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detrius

Story Monday, August 19, 2019

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Just now, hkmaly said:

And yes, obviously indirect warfare is easier for psyche. Still, artillery support wasn't available so often.

To be fair, I understand that the Germans in France 1944 felt that the Americans had artillery support WAY too often. :danshiftyeyes:

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31 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
32 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

And yes, obviously indirect warfare is easier for psyche. Still, artillery support wasn't available so often.

To be fair, I understand that the Germans in France 1944 felt that the Americans had artillery support WAY too often. :danshiftyeyes:

Germans maybe, but did you ask what Americans though about it?

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Just now, hkmaly said:

Germans maybe, but did you ask what Americans though about it?

Actually yeah. They thought (and yelled) "Hey Lieutenant, could you call down some artillery fire on that concentration of Krauts ahead? They're starting to annoy me."

Americans brought a LOT of mobile artillery to France with them.

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2 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

A lot of people seem to agree with you, but personally I found that the viewpoint characters all became less likable as the book went on, to the point where about two-thirds of the way through the book I didn't care about them at all anymore. At that point I put the book down and never felt any motivation to pick it back up again.

Card can write books I enjoy however; for a time Pastwatch was among my favorite books, though I strongly suspect it's a lot more problematic than I realized at the time (it's been well over a decade since I last read it).

I read it long ago, knowing nothing of Card other than the jacket information that he was Mormon. From my perspective, that has the potential to inject some crazy, YMMV, but Ender's Game did not seem to have that as far as I could tell.

His brother did not appeal to me, nor his sister interfacing with his brother. I gather it's part of some story arc I've never read.

Long after I read that, I read Ender's Shadow, the same events from an even more Marty Stu Bean point of view, it was interesting, but only in contrast to Ender's Game, one framed in Ender's future journey that I cannot recall much about, and Shadows in Flight, the one where Bean's children find the cure for Anton's Key. They act like Ender's family, that aspect is annoying, and as I'm writing this, I am wondering if this recurring dysfunctional family template reflects Card's own family when he was growing up. Still, it wasn't bad.

I also enjoyed the movie.

The synopsis for Pastwatch looks interesting. One weird thing about it is that Mormon's believe Native Americans are descended from Jews who fled across the ocean in the Diaspora; apparently that is not mentioned. Seems odd, given Card's rather adamant personal spin on life. Also, Columbus was not a hero, he was a dick. (granted, you could be both ...) Per historical accounts, he is responsible for enslaving and near genocide of indigenous populations of one or more Caribbean islands. Sorry, not a fan.

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
22 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

Germans maybe, but did you ask what Americans though about it?

Actually yeah. They thought (and yelled) "Hey Lieutenant, could you call down some artillery fire on that concentration of Krauts ahead? They're starting to annoy me."

Americans brought a LOT of mobile artillery to France with them.

I meant the later "Hey Lieutenant, I asked for artillery fire hour ago! Where is all that artillery when we need them?"

I'm sure the artillery support managed to spoil the officers quite fast.

3 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

A lot of people seem to agree with you, but personally I found that the viewpoint characters all became less likable as the book went on, to the point where about two-thirds of the way through the book I didn't care about them at all anymore.

What about Jane? She was my favourite. Oh wait she's not in first book.

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Just now, hkmaly said:

I'm sure the artillery support managed to spoil the officers quite fast.

This is true. I am reminded of the old Ferengi Rule of Acquisition which says, "Enough... is never enough."

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5 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:
6 minutes ago, hkmaly said:

I'm sure the artillery support managed to spoil the officers quite fast.

This is true. I am reminded of the old Ferengi Rule of Acquisition which says, "Enough... is never enough."

Or "There is no 'overkill.' There is only 'open fire' and 'I need to reload.'" ... or "Never enuff DAKKA!"

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50 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

To be fair, I understand that the Germans in France 1944 felt that the Americans had artillery support WAY too often. :danshiftyeyes:

Back in the primordial days of the Internet, I read an interesting article about the different approaches to artillery between the Germans, the British, and the Americans. The goal is you want your first volley to come without warning. The British kind of forewent that at sent a test fire then adjusted. The Germans could shoot for effect on the first volley, but only if they accomplished a detailed survey of the target region first. The Americans precalculated every contingency, and assembled their calculations into a filing cabinet. So, in addition to the guns and ammo, the Americans had to lug along a filing cabinet of firing instructions, but it was very effective. They were, like the Germans, able to hit their target on the first volley, but without the need for the pre-survey. So not only did they have lots of artillery (the basic American WWII strategy was having lots of whatever, which was effective even when the whatever kinda sucked), they could hit $#!% with them.

Sadly, how the Russians approached the same chore was left out.

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1 minute ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Sadly, how the Russians approached the same chore was left out.

<scratches head> At a guess I would say they amassed a lot of firepower and then let the Law of Large Numbers do the heavy lifting. As Stalin put it, "At a certain point,  quantity takes on its own quality."

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5 minutes ago, The Old Hack said:

<scratches head> At a guess I would say they amassed a lot of firepower and then let the Law of Large Numbers do the heavy lifting. As Stalin put it, "At a certain point,  quantity takes on its own quality."

I marvel at their engineering, it is underrated. Not so much when they try to copy the West, though.

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Soviet/Russian engineering may not be the best at pushing the bleeding edge of performance, but they certainly build things robust, able to take punishment and endure the harsh Russian climate and last for years and years. Buy American for high-performance, but buy Russian for reliability.

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4 hours ago, ijuin said:

Soviet/Russian engineering may not be the best at pushing the bleeding edge of performance, but they certainly build things robust, able to take punishment and endure the harsh Russian climate and last for years and years. Buy American for high-performance, but buy Russian for reliability.

Er...

I am not sure I want to do that after recent events near Archangelsk >.<

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1 hour ago, The Old Hack said:

Er...

I am not sure I want to do that after recent events near Archangelsk >.<

To be fair, safety is not their long suit either. I've heard to eject from a MiG is to risk your life. (Ejecting is always risky, but I mean, more so.)

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6 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

His brother did not appeal to me, nor his sister interfacing with his brother. I gather it's part of some story arc I've never read.

[snip]

The synopsis for Pastwatch looks interesting. One weird thing about it is that Mormon's believe Native Americans are descended from Jews who fled across the ocean in the Diaspora; apparently that is not mentioned. Seems odd, given Card's rather adamant personal spin on life. Also, Columbus was not a hero, he was a dick. (granted, you could be both ...) Per historical accounts, he is responsible for enslaving and near genocide of indigenous populations of one or more Caribbean islands. Sorry, not a fan.

From what I recall, Ender's sister was my favorite character in the book early on. It was more-or-less when I realized I didn't like her any more that I stopped reading (by that point I had long since realized I didn't like Ender himself).

As for Columbus, Pastwatch probably didn't do his dickishness justice, but it did acknowledge he was deeply flawed; part of the plot of the book was about teaching him to be a better person. (And of course, thanks to time travel this is before he had a chance to do much damage inn the Caribbean.)

(And no, the idea of Native Americans being descended from Jews was not mentioned. In fact if I remember correctly that idea would run counter to the prehistory presented in the book.)

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33 minutes ago, Darth Fluffy said:

To be fair, safety is not their long suit either.

I don't know, but somehow I get this feeling that a nuclear powered rocket that detonates in an actual nuclear explosion at takeoff doesn't really seem to have been built with safety as its primary purpose.

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11 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

From what I recall, Ender's sister was my favorite character in the book early on. It was more-or-less when I realized I didn't like her any more that I stopped reading (by that point I had long since realized I didn't like Ender himself).

 

She's far more sympathetic in the beginning. Ender I don't have a particular problem with, he's young, he's isolated (the Battle School made sure of that) and he's constantly manipulated. He tries to fit in, not much more. I don't fault the Battle School either, exactly; it's hard to "like" them, but the survival of our species is at stake, as far as they can tell. It doesn't help that the Formics don't know how to communicate with us.

11 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

As for Columbus, Pastwatch probably didn't do his dickishness justice, but it did acknowledge he was deeply flawed; part of the plot of the book was about teaching him to be a better person. (And of course, thanks to time travel this is before he had a chance to do much damage inn the Caribbean.)

If I run across it at the lib, I'll read it.

 

11 hours ago, ChronosCat said:

(And no, the idea of Native Americans being descended from Jews was not mentioned. In fact if I remember correctly that idea would run counter to the prehistory presented in the book.)

To be fair, not being a Mormon, I'm not sure what they actually believe. It could be like Intelujint Dezyne, a vocal minority making the rest look like idiots. It is a part of the party line, though.

 

 

 

 

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11 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

I don't know, but somehow I get this feeling that a nuclear powered rocket that detonates in an actual nuclear explosion at takeoff doesn't really seem to have been built with safety as its primary purpose.

Is that what they were doing? The US experimented with that long ago. This other one was never built, that's probably a good thing.

I take it that only a small amount of the whole enchilada was involved in the explosion, merely releasing the rest as toxic spew.

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1 hour ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Is that what they were doing? The US experimented with that long ago. This other one was never built, that's probably a good thing.

I take it that only a small amount of the whole enchilada was involved in the explosion, merely releasing the rest as toxic spew.

Actually, it was Project Pluto:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pluto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersonic_Low_Altitude_Missile

The Project Pluto page even has a link to the Russian incident of this month:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M730_Burevestnik

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyonoksa_radiation_accident

Russian prototypes are notorious for failures, but Russian engineers are known for keeping at it till they get the bugs worked out and coming out with something very reliable. Case in point: the Soyuz spacecraft. Its first mission was an unmitigated disaster, but after three years of rework, it became the reliable spacecraft that has been flying for fifty years with only one other lethal incident (Soyuz 11, death on reentry after successful month-long stay on Salyut 1 space lab in 1971).

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15 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:
17 hours ago, The Old Hack said:

I am not sure I want to do that after recent events near Archangelsk >.<

To be fair, safety is not their long suit either. I've heard to eject from a MiG is to risk your life. (Ejecting is always risky, but I mean, more so.)

To be fair, if you need to eject from airplane, you are likely already in very risky situation.

1 hour ago, ijuin said:
3 hours ago, Darth Fluffy said:

Is that what they were doing? The US experimented with that long ago. This other one was never built, that's probably a good thing.

I take it that only a small amount of the whole enchilada was involved in the explosion, merely releasing the rest as toxic spew.

Actually, it was Project Pluto:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pluto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersonic_Low_Altitude_Missile

The Project Pluto page even has a link to the Russian incident of this month:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M730_Burevestnik

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyonoksa_radiation_accident

Russian prototypes are notorious for failures, but Russian engineers are known for keeping at it till they get the bugs worked out and coming out with something very reliable. Case in point: the Soyuz spacecraft. Its first mission was an unmitigated disaster, but after three years of rework, it became the reliable spacecraft that has been flying for fifty years with only one other lethal incident (Soyuz 11, death on reentry after successful month-long stay on Salyut 1 space lab in 1971).

Interesting.

I need to watch the news more often.

 

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4 hours ago, ijuin said:

Actually, it was Project Pluto:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Pluto

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supersonic_Low_Altitude_Missile

The Project Pluto page even has a link to the Russian incident of this month:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/9M730_Burevestnik

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyonoksa_radiation_accident

Russian prototypes are notorious for failures, but Russian engineers are known for keeping at it till they get the bugs worked out and coming out with something very reliable. Case in point: the Soyuz spacecraft. Its first mission was an unmitigated disaster, but after three years of rework, it became the reliable spacecraft that has been flying for fifty years with only one other lethal incident (Soyuz 11, death on reentry after successful month-long stay on Salyut 1 space lab in 1971).

I see, Putin on the Fritz. "We need to revive the Cold War. Those were great times."

 

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3 hours ago, hkmaly said:

To be fair, if you need to eject from airplane, you are likely already in very risky situation.

... at which point you hope the d@#% things work, which is why they're even there. Otherwise, they are a waste of precious weight in your aircraft.

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