Justin Boden

Justin Boden

  • Commented on Evolver
    The point that plants don't seem interesting is, I think, kindof the point. The biota we live amongst is weird, but we're used to it so we call it normal. We think of fungus as just plants, because plants are...
  • Commented on Evolver
    One more thing, as I still make this mistake a lot. The surviving creatures in evolution are the lucky ones with the "right" adaptions when the environment changes, and then live long enough to reproduce. Creatures don't adapt after the...
  • Commented on Mendel Acquisition Squares : A Game of Futures
    Is anyone listening to Benjamin Walker's podcast Theory of Everything? He runs a loose series of Borgesian dialogues with "special correspondent Chris", the latest of which concerns Trump's secret plans for ISIS (hint: they involve The Apprentice). There's an older...
  • Commented on Nightmare Stacks competition results ...
    Congrats to Susan: a deserved win....
  • Commented on Today is officially cancelled
    I was thinking of something you wrote, many months ago, about Iain Banks, and the fact that you would much rather have the man alive again, just to spend a few more moments with him, than have the library of...
  • Commented on The paranoid style in 2016
    And of course male millennial bloggers will stridently defend their feminist credentials...and be strong Bernie supporters anyway Because Hillary. Is there really any mystery there, though? Millennials became politically aware about the time the towers were falling: everything that happened...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    You're definitely speaking to a gap in my knowledge, here. Caral looks fairly flat in comparison to Giza – is that weathering? Wikipedia tells me they were being built at the same time as Giza, but were they always as...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    How possible is it to build the Great Pyramids of Giza with this set-up? The methods in terms of craft are certainly possible. Using sand for grit and a copper saw it is possible to cut blocks of limestone and...
  • Commented on Clickbait spasm: 14 gizmos I used in 2015
    My gizmo of the year is the Moto G 3rd Gen. I bought it because it was the cheapest phone on the market that still stands up well against the high-end models, and I wanted to break out of the...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    News to me! I thought us Australians were all meant to be ashamed of that class of subs. Curious if you have further info. Not skeptical, honestly I just tend to avoid all knowledge of military hardware. Mostly because I...
  • Commented on Bombing Syria Considered Stupid
    Thanks for the quick response. I personally find that motivation difficult to fathom. Which I don't say to mean I doubt your explanation, so much as it boggles my mind that Turkey would back such an ill-conceived hedge. There are...
  • Commented on Bombing Syria Considered Stupid
    As someone who is not well versed in this conflict, what does Turkey want in all this? They have seemingly distanced themselves from Assad in recent years, and want him to fall, but aren't interested in alienating Assad's allies by...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: Madeline Ashby
    You're shifting the goalposts on your own claim. And even in shifting them, you're not capturing the reality of the situation. At this point, I'm honestly begging you to consider that 'the British only respected those who gave them a...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: Madeline Ashby
    That's not true. The British were never blind to the ethics of their empire building, and we have smoking-gun evidence that they directed their governors in Australia to treat Aboriginal and TSI peoples with legitimacy. It was never a simple...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: Madeline Ashby
    "I assume that's like right-wing, white-supremey types in the US calling themselves Native Americans without a hint of irony?" Slightly worse than that. There was a point in time, in the 19th C, where the British were telling the Australian...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: Madeline Ashby
    I stumbled across that post as well, and had it in mind when I went to witness and counter-protest the Reclaim Australia rally (a.k.a. the fledgling Australian Golden Dawn movement). When your ideological opponents are quoting anti-Semites and, quite literally,...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    On the matter of scientific notation, I think Bill Bryson has the idea of it when he points out that it's not great for readers who are unused to the notation. Though I salute the principle, it remains an amazement...
  • Commented on 21st Century: a complaint
    Fairly sure CatinaDiamond has heavily hinted at, if not explicitly stated, that she is a woman. But even if she didn't I'm fairly certain that Charlie would prefer to ban your assumption that a random poster would take male pronouns...
  • Commented on 21st Century: a complaint
    I think you're being unfair to the program, there. For the past fifty or so seasons the show has done its best to portray the sort of positivists that spout that crap as a gaggle of pseudo-religious freaks who imprinted...
  • Commented on It could be worse
    That per-capita figure doesn't tell you much with China's wealth disparity, though. With a ballpark figure of maybe around 10% of the population living in poverty, and slowing economic growth, it seems optimistic to imagine that even 80% of the...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    I hope that plot element didn't come across as intimidation, because it wasn't meant as such. I imagine cats that exist inside diamonds are impervious to garden shears, anyway. You are on the forum of a sci-fi author. I thought...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    That's a legitimate reading, sure, but it's inconsistent with the logic that is set out by the film. If we're going into fantasy counter readings, we have to ask how Sandra got to the station to get her space-embryo scene...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    And here I thought Kepler predated Sputnik. I meant human space-exploration, where getting to Mars and back is currently a fairly silly exercice when probes can get the data for fewer resources....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Things on the fringe of science - space exploration, cold fusion, self-lacing shoes – hold a special place in the imagination which can't be dislodged by mere reality. Optimists generally will have their views, but the particular futurist sort will...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    I noticed the Who episode. And I've heard JFK. I sometimes post things like 'We must do the dishes, in this decade, and do the other things,' but no one gets the reference. It is an ancient desire, but not...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    I know Charlie doesn't watch films, but the ending of Gravity gives you a hint about how the wide-eyed Futurists will feel in the event of the Kessler syndrome. Spoilers, here, but I imagine anyone who was going to see...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    Before accusing people of being small-minded, note that Charlie asked you to imagine you were a historian of the 30th C. That is, those people who regularly concern themselves with the long-solved problems of the distant past. Who cares? They...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    Instead think of the years 0 - 600 CE, you get the idea. If you ask historians about the major trends during that period, they would create a narrative that "explains" the fall - it's too big an event to...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    You were the one suggesting atheists would perform gene therapy on people, so, I don't know. Whatever your point was, it's not very clear....
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    Alternatively: "There were a group of atheist fundamentalists in the late 21st Century who attempted to 'eradicate religion' by means of enforced, non-consenting gene therapy on their unsuspecting targets. Their actions were recognised at the time as a gross violation...
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