The climate change debate is on a slow burn

California is on fire. Louisiana is under water and luxury cruise operators are now scheduling voyages through the Arctic.

And while this is all happening, we see in this election that the political party opting for Scrooge McDuck’s nephew as its presidential candidate plans to destroy the country,

Most of its leaders are in this video. This shows that their real goal is to destroy the planet.

Elon Musk says we’re living in a simulation

For those of you who don’t know:

Elon Reeve Musk (born June 28, 1971) is a South African-born Canadian-American business magnate, engineer and inventor.

He is the founder, CEO and CTO of SpaceX; co-founder, CEO and product architect of Tesla Motors; co-founder and chairman of SolarCity, co-chairman of OpenAI; co-founder of Zip2; and founder of X.com which merged with PayPal of Confinity. As of June 2016, he has an estimated net worth of US$12.7 billion, making him the 83rd wealthiest person in the world.

Musk has stated that the goals of SolarCity, Tesla Motors, and SpaceX revolve around his vision to change the world and humanity. His goals include reducing global warming through sustainable energy production and consumption, and reducing the “risk of human extinction” by “making life multiplanetary” by setting up a human colony on Mars.

In addition to his primary business pursuits, he has also envisioned a high-speed transportation system known as the Hyperloop, and has proposed a VTOL supersonic jetaircraft with electric fan propulsion, known as the Musk electric jet.

Now, let’s think about this simulation.

Because isn’t that what Musk is saying?

OK, here’s where I see the flaw. If this is a simulation, it makes no sense to have suffering or death. Since it’s a program, all of that is a simple matter of coding. Remove that part of the program, and everyone is in paradise. What would be wrong with that?

Now if the programmers tens of thousands of years from now designing this simulation surrounding us are including death and suffering as part of the program, then they’re just being assholes, playing God because it amuses them. And based on some of the news stories we see each day, the programmers are sick and twisted assholes.

And this takes Musk’s simulation theory out of the realm of science and into the philosophy of religion: The programmer of the future is an all seeing and all knowing being deciding who gets pain and joy, poverty and wealth, weakness and power, and death and life.

If simulation theory is your religion, it’s no different than Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Hinduism, Scientology or any other belief structure based on a higher being who determines your fate.

For some people, that provides a solace, but it also creates conditions where no one is responsible for their actions because everything has already been determined.

And, isn’t this whole discussion just one of those “first world” problems, anyway?

In the real world, a mother trying to feed her starving baby in Appalachia, or a father moving his family from a war zone to a safe country has no time to be reassured that their suffering or the danger around them is just a simulation.

It’s reality, and reality sucks for a lot of people.

(While I’m writing this, a character in “The Sims” is wondering, “Is this just a simulation?” …

And the Sims programmer has included anxiety and death in the program. it turns out that today’s programmers are being sick and twisted assholes. Like the ones in the future?)

And you thought an Olympic gold medal was made of gold

Another great graphic from Compound Interest:

Rio-Olympic-Medal-Compositions

So a gold medal is a silver medal with gold plating? And more surprising, the bronze medal is really brass.

Comparison chart

Brass versus Bronze comparison chart
Brass Bronze
Properties Higher malleability than zinc or copper. Low melting point (900 c); flows when melted. Combinations of iron, aluminum, silicon & manganese make brass corrosion resistant. Susceptible to stress cracking when exposed to ammonia. Not as hard as steel. Hard and brittle. Melts at 950 centigrade but depends on amount of tin present. Bronze resists corrosion (especially seawater corrosion) and metal fatigue more than steel and is also a better conductor of heat and electricity than most steels.
Composition Brass is any alloy of copper and zinc. Bronze is a metal alloy consisting primarily of copper, usually with tin as the main additive, but sometimes with other elements such as phosphorus, manganese, aluminum, or silicon.
Color Muted yellow, somewhat similar to gold, but duller. Reddish brown.
Uses Decorative; Low-friction applications (locks, gears, doorknobs, ammunition, valves); Plumbing/electronics; Musical instruments for acoustic properties; Zippers & uses where it’s important to negate spark(fittings & tools around explosive gas). Used in boat and ship fittings, propellers and submerged bearings because of resistance to salt water corrosion. Widely used for cast bronze sculpture; Bearings, clips, electrical connectors and springs; For top-quality bells and cymbals.
History Brass was first known to exist in about 500 BC. Bronze dates to about 3500 BC.

The view from a million miles away

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Via NASA:

A NASA camera aboard the Deep Space Climate Observatory (DSCOVR) satellite captured a unique view of the moon as it moved in front of the sunlit side of Earth last month. The series of test images shows the fully illuminated “dark side” of the moon that is never visible from Earth.

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There is no dark side of the moon. really. Matter of fact, it’s all dark.