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Comment: Re:The Golden Path (Score 1) 163 163

Frank Herbert's son later teamed up with a sci-fi author and published some books which wrap up the story and also explain some of the events that happened before the Dune books take place. Supposedly from his father's notes. Not everyone considers these books canon. The catastrophe, however, is revealed but at this point it mostly seemed the first book had some parallells with the Middle East.

The reason that many don't consider it canon is that it directly contradicts not just small events in the originals but the entire premise. In Dune, the Butlerian Jihad was an ideological struggle against people who were willing to delegate their thinking to machines without considering the long-term social consequences (hmm, still seems pretty relevant) and ended up being controlled by oligarchs who controlled the machines. The outcome was an overreaction against machines, banning even simple calculating engines. In the cash-in novels, it was recharacterised as a war against a two-dimensional and completely unbelievable machine intelligence.

The final revelation in the sequels was then that this machine intelligence had survived and had been building an empire in secret all of the time that humanity had been building their own and eventually decided that it wanted to destroy all of the humans (why? Because that's what evil robot overlords do! Obviously). These books could have been written by the Bene Gesserit sister that Leto just managed to restrain himself from killing in God Emperor, for her stupidity. He explained that humanity had moved past the point where machines could be a threat (remember: they were never a physical threat, the threat was always stagnation and decay as humans delegated more and more to machines until there was no point in continuing to live).

The point of the scattering in Leto's Golden Path was that humanity would spread out so that nothing could be an existential threat (the old Empire had more or less stopped expanding and didn't have exponential growth to protect it). Part of the point of Chapterhouse was that the conflict that was going on, in spite of engulfing more worlds than the Empire in the time of Dune, was a tiny sideshow - nothing that happened would affect humanity and the descendants of humanity as a whole. The big hint about the changes that were happening out of the empire was the extent to which the Honoured Matres and Futars had diverged from what was considered human. The implication was that they were the ones that had diverged the least and were no longer able to compete with far more predatory creatures that had evolved from humans.

Comment: Re:kernel developers on Macs - that would be me (Score 1) 49 49

Mac Pros, which run certified Unix (OS X) are possibly the _best_ option for serious professionals.

Who cares whether a Unix is certified? Linux is the big daddy of the server rhythm these days. It's all been over but the tears for Big Iron Unix since you started seeing people consider the GNU toolchain 'indispensable' on it.

There are also a couple other companies making one or two choices in well-built hardware you can install enterprise Linux on, of course.

There's a lot of companies making much more capable hardware these days, particularly in the graphics department, and featuring considerably more expandability. Much of it comes at significantly lower cost, as well, and if you spend more money, you'll know what you got for it in most cases.

Comment: Re:First Book Is Still Solid (Score 1) 163 163

What do you think they introduced that made sense? The House series ended up having to do a load of hard resets that just didn't make sense (the no-ship technology appearing a few thousand years early? Well, just brush it under the rug - we all know that technologies are developed in a vacuum and so if you cover up an invention that has all of its prerequisites it won't be reinvented for a long time). The only redeeming feature of the House books was that they weren't as bad as the Butlerian Jihad series.

Comment: Re:Road trips. (Score 1) 504 504

It doesn't actually matter. What you have to ask is not whether people live in cities, but how far they live from work. I've known people to commute for two hours in California, and I'm not even talking about heavy traffic situations. A lot of people are now living up here in Lake and Mendocino counties and working way the hell down in SF and the like, that's a two hour drive on a good day.

Comment: Re:Range and recharging time (Score 1) 504 504

Some of the weight difference definitely gets eaten by the vehicle frame, so it's capable of the hauling and towing capacities that make it "super duty", but there's a whole lot of room there for more batteries than any sedan could reasonably carry.

Physically, there is room. Economically, there is not. Pickups are already brushing the top of what people are willing to pay for them.

I'm assuming Tesla has already thought of this, but just can't build yet another line simultaneously with all the others.

The only manufacturer who might reasonably pull this off any time soon is Ford, because they're the only ones with a lightweight pickup big enough to stuff batteries into and still do work. They would need to make a lightweight chassis that was designed to accommodate the battery packs, but they could do that with in-house expertise now. And nobody is going to buy a Tesla pickup. People are married to brands in trucks.

This conversation does take me back to when Ford was playing around with Capstone turbines in C-Max people movers and so on. Perhaps Ford should offer an Aluminum F150 EV with a turbine range extender option :)

Comment: Re:Lawrence (Score 1) 163 163

A much milder Christian version was some Puritans who banned Christmas

Minor clarification, but Puritans didn't ban Christmas, they banned the non-religious parties and traditions rooted in Saturnalia that had become associated with Christmas. Puritan Christmas involved spending most of the day in Church. They certainly tried to ban fun at Christmas (and at most other times), but not the Christian festival.

Comment: Re:EVs are a PITA (Score 1) 504 504

So, I am helping everybody (and the planet) out by burning three dinosaurs to every one you do not.

Oh no, you've got it twisted. I live in the sticks and I'm two meters tall and I can't afford a new car either. I have a 300SD and I'm working to bring up an A8 Quattro right now. You can buy a lot of fuel for twenty thousand dollars...

Comment: Re:I don't think it's so much speculation (Score 1) 504 504

A quick google disagreed with this "fact", showing a slight increase in median household income over the last half century....

You mean, as compared to inflation? Because the minimum wage hasn't kept up with inflation in over twenty years, and more and more people are living on it.

Comment: Re:Holy Mountain (Score 1) 163 163

If a movie violates canon, it should use a different name. If the movie isn't good enough to be made without using a name it doesn't deserve, then it isn't good enough to watch.

Tell that to The Godfather and Wizard of Oz, two movies that are both in just about every top 10 of all time list.

"Canon" only comes into play in sci-fi, video games and comic books, which is one reason those wonderful art forms have such trouble getting taken seriously as art.

Oh, and of course, "canon" also comes into play in religion, which also says a whole lot.

"Oh my! An `inflammatory attitude' in alt.flame? Never heard of such a thing..." -- Allen Gwinn, allen@sulaco.Sigma.COM

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