Geoff Hart

Geoff Hart

  • Commented on Sitrep
    Martin noted that if you can paint something with a laser, you can also probably shoot it. Not necessarily. Highly trained snipers are always a minority of any army, but anyone can hit a target with a laser regardless of...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Martin noted: "Speaking as a software engineer? Good luck with that. I always laugh in the presence of any design requirement that says “just do X, it can’t be that hard...” Right back atcha whenever someone says it's too difficult!...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Martin responded to my followup about weaponized robodogs: "It’s not logical at all, at least not in any military thinking I’ve heard. There’s not a chance in hell that anyone with an ounce of sense is going to put an...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Martin and Charlie both disagreed with my argument for "no defensible reason for the robot dogs". OK, perhaps I should have said "morally defensible", with the footnote that there are both moral and immoral military and civilian uses. Martin provided...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Maurice noted: "There is concept art of legged daleks - cut because of cost I believe." One of my favorite memories of the Doctor Who reboot was their first encounter with the new Daleks: Our heroes flee up a flight...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Re. "Magical Girls often get their power as a gift from a goddess. Now imagine the goddess in question just happened to be Itzpapalotl. What sort of superpowers would Magical Girl Obsidian Heartbleed have ...?" Elevator pitch: "It's kinda like...
  • Commented on SF For Nothing, Stories For Free
    The Campbell nominees anthology is free every year. It's hit or miss; for every Ken Liu, you get a large handful of lesser talents. But you might like them better. Who knows? Different strokes, as they say! You can obtain...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    Trottelreiner noted: "Actually I'm not even that sure about Lovecraft being a "bad writer" nowadays." Perhaps we should distinguish between good "writer" and good "storyteller". The former is a subjective judgment call that depends on how you define good writing...
  • Commented on Cthulhu Counterfactual
    Since we're in the realm of the scary counterfactual, how about this one: the Laundry Files is the good news version. In reality [sic]: Science is just a delusion created by the Great Elder Gods to give us the false...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Robert Prior wondered: "Out of curiosity, is there the same push to have a gender-neutral way of addressing people in French, or is that pretty much an Anglo thing? Because your alternative seems gendered (to my very limited French)…" Really...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Pigeon noted: "Na, the chair is the thing they sit in. That's what makes using it to refer to the person an abomination." Are you so sure? Perhaps the object of the sitting is named after the sitter? After all,...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Elderly Cynic noted: "The use of the singular 'they' is political correctness run riot..." Sorry, but no. Its use goes back more than 500 years before "political correctness" became a thing. Check Wikipedia or the OED. Such constructions arise initially...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    keithmasterson@yahoo.com noted: "Pinker's latest, "Enlightenment Now" makes a related point, about how imperfectly the aggregate measures such as GDP reflect economic improvements in resource use" The problem with any economic or social metric, including GDP, is that it only seems...
  • Commented on Test Case
    JBS replied to my comment that "Once again, we Canadians are relegated to an ellipsis. If I weren't Canadian, I'd take offence." JBS: "And if you were from Quebec, you'd be offended by the assumption that Canada is an "English"...
  • Commented on Test Case
    whitroth noted: "The" English language? Which, American, American South, Aussie, British.... Once again, we Canadians are relegated to an ellipsis. If I weren't Canadian, I'd take offence. whitroth: "Or, as I like to say, in long form, it's the result...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Greg Tingey didn't like my "Plumbing and wiring are obviously specialized expertise. For that, you need to hire an expert." Greg: "I refuse to pay a plumber or an electrician - I can ( & have done ) all I...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Frank Landis noted: "So, why are we pushing people to build houses with more steel. Why not use wood composites that actually sequester carbon?" Just picking a nit here: "composites" are almost entirely unnecessary, other than for specific leading-edge engineering...
  • Commented on Test Case
    One thing that hasn't been mentioned is what one does when the car stops operating as designed, for whatever reason. One likely reason is (as we see almost monthly with operating systems and applications) patches for urgent problems that actually...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    _Moz_ noted: "One possible carbon sink would be trees that sink when dead." Not necessarily a great idea. A couple year ago, I learned, to my dismay, that hydroelectric power is not carbon-neutral, and is often carbon-negative. The problem arises...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Charlie noted: "Bad road law planning, then: in the UK, it's an offense (not often enforced, though) to reverse into a road: you have to reverse from the road into your drive when parking, or turn around on your own...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Speaking of silver vs. gold packages, it seems like a good solution would be to open-source all the safety software and make it freely available to any manufacturer, including home hobbyists. Or alternatively, create it jointly through an industry-wide cooperation...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Daniel Duffy notes: "From what I know about truck automation, urban driving is too complex for computers. Computers do well, reacting quickly and efficiently, in environments that are relatively simple and predictable with few variables. So despite the faster speeds,...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Greg Tingey objected to my suggestion about identifying the crucial step is that led to the accident: Greg: " STOP RIGHT THERE Usually false assumption - that there was one single point-of-failure that caused the accident." Perhaps you missed the...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Charlie notes: "To me, the interesting question currently isn't whether fatal accidents will happen (they will), but where does liability get apportioned." In theory, a sine qua non approach should work: rigorously identify (ideally by expert witnesses rather than lawyers)...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Speaking of sequestering carbon in buildings, there's also the growing field (pun not intended) of using straw bales as insulation, sandwiched between thin layers of another substance to provide structural strength. Don't know details, other than that it seems to...
  • Commented on Test Case
    A sadly plausible scenario, and to paraphrase Stalin, "1 death to an autonomous vehicle is a tragedy, but the 30K+ automobile fatalities in the U.S. each year is a mere statistic and thus not worth worrying about". Of course, until...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Unholyguy noted: "Victorian London is actually a great example. Regardless of how severe the physical problems were at the time and how much they struggled to deal with them, 140 years later none of those things are a problem anymore."...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Elderly Cynic noted: "I believe that the laboratory- and factory-farming-derived concentration on pure monocultures is a mistake, especially when the organisms concerned do not naturally form near-monocultures." Yes! I work with several researchers who study bioreactors and hydroponics, and the...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Heteromeles noted: "Looking at San Diego, which literally lives on borrowed water, I'm pretty sure that, absent a true miracle, many of its subdivisions, probably including the one I live in, will have to be abandoned" This may happen fairly...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Re. liens on houses after the local utility installs the solar panels Yes, as I noted, the economics are more complex than my simplistic description of the solution. One way to avoid the problem with liens is to make the...
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