Heteromeles

Heteromeles

  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Actually, let's get back to what's going on with the California grid companies and fire. Here's the problem: --Yes, power companies are responsible for billions of dollars in fire damage, dating back to 2007 in San Diego (which SDG&E got...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Too bad Rackham and Grove's The Nature of Mediterranean Europe is out of print, because the story about the Mediterranean is a bit more complex than you make it, and that's a really good book. If you can get a...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Here's kind of the way it goes in southern California: Forest can be relatively fire proof if it's old ponderosa pine with lots of grass and herbs in between. If the forest doesn't burn regularly, firs and other trees grow...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Check out NotPetya, which only cost the world around $10 billion. I'd argue that the 2016 US election counts, although it's been aided and abetted by allies in the US. The point here is that war is the continuation of...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    The odd thing is that we do have massive conflict in terms of cyberwar, although no one has seen the utility of massive cyber-assaults on infrastructure yet. One of the interesting things about current US administration is that prior to...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Why would they want to disarm North Korea? Traditionally, the way power has worked in this part of the world was that the ruler of Korea or Japan recognized the paramount power of the Chinese emperor, and in return they...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Too bad you're stuck suffering with the rest of us, regardless. Nice to have you back though....
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Wish that would work. Alas, people have found that minimalist religions, along the lines of "sprinkle with magic water, you go to heaven when you die, nothing else matters except tithing," and "say divine mantra with true devotion, go to...
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    I remember the short story, which I'm pretty sure I read in the 1980s, possibly in some best-of collection. If it's the one I'm thinking of, it's about a woman who lives in a single room with everything online (analog,...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Puhleeze. Marijuana dates back to the neolithic, most likely, and psilocybes have been around for a very long time. The thing about LSD-25 and the western discovery of Psilocybe mushrooms was (and this is per Michael Pollan's Changing My Mind,...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Actually, there would be two really weird things about writing about the Hippies in the 1920s. Psychedelics and the drug war. There's no really good analog for psychedelics, because the effects of the drugs themselves is highly dependent on set...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    Agreed. Reincarnation is one of those words that doesn't mean quite what people think it means, especially in Buddhism. One real fun thing about Tibetan Buddhist thought (although I don't know if it was Buddha's thought) is the concept of...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    This is more an aside than a reply, because I agree with most of what you wrote, but something interesting about justice systems became apparent to me one day while I was building the background for a Dungeons and Dragons...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    In practice you are, of course, correct. Human life is given value in legal settings, because...well, you've got to figure out a way to right wrongs. HOWEVER, and this is critically important, our legal system evolved out of systems (like...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    I think the basic problem is the conflation of bodily autonomy with putting a price on human life. There are three problems with it: 1. You can't automatically maintain bodily autonomy and put a price on human life. If there's...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    You mean, they're not the server this madness is running on? Or, conversely, the Laundryverse equivalent of Tom Bombadil?...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Hmmm. Rolling jubilees? It's a good SFF story, actually. The first question is what would trigger a jubilee--a fixed time period (per the Old Testament), the death of an autocrat (traditional), or choosing between that and an insurrection? The last...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    Speaking of "Fabian Everyman," I do wonder if channeling Nyarlathotep induces K syndrome at some point? Probably not, but I guess we'll find out....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    There's a sleeper named Cthulhu tangled into this mess somehow. Inside or outside the pyramid???...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    The only problem with this is that, if we ban private banks, other entities take their place. Like crime bosses. It's also worth contemplating the notion of a jubilee, where every 50 years or so, all the debt contracts are...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    Yeah, I was going to chalk that up to authors' preference. However, there are ample precedents, from Superman to Pratchett's Death, of superpowered characters working admirably well in stories where they are, by far, the most powerful characters in the...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    You've read Digger?...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    PNG is complicated, and I'm not an expert. They have some fertile valley regions, some infertile areas, and with some exceptions, the forests are not suitable to supporting pure hunter-gatherers. There are "nomads," but often they're cultivating sago palm patches...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Eh, you cant solve this by asking people to be poor, that is just obviously politically unstable on every time horizon. Nor is reducing the population an answer, since people do not, as a rule, go gently into that night....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Oh, I agree that what we're doing now with industrial agriculture is suicidally stupid and short-term, one way or another. Longer term, it's not so clear, and you've got to look at, not just old farmlands like China, but odd...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Not sure I believe that all forms of agriculture are eventually destructive. Presuming humans caused the megafauna extinction thingie, we were killing off big herbivores long before we got to agriculture. What I would say is that it's worth taking...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Do realize that back in 1900 and before, the US had Chernozems (aka mollisols in the US terminology) every bit as good, in places like Iowa and Illinois. They're not black any more, and we've lost most of the top...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Freeze to death in the dark in India? I guess that's a problem in parts of the Himalaya, but most of the rest of the population is suffering from both too much heat and way too many fires. My guess...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Well, the rather better point is that we kind of know what nuclear war + greenhouse gas emissions looks like, because that scenario was run 65 million years ago, when an asteroid (the proxy for total nuclear war) hit during...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    I'd also point out that the idea of lack of extinctions with a demographic transition may be illusory. The problem I'm currently dealing with as an environmentalist is that any number of species, even whole groups of species like insects...
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