Geoff Hart

Geoff Hart

  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Interesting that in the Dust Bowl discussion, several posters seem to be falling into the binary fallacy -- that is, that there was only one source for the problem. It's worth noting that when you have two opposing sides to...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    A footnote on the various technical solutions to global warming: SF/F readers, being smarter than the average bear, tend to assume that the solutions to most problems are technological. And indeed, technology is often *part* of the solution. But it's...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Thanks for the follow-ups on mirrors. In short, and thus oversimplified, the approach seems like a possible way to improve crop growth, but that will depend on local conditions (including crop species), and you need space for the mirrors. Probably...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Just a quick note in response to Charlie's question about extracting radioactives from granite. Something like the following might be of interest: https://www.ctvnews.ca/sci-tech/alberta-high-school-student-discovers-new-diamond-extraction-method-1.4232736 (Must return to work. I'll get caught up on the other comments tomorrow, time perimitting.)...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    SFreader wondered: "it seems that no one has yet considered plant geometry might not be as large a factor in artificial lighting scenarios where light bounces off highly reflective well-(thermo &moisture)-insulated walls." I don't recall reading about that particular measurement,...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Elderly Cynic noted: "It's also why it is a myth that fast-growing plants produce more biomass (e.g. conifer plantations versus coppicing)." Yes, but you have to consider the goals and time scale. Trees like poplars and willows tend produce large...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    SFReader wondered about my "you can only decrease leaf area so far before the loss of energy-collecting surfaces starts to impact yield." SFR: "Hadn't considered this. Thanks! and would appreciate any examples of this." That summary was my take-home from...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    SFReader notes: "Reducing the size of the inedible parts of a plant could also be a strategy for increasing food production efficiency." Indeed, and the development of semi-dwarf cultivars of rice and wheat was responsible for major increases in crop...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Daniel Duffy reported the big tobacco gene hack: It's a very cool finding, and could be a game-changer, but in practice, such things are usually more difficult to implement than the researchers want us to believe. Photosynthesis is an insanely...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Heteromeles dismissed my argument about "tragedy of the commons". In fact, Frank, I don't think your response suggests that we disagreed: all of Ostrom's principles are clearly examples of what I wrote: "The idea that people tend to overexploit shared...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Heteromeles notes: "the Tragedy of the Commons is BS that even Garret Hardin, who first popularized it, repudiated latter on. It's basically capitalist propaganda arguing that everything should be privatized." Rubbish. The idea that people tend to overexploit shared resources...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Daniel Duffy noted: "A mature coast redwood can remove huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air, the AATA points out, sequestering as much as 250 tons of the greenhouse gas per tree." [Many interesting notes redacted] True, and speaking...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    I live with and am married to someone I love, and who rocks my world even those days when we're butting heads. I have many friends, some of whom have been with me for decades, though we're at the age...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    Greg Tingey noted "People in the US can easily move to another state, if things go to shit ( See my link about Ohio earlier ) ... here it's just a little bit more difficult." But you can just move...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    OK, first a little levity, since that's how you started: summon Fabian Everyman. No, really. After all those years of Conservative rule, the British public will be happy to have a leader who actually cares whether they live or die....
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    Heteromeles notes: "...there are ample precedents, from Superman to Pratchett's Death, of superpowered characters working admirably well in stories where they are, by far, the most powerful characters in the piece." Definitely. Different strokes for different folks! Heteromeles: "Still, OGH...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: The Delirium Brief
    Charlie: "But Bob in particular has "leveled up" so far that he's quite hard to use as a sympathetic viewpoint character in a work of fiction." Based on the last things we've seen of Bob, I'd disagree -- from my...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Robert Prior wondered about my "eight shades of ma" story: "Mandarin has 4+1 tones: rising, falling, dipping, high, and unvoiced (which isn't considered a tone, but sounds different)... Cantonese has 8. Maybe the story is in Cantonese?" Yes, Cantonese. My...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Robert van der Heide noted: "My admittedly limited experience with Japanese says ditch the romanizations ASAP and try to learn to read it the way native speakers do." Tried that, and found myself completely incompetent at memorization of the symbols....
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Elderly Cynic notes: "Rote learning was still a required skill when I was at school (and it was punishable if you failed), but it was not regarded as being even an aspect of intelligence. It was simply a different required...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    icehawk notes: "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
    Graydon noted: "More workers doesn't produce more innovation. That's the whole mythical man-month thing." Yes, but with the caveat that it depends on the nature/quality of the workers, their diversity, and how they're managed. Where you see serious returns on...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    whitroth reports: "Travelers in New Zealand who refuse to hand over their phone or laptop passwords to Customs officials can now be slapped with a $5000 fine." There are a *lot* of fen who will balk at that for Worldcon...."...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Heteromeles: "As far as the Eukaryotic Tree of Life goes, fungi are far closer to animals than they are to plants." My bad: I was referring to the original context (why women could only do botany, thus long ago) and...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    John Hughes noted about my description of David Brin's Sundiver using laser cooling: "Doesn't work -- you're taking a high entropy source (heat) to make something that is low entropy (laser beam). You've made a time machine." Well, first, Brin...
  • Commented on Taxonomy of story, or, why murder?
    Heteromeles noted: "Since botany is the science that (in Victorian English terms) was everything fit for females to learn, e.g. it was the study of stuff that didn't pee on you in fear and which wasn't hunted by sporting chaps...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Heteromeles noted: "I'm trying to avoid the problem of reconciling quantum mechanics and general relativity, but it's another elephant. The answer isn't simple or obvious now, and it's not clear we know why." We know (i) that quantum mech works...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Graydon, thanks for the additional notes on greenhouse agriculture. I'm not horribly worried by competition with existing greenhouse companies. The idea would be to reduce imports, not to compete with existing exporters. Shouldn't be too hard to develop mechanisms to...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Vulch criticized my comment that I'd expect you get a shitload of thermal radiation from a sunshield: "You might want to have a look at the James Webb Space Telescope which uses a sunshade to keep the instruments cold. Although...
  • Commented on Do my Homework
    Troutwaxer noted: "Sociopath Punk. I like it. And aptly named, too. Ideally you take a pill before going to work and it wears off before you get home." Niven had a story about this... can't pull up details, and excavating...
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