dr_demento

dr_demento

  • Commented on Catching Up
    I'm using "constitution" in the sense of "formal laws governing how the state is run". The UK certainly does have a constitution, it's just distributed across an enormous number of Acts of Parliament, judicial decisions, and royal proclamations. That it...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    Many systems have it that laws amending the constitution require a supermajority; in the case of the US, they additionally have to be ratified by 75% of the states. The UK is unusual in having no separation between constitution-altering Acts...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    RE: the Fixed-Term Parliaments Act. This was actually a noble effort on the part of the Lib Dems to fix one of the (literally hundreds of) things wrong with our "democracy". If the timing of the election is determined by...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    As I say, I'm certainly no expert on the situation! Why do you say that the GFA was too positive for the republican side? What further concessions should they have had to make? Or should it not have been signed...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    WHAT success? Well, the traditional metric for a "peace process" is peace, and Northern Ireland has been a lot quieter since the GFA. AFAIK, both sides seemed to be working together very productively at Stormont, old tensions were dying down,...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    Here's a question someone who knows about NI politics can hopefully answer: given the success of the peace process, why is it that voters are gravitating to the extreme ends of the spectrum (Sinn Féin and the DUP) rather than...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    Remember that "answerable only to Parliament itself" means "answerable to the Tory/DUP majority", nothing else. Not at all! The Tories (and Labour) are extremely split on the specifics of Brexit. What's the best outcome - single market in or out,...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    It never fails to amaze me how consistently May does precisely the wrong thing. Allying with the DUP is both stupid and unnecessary. Stupid, because (AIUI) tensions in Northern Ireland are running high, and this cannot fail to inflame things...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    In my experience, the cause of "the lights make it look funny" is less about the colour temperature (after all, you just get used to yellow sodium street lights after a while; I've enjoyed many films projected onto a pale...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    [...] There's next to no connection between a corp's market value and hard assets anymore.* [...] * E.g., Fracking outfits - everything is contracted, sub-contracted, and sub-sub-contracted out, close to zero assets yet very high market valuations. I don't this...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    [...] Those headline promises to make lots of stuff free and raise public sector wages, while renationalising everything, look somewhat dodgy on the arithmetic front... Minor pet peeve: if Labour proposed moving currency reserves from dollars to yen, this would...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    I think you're overstating the case quite a lot. There is plenty of evidence that diesel cars produce more harmful pollution than petrol cars. The Conversation, a news site written by researchers, has lots on the subject: try this, this,...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Argh. Despite preview, failed to notice unclosed <blockquote> tag. Admin, any chance of a fix? (please delete this comment either way)...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    I think that's a very odd thing to say. If the system is stupid preferences under it shouldn't matter full stop [...] Not at all. It's still a rigorously-conducted poll with a sample of 66.4% of the entire electorate. It...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    The three blades for a wind turbine thing was worked out over 80 years ago or so, more by accident and experiment than by empirical calculation. Basically more than 3 and they cause turbulence with each other, less than 3...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    [...] the English/Welsh Green Party (who weirdly never seem to get equal time with UKIP on the BBC news programs, Question Time, and so on — can't think why In the 2015 general election, UKIP got 12.6% of votes cast,...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    DO READ the article from Norfolk that Coarlie linked to? You're going to have to be more specific than that. I can't find any links Charlie's posted apart from the two in the post, neither of which relates to Norfolk....
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    I've seen (mainly elsewhere) a few comments to the effect of "having a large majority makes negotiating easier". As Alatriste notes, this is complete bollocks. Firstly, no other government cares about nuances of your domestic political situation (see: Cameron whining...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    IMO, civilian nuclear reactors are a fiction. The regulations, decommissioning, and incident insurance puts nuclear power out of reach of any non-state operation short of the kind of megacorp you get in cyberpunk fiction (and those are large enough to...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    [...] I expect we'll see the beginnings of a new age of city states. Not necessarily full independence and primacy for cities and the nation-states all gone. I mean more like a gradual weakening of central authority, in favor of...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    If we see the development of automated video editing software sufficient to alter lip movements [...] Already here....
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    The only alternative would be getting the Republic of Ireland to impose those controls on its own borders, i.e. to abandon the single market too, just because it suits the UK. That is what happened with Schengen - the RoI...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    True, but there's always car hire for holidays - I have several friends who don't own cars (they live in cities and walk/cycle/bus to work) but who hire a car if they're travelling at the weekend. It can be surprisingly...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    I rather like the look of the Renault Twizy: 1 or 2 seats, top speed 28 or 50 mph, 4 wheels, about £7000. For me, it'd be an extravagance rather than a necessity, so it'd have to take a 80%+...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    How about manually-aimed guns? Self-guided bullets exist in the lab and will be standard sniper issue within a decade. You can currently buy rifles with with technology reminiscent of a CounterStrike aimbot (it was too easy to detect cheaters whose...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    Compressed air is an awful energy storage medium because so much of the energy used in compressing it goes into heat. Air heats up if you compress it adiabatically. You can deal with this in two ways: store the heat,...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    It's the controller that can be hacked. Not the freezer. Into the future the controllers will be built into the freezers. Sure. But what does that accomplish? All the controller does is switch the freezer on or off, based on...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    Distributed generation and distributed storage are not really practical, in the current industry view. It's all about scale. Distributed generation, like micro-wind and micro-hydro, are fine for small communities with low-power interconnections to the rest of the grid, but as...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    As someone with a little background in smart grids and related tech, I'd like to weight in on the side of Matt at 281. A smart grid is totally different from the internet-of-things, connected-home, wifi-enabled-toaster tech which has been covered...
  • Commented on Upcoming appearances, Amsterdam, Seattle and Spokane
    Interestingly, the fabled A1 plate is apparently currently registered to an 8yo. SORN'd Mini Cooper. An investment, maybe? Still seems odd to own something like that and not drive around using it - after all, it's not like it'll depreciate....
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