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Comment: Re:Where the pessimism comes from. (Score 2) 172

by Nemyst (#47915045) Attached to: Sci-Fi Authors and Scientists Predict an Optimistic Future

When we write about the future, we don't write about a *plausible* future. We write about a future world which is like the present or some familiar historical epoch (e.g. Roman Empire), with conscious additions and deletions. I think a third reason may be our pessimism about our present and cynicism about the past. Which brings us right back to literary fashion.

I'd argue that we do try to write about the future, but the thing is: it's pretty damn hard to predict the future. What people do is take the current point in time and extrapolate it to whatever point they want, be it tens or hundreds or thousands of years into the future. If TV is big rounded cathodic tubes and is starting to get very popular now, then in the future it'll be ubiquitous, you'll have TVs in your bathroom and they'll have created some really fancy cathodic tube designs, with TVs taking up entire floors of buildings to act as animated billboards.

The problem is that if we look at history, we see it littered with disruptive technologies and events which veered us way off course from that mere extrapolation into something new. The computer was such a technology. The internet. The smartphone. There are an incredibly large amount, some which just slightly changed things, others which had a profound and lasting impact. They're also pretty much impossible to predict, since they're not only a technical event but a societal event. The technology has to catch on.

If you were to try to write sci-fi that followed this pattern, you'd run into the issue of massive divergence very quickly. Your imagined future wouldn't match with reality at all, since all those disruptions didn't actually happen, and perhaps never will, while others you hadn't envisioned did. It's therefore far more relatable to just stick to what's here now and extrapolate, because at least people will be able to make a connection and see where the evolution took place. Plus, many times sci-fi is a critique or a commentary on the time period it was written in, so it makes sense to ground it in that same time period.

Comment: Re:photons are not particles (Score 1, Informative) 127

by Nemyst (#47883965) Attached to: Researchers Working On Crystallizing Light
We can define a photon just fine thank you. It's not because it doesn't fit in a human-scale model of comprehension that there's something inherently fuzzy or mysterious about the wave/particle duality. A photon is both a wave and a particle, exhibiting the properties of the former in certain scenarii and the latter in other scenarii.

Your analogy is also incorrect. A photon is an electromagnetic wave, it's not a vibration propagating through a medium. An ocean wave without the ocean is nothing, it's energy being transmitted through movement of the medium (same as sound). A photon can exist in a vacuum.

Comment: Re:Microsoft has to fight this ... (Score 5, Funny) 122

by Nemyst (#47871419) Attached to: Microsoft Agrees To Contempt Order So It Can Appeal Email Privacy Case
You got that wrong, this is the US providing heavy stimulus for foreign companies creating their own cloud services. They're basically giving free reign to European providers, who do not own a single server in the US, and telling them to go ahead and dominate the market. Europeans should be thanking them, if anything!

Comment: What? (Score 3, Interesting) 368

by Nemyst (#47867189) Attached to: Report: Microsoft To Buy Minecraft Studio For $2bn+
Minecraft is a PC game first and foremost. The console versions are watered down, limited, pale imitations at best. Microsoft is no longer a PC-centric games publisher (long gone are the days of Age of Empires...). The match makes frankly very little sense, which is why it worries me that it just might happen, and it'd probably cause a massive exodus of the modding community. You can bet that MS wouldn't want dirty modders reverse-engineering their new property's code, and yet destroying the modding community would spell the doom for Minecraft.

Comment: Re:no (Score 4, Informative) 266

by Nemyst (#47859137) Attached to: John Romero On Reinventing the Shooter
Not even necessary. Just do what Valve did: make all of the community created work sellable at the maker's choice on an official platform and take a cut from every transaction. The authors are happy because they get to profit from their work, the users are happy because there's a truckload of cosmetics, including some really rare and valuable ones that they can flaunt around, and obviously Valve is happy because they're basically making money by doing nothing. It's working stupidly well for them with Dota 2.

Comment: Re:cram lots of people in a confined space (Score 1) 811

by Nemyst (#47849297) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room
Except obese people don't have to pay for two seats, as ruled by a Canadian court. The rest of your post is a series of non sequiturs, because there is choice in the same price range. I can buy shirts that fit me for the same price as a smaller person. The materials might be a bit cheaper, or the cut might not be as great, or it might not have a brand attached to it, but it'll fit me. I can do the same for cars, and for anything that's property. An airline ticket is a service, and there is NO choice. I can't decide to trade that second carry-on weighting 20 pounds that every person brings but that I don't. I can't decide to downgrade the seat's materials, or not to have food included, or to have to pay extra for every inch more that I want. I don't have an alternative.

Also, your money comment is absurd. Tall people tend, on average, to make more money than shorter people, but that in no way means that I have a few thousands magically floating in my pockets. I generally have less money instead, because between the clothing, food, doctor visits (for back problems, neck problems, knee problems, you name it) and whatever else, my student money isn't going very far. But don't let that get in the way of a nice juicy overgeneralization.

Comment: Re:Oh dear, the widening wealth gap.. (Score 3, Informative) 811

by Nemyst (#47845919) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room
You can get airline tickets in Europe for under $100. That's often equal to or less than a bus or a train, and yet European flights are generally a bit better than American flights despite the latter costing more for similar distances. You're oversimplifying the matter.

Comment: Re:cram lots of people in a confined space (Score 2, Insightful) 811

by Nemyst (#47845889) Attached to: 3 Recent Flights Make Unscheduled Landings, After Disputes Over Knee Room
Bullshit. Why should I pay more for being taller? This isn't a choice, is it? What the airlines are doing is essentially discrimination.

What infuriates me the most though is that I've heard more and more that obese people get special status and the ability to use two seats while only paying for one, but tall people get nothing. Obesity is not inherent to the person, height is.

Yes, we will be going to OSI, Mars, and Pluto, but not necessarily in that order. -- Jeffrey Honig