Robert Prior

Robert Prior

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    there is no legal right to park your own car in front of your own house Which apparently doesn't stop people getting all upset when someone—even an ambulance—does it: http://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-birmingham-41953644...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    30 minutes rather than 5 at the 'pump' needs 6 times the number of stations Not to mention requiring somewhere for people to be during that 30 minutes. When travelling on the highway to Ottawa (5 hour drive) I...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Last time I was at the University of Toronto Robarts Library you needed to swipe a card to get in, so no chance of asking a librarian anything. :-( I suppose getting in with a crowd of students would be...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    My local university library doesn't even let you in without showing student/staff id. (Only place I've encountered this.) Annoying, but less so now that so much is online....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    If you were unpleasantly inclined, a thin bit of wire stretched between two solid objects then add a stasis field would make the mythical cutting-heads-off-motorcycles a real thing. Larry Niven’s variable swords worked like that, IIRC....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    It has to be said that imperial units are a fucking awful dog's breakfast of a mess and I do prefer to stick to SI units because you don't get tied in endless knots doing calculations on them. To add...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I've been considering what my next car should be. I like the idea of an EV — it would suit most of my driving — but I also like heading out into the countryside, and currently the range isn't enough...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    they speak Chinese That's a bit like saying "they speak European". There are lots of Chinese languages (misleadingly called "dialects"). The common point is a shared writing system, but even that isn't as standardized as many people think. And choosing...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    My niece thought she'd be the first type, realized she was supposed to be the second, and followed her conscience by resigning....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    There's the old English joke about a highwayman demanding "your money or your life" and the rich man needing time to think it over…...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    He was drunk. It's been a few decades, but I also recall him saying things like clean air isn't valuable because no one pays for it and people don't really value the wilderness because they don't pay to see it....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    It's be an interesting way to keep your readers in suspense. After all, everyone knows that all mantlepiece guns eventually get fired in a Stross series…...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    No, the Inka book by Sue Bloom that whitroth mentioned. Getting lots of hits for Sue Blooms, and books about history, but nothing about the novel (even when I added "novel" to the google search term). DuckDuckGo also had no...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I'm not getting anything in the first few pages of search results for that book. Do you have a link?...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    What do ya do when the well runs dry? Or maybe he needed to pay some bills? I read somewhere that Turtledove kept on with the endless WWII rewrites because he had daughters to put through college, and they...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    friendship, and love, and community, and dreams, aren't worth anything Back in the 80s, at a party, I really pissed off a young MBA who was asserting that things were worth precisely what someone was willing to pay for them...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Whitroth: Police, sorry, but I want someone trained with authority to deal with the violent drunk, or the guys attacking the woman. Icehawk: There are, and have been, many societies without a police force. Police are a thing of our...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Lucas and the other people involved in the original Star Wars have been very clear that the inspiration was dogfighting and aerial warfare as depicted in World War Two movies But were WWII movies based on WWII combat, or did...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Re: 'We don't know how to get to the moon anymore.' No one documented the work? Kinda hard to believe. There's things that 'everyone knows' that didn't get documented, yes. May I recommend Jane Jacobs' final book Dark Age Ahead?...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    ’s still slavery when it’s off-shored, and some of the stories I’ve read about labour conditions in (for instance) the clothing industry You mean like this? http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/18/world/made-usa-hard-labor-pacific-island-special-report-saipan-sweatshops-are-no.html?pagewanted=all...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    banking, stock market, advertising, sales, and all the variations on wiping other people's arses, spring immediately to mind I'm going to disagree with sales, there. It doesn't have to be a time-filling job. When I buy camera gear I...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    in event of a USSR led by a Trotsky running off the leash, I'm calling it for world war two by 1929 Sounds like the elevator pitch for a Harry Turtledove series :-)...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    I had an acquaintance who used to be a Ranger. He was very down on McCain, saying that although he made a big deal about his (McCain's) military service, every time he voted on a bill about veterans he voted...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Destreaming is returning to Ontario. https://www.thestar.com/yourtoronto/education/2018/01/28/tdsb-head-wants-to-phase-out-streaming-expand-access-to-specialty-schools.html https://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorials/2018/01/29/its-past-time-to-end-academic-streaming.html https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2018/01/31/your-letters-tdsb-destreaming-will-be-a-disastrous-recipe-for-everyone-involved.html https://www.thestar.com/opinion/letters_to_the_editors/2018/02/02/your-letters-destreaming-definitely-does-not-work-in-mathematics.html We've been there before, but with all things political (and this is a political decision) these things come in cycles of about a generation or two. (Ie. long enough for most...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Canada does NOT impose any inheritance or gift taxes within/among family Is that new? One of my friends still rants about the taxes on his father's will. (Last century, so lots of time for change.) Given the ranting on...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Thing is, he's already multiply taxed almost every time he spends money. Presuming he paid income tax, then when he pays sales tax he's paying tax again. If he hires someone they pay income tax even though he already paid...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    the incomes of children too young to legally work Is that always a tax dodge, though? Given that gifts are considered income, you'd need some sort of exemption or you've just spoiled a lot of birthdays! I like the...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    The (former) USSR is/was not a communist state where the means of production were owned by the body politic but rather a state capitalism where the state itself owns the means of production. And modelled after successful corporations of...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Donald Trump denigrating Haiti, El Salvador, and Africa as “shitholes” is like a thief mocking the poverty of someone he has just robbed blind. Trump scorns the refugees who leave these countries for the United States, when it is the...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    I know rather a lot of people who would quit "work" in a second if they could afford it, and none of them would suffer ennui as a result. Quite a few of my friends are retired. They are busier...
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