Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    The sole military problem Iran has to solve is the U.S. Wrong: Iran's pressing military problem is Saudi Arabia, which they've been locked in a regional Cold War with since 1980 and the Saudi religious revolution. It's a bitter, ugly,...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    I fear you are correct. NB: Neville Chamberlain was actually good at his job; he was just out of his depth when it turned into a total war shootingfest. (The "peace in our time" photo-op? Was followed by him returning...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    with the SNP + Labour + Lib-Dems as the biggest block and forming a coalition that may or may not be stable but will be pro-remain. Such a coalition is out of the question. Labour see the SNP as their...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    if the stupidly-high tax rates What stupidly-high tax rate?!? The upper rate of income tax is 40% in the UK, same as in the US: there's a 45% marginal band over about US $200,000/year, but in practice if you can...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    NOT GOING TO HAPPEN My scenario assumes that a no-deal Brexit under BoJo happens because the no confidence vote in August is botched, because MPs don't want to lose their seats, and everyone is standing around hoping that the horse...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    No one is real sure what the Britain First sorts got out of the armouries. Note: Britain First are real extremists—they're to the right of the English Defense League—but they're not outright illegal. For that I refer you to National...
  • Commented on Whoops Apocalypse!
    The Threads continuation: 1. no-deal Brexit on Haloween leads to the Haloween Crisis and food riots by mid-November. The EU, with no desire to see Britain on fire, offers Boris a retroactive extension and a variant of May's deal complete...
  • Posted Whoops Apocalypse! to Charlie's Diary
    Whoops Apocalypse was a six part 1982 TV sitcom that aired in the UK during a particularly dark part of the cold war. It purported to document the last few weeks leading up to the nuclear apocalypse, and starred such...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Salvarsan was very much not snake oil; it was the first effective treatment for syphilis, at a time when up to 10% of the adult population of London were infected with the disease (and it was long-term disabling/fatal). Of course,...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    I'd love to try an experiment in an open-plan office: Place a computer with omnidirectional microphones and speech recognition software running in the room where it's loudest, and set up a text editor to transcribe anything the SRS can interpret....
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    There's a difference between confrontation and debate. Lots of men don't get it....
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    A university flatmate of Feorag's who happened to be female was the first in her family to get higher education: it was a scandal in the mining village she came from, that it was being wasted on a girl. This...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    It was like that in my elder sister's time. Mid-1970s, basically. (She wanted to go to university. At a careers evening, one of her teachers told my parents, "oh, many of our girls have good careers at [supermarket check-out] until...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    I'm guessing, gendered conversational modes? Women are trained to pay attention to their fellow conversationalists, cue them for responses, and to keep the conversational torch circulating. Men are not trained to do so, and mostly just bull ahead, talking over...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Yours is, I think, a regrettably common experience. (I wish it wasn't.)...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    YELLOW CARD for egregious sexism. If you intend to be snarky, flag your comments as such. On the internet nobody knows you're a dog /s...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    As far as you know, has anyone looked at the NHS database information for vampiric activity? No, but an NHS medical statistician of my acquaintance said I nailed that sequence in "The Rhesus Chart" well enough that she didn't lose...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Was that an intentional shout-out to the SCP universe I read in the Labyrinth Index? Well spotted! As for the Pentagon basement, I've never been there … but I've worked in a fair number of British government buildings of similar...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    The term you are looking for is intersectionality (originally, intersectional feminism, but it spread out a bit). Briefly: it's possible for the same person to be privileged in some contexts and subject to discrimination in others. For example, consider a...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Turns out that after huge investments of R&D and money, SewBot now exists and will soon be churning out tee shirts in a factory near you, if you live in a depressed American mid-western town. But tee shirts are easy....
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    So gypsies are honorary non-whites "Whiteness" isn't about skin colour. Ask me! (Jewish, by ethnicity if not belief.) Ask, oh, SF author Tobias Buckell, whose skin colour is white enough to "pass" but who's Caribbean and rather paler than the...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    I have noticed that since #MeToo the lack of pockets on (gendered) women's apparel (i.e. not stuff like jeans that are more-or-less similar, aside from tailoring/sizing, for men and women) has been a big topic. And a lot of skirts/dresses...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    You missed the Finnish Waffen SS units? (AIUI they weren't run by the Finnish government, but consistend of volunteers who went to fight for the Third Reich. But the Finnish military had form when it came to war crimes against...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    In the Laundryverse is Scorpion Stare a non local weapon? I ran some numbers through a BOTE calculation a while back. Shorter version: there's not enough CO2 in the atmosphere to make atmospheric attenuation of the effect significant (otherwise you'd...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    Is there anything that would make it more likely to get more female commentators to the blog? Or commentators under the age of 50? Yes: shut down the blog and open an entirely new one, then spend a decade or...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    how do you think that velodrome riders got themselves and what was often their only bicycle to the track in the 1950s? Seventy years ago there were roughly a tenth as many motor vehicles on the UK roads, acceleration and...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    For example, why the hell should British posters on a British blog be forced to pander to USA conventions? If you want to communicate with somebody, it behooves you to avoid ambiguity and trivial misunderstandings. Americans are handicapped by their...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    (Back home at last …) Armbands are not specifically required: it just needs to be some sort of visual identifier so that the authoritarians can see and be seen. Armbands with swastikas are one option. So are red baseball caps...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    CONTEXTUAL NOTE FOR NON-BRITS Of the two candidates for next leader of the conservative party—hence Prime Minister of the UK—one of them, Jeremy Hunt MP, is mispronounced as “Jeremy Cunt” with unfortunate regularity. This isn’t just a thing on the...
  • Commented on Ask me anything!
    MODERATION NOTE I have been AFK due to (a) travelling overseas without a laptop and (b) a dose of con crud. I gather there’s been a slight excess of scatological abuse here lately. I’d like to remind everyone to keep...
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