• 2 Posts
Joined 4M ago
Cake day: Jun 13, 2023


Rimworld is awesome. But I guess I was thinking in terms of “all crops” being one type of food source. In Rimworld, you can’t get multi-year droughts that make growing anything almost impossible. In real life, you can.

What is the most stable food production method?
Crops can blight, animals can get diseases. I don't know much about hydroponics but I know that bacteria are a concern. What food source is the most reliable, the least likely to produce less food than expected?

Interesting! I didn’t know that, but it makes sense.

I would suspect a correlation more with climate. If it’s temperate, you don’t shower as much as when you’re hot and sweaty all the time.

Also, geothermal power exists.

The Romans were really, really good at making concrete. Like most “ancient secrets”, it’s been overblown by sensationalist pop-historians, but they were still really good at it. IIRC they figured out that if you mix volcanic ash in with your concrete, it becomes stronger when exposed to water, not weaker.

edit: exposed, not exposed

I don’t know where it’s going. We’re in the middle of a hype cycle. It could be anywhere from “mildly useful tool that reduces busywork and revolutionizes the clickbait industry” to “paradigm shift comparable to the printing press, radio, or Internet”. Either way, I predict that the hype will wear off, and some time later the effects will be felt – but I could be wrong.

The CNN article says that he was selling horns to people in Manhattan. Jurisdiction for international crimes is complicated and I don’t know anything about it really, but my guess is that even if he never personally visited the States, he’s still considered to have committed crimes there – if a drug smuggler used a catapult to launch packages of drugs across the border, it would make sense for them to be charged in the US even if they didn’t ever step foot on American soil.

Yeah, I like the idea of using humans for computing. Or that they don’t want us dead. I just thought that the idea that all of Matrix-physics is a lie to be such a mind screw that I had to include it.


MORPHEUS: Where did you hear about the laws of thermodynamics, Neo?

NEO: Anyone who’s made it past one science class in high school ought to know about the laws of thermodynamics!

MORPHEUS: Where did you go to high school, Neo?


NEO: …in the Matrix.

MORPHEUS: The machines tell elegant lies.


NEO (in a small voice): Could I please have a real physics textbook?

MORPHEUS: There is no such thing, Neo. The universe doesn’t run on math.

I don’t see it as obvious. If anything it makes it harder for vested interests to have an outsized influence, since there are no traditional politicians to bribe. What flaws do you see that I’m missing?

When that one aired I assumed they were going to genre-shift into dark comedy or slapstick, but they… really, really didn’t.

Because I didn’t want people arguing about current events and the end of the Cold War seemed as good a cutoff as any.

What's the biggest plot hole in real life?
Since the latest season hasn't concluded yet, let's only look at plot holes from 1990 and before.

Liquid democracy is a proposed way to do a direct democracy in a large country. It’s only been tried on very small scales (Google used it to decide which food to get for their cafeterias), so we don’t really know if it would work, but I like the idea.

I’d point out that there are countries which don’t have much corruption or governmental malfeasance. Nordic countries tend to score very well on the Corruption Perception Index, and also have good social safety nets and governments that (generally, for the most part) serve the people. They’re all small countries, though – I suspect that politics becomes an increasingly dirty business the more power a country has.

If you haven’t already, you might want to look into selectorate theory. It essentially shows not only how the psychopaths at the top stay in power, but also why attempts to reform the system often result in a new crop of rulers who are just as bad or worse than those they replaced. (c.f. Cromwell’s revolt, French Revolution, Russian Revolution). A proponent of selectorate theory would argue that the solution is not to remove the psychopaths – it’s to create a system where things in a politician’s selfish interest happen to line up with things that benefit the people. It’s excellently summed up by this video.

In terms of curtailing corporate power from the top down, studying the history of U.S. antitrust law would be a good place to start. Extra Credits has a good series about it.

One reform method that has worked before is unionization. The vast majority of worker protections came about because of labour action. Unions are a lot weaker than they used to be, but it doesn’t have to stay that way. If you can, unionizing your workplace is probably the most impactful action you could take to improve the existing system.

If your tastes are more radical, you could also consider mutual aid societies. A robust one could conceivably Theseus its way into failing institutions, or evolve into a provisional government if everything collapses.

“Interesting! Tell us, where are these aliens with terrible cybersecurity? We were thinking of conquering you, but now it’s pretty clear that there’s an easier and wealthier target.”

Schindler’s List. Humans can be nasty, horrible, utterly evil. It’s all too common. But some of us will work to do good. Some of us will push back and do what’s right. There is evil in this world, but there is also goodness.