Geoff Hart

Geoff Hart

  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Whitroth noted: "... that it was the Emperor of Rome who created the Catholic Church, and swearing to a religion was a loyalty oath (which is one reason the Jews such a pain in the neck: they wouldn't swear loyalty)."...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    SFreader noted: "Canada has no banks on the global 'too big to fail' list, i.e., the global financial community's list of banks that must be propped up no matter how badly they screw up or screw anyone else over." No...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    JBS opined: "I understand [religion] well enough to know religion is the root of all evil, including those religions that worship money & power as their gods." I think it's important to distinguish between *organized* religion and *religious belief", as...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    SFreader noted: "Maybe sanctions against weapons supplies instead?" Great idea in principle, but in practice, that would interfere with very large corporate profits, so governments look the other way about arms dealers. We need to reconsider the whole "corporations have...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    David L wondered: "at some point aren't we just enabling Syria and Myanmar and such to keep being asshole governments by letting them exist while throwing out the people they don't want." No. You're erring by assuming that these governments...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Ghost Bird notes: "The problem is that EU policies [regarding refugees] still aren't very humane." It's not so simple an issue. There is clearly a huge humanitarian crisis given the vast numbers of refugees from wars, climate change, and other...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Nojay wondered: "I'm guessing somewhat but there was thing in Revolution-era China during the end of the Mao period called "The Great Leap Forward" when a lot of localised industrialisation was carried out, village-sized steel-making plants and the like and...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Speaking of encryption: https://i.chzbgr.com/full/9094473216/h92B8C24E/...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    SFreader noted: "Like a River, Facts Are Never the Same Twice!" That's the Copenhagen interpretation: when you observe the facts, you change the outcome. Q.E.D. *GDR*...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Keith Masterson noted: "I'm guessing there's a couple of reasons why tiny specks of radioactive material aren't built in to computers and mobile devices as a source of unpredictability for cryptographic purposes" This won't be done because, among other risks,...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Whitroth noted: "Don't get me started about javascript. I've seen plenty of pages that could have been written in plain ol' html, but they force in huge, bad javascript, because "that's how it's done, right?". I've had that argument with...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Thanks, all, for the additional explanation of public-key encryption. I'll need to find time to read the article Simon suggested and work the examples to fully "get" the explanation. Right now, still a bit nebulous. Elderly Cynic noted: "Wubba, wubba,...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Mikko Parviainen responded to my question about public keys: "The public key means just that: it's public, and a key. It is used by the sender to encrypt the message, so to do what you described, the attacker needs only...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    One-time pads are a powerful tool, but the problem with them comes from the fact that like any other deciphering technology, the pad can be intercepted during transit or copied at the source. Unless the source and destination are highly...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Charlie, thanks for the additional info on Rand and Heinlein. Like most of us, they were complex people. And yes, I do account for their cultural context and upbringing. Charlie noted: "I never saw a column-mounted gearshift until I rented...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Guthrie noted: "You might find it interesting to read Alexei Panshin's article on Heinlein, or was it an entire book?" It was a whole book: "Heinlein in dimension". Haven't read it, but if memory serves, it attracted a lot of...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Troutwaxer notes: "I think it's important to remember that there are two kinds of Libertarians. First, there are those Libertarians who don't understand that Ayn Rand was writing fiction, and second there are those who don't understand that Robert Heinlein...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Elderly Cynic noted: "Actually, its coefficient of friction is quite high - at least 5%." Fair enough. I was speaking from the perspective of retaining control during braking. For that context, it's damned low. EC: "And, while I agree that...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Elderly Cynic noted: "On black ice, often the correct solution is to release the brakes (entirely) and swerve into the verge, or at least hit other traffic a glancing blow." Not quite. Here in Canada, black ice is a common...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Lars predicted: "All vehicles will at some point be equipped with GPSes feeding a wireless LAN. Pedestrians can opt-in using an app on their smartphones. The data streams will feed a heuristic system in each car, giving them absolute awareness...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Bill Blondeau "There is an observer-mediated FTL drive... The blockchain is the drive, and the drive is the blockchain. OK? Short story title: The Velocity of Money." Cool idea, but not "velocity", please; that should be reserved for physical distance...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Returning somewhat reluctantly to the original subject of this blog entry after some cool diversions... *G* What fascinates me about money is just how slippery it becomes when you try to look closely. (Not quite Schrödinger, but headed in that...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Heteromeles, I also minored in soil ecology *G*, but probably didn't get as advanced in my study as you did with your doctorate. Yes, you could terraform even a hostile alien soil with enough energy and Terrran compost. But it...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Elderly Cynic notes: "Something that makes me despair about most 'sciences' (including much of modern physics, incidentally) is that the requirements for a theory to be 'proved' are merely that (a) it is vaguely plausible and (b) it wins out...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Heteromeles objected to my suggestion of incompatible biochemistries: "One red herring is the whole amino acids thing. A lot of organisms synthesize amino acids." Ah, but you're assuming the alien organisms synthesize the same amino acids that we require. There's...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Heteromeles noted: "Now, if we're talking about a small colony on another planet, they'd better be carefully checking everything that comes in. Unlike a giant country like the US, they don't have the resources to deal with an invasive species,...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Heteromeles noted: "Remember, we're talking about interplanetary commerce" Sorry, didn't notice that you'd changed horses midstream; your original post, which is what I replied to, specified "interstellar", not "interplanetary". Interplanetary time lags are far more manageable, though still not ideal...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Heteromeles noted: "Let's go back to the Silk Road and the Indian Ocean Spice Trade. It took years for trades to become real, and the reputation of the merchants for keeping their deals was critical in keeping it working." Yes,...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    ilya187 noted: "You haven't read "Neptune's Brood", have you? That's EXACTLY how slow money transactions work in that universe." I have read it, but please note that the Saturn's/Neptune's universe is populated by essentially immortal androids/robots. They can afford to...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Heteromeles wondered "...if blockchain technology could be a backbone for Strossian style interstellar economies." Only if you assume the availability of ansibles. Without such a device, time delays due to the light-speed limitation would make it a bitch of a...
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