notsam

notsam

  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    "2. Israel ceases all funds to UN agencies as punishment. No immediate change, but the effectiveness of a lot of agencies such as the WHO is hobbled. " Yeah no. Israel is a relatively modest contributor to the UN budget...
  • Commented on Evolver
    "...an extended stone age tool maker more than a few million years ago looks dubious; stone knives and spear points are hard to mistake for anything else and they last a very long time." I'd disagree with that, million year...
  • Commented on Evolver
    You don't have to be big to be a sophisticated civilisation and you don't need coal either. Take the Khemr and the Mayans as examples, both highly populated, complex social structures, impressive agriculture and some sciences. They both disappeared practically...
  • Commented on Evolver
    Its hard to get good numbers - I did a quick search and found a slate article from 2009 ( http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/explainer/2009/08/bone_dry.html ) Which claims 3,000 'full' dinosaur specimens in US museums and 'triple' that number uncollected world wide. Call it...
  • Commented on Evolver
    The bit it kept cutting out was that closer than 1000 AU the influence on Kuiper belt objects is significant...
  • Commented on Evolver
    ... it cut off the important line; "There is even a 1/10,000 chance of the star penetrating into the region (d < 1,000 AU) where the influence of the passing star on Kuiper belt objects is significant" [[ Note: if...
  • Commented on Evolver
    Yhere's more on the wikipedia page for Gliese 710 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gliese_710 "Bobylev estimates that it will pass within 0.311 ± 0.167 pc (1.014 ± 0.545 light years) of the Sun.[5] There is even a 1/10,000 chance of the star penetrating into...
  • Commented on Evolver
    Not an expert but Oort cloud destabilisation seems a likely pick. For a real doomsday scenario something that perturbs planetary orbits could be fun - how likely that is I'm not sure anyone has a good answer....
  • Commented on Evolver
    Which is why I went with 'near industrial' :) Obviously the bigger and the more advanced the posited civilisation the less likely it is but my main point was to echo your comments about the deep future into the deep...
  • Commented on Evolver
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_nearest_stars_and_brown_dwarfs#Future_and_past of note: "Ross 248... in about 31,000 years it may be the closest star to the Sun for several millennia, with a minimum distance of 0.927 parsecs (3.02 light-years) in 36,000 years. Gliese 445... in about 40,000 years it...
  • Commented on Evolver
    "We've got no idea how common our combination of verbal skills and dexterous manipulators might be. It's happened exactly once in Earth's history and it's not immediately obvious how likely it is to happen at all." Actually we don't know...
  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    @55 Wooding opens Retribution Falls with a deal gone bad and a gunfight (in fact he might open every book in that series IMR but I'd have to check to be sure). And when I saw you mention him it...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    "consider the likelihood of the US getting into another war while she is president." Not sure that's worth considering when it comes to US presidents, whoever you elect is going to get into a war if not several. Everyone thought...
  • Commented on "Tomorrow belongs to me"
    Might be worth keeping in mind that "Floating currency will adjust to external shocks" is financial code for "we're going to take a bunch of money from anyone with GBP savings and anyone on GBP wages and use it to...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    The figurative 'last war', the WWIII everyone was sure was going to be fought over Germany with tanks and jet fighters and long range bombers. Tom Clancy's basic fetish material. Its been a good four decades since the last real...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    It sometimes seems as if the designers of the F35 took as the primary objective making the ur-example of the expensive high tech school of warfare. Setting aside the debate as to whether they can technically perform as intended it...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    Oh I'm well aware but it was a thing in the right wing press for a while and to me gets at the essence of a certain faction of anti-EU thinking; paranoid, misguided and more often than not flat out...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    I'm sure others can answer better than I but my guess would be that the Brexit types know with utter certainty that the Greeks are a bunch of shiftless layabouts who deserved everything they got and probably a good kicking...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    A once powerful nation reduced to a shadow of glory now ruled by paranoid right wingers convinced they're being held back by foreign conspiracies and internal quislings... are you sure Ireland is the British Isles parallel to Poland? ;)...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    Aside from Hungary there's some nasty politics in Poland too. My suspicion is that the horrors of the 20th century have, for now at least, put W Europe off dictators and strong men....
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    "An Exited UK better not hope for closer ties in the commonwealth to make up for deficits, they would be overestimating warm feelings for the Mother Country." The UK made a choice between the Commonwealth and the EU years ago...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    Some thoughts in no particular order and no doubt full of holes 0. I don’t like the wax recordings, to me that’s just writing for a machine to read and if I was an insane no writhing god it’d be...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    How about aboriginal song lines?...
  • Commented on Clickbait spasm: 14 gizmos I used in 2015
    "...World Heritage Site status; this is applied for at a national level (I think) but managed by the United Nations." UNESCO keeps the list 'management' is mostly done at state level (unless you're talking about 'management' of delegates with gifts...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    SO wildly popular series in which the main character is an archer and the details of archery are unimportant, that's more or less what I expected. I think there's a market for carefully researched works but I don't think that...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    As an additional thought OGH being who he is no doubt biases the audience here toward the SF crowd who want the detail and explanation (and I might mischievously suggest sometimes struggle to empathise with those who don't weight those...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Oh I think I more or less agree with you, its just that I think we need some perspective when we're getting into 100 odd posts on the relative effectiveness of archery against plate in the 100 years war. Once...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    "So, yeah, it is important." While I appreciate the sentiment we should probably keep things in perspective. You care about sticky bow wax and the draw and so on because you know about archery. But the author could string together...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    "Given that states prioritise military spending over many other things" I don't think that's true at all, military spending is usually a fairly small proportion of modern budgets (even in the US its been tending between 15 and 20%). It'd...
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Its been a few years since I've looked at Islamic finance and even that was fairly superficial but I would suspect two things. One, funds under management are tiny (relative to total financial products) so fast growth only requires fairly...
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