von.hitchofen

von.hitchofen

  • Commented on Yet another bad idea
    well, Bashar al-Assad used them at Homs... that reminds me, under Putin-Palin, Bashar will be our kinda guy in the Mid-East - he should hammer out peace [of a kind] in no time...;-D...
  • Commented on A hypothesis
    How hard can it be to have multiple redundancies for aircrew comms to ATC, and multiple redundancies for the oxygen supply to the flight deck crew, who will inevitably take over in the event of inflight incident/emergency? Even if its...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    not any more... http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Criminal_Justice_Act_2003#Retrial_for_serious_offences_.28the_.27Double_Jeopardy.27_rule.29 thanks, Mr Tony Blair!...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    flightradar24.com's view of MH370's flightpath X 12 www.youtube.com/watch?v=XnfXwyh-8KY There's no evidence to suggest that the point at 3.23 was necessarily the point where it came down, only when its transponder ceased broadcasting It could have broken up in mid-air, dived...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    9M-MRO was a Boeing 777-200ER so 199 ft 11 in (60.9 m) wingspan and 209 ft 1 in (63.7 m) fuselage length Even depending on speed of descent/ angle of impact only the engines would have enough mass to sink...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    ooops, sorry, old chap...I thought I had....%_% I'll just put the bare url in next time...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    If there's not much to report, the media usually don't bother to report it...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    The Guay bombing was the second hull-loss of an aircraft due to an inflight bomb explosion, apparently. I always thought the first was an attempt to assassinate Zhou Enlai on an Air India Constellation in 1955 [which killed sixteen people,...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    Apropos which, I suspect the situation was retrievable, until @wossy responded adversarially on twitter. Scared people complain, cause of fear responds combatively (the word "slander" was, I believe, used) ... things spiral out of control Having some of his twitter...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    Good manners cost nothing - and therefore cannot be monetized ;-)...
  • Commented on The latest Hugo awards storm
    Speaking as someone who has never attended an SF convention in the past [nor an awards ceremony], and has no desire to do so in the future,{1} I would have thought Jonathan Ross would have been ideal for loncon3. He's...
  • Commented on Publishing - We're All On the Same Side
    And much of the dead tree fascination seems to be tied to age. I'm 59 and still haven't read an ebook on any of my 5 computers or 2 mobile devices. Not necessarily - my mum is 73, and has...
  • Commented on "The next big thing"
    >The Culture is a reaction to the doom and gloom of the late 80s / early 90s. Some optimism is welcome in the face of recession, religious intolerance, and wars in the Middle East. possibly, but Iain's idea of...
  • Commented on "The next big thing"
    The writer's life in five stages 1 'Who the hell is Charles Stross?' 2 'Get me Charlie Stross!' 3 'Get me a writer like Charlie Stross!' 4 'What happened to Charles Stross? Is he still going?' 5 'Who the hell...
  • Commented on "The next big thing"
    ...and with ebooks, the content can be published almost as soon as it is written, no matter how good or bad it is [mistakes, bad grammar and padding included], and the music industry is probably the fastest of all, nowadays...
  • Commented on "The next big thing"
    Of course, William Gibson had never written a novel before, hardly ever used a computer [if at all], and saw the first 20 minutes of Blade Runner, thought he would be deemed a plagiarist and went into re-write frenzy on...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    No, it does because the government appoints the judges who interpret and enforce the law in a way favourable to the government, or favourable to the establishment. Speaking for England and Scotland, separation of church, state and judiciary has never...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    ...and of course many prisons were operated on a for profit basis - by the church! - like the Bishop's prison at Ely and Durham. Bishop's gaols were no better than others, and were frequently worse. They provided a source...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    Of course British Justice also included the concept of the debtors' prison, where transaction between private individuals were redefined by the state as theft, effectively. The prisons were run for profit [of course], the gaolers fees effectively impoverishing the debtor...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    The thing is, about 200 years ago, English and Welsh justice underwent a massive revolution. Before, most thieves got let off, often on odd and (especially to us) bizarre technicalities. Like Benefit of clergy, for example? One quasi-ecclesiastical judicial rule,...
  • Commented on Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism! A political speculation.
    And of course the British government insisted on NIBMAR No Independence Before MAjority Rule, which effectively turned the pre-existing 75/20/5 means of ruling on its head - and left those co-opted by the imperial rulers into doing their dirty work,...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    Modern justice is the confession of sins without the promise of forgiveness - the act of a victim forgiving the malefactor is rare indeed, and seems absurd as the state forgives no-one. Even those convicted of crimes in the UK...
  • Commented on Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism! A political speculation.
    Neither Capitalism nor Socialism, nor some imaginary technological singularity can destroy the human race, but greed, stupidity and vested interests, as presently constituted, just might. Or at best, make life on earth physically or psychologically unbearable for all but a...
  • Commented on Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism! A political speculation.
    excellent article on bullshit jobs A world without teachers or dock-workers would soon be in trouble, and even one without science fiction writers or ska musicians would clearly be a lesser place. It’s not entirely clear how humanity would suffer...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    It's a secret. If word got out, then everyone would be writing classics, and no one would get anything done. MP Shiel and Dunsany were very successful in their day, whereas success continually eluded Lovecraft during his lifetime. Yet Shiel...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    well, that didn't take long, did it? :-o racist SF writers weren't/aren't exactly unusual http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MP_Shiel [paedo as well] I wonder what made the literary tropes and stylings of HPL so culturally persistent, in a way that Shiel and Dunsany's aren't?...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    What writers of "hey, lets explore how the Nazis won the war would affect thing" fail to realise is that Germany is thirty-one flavours of fucked, whichever aggressive path it takes. Without access to vast quantities of raw materials [which...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    Even if the Nazis took Moscow, and the Soviets had to retreat to the interior with or without the vozhd, smart money would still be on the Soviets. In order to strangle the Soviets, you'd have to take Baku, which...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    The "Germany first" policy was devised before the US entered the war, and retained even after attack not by Germany, but another Axis power. That "Germany first" survived Pearl Harbor seems counterfactual in itself. The rebuilding of the Pacific fleet...
  • Commented on Catching a Blighty
    I can't really see a German victory over the USSR in WWII happening. Even before the Lend Lease, the Germans weren't able to capture Moscow in 1941. By the end of 1942, they were massively overstretched. Quite, but the US...
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