Happy Ent

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About Happy Ent

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    Godfather of the Weirwoods
  • Birthday 07/01/1968

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  1. Podcasts and Organizing them

    Waking Up with Sam Harris EconTalk NPR Politics Slate Political GabFest Rationally Speaking The Rubin Report
  2. Prax is a great POV in book 2. He has a completely different perspective than the “space natives” of the Roci, constantly noticing things on behalf of the reader. Long internal monologues about the fragility of the ecosystem on Ganymede. Musings about the thrusters on Tycho Station’s waldos that compensate for their movement (which would otherwise move the Station around!). His POV, more than the others, adds a lot of atmosphere to the absurdity of living in space – the constant peril everything is in, the interdependencies of various complex systems. He’s a docile Darwinian surrounded by naive engineers and mindless murderers.
  3. Hardcore History Podcast with Dan Carlin

    But do note that Rubin has actually changed his mind. On issues where his entire social capital was invested. That is more than most people can say. Rubin is good at letting other people talk. He isn’t very interesting in himself, he simply isn’t smart enough (like, say, Harris) or well enough read (like, say, Carlin) to be consistently interesting, in particular because of the high volume of guests. And I think that’s fine, not everybody can be Christopher Hitchens or the Happy Ent.
  4. Hardcore History Podcast with Dan Carlin

    I’m stuck in the same Harris–Rubin–Carlin bubble (with occasional Rogan). I enjoy those conversations immensely, but would be very happy for a pointer to something different.
  5. German politics xth attempt

    Prue, you seem to know of which you speak, but is this quite right? My impression was that the new 2000 ruling allowed you to take German citizenship while retaining your Turkish citizenship. So the problem was not so much obtaining German citizenship (which was possible all along) but simultaneously keeping the Turkish one. The former impossibility of doing so prevented many German-born Turks of obtaining German citizenship because Turkish citizenship had very high value to them, primarily because of Turkish inheritance laws. Briefly put, your clan would suffer economically by your disavowal of Turkish citizenship, which is why you were socially disincentivized to take German citizenship. (The value of your individual vote for the Bundestag is dwarfed by the value of your clan to some piece of land in Anatolia.) At least this was my understanding. If I’m completely off, please correct me. This seems to be a dumb thing to be wrong about.
  6. German politics xth attempt

    Well, we’ll see a flop in a few days. Then we have actual numbers on the democratic sentiment and allegiance of Turkish Germans, because (as far as I understand) their votes will be reported separately.
  7. German politics xth attempt

    Thank you very much.
  8. German politics xth attempt

    I think we can quickly agree on our views of Erdogan. But making this about Erdogan is probably not a useful way of understanding the principles here. Why should a foreign politician not campaign in another country? (For instance, as mentioned above, that seems to be the rule in the Netherlands.) There must be some unspoken or explicit rule I wasn’t aware of, and don’t understand the motivation behind.
  9. German politics xth attempt

    Who can explain (preferably by pointing to a longer, reasoned summary) the arguments for disallowing foreign political campaigning? (Honest question, I have no dog in the game.)
  10. Thank you very much Corvinus! Very nice.
  11. s2e5 Roci chases Eros. Distances are out of the window here. Part of the drama wants there to be 15 light minutes between the Roci and Earth (communication delay), but the kinetic problem with the missiles and evacuation of Earth pretend that collision is imminent. Sloppy and unnecessary. And 15 G burn? “Alex, cut the brakes but do not lose visual?” C’mon.
  12. Protomolecule design specifications (spoilers for all books):
  13. How to indicate "spoilers"?

  14. By the end of book 2, I think, know exactly what the original protomolecule wanted. Miller’s suggestion is compatible with that goal, so the design acquiesces to his suggestion. Crashing into Venus works (presumably thanks to the biomass already available on Eros), crashing into Earth would have been preferable but isn’t strictly necessary. Going “home” (as in “going to Earth” is not the ultimate goal for the protomolecule, it was just a proximate goal. I don’t think one can endow the goal with a moral dimension.
  15. I don’t know. I like the books very much, and enjoy them come to life. But I don’t like TV drama much, because it makes its characters behave soooo stupid. The Earth politics? Stupid. The blustering way Fred Johnson behaves? Stupid. Or the Ceres cops in Season 1? Stupid. It pains me to see supposed adults behave stupidly just because TV show producers think they need to escalate tension to build character. For somebody like me, it just builds stupid characters. I know humans. I know humans in positions of power. I know humans under stress. Nobody behaves like we see on TV. I find it unwatchable I’ll go so far as to say that wrong humans annoy me more than wrong space physics. This is a general complaint of most of dramatised fiction, of course. It’s a medium by stupid people for, I’m sorry, stupid people. So I generally keep my mouth shut, because this particular suspension of disbelief seems to be part of the genre. It’s not meant for me. I can’t watch Game of Thrones for the same reason. It’s an embarrassment. So for Expanse, I now fast-forward through the “politics” scenes or watch with half an eye. (Mind you, I love politics, I love observing intelligent people have verbal battles to establish dominance hierarchies. But that’s not what I get on TV.) Sometimes, there’s good drama; which TV is a great medium for. Human heart in conflict with itself. I’m here only for the space ships.