Tad Williams' Message Board

Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It's hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It's round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you've got about a hundred years here. There's only one rule that I know of, babies -- 'God damn it, you've got to be kind.'
-    Kurt Vonnegut, 1922-2007

Welcome to the message board for tadwilliams.com. All comments are welcome, whether kudos or brickbats. However, please bear in mind that Tad would like this to be a friendly, civil message board, at least in the relations between users. We reserve the right to remove postings, or even ban postings, from anyone who crosses the boundary of reasonable taste. Basically, you can argue vigorously with someone, but watch your language, okay? We have a lot of young readers as well as grown-ups, so please show them some respect.

But the main requirement here is: have fun.


You are not logged in.

#26 2014-04-25 02:17:50

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Dammit, I failed to deal with my half-n-half issue.  Meant to pick up some of that fake powdered stuff but was much too busy today.  I am seriously considering being squirrelly about it and abscond from the starbucks down the street.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

Scrollbearer
Proud Member of the Log Brigade

 

#27 2014-04-26 20:37:10

Auros
Pilgrim
From: San Mateo, CA
Registered: 2001-11-23
Posts: 7625
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

A society with tightly controlled population is easier to imagine if you can give people -- as a matter of course -- cheap, very long term contraception, before they're even sexually active.  Something like the IUD or Annuelle for girls, something like RISUG for boys.  And I do mean girls and boys -- you develop something that's very long term (but reversible), administer it when they're 12 or 13, and let them choose when they want to become active, and when (if ever) they want to become fertile.

Note that this requires a social shift.  You need the buy-in of the population, or at least a large majority, such that you get social pressure on those who are reluctant.  The primary motivation should be that this is seen as basic preventive healthcare, like vaccination.  But, if when you're 17-25, NOT being protected by long-term contraception makes you an undesirable sex partner, you'll get very high levels of participation.

Last edited by Auros (2014-04-26 20:40:01)


Irreverent Father Auros, High Priest of the Church of Erotic Pantheism
the Aurosphere -- Me, myself, and I.
Strange Horizons -- Your weekly source for speculative fiction.
The Resistance wants YOU to defend humanity from Alien Mind Control!

 

#28 2014-04-26 21:01:53

Auros
Pilgrim
From: San Mateo, CA
Registered: 2001-11-23
Posts: 7625
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

I am, I will note, despite having something of a libertarian and pro-market streak, emphatically not a voulantaryist, hard-core libertarian, anarcho-syndicalist, or whatever else.  I know many of them (including the former director of the Seasteading Institute, whose name is in that Wildcard RP thing), and they suffer from the same problem as Communists -- their proposed societies work great, as long as the only people who live there are people of good will who want to work hard and play by the rules.  As soon as such a society makes contact with real human beings, it falls apart.

I'm a fan of Hobbes' Leviathan.  The existence of an entity that can monopolize force is the only thing that protects you from being bashed over the head for your jacket.  Sure, you could stock up on weapons to defend yourself, but that's not freedom; that's paranoia.  The man who can walk down the street blithely assuming that nobody's going to kill him for his jacket is far more free than the one who sleeps with one eye open.  Somalia has much less government / state power than the West, and concomitantly less freedom.

You want a system that has a wide variety of checks and balances, and that legitimately derives its power from the people.  We have problems, currently, with power gradually accumulating in the hands of a small money-based elite, as Thomas Piketty has ably documented, and as anyone who opens hir eyes can see.  But the modern West still does have true small-d democratic and small-r republican institutions that could be used by an engaged populous to wrestle capital back under control.  The Free Market makes an excellent servant, but it's terrible master, and an even worse religious icon, which is what it's become for a lot of right-wing political parties, particularly in the Anglosphere.  The thing they don't get, is that we social democrats are actually better at capitalism than the self-proclaimed defenders of freedom.  (Larry Bartels has marshalled the evidence for this in the US, but Karl Polanyi provided the theoretical framework for understanding why decades earlier.  The TL;DR version is basically that in the absence of a strong democratic state pushing back against the accumulation of economic power, capitalism devolves back into feudalism in a few generations.)

Really what the US most needs at the moment to improve people's freedom is to finish expanding access to healthcare (so folks can live free of the worry that one illness or broken bone will destroy their lives and their children's chance at moving up the economic ladder), and to find ways to employ the long-term unemployed.  (A lot of them are from the construction business, so rebuilding schools and government buildings, roads and bridges, and our plumbing and electrical grids, would be a great start.)  We need a movement akin to the won that swept FDR to power with massive supermajorities, preferably without requiring something quite as awful as the '30s Depression or WW2 to concentrate peoples' minds...

Many of the EU nations are in even more dire need of such a movement and leader, because they've been suffering under even more severe austerity and hard-money policies.  Even Sweden has managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

Last edited by Auros (2014-04-26 21:05:00)


Irreverent Father Auros, High Priest of the Church of Erotic Pantheism
the Aurosphere -- Me, myself, and I.
Strange Horizons -- Your weekly source for speculative fiction.
The Resistance wants YOU to defend humanity from Alien Mind Control!

 

#29 2014-04-27 09:11:22

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

H'okay, finally have some time to go through the slew of responses here! :)

Genisis X wrote:

Ahh, population control. I wrestle with that old chestnut regularly. And every time people discuss this topic they seem to have no thought of the consequences of trying to implement their hair brained schemes. [...] In short for all these lovely moral issues we need to stop thinking about some emotional, bullshit idea of the ideal society and stay firmly grounded in reality. We need to look at what works, what doesn't work and why these things do or do not work.

-X

Genisis, I think you've taken a wrong turn. I don't mean that disparagingly at all, your post was very insightful - I just don't think it belongs here. This thread is for world-building. "moral issues" is definitely not on the menu here. "what works better" also isn't, unless expressly requested.

Remember, arguably, none of the existing political systems are ideal, either - why should fiction be any different? :) If you want to argue the genuine merits of population control, and there is surely a case to be made for and against such a thing, that's what The Halls of Hmmm... are for.

Differently worded:

"Let's come up with crazy ideas and try to make those crazy ideas work" is a fundamentally different concept than "Let's make sure these ideas aren't crazy". This thread is meant to be strictly collaborative. If your contribution is 'throw all of it out and start from scratch', the chances are high they should go to the The Halls of Hmmm... instead.

(If that's not clear enough in the first post, let me know and I'll fix it. <3)


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#30 2014-04-27 09:16:45

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

cyan wrote:

bumadax wrote:

I dare someone to unplug their refrigerator for a week then.

I'll take up that challenge.  Unfortunately, my refrigerator is built into a thing in a way that I can't pull out enough to unplug so I've turned off the thermostats.

See you in a week, Max!

This sounds like a really crazy plan and I approve of it. :O Thanks for keeping us updated!

I'd follow your example, but my German boyfriend will probably murder me in the messiest possible way if I even so much as bring it up. (He outright rejects anything that's even just one day past its due date and the idea of keeping things around without refrigeration is going to make him curl up in a corner and cry.)


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#31 2014-04-27 09:19:49

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

@Auros: Just so you know, I've asked for your second post to be moved. As far as I can tell it doesn't respond to a world-building thread and is purely addressing real-world politics. Please don't do that here.


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#32 2014-04-27 09:26:05

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13416

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Dread, Individual posts cannot be moved only topics. And this is not what you want I suppose.

So I suggest to just leave it there (as I really feel bad deleting posts which are just off-topic, we're derailing topics all the time) and emphazise again what this should be about.

 

#33 2014-04-27 09:28:33

Dread
Pilgrim
From: Germany
Registered: 2002-11-07
Posts: 4236
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

ylvs wrote:

Dread, Individual posts cannot be moved only topics. And this is not what you want I suppose.

So I suggest to just leave it there (as I really feel bad deleting posts which are just off-topic, we're derailing topics all the time) and emphazise again what this should be about.

Ooh, rats. Sorry about the report, then, I didn't realise the software has that restriction. I definitely don't want the post to be erased, he's clearly put a lot of work into it. :O Thanks for letting me know!


Your friendly neighbourhood obsessive-compulsive sociopath.
Items carried: A mysterious bag (1) (from Kenan), Hurricane (1) (from Em), Feather of Doom (1) (from Em), Scorpion Dagger (1), carnivorous butterflies (43)
Wildcard a/k/a Crimson Feather :: Best viewed with your eyes open!
IRC-addicts, ahoy! #dataclaw on irc.darkmyst.org? Shall we call it a date?

 

#34 2014-04-27 09:30:11

ylvs
Mantis
From: Art Central
Registered: 2001-06-19
Posts: 13416

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

You're welcome Dread. I just fond out as well.

Now I have to find out what to do woth reports I want to ignore ...

 

#35 2014-04-27 09:32:22

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32895
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

ylvs wrote:

Dread, Individual posts cannot be moved only topics. And this is not what you want I suppose.

So I suggest to just leave it there (as I really feel bad deleting posts which are just off-topic, we're derailing topics all the time) and emphazise again what this should be about.

That was what I was just going to say as well.

And I would suggest, if someone wants to talk about what Auros posted (I will admit that I have not read it, like most of the rest of the thread... I'm afraid I don't have enough living brain cells at this time of year to read everything like I would usually do) that they start a thread in the Halls of Hmmm and quote Auros' post there (and maybe link back to this thread).


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#36 2014-04-27 09:33:07

Magpie
Mantis
From: miraculously thistle-free town
Registered: 2006-03-27
Posts: 32895
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

ylvs wrote:

You're welcome Dread. I just fond out as well.

Now I have to find out what to do woth reports I want to ignore ...

I would say just zap it.


Basically, I'm Prince Josua in jeans and sneakers, or a different flavor of Renie Sulaweyo.
- Tad

Master of Gardening, Mistress of Kingdom Plantae, Defender of the Seedlings, Guardian of Root and Bough
Scrollbearer and offerer of some very useful opinions

 

#37 2014-04-28 23:16:45

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

Dread wrote:

cyan wrote:

bumadax wrote:

I dare someone to unplug their refrigerator for a week then.

I'll take up that challenge.  Unfortunately, my refrigerator is built into a thing in a way that I can't pull out enough to unplug so I've turned off the thermostats.

See you in a week, Max!

This sounds like a really crazy plan and I approve of it. :O Thanks for keeping us updated!

It's not very crazy.  Quite boring actually.  I live alone so I don't keep much food around, my freezer was already empty except for the ice.

When I turned the thermostats off, I moved food from the refrigerator section to the freezer section, which wasn't much: leftovers enough for 2 lunches (which I packed up into portable storage containers and took to work the next day, taking advantage of the refrigerator there) 2 sticks of butter, half-n-half, eggs, cheese, and some carrots, celery and garlic, and an onion.

The standard holding temperature of a commercial refrigerator 34˚ to 38˚ F (0.5˚ to 3˚ C), and for freezers it's 0˚ to -10˚F (-18˚  to -23˚ C).  The two primary things that dictate the effectiveness and efficiency of a refrigerated unit are: a) compressor power, and b) insulation.  In the 21st century, advances in insulation even in residential appliances were such that, by simply replacing my old refrigerator with a new one back in year 2002, I reduced my electricity bill by 1/3rd.

By moving stuff into the freezer, I was able to slow the rise in temperature of my half-n-half, which I used right up to Saturday.  The eggs were fine too, scrambled up the last of them for dinner on Saturday night.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

Scrollbearer
Proud Member of the Log Brigade

 

#38 2014-04-29 00:38:56

cyan
Mantis
From: Magic Loft of Design & Wonder
Registered: 2005-02-16
Posts: 26887

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

For the most part, there are three things for food-borne bacteria to survive: 1) moisture; 2) oxygen; and 3) temperature control.  Drying is an effective preservation method because it removes moisture.  Canning works because it locks out oxygen.  Temperature control works by keeping foods out of the danger zone through the application of cold or heat.


"Never underestimate the power and accuracy of a chicken-chucking trebuchet." ~ Tad

Scrollbearer
Proud Member of the Log Brigade

 

#39 2014-04-29 15:47:50

bumadax
Pilgrim
Registered: 2001-06-11
Posts: 9791
Website

Re: d'Arcadia (Dread)

As a reminder, the "no refrigeration for a week" thing came from the question of what would happen if the government imposed energy caps. That was just one example of how our lives might become more difficult. Maybe the internet would be a harder thing to go without.

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB