spctrvl's recent activity

  1. Comment on Warren calls for eliminating the Electoral College in ~news

    spctrvl Link Parent
    What does that have to do with anything? The low population areas don't manufacture their own farming equipment. You're just describing economic specialization.

    Because the high population areas don't grow their own food.

    What does that have to do with anything? The low population areas don't manufacture their own farming equipment. You're just describing economic specialization.

    5 votes
  2. Comment on The Outer Worlds won't launch on Steam, will be an Epic Games Store and Microsoft Store exclusive in ~games

    spctrvl Link Parent
    Near monopoly status on PC game distribution is a pretty good reason IMO. Game developers need to have more options.

    Near monopoly status on PC game distribution is a pretty good reason IMO. Game developers need to have more options.

    5 votes
  3. Comment on Hundreds of US cities are killing or scaling back their recycling programs in ~enviro

    spctrvl Link Parent
    Recycling isn't about reducing carbon emissions, it's about not filling the environment with rubbish. Carbon isn't the only pollutant that matters, and it's arguably a lot easier to deal with than...

    Recycling isn't about reducing carbon emissions, it's about not filling the environment with rubbish. Carbon isn't the only pollutant that matters, and it's arguably a lot easier to deal with than things like microplastics and heavy metals.

  4. Comment on IMO, Trump 2020 is better than a non-progressive Democrat in ~talk

    spctrvl Link Parent
    Well, I did call the Republican party a threat to life on earth, and I was talking about climate change. But yeah, it's make or break time for the future of civilization, and regardless of how the...

    Well, I did call the Republican party a threat to life on earth, and I was talking about climate change. But yeah, it's make or break time for the future of civilization, and regardless of how the next few decades turn out, people who enabled the GOP knowing full well what they were doing are not going to be remembered fondly. We have a bare handful of years left before things really start going down the shitter, and we can't afford to waste them playing chicken with fascism.

  5. Comment on Hundreds of US cities are killing or scaling back their recycling programs in ~enviro

    spctrvl Link Parent
    If we end up burning most or all of our remaining oil, plastic pollution is going to be the least of our concerns: proven reserves are about double what's been burned since 1850.

    If we end up burning most or all of our remaining oil, plastic pollution is going to be the least of our concerns: proven reserves are about double what's been burned since 1850.

    1 vote
  6. Comment on IMO, Trump 2020 is better than a non-progressive Democrat in ~talk

    spctrvl Link Parent
    What? By what earthly definition was George W. Bush a centrist?

    Bush 1, Clinton, Bush 2, Obama were all centerists by most definitions....

    What? By what earthly definition was George W. Bush a centrist?

    1 vote
  7. Comment on Hundreds of US cities are killing or scaling back their recycling programs in ~enviro

    spctrvl Link Parent
    I don't think market forces are going to take care of this one, plastic is just too cheap to make. Global plastic production uses less than 5% of our oil, and demand for oil is likely to fall in...

    I don't think market forces are going to take care of this one, plastic is just too cheap to make. Global plastic production uses less than 5% of our oil, and demand for oil is likely to fall in the coming decades as more and more transport is electrified. Even with hefty carbon taxes, it's going to be a very, very long time before recycling plastic is more price efficient than making new plastic. If we don't want our environment to be filled with the stuff, we're going to need to regulate plastic production and disposal pretty heavily.

    7 votes
  8. Comment on IMO, Trump 2020 is better than a non-progressive Democrat in ~talk

    spctrvl Link
    You heard the exact same sentiment back in 2000 with Bush v Gore, and I would say the politics of the past twenty years have thoroughly discredited it: if accelerationism worked, 8 years under...

    You heard the exact same sentiment back in 2000 with Bush v Gore, and I would say the politics of the past twenty years have thoroughly discredited it: if accelerationism worked, 8 years under Bush 2 would've done the trick. But despite the American public watching the prosperous and peaceful 90's give way to a decade of warfare, human rights violations, international pariah status, and economic collapse under Republican rule, the Obama coalition lost power two years after gaining it, a whole new wave of fascists swept into office, and here we are ten years later, much worse for wear. Every authoritarian elected president makes it that much easier for the next one, and that much harder for progressives who need to spend time repairing the damage instead of moving forward.

    If you want progressive policies, vote for progressive politicians when possible, and against reactionaries when not. Don't fall for the both sides bullshit, and don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good. Corporate Democrats are shitty, but the modern Republican party is literally a threat to life on Earth, not to mention democracy, and they must be kept out of office at all costs.

    24 votes
  9. Comment on What are your views on hydrogen powered vehicles? in ~tech

    spctrvl Link Parent
    But there's a reason there are so many gas stations, namely the millions of other drivers that also need to fill up. 140 stations in California gives you about one station for every three hundred...

    You dont need to have a hydrogen station on every street corner like gasoline for fuel cell vehicles to take off. Toyota, Honda, and Hyundai who are selling these cars now in California have said that you just need to have one within 6 minutes of where you live or work. California is investing only $20 million annually to build about 100 stations through 2024 (they are at about 40 now), this funding is matched by private industry.

    But there's a reason there are so many gas stations, namely the millions of other drivers that also need to fill up. 140 stations in California gives you about one station for every three hundred thousand people. There's going to need to be tens of thousands of stations nationwide before hydrogen vehicles are anything but toys for the rich.

    Except for people that dont have access to home garages that they can charge their car in overnight. If you have off street parking, multi family dwelling, or otherwose without access to home charging, then battery cars are not viable for you.

    I mean, charging stations both exist and are way, way more common than hydrogen refueling stations. Any business with parking can get in on the game by dropping a few grand, whereas with hydrogen, you basically need dedicated buildings.

    Both fuel cells and batteries are 100% emissions free when the hydrogen or electricity comes from renewable sources. California madates that at least 33% of hydrogen for fuel come from renewable sources, which puts it on par with electricity.

    Right, but regardless of if it's coming from renewable sources, using the electricity directly, i.e. to charge BEVs, is greener since it uses much less of it to accomplish the same goal, leaving more available to replace carbon-generating sources in the grid.

    Regardless of the source of electricity or hydrogen, both also dramatically reduce emissions compared to gasoline on a well to wheels basis

    That's just not true. Leaving out the fact that hydrogen generation is almost entirely done by steam reforming natural gas, which directly releases carbon into the atmosphere, the reduced efficiency compared to BEVs means that, even if you're using electrolysis, if the energy to produce the hydrogen is coming from fossil fuel plants, you're doing worse on emissions than a gasoline car. The electricity to hydrogen to fuel cell to motor efficiency is about 25-30%, and the efficiency of large scale fossil fuel plants is around 40%, so you're talking about 12% overall efficiency, compared to 20%ish for ICEs. BEVs do better than either running off of fossil fuels, since they're usually more than 75% efficient, so you get at least 30% efficiency in using fossil fuels for motive power.

    I have also read a lot about how fuel cells are far more practical for medium and heavy duty vehicles compared to batteries and think Toyotas class 8 truck demonstrations in the Ports of Long Beach and LA are very promising.

    Between the required infrastructure buildup, the energy inefficiency, and the storage and distribution problems, I think it'd end up being better to just use biofuels for the edge cases. Not as sexy and futuristic as hydrogen, but more doable with existing infrastructure and vehicles, and if it's less than 10% of vehicles that need to be chemically fueled, existing ethanol and biodiesel production should be more than sufficient.

    2 votes
  10. Comment on What are your views on hydrogen powered vehicles? in ~tech

    spctrvl Link
    For ground vehicles? Totally impractical, since we've got to set up massive refining, distribution, and storage networks for an element that's pretty difficult to store and pipe around. When...

    For ground vehicles? Totally impractical, since we've got to set up massive refining, distribution, and storage networks for an element that's pretty difficult to store and pipe around. When you're looking at needing to invest hundreds of billions in infrastructure before hydrogen cars even start to approach the utility of petrol ones, battery electric cars look like the more practical alternative, since electricity is dirt cheap and already available everywhere. Batteries are also much greener, since battery charging and discharging is a lot more efficient than the fuel cell cycle.

    But where hydrogen fuel could have a future is in air travel. You can build conventional jet engines that burn hydrogen, the required infrastructure buildup is much smaller, and with the energy densities we're talking, I highly doubt that batteries are ever going to be able to handle long haul flights.

    11 votes
  11. Comment on Solar Geo-Engineering: It Won’t Hurt a Bit! in ~enviro

    spctrvl Link
    Well it's no wonder that their model didn't find any regional risks when it apparently wasn't even a model of their proposal because it was easier to just simulate something else. I'm kind of...

    He questioned how the study used computer climate models—that is, its authors did not simulate solar geo-engineering by modeling volcanic aerosols in the high atmosphere. Instead, they told the computer model to reduce the strength of the sun’s rays, a sort of brute-force proxy for geo-engineering.

    Well it's no wonder that their model didn't find any regional risks when it apparently wasn't even a model of their proposal because it was easier to just simulate something else. I'm kind of surprised that that little fact hasn't crept its way in to all the recent news articles on this geoengineering study, considering that one of the main disadvantages of the aerosol method of solar geoengineering is that the aerosols get shifted around by atmospheric currents, leading to an uneven reduction in sunlight, and apparently this was just ignored.

    1 vote
  12. Comment on Secessionism versus sovereign citizens: my inner confusion. in ~talk

    spctrvl Link
    I don't think it's necessarily inconsistent, the two cases are very different, key difference being that two million people can form a functional society, separate from its parent society, and two...

    During a conversation today, I realised the inconsistency in my supporting one form of separatism but not the other. I’m okay with a million people seceding from a country, but not a single person seceding. And I can’t find the dividing line, or the principle, which underlies this inconsistency. I know that I believe in government, so a secessionist group must be just that: a group. However, while a group of two million seceding is reasonable, a group of two seceding is just ridiculous.

    I don't think it's necessarily inconsistent, the two cases are very different, key difference being that two million people can form a functional society, separate from its parent society, and two cannot. This leaves the aspiring sovereign citizens with the options of either returning to something more closely resembling a state of nature, or being free riders who reap the benefits of larger society, while not subjecting themselves to the rules, regulations, and financial obligations that allow it to function. Obviously going the latter route is going to make its adherents unpopular, since their quality of life is relying on work done by the rest of us that they refuse to contribute to.

    6 votes
  13. Comment on Valve lays off 13 employees, reportedly slashing VR hardware division in ~games

    spctrvl Link Parent
    What do you mean supposedly? VR requires a framerate of 90 fps or better, and small, light, pixel dense displays with minimal ghosting, or you tend to start throwing up. Even in high end systems,...

    Then it flopped because, supposedly, "the technology wasn't there yet".

    What do you mean supposedly? VR requires a framerate of 90 fps or better, and small, light, pixel dense displays with minimal ghosting, or you tend to start throwing up. Even in high end systems, the rendering power just wasn't there until well after the craze was over, and display tech was similarly crap. LCDs weren't anywhere near the quality of their modern incarnations, and OLED panels didn't exist outside of labs.

    7 votes
  14. Comment on How can I best offset my emissions from flying? in ~enviro

    spctrvl Link Parent
    We absolutely can, but it's not done because there's nobody paying for it.

    And I don't think we can industrially sequester carbon (yet).

    We absolutely can, but it's not done because there's nobody paying for it.

  15. Comment on Amazon’s Lord of the Rings TV show is set in the Second Age — here’s why that matters in ~tv

    spctrvl Link Parent
    For links, do brackets first, and then parentheses. And yeah, I am a little worried given how the hobbit trilogy turned out, but I am cautiously optimistic. I just hope they don't go for the game...

    Either way, I am an ex-huge Tolkien nerd, so as long is more Minis Tirith and less (barrel scene)[https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nM7byUTrSZA], I will be content.

    For links, do brackets first, and then parentheses. And yeah, I am a little worried given how the hobbit trilogy turned out, but I am cautiously optimistic. I just hope they don't go for the game of thrones style grittiness in a way that detracts from what you might call the Tolkienness of the setting.

    4 votes
  16. Comment on Some 4.5 percent of U.S. adults identify as LGBT: study in ~lgbt

    spctrvl Link Parent
    There's geographical concentration too. For example, in Atlanta or Seattle, LGBT people are more like 15% of the population.

    There's geographical concentration too. For example, in Atlanta or Seattle, LGBT people are more like 15% of the population.

    4 votes
  17. Comment on The Movement To Skip The Electoral College Is About To Pass A Major Milestone in ~news

    spctrvl Link Parent
    What do you mean by neutrality? Do you mean having a district map that tends to elect parties matching a state's electorate, or one maximizing competitive elections, or just the inherent...

    What do you mean by neutrality? Do you mean having a district map that tends to elect parties matching a state's electorate, or one maximizing competitive elections, or just the inherent neutrality in making districting an algorithmic process?

    1 vote
  18. Comment on When Did Everyone Become Socialist? in ~misc

    spctrvl Link Parent
    I'm sure it's been said many times by many people, but the phrasing makes me think of Douglas Adams, author of Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

    I don't know who originally said It, but there is a quote which is paraphrased as those who seek power are often the very ones who should not have it.

    I'm sure it's been said many times by many people, but the phrasing makes me think of Douglas Adams, author of Hitchhikers' Guide to the Galaxy.

    The major problem—one of the major problems, for there are several—one of the many major problems with governing people is that of whom you get to do it; or rather of who manages to get people to let them do it to them.
    To summarize: it is a well-known fact that those people who must want to rule people are, ipso facto, those least suited to do it.
    To summarize the summary: anyone who is capable of getting themselves made President should on no account be allowed to do the job.

    8 votes
  19. Comment on When Did Everyone Become Socialist? in ~misc

    spctrvl (edited ) Link Parent
    Most of the things you said that capitalism did well were things that markets do well, and you can very much have a free market economy without capitalism. For instance, if you reorganized all...

    In short: We want capitalism. It's such a powerful economic system with so many benefits. But we need the government to dip its hand in every now and then to keep things running smoothly. History has shown what happens when the free market is left to its own devices without someone to supervise it.

    Most of the things you said that capitalism did well were things that markets do well, and you can very much have a free market economy without capitalism. For instance, if you reorganized all private companies into workers' cooperatives, you would clearly be operating under a socialist framework, as the workers would then own the means of production, but without further changes your economy would still be market based.

    14 votes
  20. Comment on All Intel chips open to new Spoiler non-Spectre attack: Don't expect a quick fix in ~tech

    spctrvl Link Parent
    I've been watching that space for a while. There's some small manufacturers like pine that're putting out decent, relatively open (if underpowered) systems, but the mainstream manufacturers'...

    This further cements my decision that my next laptop will either be AMD-powered, or something non-x86 altogether.

    I've been watching that space for a while. There's some small manufacturers like pine that're putting out decent, relatively open (if underpowered) systems, but the mainstream manufacturers' windows ARM laptops are pretty locked down, with secure boot not required to be togglable like on the x86 models.

    I suppose having to run windows isn't necessarily a deal breaker, but it makes me worried that the openness of the IBM PC architecture was a fluke, and transitions away from that architecture are going to result in the proliferation of Tivoized hardware/software ecosystems like we ended up getting with Android. But the open hardware movement is also gaining steam, so I guess it remains to be seen.

    5 votes