the decline of conflict for the last 60 years is bulletproof evidence for his thesis. But there are many alternative hypothesis. Nuclear deterrence, lessons learned from history, expanded Altruism through global mass media communication, Gunnar Heinsohn's very persuasive Youth Bulge hypothesis, etc.

Last edited by dieter; 05-13-2010 at 06:48 PM..
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  #17  
Old 05-13-2010, 06:52 PM
StillmanThomas StillmanThomas is offline
 
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Default Re: Why Tea Party People will drink coffee in the end

I think there's another, far darker, awakening coming for this movement. When the John Birchers, KKKers, neo-Nazis and Timothy McVeigh style American terrorists in the Tea Party finally commit some unspeakable act of horror, Grandma and Grandpa America will flee in droves. I'll be interested to see how Jim Pinkerton and Fox news spin their former support then. Ah, but memory is short....
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  #18  
Old 05-13-2010, 07:03 PM
Baltimoron Baltimoron is offline
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Default Re: pinkertonian paranoia

Quote:
Originally Posted by nikkibong View Post
Just call it: The Week In Paranoia: Slant-Eyed Edition

Attention BHTV: If you're going to discuss China, please have someone on who knows what he's talking about. (I'm guessing neither Wright nor Pinkerton have ever been there - let alone speak the language.)

James Fallows is by far the best American journalist on the subject.
Why even bother asking any more for good content on East Asia. Obviously, there's no one willing to sponsor bhTV to run intelligible discourse on the subject.
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  #19  
Old 05-13-2010, 07:15 PM
osmium osmium is offline
 
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism

Quote:
Originally Posted by sirfith View Post
I wonder if Bob progressive narrative for Times Square bombing being due to payback for American military action in Pakistan applies to the Oklahoma City bombing and Clinton's/Reno's actions in Waco.
As usual, the BhTV commenters are a bunch of libtards. Why is it so liberal around here?

/It's act like an asshole day
//I'm serious
///I'm drawing Mohammed with a bomb on his head right now
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  #20  
Old 05-13-2010, 08:08 PM
Ocean Ocean is offline
 
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Default Re: Bailouts, Evil Computers, and Samurais (Robert Wright & Jim Pinkerton)

It will seem an irony, but it isn't. It's been a while since I've heard so much paranoia packed together at one place, at one time and by one person.

I'm also puzzled by Bob's interest in engaging this kind of argument. Is there an agenda to engage the lowest common denominator?

I think I'll join the crowd who ignores Jim Pinkerton.
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  #21  
Old 05-13-2010, 09:15 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: Bailouts, Evil Computers, and Samurais (Robert Wright & Jim Pinkerton)

Me too. I listened to the first few minutes of it and I just can't take any more. Give me a break. So the reason the tea partiers are social conservatives is because they don't want Al Sharpton getting more money? Al Sharpton is the biggest expenditure in the US budget right now? Very subtle, Jim. And you wonder why liberals think this all might have something to do with race.
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  #22  
Old 05-13-2010, 09:21 PM
JoeK
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jims inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I don't think you can consistently make the simultaneous claims that the implications of an argument are shaded, but that the occurence of a single event is all that's required to falsify it.
You are right. What Bob's theory predicts for China/Taiwan relationship is emergence of a trend where war becomes more and more unthinkable for those involved.
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  #23  
Old 05-13-2010, 09:42 PM
JoeK
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism, Jims inner neocon inhibits knock-out punch delivery

Quote:
Originally Posted by dieter View Post
The question is how he interprets his own theory, which isn't knew btw. It is obvious that cooperation disincentives violent conflict and that opportunities for cooperation can be expanded and fostered with technological progress and political means. The EU was deliberately founded for that very reason.

But Robert Wright seems to believe that the decline of conflict for the last 60 years is bulletproof evidence for his thesis. But there are many alternative hypothesis. Nuclear deterrence, lessons learned from history, expanded Altruism through global mass media communication, Gunnar Heinsohn's very persuasive Youth Bulge hypothesis, etc.
Well, I for one wrote on this forum that what prevented American intervention in Russo-Georgian conflict couple of years ago was nuclear deterrence. Ditto for liberating Tibet from Chinese occupation. So, I don't disagree with you. I felt compelled to react because I disagree with the evaluation of current American wars as particularly irrational.

And I don't think Wright is as naive as you make him out to be.
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  #24  
Old 05-13-2010, 11:13 PM
ejim ejim is offline
 
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Default crazyness

I was listening to this, and well, i could agree, disagree or consider the points arguable but when Jim brought up colonizing Mars as a response to problems of government here, well thats genuine nutter. It is anti-rational head in the sand, miracles of science and i find it genuinely scary. I hope not too many would believe this.

Dont get me wrong, i think we should go to Mars and explore but the idea that we could colonize in a time frame of less than thousands of years is nutty. And to have a world view where that is the only near term hope for life here is double nutty.
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  #25  
Old 05-13-2010, 11:18 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

Quote:
Originally Posted by ejim View Post
I was listening to this, and well, i could agree, disagree or consider the points arguable but when Jim brought up colonizing Mars as a response to problems of government here, well thats genuine nutter. It is anti-rational head in the sand, miracles of science and i find it genuinely scary. I hope not too many would believe this.

Dont get me wrong, i think we should go to Mars and explore but the idea that we could colonize in a time frame of less than thousands of years is nutty. And to have a world view where that is the only near term hope for life here is double nutty.
I disagree with your time by a couple of orders of magnitude (we could start the process of colonization now, if we wanted to dedicate the resources required), but I agree with your larger point.
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  #26  
Old 05-14-2010, 06:53 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I disagree with your time by a couple of orders of magnitude (we could start the process of colonization now, if we wanted to dedicate the resources required), but I agree with your larger point.
I'm with ejim. I can't believe people talk about sending even one man to Mars. The engineering challenges are huge. It would cost Trillions of dollars, many human lives and 500 years just to deliver (and strand) the first human explorer on Mars.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 05-14-2010 at 08:15 AM..
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  #27  
Old 05-14-2010, 08:10 AM
breadcrust breadcrust is offline
 
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Default Re: Bailouts, Evil Computers, and Samurais (Robert Wright & Jim Pinkerton)

Two things to pay attention to in Africa:

Human rights abuses of Africans by Chinese. Because the Chinese regularly do stuff to their own citizens that causes one's hair to stand on end. Can you say "Chinese Empire?"

Julius Malema. Because post-apartheid South Africa has been sinking to the Black African norm. Which was a predictable tragedy. I envision Malema atop a bitchin' hill of skulls unless he gets assassinated first.
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  #28  
Old 05-14-2010, 10:02 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
I'm with ejim. I can't believe people talk about sending even one man to Mars. The engineering challenges are huge. It would cost Trillions of dollars, many human lives and 500 years just to deliver (and strand) the first human explorer on Mars.
I definitely disagree with your numbers. We could do the minimal manned thing, ("one small step," etc...) in a decade or less, for tens of billions, not trillions. We have the all of the required tech, I think, and we've done it on a smaller scale already. The hardest issues are maintaining a livable environment for the duration and carrying enough energy to get home. We can do these things, if we want to.

But that's a practical argument. I'm really not advocating it as a plan. (Though I do want us to get there sooner than later.)
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  #29  
Old 05-14-2010, 10:05 AM
Don Zeko Don Zeko is offline
 
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Default Re: Bailouts, Evil Computers, and Samurais (Robert Wright & Jim Pinkerton)

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Because post-apartheid South Africa has been sinking to the Black African norm. Which was a predictable tragedy.
See, this is the kind of stuff I was talking about. When you're explicitly defending Apartheid, there's no plausible deniability. I'm telling you this for your own good, dude. Ranting about AA is much more fun if you can make a superficially plausible argument that you're not a racist and those mean liberals are just trying to shut you up.
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  #30  
Old 05-14-2010, 10:52 AM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

Quote:
Originally Posted by AemJeff View Post
I definitely disagree with your numbers. We could do the minimal manned thing, ("one small step," etc...) in a decade or less, for tens of billions, not trillions. We have the all of the required tech, I think, and we've done it on a smaller scale already. The hardest issues are maintaining a livable environment for the duration and carrying enough energy to get home. We can do these things, if we want to.

But that's a practical argument. I'm really not advocating it as a plan. (Though I do want us to get there sooner than later.)
I understand you're not in the Pinkerton tank. But I can't figure out how this would work. We have not demonstrated this on a small scale. It's an issue of time and distance. Do you know how long it takes to get to Mars? How much living space do the astronauts get? How much food, air and water? I suppose we can find some people willing to go years without a shower, but yikes! Just assembling this stuff in earth orbit will be much more difficult than building the International Space Station. Think of the weight of supplies!. And then you have to propel this massive thing with huge, huge amounts of fuel. Or travel slowly and take 20 years.

If the assumption is we will develop new technologies (space elevator, nuclear propulsion, etc.) then you are counting on things that have not been demonstrated.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 05-14-2010 at 11:00 AM..
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  #31  
Old 05-14-2010, 11:06 AM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
I understand you're not in the Pinkerton tank. But I can't figure out how this would work. We have not demonstrated this on a small scale. It's an issue of time and distance. Do you know how long it takes to get to Mars? How much living space do the astronauts get? How much food and water? I suppose we can find some people willing to go years without a shower, but yikes! Just assembling this stuff in earth orbit will be much more difficult than building the International Space Station. Think of the weight of supplies!. And then you have to propel this massive thing with huge, huge amounts of fuel. Or travel slowly and take 20 years.

If the assumption is we will develop new technologies (space elevator, nuclear propulsion, etc.) then you are counting on things that have not been demonstrated.
I think I have a reasonable understanding of the issues. The biggest impediment is mass. You need to provide protected living space for several people for a duration of something like five years, round trip. They need supplies, they need shielding, and they need fuel for the round trip. They'll need a lander for the Mars excursion so that the amount of mass to be lifted into orbit there is minimized. So, the main energy expenditure is still getting up, out of Earth's gravity well. Assume the thing gets constructed mostly in orbit, and also assume it uses conventional chemical rockets. I believe that there are minimum energy trajectories that require under two years to make the outward traversal. I assume coming sunward has fewer constraints. I really don't see the need for any magical inventions - though the existence of a space elevator would surely solve some cost problems.
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  #32  
Old 05-14-2010, 11:34 AM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

I think you are underestimating how hard it is to shield people from 2 GeV cosmic rays.

Quote:
Mars? Is going there even remotely possible without a working fusion reactor? I'm thinking probably not.

Cosmic Rays. Ionizing radiation disassociates a hydrogen atom from a water molecule which means there is now a rather mean spirited hydroxide in your cell which immediately proceeds to open up a chemical can of whoop ass on your DNA. On the whole, I bet a rather unpleasant experience.

We could use material shielding, of course bankrupting the entire western world hauling up (I'm being literal here) 500+ tons of polyethylene has been seen by some as not a very optimal solution. We could use an EM field, but It would have to be one hardcore EM field, I'm thinking like 30 tesla min, and big enough so at least one person could live in it for awhile. I am not sure how to calculate the energy requirements, but whatever it is, it would be massive. Sorry, no offense Osmium, but I don't think your up to the challenge, so batteries aren't an option.

Of course, things become alot easier if we are content to get a corpse to mars. We would still technically be sending a human to Mars. I nominate Dick Cheney.
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  #33  
Old 05-14-2010, 12:14 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
I think you are underestimating how hard it is to shield people from 2 GeV cosmic rays.
You're right about the shielding. Just impossible. But I was willing to overlook the radiation hazard. I don't think it's a fatal dose, is it? I'll take a few cosmic rays for my country. I'm a Patriot.

I admit I have not done the calculations, but basically, I want to know how much rocket fuel will be expended just by lifting a large supply of rocket fuel out of the earth's gravitational well to fill the tank of the big spacecraft for a 5-year flight to Mars and back. And I'm thinking the big spacecraft must really be huge.

You can even forget the return trip. I'm a Super Patriot.

Last edited by Simon Willard; 05-14-2010 at 12:17 PM..
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  #34  
Old 05-14-2010, 12:26 PM
Starwatcher162536 Starwatcher162536 is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

Well, we know the escape velocity will just be the velocity required to make kinetic plus potential equal zero. Once you look up what the exhaust speed is for whatever type of propellant is used you just need to plug in the numbers to the rocket equation to get a rough estimate.

I'm sure NASA accounts for things like the moon, sun, earth rotation, drag...but incorporating all of that stuff is beyond the likes of me.

Edit:
It's been awhile since I've read anything over this, but I believe it's actually the secondary radiation induced in your bones calcium that is fatal.
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  #35  
Old 05-14-2010, 01:07 PM
Simon Willard Simon Willard is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
I'm sure NASA accounts for things like the moon, sun, earth rotation, drag...but incorporating all of that stuff is beyond the likes of me.
NASA has indeed studied the Mars mission problem. Here's a reference. Not quite as impractical as I thought, but not something I would choose to fund in this century.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:26 PM
kezboard kezboard is offline
 
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Default Re: Bob self exposed due to kneejerk liberalism

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I wonder if Bob progressive narrative for Times Square bombing being due to payback for American military action in Pakistan applies to the Oklahoma City bombing and Clinton's/Reno's actions in Waco.
Are you suggesting that our actions in Pakistan are the same sort of bungletastic clusterfuck that the Waco siege was? That might prove Bob's point.
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Old 05-14-2010, 01:48 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

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Originally Posted by Starwatcher162536 View Post
I think you are underestimating how hard it is to shield people from 2 GeV cosmic rays.
I'm fairly certain that heavy metal shielding and a mass of water could be used as a reasonably effective shield from solar radiation. I don't know how to quantify the likelihood of exposure to GeV level radiation from random sources; but up to a certain background level the problem can certainly be mitigated, if you can afford to carry the mass.
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Last edited by AemJeff; 05-14-2010 at 01:51 PM..
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  #38  
Old 05-14-2010, 01:54 PM
AemJeff AemJeff is offline
 
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Default Re: crazyness

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Originally Posted by Simon Willard View Post
NASA has indeed studied the Mars mission problem. Here's a reference. Not quite as impractical as I thought, but not something I would choose to fund in this century.
Thanks for posting that.
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Old 05-14-2010, 02:13 PM
ImmRefDotCom ImmRefDotCom is offline
 
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Default What the teapartiers could care less about

...basically, their fellow citizens. The partiers are either libertarians or libertarian-leaning, as can be seen by their extreme self-centeredness and selfishness. What few proposals they've made don't take into account that there are other people in the U.S. including those who disagree with them. Not only are the partiers eager to redbait just as much as "liberals" race-bait, but their use of "patriots" implies that the vast majority of Americans who aren't in teaparty aren't patriots.

See my extensive coverage of the tea parties for all the details, including the vital (more vital than spending) issue they've largely ignored (because their leaders are corrupt).
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Old 05-14-2010, 05:01 PM
badhatharry badhatharry is offline
 
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Default Re: Why Tea Party People will drink coffee in the end

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Originally Posted by bramble View Post
In the discussion about the Tea Partiers, Wright and Pinkerton forgot to mention the key characteristic of the Tea Party type. Tea Party People are powerless. That's what unites them. Their powerlessness can be considered from two angles.

1. Conservatism suffered a huge defeat in 2008. The tea parties gave people who felt angry and resentful about Obama and the Democrat's landslide victory a venue to express those emotions. The tea parties were like the various Iraq war protests. The garnered a lot of media attention, but ultimately they affected the policy of the Iraq War very little.

2. The collapsing economy stoked deep insecurities about the health of the country. This can be seen in all the paranoid populist themes on protest signs. Tea Party people don't share Brink Lindsey's basically sanguine view of Neoliberalism's progress from the 1970s to the present. When you get right down to it, a lot of Tea Party people seem to want to return to the economic policies (and in some cases, the social mores) of the Guilded Age, which, to be fair, may just be shorthand for "Anything else but the current system." Since this ambition is quixotic in the extreme, nobody takes their radicalism seriously. Democratic partisans mock it, and Republican partisans try to exploit it.

My hypothesis is that once a) the Tea Party people perceive that conservative power has been restored to any degree and b) the end of the recession calms their economic anxieties, they won't have much psychological motivation to "take back America." In other words, they will give up the tea and go back to their Starbucks.
This is good analysis except that I don't think the ideas are necessarily quixotic. This movement is making people more aware of the ridiculous size and reach of the Federal government. That is a rational concern and if these peeps can keep their eye on the ball they could perhaps influence the dismantling of the health care bill. I think all of the things which have occurred in the past few years have served to educate the people and give them some real information about what we are headed for if we keep up the nanny state.

Greece and Europe are cautionary tales we can learn from. Bailouts remove consequences and therefore don't rectify anything in the long run.
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