icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on Publishing: A Slice of Life
    I think people are approaching this phishing attack on publishers from the wrong point of view. Perhaps the plan is not to steal Charlie's manuscripts, but to add to them. And to manuscripts by other authors in publishing houses around...
  • Commented on Publishing: A Slice of Life
    Trendy targets for phishing scams in the UK appear to be private schools. Trying to get a list of parents' email addresses. So they can send them "Note that the school bank account details have changed, please send fee payments...
  • Commented on Publishing: A Slice of Life
    Those who've done jury service can attest: most crimes are just damn stupid. Tragically stupid. Really, really tragic: really really stupid. Just putting "Cyber-" in front to make it "cyber-"criminals doesn't necessarily make them smart. You don't need to be...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    "The first point is that ground-breaking innovations are NOT made by putting an army of even genius-level monkeys to work, but by providing the right conditions for the tiny number of exceptional people." I think my disagreement is on the...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    You give a convincing set of examples where some scientific institutes/groups are vastly more successful than others. I'd add Xerox's Palo Alto Research Group as another extraordinary hotspot. You then seem want to use this to evidence to get to...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Read Frans de Waal's "Are We Smart Enough To Know How Smart Animals Are?" Great book! I also agree re the moving goalposts of AI. Though that goes both ways: things people used to think didn't take intelligence, we now...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Of these, Darwin was a wealthy, well-connected, best-selling author (from Voyage of the Beagle), while Wallace was an itinerant animal collector in Indonesia who wrote the paper while recovering from malaria. Guess who got the fame? Darwin wrote extremely well....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Re: innovation. The question of why Europe did better than China or the middle-east at innovation from C13-C18 is much studied. One part of the answer is that while China had a monolithic knowledge system - one giant school of...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    That Neuromancer is better remembered as a cyberpunk classic than Hardwired doesn’t surprise me Walter Jon William’s Cyberpunk stories had sustance. His prose was well written and very readable, but not particularly stylish. Gibson’s prose had style. And this was...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    "That the way of organizing states will continue to mirror the westphalian model " That was Cyberpunk. Everything from Neuromancer to Hardwired to Snow Crash to etc - it was about the dystopic mess when the nation-state model collapses. Very...
  • Commented on Media Piracy and Unpronounceable Names
    I do not believe this problem can be solved as long as we stick to a model that assumes everybody has a single immutable identity (I don't: do you?) 'Icehawk' meets the standards I like. Anonymous enough that a casual...
  • Commented on Media Piracy and Unpronounceable Names
    I don't like commercial anonymity. I'd like a decent cop, with a decent warrant, to be able to have a decent go at finding out who bought that ammo. Nor does it seem terrible to have them checking whether someone...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    I'm leaning towards one of three possible explanations: 4. There is no large underground facility. Never was. Instead there are a number of academics and administrators who pocketed a few hundred million between them and built some very nifty simulations....
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    If we're guessing, then I'll take "Illegal Bitcoin mining" for 10 points, please. Astronomy uses quite a lot of hard-core compute resources. Quite a reasonable amount of money gets spent on compute clusters. I just got slapped in the face...
  • Commented on "I doubt me an it be commercial."
    So what have you read that you're glad of, published for no plausible commercial reason though it was? The March North Thanks for that!...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Incidentally, the problem with using violence as a dopamine-reward payoff trigger in fiction is that you keep having to escalate. Only in SF & Fantasy series. SF & Fantasy has this obsession with leveling up. Other genres don't see this...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Water pollution is possibly the most severe (every time I've been to China, I've been warned not to drink or brush my teeth with tap water; more than 90% of China's bodies of water are severely polluted), The "tap water"...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Rather like a cinematic release, good films don’t need advertising - word of mouth will keep the cinemas full. It’s the average films which need advertising when the word of mouth just isn’t there. You need to first pack'em in...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Would you be happy to receive three "Equoid"-length Laundry novellas in a year, rather than a single "The Nightmare Stacks" (which is actually longer in word count)? Yes. And I'd happily buy each individually as it came out I'm really...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    In the short term, they've got Investor Visas ($0.5M-$20M a pop depending on where; they come with full residence rights and citizenship after a couple of years, if the investor wants it) It may be noted that billionaire tech bro...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Any government insured account pays less than the OFFICIAL rate of inflation, never mind the ACTUAL rate of inflation. I, uh, know a bit about interest rates. Risk-free interest rates are negative in several currencies. Out as far as...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Local crops, with no prospect of reaching EU markets, will be left to rot in the fields as the agricultural sector collapses (see concluding remarks, section 5.6). That's not really what the report you link to says, especially that...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Dornbusch's Law: The crisis takes a much longer time coming than you think, and then it happens much faster than you would have thought. In hindsight most economic/banking crises pan out that way. Predicting that things will go wrong is...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Karl Marx in life made a number of predictions about the likely future, none of which have come true Marx was the first economist to identify the business cycle. Boom/bust with inflation and unemployment, on a 1-2 decade cycle. Those...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    "I expect a Sterling crisis to follow promptly in event of NDB" Unlikely. What moves the Sterling up or down is people buying and selling Sterling. That's it. So if lots of people try to turn their Sterling into something...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Ocean-going cultures that settle new lands do not jump straight to ocean-crossing tech from nothing. You start with lots of navigational and boat-building abilities and work up. Spent some time in the remote islands in Fiji, or etc, and you’ll...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    One thing you need to become aware of is Boserup's Ratchet....What happens is that, when population grows to hit its limit to keeping everybody fed and happy, people start innovating with agricultural techniques and culture, to find ways around that...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    The Polynesians were island-dwellers who searched for more islands. That's very different than leaving a continent in one huge jump across the ocean. So if you want an analogy to Polynesia, then a better question to ask would be whether...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    The idea that population always grows to consume food resources is a cultural assumption. No, it follows from biology and population modelling. Populations that grow beat populations that don't. You're the one making cultural assumptions by saying "they didn't do...
  • Commented on Unsustainable Interstellar Civilization, Hotspot Colonies, and Dwarf Culture
    This all feeds into our understanding of how difficult (or easy) it is to survive by foraging. The great example from the 1970s was a study of a !Kung tribe that they spent less than 20 hours/week foraging to provide...
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