David Wallace

David Wallace

  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    I have no idea what you mean....
  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    Given the philosophy-of-mind assumptions required to make simulation possible, aren't p-zombies a conceptual impossibility? (That is: it's possible to suppose that simply simulating a person's complete set of functional and behavioural dispositions isn't enough to make them conscious, so that...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    Newtonian mechanics *as developed by Newton* was very geometric. I can see a reasonable chunk of it being sustainable even without writing, provided diagrams are allowed. Things would stall out when you start running into more detailed, post-Newton calculation and...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Yes: it's exactly the violation of Bell's inequality that I had in mind. (It's not a problem in the many-worlds interpretation, but Bell was Not A Fan of that approach.)...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    On FTL: I think people are overstating the case when they object to FTL that doesn't include time travel. Look: FTL plus special-relativistic spacetime does imply time travel. So yes, given current physics, FTL and no time travel is impossible....
  • Commented on 21st Century: a complaint
    The reboot of that early-1980s spin-off about the British Labour party is stylishly done but I'm not sure it really adds anything to the original, and the casting of the villains is weak. (Margaret Thatcher might have been implausible as...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    Technologically, I'd have thought that there's a nice simple solution to the security problem: install a remote-controlled bomb somewhere on the plane inaccessible to passengers and crew and give the detonation code to the air defence authorities of the countries...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    In the first Merchant Prince trilogy, is it possible to deduce who MYRIAD is, or is that a teaser left for a future book?...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    Only NOW, sorry... Blame IOS autocorrect....
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    It's interesting that FTL is only one coming to seem implausible in SF. It's not as if anything in particular has changed in the last 70 years in our understanding of FTL - it's always been in pretty strong tension...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Forced reprogramming and/or elimination is an inappropriate response to home visits by Jehovah's witnesses. Correlation is not causation: being informed that "the End Times are Nigh" is NOT, in itself, adequate evidence of an actionable security breach....
  • Commented on A message from our sponsors
    Hang on, that's not what Turing is saying. His "objection" is that something might count as thinking even if it doesn't pass the TT, so if a machine can't pass the TT, it might still be thinking. And then he's...
  • Commented on Commercial announcement
    Do we get to find out who MYRIAD is? (Or should we know already? I've had a suspicion since first reading Revolution Business that I ought to be able to work it out.)...
  • Commented on Spook Century
    The Merchant Princes novels feature inheritable nanotechnology that permits passage between parallel Universes. I think that gives you a reasonable degree of isolation from plausible near-future developments. (Or at least: if it doesn't, being overtaken by reality probably won't be...
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