RDSouth

RDSouth

  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Videotape and obsolete file formats are artifacts of a period of rapid development. Now that electronic information technology is more mature things are settling down. For example, in a hundred years you will be able to open a pdf, txt,...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    That's from a Monty Python sketch. Amazingly, can't find a you tube of the exact clip. Enjoy this instead: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deoNAOfkXxc...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    I'm in my fifties and retired from the US Military (at about the lowest rank you can retire at). People older than me are always implying that I have some kind of moral duty to get a job. For example,...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    "It cuts both ways" Saw an article somewhere a few years ago about a very old find of humans in Colorado, like Clovis point era, so not too many generations removed from the first people to wander into the new...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    As well as does the next carnivore?...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Like when combining sheet metal with phone books makes a car bulletproof (until the system ablates). How about keeping your unused (deceleration)reaction mass (liquid hydrogen) in a big fuel tank forward of the payload (inhabited) compartment, on the end of...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Starships won't be launched until the solar system spanning civilization runs out of easily exploited resources nearby and sees an economic or political interest in expanding to other nearby systems. A thriving solar system spanning civilization will have solved little...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    I like a character or characters presented well enough that I can engage with them and root for them as they surmount problems. It's fun and improving to see how someone else is doing it. The problems don't have to...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Propulsion, heat, and shielding are technical problems that can be solved, as technical problems have always been solved. The prognosticator who naysays such is like those who said nobody would ever go to the moon, or heavier than air flight...
  • Commented on Reality is broken
    "Just imagine what a runaway sexual selection pressure would look like when it's imposed by direct genetic engineering. " More likely genetic engineering will make it possible wirehead at will. Instead of modifying others to be titillating, why not modify...
  • Commented on Reality is broken
    I don't see the problem. Of course the Laundryverse is an alternate universe. If it's one with no Brexit, whatever. Do you think the world will be like in the Halting State universe when we get to it's supposed time...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    What about this here SMES? Superconducting loops that store, well, current. http://www.lowcarbonfutures.org/sites/default/files/superconductingmagneticenergystorage_final.pdf Expensive now, but what if superconductors got cheaper and higher temperature? Then you could make some dandyfine batteries. They'de make good ammunition too....
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    If you're just having the "teacher" read out loud, then an even better way to save money would be to fire the "lesson reciter" and just show films. Once we learn the basics, most of us experience school that way...
  • Commented on Who wins? Cthulhu or the Emperor of Mankind from Warhammer 40K?
    http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2008/06/moderation-policy.html...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Long comment about economics and population stress etc deleted. You should always copy and paste your comments into a separate text file before you hit Submit just in case. Sometimes if you take too long you'll find you've signed out....
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    It would be an extremotroph https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Halomonas_titanicae and also an endolith https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Endolith as well as an obligate anaerobe https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Obligate_anaerobe...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Sometime in eons of prehistory, a ground dwelling bacterium evolved to metabolize iron. It turned magnetite and hematite into basalt. Only this bacterium is intolerant of O2, so shallow surface deposits are OK....
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Actually zinc is more common than copper. Copper is 50 ppm in the Earth's crust. Zinc is 75 ppm. This Earth....
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Maybe there could be deposits of high grade ore, but they could be smaller than in our world and play out shortly after the industrial revolution starts making serious demands on them, but before modern smelting processes are developed. That...
  • Commented on Who wins? Cthulhu or the Emperor of Mankind from Warhammer 40K?
    Don't know much about either, but unless they are very unequal in power or one of them cheats they will both lose because conflicts between peers generally have lose-lose outcomes. Perhaps they could see that they need each other to...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Depends on whether you're willing to get involved in organized crime. Say there are ten papers that ten people are interested in. They form a club. Each person in a club buys a single but different paper at list price,...
  • Commented on A plaintive request
    "Homo erectus is the most, or one of the most, long-lived species of Homo, having existed well over one million years and perhaps over two million years" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homo_erectus#Descendants_and_subspecies As for the Andaman islands "indications from genetic, cultural and isolation studies...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    By "something" I mean technology, such as plumbing. The idea part of it costs nothing to distribute, other than in the sense that if you can restrict an idea you can charge for it and if you let it go...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    It's all the same thing. Using corporate welfare to steal from the people by setting up a private prison is no different from dumping your poisonous industrial byproducts in the river....
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    No, he's talking about a specific rather famous essay http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/articles/art_tragedy_of_the_commons.html which included numerous ideas, some of which seem to have been superseded. Mainly it made the case that overpopulating is an act of pollution (violation of the commons) and should...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    If the rich have something it will trickle down to the poor, with rate determined by various factors. Usually this takes the form of the development and application of techniques to produce the luxury more cheaply and make it a...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    You're referring to "Harvest of Shame" https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvest_of_Shame Re "what's being lost is your ability to empathize with the other..." That's a natural human ability that most people will always have, they just also have a propensity for masking it. When...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Under capitalism, business interests naturally seek the cheapest possible labor, and often find it, the way water seeks it's level or fire ignites the most combustible fuel first. That doesn't mean capitalism is impossible without free labor any more than...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    Something like that stuff about Rome might have had a hard time doing an industrial revolution due to Roman Numerals also might help explain the stalling of China That lack of an alphabet is a real bar to the whole...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    "That would fuck chemistry, and there wouldn't be any humans" Not necessarily. Maybe it only affects semiconductors. The difference between an insulator and a semiconductor is much smaller than the difference between a conductor and an insulator, rather than midway...
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