Geoff Hart

Geoff Hart

  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    Quick note re. headcount: Employment, per se, is not the end goal of onshoring to bring jobs back to the developed world. The goal is to give people (under the current economic system) a way to empower themselves by earning...
  • Commented on The World of Tomorrow
    Scarily plausible, and the source for a large handful of really interesting novels. Can't wait to see what you come up with! A quibble about Europe: I think large parts of Europe are dangerously close to a right-wing rebellion that...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    Graydon noted: "Thing about backups; one is no good. You need at least three independent ones. (different places, mechanisms, and processes. Nothing on a laptop or phone counts.)" Very much yes. I noted that the DVDs are only one part...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    Speaking of ransomware, it's worth a reminder that if you're not doing backups, you should be. I've stopped counting the number of "... and I had no backup" tales of woe from friends and colleagues. In this day of malware,...
  • Commented on Rejection Letter
    One minor correction re. Charlie's "the NSA black ice": ICE was originally "intrusion countermeasures electronics", and was therefore (basically) highly evolved antivirus software, not penetration software. Gibson's use of "black" ICE meant that the software responded with lethal force. I...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    Forgot to add a note about the origins of "punk" as an epithet: the original use was to represent an explicit rebellion against the established norms (mainstream rock and roll in the case of "punk rock"), and its adoption was...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    Interesting factoid about the cost of ships. Just read a news story in which the reporter described the budgeted cost for a series of new U.S. Navy ships (guided missile cruisers and littoral combat ships). Based on the reported budgeted...
  • Commented on Traveller RPG, Firefly, Dumarest, Vatta's War... are they all "Star Punk"?
    I'm with gordycoale: "Punk" isn't what defines the quality; it only defines the context and the esthetic. The author's job is to use that context well. Some do, and create art; some don't, and create pastiche or worse. Like any...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Heteromeles, thanks for the history update....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Heteromeles noted: "... the best way forward was to prop up Hirohito, even though everyone knew he was a war criminal." Correct me if I'm wrong (you've clearly studied this more than I have and my knowledge is now quite...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Somes J noted: "The scientific revolution is an S curve and we're already past the steepest part..." I think it's more correct to state that "the" scientific revolution (a wording that assumes only one) is actually a long series of...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Allen Thomson wondered: "Given that our present genes and higher-order systems are the result of mindless selection operating over gigayears that finally got to a mess that somewhat works..." One quibble: Yes, evolution is "mindless" in the sense that it...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Heteromeles raises some important points. Implicit in these points, therefore worth making explicit, is that ecology has its own equivalents of "The Cold Equations". First, there's no such thing as a free lunch. Everything has costs, and the piper must...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Heteromeles (860) reported the problem with irrigation: that as long as evaporation and plant transpiration exceed inputs of water, there's a high risk of net movement of salts into the rooting zone. The only solution is using tons of water...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    bevans1 wondered: "What I'm asking is if we have an immediate drop of economic activity and population of, say fifty percent in the next five years, will that change our destiny? I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed,...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    A note re. trains vs. trucks: Yes, trains are vastly more efficient than trucks, but they suffer from a significant problem: unless you're writing a story set in China Mieville's "Railsea" world*, the system of tracks isn't pervasive or omnipresent....
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Graydon noted: "The scary, scary thing about current inputs is that a)we now have a good reason to believe we've doubled the Milankovitch swing (180-280 ppm..." That is, the CO2 increase since pre-industrial revolution times is about twice the increase...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Julian Bond noted that “If the resource constraints don't get you the Wankers will!” And the Wankers cause surprising resource constraints, including massive deforestation. Warning: link not for those of a sensitive disposition: https://tinyurl.com/lutaclk MirrorField noted “I do think at...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Heteromeles: no offence taken. Metaphors aren't objectively correct entitities, and tastes in metaphor vary. Works for me, but not for you. I'm OK with that. Jumping topics: In terms of future family structures, I'd have to say I don't foresee...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Heteromeles noted: "There are a bunch of big problems with this idea: religions are not species or even populations, they're clusters of ideas and identifiers. They also don't "evolve" even as bacteria do, primarily because people talk to teach other...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Daniel Duffy noted: "Demographics aren't the worst of China's problems. In their rush to industrialize they have turned China into a toxic cesspool." I'm also unconvinced that demographics are a major problem for China. On the contrary, they have a...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    Heteromeles noted: "Now, if you want to really dive into the weed, the other problem with growing huge amounts of algae for biofuels is that they take huge amounts of nutrients other than carbon. I believe there's a calculation out...
  • Commented on 2117 revisited
    End of a lonnnng day. Apologies in advance for any infelicities. A note about Hindi: Most of my Indian friends (particularly those in southern India) pointed out that English is the lingua franca [sic] in India because everyone who isn't...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    Robert Prior noted: "According to a Canadian paramedic I know, they often call motorbike riders "organ donors" because they have young, healthy, bodies after the fatal accident. Grim humour, but kidding on the square." More Canadian anecdata: Heard exactly the...
  • Commented on Popcorn Time
    "Say hello to the new Monopoly piece for the Brexit edition": https://twitter.com/brexitannia2017/status/843033171226742785...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    While we're on the subject of programming languages, thought I'd pass along a quip from a programmer friend who once grappled with APL: "APL, the world's first read-only programming language, is an initialsm for 'APL Programming Language' -- it's a...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Re. "Smart" devices that won't run without internet access, thereby introducing great gaping security holes in one's home network. I foresee a not-too-distant day when some clever hacker or group of hackers creates a dongle that fakes out the smart...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    dpb reported: "A doctor friend of mine keeps telling me that death is actually one of the harder things to diagnose. I find that a a bit concerning really." Your friend was exaggerating. Like disease, there are different types and...
  • Commented on The internet of decay
    Software security is not a new issue; I published my first article warning people how to protect themselves from viruses and trojans nearly 30 years ago, and I wasn't remotely the first person writing about this. Breaches of password databases...
  • Commented on The End of the British nuclear deterrent?
    "Free trade" is a bit of a myth. Great idea in principle if you don't care what happens to domestic industries that will be crushed by bigger foreign competitors, but in practice, the country with the bigger and nastier lawyers...
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