Should Buffy Collect for Services? Pledge Week

Chaos Manor View, Thursday, May 07, 2015

I’m hard at work on Lisabetta, my novel with John DeChancie set in a not too long from now asteroid colony world, and I have been slow in new work thinking about the unthinkable. There is another education disaster peaking in California:

Steve Sailer on how 75% of LAUSD students are set to fail high school.


Roland Dobbins

And a lot more pending, and it’s pledge week at KUSC, the Los Angeles good music station.

And that means that it’s subscription drive week at Chaos Manor. This site operates on the Public Radio model: it’s free, anyone can read it, but it will continue only so long as it generates enough revenue that I can afford to keep it open. That means it needs subscribers and supporters, and for years it has got that.

So if you have not subscribed, this would be a great time to do so:

If you subscribed but never renewed, this would be a great time to do so:

And if you have subscribed but you don’t remember when you last did, this would be a great time to do so:

For those not used to pledge week, this goes on for a week: you are going to be reminded that it’s time to subscribe during the KUSC pledge drive. The good news is that when the week is over I won’t bug you again until the next KUSC pledge drive.

And now it’s time to get back to work on Lisabetta while I have the energy. We’re trying to be realistic about AI in the future, as well as tell the story of a young girl who grows up with an AI nanny and mostly electronic contact with other humans.


Meanwhile a few things to think about.

I have often said that while laissez faire capitalism appears to be the most productive way to allocate resources, unregulated capitalism inevitably leads to the sale of human flesh in the market place. But then there’s this:

What should be for sale

You often opine the results of unrestricted capitalism. Here’s Buffy considering asking to be paid for dispatching vampires and demons.

Valuable services rendered should entail compensation, no?

Interesting discussion, especially for Whedon/Buffy fans.



I have often wondered why the Watchers Council treats the primary Watcher, the one who must advise the Slayer, so abysmally; and why must Buffy earn her own house maintenance funding while continuing to learn the art of slaying? But then I remember the Council is a bureaucracy, and Pournelle’s Iron Law always prevails.



The Internet could reach its limit in just eight years, warn engineers


This could explain the slowdowns:


Maybe. It’s a race, but Moore’s Law is inevitable – unless the FCC gets into the act.


And another triumph of government:

The May 2015 Author Earnings Report.


Roland Dobbins


Solar Cell Material for Transistors Holds Promise    ee times

Halide-Perovskite FET printable

R. Colin Johnson

5/7/2015 11:07 AM EDT 

PORTLAND, Ore.–Perovskite-based materials have wooed the photovoltaic (PV) the solar cell industry, because of the ease of manufacturing the room temperature solution-based material, plus its rise in efficiency from just 3.8 percent in 2009 to over 20 percent in 2014. Perovskite-based solar cells are expected to be commercially available by 2016.

Perovskite also has many other tunable semiconducting properties, such as high-temperature superconductivity, colossal magnetoresistance, ferroelectricity as well as diverse magnetic- and optoelectronic-properties. That got researchers thinking–if silicon solar cells can also be made into diverse semiconducting chips, why not perovskite-based materials too?




Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




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