AaronB

AaronB

  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    Heh. "Being able to read minds would be of limited value without the ability to also write minds, considering all the blank media out there." -- Anthony de Boer...
  • Commented on Maneuvers in the Dark
    Sunday, 10:00 AM Room: Marina 2 Right and Wrong: AIs and Us Oh, if only Jeph Jaques could participate. He's a big fan of Banks and Stross, and his "Questionable Content" webcomic, while not SF-focused, has long explored themes of...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: Heteromeles
    Yay! Darling Wife manages an organic fertilizer (AKA "soil food") distribution company and is big on supplemental mycorrhizae, while our Best Friend is half of a nursery that specializes in climate-appropriate landscape plants. So even beyond my native bio-neepery, my...
  • Commented on An Apology
    Oh my, I did not know of this! Looks like quite a bunch of writers!...
  • Commented on An Apology
    My apologies, I meant "contemporary-ish" in the "not Sci-Fi, set in the present universe and time, no explicit worldbuilding" sense. It is a different sort of difficulty, probably not far off from the sort of tetris-y stunt-writing that got us...
  • Commented on An Apology
    A genuinely new series, eh? So nothing like, say Machael Ransour and Spartin Mingfield in a not-perceived-by-the-author-as-broken Eschaton-verse? Dang! I could imagine Charlie writing some excellent contemporary-ish military / political thrillers under a pen-name. However, they might be a hard...
  • Commented on A small research question
    Only skimming the thread due the high squick-factor, but... Here's a brood parasite that evolved from its host into a separate species: http://smithsonianscience.si.edu/2014/08/new-species-ant-offers-compelling-evidence-controversial-theory-species-formation/ I cannot even imagine what sorts of brood parasites could evolve in the Other Dimensions, but the...
  • Commented on Brief hiatus
    Unrelated but... Good news: Looks like we have a funding model that can supplant embedded ads as a way to pay for Internet (and real world) stuff. Bad news: It's worse. http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/09/29/the-big-business-of-internet-bigotry.html...
  • Commented on Brief hiatus
    Ah, The Roxy. Like Spartacus, one of the last tenacious remnants of old Vaseline Alley. They turned the Steam Baths into a luxe hotel, the one big dance club into a fancy theatre and everything else into variations on the...
  • Commented on Upcoming events
    Looking forward to your visit to Portland. I'll note that there is a decent pub (The Moon and Sixpence) and a beer hall / bicycle shop (Velo Cult) ~200m north of the Hollywood Theatre. If you're staying downtown, I second...
  • Commented on Oh dear
    In completely unrelated news, looks like Randall Munroe has been visiting a land rather like the LaundryVerse....
  • 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....
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