Bill Phil

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About Bill Phil

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    Some Engineer Guy

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  • Location Capital of the Star League
  • Interests Video games, science fiction, space, rockets, BattleTech, physics, math

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  1. Bill Phil

    Thread to complain bout stuff

    It’s only going to get worse from here. That’s the way the world is, I’m afraid.
  2. Bill Phil

    Top 10 Saddest Anime Deaths

    Takumi’s AE86
  3. Bill Phil

    Thread to complain bout stuff

    There really isn't always plenty to say. I mean, what do you expect people to do? Talk about the weather? Sure they can do that. But that's just talking to talk. And of course they all have access to weather forecasts in their pockets. Maybe talk about general happenings? Well sure they can do that, but they likely keep each other up to speed through their phones as it is with no physical contact necessary. Sometimes I'll go to dinner with family. Thing is, we already spend a lot of time together. We've already said everything that could be said in this situation. I appreciate spending time with my family, but there just isn't a thing to say that either hasn't already been said or could be said later. Even when I make a concerted effort to not be on my phone no one really talks at all. Not much at any rate. Not to mention how important phones have become in modern life. You can file your taxes, set up appointments, buy things, catch up on reading, check grades, send emails, talk to friends who aren't sitting next to you... The way people communicate is changing. But that doesn't imply the previous way was really any better. It's a simple question for most folks: would you rather have a conversation that's likely to be meaningless or take part in the world at large? There's more on phones than social media. And even just taking into account social media, that's where a large portion of modern social life happens. Imagine if all your friends could be contacted with just the push of a button. One of my friends recently had a relative pass away and I wasn't aware precisely because I don't use social media. But a good number of my other friends do use social media and found out. That's the kind of thing I'd like to know as quickly as possible. Checking my phone is a key part of that. Like it or not a significant portion of modern life is on the internet. Phones are a critical access point for the internet. More can be said using a phone than by talking with the people sitting next to you. We can basically participate socially at all times. We don't have to actually be near someone to talk to them. So the reasoning goes like this: why limit the social interactions I can have just because I'm with people? In comparison it's hard to find things to actually talk about. Indeed, topics of conversation can originate from the participants' phones. News. Videos. Jokes. All kinds of things. But what's funny is that very similar complaints where made over 100 years ago when books and newspapers started to become huge parts of society...
  4. Bill Phil

    Thread to complain bout stuff

    If everyone is looking at their phones then there’s a good chance there isn’t anything to say. My friends and I generally don’t keep our eyes on our screens. We get enough entertainment from talking to each other. But there are times where my eyes are on my phone screen. And generally it’s because there isn’t a darn thing to discuss. ‘Course I can’t speak for everyone.
  5. Bill Phil

    So what song is stuck in your head today?

    So here's one that's good. An older version got copyright struck (not for the music, but the picture used as the background). Pretty good. Just can't understand most of it. But there is an English version. Not a direct translation but they managed to keep the meaning fairly intact, from what I hear. I really like the background music. Sounds great.
  6. Bill Phil

    Mars Colonization Discussion Thread

    I think Jeff Bezo's rationale (or at least what it was some time ago) made a lot more sense. If our energy use continues to grow then eventually we may have to cover the entire planet in solar panels. If we get fusion power or use advanced fission or space power satellites, you still get the problem of our civilization's waste heat rivalling the energy the planet gets from the Sun. For now it doesn't, but if our energy consumption continues to grow it will eventually. And if our energy consumption continues to grow even further we'll have to leave the planet just to keep ourselves from being uncomfortable due to our own waste heat. Or we'll have to devise a method of radiating away that waste heat more efficiently, which will likely involve large amounts of space infrastructure to increase the radiating surface (maybe using orbital rings somehow, if that technology is ever developed). Essentially, if our civilization keeps growing (not necessarily population but other factors) then we may outgrow Earth. Of course that's centuries away at the least. There's no rush to colonize space or build that massive infrastructure.
  7. Bill Phil

    Do you think Tau Ceti e is inhabited?

    Probably not. I’m pretty sure we’ve thoroughly investigated with radio and it won’t be too long until we can detect waste heat from planetary civilizations (maybe a few decades). If there is life it probably isn’t technologically advanced. We’ll have to wait until we can do better spectroscopy on the atmosphere - among other things - to determine habitability. Still. That’s pretty close, and a yellow star to boot. Probably a good target for interstellar missions, whenever those happen.
  8. Bill Phil

    Best Quotes Ever

    “…and the sky was full of stars, and every star was an exploding ship — one of ours.”
  9. Bill Phil

    Rate the signature of the user above you

    8/10 What's frontinco?
  10. Bill Phil

    Shower thoughts

    Some people might have thought so, yes. But a well-read or well educated person could easily see that these are evolutions of already existing technologies. We could record with the written word, it was logical to think that it was possible to record sounds. The electric telegraph and semaphores already existed. True you couldn't speak through them, but as they developed there's a good chance somewhat thought about transmitting sounds. The first fax machine was arguably made in the 1840s. May not have been a great one, but it could reproduce images over a distance. I would be shocked if no one thought of reproducing sounds.
  11. Bill Phil

    What funny/interesting thing happened in your life today?

    Finished watching Steins;Gate today. It's... an experience. Starts out funny. Gets serious and funny. Then kind of goes all out funny in a few scenes in the last episode with some seriousness mixed in. Maybe I should become a mad scientist? Or would a mad engineer be more appropriate?
  12. Well it reduces the size of the necessary vehicle, or conversely increases the capability of the mission given a specific launch vehicle. For example, if an Apollo mission used two Saturn V launches the lander could've been quite larger. Or perhaps the second launch carries a single stage lander while the first launch carries the crewed CSM and the LM for the crew to land and return to LLO. In such an architecture the crew could spend far more time on the surface and potentially do more science and experiments. Shuttle-C wouldn't have been able to do what Saturn V did in one launch. It wouldn't be able to launch as much mass to TLI. Indeed, neither can SLS, it's not as powerful as the Saturn V.
  13. Bill Phil

    Shower thoughts

    What if we got rid of the Van Allen belts...?
  14. Bill Phil

    Nerdiest Spreadsheet You've Made

    Hmm... Calcuting sine and cosine. Rocket spreadsheets. Giving estimates for total mass and all that. Random number generators.