zhochaka

zhochaka

  • Commented on Crass commercial interlude
    A lot of the Protect & Survive thinking made a lot more sense in the early 1950s. Before the H-Bomb and before the ICBM, the chance of being hit by the Bomb were a lot lower. First, there were not...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    I am not trying to provoke an argument here, but my somewhat cursory reading of the topic suggested that the Soviet Union had a different style of thinking about the use of nuclear weapons than was prevalent in NATO. So...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    Way back, in the Seventies, there were a few books based on the idea of a civil war for Scots independence or over the status of Northern England, or something, and in recent years I have wondered what the authors...
  • Commented on Amazon: malignant monopoly, or just plain evil?
    The traditional system had several stages between the manuscript and the book in the reader's hands. The publisher, the printer, the wholesaler/distributor, and the final retailer. There was the classic division of labour in this. Some people are wanting to...
  • Commented on Some news about the Hugo voters packet
    Amazon are running a quite lawful fiddle on the VAT element of ebook prices. A bookseller in New York, selling an ebook direct to a UK customer, is liable for 20% VAT. Amazon, with the servers in Luxembourg, are only...
  • Commented on Some news about the Hugo voters packet
    While there is nothing official I have seen on the net, my printed copy of the Worldcon PR3 has arrived, containing the Hugo Ballot forms, and I can confirm the voting deadline as the 31st July....
  • Commented on The Snowden leaks; a meta-narrative
    And that military budget is a huge subsidy for research, it's not just "military-industrial complex" effects. And, perhaps unlike NASA, there's a certain urgency in getting the research into practical use. Military users have a different attitude to risk from...
  • Commented on The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism
    This is a bit more than the basic logistic equation. That goes chaotic, and it wouldn't surprise me if this does too. So if we have a system which can be modeled by equations which can exhibit chaotic behaviour, does...
  • Commented on The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism
    And the Wikipedia article says that the Westinghouse air brakes were on Southern Railway third-rail electric. That's a bit more than London commuter belt. I don't know if Southern Railway steam was fitted for Westinghouse brakes, but I've seen no...
  • Commented on The prospects of the Space and Freedom Party reconsidered in light of the crisis of 21st century capitalism
    You're slightly confused. The change was from vacuum brakes, the steam-era technology, to airbrakes. There's more to that than just shifting from a 10psi vacuum to 100psi compressed air, which affects the size of the actuation cylinders and lag from...
  • Commented on Generation Z
    Our Glorious Leader, Mr. Cameron, may his gruttocks fester, has been telling us how well his party has been doing on employment. The historical figures are interesting. We have over a century of good figures on unemployment, although they have...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Let me check the back of my envelope... 50 billion pounds sterling, no strings attached, would be plenty to guarantee the working-age population a good income. It's the sort of rough figure you can come up with if you were...
  • Commented on A nation of slaves
    Fertilisers are one of the reasons why zero-meat is unlikely to be the optimum. The problems vary by country, and I don't know the numbers in enough detail to do more than make vague handwaves, but the core of the...
  • Commented on I'm back
    Also, zombies and terrifying-looking buff guys cosplaying "Call of Duty" soldiers with guns so realistic that if they were seen in a British or US convention a Police SWAT team would be summoned. And then you said: anime warrior schoolgirls...
  • Commented on Circumstantial connections
    Monday morning, and the BBC slips into a report that the focus of a search has moved from the South China Sea to the Malacca Strait, which looks bizarre on the map. But the BBC can get thoroughly messed up...
  • Commented on Rule 34, meet Kafka
    One way to throw things off would be to use a negative image. The colours go to blue/cyan and the dark tones go to light. Since the facial recognition methods often rely on such things as the eyes and nose,...
  • Commented on Miscellanea
    I see bitcoin is in a big mess. Over 740,000 bitcoin have gone missing at Mt Gox. The price, which peaked at over $1200 since November, has plummeted to under $500. I suspect a combination of US Government action against...
  • Commented on Baboon Fart Odyssey
    On the gatekeeper issue I am ambivalent, and I am a bit doubtful about the way Amazon handles stuff. They publish misleading stats and they press some of the same buttons as the vanity presses. As for gatekeeping, one of...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    We could get a whole new article/thread out of that. A huge amount of our world depends on the shift from local to global. I remember reading a book about the Steam Engine builders of Lincolnshire. I can find one...
  • Commented on Minecraft, The Sims, And The Future Of Filmmaking
    Aspects such as "no toilet breaks" seem to be routine in movies. They're not necessary to the story. That doesn't mean they can't be used. Dekker is eating when he he dragged back into service, in Blade Runner. I vaguely...
  • Commented on How To Survive A Death March
    I was a farmer. We don't talk about death marches. We call it harvest. After two weeks, you start noticing things going wrong a little more often. Not breakdowns, but something like a slower reaction to a patch of different...
  • Commented on Introducing Hugh Hancock
    Are we being steampunk or dieselpunk? One boundary marker might be the vacuum tube. Wireless was possible without it, but it was a big jump in possibilities. Any others? Steam to internal combustion goes without saying. Vitamins were starting to...
  • Commented on Introducing Hugh Hancock
    While a certain caution is desirable, I fear you are under-valuing the essential character and nobility of the good, honest, Englishman, whose love of freedom is balanced by a keen awareness of the proper order of society. No true Englishman...
  • Commented on Introducing Hugh Hancock
    Seeing the achievements made in Bavaria, is is clear that M. Bleriot's feat is a dead end. When airships are reliably carrying as many as 20 passengers, one can only marvel at the optimism of the proponents of heavier-than-air flight....
  • Commented on Sitrep
    While I am not impressed by what "Planning" has done locally—Would you seriously plan for housing expansion on land that is downhill from the local sewage works—there is a definite need for planning. I don't think your solution for housing...
  • Commented on Sitrep
    You're missing something. The case for another airport in the SE is very problematic. It's not just the airport itself, it's the air traffic control infrastructure, but an aircraft flying from Northern England can get to North America and much...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    I have a simple guiding principle for the next elections in the UK. The party in power must learn that they can lose. In 1979, Maggie got elected, and after the events of the 1970s that was almost inevitable. She...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    I think I am going to go and write a novel about the Pope sending a time-travelling assassin into the past to kill Ayn Rand before she can seduce Alan Greenspan. Unfortunately, nothing changes because Greenspan was the hack writer...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    There was an explorer who did much the same as Lewis & Clark across Canada, so there are alternative stories which could be told as an example of that sort of history. And I recall a snippet about the settlement...
  • Commented on Why I want Bitcoin to die in a fire
    Could you quote me a price in Bitcoin?...
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