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Trombone's profile

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Trombone  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Mars is awful

Awful for us maybe. Mars is Mars.

People will die, yes. Especially if the ACA is removed without a replacement (I don't expect this, but who really knows anymore). As far as I see it, things are going to be the worst for the people who are already in trouble. Like kleinbl00 said, Appalachia and the midwest are going to have an extremely rough time. If you live in California et. al. I think you're probably going to be okay.

Yup. A lot of the time we're dumping stuff into the environment without knowing the consequences, and that's a great example.

Bioaccumulation at work brought on by the mechanics of the food chain. When one organism eats another, about 90% of the energy involved in the transaction is lost. That means that the higher up the food chain you are, the more you have to proportionally eat in order to supply your energy demands (this is why it's greener to be a vegetarian than a regular meat-eater, you're getting 10% of the energy from the veg directly instead of 10% of the energy from the cow that was already getting just 10% of the energy from its feed. Basically, 10% vs. 1% energy gained). Because you're consuming more, you're exposing yourself to more of these toxins that can accumulate in the body, so you wind up with an overall higher concentration than organisms below you in the chain. Same reason people worry about mercury in fish.

Trombone  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi club no. 25: Slow Sculpture


    People are living, growing things, too. I don’t know a hundredth part of what you do about bonsai but I do know this—when you start one, it isn’t often the strong straight healthy ones you take. It’s the twisted sick ones that can be made the most beautiful. When you get to shaping humanity, you might remember that.

In my interpretation, she's saying that you can take "twisted, sick" people (in the mind) and make them into something beautiful, and this is where my problem is. You can influence kids maybe, but not adults. When we're adults we become quite set in our ways. There are exceptions to this of course, but it's generally very hard, nigh impossible, for people - especially "twisted, sick" ones - to make such a turnaround. And, generally when it happens, it's the result of some sort of massive event like a near-death experience. Not very bonsai.

Insofar as treating a relationship like a bonsai tree I don't have this issue.

Trump is a narcissist in the first degree and I fully expect him to act like one. He will be unpredictable, and it will be impossible to react to him until he actually does something instead of just spewing verbal sewage. I don't know if he'll wind up a dictator, if he'll be a one-term president, if there will be WW3, or what. After last year I'm not willing to make predictions on that scale. What I predict is this: the Supreme Court will be prohibitively conservative for an entire generation, and his time will be very difficult for women's rights, minorities, the LGBT community, and the environment. More specific predictions:

- Roe v Wade will be overturned; Planned Parenthood will be decimated.

- Obergefell v Hodges will be overturned and "Jim Crow" style laws will be passed against LGBT's.

- Immigration laws will be tightened against minorities.

- Mosque surveillance at the very least, with a good chance of a muslim registry.

- Hate crime will spike and nothing will be done about it; Stop and Frisk will be made legal.

- The EPA will be either eradicated or gutted, and the environment in states that aren't solid blue (and take regulation into their own hands) will be pillaged.

- It will become illegal to talk about "global warming" or "climate change" as a government employee.

- Organizations like the Sierra Club and EDF will at some point be called "terrorist" or similar.

- Death of Net Neutrality, by the hand of the Supreme Court.

- Consumer protections will be weakened.

- First amendment will be weakened.

- Proponents of any kind of liberal causes will be aggressively flushed out of government.

- Laws designed to obstruct the election of democrats will be passed.

- Obamacare will be replaced with almost the exact same thing, called "Trumpcare".

Personally, I feel like I have a target on my back because I am in the environmental field. The work that I do already exposes me to attack from corporate interests and other entities, and I fear that this administration will not only allow such behavior but engage in it as well. Science is no longer impartial in this country. It is considered the opinion of the liberals and "elites". Environmental work is perhaps the most reviled of all. Right now the plan is to get out of the country in about three years, less if at all possible.

    a dude running a department that he committed to shut down

I'm assuming you're talking about the DOE here? It's a great example of Trump not knowing anything about anything in government. Remember how he's been talking about building the nuclear arsenal and such? Turns out the DOE plays a major role in the arsenal (and weapons development in general) and runs the national labs, which all work on that tech. So if ol' Ricky runs the DOE into the ground like he wants, then it'll be a lot harder for Trump to have his arms race. If he knew this, he wouldn't be so gung-ho about shutting the department down.

Trombone  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: The Long, Slow Death of Religion

It's the slippery slope argument. If you can do this, you can do that.

I don't like this argument at all, but a great many people latch on to it and hang with it. Like the "GMOs are bad" argument, it's just trendy or something. I don't know. But for that reason we're not going to see CRISPR treatments anytime soon, even if they are ethical.

Trombone  ·  link  ·  parent  ·  post: Sci-Fi club no. 25: Slow Sculpture

I liked Slow Sculpture, I really did. The science is clearly BS, but it was an enjoyable read. The big issue I have with it is the moral. I think it's wrong.

Birds are fantastic, I love them. They're amazing creatures. But, blue jays are assholes. I've never had a more jarring alarm clock then a few blue jays screaming at each other in the morning.

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