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SFreader

  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    Yes - thanks, I see .. I'd like to return to a previous comment I made about the real history Soviets screwing up their scientific research because of ideology. Assume that your alt-history allows for all of Britain's really bright...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    War gadgets/arms/munitions are expensive. What proportion of military budget is for salaries/personnel? I'm guessing that salaries for the military are probably much lower than comparably ranked civil police. How much of the military budget is wasted money? 'Wasted' only in...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    Add consequences of knee-jerk purging of the civil service by new overlords: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bremer#.22De-Ba.27thification.22_of_the_Iraqi_civil_service "De-Ba'thification" of the Iraqi civil service Saddam Hussein's ruling Baath Party counted among its members a huge majority of Iraq's governmental employees, including educational officials and some...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    IMO, the best argument in favor of tech vs. human surveillance is: Human witnesses are too easily fooled, mis-remember key details, have other motivations, lie, etc. Okay - I get that the head honcho in the alt-soviet Britain will be...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    Seems that most posters feel that the extra-large alt-history version of the soviet empire would be just a bigger, more mean-spirited version of the real-history USSR. Okay -- but this means more bureaucrats ... and China is probably the oldest...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    Martin (67 above) mentioned the importance of the Church in Soviet Poland but that it might not be as large a factor in soviet alt-history Britain. I disagree simply because religion and other 'folk traditions' have been used as popular...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    How physically mobile is real-world modern U.K. vs. pre-WWII? One of the easiest ways of keeping tabs on people is by limiting their ability to travel. This also keeps down the exchange of ideas. If only state-approved traveling occurred, you...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    The 15 million lives lost is based on information that Ukrainians found. Lem was ethnically Polish but was considered 'Russian' by some. Ethnicity was subject to change over there: if you were hot, you were Russian; if you were on...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    I got 'that idea' from my family (parents and much older sibs who were born, educated and worked there). The university grads who pursued practical careers fared much better than the 'dreamers'. Pure math is the only exception I can...
  • Commented on Unwelcome reality excursion
    What I think would be lost in Britain is all of the postWWII research for research's sake, starting with Watson & Crick's DNA discovery/work. Literature, particularly fantasy/SF would also have suffered. The Lord of the Rings could not have been...
  • Commented on The Curse of Laundry
    Re: "There are absolutely legal ways in the USA to use money for political aims. Lobbying, donations, etc." And you don't see this as a problem - basically enshrining that money will buy political access? (Just checking.) I'm pro making...
  • Commented on The Curse of Laundry
    Re: "... as cover for your secret agency office complex you want something that is unexceptional and boring, where plenty of office workers can be expected but nobody's going to turn heads." A 'telemarketing call center' ... whose 'clients' are...
  • Commented on The Curse of Laundry
    Test case for Laundry universe make-it-so capabilities: 1- weapons/ammo suppliers 2- U.S. university student loans Positive 'proof' will trigger a longer, more detailed list. Just make sure we're not getting sucked into AEP's Monkey's Paw universe. Yours, etc., etc....
  • Commented on Some thoughts on turning 50
    Happy 50th! - Motto/lessons: Stay curious, keep learning/trying, don't be a jerk....
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    What do you expect to happen in/by 2017? New U.S. President ... Ebola virus found in all corners of the planet ... All homes in the West now include kitchen grow-op cupboards for producing/growing their own optimized-for-your genome ZMAb (tobacco...
  • Commented on Metacommentary
    I look forward to your ev psych take on monsters and mayhem. Maybe even a deeps version of methylation....
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Re: PV advancements ... and the growth/benefits of disposable products. Although the first summary below says consumer electronics and aircraft, there's probably no reason why this material can't be used on buildings, etc. Energy storage is also improving as per...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    In totting up global warming socioeconomic impact, will you also be discussing: .. productivity losses (hours/days lost) attributable to weather over the decades .. direct mortality, and indirect health effects (diseases, medical conditions) This would be in addition to the...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Fantasy often relies on religion. That's troubling - blind acceptance, injunction to not question or look further, stay blissfully ignorant......
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    I like the Culture universe too ... as for techno-babble... who knows what can or cannot be done, or how it may be done. According to Wikipedia, our universe (the 4% to 5% that is observable) is made up of...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Both magic and science are rule-based systems, so the stories really depend on which types of rules you want to play with. Key differences that I tend to pick up on, based on the authors I've read: Mastery: Magic usually...
  • Commented on Parallel Reconstruction and the new Stasi
    EI 61: I agree with you re: social solutions. As an actress/celeb, Lawrence earns her living by controlling the distribution of her image. This is a good basis of a civil suit which is typically a lot easier to win...
  • Commented on Parallel Reconstruction and the new Stasi
    So something to think about is the re-framing of some of these issues. Basically, I think that we (as a society, and as individual users, & providers) are too used to thinking about most topics along a single continuum anchored...
  • Commented on Parallel Reconstruction and the new Stasi
    The forensic services may have been privatized, but according to this site, there is government oversight re:quality. https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/forensic-science-regulator About the original topic for this thread: I'm mostly with EI (Comment #43) regarding this: not pleasant to learn this, a surprise...
  • Commented on Parallel Reconstruction and the new Stasi
    What I get from this interview is that Binney's more ticked off about the suppliers/contractors not earning their billions than the fact that there's wholesale domestic, illegal spying going on. He's got a point there ... the DEA could just...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Thought I'd toss in some George F Kennan, the author of the 'X Article'. Substitute ISIS for Soviet and it's pretty well spot-on. Excerpted from Wikipedia: The Long Telegram - Wikisource has original text related to this article: The Long...
  • Commented on The morning after
    I'd like to see a variation of the Dutch polder system applied to more economic and social infrastructures. This would mean recognizing and rewarding interpersonal social responsibility. Most of us come pre-wired with the ability to recognize and respond to...
  • Commented on The referendum question
    Was just checking for this year's Ig Nobels when this caught my eye ... small nation vs. mega corp. 1993 Ig Nobel Prize ... ECONOMICS: Karl Schwärzler and the nation of Liechtenstein, for making it possible to rent the entire...
  • Commented on Martial arts and the cycle of bullshit
    For business applications, 19 out of 20 in a marketing research study (a type of applied social science) is 'good enough' because of the nature of the decision to be made: how much sugar should be added to bread to...
  • Commented on The referendum question
    Re: "212: But if you are talking to me, could you explain where I'm conflating goodness with income?" I was responding to one of your comments - and no, I don't think you're the one who's conflating goodness and $....
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