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Everything posted by Ssnake

  1. Eh, just as it's very hard to generate extra profit above market average in the long run (lucky streaks end), it's equally hard to be consistently more stupid than the market average. Otherwise the mutuals would hire idiots and use them as negative predictors to beat the market performance consistently.
  2. Image recognition is already better than that. You can already be selective enough in your targeting to go for armored vehicles exclusively. Even with a demand of 99% confidence in the identification you'll eliminate maybe 60...80% of all discovered targets. And you can, of course dial the threshold up and down as you like, depending on how much collateral damge you are willing to accept (or, less than ethical, how much collateral damage you want).
  3. I should clarify that, being raised in Lutheran belief and spirit, have no fundamental problem with Judeo-Christian ethos. But the argument that only JC-founded morality is capable of creating a functioning society is observably false. I'm not making any statement about which religion, or secularism for that matter, is preferable. I'm just refuting the claim that there is no alternative to Judeo-Christian faith. In fact, I am generally supportive of this faith and morality system, probably because I'm most familiar with it. I do not favor rigid secularism; it's historical track record is, indeed, poor. It's just, I can't bring myself to believe, Bible or anything. I simply am a skeptic by nature, and as such I try to be rather careful with absolute statements.
  4. That's because they are. 25 sorties, basically. If "funding" is the issue, then that's because our pols don't want to spend more money on security. But it may well be another symptom of the inertia in procurement, where this procurement might have been started prior to Feb 24.
  5. If the teachings of the Bible are flawless, and it's just occasionally the execution that is botched by local clergy, the same argument can be made about secular humanism.
  6. I think we will contnue to see, as long as no major (new) conflict is started, loitering munitions with man-in-the-loop control which, indeed, do not scale (or don't scale well). I think that at least some of these LMs will have a non-advertised autonomous capability. Whether the customers actively ask for it or some engineers simply activate the capability later "on urgent customer request" is probably a function of a. the customer's ethical frame of reference and military doctrine, and b. how well the conflict can be managed without it. But a fair share of public drone footage and/or manufacturer capability claims suggest that there's already at least some form of image recognition at work to support the human operator. Well, that same capability can easily be reprogrammed for autonomous killbot functions. Whether we should do this is a different question of course, but as hinted, the answer depends on a. and b. above because I suspect that eventual technical difficulties with autonomous operations can and will eventually be solved, and today's operator assistance functions lay the groundwork for "liberating" future operators from the need for kill decisions. Given that there are many countried operating from a different ethical framework, my rather pessimistic outlook is that it's just a question of when, not if.
  7. Meh. Christian morality supported burning women alive because God told someone that they were guilty of looking suspicious, and good, upstanding citizens didn't oppose it. Such breakdowns can happen both in faith-based and secular societies, as far as I can see. Back to you, Rick.
  8. On a more serious note, this answer here doesn't really address Glenn's question - why are we sending materiƩl at all if we don't provide it in the quantity necessary for Ukraine to win a war that they didn't start. As uncomfortable as the question may be, if the answer is that we're doing it just to feel better about ourselves that we're doing "something" even if we know that it's not enough, then that may be a more insidious betrayal of Ukraine than doing nothing at all.
  9. Assuming that nothing was exported after 1943, the $59M net exports of raw material were 0.5% of the $11B volume of lend lease. Per NOAA estimate, the oceans contain 321 million cubic miles of water, or 1.339 x 10^18 cubic meters. The average size of a water drop is 5 x 10^-10 cubic meters (.05 milliliters). So, 28 orders of magnitude difference vs three orders of magnitude.
  10. I'm not here to defend Lindbergh. I have no sympathy towards Nazis and their enablers. But if the argument is that he was politically confused, then he's no better or worse in that respect than Jane Fonda cheerleading for the Vienamese communists, or pretty much any other wealthy intellectual droning on about the wonders of socialism. His support for Nazism can't be exonerated or excused. He was a useful idiot. Yes, all true. But at least he admitted that he was wrong on a number of accounts during his lifetime, which is more than most supporters of communism are or were capable of, or Eugenics, and a number of other horrid political ideas. He's not singularly terrible.
  11. The lack of infantry is something that all western armies would have to deal with likewise. The conclusion can only be, "don't wage an offensive land war in Asia" or something to that effect. I should point out that this isn't just a Russian phenomenon. The disaster in OIF was founded on political bending of intelligence findings. The Western miscalculation about Afghans as a whole wanting to become little secular Europeans was the basis for the whole nation building post 9-11. Similar cases could be made about Libya and Arab Spring (and if there had been no military coup, we'd have another Islamic terror state in Egypt right now). Arguably, most wars are started out of miscalculations that are largely the result of political directives to find supporting evidence for a theory already formulated at the top. In this case, a direct consequence of #2 combined with #1. I don't see much stalling by the Ukrainian army in the initial phase of the run on Kiev. It was about as fast as if it had happened in a near vacuum. The Russian columns stalled when they ran out of fuel, because they ran out of fuel. They lost more equipment to bad terrain than to enemy action. Even then a large part of the long and terribly exposed columns could eventually be extricated because Ukrainian armed forces were too weak to mount an effective counterattack. So, yes, the wisdom of METT-T is unbroken, but I'm not sure if this is really something new. WRT drones, I think they should and will be pushed down to the platoon level, eventually.
  12. Admitting wrong about a crucial issue in an autobiography is, however, more than most people of comparable prominence are willing to admit (e.g. the Eugenics part which people like Paul Ehrlich and Margaret Sanger defended to their last breaths ("because, science")).
  13. By what metric? The Bundeswehr certainly has their evaluation criteria. I doubt that it's more scientifically advanced than a weighted Excel spreadsheet where they award points for meeting individual criteria, and weighting them for their importance. But of course, the weighting is the subjective part where the evaluator can put his finger on the scale to favor one product over others. Even if the touch is light, that can already make all the difference for otherwise equally good products. I don't know that spreadsheet. I don't know the weighting factors. I do know from other procurement competitions in which I took part that you can meet 95% of all requirements and your competitor barely 60%, but because your competitor is 20K cheaper in a million+ contract for a simulator that's going to be in use for decades, the procurement officer decides to go with the cheaper solution. So, my trust in the objectivity of weighted spreadsheets, even if they contain 300+ criteria ("Critical", "Primary", "Secondary"), is, um, "limited".
  14. And yet, that million is less than 8% of that peak, and the production trend is upward. The upward trend line is slightly less steep than in previous periods, but half of the production contraction in early 2020 (what may be attributed to Biden's "war on domestic oil") has recovered. Not entirely sure what your point is?
  15. Well, the FDP's proposal is to keep a backdoor open for IC engine cars, provided they would use synthetic fuels derived from atmospheric CO2. I don't think they are going to succeed with the move; I'm not even convinced that the German car manufacturers are in favor of this proposal although it would, of course, open more decision space to find the least costly carbon emission reduction path. As so often noticed, that's the official goal because you can sell stuff under that label to a more or less gullible public. But the agenda behind it is of course different. I suppose the car industry hopes that they will be the big winners of a ban of petrol and diesel cars against emerging car makers in India and Malaysia (and possibly the US car industry that still seems to be dragging their feet WRT the transition towards electric). The electric grid actually supporting all that extra load, "not their department" in classic Wernher von Braun fashion.
  16. BDS much? Sure, he certainly isn't among the greatest US presidents ever, and yeah, the cognitive issues were apparent even during the campaign. But seeing Putin as a "world leader" when he's practically a pariah pretty much anywhere west of the Urals and east of Hawaii, and north of the Mediterranean is not even "a stretch". NATO and EU are more united than ever. The EU is irrevocably transitioning towards independence from Russian energy imports. By the end of 2023 that transition will be largely complete (decarbonization will take longer of course, if it is even attainable). At that point, Putin can start building new gas pipelines. And new oil pipelines. All the way to India. Russia is effectively cut off from microprocessors past the 1990s period, and as long as the sanctions remain and the West is 80% of Chinese electronics markets, I'm not seeing these processors coming to Russia in more than marginal doses. The US has shown the strongest support for Ukraine, and as such has once again demonstrated its role as a leader. May well be that Biden is suffering from Alzheimer's (but so was Reagan in his second half of his presidency). But it hasn't stopped him from responding adequately to the war in Ukraine.
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