TRX

TRX

  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I snagged a few books on primates a few years back. The social structure of most primates is apparently hardwired to a rigid pecking order from The Boss down to the outcastes. I'd read about that sort of thing...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Some time ago I made a comment about "service organizations" in another thread. I was talking about the Freelancer's Union then, but churches *already* offer disaster relief, child care, marriage counseling, hospice services, and entertainment events; it's not too...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    @369: For the Amish, I believe the problems were mainly property taxes, plus the spread of the suburbs to border Amish farmland, to their mutual displeasure. --- Possibly, but not all Amish are poor, nor are they all politically naive....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I'm not sure there *are* any social controls that are useful against incumbents. The mass media collectively has managed to force a few politicians out of office or at least balk their re-election, but for the most part, being...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I read "Spacehounds of IPC" by EE Smith as a child. In it, the main character was a "computer." It took me a bit to figure out what Smith was talking about from context; in the 30-odd years between...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Actually, I've met a number of Amish and Mennonites. They're not necessarily anti-technology, so much as very picky about what technology they use and how it will affect their lives. And the first technology they said "Whoa!" to was...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    So, for some masochistic reason, I slogged through to the end of "Pandora's Star." It got a bad case of the slows at the last third. And then it stopped with a fall-off-the-cliff-hanger. Hamilton had half a dozen separate...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I don't know. Right now, "the West", in the form of the post-colonial British and French empire nations, is not only the dominant culture worldwide, but most of the non-Western cultures are either aggressively adopting it or making uncomfortable...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > 200 of your colonial miles Maybe not Commonwealth miles, but British and American miles are identical. When the British master standards were damaged in a fire, new ones were cloned from the ones kept by the US Bureau of...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > I disagree with your prediction that > interstellar travel will eventually become > feasible. We have interstellar travel *now*. Voyager 1 and 2 are still outbound. The problem isn't getting to another star system, it's getting there fast enough...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > Valerian space marines, and I > am not sure would manage to > be legally QX. [twiddles knobs on the ultrawave receiver.] "Captain, I think we're picking up some Boskonians..."...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > Still want to know why Voyager > didn't go high sub-light I couldn't figure out how, in the first nine episodes, they "fell into a hole in space" in seven of them, and why they couldn't come up with...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > You probably recognize at least > five or ten names from this blog > well enough to associate > personality traits with the > handles. At that level of "know", I could blow that 150-person figure away by an...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > Currently humans are limited to > knowing only about 150 other > humans; I expect you're using "know" like Facebook uses "friend." I certainly don't "know" 150 people closely enough to have their names, much less have any idea...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > VR porn with AI characters Back in the 1980s I was on a panel about virtual reality, which was The Next Big Thing at the time. After sitting through presentations on VR architectural walkthroughs, warehouse management, etc., I voiced...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > there's good evidence that they were > better at making durable concrete by > that point than we are now. Oh, we can make concrete sit up and do tricks. But the composition of ordinary construction concrete is driven...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    > Its hard to imagine the difference in > mindset within generations still alive. Imagine, say, Winston Churchill and his generation: Morse telegraphy -> Telstar, international telephone network spark-gap transmitters -> color TV coal and steam -> fission (and steam!)...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    One problem with constructing societies very different from ones of our own is that while in, say, a modern police procedural the social setting can be assumed to be familiar to the reader and this glossed over, you can't...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    I found Hamilton's "Greg Mandel" books readable, though they'll never be on my favorites list. And I quite liked "Great North Road". But I hate putting down a book or series before it's done, and I felt like an...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    > I suspect that bad ideas that are hard (i.e., > falsifiable) will be difficult to hold onto for long > periods I don't know. An otherwise-intelligent friend suddenly bought into the whole "Jewish conspiracy ruling the world" thing about...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    I'd be down with that... Considering its official anti-imperialist stance, the USA spends a huge amount of its resources meddling outside its borders. Even back when it was a minor power by European standards. I wouldn't be surprised if...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    I'm grinding through Peter Hamilton's "Pandora's Star" at the moment. Not as much of a soap opera as some of his stuff, but it's not exactly moving fast. Interestingly, extended lifespans, memory editing, cultural differences based on number of...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    > Gene Wolfe once wrote that he cannot read new > novels if they are basically the same as novels he > has already read. I thought it was just me! Some of it may even be well-written, but after...
  • Commented on An age-old question
    > gerontocracy "Generation Z" would be everyone who didn't have a foot on the ladder when life extension became widespread. It's not "ageism" if your applicants simply don't meet the requirements... get another 50 years of postdoc education, and then...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    > Soylent Regardless of how their product might sell, the name is such a colossal marketing fail that they may have secured a place in history......
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    > surrounded by food ( FISH ) & yet refused > to eat it & thus starved In the USA, today is a holiday officially recognizing such an event; British colonists who were prepared to starve rather than eat American...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    Archeologists have a habit of tagging anything they don't readily understand as "religious." I've wondered what some far-future archeologists would think of Mount Rushmore, or Crazy Horse, or the Gateway Arch, or why the pyramid on the Mississippi is...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    A quote I intended to post much earlier in the thread, from James Lileks: "Nothing quite says 'yesterday' like yesterday's 'tomorrow'."...
  • Commented on Let's put the future behind us
    Many of those "created" cities go well back into Tsarist times. They were likely founded to establish occupancy of their regions to oppose Chinese or Japanese territorial claims. Also, there was no other way to exploit Siberian mineral resources....
  • Commented on Oh dear
    > For starters, having the electronics in the bulbs > themselves is a bad, bad thing - they could be in > the lamps, no the bulbs. I guess the too-obvious solution would have been to use an adapter socket...
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