Robert van der Heide

Robert van der Heide

  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    “China can't invade the US (nukes), but we've got notionally antithetical political systems (democracy and communism).” China’s got billionaires, stock markets, tech startups and real estate bubbles. Some communists. There’s a bit of a difference in that their cyber-panopticon social...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    Not just saving money, but getting a better class of legislators. On the average they will be average people, rather than the sociopaths the current US & UK political systems select for....
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    I liked the Dungeonmaster. I hope we see more of his backstory, perhaps in shorter works....
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    “Conservative MP Damian Collins ... despatched a Parliamentary serjeant at arms to Kramer's hotel and dragged him before Parliament....” Well at least one Tory has done something useful this year....
  • Commented on Happy Halloween!
    Washington’s on the East Coast, so yes coming in from the East. But I have a problem with the “due”: Transatlantic flights usually follow a great circle route and come in from the northeast....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Bugger, html fail. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mangajin...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    “my brain sees the patterns of pinyin letters” My admittedly limited experience with Japanese says ditch the romanizations ASAP and try to learn to read it the way native speakers do. I wonder if there’s anything like the awesome Mangajin...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    “some problems are better solved by ad hoc evolved solutions (organismal intelligence) than they are by machines” A lot of current AI (neural nets, genetic algorithms) look to me like machines being used to find ad-hoc evolved solutions....
  • Commented on The Labyrinth Index: sneak preview!
    Combine such optimization with a five billion sacrifice and you’ve got a powerful spell....
  • Commented on The Labyrinth Index: sneak preview!
    “There was a mention in one of the books that simply killing everyone would make things worse” Surely by the time of the novels that’s the case. But there must have been a time when the human population was small...
  • Commented on The Labyrinth Index: sneak preview!
    “DEEP 7 doesn't care what's happening on the surface“ If so that’s unwise of them. As we have seen elsewhere, swarming monkeys having a CASE NIGHTMARE GREEN” can result in anything from the destruction of the Moon to the destruction...
  • Commented on The Labyrinth Index: sneak preview!
    “Well, BLUE HADES presumably got through their own version of Case Nightmare Green, as did the dwellers in the mantle” Not necessarily. If they are individually far more intelligent than humans they might be able to build a culture capable...
  • Commented on The Labyrinth Index: sneak preview!
    “these people aren't capable of conceiving of a world beyond their shadow game bullshit. Well, the shadow games aren't working anymore. The shadow games are going to get the world destroyed.” Sounds a lot like the plots of the Merchant...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    My problem is with the “warrior” part. It implies treating fellow citizens you disagree with as enemies....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Compared to space travel, turbo pumps are pretty cheap....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Better get rid of lifetime tenure for academics....
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    “If you like Charlie's work, then you need to be able to deal with sexual diversity too.” Very few people I know are logically consistent. Many people I know enjoy the works of authors they disagree with about some things,...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    “Space is chock full of ultra-high purity vacuum. Certain terrestrial manufacturing processes require a lot of high-purity vacuum and ultra-clean facilities—semiconductor fab lines spring to mind. ” By semiconductor standards, space (at least Earth orbit) is kinda dirty and not...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    I think SleepingRoutine is following an approach I remember from the “gay marriage” debate in the US (a debate I followed since the notion was somewhere between & absurd and unthinkable.) I call it the “precautionary principle” approach. While I...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    “This dispute, if anybody cares of it, started with discussion of AIDS and drug addiction treatment methods, which I regard as a cash cow to international pharma conglomerates.” Giving addicts free clean needles will save you a lot on antivirals...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Re LNG terminal. Is “fracking” for gas production used in Russia?...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    “You could set up your Transit system so that there are stations at the intersections of the spokes & the rings. It would then require transfers from spoke route to ring route and back to spoke route. But that's really...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Yes, rebuilding the ability to build nuclear reactors is a huge task. Or you could just do like Argentina, Pakistan, etc. and hire a Chinese company to build it for you....
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Suicide/Trumpism correlation: The realization that in terms of home ownership, career security, etc. you are a failure in comparison to your parents could be an independent cause of both. UK folk - is there a similar cluster around Brexit?...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    “someone who wouldn't release his tax returns ” Just like Trump, who this guy wound up voting for. Not saying I think his political views make any sense, just that his Sanders support was sincere rather than tactical as claimed...
  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    I do...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    “Schaffner found that what distinguished Sanders-Trump voters from Sanders-Clinton voters wasn’t their attitudes about trade, but their attitudes about race. When asked whether whites are advantaged, Sanders-Trump voters were much more likely to disagree than were Sanders-Clinton voters.” Fair enough...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    “Reality-distortion field.” I’ve got a new explanation for the last few years: a secret codicil of Steve Job’s will left his RDF to Donald Trump....
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Sigh. US presidents sign treaties and take them to Congress for final approval. Sometimes they get it, sometimes they don’t. When they don’t, people from parliamentary systems don’t understand what happened. “The US” didn’t “renege,” the rest of the world...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Why bother?...
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