alexandertolley

alexandertolley

  • Commented on Books I will not write #5: Floater in the Sea of Time
    Add me to the list of "I'm glad you didn't write this one". The problem with this type of fiction for me is that it always breaks down to the "unexpected" problems of people with knowledge of the past not...
  • Commented on Books I will not write #3: No plan survives contact with the editor
    "it's not just money I'm investing in your product, but my time to read it," I agree, there is an eyeballs time issue involved. It seems that novels are now the new short story. When short stories were abundant, it...
  • Commented on Books I will not write #3: No plan survives contact with the editor
    "After my agent shot down my suggestion for an alternate history novel for various good and sound commercial reasons" Why? Is this some expertise the agent has of the market or the publishers? Are stories that similar/predictable that this determination...
  • Commented on A working hypothesis
    Is creationism taught alongside biology as in "teach the controversy" or as a religious class? I'm in two minds about creationism or ID. I sometimes think it would make sense to add sunlight to it and add it to the...
  • Commented on A working hypothesis
    Our society is fully tolerant of every belief system that is willing to tolerate our own society's beliefs. Interesting use of the word tolerant. Webster's definition is uselessly self referential, but the synonyms help: forbearing, long-suffering, stoic, patient, uncomplaining Substitute...
  • Commented on A working hypothesis
    You keep bringing up Evolution (Descent with modification + natural selection) as if its a clear and obvious tool of oppression. I hope not. What I am saying that seen through the eyes of those who don't accept evolution, it...
  • Commented on A working hypothesis
    It is true that you can home school in the US. It comes with an economic cost and you still have to adhere to a curriculum that you may disagree with. I was definitely using the wrong words "forcing to...
  • Commented on A working hypothesis
    While it doesn't invalidate the "Future Shock" hypothesis, the symptoms have occurred many times in history including times of stability. Therefore while instability may be a cause, it is neither necessary nor sufficient as an independent variable to explain the...
  • Commented on Where we went wrong
    Charlie, I recall you were writing bank payment software in a past life. What language were you using and how did he ensure security for your company's clients?...
  • Commented on Where we went wrong
    Even with the most secure architecture possible, the social engineering schemes to get access to personal data will still work. And that is before criminals pay for personal data via bribery or blackmail. I think this post would be more...
  • Commented on What is the next bubble?
    Are you arguing that only governments are big enough to take market risk with nukes? If so, then maybe we have government run, but privately built reactors. That isn't going to happen in the US, and I doubt in the...
  • Commented on What is the next bubble?
    Perhaps you prefer governments that can cover up accidents, like the Windscale leak in 1957? ;) I don't believe Chernobyl was corporate run either, but I may be mistaken. What we need is the right incentives to ensure that every...
  • Commented on What is the next bubble?
    are some smart folks secretly marketing such a scheme to assorted Vultures, possibly fuelled by snake-oil and glossy brochures? Funny you should say that. I had an idea for a scheme breeding macro algae to extract gold from seawater back...
  • Commented on What is the next bubble?
    I'm going to throw my hat in for non-traditional banks. The banking sector (at least in the US) is ripe for a deep retrenchment. We're seeing signs of new types of intermediaries dong bank functions, from new, low-cost banks to...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Are we talking at x-purposes? I thought you were talking about a civilization that had reached a pinnacle with space elevators, then was falling back to a pre-space age culture, perhaps after a global catastrophe. That civilization might be unable...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    They might be upset to lose their communications satellites, GPS, moon colonies and O'Neill habitats, all possible from a much lower level of technology than a space elevator. I had in mind pre-space age when you said "devolving". If there...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    How thick do you think the base of your elevator would be While the total mass of the elevator is huge, the base is the thinnest part as it has to support the least weight. Edwards 2002 book has the...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Not to mention dumping a 30,000km hazard into Earth-Moon space. I'm not sure the devolving civilization will care that much. :)...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Currently, there is no material reason to go to space. There is just the experience to be gained by changing our perspective. Navigation, espionage and weather satellites do that. Space probes do that. Flying to Mars would do that. Why...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    How would you decommission an old elevator, assuming your civilization knows it is devolving? If it is kept under tension, just cut the base and let it float away?...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    It would be nice if you just read what I said. Firstly I specifically did not suggest that we put Google servers that deliver data on the moon. I said the servers on the moon would be crunching data and...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Which brings me to my concern about Carbon Nanotubes, and that we might just find we can't scale them to the lengths we need. I keep reading that they are getting a lot longer in the lab, but they certainly...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Fair point. A smelter is needed - perhaps a solar powered one might work and be light enough. It might be OK for a 30% mix of PGMs to be exported, but I agree that would take the shine off...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    So you go from "won't work" to "well it's cheaper to do it on earth, so why bother". You wanted to shoot down the idea by making a numerical computation to debunk it. That was invalidated by not thinking through...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Another version of the space fountain. I like it's bold concept....
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Why do we need to have the radiators at 3K? What is wrong with removing the excess heat directly and putting it into 250K radiators some distance away? A heat pump would be fine to do this and keep the...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Are those real gotcha's? Brad Edwards covered a lot of the bases in his book on space elevators and the community has tried to shoot it down with "gotcha's" without apparent success AFAIK. We also don't need unobtanium, we know...
  • Commented on Moonshine
    Not being a refinery general contractor, I couldn't tell you what the smallest sensible extraction facility looks like, or more importantly, what it weighs. But I suspect a closed-loop facility for smashing rocks, bathing them in solvent, bottling the resulting...
  • Commented on Space Cadets
    So war had actually SLOWED progress in aviation. That's pushing it. The 2 world wars experienced very rapid development of aircraft. The interwar years saw development, but it was the war years that boosted R&D in order to field better...
  • Commented on Space Cadets
    Scott did actually reach the pole. Bad luck was a factor as his team was caught in a blizzard that prevented them from continuing their return journey for 9 days. Absent that, they may have got back OK, although without...
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