icehawk

icehawk

  • 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...
  • Commented on What are you reading this summer?
    "The King's War 1641-1647" Because I'm in the UK this summer, which means being bludgeoned by history every time I open a door. And because the way England slid into civil war accidentally is a reminder of how stupid shortsighted...
  • Commented on Updating a classic
    "All work environments must be virtualized and stashed on the corporate file servers for safe-keeping" This is a picture of an office I was working in, after the earthquake. My desk is off-screen to the right. Not obvious from the...
  • Commented on Updating a classic
    Realise that certain services, such as network administration, system administration, service desks, and DBAs, are commodities and so should be outsourced to the lowest bidder - with iron-clad detailed SLAs to ensure that standards are met. (Seriously: a client of...
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    We have various people saying that a Space Opera setting is not enough to make a story Space Opera - with examples of some novels in a setting being Space Opera and others not. Graydon then argues that to meet...
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    "A sense of wonder is necessary as well" Again I'm left thinking of cyberpunk as the anti-space-opera, though this time because of the dystopian cynicism of cyberpunk....
  • Commented on Defining space opera
    I find myself in disagreement with Langford and Stableford. I don't think "Downbelow Station" is space opera, nor "Barrayar" and "The Vor Game". But I struggle to express why. I think space opera relies on a background of epic, grand...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    "it felt very lived in" Nicely put. That's what I really liked about Against a Dark Background too. The world/system/society/technology all had a feel of depth to it, like people really had been living there....
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    I believe that Iain Bank's "Against a Dark Background" is: A romping space opera that Does not match any of the tropes matched above. But the boundaries of "space opera" are vague, and the list of tropes given is long....
  • Commented on Warlords and eunuchs and slaves, oh my! Picking the problematic for The Aldabreshin Compass
    "It is instructive to compare pre-18th century English employment practices with what is now considered slavery." I do wonder when it became, in practice, a prosecutable crime to beat one's employees in England. Obviously it depends on the status of...
  • Commented on Warlords and eunuchs and slaves, oh my! Picking the problematic for The Aldabreshin Compass
    "There needs to be a high fantasy epic written entirely from the point of view of a peasant." Aren't most of them? I thought that was Tolkien's great insight: the storyline of the Hobbit was "the lost prince goes to...
  • Commented on Maneuvers in the Dark
    Your comment wins the internets for this week. But given the prevalence of avian toxoplasmosis I'd recommend that pregnant women should not eat pigeon turds. Possibly we need signs to that effect, and should erect them where-ever pigeons gather....
  • Commented on Maneuvers in the Dark
    Piffle. There is no demographic of Republicans that is libertarian. Lots of them like to say things that sound Libertarian. And to call themselves that. But actual curtailing of police powers? Actually cutting the govt budget? Not going to happen:...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    Nope, I've no idea what you're talking about. Or what you think "the issues" are that I don't understand. The claim I challenged was that we're reaching a point where "90% of goods and services are produced by 10% of...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    I think your dismissive categorization of jobs that provide services rather than producing goods as unimportant is very odd. You seem to think that teachers, doctors, nurses, policemen, university lecturers, and the entire tourist, retail, financial and transport industries, just...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    "We are rapidly moving to a time when 90% of goods and services will be produced by 10% of the population" No. We aren't. What we have had for decades, and will continue to have, is a change from most...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    " If immigrant, from where and reason for immigration. For example, mid-to-late 20th century Eastern European immigrants to North America pushed their kids to excel academically " That is the norm for immigrants. They tend to be better educated than...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    I think It can be misleading to buy too much into the idea of the "1300 year old Sunni / Shia Cold War". I don't buy that there is historic inevitability in Sunni/Shia violence. But there are power vacuums (gosh,...
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