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WreRite

  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    Yes. Famously so. C.1970 a notoriously long winded Country party MP began a speech to parliament with the words 'Now, I'm a Country member. . .' At which point future Labour PM Gough Whitlam interjected 'We remember!'...
  • Commented on Brexit! Means! Brexit!
    Hint: THIS IS A MATTER OF FUCKING LIFE AND DEATH. IF THE UK DOES WHAT YOU SUGGEST, MANY PEOPLE WILL DIE WITHIN A MATTER OF WEEKS. Well, since we're in to Swiftean Modest Proposal territory, would that be such a...
  • Commented on The Pivot
    I'm not sure that Murdoch is pivoting in any meaningful way. Carol Cadwalladr seems to have forced News Corp's hand, having independently come up with information which the Times had been sitting on, so now they're trying to get out...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    SPOILERS for The Fear Index by Robert Harris, and Charlie's Rule 34 Re. Charlie's interest in technothrillers vs. SF, you might want to throw financial thrillers into the mix. The rise of algorithmic trading, flash trading etc. seems to have...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    Meanwhile, in the real world, a young student aquaintance of mine applied for a summer job with a small suburban accounting partnership. A month later, he got a call back from a partner. The partnership had broken up because this...
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    If it hasn't already, I'm sure the thumbdrive full o' bitcoin will replace the briefcase full of bearer bonds or diamonds as the bog standard MacGuffin....
  • Commented on The Nakamoto Variations
    1. From memory, OGH linked to this story on twitter with the plea "Please tell me this is satire." https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/13/style/bitcoin-millionaires.html These techbros are ripe for a stoner comedy. In between bong hits and chugging Infowars smart drugs, our crypto start-up...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    From the OP: [Modern technologies] are the worms in the heart of the mainstream novel of the 21st century. You don't have to extract them and put them on public display, but if they aren't lurking in the implied spaces...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    So, more Goldman Sachs and AIG than John Dillinger? Not quite. Philip the King/state owed the bank money, and used his influence over his relative the Pope/regulator to wriggle out of it. GS used AIG as a bookie, to take...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    King Philip IV of France ran up big debts with the Templars, then connived to have the order disbanded as a means of getting away with default. It wasn't a robbery as such (I don't know whether he seized significant...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    I too learnt much of my vocabulary from books as a kid, and mispronounced much of it, but I was also pretty lazy about looking up the definitions. Most of the time I'd get it from context, but occasionally I'd...
  • Commented on Why I barely read SF these days
    The concept of the teenager and adolescence, and with it commodifiable youth culture and sub-culture didn't emerge until the 19th century. Prior to that, in most(?) cultures, there was just a transition from childhood, best seen and not heard, to...
  • Commented on Houston: what are the long-term consequences?
    Note that unlike New Orleans, Houston is mostly about 10m above sea level. The issue is that it's flat, so the water can't drain away. Latest forecasts: the storm's track has moved eastward a little, so Louisiana will be hit...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    Employment (or unemployment) numbers also conceal the real story. In the 80s there was a sizable blue collar middle class with secure, well paid, often unionized full time jobs. Now, across the anglosphere much of that has been hollowed out....
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    That, and a narcissist's aversion to feelings of lost control or public embarrassment. https://www.businessinsider.com.au/which-famous-banker-did-donald-trump-carry-out-of-the-waldorf-astoria-because-he-was-too-drunk-2011-2?r=US&IR=T...
  • Commented on Trapped in the wrong trouser-leg of time
    The Iranian theocrats shouldn't want an apology for Operation Ajax. Their revolution likely wouldn't have happened without it....
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Despite all of that I still like the Melbourne-Sydney train. The airports which were privatized because efficiency now charge insane monopoly mark-ups on parking, landing slots, coffee etc etc. The train goes CBD to CBD, I can get cheap public...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    You've seen me playing Settlers of Catan, then, have you?...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    We are in furious agreement about all of that, and thank you for making the defence of democracy I was too lazy to make @133....
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    our culture/civilization has to become more complex requiring a higher minimum level of intelligence just to function in it. For the reasons Charlie outlined, an individual doesn't have to be very intelligent to function. I'd tweak your statement to: An...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    By Jingo, I've got it! This isn't the Ian Fleming continuum, it's PG Wodehouse world. Wodehouse would have instantly recognized Kushner as being in the son-in-law business. Either Bannon or Farage would fit the Spode mould, with his alt-right Black...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Aaand we have our Bond girl. Not only is the ex-wife of Mr Y said to be dating Mr. X, but she introduced the daughter of Mr. T to Mr. K, and is said to have (at the very least)...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    And I'm not sure that 007 is really the being to put down this current mess of villains. After all, Bond is a tool of the government, specifically the British one, and does what's in the best interest of that...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Very late entry for tech company merger contest many threads back: Wiki-Lairs A joint venture between Wikileaks and Ecuador. Ecuadorian embassy basements around the world are refitted as inviolable luxury boltholes for the well-heeled villain. Ticker code: ASSHL...
  • Commented on Paging Agent 007
    Random notes: I assume most of you are familiar with Asimov's treatment of the Great man/Villain vs. Stochastic history problem in the Foundation trilogy, especially the black swan character of the Mule. --- Thiel does seem to be building a...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    M.I.C Propaganda Channel of Choice. I'd forgotten that CNN was the (probably unwitting) vector for getting disinformation to Saddam during the Gulf War. Lots of footage of marines practicing amphibious landings, which kept Iraqi forces tied up on Kuwaiti...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    That FT link is blocked by their unusually sophisticated paywall. The CNN piece is interesting, but should be taken with a pinch of salt. "Now, with its huge portfolio of mortgage-backed securities issued by Fannie and Freddie, the Fed...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    Of course, this assumes that markets don't just take a default position that most users are bots. *cough* twitter *cough*...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    Many social media companies have been accused of inflating user numbers, which amounts to a fraud on investors. I dimly recall allegations of pre-tinder dating sites flooding (hetero-) sites with phony sock puppet accounts featuring photos of attractive women, either...
  • Commented on Crying fire in a crowded theatre for pleasure and profit
    I'm not much of a comic book reader, but I'm enjoying The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl (Marvel) courtesy of a plug on Charlie's Twitter. I assume no money changed hands for said plug. . . I know we're not talking about...
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