Frank Landis

Frank Landis

  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Incidentally, cruising back from gizmodo-linked websites: --There's a very hot new electric motocross motorcycle that's winning races (http://lanesplitter.jalopnik.com/2016-could-be-the-year-of-the-electric-motorcycle-1749875077) and --The Pentagon is looking seriously at stealth electric motorcycles for special forces (http://foxtrotalpha.jalopnik.com/the-u-s-military-is-getting-serious-about-stealth-moto-1779663732) as well as 150 KW lasers on ships...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Semi-serious question for the engineers: About replacing diesel-powered earth moving equipment with electric-powered equivalents. Currently I've been thinking about electric bulldozers. An alternative might be a swarm of thousands of swarmbots that each move a tiny amount of earth, but,...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Interesting and marginally relevant incident: this week I was on a jury. One of my fellow jurors is a bureaucrat in my local city, and he does a lot of commercial and residential permitting kind of stuff. He's working quite...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Quote du jour: "Public life as it has in fact taken place is formidably untidy, unpredictable, able, filled with chance and surprise. Analytical models are useful, but life is not logical, it is historical. We cannot force it to fit...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    If you want an answer from the horse's orifice, well, actually, from a UC Davis Prof (as cached at the California Air Resources Board), the amount of water used by California agriculture is: 80%: based on the developed water supply...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    You're trolling, right? A city without the huge peripheral infrastructure is a death trap. For example, Los Angeles gets some of its water from as far away as the Sacramento Delta and the Colorado, depends on food grown around the...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    It looks like NYC is going for smart water meters (http://www.nyc.gov/html/dep/html/customer_services/amr_about.shtml) In Cadillac Desert (written around 1980), the City of Reno is listed as not having any metered water. That's no longer true. Homes built in 1988 or later have...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    That's a good point. The counterpoint is that electricity might become one of the western US' best exports, and that would be an incentive for rewiring the country into one single smart grid. It depends on the timescale. If we're...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    If you have to pierce the blood-brain barrier, you're basically creating a hole for bacteria (which are less than ten microns across generally)....
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    It's on http://www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/index.html. Tastes differ, but personally I think it's at best inelegant to swamp other people's posts with my long essay, especially when I don't think others are done with them....
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Remember that about 80% of California water goes to agriculture. The big users are crops like alfalfa, which is, among other things, exported to China to feed livestock there. This is one of the reasons that vegetarians want us to...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Also, given the mess with the Porter Ranch Methane Leak, I'm amused that people still think methane is better than oil. It's a much worse greenhouse gas than CO2, and it's turning out that it's currently impossible to keep it...
  • Commented on Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US
    Sorry about the delay on the format change on the top page. I forgot to ask Charlie how to do that "click to read more" thing, and fortunately he was good enough to show me how to straighten that out....
  • Posted Cyberpunk 2.0: Political economy, energy, and the future US to Charlie's Diary
    Yeah, totally boring academic title, but there's a point to it. Here in this online community, we tend to err on the side of rational analysis, and I'm going to be a stinker and point out how much politics shapes...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Hmmm. Backing up to this a bit, I got my PhD in a department that was famous around the country for the conflict between two of the ecologists, one of whom was my doctoral adviser. The conflict expressed itself in...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Cool, you got a small discount if the Google exchange rate is correct....
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    It's really worth reading The Power of Babel, because McWhorter goes into things like this One of the common patterns is pidginization of widely-spoken languages, especially if they're used for trade. What happens is that the language in question becomes...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    We actually don't know that. Languages shift fairly randomly, and the guess is that, after something like 10,000 years of change, languages are essentially randomized compared to their ancestors. This is even more true of unwritten languages, which change more...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Well, one might hypothesize that the English language, especially as it is used by elites, is equally and deliberately exclusionary. So is scientific discourse, with its polysyllabic vocabulary and arguments over which model and level of discourse is appropriate ipso...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Would you believe that I actually have a chapter in the book about this? Well, two chapters really (one on why some problems are difficult and one on future languages). Let's get away from discussion of computer formats and talk...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Well, after doing all the formatting for Smashwords Premium (where they ship it to Apple and Kobo), I find out that it was all in vain, because their epub validator still does not like all the formatting that I spent...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    It's now on sale at Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/hot-earth-dreams...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Incidentally, on Hot Earth Dreams I toggled no DRM on any of the eBook versions. It's worth double-checking if this is what is coming out of the publisher, but so far I haven't seen anything. However, as the author, I'm...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    Actually, if you wanted to get really and truly, viciously meta, then I'd suggest that, quite simply, that magic depends on narrativium, which is the magical element from which narratives are made. Now, if we treat narrativium like a very...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    So rocker chicks rule? That sounds very late 20th Century. Actually bacteria rule more. Personally, I think that PTerry, with his witches and most especially Tiffany Aching, was massively more subversive about power roles than that. Of course the other...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Actually, I've had the same thought. For everyone else who doesn't mind a minor spoiler, The first half of the book is basically everything you need to know to understand what I'm talking about: climate change model, mass extinction, the...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    One thing we've got to watch out for with magical pollution is that, in the real world, ritual pollution and ritual uncleanliness tend to fall disproportionately on women, minorities, poor, slaves, and so on, with real negative social and even...
  • Commented on Magic, ecospeak and genre distinctions
    I've played with that, simply because dark matter and energy are just the latest "here be dragons" flag on the blank areas of the map of reality. There's no other reason to put dragons and magic in them. Personally, I...
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    Thanks Graydon. I'll check these out for the future. Since I'm most of the way through my dancing bear routine with Smashwords, I might as well finish grumbling my way through it....
  • Commented on <i>Hot Earth Dreams</i>
    But maybe it's not so important to nail down what exactly we want from our stories, but to look at what undeveloped possibilities there are, and explore them. Yes, that's my take on it. That's the second half of Hot...
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