robertprior

robertprior

  • Commented on Generation Z
    Might also be worth looking at the loss of skills. A good place to start reading would be Dark Age Ahead by Jane Jacobs. http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/85397.Dark_Age_Ahead...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    People become trapped in debt to the point where they become essentially slaves. And, interestingly, student load debt cannot be discharged except by paying it off. Bankruptcy doesn't wipe it out....
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    When I was in Xinjiang a few years ago the Uighurs wouldn't have looked out of place in rural Italy or Greece. I had a Uighur boy in one of my classes and he looked Caucasian: white skin, round eyes,...
  • Commented on Commercial announcement
    Hm. Amazon.ca prices are now $10.99 for the first book, $8.99 for the next two. Not that I'll be buying from them (as I don't have a Kindle)....
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    The original suggestion was about Texas politicians… I'm Canadian, watching our government import US political methods. Tribalism is alive and well up here in the Great White North. So is corporatism: our government is using anti-terrorist legislation to keep tabs...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    IIRC, oxytocin can lead to problems with the out-group. Can't lay my hands on the reference I was looking at last year, but a quick google yields: "An intergroup conflict game was developed to disentangle whether oxytocin motivates competitive approach...
  • Commented on Commercial announcement
    Looking for legal sources here (that don't involve fiddling with technical stuff): Kobo isn't selling them in Canada. (Or maybe they're not pre-selling them, but the link says "not available" not "pre-order".) Amazon.ca wants $11 each ($10.99 if you're picky),...
  • Commented on Commercial announcement
    I wasn't logged in when I saw the price, oddly. I am Canadian, and I suppose Amazon may have figured that out, but the Canadian dollar is trading at $1.06 per US$, so that would be an incredible surcharge for...
  • Commented on Commercial announcement
    Amazon.com is telling me the price is $12.12. Has the Evil River decided that I'm willing to pay more? Guess I'll wait for the non-Amazon bookshop links....
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Although it might sound like utter nonsense to you, without food safety agencies, you would still be able to buy fresh eggs and and be able properly bake your chicken. Food-poisoning patrons doesn't make the best business plan. "Utter...
  • Commented on Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism! A political speculation.
    The economics discussion above reminds me of the ending to Shockwave Rider by John Brunner: THE CONTENT OF THE PROPOSITIONS #1: That this is a rich planet. Therefore poverty and hunger are unworthy of it, and since we can abolish...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    Sorry for replying to my own message. I hit "post" too soon — I'd meant to include this rant as well: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0DsJ8IhWO7w&list=TLZcBB8vUnKewnfFFOG-EL2NT9GGSZ4lmE (Our government's solution to closing Veterans' Affairs offices? They can download an app to their smartphone. Because every...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    For fellow Canadians who may have missed it, here's Rick Mercer's reaction to our conservative party's treatment of disabled military veterans (made while grabbing Remembrance Day photo-ops, of course). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R79U0PGpxDM For non-Canadians, Rick Mercer is a well-known Canadian comedian. This...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    Furthermore, as a US reader who buys your books in hardback, I could do a very long rant about which country's soldiers took the vast majority of casualties while destroying the powerful Japanese Army China? Chinese casualties: 3.7 million military...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    The red poppy is used throughout the commonwealth as a memorial for the war (largely as a result of John McRae's poem In Flanders Fields), And odd how everyone seems to forget the third verse: Take up our quarrel...
  • Commented on Making history personal
    Oldest slept in I don't know. A building in Europe, certainly, but which is oldest (and how old it is) I don't know for sure. At least 200, possibly 300 years old, anyway. Oldest I've been in would be the...
  • Commented on Spook Century
    Presumably this tier would be used for recruiting already-existing international experts, rather than for internal promotion? Possibly. It was part of the 'technical leadership' career path, and in company training sessions this was presented as an internal career ladder, demonstrating...
  • Commented on Spook Century
    Whilst you could, as an 'expert', get promotions and higher salaries (individual merit), there was a need to regularly justify that grade via achievements. Sounds kinda like the tech company I used to work for. They had a non-administrative career...
  • Commented on The regular holy war ...
    For some reason, I'm reminded of the Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie song "Every OS Sucks" :-) Lyrics: http://songmeanings.com/songs/view/76280/ Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d85p7JZXNy8 (Skip to 1:29 into the video, which is where the skit really starts. I prefer the audio only...
  • Commented on Why Microsoft Word must Die
    I write RPG books, usually containing a lot of sections which need to be organised for maximum clarity and will often be printed out. One of the ways to do this organisation is by using sidebars, which let you insert...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    If they have no books, I probably don't want to know them. Doesn't mean that they don't read, but don't care enough about what they do read to have copies. Or their library is now in electronic form… I have...
  • Commented on Another deceptively simple question
    Someone with the ebook could decide what order they want to read it in. Do they want to follow the detective or the murderer? A male character or female? Someone did this back in the 1990s. Wrote a novel with...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearance: Frankfurt Book Fair
    Here's another book doing what couldn't be done with a paper book. Pretty big file, though (600+ MB): https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/360-panorama.fi/id580835169?mt=11...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearance: Frankfurt Book Fair
    Sorry, guess I should have warned you. Although that does handily illustrate a problem with enhanced textbooks: the need for relatively recent equipment. :-/ I should also warn you that when the book is updated the iPad apparently downloads a...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearance: Frankfurt Book Fair
    I've been recommending the "Life on Earth" textbook to my students. 3D models, videos, animations… they say it is better than their paper textbook. http://eowilsonfoundation.org/e-o-wilson-s-life-on-earth/ Direct link to iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/ca/book/e.-o.-wilsons-life-on-earth/id529004239?mt=13 For $1.99, it's a great deal. Downside is it requires...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    If you assume self-driving vehicles when you're roadbuilding, your road goes from one ten-foot-wide swath of asphalt for each lane to two one-foot-wide swaths. A train track? Not really viable for a paved road. You still need a roadbed capable...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Sorry, saw this after I posted my last entry....
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    The problem with this is that we don't know if they USPS is loosing money hand over fist doing this or if they have a real price advantage cross border due to them being a part of the federal government....
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    And friends in the shipping business tell me about how things compare between the USPS and the for profits. I can't speak for internal US mail, but getting stuff fromthe US to Canada the USPS wins hands down. Typical for-profit...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Are you seriously suggesting that Chicago is not several hundred miles from the US-Canada border? Lake Michigan and Lake Huron are effectively one body of water: you can sail directly from one to the other. (Unlike the other lakes that...
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