icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Sorry, that comment was meant to be a reply to Heteromeles @755. My reply to Greg was: hard to know. The critical battle of the war was definitely the British vs French naval fight in Chesapeake Bay, that led to...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    That's the other problem: plastics break down slowly, even under microbial assault. They will clean up our plastics problem and probably render further plastics and petroleum use rather harder. Unfortunately, they won't do it fast enough to stop civilization from...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Why steam? To stay in keeping with the proposal for a steam-punk weapon. I regret the absence of clockwork-punk as a genre....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    @ Greg: IIRC Schlieffen made a good plan, then made things so overly complicated it wasn't a good plan anymore. I disagree. You fail to mention the big issue with the plan. It involved invading Belgium as a way to...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    on roads (not wilderness) Many of those roads were really wide dirt paths. Not even gravel. Let me sing the praise of wide dirt paths! A mounted platoon moving in untracked NZ bush in the 1860s carrying a decent...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    "(Yes, I've been researching circa-1800 travel times for a future writing project.)" Out of interest: In 1919, an extremely competent young Lt Colonel named Eisenhower attempted to take a US Army motorized convoy across the USA from Washington DC to...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Very timely, here's a NY Times op ed by Harold Blum (?!?) about a con-man who's made many millions out of pretending to have contacts that would let IT companies get no-bid black ops contracts from the US intelligence Black...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Regards this "intelligence-industrial complex": The only salesmen I've encountered selling Palantir to financial institutes are ex-intelligence. ex-MI5 and ex-CIA. I assume because that's their most important client base. (or maybe the Palantir sales-guy who calls himself "Q" is ex-MI6 rather...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    I think the extinct moa are proof that New Zealand was never entirely submerged. This one is interesting. Good geological models suggest that NZ was submerged. Continent sank, then islands came up. Really good evolutionary models say that it was...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    Sorry, I meant "her views buy into the ideas she hates". Not "but into"....
  • Commented on Dead plots
    Disagree strongly; from the point of view of a British socialist all three of them are telescoped together as "extreme right wing". Odd that you say that, given how socialist-influenced Rand's politics are. In a way that Heinlein's are not....
  • Commented on Dead plots
    I'd thought that it was a basic tenet of capitalism, that inflation came in parallel with paying interest. I think that's false. Inflation is a monetary concept - it's about the value of money declining. There's a lot to say...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    Oh, yeah, you get to stick the swab up your nose yourself. Here in New Zealand that would not be considered acceptable. Our testing must be as accurate as possible, that requires accurate sampling, accurate sampling means done by...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    It's engineering nonsense, EVEN for road-racing. Carbon-fiber bike frames are partly about flex and stiffness. They feel nicer to ride than aluminium frames. Not a big enough deal for me to spend the extra dosh, but a road race fanatic...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    ...Russian Investigation... ....Apparently they used the NRA to channel funds to favored candidates. Sometimes the surreal nature of this still slaps me in the face. I mean, imagine approach an editor in 1995 with that as a plan for a...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    Also: school is less about lessons and more about socialization through mixing and enculturation with peers. My mother's area of research was distance learning - starting when that mostly meant physically mailing in assignments up until recent times - and...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    Actually, if we want to actually help the little ones attain an education, well, it is entirely possible to put together a computer learning system substantially superior to traditional learning. A huge amount of the skill and work of teaching...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    "What else happened on December 7th, 1941? Hint: it wasn't only Pearl Harbour that got attacked." Yeah, the Japanese wanted SE Asia, and thought the US would come to defend the British if they attacked British SE Asia (Malaysia, Burma...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    "...Northern Alberta. July - August...35C...recent immigrants from Ghana that came alive in the heat..." For the other side of that: I've a friend who worked with Jamaican immigrants in Toronto in the 90s, for the city park service. She said...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    "the DNC VP choice has become about checking certain boxes and rewarding factions" The running-mate choice is about uniting your party's after the bruising primary fight. That's not new. Hence Obama's choice of Biden - he beat the establishment candidate...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    until he could get the Southern segments of the Senate and House to vote for war against Germany. The USA did not declare war on Germany in WW2....
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    Under capitalism "real work" is paid, anything else quite literally does not count. The males-only anti-feminist utopia of Athos in Bujold's novel "Ethan of Athos" is great on this count. Not that any of it is set on Athos -...
  • Commented on No comment necessary
    You're competing with the telephone handset sanitisers... The irony of having only Ark B survive the pandemic is bitter....
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    What prompted this was an old comment that neural networks aren't necessarily digital systems (they can be analog), and they seem to be able to solve problems that Turing complete systems struggle with--with training. "Super-Turing capable" isn't all it seems....
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    Troutwaxer, The things you are saying about the Iran Nuclear Agreement are not really correct. Foreign countries pay a lot of attention to US legal niceties (and internal politics) when signing deals with the US. It wasn't a "treaty". It...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    “Last I looked it up, and yes it was 15 years ago, in the US. For couples together for a year who claim to be practicing birth control using condoms 10% of the woman will become pregnant.” My memory is...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    This has all the hallmarks of internet pseudo-science. Excess Deaths is an all-causes mortality measure. Baseline to previous years, see how different this year is. Sweden does poorly on that measure. You want to reject that standard approach, toss away...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    Re: 'Seems odd that birth rate data wouldn't be reported as it happened. ’ You were talking about sperm damage, weren’t you? 75 days for spermatozoa genesis plus 9 months to make a baby (cue joke about project managers wanting...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    One part of the problem in Christian culture countries and elsewhere is that people get inculcated into binary logic and decision making at a very early age.. I don't think it's a Christian/Western thing at all. I think it's...
  • Commented on "It'll all be over by Christmas" (Part 2)
    There's a growing, seemingly global, sense that we can't or shouldn't go back to the status quo ante I am pessimistic about that. Because I had that feeling here in NZ during our lockdown. A sense that everyone in the...
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