Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    Ahem: Let's also say that Charles Windsor was fucked over by his mother, who took a distinctly negative view of the woman he's now married to (now that she's safely past childbearing age) and who was his mistress for thirty...
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    I believe the assumption is that they will not remain under Da'esh's control indefinitely, and the cost of rebuilding them exceeds the cost of smashing Da'esh flat....
  • Commented on Escape from the planet of the Ice Giants
    Nope. Think in terms of a different genre from anything I usually write in. And a different style. And a different tone. ("Palimpsest" the novel is still on my to-do list, but probably not before 2017 at the earliest.) If...
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    MODERATION NOTICE: A certain famous actor's death has been noted. Further discussion on this comment thread is discouraged. (You've got the rest of the internet for that.) Because this blog is so totally not the place for America is going...
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    So 1 F-22 could replace half the RAF. Ignoring my own warning, taking my own bait, etc: I seem to recall hearing that around 1995-2000, as an exercise, students at the RAF Staff College at Cranfield worked out how many...
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    Naah. Crude oil of a given grade is a fungible commodity -- one barrel of sweet light crude is pretty much substitutable for any other. So: tankers in Da'esh controlled territory haul oil out into somewhere like Turkey or Syria...
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    capital intensive warfare is driven by the realization that Americans won't tolerate a draft Except everyone else is doing it, at least at the high end. France doesn't have a draft, the UK doesn't have a draft. Germany abolished conscription....
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    You want to take a closer look at what Apple is doing with their "cash hoard". Hint: it's invested very interestingly (much of it in loans to suppliers with which the suppliers build factories for next-gen components which Apple then...
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    To the extent that automation creates an unemployable underclass of 5-15% of the population there is going to be a great deal of suffering, though not necessarily repression. As that percentages rises past 50%, society is going to become increasingly...
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    I'd have thought it was obvious. While conscription existed pre-1789, it was the French revolution -- and the British empire's response to it, and Napoleon's rise to hegemonic central power -- that brought the creation of the first modern-style mass...
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    Nope, I've been around the Falls Road in the early 1990s, I'm not touching that bait, it is stinky. Only an idiot would deny that insurgencies exist. ... The point I'm trying to make, though, is that in general insurgencies...
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    That would require an ideological revolution before it could happen. Because all our governing parties currently support the neoliberal consensus. (Revolutions don't always involve guns: sometimes they happen inside peoples' heads.)...
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    You missed the F-35, the F-22, and just about every big armaments procurement program in the past 50 years. Also, oh, little things like the invasion of Iraq. Modern capital-intensive warfare is shit at occupying territory and policing it --...
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    How near is your near future setting? Next 5-30 years. Both communism and capitalism are ideologies (yes, capitalism as currently practiced is intensely ideological and hegemonistic) for operating an economy in the industrial age. Both of them rely on continuing...
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    RED CARD You do not get to ad hominem the owner of the platform. You're banned from this thread. Don't let the door hit you on the way out....
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    Note: I don't believe in absolute property rights -- otherwise you end up with the bottled-water-stand-in-the-desert thought experiment, where everything just goes to shit and descends into epicycles of tail-chasing over "is it coercion if you demand $1M for a...
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    MODERATION NOTICE This is not a forum for the discussion of libertarian ideology (or other ideologies that depend on the availability of perfectly spherical humans of uniform density, for that matter). Nor is this a discussion for the minutiae of...
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    1. No, democracy was a ~500BC solution to transfer of power. (See also Athens.) 2. No, the distribution of guns and the rise of mass armies happened in the late 18th/early 19th centuries. Weirdly, the pattern of the post-1945 era...
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    What you're seeing are the effects of some people having political power, ie. being able to impose their will on everyone else. The only reason you'd do that is to benefit at other people's expense. Otherwise you'd let everyone get...
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    The day HE is solely about future-profits-of-students is the day we can bend over and kiss our arts goodbye. That's already happening in the UK. It takes a generation for this sort of vandalism to filter through into public awareness...
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    Who said anything about soldiers? (The system reacts when threatened. And as I noted, as long as people think they need money to survive, money will give the system a powerful lever to cow them with.)...
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    Hint: restriction on labour movement isn't purely a functional of capital -- it's a function of a particular type of capitalist process (exploiting relative imbalances of resources and labour) identified by a Mr. Marx as "imperialism"....
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    A perfectly good sovereign state can also be bad for lawful capitalism (cf: communism), The USSR was quite reasonable for capitalism, once they finished shooting the revolutionaries. Not internal capitalism, of course (although state enterprises bore an eerie structural...
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    Ah, but the healthcare for younger people is going backward. Antibiotic resistance is rising, meanwhile resources go into the last 3 months of life for the elderly rather than helping younger people -- and costs are spiralling across the board...
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    I'm unconvinced by your point 2' -- Economic growth is necessarily correlated to energy consumption. As I understand it, economic growth in the EEC/EU decoupled from energy consumption after the 1973 oil shock. And if you contemplate soft products (intellectual...
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    Student digs are a thing of the past; its all nice apartments. Those "nice apartments" in the student residences will be the family-occupied slums of the 2030s, inhabited by graduates who'd be bankrupt if they were allowed to default on...
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    A very important piece of the puzzle, IMHO, is that while capital can move freely between the developed and underdeveloped world, labor cannot. That's a key insight which I forgot to include in the analysis. Thanks! I'm going to add...
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    If I'm a plant owner and replaced all my workers with robots, and now my former workers have no money to by my products, what do I have the plant for? Also, if nobody buys my products, how do I...
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    Capitalism as a system is only as efficient as the market. In the absence of the checks and balances of western democracy, powerful players will capture parts of the market, eliminate competition, and the efficiency will drop to 0. Kindly...
  • Commented on A different cluetrain
    Yep. I think I shall add a footnote to the article above, reflecting that tweet!...
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