Nancy Lebovitz

Nancy Lebovitz

  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    I think colonizing other planets can have other motivations-- there's curiosity, there's wanting to do something other than the mainstream culture, and there's insurance against disaster. I think your model makes the whole history of the spread of humanity into...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Just for the fun of it, imagine a future where conspicuous consumption is small amounts of extremely good stuff instead of piles of mediocre stuff. Why, yes, I am a Jack Vance fan....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    I would say a growing population is a plausible possibility under conditions of increased prosperity. Suppose there are a few tweaks (at who knows what cost?) that make it easier to raise children. Let's say a "sleep through the night"...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Yes, I'm assuming a growing population. I suppose it could also be a population where each person is using more stuff at any given time. Just paying the best human designer wouldn't be enough if you want to be able...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    "Look, a hundred years from now, if one of your several 3D printers (one for food, one for small things like dishes, one for dry goods (sheets, etc), and the commercial ones for specialized things like computers, and all you...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    I've heard Michael Lewis talk about how he intended Liar's Poker as an expose' of Wall Street and was surprised people were taking it as advice....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    No, if The Ministry of Silly Walks hasn't made the goose step something people are unwilling to do in public, then it wasn't funny enough....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    The Last Laugh is a documentary about holocaust humor (that is, humor by Jews, not anti-Semitic humor), and one of the points is that the only humor Nazis haven't appropriated is from The Producers. That's the one where the mockery...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    In re Sykes-Picot: anyone know sf about living with the consequences of bad treaties or other arrangements from very long ago?...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    The story with the log table books was _Starman Jones_. As for advances in computers, there was a Sheckley story where the government sent robots to the battle of Armageddon because they would more effective than humans. So the robots...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Thanks for taking a serious look at Starship Troopers. I think of it as a love letter to the military. So far as I know, it portrays an idealized military where everyone is competent and trustworthy. There's one way it's...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    It occurs to me that the nonsense about Nazi-style executions is apophenia-- not knowing the difference between a resemblance and an argument. It might be like low-quality biblical interpretation....
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    All of that and much more. Anything can be made illegal. Censorship can keep people away from information. Sanctions can block people from harmless trade. Part of what got me on to the subject was that a crucial part of...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    That gets to a general question I was wanting to raise-- having cryptocurrency that's untrackable permits criminal behavior, but might people need privacy and secrecy for legitimate but illegal behavior?...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    https://www.bellingcat.com/news/2021/05/28/us-soldiers-expose-nuclear-weapons-secrets-via-flashcard-apps/ "For US soldiers tasked with the custody of nuclear weapons in Europe, the stakes are high. Security protocols are lengthy, detailed and need to be known by heart. To simplify this process, some service members have been using publicly...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    I was delighted by your third link. That was a lot of weird ingenuity....
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    I've read articles claiming that some people who question the safety of vaccines are honestly dubious about the speed of roll-out, and can be reassured by telling them about the care that was taken with testing. To my mind, there...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    This is reminding me of H.G. Wells' _Star Begotten_, about children who are immune to religion and patriotism....
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    "embrace and suffocate" Now I'm imagining the Danish government as a very slow python. The challenge is having a government which supports a religion without having the religion take over the government. Any theories about how a number of European...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    "atheism is the only route to sanity" Um, really? I'm an agnostic, and while I don't consider myself entirely sane, I also don't think agnosticism is part of the problem. I'm wondering what a fully atheistic person would be like--...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    I don't think I've ever seen anyone who wasn't an atheist claim that Communism is a religion. I believe that a lot of atheists don't just want to claim religion is bad, they want to claim that religion is uniquely...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    I'm not convinced that Marxism is a religion-- calling it a religion seems to me like a way of saying that atheism can't go bad. I believe that nationalism is a group of religions (one per nation). It gets people...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    In re the Torah/Tanakh being Bronze or Iron Age. Surely what's important is whether a thing is true, not how old it is. I have no particular reason to think Judaism is true, I'm just used to it. However, I...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    There's a category of slaves in the US who aren't in prison-- they're trapped doing work, and as far as I can tell, it happens to people whose right to be in the US is non-existent or in question. Maybe...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    I thought part of what shrank the counter-culture was an increase of violence. Skimming the wikipedia article, there was a lot of violence at Altamont, and the Hell's Angels were a big problem. In a discussion of Summer of Love...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Demographic collapse seems like the most likely thing, but here's a possibility-- extension of people's health spans. This seems at least possible, even though it would be legally... interesting, considering pension plans. Still, it seems like better problems than just...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    That would be very cool. I can't comment on the details, but getting the idea out into the world could help. Maybe there are people who can make this happen would would like to take on a big interesting project....
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    My impression isn't that China is looking for Lebensraum, it's looking for that pleasant feeling of dominance....
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    This is the first I've seen Xi described as stupid, rather than arrogant and destructive. He *could* screw up China by overextending it, but I don't see anyone arguing that. What's your line of thought? ****Some odds and ends**** Scientists...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    The big hazard isn't so much your own stupidity, it's whether you're living with stupid people. #191: In re girls being encouraged to take up football: I have a notion that people are being pushed to take up bad traits...
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