Charles H

Charles H

  • Commented on Playtime is over
    I think the problem is basically economics. Before WWII Germany was severely depressed (well, so were other places, but Germany is where it happened). Currently large areas are severely depressed because of changes due to automation and international competition. (Please...
  • Commented on The Day After
    I not only was unaware, I disbelieved it so much that the first time it was (implicitly) cast into doubt, I misread the comment. After running across another, more explicit rebuttal, I went and looked it up. Since this is...
  • Commented on The Day After
    It could be that he's remembering all those events, and *still* predicting that this will be looked back on as good governance. Things could get a lot worse. I don't know whether they will. The VP picks of both Clinton...
  • Commented on The Day After
    I believe both China and India have nuclear weapons. Also somebody else...Pakistan? Afganistan? And any base that services nuclear subs. Besides which, in a maximal nuclear war, anybody who's an ally of a nuclear power is likely to get hit....
  • Commented on The Day After
    AFAIKT, the problem was that just about nobody really liked Hillary, and some people really like Trump. More people than usual stayed home. I held my nose and voted for Hillary, even though I knew that it didn't matter because...
  • Commented on The Day After
    It's an unfortunate truth, however, that people tend to feel more altruistic towards people who are more similar to them. You can say that it's immoral, but it's a built-in and evolved part of human nature. Which makes it interesting...
  • Commented on The Day After
    That's not clear. There are vague rumors that Trump may be blackmailed by Putin for something he did during a trip to Moscow. Given what he openly admits, I have a hard time imagining what he would do that would...
  • Commented on The Day After
    No, I don't think Bush was bad a Katrina. I think he was malicious...or rather the guy he had running the Federal Emergency Management Agency (well...anyway FEMA) was malicious. I knew some people who went down to help and they...
  • Commented on The Day After
    On The Beach was a novel, and didn't worry about accuracy. That said, in a maximum nuclear war it would be a bit optimistic, except that more of the explosions would go off south of the Equator. Don't forget where...
  • Commented on The Day After
    There weren't any good guys. I think we picked the worse of two, but only the second worst of four. Somebody said a few months ago (on another site) that he was voting for Trump because everyone else hated him...
  • Commented on The Day After
    I think you're reading things wrong. AFAIKT, the election was decided by lots and lots of people who stayed home because they couldn't stand ANY of the candidates (and I'm including the two major minor party candidates). This doesn't have...
  • Commented on Just plain icky
    I don't think gene editing will be of benefit for curing cancer, unless you're talking about editing some immune system cells, cloning them, and then re-inserting them. And there should generally be easier approaches...because for that to work you'd need...
  • Commented on Just plain icky
    ...limited pretty much to the realization that bacteria, parasites and virii are 3 different things. Wrong. Bacteria and viruses (virii only humorously) are separate, but either can be parasites, as can other lifeforms. Parasitism is how it lives. A creature...
  • Commented on Just plain icky
    ...So it looks to me like you need to factor in some new social taboo that makes it mandatory to use birth control but unacceptable (for women at least) to be sexually liberated. Not exactly. It does mean that there...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    While the gulf stream is slowing (which is likely to give more extreme seasons), the driver seems to be coming from the southern end rather than from the expected meltwater. In fact the Arctic ocean is reported to be getting...
  • Commented on Facts of Life and Death
    Well, I don't know the climate, and I don't know the soil, but it looks like it might be good orchard country. Or possibly nuts. IIRC Apples originally came from a mountainous area. Figs, too, but they like it warmer...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Actually they don't need to be moving in the same orbit, although that sure makes hitting the target easier. But any orbit that intersects should do. And why use ball bearings rather than pea gravel? It's heavy enough and the...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Aside from the fact that building three of them would increase the already huge cost... Fixing that would require something well out of the orbital plane of the sun's planetary system. The cost of placing that one observatory there would...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    "Jellyfish aren't tasty" I'm not sure about that. I had some jellyfish sushi that was quite good. I don't know how it was processed, or whether they only used part of the jellyfish, or only some particular kind...and it was...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    You're assuming that lots of technology stays approximately stable. I don't think this is reasonable. OTOH, just about ANY space civilization is going to be strongly controlled. I don't want to use the term authoritarian here, because I'm expecting the...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Were she really non-human, she'd have an excellent reason to avoid all contact with governments. But also to avoid drawing attention to herself by posting. Of course, since people aren't exactly rational it's not reasonable to expect an alien to...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Disagree. You didn't make a valid argument, you just stated your opinion. FWIW, I don't consider Mars a valid end-goal either, as a self-sustaining colony on Mars is probably going to be quite difficult until we get the closed ecology...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    OK. And I should have mentioned that the remote brains need a radio (well, EM) link. When I was writing it I though it obvious, but when rereading ... I never would have let writing like that into my user...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    Did you notice that I specified that the mirrors were five miles in diameter? (Well, probably hexagons and not circles, and using flat triangular mirrors.) So it WOULD have a tremendous light gathering power. I did have the synthetic aperture...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    To my mind the main purpose of Space Power Satellites would be to power other activities in space. I suppose they could also power things on the moon, but other things would probably work there. I'm not sure nuclear reactors...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    With a large enough habitat you can get any gravity you want by spinning. So that's not a problem. And you can be weightless as much as you dare in an isolated module (which would need some fairly good bearings...probably...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    You could do uplift spiders, but they would need to store their brains remotely, and they probably need to be a communal organism. (I didn't read "Children of Time", and don't even know whether it was a short story or...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    I agree that the asteroids are a better colony site than Mars, but Mars is easier because it doesn't require as completely closed an ecology. Whatever is done now is mainly a stepping stone towards MacroLife..which doesn't mean it isn't...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    OK, how about this: A pair of, say, Neptune orbit observatories a third of an orbit apart, each with a 5 mile mirror. Synchronizing them the way radio telescopes are synced on earth would be a bit of a deal,...
  • Commented on What else can you do with a Big Dumb Booster?
    There are reasonable reasons for satellites to get bigger, but most of them could be incremental. E.g., geosynchronous orbit is crowded in lots of places and you can't easily add more satellites. But I think you COULD chain existing satellites...
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