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Comment Re:Turing Test (Score 1) 255

Same reason the advertising industry relies heavily on attractive females: it overrides some higher function of the male brain.

"Same reason the advertising industry relies heavily on attractive females: it overrides all higher functions of the male brain in the vast majority of cases."


Comment Trying to meet someone, how? (Score 1) 255

...because in my experience 80-90% of the women on the paid site were working, self-sufficient adults...

So... that's like, what, eight or nine women?

Or are you counting law enforcement trolls, male impostors, and corporate shills, too? That'd probably get you up to 40% or so of these site's supposedly "female" accounts, the rest being bots pretending to be women, which don't count as "working, self-sufficient adults."

I'm truly glad you met someone you found worthwhile, but in the vast majority of situations, these sites are not good hunting grounds for an actual reasonable partner.

The old standbys are still by far the best, assuming one can pull their head out of their phone or laptop or ipad long enough to actually look around them and actually speak to people. Laundromats, grocery stores, libraries, classes of various types, museums, music stores (what few are left.) You know, places where reasonable, normal people tend to go and can be engaged in the creaky old technique of face-to-face, physically-present conversation. Where you can smell each other, sense each others body language, see how the other person moves, how they do at/with eye contact, make physical contact, engage in courting and other courteous behaviors...

I truly think the current crop of young people have gone and shot themselves in the foot with their overwhelmingly present "everything is online all the time" mentality. Not that you can't find someone online, of course you can, but the real world is still a much better place to try. If, of course, you have at least basic social skills and at least a few desirable characteristics. If not, then things haven't changed one whit -- you're screwed, and not in the "OMG I scored" way. Online won't help such a situation either.

Comment Re:How is this legal? (Score 1) 255

How many people do you think read all of the T&Cs? How many people do you know who have read the Facebook T&Cs, for example (I know two, but I don't know anyone who has both read them and agreed to them)?

I read them and didn't agree with them, hence have zero facebook presence. Does that count? :)

Comment Re:Story summary ... (Score 1) 1037

Well, some of us prefer hard science fiction to the squishy stuff.

I honestly rue the day the all-inclusive crowd decided to re-designate SF as "speculative fiction." All fiction is speculative as it is all an exercise in what-if. The difference between hard science fiction and the rest, as I see it, is that based upon the objective reality currently understood at the time of authorship, the hard stuff is actually within the realm of known possibilities, because, you know, science. I find that to be a significant enough distinction to distinguish these works from those containing gods, elves, magicians, macro teleportation, ESP and so on.

That is in no way to imply that the squishy stuff cannot be fine work -- it most certainly can, and often is. But the bottom line for me is that it is different on a fundamental level, providing a different kind of experience from, say, "The Martian" or the technically flawed, but scientifically sound, "Red Mars."

Doesn't matter to me personally who, or what, gets a Hugo, or why. I'm sitting about ten feet from three of them, and the shine has worn off after decades of observing the process. All I'm saying is that if hard science fiction is of such consequence to these people that they feel awards should be proffered in that specific category, there are doors that are open, or could be opened. Assuming the story is at all accurate, which, from the other comments here... it very well may not be.

Comment Re:Story summary ... (Score 2) 1037

Summary aside, if there really is an objection to the range of science fiction stories that the Hugos are currently addressing these days, then I can see two reasonable solutions, either or both of which may already exist:

1) hugos specific to the category being awarded: e.g. "hard science fiction"

2) another award entirely -- which means publicity, fan gathering, etc. Lots of work.

It seems like a tempest in a teakettle to me.

Comment Refining and transport costs? (Score 1) 61

From TFI:

The transportation and extraction costs are sufficiently high

This may be half-true if the vision is mankind going out there and mining and refining, but if it's done the sane way, the way it of course will ultimately be done -- which is by solar-powered robotics with self-repair capabilities along or incorporated -- the initial (and total) cost will be irrelevant due to the profits maintenance-free, zero ongoing-costs, self-repairing operations will continuously produce.

As for "transport costs", really, WTF? What about gravity? Inertia? Orbital mechanics? Ion drives? Sunlight? Did he forget his fundamental physics?

Mine it, refine it, and kick it - not very hard, either - (using an Ion tug/pusher that just starts it on its journey-to-wherever and then returns to the operation) towards where you want it to go, past whatever you want to use to give it more or less oomph, and it'll (eventually) get there. And once the first such package arrives after the initial latency caused by transport time, the others will follow at reasonably similar intervals to the kick-out intervals, assuming only that where they are being sent to isn't moving under its own power, in which case, every "kick" would have to be towards somewhere else (and you'd have to know where the target was going to be on receipt, too, or there wouldn't be any receipt.) Still, that's not going to be the critical use-case -- this is going to be almost entirely about sending materials mined from nearly zero-g environments to planetary and moon orbit, to the surface of the moon, to earth, to mars, etc.

If we're talking about delivery through an atmosphere, then a re-entry container, perhaps even a lifting body, will be required from some things. So an operation has to be set up to build those as required and send them to the mining sites in that case. Unless we just want meteoric delivery, which might actually be practical for some things, particularly high-temperature-tolerant things. Aim them towards a sufficiently deep part of the ocean or man-made body of water built for the purpose, rake them up at set intervals (during which none would be incoming, obviously) and there you have it. Any such containers or lifting bodies should (again, obviously) be built out of something we can re-purpose, as they are also nothing but materials mined for free in space, albeit not exactly raw materials. Heck, you could probably just make hydrogen balloons that come in slowly and let them float down to a reasonable altitude and then puncture themselves when they drift over a designated receiving area -- no massive influx of reentry heat there. Have to be some damn strong balloons to tolerate being inflated in a vacuum, but our materials science is working on that already. Not to mention other mechanisms that may be possible. :) We'd probably end up with too much hydrogen, lol. Still.

Sure, the initial startup will be much harder if they push into it as a manned operation that needs constant support and staffing. But the endgame here, indubitably based entirely on zero-ongoing cost-robotics, is almost unimaginably profitable in terms of both money and materials gleaned from these operations.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.