Allen Thomson

Allen Thomson

  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Apparently something called a "hydroxyl radical" can affect the amount of methane in the air And how! OH is a major player in atmospheric chemistry. (Something I learned on my way to not getting a PhD in planetary astronomy.) http://acmg.seas.harvard.edu/people/faculty/djj/book/bookchap11.html...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Going way back to #31, The result is that AI programs will have emergent behaviours that are beyond our ability to analyse. Yeah. It seems to be happening already: https://www.technologyreview.com/s/604087/the-dark-secret-at-the-heart-of-ai/ No one really knows how the most advanced algorithms do...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Second, with a few simple exceptions, genetics is a very, very complex subject. There are few quick and easy fixes, and they rarely work as well as more complex solutions. Most important problems involve multiple physiological systems and thus, multiple...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    we all know that all GM is EEEVILL, don't we? For what values of "we all" does that hold? I.e.,how much beyond Europe and the US? Is it much found in, for example, China and India?...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    That's perturbation theory. It works surprisingly well in many cases and, unsurprisingly, not so well in others. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perturbation_theory...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    If (as it seems likely) the multiple level gene and protein productions/interactions which make a human being are complex to the point of being classified as "chaotic", then we can no more understand or trace these interactions than we can...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    That's "unregulated-because-Texas fertilizer plant goes boom; cause unknown". Nigh-certainly not directly the anhydrous ammonia. Yes, it apparently was yet another ammonium nitrate explosion: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/West_Fertilizer_Company_explosion Note that it happened in West, Texas which neither is nor is in West Texas. Commas...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    As in, how does one do this cheaply? Well, that`s obvious - you grow your kids in the wombs of highly modified mares. I think Frederik Pohl had it as cows, but yes, that might be a possibility. Use what...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "All reproduction is done ex utero" In 2117? NO chance! We aren't even close to having a clue of how to start. Er, we are talking about a hundred years in the future, right? Leaving aside the "all", is talking...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Well, UStatian isn't generally understood, and American includes Canada, Mexico, and points south. So USian seems reasonable to me, a Californian Yes, folks south of the Rio Grande/Bravo can get a bit annoyed about USAians using "American" and tend to...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Then there is the medical side of things - with a proper understanding of neurology and development - which seems like a very likely consequence of the biotech revolution within the next century - it is going to be possible...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "What Church do you attend?" disappeared before I hit adulthood over thirty years ago - but still appears (from my seat, at least) to be a necessary feature of "respectable" US social existence. Er, after some 50 + years of...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Remember, education is the deadly enemy of any "revealed" religion, same as education is the enemy of women's slavery ( And, obviously the two are connected ). I note the enthusiasm for school voucher programs in the US among people...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    because flying west means flying straight into the teeth a jet stream that varies between 60 and 150mph; coming back in the opposite direction, the airliner is surfing the same jet stream in the opposite direction. Past #300, so, Back...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Those humans still working on the factory floor will need to know how to program computer languages and perform college level statistical analysis for quality control. In the Year of Grace 2117, I don't think the few (if any)...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    brains My late MiL made the best frituras de sesos (de cerdo)......
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    powered by nautical nuclear reactors. Probably big-ass civilianized PWRs that don't run on weapons-grade fuel (like contemporary military subs and CVNs) Contemporary French and Chinese submarine reactors already use LEU, and I gather that LEU has been considered for the...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    (barring some miraculous battery that's as energy dense as gas) The problem is that gas, in this context, doesn't actually have an energy density of its own. It needs help, and lots of it: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gasoline#Energy_content Energy is obtained from the...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Not to be obvious, but fields with names beginning with bio- are advancing rapidly, show no signs of slowing, and clearly have a long way to go. In 2117 CRISPR-Cas9 will have had more than a century to do its...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    Australia is huge and very, very, empty; mostly desert. Random SFish thought, but has anybody written about terraforming Australia?...
  • Commented on Random excuses
    a gold and red enamelled pin... with a head on it. I showed it to the kids, and they said, "Daddy! Is your first name Vladimir? http://www.ebay.co.uk/bhp/lenin-badge...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    But note that Messiah does not translate as Rex Judaeorum. Au contraire, it had very much that meaning. Jesus, as far as can be discerned, was a Late Second Temple apocalypticist and was much into the End of Days thing....
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    crucifixion was a Roman punishment used for slaves, pirates, traitors, rebels etc.; a mere heretic would have been stoned. I'm beyond my depth here, but AIUI a theory about this is that, it being fraught times for Roman control what...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    what this really means is that our sources are meager indeed. Ehrman makes somewhat this same point using Pontius Pilate, Prefect of Judea 26-36 CE, as an example. Although we know of him from later sources, there are no contemporaneous...
  • Commented on We get mail (contd.)
    Yes, I should've said the Yoshke of the gospels. I* haven't heard of any actual Roman records of him, other than Josephus' single mention of someone matching the description, One of Bart Ehrman's many books on New Testament topics is...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    Thanks....
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    FWIW and as a matter of curiosity, my morning newspaper contains a meditation on Trump, Brexit and the EU by a former Scottish First Minister. How he got from Holyrood to San Antonio is unclear. http://www.expressnews.com/opinion/commentary/article/Britain-s-Brexit-and-America-s-Trump-the-EU Britain’s Brexit and America’s...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    > let me ask about accuracy @ 528 I have no idea what happened to that message, but the idea was that I've found that GPS + WASS + GLONASS gets 2-ish meter accuracy, vs 10 m without GLONASS. [[...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    As long as there's a minor thread going on about GPS, let me ask about accuracy. Casually following this over the years, I've found that consumer-grade GPS + WAAS gets into the < 10 meters range fairly reliably (with exceptions)....
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Eh? The dash is down, insofar as it's not in front of the road — you have to look away from the traffic to see your speedo, etc! Ah, perhaps it is a terminology problem. I'm advocating placing the GPS...
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