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Alan Light
Lives in North Carolina
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3D construction coming along in China.
Chinese concrete 3D printing specialists Beijing HuaShang Tengda have just completed an exquisite 400 m2 villa in Beijing in just 45 days, and have 3D printed the entire structure on-site.
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Kenn Borek Air is going to attempt a medical evacuation from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station ... in June!

This is unprecedented! clearly the technology has been improving if they would even attempt this. Depending on delays, this could also be the first time anyone has ever attempted to take them up on the traditional mid-winter invitation.

But since they'll be there, will the Polies get any freshies to celebrate mid-winter?

https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=138914#.V2BZVpLNG7M.facebook
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This may be the best interview of a serious presidential candidate ever.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hdkznU2IvfU
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Will prob end up voting for the guy even though can't really stand the Libertarian Party .. just can't bring myself to vote Trump in the General and given I live in Hawaii my vote is irrelevant, Clinton will take it by 30 points easily.
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The United States is a great nation - but there are limits to any human greatness, and it is worth contemplating that the other 95% of humanity might have some greatness too.

Pride goeth before a fall ... so perhaps this open letter from Russians living in the U.S. can act as a corrective. I'm not about to claim that Russia is always the good guy, but judging Russia by domestic standards will miss a great deal - and something my father observed after living in Japan for several years and comparing the advantages and disadvantages there, was that a country is most competent at what it values.
 
FTA: Unlike many Americans, who see war as an exciting, victorious foreign adventure, the Russians hate and fear war. But they are also ready for it, and they have been preparing for war for several years now. Their preparations have been most effective. Unlike the US, which squanders untold billions on dubious overpriced arms programs such as the F-35 joint task fighter, the Russians are extremely stingy with their defense rubles, getting as much as 10 times the bang for the buck compared to the bloated US defense industry. While it is true that the Russian economy has suffered from low energy prices, it is far from being in shambles, and a return to growth is expected as early as next year. Senator John McCain once called Russia “A gas station masquerading as a country.” Well, he lied. Yes, Russia is the world’s largest oil producer and second-largest oil exporter, but it is also world’s largest exporter of grain and nuclear power technology. It is as advanced and sophisticated a society as the United States. Russia’s armed forces, both conventional and nuclear, are now ready to fight, and they are more than a match for the US and NATO, especially if a war erupts anywhere near the Russian border.
from Club Orlov We, the undersigned, are Russians living and working in the USA. We have been watching with increasing anxiety as the current US and NATO policies have set us on an extremely danger…
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The other bad side of this, and something the US is missing, is we are going to end up driving Russia into the Chinese camp and that is a bad thing given their historic apathy for each other.
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+Peter Thoenen Sadly true - though stranger things have happened.

This is why voting was originally restricted to property owners (which in an agricultural society was a proxy for responsible, productive citizens), and this is why we were warned that democracies always tear themselves apart in a violent end.

Don't know if you're familiar with this, but it's a good read:

http://www.thedarkenlightenment.com/the-dark-enlightenment-by-nick-land/
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A side of Islam that many Americans miss:

http://rare.us/story/let-me-talk-to-you-about-my-faith/
Truly devout Muslims are the majority and we shouldn’t be feared.
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+Peter Thoenen - good points all around. I am not familiar enough to know the ins and outs of it, but I also figure actual practice is more important than the theory. The same can be said about Protestant Christianity, which has tended to produce the strongest economies in the world - but largely due to traditions that are not in the Bible, and which even contradict a literal reading of some passages. I can guarantee that if you actually follow all the rules in the New Testament you will soon be a pariah in every Protestant church in the world, carefully shunned as a heretic if not actively hated.

And then there are the Catholics, who took a passage requiring priests to be married and made it into a passage forbidding plural marriage. Two birds with one stone, there.
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A Venezuelan's account of socialism in his home country.
 
I lived in Venezuela in the early 1960s, and I've visited since. I can back up what this Venezuelan says from a longer timeframe - Venezuelans were actually better off under a corrupt crony-capitalist strongman in 1964 than they are now after the wrecking ball of socialism has smashed what little about their country later geared itself up to First World standards.

Bernie Sanders would do the same thing here.
Sanders supporters should note collectivism leads to poverty, chaos and toilet paper shortages..
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Practical fusion power at $0.003 per kwh on its way? Possibly.
 
Despite rocky start and funding for only about 25 shots - LPP Fusion yield is up 50% to a record for any dense plasma focus device
Six weeks after resuming firing, FF-1’s fusion yield reached 0.25 Joules on May 23, 2016 a nearly 50% increase over the highest-yield shot previously achieved with this device. This increase, confirmed by a second shot on May 24, provides the most concrete ...
Six weeks after resuming firing, FF-1’s fusion yield reached 0.25 Joules on May 23, 2016 a nearly 50% increase over the highest-yield shot previously achieved with this device. This increase, confirmed by a second shot on May...
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Economic illiteracy, living at the expense of others, and eliminating price signals - a recipe for utopia, right?
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The good news is, the U.S. government has effectively waged war on whistleblowers.

That's a good thing, because the U.S government tends to lose wars.
 
In a Democracy Now! broadcast exclusive, we speak with a former senior Pentagon official about how his superiors broke the law to punish a key National Security Agency whistleblower for leaking information about waste, mismanagement and surveillance. His account sheds light on how and why Edward Snowden revealed how the government was spying on hundreds of millions of people around the world. John Crane worked 25 years for the Department of Defen...
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Actually, I am thinking the civil service idea itself is to blame. We borrowed the idea from China without paying attention to what it had done to China. Prior to the civil service and the associated exams that rewarded rote learning, China had a robust and innovative civilization - the best in the world. Afterwards ... it could barely stand under its own weight.

I am beginning to think Andrew Jackson had the right idea. At the time, people hated the "spoils system", but if you completely wash out the entire bureaucracy every 4 to 8 years you will at least reduce the tendencies for ossification and lining nests.
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Introduction

Interested in history and humanity, including colonization (Antarctica, Seasteading), the future of humanity and the post-human world, technology, and just about everything.  Except sports.  Sports bore me.

The following is to allow people who know me to determine if I am the person they are looking for.

Alan R. Light, Alan Robert Light.

Born in Washington, D.C., in 1970, but grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia and Waxhaw, North Carolina.

Graduated from Wheaton College in 1992.

Online since 1988.  Participated in rec.arts.books on USENET in the 1990's.

Project Gutenberg volunteer, 1993-1999.

Interest in Antarctica since childhood.  South Pole Station, 31 October 2007 to 4 February 2008.  McMurdo Station, October 2007 and 16 February 2009 to 9 October 2009.

Since 6 July 1981, have lived within 50 miles of Charlotte, North Carolina more often than not.

U.S. Army National Guard 1988-1994 (IRR until 1996).  South Carolina and Illinois National Guard.  Radio Teletype Operator.

Was a DJ at a college radio station Senior year.  Did a weekly show with World Music.  Not to be confused with a famous New York DJ with same name.

Father's family is from Rolla, Missouri.  His family had moved to Rolla from the Murfreesboro, Tennessee area in 1875.  His mother was from Kansas.

Mother was born in Tucson, but grew up in Marana and Phoenix, Arizona; Arlington, Massachusetts; and the Washington, D.C. area.  Her parents had moved to Arizona from Tennessee and West Virginia.

Bragging rights
Has visited every continent at least twice. Between October 2009 and February 2009 visited every continent, including 20 countries, in one trip.
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Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
North Carolina
Previously
Charlottesville, Virginia and Waxhaw, North Carolina - Charlottesville, Virginia, USA - Waxhaw, North Carolina, USA - Wheaton, Illinois, USA - Wadesboro, North Carolina, USA - Monroe, North Carolina, USA - Homewood, Alabama, USA - Yokkaichi, Mie Ken, Japan - South Pole - Fort Gordon, Georgia, USA - Fort Jackson, South Carolina, USA - McMurdo Station, Antarctica
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