Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Also this, which is embedded far down in the comments to the backreaction piece: https://medium.com/@aramis720/the-system-of-the-world-a-dialogue-with-prof-stacy-mcgaugh-fa1b3945f194...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Eerily similar to some things that have appeared here recently, this meditation on CDM, galaxy formation, modified gravity, etc., showed up yesterday: https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2018/02/shut-up-and-simulate-in-which-i-try-to.html "It screams 'epicycles' directly into your face."...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    This is why I don't do contemporary or near/future SF. Speaking of that, any chance of further novels set in the ERB Homage, er, setting? I really enjoyed those and ItCotCK certainly left room for further development....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Wildlife collisions are going to be relatively rare For certain values of relatively. The currently florishing population of deer will probably keep the numbers up. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deer%E2%80%93vehicle_collisions...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Quick check -- right now at 20180221 21:00 we're consuminging 42GW of electricity made up from... From http://www.gridwatch.templar.co.uk/ no? A most useful resource (I assume it's sort of right/reliable) and it would be nice to see similar from other countries...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Still, there was (is) a term for explaining the supernatural as science, and it would be nice to remember it one of these days. It's the kind of thing that explains dragons as surviving dinosaurs, the Star of Bethlehem...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    [Stasis fields and] dollar-store aluminum foil P.S. and BTW, did anybody ever explore the engineering applications of such structures? I've always liked vacuum balloons (dirigibles!) made in orbit, but you could construct an aluminum foil building frame or bridge in...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The ringworld is about ten metres thick (and made of an unobtanium: "scrith", near-infinite tensile strength, opaque to neutrinos(!)) so its actual mass for gravitational purposes is negligible. And that story series also had stasis fields, which had no-fooling infinite...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    and engine-off-at-lights One of which I recently drove as a rental and found extremely annoying. Also possibly dangerous if one is expecting the car to accelerate immediately when moving into traffic from a stop. Probably one would get used to...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Re JUGGERNAUT side effects, about twenty years ago there was a spate of papers looking at the effects of HAND (High Altitude Nuclear Detonations). There's quite a diverse zoo of them, but the one that seems most pernicious in terms...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Going on 600, there's this, which might relate to future of "work", "jobs" etc., as well as just what education/vocational training might be about in the future. Vocational Degrees and Employment Outcomes http://www.hefce.ac.uk/media/HEFCE,2014/Content/Pubs/2018/201801/HEFCE2018_01.pdf Comments from you presently UK folk as...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    WRT physics problems and speculative ideas, one of the physics world curmudgeons just offered this, which I think is a useful discussion. https://backreaction.blogspot.com/2018/02/which-problems-make-good-research.html...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    stage of multiple Epicycles I prefer cherubim and seraphim myself, though they're also a little hard to accomodate in materialistic reductionism. But whatevs....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    the standard Lambda Cold Dark Matter theory As a loyal Materialistic Reductionist, I find it embarrassing that the current "concordance cosmology", ΛCDM, has reality consisting overwhelmingly of Λ and CDM, neither of which we have much of a clue about....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    For world-builders, where the worlds are a bit farther out than ours, this just showed up: https://www.lpi.usra.edu/opag/goals-02-12-18.pdf which is Scientific Goals for Exploration of the Outer Solar System It contains a nice survey of what questions currently exist concerning Jupiter...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Returning to the dismal topic of English spelling, Jungian synchronicity just caused this to drop into my inbox: https://www.thoughtco.com/teddy-roosevelt-simplifies-spelling-1779197 "In 1906, U.S. President Teddy Roosevelt tried to get the government to simplify the spelling of 300 common English words. However,...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    And now you know how many Brits feel about parts of the USA! There are many Americans that feel that way too. I'm tempted to think that it's a rural/urban, provincial/cosmopolitan or South/not-South thing, but what in what parts of...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Somewhat OT, but the US National Transportation Safety Board has published Sinking of US Cargo Vessel SS El Faro, a lengthy and detailed accident report that includes discussion of the mostly human factors that led to the loss of the...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Winds can come from any direction. Of questionable relevance, but pretty neat, see https://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/ You can zoom and rotate the view to check out any location on the globe....
  • Commented on The crazy years
    WRT .50 rounds, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EXACTO Not here today, but maybe in ten years. And I still am wondering why PGM mortar rounds haven't gotten into the hands of Bad Actors....
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Speaking of Accelerando, as I think we were somewhere upstream, there's this that just showed up: https://hbr.org/2018/01/how-will-ai-change-work-here-are-5-schools-of-thought Mostly, it seems to me that "work" performed by humans is going to become somewhat irrelevant. It would be nice if that were...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    There's a larger-scale version of the singularity, which is that we really that going around 150-ish years ago with the Second Industrial Revolution. There was a paper a few years ago that looked at various curves of progress and concluded...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    It seems clear that News is broken, in many different ways; and the social media citizen journalism that was going to supersede it has *been* brokeen, quite deliberately, by organised armies of trash-posters, augmented by bots. It might be worthwhile...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    There might be a new, different book 4 at some future date. Yes, please....
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    As far as crossing from Atlantic to Pacific is concerned, TL-3 would have available the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, which could be developed in various ways up to and including a canal (200 km long). It would have the attraction...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    What sounds to me like more of a feat is the building of a railway through the Darien Gap, since in this timeline there isn't even a road through it because it's too bloody difficult. On the other hand...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    It's really surprising that they did that. Passive observation was risky enough, but tickling the dragon's tail was really, really f*cking stupid. Yes, something Bridge-sized at 6400 km might well have been detectable from the vicinity of the singularity. But,...
  • Commented on Dude, you broke the future!
    wrt Bank's Culture, there's been an outbreak in the last years of flashmob performances of Ode an die Freude, which I like to think are somewhat Culture-like. There are many performances, but the classic one is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fj6r3-sQr58 but also...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    In case something else pokes around. Which is what just happened....
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    Doesn't this count as Crossing the Streams?" No, it counts as showing that OGH knows what a low-loader is because he used it in a previous work. Typos happen....
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from Allen Thomson

Following

Not following anyone

Specials

Merchandise

About This Page

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

Search this blog

Propaganda