icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on Media Piracy and Unpronounceable Names
    I don't like commercial anonymity. I'd like a decent cop, with a decent warrant, to be able to have a decent go at finding out who bought that ammo. Nor does it seem terrible to have them checking whether someone...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    I'm leaning towards one of three possible explanations: 4. There is no large underground facility. Never was. Instead there are a number of academics and administrators who pocketed a few hundred million between them and built some very nifty simulations....
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    If we're guessing, then I'll take "Illegal Bitcoin mining" for 10 points, please. Astronomy uses quite a lot of hard-core compute resources. Quite a reasonable amount of money gets spent on compute clusters. I just got slapped in the face...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    So what have you read that you're glad of, published for no plausible commercial reason though it was? The March North Thanks for that!...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Incidentally, the problem with using violence as a dopamine-reward payoff trigger in fiction is that you keep having to escalate. Only in SF & Fantasy series. SF & Fantasy has this obsession with leveling up. Other genres don't see this...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Water pollution is possibly the most severe (every time I've been to China, I've been warned not to drink or brush my teeth with tap water; more than 90% of China's bodies of water are severely polluted), The "tap water"...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Rather like a cinematic release, good films don’t need advertising - word of mouth will keep the cinemas full. It’s the average films which need advertising when the word of mouth just isn’t there. You need to first pack'em in...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Would you be happy to receive three "Equoid"-length Laundry novellas in a year, rather than a single "The Nightmare Stacks" (which is actually longer in word count)? Yes. And I'd happily buy each individually as it came out I'm really...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    In the short term, they've got Investor Visas ($0.5M-$20M a pop depending on where; they come with full residence rights and citizenship after a couple of years, if the investor wants it) It may be noted that billionaire tech bro...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Any government insured account pays less than the OFFICIAL rate of inflation, never mind the ACTUAL rate of inflation. I, uh, know a bit about interest rates. Risk-free interest rates are negative in several currencies. Out as far as...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Local crops, with no prospect of reaching EU markets, will be left to rot in the fields as the agricultural sector collapses (see concluding remarks, section 5.6). That's not really what the report you link to says, especially that...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Dornbusch's Law: The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought. In hindsight most economic/banking crises pan out that way. Predicting that things will go wrong is...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Karl Marx in life made a number of predictions about the likely future, none of which have come true Marx was the first economist to identify the business cycle. Boom/bust with inflation and unemployment, on a 1-2 decade cycle. Those...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    "I expect a Sterling crisis to follow promptly in event of NDB" Unlikely. What moves the Sterling up or down is people buying and selling Sterling. That's it. So if lots of people try to turn their Sterling into something...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Ocean-going cultures that settle new lands do not jump straight to ocean-crossing tech from nothing. You start with lots of navigational and boat-building abilities and work up. Spent some time in the remote islands in Fiji, or etc, and you’ll...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    One thing you need to become aware of is Boserup's Ratchet....What happens is that, when population grows to hit its limit to keeping everybody fed and happy, people start innovating with agricultural techniques and culture, to find ways around that...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    The Polynesians were island-dwellers who searched for more islands. That's very different than leaving a continent in one huge jump across the ocean. So if you want an analogy to Polynesia, then a better question to ask would be whether...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    The idea that population always grows to consume food resources is a cultural assumption. No, it follows from biology and population modelling. Populations that grow beat populations that don't. You're the one making cultural assumptions by saying "they didn't do...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    This all feeds into our understanding of how difficult (or easy) it is to survive by foraging. The great example from the 1970s was a study of a !Kung tribe that they spent less than 20 hours/week foraging to provide...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    "Maybe there will be a central coordinating body to ensure that everyone who can gets out alive, and then assigns the world to a species that can use it as is..." Jared Diamond's "Collapse" is the best work I've read...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    While this presentation is premised on the behavior of current developers, I got the initial idea from how vernal pools work, and developed it based on how Polynesians settled new islands. Does that change your view of it? Nope, doesn't...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    As the Polynesians and Guanche demonstrated, it's possible to terraform an island using neolithic technology I'm sorry that I seem so argumentative. And I think your point about limiting contact to a closed eco-system for terraforming has good points....
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    When you have FTL, you don't need long-term sustainability, so long as the rate at which successful colonies are founded is greater than the rate at which established colonies fail, with successful colonies being those that can build their own...
  • Commented on SF For Nothing, Stories For Free
    Once upon a time, SF novels were shorter. Slaughterhouse Five is actually just under the 50K word threshold that the Hugos use for novels. The reasons for the growth has been adequately covered here in the past. That discussion of...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I think you underestimate earthquakes. Humans armies in a hurry blow up a few bridges in a mountain pass. A major earthquake will drop half a mountain on the pass, and if it’s feeling funny then create a new small...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    ...they have made their displeasure known on the golf course and in the smoke-filled rooms, and the quiet whispering campaign has finally turned heads at the top of the media empires I won't deny that effect. But I think it's...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    Actually, in theory, I think that we could run our civilisation on 10% of the population, probably even 1%. But that would need a completely different society. 70 million people is a lot. Really a lot. There's room for a...
  • Commented on Happy 21st Century!
    When the government is anti-racist, it's normal for the racists to claim to be libertarian. I think that's the basis for your observed correlation. Libertarianism, like environmentalism, is a broad church. There's no logical reason why the broader environmental movement...
  • Commented on GDPR compliance notice
    There's a long history of large orgs relocating when/if they happen to dislike some new piece of legislation in their current geography. I too will be interested to see how this pans out. We have the USA trying to unilaterally...
  • Commented on GDPR compliance notice
    I will add that assuming you're not planning to write your website backend code in C, Unicode is trivial. That was kind of my point. It's a default for most web frameworks (unless you look really closely at the relationship...
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