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SFReader

  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'Upshot: today, the Australian government subsidizes the mining industry to the tune of about $20-30Bn (AUS) a year,...' Sounds like a good topic for John Oliver (Last Week Tonight) the next time he wants to do something non-USian. FYI...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'He's [Vimes] also well aware of how crap he used to be and puts a lot of effort into trying to instil a bit of spine into his younger self so he doesn't end up even worse.' Agree: Self-awareness...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'Granny Weatherwax and Sam Vimes certainly do level up over time.' Granny Weatherwax was introduced as the 'leader' of the witches even though all the witches denied that they had a leader. I think that in the first book...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: Cane Toad Hadn't heard of these before: another 'Good grief, what were they thinking!' exercise. Just looked it up on Wikipedia: cane toads were introduced to several countries but didn't become anywhere the problem they've become in AUS. Wonder...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'reductio ad absurdum' Hmmm - thought this got tossed out as an acceptable argument when scientists started doing/incorporating stats a century or so ago. NOTE: Skip the below if you have a queasy stomach. About Australia's famous excess of...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: ' ... the problem with restoring nature is it's like playing SimCity scaled down 1000, if they're trying to restore full functionality and not just landscaping with native plants. The planting of the plants is like the Chinese ghost...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: '"twice the gravity and 2-3x the air density" I'm assuming that 'air' here can mean any mix of gases. And if it's okay to take it to the extreme, super-densely packed gas isn't really that different from a liquid....
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'Quetzalcoatlus northropii is a giant, late Cretaceous, ...' Considering that the continents were fairly close to each other in the late Cretaceous, this critter could have easily been able to fly to all continents since much smaller birds, capable...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'Much more helpful to use a single multimodal power cycle (e.g. solar PV electric to drive thrusters by day, plus hydrogen fuel cells ...' Yes - exactly what I was thinking. Thanks! Getting more out of your largest, most...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'Ligter than air devices are virtually unaffected by those, ...' Thanks! I was also thinking that a PlanetX's lighter gravity might mean a potentially larger (vs. Earth's) payload: if FlyerY can carry 100 lbs on Earth, then it could...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: ' ...a secondary-world setting' How would planet size and/or gravity impact your design and materials choices? Also - why not use a mix of different power sources depending on what you were doing (take-off, soaring, landing, etc.) and/or weather...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    As if international politics wasn't already interesting ... https://www.reuters.com/article/us-russia-politics-government/russian-prime-minister-and-government-resign-after-putin-speech-idUSKBN1ZE1RB?il=0...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: 'flying animals ...Organic (hydrogen-filled) blimps are another matter.' So you'd be okay with a gen-mod biological creature that was able to extract via some sort of semipermeable skin/organ the appropriate gaseous mixture to fly while carrying a certain load...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: ' ... when either SF or fantasy is based on a 'technology', but uses it only in artificially restricted ways to make the plot 'work',' Do you mean McCaffrey's Pern series? Background: a colony spaceship crashes on Pern; about...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Re: ' ... biting my tongue to avoid a practiced rant about a certain fantasy book whose plot went off the rails in chapter two.' I did say internal consistency mattered. Anyways, I'm curious: which book is it that you...
  • Commented on Too Many Thoughts About Genre
    Genre is just a starting point for book selection. I mostly read SF&F, murder mysteries, historical fiction and every once in a while 'literature*'. Genre sets the tone. After that, it's character and plot. 'Character' could mean development (maturation) or...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: '... top childrens' hospital in the US, ... can you see any congressman voting against ...' St Jude's came to mind immediately as a US version of 'keep your dirty pol hands off!' exception -- but not because of...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: 'war crimes, like bombing cultural sites. .' The UN passed a resolution a few years back saying that the deliberate destruction of cultural sites is a 'crime against humanity*'. Key point is that a 'crime against humanity' can be...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: ' ... re-districting ? ' 'Likely to turn into a blood sport. Thanks for the links! (Explains why the op-eds turned up.) Re: 'Discovery' Of the impression that countries whose legal systems are based on English Common Law have...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: ' ... most Americans aren't republicans' Too bad they don't get a vote in the Electoral College. Sorta related to that: Any idea how the re-districting looks since the 2016 election? (I tried googling 'number of redrawn districts since...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: '... the simplest way for the rest of the world to deal with this mess is to stop funding Trump and the Republicans.' Agree. Given how many trade deals DT has walked away from or not been able to...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: 'A professional army will happily shoot kids and grandmothers of their own country. A conscripted one will not.' A professional army is not the same as a mercenary army. If anything, I'd expect a 'professional' [national] soldier to be...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: ' ... another reason to be seen as acting with impeccable morality inside their own system.)' Agree ... but the Ayatollah has updated rules/laws a few times and there's no reason to assume that he won't do so again....
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: Iran hacks a free-access US gov't agency site Wondering what you folks think about this. (Bad site security design? Tech competence test: US poor, Iran good? Not actually done by Iran but by supporters?) Also this act is likely...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: 'The criminal trial & conviction was more to discredit Noriega as a witness against "Reagan" & Bush than it was to punish him for any crimes he'd actually committed.' Thanks! Just looked up Iran-Contra to remind myself of what...
  • Commented on Introducing Dead Lies Dreaming
    Re: ' ... have had no issues murdering someone (and any poor sod standing nearby) on the orders of the deranged idiot.' Didn't Reagan unseat Noriega by having him charged with drug smuggling, money laundering, etc.? Not your typical move...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Re: ' ... something that would grow under pines and not require much mowing.' Have you tried pachysandra? It does very well in acidic soil and is easy to maintain as solid ground cover or as a short hedge....
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Re: 'It all depends what your exist strategy is.' Destroying infrastructure is stupidly expensive if your goal was to increase your total usable/marketable* asset base/wealth. There's also long-term cost-effectiveness of your soldiers, esp. medical and retirement/spouse & family survivor benefits...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    AI-human brain interface Just started watching this video and thinking that the world with direct AI-human-brain interface is probably closer than jetpacks. A bunch of different examples/approaches are already being worked on in various labs but now that there's proof...
  • Commented on Artificial Intelligence: Threat or Menace?
    Re: ' ... plenty of examples of 18thC advertising available' According to the timeline below, advertising goes back to ancient Egypt. I think of it as for-profit graffiti (or interval). https://mashable.com/2011/12/26/history-advertising/...
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