icehawk

icehawk

  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    The USA is NOT a democracy, right now & it's receding I get the hyperbole, but I don't think it's helpful. The USA is much more of a democracy now than it was before the civil rights movement in the...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Missing in discussion of Heinlein's "Roman" future state where only those who've done military service get to vote is one that the US constitution would be very happy with. That's not a co-incidence. This is very much a USA that...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    “ The wobble is what-is-about-to-become.” So true. Happens to the best of us, love. You hit middle age and no matter how much you exercise the pounds just start to pack on....
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    "I'll quote some more Graeber" Why? He's awful. Every time Graeber writes about something that I actually know about, he gets it wrong. Really wrong: his writing is full of factual errors, logical mistakes, and pure innumeracy. I don't know...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    Re: Pigeon & EC’s discussion on whether cycling is more of a replacement for walking or driving: I’m now a typical inner-suburb commuter. At rush hour my work is 45 mins walk from my house, 15 mins bike, and a...
  • Commented on Because I am bored ...
    bitcoin's energy consumption is only half of the traditional banking system's 263.72 terawatts per hour That's the most damning statistic about bitcoin energy consumption that I've seen yet. Because the traditional banking system is the main admin system that...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    “ 2. Apparently the Great Leap Forward didn't cause a population decline” Yes, but look at the Chinese demographic pyramid. Those born in the Great Leap Forward would now be 58 to 62 years. You can see the gap there...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    Unit 731 That’s surprisingly awful. And I thought I was no longer surprised by horrific war crimes. MacArthur ruling that none of the criminals responsible would be tried so long as they helped wth the USA’s biological weapons programme...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    My 2 cents: we all have different disgust thresholds. Up to the threshold we'll enjoy or consume the art, metaphorically holding our noses or making excuses for the creator ("he's a horrible person, but the art ..."). But then they...
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    The US has become bizarrely used to the idea that wars they fight involve very little sacrifice. The last war with significant US civilian casualties was the Civil War. Since WW2 the US has fought only much, much smaller nations....
  • Commented on A death in the Firm
    "What do you do when a democratically elected government or PM or President is an autocratic Traitor? Ask an Australian about their governor-general's "reserved powers". Firing a government when needed it good - one of the leader of the opposition's...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    Regards Red Skull: One of the things that killed the KKK’s support was Superman. Back when he fought crime, not just supervillains, the popular Superman radio show started having episodes where he fought against the criminal white-hooded racist menace. They...
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    Hours of the day are social constructs. That there are 24 is because of Babylonian religious beliefs. That they remain the same length despite days getting longer and shorter is a social choice (and 2,000 years ago people chose differently)....
  • Commented on Official Announcement: April Fools Day is Cancelled
    “ Firstly, we do NOT know if there can be long-term carriers (even asymptomatic ones), though there is some evidence that there may be. “ Given how extremely successful my country has been at keeping COVID out, I believe your...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    The one part I always get curious about is that both Polynesian and Micronesian societies are strongly birth-order ranked. Yeah. Right. Mana depends very heavily on whakapapa. It's the source of mana. And it means something if a language has...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    That argument is whether to empower drones and robots to kill humans autonomously, I strongly recommend Linda Nagata's SF novel "The Last Good Man", which takes this topic seriously and is scary as all hell as a prediction of where...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    How neurons work began to be hashed out in the 1930s-1950s. Early artificial neural networks then showed up in the late 50s if I remember correctly Turing anticipated them with his "Disorganised Machines" paper in 1948, but he could give...
  • Commented on Lying to the ghost in the machine
    They were being taught in electrical engineering about 1990 where I was, but were apparently unknown to the philosophy department. It made my course on "computers, minds, and logic" very confusing because the lecturer kept saying "this is impossible" about...
  • Commented on Central Banking on Mars!
    "First, lets get the definition straight. Censorship means the *Government* tells you what you can and cannot say ("speech" in the USA 1st Amendment meaning of any expressive activity)." What you say is simply untrue. Censorship is institutional suppression of...
  • Commented on Central Banking on Mars!
    Here in NZ there's a robust legal name suppression system for defendants who have not been found guilty, if they've a good reason to argue for name suppression. It's then illegal to identify them. That's pre-conviction, on an "innocent...
  • Commented on Central Banking on Mars!
    Still, there is a huge and endemic problem among the wealthy of keeping the wealth in the family, and AFAIK many (most?) families fail at the task after (stereotypically) three generations or so. Bad luck, bad management, and bad karma...
  • Commented on Central Banking on Mars!
    Is Mathematics real of itself, or is it an invention? I think the biggest thing I got out of my graduate Phil of Maths class is that this is the wrong question. "Is it real?" is a sensible question to...
  • Commented on A Quick Infomercial
    "you start on the tenure track as an Asst Prof." I think your description of the tenure system is a bit misleading. Probably it was accurate enough 50 years ago. Possibly it was accurate 20 years ago. Right now, I'd...
  • Commented on A Quick Infomercial
    Yes, and that's why Douglas Hofstadter had such a hard time persuading his employer that he should get proper academic credit for his "Godel, Escher, Bach..." At the time he was an assistant prof of Computer Science at Indiana. Since...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    "BARBEQUE! ...Southern Hemispherians: What do you do and like re: food cooked like this?" Depends what you mean by "like this". The USA BBQ idea of spending a long time slow cooking tough food to give a tender results is...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    " Admin sucks time and mental/emotional energy away from the primary task. (IMO, that's the real reason behind the Peter Principle: You get someone good at 'job X' and you shove them into admin where they do zero'job X' -...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    "I'd also assume that a lot of disease will have cures." Why? We haven't cured a lot of diseases in the last 50 years, AFAIK, so why do you expect the next 40 to be different? We've got better at...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    "I'd suggest your numbers in the healthcare professions are low, although it's a bit hard to estimate by how much. There are two elements to that." Hmm. I was about to write that I thought they were too high. Assume...
  • Commented on Covid on Mars
    "lifeboat utilitarianism" What happens depends on how true that really is. Anyone who thinks intelligent people will behave rationally and won't go in for unproductive stupid in-fighting has never worked at a university. So just how utopian an ideal are...
  • Commented on What happens now?
    “ The U.S. Right has been badly coddled (that means allowed to become spoiled) since the Reagan years. I think the necessary thing to do here is to treat them exactly like they were ordinary criminals. ” Far longer than...
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