Wednesday, April 08, 2015

The Politics of Naming Aircraft Carriers: a flat-out rant

Here’s a minor, mid-week rant that I just have to get off my chest. Kind of like those Andy Rooney riffs on 60 Minutes: “Have you ever noticed that ___?” Here goes.

Has anyone else noticed that the Republican Party goes into contortions to keep democratic presidents from getting aircraft carriers named after them? 

It’s an example of their relentless emphasis on symbolism over substance. For example, denouncing big government, but never once actually deregulating a major industry... except Wall Street/Banking and resource extraction (and those two only so that oligarchs can rape us.) Or denouncing deficits while being far more spendthrift than democrats. Or waging war on science

No substance? No matter! It's whoever yells loudest who is truly for patriotism, freedom and enterprise. Actual outcomes?  Forgetaboutit!

This attitude is just like earlier phases on our ongoing civil war.  Confederates obsess on symbolisms that their "blue" (Union) opponents never even notice! In this case, seriously, I doubt any Democratic politicians or activists have noted, or cared, enough for this matter of Ship-Naming to enter their perspectives!  

And yet, it is deeply indicative. Because it's not the only example. No, indeedy.

== A hand-rubbing fetish ==

Ponder this about how GOP-run armed services committees have allocated names for our top capital ships. They gave one to Gerald Ford! Unelected and unpopular and free of any accomplishments, whatsoever, other than pardoning Nixon. Are you kidding us? Really?

In contrast, Lyndon Baines Johnson, who, despite flaws, fought for and achieved the greatest advances in American rights since the Civil War, is destined to get – a destroyer.  Likewise, Jimmy Carter gets a submarine (SSN23) "because he served on one."

Oh, well, I can live with that. Indeed, I am of the opinion that no recent president should get a capital ship!

If naming a carrier for Gerald R. Ford is a pathetic joke, then naming a U.S. capital ship after the utterly calamitous and horrifically evil George H. W. Bush, who crafted today’s spectacular mess of a middle-east, utterly ruined our transition out of the Cold War by spurring and abetting Russian mafia-oligarchy, helped his cronies steal us blind, and left the nation in a shambles after just one term, is intolerable!

Clearly, this is a process utterly hijacked by the GOP leadership as a way to channel their vengeful obsessions and to avoid doing real work. 

(Seriously... one of my "name an exception" challenges to "hear/see no evil" Republicans has been to dare them to cite one positive/assertive goal that is on the agenda of the current Congressional Republican party. One. Other than the trivial and stupid Keystone XL pipeline. And ever-more symbolism crap. Go on. One. Name one, I dare you! It's all repeal this or slash that and never ever negotiate. Please, name one positive/assertive act of governance they propose. Name more than a couple from 2001-2007, when the GOP dominated all three branches of government and could do anything they pleased. You can't. And does that make you proud?)

== Aircraft Carriers used to have beautiful names ==

But let's get back to those ship names. Hannity would reply that the namings are evenly balanced between democrats and republicans!



USS John C. Stennis
Really? You actually think that will fly? “Stennis” provided balance? A dixiecrat-segregationist confederacy “democrat” who was in effect a republican. Carl Vinson? Another staunch segregationist -- who signed the Southern Manifesto. See the pattern? Confederates all.

Harry Truman? He is a historical figure… beloved of our parents in the Greatest Generation — who also adored FDR... 

...who is scheduled to also get a destroyer! (As with LBJ, what better way to ensure that, even if the dems ever regain Congress, they can't name a carrier for Franklin Antichrist Roosevelt. Even though he was (dare I repeat it) the favorite human being of the Greatest Generation.)

Indeed, I have no grudges against the Lincoln, Truman, Washington, Theodore Roosevelt. I think carriers should have stayed above such cult-of-personality-worship naming. But those aren't shameful. And there has been time for history to render favorable judgment.

And yes, democrats started it by naming a carrier after JFK... amid the highly understandable trauma after his assassination. Fine. Then let Republicans have one for their deity, Reagan.  


Great. We’re even. 

But the Ford, Bush, Stennis, Vinson, Carter, LBJ, and FDR namings were just utterly-blatant, drivel-partisan digs of puerile, playground-level immaturity. They reflect the symbolism-obsession of a party that once featured intellectual giants like Barry Goldwater and William F. Buckley.*  

So, dear Republicans, what’ve you got in mind for the U.S.S. Bill Clinton, then? A recreational-brothel-barge?

We should get away from all this imperial presidency garbage and these insipid name games. Go back to wonderful names like Independence, Intrepid, America, Ranger, Constellation... and Enterprise. 

(Note: CVN-80 may get that name! Out of fear of trekkies, I guess. And yes, Science Fiction has clearly helped us to have a respite from this example of right wing lobotomization, that has both Buckley and Goldwater spinning in their graves. You're welcome.)  

Better yet Republicans… How about you get to name things when GOP-led Congresses cease to be the laziest, least productive, and most corrupt in the entire history of the republic. (As proved by stunningly clear statistics.) Work before play.

And yes, CVN 79 will be named JFK, since the original JFK has been decommissioned   But blatantly that’s so they’ll have an excuse for a (shudder) U.S.S. George W. Bush and a U.S.S. Richard Nixon.  


And when they try to pull that, there will be revolution.

========

And it is a badge of pride that the other side has mostly not even noticed this obsession, so far is it from their way of thinking. Oh, liberals have some word-obsessions of their own!  The FAR-left has political correctness excess that is almost 10% as maniacal as the ENTIRE-right's manias.  Yes, that crazy.

66 comments:

sociotard said...

I seem to recall a few attempts to repeal a law that added regulations to health insurance. Would trying to repeal that law count as deregulation ;)

Also, I did mention Taxis. Republicans are trying to deregulate.

Also, Net Neutrality is a regulation, Republicans largely oppose.

Miles Kohl said...

i would point out that the name USS Enterprise has served in distinction with the US Nave since before there was a United States. CV-6 was a stalwart of the Second World War... do your homework before besmirching the good name of Enterprise....

tomburkhalter said...

There was an aircraft carrier named after FDR, one of the Midway-class carriers. It was scrapped in 1977.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Franklin_D._Roosevelt_(CV-42)

Still, the naming took place in May of 1945, just after the death in office of FDR.

But...to name a destroyer after LBJ and FDR? Hm. In the state of Denmark, etc.

Frank Van Haste said...

While basically in full agreement with your rant, I must rise to offer a modest defense of George H.W. Bush and Gerald R. Ford as names for carriers. This, because both of those gentlemen exhibited considerable personal heroism aboard USN carriers during the WWII era.

The story of young George Bush, the Avenger pilot, is pretty well known. Less often noted are the deeds of Gerald Ford aboard Monterey in a typhoon. Unlike, arguably, Stennis and Vinson, these two earned the honor long before their political careers.

Tacitus2 said...

George Bush served with considerable distinction as a naval aviator. Gerald Ford likewise served on a carrier although not as a pilot. This follows the logic of naming a sub after Jimmy Carter.

LBJs military service was something of a joke, He was on active duty for 8 months and I understand he got in a plane and flew somewhere near the enemy. Got a medal for that. Bill Clinton's military service record is...problematic. (I doubt there will ever be a GW Bush ship for that matter).

Kennedy served heroically in the navy and had a carrier named after him. FDR and Truman had carriers named after them. FDR was a key figure in WWII and a former Navy Secretary. Truman was a respected Army officer in WWI. Eisenhower's contribution to both political and military leadership are hard to deny. You might argue that Reagan did not deserve one, his military service was also less than heroic.

Personally I would not name ships after politicians. It seems a bad policy. But I don't think the disparity between R and D is as great as you claim.

Tacitus

Jim Baca said...

A very good rant.

matthew said...

I still think that deregulation of education (charter schools, for-profit colleges, student loans at ruinous rates) counts as Republican (and neoliberal) gifts to the 1%. Not that it undermines your overall meme, but that it deserves to be mentioned as an exception to your "rule." An exception that shows that conservatives do not care for good educational outcomes (a well-educated citizenry) nearly as much as they care about destroying the power of public unions and re-writing history.

Alfred Differ said...

So the apparent disparity in names comes from the fact that the GOP elects more people who have served in the military? With distinction?

OK.

We shouldn't be naming any of our ships after people. Period. We shouldn't be putting people on the coins and bills either.

Laurent Weppe said...

Speaking of naming convention, France's aircraft carrier's name has caused one of the greatest involuntary display of stately gallows humor ever produced:

"Alors comme ça vous n'aimez pas Charlie, hein? Ok, dites Bonjour à Charlie, connards!"

***

"Indeed, I am of the opinion that no recent president should get a capital ship!"

You're too harsh: Junior most certainly deserve to have a luxury cruiser named in his honor.

***

"And yes, democrats started it by naming a carrier after JFK..."

Would you rather have them name a torpedo boat in his honor?

Alex Tolley said...

Britain seems remarkably free of that naming fetish.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_aircraft_carriers_of_the_Royal_Navy


Perhaps the naming of capital ships after people should have the 50 year wait that historians use before writing the history books. 2 generations to get past immediate emotions and put the person in historical perspective might help.



matthew said...

And just why would a Republican-designed budget cut funding for hurricane prediction? Hmmmm,I wonder...

http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2015/04/08/the_u_s_government_has_cut_funding_to_a_key_hurricane_research_program_and.html

locumranch said...


This is one of those rare instances that I find myself in perfect agreement with our host, especially when we could steal a hat-trick from the conservatives and conscript the military naming process to support our own best causes.

We could honor Woodrow Wilson by naming our next cruiser the USS Appeasement. We could encourage diversity by naming an aircraft carrier after Martin Luther King Jr; we could promote passive resisteance by naming an entire CLASS of heavily-armed destroyers after Mahatma Gandhi; and we could push gender equality by renaming ALL of our weapons after women (cruise missles become Hiliary Clintons, howitzers become Ethel Mermans, edged weapons become Lizzie Bordens, etc); and, of course, our World would be that much more SAFER for doing so.

Unfortunately, other less mainstream groups could choose to push their own agenda in a similar fashion, leading most often to catastrope: The libertarian warship USS Ayn Rand would look menacing but prefer would prefer to hang back & let the other combatants sort things out for themselves: the hospital ship USS Mary Baker Eddy would have a miserable record at trauma resucitation; and the research vessel USS L. Ron Hubbard would have a hard time telling fact from fiction. Yet, it would all be WORTH IT if it prevents those fake Republican Warhawks from self-promotion.

It's a done deal, actually, as the good ol' USA has long history of ironic weapon namings, or has everyone already forgotten the nuclear ICBM called the 'Peacekeeper' ?


Best

Bytowner said...

If they name any ship for Barack Obama, I'm of the hope that it's a hospital ship. And a top-of-the-line model that makes the Mayo Clinic look like a slum at that.

Jumper said...

Lay in a good supply of those humor pills, locumranch, they work well.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

If naming a carrier for Gerald R. Ford is a pathetic joke, then naming a U.S. capital ship after the utterly calamitous and horrifically evil George H. W. Bush, who crafted today’s spectacular mess of a middle-east, utterly ruined our transition out of the Cold War by spurring and abetting Russian mafia-oligarchy, helped his cronies steal us blind, and left the nation in a shambles after just one term, is intolerable!


This reminds me of one of the few ideas Ayn Rand actually got right--that there is a mentality whose explicit goal is to wipe out the very concept of "genius" by treating the banal as if it were exceptional. I think this mentality totally infects modern Hollywood, for example.

From "The Fountainhead":

He had given up trying to understand. He knew dimly that the explanation of the change swallowing the world was of a nature he preferred not to know. In his youth, he had felt an amicable contempt for the works of Guy Francon or Ralston Holcombe, and emulating them had seemed no more than innocent quackery. But he knew that Gordon L. Prescott and Gus Webb represented so impertinent, so viscious a fraud that to suspend the evidence of his eyes was beyond his elastic capacity. He had believed that people found greatness in Holcombe, and there had been reasonable satisfaction in borrowing his borrowed greatness. He knew that no one saw anything whatsoever in Prescott. He felt something dark and leering in the manner in which people spoke of Prescott's genius; as if they were not doing homage to Prescott, but spitting upon genius. For once, Keating could not follow people. It was too clear, even to him, that public favor had ceased being a recognition of merit, that it had become almost a brand of shame.

Bytowner said...

Not kidding about the hospital ship idea. Someone had to be the US counterpart to Tommy Douglas, after all. And there's reasons why the latter was voted the Greatest Canadian.

Bill_in_the Middle said...

Perhaps off topic (well, completely off topic) i came across this article of the Atlantic website about the continuing Civil War and thought it would be of interest to you and your readers.

The Civil War Isn't Over by DAVID W. BLIGHT. link: http://m.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2015/04/the-civil-war-isnt-over/389847/

Citizen Deux said...

Your rant goes on without any knowledge of the subject. Carrier naming is (obviously) highly political. Candidates may or many not be deserving, but the lack of representation of democrats may be more in line with their lack of representation in the service in general

Alex Tolley said...

Naming Ships

Naming controversies

Tony Fisk said...

Munching popcorn from the sidelines.

I had been wondering where Barack Obama could be fitted in.

Jack Everitt said...

I prefer Iain M. Banks ship naming...so does Elon Musk.

daddyoyo said...

I favor using ship names from Iain M. Banks' Culture Series:
You'll Thank Me Later
God Told Me To Do It
So Much For Subtlety
Helpless In The Face Of Your Beauty
Frank Exchange Of Views
I Blame My Mother
You Would If You Really Loved Me
You'll Thank Me Later

Alfred Differ said...

Oops. Did someone just suggest the Dems don't serve in the military very often? I better go unplug my father's machine. BRB.

Paul Shen-Brown said...

If ship names are to be political, how about the USS States Rights, USS Limited Government, USS Welfare State, USS Separation Clause, USS Equal Rights, USS Second Amendment and, of course, the USS Jim Crow. Would that be a little more honest?

Duncan Cairncross said...

Using politicians names is a bad idea
But the US Navy named one of it's ships the
USS Ponce
And it's difficult to think of a worse name
I assume that ship is restricted to home waters and far away from any Royal Navy ship
(To avoid injuring allied sailors by excessive laughter)

On an entirely separate note
Dr Brin
What is the hoo haa about the Hugo's about

Tim H. said...

USS Pillar of the Oligarchy? BTW, much on the Hugo controversy at
www.antipope.org/charlie/blog-static/2015/04/the-biggest-little-sf-publishe.html
Also interested in the opinion of OGH, but wouldn't be surprised if he wishes to deal with it in a separate post.

Tony Fisk said...

George Martin is also weighing in on the Hugo business.

Tony Fisk said...

'USS Pillar of the Oligarchy'? The 'Pillar' reminds me of the ship names in 'Halo'

('Pillar of Autumn', 'In Amber Clad', now *those* are poetic names for vessels.)

Treebeard said...

LOL @ revolution in America over naming of aircraft carriers.

Mundane concerns for mundane times.

Best name for next aircraft carrier: U.S.S. Kardashian

Deck chairs on the Titanic.

Jumper said...

LOL Alfred, if they don't go in Democrats a lot of them come out that way!
I suggest the USS Ron Kovic.

raito said...

Another from the Atlantic, on one of the usual topics here, but not about ship naming.

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2015/04/the-courage-of-bystanders-who-press-record/389979/

aciddc said...

As a Democrat who thinks we need a much smaller military... they can have the carrier naming rights. It'll just make it all the sweeter to lobby to defund those programs.

Alfred Differ said...

The most mundane choices set precedents for later events that are far from mundane.

My understanding of these naming choices is that establishing funding for capital ships is a difficult and risky process. Getting someone's family member involved by putting their well known relative's name on the ship helps keep up the pressure on those who keep the money flowing. Look at who kept things moving and you'll see why a carrier is being named after Ford.

Paul Shen-Brown said...

Two off-topic articles:

This one relates to the last thread, on the role of cooperation and competition in evolution. It's an older one I forgot about.P

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/
090406132056.htm

This one is astronomical, and very new, about organic chemistry found in a protoplanetary disk.

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/04/150408131422.htm

Alfred Differ said...

That the organic molecules become more abundant than the background ISM is probably the most important finding. Confirmation of their presence is cool, but increases help constrain abiogenesis models.

Game theory should be taught right up there with statistics. 8)

LarryHart said...

Treebeard:

Mundane concerns for mundane times.

Best name for next aircraft carrier: U.S.S. Kardashian

Deck chairs on the Titanic.


Actually, Dr Brin did us all a favor by posting a topic many of us can agree on, if even in fun.

U.S.S. Cubs?

Jumper said...

Treebeard is unhappy because we won't think the thoughts he knows we should. Surely a return to feudalism would remedy this! No humor will be tolerated, and public lashings reinstated to punish the impious. And all copies of A Confederacy of Dunces burned! "His judgment cometh and that right soon!"

Alfred Differ said...

Treebeard is a feudalist? I'll have to go back through a few threads now to catch up. I thought he was just someone seduced by the sweet feelings of confidence from knowing we are all DOOMED!

Okay. I'll run around all panicked for awhile if it will help. My wife says I need to exercise more anyway.

Paul Shen-Brown said...

We are all doomed? Valar morghulis! So what? It's not like this is news. How much fun can you have teasing the trogs before your number comes up, that is the question!

"Game theory should be taught right up there with statistics."
Agree 100%.

Larry, why not the USS Marvel? At least it could be mistaken for an adjective like UUS Intrepid. Or would you prefer the USS Vanaheim?

I started reading Confederacy of Dunces but never finished it. Regrettably it was due back at the library before I got too far into it. That's how my literary life has been for far too long!

LarryHart said...

Paul Shen-Brown:

Larry, why not the USS Marvel? At least it could be mistaken for an adjective like UUS Intrepid.


If you remember Stan Lee's favorite exclamation, it would make a better name (although possibly has been done already). The U.S.S. Excelsior!


Or would you prefer the USS Vanaheim?


Heh. No one else will get that that's a reference to Dave Sim's company name, Aardvark-Vanaheim. Of course, that one shouldn't be a "U.S.S.", but whatever Canadian ship names start with.

Tacitus2 said...

Her Canadian Majesty's Ship HCMS is the correct designation.

Of the current fleet of 34 commissioned vessels none bear the names of individuals. Unless you count names with dual personal/geographic meaning such as Windsor.

Tacitus

Paul Shen-Brown said...

Larry, I think the word Excelsior originated in a poem by Longfellow. It sounds pretty high falutin', doesn't it? Colin Baker, probably the worst actor to get the role of The Doctor, recited it during an episode, though that's all I remember of the episode. I can imagine Mr. Lee smirking over this one - he has quite the smirk.

HCMS Vannaheim at least sounds cool, even if the author we would be stealing it from morphed into a right-wing scapegoating misogynistic hate monger.

LarryHart said...

"U.S.S. Excelsior" was used in one of the Star Trek movies. It was the one with trans-warp drive. I wasn't sure if there was also already a real ship by that name.

And the first time I heard that poem, it was being recited by Bullwinkle, the moose.

escoles said...

I wrote a story years ago wherein I thought I was being clever by suggesting a starship named the Alexander Haig. Not so clever, I guess...

escoles said...

... also, "Vanaheim" may be a Dave Sim reference to some folks, but to some of us with more literary bents, it will always be the home of the Vanir. [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vanaheimr]

Whicn, since the Vanir were part of a fertility-complex, makes it pretty ironic as a warship name.

Paul Shen-Brown said...

Rocky and Bullwinkle, fond childhood memories! Cross pollination between that and Doctor Who doesn't seem too far fetched.

USS Excelsior was in Star Trek 3, the one where they gave in to the female half of the fan base and resurrected Spock. While Spock was a great character, I never liked resurrection stories. They strike me as chicken-shit wishful thinking, unless you are talking about the vernal return of the flora in seasonal climates. But extending the metaphor to people is analogical reasoning at its worst.

Naming a large public project, like a carrier or a hospital after the honored dead is at least sensical. I wonder if future Star Trek movies will feature a USS Spock?

Paul Shen-Brown said...

escoles, if the Alexander Haig was meant to be satire, it's not bad. Would the USS Oliver North have been better?

I strongly suspect Sims knew where the name Vannaheim came from when he chose it. He was a surprisingly literate person for a comic book author/artist. In fact, a few sections of his life's work were tributes to, or criticisms of, classic authors (Oscar Wilde, F. Scott Fitzgerald & Ernie Hemmingway), though I thought some of his treatments were somewhat ham-fisted.

David Brin said...

PSB - I hated Star Trek III, which betrayed everything we loved about STII WoK. WoKhan was unabashedly FAUSTIAN in its belief and confidence in us. If we become good folks, we get to pick up God's tools. STIII checked off every box of the Frankenstein myth. Humans who pick up God's Powers will be punished. A vile film.

Not as vile at Aliens3! The worst betrayal of faith with the viewer in cinema history.

But that was the 80s and 90s, when '3rd movie curse" prevailed. In every franchise, the 2nd flick was superb and the 3rd was a travesty-betrayal.

Paul Shen-Brown said...

I can't disagree with you on these - especially Aliens Cubed! I think, though, that both Faust and Frankenstein are widely misunderstood. I've had very religious people insist I need to read Faust (though they couldn't specify a version) because I appreciate science. But Faust wasn't a scientist, he was a con-man. Viktor Frankenstein was supposed to be a scientist, but I don't see his crime as being committing science so much as as doing it arrogantly, individually, without the support of his community and against the wishes of his father and family. When he made his monster, he abandoned him like a deadbeat dad. I think there are subtleties there than the old horror movies catch, though I never saw the version with Robert DeNiro, which was supposed to have been much more faithful to the original novel. It came out when I was in college, and after several classes in history and humanities, I was sick to death of Victorian era issues.

sociotard said...

I liked Indiana Jones 3 and Die Hard 3 better than Indiana jones 2 and Die Hard 2

David Brin said...

PSB I spoke to the cliched-standard IMAGES of Faust and Frankenstein. Frankenstein's crimes were - as you say - being a loner and evading critical peer review. But above all, being a terrible dad.

Sociotard... Die Hard and IndieJones were only marginally sci fi. In any event the Ark of the Covenant could beat the Holy Grail any day with both cherubs tied behind its back!

Alfred Differ said...

Can I cook, or can't I?


Yah. Completely betrayed later on, but they wouldn't have had a franchise people would understand if they didn't. Where do you go next when you have that kind of power? Borg? Big deal! Watch this... [poof]

Tacitus2 said...

The one redemptive facet of Trek III...Christopher Lloyd made a damn good Klingon.

Tacitus

Paul Shen-Brown said...

Yes, if the Genesis Device had worked as advertised, it would have changed the whole ball game, but it could have been really interesting to see what that ball game evolved into (and Christopher Lloyd was a great Klingon, though I had been told that originally it was supposed to be Romulans, and I don't think he would have been as good in that role).

Was Inbannana Jones 2: The Temple of Gloom, better than Inbannana Jones 3: The Last Crustacean? Neither of them held a candle to the original.

As far as Goethe, Marlowe, and Mary Shelley go, I suppose if you are using their characters as labels in a quick reference I get the point. It confused me, though, describing Trek II as Faustian, as I have always had the moral of Faust taught in every church I went to be that he was too greedy for knowledge and paid for it with the fires of Hell. Except for losing the Vulcan, nothing about the ending of WoK seemed too hellish.

Anonymous said...

Krugman hits the nail on the head regarding the inevitability of pervasive surveillance in his blog today - people will embrace it.

sociotard said...

Oh, I thought "3rd movie" referred to all trilogies, not just scifi.

My bad.

Shane said...

How about we take Congress out of the loop altogether and let the Navy name them as they see fit, preferably after people who served in the Navy or USMC, and who are long dead.

Shane said...

Also, speaking of stupid politically motivated naming games, how about The Gabby Giffords?

Really?

Treebeard said...

Right Paul SB, but in Dr. Brin’s inverted world, Faust is a good guy, and there’s no such thing as “too greedy for knowledge and power”. More knowledge and power at all costs is the Enlightenment ethos after all, and anyone who opposes it is the enemy of the one true god, Progress. This is essentially the ideology of Satanists (or Sith if you prefer), which is probably why many people refer to America as “the Great Satan” or “the Empire”.

I recall Dr. Brin speaking admiringly of “Devil’s Day” by James Blish, and thinking that the sorcerer in the novel summoning demons to bring Apocalypse is a pretty good metaphor for technological civilization - summoning forces that will unleash Hell, but whose priesthood insists is on the only road to Paradise.

Alfred Differ said...

Ah. Not feudalist. Luddite.


Seriously, though, the Enlightenment ethos isn't about knowledge at any cost. The costs we are willing to suffer is part of the knowledge we must learn. What it's really about is an openness to rejecting traditional knowledge, though not necessarily in large amounts done too fast. Most of us who are sane about it are willing to take it slow and not rile the traditionalists too much. Traditions are themselves a form of knowledge and should be respected... but never sanctified.

LarryHart said...

Dr Brin:

I hated Star Trek III, which betrayed everything we loved about STII WoK. WoKhan was unabashedly FAUSTIAN in its belief and confidence in us. If we become good folks, we get to pick up God's tools.


"Wrath of Khan" was the perfect example of bringing the essence of a Star Trek episode to the big screen.

Plus it's got some great quotable lines. "I don't beLIEVE in the no-win scenario."


STIII checked off every box of the Frankenstein myth. Humans who pick up God's Powers will be punished. A vile film.


And it made Saavik so much less interesting than she was in WoK.
:)


But that was the 80s and 90s, when '3rd movie curse" prevailed. In every franchise, the 2nd flick was superb and the 3rd was a travesty-betrayal.


I still get hives remembering Superman III.

David Brin said...

Shane... I too found the Gabby Giffords to be utterly absurd. Are you then calling both sides flawed? Sure. Both sides EQUAL is monomaniacal jibbering craziness? Not by two orders of magnitude.

Treebeard is and always will be an outright liar. He cites things that never, ever happened.

David Brin said...

onward

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

Ah. Not feudalist. Luddite


He can be two things.

:)

David Brin said...

onward

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