Michael Cain

Michael Cain

  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (1)
    Has the Commission not already ruled that the UK can unilaterally revoke Article 50? The European Court of Justice has issued an opinion to that effect. That's where the question was going to be resolved anyway, so I don't think...
  • Commented on The Inevitable Brexit Thread (1)
    I'm an outsider without an appreciation for any of the real nuance, but for the last several months have been saying that I expect the politicians to bumble their way into a no-deal exit on the 29th. Everyone seems to...
  • Commented on Lessons learned: writing really long fiction
    What's weird about it is that using a geographical feature—a river! The Mississippi has had a profound effect on dividing things one way east and a different way west for a long time in the US. The first bridge across...
  • Commented on Lessons learned: writing really long fiction
    Indiana, 1897. The bill was written by an amateur mathematician. It didn't actually claim a specific value for pi*, it claimed to prove that it was possible to "square the circle", and that was used as justification for the state...
  • Commented on Deaths and Deadlines
    ...so in 2036 they take up a resolution demanding a new Constitutional Convention and the repeal of the 13th, 14th and 15th amendments... Perhaps not that soon, but not too many years after that, I can easily see a Convention...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    AFAIK, there's no automatic requirement to do random sample hand counts to verify the scanners are recording votes accurately. In the US, Colorado's audit process now includes hand-count checks pre-election, post-election, and on a random basis during the actual counting....
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    How do you expect the break-up to occur & along waht geographical &/or "racial" lines? Or are you expecting a "Red/Blue" split - which means something like the 3rd US Civil War? East-West, roughly down the center of the Great...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    In a SF context, I expect the biggest split in the US in the late 21st Century (especially if things get worse) to be... For reasons that require a book-length explanation, I expect the first big fissure to be right...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Given the USA's demographic trend towards being majority Spanish-speaking by 2100, I could only interpret refusal to consider admitting PR on linguistic grounds to be a sign of flagrant ethnosupremacism. Yep. I'm not saying multiple official languages can't be done,...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    I predict that statehood for Puerto Rico will stumble over the language problem. The executive branch there has two official languages, but operates predominantly in Spanish. The Commonwealth judicial system operates exclusively in Spanish. Members of the legislature are required...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Trees aren't the only participants when considering the impacts of climate change on where which plants live. I've spent almost my entire life on the edges of the North American steppes, where the trees and grasses slug it out for...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Exactly right -- institutional memory. I would only add that there are two sides to the senior bureaucracy -- the people over on the executive side just below the level of political appointees, and the permanent legislative staff. Note that...
  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    Remember that average diurnal temperatures vary with altitude.... A mile of altitude is a big temperature drop: it doesn't take many decades for the zone of forestation to climb or descend the sides of a valley. Indeed. The climate of...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    More than half the US population lives in urban areas, literally on top of each other in rented tenements and condominium flats. The US Census Bureau says ~70% of the US population lives in single-family houses. The large majority of...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    ...and North Dakota lost 50% of their House representation, that would be a horrible outcome for North Dakota. We took away half of Montana's House representation after the 1990 census. We are almost certainly going to take away half of...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    However, the number of U.S. House members is Constitutionally restricted to 435* Nope. The number of House members is Constitutionally limited to no more than one Representative per 30,000 people, with each state guaranteed at least one. That would be...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    Petition for statehood. Or Commonwealth status a la Puerto Rico. You'd have to be awfully desperate. But the US can, in theory, grant it almost immediately along with an agreement to work out the rest of the details later....
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Bought it the first day. Discipline lasted until this morning, when I decided to blow off the day's to-do list so I could finish it. Is there a pub somewhere there in Edinburgh where I can leave something along with...
  • Commented on The Labyrinth Index: sneak preview!
    To date I have not found Mhari a likeable character at all. But this excerpt may be enough to get me to buy the book anyway....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    When I try to game out the 21st century, it seems like we're in for a long stretch of just muddling through a series of problems: a financial system buried under debt; a rapid aging of the global population; keeping...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    There may be a flaw in your thinking - one could make the same argument about Conservative voters dying off. The thing is that people's political views do change during their lifetimes (broadly people become more conservative as they age)....
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Just so you know, Charlie, the thought of US charities loading food on ships to send to the UK has absolutely ruined my day....
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    With respect to stockpiling food... excepting people with certain medical problems, and assuming some ability to make hot/warm water, rice and beans provide all of the proper amino acids for proteins. Augmented with vegetables or multivitamins they can keep you...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    The main reason that we need nanometre fabs is to feed the bloatware; I believe you have to be well down into nanometers in order to produce the chips that implement digital signal processing for mobile telephony and high-speed data...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    During the mid-1990s, Signaling System No. 7, an international standard signaling protocol used by telephone switches to set up calls, was on the list of technology which US companies could not provide to Russia. The giant US telecom company I...
  • Commented on Test Case
    If I were representing any of the corporate interests in this, I would argue that liability rests solely on the human who chose to downgrade the quality of the software and then operated the vehicle in a for-hire fashion that...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Watching from elsewhere in the Western Interconnect, it seems clear that Sacremento's plan for future electricity supply is to import quite a lot more from outside the state. It makes sense on a couple of levels: clean supply for California,...
  • Commented on Upcoming Appearances
    Do you ever make audio or video from your readings available online? It's unlikely that I'll be in a place where I could see one live, but am interested in hearing the author's take on how the story should sound....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Both of those things are located well outside of the Rocky Mountains rain shadow... I'm always curious that so few writers include anything like the North American Monsoon (NAM), which from time to time, dumps 25 cm or more of...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Re automatic vs manual transmissions in the US... it has become quite common to hear a manual transmission referred to as "the most effective of all anti-theft systems"....
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