AaronB

AaronB

  • Commented on The Rhesus Chart: Chapter One
    Engineer/techie tips: * If you want an answer, don't ask a question. Answers are boring. Instead, assert the wrong thing. You will be corrected in loving detail. * If you want someone to work hard on a task, assert that...
  • Commented on "Write me something fresh and new, but make it just like the last one"
    Sheesh. When I (and most folks) read a book on Behavioural Psychology (in this case, You Are Now Less Dumb) all I get is an appreciation for the enormous role of narrative in human thought. Charlie skims an article on...
  • Commented on Schadenfreude
    Regarding post-capitalist societies, I wonder what folks think of the "RICH Economy" that His Holiness Robert Anton Wilson advocated as a solution to the Automation Blues: http://www.deepleafproductions.com/wilsonlibrary/texts/raw-RICH.html...
  • Commented on Schadenfreude
    Odd thought occurred to me as I was doing the wash the other day... Bitcoins seem like what would happen when a lazy techie got involved in a labor-backed currency like Ithaca Hours. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca_Hours ) "Oh, that looks like...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Glasshouse
    We're entering a period of stagnation. No new musical genres in the past 20 or 30 years. No new art movements in the past 20 or 30 years. No new literary movements or genres in the past 20 or 30...
  • Commented on Books I've written
    Also, sorry for offtopic but: Has anyone set and printed copies of Scratch Monkey on an Espresso or something? I'm tempted to run one off at Powell's, but suspect that there are gotchas....
  • Commented on Books I've written
    I've learned a little about how stories are written by reading a lot of Warren Ellis and yourself. The both of you cram so much into so little space that there just isn't room to file off the sharp edges....
  • Commented on The map is not the territory.
    Who is Nate Silver? Lior K. is making a joke, I think. Nate Silver runs http://fivethirtyeight.com which presented very good maps and predictions regarding the 2008 and 2012 US Federal elections. Nate was accused of Left-wing bias because his models...
  • Commented on The map is not the territory.
    Speaking of extrasensory perceptions, note the "motorboating" sound when you see the nuke detonate. As one of the commentators notes, it's the sound of the camera's vacuum-tube sound amplifier reacting to the EMP. With my 1:1 scale map of North...
  • Commented on The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis
    You may have just driven the final nail into Charlie's Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis. Perhaps. A critter with good mirror neurons can vaguely learn how to use a tool by watching another critter. A critter with a sophisticated theory of mind...
  • Commented on The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis
    In discussing tool-use, don't forget the primacy of social "tools"*. Tools are nice and all, but once you have social meta-tools to control and organize their use (and ensure that the Right Sorts reap the benefits) there isn't much benefit...
  • Commented on The Anthropic Stupidity Hypothesis
    Thank you, Charlie! I've long pondered the Weak Misanthropic Principle (my current formulation: people seem to suck, because sucky people call attention to themselves.) However, I think you've formulated a workable Strong Misanthropic Principle, greatly advancing the field of Metaphysical...
  • Commented on Incidentally ...
    Oh, you didn't know? A BOFH at HP convinced the engineers to add an easter-egg to randomly ROT13 printouts that mention certain members of the Scary Devil Monastery. Apparently, code reuse and industrial espionage propagated it far beyond its intended...
  • Commented on Customer Satisfaction Survey
    Thank you for contacting me. 2012 has been surprisingly improved over its already quite serviceable predecessors. The upgrades to the House and the Job apps were subtle but pleasant (although I'm still optimizing them) while your tech's suggestion to activate...
  • Commented on Understanding Reader Reviews
    ...many readers are incapable of separating their own emotional response to a text from the actual content of the text. "I do not like this" is isomorphic in their mind with "this is a bad book". Likeability is important to...
  • Commented on Big Guns[1]
    But one of the people in the mall food court did have a legal pistol. Thanks for the correction. I've also just realized that I under the mistaken impression that the recent mass shootings (CT, OR, CO) had mainly involved...
  • Commented on I suck at New Year Resolutions
    Get your rest in, and I hope your foot is up for long walks soon, so you can have enjoy some aimless ambulation to go with your cogitation....
  • Commented on Big Guns[1]
    Is there any sort of change to US gun laws that would prevent further tragedies like the recent mass shootings? The recent Clackamas mall shooting should have been a great showpiece for the "well-armed citizens" argument. Even given the number...
  • Commented on The Algebraic Properties of Equality in SF
    There's a lot of assumption that Parker is a woman, but it is an admitted assumption. You're right. I'm quite certain, myself, but I can't claim any special knowledge....
  • Commented on The Algebraic Properties of Equality in SF
    Back to the original question: Julie Czerneda's female characters are just about my favorite. They are fun and powerful in ways I think of as feminine - gender-swap them and I don't think you get the same story. Perhaps it's...
  • Commented on The Algebraic Properties of Equality in SF
    Please forgive me for ranting about K.J. Parker's Engineer Trilogy again, but it brings up the obverse of the "guys writing crappy female characters" issue. Parker is female, and mostly writes male leads. What's odd to me is that her...
  • Commented on The Algebraic Properties of Equality in SF
    Lazy way to write a "strong" female character: use a Final Girl. It's common and easy, and it doesn't challenge the sexist status quo....
  • Commented on Science & Technology, Working Together
    Yay, a topic very close to what's rattling around in my head. Aside from Banks' and Czerneda's grand Space Operas, I like my SF/F closer to the dirty mad Earth I know. Juxtapose bits of magic into the modern world...
  • Commented on Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
    I'm wondering just how bad an anti-hero we can get away with? Pretty bad. File off the serial numbers, tweak the endings and you could make a hero of Stalin or Hitler pretty easily, while Mao is a hero to...
  • Commented on Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!
    Complicated characters that do evil but still love their children and are kind to pets really bother a lot of readers. Indeed. They're too true-to-life. They are also very interesting and also quite instructive. Some people even find such characters...
  • Commented on In case you were wondering ...
    Manuscript is over-long because novel is cunningly articulated and over-complex. Too many ideas to fit in a well-plotted, tightly-written novel? Not our Charlie! That's the problem with series novels. To this amateur, it seems like the choices are: Take an...
  • Commented on The ticking clock, stopped
    It's different this time. The rich may no longer need the poor working masses for anything at all, least of all working Forgive me for not understanding what that has to do with the collapse of an infrastructure-dependent society due...
  • Commented on The ticking clock, stopped
    Apparently, that's a common dynamic throughout history, and it leads to collapse. The best discussion I've seen is in this blog comment. Money quote: Wealth and power concentrates, the commercial (or middle) class collapses, the wealthy and the powerful use...
  • Commented on The ticking clock, stopped
    The thought of people getting stuck on the payday-loan treadmill for centuries would make me want to get working on predatory lending and usury issues....
  • Commented on The ticking clock, stopped
    I suspect that there will be an interesting shift in management as techies who acquired social skills late in life (raises hand) start being able to be effective managers. It will be interesting to watch my fellow motorcyclists choose between...
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