Guy Rixon

Guy Rixon

  • Commented on A message from our sponsors: New Book coming!
    Speculating wildly, it's the same reason that HDMI cables cost £25for a few grams of copper and two crimped-on connectors. It's a proprietary format and some utter genital is gouging over the license fees....
  • Commented on A message from our sponsors: New Book coming!
    It may be that the 60s low-density estates are the worst problem for charging EVs. I'm in a 1965 terrace in a village. Out front, there is a garden, then a foot path, then a patch of grass owned and...
  • Commented on A message from our sponsors: New Book coming!
    I preferred Runequest's way of balancing classes, where iron interfered with magic and magicians were stuck with bronze weapons (upgrading to Mithril if they were rich or lucky in looting). Regarding darts, I think there was a cavalry throwing-weapon in...
  • Commented on A message from our sponsors: New Book coming!
    It's been done long ago. The First Folio of Shakespeare is copy edited from the author's drafts for several plays. It was done a few years after he died. The Old Testament of the bible seems to have collected from...
  • Commented on A message from our sponsors: New Book coming!
    So Iris was an inmate at the time rather than a jailor? You said "administrator" above, I was confused....
  • Commented on A message from our sponsors: New Book coming!
    May we know when A Conventional Boy is set w.r.t The Fuller Memorandum? Or would that spoil too much?...
  • Commented on Same bullshit, new tin
    Israel is interesting because they do conscript women and the women do serve without (apparently) much complaint. And Israel does seem to fill certainly military roles mainly with women: the observation posts along the Gaza border are reported to have...
  • Commented on Same bullshit, new tin
    No, not bollocks. It's gratifying to know that the slaughter lessened during the Somme campaign, but "not everybody died" is too weak a criterion for an effective army. As I understand my reading about that war, the whole Somme campaign...
  • Commented on Same bullshit, new tin
    Did you read the last part of my post? I am not arguing that women make bad soldiers, or that no women wants to serve, or that women should not serve. I'm suggesting that most modern women would react badly...
  • Commented on Same bullshit, new tin
    If renewed military service ever got serious consideration, gender equality would kill it. Back in the day, some female voters quietly approved of military service because it took annoying boys off their hands and returned men who'd grown up a...
  • Commented on Same bullshit, new tin
    It took about 18 months to get a useful army that way. From January 1916, when conscription started, to the autumn campaigns in 1917. The British battles in 1916 were farces, fought by formations that couldn't do better than meat...
  • Commented on The coming storm
    British experience: it's all short-haul by North American standards, so competing with road is hard. One limiting factor is that we have very few surviving freight-terminals, so a rail haul turns ends with a road haul most times: it's a...
  • Commented on The coming storm
    Charles himself is very limited by his coronation oaths binding him to the church. To avoid royal bad faith he has to punt it to his heir. If he was going to act quickly, it needed to be before the...
  • Commented on The coming storm
    My biggest worry about the UK election of 2024 is that it sets up a disaster in 2029. Labour win massively in 2024 and fail to undo much of the Tory damage, then get aggressively blamed for that damage in...
  • Commented on The coming storm
    "Insanely far north" seems to include 52 degrees. I'm sitting under a solar water-heating rig --- direct capture to working fluid rather than PV --- on a clear day and it's doing absolutely nothing. The temperature difference between the energy-capture...
  • Commented on The coming storm
    "If Putin ever convinces himself he can get away with it, I think he will at least use a tactical nuke (and it wouldn't surprise me if it was a "demonstration/decapitation strike" against Kyiv)." That only makes sense after Ukraine...
  • Commented on The coming storm
    True, but there are a lot of those "crossover" cars, built on SUV platforms without SUV carrying or off-road capabilities. They're big, ugly hunks of steel, too big for what they accomplish. National downsizing from crossovers (40-ish m.p.g) to modern...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    Some questions about the Post Office fuckery, since some here may know the historical background. How does the Post Office have powers to bring a criminal prosecution independently of the CPS? A Facebook friend who watched the BBC drama thinks...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    "exactly when practical military gear for male soldiers crossed over into being fetish wear for females in sexual contexts is an investigation left to the reader..." The sexual cross-over is not well documented, but there's a story of ladies adopting...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    Quite right, but a magitech longevity process could plausibly extend the fertile years as well as lengthening middle age. Anyway, it doesn't have to actually do that to arouse the anger of the mob. It just has to sound like...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    "Primitive" doesn't capture the nuances here and we need a better word. Primitive, to me, means "the first thing we came up with and we didn't bother improving it because it gets the job done". We need a word for...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    I think the couple-hundred-years thing will not happen, but for social rather than technical reasons. By the time it's technically feasible, humanity will be so packed in on this Earth that living long will be frowned upon, and potential semi-immortals...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    Something niggles: why weren't Eve, Imp and co. scooped up into the Laundry before it was outlawed and destroyed?...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    Money -> media control: ~ linear. Media control -> power: hyperbolic. Always an intermediate step to get the burst to work. To the very powerful, does the world look like an incremental game?...
  • Commented on Crib Sheet: Season of Skulls
    First, assume malignacy in those in power. Second, presume a quantity x that gives power, where the power granted scales faster than linearly with x. Instant nightmare for those partway up the graph. In the new management, x seems to...
  • Commented on Made of lies (and more lies)
    "The problem is how do I, as a high school physics teacher, know that the simplifications are indeed factually accurate?" You don't, meaning that asking ChatGPT directly for the explanation is not safe. But I, as a technician in this...
  • Commented on Made of lies (and more lies)
    I wouldn't claim that a LLM is a good or safe source of information, but I offer counter a counter example to all LLMs being bullshit generators. The source catalogue of ESA's Gaia mission (on which I work) is freely...
  • Commented on We're sorry we created the Torment Nexus
    So where's your practical cut-off? If you're going to prohibit retention of wealth above $x, because dangerous in the wrong hands, what's x? $1,000,000,000 is too hand-wavey. I suggest that it would have to be a blanket prohibition --- 100%...
  • Commented on We're sorry we created the Torment Nexus
    "What is the life expectancy of a parking meter?" Apparently longer than one might think. The one that routinely gives me grief is on a council car-park. The current mechanism has been there maybe 10 years. That replaced one that...
  • Commented on We're sorry we created the Torment Nexus
    That's the proximate problem. The deeper problem is that whoever runs the parking there requires a non-standard (car-park specific) method of payment because their ticket machine is crap. If it accepted payment by contactless card, or Apple Pay, or some...
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