Jay

Jay

  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Rhesus Chart
    Our Kind Do Not Go Mad I doubt many of us would notice if you did....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    They're public housing (unless they've been privatized, which wouldn't surprise me), but we haven't built new ones in decades. For good reason, since I honestly doubt there's anything in France half as bad as the projects. The people who live...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Are the beds in sheds in London worse than public housing in the US or in France? We don't really have public housing in the States. We have homeless people, instead. There are a few homeless shelters, but not nearly...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Lasers seem energy-intensive and fire-prone for small robots in a (potentially) dry field. I wonder if resonant ultrasound might be a better kill mechanism. Slowly sweeping the range of frequencies that resonate with the (range of) known pest exoskeletons seems...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Cheap carbon-fiber materials etc, emphasis on cheap. Carbon fibers are extremely energy-intensive to make. They will never be used as cheap materials for poor people (for values of "poor" that indicate actual material deprivation)....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    the proper use of human beings is stuff to do with other human beings. Like killing them, fairly often. We need each other, but we annoy each other. If you forget the second bit, your society will end in fire...
  • Commented on Reminders
    That was a major power outage, but the Laundry-universe Denver events involved a total communications and travel blackout. Apparently everything from ham radio to satellite communication was affected. It's a lot less explicable by ordinary means....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    There's a view of quantum mechanics which centers on the impossibility of destroying information and the new information that is created any time a waveform collapses. In this view, entropy represents added information (albeit usually in a form that is...
  • Commented on Reminders
    The events of Apocalypse Codex took a couple million Americans, one of the world's busiest airports, and the US Air Force Academy off the grid for a few days. Plausible deniability was already stretched pretty thin. P.S. The new book...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    I'd bet plenty of them could design some pretty impressive brick-laying, farm-tilling, pipe-running machines. As a general rule, the problem in poor countries isn't that there are so many jobs that the people need machines to help do them....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    That strategy can work. For example, a lot of straight men think Laurell K. Hamilton's first few books were pretty good, before she crammed them full of werewolf porn. She obviously found an audience as she made that transition, even...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    True. What makes cellular automata a better model for society than other machines is the way complex structures are formed by relatively simple agents whose behaviors stem from their local environments. It's not a perfect model, but it's better than...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Or she was just drunk, similar to the posts that inspired her admission in #342....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    And engineers are over-represented in the ranks of right-wing terrorist organizations, so clearly that training's doing something right, huh? Many engineers also have difficulty accepting evolution. Their training teaches them to associate complexity with purposeful design. When that mindset encounters...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Consider Charlie's predicament. The rest of us can wander away when we start to get bored of this blog. His complaints are perfectly understandable, but also one of the warning signs of incipient Brain Eater syndrome (see comment #121)....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    When I was a wee sprog in the chemistry department of Miskatonic University (name changed to protect the guilty), a friend of mine was responsible for inventorying the storeroom of chemicals that were too dangerous to dispose of. He inventoried...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    The client actually has requirements that need to be clearly communicated. Head office is usually just trying to give the impression that the emperor is wearing very nice clothes....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Crackpots can be great fun. It's just not very fruitful to argue with them, unless you like simply arguing. I find it best to either go along with the ride or get off. As for the rest, creative types who...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    In American idiom, "crackpot" signifies an argumentative eccentric. It's used to describe people who, to choose a random example, repeatedly and stridently voice unconventional views on the semiotics of mucus in forums where this is not ordinary behaviour....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Mods: I hope that wasn't too harsh. If it was, I apologize....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    I'm declaring this fatuosity to be evidence of a win for Catinadiamond by default. It looks like we have a new Eater of Souls. Since the last one was codenamed TEAPOT, I humbly suggest the codename CRACKPOT for this one....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Which gets back to the requiring enormous amounts of energy and your spaceship glowing white hot. Long story short: the math for manned interstellar travel just doesn't work, and it doesn't come within six orders of magnitude of working. Nuclear...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Male = mucous = external only. Very true. As a man, I have neither mouth nor nose....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    An efficient fusion reactor would be an excellent method of turning large quantities of pure deuterium into larger quantities of impure deuterium, I'll give you that much. It so happens that the purification is the hard part....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    If we assume that the fundamental laws of physics continue to hold true as well between 2015 and 2215 as well as they did between 1815 and 2015, still that leaves room for lots of engineering improvement. The biggest theoretical...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    First, an efficient energy-producing fusion reactor is another magic wand, or near enough. Second, deuterated water costs $1045 per kg (Sigma-Aldrich, current prices), so gigatons of the stuff cost $quadrillions. Third, the neutron flux would kill everybody. Fourth, you still...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Actually, Wikipedia says (yes, I know) that there are only about 300,000 Qatari citizens. The balance of the population is foreign workers, mainly from India, Nepal, Pakistan, the Phillippines, etc. It does seem that the gender imbalance is due to...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    That is disturbing. Still, the population of Qatar is almost three orders of magnitude smaller than China's or India's, so the geopolitical consequences are likely to be much less serious....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    The two major cultures that do gender selection for offspring (by selective abortion) are China and India. They both prefer males, and there aren't billion-person matriarchies to take up the slack. Historically, a human population with a male/female ratio noticeably...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Equoid
    Charlie calculated that the energy required to accelerate a 2 tonne spacecraft to .1 c was equivalent to 400 megatons of TNT, assuming perfectly efficient engines, no need for reaction mass, and neglecting the need to stop at the end...
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