Graydon

Graydon

  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    That leaves the ambitious nazis and murderous dominionists in charge. It doesn't matter if Trump has a stroke on camera. Absent a death certificate, he's not leaving. And if he leaves, it's the chief murderous dominionist. There is no sufficient...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    Honestly, Charlie, I know it's a business meeting and I know you'd have to eat the ticket cost, but were I you I'd cancel the February trip. There is no good future out of this absent a general insurrection and...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    What specific material thing would you change? Is that thing actually possible? (That is, "I would like everyone to be honest" isn't a real goal because it can't happen.)...
  • Commented on Policy change: future US visits
    Canada is a)a lot harder to get into than you think, and b)not safe; we're either Austria in 1933 or at some risk of a mini-me Trump. (I get the Canadian Conservative Party leadership candidate's emails. There is one and...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    There is no direct bootstrap to solar PV. There MIGHT be a bootstrap to wind, but efficient wind is hard; it takes rare-earth magnets and that means lasers and that means semiconductors which is a sort of iterative process of...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Once the sea levels rise and sea water comes in contact with 'developed' land, what toxins are likeliest to be released into these waters, at what rate? Err... Pretty much impossible to answer. You're talking things like "lower Thames Watershed",...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    "At least twenty years early" would have been about 2000. All this stuff is in the present tense....
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    There's a basic dilemma for high-tech civilization. Everybody can't join; there isn't enough for everybody to achieve that rate of consumption. ("the future is not evenly distributed") This is true _whether or not_ climate change is an issue. (Climate change...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Baltic states are a net economic drain to the conqueror. (either keeping them pacified or the expense involved in extermination and colonization.) Russia's economy sits on selling natural gas and oil. They're very much a petro state. Europe is their...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    You can't. That's the whole problem. Given a lot of land area, you can plant for every range of plausible outcome, but this presumes that you have the stuff to plant (not a given; current seed production is heavily optimized...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    Nothing in Iceland is self-sufficient; it can't be. There's only 300,000 of them or so. Whole huge industries they can't have. All the plumbing has to be imported. This is way more economic than importing food, but going off fossil...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Having the US establishment have to cope with the horrid fallout of a Trump-near-win would be excellent from Putin's point of view. Having to cope with Trump having the button and Trump's cabinet getting major input into the global economy...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Tinamou _are_ volant ratites (deeply nested, it turns out, rather than the sister group) but they're basically ratite upland ground bird analogs; they're not good or long distance flyers. The ibis comparison is via (my memory of) a ROM researcher's...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    Increasing insecurity increases money flow (that's what advertising does) *AND* social predictability. That drives a really powerful feedback to keep increasing people's insecurity right up until things come unstuck. I suspect a major problem right now is that "accurate" is...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    Well, we _can't_ live by agriculture without mechanization; there are way too many of us. (My childhood involved such entertaining learning experiences as chopping wood and using a scythe. And harnessing horses, and arguing with sheep, and well, I'm not...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    Birds survived strictly in the southern hemisphere. And bird branch points are still controversial as to dates. There's been some recent work arguing that ratite dispersion is *all* instances of volant ancestors becoming non-volant, which explains various things much better...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    In the case of submerged turbines, you have to keep them from fouling. This is really, really difficult. The most effective known approach involves tin-based paints -- "Tributyltin" -- which have been globally banned because they were so thoroughly slaughtering...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    It's about how people do insecurity management. Any doctrine has the strong advantages of simplicity and social reinforcement; it will handle an actual emergency really badly, but until then, you get a reassuringly stable hierarchy and not needing to spend...
  • Commented on And the Rabid Nazi Raccoons shall inherit the Earth
    As I understand it, best practice is to paint one side of such an object as far out as possible. It really doesn't take much change to generate a miss. (Whether you want to make it more shiny or more...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Probably, yeah. Much much better than "let's barrage off the tidal flats!" but effective marine anti-fouling is really tough to do in a combination of effective, economical, and ecologically friendly way. I'm not sure that's even "pick two"; so far...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    As I wrote above, I'm not an ogre. I just want something at least an order of magnitude safer than current designs... 1 bad accident per 1000 reactors over 75 years comes close to what I'd like to see, particularly...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Tidal is a bad idea. (ecologically destructive for poor energy return even when ideally sited. Very few ideal sites; ideal sites critical for ecology.) Other than that, sure....
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    Sure you can. But _right now_, the problem is "how do we get rid of coal?" AND "how do we keep India from going into coal in a big(ger) way?" Solar is cheaper than coal, and getting cheaper. That's mostly...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    People are afraid of nuclear power the same way they're afraid of sharks. (Statistically, you should be much more afraid of cows than sharks.) Canada and France have already run safe designs for decades. The standard you are proposing could...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    CANDU and the French equivalent have all of those characteristics. (Though there was an interesting surprise about zirconium crystal structure under sustained neutron bombardment.) Waste is pretty much a non-problem. People want a definitive solution for it and it's very...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    Absolutely. Any renewables infrastructure has to decide on how much storage. Right now, that amount is generally very low. My expectation -- having lived through ice storms in a rural area where no one went anywhere for a week or...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    Yah, but stuff with really long half lives means that your amount of radiation per unit time is low for a given mass. (Half-life = how long it takes half of it to decay. If the half life is in...
  • Commented on "You're only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!" 2017 continued.
    The advantage to nukes over coal is that coal is busy killing the planet. Break agriculture with climate forcing, and everybody dies. (At least to a first approximation, and maybe actually.) Even considered purely in terms of excess deaths, coal...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    This wouldn't be a problem if we could store energy on those scales of time and amount, but we can't. But we can; flow batteries and ammonia synthesis for certain. Heat pumps instead of furnaces and better building insulation --...
  • Commented on Things Can Only Get Better! (Part 1)
    So far as I know, no one has ship-based marine wind power, able to follow the wind around. I think that's going to be an important thing to have established as the hemispheric atmospheric circulation changes more over the next...
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