Jay

Jay

  • Commented on Please ignore those damned writer memes (and don't repost them)
    If your dowsing rod is sensitive to magnetic fields, it's a compass. Of course, you might not have the rod well-balanced on a low-friction bearing, in which case it's a crappy compass....
  • Commented on Please ignore those damned writer memes (and don't repost them)
    But yes, Emperor's New Clothes is another common form of BS, and I usually dismiss claims along those lines unless there's a good reason not to. Unfortunately, the thing about emperors is that they're often in a position to punish...
  • Commented on Please ignore those damned writer memes (and don't repost them)
    I'd try either of a) asking one of the nodders for clarification, b) questioning whether I want to be part of this crowd, or c) nodding along. Depends on the circumstances....
  • Commented on Please ignore those damned writer memes (and don't repost them)
    it's very hard to tell whether something really is BS or above your intellectual paygrade. Usually not. Lies usually conform to the predispositions of the intended audience, and truth usually doesn't. If someone is saying what the audience wants to...
  • Commented on Please ignore those damned writer memes (and don't repost them)
    We could discuss how STEM Minds actively disenfranchise other voices in the online realm Discussion aimed at one audience and referencing one set of common assumptions is usually alienating to other audiences with different backgrounds and assumptions, unless the unfamiliar...
  • Commented on Please ignore those damned writer memes (and don't repost them)
    Profundity is subjective. You feel it when you understand a non-obvious idea that was communicated in a way that you could understand, but had to work for. Plenty of things that would have seemed profound to me 10 years ago...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    If the depressed economy's demand price for oil is 30 USD/barrel and the extraction price is 40 USD/barrel, that's it. No more oil by anything resembling a market mechanism. Not really. Prices aren't completely inelastic. There are consumers who will...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    fighting for women's and girls' rights for five or six years isn't important either. You said it ironically, but it's true. Fighting doesn't count. Winning counts. How, exactly, are women and girls better off than they would be if Hillary...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    To be honest, I don't see a "highly qualified" woman in the race. Hillary's brushes with history so far have involved a failed attempt at healthcare reform in the 90s, a vote for the Iraq war, and an uninspiring tenure...
  • Commented on Excuses, excuses
    On the other hand, Robert Jordan managed to keep the plates spinning long enough to run into another problem. His mid-WoT books started by checking up on all the major characters for a scene or two. That took about 700...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    In the States, the regs are not just complex but contradictory. There are usually five regs telling you what to do in any given situation, all different; writing regs is easier than reading them. Every service and unit has its...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    I still think we need a more robust and specific definition of what does and doesn't count Perhaps we should assume that the members of this culture/species are uniformly affected with pure alexia. This would give us some handle on...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    The Statute of Frauds was passed in 1677, requiring that many types of important contracts be written (also wills). It seems a good guess that lack of writing would have been a major problem, commercially, by the late 17th century....
  • Commented on Repurposing Memory
    On the other hand, if you attempted to bring back a certain dead person, the probability that you would succeed is nearly zero (or, if you prefer multiverse interpretations, the value of one you that succeeds is outweighed by the...
  • Commented on Repurposing Memory
    There's always the possibility that you're speaking to a collection of nefshons that is 60% the guy you want, 35% other random people, and 5% labrador retriever. Could be amusing. This is really where the second law of thermodynamics comes...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Horse armor, called barding, did exist and generally was considered good protection from arrows. It was also very heavy. At Agincourt, French knights had to choose between using the barding (and probably bogging down in the mud) or leaving it...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    I expect that if you asked a dozen medieval armorsmiths those questions, you'd get a dozen answers. Their training, their materials, and their equipment were by no means uniform. That probably meant that there was quite a bit of crap...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Also, genres are basically marketing categories. The set of customers looking for a mythologized version of the past is different from the set of customers looking for extrapolations about the future. To me, women seem to be driving the appeal...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Sex isn't just procreation and if the anthropologists are anywhere near right the range of sexual customs and behaviors across societies is pretty mind boggling. Most of those customs and behaviors serve to limit sexual activity to rare occasions. Frequent...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Huge cities underground with no obvious source of food or adequate ventilation. Sexual liberation in societies without birth control (among commoners who shouldn't be able to afford extra children). Tiny women beating up multiple trained soldiers (without magic or other...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Thanks. Minor quibble: lasing requires a population inversion in the laser material, which is probably prohibitive with a nanoscale battery. They also need fairly accurate targeting information for the communications, which means sensors and processors drawing power. I'd try using...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    I don't know what Jeep considers crazy, but I'd advise you to think carefully about where the energy for your nanobots comes from (nano batteries and nano solar cells don't provide much juice), what your nanobots are made of (finely...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Some people seem to think that Westerners are the sole source of all the evils in the world. This is just as silly as the idea that we're the sole source of the world's virtues. Most of the world was...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    There is nothing inherent in being hotter by 2-4c that prevents growing crops. What it might change is what crops get grown where. Every plant species is adapted to a specific combination of soil, climate, sunlight, local fauna, etc. If...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Humans who do not acquire the ability to assess their place in the environment as a set of inter-locking systems are quickly removed from the gene (and meme) pool. Unlike Earthbound humans, the feedback loops are fast and local. I...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Why no dissected mammoth eyeballs in the fire kits? I don't know, but I'd speculate it's because sticks are way more common and don't fight back. Sure, for humans. We have the right musculature to make fire with sticks. The...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    We learn from history, but the half-life of that knowledge is fairly short. The lessons of the last eighty years or so are fairly well remembered, but the farther back you go the dimmer it gets....
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Eyes are a very useful adaptation that have independently evolved on Earth over a dozen times. It stands to reason that any carnivorous or omnivorous species is likely to find itself well supplied with focusing lenses. I imagine a caveman...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    If the incompatibilities had consequences that could lead to competing predictions under any experimental conditions, we would have solved that riddle years ago. How do you know that this is true & are you really sure of that? That's pretty...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    It's true that QM and relativity are incompatible. It's also true that those incompatibilities have absolutely no practical consequences under any conditions that human ingenuity has been able to devise. If the incompatibilities had consequences that could lead to competing...
Subscribe to feed Recent Actions from Jay

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