Dan H.

Dan H.

  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    He's being too optimistic about governments and a cashless society, and that is paradoxically a cause for hope. To understand why, you have to work out first what happens when a population cannot escape taxation by a state. Answer: the...
  • Commented on GDPR compliance notice
    Well done sir, for producing probably the best-written and least tedious GDPR disclaimer I have yet seen, and I have had to complete the standard GDPR and Personal Information Handling course where I work. I prefer yours; easier to understand...
  • Commented on Not dead but dreaming
    I dare say this has already happened. You *did* read our gracious host's introduction about the Green family, didn't you?...
  • Commented on Test Case
    Corporate manslaughter caused by a malfunctioning machine. This sort of law is fairly well worked out; the machine is supposed to avoid deaths, and it failed in this objective. The corporation is thus guilty of corporate manslaughter, and the only...
  • Commented on Test Case
    As a budding scientist many, many years ago I was always taught that when building a hypothesis, I should state my assumptions. In this case, you are assuming that cars can be driven by a human, or driven by a...
  • Commented on Solarpunk rising, or how to turn boring bureaucratic meetings into creative fodder
    Set up solar turbines. What you do is set up a large area of greenhouse, with open sides and a huge chimney in the middle. Colour the ground black, with some sort of heat-absorbing system and pump sea water through...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    Satoshi Nakomoto is in fact a small group of Discordian hackers who, not satisfied with the efforts of the KLF, intended to have another crack at getting the Discordian alchemagical system to work in real life. Unfortunately they have misplaced...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    The great attraction of ammonia (NH3) is that you can contain it in a fairly similar spec of tank to that which is already used for Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG). Due to some work done at Leeds University, a catalyst...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    If memory serves, biology uses left-handed amino acids and right-handed sugars. Chemically identical sugars that are left-handed fit our sensors for what a sugar should taste like, but don't fit amylase enzymes so cannot easily be metabolised. Sweetness of a...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Not relying on one single clone of potato plant which was completely vulnerable to a few strains of potato blight, and not having a population that had grown to the point that it was living year to year would be...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Amino acids come in chiral forms, left-handed and right-handed (chemistry structural nomenclature here). Earthly organisms only use the left-handed forms, despite the right-handed ones being chemically (but not structurally) identical. Indeed, a few antibiotics are right-handed versions of amino acids....
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    Any time spammers are screaming that something's a sure-fire money-spinner, that's the time to be getting out of it. Gold is only really a refuge for small amounts of capital; it will never become a currency again (and barely qualifies...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    Unfortunately, most of the studies on human sexuality tend to be more on the lines of "Just so" stories rather than proper trials as such. My training in science was a PhD on sex pheromones in a plant parasitic nematode,...
  • Commented on A bright and shiny hell
    A lot of these sorts of statistics regarding human sperm counts are, to my mind as a biological scientist, of somewhat dubious nature. If we start with what we do know of vertebrate sexual behaviour and work over to humans...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    To clarify what I said (and not what you read into the statement), the implied austerity in the UK at the moment basically isn't austerity as usually defined. State funding of things isn't decreasing. What is decreasing is the rate...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    A slight correction from we lunatic proto-simians on the right of politics is possibly in order, on the term "Austerity". "Austerity" is a decrease in State spending. Since the state has no money of its own, it can only spend...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Seeing as this is a Friday afternoon and I'm feeling downright contrary, I'm going to wilfully misunderstand what I assume the main thrust of your argument to be. So, if we look at the long-term record of Earth's climate for...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    A fair number of the climate change theories have needed rigorous testing, and this has to include rigorous code reviews of the computer code used to make the predictions. Unlike pretty much everyone else concerning the University of East Anglia...
  • Commented on Unwanted Blogging Vacation
    Unfortunately, I know what you must be feeling. My father died about a year and a half ago. A minor infection in the end that was just that little bit too much. So, for the next little while every so...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    Looking at the fire risk from cladding problem, it strikes me that the easiest way to solve this is to do a couple of things: Firstly, set a policy that in the event of a fire alarm, tower blocks are...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    Corbyn may be a huge vote winner amongst the youngest voters (i.e. those who cannot remember the incredible damage a high-tax hard-core Socialist government can inflict), but his economic policies are completely barking mad, and on a par with his...
  • Commented on Catching Up
    In my view, the major mistake made in the campaign was May not agreeing to a direct head-to-head debate with Corbyn. In amongst his many faults, Corbyn is a man who speaking in a long-winded and rambling manner, which on...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    It would be quite interesting to know at what point our ancestors developed distinct white eye irises, since this then makes direction of gaze obvious. This is almost unique to humans, and the ability to follow direction of gaze is...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    The other things to remember when dealing with horses is that horse fodder isn't all the same. Horses do best when fed large amounts of low-grade fodder such as hay. However, if you want peak performance out of horses, you...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    Pictures from certain urbex sites seem to indicate that the bunker has been demolished, albeit at great expense and with great difficulty given the amount of reinforcing material in the concrete. Certainly recent aerial photos from Google show no trace...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    I've always thought that Niven's Protector species sound like an elegantly engineered bio-weapon. They are hardwired in such a way that they are always going to be at war, and are almost never going to unite unless there is a...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Nightmare Stacks
    With regards human self-domestication, I would contend that this is a natural consequence of our having intelligence. Domestication is generally an increase in agreeableness and a decrease in aggressiveness and irritability, and one good driver of this is intelligence driving...
  • Commented on The sudden eruption of news
    Speaking from my safe seat in New Crobuzon, I can see something like this being brought in. "No taxation without representation" to be complemented with "No representation without taxation". Basically, this is a bloody stupid idea and tellingly is an...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    All of this tends to fail if you have a property like mine. I live in a terraced house that is over 150 years old. It is made of local sandstone, which is a fairly good shield against microwave radiation,...
  • Commented on Placeholder? Placeholder!
    Certainly a number of criminals have worked out how to obtain industrial amounts of these illegal drugs, in a way not easily stopped by Customs and the police. The only real question is how this is accomplished. Possibilities include chemically...
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