Robert van der Heide

Robert van der Heide

  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    "However, per The Economist they could be doing much better: if they were at zero population growth rather than seeing a net decline in their work force, they'd have been averaging 4-5% annual economic growth ..." "Economy not growing as...
  • Commented on We get reviews (contd.)
    just how democratic is the Commonwealth of Timeline 3? How "democratic" is the UK of 1910 compared to the USA of 1950 or the Islamic Republic of Iran of 2000? The latter three have demonstrated their ability to perform the...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    It's interesting to consider how this affects the average age of people's relatives. We go from a world where most people have tons of siblings, first cousins, aunts, uncles, nephews and nieces, often at least one parent, and maybe a...
  • Commented on Burn The Programmer!
    Over twenty years later I can still sing the first verse of the Matsushita company song, purely phonetically, without understanding more than a few isolated words of it. Singing along every day for a couple of years is what did...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    "Agriculture is also backward by our standards, leading to a lower carrying capacity than our own world." If Miriam's gang caries over some key seeds & breeds the NAC could probably see a noticeable increase in the ratio of people...
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    I hope Miriam also brought them some books about the Meiji Restoration....
  • Commented on Crib Notes: Empire Games
    'MITI enforces an "eat your own dogfood" rule' Is their name a shoutout to these guys?...
  • Commented on Empire Games gets a price cut in the UK
    I assume the gate to nowhere is a sort of "firebreak": somebody one jump away from that world along one "pattern vector" really didn't want to get any visitors from a different world one jump away from it along a...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Second best. It doesn't quite beat the New York Post's classic headline about a gang-related decapitation in a strip club: "HEADLESS BODY IN TOPLESS BAR"...
  • Commented on Report on Seat 14C
    Amusing pets....
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    "if the U.S. were to withdraw ... South Korea would have to increase its military strength to fill the void of the U.S. absence, both on the ground and offshore." As a US taxpayer I don't have a problem with...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    It's less cool when the cleverness is driven by desperation....
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    I was just thinking "Cool. Clever whales." Thanks for the extra context....
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    Well past 300, time for something random I think readers here will find interesting. Gangs of aggressive killer whales are shaking down Alaska fishing boats for their fish: report The animals have learned to target individual boats, and are leading...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    In 2117 "engineering" will involve almost no innovation. Rather it will be all about understanding what already exists, so when you patch one of the patches on the patches on the patches on one of the (multiple, interdependent) Legacy Systems...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    How about leaving the reactor in a nice big concrete building next to a chemical plant that sucks in air and spits out kerosene, which you then use to run your diesel locomotives? Hydrocarbon fuels are really convenient in many...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    On a radio show on NPR (USA non-commercial radio) I heard a sample of synthesized text-to-speech as used by the blind when they want speed-read. If I recall correctly it was about 340 words per minute. I coulldn't follow it,...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Did you ever use any KY2K Jelly?...
  • Commented on Constitutional crisis ahoy!
    I'm in the USA and don't know the British governmental structure all that well, but there's a player I'm surprised I haven't heard mentioned. Doesn't the House of Lords have the power to not approve the act that pushes the...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    That doesn't sound right. My personal theory regarding CD/HB/NN is that there really is some sort of transhuman entity involved; one that has used a long series of female humans as a meat-puppet I/O devices Sometimes, when the meat-puppet has...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Hot Banana = HB/CD/NN?...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    It's worse. (I'll let someone else fill in the details.)...
  • Commented on Competition Time!
    Ineligible, wrong continent. Just having fun. NAME Lanyard, Identification Badge Holding, Occult Attack Resistant CLASSIFICATION String BACKGROUND With the increasing ease of performing magic there is an ever increasing risk of security breaches due to entanglement/contagion of personal items, either...
  • Commented on 21st Century: a complaint
    And the writers haven't lost their flair for black comedy: http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/morning-mix/wp/2015/10/18/gunman-kills-1-wounds-5-at-annual-zombie-themed-festival-in-florida/...
  • Commented on 21st Century: a complaint
    To give credi where it's due, there's been some pretty good eye candy. Jumbo auroras, blue-flame volcanos, etc., and Pluto turning out a lot better than anyone expected. It does seem rather odd to have spent so much effort on...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    I agree that watching a vehicle capable of maneuvering through the atmosphere at Mach 3 heading towards your city would be inherently scary. I also believe that manned vehicles traveling through an atmosphere full of weather and other vehicles will...
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