Paul

Paul

  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Heteromeles @ 1307: This is a long way of saying that US election shenanigans date back to the writing of the Constitution in the US, I've often heard 2nd Amendment enthusiasts claim that their guns are effective deterrents to government...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Heteromeles @ 1306: Genghis Khan, Muhammad, and Nurhaci, Qin Shi Huang, and Cortes did similar things. The problem is that conquering and ruling are two very different things, and skilled conquerors rarely set up political systems that stand up for...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Charlie Stross @ 1256 I have no idea what the implications of lightening the Victory by 10% right before it's rammed by triremes would be except that it'd expose chunks of the hull that would normally be below the level...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Robert Prior @930 Before about 1700 everyone thought that society and technology were more or less unchanging, and that the whole thing was a zero-sum game. The idea of inventing something to improve productivity, and thereby change society for the...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night ... DON’T ASK US ABOUT: rocks troll’s with sticks All sorts of dragons Mrs. Cake Huje green things with teeth Any kinds of black dogs with orange eyebrows Rains of...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    On the Antikythera Mechanism: That was probably built by Archimedes. Although it is the only one which survives, it was almost certainly not a unique mechanism. Which brings us back to SFReader's question @ 837: why didn't complicated clockwork become...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    SFReader @ 837: Seems that many if not all components of what we think of as major inventions had been around for quite some time before being officially 'discovered'. Begs the question: why? Its a good question. For an answer...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    jcandiloro@848: Germ theory of disease. Once you've got disease figured out then comes sanitation. The Hertford Manuscript by Richard Cowper deals with this one. H.G. Wells' time traveller finds himself stranded in 1665. He tries to explain the germ theory...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Just to come back to the original topic of this thread, the FinCEN files. Banks are moving vast sums for criminals and then filing the required suspicious activity notifications late or not at all. Compliance officers are routinely ignored, or...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    _Moz_ @ 741: Especially once the biohackers work out how to digest plastic and turn it back into wee beasties. Back in the 1970s there was a science fiction TV series called "Doomwatch" where each episode featured some scientific research...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Ahh, that would explain the sequence in "Citizen of the Galaxy" where Thorby is trained to fire atomic missiles on Sisu's fire control computers. The description is clearly of analogue computers (much fine adjustment of vernier dials). I thought it...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Also on steampunk firing computers, take a look at naval gunnery computers from WWII. More dieselpunk than steampunk, analog not digital, but still pretty impressive. https://arstechnica.com/information-technology/2020/05/gears-of-war-when-mechanical-analog-computers-ruled-the-waves/ If you want the technical details, there are some original instruction movies in places...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    510 nanometers is the wavelength of green light, so that is very precise. OTOH I've got a book somewhere published back in the 50s about making your own telescope. With care and time it seems an amateur can grind and...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    JBS @ 596: How about using Babbage's Analytical Engine to drive a GPS system generating firing solutions for the artillery? That was also in "The Difference Engine", albeit without the satellite navigation: "Special military savantry! Dreamy little fellers [...] 'Tis...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Re Justice Ginsberg: It seems her dying wish was that she not be replaced by a Trump appointee: Just days before her death, as her strength waned, Ginsburg dictated this statement to her granddaughter Clara Spera: "My most fervent wish...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Can I just point out that "The Difference Engine" features gatling style guns powered by clockwork and springs, which is probably quicker than getting steam up before firing....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Here is a weird story from the Guardian: some whales are fighting back. This isn't just a few incidents of a whale hitting a boat: there seems to be a gang of orcas who are specifically targetting small boats. Scientists...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    And now the FBI arrest a couple of Boogaloo bois providing illegal gun mods to fake Hamas....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    When I said "Church of Q" I didn't mean a building with a giant Q hanging over the alter; a more likely scenario will be a group of people who call themselves Christians but who actually spend all their effort...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    David L @ 52: QAnon, ... its true number of followers is unclear but in the tens of thousands, I think you're off by at least 2 zeros. More likely 3. I have relatives and my wife's workmates who believe...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    SFReader @ 50: I've no idea what's involved in setting up/registering a charity but figure that it can't be too hard to do or that they're that closely monitored. (See DT & family, plus budget cuts.) I'm not an expert...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Troutwaxer @ 53: this cranky old machine is the key to his getting laid endlessly Sounds like an episode of Warehouse 13....
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Martin @ 27: "You're thinking too law-abidingly. Yes, you are right. Of course the very best private detectives for this kind of job have inside contacts in the various Intelligence agencies. So one day someone comes down to the MOD...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Charlie's plot has a lot in common with Chesterton's "The Man Who Was Thursday", which is about a secret council of anarchists, all but one of whom turn out to be secret policemen investigating each other. [[ fixed link -...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    Can I have a go too? I wonder what the UK version of this looks like... Five Eyes is probably more like N Eyes these days, plus the ever-increasing bandwidth between Military, Security and Police means that there is a...
  • Commented on Books I Will Not Write #8: The Year of the Conspiracy
    The 1271 government organizations and 1931 private companies in 2010 Can we please have commas in numbers that aren't dates....
  • Commented on Dead plots
    I was in Portland, Oregon in the winter of 2003-4 (I think it was), when it suddenly got cold and rained these little pellets of ice, partway between hail and snow, for about 3 days straight. Lots of Oregonians have...
  • Commented on Dead plots
    Heteromelese @1400 on social insects. Don't forget about naked mole-rats, They are the only known eusocial mammals and have a list of other extraordinary characteristics....
  • Commented on Dead plots
    _Moz_ @ 1426: Quite a lot of buses, because you can DIY convert those into something vaguely liveable with only very basic skills. A friend of my parents who happens to be a hyperactive overachiever bought an old coach (i.e....
  • Commented on Dead plots
    JBS @ 1271: I think you're missing some things about how the National Guard actually works; the way orders filter down the chain of command. Trumpolini could cut the governors out, but he won't be able to cut out the...
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