Alex Tolley

Alex Tolley

  • Commented on The ends of education
    Without wading through the 400+ comments, I apologize if this has been said before. When I was at uni, in the early to mid-1970s, the grants that were provided previously were cut back. I think it was Thatcher's admin that...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    Then why did a dowser not claim a specific effect, e.g. Heteromeles suggestion of depth of water, and have the Randi Foundation test that? If it was real, that is a neat $1 million to take home. A water depth...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    Whatever acupuncture is, there is a real analgesia effect as demonstrated that pain relief is blocked by administering the opioid blocker, naloxone. Whether the various insertion points are real or not, and whether the explanation for its mechanism real or...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    When the dowser cannot detect what was claimed, then it shows that dowsing is not real. Similarly, if multiple dowsers show just a random selection of the target, then we can be fairly certain there is no effect. If dowsing...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    The Sedona vortices seem to be harmless, so it's a fun little set of excursions to walk around the desert, stepping into circles of pebbles to see if you feel anything or not. And this seems ripe for a controlled...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    How does synesthesia fit into your social model of qualia?...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    We are right at the cusp (cosmically speaking) of sending probes to the stars as well as imaging planets at a resolution to detect ETI. ETI may be extremely rare, (or we are unique in our space-time cone) to explain...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    But do they have sandstorms where they go naked?...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    The current SCOTUS is overturning precedent and accepted law using illogic and false narratives. IMO, it is little different from judges in Nazi Germany adjudicating based on what the Fuhrer wanted, not established law. They have flexed their legal muscles...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    Not so different from the age-old game of telling a story with a group of people who extend the previous person's addition to the story. The novelty comes from each person's decision on how to extend the story....
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    I think Pohl & Kornbluth solved that one by making the robots consumers in their upside-down consumer world....
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    Your brain is not "paused" during sleep. There are certain periods with no obvious consciousness, but dreaming is another state of consciousness. Your brain continues to run as EEGs clearly show. Pausing a simulation would be pausing the simulation, a...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    It seems most of this discussion assumes a binary full upload (sans peripheral NS) or nothing. But what if the various parts of the brain can be isolated (and fed appropriate stimuli)? This may be like isolating particular cognitive and...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    "The recent revelation" - only to the ignorant & uninformed, actually. When and how did you know that the monarchy could change laws before they were to be voted on? Clearly you had knowledge that journalists are only now reporting...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    There is some value in making the Royals titular rather than constitutional monarchs. The recent revelation that the monarch gets to see legislation before it is enacted to make changes that would otherwise affect the monarch would be ended, making...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    IIRC, British manufacturing had been in decline even before I was born in the 1950s. The 1960s saw successive devaluations of the pound but this did not translate into improved exports. By the 1970s Britain was "the sick man of...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    OT: "My only interaction with the royal family ever was to walk across a stage during a graduation ceremony attended by a bored minor royal--the patron of the university I attended." Being a decade older than Charlie, my graduation ceremony...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    Why the fixation on such 20th century delivery technologies like syringes? There will be other physical delivery devices, although I think biological ones will be far more developed by then. I think Bruce Sterling had it more right in his...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Yes, I have read Halting State. And yes, I have forgotten the plot. When I was young I could read the first page of any story and know whether I had read it or not. Now I cannot. A literate...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Having had a fair bit of experience with those drivers in the 1980s US, I have mixed feelings. Some were very good. Others no better than decent NY cab drivers. But none were as poor as those NY cabbies that...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    I think we can agree that a remote driver cannot rape the passenger. IIRC, aircraft passengers did not want to fly in pilotless aircraft as they wanted to know that a pilot would do everything they could to save the...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Vaccines are very cheap and almost everyone can be given one, even if, as with seasonal flu, it has to be repeated every year. The problem with drugs is that they tend to be relatively expensive unless governments make them...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Silly Valley seems to prefer self-driving to call centers full of chauffeurs piloting vehicles remotely (even though that might be more achievable in these days of cars that come with always-on onboard LTE/4G modems for their computers). While that seems...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    I tend to agree in general. Previous plagues didn't obviously seem to change much. (I suspect my handwashing will be permanently better than before though!) But some things will change, we just don't know what. I suspect this has increased...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    Deciding when to story must be influenced on one's scenarios of teh future. OGH once opined about the "beige politicians" that would extend out into teh future, which I assume implied he thought our social and political systems would be...
  • Commented on Yet another novel I will no longer write
    And you thought that writing near future SciFi was the way to go. Pushing a story out a generation or two, and further solves this near future catching up problem even if it looks quaint when that future date arrives....
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    As if the misogynistic bro culture of SV wasn't bad enough without biased AI....
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    While OGH is taking the tack that AI is a potential serious problem and that many of the commenters are dittoing that viewpoint, I would take the opposite view. Humans and their organizations have been biased and unaccountable for a...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    In "The Collected Stories...", Clarke states that the story was inspired by the development of the V2. He further says that the 2 main characters were based on von Braun and Dornberger....
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    The #MeToo movement has started to make some real impact, cutting into teh patriarchal system with all the ramifications for the future. Assuming it doesn't flame out or end up un gutted in a backlash, I think this bodes well...
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