Paul

Paul

  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    Exactly. And also this: https://www.cnbc.com/2018/09/14/china-must-do-more-to-tap-locals-in-belt-and-road-initiative-panel.html The allegation is that the Chinese lend the money to the host nation, then use it to pay Chinese workers so that the money turns right around and goes back to China. There is a...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    Heteromeles: All very good questions. When I have a geopolitical think-tank to spare I'll ask them to have a shot at it. I've tried to consider how the economic and the military issues interact around a China hegemony, but I...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    I'm less sanguine about China. Yes, in a stand-up hot war between the USA and China, China is going to lose. But the USA isn't going to get off unscathed either. China is developing carrier-killer missiles which are capable of...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    If I were ever going to build my own house I would tackle it as a system engineering project: start with a bunch of use-cases, boil down to a set of requirements (e.g. "The door to the patio SHALL slide...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    in the UK you have many more legal protections buying from a dealership than from a private buyer. True, but that is not what this is about. Cars are merely an example. The more general principle is "asymmetrical information". In...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    I am totally rusty. Obviously keeping up with the latest trends then. https://www.rust-lang.org/ is the new hotness....
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    Cats have a cheat. Human brains have evolved to pay particular attention to crying babies, for obvious reasons. Cats have evolved to purr, miaow and yowl at exactly the same frequencies. https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/news-blog/the-manipulative-meow-cats-learn-to-2009-07-13/...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    paws4thot @ 45: By all means tell me how the McGuffin Drive works, but make that consistent with earlier exposition and future exposition consistent with the infodump! My understanding from outside the profession is that the real trick is making...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    Probably a good time to repeat the disconnect between markets and capitalism. The latter does not require the former, basically, and works best when it controls them completely. This ignores the difference between capitalists and capitalism. Under socialism there is...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    David L @ 956: Pisses me off but what's under the drywall and flooring has no impact on the sale. In Economics this is known as The Market for Lemons (lemon in the automotive sense). Its a nice bit of...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    I again started thinking about timelines and how I'd very much like a map of them. Which reminds me of another question I've been meaning to ask. (If the answer is in Invisible Sun then please ignore). Are timelines connected...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    the Commonwealth were unwilling to send their airships through any time line adjacent to time line 2 for fear of detection Also the airships are meant to be exploration vessels, so I wonder if perhaps the system for tasking them...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    I'd have thought Lois Bujold....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    Heteromeles @ 912 And this is the critical, critical point: modern power is about control, not ownership. This was one of the key themes in the last third of "Citizen of the Galaxy" by Heinlein. It began to dawn on...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    On fusion: also take a look at the Wendelstein 7-X. Its a stellarator, which gets around the problems of tokomaks by putting a series of half-twists into the plasma. Unfortunately this has a bunch of vices of its own. Fortunately...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    I've been meaning to ask. The plot to extract Elizabeth Hanover involves a transit to Time Line 1, avoiding hostile surveillance with a naive princess in tow, and a James Bond gambit with an airplane parachuting into the sea. Why...
  • Commented on Invisible Sun: Themes and Nightmares
    democracy—a terrifying anti-monarchist upheaval that we have normalized today, but which was truly revolutionary in our own world as little as two centuries ago. For an insight into this it's worth reading the diaries of Anne Lister, AKA "Gentleman Jack"....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    So is Musk out to "Save the World"? Or just a spoiled brat who refuses to obey the rules in almost any game he plays? Yes....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    On things to preserve in the Foundation: A copy of Richard Feynman's Red Books would be high on my list. That will take a new civilisation back to pretty much everything that was known about physics up to 1963, which...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    But people get a bit lost in the anti-establishment internet. You are lost in a twisty maze of little conspiracy theories, all different....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    Charlie @ 365: your comments have been deleted Can I just point out that the comments in question are still visible. I don't know about the mechanics of deletion here, but if it isn't supposed to take a while to...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    On languages, I'm doing German with Duolingo. It's slow going, but I am making steady progress at maybe half an hour each evening. In a few years I may try some German language TV....
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    Pigeon @ 285: Nuclear power accidents are not state secrets. Let one happen and before too long every bugger in the world with a Geiger counter is going "'ello 'ello 'ello what's all this then?" Big meltdowns are not the...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    So if a power transmission antenna is such a big and obvious problem, how did NASA consider solving it when they looked at the idea back in the 70s?...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    The end of Reamde by Neal Stephenson has a confrontation between some Islamist terrorists and a bunch of American fundamentalist sovereign citizen types. A Russian Spetsnaz soldier who spent some time in Afghanistan is also on the scene, and he...
  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    Pigeon @ 1297: What colour are these things? Here is a typical sample: https://www.flickr.com/photos/duncan/51108909001...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    The Wikipedia article on SBPS mentions a very ingenious solution to the beam guidance problem. In the middle of your rectenna array you put a small pilot transmitter. Each element in the orbiting phased array receives the signal and synchronises...
  • Commented on Fossil fuels are dead (and here's why)
    At $20 there are lots of fun things that suddenly start to look feasible. Putting your own private 8 inch or 12 inch space telescope into orbit will actually be cheaper than buying the hardware. (OK, Kessler cascade still an...
  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    JBS @ 1258: White Rose ... Where would "round where I live" be for you? Sorry, I should have said. UK south coast....
  • Commented on On inappropriate reactions to COVID19
    JBS @ 1259: Do they have any data whether these chemicals are just poisoning us or do they affect our genome so that we pass lasting effects on to our children? This isn't my area of expertise, but here is...
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