icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on The ends of education
    University degrees fulfil 3 functions: Education. In the widest sense of the word. Academic Filtering. Proof that you are academically capable of getting that degree. Social filtering. Proof that you are the sort of person who has the social status...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    “ However, nuclear winter is, and it looks like even "a limited nuclear exchange between IN and PK"” Nukes don’t cause ‘nuclear’ winters. Burning cities with nukes causes nuclear winters. The firestorm that engulfed Hiroshima is quoted as giving off...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    “ So if you can match velocity with the asteroid, there's some hope that you can burrow into it to a depth of metres.” You’ve confused me. You seem to have jumped straight from “you don’t need to match velocity,...
  • Commented on Books I will not write: BIGGLES!!
    “ get a reissue copy of original Black Box Traveller, and try it. ” I think the connection to Biggles is not a surprise. Traveller always looked like an attempt at the Star Wars “clunkers in space” / Andre Norton...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    gasdive at 683: I'm not saying that billionaires are the ones that "keep money circulating" but what I am saying is that they don't lock up money. Then I misunderstood you. My apologies. But I think I still disagree with...
  • Commented on The impotence of the long-distance trillionaire
    Some commenters here have some odd ideas about billionaires, and about economics. Jobs didn't make his fortune as a creative CEO of Apple. He did make millions founding Apple, as did Steve Woz. But Jobs made the vast bulk of...
  • Commented on Behind the Ukraine war
    at this point it is traditional to claim that the pawn has aGenCy and is wiLliNg and, if not actually enjoying being sacrificed, is at least finding it emotionally invigorating, but this really needs to be revisited after a few...
  • Commented on Behind the Ukraine war
    Charlie, You missed the most obvious new use of cellphones in this war: The occupying troops are demanding to see your phone, demanding you unlock it, and shooting you in the head if they don’t like what’s on it. We...
  • Commented on Yokai Land Q&A
    For those talking about the lack of health & safety in Laundry labs, I strongly recommend Naomi Novik's "Scholomance" series. Which is what you get when an author looks at how deadly Hogwarts is and wonders what kind of world...
  • Commented on Oh, 2022!
    “ Recreational air travel is the easy issue to clamp down on, just in terms of not killing anyone who has to vacation closer to home. That's all. For everybody who just saw red, that's actually the point, about distinguishing...
  • Commented on Quantum of Nightmares
    "People (def not me) who do motocross or trail riding (powered dirt bikes) have been through many generations of protection. " I think Bikes go 60kph, that's like a fall from height X is misleading. Armouring for bike accidents is...
  • Commented on Quantum of Nightmares
    “ The 747 and A380s are in a weird position just now. No more are going to be built and some that are not all that old being scraped as the secondary market makes it more worthwhile to set them...
  • Commented on Omicron
    " The key was that the programmers wrote the code and documentation, AND did the support! " This is, quite literally, illegal for big financial systems in large companies listed on the US stock market. I'm not kidding. It's the...
  • Commented on Omicron
    "so all cases might be pointless" It might. In NZ we're doing it as part of our contact tracing, and associated attempts to get people with Covid to isolate and stop the spread. Most people who get Covid are easily...
  • Commented on Omicron
    "I haven't heard anything about 'Omicron' reaching North Carolina yet" Would you know? Serious question. Here in New Zealand I believe we're still genome-sequencing all positive Covid cases, so we know exactly what's here and if you get Covid they'll...
  • Commented on Outage report
    I don’t disagree about moral hazard. But I think you are taking what I said about subprime mortgages out of context. The book review I comment I was responding to was about algorithms and financial maths and AI and how...
  • Commented on Outage report
    "https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/roots-of-unity/review-weapons-of-math-destruction/" I find this review problematic. Because the one solid example it gives that I actually have a lot of first-hand knowledge about is bollocks. "subprime mortgages are a perfect example of a WMD. Most of the people buying, selling,...
  • Commented on An update on the revolutionary experiment
    "So - a Slaveocracy right from the start, yes? Which supports my hypothesis/conviction that the revolt of 1776 was about keeping the slaves ( With a side-order of genocide against the "Indians" ) Unsurprisingly large numbers of USA-ians go off...
  • Commented on An update on the revolutionary experiment
    ". Then you have the various Dukes and Earls who own much of the UK's most valuable real estate and protect their holdings with the distinctly feudal practice of leasehold," Leasehold is not uncommon here in the Pacific, where it's...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    “ A secondary theme in the original Merchant Princes series is that modernity is a state of mind (that can be acquired by education).” I love this about the series. A welcome challenge to the many SF stories in which...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    third star on the right and all that. Navigation warning: second star to the right. Then straight on ‘til morning....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    Or did you just type 'equivalents of' where you meant 'punchers of?' Because that one happened in 2020, yeah... Nope. If you've spent your life saying that you can't trust the establishment, that the mainstream doesn't get it, and that...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    “ All of this rests on one huge assumption: that Spacex's new launch system will actually work out and be as cheap as advertised” Nothing else Musk has done ever was. He’s a master publicist and master fund-raiser of venture...
  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    But it doesn't really need to cross the blood/brain barrier to fuck up your brain: it disrupts epithelial linings including those of blood vessels, including the mesh of capilliaries which provide perfusion to the brain. Lots of microvascular accidents...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    “ If you actually read what he said properly, he was not in favour of unbridled capitalism” I find Adam Smith a bit hard to read. He’s a professor of philosophy writing a philosophical work, and those bits are clear....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    There is a really weird conflation in comments here of “population growth” and “economic growth”. The reason your standard of living is better than a feudal serf is that we managed to decouple economic growth from population growth. Our economies...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    The USA is NOT a democracy, right now & it's receding I get the hyperbole, but I don't think it's helpful. The USA is much more of a democracy now than it was before the civil rights movement in the...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Missing in discussion of Heinlein's "Roman" future state where only those who've done military service get to vote is one that the US constitution would be very happy with. That's not a co-incidence. This is very much a USA that...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    “ The wobble is what-is-about-to-become.” So true. Happens to the best of us, love. You hit middle age and no matter how much you exercise the pounds just start to pack on....
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    "I'll quote some more Graeber" Why? He's awful. Every time Graeber writes about something that I actually know about, he gets it wrong. Really wrong: his writing is full of factual errors, logical mistakes, and pure innumeracy. I don't know...
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