Charles H

Charles H

  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    I'm sorry, but in my language consensus means that an overwhelming majority agrees. If it's even arguable that it's close, it's not a consensus. The basic meaning I learned was unanimity, but the term was applied in that way in...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    "Is the language of thought the same..." Current evidence indicates that it is highly similar. Words with similar meanings activate similar connections between different areas of the brain. Currently this is only known at a very coarse level, but this...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    There are lots of other reasons why the group mind would need to have a hierarchical (well, or some structured clumping) organization. Reaction time comes to mind. So does dealing with local conditions locally. I don't think you need FTL...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    A good point. Permeability of thoughts can mean a lot of different things. Given that it isn't going to be a union of bodies, each local actor will need to control local actions, because the group mind doesn't have unlimited...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    My take is property means something radically different. My right hand is still spatially localized, and reactions within it are local to that hand (with effects that spread out, of course). If I get a splinter in my finger, it's...
  • Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    Why do you see consensus being forced as a requirement of a group mind? I'm certainly aware that my own personal mind doesn't have a consensus. It usually has a decision, but there are usually parts of it that would...
  • Commented on The unavoidable discussion
    Comment on how stupid it looks? Hey, I live in the US, and we've got Trump as a major candidate. How could I possibly say anything negative about anyone else....
  • Commented on Follow the money: Apple vs. the FBI
    Actually Google's business model is, or was, selling access to users matching a profile, not selling the correspondence table. There's a bit difference there in that only Google has/had the contact information. So Google has/had a strong motive to NOT...
  • Commented on Deploying the monomyth in Space Opera
    Your definition of "Space Opera" is a lot looser than mine. Mine is based on "Horse Opera" translated into space, with blasters instead of six shooters. And "Horse Opera" isn't any old Cowboy Western, but a restricted subset that is...
  • Commented on Towards a taxonomy of cliches in Space Opera
    The problem is that Space Opera is written to be readily intelligible. If you really try to explain a civilization, it's not going to be readable. So a lot of those problems are of the Stage Setting kind. East is...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    If civilization doesn't collapse, then an eventual "singularity" is inevitable. (Actually, I tend to also consider a total collapse a kind of singularity.) There are reasonable questions as to the time frame and the rate of onset, but we are...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    Well, FWIW, we may not have the Hudson Bay ice sheet, but we've got Antarctica...and parts of it have been collapsing a lot faster than anyone predicted. There's also records that indicate that Antarctica was once warm enough to grow...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    What do you mean "fracking scam"? I can see ways in which it could be globally true, but in the US "scam" doesn't seem to be the right pejorative. Some people have made lots of money at it, and it...
  • Commented on Long range forecast
    And then there's robots. Including self driving vehicles. That would be a big enough problem on its own. While I'm not denying that the problems you've identified are real, they aren't alone. Robots are going to cut out huge swaths...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    You wouldn't get experimental science developing, as that DOES depend on the written word, but if you had a good apprenticeship system that encouraged the masters to share information with each other, you could slowly evolve a technology up to...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    Careless reading, I guess, but what popped into *my* mind was a post-literate society. E.g., everyone has built in links into the general flow of thought, rather like the web, but not literary. Audio, visual, kinesthetic, etc. provided via link,...
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    Science Fictions is, and always has been, a sub-genre of Fantasy. Even John W. Campbell, Jr. admitted as such, though as an editor he tried to minimize the logical incoherence. So. Global corporations ignoring externalities aren't unreasonable. People perceive things...
  • Commented on A small research question
    It's not clear how effective molecular scale chemistry *can* get in handling separation of isotopes. That it can do it SOME is testified to by carbon isotope preferences. But carbon is a low weight isotope (12-14) where as uranium is...
  • Commented on A small research question
    The story was "Night on Mispec Moor", IIRC...
  • Commented on A small research question
    Yeah, multi-stage hostings aren't uncommon. Look into flukes. But that's not being a hyperparasites....
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    It's even more extreme than you are suggesting. People react to images, and without images they don't feel the urgency. So reactions to disaster will again revert to local. PERHAPS entire nations will react together...but for larger nations that's a...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    Unless things have changed a LOT, then ICBMs would only suffer minor inconvenience. They always used inertial guidance, and never relied on GPS, and their transition through orbital altitude is quite brief. That said, most things that rely on GPS...
  • Commented on The sky's gone dark
    If I understand things correctly, you don't just get ONE Kessler event, you get one per height-inclination pair. If so, this means total blockage is quite improbable, but dodging becomes rather expensive. Also, aren't orbits at a high inclination to...
  • Commented on A question about the future of the world wide web
    Saying the options exist is not causing them to really exist. The "Join our network" kind of thing can work, and work reasonably well. AOL was that kind of thing. But to get all the parties that you listed to...
  • Commented on The present in deep history
    While I'm not convinced that the banning of nuclear tests will have any long term effect, nuclear weapons will. Just what effect isn't yet clear, but it could lead to the "nuclear autumn" solution to global warming. Another thing that...
  • Commented on Inverted realities
    Actually, I think horrific vampire predates Stoker by quite a bit, though I'm not sure by how much. I believe that several psychologists wrote analyses about it, including Freud, but I don't think he was the first. OTOH (nearly a...
  • Commented on On the Great Filter, existential threats, and griefers
    The thing left out above seems to be civil war. As weapons get more destructive, civil war becomes more likely to destroy all participants. And it may be quite difficult to handle a high velocity mass targeted at your home...
  • Commented on Why we're not going to see sub-orbital airliners
    If your battery capacity is high enough, you can solve the peak discharge rate with a few supercapacitors (or a bank of regular capacitors, but supercapacitors have a LOT lower leakage, and can even replace batteries in a few circumstances)....
  • Commented on CMAP: Short stories, what are they good for?
    FWIW I believe that Roger Zelazny wrote short stories that he didn't intend to publish (but occasionally did) to develop back story for his on-going novel. Things that he felt he needed to understand about what was behind what was...
  • Commented on Things I would make if I had a 3D printer ...
    Shoes won't work, as the shoe needs to breathe, not just be the right shape. If you print shoes your feet will swim in sweat, even in cold weather....
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