Ian S

Ian S

  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Looking at the relatively low cost of launch that a big booster brings, I keep thinking of the commercial opportunities of JIT time delivery of high value, low weight items, anywhere on the planet. It wouldn't seem too complex to...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    > The hard left, specifically the Socialist Workers Party and some Communist splinters, are systematically anti-semitic, under cover of anti-zionism. Actually I'd kind of have to disagree with you there Charlie. The left are : Anti Israel - for the...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    > That's slower than orbital velocity Which means less energy/fuel needed. The question is journey time and forward bases. > Diego Garcia is 30km^2 Yeah, take a look at a map of it. It covers 174 km^2. Getting a spot...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    > Firstly, make that 45 minutes of flight time (a single low-pass orbit takes 90-odd minutes; to get anywhere in 20 minutes would require a forced constant-acceleration trajectory at >orbital velocity which is prohibitively expensive energetically). Well, I doubt they...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    OK, the first, biggest, and one that will probably pay for the development (the magic happens here slide of Elon's presentation) is not commercial, it's military. The payload and vertical landing capability of just the top payload part would be...
  • Commented on Evolver
    > What am I missing? I'd suggest, swarming. The ability for shared genetic inheritance to push for swarmed intelligence and predators. Throw in some real intelligence and you wouldn't want to come up against them on a dark night, no...
  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    The other factor is that in the real world we rarely get introduced slowly to a story or event, with all the setup ahead of time. Instead we tend to get thrown in the deep end and have to run...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    There's a main sequence to life - a progression that everyone is expected to be on, or at least aspire to. Most stay on it, but the interesting are those that hop off at some point - either through necessity,...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    > Human-made systems should be made robust against this sort of singleton glitchy event. It's extremely unlikely that it was a singleton event. History demonstrates that it's usually two or three unlikely events happening together, or in sequence, behind most...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    A question for the put upon masses. We all agree that time, space and isolation if you are trying to concentrate on something hard is key - and that managers seem not to know or care about that. But what...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    > How should we reconcile these so that engineers can produce, but managers can avoid the cats all heading in different directions? Easy. Speaking as an ex-cat herder, At the end of the day each engineer spends 5 mins producing...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    > The only time I've been in a "high performance workspace", meaning school-size desks and a 1.5m partition dividing developers from tech support Imagine what it's like being in an open plan office shared with marketing. Not even sales, who...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    It's not just writing or developing, it's any complex headspace task where you need to keep lots of balls juggling in your head. And then they put you in an open plan off "to promote interaction". It's almost as if...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    OK, if we are talking reality check, we have an existential threat to human civilisation as it currently stands which we know well enough to know where the tipping points roughly are, we have control of key actions, and we...
  • Commented on Reality is broken
    On the subject of future novels and directions, I do wonder if a somewhat optimistic near future genre is going to do well going forward. Reasoning is thus. Politics is a sh*tstorm of failure and lack of vision at the...
  • Commented on Reality is broken
    [ Hmm, deleting comments because they very tangentially mention b****t but really are talking about how UK government works, and leaving the discussions on russian military hardware - colour me unimpressed.] Anyway can I just reiterate - without mentioning the...
  • Commented on Mendel Acquisition Squares : A Game of Futures
    Surely it would be Google/NSA : We know EVERYTHING. Trading as BIGBRO Their missions are pretty much the same, and the google expertise in making sense of that bigdata would aid the NSA. Oh, and Apple/Ikea : Design first, no...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    There are two obvious questions that arise from this. The first is you can point to how our development path could have been knocked off track by various actions (eg the perfidious french actually winning) and how the dynamics of...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    Would you folks read an overt unselfconscious steampunk novel with my name on the spine? My problem with steampunk was always it was trying soooooooo hard to shoehorn Babbage and Victoriana into the plot. Real world would have always gone...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    .... that democratic process cannot cope with the reality of the One True Religion democratic process cannot cope with reality. - FTFY Find a solution to that one and you could do a lot of good in the world. This...
  • Commented on A plaintive request
    Google have used quantum computing to simulate the QM superimposition states of a hydrogen molecule H2 : http://www.tomshardware.com/news/quantum-computer-google-molecule-simulation,32278.html extend that into more complex atoms and molecules and things can get very interesting a variety of directions....
  • Commented on A plaintive request
    OK, it's firmly within the MSM, but Trump's trophy wife delivering one of the most blatant cases of plagiarism this side of 10 year old's school report, capping it off with the RickRoll : "He will never give up. And...
  • Commented on CASE NIGHTMARE BLOND
    Sir, I commend your speed in reacting to real world events and penning said short story including Boris. Unless that is you had this idea previously and allowed May to get wind of it .... in which case YOU ARE...
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    Can I just add in "Extinction by Lawyer" ? Genetic engineering comes up with a way of improving the human genome, or say the genome of wheat. But the lawyers for GMO conglomerate don't like the sound of anything that...
  • Commented on We'll all go together when we go
    Well, generally when things go really wrong, it's the product of two unlikely events, neither of which is massively destructive on its own, but combined they send things to hell in a handbasket. One of my favorite vectors for things...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    That's a fair degree of genius, except ... Having ownership of "Apple Australia" would give you ownership of the square root of sweet FA. The value is held in "Apple US", or more probably "Apple Caribbean Tax Haven" - so...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Well, it would be a great way of getting a PM in place that's NOT from either of the two main parties - something of a fall guy twinned with actually finding someone in parliament up to the task ahead....
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Here's a thought from the peanut seats. The tories have no sane, viable, candidates you could trust to run with scissors. The labour party is currently going through similar ructions of finding someone everyone could get behind. So why not...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    Problem is, as per usual, the tories have no good candidates. Gove has a horrible reputation, almost as bad as May. Boris is the only one with a hope of being a 'PM', rather than a caretaker, exactly when the...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    So Boris is NOT standing? It looks like the tories are going to go for Teresa May - oh hell....
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