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Commented on Existential threats
Heck, how about the fact that previously nearly eradicated childhood diseases are making a comeback due to the fact that some parents don't want to vaccinate their kids? Epidemics of polio or diphtheria would have the double whammy of hitting...
Charlie Stross commented on
Some day I really have to post the talking cat sidekick off-cuts from "Iron Sunrise". TL;DR: in an early draft, Wednesday had a semi-feral half-uplifted cat as comic foil and co-conspirator. However I realized in time that publishing two novels in succession with a talking cat[*] in each one might get me labelled as the talking cat guy, so I ditched him. [*] Aineko isn't a talking robot cat, but a surprising proportion of readers don't seem to understand the distinction between a talking robot cat and a vastly transcendent AI who has found that humans are more easily led...
Charlie Stross commented on
I'm not worried about metal; I'm worried about fuel. There used to be places where crude oil welled up and pooled on the surface. Not so much any more. There used to be easily accessible deposits of high quality anthracite coal. Again, not so much any more. While there's lots of metal kicking around in our cities and spoil heaps, the next civilization to bootstrap won't be running on petrol-powered internal combustion engines in personal automobiles....
Greg. Tingey commented on
paws4thot @ 362 "Western Isles" & crop-growing. Erm, isn't it Tiree, the island beneath the waves, that has more sunshine than almost naywhere else in the UK, and was recorded as growing TWO crops of barley in one season, in ... 1764. @ 364 At least one variety of cat, the Norwegian Forest, have their front "thumb" claws significantly separated from the rest. Which is why they can climb things significantly better than other varieties of cat. Couple that with the intelligence of a Birman or Aby (our Birman tom understands, and can open, objects with lids - oh dear)...
untranslatableconcept commented on
this may have already been suggested, having skimmed too quickly the above entries. the same people who are really into custom order genetic sequence printing in their basement kludge together a crude brain - machine interface, not very advanced, but enough to make you raise your hand in front of a senate committee, which promptly outlaws everything to do with it. this sparks, of course, serious black investment projects into exactly the kind of stuff we're not ready for yet. and when it is done crudely, leaked and blueprints/geneprints/schematics torrented, you get the best street high anyone has ever experienced....
aratuk commented on
Going further, there may come a day when we forget we once built this stuff. Maybe theres a potential fictional work in this, a far far future fantasy story where the "magic" starts to break down[...] I highly, highly recommend you read The Book of the New Sun by Gene Wolfe. It takes place in an "Urth" of the far-future where the vast majority of people essentially have the means, knowledge, and culture of Europe in the middle ages, while they live among the detritus of what had clearly been a much more advanced civilization (in the form of a...
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- Common Misconceptions About Publishing—a series of essays about the industry I work in.
- How I Got Here In The End —my non-writing autobiography, or what I did before becoming a full-time writer.
- Unwirer—an experiment in weblog mediated collaborative fiction.
- Shaping the Future—a talk I gave on the social implications of Moore's Law.
- Japan: first impressions — or, what I did on my holidays
- Inside the MIT Media Lab—what it’s like to spend a day wandering around the Media Lab.
- The High Frontier, Redux — space colonization: feasible or futile?
- “Nothing like this will be built again”—inside a nuclear reactor complex.
- Old blog—2003-2006 (RIP)