emdash's recent activity

  1. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    emdash
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    I do a bit (read: a lot) of mostly Laravel framework development, and my main issues with PHP, as someone who deals with the language a lot, stem from: Excessive use of functions that should be...

    I do a bit (read: a lot) of mostly Laravel framework development, and my main issues with PHP, as someone who deals with the language a lot, stem from:

    1. Excessive use of functions that should be methods off objects (arrays come to mind).
    2. Inconsistent function names and argument order (array_filter takes its callback first, array_map takes its callback second, or is it the other way around?).
    3. No generics, and very basic type support (no way of specifying "array of strings" other than through a @var string[] doc-comment).
    4. No native enums (SplEnum does not count, and public const's in a class are just hacks).
    5. Configuration of debugging is frustrating. Xdebug is finicky, and getting your configuration right can be a chore.
    6. Composer might be one of the worst package manager ecosystems to deal with, or at the very least, is a close competitor to NPM.

    It's not "bad", per se, I don't mind dealing with it, and it's fantastic for rapid prototyping. I can point to just as many flaws with C#, Java, or any other language I've used. Programming is simultaneously really fun and also just terrible.

    3 votes
  2. Comment on Political discussion here seems to be really bad. Is it even possible for it to be good? in ~tildes

    emdash
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    Completely off topic (flag as needed), but as someone who does enjoy programming, I've never found a programming language I don't hate either ;).

    You'll also never convince someone that enjoys programming in PHP that they actually hate it

    Completely off topic (flag as needed), but as someone who does enjoy programming, I've never found a programming language I don't hate either ;).

    2 votes
  3. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

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    It's insane isn't it—rocket engines are one of those marvels that always give me the thought of "this shouldn't be possible, but it is". I love this photo in particular of the Saturn V rising away...

    It's insane isn't it—rocket engines are one of those marvels that always give me the thought of "this shouldn't be possible, but it is". I love this photo in particular of the Saturn V rising away from pad 39A—how those five F-1 engines at the back of the rocket are powerful enough to lift a decent-sized office building full of fuel towards the stars, and the fact they were intrinsically designed—with zero software engineering or CAD—to self-dampen and not shake themselves apart. Also of note is the brown/black exhaust visible around the very base of the engines, the gas generator exhaust was engineered to act as an insulator to prevent the super-hot exhaust gases of the main exhaust melting the nozzle extensions. The Saturn V was a work of art.

    1 vote
  4. Comment on New report released for MH370 search by the Independent Research Group in ~misc

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    Summary:

    Summary:

    A new report is now available that suggests that MH370’s flight path in its final hours followed E93.7875° longitude, corresponding to a great circle path between waypoint BEDAX and the South Pole. The report concludes that an impact near S34.2342° E93.7875° is most likely.

    2 votes
  5. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

    emdash
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    Definitely not ignoring these! I just don't consider them as relevant. Here's why: And the Moon, as a celestial body with a significant gravity well, and no atmosphere for aerobraking, is a...

    Definitely not ignoring these! I just don't consider them as relevant. Here's why:

    When we begin colonizing space we will need resources that do not derive from the Earth's surface.

    And the Moon, as a celestial body with a significant gravity well, and no atmosphere for aerobraking, is a terrible place to derive resources anyway. You would spend more energy getting down and up from the Moon's surface than you would extracting said energy for additional missions—unless you'e going to the moon anyway as a destination, in which case, many many many humans will have an interest in preserving sites of geologic interest, which cycles back to my response to @gpl here. As soon as there are humans living and working on the moon, then the purview of what's considered an area of exceptional natural beauty will fall on all of humanity—it doesn't matter if you yourself cannot visit.

    Wholesale colonization of space will result in advancing technology and lowering of costs concerning moving mass to and from Earth.

    Unlikely. Tsiolkovsky's rocket equation is a bitch. It's made even worse by the absolutely terrible efficiencies of conventional chemical rocket engines—which operate close to the upper limits of their efficiency anyway. Ion engines will never be powerful enough to provide the thrust needed to escape a gravity well—even if you had a fusion reactor attached. This is to say: there isn't much technology left to advance in regards to rocket propulsion. Expanse-esque Esptein Drives aren't likely any time soon.

    Eventually the Earth will "run out" of (i.e.: Becomes too expensive to mine that deep) certain resources. At which point it will become more economic to drop the pallets of crack cocaine from space.

    Possible, but what's more probable is that the economics of the products that are needed (palladium, etc) will be eschewed for cheaper options found here on Earth—when possible—before they're needed to be re-delivered from space. You aren't going to be able to retrieve satisfiable quantities of even some of the most valuable rare earths at prices that can compete with alternative solutions here on the ground—including recycling of already used material, which is presently the largest untapped source of rare earths.

    2 votes
  6. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

    emdash
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    You raise some good points! What seems to be in contention here is the definition of "environment". I'm not going to whip out Merriam-Webster definitions, but it's clear an environment includes...

    You raise some good points! What seems to be in contention here is the definition of "environment". I'm not going to whip out Merriam-Webster definitions, but it's clear an environment includes more than its ecological surroundings. After all, the phrase "Lunar environment" is actually a very common one. You say:

    I feel this is a reasonable definition - I essentially mean that the moon has no ecology.

    I present a counterpoint: Grand Canyon National Park is famed not for its ecology, but purely for its geology. In fact, it's the highly inanimate and lifeless processes that formed the Grand Canyon that make GCNP so famous and beautiful. Sure, there's no doubt plants and animals worth protecting and preserving within the park, but the primary reason GCNP was preserved in the first place was for its majestic awe. In fact, Muir said much the same about Yosemite NP. The same almost certainly applies to the Moon. You may never have visited them, or ever have a chance to: but they're still within our purview. We still have an opportunity to declare sites on other celestial bodies as untouched.

    You feel like the Apollo lunar landing sites should be preserved—I feel like Shackleton Crater at the Lunar South Pole should be too—yet it's actually a prime candidate for a lunar base and resource extraction, primarily because it has both areas that are always exposed to sunlight, and also never exposed to sunlight. What makes it valuable economically and logistically also makes it valuable environmentally. Who decides whether Shackleton should be strip mined?

    What about other famous Maria and craters on the lunar surface? Should the U.S. government simply be able to make blind decisions about economically whoring out the Moon's surface without global input? These are tough questions that legally are still in grey areas.

    My answer is certainly not the U.S. government alone. The Outer Space Treaty, and unfortunately, the unratified Moon Treaty also, were very clear about the ownership of celestial bodies.

    5 votes
  7. Comment on Daily coronavirus-related chat, questions, and minor updates - April 8 in ~health.coronavirus

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    New Zealand. More good news today, only 29 new cases were found yesterday, on 3990 tests conducted (we've now passed 50,000 total tests). Additionally, 35 people recovered, so the total active...

    New Zealand.

    More good news today, only 29 new cases were found yesterday, on 3990 tests conducted (we've now passed 50,000 total tests). Additionally, 35 people recovered, so the total active case count has reduced by 6 people. Total confirmed cases is now 1239 here, with 922 active cases.

    It's still a numbers game, but there's early signs—as long as we don't cock the lockdown up—that we're winning. Government announced today that as of tonight, all returning New Zealanders will now be forcibly isolated for a mandatory period of 14 days upon entering the country. This is the crucial step of "turning off the dripping tap". Decision on whether we'll exit lockdown or stay for a longer duration is to be made on 20 April, 2 days before the lockdown was due to end.

    1 vote
  8. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

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    Also, an aside, but it'll never, ever be worth mining the moon for Hydrogen-3 for fusion reactors on Earth. In fact, it's questionable whether asteroid mining will ever be economically viable at...

    Also, an aside, but it'll never, ever be worth mining the moon for Hydrogen-3 for fusion reactors on Earth. In fact, it's questionable whether asteroid mining will ever be economically viable at all. Choice quote from Elon Musk, who knows vaguely what he's talking about on this topic:

    "If you had crack cocaine on Mars... like in pre-packaged pallets, it still wouldn't make sense to bring it back here"

    It would be literally cheaper to extract Tritium from seawater with the most expensive electricity possible here on Earth, than it would be to send a spacecraft to the Moon to retrieve it from there.

    4 votes
  9. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

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    I'm sorry but I just can't agree with this statement, and I can't get past your reasoning for it. Who's definition of "environment" or "beauty" are you using here? Would you consider the Apollo 11...

    There is no natural environment on it to take care of.

    I'm sorry but I just can't agree with this statement, and I can't get past your reasoning for it. Who's definition of "environment" or "beauty" are you using here? Would you consider the Apollo 11 landing site to be one of importance worth protecting? What is considered "heritage"? Who decides what land should be a national park, and what land should be an open-top coal mine?

    I'm not asking you these questions to answer them. I'm pointing to these are tough questions that people from many scientific and humanities-based disciplines still wrestle with today. So apologies, by color me skeptical if I think you can't just outright say "there's no environment there to take care of". I don't think it's quite as objective as you make out.

    3 votes
  10. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

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    Frankly, if we have the technology to mine the moon at a scale significant enough to cause the visibility of 'dimples' on its surface, then there are significant quantities of humans living on the...

    Again, unless you are an amateur astronomer or photographer, you won't be noticing a few extra dimples on the Moon. It will still be beautiful. But, that's all I wanted to know. I value the prosperity and preservation of living beings on Earth more than aesthetics.

    Frankly, if we have the technology to mine the moon at a scale significant enough to cause the visibility of 'dimples' on its surface, then there are significant quantities of humans living on the moon in the first place, which means humanity does now have a much more impressing view on the Moon's surface than just being a far-away astronomer.

    I may not live in the Grand Canyon, or the United States, but hell, would I be disappointed to see it get razed for the purposes of resource extraction.

    But, that's all I wanted to know. I value the prosperity and preservation of living beings on Earth more than aesthetics.

    And moon mining may not be necessary for that. I'm wonder what Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir would think of statements like this regarding Yosemite National Park.

    There's significantly less important asteroids with far better concentrations of minerals and resources that can be accessed with significantly less ΔV compared to the Moon. Let's use them instead if you're intent on strip-mining other worlds so humanity can "prosper" further.

    This whole conversation chain seems to be ignoring that mining the moon is idiotic in the first place for reasons entirely unrelated to the mining activity itself.

    5 votes
  11. Comment on Trump order encourages US to mine the moon in ~enviro

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    And yet, the moon is considered "beautiful" by many. The lunar environment is beautiful. Just like so many environments on Earth are considered beautiful. So there is something there to take care...

    There is no environment on the moon to take care of

    And yet, the moon is considered "beautiful" by many. The lunar environment is beautiful. Just like so many environments on Earth are considered beautiful. So there is something there to take care of. I detest the overly cold and analytical approach you've taken to rejecting any due consideration to this topic.

    3 votes
  12. Comment on RocketLab successfully recovers Electron rocket first-stage test article in Mid-Air Recovery demo via helicopter in ~space

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    Hopefully the helicopter is always above the first stage! Based on the design of the canopy that RocketLab is using for their first-stage—which looks close to a parachutist's ram-air...

    Hopefully the helicopter is always above the first stage! Based on the design of the canopy that RocketLab is using for their first-stage—which looks close to a parachutist's ram-air aerofoil—which are usually trimmed for around ~30km/h air speed, in calm conditions this will be really steady with a manageable descent rate. They're beefy and designed to deploy from high speeds, and once they're open it's quite a stable configuration.

    I'm sure they'll be adding GO/NO-GO conditions to their launch criteria that consider the weather downrange at the recovery site too.

    2 votes
  13. Comment on RocketLab successfully recovers Electron rocket first-stage test article in Mid-Air Recovery demo via helicopter in ~space

  14. Comment on YouTube has banned all conspiracy theory videos falsely linking coronavirus symptoms to 5G networks in ~tech

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    I never implied that radiation affected cognition, I merely provided a counterpoint to the often dismissive "tech bro" demographic that often state that because something is labelled...

    I never implied that radiation affected cognition, I merely provided a counterpoint to the often dismissive "tech bro" demographic that often state that because something is labelled "non-ionizing", it has no effect on the body whatsoever, when that isn't true.

    And, regarding our retina being a sensory system: yes. It is. It's also part of our body, and therefore falls under the category of human physiology, as I mentioned. Different body parts perform different functions and have different optimal functioning conditions—our testes rise and fall with ambient temperature, our eyes react to light, our ears respond to pressure waves, our organs are exposed to different things and perform different duties. That's precisely the point of why I'm saying more studies are always better: the human body is complex. So pragmatically and holistically, carving out an 'exception' because our eyes are different is a kind of a meaningless statement.

    1 vote
  15. Comment on YouTube has banned all conspiracy theory videos falsely linking coronavirus symptoms to 5G networks in ~tech

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    Yeah. It's not nearly as simple as "non-ionizing radiation has no harmful effects". There's evidence to suggest exposure to blue-light—which is non-ionizing—accelerates macular degeneration in...

    Yeah. It's not nearly as simple as "non-ionizing radiation has no harmful effects". There's evidence to suggest exposure to blue-light—which is non-ionizing—accelerates macular degeneration in your eye.

    That's not to say 5G causes cancer, or even more stupidly, COVID-19, but there's nuance to the interaction between the electromagnetic spectrum and human physiology, and the more studies we can get that conclusively demonstrate in every way possible that radio communication frequencies pose no harm to the human body, the better.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on How to sharpen kitchen knives with Brad Leone in ~food

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    Lovely knives they have: Bob Kramer's own endorsement of Kramer by Zwilling. Unfortunately, the price of the full knife block set is enough to make most people cry...

    Lovely knives they have: Bob Kramer's own endorsement of Kramer by Zwilling. Unfortunately, the price of the full knife block set is enough to make most people cry...

    1 vote