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  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    Satoshi Nakamoto is an emergent AI that came into existence on a D-Wave quantum computer, and depends on NP-hard algorithms (problems where recognising a correct answer is easy, but finding the answer is a matter of non-deterministically looking at a...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    As a non-native English speaker, I fully agree - pronouncing english words is mostly a guessing game. There's a nice poem summarising it perfectly, which you might already know: I take it you already know Of tough and bough and...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    People don't want to read new. People are... funny. (Tim Minchin) But are the complaints about scifi in this post really about scifi these days, or just plainly about bad books? Lazy worldbuilding and unrealistic tropes also exist in other...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Thanks for your comments and recommendations re. Egan. I heard his name pop up a lot when asking about hard sci-fi, and this was the first I read, so I was a bit disappointed - it just seemed to leave...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    (See "Singularity Sky" for my take on that subgenre: it's all fun and games until Admiral Hornblower runs into a cold-war hunter-killer SSN ...) oooh, loved that bit - although once looked at this way, ruined most space battles for...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    An additional thought regarding world building in general: I think to build up the "grit" that makes the world look real requires that the author has a very good understanding of how this fictional world works on all levels, but...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    Putting rocket fins on a Cadillac didn't turn it into a spaceship But apparently putting rockets on a roadster did... Not a very practical one though. (Sorry, got distracted by that whole "billionaire is about to send a sports car...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I actually did, recently (permutation city), but it didn't work for me at all. I didn't get/buy how the virtual world keeps going after being shut down. What is it supposed to be running on? I was holding out to...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    It's not so bad - I think I have another Neal Book that I haven't read yet, and that might just be long enough to bridge the time until Ghost Engine comes out... and since the Merchant Princes series is...
  • Commented on Nom de Teleport
    “I teleported home last night with Ron and Sid and Meg Ron stole Meggy's heart away and I got Sidney's leg.” (Douglas Adams, The restaurant at the end of the universe")...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    just to clarify - drones will always be better for low-altitude, ultra-high resolution imaging - but you can't operate continuously below the stratosphere, and you can't span the entire globe economically. Low-flying drones are for on-demand applications - I think...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    That really depends what ends up cheaper. Of course drones exist and can work, but often just one technology dominates the market, and other technologies decline and can't be ramped up in weeks (but maybe in months or years). Solar...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Another thought - I'm no expert, but I have trouble imagining a Kessler event at some altitude affecting many other orbits (e.g. LEO objects would probably not scatter to geostationary, etc.). But say, if there are international agreements to open...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    You're absolutely right about farmers embracing technology - that's why I picked this example, because I found it more difficult to find another scenario that would directly depend on technology with potentially dire consequences if it fails. I personally know...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    "Connection lost". Refresh. Nothing. Crap. Joe was having a bad day. It all started slowly a few weeks ago, occasional outages of live image feeds, harvesters going astray due to bad position data, but now it was all blacked out....
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