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Witless
Posted on: Dec 23 2013, 09:02 PM


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My present has landed! Woo. New challenge, let's see if I can get to the moon by new year.

It's really cool! Thanks Santa!

My new manual!
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #376015 · Replies: 83 · Views: 14,660

Witless
Posted on: Nov 12 2013, 12:45 PM


happy.. sad.. happy
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Group: Established Members
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Joined: 11-December 04
From: London
Member No.: 1,536


Name: Witless/Wittles
Previous victims: MrBrick
Likes: Geeky things (especially science, and sci-fi related geeky things), cups, computer game themed office supplies and clothes, space, hedgehogs, the planet saturn, telescopes, cameras, firefly, star trek, dr who, bums and boobs.
Dislikes: The Star Wars prequels, the colour pink, cabbage, brussel sprouts, things designed to make everything smell nice (not so much a dislike, but I have practically no sense of smell so they do nothing for me).
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375934 · Replies: 83 · Views: 14,660

Witless
Posted on: Jan 7 2013, 09:21 AM


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Hm.. odd. I've edited the original post and Here it is again.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375841 · Replies: 5 · Views: 3,465

Witless
Posted on: Jan 6 2013, 01:03 PM


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I read this article today on the tram.

Similar thoughts have crossed my mind. While I am aware of the the generalisations. I can't help but feel the, "strong, career, minded, independent woman that doesn't need a man" is a bit of a stifling trap. I'd say there are more pressures today than when women were expected to be stay at home wives. Not that I think forcing that situation was any good either.

My belief has always been that people should be allowed control over their lives, whatever that entails. Instead I sometimes think we've replaced one set of expectations with one that are stricter, but dressed it up as "empowerment" so it can be described as being positive.

I would say truly feeling in control of your life involves living the life you wish without feeling guilty for doing so. Not being successful in the way others compliment you on.

I'm not sure though. Maybe me and the articles author are reading the world around us poorly. Maybe having a great education and career lead to freedom but in a different way that people aren't recognising.

A thread started entirely from a phone. I am living in the future.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375838 · Replies: 5 · Views: 3,465

Witless
Posted on: Dec 15 2012, 05:35 AM


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I do not, no.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375792 · Replies: 89 · Views: 14,598

Witless
Posted on: Dec 11 2012, 08:26 PM


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Damn you Amazon, it's supposed to not say, the nasty thing. Anyways, this arrived yesterday.



Santa obviously wants me to start playing with electricity! Clearly he's telling me that!
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375786 · Replies: 89 · Views: 14,598

Witless
Posted on: Nov 12 2012, 12:57 PM


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Instantly I see a flaw in secret santa on a forum where too many of the admins feel comfortably close enough to people to be evil.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375634 · Replies: 89 · Views: 14,598

Witless
Posted on: Nov 12 2012, 11:12 AM


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I "Should" be able to make that. You're right, London will be horrid. But the pub should be normal. Everyone will be stabbing each other over the last few pairs of novelty socks for their partners rather than being in pubs.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375630 · Replies: 20 · Views: 4,073

Witless
Posted on: Nov 8 2012, 03:19 PM


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Joined: 11-December 04
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Name: Witless
Previous Victims: No one! Never signed up before
Likes: Geeky things, sugary things, and caffeinated things.
Dislikes: Certain musicians, Transformers 2 and the Twilight saga.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375619 · Replies: 89 · Views: 14,598

Witless
Posted on: Nov 6 2012, 01:40 PM


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Only advice I have.
  Forum: Personal concerns · Post Preview: #375611 · Replies: 65 · Views: 18,669

Witless
Posted on: Oct 26 2012, 03:15 PM


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I expect you to have breasts by the next time I see you.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375543 · Replies: 31 · Views: 7,864

Witless
Posted on: Oct 26 2012, 12:30 PM


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What Mata said. I feel the same about skimpy clothes in the winter as I do about wearing sun glasses at night and then having difficulty seeing. When I see someone shivering their arse off at the bus stop starting to look more and more like death I just think. "Why? You idiot." Calantyr isn't around much these days so I can mock him. He used to wear shades at night to look cool and almost walk into things. I WISH he had just so I could forever had the memory of that foolishness.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375540 · Replies: 31 · Views: 7,864

Witless
Posted on: Oct 25 2012, 11:16 AM


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Thorn: I am a bit burned out on the human race.

Rose: Got an interview with Imaginarium next week (set up by the guy that was the motion capture actor for Gollum and King Kong)

Thorn: Still get nervous at interviews.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375530 · Replies: 2859 · Views: 264,193

Witless
Posted on: Oct 25 2012, 10:55 AM


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I think about this one a lot. The obvious answer is that it's down to personal taste. I'm odd in that I find some of the more full on body modifications fine. But find it difficult to get my head around wearing skimpy clothes in the winter, or people unable to go down to the local shop to do the weekly grocery shop without all their makeup and stuff.

There's the aspect of people liking what they see role models do too. I don't think it's any accident that so many people dress how they do in Hollywood with Hollywood weather regardless of what it's like where they live personally. Or that it has become so fashionable to become tanned even in the cold (which to my personal taste looks ridiculous). I hear the origin of tanning being a fashion statement started with the invention of the plane. Rich people could afford to travel to hot countries, and with travel being so fast, they could still have the tan they gained to show off at home. Over time the poorer would attempt to emulate the rich via staining their skin and ultimately the old opinion that being pale and pure was beautiful gave way to tanning being the "in thing".

I think it's normal to want your appearance to match how you feel about your identity and to even just enjoy your appearance. I also think the image of yourself you hold of yourself is easily influenced by the world. For some people it's by society as a whole, for some people it's specifically people you admire and for some people they just want to match their interests or own emotional states. Some people want to look show their personality, and some people just want to avoid looking like certain personalities.

If I was to guess based on a hunch, I'd say a large portion of people are heavily influenced by society in general and judge people based on society in generals views. I'd say it's less that people there are any "objectively" taboo things, but just things that are still too uncommon to be accepted generally. Some massively impracticle things are accepted and mocking them is considered tantamount to blasphemy. As an example, look at what high heeled shoes do to your body. But because they're so embedded into public consciousness as normal, and great and fashionable, pointing it out is considered being rude.

My personal tastes are a mixed bag like most peoples. I like some piercings (tongues, ears, and some (but not all) lip piercings), not a fan of others (nose, belly buttons, back of the neck). Not a great fan of cosmetic surgery unless it's good enough that I can't tell without being told. I love tattoos though I am taking an age to get my own. I like make up for special occasions but find it a bit over the top for daily use. Stuff like metal spike implants and stuff fascinate the science nerd in me, but I don't like them aesthetically.

I had more to say.. can't remember what that was.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375529 · Replies: 31 · Views: 7,864

Witless
Posted on: Aug 28 2012, 09:56 AM


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Every time I see this topic I think. "Oh yay! Breath of fire 3 fans!" Then I read it and am like "oh... nope, it's still battlefield 3 just like the last time I fell for this.."
  Forum: Media · Post Preview: #375322 · Replies: 4 · Views: 1,637

Witless
Posted on: Aug 25 2012, 12:34 PM


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Scumbag David, tries to start something in issues, then completely forgets that he had.

QUOTE
To me, it would seem incredibly unfair for the copyright time-limit to be reached on an IP, somebody come along with their own version and make a bunch of cash

Well patents last only 20 years on inventions and it there's no mass movement of people trying to mimic copyright law and get it to last well over 100 years. In fact up until Disney came along that's how copyright law worked too, and back then the diversity of ideas that were given budgets was far wider than now where the original ideas sit underground or with really low budgets.

If copyright ran out, no one would stop the large companies from continuing to milk franchises, if they really do make a good new film/game people will still buy into it. Your average fan of a game or film has no idea which studio made what. They and wouldn't care if a studio lost control of copyright in the same way no one really cares that companies other than Goodyear tires make tires out of vulcanised rubber nowadays. They just want to see good films and play good games. The amount of money in the industry doesn't go down without companies holding on to copyright, and the amount of money authors makes stays pretty much the same. If copyright lasted 50 years, J.K Rowlings copyright on Harry Potter would not run out until 2047 and she would be in her late 70s by then and that'd just be the copyright. The profits for book sales at that point would still be hers, all it would mean is that she wouldn't be allowed to sue people anymore if someone else wrote a book based in Hogwarts (which she already doesn't do if they do it for non-profit because she's not insane).

Me personally would like to see copyrights stay with the actual creator of an idea rather than the distributor but I can't see that happen anytime soon, so it'd be nice if at least the copyright didn't have such a over the top length of time. The thought that if I came up with something good enough to go into large scale production it'd be bought off me, and only be released 70 years after my death is a bit ridiculous.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375312 · Replies: 6 · Views: 1,241

Witless
Posted on: Aug 20 2012, 08:55 PM


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I come back to try and make the issues section alive again and this is here. Seriously, issues here is the only place that doesn't make me tear my hair out. Try writing a comment on your average forum or comment section on the internet and watch what happens.

Any way, yes, love, love, have many epic memories too. Late night Skype, and Uno games are some pretty great ones I care to share publicly. Facebook is OK, but it's no replacement for the boards. It does come across as a bad news reel some times and here on the boards it was great because people shared the good the bad and the silly stuff.

I have a suspicion that every one that keeps vanishing and then reappearing keeps reappearing at different times and often not spotting each other. Going to have to make it so when people come they get locked in.
  Forum: Personal concerns · Post Preview: #375303 · Replies: 18 · Views: 2,927

Witless
Posted on: Aug 20 2012, 08:46 PM


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Well that's the thing, the laws are changed often. It's Disney that keep petitioning the changes. Every time their characters are about to leave copyright they petition the laws to be changed and have succeeded 4 times so far. It's odd for a company whose success is built on telling old stories to make sure the same thing can never happens with their characters.

I'd argue that making copy rights last forever is the cause of constant remakes. Companies want to keep reinvesting in what they already own since no one else can do anything with their intellectual properties.

If patents worked in the same way as IP, there would be people today trying to claim money every time the wheel was used in a car after making some vague link to their family line being traced back to the origin of the wheel (which would be impossible to do, but someone would try). If music copyright worked like film copyright you could be sued for playing a modern song on after self teaching it on a piano and then uploading it to YouTube. I believe for film the only videos you are allowed to use are for review and parody purposes and even then the law will still side with the copyright owner any way a great deal of the time.

From a business stand point producers and business men make a lot of money out of copyright law than authors and directors since they often construct companies in a way that the actual authors of films don't own the rights to films. Alan Moore certainly doesn't own the rights to Watchmen, V for Vendetta or League of Extraordinary gentlemen anymore. They are currently making prequel to Watchmen that he has completely been shut out of. Directors and Writers lose out quite a lot in the modern film world when it comes to ownership of things they do.

I would say making copyrights a lot less restrictive empowers the people that do the actual work a lot and gives them a larger share of the financial success of the industry compared to currently where is the more business production side that makes the lion share of the success currently. In another industry it'd be as if a carpenters receptionist made more money than the carpenter doing the hands on work and held on to copyright with an iron grip because because the reception knows that if the carpenter goes, he/she wouldn't be able to make anything new.

Copyright law works like this, the initial creator always gains automatic copyright, but in order to actually get on board with any kind of distributor you have to sign a contract and 99% of the time that contract auto signs rights of anything you make during the time of that copyright over to the company. After that point, the author can actually be sued for doing anything with that work outside working hours even though it was their idea in the first place. Since no author generally has the money or resources to distribute (or often even create) large works they either have to except never being able to own anything they come up with for themselves, or just not share their work and have it as a hobby rather than a job. Which again breaks the initial reasoning for copyright in the first place. To allow authors to feel safe to share their ideas.

The rights being signed over is an interesting one too. If I work on my own project that has nothing to do with work, but I discuss it with work friends, or use a work computer to help render or use work equipment to help with it. Even if it's outside work hours, my employer can (and probably will) make a case that they helped it get made, so they can still claim part ownership (or more) of what I make. That gets even hazier when working from home because it starts becoming harder to prove you did nothing during work hours (and for me that has no fixed work hours it's a mess).

For me personally, less copyright means that I am no longer scared that a character I make that might look a bit like someone else, or a story line element that is a bit the same doesn't mean I fear retribution when I don't have an army of lawyers to defend my self. It also means I could regain access to works I lost access to earlier in life. In the larger world it gives authors the power to play around with each others ideas. If some director wanted to go to Alan Moore and make a film or something based on his comics that was closer to what Alan Moore wanted to see, they'd be allowed to where as currently Alan Moore's locked out of his own work so can do nothing about it.

As it stands studio board members choose what can and can not happen, and they are recycling the copyrights they own over and over again and mostly rejecting original scripts or adjusting scripts so much that they fit what market research has shown them will sell (this is a generalisation of course, if it was a universal truth I'd never ever watch films). I'd also like to think other directors that are less afraid of change might try other less known stories that exist in these universes. I'd like to see the death of Spiderman series from the comic in cinema, I bet that would get made if you didn't need permission from DC studios board members to do it. I also bet with loss of total control of IP they'd be forced to start coming up with new ideas they had fresh copyrights on in order to distinguish themselves from old characters that became freely available.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375302 · Replies: 6 · Views: 1,241

Witless
Posted on: Aug 20 2012, 03:44 PM


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This isn't exactly a world crushing issue. But in the industry I (and a lot of the people on these forums) work in it is a big one.

How do you guys feel about the how copyright is handled in music, games, film and other creative media?

I'll go into my thoughts about it from here. I am not against copyright as such, but I am really starting to dislike the modern day interpretation. First I'll go into what I think copyright should be.

Copyright was created way back in the 1700s in the UK because the original creators of work would often be ruined when printing press companies would print 1000s of copies of their written works without their consent. This would ruin the abilities of writers to make a living since the printing press companies would make all the profits out of their hard work. When these people were ruined, they left the world of writing books behind and the people would lose great writers so everyone except the printing company would lose out.

Copyright law came in to effect not to protect companies in this situation, but to encourage creatively minded people that their work could be profitable to them and not be stolen. Also (and this is key to what I believe about copyright law) it only lasted a short time (14 years back in 1710). That was considered adequate time for someone to make money out of their work and to go on to make new works. The idea wasn't to come up with one story and make anyone that wanted to use it for the rest of time to pay through the nose to do so for all time.

Copyright these days doesn't really feel like it encourages creativity at all. Some one coming up with an idea for something certainly doesn't feel in charge of what they have created. Very often the first clause in any kind contract is to make something of your ideas is that you sign over the copyright over to any distributor that helps you make money out of what you have done, with the added clause that X number of things you create after that automatically get signed over to them too. Admittedly book writers and painters are often more in charge of their creations than authors things for comics, tv and film, but even then they lose control whenever adaptions come in to play.

Now consider also that current copyrights last for the life time of the original creator plus 70 years. On top of that, distributors of copyrighted work seem to have the power to clamp down on anything that is even paying homage to or even vaguely inspired by something they own. That doesn't sound like copyright law is encouraging people to share their ideas with the world, it feels like copyright law has been warped into being exactly what it was invented to stop, which was to protect creators from being pushed into not wanting to share things in case they lose control over what they do.

How many times have you read a book, watched a film, or seen a painting and found out that it's been inspired by someone else? Imagine if Disney hadn't been able to make any of it's films because the descendants of the original writers of stories like Alice in wonderland disallowed them to, or if Lord of the Rings never saw the light of day because the old owner of the copyright had been rich enough to turn down the offer to sell the rights even though J.R.R Tolkien himself had been dead for 30 odd years.

In the past that was considered a quite normal to be inspired by old works, yet recently and increasingly copyright law is being used to penalise inspiration, like the pub that was asked to shut down or change it's because it was called the Hobbit (thank you Stephen Fry and Ian Mckellen for helping put an end to that nonsense).

Think of this, in our life time we will never see someone try a new take on the Star Wars universe without large amounts of George Lucas's intervention. I'd love to see what a Star Wars The Old Republic film would look like in the hands of a new director unrestricted by Lucas film. But with the life time of George Lucas plus 70 years being the length of the copyright it'll probably never happen. How is that increasing creativity in the world?

My personal solution would be to reduce the length of copyright back down to a figure like 30 years in length, and also to give writers for film and tv more power over their work. Right now we seem to be in some kind of remake-geddon (a Batman reboot is already in the talks (seriously)). Most people sit with the reason that it's because large studios like the safety of a franchise with an already existing fan base. But I think there's also the reasoning of copyright. A lot of studios just like to milk copyrighted works they own over and over, they like to continue investing in something they already put money into acquiring. I fully believe this remake-topia we're currently in will not ended for a while yet. If copyrights ended after 30 years, ideas would be free to the world again to become what they will, which opens it up people being able to be inspired by works they grew up with and loved, and forces studios to go back to that good old method of coming up with new ideas more often.


The games side of the copyright thing I think is different so am writing about that here. DRM (digital rights management) is crap and needs to go. It doesn't stop pirates since they are pirates and crack the DRM and makes it more difficult regular legal gamers to play. It's been said 1000 times, and needs to be said again. I know there's this belief that without DRM PC gaming would be gone but this tells me otherwise. There's been a bit of back and forth with games (and movies) about exactly how much money is being lost to pirating. The view seems to be that every single pirated game IS a game sale lost. As if some how without pirating all those piraters would have found the money to buy all those games. That's a big leap to make in my mind and it's a big leap in many people's minds.

I think the same thing as my friend that works in the "dark side of the internet" other wise known as tracking people's movements on the internet. He (and I) think it's a supplier problem, not a customer problem. In a digital age we'd like to be able to get digital content easily. There's a reason Steam does so well. It's cheaper than the store, it's cheaper than getting direct from the company (during sales) it's convinient, and it makes it easier to stay in touch with your gamer friends and track if you own games you can play together. I know so many people that say "if it's not on steam, I won't buy it" a great deal of the time, I am the same as that. If it's not available through an easy to use system that doesn't involve me having to add to my collection of instruction manuals with CD keys on them then I think, "I'll pass". I would be interested to find out if there is a relationship between games being available on steam (and similar services) without DRM vs how much pirating goes with that game.

DRM feels like punishing legitimate game buyers for the actions piraters which aren't stopped anyway.

I am not anti-copyright as such, I would just like to see copyright be used to invite more people to do something creatively and to feel the law is on their side. It often feels like it's either going to put their work in the hands of someone else hand if they want to make something big of it, or punish them with some copyright infringement charge which causes people to keep everything private. That is fine, but being able to make a life out of something you love is a good goal to work for in life, and copyright law as it stands is in my opinion hurting that in the creative industry.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #375295 · Replies: 6 · Views: 1,241

Witless
Posted on: Jul 23 2012, 03:19 AM


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Sending out professional looking invoices does it for me.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375248 · Replies: 28 · Views: 4,025

Witless
Posted on: May 25 2012, 02:40 PM


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Actually the queen brings in far more money for the people than it costs to maintain her. We'd lose money (a lot of money) if we lost the queen.
Here's why: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bhyYgnhhKFw

If I could be any job for a week then that's easy. This isn't a silly answer or an imaginative one, but it is something I would love to do so much. I'd be an astronaut. One that gets to do a space walk.
Pretty simple really. Going to space would be a dream for me.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #375094 · Replies: 25 · Views: 4,440

Witless
Posted on: Mar 12 2012, 02:56 PM


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Hobbes, I feel the same with books as you, so I decided to let my OCD logical side come up with a solution. What I have decided is that if I want the hard back copy of the book I'll buy the physical book. But if its a paper back book I'd carry around everywhere until it looked like it'd been attacked by a lawnmower I tend to ebook it.

It's a solution that has worked out well. I tend to buy more hard backs now than I used to since I'm not worried about being tempted to carry them around with me because I have a digital archive of books I can read with me at all times. My hard backs look all pristine and it makes my bookshelf look posh which is nice.
  Forum: Media · Post Preview: #374914 · Replies: 8 · Views: 2,175

Witless
Posted on: Mar 11 2012, 09:06 PM


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I was considering bringing people up to half the level of an average american. It would take a lot more than 30TW to give everyone America's level of energy consumption. Switching only a few countries over to fission doesn't help much. Considering most of the worlds manufacturing happens in poorer countries of the world and that manufacture is energy intensive we'd still all be in trouble.

Though I suppose I do consider bringing everyone up to a point of having access to resources would be a goal I'd like to see, whether it's done or not.

I know throwing money at things doesn't mean the technology necessarily will work, but if its ever to get anywhere in a decent time frame it needs a lot more from what I have read and watched lately. There simply aren't any other candidates that will help us when those fossil fuels do run out (and they will at some point.)

I like to think on the optimistic side of things (aka not the global war over resources future) where we manage our declining resources situation well and switch over to alternatives in gentle manner. But right now it seems we're just going to go until we run out and THEN work it out. which sounds like a disaster in my book.

London already has power brown outs most summers due to all the air conditioning units we use whenever it gets hot, and we don't even consider ourselves running low.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #374908 · Replies: 6 · Views: 2,171

Witless
Posted on: Feb 25 2012, 05:52 PM


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I posted about this on facebook, but i'll post it here anyway because I suspect it will be discussed for more than a day here.

I personally regard the human race as being in the early times of the first stage of an energy crisis. There's a lot of us in the world, and even is we cut out energy use in half, we'd still have to increase how much we generate if we wanted to give people in the poorer areas of the worlds a better lot in life. With fossil fuels being finite and the population of the world continuing to increase that seems unlikely.

I learnt about how much money it would take to allow everyone in the world to have access to less than half of the average american. The total amount of energy needed for that to become true would be for the human race to generate 30 terawatts of energy per year which is double what we currently generate. So we'd have access to half the amount of energy of the average american but need to double how much we generate.

When looking at all the forms of energy generation we have, we are screwed. They are either finite (fossil fuels) or produce far to little energy to do the job. Even Nuclear fission (the form of energy that produces the most energy that won't run out) falls way too short. We'd need to build a new power station every week for 25 years to produce 5TWs of that 30TWs.

The only thing we have going for us is that we might get nuclear fusion working. If we did then that'd be the human races get out of jail free card since that produces a hell of a lot without polluting the hell out of our planet to do it. We would have gotten our hands on the method used for 99.999999...% of all energy generation of the universe. The human race will have solved the energy problem.

The problem is that it currently hasn't been perfected yet. The world currently spends 1 billion pounds a year on the research effort, that's less than the cost of 7 jet fighter planes. The UK last year spent more money on mobile ring tones than on research and development to trying to get nuclear fusion working. So my hopes are not high that this is going to be figured out in time to save us all from what I believe to be a particularly unpleasant world war 3 when resources run low (That's my prediction for what the countries of the world will do.)

Do you guys think that more needs to be spent on nuclear fusion research or invest more money in technology we know to be working and bite the bullet and just build an obscene amount of it all?

I'd like to believe we can maybe cut down how much energy we need to use. The average american sits at 10KW the worldwide average is 1.7KW and some areas of the world are less than that. That power usage isn't merely electricity. That's includes number of calories used to keep them alive. To even get everyone on 5KW would require a massive amount of extra energy generation. But perhaps maybe you guys think there is other ways of reducing energy usage?

Discuss.

PS. Some info in this post from the documentry I linked above and some here.

PPS there is possibly spelling and grammar errors all over this. I haven't proof read it because I need to go shower. I may come back and fix it when I get the chance. Hopefully it makes sense until then.
  Forum: The Issues Forum · Post Preview: #374861 · Replies: 6 · Views: 2,171

Witless
Posted on: Dec 23 2011, 03:39 PM


happy.. sad.. happy
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Group: Established Members
Posts: 638
Joined: 11-December 04
From: London
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If your plan is to advertise yourself, then on your home page make sure the latest stuff you have done is right there on the first page people see. Not to be cynical, but a lot of people have turbo short attention spans want to be able to see your stuff and what you're doing as easily as possible without having to figure out which link is what will lead them to what stuff.

Also, yes, clean and simple is good.

Also read this.
  Forum: Daily life · Post Preview: #374695 · Replies: 10 · Views: 2,615

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