voidampersand

voidampersand

  • Commented on Make Up a Guy
    Oh yes, Dr. Leveson. From the OP: "What I, personally, like to do is start from some interesting fictitious premise, a new technology, perhaps, and explore the possibilities which spin out of that premise." Leveson's career has been on exploring...
  • Commented on WTF
    There are multiple possible scenarios for the Anthropocene. The worst case is if current trends continue, the Anthropocene is just the name for the end-Holocene extinction, if any new intelligent species or alien visitors manage to find our records. The...
  • Commented on WTF
    The idea, that there is a difference between enjoying fantasy and believing it, sounds very Calvinist to me. Enjoyment and belief must be strictly separated. Meanwhile, people go on believing all kinds of things, sometimes because they think it is...
  • Commented on WTF
    Joseph Smith was one of the early great American fantasy writers. He had a real talent for it. Unfortunately, the publishing markets for fantasy didn't really exist yet. It's funny as hell when science fiction fans criticize religions on the...
  • Commented on Strong and Stable!
    There was a Marshall Plan in the US. Look at LBJ's Great Society programs. LBJ also built up NASA centers in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Florida, and Virginia. There was an implicit deal, prosperity in exchange for ending race and...
  • Commented on Strong and Stable!
    If you make the Great Ship big enough, you don't need any of this silly sailing in and out of ports. Just load the containers onto the Shanghai end, and offload them at the other end in Long Beach....
  • Commented on Strong and Stable!
    The last time I wore a tie at work, it was to interview John Draper for a job position. His resume said he was allergic to ties. Challenge accepted! I asked my boss if I could borrow his tie for...
  • Commented on Strong and Stable!
    I stayed at a hotel in Newcastle that had two street level entrances. One on the 1st floor on the river side, the other on the 6th floor on the town side. It was not an off-by-one error. It was...
  • Commented on Strong and Stable!
    The San José Mercury News reported Rishi Sunak showed his charm and leadership potential at Stanford. It is every bit as dismaying as the title indicates. I think I need to go read the issue of FTT #1 that I...
  • Commented on I can't even
    What do you mean here? I was responding to some red herrings describing the US election system as magical thinking and comparing it to the recent fake referendums in Russian-occupied Ukrainian territory. They seemed to be missing the basic concept...
  • Commented on I can't even
    So, you seem to be saying that the only way to ensure that elections are free and fair is to have them controlled by people who are not elected? What does that say about the value of elections?...
  • Commented on Crimes against Transhumanity
    It looks like it is reasonably straightforward to get Paxlovid, if you need it, when you are visiting the US. If you test positive for COVID-19 you can go to a Test-to-Treat​ site. There are four Test-to-Treat sites within one...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    Speaking of post WW I flying adventures, Melissa Scott & Jo Graham wrote a wonderful series, The Order of the Air, about former WW I pilots who became a found family. It is an unconventional group. They are all marginalized...
  • Commented on Abolish the monarchy!
    The United Kingdom gets by just fine without a written Constitution. It could have a Crown without a royal family. I'm surprised nobody has posted this idea yet: With modern technology, the royal duties could be performed by citizens who...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    The medieval church provided many services that nowadays are done by government. A lot of essential clerical work was done by, well, clerics. The church built the first universities. Religious orders did charity work. Also before there was anything like...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    I was riding in the passenger seat with a local priest driving his VW Beetle. As we neared his church, a dog ran out on my side and hit the car. There was a loud thunk. The priest stopped the...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    A bit late to the topic, but I wanted to say that both Jobs and Musk had millions when they went into their key leadership roles. Jobs in his comeback at Apple, and Musk at Tesla. But they only became...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    Too bad mask wearing got framed as an act of fear, rather than an act of politeness. It is the culture war, with a side-helping of blaming the messenger. Don't fight the virus. Fight the doctors and scientists and liberal...
  • Commented on Holding pattern 2022 ...
    I would have enjoyed being in your class. I was lucky to have some great teachers, along with the not so great. The better ones tended to have a system, not all the same, but process-oriented with clear goals. The...
  • Commented on Bad news day
    The Minds in Banks' Culture would never say they were smarter than you. Truly smart beings don't need to go on about how smart they are. Similarly, anyone going up against the Culture was well and truly fucked, but what...
  • Commented on Quantum of Nightmares: spoiler time!
    Night Pharaoh sounds like an ancient Egyptian version of Night Court. Fantastic....
  • Commented on Omicron
    For how to deal with exceptions in C++, there is a website Exception-Safe Coding in C++. It has videos and handouts. This is the best place to start. David Abrahams wrote a paper, Exception-Safety in Generic Components. It is a...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    I can see some people -- the French in particular -- getting very uneasy about it. With Czechoslovakia and the UK as precedent, France could devolve into 18 autonomous European republics, maintaining cultural ties with each other as a French...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Dead Lies Dreaming
    For example, as someone who flew into Denver every year, it was a pleasure to discover that British Airways do a direct flight from LHR. So I then fixed up a train to London from Manchester, and got the office...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Labyrinth Index
    Maybe Peter's family name is actually Russell-Wilson or Wilson-Russell? N.B. There is a Russell Wilson who is a popular sports ball player in the US....
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    April Fools has not been canceled. Due to COVID restrictions, it has been moved to December 15, 2021. Or April 258, 2021, if you prefer to think of it that way....
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    The continuum idea is that you deploy lawyers and bodyguards first, and only get into the serious small arms usage in places where those are inadequate. Send lawyers guns and money, in that order....
  • Commented on A Quick Infomercial
    "I have a confession: I don't like horror." Same here. But I really liked Dead Lies Dreaming. It has some of Charlie's best characters ever. Granted, it is obviously meant to be horrific; dark forces are gaining power. But compared...
  • Commented on Submarine coming through!
    There is a good explanation of the SARS-CoV-2 mutation rate in "SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) by the numbers." SARS-CoV-2 is actually unusually stable for an RNA virus, because it generates a proofreading enzyme. Also, because the spike protein is essential to the...
  • Commented on Submarine coming through!
    Credit unions work in the US because they are heavily regulated, which keeps them small and allows them to engage only in low-risk forms of finance. I think the lesson is not that capitalism is inherently bad, but that allowing...
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