daniel.duffy20

daniel.duffy20

  • Commented on Generation Z
    Slums will save the planet. For the first time in history more people live in cities than in the country. By mid century over 85% of humanity will live in urban areas. Many of them in slums. And that is...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    What will the other 90% do? Pan et circes. Automation and AI will destroy jobs for humans the same way cheap slavery destroyed the jobs of Roman citizens. The solution will be the same, feed and entertain the masses while...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    "We can still manufacture stuff, it seems, but manufacturing no longer provides mass employment. And service jobs are rapidly being automated, as witness the spread of self-service checkouts and ATMs and lights-out warehouses." See http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2012/01/making-it-in-america/308844/ At one time, 90% of...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    "I can't really see a German victory over the USSR in WWII happening." Quite the contrary, Hitler came within an ace of beating the Soviets in late 1941. Had the Wehrmach taken Moscow, the Soviet regime would have never survived...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    You speak as if the Great War was somehow avoidable. Given the politics, demographics, diplomacy and economics of the era, the First World War was as inevitable as a landslide. Given the weapons of the time (barb wire, poison gas...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    "Ignoring the PacRim sideshow" Compared to the Eastern Front, everything in WWI was a side show (Pacific, Burma, North Africa, Italy, D-Day, U-Boats, bomber campaign, etc.). Total tank losses in the single Battle of Kursk approached 6,800 (760 for the...
  • Commented on The next moves in the Spooks v. News cold war
    When Octavian defeated Anthony to become the sole ruler of Rome (and its first Emperor, taking the name of Augustus) he kept all the forms of the now dead Republic. The Senate still debated. The Magistrates still stood for election....
  • Commented on Lies, damned lies, and popular beliefs
    "The Germans eventually won, since the Soviets betrayed the Poles, but nobody would call it easy." Former USAF officer actually. To destroy resistance in a heavily built up urban area of 1.3 million inhabitants in only two months does count...
  • Commented on Lies, damned lies, and popular beliefs
    "The most relevant feature of counterinsurgency is that it never works." There is a very simple, effective and historical proven method of winning a counter-insurgency: You exterminate the local civilian population. The Assyrians exterminated whole tribes and kingdoms, often relocating...
  • Commented on Crib sheet: Singularity Sky
    BTW, her is an intersting article on the physics of actual space combat and space navies. Don't know much about the author, but I enjoyed the article: http://denbeste.nu/cd_log_entries/2004/04/SpaceNavies2.shtml...
  • Commented on Crib sheet: Singularity Sky
    Mr. Stross, Ok, so you don't like stories about "Napoleonic Space Navies". How about stories about the real thing? How do you like the "Horatio Hornblower" or "Master and Commander" series? Everyone remembers the movie staring Russel Crowe, but there...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    The Japanese work force is projected to be reduced by 50% in about 50 years (by 2060). That’s an average annual reduction of almost 1.5% compounded each year for 50 years. In order to just stay even, Japan has to...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    Again, I'm afraid that I must disagree. Utopian dreams of true AI (or any other technological wildcard) notwithstanding, demographic inertia ensures that the world’s population will peak around mid century and then (depending on model assumptions) either decline slowly or...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "Earth-grazing asteroids." And NASA plans to lasso an asteroid and pull it intolunar orbit. Meanwhile private space firms are working otu the technology and financials for asteroid mining. Yeah, nothing could possibly go wrong with this......
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "Herro Hans Brix!" Sorry, I couldn't help myself....
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "But in the 21st century, I can see no convincing case for the UK retaining nuclear weapons." Agreed, but what about a mutli-national European nuclear force under the European Defence Agency, independent of NATO and the US?...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "But the United States today is visibly recapitulating the usual path of imperial decline, losing relative advantage in a 21st century that is now clearly coming into view: hot, crowded, dense, multipolar, dominated by international capital and labour flows." Have...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "As strategic weapons, it seems to me that nuclear weapons are obsolescent." Aside from use against aggressive invading space aliens, nukes have only one use - the retaliation against the first use of nukes by an enemy in wartime....
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "... it was perhaps more stable and less likely to launch a surprise invasion, but deadly crises could still arise through miscalculation." Not just the Cuban Missile cris (which you link to), but Able Archer in 1983. The world owes...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "But then it turned out to be surprisingly, dismayingly easy for other countries to build such devices." Any truth to the rumors that the Germans tested a nuclear device on the island of Rugen in the Baltic in 1945? The...
  • Commented on Changing my mind on nuclear disarmament
    "...the French response was, "we cannot rely on the perfidious Americans to back us up: we need to preserve the capability to act independently at all costs"." And they did. After the loss of Indochina and Algeria, the French shifted...
  • Commented on The last refuge of scoundrels
    Expanding on the extensive police presence associated with the funeral to the pervasive, constant polic camera surveillance you subject yourselves to, I have to ask: shouldn't just call yourself Air Strip One?...
  • Commented on Obituaries
    So where does 007 get his Astin-Martin? Does Q make them special for him?...
  • Commented on Obituaries
    Modernized robotic factories would have resulted in massive unemployment in any case with the introduction of automation. Its a process that contiues to this day, even the cheapest third world labor cannot compete with it. Which is why industry is...
  • Commented on Obituaries
    FDR saved out of control capitalism by checking its excesses. For his trouble he was hated and despised by the Right, the very people he saved. Reagan/Thatcher saved the unsustainable welfare state by checking its excesses. For their trouble they...
  • Commented on What are words worth?
    Mind you that the regions don't exactly conform to state boundaries. For example, my home state of Ohio is divided in 3: Greater Appalachia includes Cincinnati and the hill country of the southeast. Midlands is a band running roughly from...
  • Commented on What are words worth?
    For an insightful look at American regional differences I highly recommend journalist Colin Woodard's "American Nations, A History of the Eleven Rival Regional Cultures of North America": http://liberapedia.wikia.com/wiki/American_Nations 2 of the 11 "nations" (Inuit and Quebec) are primarily in Canada,...
  • Commented on Press Release: Stross Uncloaks Secret Media Project
    Perfect idea for a sequel: "Carboniferous Park" DNA taken from the dead wasps is used by a secret lab on a remote island to resurrect creepy crawlers from the age of giant insects. Think of the money from the toy...
  • Commented on Press Release: Stross Uncloaks Secret Media Project
    You didn't say how we finally defeat the Wasps! Take away their country club memberships? I'm here all week folks, try the veal. Now, about the sequel.......
  • Commented on The permanent revolution
    "Minoan Cretans" - whose civilization never recovered from the volcanic explosion of the island of Santorini. Should the Yellowstone Caldera supervolcano ever do the same to American civilization, we can expect to read a 1,000 years hence stories about the...
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