Dave Bell

Dave Bell

  • Commented on All that is old is new again (heavy politics dance remix)
    There's a film in this story. "The Pig Who Bit Liberty Vallance", or something like that. You know the one, about legend and fact and what people believe....
  • Commented on A question about the future of the world wide web
    Advertising overlaps with telling the customer about the product, and I have a feeling that the dishonesty of advertising is affecting the whole business of selling over the web. I've just had to replace the PSU on this computer. The...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    One example of this runs through the books of James Herriot. Animals rather than human medicine, but many things went from being livestock killers to something that could be easily prevented. And he was a vet who trained at just...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    That's certainly one of the big changes. There were big cities, but they depended on huge pleasant populations to feed them. The actual mechanisation of agriculture only really boomed in my father's lifetime—he ploughed with horses—and he was also pretty...
  • Commented on How I learned to stop worrying and love the concept of punitive slating....
    I'm not sure what the politics of fans really are, compared to the country they come from. Saying there's a lot of Americans doesn't mean you can assume they're typical Americans, and a simple left-right scale just isn't going to...
  • Commented on How I learned to stop worrying and love the concept of punitive slating....
    Make it clear what voters are wanted by changing the Hugo rules to require physical attendance at at least one Worldcon every five years or so to purchase a supporting membership. I have attended two Worldcons in 25 years....
  • Commented on How I learned to stop worrying and love the concept of punitive slating....
    There's one novel, published a couple of days ago, which I shall nominate. The author had a long and very successful career, and there's a story of him refusing a Hugo nomination because he was so commercially successful he didn't...
  • Commented on How I learned to stop worrying and love the concept of punitive slating....
    I can foresee how a spoiler-slate still doesn't produce enough nominations to actually make a difference: if there are 20 slate-votes and the difference between nomination and not-nomination is more than 20 votes, does it matter? But they can be...
  • Commented on A Storm Of Stories
    I think I might have pushed some limits with that quote I posted. [[ Yes. You did. As a known commenter you got away with it this time, but don't tigger too much next time - mod ]] But I...
  • Commented on A Storm Of Stories
    So maybe my stories are not so dreadfully bad. And maybe the fan-fic model will work as a distribution channel. If there's no chance of being paid anyway, why not? "I expect," said Arabella, "That if the pirates had succeeded...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    I'm not sure that keeping sufficient satellites operational in orbit needs exotic engineering such as a space elevator. It needs a lot to build and fly a booster but, on the global scale, the fuel consumption of the flight is...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    I find I don't agree with everything Anita Sarkeesian says. But she keeps coming up with questions that need an answer. My personal summary of the problem: why is there no Bonnie and Clyde in Grand Theft Auto? I think...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    I am not going to try and drag out the details, but "No Award" has a special rule that applies, and can be eliminated in the round when it has the lowest total of the remaining nominees. The final Nominee,...
  • Commented on Bad puppies, no awards
    One line in the WIRED article caught my eye. “Look at it like this,” Correia blogged at one point. “I’m Churchill, Brad is FDR. We wound up on the same side as Stalin.” I can see what he's getting at,...
  • Commented on Chilling Effects
    I find military SF as a sub-genre a bit dreary these days, and I used to read a lot of it. Maybe it's because I tried writing some stuff in a sort of parallel setting, and was drawn in by...
  • Commented on Data, books, and bias
    I doubt that straight line for SFWA membership, but the first thirty years of the Hugo nomination figures has roughly the same gradient, which all leads to a feeling that something happened in the Nineties. It'll be interesting to see...
  • Commented on Data, books, and bias
    I wonder what people in Laxton think of the idea of the Tragedy of the Commons. A working system needs social/legal systems to settle disputes, and losing them is what kills the Commons. Successful private ownership also depends on such...
  • Commented on Data, books, and bias
    The graph that compares Hugo Nominations to SFWA membership has a big problem. Only 3 data points for SFWA membership. With those three data points it could be a sigmoid curve rather than a straight line, a steeper curve around...
  • Commented on Data, books, and bias
    Something to remember is that these things change with time, and it's unusual for somebody new to get an award. So there's some lag. But there are also some bizarre events affecting awards. No names, but the Hugo Awards last...
  • Commented on Random thought for the day
    I am out of date on ammonium nitrate, but it was still a commonplace agricultural fertiliser at the turn of the century. I don't know what record-keeping might have been imposed on ordinary retail, but there was several hundred tonnes...
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