Charles H

Charles H

  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    That's not the way to bet. Try instead nearly human AI that just follow orders and optimization matricies. You don't need a superhuman AI to get a Singularity. A nearly human AI and a few specialized tools will do the...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Reality hasn't killed the Singularity. It's killed a lot of the fervor for it, and it's killed a few unrealistic definitions of it. The "hard takeoff" is probably unrealistic. The "soft takeoff" is in process. If you watch you can...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    All Science Fiction has always been a subcategory of fantasy. Nobody pretended to be predicting an actual future. Campbell had a rule that said "You can only break one basic rule of known science, and the rest of the story...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Unless you assume built-in cyborg interfaces, some things won't change. Names, e.g., will be pronounceable, and strings of letters used as the names of agencies will be either short or pronouncable. Therefore: "Qutefgvbb of UUUI Prime doing sklethering at CC23X"...
  • Commented on Leading question
    Well, I'm from the US, but you're already at around 70 comments, so... But I've got to take exception to your denial of the AI singularity, as it's already in process. (Note that the AI doesn't need to be smarter...
  • Commented on Not a Manifesto
    FWIW, most Science Fiction, at least good Science Fiction, was written by authors who knew that they were violating "laws of Nature" that they expected would remain valid. This is true even of something as old as "The Skylark of...
  • Commented on The referendum question
    I've got problems accepting any of these as decent solutions. Every single one of them seems bad. First off, a government is that entity which claims a monopoly on the use of force in an area. Almost(?) all of them...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    You've got some important points, but while SWAT was reasonable when it was a "flying squad" that was called in to deal with special situations, as a general approach it causes the public to distrust the police. And it also...
  • Commented on The Ferguson Question
    I will agree that the US police never "signed up for" the peelian principles, but that doesn't mean the question of whether they should reasonably be called a police force by someone living in Britain isn't reasonable. For that matter,...
  • Commented on Who Owns SF?
    I grew up in the 1950's. SF is owned by John W. Campbell, jr. Personally, I like some "fantasy" better than SF, e.g. the Dennis Schmidt Kensho series (which I'm currently rereading). But I never call it SF, even if...
  • Commented on Gods and genre
    The meaning I've alway heard is ostensibly plausibility of the science. This works for "Mission of Gravity". It doesn't work so well for the works that oscillate between the descriptions of "hard science fiction" and "space opera". For that matter,...
  • Commented on Gods and genre
    I'm not sure when Second Stage Lensman was originally published, but Children of the Lens was about 1947, and First Lensman was in the 1950's. Clarissa doesn't appear until Second Stage Lensman in the series internal chronology, though Mentor does...
  • Commented on Gods and genre
    Sorry, but I think you mistake the nature of gods. The Marvel Thor *is* a god. Not a very powerful one, because nobody really believes in him/her. And the Asa Thor was a god. Once a quite powerful one, who...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    The argument about "make more jobs" is only even possibly a short term answer unless we have a truly horrendous event of some sort. (War, giant meteor impact, *multiple* occurances like Fukishima or worse, etc.) Otherwise automation will continue to...
  • Commented on Schroedinger's Kingdom: the Scottish Political Singularity Explained
    Unfortunately, while it is usually racist rhetoric, immigration restrictions are also socially important. US cities used to be allowed to give general assistance to their residents, but then the laws were changed so that they were required to give general...
  • Commented on We need a pony. And the moon on a stick. By next Thursday.
    Oh, and how about making sure said nutter can't get his hands on ANY guns? Do remember that throughout history the most common assassin of the head of a government was a high official in that same government. That may...
  • Commented on The myth of heroism
    Villians aren't always ugly, or even unheroic. Consider the "Girl Genius" stream of graphic novels. Some of the handsomest or most beautiful characters in it are the villians. Some of the less handsome (by my standards, anyway) are "sort of"...
  • Commented on The Singularity Is Further Than It Appears
    To me a superhuman intelligence is "just" an artificial mind approximately equivalent to that of a human, but with a deeper stack. I.e., able to hold more concepts in it's mind at once. There are probably numerous problems that this...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    You might want to look into the case history of a Chimpanzee called Paradise. A multiple serial murderess, who essentially killed off her troupe of Chimpanzees. Also, may non-violent relations between Chimpanzees are between those who AREN'T closely related. (I'll...
  • Commented on The cult of justice
    Magic is more primitive than religion. I.e., religion derives from magic, not the converse. Therefore calling law a magic system of government does not imply that it's religious, merely that it's "like a religion" in certain ways. N.B.: If you...
  • Commented on Trotskyite singularitarians for Monarchism! A political speculation.
    It's not clear that an AI designed to "run the world" would need to be conscious. Cf. Athena in Rule 37 (37?). True, Athena didn't run all the world, yet. Consciousness would only appear to be needed if the AI...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    The "life or death struggle" was only a minor theme to Darwin. Some of his followers really pushed it, admittedly. But the main people to push it were the "Social Darwinists", who were not Darwinists and were also anti-social. They...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    You can say "I really don't believe the Singularity will happen.", and even mean it. But we are clearly headed towards "sparrow fart" surveillance, as predicted in "Iron Sunrise". Even is there is no "Singluarlity" (and I think that depends...
  • Commented on What scared H. P. Lovecraft
    Singularity Sky has people encounter a post-Singularity group (the festival) with less adaptation to it than we have currently. Some of the people found it horrific. The thing is, they weren't the viewpoint characters. We didn't see thier reactions as...
  • Commented on Do Zimboes dream of Electric Sheep?
    The problem is development, and that means the both the zombie and zimboe concepts are incoherent. If you don't have an awareness of internal states, then you can't develop a model of internal states in others. It would be coherent...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    When populations run out of food there tend to be riots. Often insurrection. A recent example was the "Arab Spring", but it's a recurrent pattern throughout history. Also, when a disaster happens the first reaction is usually to help those...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    Motorbikes are actually rather easy to automate, except for object recogniztion, discriminization, etc. Seqways have a built-in gyro, but you could easily add such to a motorbike. (In fact, I think I read about one in the early 1960s. Didn't...
  • Commented on A deceptively simple question
    You don't just get one thing. If you get automated trucks, you also get automated soldiers. And you get smarter automated large vehicles and dimmer automated small vehicles. (Or you can adjust cargo capacity.) What time period are we thinking...
  • Commented on Time tourism
    Sorry, but not true. Between WWII (the institution of the draft) and around 1990 a woman would have an easier time in establishing a presence. It was much more common for women to have no official government record. So ad...
  • Commented on Time tourism
    The are two sub-genres that you didn't cover: "Heading to pre-human time-travel" and "Starting from the distant future" time-travel". They don't so much argue against your point as side-step it. OTOH, most time-travel stories aren't that great. "Rivers of Time"...
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