Paul Harrison

Paul Harrison

  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    A way is found to cope that does not overturn the existing social order, while paying lip-service to the country's ideals....
  • Commented on Some notes on the worst-case scenario
    Nazis? I think you've bought a line, and misunderstood what WWII was about. Especially its end and aftermath. What you are describing is the European colonial era attitude. That is what WWII ended. A brilliant program of quiet determination to...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    All those broken windows will surely kick-start the global economy....
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Choosing not to feed part of your population is not the same thing as food scarcity. It's just placing value on things besides some people starving, such as really awesome food and great service for other people, and guarding the...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Leon Theremin Invents Theremin. Famous, mixes with the cream of society. Disappears back to Russia (maybe abducted). Invents effectively an RFID device, used to bug American embassy. I have not remotely done his life justice. There is a documentary. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L%C3%A9on_Theremin...
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Aliens are just empty calories. Remember to eat your tholin salad. They Came To Eat Our Brains, We Gave Them Diabetes. Cthulhu has a sweet tooth....
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    I don't know, I mean, now we know about, say, quantum chromodynamics, it's unlikely we'll totally lose that knowledge, or even if we do it will be much easier to regain than it was to discover in the first place....
  • Commented on Sad Trombone Exoplanet Reality Check
    Interesting that we find it much easier to imagine humanity inventing a way to warp space and time than to imagine humanity learning some God-damned patience....
  • Commented on The Nightmare Stacks: US Launch
    The lower levels of the hierarchy seemed more puppet like. A level of autonomy in the aristocracy may be a survival advantage... the All-Highest seemed to making deliberate use of this, and in the end it did ensure the survival...
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    I'm assuming we will cover the solar system in relay satellites in short order. There will be no homesteads cut off from word from outside for months at a time....
  • Commented on A game of consequences
    Psycopathy seems to have a heritable component. Might be time to put genetic cross-over on hold for a while. Find a genotype that tends to be mentally stable and clone it (Cyteen-lite). Would not expect this as an immediate solution,...
  • Commented on Cytological Utopia and the rapture of the eukaryotes
    No thanks, I mean this is the world I grew up to deal with. The concerns of a century from now are not something I expect to be able to make meaningful input into, let alone the concerns of beings...
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    I do not think a Space Western counts as Space Opera, and it's an interesting contrast. Both have vast scenery. In the western the characters are swallowed up in it. In an opera the scenery serves to make the characters...
  • Commented on Silence this week ...
    Yes, sorry, I shouldn't say that there aren't conspiracies but they're tacit, or they're perfectly obvious and the push is to normalize them into accepted institutions (eg bribery of politicians in the USA, Davos meetings). Also they're probably maladaptive for...
  • Commented on Silence this week ...
    It's an error to ascribe rational goal driven behaviour to groups of humans. We aren't hive animals. It's like playing chess with a pigeon. You may direct godly wrath at the pigeon for its lack of continence, or darkly hypothesize...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    I agree, R for stats. ggplot2 and vcd are amazing for visualization. dplyr and tidyr for table manipulation. Anything Hadley Wickham has had some involvement in is awesome. The python approach isn't so much centered around numpy as pandas. In...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    Never mind the Californian cyber-hippies, Bruce is really hitting his stride now. He's a Bowie-esque chameleon, bit of a dinosaur but willing to grow some feathers and have a go at flying if that's where the present moment is. A...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    Speaking of Bruce Sterling, he's currently holding court on The Well with Jon Lebowsky for their annual State Of The World discussion: http://tinyurl.com/SOTW2016...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    Parrots, selectively bred, housed in vast batteries....
  • Commented on Fantasy shibboleths
    Politics and moral philosophy become physics, and therefore beyond question. See they are evil, see how the land is blighted. See the white tree of Gondor bloom, the true king has returned. Grates once you notice it. I feel SF...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    The colonial era, which actually began before the period in question, juddered to a halt (at least formally) in a brutal outbreak of violence during the 20th century. We can see the first movement toward a truly global civilization around...
  • Commented on Magic systems and my world building process
    Number theory is powerful, the most brutal wizard battles occur between statisticians, but I have a special fondness for tesselation as a way of summoning the wild creative forces on which our universe floats. Tesselation is also a nice practical...
  • Commented on The Evil Business Plan of Evil (and misery for all)
    New Urbanism is a response to such shenanigans. There is a good Andres Duany lecture on this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rwd4Lq0Xvgc This is not a futuristic hell, this is just the existing hell of suburbia invented in the '50s. Any grim meathook future...
  • Commented on The Evil Business Plan of Evil (and misery for all)
    As a Melbournian, I lack the imagination to invent anything worse than our local $1.5e9 public transport ticketing system, Myki. With Myki in mind, I feel you haven't fully explored the evils possible from incompetence. It takes about one second...
  • Commented on Space Robot Sad Trombone
    I imagine those aliens would feel something like what we feel when we encounter Oxytricha trifallax....
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