Heteromeles

Heteromeles

  • Commented on Story time!
    Your limit on metalworking is going to be how much charcoal or methane you can get. Back in the Middle Ages, an English city glassworks owned a woodland, solely so that, by coppicing it, they'd have enough charcoal to keep...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Um yeah. Bend is not the Ka'u desert.* It looks a bit more like this. *The Ka'u desert is on the southern end of the Big Island of Hawai'i. It's a desert for two reasons: 1) it's about on the...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Yup. I was a little taken aback by earlier comments that it's all like Death Valley past the Cascades. The original point, though, was that the Pacific Northwest can't accommodate 19 million-odd people moving north from southern California in the...
  • Commented on Story time!
    I think a few people in Puerto Rico and Florida might disagree with you about the status of electricity in the scheme of things....
  • Commented on Story time!
    Wow, we know how to preserve stuff for 100,000 years in a way that will be understandable then? How does that work?...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Another fun bit of future technology: new kinds of "rock," such as plastiglomerate, which is what you get when molten plastic binds grains of sand and other debris into a durable "rock." I suspect that ancient landfills, beachrock with plastic,...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Interesting...I did the gender neutral version of it: especially for the chromatic dragons, it's how young, single dragons get, erm, older partners, to, erm, show them how the world works, and erm, groom them for more...mature roles. How slimy can...
  • Commented on Story time!
    I suspect that dragons want hordes for the same reason that bower birds build bowers: to attract poorer members of the opposite sex. It's a form of display. That's the biological version. In the fallen angel version, they're trying to...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Well, if you've got a subsistence farming community that's probably 99% smaller than the current population of the city, I'd hazard a guess that the deep tunnels will be cooler than the surface....
  • Commented on Story time!
    Yes, rubber's probably another one of those critical materials for modern technology. It's possible to build a decent bicycle frame out of bamboo, and it's possible to hand cut gears and the chain if it comes to that. Rubber's a...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Take a long look at the Southeast Asian tribes and get back to me on that. I agree that agriculture a smithing probably go together, but I'm going to leave it at probably rather than certainly, because of (among others)...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Now if someone really wants to get cutesy, imagine new crops for the apocalypse. In that role, I'd suggest kudzu and Palmer's pigweed....
  • Commented on Story time!
    I'd disagree on the either-or of agriculture or hunter-gatherer. It's a mistake to see them as discrete units. Grain agriculture is (probably) the necessity for civilization on any scale, Aztec or ours, whatever the tool technology is based on, and...
  • Commented on Story time!
    I tend to think Ming China's a better example of a potential post-collapse empire, but whatever. The real problem is food, specifically grain. Unless we're talking about the Inka, no empire has run without grain. The Inka are a special...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Another way to put that is "for the next couple hundred years, there is no certainty about the future". As a cultural challenge, that's huge. Also, forgot to respond to the last part of this. I'd modify that to read,...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Cool! Now for the tech criticism. The critical mistake everyone makes is the idea that the future will recapitulate the past, as if we can get knocked linearly back to the stone age, mammoths will miraculously reappear.... Anyway, some useful...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Thermal exclusion zone? It's always worth checking to see what the model is for Black Flag Weather Predictions (this is the USMC version, where the combination of heat and humidity is bad enough that humans can't lose heat by sweating,...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Chosen deliberately, too. The PETM has some things that I happen to like: --Lots of anoxia in the deep ocean waters (IIRC that's when the North Sea oil was formed, from organic runoff from Britain and Europe). HOWEVER, there are...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Well, I don't like talking about my personal situation, but I'm somewhat younger than Charlie and don't have kids. I'd give myself decent odds of dying alone under a bridge due to lack of food or meds for myself. Then...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Perhaps it's fraud, but I think you underfactor the power issue: for instance, the US military is the #1 user of fossil fuels by a long shot, just to pick a non-subtle option. While yes, there might be a bust-out...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Thanks for pointing it. I'm saving the article for later, when I get around to rewriting Hot Earth Dreams. Right now I've got to deal with the environmental ramifications of that little global housing bubble that's getting ready to pop....
  • Commented on Story time!
    Wearing bad-fitting clothes on the street was supposed to make people think you were just out of prison, a bad-ass dude. As one commentator in the 80s noted, it was a problematic fashion because, improperly done, it made the teens...
  • Commented on Story time!
    And since I'm a complete bastard, it would all be prime numbers. Already done, rather famously I'm afraid....
  • Commented on Story time!
    Ooh, I like the Drogna. Let's see, because of the colors, I assume each coin's a carefully heat-treated piece of steel? (tempering gives all those different colors if done right--and if the coin's surface isn't scratched). So what that means...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Or, following modern banking standards, the dragons can cover any expected losses... I'm trying to figure out, is accountant a subclass of magicians or of monks?...
  • Commented on Story time!
    That's one of those interesting questions, whether a system run on chaotic evil principles is stable in the long run. For example, if we have dragons as creditors, we can be sure that the principle is as secure as the...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Much less pleasant, I hope. The idea is Trolls thirty feet tall covered with symbionts, tendriculous that have evolved to cover acres, flying slaad covered with stirges that have been drinking hallucinogenic blood for years, etc., all played for as...
  • Commented on CMAP #16: Book Title Blues
    Gotta remind you of the Four Horsemen. The metaphor's more useful than the rest of that particular book of the Bible, IMHO, because it's a mnemonic that both disaster aid specialists and the military keep rediscovering: famine, disease, unrest, and...
  • Commented on CMAP #16: Book Title Blues
    A lot of animals die, but so do crops. Even if the plants survive, crop yields drop off dramatically when the plants overheat. The most heat tolerant (summer) crops are sorghum and cassava/manioc, but sorghum at least is forecast to...
  • Commented on Story time!
    Actually, over time it does get worse, if the lich (d)evolves into a demi-lich inside the gelatinous cube......
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