Comment by lb_rv on What hard science fiction stories also got the social sciences right? · 2020-09-28T15:17:45.099Z · LW · GW

Depending on what you define as hard SF, the Nexus trilogy by Ramez Naam might fit. I've seen it described as hard SF, as "having some hard scifi elements", and as "dumbed down science fiction" by a particularly displeased Goodreads user; take your pick. I remember it being very easy to read and making more of an effort than usual to consider the society surrounding the characters. That might not mean getting the social sciences exactly right, though.

In general, I think the closer the time period is to our own, the more likely it is that the social sciences will be right, since the author will have more material to base them on. 
It's been some time since I read one of his books and I'm not sure if he counts as hard SF, but maybe Ian McDonald? I remember being impressed by the complexity of River of Gods. If anyone has read more of his books, please confirm or infirm my guess.

Comment by lb_rv on What hard science fiction stories also got the social sciences right? · 2020-09-28T15:07:04.832Z · LW · GW

I have read the trilogy and I second habryka's comment. One non-too-spoily example is that at several points, humanity is seen as a cultural monolith: all of humanity is described as having a single reaction to an event, no variation between countries or at least cultural blocks.

(I greatly enjoyed the books and would recommend them to anyone who likes SF despite the criticism above.)

Comment by lb_rv on What happens if you drink acetone? · 2020-09-21T10:22:51.837Z · LW · GW

A breath smelling of acetone can also occur when someone is losing weight very fast (extreme diets or the beginning of an eating disorder). An interesting tidbit.

Comment by lb_rv on The Case for Human Genetic Engineering · 2020-08-29T18:51:56.121Z · LW · GW

An allele is a variant form of a gene. When we say that a gene has two (or more) alleles, we don't mean that a gene contains two or more alleles, but that the gene exists in several variant forms. Sort of like how carbon-12, carbon-13 and carbon-14 are different isotopes of the same element. As far as I understand, calling the mutated allele a "mutated copy of the gene" is correct.

(I'm fairly certain of this, but if my understanding is wrong I'd welcome the correction of someone more knowledgeable.)