Robert Prior

Robert Prior

  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    So appreciate your bin men If you've read John Brunner's The Shockwave Rider, no doubt you cheered at the discussion of valuing jobs that put bin men on par with doctors :-) For those that haven't, the proposal/thought experiment...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Canada has little history of slavery, but big issues with racism against First Nations, so if slavery had faded away in the USA it would probably have lots of racists too. Do you mean the US would have lots of...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    The book "Looking East from Indian Country" is not a bad academic introduction. Facing East from Indian Country, right? Looks interesting, and added to the pile. One of the several grievances that the colonists had against the British was...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    But very few people took to them for everyday use, because once you did open them, that was it. They were all floppy and couldn't be stood upright and you couldn't seal them up again, so you had to...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    And how to make building the necessary factories an attractive proposition in our money driven Capitalist society. Either give them the same subsidy as fossil fuels, or end fossil fuel subsidies — including public taxes paying to clean up problems...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Is it really unimaginable that people could figure out how to make family live sufficiently enjoyable that people would be willing to have more children? A lot of the people clutching their pearls about falling birth rates are also those...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Haven't seen plastic bags. I do remember when I was a kid, and my mom had four, I think, bottles of milk delivered several times a week. Milk bags seems to be a Canadian thing. Come to think of it,...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Concrete and rock aren't so bad. Relatively. A good chunk of the nasty dust in Beijing is concrete from construction. There's a reason they shut down construction for the Olympics....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    What bothers me are the little bags of dog poo hanging from tree branches and sitting on fenceposts beside paths. Why carefully bag up dog poo and then leave it like that? Is there by any chance a shortage of...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Writing sourcebooks is different from game mastering or playing - but if GURPS Space Stations needs to have different tunnel crawling rules than GURPS Spelunking who cares? There is great editorial pressure to not have different tunnel crawling rules,...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Soiled diapers in the landfill don't give me as much aggravation as the ones just left on the ground in parking lots. What bothers me are the little bags of dog poo hanging from tree branches and sitting on fenceposts...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Actually it was glass bottles, not plastic milk bottles. Maybe in California. In Saskatchewan glass milk bottles went out with milk delivery. Once that ceased you bought milk in plastic jugs* that were returnable, at least in the 70s....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    the ones who declare bankruptcy so they can abandon a landfill, toxic waste, or former mine site without cleaning it up or caring for it afterwards Used to be SOP with chip makers in silicon valley. Set up a...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    It doesn't take a lot to contaminate an otherwise useful waste stream. We used to have reusable plastic milk jugs when I was young. Now we have single-use plastic bags. According to an engineer I met years ago, the...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Toronto has green bins for compostable waste, blue bins for all other recycling, and garbage for everything else. And yard waste collection for things like leaves and pruning. Ottawa splits the blue bin into paper/cardboard and all other recycling....
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Posted too soon… Consider the Laundry series and the Rivers of London series. Both urban fantasy* set (mostly) in contemporary England, and yet with very different magic systems. So you would need either two different sets of magic rules, or...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    GURPS is not, in fact, "another RPG", but rather a set of rules for any type of role-playing game (Generic Universal Role-Playing System), intended by Steve so that you didn't have to learn a new rule system for every bloody...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    undertake operations against the bandits/warlords which frequently inhabited the medieval countryside Best campaign I played in was run by an Anglican priest. Map was essentially Nova Scotia settled to medieval levels*, and we were first-level characters hunting bandits and...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    The default method for dealing with it in SF is to either whiz-bang fix it (as in Earth) Or John Barnes' Mother of Storms. Or a lot of the entries in Seat 14C. Which is a decent collection, and...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Sorry, I never count. At least, not until the game is over? :-)...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    in many versions the characters are mostly ex-military, ex-scouts (so often figuring out where to colonize next), or merchants (who would benefit from the colonization) Also, the rules mostly governed fighting, exploring, and commerce. You could run campaigns with a...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    if the SNP fail to secure independence then Scotland is forever doomed to be under the thumb of the Tories, who haven't won an election north of the border in over 60 years. And if the SNP succeed, then...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Also the rise of advertising as an industry, linked to things like planned obsolescence. Almost as if there was a plan to increase workers' consumption…...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    it's de rigueur here to regard the US as a cryptofascist dictatorship. If you want an SF blog where the US is regarded as the greatest-ever force for good that occasionally makes mistakes with the best intentions, and the...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Slavery exists across the country (although it's called 'indentured labour' in the North). So a continuation of the system that the colonies started with?...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    I think the Monroe Doctrine was more a reaction to the War of 1812 than a grand scheme for hemispheric domination, Well, one of the causes of the War of 1812 was American expansionism, both into indigenous territory and the...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Hudson's Bay Company. Spent two centuries as the effective government of much of Canada before it sold off the land. Eventually ended up as a department store that was run into the ground by a venture capitalist, screwing many employees...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    The only thing that can really bring a thalassocracy down, really, is internal collapse, or exhaustion. The Minoans might quibble with that. What about volcanoes?...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    Looking at that list reminds me that countries often have aspirational names. "Democratic Republics" are often struggling to be either What about People's Democratic Republics?...
  • Commented on Starship bloopers
    ... and you probably never will understand. We might finally have a point we can agree on! :-) "What clues did you miss"? Well, given that I thought we'd established that the film shared almost nothing with the book other...
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