Frank Landis

Frank Landis

  • Commented on Dread of Heinleinism
    Before I put on my moderator cap and tell everyone to find something else to talk about, I'll merely note that the virtue of democracy is that, when the leader's terms are over, they are not killed through assassination or...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    Here's a thought: how many regulars would volunteer to post 500-1,000 words on a subject of their choice, on an open thread, with discussion to follow? And I do mean volunteer, not volunteered. I'm willing to help moderate other people's...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    I agree that tardigrades are really good at repairing DNA, something we'd do well to emulate. Thing is, I think tardigrades go dry, they don't freeze solid. That's the point that we need to keep hammering on, is that it...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    The other thing I'm thinking is that the really important documents--contracts, leases, agreements, licenses, and so forth--tend to not contain a lot of data and tend to be really durable. In contrast, a student's 3D project (or any of your...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    I'm surprised no one picked up on my lame joke of "gravipramine" in the original post....
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    I'm not sure that the flux in data means we're "forgetting our past." First, there's a tremendous surge of ephemeral data. Supposedly, kids these days are recording youtube videos to pass on messages that they used to pass through texts,...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    [4] Study helps explain why jet stream stalls out over regions, causing extreme weather events The Watchers, Jun 28th 2018 Thanks! To go a little further, there's a well-established prediction that the Obama Whitehouse provided a link to, about both...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Savings account interest in the US is less than the rate of inflation. If you park your money in savings, you're actually slowly losing value. Anyway, for people *in general* who are serious about preparing for serious societal emergencies but...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    The weird part about both Deinococcus radiodurans and tardigrades is that the genes responsible for their immense radiation resistance seem to be the same as (or related to) the genes responsible for their immense desiccation tolerance. Both can tolerate immense...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    I wouldn't be surprised in the least, but I didn't want to cause any controversy by asking Charlie to compare the relative qualities of Scottish and Irish brewing. That, and after thinking I'd made a particularly silly joke, I was...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    And third, before I shut up: Speaking about crises, it's worth considering that Queen Elizabeth II will be remembered as the British monarch who presided over the collapse of the British Empire. Tragic, hated figure? Hardly. This is the critical...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    As for the original topic (now that I just spent 10-odd hours of a wombat day at a board of supervisors meeting): My bits of advice: --Prep to move to Ireland as family circumstances allow --Learn how to build rocket...
  • Commented on That sinking feeling
    Not fair. No US political comments but you drop a line like: "leadership as credible as, say, George W. Bush and/or Gordon Brown." I detested Dubya at the time, but with 20/20 hindsight? We've got it infinitely worse today. Gotta...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    I'm getting the notion that the Dreaming is basically what memory palaces want to be when they're all grown up, and all the less functional versions are weeded out. In other words, I think it's essential for long-term survival of...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Gotta build the suckers, which is why a dumb shield isn't a horrible idea: every bit of stuff you've got no other use for can be extruded to make a plasma. With the rest, you've got a cheap and disposable...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    And if you drown us in it, we imperials tend to switch over to the other mode of denigrating the suffering as "people who deserved what dey got," because otherwise we'd have to admit that we complicit in evil, and...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Can I point out that there's a large number of birth control medicines, because women react differently to them, and have to find the formulation that works and doesn't make them sick? If you're dosing the water supply without titrating...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Yep, those are the two I know of....
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Then you're going to have to idiot-proof your ship, basically. That means it would need to be a lot bigger and more redundant than the experts-only model. Making it bigger and more redundant means, of course, it takes a lot...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    That's exactly what I was thinking. Still, we'll have to ask the question again: if you were spending [some insane amount of money and resources] to send a group of highly trained astronauts to another star, would design the ship...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Hunh? When I started this, I was assuming a ship-board population of a few hundred, because shipping a million people at a time is hard. Let's assume that the population of a generation ship starts at, say, 555. If we...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    an emphasis on hobbies and craft for recreation rather than expensive mass media, and probably no star culture of highly-paid entertainers and, er, professional full-time novelists: everyone has at least a limited-hours part-time day lob. This is where Chris Hadfield's...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Thanks. Still doesn't change the original point about astronautics not being a heritable profession (and hopefully there's a silent "yet" attached to that)....
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    There will be missing ingredients that we take for granted. No/minimal automobiles, no aeroplanes or sailboats[**], buildings not made out of biomass or rock, no tourist flights to foreign destinations, an emphasis on hobbies and craft for recreation rather than...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Whatever the lighting system, you still need to supply on order 5-10 times more energy as photons than you'll get out as biomass, simply because photosynthesis isn't all that efficient at converting light into carbs. You'll then have to scale...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    First problem here is that, so far as the demographers can tell, global populations dropped around one-third over the seventeenth century (Geoffey Parker, Global Crisis). And I think we've had this discussion before. But do continue. I'd also suggest you...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Hey everybody, do we want to have that original discussion all over again? Tuomas, we had that discussion on the list years ago. As Charlie noted (and note, he did not write the original post, I did, because he was...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    A) Polynesian islands are *small*. They went through boom-bust population cycles. When it was bad, people starved. Pressure to move on to a new place was very high - and migration relieved population pressure. That doesn't appear to be true....
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    Most of the time humans have only had "stable technology" because of ignorance of others' achievements and expediency - Find something that works, anything, and stick with it....Then it kills you because it's use became inappropriate, and it gets retroactively...
  • Commented on Canned Monkeys Don't Ship Well, the Remix Version
    The bigger point is that astronauts on missions train for years before they go up, and even space tourists have to go through a six-month training course to go up. This has a big role in keeping mortality down. I...
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