1. 3

    The great thing about this game is that as a child it’s just fun to put random stuff together and see a ball bounce around. It has high ‘sandbox potential’.

    Although i could never figured out most of the puzzles past the early easy ones.

    1. 2

      There’s basically nothing interesting here. You just change the last few significant digits of a number around until you get a prime. This is only fascinating in the same way magic tricks are, only to people who don’t know the trick behind it. Once you pull back the curtain it’s just boring.

      1. 5

        What I don’t really understand is how Andrew has a comfortable standard of living in NYC on $600 per/month.

        https://www.patreon.com/andrewrk/overview

        I’m guessing that there must be another source of Zig donations aside from Patreon?

        1. 7

          Savings?

          1. 2

            Oh woops, I misread the first paragraph, I thought it stated that Zig was supporting him entirely, when it’s actually about his programming supporting him.

            1. 3

              Note that this isn’t his first attempt at doing this. But the project he was working on before Genesis didn’t find the same traction as Zig has. BUT, if I recall correctly, he also didn’t live in NYC the last time… Anyway, he’s got experience with living frugally, so I’m sure he knows what he’s doing here.

              1. 2

                he extrapolated the donations growth versus his savings.

            2. 2

              What I don’t understand is if you are not working in NYC anymore, and only working on your own and getting donation, why doesn’t he move to anywhere but NYC to minimise his personal expense?

              I’m sure there are cities in the US with 80% the fun of NYC at lower than 80% of the cost.

              1. 17

                I work remote, and there are places I could move that are < 20% of the cost.

                My friends aren’t going to move with me, and I have enough money to live where I am. Why be wealthy and lonely?

                1. -10

                  Didn’t know your city is the only source of friends in the world. That must be good for the economy.

                  1. 32

                    I know that this is very hard for some people to believe (seems to be harder the more western the society is), but some people don’t consider their friends a replaceable commodity. Not that I don’t want to make new friends, but these are my friends right now and I am more loyal to them than I am to a meaningless job or to money.

                    1. 4

                      Maybe because your partner has a job he/she really enjoys in this city? I mean, we’re lucky in our field to have a lot of different possibilities, in remote or not, mostly well paid. Let’s not forget that it’s a chance and not something everybody has.

                  2. 2

                    The usual reason is the significant other.

                    1. 1

                      There’s a shit-ton of them. Even Memphis TN that’s close to me with all its problems is low cost of living with all kinds of fun stuff to do. Just don’t live in or shop around the hood. Solves most of problems if you don’t have kids going to school or college.

                      There’s plenty of cities in the US that similarly have low cost of living with plenty going on. One can also live in areas 30-40 min from cities to substantially reduce their rent. The fun stuff still isn’t that far away. The slight inconvenience just knocks quite a bit off the price.

                      1. 4

                        I don’t remember the details, and I can’t find the link, but a few years ago someone did some research here in Berlin where they compared the cost of rent in more-or-less the city proper, and the cost of rent + public transportation tickets when you lived in the outskirts. It ended up being not much of a difference.

                        1. 2

                          Well, if you don’t workin in the city and need to commute then you spend even less. Though OTOH, you get tax returns for commutes in Germany so probably the commute is not that expensive to begin with.

                          1. 2

                            Berlin is currently the city with the highest increase in rent world-wide and a few years ago, it was unusually low.

                            Also, Berlin is hard to compare in many aspects, possibly because of a very unique city history.

                    1. 3

                      This is a thinly veiled ad.

                      1. 1

                        They should use a log scale. Otherwise the difference at the top of the chart is perceptively too big.

                        1. 6

                          I absolutely understand the economic motivations behind this move. I’m concerned because it seems that if other smaller players do the same (migrate over to established players like Reddit) then it’ll drive more users to incumbent companies. Someone in the thread included a link to an instruction how to deal with GDPR trolling which I’m bookmarking right now just in case.

                          1. 6

                            If you get a data request and it’s reasonable to do so, simply answer it. “Hi, my online identifier is ‘geocar’ what information do you have on me?” - I only have the information you already know about1. If that’s true, it’s easy. If you’re building a profile of me, likes/preferences and whether you sell them individually or in aggregate, then you have to tell me that, but if it’s just my own comments and my own email address (which I entered) then I should already know about that.

                            If it’s worded in legalese, or you find it otherwise difficult, you can ask for administrative costs to be posted with the request to you. That way you’ll know they’re at least serious too. You’re not required to figure out what information might be connected to the person2, so if you buy some audience data from somebody like Lotame to show targeted ads to your users, even though you have a online identifier (username) you aren’t required to link them if you don’t ordinarily do this, and only very big websites will do this.

                            Finally, if it’s onerous, you can ask for further “reasonable fees”. Trolls will get bored, but if you need to pull logs out of your s3 glacier and it’s going to take a week (or more) without paying the expedited fees there’s no reason you have to be on the hook for this.

                            Right now, all this seems scary because it’s “new”, but eventually it will become normal, and we’ll realise the GDPR isn’t the boogeyman out to get us.

                            1. 2

                              “Hi, my online identifier is ‘geocar’ what information do you have on me?”

                              You also need to prove that you are indeed geocar, otherwise anyone could have requested to view/delete the personal data. So some kind of vetting needs to be done.

                              1. 1

                                Indeed, but in this case, I think of at least one way to do that :)

                              2. 2

                                This is reasonable, but when you’re a tiny little startup (I’m pretty sure drone.io is a one man operation) any of this could still be onerous.

                                1. 0

                                  Like already stated in another comment before, you can simply ask people to use predefined forms of request from your website once logged in, and have pre-defined answers to them.

                              3. 2

                                Seems like there’s a business opportunity here - “we will host and run your forum / comments / community in a fully GDPR-compliant fashion” or “we give you all the tools to easily comply with GDPR requests”

                                1. 3

                                  The link I posted above also suggests another solution which might be a better fit for smaller companies and projects: provide a self-service interface for users where they’ll be able to access all GDPR-related stuff. I’d love to see this approach gain traction so that we’d avoid centralization.

                                  1. 2

                                    In other words: “pay us money or the government will shut you down”.

                                    All to “protect the consumers” of course. The very same consumers who willingly put all their information up on facebook.

                                    1. 0

                                      That’s what Im thinking. Lets them pool resources on legal and maybe operational side. Even an existing seller of forum software might make it an extra servicevor differentiator. Alternatively, this stuff might get outsourced to specialized firms.

                                  1. -10

                                    I know you get a lot of pat-on-the-backs when you implement stuff for the disabled. But I just feel like it’s rarely worth it unless you are at a large scale where the disabled population will offset the man-hours. Not to mention that different segments of the disabled have different requirements and the same special interface will not couple with all of them.

                                    So to me, I can’t help but think that whenever some megacorps implement these solutions, it’s more likely virtue-signalling rather than altruism or legit economic advantage.

                                    The problem of course, is that if we could solve this problem economically, then we would have solved it forever, but if it is virtue-signalling, then the incentive isn’t really to provide solutions, but to provide the appearance of caring, and so the mismatch will eventually result in the problem not really being solved long-term.

                                    1. 10

                                      I don’t understand this comment at all. If it’s not profitable, why do you think companies are “virtue signaling” and not caring? ISTM you’re reading an awful lot into their behavior, under the odd belief that doing something good has to be for egotistical reasons, and not because you want to help someone out.

                                      1. 3

                                        To expand on what I believe @LibertarianLlama is saying is, it’s possible this comes out of their marketing budget as a kind of loss. The upside of this would be that the PR leads to other sells, not necessarily of this product, but others.

                                        In the end it doesn’t really matter. It’s a local choice of the company, not trying to solve a problem globally in an economically sustainable way.

                                        It should also be remembered that helping people can be egotistical, in which case it’s a win-win! I find it personally strange when people sometimes boycott beneficial things because they’re suspicious of the underlying motives, when the motives clearly aren’t arming belligerents in a foreign war, or something else clearly evil.

                                        1. -2

                                          why do you think companies are “virtue signaling”

                                          because they think creating an image will give them financial rewards.

                                          1. 3

                                            I’m truly sorry you’ve never had the opportunity to work somewhere that prioritizes results over optics.

                                        2. 9

                                          Did you read the article? The controller is heavily customizable (it’s a platform, really), precisely to accommodate as many people’s needs as possible.

                                          1. 13

                                            I think you’re right, but I SO don’t care!

                                            As a partially blind person, there is SO much of the gaming world that’s closed off to me. That’s OK. I still sleep just fine at night knowing I will never be a Call of Duty GOD :)

                                            However, when game developers and console makers bother to make adaptations available to allow me and others with disabilities to enjoy the beautiful mix of art and science that is most modern video games, I really appreciate it.

                                            So, virtue signaling or not, this is a laudable move on Microsoft’s part, and I for one think we should all recognize that.

                                            Almost makes me want to own an Xbox again. Only problem is that I haven’t had time to play a game on any platform in ~6 months :)

                                            -Chris (Aside from iPad gaming in waiting rooms sometimes)

                                            1. 7

                                              I think you’ve put your finger on a significant contradiction in libertarianism. You want to judge the worth of the enterprise by economic returns: success is denominated in dollars and the market is the only neutral or efficient judge of value.

                                              However, the other name for “to provide the appearance of caring” is marketing, and of course good marketing enormously multiplies the returns of a product, the world being annoyingly reticent to beat a path to the door of entrepreneurial mousetrap makers. Even in the very unlikely event that sales of this controller wouldn’t cover the costs to design and manufacture it (given that video gaming is measured in the tens of billions for the U.S. and this product looks overwhelmingly superior to competitors for the mostly-untapped wallets of tens or hundreds of millions of humans with motor control injuries), Microsoft could get a positive return on investment just from the increase in warm, fuzzy feelings from the majority of the market with no need for this product if they go on to buy ever-so-slightly-more copies of OneDrive or Office. The existence of marketing and cross-promotion means that the value of these products can’t be judged solely by the invisible hand of the market discovering prices for goods and driving firms out of business. You make this point in reverse; the long-term existence of marketing points it being economically valuable. There are externalities not on the books of a single product, just like how, in reverse, the market overvalues a polluter because the externality of cleaning up toxic waste or reversing climate change isn’t charged to the company and so can’t be reflected in the stock price.

                                              But whether or not the economics work, perhaps in this instance we can settle for helping make an entire art form accessible because it’s a small act of basic human decency and we’re not unthinking monsters.

                                              1. 4

                                                I’ll probably get downvoted, but here goes…

                                                I think you’ve put your finger on a significant contradiction in libertarianism. You want to judge the worth of the enterprise by economic returns: success is denominated in dollars and the market is the only neutral or efficient judge of value.

                                                However, the other name for “to provide the appearance of caring” is marketing […]

                                                Libertarianism is actually about the freedom to property and its action, where the individual is his or her own property. Economics is more a description of the market that emerges from action and property. Be it a free market or not, depending on the freedom to the underlying rights.

                                                So when you point out a contradiction, there really is no contradiction. It barely exists on the same plane of reality. Anyone in business, who wants to stay there, knows about marketing, cross-promotion and all that. It’s a business strategy.

                                                PS.

                                                Libertarianism is not a game of winners and losers where money is how we keep score.

                                                But in a hypothetical world where it were, Microsoft would likely end up winning with this device. As would the customer demographic.

                                              2. 1

                                                Even if I disagree with you, I don’t understand why you are being downvoted for this argumenter opinion of your. Anyway… thank you for expressing yourself on the topic.

                                                To me it’s mostly about having a customizable solution for gaming controls, that can be used for players with disabilities. If you look at Nintendo, they recently launched this thing with customizable objects in paper to enhance the gaming experience, this is just how the Microsoft gaming team is implementing it! Bold move from them!

                                                1. 9

                                                  Even if I disagree with you, I don’t understand why you are being downvoted for this argumenter opinion of your. Anyway… thank you for expressing yourself

                                                  Because it’s incorrect, and baseless bloviating in order to shit on the idea of not needlessly excluding the marginalized.

                                              1. 0

                                                How do people even pronounce FFmpeh? fuh-fuh-em-peg?

                                                1. 4

                                                  I’ve always said eff-eff-EM-peg.

                                                1. 2

                                                  tl;dr literal corners

                                                  1. 5

                                                    What happened?

                                                    The problem is AI-hard so people decided to just use forms instead.

                                                    1. -1

                                                      I disagree with Stallman here.

                                                      If you surrender your data, then you do not have any right over them. If you upload your photos to facebook, then facebook has them.

                                                      For public utility, it is fine to restrict the collection and usage of personal data. But for private corporations, the private individuals should be able to decide for themselves if giving a corporation access to your entire search history for wifi access at the coffee shop is worth it.

                                                      1. 25

                                                        More and more we are getting forced to use services that spy on us. Cash is being phased out for credit cards and mobile payments. I can’t even pay for parking at my uni without installing their mobile app. We need laws to protect us from these companies because they are impossible to 100% avoid.

                                                        1. [Comment removed by author]

                                                          1. 40

                                                            Governments aren’t there to protect you.

                                                            That is literally what governments are for.

                                                            1. 3

                                                              Not anymore… at least here where I live, Government is composed of people and people will have their own agendas which might not include protecting other people or even obeying the laws they’ve passed. I see government as an instrument of power, some will use this power to help society, others to accumulate wealth at the expense of society.

                                                              1. 31

                                                                What your particular government does and what the purpose of the government is are two separate topics.

                                                                1. 2

                                                                  That is true but still, you can probably agree with me that when dealing with the real world, the creators intention has very little bearing in whatever usage people do of something. For example: the web was a way to share scientific hypertext and now we’re doing crazy stuff with it, or, tide pods were supposed to be used for laundry… governments, much like many other human creations happened over time, in different places, with different purposes. Monarchy is government but one can argue that historically it was not meant to protect people, dictatorships also work that way. We can say that the “platonic ideal of a pure and honest government” is to protect people but thats just us reasoning after the fact. There are no “letter of intention” about creation of government which all governments across time and space need to follow. What we perceived as “purpose” has very little meaning to what actually happens.

                                                                  Personally, I find most interesting when things are not used accordingly to the creators intention, this creative appropriation of stuff by inventive users is at the same time what spurs a lot of cool stuff and what dooms us all, we here in Brazil have a moniker for it “Jeitinho Brasileiro” which could be translated as an affectionate version of “the brazilian way”. Everyone here is basically born in a fractal of stuff whose real world usage does not reflect its ideal purpose to the point that it is IMHO what makes us creative and cunning.

                                                                  1. 3

                                                                    Monarchy is government but one can argue that historically it was not meant to protect people…

                                                                    Well, monarchy was actually a simple protection racket. It enabled a significant growth of the agricultural society through stabilization of violent power — no raids, just taxes.

                                                                    We can say that the “platonic ideal of a pure and honest government” is to protect people…

                                                                    That’s unreasonable. Establishment of a democratic government is just a consensus seeking strategy of it’s electorate. A move from a simple racket to a rule of law that is a compromise of various interests.

                                                                    In feudalism, people choose other people to follow. In democracy, people chose policies to enact. Both systems are very rough and fail in various ways, but democracy has evolved because it just makes more people a lot less unhappy than an erratic dictator ever can.

                                                                    … people will have their own agendas which might not include protecting other people or even obeying the laws they’ve passed…

                                                                    You seem to be alienated from the political process and perceive your government as something that is not actually yours to establish and control. That’s a very dangerous position for you to take, since government has a monopoly on violence. Of course others won’t take you automatically into consideration. That’s what you do every time you do virtually anything — you never take the full situation into account.

                                                                    But you just can’t quite ditch the government… otherwise your neighbor might try building a nuclear reactor using whatever he got from the Russians, which is something you (and perhaps a few other neighbors) might be against. Then on the other hand, he might convince a few others that the energy will be worth it… so you meet up, decide on some rules that will need to be followed so as to prevent an armed conflict and in the end, some who originally opposed the project might even join it to ensure it’s safety and everyone will benefit from the produced energy.

                                                                    1. 5

                                                                      Friend, lets agree to disagree. What you say do make sense, I am not saying you’re talking bullshit or anything like that, on the contrary, I find your arguments plausible and completely in tune with what I’ve learned at the university buuuuut my own country has been a monarchy, an “empire”, a monarchy again, a republic, a dictatorship, a republic again, an who knows what will happen before 2018 ends.

                                                                      Our experience, is vastly different than what is explained above. I haven’t said we’re out of the political process, heck, I’ve organized demonstrations, helped parties I was aligned with, entered all the debates I could long ago, I was a manager for a social program, and am married to an investigative journalist. I am no stranger to political processes, but it is a very simplistic approach to say “(…) your government as something that is (…) yours to establish and control”, this sidesteps all the historical process of governments here and how the monopoly of violence is used by the powerful (which might or might not be actual government) with impunity on anyone who tries to pull government into a different path. Couple weeks ago, one of our councilwoman was executed by gunshots to her car (where a friend of mine was as well as she worked for her), killing our rising star politician, and the driver, and forever traumatizing my friend. I have tons of stories about people dying while trying to change things. Talking about the root of feudalism is meaningless to whatever is happening today. Today people die for defending human rights here (and elsewhere).

                                                                      Academic and philosophical conversations about the nature and contracts of government are awesome but please, don’t think this shit is doable, lots of people here died trying to improve the lifes of others. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a place like here, those conversations don’t really apply (we still have them though).

                                                                    2. 1

                                                                      I do think it’s important for people to have the power to keep the government accountable. Without checks and balances the government looks after its own interests as opposed to those of its constituents.

                                                                  2. 7

                                                                    I clicked at your profile with absolute certain that you’d be from Brazil. Now I’m kinda depressed I was right.

                                                                    1. 4

                                                                      Can spot a Brazilian from miles away right? Don’t know if I laugh or cry that we’re so easy to recognize through our shared problems.

                                                                    2. 3

                                                                      I can feel your pain (and I admire your courage for talking in a public space about the issues you see in your government).

                                                                      But @Yogthos is right: we should not be afraid of our governments, at least not of democratic ones.

                                                                      In democracy the government literally exists to serve people. If it doesn’t, it’s not a democracy anymore.

                                                                      1. 3

                                                                        @soapdog @yogthos @dz This is an interesting discussion for me (though not appropriate for lobste.rs). Any interest in discussing this together, say over email or something else. I’ve always wanted to discuss this topic of government vs individual corporations but it’s a complex subject and hard to keep devolving into a bar-fight.

                                                                        1. 0

                                                                          Change the name then, not the definition of what it is.

                                                                        2. 2

                                                                          Shouldn’t governments primariy govern? For whatever reason, but usually something along the lines of “the common good” or “to protect (individual) rights”? But sometimes sadly also in the interests of the more powerful in society…

                                                                          1. 0

                                                                            Why do you believe that is the purpose of governments? Can you imagine a situation where something recognized as a government doesn’t protect it’s citizens in some cases?

                                                                            Is the government supposed to protect you if you put your hand in a garbage disposal, slip in the shower, or attempt suicide?

                                                                          2. 11

                                                                            Governments aren’t there to protect you.

                                                                            They’re definitely there to protect us. However, they’re also their own separate entity. They’re also a group of ambitious, often-lying people with a variety of goals. They can get really off track. That’s why the folks that made the U.S. government warned its people needed to be vigilant about it to keep it in check. Then, its own agents keep the individuals or businesses in check. Each part does its thing with discrepencies corrected by one of the others hopefully quickly. The only part of this equation failing massively is the people who won’t get the scumbags in Congress under control. They keep allowing them to take bribes for laws or work against their own voters. Fixing that would get a lot of rest in line.

                                                                            We have seen plenty of protection of individuals by laws, regulations, and courts, though. Especially whenever safety is involved. In coding, the segment with highest-quality software on average right now is probably group certifying to DO-178B for use in airplanes since it mandates lots of activities that reduce defects. They do it or they can’t sell it. The private sector’s solution to same problem was almost always to lie about safety while reducing liability with EULA’s or good legal teams. They didn’t produce a single, secure product until regulations showed up in Defense sector. For databases, that wasn’t until the 1990’s with just a few products priced exhorbitantly out of greed. Clearly, we need a mix of private and public action to solve some problems in the marketplace.

                                                                            1. 0

                                                                              Governments shouldn’t impose speed limits, people should just drive at reasonably safe speeds.

                                                                              Just because a particular behaviour might be most beneficial to a person, does not mean they will do it. Because consumers’ behaviour has not changed (and will not), this type of surveillance has proliferated to the point it’s nearly impossible to escape, even for the most dedicated privacy advocate.

                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                Funny you should mention that…the setting of speed limits to drive revenue irrespective of actual engineering and human factors is pretty well documented at this point.

                                                                          3. 5

                                                                            For public utility, it is fine to restrict the collection and usage of personal data. But for private corporations, the private individuals should be able to decide for themselves if giving a corporation access to your entire search history for wifi access at the coffee shop is worth it.

                                                                            But that’s precisely what fails when dealing with Facebook et al, isn’t it?

                                                                            No matter how assiduously you or I might refuse to sign up for Facebook and its ilk, block their tracking scripts, refuse to upload our photos, our text messages, our data – other people sign up for these things, and give these services permission to index their photos and text message logs etc, and Facebook builds a comprehensive shadow profile of you and I anyways.

                                                                            There is no avoiding or opting out of this short of opting out of all human contact, at this point, and the “simple”-sounding solution of “let every individual decide for themselves!” completely fails to engage with the collective consequences that everyone is losing privacy regardless of what decision they make individually.

                                                                            When your solution doesn’t engage with reality, it’s not useful.

                                                                            1. 4

                                                                              But for private corporations, the private individuals should be able to decide for themselves if giving a corporation access

                                                                              This will be true when everybody will be able to program and administrate a networking system.

                                                                              That’s the only way people can understand what they are giving and for what.

                                                                              Till then, you must protect them from people who use their ignorance against them.

                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                You can’t protect people from their own ignorance, long-term, except by education.

                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                  You have to. No citizen can foresee the effects of all their actions. The technology we use today is too complicated to understand all of it.

                                                                                  That’s why generally everything needs to be safe by default.

                                                                                  1. 3

                                                                                    The technology we use today is too complicated to understand all of it.

                                                                                    The entire field of engineering is predicated on being able to do things without understanding how they work. Ditto beer brewing, baking, cooking, and so forth.

                                                                                    That’s why generally everything needs to be safe by default.

                                                                                    Bathtubs are not safe by default. Kitchen knives are not safe by default. Fire is not safe by default. Even childbirth isn’t safe by default, and you’d think that would’ve been solved generations ago by evolution.

                                                                                    No citizen can foresee the effects of all their actions.

                                                                                    Then why would we trust policies enacted by a handful of citizens deemed able to create laws any more than individual citizens making their own decisions? That’s a far riskier proposition.

                                                                                    ~

                                                                                    We can’t make the world safe for people that won’t learn how to be safe, and efforts to do so harm and inhibit everybody else.

                                                                                    1. 6

                                                                                      The entire field of engineering is predicated on being able to do things without understanding how they work. Ditto beer brewing, baking, cooking, and so forth. … You can’t protect people from their own ignorance, long-term, except by education.

                                                                                      Try buying an oven that will spontaneously catch fire just by being on. It’s going to be complicated, because there are mandatory standards. And it’s a good thing they are this reliable, right? Leaves us time to concentrate on our work.

                                                                                      Then why would we trust policies enacted by a handful of citizens deemed able to create laws any more than individual citizens making their own decisions? That’s a far riskier proposition.

                                                                                      Because a lot of shouting from many sides went into the discussions before the laws were enacted. Much like you discuss your network infrastructure policies with your colleagues instead of just rewiring the DC as you see fit every once in a while.

                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                        The entire field of engineering is predicated on being able to do things without understanding how they work. Ditto beer brewing, baking, cooking, and so forth.

                                                                                        No.

                                                                                        Engineering is about finding solutions by using every bit of knowledge available.

                                                                                        Ignorance is an enemy to fight or work around, but for sure it’s not something to embrace!

                                                                                        That’s why generally everything needs to be safe by default.

                                                                                        Bathtubs are not safe by default. Kitchen knives are not safe by default. Fire is not safe by default. Even childbirth isn’t safe by default, and you’d think that would’ve been solved generations ago by evolution.

                                                                                        I agree that we should work to make programming a common knowledge, like reading and writing so that everyone can build his computing environment as she like.

                                                                                        And to those who say it’s impossible I’m used to object that they can read, write and count just because someone else, centuries before, said “no, it’s possible to spread this knowledge and we have the moral duty do spread it”.

                                                                                        But all your example are wrong.

                                                                                        They are ancient technologies and techniques that are way simpler than programming: humans have learnt to master them and teach each generation how to do so.

                                                                                        We have to protect people.

                                                                                        The states and laws can help, but the first shield of the people against the abusive use of technology are hackers.

                                                                                        We must spread our knowledge and ethics, not exploit the ignorance of others for a profit.

                                                                                1. 14

                                                                                  This is literally how the guy makes a living, so, maybe don’t do that?

                                                                                  1. 9

                                                                                    I took it down.

                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                      Very considerate of you! :)

                                                                                      1. 3

                                                                                        Ya I didn’t intend to upset anyone, it was purely a convenience thing.

                                                                                    2. 8

                                                                                      “First, everything is free all week”

                                                                                      He’s encouraging people to grab his videos by giving everything away for free. All he required was a login which may have monetary value later that timetoplaytypus’s share negates. It’s possible, though, he thinks they can only grab a small amount of videos with some portion of people paying for the rest after deal expires. That’s on top of new, recurring revenue from it on future videos. Maybe this hurts him on at least gap between what he though could be shared and what would be. In that case, he’d have made a gamble that may or may not pay off vs offering a limited number of videos with a clear prohibition on sharing them.

                                                                                      On ethical side focusing on results, I don’t think there’s a huge difference of someone here sharing his videos all at once in convenient form for free vs him saying grab as many as you want after you log in for free. Given freeloading users vs type and number that would pay him, I don’t think he’d have many losses in that scenario if any at all. The kind of people that would pay him would probably mostly still pay him. Hopefully, no effect.

                                                                                      1. 0

                                                                                        He’s encouraging people to take a free look at his work and see if they think it would be worth for them to pay for more of it in the future. Shitty people that don’t care about anything else but themselves might interpret this offer as an invitation to take advantage of someone’s work, and even actively undermine this someone’s livelihood. I think these people are at least half of what is wrong with the word and they should all go live in a cave and never interact with anyone else ever again.

                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                          I hear you. It’s a sensible perspective. I prefer he keeps getting paid for doing good work, too. I also agree that this should be the norm instead of pervasive parasiting.

                                                                                          1. 2

                                                                                            I think you see the situation a bit radically.

                                                                                            On one hand when someone publishes a free software and people use it for their benefit without any pay then they are shitty? When someone decides to publishing something for free, then the factor that some people may not pay for it must be calculated into that decision.

                                                                                            I believe that the ad-supported word is a bigger threat, as makes the feeling that stuff are for free a norm.

                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                              Neither of those examples apply. OP is publishing something for free for a LIMITED amount of time, with the very obvious intention of giving people a preview of his product. Free software and free content are very different propositions.

                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                I still think that the possibility had to be factored into this offer, and it likely was. The style and language are still harsher than I think the situation justifies.

                                                                                                1. -5

                                                                                                  Fortunately, I don’t care what you think.

                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                    You should reconsider your approach to commenting on lobste.rs.

                                                                                                    1. 0

                                                                                                      That is your right to do so.

                                                                                          2. 8

                                                                                            let’s be real here. the first thing i thought of when i saw this was “can i write a script to download everything before the deadline” and im pretty sure 99% of people here thought something along that line.

                                                                                            given the target audience of his screencasts, you kinda have to expect this.

                                                                                            1. 0

                                                                                              Everybody thinks stupid thoughts, but not everyone acts on it. And since we’re a big part of Gary’s target audience, wouldn’t it be nice, if it turns out he overestimated the amount of dicks among us? By the way, first thing in my head also was “Hmm, can I download it?”, but then I remember the guy has to eat.

                                                                                              1. 4

                                                                                                The swearing you demonstrate in your comments is disturbing. I hope it will not become the norm in the comments section.

                                                                                                I believe you could also communicate your point very well without using words like “shitty people” and “dicks”.

                                                                                          3. 4

                                                                                            I come to comment on this because I remembered this tweet he posted on the matter, a while ago: https://twitter.com/garybernhardt/status/870721629440983041

                                                                                            I’m glad it’s been taken down already, I think its just fair to the author’s work.

                                                                                            1. 1

                                                                                              I probably should have read the comments before spending 20 minutes writing a scraper.

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                The HTTP 451 is intentional, no?

                                                                                                1. 2

                                                                                                  Any endpoint on my site that doesn’t exist returns HTTP 451

                                                                                                  Edit: for example, https://timetoplatypus.com/abc

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    FWIW it looks like the HTTP response is only a 404. is this because many clients/servers don’t respect 451 yet?

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      Nah, it’s just a mistake on my part. I’ll get around to fixing it…eventually

                                                                                              1. 1

                                                                                                This writing can definitely benefit from some maths to explain the ideas more concretely.

                                                                                                1. 7

                                                                                                  I’m in awe of your truly marvelously disgusting hack. That is truly a work of art.

                                                                                                  That’s some seriously high praise from Linus. I’d be proud to get that as a response from him.

                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                    Proud and relieved!

                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                      on the flip side, once you are on his ‘somewhat competent’ list, that’s when he thinks it’s okay to yell at you.

                                                                                                    1. 3

                                                                                                      I don’t really see the purpose of these oaths.

                                                                                                      When somebody gives an oath, he’s given some kind of power and you want him to promise you with an oath that he won’t use that power for bad.

                                                                                                      A president or bureaucrat gives an oath before taking office.

                                                                                                      A doctor gives an oath before starting his job.

                                                                                                      A soldier gives an oath before being commissioned.

                                                                                                      All these people have to make some decision at some point that might harm the people he’s not supposed to. And they have to make a promise that he will try really hard not to do that.

                                                                                                      On the other hand, a programmer, like an engineer, don’t make these decisions. These problem-solvers create a solution, but somebody else deploys and executes those tools.

                                                                                                      A programmer might design a a guidance system of a missile. Then a soldier who would fire those missiles will take an oath before being put into a position where he actually gets the fire the missiles. The soldier will promise he will only use the weapon against an enemy. And the politician who makes the final authorisation to use the weapon will have taken an oath for the same.

                                                                                                      An engineer oath would then be something a long the line of “we will make a really good missile”. But you don’t need an oath for that, because you can test out the missiles before buying them. With a soldier, you don’t know for sure until the time comes if he’s gonna turn his gun around or not, so you make him promise, for whatever it is worth. An oath then is a guarantee for future actions, while for a programmer/engineer, we only really care about past actions, the actions already made in implementing the solution.

                                                                                                      Not to mention the actual oaths here are really personal guidelines like “admit failures and ask questions” and repeated too. 3 5 and 9 all just say you should leave your ego at the door.

                                                                                                      tl;dr nobody asks a blacksmith to take an oath to make a sharp sword, because if he doesn’t you can just fire him. you ask the soldiers to defend the senate and the people of rome when you give him the sharp sword, because by the time you know he’s not doing his job and you want to fire him, he has already crossed the rubicon and coming for you.

                                                                                                      1. 32

                                                                                                        I don’t see why this progress bar should be obnoxiously put at the top of the page. It’s cool if you wanna do a donation drive but don’t push it in the face of everybody who comes here. Honestly at first I thought this was a bar for site expense. Then I realised it’s to ‘adopt’ an emoji.

                                                                                                        1. 7

                                                                                                          Lobsters isn’t a daily visit for most readers, probably even for most users. They can’t see it to join in if there isn’t anything visible for it, and it has an id for adblocking if you prefer not to see it.

                                                                                                          1. 22

                                                                                                            Personally a check this site quite regularly on my mobile device… which doesn’t have an ad-blocker.

                                                                                                            1. 13

                                                                                                              That sounds awful. If you’re an android user, normal uBlock Origin works on Firefox for Android just like it does on desktop. :)

                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                Or use Block This!, which blocks ads in all apps.

                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                  Oh, that’s a cool little tool. Using a local VPN to intercept DNS is a neat trick. Unfortunately doesn’t help with in this case because it blocks requests to domains and not elements on a page via CSS selectors.

                                                                                                                  That does make me want to actually figure out my VPN to home for my phone and setup a pi-hole, though.

                                                                                                                2. 2

                                                                                                                  Ohh! Good to know, thanks.

                                                                                                                3. 2

                                                                                                                  Firefox 57+ has integrated adblocker nowadays, on both desktop and mobile; plus, there’s also Brave.

                                                                                                                4. 27

                                                                                                                  That is still annoying that I need to setup my adblocker to fix lobste.rs. So much for all the rant articles about bad UX/UI in here.

                                                                                                                  1. 11

                                                                                                                    maybe one could just add a dismiss button or sometimes like that? I don’t find it that annoying, but I guess it would be a pretty simple solution.

                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                      I concur, either a client side cookie or session variable.

                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                        Well, yeah… that’s how you could implement it, and I guess that would be the cleanest and simplest way?

                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                      It’d be great to see data about that! Personally I visit daily or at least 3 times a week. Lack of clutter and noise is one of the biggest advantages of Lobsters. And specifically, I looked at the link, and I have no idea who this Unicode organization is, or their charitable performance, or even if they need the money. I’d imagine they are mostly funded by the rich tech megacorps?

                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                        [citation needed] ;-)

                                                                                                                      2. 3

                                                                                                                        Adopting an emoji isn’t the end goal: the money goes to Unicode, which is a non-profit organization that’s very important to the Internet.

                                                                                                                        1. 5

                                                                                                                          If this bar actually significantly annoys you, I’m surprised you haven’t literally died from browsing the rest of the internet.

                                                                                                                        1. 0

                                                                                                                          If you are doing something somebody will pay for, then that means that whatever you are doing is good for that somebody, otherwise why would he pay for it. So the more money you make, the more meaningful your activity is.

                                                                                                                          So the more money you make, the more meaningful your life is. Don’t trust your brain internal measure of meaningfulness, it was evolved when we were hunter-gatherers and it is incapable of correctly measuring meaningfulness of your activities in the modern world. Trust your bank accounts or crypto-wallets.

                                                                                                                          Some people think that giving food to random starving children around the world is ‘meaningful’, but it’s not. You are just doing genetic socialism and propping up bad reproductive strategies that are proven to not work. In continuing to propagate the information embedded in the DNA of those starving children, you are actually allowing the bad strategy to be more widely implemented, and thus making the problem you are trying to solve worse. And what does your bank account say? It says you have less money. Brain: 0, Bank account: 1

                                                                                                                          But that’s just one way of defining ‘meaningful’.

                                                                                                                          In reality life in inherently meaningless. You have been lucky (or unlucky) to be born into a time and place of plenty that allows you to ask yourself a question with no answer. If you had been born in a pre-industrial farming community, then you only care about surviving the next winter. You have no time for such pointless thought processes as asking yourself what is a ‘meaningful’ life.

                                                                                                                          You can try reading philosophies but those are just the rambling non-answers of those who came before you who asked the same question.

                                                                                                                          You are just a robot who was built to replicate information embedded in DNA. You by accident was given a nervous system capable of asking questions like “What is the meaning of life?” and “How do I live a meaningful life?”. Those questions are just syntactically correct enough to convince you that they are meaningful questions, but they are not.

                                                                                                                          Don’t worry though, sooner or later your children will come home from school and your neural “let’s make sure the children are well so they will propagate my genes” system will fire and you will forget about all these silly questions.

                                                                                                                          Life is without meaning, and any attempt to find one is just your mind incapable of accepting the fact that you are mortal and small, and wanting to be large and forever.

                                                                                                                          1. 10

                                                                                                                            This perspective is vulgar:

                                                                                                                            Some people think that giving food to random starving children around the world is ‘meaningful’, but it’s not. You are just doing genetic socialism and propping up bad reproductive strategies that are proven to not work.

                                                                                                                            Social Darwinism is a sickness.

                                                                                                                            1. -3

                                                                                                                              Social Darwinism is a sickness.

                                                                                                                              That is strange, when it is essentially impossible for natural selection to not apply to humans. If an all pervasive and always applicable by definition effect is a sickness, then the word sickness has such weak boundaries on its definition as to render it pointless as a word.

                                                                                                                              1. 3

                                                                                                                                What you might call a “sickness” is the tendency to over-simplify important and complex issues in the real world into a few convenient logical predicates and them arrive at serious conclusions, which if taken seriously, would result in actual people actually suffering.

                                                                                                                                I also once were a robot like you, but then I realized that the real world is many orders of magnitude orders of magnitude more complicated than I could ever hope to analyze or even observe, so I’ve learned to trust my hard-evolved feelings to take care of the complexity, and I only use my logic to choose between the alternatives that feel right relying on the predicates that feel right. As a matter of fact, anything that involves people suffering has a very little chance of feeling right.

                                                                                                                                1. 0

                                                                                                                                  Does it feel right to chase away a predator in order to save a cute prey?

                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                    If I witnessed a wolf chasing a cute rabbit, I’d probably save the rabbit if I had the means. But if I had the means to save all rabbits from being eaten by all predators, I’d definitely not do it since it’d have a terrible impact on the environment. But then, if you came to me and convinced me, through logical arguments, that saving that one rabbit from that wolf will have a significant negative impact on anything I care about, my feelings about the former issue could change and I could let the wolf eat the rabbit.

                                                                                                                                    Now, hypotheticals aside, there’s no universe in which I could be convinced that children dying from starvation could be the solution to anything. Even if you made very good arguments about why them not dying from starvation would cause something very bad, I’d still try infinitely many ways to find other means of avoiding that very bad thing. But children dying from starvation is off the table. In general, convincing me to support the suffering of people would take far more that some juvenile arguments coming from an extremely simplified and naive interpretation of the very complex phenomenon that is evolution.

                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                      Why is the wolf starving to death preferable to the rabbit being killed by the wolf?

                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                        You don’t get the point, I’m not pushing that wolf to starvation by stopping it from eating that rabbit. It has a whole forest to hunt. If the circumstances were such that me saving that rabbit means certain starvation for that wolf, I’d feel differently about the issue. To save you the trouble, you really should stop wasting your energy trying to come up with simplified dilemmas to draw logical arguments about complicated situations. And that’s actually my whole point. Logic is an illusion, it’s a tool our pathetic brains use to overcome our inability to conceive even a tiny fraction of the world around us.

                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                          Logic is an illusion,

                                                                                                                                          well if you reject logic, then what tool do I have to argue against you? My feelings?

                                                                                                                                    2. 1

                                                                                                                                      Since we’re really talking in metaphor, I wouldn’t just chase it away, I’d kill it. You have failed to understand the role and nature of social interaction. You will be discarded, just as you have discarded others unless you change.

                                                                                                                                      1. -1

                                                                                                                                        So it’s okay for predator to starve to death because they are not cute?

                                                                                                                                        1. 2

                                                                                                                                          Survival of the cutest my friend.

                                                                                                                                  2. 2

                                                                                                                                    It’s funny given your ideas on genetics if you were right you’d be the defective one because failing to realize social implications is a pretty obviously material defect. Thank goodness you’re wrong because you’re totally uninformed about modern science. You can improve!

                                                                                                                                2. 9

                                                                                                                                  I used to engage in this sort of nihilism and it was a sad and depressing way to live, so I sympathise, fellow robot. That’s the trouble with too much logic and not enough context (indeed, how robotic!). Once I learned that my conclusions hinged on blatantly false unexamined assumptions, I was able to shift my views to something more constructive.

                                                                                                                                  Having children doesn’t stop questions about meaning, by the way.

                                                                                                                                  1. 1

                                                                                                                                    Once I learned that my conclusions hinged on blatantly false unexamined assumptions,

                                                                                                                                    Now if only you would be so kind as to state those false assumptions and why they are false, I would be enlightened.

                                                                                                                                    But you chose not to.

                                                                                                                                    1. 6

                                                                                                                                      I thought it rather unlikely that you would be enlightened by a stranger on the internet. It was far more likely to result in a pointless argument.

                                                                                                                                      Anyway, for me there were two primary false assumptions:

                                                                                                                                      • That it’s all about me - my individual fulfilment, freedom etc. This is plainly against where the human evolutionary path led us - we’re a social animal, not a solitary one. Caring about others is essential to us.
                                                                                                                                      • That the meaning is to be found somehow. Clearly, the universe just is, as you also point out, so there’s nothing to be found, but that’s beside the point because we have the capacity to make up the meaning. When we have this capacity and the alternatives are so depressing, what’s the point of refusing to make something up?

                                                                                                                                      Once I got rid of these assumptions, it turned out that contributing to the sustainable future of the human race or ensuring that I personally see a continuation of my family is actually pretty meaningful if I let it be meaningful. Even better, it aligns well with what it means to be a human robot, as you suggested regarding DNA propagation.

                                                                                                                                  2. 4

                                                                                                                                    You are just doing genetic socialism and propping up bad reproductive strategies that are proven to not work.

                                                                                                                                    There’s something odd about someone calling themselves libertarian but espousing racial collectivism. Or is your username meant to be ironic or something?

                                                                                                                                    Life is without meaning, and any attempt to find one is just your mind incapable of accepting the fact that you are mortal and small, and wanting to be large and forever.

                                                                                                                                    This may be true.

                                                                                                                                    Don’t worry though, sooner or later your children will come home from school and your neural “let’s make sure the children are well so they will propagate my genes” system will fire and you will forget about all these silly questions.

                                                                                                                                    This is completely false.

                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                      They aren’t a libertarian just like the nazis weren’t national socialists. It’s just a way for them to spout bullshit and hope naive libertarians will buy in to it without questioning the line of reasoning. While I do have reservations about libertarian ideology, this person is just a classist racist bigot and frankly has no place on lobsters. I’ve yet to see anything they’ve spouted to actually be libertarian anyway.

                                                                                                                                      1. -1

                                                                                                                                        There’s something odd about someone calling themselves libertarian but espousing racial collectivism.

                                                                                                                                        You are clearly projecting here because there’s nothing racial about my comments.

                                                                                                                                        1. 4

                                                                                                                                          You claim that starving children are starving because they are genetically inferior.

                                                                                                                                          1. 6

                                                                                                                                            This user probably isn’t worth replying to. Expect to be sealioned to hell.

                                                                                                                                            1. -3

                                                                                                                                              I never said they are inferior, but that the reproductive strategy embedded within their DNA has proven to fail by the very fact that they are starving.

                                                                                                                                              You really are projecting.

                                                                                                                                              1. 10

                                                                                                                                                I intended to stay out of this but there’s nothing genetic about any of:

                                                                                                                                                • being born into an unstable, grossly unfair, or failed nation-state.
                                                                                                                                                • experiencing a famine or a natural disaster.
                                                                                                                                                • being surrounded by a civil war.
                                                                                                                                                • having your ethnic group despised and persecuted.
                                                                                                                                                • not acquiring a useful education when basic needs are unmet.
                                                                                                                                                • having children when birth control is unavailable or proscribed.
                                                                                                                                                • being unable to emigrate or prevented from emigrating.

                                                                                                                                                These are exactly the sorts of situations that produce the kind of human suffering that people respond to with generosity. You might argue that in some cases aid perversely subsidizes and supports corrupt regimes and allows the situations to fester that prevent these people from having a reasonable life longer than if there were no aid and the society/state collapsed (with an even greater degree of short-term misery) but it’s not “embedded within their DNA”.

                                                                                                                                                Restating OP’s argument, “Fuck them, they’re unlucky. Let them die out of my sight and don’t you help them because they’re undeserving by virtue of being unlucky. Now go tend to your lucky off-spring.”

                                                                                                                                            2. 2

                                                                                                                                              Said the horrible racist. Get banned already please.

                                                                                                                                          2. 2

                                                                                                                                            Your ideas around genetics are outdated and wrong.

                                                                                                                                          1. 4

                                                                                                                                            So if a bunch of people decide to fork their own version of Roko’s Ransomware, which one should I pay protection fee to to not be tortured for eternity?

                                                                                                                                            1. 3

                                                                                                                                              Addressed in the Charlie Stross blog post I referenced in a comment in this thread:

                                                                                                                                              why should we bet the welfare of our immortal souls on a single vision of a Basilisk, when an infinity of possible Basilisks are conceivable?

                                                                                                                                              1. 2

                                                                                                                                                Good stuff.

                                                                                                                                                There’s also the question “why should we care about hypothetical copies of ourselves in the future?” - after all, there should be hypothetical copies of ourselves in parallel universes and if the present universe is infinite, there be an infinity of copies of ourselves here, some portion in hell, some in heaven, some in bizarre purgatories.

                                                                                                                                                Moreover, even if you posit a god-like intelligence able to accomplish virtually anything in the future, that godlike intelligence seems unlikely to be sift through the quantum noise to create truly exact copies of ourselves (I could make reference the “no cloning” theory of quantum mechanics and etc). So the hypothetical punished copies wouldn’t even be as good as copies suffering whatever other fates might await elsewhere or elsewhen.

                                                                                                                                                It seems like the construct illustrates the difficulty humans have in separating intelligent ideas from garbage-thoughts when one is conceiving AIs (who has noticed that humans follow stated goals in a highly nuanced fashion rather than literalistic fashion? Not lesswrong it seems - or at least they haven’t consider this is key part of our being “more intelligent” than computer programs or the way we’re still better than programs).

                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                  As for hypothetical copies — this version of a basilisk seems to be worded carefully enough to say that you cannot be sure if currently you are a pre-Singularity original version, or a simulated copy.

                                                                                                                                            1. -1

                                                                                                                                              Eventually we will stop investing in chemical rocketry and do something really interesting in space travel. We need a paradigm shift in space travel and chemical rockets are a dead end.

                                                                                                                                              1. 7

                                                                                                                                                I can’t see any non-scifi future in which we give up on chemical rocketry. Chemical rocketry is really the only means we have of putting anything from the Earth’s surface into Low Earth Orbit, because the absolute thrust to do that must be very high compared what you’re presumably alluding to (electric propulsion, lasers, sails) that only work once in space, where you can do useful propulsion orthogonally to the local gravity gradient (or just with weak gravity). But getting to LEO is still among the hardest bits of any space mission, and getting to LEO gets you halfwhere to anywhere in the universe, as Heinlein said.

                                                                                                                                                Beyond trying reuse the first stage of a conventional rocket, as SpaceX are doing, there are some other very interesting chemical technologies that could greatly ease space access, such as the SABRE engine being developed for the Skylon spaceplane. The only other way I know of that’s not scifi (e.g. space elevators) are nuclear rockets, in which a working fluid (like Hydrogen) is heated by a fissiling core and accelerated out of a nozzle. The performance is much higher than chemical propulsion but the appetite to build and fly such machines is understandably very low, because of the risk of explosions on ascent or breakup on reentry spreading a great deal of radioactive material in the high atmosphere over a very large area.

                                                                                                                                                But in summary, I don’t really agree with, or more charitably thing I’ve understood your point, and would be interested to hear what you actually meant.

                                                                                                                                                1. 3

                                                                                                                                                  I remember being wowed by Project Orion as a kid.

                                                                                                                                                  Maybe Sagan had a thing for it? The idea in that case was to re-use fissile material (after making it as “clean” as possible to detonate) for peaceful purposes instead of for military aggression.

                                                                                                                                                  1. 2

                                                                                                                                                    Atomic pulse propulsion (ie Orion) can theoretically reach .1c, so that’s the nearest star in 40 years. If we can find a source of fissile material in solar system (that doesn’t have to be launched from earth) and refined, interstellar travel could really happen.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 1

                                                                                                                                                      The moon is a candidate for fissile material: https://www.space.com/6904-uranium-moon.html

                                                                                                                                                  2. 1

                                                                                                                                                    Problem with relying a private company funded by public money like SpaceX is that they won’t be risk takers, they will squeeze every last drop out of existing technology. We won’t know what reasonable alternatives could exist because we are not investing in researching them.

                                                                                                                                                    1. 2

                                                                                                                                                      I don’t think it’s fair to say SpaceX won’t be risk takers, considering this is a company who has almost failed financially pursuing their visions, and has very ambitious goals for the next few years (which I should mention, require tech development/innovation and are risky).

                                                                                                                                                      Throwing money at research doesn’t magically create new tech, intelligent minds do. Most of our revolutionary advances in tech have been brainstormed without public nor private funding. One or more people have had a bright idea and pursed it. This isn’t something people can just do on command. It’s also important to also consider that people fail to bring their ideas to fruition but have paved the path for future development for others.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 1

                                                                                                                                                        I would say that they will squeeze everything out of existing approaches, «existing technology» sounds a bit too narrow. And unfortunately, improving the technology by combining well-established approaches is the stage that cannot be too cheap because they do need to build and break fulll-scale vehicles.

                                                                                                                                                        I think that the alternative approaches for getting from inside atmosphere into orbit will include new things developed without any plans to use them in space.

                                                                                                                                                    2. 2

                                                                                                                                                      What physical effects would be used?

                                                                                                                                                      I think that relying on some new physics, or contiguous objects of a few thousand kilometers in size above 1km from the ground are not just a paradigm shift; anything like that would be nice, but doesn’t make what there currently is a disappointment.

                                                                                                                                                      The problem is that we want to go from «immobile inside atmosphere» to «very fast above atmosphere». By continuity, this needs to pass either through «quite fast in the rareified upper atmosphere» or through «quite slow above the atmosphere».

                                                                                                                                                      I am not sure there is a currently known effect that would allow to hover above the atmosphere without orbital speed.

                                                                                                                                                      As for accelerating through the atmosphere — and I guess chemical air-breathing jet engines don’t count as a move away from chemical rockets — you either need to accelerate the gas around you, or need to carry reaction mass.

                                                                                                                                                      In the first case as you need to overcome the drag, you need some of the air you push back to fly back relative to Earth. So you need to accelerate some amount of gas to multiple kilometers per second; I am not sure there are any promising ideas for hypersonic propellers, especially for rareified atmosphere. I guess once you reach ionosphere, something large and electromagnetic could work, but there is a gap between the height where anything aerodynamic has flown (actually, a JAXA aerostat, maybe «aerodynamic» is a wrong term), and the height where ionisation starts rising. So it could be feasible or infeasible, and maybe a new idea would have to be developed first for some kind of in-atmosphere transportation.

                                                                                                                                                      And if you carry you reaction mass with you, you then need to eject it fast. Presumably, you would want to make it gaseous and heat up. And you want to have high throughput. I think that even if you assume you have a lot of electrical energy, splitting watter into hydrogen and oxygen, liquefying these, then burning them in-flight is actually pretty efficient. But then the vehicle itself will be a chemical rocket anyway, and will use the chemical rocket engineering as practiced today. Modern methods of isolating nuclear fission from the atmosphere via double heat exchange reduce throughput. Maybe some kind nuclear fusion with electomagnetic redirection of the heated plasma could work, maybe it could even be more efficient than running a reactor on the ground to split water, but nobody knows yet what is the scale required to run energy-positive nuclear fusion.

                                                                                                                                                      All in all, I agree there are directions that could maybe become a better idea for starting from Earth than chemical rockets, but I think there are many scenarios where the current development path of chemical rockets will be more efficient to reuse and continue.

                                                                                                                                                      1. 2

                                                                                                                                                        What do you mean by “chemical rockets are a dead end”? In order to escape planetary orbits, there really aren’t many options. However, for intersteller travel, ion drives and solar sails have already been tested and deployed and they have strengths and weaknesses. So there are multiple use cases here depending on the option.

                                                                                                                                                        1. 1

                                                                                                                                                          Yeah right after we upload our consciousness to a planetary fungal neural network.

                                                                                                                                                        1. -4

                                                                                                                                                          Now we need an “Importent men in CS who aren’t Alan Turing” list.

                                                                                                                                                          After all, men and women are equal before the Gods.

                                                                                                                                                          1. 3

                                                                                                                                                            Be the change you want to see. There’s a women’s list because someone felt it was worth the effort, and no men’s list because nobody cared enough to do more than whinge that it wasn’t done for them.

                                                                                                                                                            1. 11

                                                                                                                                                              Also I can rattle off 30+ important men on the spot while finding 15 important women took me a couple of days of research

                                                                                                                                                            2. 0

                                                                                                                                                              This would be true, if it were the case that most people didn’t know about any important contributors to computer science, except for Alan Turing.