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Recent Comments

Empirically we seem to be converging on the idea that the expansion of the universe continues forever (see [Wikipedia]( for a summary of the possibilities), but it's not totally slam-dunk yet. If there is a Big Crunch, then that puts a hard ...(read more)

Yes, good point that I hadn't thought of, thanks. It's very easy to imagine far-future technology in one respect and forget about it entirely in another.

To rescue my scenario a little, there'll be an energy cost in transporting the iron together; the cheapest way is to move it very slowly. So mayb...(read more)

That, and/or increased sweating, and/or larger temperature gain between inspired and expired air, or wearing fewer/thinner clothes. There's lots of ways to dump heat.

I would definitely expect someone with a faster metabolism to put out more total net heat, which is measurable with difficulty, and ...(read more)

> Therefore they must not vary all that much in terms of metabolism.

I don't think that follows, or at least not without a lot of other explanation, even if you grant that temperature doesn't vary in any significant way between people (which I'm not sure I do). The body has multiple mechanisms for ...(read more)

Also, they were not just AIDS researchers but AIDS activists and campaigners. The conference they were going to was expecting 12-15,000 delegates (depending on the report); it's the most prominent international conference in the area but far from the only one. As you say, a terrible loss, particular...(read more)

> Much of modern medicine involves covering up symptoms with drugs proven to do this, without understanding the underlying cause of the symptom.

What, really? There certainly is a lot of that approach around, but it's not what I think of when I think of modern medicine, as opposed to more tradition...(read more)

Interesting stuff, thanks; looking forward to the rest of the series.

As an aside, this makes the benefits of being able to rely on trust most of the time very apparent. Jack and Jill can coordinate very simply and quickly if they trust each other to honestly disclose their true value for the proje...(read more)

I find similar techniques help with my children.

It seems closely related to the technique where, to stop them doing something you don't want them to do, you encourage them to do something else that prevents them from doing the first thing. (There's a snappy name for this that I've forgotten.) So, ...(read more)

I really don't think we have to posit nanoassemblers for this particular scenario to work. Robot drones are needed, but I think they fall out as a consequence of currently existing robots and the all-singing all-dancing AI we've imagined in the first place. There are shedloads of robots around at th...(read more)

One thing I should mention where I wasn't able to get a very good match between my own observations and mainstream science.

The Sun and the Moon are very, very close in their apparent diameter in the sky. They are almost exactly the same size. You can measure them yourself and compare, although th...(read more)