John Ohno

John Ohno

  • Commented on Sitrep
    I'd read the hell out of an eldrich magical girl story -- though that's actually a booming subgenre (with clear examples going back to the mid-90s and a boost in popularity responding to the success of Puella Magi Madoka Magica...
  • Commented on SF For Nothing, Stories For Free
    There's a community around high-quality short horror fiction, mostly on reddit, spawned from the need to provide new stories to be adapted to radio play for the horror fiction podcasts that started as creepypasta dramatic-readings. (The oldest and biggest is...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    Nakamoto is a standalone complex along the same lines as Luther Blisset or Monty Cantsin. Every action by Nakamoto has actually been taken by someone completely different, acting independently under the name, with no coordination. The Nakamoto moniker in the...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I disagree with the idea that PKD, Vonnegut, and particularly Bester "didn't care" about internal consistency. Their divergences from internal consistency seemed largely intentional. Also, this doesn't merely manifest in hard SF in the sense of doing the physics. Those...
  • Commented on Empire Games Black Friday promo (UK only)
    It surprises me a little that the UK participates in black friday (since as far as I know it's defined as the day after (american) thanksgiving). I guess I shouldn't be so surprised -- it's really geared toward christmas shopping...
  • Commented on Burn The Programmer!
    I love the HEXEN tarot but I think it benefits at least as much from its focus on the history of utopian movements & the military industrial complex as it does from the tech element. For those not in the...
  • Commented on Burn The Programmer!
    I attribute the prevalance of occult metaphors in computing to the historical overlap between engineers working on the fringes of new tech and actual occultists, particularly during the twentieth century. Lots of discordians are also chaotes, and to the extent...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Consider Freeman Dyson's suggestion that trees can be genetically engineered to be fast growing and store more carbon than usual in their trunks, in order to suck up ambient CO2. This on the face of it doesn't seem too absurd,...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    Somehow, everybody missed the most obvious example of this technique being used to make money hand over fist in the tech industry: "Nobody gets fired for buying IBM". The FUD sales technique is basically: imply (but do not state) the...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    Why are we not airgapping these networks? Is this a matter of imaging machines really needing to be able to push data to the front desk, or is this a matter of front desk operators being pissed off if they...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    The use of 'punk' as an insult is pre-dated by its use as both slang for semen and jargon for one of the waste products of metal smelting. At certain points in the mid 20th century 'punk' was equivalent to...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    So, a big part of first-generation cyberpunk that bled into early steampunk (as well as dieselpunk) & may apply to other *punk genres is not merely that the characters have agency outside of some existing political structure but that their...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Ideograms seriously front-load the learning curve, which makes the idea of english becoming a fully ideographic language unlikely: ideographic languages work best when either a small elite is literate or where there's a heavy cultural emphasis on literacy, neither of...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    As soon as the industry comes to its senses, those of us in your position will be the only ones with software engineering jobs. It's cheaper to do it right the first time than to pay somebody $30 an hour...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Not understanding pointers doesn't make you a mediocre programmer, because if you don't get pointers you haven't even reached an elementary stage of knowing how to code. Software engineers don't start becoming an asset instead of a liability until they...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Knowing your limits and making an effort to be safe & write clean code is, essentially, being a good programmer. Going whole-hog into complicated technical tricks without needing to is the mark of an amateur. When I say "mediocre programmer",...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Getting a CS degree is harder than getting some other kinds of degrees (and because of inflated wages and PR, CS degree programs attract lots of people incapable of completing them), but getting a CS degree is a great deal...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    It's more complicated than that. 1) Mediocre programmers can only be distinguished from good programmers by good programmers. (Degrees and certifications are next to useless when it comes to determining competence beyond a very low level.) Because even mediocre programmers...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    In the longer term (say, 25 years from now), all signs point to Vernor Vinge's concept of the "software archaeologist" to be justified: new code will need to operate with massive substrata of old broken code at a scale where...
  • Commented on I can't keep up
    With regard to the spell, a small but loud group of Trump supporters believe they put him in office with chaos magick -- it makes sense to fight fire with fire (even if, as many practitioners believe, magic even when...
  • Commented on Eleven Tweets
    I'm going to take this opportunity to act in character as local Project Xanadu fanboy and recommend a transcopyright-style remix-centric micropayment architecture over a straight view-style micropayment architecture: you can see an article for free, but quoting it costs some...
  • Commented on Playtime is over
    There's a pretty big difference between "not a coincidence" and "centrally planned". Just as it's neither coincidence nor conspiracy that the rich get richer & the poor pay more for things, there are some systematic effects at work here encouraging...
  • Commented on The Day After
    It's important to note that Trump himself doesn't really have political positions, and doesn't seem to have the ability to be goaded into acting in accordance with anybody. He's unlikely to get a second term, and he's not a professional...
  • Commented on Just plain icky
    I could see group selection producing an age-related self-destruct, if groups are all related & share resources. As soon as grandparents continuing to live ceases to be enough of a reproductive boon to justify the food & space given them,...
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    I certainly identify with this. I'm nearly thirty. Whenever I only shallowly examine myself, I feel like my internal state hasn't changed since I was fifteen. Now, upon looking deeper, it becomes clear to me that I've gone through at...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    How about Paul Linebarger? The son of an ambassador to China, who sent him to the USSR for a few years in order to disabuse him of a youthful interest in communism, Linebarger trained as a psychologist before literally writing...
  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    The Unnoticables does a great job with its opening -- a scene from the perspective of an unknown character becoming something no longer human. Of course, it's hard to say that this is properly in medias res since the book...
  • Commented on Writer, Interrupted
    I wonder how & to what degree being an ex-programmer influences fiction-writing workflow. OGH's fiction is very "engineered" in style: lots of moving parts interacting in complex ways, & lots of very precise depictions of these interactions -- in other...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    There's an antidote to reality sliding uncomfortably close to your fiction: stop being concerned with making sure the economics, politics, and physics in your fiction are realistic. This would, necessarily, alienate your core readership. You made sure your novel about...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    When it comes to Thinking Fast & Slow & similar books, I prefer Intuition Pumps to the rest. The insight density is very high. (Pretty much the only section whose content was already familiar to me is the bit where...
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