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This is the timeline where people read The Handmaids Tale and thought "hey, this Gilead place sounds great". The US is a weird country

orbat  ·  29 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Plummeting insect numbers 'threaten collapse of nature’

I'm honestly not sure there's much hope of humanity collectively looking in the mirror and really try to fix this. It'd require drastic and far-reaching changes more or less now if we want to stick to the "1.5C" handwavy goal we've been globally discussing. And it's not just about insects, it's everything; ocean acidification, overfishing, logging, mining, meat production, electronics production, energy production methods and so on.

orbat  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: 0xchan  - A Change of Seasons

My thoughts exactly.

    the community governs itself by a Proof of Stake based voting system to keep universally unacceptable material out

Yeah, I'm sure that'll work well on the internet. Feminism is likely "universally unacceptable" at this point

tacocat  ·  39 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is anything universally unacceptable on the internet?

orbat  ·  55 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Why There Are No Nuclear Airplanes

Charles Stross wrote a sort of lovecraftian alternate history spy thriller short story (novelette? Novella? Not sure what the word is in English) called A Colder War where both nuclear-powered aircraft and Project Pluto were built. I highly recommend checking it out, it's definitely one of my favorite short stories ever (although the online version I linked to is missing some stuff that was in the version published in eg. one of the The Year's Best Science Fiction collections by Dozois)

orbat  ·  55 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: The Massive Mystery of Saturn’s Rings

    the rings are about half the mass of the entire Antarctic ice shelf, spread across a surface area 80 times that of Earth.

That's honestly somewhat surprising, at least to a complete layperson; I somehow expected much more mass

francopoli  ·  55 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The rings are even thinner than paper thin. The average thickness of the rings is in the order of 20 meters, with occasional boulders towering 1KM above the ring plane.

Back a million years ago when I was in school there was a debate if they weighed as much as Mimas or much less. The smallest they were saying back then was that the rings had the equivalent mass of a 100km diameter moon. Now, it looks like 50km.

orbat  ·  63 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Impossible Burger 2.0 tastes like beef. Really - CNET

Something to note is that it might be that leghemoglobin (the I-can't-believe-it's-not-heme thing they use) might cause some, uh, adverse reactions in some people. I went to a place that had the v1.0 burgers (somewhere in SF, can't remember where) and I and a couple of colleagues tried one. Me and one guy got diarrhea afterwards, and it turned out that he'd actually had the same happen the first time he tried one (he originally chalked it up to something dodgy he ate before/after, not the burger.) I did find some anecdotal accounts of the same happening to other people, but didn't dig any further.

And I mean it's not like I was like primed to expect something horrible, or stomach upsets or anything. I've been a vegan for quite a while so I don't get the "eek there's no meat in this, it must be disgusting" reaction that some men seem prone to. It's still a protein, so it's always possible it can cause adverse reactions in some people

orbat  ·  81 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Poe's Law in Plushy Form

    I want it to be perfectly clear that the men who served in our military spoke from their hearts in the Trumpy Bear commercial. Any vilification of a veteran should never be tolerated.

Emphasis mine. American military worship in a nutshell? I'm still not 100% sure whether this whole thing is just satire or not

KapteinB  ·  81 days ago  ·  link  ·  

    I'm still not 100% sure whether this whole thing is just satire or not

I think both? The ad definitely seems to be ridiculing patriots and nationalists, but it's subtle enough that Trump cultists might actually buy it.

orbat  ·  85 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: "Where are you at right now?" Thread

That sounds pretty rough. Want to talk about it?

orbat  ·  164 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: OC - Svalbard

I was only there for 3 days (long story), but I figure a week or two would probably be good, depending on what sort of activities you like. Pyramiden was great (although I would have loved to camp over there and explore it properly, instead of just the few hours we got during the day trip) but the boat ride over there from Longyearbyen takes like 3h, and we did this "walrus safari" thing where we got a private boat & guide who took us over to an island with a walrus colony, and we did some whale spotting (even saw a blue whale, holy crap).

It was summer when we went there (so at most a sweltering +10°C, apparently about as hot as it gets), but I think the next time I go over there I want to go during the winter (but after the sun's up, at first anyhow). Would love to do a looong ski trip (maybe even from coast to coast, but that'd be at least a few weeks' worth of skiing); that'll probably require glacier safety courses, but those might be doable there since they have a bazillion nature-oriented tour companies. There's probably snowboarding and downhill skiing to be had as well, but I'm more of a hiker / cross-country person so I don't really know. Generally if you're at all an outdoorsy type, you'll probably like it. Don't know how hiking in the summer would be, but my guess would be not too great since it seems like everything gets a bit muddy so it might be a bit of a slog (but this is based on very limited knowledge.)

One thing to keep in mind is that you really can't go anywhere outside Longyearbyen (the biggest settlement & "capital") without a guide, since you need someone with a rifle in your group due to polar bears (I'm not kidding.) You can try applying for a rifle permit if you know how to handle guns, but I don't know what the bureaucracy on that would be.

orbat  ·  165 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: OC - Svalbard

Thanks! Glad you liked the pictures.

I heard so many stories about how the "lifers" of Svalbard (so people who've mostly only lived there, and aren't just there seasonally) can get a bit… strange. Considering how isolated some people choose to live, and how brutal the winters must be, it's not exactly surprising. And I don't mean any of this negatively, mind you; the locals I talked to (permanent or not) were really happy to share their experience, and I was happy to learn. Svalbard really, really resonated with me, and I don't fully know why. I just want to ski from one coast to the other and gawk at glaciers (because holy shit have you seen those damn things?), or go camping in Pyramiden, or see what the stars look like in the middle of nowhere when it's actually dark.

What did/does your grandfather do there, if I may ask? Miner?

KapteinB  ·  164 days ago  ·  link  ·  

He was a machine operator by trade. For a while he worked in the mines, but for most of his stay he worked as a bus driver.

I guess he had a few quirks, but he never struck me as particularly strange. While I only got to visit him twice on Svalbard, he had a summer residence in southern Norway, where I'd visit every summer when I was young. :-)

orbat  ·  180 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX’s First Moon Voyage Customer

Do you see me disparaging the attempt? Your comment has literally nothing to do with mine. The private sector and obscenely rich people are now at the forefront at least in the US due to their ridiculous fear of the government doing anything. My comment was related to this, not to the attempt itself as such

orbat  ·  180 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX’s First Moon Voyage Customer

Oh yeah, my point was more that it's obvious in space exploration as well

kleinbl00  ·  180 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I know. Sad thing is it's been seventeen years since Dennis Tito first went up, and nearly seventy years since Heinlein wrote "The Man who Sold the Moon" so in a way it isn't exactly new. Especially as Musk has called out two Heinlein books by name as inspirations.

Here's the thing. Musk started SpaceX because Roscosmos saw him as a rube and a tourist. He in turn took Roscosmos as a model - SpaceX isn't trying to be the United Launch Alliance, it's trying to be the Korolev Design Bureau. The watchword is cheap. Even "cheap" it's around $5k/kilo to LEO.

Call a human and their life support for a short voyage 100 kilos. That's a half million to LEO, cost. The Saturn V was 140,000 kilos to LEO, 48,000 kilos to TLI. You're at $1.5m to TLI, then, assuming Musk does everything as cheap as possible. The Apollo CSM, on the other hand, was 15,000 kilos with three dudes in it so it's not unreasonable to say it's more like $7.5m.

You could knock that down by a factor of ten and it's out of reach of anybody reasonable. Knock it down by a hundred and it's still more than going around the world on a cruise ship first class. And even then it's loosy-goosy moot shit; our $750k to LEO is a hundredth what NASA paid Roscosmos. And the ISS isn't even in LEO, not really; it's virtually skimming the clouds. When you take that cost-per-kilo and apply it to robots, humans start looking like expensive tourists anyway, the only question left is who foots the bill.

orbat  ·  181 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Meet Yusaku Maezawa, SpaceX’s First Moon Voyage Customer

It says a lot about the world today that the next astronauts are going to be people who are obscenely rich and/or famous. Gilded Age of space exploration…

kleinbl00  ·  181 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Gilded age of fuckin' everything.

Someone asked me why I was becoming a watchmaker. I said "I've been studying the economic data for three years, probably sixty books in and who knows how many articles and newsletters. I decided that if you have to live in a gilded age, it's best to be a goldsmith."

orbat  ·  180 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Oh yeah, my point was more that it's obvious in space exploration as well

kleinbl00  ·  180 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Yeah, I know. Sad thing is it's been seventeen years since Dennis Tito first went up, and nearly seventy years since Heinlein wrote "The Man who Sold the Moon" so in a way it isn't exactly new. Especially as Musk has called out two Heinlein books by name as inspirations.

Here's the thing. Musk started SpaceX because Roscosmos saw him as a rube and a tourist. He in turn took Roscosmos as a model - SpaceX isn't trying to be the United Launch Alliance, it's trying to be the Korolev Design Bureau. The watchword is cheap. Even "cheap" it's around $5k/kilo to LEO.

Call a human and their life support for a short voyage 100 kilos. That's a half million to LEO, cost. The Saturn V was 140,000 kilos to LEO, 48,000 kilos to TLI. You're at $1.5m to TLI, then, assuming Musk does everything as cheap as possible. The Apollo CSM, on the other hand, was 15,000 kilos with three dudes in it so it's not unreasonable to say it's more like $7.5m.

You could knock that down by a factor of ten and it's out of reach of anybody reasonable. Knock it down by a hundred and it's still more than going around the world on a cruise ship first class. And even then it's loosy-goosy moot shit; our $750k to LEO is a hundredth what NASA paid Roscosmos. And the ISS isn't even in LEO, not really; it's virtually skimming the clouds. When you take that cost-per-kilo and apply it to robots, humans start looking like expensive tourists anyway, the only question left is who foots the bill.

demure  ·  180 days ago  ·  link  ·  

That's not strictly the case.

As an aside, the dude is investing a not insignificant sum into the development of BFR.

It's not exactly easy (or cheap) to design and fly a rocket that big.

OftenBen  ·  181 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you see anyone else making the attempt?

orbat  ·  180 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Do you see me disparaging the attempt? Your comment has literally nothing to do with mine. The private sector and obscenely rich people are now at the forefront at least in the US due to their ridiculous fear of the government doing anything. My comment was related to this, not to the attempt itself as such

orbat  ·  185 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A Warning From Europe: The Worst Is Yet to Come

I'm frankly somewhat convinced we're going to see multiple authoritarian dictatorships in Europe in the coming decades. Poland and Hungary are already fairly far down that path, Germany has AfD gaining popularity, hard-right parties are gaining popularity in all the Nordics, and similar stuff's happening down South as well.

Here in Finland our nationalist right-wing party just had an internal schism due to the original leadership not being racist enough, we spawned the whole Soldiers of Odin shit, national socialist "resistance movements" are gaining popularity and so on.

orbat  ·  187 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: A brief history of batshit conservative boycotts

    Liberals are offended by this video of a Keurig being thrown off of a building.

    Please retweet to offend a Liberal

This narrative where they do things just to "offend liberals" is… interesting, especially considering that I seriously doubt anyone was actually offended by conservatives destroying their own property. I wonder if this is a US thing, or is it more widespread (due to how fast cultural trends / memes tend to spread now)? Personally I haven't seen this where I live, but that doesn't say much

bfv  ·  187 days ago  ·  link  ·  

On the one hand, it's admirably consistent. The American right freaks out about broken windows at protests, and they only destroy their own property in protest. It's weird, but it's consistent.

On the other hand, the American right has a habit of killing people instead.