Words of Advice:

"Never Feel Sorry For Anyone Who Owns an Airplane."-- Tina Marie

If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground
Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It.
" -- Unknown

"There seems to be almost no problem that Congress cannot, by diligent efforts and careful legislative drafting, make ten times worse." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Thursday, January 22, 2015

Things That I Wish I Could Be Shocked About

New York Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, who bent governors to his will for more than 20 years as one of the state's most powerful and canny politicians, was arrested Thursday on charges of taking millions in payoffs and kickbacks.
Some decades ago, or so the story goes, the Feebies set up a sting operation to bribe a bunch of politicians in New York. They only found one guy who wouldn't take the cash offered. Afterwards, it turned out that the reason the guy spurned the cash was because they didn't offer enough- he was insulted.

This one falls into the "no fucking shit" category:
A major measles outbreak traced to Disneyland has brought criticism down on the small but vocal movement among parents to opt out of vaccinations for their children.

In a rash of cases that public health officials are rushing to contain, at least 70 people in six states and Mexico have fallen ill since mid-December, most of them from California. The vast majority of those who got sick had not gotten the measles-mumps-rubella, or MMR, vaccine.
Stupid people doing stupid things to their kids.

Worse is that there are people who, for medically legitimate reasons, can't be vaccinated. They depend on everyone else being vaccinated, so that there is little risk of them catching the disease in question. It's a concept called "herd immunity". But if enough morons don't get vaccinated, then there is a transmission pathway to them through the imbeciles.

As for this, I'm pretty much convinced that humanity has fucked things over past fixing. If you ever saw the beginning to the movie Serenity, it mentioned that humanity fled Earth, pretty much after fucking things up beyond all repair. The reality is that we'll probably fuck up the planetary ecosystem past the point of no return long before we develop the technology to flee the planet.

Which, in a way, may explain why we've not found any hints of intelligent life. For any species that develops to that point probably fouls its own nest and dies off. Just like bacteria in a Petri dish does and just like we're doing.


mikey said...

Yes. The Drake Equation is a framework for thinking about the number and distribution of intelligent species in the galaxy. It is a series of variables, the very last of which is food for fascinating thought. It is the average lifespan of an intelligent, technological, spacefaring society. Now, we have a very small sample size, but it appears that planetary populations grow too large, resources are depleted and pollution is beyond control after something less than 200 years. One almost wonders if there is some kind of universal rule - that the amount of resources a species needs to consume to reach a certain level of technological advancement is approximately equal to all of the resources available to them.

Expatriate Owl said...

Shelly Silver has been failing the smell test for years. The indictment is nothing to be shocked over. And if some of the high-profile politicos end up with shit in their faces on account of this affair, still nothing to be shocked over.

What might possibly prove shocking is that Shelly, as he falls towards the sidewalk, might take down some people and/or organizations that few would expect to be entangled with him.

Nous verrons c'est ce que nous verrons.

Borepatch said...

Bad Tux uncritically accepts the NASA press release about global warming. The data quality of the surface station databases is really dreadful, and is diverging from the Satellite record (which has the additional advantage of being truly global vs. only covering 25% of the planet or so).

The state of the databases is the biggest reason to be skeptical that we actually know what's going on.