Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    My interpretation of what's going on is that policy-wise, since the Nott defense review of 1981-ish (although that got punted into the long grass until the USSR collapsed, thanks to the Falklands conflict), MoD policy has been to turn the...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    What do they make of "pork-barrel politics"? Or, indeed, of "Crusade". (I cringed when GWB used that exact word in his speech on September 12th 2001. It proved that either he was a totally ignorant idiot who was in over...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Anyway, the other problem with nuclear fuels is that the fuel is around for 20-50 years, while the resulting pollution is around for, what? 20,000-50,000 years? It doesn't matter, really. The 1000s:1 reward to crap ratio is massively unsustainable. Actually,...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Ahem: fission fuel isn't in short supply. Sure there's only about a century of known Uranium reserves ... but only because we stopped looking for new deposits in the 1960s; there's a lot of it about -- enough dissolved in...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    I wonder how much of this inaction is the hidden cost of fueling military forces? While armies are getting better at fuel consumption and renewables out of sheer self-preservation, precisely no one is talking about making solar or wind-powered warships...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    they'd be trading "defeat a perceived expansionist USSR that is an undeniable existential threat ...for a bunch of fanatics that can at best kill thousands of US and European citizens, rather than millions. Ah, but it's still early days! To...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    The bigger problem is that the oil and the PVs are hundreds/thousands of miles from where the West would like them. Oil pipelines and long-distance HVDC transmission lines are relatively fragile and more difficult to defend Yes, but you've got...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    People in the Middle East don't think much of T.E. Lawrence any more, given what's happened since. Personally I blame my paternal grandfather. (Who, per family legend, nearly machine-gunned Colonel Lawrence outside the gates of Damascus in October 1918.) Water...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Arnold: 1. The USSR wasn't a normal dictatorship; while Stalin was a dictator (taking off from Lenin's really bad take on collegiate governance and turning it into full-blown dictatorship via purges) it was designed to be a one-party state and...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Speaking as a non-Australian, I nevertheless find the Abbott government really useful as a guide in trying to figure out the right side of any issue: look at whatever policy they're advocating, and assume they're Wrong. (Am I right about...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    Yes, this is of necessity a short piece that starts late -- I'm trying to finish a book here! Adam Curtis offers a somewhat deeper look at the origins of the Syria/Iraq mess, with specific reference to US state department...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    So, I'm predicting Kurdish separatist guerrillas for the next bunch of "terrists" out of the Middle East. Congratulations: you've just caught up with Turkish government policy circa 1984! (Mind you, I don't have much time for the Turkish establishment's view...
  • Commented on A brief, bitter quiz
    By this logic, do you think now that Obama should have supported the Mubarak government of Egypt during the Arab spring? I think in general "supporting" a foreign government -- especially a dictatorship -- is a rather dodgy plan; it...
  • Posted A brief, bitter quiz to Charlie's Diary
    Let's take a trip down memory lane to understand what the USA, UK and others bombing IS in Iraq is really about, starting with a quiz: What started on December 24th, 1979? What was Operation Cyclone? Who was Abdullah Azzam...
  • Commented on Touching base
    Attention conservation notice: I'm upgrading that thing about IS to a full blog entry in its own right....
  • Commented on Touching base
    Greg: I ran out of Ello invites yesterday....
  • Commented on Touching base
    I'm curious as to how the post-imperialists created IS. Let me refresh your memory: 1. What started on December 24th, 1979? 2. What was Operation Cyclone? 3. Who was Abdullah Azzam and what was the name of his young protege...
  • Commented on Touching base
    1) Yes they did. 2) Some Oscar Wilde quote about the unspeakable in pursuit of the inedible goes here. (I have nothing good to say about IS. But then, I have nothing good to say about the criminally irresponsible idiots...
  • Commented on Touching base
    I'm aware of the Ello privacy concerns, such as they are. Nevertheless, right now, comparing Ello to Facebook on privacy matters is like comparing a mild head-cold to Fournier's Gangrene (WARNING: NSFL IMAGES BEHIND LINK)....
  • Posted Touching base to Charlie's Diary
    The lack of blogging this week has two roots: firstly, it was my parents' diamond wedding anniversary on Monday (which called for a road trip to visit them), and secondly, I'm still up to my elbows in the final draft...
  • Commented on The morning after
    We need teleport gates, dammit. (But we won't get them: the TSA or the real estate agents will assassinate the inventors before they can bring them to market.)...
  • Commented on The morning after
    No doubt there are some people who just don't realize that not everywhere on Earth looks like London or Oxfordshire, but is there also a lot of willful ignorance? A quarter of the UK population lives in the Greater London...
  • Commented on The morning after
    ATTENTION CONSERVATION NOTICE: I have been scarce over the weekend because (1) stinking head-cold and (2) travelling to visit relatives (it was my parents' diamond wedding anniversary yesterday). I am now back home, along with what feels like my post-Eurocon...
  • Commented on The morning after
    This would only work if none of the escalating options are mutually exclusive of course. I'm sorry to say this, but I fear you have an unrealistically high opinion of the reasoning ability of the British voting public....
  • Commented on The morning after
    The "need" justification for higher per-capita spending in Scotland under the Barnett formula is geographical. Scotland is a lot bigger than most people realize; the infrastructure cost of linking outlying cities and towns with roads and railways is higher simply...
  • Commented on The morning after
    How big should a "devolved" assembly be? And I include a Westminster Parliament when only English MPs vote on an English matter. A key problem with any parliament or government, it seems to me, is Dunbar's Number; an assembly with...
  • Commented on The morning after
    Minor quibble: there's a weird meme prevalent on the barking right in the USA to the effect that British people aren't citizens, but subjects. This is not in fact true (although it took an act of parliament in the late...
  • Commented on The morning after
    The Falklands thing was a lot murkier than it was painted. Yes, the Argentinian junta mounted an illegal invasion. But they did so after the Thatcher government basically tried to sell them the Falklands. A minister (IIRC it was Heseltine)...
  • Commented on The morning after
    When a country was attacked without warning by military invasion froma semi-fascist miltary dictatorship? Yes, that's the accepted consensus media narrative. Shame the documents released under the 30 years rule in 2012-13 don't really support it....
  • Commented on The morning after
    Ahem: both. A bunch were executed for genocide -- but there were a lot of other war crimes trials going on at the same time, not all on the same charge sheet....
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