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Showing posts from November, 2022

It turns out space travel is too hard

With the launch of Artemis 1  it looks like human space travel is definitely going to be a thing again. When I was a kid I thought space travel would become something that lots of us would be able to do. I read enough SF stories about it which treated it as normal. As I've grown older I've realised that a) it's expensive and b) it's hard . Current missions only work because there are vast teams of people on the ground helping out. So only a few people are going to be able to travel in space. The idea of a plucky little vessel touring the solar system seems impossible when there's so much that could go wrong that they couldn't fix themselves. The idea of hyperspace travel doesn't look feasible through any technology we can foresee at the moment. So we're not even getting out of the solar system. Here's some more reading on the subject: How hard it is to get off the surface of Mars The mysteries of the astronaut microbiome Update 29 Nov 2022. Whilst re


I was going to talk about my little problem being like your big problem, but then I realised that it's not, so I'm not going to do that. #virtuesignalling I was going to assume that you reacted the same way as I would to that thing that happened to you, but then I realised I should have asked you how you reacted. I was going to trust the opinion of people I trust, rather than the opinion of people who know a lot about something, but then I realised I shouldn't. I was going to give you some constructive criticism about what you did, then I realised that I hadn't praised the things you did well much, so I hadn't earnt the right to do that. I was going to talk publicly about how I was getting things right but, ... oh.

Memorable moments with technologies

(I have more posts in draft than I should, so I'm just pushing them out even though they're not really complete enough.)  I've been interested in technology since I found out about computers through books. Here are a few of my significant moments. I'll skip the early ones, as that's a whole article to itself. Jurassic Park When they showed the dinosaurs it was amazing. "If they can do this they can do anything ." And since then, "they", the CGI wizards have pretty much done anything we can conceive of. iPod I'd heard about the iPod but didn't come across my first one until I was browsing in an electronics shop at an airport. It was smaller and shinier than I thought. I don't know if this is the schmaltz of history, but it seemed opalescent. The click wheel was a revelation - you just glided your finger round that circle and it clicked and scrolled like magic. Kindle I got a Kindle for my birthday. Our boys were young then and they joi