icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    You are being disingenuous by conflating a shortage of STEM graduates with a shortage of STEM PhDs. I have no regrets about abandoning my PhD. But the Masters in Comp Sci that I picked up on the side has been...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    Algorithmic Trading A majority of buy/sell offers for shares these days are not real. They go into the queue of offers, but get cancelled within moments, before they are executed. Because if you (well, your algorithm) waits to see what...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    "Also, one should remember that the current ineffectiveness of counter-insurgency warfare results from "humane" Rules of Engagement. If you "let off the gloves", you can crush local insurgencies relatively easily. British did it in Boer War" Your complete lack of...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    "I remember (vaguely!) 1987 and it wasn't that different to now." In 1987 the main threat to modern Western democracies were nuclear attack that could kill hundreds of millions. Now it's terrorist attacks that could kill hundreds. That is why...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    " Imagine instead if France had been conquered, and then immediately gone into a kind of medium-high insurrection against the occupation forces instead of surrendering" Or imagine if instead France had been conquered, and the French conservatives had seen that...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    Is a difficulty in manufacturing crude firearms really what stopped insurrections in occupied territories in the last 100 years? I'm not convinced. What stops or causes insurrection against invaders is far more social, and making explosives and ammo is a...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    I don't get the aesthetic claim being made here. Cyberpunk was punk. It was dirty and nasty and personal and despairing and glorious. It wasn't clean, it wasn't uplifting. It was raw and intimate like a knife-fight. Steam punk was...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Regards Global Warming & refugees: A million refugees from Syria are a sufficient 'crisis' to emperil the existence of the EU, and to move world politics vastly. And still I see people pointing out that global warming will only cause...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "As for having children, we had one in the commune which was absolutelĂ˝ brilliant:" We had trouble because a single-parent could never making it to evening meetings about running our community-run childcare: Me: "Scheduling things is really hard when you're...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "A hundred years of biotech is a long time." Yes, but stuff that we currently have absolutely no clue how we'd start to do also takes a very, very long time. " is talking about ex utero reproduction then less...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "A hundred years of biotech is a long time." Yes, but stuff that we currently have absolutely no clue how we'd start to do also takes a very, very long time. " is talking about ex utero reproduction then less...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Greg, You should be looking for Creek chickens in Graydon Saunders' most excellent Commonweal books. Start with "The March North", though the chickens don't appear until one runs down Ed in "A Succession of Bad Days"....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "What am I overlooking?" Um, an explanation for why someone wearing technology in 2117 needs to know how to read?...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "All the big questions have been answered" That's what people said in 1907. Newtonian mechanics had been perfected, Maxwell had explained electro-magnetism, equations for thermodynamics were well-established. The periodic table had been developed, chemistry was now fairly well understood. Oh,...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Here's a 2017 prediction: A solution to the problem of heterogenous transport for people, as we did in the 20th century for freight. Because right now for most people increasing airplane's speed by 50% (which is a lot!) just wouldn't...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    "So, anyway, no; Creek chickens have beaks, not delicate toothy jaws. " This will affect flora in ways that you'd find interesting. Here in New Zealand the flora evolved to try to avoid being eaten by birds, whereas your flora...
  • Commented on Random excuses
    The strong protection for free speech in the constitution of the USSR is my go-to example of why custom, tradition and unwritten rules are the key part of any legal system. The way the US constitution now protects blacks in...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    "OOC, do all programming languages round numbers the same way?" "No. Nor do all compilers, all hardware, all compilers for the same language on the same hardware, or even different options for the same compiler for the same language on...
  • Commented on Children and War Toys and Violent Video Games and Action Stories
    The sad and amazing thing about such parenting decisions is how inconsequential they are. You sweat, worry and discuss issues about how best to raise them. But in the long run kids raised all sorts of different ways turn out...
  • Commented on Playtime is over
    "Old-school fascists tended to be rather bad at capitalism. But fascists are no more incapable of learning than anyone else." I'm dubious. Their problems are nepotism and corruption, and they don't want to learn not to be that. Corruption and...
  • Commented on The Day After
    "d) Borrow it, raising the national debt (Don't know what he has said about it, but is the Republican Congress going to do a 180 on this?)" Of course they are! The same Republicans who cut taxes under Bush and...
  • Commented on The Day After
    There are two things here. First, maybe you should fear Paul Ryan more. The Republicans have been turning into a party of extremist ideas, and have been able to get away with it because Obama vetoed the crazy. The Republican...
  • Commented on Ever Young?
    "We base our vision of an aspirational lifestyle on our parents, who in turn got it by looking at the culture they grew up in (and their parents in turn). The rich are okay" The rich I've known are often...
  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    That starting IMR is all about suspense is a great insight. But IMR also gives great opportunity for characterisation by "show, don't tell". We learn a lot about Slippery Jim DiGriz by meeting him wisecracking mid-heist. Pragmatically, I wonder if...
  • Commented on Suspense is the key
    Starting IMR can work well in a role-playing game. Tricky, but awesome when it works. We start a session of the campaign IMR with our characters escaping after a heist, an ambush starts, a bystander leaps out by surprise to...
  • Commented on Sometimes I don't know why I bother!
    Gossip from those on set is that when Peter Jackson said to Lee "Imagine the sound of someone being stabbed with a dagger", Lee said "I don't need to imagine it, it's not a sound one forgets" Recruited to SOE...
  • Commented on Mendel Acquisition Squares : A Game of Futures
    Starbucks/Monsanto/Valve. Because we need a zombie apocalypse....
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    "Another side-effect of this productivity growth is growth in the complexity of financial arrangements" It helped that England was a (or "the") maritime trading nation. Complex (for the time) financial arrangements, and entrepreneurs, were a part of economic life because...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    " the spread of new world crops, specifically maize and potatoes" I think humanity's build-up of "bio-technology capital" is greatly under-rated, as is its influence on history. The crop species/varieties humans had as at 5000 BC sucked big ones. Crop...
  • Commented on The iron law of development
    "Another thing: why wait for coal or gasoline - what's wrong with burning methanol or ethanol?" Efficient agriculture is a result of the industrial revolution. So assuming efficient agriculture as a prerequisite of an industrial revolution is a non-starter. To...
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