Robert Prior

Robert Prior

  • Commented on Someone please cancel 2019 already?
    In both cases decentralising power and tax-raising powers is the answer. Which may explain recent Ontario neocon politics — to whit, disempowerment of local governments in the name of "efficiency" (which is a crock of fecal matter, as amalgamations...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    this famine was, if anything, one of a kind - a "man-made" one You might find Mike Davis' book Late Victorian Holocausts interesting....
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    What do people think the CO2 level will be by the year 2100? Over 600ppm. I think a linear projection is optimistic. Between a lack of willpower to take action now, and the release of greenhouse gases from thawing permafrost...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    You can make it foolproof, but you can't make it damned-foolproof....
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Also a big chunk of Benford's book Deep Time. (Not to be confused with Darling's more recent book of the same title.)...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    the development of semi-dwarf cultivars of rice and wheat was responsible for major increases in crop yield during the green revolution And before. Medieval wheat was a lot shorter than ancient Egyptian wheat, for example. Farmers have been selectively breeding...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    The other is that the Republican base is just xenophobic. Trump is motivated to keep his base. According to Everybody Lies by Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, the biggest correlation between actual votes for Trump and Google searches* was "good n-word** jokes". He...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    For a decent account of that, may I recommend this book? http://roadswerenotbuiltforcars.com I backed it on Kickstarter, and it's an excellent read....
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    SUV's were marketed for *sport*, and offroad And safety. Back in the 90s or 00s I read an article in (I think) the NYT about how people were buying SUVs because they felt afraid. It included an interview with a...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    Remember back to when deeds still came with 'no mixed race couples' Fortunately my memory of the 60s doesn't include that. The adults that my parents brought home for parties included people from all over the world, so I learned...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    https://www.sciencenews.org/article/new-way-genetically-tweak-photosynthesis-boosts-plant-growth Looks like it's C3 photosynthesis they're working on: http://science.sciencemag.org/content/363/6422/eaat9077 Abstract Meeting food demands for the growing global human population requires improving crop productivity, and large gains are possible through enhancing photosynthetic efficiency. Photosynthesis requires the carboxylation of ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate (RuBP)...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    One way is that, with a dark enough view of your fellow human, life comes as a pleasant surprise. "An optimist is never pleasantly surprised."...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    I've attached an article about what happened to a professor who tried jaywalking in Atlanta (Arizona, not Atlanta.) Black woman, white male officer. Was she arrested because she was jaywalking, or because she got 'uppity' with the cop? (Who seems...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    By the time you're near the end of the trip, gotta-get-there-itis becomes so overwhelming the temptation to speed becomes almost irresistible. I've never had that problem, even when I was in my 20s....
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    I misspoke. (Miswrote?) I mean more time to react (which might mean stopping, but also swerving, hitting the horn, etc.)....
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    The logic behind lowered speed limits was that drivers have increased reaction times. A secondary benefit not considered in the original debates* is survivability. Statistical analysis summarized here: https://nacto.org/docs/usdg/relationship_between_speed_risk_fatal_injury_pedestrians_and_car_occupants_richards.pdf Looking at the graphs, a pedestrian stuck front-on by a vehicle...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    So that would be 70 km/h past an elementary school, then*? Or were you thinking of using a 'drivers vote' only for highways with no pedestrians, cyclists, etc? Given that the damage to pedestrians goes up considerably with speed, I...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    I find that the people who most often tell me "you should drive at the speed of traffic" only use that to mean other people should drive faster, not that they should drive slower. It's as if "the speed of...
  • Commented on Crawling from the wreckage
    One of the Stainless Steel Rat books had that. The main character time-travels to 20th century Earth, and is shocked to realize that they are still burning petrochemicals....
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    Re: '"Did you think we actually spend $1_000 buying a hammer?"' Define 'hammer'. I don't know about hammers, but I used to know someone who trained fighter mechanics, and he got really pissed when someone pulled out the story about...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    It's the Politburo or whatever they call it lately that runs the Chinese economy, not the invisible hand of Adam Smith. At the lower levels the invisible hand works well enough in China. At the upper levels, well, maybe I'm...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    I assume you were being ironical about US executives going to jail for any sort of bank fraud. Could never happen of course. If it couldn't, then the indictment is political and she shouldn't have been arrested in the first...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    they are an attempt to pressure the Chinese bureaucrats to go fully capitalist To my uninformed eyes, China looks to be about as capitalist as the US right now, in practice if not in law. There are a lot of...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    She wasn't arrested for sanction violations. She was indicted in the U.S. for bank fraud All the news stories I've read that mention fraud tie it into sanctions, though. As in 'fraudulently claiming that her company's operations didn't violate the...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    Has no-one anything to say about this drone attack which is paralysing Gatwick? Don't think they're using DJI drones. Those won't fly near an airport*. My money would be on a home-brew model or a larger industrial model, if I...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    xkcd money chart: https://xkcd.com/980/...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    I do wonder how much the 'caught in between' was intentional, and how much was accidental. My personal take (based only on reading Canadian and Chinese news sources) is that Huawei may well have been violating US sanctions, but the...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    The UK thought about Navies; after all, they'd burned the White House only fifty years before You might find this song by Three Dead Trolls in a Baggie amusing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o7jlFZhprU4...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    I've never been to China Worth going, if you get the chance. Very different than what you see on the news and in movies. A lot less monolithic and controlled than portrayed in the Canadian media, certainly. Walk the streets...
  • Commented on Peak Brexit
    People in the past did operate on long time periods. If your English wood was your only source of timber for the new church, someone did know to plant the acorns for the rebuild. I recall reading somewhere that the...
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