guthrie

guthrie

  • Commented on Ask the Author
    Actually, the evidence so far from a century of democracies is that they die by strong dictators siezing power during a period of financial instability; get killed by invasion by another country; or the politicians get taken over and the...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    I'm pretty sure that David Brin has had a standing challenge on his blog for what, 8 years by now? for libertarian/ conservative types to name a country which went down the spout by the method of the voters voting...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    INdeed, I was only putting that one post up for Max, who seems to have had a fairly blameless posting history on here previously. As for the lightsaber longsword, it has provoked exactly the sorts of reactions expected. However, as...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    I'm sure Charlie won't mind me jumping in here... Firstly, the IPCC reports aren't the doomsday ones, they are the middle of the road made as rosy as possible for consumption by politicians. So that's the first strike against you....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Ah, that reminds me - one of the reasons I do medieval re-enactment (roughly 1290 to 1485 or so) is that it is the most recent time when things were similar, yet sufficiently different that trying to view the world...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I'm pretty sure there's a lot of people currently culturally estranged by the way it is assumed that all job seekers and people on low incomes will nevertheless magically have emails and electronic copies of their CV....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    The problem with the rich is less than if they want to give money away to footballers and more that they bribe politicians and others to give them even more money, or the ability to build some ugly building somewhere....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Yes, they wouldn't be, although that wasn't what I was saying, I was making an aside on the deleterious effects of money being the only measure. I've been interested in mixing up the work life since I read Huxley's "Island",...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Well, for a decade or two now funding is dependent in part upon how useful something is, so the applicant has to at least pretend that it'll be great for the economy in XYZ ways, leading to research being skewed...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    No Greg, stop and think for a minute. The earliest stuff I could find were hysterical "This might be happening and talking head says its horrible" pieces in the Torygraph. From before the BBC article I linked to. Said BBC...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    re. useful to a guy running a business- see the state of universities....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    If you'll excuse me info-dumping some of what I've learnt reading this year... At least in the UK, especially England, you can make a case that the earlier 18th century was comparatively better for your less well off than the...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Greg, that SNP nastiness you keep saying, it's Bollocks: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-30225203 Don't believe everything you read in the right wing propaganda sheets. The SNP isn't as full of such unthinking robots as you seem to think....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I'd like to mention Frank Herbert as someone who appears to have tried, and often succeeded, to create aliens which are definitely rather alien to us. So successfully that nobody seems to bother reading his books these days. (The Jorg...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    We have been able to build buildings that last a thousand years for a while now. Many castles and fortified stone buildings have lasted nearly that long, all you need is 3 or 4 feet thick stone walls and a...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    That's true, I was thinking of houses like those built in the UK....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    The answer is, I think, in general, no. Mainly for economic reasons. The rich, even now, build what they want and if they want it to last it will. Everyone else will mostly buy what they can afford, which means...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    That's why I also got irritated with many of the Dan Brown-a-likes; they postulated the uncovering of a major secret about how the world works, but at the end of hte novel it doesn't have any real effect at all....
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    I read a book recently that pointed out that the Roslyn 'Maize' heads matched the sort of carved stuff found in lots of other medieval places and aren't that special at all. And it was pointed out centuries ago that...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Okay that makes more sense. I don't recall reading anything you typed about the problem occuring when they actually fail. Obviously when something isn't working properly, what i wrote doesn't count....
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    Getting into space is simple, the problem is carting along our supporting biosphere. Without the means of removing excess CO2, balancing heat and moisture etc, as well as a food supply, we won't survive long. SF novels etc. have usually...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Oh dear, looks like you bought some cheap rubbish. Actually, good colour rendering LED's have come on market in the last couple of years, or if you like there's just plain old yellow tinted ones. I've got several LED torches,...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    So basically the changes to electrical regs are a horrible thing and an annoying waste of time, but you're happy to write off what you have done and say who cares, I'll be dead? Hmmm, something doesn't seem quite right...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Actually, with LED's, we will see the end of the light "bulb" and enter the realm of many interesting and varied shapes, strips, circles, spheres, multiple pointillistic dots etc etc. No more huge lampshade in the middle of a room....
  • Commented on Oh dear
    I think what they are moaning about is the unsurprising requirement that 2nd hand electrical goods be safe: http://www.rospa.com/homesafety/adviceandinformation/product/secondhand-goods.aspx Which translates into having an actual electrically trained person go over the goods, rather than someone who may or may not...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Same old same old. They've been talking about doing that for years and years now. Not so much has happened. I predict more difficulties with the authorities. As for Kansas, start here: http://delong.typepad.com/sdj/2014/03/lessons-for-other-states-from-kansas-massive-tax-cuts-live-from-the-roasterie-cxxx-march-31-2014-1.html and you can find more by searching...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    So you reckon we'd get 15-20% inflation by paying of government debt with debt free money? I'm not sure about that, but it's probably worth a try. At the very least we can create enough money to make up for...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Brett - and how do you get 6-7% a year economic growth? Sure, lots of corporations are holding onto money until they think they can invest it well, but in a mature economy like the UK, I think half the...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Yup, we could do with some inflation, but not simply the sort that comes from higher oil and food prices, because without accompanying wage inflation that will make people worse off. However it is important to remember that before the...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    Actually, it's more like one dollar one vote. I'm sure you could do some calculations and work out how much money equals what number of votes. Come to think of it, that doesn't matter since the actual politicians doing the...
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