Jay

Jay

  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    It was my comment, and yes, it was well meaning. I'm not a doctor and I don't diagnose illnesses, but I do occasionally suggest that someone else see a doctor if something seems notably off. If I failed to understand...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    There's no real contradiction between the statement that I can't know the full set of all computations my computer (or brain) is capable of, and the statement that I know it stops computing when I unplug it....
  • Commented on On the Great Filter, existential threats, and griefers
    Perhaps there is some sort of radiation out there between stars that destroys electronics, or damages most metals... The radiation is bad enough, but I suspect the larger problem is more prosaic. Micrometeorites aren't terribly uncommon, and hitting even a...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    A worse error is to pronounce something an essential mystery when we actually have plenty of evidence for how it works. If you want to understand something of how the brain creates consciousness, and how consciousness falls apart when the...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    Fair enough. A lot of people do take a faith-based approach to science, and even specialists tend to when thinking about something outside their specialty. I personally have a fairly detailed understanding of why metals conduct electricity, and a reasonable...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    no discussing a recent scientif theroy bothers to check all the claims going back to what is easily observable Some of us do (or have done) this for a living, and yes, we do. We start with laboratory exercises in...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    I didn't reply to that part of your comment because I agreed with it. Quantum mechanics makes testable predictions; as a chemist I used to use it all day long. The rules aren't deterministic on a micro level, but averaging...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    All science promises is models that allow for accurate prediction of experimental results, and it delivers on that promise rather well. If the models seem aesthetically or metaphysically unsatisfying, that's your problem....
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    The key point for me that makes it SF over Fantasy is the desire to provide an in-universe functional explanation for the handwavium. Star Trek TNG scripts used to start out with dialogue like "Oh no ... the tech teched...
  • Commented on The Scottish Political Singularity, Act Two
    As a Yank, I'm jealous. Our political singularity isn't the "change so quick that nothing is predictable" kind, we have the "endless collapse with no hope of escape" kind....
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    The rhinoceros is a horselike animal with a single horn. There's a lesson here. When fantasies become real, they're never quite what you hoped for, and they're usually a bit disappointing....
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    How about "We have billions of more-or-less reliable observers, poking around the regions where X would have been expected to be and doing the sorts of things that probably would have led to the discovery of any Xs that happened...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    If our ancestors had had useful levels of psi, and it was complementary to our other abilities, we would have useful levels of psi. As it is, we have either no psi or so little psi that a million-dollar challenge...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    We do know that, relative to chimpanzees, we have superior vocal communication. We can reasonably assume that either our ancestors lacked telepathy, or it turned out to give less of a survival advantage than speech....
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    That's a rather politically loaded position to stake out, don't you think? Constructing and deconstructing tropes is always politically loaded. The kinds of stories we're familiar with determine quite a bit about how we see ourselves and what we're doing....
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    Personally, I don't find the idea of mind reading or of having my mind read nearly as repellent as you seem to. It seems to me that a culture that used it routinely would be more honest, if perhaps a...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    I think part of the change is that "magic" in fantasy gradually got redefined from "chanting in ancient languages and reading old books" (e.g. Saruman, early D&D) to "intrinsic mental power of the Gifted" (e.g. Aes Sedai, more recent D&D's...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    Er, isn't that almost pure Marxist communism? It would be, if the writers were smarter and/or more honest....
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    There's a little more to combustion than that. At least a small volume of the material has to be heated to its flash point (the temperature where its vapor pressure is sufficient to sustain ignition if ignited). http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flash_point...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    There is no known upper mass limit where quantum phenomenon can no longer be observed. This is true in the same sense that there's no lower speed limit where relativistic phenomena can't be observed. There's no limit, but the phenomena...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    Maybe things are just too chaotic and connected in today's world to fit within the novel's narrative structure? So we end up going for simplified worlds, simplified rules, no question who the good and bad guy are, etc. It's true...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    Star Trek is quite foreign Funny. I mostly watched The Next Generation, but I remember it mainly as "liberals in space". It was about as bafflingly foreign as pepperoni pizza. Ultimately genres are marketing categories. They each promise a specific...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    Post-apocalyptic literature seems to be doing reasonably well; World War Z and Cormac McCarthy both seem fairly popular. Post post apocalyptic is a harder sell, because people want to read about themselves. There's not a lot of market for stories...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    If we posit that consciousness can skew quantum statistics ie that it can alter the relative probabilities of the collapse of the wavefunction There was a guy at Cornell who was investigating that for a while. He could never get...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    I think most of the reason is that we no longer need to have characters read each others' minds; we just have them read each others' email logs. Ditto remote viewing vs. cell phone tracking and/or security camera footage. The...
  • Commented on Who Got Fantasy in My Science Fiction?
    Star Wars and W40K are both solidly fantasy, surely? Licensed works are, as I understand it, their own separate ghetto. you could take Star Wars, replace every gun with a crossbow and every spaceship with a horse and cart ......
  • Commented on Inverted realities
    They're basically dark, broody Superheroes who are better dressed. Some of the big influences for the whole "sexy vampires" thing were Iron Age comic books. Vampires and vampire-like protagonists (Blade, Morbius, Crimson, Preacher's Cassidy, Vampirella, and others) became popular because...
  • Commented on On the Great Filter, existential threats, and griefers
    The trick is that you need stealth technology that works in every wavelength at once, from longwave to visible, and that's pretty much a magic-wand level of technology. Plus, we already have fancy* new radars designed to minimize the advantages...
  • Commented on On the Great Filter, existential threats, and griefers
    I see your point, but satellites are inherently undefendable. That's the trouble with space - there's nothing to hide behind, everybody can see you, and lifting enough armor to protect something is impractical. I remember the Reagan-era idea of "dense...
  • Commented on On the Great Filter, existential threats, and griefers
    I have to agree, especially since the U.S. has been considering weaponizing space for what seems to be no better reason than lack of anything better to do with our military R&D budget....
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