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[P]
Alien plot to wipe out humanity unveiled

By Rogerborg in Op-Ed
Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 07:23:36 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

Skimming the news feeds, a sudden epiphany struck.  All the pieces fell into place, and I realised that I was looking at a sinister alien plot to wipe out the human race and gain our planet for their own nefarious purposes.  Read on to discover how I arrived at this inescapable conclusion, simply by examining what we're doing to ourselves and our planet.


An axiom: if aliens have crossed the huge gulfs of space to lurk among us, then they're patient beings.  This is the crux to understanding their cruel plot.  If they had brief lives and warp drives, then they'd have disclosed themselves by now and tried to wipe us out in a fiery cataclysm.

But not these sinister creatures.  No, they'll wait and let us do the work ourselves, merely using their insidious mind control lasers to influence a few world leaders to do their bidding.

Now to the evidence for their presence.  First, we must consider what they don't want: a homogeneous culture composed of healthy, intelligent, insightful humans, with a sustainable economy, devoting resources to long term technological research and development.

Taken point by point, the alien influence becomes clear.



Homogeneity

The United Nations is so obviously an alien construct that it's almost too blatant.  But think about it just for a moment.  Do you even know who your representative in the United Nations is?  Of course not.  The United Nations - the world government - is an unelected and unrepresentative body, run to rubber-stamp the cartel interests of the G8.  Specifically, "United Nations resolution" usually equates to "US decree", and if this is not obvious to some readers, it is patently clear to those that are the subject of these proclamations.

And yet, paradoxically, many US citizens are opposed to the very idea of a world government, even though it is - de facto - run by them.  At the same time, smaller nations love the idea of a world government, but hate the way that it is run.  Nobody actually likes the United Nations in its current form.

And so why do so many countries continue to contribute to a body that is held in such universal contempt?  I'd be open to hearing a more logical explanation than alien mind control lasers, because I'm flummoxed.



Health

To defend ourselves from the alien scourge, we need to be fighting fit.  All that takes is clean water and disease prevention, good nutrition and regular exercise.

Unfortunately, at least half of the human population gets their water from polluted sources.  Twenty five thousand humans die each day from drinking polluted water.  Unsanitary water is a major factor in spreading disease, but, but outdated social prohibitions play their part, with widowed women in many parts of the world having no career open to them other than prostitution, usually without access to barrier prophylactics, or even the minimal education to know why they should use them.  This is hardly a new situation, but keen watchers of the skies must surely ask why it is not getting any better.

Even the most casual reader of Kuro5hin must by now be aware that there is enough food on the planet to sustain the present human population, but that it is overwhelmingly consumed by first world nations.  This could be simply written off as human greed, but there is a deeper and creepier explanation.

Let's look at what first world nation humans consume, using the USA as an example.  It's not just the quantity of food or the high proportion of animal fats that points to alien influence, it's the processing and additives that we choose to use.  The US diet is packed with sodium, refined sugars, pesticides, bovine growth hormone and gene spliced ingredients, all with erratic, misleading or just plain dishonest labelling (what exactly does "low fat" mean?).  Unless you grow your own food, you cannot eat healthily in the USA.  Obesity, heart disease and cancers are practically guaranteed.  No rational human society would allow this situation to continue: I refer you to the mind control lasers.

This self destructive strategy becomes even more clear when we consider (briefly) drug prohibition.  Most western countries tolerate the horrendous social consequences of alcohol use and protracted suicide through the use of additive-packed tobacco products.  Caffeine is used by almost all, but cocaine is banned even though it is comparable in effect, toxicity and physiological addictiveness when used in the same small dilute doses.  Study after study has shown that the only guaranteed result of drug prohibition is to absolutely ensure the binge abuse of cripplingly expensive polluted substances, with the consequent health and social costs, and the massive profits that drive organised crime.  What on earth could explain such a self destructive policy?  Nothing on earth.

As the sugary icing on the buttery cake that is poor health, consider that US citizens do not walk anywhere.  By leveraging global power (causing long term division and resentment in the process), the US ensures a plentiful supply of cheap automobiles and gasoline, obviating the need to place one pudgy foot in front of the other.  Exercise is something that you actively have to seek out in the first world.  The effects of this take years to pay off, but remember that our alien overlords are patient.



Intelligence

Not all humans are equally intelligent.  If we were, nobody would remember Albert Einstein as anything other than a completely average patent clerk with flat feet and varicose veins.  Most of us accept the notion of inherited traits, i.e. intelligent parents will tend to have intelligent children.  And yet suggest that we should reward intelligent parents and actively encourage them to have children, and you can be labelled a Nazi (by the non-reasoning that eugenics is a necessary part of Nazism, therefore it's sufficient to to indicate it).  Further, if you raise the issue of welfare births, you're begging to be branded a racist, even if you never, ever mention race.  So don't raise it.  For the love of Xenu, don't raise that issue.

And so instead we blithely continue with our pretence that there's absolutely no relationship between intelligence or achievement, and that welfare kids will stop going on to become welfare parents real soon now.  We keep on providing welfare and rewards to all parents, regardless of ability or achievement, and pay for this strategy by punishing high performers with huge social and economic burdens (college loans, taxation, long working hours) so that those that contribute the most are increasingly having fewer children, later in life.

There are two explanations for this.  Either positive genetic traits have absolutely no effect on achievement or productivity; or we are actively seeking to - or are being encouraged to - devolve and become helpless.  Pick one.



Insight

Following the above example, we can choose to treat genetic traits like intelligence differently from pragmatic behaviour like insight.  By insight, I mean the ability to analyse issues and draw rational conclusions.  Obviously, the aliens must encourage us to not to question or investigate the system that they have set up, to accept the status quo no matter how insane or damaging it is.

We have touched briefly on the inexplicable tolerance of the United Nations by the majority of the human population.  But such blind acceptance of poor leadership is not limited to disadvantaged nations.  Consider that in the first world, nobody believes politicians.  Commentators, analysts, even most of the electorate accept that politicians are at best inept and at worst corrupt.  But the sinister aspect is that we do accept this, we participate in political systems that have no goal other than to sustain themselves, and we pillory those that choose to dissent by saying "If you don't vote, you can't complain".  

But few of us have the luxury of being able to vote for a candidate that actually represents our opinions, and by and large we don't even question or care about the integrity of our candidates.  We accept that politicians lie habitually, that it simply never occurs to them that they could tell the truth. And then we turn out and vote for the man or woman with the best chance of defeating whoever we perceive as being the worst candidate.

Most of our votes are protest votes, and yet we never think to demand a "none of the above" option.  With this sort of system, corruption is practically guaranteed.  You don't have to think in the long term, because even if you're ousted, you know that the next candidate will be just as bad as you, and you only have to wait a few years until you will once again appear to be the lesser of two evil.  This system is so twisted, so horrendous, that it could only be the result of a cold, calculating alien intelligence seeking to weaken us at every opportunity.



Sustainable economy and long term research

The aliens are patient, but they won't wait for ever.  It's crucial that we burn ourselves out before we reach a level of technology where we become a threat to them.  Luckily, we're well on the way.

Our current global economy and wealth is utterly reliant on fossil fuels.  In terms of human civilisation, these are a blip, a fad, a passing fancy.  We're already using them up faster than we're finding them, so the clock is ticking.  And they really are a one off opportunity.  Humanity is perhaps half a million years old, civilisation (in the sense of settled populations) is perhaps ten thousand years old.  In all of that time, we have relied on renewable energy sources.  Fossil fuels will come and go in a few hundred years, and then we will - through necessity - have to return to renewable resources.  If the aliens let us, that is.

Because at the moment, we have no plans to do so.  Our current "renewable" sources are not.  Solar, wind and wave power devices suffer from a dirty little secret: they do not produce enough energy over their useful lifetime to cover the total energy costs of making and maintening them.  A factory producing solar power panels can use those panels to produce enough electricity to run itself, but it cannot produce enough of a surplus to power the requisite level of infrastructure: the construction and maintenance of the machines that extract the raw materials to make the panels; the power for the homes of the workers that run it; the lifestyles of the workers that are required at every step of production of the panels, including production of their food supply.  We are currently using up fossil fuels to make "renewable" sources of power generation that can barely power a few sparse residential areas.  When those new sources grind to a halt in fifty years, what's going to power the construction of their replacement?

Nuclear!  Of course, it's the only possible mid term solution.  Whether we like it or not, we will have to use it.  So why do we seem so utterly, completely unable to accept that?  Why do large proportions of voters (voting with their heart in a corrupt, broken system, remember) keep telling our politicians that they won't accept it?  Three words. Mind.  Control.  Lasers.

But surely we will redress this situation before it's too late by actually balancing our energy books!  Well, when are we going to start?  We could have used the vast wealth of fossil fuels to fund an enormous technological explosion, and given our grandchildren the stars.  We very nearly did in the 1960's - I conjecture that the aliens were having a ten year nap - but then we reverted to type and decided that instead we'd squander the one-off fossil wealth on disposable consumer items, and on developing and maintaining weapons to kill purely earth-bound opponents.  We are quite literally burning up our future by maintaining enormous military-industrial complexes that have no purpose other than to destroy each other.  The USA spends $400 billion dollars a year on defence.  Much of this is virtual fiat currency, but some of it is tangible and finite resource.  Flying fighter jets around an empty sky serves no global purpose other than to encourage other countries to do the same.

But isn't this bad for the aliens?  Don't they want those fossil fuels?  Hardly.  They're patient.  They know that fossil is a quirk of history.  They're here for the long term, and they (demonstrably, because they're here) spent their own fossil wealth to bootstrap themselves up to properly efficient sustainable energy sources and to much better technology.  Once we've cleared the way, they can have all the real estate they like to set up geothermal, wind, wave, water and solar collectors, or they can simply burn wood in a sustainable fashion after we wipe ourselves out and the forests grow back.

So what are they waiting for?  What will be the trigger for their invasion?  There are several options:

  • The impoverished nations finally get tired of being pushed around, realise that they've got nothing to lose, and unleash a global biological plague.  As we've been told repeatedly, biological weapons are cheaper and easier than nuclear weapons, and every tin pot dictator can have them.  Conveniently, they won't bother the aliens at all.
  • We simply collapse under our own weight. The first world will groan to a halt as the obese, unfit population ages.  As we spend more and more on keeping humans alive and consuming for longer, the tax burden will rise until eventually nobody will be able to afford to have children.  Then it all falls apart.  The third world could pick up the pieces, only by the time it happens, we'll have sucked their fossil reserves dry.  What are they going to use to power their growth?
  • Or they just wait.  If they're sufficiently patient, they can wait for the next ice age.  When the ice sheets retreat, what are we going to use to bootstrap ourselves back up to a level of technology sufficient to challenge them?  The aliens can simply drop out of orbit and enslave our caveman descendants.  If the cunning aliens dress as Gerry Springer and Oprah, then they can even use our use grunting, hooting faeces flinging descendants' racial memory to their advantage.



What can we do about this nightmare scenario?  Probably nothing.  If I'm right, it's already too late.  Under the influence of the insidious mind control lasers, we foolishly blew our fossil wealth on exploding our population, and we chose to believe politicians who told us that they knew how to keep the wealth flowing forever.  But it can't, because as we've been told so often recently, we're consumers.  Not contributors, not stakeholders, not taxpayers.  Consumers.  We drill and we eat and we make baby consumers.  That's all we do, and now that the alien plan approaches fruition, that's all we'll ever do.  How many trees did you plant today? Damn those mind control lasers!

I vote that we don't wait for the next ice age, and we nuke ourselves right back to the stone age right now.  Best case, we leave the last dribble of fossil fuels for our descendants, and maybe they'll spend it more wisely.  Worst case... well, at least we poison the chalice for the aliens and spoil their fun.

And if there's no aliens?  Well, that's the most frightening option of all.  If that's true, then I still vote for the fiery cataclysm.  Let's do the universe a favour, and avoid the remote possibility that we do manage to spread our infection to another planet before we burn this one out.

(Credit goes to turmeric for an article suggesting ways to wipe out humans that led to the revelation that we, or rather our alien puppet masters, are already well advanced down that path)

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Poll
Aliens...
o Are among us, sure, but I have to go watch the rasslin' now 14%
o Should pay tax but shouldn't get minimum wage or the vote 29%
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Display: Sort:
Alien plot to wipe out humanity unveiled | 138 comments (104 topical, 34 editorial, 1 hidden)
hehe (4.16 / 6) (#1)
by Work on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 04:59:23 PM EST

Tumeric, is that you?

No (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by Rogerborg on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:01:30 PM EST

But it was inspired by Turmeric's piece that flitted through the queue yesterday.  I'll go and make some food, then credit that as part of the edits.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

well done (4.00 / 1) (#5)
by Work on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:04:18 PM EST

the misspellings were what tipped me to how similar it was to his, however theres something not quite right about it. I think its your proper use of punctuation in most places and perhaps the rant just doesnt have as much...feeling to it.

[ Parent ]
i cain't rite thayt gewd (4.25 / 4) (#38)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:17:38 AM EST

the credit looks silly. thanks for the thought though.

[ Parent ]
IT'S ALL TRUE! (4.50 / 4) (#4)
by Steve Ballmer on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:03:17 PM EST

Unbiased documentation:

Art Bell
Richard Hoagland
David Icke

hah (5.00 / 2) (#39)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:19:28 AM EST

thanks for the links, as we all know , links can raise a piece of writing from unconvincing gobbledygook full of things people dont know/ dont believe into something reliable, trustworthy, and informative.

[ Parent ]
huh (3.50 / 8) (#6)
by khallow on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:20:35 PM EST

a homogeneous culture composed of healthy, intelligent, insightful humans

Can you even have such a thing? Somehow when I hear "homogeneous culture", I think "plain yogurt" not "healthy, intelligent, insightful humans".

. Our current "renewable" sources are not. Solar, wind and wave power devices suffer from a dirty little secret: they do not produce enough energy over their useful lifetime to cover the total energy costs of making and maintening them.

Utterly wrong.

And if there's no aliens? Well, that's the most frightening option of all. If that's true, then I still vote for the fiery apocalypose. Let's do the universe a favour, and avoid the remote possibility that we do manage to spread our infection to another planet before we burn this one out.

Physician, cure thyself.

Stating the obvious since 1969.

Hmmm (5.00 / 1) (#11)
by Rogerborg on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:08:08 PM EST

      Solar, wind and wave power devices suffer from a dirty little secret: they do not produce enough energy over their useful lifetime to cover the total energy costs of making and maintening them.

    Utterly wrong.

I'd love you to believe that you're right, but your flat assertion is no more convincing than mine.


Unfortunately, total energy use figures are a little hard to come by.  What I'm basing my assertion on is a conversation with an Cambridge University physics researcher in the mid-1990's, who assured me that a solar panel production plant could (at that time) now power itself in the long term.  When I asked about the rest - powering the mining and processing, powering the homes and lifestyles of all the people involved - he just giggled nervously.  That giggle haunts my dreams.


Help me out here.  If you know someone that's done all the sums - all of them - then please share.


"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Um (3.66 / 3) (#31)
by carbon on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 10:31:36 PM EST

Building a solar panel (or wave/wind power collector) takes X resources. But the amount of power it gives you depends on how well you maintain it (which comes to wiping it down with a hose every now and again, and wire maintanence) and how much time it spends getting sunlight, not how many resources were taken constructing it. That is, they aren't like batteries, with a predetermined finite capacity.


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
Hey (1.00 / 3) (#75)
by carbon on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 03:32:45 PM EST

Rogerborg, might I ask why you rated my comment a 3? Feel like responding to my arguments?


Wasn't Dr. Claus the bad guy on Inspector Gadget? - dirvish
[ Parent ]
I imagine... (5.00 / 1) (#97)
by evanbd on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 08:47:21 AM EST

It's because your comment was not particularly insightful or informative.  Not to say that it was bad, just that it wasn't great.  Hence a 3.

Basically, solar panels do have a finite lifetime.  It's impacted by proper maintenence or lack thereof, but even with good maintenence they wear out after 20-30 years.  I could be out of date on this, I haven't researched it in a few years.

Also, no one was claiming that the amount of energy extracted depended on what went in.  Just that it was finite, and that the cost to produce was relatively high.

[ Parent ]

cost analysis (5.00 / 3) (#34)
by khallow on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:33:24 AM EST

Ok, not as price effective as I thought, but here's a comparison by price (which I think puts a ceiling on the amount of energy required to make it):

  • 1.1 KW system cost $7700, estimated (for California) average output per day, 5 KWh, fo 36 MWh over 20 years (maybe 20-30MWh would be more accurate due to power loss as solar cells age?). roughly 10 sq meters, 120kg for mass of cells and frame.

  • Siemans 150W panel, cost $869 for one, guaranteed to be within 20% of max output for 25 years to give a minimum of 6 MWh lifetime output. 1.3 sq meters, 14.8 kg.

  • This research article claims that in 1998, manufacture of solar cell wafers required around 250KWh/kg. Newer processes require 80KWh/kg. In particular, the second panel needed a ceiling of around 3.5MWh (estimate from the mass of the panel and less efficient method).

  • 10KW wind turbine, roughly $18,000 for single utility intertie. Output at 50% efficiency (40MWh).

  • Tidal power is a nonissue at the moment. There's only one serious tidal plant in the world apparently on the Rance River in France that generates 240MW (I can't find average generation numbers for the place).
Unfortunately, total energy use figures are a little hard to come by. What I'm basing my assertion on is a conversation with an Cambridge University physics researcher in the mid-1990's, who assured me that a solar panel production plant could (at that time) now power itself in the long term. When I asked about the rest - powering the mining and processing, powering the homes and lifestyles of all the people involved - he just giggled nervously. That giggle haunts my dreams.

Just to point out something, solar power is used in different ways than traditional electric power. In particular, it's effective for remote locations that aren't connected to a grid. Further, solar cells are much more expensive in energy costs than the other wowie energy production methods excluding possibly nuclear power. Tidal is dubious. There seem to be some good locations for it, but the scale of the projects required, the environment effects, and the rigid timing of generation (once every 12 hours) makes it less useful.

In any case, any technology that is used at at a large number of sites probably produces many times it's energy cost in power (nuclear fission being an unusual exception). Even with subsidies, it's hard to implement a technology that doesn't work - witness solar cells before 1990. That's the reason I instinctively rejected the accusation.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

I don't get it (none / 0) (#78)
by dipierro on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 05:23:42 PM EST

None of those systems cost less than the amount of energy you get out of them.



[ Parent ]
not true (none / 0) (#80)
by khallow on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 05:48:24 PM EST

My post was in response to the original claim that these produce less power over their usable lifetime than they consume in manufacture and maintenance. That's much weaker than saying that they cost less than the value of the energy produced.

First, these are for one component, not in bulk (the 1.1K probably wouldn't see much improvement, but the Siemans 150W panel would). Second, the economics of the wind turbine are pretty good $18,000 for the initial investment, and $2000 a year (50% utilization at $50 per MWh). So it will probably be economical for many locations. Apparently, the Rance River tidal power plant is getting upgraded to two-way flow. I gather that it has favorable economics.

The solar cell design in particular appears to be uneconomical (before large government subsidies!) for most homes and uses, but remember it just has to produce more power over its lifetime than it consumes. Not be economically competitive with the grid.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

You're forgetting *manufacture* (none / 0) (#81)
by dipierro on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 06:31:27 PM EST

My post was in response to the original claim that these produce less power over their usable lifetime than they consume in manufacture and maintenance. That's much weaker than saying that they cost less than the value of the energy produced.


Well, I don't see the difference, but I also don't see how you proved either.  Nowhere did you say how much power they consume in manufacture.  I assume you could judge this by their price, though, since the price of things usually boils down to using resources or using manpower (which uses resources).


The solar cell design in particular appears to be uneconomical (before large government subsidies!) for most homes and uses, but remember it just has to produce more power over its lifetime than it consumes. Not be economically competitive with the grid.


You're not factoring the resources used to manufacture the product, then.



[ Parent ]
Huh (5.00 / 1) (#90)
by khallow on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 12:47:42 AM EST

Ok, I have no real idea how much power they consume in manufacturing. While I started this grumpy, my mood has improved. What do you think of this argument? Should work to a similar extent for any power production method that grows rapidly.

I understand that something of the order of 200 MW (in 1999 acording to the DOE) of solar cells are produced each year globally. As I figure it that's a potential lifetime capacity of the order of 5,000 GWh. (200 MW for five hours a day on average including cloudy days for 20 years and some degree of degradation over the lifetime).

In comparison, this site seems to indicate that global electricity production was slightly less than 15,000 GWh in 1999. I'm assuming that solar cell production is mostly electrically powered. Hence that indicates that if solar cells took as much energy to make as they produced over their lifetime, then they would consume around a third of the world's supply of electricity (at least in 1999). I assert that we would notice such massive consumption. QED (YMMV).

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

Damn! I give up. (none / 0) (#91)
by khallow on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 12:53:51 AM EST

That's a global annual power production of 15,000,000 GWh. Clearly, enough slop for solar cells. Should have known that the number seemed low.

Stating the obvious since 1969.
[ Parent ]

But aren't (none / 0) (#84)
by bjlhct on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 07:16:11 PM EST

Those things manufactured with fossil fuel power, which brings the cost down?
* Beware, gentle knight - the greatest monster of them all is reason. -Cervantes
[ Parent ]
This article should be marked with the SPOILER tag (4.40 / 10) (#7)
by X3nocide on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 05:28:23 PM EST

Dude, if you're gonna post the plotline to Deus Ex 2 at least let people know haven't seen it yet have a chance to avoid it!

pwnguin.net
Good subject (4.30 / 10) (#12)
by Nick Ives on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 06:17:44 PM EST

I remember playing Baldur's Gate 2: Throne of Bhaal and there was this cave full of dragons. The thing was, most of them flitted between dragon and human forms.

Now, in China they've got a thing about dragons. They built that wall to keep them out, as well as barbarians too. Bruce Lee was in the film "Enter the Dragon" and in that film he was a dragon cos dragons are apparently kickass kung-fu masters.

So, what do we know so far? First of all, dragons can take human form. Second, they are kickass kunk-fu masters. With me? Good.

Now, David Icke talks a lot about how the leaders of the world are all shape shifting reptiles. Dragons are reptiles. Dragons can turn into human form. There are lots of ancient references to Dragons. The leaders of the world are in fact shape-shifting Dragons and therefore, curiously, are kickass kung-fu masters. Don't diss the Queen, she could kick your arse!

Dragons are also big on magic, that's how they can shapeshift. Of course we humans have our science and all that shtick so they probably got scared, realised we were one day going to rule the world, used their huge capital reserves (think about how big a pile of gold and gems your average dragon has and multiply that by everyone in the UN and the UKian royal family and probably quite a few more) to take over the world in secret and place themselves at the top of the social order and used magic in combination with science for their mind control lasers.

So yea, Dragons. It might just be a degree of difference, but it helps to know your enemy.

--
Nick
money

I am a dragon... (3.50 / 2) (#20)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:00:28 PM EST

...and the only gold I have are the Sacagewea dollar coins I got from a ticket vending machine in Grand Central Station in NYC. Please get your facts straight.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Yea well (4.80 / 5) (#23)
by Nick Ives on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:15:17 PM EST

I'm technically Jewish and I'm not part of the global Jewish media conspiracy. There are exceptions to every rule you know.

--
Nick
"the gunners dying words, on the intercom"

[ Parent ]

I think you're supposed to buy your way in. [n/t] (4.00 / 1) (#24)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:18:23 PM EST


--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Really? (4.50 / 2) (#25)
by Nick Ives on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:33:41 PM EST

I could do with more info in that direction, I tried begging on k5 for a current conspiricy member to notice me and give me a media job that pays obscene amounts of money but that didn't work.

--
Nick
doggles

[ Parent ]

Conspiracies are generally franchise operations. (4.50 / 2) (#27)
by Mr Incorrigible on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:45:05 PM EST

Since plots to achieve world domination tend to be hideously expensive, it is common practice for large conspiracies like The Unix Conspiracy, the Uptight Christians' Brigade, the Trilateral Commission, etc. to insist that new members pay a large entry fee and annual dues to defray expenses. After all, bribe money doesn't grow on trees, and Villain Supply doesn't accept American Express.

--
I know I'm a cheeky bastard. My lady tells me so.


[ Parent ]
Dragons? Bah! (none / 0) (#107)
by stormysky on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 02:09:38 PM EST

I fear not the dragons, for they are but pawns... pawns to the bunnies!!!
Yes, bunnies!  Nefarious they are, abiding in their holes until the day
they enslave us all, and suck our iron-rich blood from our husk-like corpses... as though it were a zesty juiced carrot mix.
It's gotta be the bunnies.
We can face anything, except for bunnies.
[ Parent ]
We must fight... (3.60 / 5) (#26)
by DeadBaby on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:38:13 PM EST

The alien race of trolls that plauge our weblogs.

UNITE EARTH.
"Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity -- in all this vastness -- there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. It is up to us." - Carl Sagan

Anybody want to buy a tin foil hat? (4.00 / 5) (#28)
by rivenwanderer on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:55:09 PM EST

{well somebody had to say it}
~*~
Available here: (none / 0) (#120)
by Alannon on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 03:09:56 AM EST

Tinfoil hats available here, as well as more wonderful conspiracies.

[ Parent ]
we're their third world (3.33 / 3) (#29)
by nodsmasher on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 07:56:38 PM EST


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Most people don't realise just how funny cannibalism can actually be.
-Tatarigami
They live. We sleep. NT (5.00 / 2) (#40)
by Edgy Loner on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:23:26 AM EST



This is not my beautiful house.
This is not my beautiful knife.
[ Parent ]
thats deep (5.00 / 2) (#41)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:23:42 AM EST

yo its like .. oh wait. uhm, they dont bomb us and send in alien companies to mine shit and kill us for protesting.

[ Parent ]
+1FP because (4.40 / 5) (#30)
by dzimmerm on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 09:37:41 PM EST

I like tongue in cheek humour.

I like it when someone points out the lunacy that it is to be alive and sentient in this day in age

Although I do not agree with all of the conclusions and posible solutions I do agree with the concept of the freedom to post such an piece.

I wonder if one could heat their house in the winter on the compressed remains of their lawn clippings from the rest of the year? At least then it would make sense to fertilize it and water it. Cellulose is cellulose, right?

I am sad that the author did not once suggest wearing aluminum foil hats or beanies to deflect the mind control lasers. It was the only major downside to this article that I could fine.

cheers,

dzimmerm

I reckoned (5.00 / 1) (#47)
by Rogerborg on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 06:58:41 AM EST

That any links would spoil the purity of the bombastic rambling that is an Op-Ed piece.

For the record though, the Aluminum Foil Deflector Beanie is here.  And here's a (genuine) picture of me wearing mine.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

I was a welfare kid, you motherfucker. (3.33 / 9) (#33)
by delmoi on Sun Sep 29, 2002 at 11:48:14 PM EST

Guess what, not all of us end up back on welfare. My weapon of choice for defiling the upper classes is called "unemployment".

The reason eugenics and Nazism are linked is because eugenics is a very large part of the nazi ideal, and their greatest crime, the holocaust had nothing to do with anything else they proffered. (The merging of corporations and government, for example, of Confucian hierarchy of society. That the trains ran on time, of course, helped.).

Also, you're bit about food in the us is idiotic. What you would consider "healthy" (In actuality, natural) food is easy to find with a little research. There is a market for health food, and organic food, and there are distribution companies and special stores that sell them.

This is ignoring the idiotic idea that gene splicing, preservatives, etc are all "bad" for us. And there are no bovine hormones in anything other then beef.
--
"'argumentation' is not a word, idiot." -- thelizman
milk? (4.00 / 4) (#42)
by turmeric on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:26:04 AM EST

how do you know the trains ran on time! i want some verifiable references from a peer reviewed journal

[ Parent ]
Thanks (4.50 / 2) (#46)
by Rogerborg on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 06:32:43 AM EST

For confirming my point that it's impossible to even raise the issue of the welfare trap without being called a Nazi motherfucker.

I take your point about the food, but again we're talking about the exception, not the rule.  Organic food is available, but it's not popular.  It should be, but it isn't.  So either we're dumb fucks that deserve to wipe ourselves out, or we're the target of alien influence.

Then again, I can't even spell Jerry Springer, so what do I know?

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Eugenics (4.50 / 2) (#77)
by JahToasted on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 04:24:49 PM EST

The problem I have with eugenics is that it really only helps with physical evolution. We are already evolved enough to survive in our environment (and other environments, with a little adaptation). There are 6 billion of us, do we really need to be better evolved just in case that sabre-tooth tiger decides to come after us?

No. Evolution now is really about the evolution of ideas. Sure you may be a super-genius, but are you gonna make the world a better place. Since you already brought up nazis, lets look at Hitler. Sure he was a smart guy, but did he make the world a better place?

What we need is people who are more aware of what's going on in the world and better socialized in dealing with the problems in this world. The evolution you should be thinking about is the evolution of the mind. It's about the memes not the genes.

Education is the way to make smart people. Fuck eugenics.
______
"I wanna have my kicks before the whole shithouse goes up in flames" -- Jim Morrison
[ Parent ]

I whole heartedly Agree! (none / 0) (#86)
by Subtillus on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:03:16 PM EST

It is all about the ideas now. We sidestepped evolution a while ago and if we're going to keep going we need some good thinkers.

[ Parent ]
Can you cite a reference (none / 0) (#85)
by Subtillus on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:01:12 PM EST

Which would show in a paper that is neither idiotic nor short-sighted which shows that intelligence is a some sort of genetic function.

If not, then I can see why you might be a "Nazi mother fucker". Oh, and you aren't allowed to use Sohckely.

[ Parent ]

anecdotal (none / 0) (#123)
by ShadowNode on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 04:58:58 AM EST

Dammit, not every point refers to you, specifically. Do most welfare kids end up on welfare? I don't fucking know, but just because you didn't in no way means that most don't.



[ Parent ]
I believe... (2.14 / 7) (#35)
by Calledor on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:37:30 AM EST

That a mind control laser, fucked up by trying to control a non-existant GW brain, misfired and microwaved yours. It's ok though because while the first stage of having your brain microwaved by alien lasers is reverting to trollism, the next stage has you on the street despondant about how human civilization isn't careing for every individual. Stay away from loaded guns and heights as you might feel compelled to kill yourself. The best way to do that for a person in your condition is to make it look like someone you don't like did it. Namely a politician who irritates you for no apparent reason. Do it quick though because if you don't they might fry your brain again, and kill the part that makes you para... clarevoyant enough to see an assured future. Don't want to lose that gift, no siree. Quick man! Before they pollute your drinking water and burn all the fossil fuels that keep the precious precious lights on in your lonely dwelling. A person like you shouldn't be left alone in the dark for long periods of time (I refer to any article pertaining to the Heaven's Gate group and what they did to themselves in their dark secluded mansion).

-Calledor
"I've never been able to argue with anyone who believes the Nazis didn't invade Russia, or anyone who associates the Holocaust with the meat industry. It's like talking to someone from another planet. A planet of fuckwits."- Jos
+1, nice article. (4.42 / 7) (#49)
by 5pectre on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 07:34:13 AM EST

The United Nations - the world government - is an unelected and unrepresentative body, run to rubber-stamp the cartel interests of the G8.

I would have to agree with the first part, the UN isn't democratic (yet). However I don't think that it is solely around to rubber-stamp the interests of the G8. There are resolutions which go against US interests and the interests of the G8. But those usually get ignored because of US (or insert other country here) pressure.

I'd be open to hearing a more logical explanation than alien mind control lasers, because I'm flummoxed.

Because it is a start and can get better. It already does and says a lot of great stuff. If only some of the stuff it says could get actionned upon.

Health

Pretty much agree with you there. Especially with the WoSD i knew it was an evil alien plot all along.

Further, if you raise the issue of welfare births, you're begging to be branded a racist, even if you never, ever mention race. So don't raise it. For the love of Xenu, don't raise that issue.

I'm not going to brand you a racist or a nazi. You are however very wrong. Also, I think you'll find that the high acheivers are burdening themselves with long working hours, must be those mind control lasers.

Insight

Universal suffrage was an evil alien plot. Whoever you vote for, the government always gets in.

Sustainable economy and long term research

Agree with all of the points regarding fossil fuels. However nuclear is not the way forward (at least not until we can find a safe way of getting the waste off this planet.) You might be interested to know that Iceland is mainly powered by geothermal and that half of the electricity in my county is supplied by wind power.

"Let us kill the English, their concept of individual rights might undermine the power of our beloved tyrants!!" - Lisa Simpson [ -1.50 / -7.74]

Never attribute to malice (4.20 / 5) (#50)
by hulver on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 07:43:30 AM EST

That which can be adequately explained by stupidity.

--
HuSi!
Congrats (none / 0) (#133)
by p3d0 on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 02:43:26 PM EST

You too have grasped the point of the article. (Hint: the author does not believe in aliens or mind-control lasers.)
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
Re: Welfare (3.60 / 10) (#51)
by pedrobeltrao on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 08:16:38 AM EST

"...welfare kids will stop going on to become welfare parents real soon now."
I'm an european equivalent of an welfare kid, I have a degree in Biochemistry and i'm starting my Ph.D. in bioinformatics this year. You completely disregard the weight of education on the construction of self. Genes deal the cards you make the best of them.

"Solar, wind and wave power devices suffer from a dirty little secret: they do not produce enough energy over their useful lifetime to cover the total energy costs of making and maintaining them. "
Somehow i don't believe this.

"The future is here. It's just not evenly distributed yet."-William Gibson
I don't believe it either (5.00 / 2) (#54)
by Lacero on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 10:13:06 AM EST

This site has something on that, including a reference to a proper study in the January 2001 issue of Home Power magazine.

I haven't been able to read the magazine but I don't believe those figures include the costs of the employees making them. Of course the problem there is that people waste loads of energy, not that solar takes more energy to make than it gives back.

[ Parent ]

Thanks (4.00 / 2) (#65)
by Rogerborg on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:15:49 PM EST

That's a good link for further study (which is rather the point of an Op-Ed!).

However, I'm going to go out on a limb and predict that it's still only dealing with the energy requirements of the actual materials.  But that's not the issue, not even close.

It comes down to this.  Take the total energy that we obtain and use from fossil fuels today to sustain our lifestyle (globally, in the first world, in the US, pick any subset).  Translate that into solar (/wind/wave), and adjust any net difference between replacing panels and mining fossil fuels.  How may solar factories do we need?  How much real estate?  Are there any rare and limited natural resources involved, and if so, how long will they last?  How many more workers does it require to sustain a solar economy, and who's going to do their jobs?   Can we sustain our current wealth and lifestyle based on renewable energy sources, and if not, what exactly are we going to do about it, and when?

These are the questions that I can't find the answers to.  And I really think that we need answers, because despite our racial smugness about our abilities to deal with problems, I've searched the history books in vain for an example of any human community thriving after it had exhausted a natural resource that it was absolutely reliant on.  

We generally accept that if a culture over-exploits a resource (e.g. wood, food) then it's screwed, and it'll be replaced by something more efficient, usually an immigrating culture skilled in using different resouces.  That's fine and good, but what immigrating culture is going to replace us when we suck the last dregs of oil out of the ground on a planetary scale.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Crash!ng the Party (5.00 / 1) (#82)
by Fon2d2 on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 06:32:21 PM EST

I have often wondered the answers to these questions myself and in my college years I allied myself weakly with the Green Party in the naive belief that they had concrete answers to these problems. Perhaps they do, but I have never seen them laid out. I have seen Ralph Nader speak in person and he claims vehemently that we have the capability to end our dependence on fossil fuels and move to completely renewable resources: solar, wind, bio-fuels, etc. That's partly why I was so eager to read his latest book. I was hoping for some elaboration on exactly the kinds of questions you posted in your comment. Unfortunately the answers and the reasons weren't there. Just vague statements along the lines of oil and nuclear bad, solar and wind good. I believe, as you stated in your story, that we will need nuclear energy to wean ourselves from fossil fuels. I do recall an issue of Scientific American that went over new processes in nuclear technology and how much more efficient and clean it is. Keep in mind that nuclear has no greenhouse gas emission. I admit to not knowing much about the containment of nuclear waste and I know their are problems with current containment facilities, but I am fairly certain that modern power plants can do much better. Another technology that I have a fairly limited understanding of is the hydrogen fuel cell. I never really understood where the energy was coming from but from what I do understand, it looks like this:

Hydrogen + Oxygen -> Water + Energy

Excuse me, but where is all the hydrogen going to come from? It is not sufficient to say from the water, because that implies the hydrogen is only an energy carrier, not a source, which then doesn't answer the question of our dependence on fossil fuels. Ralph Nader decries the hydrogen fuel cell as a red herring used by the auto industry to detract government attention from making them design truly fuel efficient cars. I don't understand why that would be an issue though seeing as how there should be enough consumers who would love a more fuel efficient car to make it economically rewarding. In fact I already see it starting to happen. Am I wrong on this? Or maybe he decries the hydrogen fuel cell because it won't tap into any new sources of energy and thus won't help end dependence on fossil fuels. Well if that's true, at least it's an efficient and clean way of transporting energy, I think.

Can anybody elaborate more on any of this? Energy consumption of major cities. Energy density of wind and solar power plants. Implementation techniques. Disposal of nuclear waste. More info about hydrogen fuel cells. Any of this kind of info would be very helpful.

[ Parent ]
Hydrogen (none / 0) (#99)
by vrt3 on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 08:50:39 AM EST

You're right about the hydrogen. The energy has to come from somewhere, but that's a point the proponents gladly overlook. Example: Hydrotopia , featured on Salon.

The gist of the article:

In the hydrogen future, owning such a car would mean that it would drive your house, when you weren't driving it. The car would beg a kind of power plant on wheels, with a generating capacity of twenty kilowatts, all powered by hydrogen. Unlike fossil fuels, hydrogen is abundantly available everywhere and just needs to be extracted from a source like natural gas, gasoline or water. And unlike an electric car, which must be charged up at night by the electrical power grid, a hydrogen car would actually make its driver an energy producer.
Nice, isn't it? Only, it's wrong. I can only assume it can be blaimed on stupidity; otherwise it's a blatant lie. It's not about "[hydrogen] just needs to be extracted". The whole story is:

Water + Energy -> Hydrogen + Oxygen -> Water + Energy

As always, some energy is lost in the process, so the final result of the whole process is:

Water + Energy + Some more energy -> Water + Energy

Hydrogen can be a nice way of transporting energy, but it's certainly not an energy source. But that's not what some people say:

And for stationary fuel cells, we have 30 states that now mandate that if you generate energy at the end of the line with renewable [power sources], they've got to accept your energy back to the power grid.
They actually think you can _produce_ power with it! Well yes, if you bye your hydrogen somewhere, but than it would not be efficient to use it to sell electricity to the power grid.
How do consumers become producers of energy in the hydrogen economy? When a hydrogen car is not operating, you can plug it in to generate power for your home, factory or shopping mall. So, if the whole U.S. fleet was hydrogen, and if 25 percent of the fleet were plugged in when it was not operating, you wouldn't need one power plant in the country. That's the power of distributed generation.
"You wouldn't need one power plant in the country"... Who's going to produce all the hydrogen?
Hydrogen is the way to store renewable energy. You take renewables. You generate electricity. You use that electricity to separate hydrogen from water, and there's your stored energy. Then, you put it in fuel cells whenever you want.
Aha! That's one thing they got right.
Hydrogen is [also] ubiquitous. Unlike coal, oil and gas, every community has hydrogen. Yes, you have to extract it. But what's going to happen is that Moore's Law has already set in here with hydrogen, where you're doubling the knowledge and halving the cost, as you did in software and in the biotech revolution.
Still, having to extract it is looked upon is a mere detail, while it is the single most important issue in the whole story.

And yes, the article also talks about how the oil and car industries supposedly are anti-hydrogen. (Maybe they are, but that's not the reason why there hasn't been a large scale deployment of hydrogen-based energy).
When a man wants to murder a tiger, it's called sport; when the tiger wants to murder him it's called ferocity. -- George Bernard Shaw
[ Parent ]

People tend to forget.. (none / 0) (#101)
by ajduk on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 09:49:39 AM EST

The second law of thermodynamics.  Hell, they frequently forget the first one..

Hydrogen is indeed an energy carrier.  Not the most convienient energy carrier - a process to generate methanol, for example, from water and carbon dioxide using electricity would be better.  They didn't seem to mention storage or energy density in the article.

Generating hydrogen from methane or oil is approaching insanity; you're throwing away most of the primary energy in doing so.  As for distributed electricity generation..

[ Parent ]

Salon got it wrong (none / 0) (#105)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 12:53:43 PM EST

Seriously, I don't know whether to laugh or cry, but it's very infuriating. The author, in the opening paragraph makes the statement "It's a dream that goes by the name of "distributed generation" and it's based on the idea that hydrogen is the next great power source."

But in the actual interview Rifkin says the following:

You'll be able to buy a commercially viable hydrogen car by 2009 in the showrooms in the U.S., along with regular fossil-fuel internal-combustion cars. Those hydrogen cars will use fossil fuels to get the hydrogen, but at least it's a bridge.

And further on:

Hydrogen is the way to store renewable energy. You take renewables. You generate electricity. You use that electricity to separate hydrogen from water, and there's your stored energy. Then, you put it in fuel cells whenever you want.

So that leaves a couple of questions:
  • Why would anybody sell back the energy they stored in their fuel cells when such a circular transaction must imply a loss in energy and hence a monetary loss to the consumer?
  • What is the energy density of hydrogen fuel cells compared to traditional fossil fuels?
Now honestly I don't think the author made these mistakes on purpose but it doesn't mean she isn't responsible for them as they still spread the same confusion and misinformation amonsgt the public.

Interestingly, if you look at the top of the 2nd page, there's a link to another (in my opinion) bad Salon article titled "Steal this car!". Rather than the author misinterpreting the environmentalists however this time it appears the environmentalists are getting it all wrong and the author was taken along for the ride. This time the environmentalists are claiming a conspiracy by the auto manufacturers to pull electric vehicles off the roads and dodge fuel efficiency legislation. Here is a quote from the article:

"It's a terrible shame, because it's the best zero emissions vehicle out there, and they were first to market with the technology," says Knapp from the California ZEV Alliance.

Jamie Knapp is a spokesperson for the California Zero-Emission Vehicle Alliance.

Now what's so incredulous about this is she's talking about GM's EV1, a car that needs to be plugged into the power grid to be charged up. That means the cars emissions are the emissions of the power plant in creating that energy plus the the emissions for the energy lost in transmission. Now the power plant may be more efficient at extracting energy from fossil fuels but it's despicable that she glosses over these facts. I also wonder about the environmental impact of creating enough batteries to power all the cars in the US until hydrogen fuel cells are a viable alternative. The following quote, however, makes me think that overall, the electric cars are more efficient in the use of fossil fuels:

"I have no intention of going back to gasoline if I can possibly avoid it," says Bob Seldon, a patent attorney in Santa Monica who has been driving an EV1 for five years. "In my electric car, I start with a full 'tank' every morning. I've got the range I need. It has great performance with zero maintenance, and electricity costs me about half as much per mile as gasoline."

That's really one of the only statements in the article that gets close to the heart of the matter. The rest is mostly environmentalists ranting about GM's decision to pull electric cars from the market. But let's compare a couple more choice quotes, shall we?

Testifying before the California Air Resources Board on Sept. 7, 2000, Sam Leonard, director of the General Motors Public Policy Center, said that the automaker had invested almost a billion dollars in electric-car technology and production, and had expected to manufacture 10 to 20 times the cars that they ended up seeing demand for...

And further down...

The EV1 drivers asked GM to do the same. Early this summer, 58 EV1 drivers sent checks to GM as proof that they wanted their leases to continue, petitioning the company to keep the EV1s on the road.

The checks, totaling more than $22,000, came back, uncashed, by registered mail in late June.


So let me get this straight, GM would only have to continue leasing the cars for 45,454 more years to recoup their research and development costs. Wow, what a deal. I can't believe they aren't making more. But honestly, I don't think I'd want a car that only goes 100 miles before needing to be recharged either.

Thanks for the info sources though, no matter how ill-informed they were. I think I will check out that book by Rifkin: "The Hydrogen Economy". I just hope its at the local library.

[ Parent ]
If you want an answer (none / 0) (#100)
by greenrd on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 09:15:00 AM EST

If you want to know how a renewable-energy-driven economy could work, I suggest you find a book or pamphlet which is more specifically directed at that question, rather than an account of Ralph Nader's campaign intended for the general reader. Just because you can't find an answer in that book doesn't mean it hasn't been thought about.


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Very true (none / 0) (#103)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 10:57:14 AM EST

but in all honesty I did expect the book to delve into his campaign issues.  After all it is about his campaign.  It seemed to me that while describing why the Democratic and Republican parties are bad that it would necessarily get into details about hydrogen fuel cells, renewable energy, fair trade, globalization, and the like.  After all, a person should know these things in order to make an informed vote.  I guess it didn't occur to me occur to me that he would write a complete book about his presidential campaign and not cover any of his campaign policies, especially after being denied entrance to the debates.  It seems totally pointless.  Green party members already side with him and it won't tell them anything new.  Democratic party members will just think it sounds like unsubstantiated rant and be glad they didn't vote for him.

[ Parent ]
Damned if you do, damned if you don't! (none / 0) (#104)
by greenrd on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 11:15:24 AM EST

I can hear the complaints now:

"I like the man, but I am not going to sit down and read yet more excruciatingly boring analyses of exactly how the environment is going to the dogs."

(Oh yeah, and "Long on anger, short on nuance, $PERSON's book fails to take account of shades of grey in the real world." That's a favourite liberal dismissal.)


"Capitalism is the absurd belief that the worst of men, for the worst of reasons, will somehow work for the benefit of us all." -- John Maynard Keynes
[ Parent ]

Not going to read? (none / 0) (#112)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 03:55:49 PM EST

Are you kidding? I soak this shit up. Just point me at the pertinent information.

[ Parent ]
Hydrogen Economy (none / 0) (#106)
by Ward57 on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 12:55:08 PM EST

Power from hydrogen by nuclear fusion (?). It could be argued that a hydrogen economy is one that uses hydrogen for auto fuel, all of the time. We can make plenty of hydrogen using electricity, which, since we have nuclear power, we will have in plentiful supply, even when the oil runs out. Anyway, fusion will be solved by then. Plus, nuclear (fission) stands a reasonable chance of being cheaper than any fossil fuel in the long run, even at today's prices. The fuel's cheaper, and the price of power stations (all types of power station keeps coming down).

[ Parent ]
Sorry, not green enough (none / 0) (#111)
by Fon2d2 on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 03:50:57 PM EST

Actually, this is exactly the scenario that the Scientific American article covered. Now don't get me wrong, I think nuclear energy will be a necessary step towards a renewable energy economy, but environmentalists will oppose this every step of the way. But honestly, I don't know what they expect. It is cleaner, if the waste can be contained. In fact, if it is properly contained, the nuclear-hydrogen scenario does turn out to be zero-emission. And it has tremendous energy capacity and can be implemented now. (That is we can start building infrastructure now, market penetration would come later). A completely green energy plan would take decades to implement however. This would be things like solar panels on every house and car with the ability to buy and sell to the grid, geothermal vents stuck at least six feet in the ground to help regulate the temperature of every home, used fryer grease being recycled as fuel for cars, and so on. They're great ideas, but they won't be able to replace the current infrastructure for quite some time. And in my opinion we need something soon for at least two reasons:
1. Statistically, oil reserves are being used up faster than new oil is being found.
2. Global warming is strongly linked to carbon dioxide emissions and needs to be curtailed.
So if the greenies have a plan on how we can replace oil without going nuclear and do it soon, I'd like to see it.

[ Parent ]
Plus, (none / 0) (#127)
by ajduk on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 11:44:38 AM EST

Get rid of all fossil fuel and nuclear use without also getting rid of 80-90% of the earth's population at the same time.

[ Parent ]
Best I can do (none / 0) (#114)
by Lacero on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 04:29:22 PM EST

How we make them.

What we make them with.

I'm not a chemist so I don't understand much of it, although using nearly the same sillicon as is used to make cpu's doesn't look too good if you're thinking of powering the planet with them.

As for the general point, I think geothermal will get us through. Yes it's only available in certain areas, and putting all your power generation in an earthquake zone is a bit risky, but it will last a lot longer than fossil fuels.

Hopefully long enough for people to realise that the Earth will die eventually and we should really move on while we can.

[ Parent ]

solar, wind, wave... (2.66 / 3) (#69)
by Meatbomb on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 01:16:23 PM EST

...if they cost more energy than they could produce, they would be priced accordingly, they would not be cost-effective, people wouldn't buy / use / produce them.

The fact that ITRW these technologies exist and are used disproves your statement (unless every alternative energy producer gets massive government subsidies or goes bankrupt immediately - I don't believe this is the case).

_______________

Good News for Liberal Democracy!

[ Parent ]
Suckers (5.00 / 1) (#79)
by dipierro on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 05:28:25 PM EST

...if they cost more energy than they could produce, they would be priced accordingly, they would not be cost-effective, people wouldn't buy / use / produce them.


There's a sucker born every minute.  Alternative energy makes people feel good, but it's really more wasteful than the good old standbys.


The fact that ITRW these technologies exist and are used disproves your statement (unless every alternative energy producer gets massive government subsidies or goes bankrupt immediately - I don't believe this is the case).


C'mon now.  How many millions of people buy lottery tickets?



[ Parent ]
and yet... (none / 0) (#122)
by ShadowNode on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 04:52:59 AM EST

You still manage to lack understanding of why anecdotal evidence doesn't really mean anything.

[ Parent ]
1 / 1,000,000 (none / 0) (#134)
by Kintanon on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 03:36:27 PM EST

So you are the one out of every 1 million welfare kids that 1. Went to a school that wasn't overrun by gangs, 2. Weren't beat half to death daily for being smart or working hard, 3. Wasn't forced to drop out of school to get a shitty job to help feed his 5 younger brothers and sisters because his had was in jail, 4. Actually managed to scrape together enough money or scholarships to go to college.

You should be proud of yourself. You beat the odds.
But that doesn't mean it's a good idea for people on welfare to breed. For every 1 of you, remember there are 999,999 criminal, loser, crackhead, minimum wage slaves running around. All I ask is that people who are currently and actively receiving welfare money NOT have children. If you had 5 kids before you got on welfare, fine, don't have any more. If you want to have 5 more once you get off of welfare, fine. Go For it. But don't have your kids on my dime.

Kintanon

[ Parent ]

Interesting, too bad it's all incorrect (3.44 / 9) (#52)
by Demiurge on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:45:11 AM EST

Not all humans are equally intelligent. If we were, nobody would remember Albert Einstein as anything other than a completely average patent clerk with flat feet and varicose veins. Most of us accept the notion of inherited traits, i.e. intelligent parents will tend to have intelligent children. And yet suggest that we should reward intelligent parents and actively encourage them to have children, and you can be labelled a Nazi (by the non-reasoning that eugenics is a necessary part of Nazism, therefore it's sufficient to to indicate it). Further, if you raise the issue of welfare births, you're begging to be branded a racist, even if you never, ever mention race. So don't raise it. For the love of Xenu, don't raise that issue.
If you had bothered to do your fucking research, you would have realized that it's commonly accepted by geneticists and biologists that the correspondence between intelligence in a parent and a child is less than one percent. So, when you claim that the ability to give birth(and with who), one of the most personal and vital rights a person has, should be subsumed in the authority of the State, you're talkin' Fascist talk. I'm not going to waste my time on the rest of this heap, but if you're really a glutton for pain I'd be happy to break down the rest of your submission.

The real problem with it... (4.00 / 2) (#53)
by Vygramul on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 10:04:44 AM EST

... is not that the correllation is less than 1%. On a million-year timescale it's something that would make a difference. 'problem is that it's on a million-year timescale (maybe an order of magnitude less, but stil...) So mucking around with breeding programs (with humans) and subsuming rights is worse than pointless. It's stupid. (Works better with dogs because you can go through ten generations in one human lifetime.)

That being said, there's an interesting sci-fi story where they tried to breed luck into humans. They did this by holding lotteries to allow reproduction.


If Brute Force isn't working, you're not using enough.
[ Parent ]

sci-fi story (4.00 / 1) (#73)
by aphrael on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:21:22 PM EST

is Ringworld, by Larry Niven; the plot hinges on someone trying to use the luck of one of those people for his own benefit (and discovering that that idea doesn't work terribly well).

[ Parent ]
Oh my. (4.75 / 4) (#57)
by Rogerborg on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:47:18 AM EST

If you had bothered to do your fucking research, you would have realized that it's commonly accepted by geneticists and biologists that the correspondence between intelligence in a parent and a child is less than one percent.

And Google says... that you're talking out of your puckered behind.  However, it also says that I am.  How can this be?  It can be because eugenics is a contentious issue more conducive to knee jerk emotional responses than to rational debate.

Which was rather my point in the first place; thanks for helping to demonstrate it.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

Why measure it at all? (2.66 / 3) (#60)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:52:54 AM EST

Explain to me how intelligence makes you more or less of a human...


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown
[ Parent ]
hmm...sounded good until (4.20 / 10) (#59)
by Run4YourLives on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 11:49:48 AM EST

... you got onto the intelligence rant. I'm a welfare child. Now I contribute to other welfare children, maybe one day they'll do the same.

 In your society of elites I would never have been born.

 Of course, I little thought would suggest that most of the other things you complain about (American Oil, for example) are problems that occur because one segment of society (big business) has too much power. Simply changing the segment in power (to "intelligent" people, in you opinion) will only serve to relocate the problems, not fix them... power corrupts, simple as that.

 I'm not sure what logic you're using to disassociate eugenics from nazism, if any at all. Eugenics suggests that for whatever reason, some are better than others, and those at the bottom deserve less, nay, even death or extinction in order to benefit "society", read those at the top. But why only sterilize welfare recipients? Wouldn't it be more productive just to get rid of them? Sounds like something that's already been done, no? I'd suggest you drop this line of thinking if you want to be taken seriously.

Finally, to you and all others who long for "perfection" in society I say, Fuck why? Why the quest to be god like? Why can we as humans just be humans? I don't need bionic ears. I don't need the internet embedded directly to my brain, either. Lets fix the problems we have before creating new ones trying to make life easier for those that already have it too easy.


It's slightly Japanese, but without all of that fanatical devotion to the workplace. - CheeseburgerBrown

Why the quest to be god like? (3.00 / 2) (#83)
by the on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 07:13:02 PM EST

Does everything need a reason?

--
The Definite Article
[ Parent ]
See, that's the trick (3.00 / 1) (#88)
by Perianwyr on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:28:06 PM EST

People who say social success is evidence of intelligence, genetic survival traits etc. are missing one major point:

Success and failure are inseparable from your own personal viewpoint, and your position in history.

Any "fail once this generation and you're out" plan applied to individuals is essentially a failure plan, as it falls right back into the homogeneity problem mentioned earlier in the article. Damn those aliens... they have got us coming and going.

If you want to plan for the success of your own civilization, you do your best to make sure even the lowest individuals within it have whatever chances you can give them with the largesse that your social machine generates.

Remember that the hobnailed boots ascend the staircase just as the slippers creep down...

[ Parent ]

+1 the aliens made me do it...... (4.00 / 3) (#67)
by dukevaporware on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 12:57:47 PM EST

I had to give this story a +1.

Honestly, I didn't read ALL of it nor do I agree with some of the portions within it. But, it's always nice to read yet another conspiracy story regarding aliens, so why not? :>

BRING BACK ALF!

Next time, more about the aliens and less about politics. :)
How many cloned animals have you eaten today?
Yes! ALF! And bring cats! (5.00 / 2) (#92)
by MrLarch on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 03:20:13 AM EST



[ Parent ]
A good deal of that was wrong... (2.20 / 5) (#71)
by Frank Wustner on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:02:20 PM EST

For instance. The *best* energy source would be hemp, not nuclear. First of all, it is far cleaner. Second, it is completely renewable. Third, it would be useful for so many different things, various forms of energy only being the tip of the iceburg.

As icing on the cake, this relates to the point you made about the failed and expensive "drug war". The official excuse for hemp being outlawed is because of its relation to marijuana. Never mind that the cotton and timber lobbies are the *real* reason; they don't want the competition.

But even with that and the other errors, it was an entertaining read. +1 (section only).



It's not really cleaner.... (4.60 / 5) (#74)
by FuriousXGeorge on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 02:31:10 PM EST

if you have to burn a million metric buttloads of it for electricity.

Wait a minute, did i just object to burning a million metric buttloads of hemp!?

nevermind.

--
-- FIELDISM NOW!
[ Parent ]

Some importan information!! (4.28 / 7) (#87)
by nyxxxx on Mon Sep 30, 2002 at 09:23:41 PM EST

"To Serve Man" is a cookbook! Don't believe the lies!

the only problem (2.33 / 3) (#94)
by chia on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 06:15:56 AM EST

with our argument is that, by implication, aliens must have to have been around, influencing us, since the dawn of mankind:

humans have always been a sickly people

cave men didnt value intelligence over strength and speed and the ability to kill, even though an inteligent hunter (ie a farmer) would probably have been more productive in the long term

throughout recorded history leaders have been corrupt and selfserving.

no one has every worried about sustainability of resources - in the past there was no need to.

so our alien masters must be very patient.


Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation. O Wilde
Ice age? (3.00 / 1) (#95)
by Quila on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 07:17:46 AM EST

If they're sufficiently patient, they can wait for the next ice age.

I thought global warming was going to kill us all, or was it global cooling, or was it plagues of locusts, or was it...

Global warming? (none / 0) (#116)
by mingofmongo on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 09:35:34 PM EST

brought to you by the same fine people who brought you the Jupiter Effect - another fine catastrophy that didn't happen.

"What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
--The Onion
[ Parent ]

At least we know that ice ages do happen (none / 0) (#119)
by Quila on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 02:49:47 AM EST

But it'll be a loooong time before the next one.

[ Parent ]
Long winded nonsense. [n/t] (2.50 / 4) (#96)
by hypno on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 08:28:03 AM EST



Put the brakes on. (2.00 / 1) (#98)
by Goldblubber on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 08:48:28 AM EST

Don't talk yourself into oblivian. You collated facts very well, but you added negative hypothesis which tainted the reading process.

Bwahahahaha, I made section (4.75 / 8) (#102)
by Rogerborg on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 10:06:35 AM EST

Thanks to those that understood that it was a plain old socio-political rant and nothing at all to do with aliens.

Special thanks to those that bit the bait and reacted to the deliberately vague, inflamatory and unreferenced statements with equally vague, inflamatory and unreferenced replies, demonstrating more clearly than I could do that a fair part of our day to day activity is handled by the brain stem rather than the lobes.

For those still not getting it, I'll synopsise my point by paraphrasing an apocryphal anecdote:

95% of drivers are in favour of having fewer people use the road.

If you're still not getting it; don't worry, your grandkids will.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs

brilliant (none / 0) (#118)
by Wah on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 01:59:50 AM EST

I'm glad it made it past the dreaded alien algorithm that banishes challenging, sarcastic drivel to the deep, dark, and slightly perfumed, Cave of Absolute Nothing.

(and check my diary if you never got your "thanks")
--
You didn't know we had cameras in your room, Parent ]

stupid (none / 0) (#135)
by tunesmith on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 08:52:50 PM EST

Nice way of maneuvering yourself out of taking any responsibility for what you wrote. "Hey, I wrote a long article! I didn't mean any of the stuff you found silly! My point was only the stuff that you found insightful!"

Plus, apocryphal as it might be, that stat doesn't exist. 95% of drivers might be in favor of having fewer people on the road at any particular time, but that doesn't mean less drivers, it just means people that don't drive so often. There's nothing inherently inconsistent about having that desire.


Yes, I have a blog.
[ Parent ]

I meant every single word of it (none / 0) (#138)
by Rogerborg on Sat Mar 22, 2003 at 07:16:27 AM EST

And I'll have an apology from you in 30 years time.

"Exterminate all rational thought." - W.S. Burroughs
[ Parent ]

minor point (none / 0) (#108)
by Rhodes on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 02:21:35 PM EST

burning renewable sources is more polluting than most fossil fuels: mostly in particulates, which can be particulary unhealthy to life.

It helps.. (5.00 / 1) (#126)
by ajduk on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 11:41:45 AM EST

If you don't burn the solar panels, you plug them in instead.

OTOH, if you are talking about biofuels, then yes, they are probably more locally polluting than diesel/petrol.  Plus it takes more oil to grow the stuff than you get from it.

Of course hydrogen gives off no particulates.


[ Parent ]

fuck that (4.00 / 3) (#109)
by auraslip on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 02:42:43 PM EST

I say tax to death anyone who has more then two kids.
And what the fuck is wrong with people if they are on welfare and having kids? Not that they shouldn't have the right too, but why would they want to bring a child into that situation?

And if you think that blind breeding will be adequate, what are we going to do with all the new diseases and physical(or mental) deformaties that evoloution can't take care of(because their is none anymore)? As a race are we just going to fuck untill we're all four eyed idiots who can barely breath? Sure we can use genetic enginering to take these errors out, but what doors does that open? At the point where we do that, why don't we also make ourselves smarter and stonger(I'd like gills too)?
As a race we must do something that mirrors evolutions role. Otherwise we are surley doomed.

MOOO I"M A KITTEN

Evolution (5.00 / 1) (#124)
by lordcorusa on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 10:58:29 AM EST

Evolution crawls to imperfection.

It ends in extinction.

[ Parent ]

Re: Intelligence (4.00 / 4) (#110)
by egerlach on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 03:42:54 PM EST

I wasn't going to comment on this article, as I agree with it almost completely, but I feel I have to make an attempt to dispel one myth that seems to be common here on this forum: intelligence begets intelligence.

Intelligence is not an inherited trait. As far as I know (and I've taken psych courses on the subject, so I'd like to think I know something) current research stipulates that genetics determine a range of possible intelligence, whereas it is the environment that the child is raised in that determines the actual level of intelligence. The range is thought to be near 40 IQ points. So the same child could have an 80 or a 120 IQ, depending on the environment that they were raised in. So it is equally likely that an above-average intelligence person came from less intelligent parents who created a loving and nurturing environment for their child as from high intelligence parents that only provided a mediocre environment.

Now, it should be noted that it is quite simple to provide a stimulating environment to a child of less than two years old, being as at that stage they do not need much intellectual stimulation, but simply interaction and care, is something that a parent of any intelligence level can provide. In fact, there are case studies of parents who are both mentally retarded raising children with 120+ IQ's. Admittedly, it's hard for the child in later life, but this goes to show that intelligence is not solely hereditary.

Now, if you accept the axiom that less intelligent parents will create less stimulating environments for their children, then yes, what you say is true. But you first have to accept that axiom in the general case. I, for one, don't believe that it is necessarily true. I think that the cases of mentally retarded parents show that, as well as maladjusted and less intelligent children coming out of families where intelligent and/or rich parents simply didn't care to pay much attention to their child.

In conclusion, I would argue that the environment is actually more important to the child's mental development and intelligence than their genetic signatures.

Oh, and as an aside, I aslo disagree with your equating low intelligence and welfare status. I know some people on welfare who are quite intelligent, and some people in very successful jobs who are phenominally dumb. In fact, I would say that the latter case is very common.

"Free beer tends to lead to free speech"
Genomic Intelligence vs. Phenomic Intelligence (none / 0) (#117)
by Korimyr the Rat on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 10:09:53 PM EST

 Though my own personal opinion is fairly close to your own, regarding the balance of nature and nurture that composes human intelligence, there's been some interesting studies of separated twins that indicate that genetics has a much larger role in the formation of intelligence than has been previously assumed.

 Interestingly, there's evidence that shows that the better the socio-economic environment that someone is raised in, the less impact it has on the development of intellectual ability-- genetic factors become more important.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

That makes sense (5.00 / 1) (#128)
by Wah on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 11:59:24 AM EST

Interestingly, there's evidence that shows that the better the socio-economic environment that someone is raised in, the less impact it has on the development of intellectual ability-- genetic factors become more important.

When one doesn't have chains tied around their waist, they can run as fast as they can run.

Do you know of any sources (on the Net or in books) that illustrate this evidence?  
--
You didn't know we had cameras in your room, Parent ]

Studies (5.00 / 1) (#136)
by Korimyr the Rat on Fri Oct 04, 2002 at 12:04:46 PM EST

 I was in the middle of reading an article on the subject when I posted that, but it was from one of those academic online search engines that require a subscription-- I would have posted it otherwise.

The social influences on the realization of genetic potential for intellectual development
Social Forces; Chapel Hill; Mar 2002; Guang Guo; Elizabeth Stearns;

 If you have access to Proquest, it might be worth the read.

--
"Specialization is for insects." Robert Heinlein
Founding Member of 'Retarded Monkeys Against the Restriction of Weapons Privileges'
[ Parent ]

faulty conclusions and anecdotal evidence (1.00 / 3) (#121)
by ShadowNode on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 04:43:11 AM EST

In fact, there are case studies of parents who are both mentally retarded raising children with 120+ IQ's.

Is this the usual case, or just an outlier sifted out of thousands of horny retards? Given your reasoning, it seems to suggest that these children may have had an IQ of up to 160, given competent parenting. Certainly, nurture plays a large part in development, but it is foolish to assume it is the sole determiner of intelligence. Show that retards raise children of average or better intelligence, and you have a point.



[ Parent ]
Intelligence is not an inherited trait? (none / 0) (#137)
by Anonymous Hiro on Sat Oct 05, 2002 at 02:12:27 PM EST

I don't see how you can say intelligence is not an inherited trait. Especially when in the next sentence you say genetics determines the range of possible intelligence.

It's just a matter of statistics. Breeders know that. There are no guarantees in breeding. But with patience and persistence, you can breed for intelligence and other traits. It's been done in dogs, cats etc. I don't see why it won't work for humans. However there are numerous problems actually doing it, many with far-reaching consequences.

I'm not saying environment has no effect, it plays a critical role. Taken to the extreme: a piano falling 3 storeys onto you is likely to have some impact on your intelligence. Then again taken to another extreme your genes might still help even in that case.


[ Parent ]

FIne, fine article (3.00 / 1) (#113)
by juln on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 04:03:13 PM EST

It's about time sombody called out the alien conspiracy. However, I feel that the Aliens are not using lasers - lasers don't pass through opaque materials, and thus are too easy to block. I believe the Aliens use some sort of radio frequency, Possibly one currently 'unallocated' by the FCC?? This merits further investigation.

Masers. (none / 0) (#115)
by mingofmongo on Tue Oct 01, 2002 at 09:30:38 PM EST


"What they don't seem to get is that the key to living the good life is to avoid that brass ring like the fucking plague."
--The Onion
[ Parent ]

I admit it... (4.00 / 1) (#125)
by dJCL on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 11:04:49 AM EST

I didn't plant any tree's today, I cut one down... I may have nocked enough acorns off the thing to create a few new trees, but I don't know. As for the rest, well, I like the mind controll people/aliens they are nice and will be our friends once we have destroyed the world. They tell me this all the time.

my sig was too long, and getting annoying, so this is all you get. deal with it.

We donīt need aliens...... :( (none / 0) (#129)
by Niha on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 12:10:47 PM EST

...to destroy our planet.Unfortunately(for many people, not for me)it is completely up to us what we do to Earth. Anyway,who has voted this story?

Congrats (none / 0) (#132)
by p3d0 on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 02:29:35 PM EST

You too have grasped the point of this article.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
why blame aliens? (none / 0) (#130)
by d s oliver h on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 12:14:36 PM EST

don't you think humans have enough inherent weakness and greed and stupidity to mess things up ourselves? god help any race who we decide to surreptitiously invade. who says humans deserve a perfect society? humans are not perfect creatures, we're ridiculous anomalies!

Congrats (5.00 / 1) (#131)
by p3d0 on Wed Oct 02, 2002 at 02:29:09 PM EST

You have grasped the point of the article.
--
Patrick Doyle
My comments do not reflect the opinions of my employer.
[ Parent ]
Alien plot to wipe out humanity unveiled | 138 comments (104 topical, 34 editorial, 1 hidden)
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