Monday, 19 September 2011

Those Who Would Save Us

Here's the deal.  Some AIDS researchers had spent years searching and trying to grasp the way that AIDS enzymes worked and hooked in the micro arena.  They had tried various models and simply weren't getting anywhere.

So some guy came and suggested that gamers...our World of Warcraft doomsday players....would have the skills necessary to grasp the enzymes, and maybe figure out the critical role in how the AIDS virus matures and proliferates.  So there's this special gaming area where a designer puts up the virus in a gaming design.

What did they have to lose? took a couple of days, but the gamers conquered the enzyme.  They tossed out the model that researchers have been begging for.  The smart guys are admitting that we've basically turned an entire corner and they could start building various things to fight AIDS now that have a higher chance of success.

So, I'm going suggest this only one time....and I suspect it might draw more than a hundred reviews on this blog.  The gamers?  They deserve the Nobel Prize, end of the story, period.  No exception.  I know that thousands of scientists will stand in their way.....but they basically tore the roof off research.

And here's the thing you ought to start wondering about.  We've got 300k World of Warcraft players easily within the US, and probably well over a million across the globe.  Got some more problems?  Want to prove how a black hole actually operates?  Turn it into a virtual game and let the WoW guys loose on it.  Got some problems with predicting earthquakes?  Turn it into a game and let these WoW guys examine the problem.

I'm thinking the science guys really don't like the sound of this....gamers having more skills than a scientist....but a gamer is not thinking in the same fashion as a scientist.  Everything in a gamers mind....revolves around logic.  Steps lead to more steps....leading onto connections....bonus points....and the keys to the magic unicorn pony on level forty-four.  As far as the WoW gamer is concerned....he just wants the magic unicorn pony, and probably wouldn't even care for the Nobel Peace Prize.

So unleash the gamers, and let them save humanity....and when rewards get discussed....just make sure you've got plenty of magic unicorn ponies somewhere.

The Unfairness

“It cries out for some rationalization.  Why should we ask somebody to sustain a system that’s unfair by any other measure in our society?”

-- Sylvester J. Schieber, former chairman of the Social Security Advisory Board

This was the comment on military pensions.  There were various comments this weekend that military pensions would have to be carved or changed drastically.  Some actually want to change both healthcare and pensions for those who are already retired.  Some want to just aim for the future military retirees only.

As for Mr Schieber?  I doubt if he ever spent a week out on maneuvers....skipping a bath each day.....and eating MREs.  This crowd who talks about the idea of pension cuts on GI's weren't there on Normandy's beaches or landing on hostile islands in the Pacific.  They weren't there in Vietnam....carrying wounded buddies back to camp.  And where is the unfairness?

This crowd probably doesn't include anyone who has filled a four thousand sandbags in their career.  It probably doesn't include anyone who would put in seventy man-hours of physical effort in an average week.  I doubt that the group has anyone in it that would readily volunteer to take a rifle and go defend against an attack of hostile enemy.  And where is the unfairness?

So my advice to the group is simple.  If you want to make cuts....just make the decision to pull back from every hostile area in the world.  Bring all the troops back to comfortable areas of Georgia, Kentucky and Washington state.  Return to the wonderful years of the 1920s when wars ended and troops were sent back home and you kept just twenty percent of what you really needed.  Stock up on a lot less tanks, aircraft and ships.  Make yourself believe that threats are imaginary and that you can negotiate out of bad situations.

The curious thing once you accomplish all of this.....a vast savings.  Which you'd invest in discovering why a certain type of butterfly in Paraguay is green, or building a bridge over a vast swamp in Georgia, or fund the start-up of some solar panel operation.  That all makes sense, in some odd way.