icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Didn't a lot of that also come from Role Playing Games where they roll various dice to determine how effective an attack/defense is? The spread sheets helped keep track of the results from rolling for multiple variables. I'd assumed it...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    From any rational standpoint, the world building in Ninefox Gambit is completely unbelievable. It requires that calendrical science works. Aside from that... what makes it workable is that the vast majority of people aren't in one of the factions -...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    But police in the sense of "those who enforce the law" are a concept as old as that of law itself I won't bite. Because that definition's of "police" is just wrong. We have an arm of the govt that...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Police, sorry, but I want someone trained with authority to deal with the violent drunk, or the guys attacking the woman. There are, and have been, many societies without a police force. Police are a thing of our time in...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Regards SF and world-building: This is where I'm enjoying modern SF more than I was ten years ago. I'm find the world-building seen via characters in books like "A Closed and Common Orbit", "NineFox Gambit" and "Ancillary Justice" extremely good....
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Putting rocket fins on a Cadillac didn't turn it into a spaceship, and nor did putting rockets in his stories make PKD's work any less about his present-day environment. Alas, I am finding this about a lot of SF I...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    most "jobs" already produce no actual value I don't believe you. Modern Western economies are largely service-based economy, because we're super-good at making stuff. So? Suppose we have an economy in which making manufactured goods takes huge amounts of effort,...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Sorry, major typo. I meant "I'm just not aware of a massive transfusion of economic-development..." I said "I'm just now aware of a massive transfusion of economic-development..." oops....
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Martin (and Mark), I think you're reading a lot into my one-line comment that "The Soviets achieved huge economic gains with fairly limited support from the West both before WW2 and in WW2." But I was replying to this: And...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    And the Soviets' "full industrialization" wouldn't have been possible without the massive transfusions of material and technology they received from the west during the "Great Patriotic War". Left to their own devices, they would never have been able to match...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Some haggis species have evolved the ability to flip themselves from one stereoisomer to the other. But you can never catch those ones. Though I've heard they are training haggis-hounds to be able to follow both scents....
  • Commented on The crazy years
    About the ridiculously high US college fees - this is a killer quote from a US journalist about why free tuition in Germany isn't all that great: ...the concept of “campus life” differs widely between our two countries. German universities...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    "This is a US centric response. I don't know enough about anywhere else. Having capital is currently increasing in value more rapidly than labor? Not exactly. Having *some kinds* of capital in increasing in value...." I agree, but I don't...
  • Commented on The crazy years
    Yes, most increases in wealth these days come from rising prices of equities, property, etc. That is the point. Piketty got famous writing about this. In some times and places wealth and income come more to those who work for...
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    "I suppose the key question for TL3 Chinese history is whether the TL3 British empire developed a taste for tea." Or a taste for the best ceramics in the world. Or a taste for the best textiles in the world....
  • Commented on New Book Week!
    " apparently we have a new commercial rocket company which has launched something into orbit " Indeed! Thus begins the glorious rise of the New Zealand space industry. As we follow our nation's manifest destiny to take control of space...
  • Commented on Dude, you broke the future!
    You can simply not have a phone I think your argument that people should not use telephones because "people coped just fine without them" is misleading. Back when hardly anyone had a telephone things were structured around that: work, social...
  • Commented on PSA: Please don't nominate the Laundry Files for a Best Series Hugo Award (this year)
    I’m not sure handguns have historically been readily available in Canada. Like England, or most commonwealth countries, the law has never really been happy with guns owned for ´defence’ against others. Provinces of Canada may have varied, of course. Rifles...
  • Commented on PSA: Please don't nominate the Laundry Files for a Best Series Hugo Award (this year)
    "rather keen to see the next Patrick Rothfuss" Alas, I think it grew so large in order to accommodate all the hopes placed on it that it has vanished into its own event horizon....
  • Commented on PSA: Please don't nominate the Laundry Files for a Best Series Hugo Award (this year)
    "although I think Brust may be a little obscure" It was interesting what authors were available when I lived in the USA, and what was obscure there. Brust was on the shelves in the shops, for a change, which was...
  • Commented on Dark State: how to get signed copies!
    But wrt "did we ever have it" - oh yes, most certainly we did at one point; the BBC Micro was designed to facilitate it, Out of interest, was the BBC Micro actually useful for very much? Did people who...
  • Commented on Dark State: how to get signed copies!
    The only contender for Worldcon 2020 is Wellington, New Zealand. Because we are *awesome*, and rumours of us sending the Orcs around to visit other contenders are completely false. (You do know that they were largely played by the NZ...
  • Commented on What can possibly go wrong?
    "Harry Markov" Didn't everyone build those sort of text-producing markov chain things at Uni? Maybe it was just my comp sci dept. I and the other philosophy students (yes, we had a comp sci dept whose graduate program had a...
  • Commented on What can possibly go wrong?
    > I note that in both cases they use the offensive and misleading characterisation of the > legal system as a "justice system" They aspire. Not a bad thing....
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    As an aside about Bitcoin... Keynes had the very best quite about financial bubbles, which is that: "The market can stay irrational longer than you can stay solvent" It goes with a Minksy quote: "A financial crisis happens more slowly...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    " I don't believe that "the law" is whatever set of rules the people in power choose to enact. I think that there are objectively valid principles of law, just as there are objectively valid principles of engineering or medicine...
  • Commented on Unforeseen Consequences and that 1929 vibe
    "A working distributed cryptocurrency model is inimical to the interests of billionaire monopolists who want to get rich by imposing rent-seeking practices on the immobilized peasantry " A working distributed cryptocurrency model is also inimical to: - fair taxation -...
  • Commented on Are VR esports going to become a thing?
    Muscle Memory can definitely be a trap. Important thing I tell kids I coach: Practice does not make Perfect, Practice makes Permanent. Practicing bad technique makes you worse. (bad frisbee throwing/catch technique in my case, since I coach Ultimate). That...
  • Commented on From Here To The Holodeck
    I think choosing what should be, and should not to be, realistic will be one of the hardest parts of the VR genres as they develop. Because why would most people want *realistic* martial arts or e-sports in VR? Consider...
  • Commented on From Here To The Holodeck
    "Visualisation is something that's going to be massive in VR." Finding good visualizations for data is really hard. I mean, *really* hard. Despite literally centuries of experience, we're still working on how to do that well in 2D. If you'll...
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