Geoff Hart

Geoff Hart

  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    A note about rationality and Kim/Trump: Some posters seem to be conflating rationality (or lack thereof) with sanity, plausibility, desirability, ethical behavior, and other related concepts. It's important to note that "rational" means only that a belief is based on...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    guthrie notes: "Certainly Florida property prices crashing makes excellent sense, but so far the history of land speculation in Florida suggets that they may not." Past performance does not predict future performance. *G* If current trends continue, it won't just...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Troutwaxer noted: "Washington and his generation founded our country so they get a pass on being vilified." Why? Showing them as complex people (perhaps noble, definitely flawed) is crucially important. Among other things, taking them off the whitewashed altars they...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Troutwaxer noted: "My thoughts on statues of Treasonous Slaveowning Generals are as follows: I do not think the statues should be removed." I agree. My concern is that once the statues are gone, and children no longer ask Mom and...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    The scary thing about Trump versus North Korea is the "sunk cost fallacy": the more emotional energy you invest in staking out a position, the harder it becomes to abandon it. Apart from the ethics of this solution (or lack...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Speaking of the Houston flooding: http://www.cbc.ca/news/business/houston-flood-concrete-planning-1.4271740 Science: it works, bitches! Footnote to my post on the October crisis: To be clear, I was focusing on the imposition of martial law, not an actual coup. So it's not a really good...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Speaking of failures of democracy, you may be thinking "it can't happen here". But yes, it really can, and for evidence, I offer you the following, which occurred within the lifetime of (probably) most readers of this blog, including me:...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Heteromeles noted: "What I'm thinking here is not that I'm pro-military or anti-military, precisely." Fully agree. Like any huge organization, a national military will have the full range of humanity well-represented, from the noble and laudable to the downright scary....
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    As an alternative to expensive irrigation systems, it's also worth considering "mulching", which involves covering the soil surface to avoid losses of water to evaporation. This only works for row crops, since you want the mulch to remain undisturbed by...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    To me, the Kim nuclear strategy seems more like the strategy used by a skunk or maybe a porcupine: "I can't stop you if you decide to come after me, but I'll make you regret it". To continue mixing metaphors,...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Allen Thomson noted: "Already being done in San Antonio and at least considered for other places in the state" Cool! Thanks for providing the favorable reality check....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Pigeon noted: "Restoring that lost knowledge is not easy" This. Implicit knowledge and corporate memory are hugely important things, and are at great risk when beancounters run things. The grizzled engineer with 30 years of hard-won experience knows things that...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Houston redux: Don't know anything about the geography (topography, distribution of "bare" land) and climate (rainfall patterns) of Houston, but it seems like it might be a candidate for a little ecological engineering. Specifically, geography and climate permitting, it might...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Steve Simmons wondered about my suggestion of a thriving market in urban-scale pumping facilities: "I'm assuming it's satirical, as with one of my neighbors whose innundated lawn was flooding his basement. He couldn't understand why his sump pump wasn't helping...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    re. flooding of Houston: An interesting historical example from Iceland might have some relevance. Back in 1973, Eldfell erupted and started regurgitating lava onto one of Iceland's major fishing ports. Icelanders being nothing if not stubborn, they decided not to...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Heteromeles noted: "Anyway, I'm not too sanguine about mass migration of climate refugees at the moment." Perhaps you missed my line "Yes, I am dreaming in technicolor. Why do you ask?" Not to mention, "Where to move all these people...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    I'll try being optimistic for a change: The mid-term consequences will be that a lot of coastal cities and cities in hurricane corridors will learn a lesson from the New Orleans/Houston 1-2 punch and significantly up their games in terms...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Heteromeles noted: "every time the king had a problem to distract his people from--say, they were about to overthrow him and institute democracy--he'd declare a jubilee, wipe out all the debts, and let the game start all over again." This...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Mark Schaffer wondered: "What discipline are you refereeing for?" First, I'm not "refereeing". I'm doing the technical/scientific editing required to get the papers ready for peer review. I have to not only point out the logical flaws with an argument;...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Oops... "Mark". End of day, brain fading......
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    March Schaffer responsed to my rant about economics and economists: "About economics as a discipline - you start off completely wrong, and end up partly right (but still wrong)." I would be very glad indeed to learn that I am...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    gordycoale wondered: "Since externalities are part of economics 101, what evidence do you have to suggest that economists were behind successful lobbying efforts to remove externalities rather than say it being the default state of an unregulated capitalist market?" Evidence?...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Greg Tingey noted: "To the point that burning Oil or Coal is ... "Not Economic" except for specialist purposes." fwiw, there was a statistic in Harper's Magazine a few years back that suggested 100% of the U.S. was economically suitable...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Charlie, it occurs to me that even though there's so much to be gloomy about, one of the strengths of F/SF fandom is how creative fen are. So why not turn the question around? Not "how bad will things get?",...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    In the category of foolish optimism, I'm putting my faith (i.e., optimism unsupported by fact) in the outcome in which both the U.K. and the U.S. embark upon disastrous policies, learn hard lessons, and spend 30 years repairing the damage....
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Frankn noted: "You can do the math as well as I can, but it's an illustration that big, shallow bodies of water lose a lot to evaporation" Which is why, incidentally, it makes no sense for so many farms to...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Bean Sidhe: You've clearly got a formidable intellect, but I simply can't make myself read your long rants. The signal to noise ratio is far too low. Plus, what's with the gratuitous insults? Frankly, I've got better things to do...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Frank wondered: "Just thought of another scam: if we need to build the equivalent of 5,000 great pyramids per year of carbon just to get our annual emissions out of the air, perhaps we can figure out a carbon-negative way...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Frank noted: "Ugh, you use vegetation community too? How far has that pesky neologism spread?" At least as far as deepest, darkest northwestern China, which is where most of my authors work. *G* I have no objection to the term...
  • Commented on Help Wanted at the Climate Policy Sausage Factory
    Ioan suggested the benefits of carbon offsets: "It works better to preserve biodiversity within the developed world than alternatives." Nope. It preserves *biomass*, not biodiversity. Since the easiest way to obtain a carbon offset is to establish a monoculture plantation...
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