Charlie Stross

Charlie Stross

  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Moz: newshub.co.nz is blocked in the UK (and on a VPN into Canada), presumably because of regional rights issues. (I VPN'd into NZ and eventually got to read ... something trivial. In future maybe just summarize or quote for us...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    (Seriously though, has there even been an SF novel examining a system of independent AIs forming their own economy, exchanging cyber currency for goods and services among themselves?) I'm pretty sure James P. Hogan did something not unlike that in...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    If you read Satoshi Nakamoto's original rants, the guy was a paranoid goldbug and libertarian who despised governments and wanted to make it impossible for them to raise revenue via taxation (which he thought was their main source of funding,...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Greg, we have no lived experience of severe deflation in our lifetimes, but reading the history books, we're talking mass starvation events. Inflation is usually driven by an overheated economy (exceptions: the central bank is running the presses until they...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    I fail to see how it differs in any way from ordinary fiat money. Or was that the point? Well, yes. "Ordinary fiat money" has been finely tuned to function as money usefully over a period of millennia. Cryptocurrencies are...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    A ridiculous equivocation. Will any computing process that relates to one-way hashing be considered illegal? This is your YELLOW CARD for whataboutism/sealioning. Read the moderation policy. If you do it again, your comments will be unpublished and you will be...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    They are, in effect, virtual physical assets (if that makes sense), Yes: bitcoin in particular seems to have been designed by somebody who mistook "money" for "commodity (precious metal) struck into coins", in other words, a gold bug. (And let's...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Greg, NFTs are Non-Fungible Tokens. Essentially a blockchain-notarized certificate of uniqueness/ownership of a digital asset such as an animated GIF of a nodding dog. At vast expense and environmental damage. The new hotness in cryptocurrency circles, circa March 2021....
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    To knock the legs out from under the silly games crew seems to me an aim which depends on global cooperation, and in practice will sooner or later run up against problems of the nature of "if you can't trade...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    By its very nature, money *is* a commodity. No it isn't: when money stops moving it has no value, much like the current in a copper wire goes away when the electrons stop moving. The best metaphor for money (disclaimer:...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    BTW, how would people know that (a) the probe is actually in space There's more than one deep space tracking network: I'm pretty sure the Russian and Chinese ones would be willing to sell you some observation time (at a...
  • Posted Because I am bored ... to Charlie's Diary
    While Bitcoin was originally proposed as a currency, it has most of the attributes of a commodity bubble, including a huge halo of swindlers and scam artists working to exploit it. It's also horribly energy-inefficient and contributes to the current...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Sure, Capitalism is a welter of schismatic Evangelical churches compared to the Communist Party's Roman Catholic Church, Eh?!? You've got at least three major branches of hardcore communism: Leninism/Stalinism, Maoism, and Trotskyism. Between them they diverge at least as much...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    The reason that Stalinism and Nazism are religions is that they share enough of the identifying features of a religion to qualify. There is a checklist ... And by your definition, Trump's MAGA followers are religious zealots and Trump the...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    It was a hotel dining room in Inverness & I'm guessing the room temperature at the time would have been around 21°C (comfortable without a coat or a sweater) and the beer was warmer than the room. Not by much,...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Inflatables in space make me *extremely* nervous. I'm less worried about radiation flying through that, say, micrometeors. Turns out that "inflatables" are more like a tightly-packed ten centimetre thick kevlar and nomex sandwich (optionally with metal or carbon fibre reinforcements)...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    (I have no idea where people round here get halal food from. There must be somewhere, but I don't recall ever having seen it.) I don't know where "around here" is for you, but in Edinburgh, you just go into...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Greg, this is only the second Long March 5B launch ever -- it's their heavy lift vehicle, the class has flown about 7 times in total but with each iteration there are bugs that need to be worked out. I...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    The other thing he's missing is Bigelow corp's inflata-stations: there's an experimental module currently hanging off the ISS after having been given the thumbs-up for an extended mission by NASA, and the planned full-scale B330 has two-thirds the inhabitable volume...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Nope, because that story is sufficiently on the nail that NASA coughed up the promise of $3Bn for Starship to get their astronauts down onto the moon and back to orbit (although right now Blue Origin and ULA are suing...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    I think, to be fair, the transpondian milk needs to be heat treated given the hormone and mastitis thing (so at least the included pus is sterile). My solution, when visiting the US (not since September 2019, alas), is to...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Sure we teach kids and second language learners simplified language, but we don't teach language that's wrong, and then make them pass exams on the wrong information. However, we totally do that if the exam in question is the UK...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    My first contact in school (aged 10 or 11 or so) with atoms was the horribly wrong 'solar system' model I got the same explanation (the Bohr model) as well, but with the significant rider: "this is a misleading approximation...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    despite being a year older than you, I still haven't persuaded the NHS that i'm actually eligible for my first shot If you're in Scotland you should totally have been invited for your first shot by now: check the NHS...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    ADMINISTRATIVE NOTICE: I'm getting my second AstraZeneca shot about 2-3 weeks earlier than expected, on Monday afternoon, so I may be AFK for some hours to days thereafter if I have a reaction to it. Also, if you're in Scotland...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    You're no fan of well-hung game, are you :-) When I was 16 I had a summer job at a laboratory, cleaning test tubes and the like. Ever since then, the smell of well-hung game reminds me of the stench...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    And the reason that the US didn't beat Sputnik... No. The reason the USA didn't beat Sputnik was that President Eisenhower ordered the military to let the Soviets get theirs into orbit first. Recall that at that time the CIA...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    our space age was raised out of the ashes left by the Nazi technological tradition, like it or not. That's not really true. The Soviet program was built largely on the work of Sergei Korolev, who designed the R-7 ICBM,...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    There were approximately 600,000 civilian deaths from strategic bombing by the USAF, RAF, Luftwaffe & IJA Air Service. Are all the pilots, bombardiers & air crew guilty of committing crimes against humanity? It has been noted that Air Marshal Arthur...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Not really comparable. The rockets von Braun was developing were a legitimate weapon of war, not murder by medical experimentation. Von Braun was quite happy to build his rockets using slave labour on starvation rations and to order execution of...
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