Saturday, January 13, 2018

Times of change: male behavior, boomer crankiness

I’ve long held that Rebecca Solnit is one of the best essayists in the modern era. I’ve reviewed some of her books and deem A Paradise Built in Hell, to be of immense importance, touting it in almost every futurological speech especially to our “protector caste.” In her new missive, Solnit waxes both eloquent and actinically angry over the seemingly endless litany of crimes committed by patriarchy and – let’s face it – the male of the species. In “Let this flood of women’s stories never cease: on fighting foundational misogyny one story at a time.”

I am not at all inclined to ask her to stop! Indeed, I generally respond to most political jeremiads by asking for perspective on 6000 years of history. And across that time, countless women have suffered at the hands of males, in nearly all contexts and places and cultures.

So what is the solution? Those of you who've read The PostmanGlory SeasonEarth, and at least a dozen of my short stories know how many variations I’ve explored, dealing with the same core issue. What’s to be done about the one-quarter of human males who are clearly unsuitable for civilized company and should not be allowed anywhere near women and children? And another quarter who… well… badly need remedial help for better impulse control!

No, I'm not claiming to have explored these matters with the kind of chilling terror of Alice Sheldon’s “James Tiptree Jr.” stories, or Joanna Russ, or Margaret Atwood, or all the other women authors who convey the victim’s perspective so well. On the other hand, there truly is a side to all of this that gets missed, asking: why did this revolution never happen before? Sure, there were candles in the darkness! (The Postman is dedicated to Lysistrata!) Still, a powerful, civilization-changing movement awaited this very era we are living in.

Without taking anything away from the leaders and the brave millions of women who are vigorously demanding their human and adult rights, it is also clear that feminism benefited from millions of dads and brothers and husbands and sons who were – despite some doofus lapses – generally pretty decent fellows. Who encouraged their daughters and drove them to karate lessons and never lifted a finger to their wives, and groveled appropriately after raising their voices, or letting some Cro-Magnon reflex briefly take charge. Men who are cringing at these recent stories, as many of us did, upon reading The Screwfly Solution.Men who would – if summoned by a wise and truly sagacious Council of Women, show up and lay our swords at their feet.

There is an aspect to this that even a genius like Rebecca Solnit – in her well-deserved wrath – seldom sees. I discuss it in The Postman. That we would go a long way toward a solution if the problem were parsed as choosing between good and bad men! This is not something that even has to be argued. Once you ponder it, you know it, in your brain and heart and gut.

Nor is this a surprise, biologically! Female mate choice propels the exaggerated traits of males in most species. And so, imagine if our daughters simply declared: “The exaggerated male traits that will be rewarded, from now on, will be copious kindness, capacious calm, reasonableness, respectful love and self-control. Predators will have no place in the coming gene pool.” 

Yes, this is more radical, by far, than any of today's near-term (and necessary) palliations. I do not offer it instead of our drive for legal and reputational responsibility, outing abusers and driving them out of positions of power! That near-term uprising is way overdue. Nothing should take away from the anger and righteousness of this too-long delayed revelatory revolution!  Bring it on! 

But we science fiction authors are always looking a bit farther ahead. I am only offering the ultimate weapon in this fight for justice and decency. The cure - over the long run - must come from a form of Darwinian selection.

==  Boomers trash the place on their way out ==

The baby-boom generation, which has voted reliably Republican in recent years, has been the largest generation of eligible voters since 1978. But in 2018, for the first time, slightly more Millennials than baby boomers will be eligible to vote, according to forecasts from the Center for American Progress’s States of Change project. Higher turnout rates among baby boomers will preserve their advantage among actual voters for a while. But sometime around 2024, Millennials will likely surpass them. The post-Millennials, Americans born after 2000 who’ll enter the electorate starting in 2020, will widen the advantage.” - from The Atlantic by Ronald Brownstein.

Oh, and we’re cranky! White male boomers feel creaky. We thought youth was our thing! Damn kids! 

No wonder we went for the insanely rapacious, short-sighted and feudal Tax Bill, which benefits 99.99% of us not at all.  No wonder we inflicted in the nation Donald Trump. And Fox News, where catheter and mobility scooters pay the advert bills.

Oh, but didn't we have great music? The kids avow that openly. Moreover, while I am eager for the much nicer and more sensible next generations to take over our social and political lives, I will point out one thing: that we made them. 

For all our faults, we boomers appear to have been terrific parents.

170 comments:

Tony Fisk said...

Heh! In light of this essay's conclusion, I note that our "great music" includes the line "hope I die before I get old."

(not that I endorse the sentiment.)

LarryHart said...

@Tony Fisk,

The thing is, that line was emblematic of Baby Boomer sentiment in the 1960s. Even after all these years hearing about "aging Baby Boomers", I still can't wrap my head around the idea that "Baby Boomer" now represents crotchety old people.

I don't mean that I can't believe I'm old (which I reluctantly but certainly do believe). I mean that the term itself has become a different thing, in fact the opposite thing from what it was.

LarryHart said...

Reposting from the previous thread, because I was really asking a question that someone here might know an answer for...

You remind me of something I haven't thought about in the twenty or so years since I read Kim Stanley Robinson's "Red Mars". In that book, a science team of some sort was having a difficult time living in the almost no-gravity conditions on Phobos. One of the scientists or engineers (I forget exactly who) suggested creating a high-speed rail car to circle the globe, creating its own pseudo-gravity inside.

My thought at the time, which I didn't then dwell on, was that that would produce the opposite effect of that intended, making gravity inside the car lighter. Or were the people inside the train car meant to walk on the ceiling of the car instead? As I know there are KSR fans posting here, does anyone have a more informed take on this part of the book?

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Larry
Phobos's gravity is about 1/2000th of a G - basically bugger all
It would take over 2 seconds to fall one millimeter

So you "walk on the ceilings" of the trains

LarryHart said...

@Duncan,

I thought that might be the case, but the novel didn't specify.

I suppose then that the wheels have to be held to the inside of the tracks in order to prevent the train from launching itself into space?

Zepp Jamieson said...

@ Larry Hart: "The thing is, that line was emblematic of Baby Boomer sentiment in the 1960s. Even after all these years hearing about "aging Baby Boomers", I still can't wrap my head around the idea that "Baby Boomer" now represents crotchety old people."

Yeah, I look in the mirror and I see an old cane shaker who yells at kids to git off his lawn! Don't have a cane or a lawn, but you get the idea.

I think an active imagination is the best anti-aging process available to humans. It doesn't guarantee you won't become a crotchety old fart, but it improves your odds.

Boomers: the generation that loved Bobby Kennedy and voted for Trump. Historians are going to have fun with us.

Tim H. said...

LarryHart, picture an overhead track built around Phobos, with the train underneath. The passengers "Up" would be towards the interior. Windows might become an unpleasant distraction.

Daniel Duffy said...

Larry,

The radius of Phobos is 7 miles. Such a train would have to move at about 750 mph to create a centripetal force of 1 full g and overcome the weal hobos gravity to allow its occupant to walk on the ceiling. A similar train on Ceres (294 miles radius) would have to move at 5,000 mph. (http://www.calctool.org/CALC/phys/newtonian/centrifugal)

Fastest Japanese maglev train moves at 375 mph.

Fastest recorded aircraft speed is Mach 2.35 (1,550 mph)

Jon S. said...

Why one full g? I'd think .5g would be sufficient.

Tim H. said...

Daniel, your fastest recorded aircraft speed is outdated, Mach 3 is a solved problem.

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

Boomers: the generation that loved Bobby Kennedy and voted for Trump.


That's the part that seems unreal to me.

I was a child in the 1960s when most of the Boomers were actually doing stuff, but I felt as if I belonged to that generation of idealists. And the very concept of youth seemed to go hand in hand with the Boomer zeitgeist. "Never trust anyone over thirty" was a real slogan, and implicit in there was "And there's no need to trust anyone over thirty, because there are so many of us young'uns that we'll cast the world in our image."

I get that youth doesn't last. I get that idealism gets suborned by the realities of living. It doesn't surprise me that Baby Boomers as a clade would get less idealistic and more conservative over time. But those are relative terms. It boggles my mind that Baby Boomers as a clade have not only become everything they despised in the older generation, but defend to the death their right to be crotchety, fearful, and miserable.

Sure, it's easy to become our parents as we age, and to become crotchety, but I've always felt that doing so would be a failure to "not go gentle into that good night." I have a hard time imagining anyone--let alone an entire generation--intentionally doing so with malice aforethought. And that the generation in question used to be emblematic of idealistic youth culture? How did this happen?

Winter7 said...

Jon S:
It had not occurred to me that it was possible to use perchlorates ... Use solid fuel rockets to take off on Mars ... I suppose it is convenient, whenever possible to separate perchlorates from all impurities.
It is unfortunate that there is great contamination of perchlorates on Mars; because perchlorate reduces the production of thyroid hormone in the thyroid gland How did this happen? Did excessive radiation cause electrical storms that produced perchlorates when it rained on Mars and there was water? (rain water + chloride + electric discharge of rays = perchlorates). The evaporation of all surface water causes the remaining water to be saturated with salts and minerals.
I wonder if it will be enough to distill the water to rid it of all toxic substances. Anyway, we must disinfect the water perfectly. Our organisms could not defend themselves from the viruses and bacteria that exist in the caves of Mars and a few meters underground in some places on Mars. After all, we do not want a larva of Mars to grow in our brain and go out and open up to bites. It is fortunate for us that Mars has a sterile and lifeless surface. Maybe that will prevent the colonists from contracting some unstoppable virus or bacteria. But I would be very surprised if nobody ever gets sick of a Martian virus. I hope that the first colony anywhere in the solar system has a laboratory-hospital, with everything necessary to face a deadly epidemic.

Winter7 said...

LarryHart
I thought everyone agreed that the best option to get "artificial gravity" was the use of centrifugal force when placing the colonies inside huge rotating cylinders. (I still think it is the best option) but I believe that these cylinders should have only the necessary diameter and an unlimited length, because the most important thing is to be able to divide the interior into many sections with ease, to minimize the damage caused by the impact of a meteorite. Many rotating rings with dividing sections could also be a better option. (until the gravitational wave modulator is ... That is, until we learn to control the force of gravity)

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarryHart said...

Winter7:

I thought everyone agreed that the best option to get "artificial gravity" was the use of centrifugal force when placing the colonies inside huge rotating cylinders


You're talking about a space station. The novel I mentioned ("Red Mars") portrayed the idea of a train circling the surface of Phobos itself in order to give colonists a tolerable gravity to live in. That's what I was asking about, as to whether the train would have to be "upside down" to do that.

It might be easier to construct a habitat which travels in a smaller circle than the entire circumference of the moon. In that case, the "cars" would be sideways rather than upside-down. There are already amusement park rides which simulate sideways gravity in real life.

LarryHart said...

Winter7:

That is, until we learn to control the force of gravity


We haven't even really discovered gravity yet, although a 1950s book by James Blish (collected as "Cities in Flight") claims that it will be discovered this year (2018), after having been postulated for millennia.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Keep in mind that the baby boomer generation has been under consistent and organized subversion by the far right going back to Nixon (as an effective political and propagandistic force) and as a less effective force going back to WW2.
Doctor Brin likes to talk about how we're still fighting the Confederacy, and he's right about that. But we are also fighting fascism, with the movers and shakers of the far right often having direct links going back to the John Birchers and the German-American Bund. Some, such as the Kochs, even have family links directly to the Third Reich. They have spent billions on convincing Americans that the Constitution is liberal bullshit, and we can't live without the caring and protection of the rich and corporations.

David Brin said...

LH & Zepp: “Boomers: the generation that loved Bobby Kennedy and voted for Trump”

Sorry guys. A third of boomers were always on the right, helped to propel Reagan and so on. Much of it stomping on their union-member elders. And Trump’s base is … about a third.

Yeah, the GOP’s share of grumpy white boomer males has increased. Maybe doubled! But there’s still huge numbers of either liberal or pragmatic-fact-user boomers. Recall that the GOP won the presidency 3 or the last five times, while winning the popular vote only once.

And that’s while cheating like mad!

Winter7 harsh! All you really need is to train girls to utterly reject bad guys. Not only will this reward the good ones and breed out the nastiness. But in the shorter term, all the average guys will try to imitate the winners. Today, that means pretending to be an asshole. In that future, it’ll mean pretending to be a decent fellow so consistently that it becomes habitual.

locumranch said...


This "training girls" idea is sexist, hateful & entirely indefensible.

An ever-so-enlightened David offers us "the ultimate weapon in this fight for justice and decency. The cure - over the long run - must come from a form of Darwinian selection" and breathes life & respectability into the long vilified field of Eugenics. First proposed in 1883 by British Scientist Francis Galton, Eugenics was described as a system that would allow “the more suitable races or strains of blood a better chance of prevailing speedily over the less suitable".

Eugenics was popularised by such luminaries as Marie Stopes (feminist & family planning pioneer), HG Wells (author), George Bernard Shaw (playwright), Bertrand Russell (philosopher), John Maynard Keynes (economist), Winston Churchill (prime minister) & Theodore Roosevelt (president) during the early 1900s, only to fall into some disrepute when it was enthusiastically adopted by German Nazi Party who used it to justify the extermination of all sorts of criminals, deplorables, undesirables, jews, gypsies & homosexuals.

I can only respond to David's brave final solution to the problem of "about the one-quarter of human males who are clearly unsuitable for civilized company (and) another quarter who… well… badly need remedial help for better impulse control" with a (1) hearty 'Bully, Bully for you', (2) 'What could possibly go wrong?' and (3) 'By all means, let's start by sterilising those males with criminal histories & poor impulse control right away so we can move on to the ones who are short, fat, politically conservative, mentally deficient, unattractive, unintelligent, disobedient, misogynistic & potentially undateable'.

'The judicious application of Eugenic Selection leads to the Perfect Pinkerian Utopian', David seems to suggest, so we may as well let the culling commence, taking great care to purge undesirable women as well lest we all be accused of sexism & gender inequality:

Cry 'Havoc!' and let slip the Dogs of Gender War.


Best
_____

All Enlightened Boomers are encouraged to take themselves out early -- pop pop -- because they are the primary drivers of climate change with their cars, aeroplanes, central air conditioning, malls, McMansions & factory farms.

Realise that your selfish desire to live to a comfortable old age is incredibly harmful to the collective, so feel bad about yourself & let the White Male Demographic, age 45 to 64, be your patriarchal suicide guide. And, while those of you with a social conscience off yourselves out of WEIRD guilt, the unenlightened amongst us will laugh, drink, screw & cry 'Molon Labe'.

TASAT: 'The Bridge' (1973), written by D. Keith Mano, wherein a guilt-ridden human race chooses suicide in order to save the environment.

David Brin said...

1) Women have a perfect right to choose to mate with whomever they like. I want my daughter to choose someone who has self-control and who will treat her well. If all girls do that, then the vast middle of males will try to be more like that, in order to breed. When put that way, there is absolutely zero overlap with locum's jibbering whining.

Maybe guys like you won't be chosen, under that criterion. Nice guys will have it better. Tough cookies fellah. Some games ARE zero sum! And assholes had advantage way too long.

Hey! Wow! Someone else who read Keith Mano's The Bridge? Actually pretty clever polemic? Stunningly loony, of course. But kinda entertaining, for all of that.

David Dorais said...

Like the article and comments. But wanted to note one absence. In the body of the article it seems we went from Baby Boomer to Millennials and skipped over the Gen Xers. Why? My daughter's generation is saddled with huge debt, was saddled between good times and got into labor markets during downturns-- if anyone is going to effect change it may be those who were most screwed by their birth order. Maybe. Many are NOT even having kids because they can't afford them or homes or cars, etc. So asking them to pay attention to only hooking up with the best men may be asking too much to keep in mind. Again, maybe. I don't know just bringing up this oversight for discussion.

Alfred Differ said...

@Daniel Duffy | That's the whole point of colonization.

Yes... and No. Trade was still expected.

A space based civilization whose essential costs are basically zero.

I get your point, but think you are neglecting that 'time' costs money, thus the limit of essential costs won't be zero. It will be the time cost of money.

Add these two together and you get what I think the real limitation is on colonization. It HAS to be incremental enough for trade to continue between the parts of civilization. If getting to Mars takes too long to make trade with a Mars colony practical, a Mars colony will not exist. What is 'practical' depends on many things, but ultimately it will involve the time cost of money because every investment has opportunity costs.

Duncan Cairncross said...

On Alfred's comments about the "time cost" of money

That time cost is related to interest rates
One of the things that Adam Smith goes on about in Wealth of Nations is how artificially high interest rates completely stuff things up and drive good investments OUT

IMHO this is what is happening at the moment and is leading to asset bubbles AND is preventing good investments at sensible returns from being done

The problem is that the economy need more money - BUT it needs more money at the bottom where it will be used
And not at the "Top" where it will simply create bubbles

If interest rates were low then long term planning makes more sense

Alfred Differ said...

For opportunity costs it isn't the interest rate charge by creditors. It is the rate of return I might make doing something else. Both kinds have to be considered. When I look at my retirement investments, I tend to use equity index funds to compare my options. As I get older, I might shift to a fixed income index. Either way, there are other opportunities in which I could a risk.

I'm not sure that money at the bottom prevents bubbles either. Asset bubbles and inflation bubbles are both annoying.

As for artificial rates, I don't see much danger of that in the US right now. They are pretty low and mostly reflect what people are willing to charge and pay for them. For space projects, there is no real market for anything beyond LEO which means IRR's are going to be up in the 'speculative' range. This happens to Earth-based startups too, so it isn't new.

greg byshenk said...

Maybe a nitpick, but in the previous stream,

Daniel Duffy said...
And while Columbus and Magellan eventually returned home after their voyages of discovery[...]

But Magellan did not return home; he was killed during his famed circumnavigation - though his party completed it without him.

TCB said...

@Larry and Daniel Duffy, the surface gravity on Ceres is less than 3% of Earth gravity and that on Phobos is trivial. The best solution for artificial gravity there is to build towers and put your spinning habitats on those (sideways like a Ferris wheel or horizontally like a carousel, probably doesn't matter.) Yes, the cities would look like big amusement parks.

You'd have to enter and exit from the center of the axis, natch. As for where these wheel habs are located, it might be easier to put them deep underground or under pressurized domes.

Also, big TV screens are the obvious window solution, even with 2018 technology.

TCB said...

@LarryHart, woops, you covered everything I just said.

One really must read the entire thread, eh?

Zepp Jamieson said...

David Brin wrote: "A third of boomers were always on the right, helped to propel Reagan and so on. Much of it stomping on their union-member elders. And Trump’s base is … about a third."

To be sure, in my college days about a third of my generation was conservative. (Maybe one in ten might have identified with the lunatics who call themselves "conservative" today, but that for another time). The large majority were to the left of Bernie Sanders, or as they were called back then, "moderates".
But the face of the Baby Boomer generation is white and (mostly) male, and 60% of them voted for Trump. The generation as a whole didn't just slide right; it slid FAR right. The Goldwater boomers would have been appalled at what passes for GOP policy these days, and utterly horrified by Trump.

LarryHart said...

@Dr Brin,

Distasteful as it seems to agree with loc on anything, I do have to say that the meme of "training" women in their role of selecting men probably isn't helpful. For better or worse, women have to decide these things for themselves. We (meaning both "we" men and "we" influential people of either gender) can argue and persuade, but women as individuals and as social groups will ultimately decide for themselves.

Some will not decide the way we'd like. There is a large contingent of women who say they prefer gentlemen who treat them and their children well, but are in fact biologically drawn to machismo, wealth, and celebrity. There is a subset who don't even pretend otherwise. After Trump's famous remark about "grabbing by the pussy" was made public, a female letter-writer to the Chicago Tribune remarked that Trump was welcome to grab her by the pussy any time he wanted. In those words, even. Assholes will never be driven to extinction, and there's probably a good biological reason why the human race requires there to be a certain percentage of them around.

I'm not saying anything here you don't already know. In The Postman, it was Dena herself who came up with the "crazy" idea that women should be culling the species. She taught it to other women, many but not all of whom were receptive to the idea. That's the only way it's going to work.

LarryHart said...

I said:

We haven't even really discovered gravity yet, although a 1950s book by James Blish (collected as "Cities in Flight") claims that it will be discovered this year (2018), after having been postulated for millennia.


I've been poorly paraphrasing James Blish, so I owe it to the guy to accurately quote him at least once in the actual year of 2018. This from the prologue to "Earthman, Come Home", part of Blish's Cities In Flight collection of stories:


The invention of Muir's tape-mass engine carried early explorers out as far as Jupiter; and gravity was discovered--though it had been postulated centuries before--by the 2018 Jovian expedition.


At least I got the year right. :)

Paul SB said...

A few years back I heard a story on the radio in which people recorded men in Africa saying a common greeting, then they played back the recordings to women, asking them which man they would be most interested in based on voice alone. The majority chose the man with the deepest voices. But when they did the same on the streets of New York, women thought the men with the deepest voices sounded scary and preferred the middle-range voices. What Dr. Brin is suggesting is already happening. However, we need to look at other circumstances that make these kinds of changes possible.

The African women stressed in their choices that the man with the deep voice sounded like he would be able to protect them, but protection did not come up in the New Yorkers. Quite the opposite, the men with the deeper voices sounded more menacing, like people they would need protection from. The change has a lot to do with how effectively law and order are kept. I would expect that if this experiment were conducted in African American neighborhoods, or in many Southern towns and cities, as well as Chicago or Detroit, you would get results more like the African results.Racial profiling, ghetto living conditions and a culture that honors male violence create the social conditions in which the 20% smaller sex feel a need for a personal defender. In places where law and order hold more sway, they feel less need to have someone watching their backs every minute of the day. No doubt you would get the same results if you tried this in the Middle East and Europe. In the former there is a culture of vendetta that legal authorities do not always stop, while the latter has stronger law enforcement institutions and traditions.

One important point is that a culture both shapes and is shaped by the people who are raised in it. That means that change can happen, but there is a natural resistance to it. When you contextualize people's socio-political views, I think you will find that the effectiveness of the justice system is a huge factor. What makes sense to someone living in Seattle seems stupid to someone living in Birmingham, and vice versa.

Treebeard said...

LOL @ getting rid of predation and turning men into Eloi. The only way you're gonna get rid of predation in this 'verse is to eliminate life. And a race of tame, docile men is a prescription for species death. It's amazing how people who are intelligent on paper can be so stupid and lacking in common sense in reality. It once again proves that the biggest menace to humanity are nerds who had sand kicked in their faces by jocks, and seek their revenge through grandiose world-engineering schemes. It's also why such people need to continue to be bullied: to prevent them from actually trying to implement their deranged and delusional schemes.

Anonymous said...



David Brin:
Yes. The message is harsh because it was cooking and I wrote it very quickly.
I can not deny that I detest serial killers and serial rapists. It is necessary to be severe in these matters, because when a wolf has tasted human flesh, that wolf will continue to hunt humans. And there are too many wolves in the world.
It is certainly necessary that parents advise their daughters correctly. And the martial arts thing is a good idea. But it's not enough.
Good government must do what is required to keep women safe. And if it is required to create "PreCrime", it would be great, as long as we use common sense and ... Yes. The facts.
Unfortunately, my words have served as an excuse to "locumranch" to compare us with the fascists. Maybe locumranch does not know when I'm kidding and when I'm serious. Actually, if I were in charge, I would be severe with the wolves. That is sure. But he would respect the rights of everyone else. By the way (Brin, there is a button to erase insulting messages).
Back to the topic. Is not it funny how the physical and psychological profile of serial killers looks a lot like the profile of Donald Trump's followers?
I think that the accusations of Donald Trump's followers are meant to make us angry or discouraged. Harassment strategies to undermine our forces. But in reality, the attacks of the far right only serve as a reminder that the oligarchs are criminals, because the leaders of a gang are more guilty than the other gang members.
The oligarchs have a lot of money. But a mafia leader is still a mobster and when said mobster has trillions of dollars.
Those of us who fight for true democracy are not ashamed of our actions, because everything we have we earn by our own efforts, instead, the followers of the oligarchs live parasitically, and sell for some money the future of their own descendants So, do Donald Trump's parasites believe that everyone they appreciate can fit into the machinery of the oligarchs? And we well know that the oligarchs subdue or destroy everything that is not useful to them. Such is the nature of the evil we face.
Hummm Does anyone happen to know what the ideal font size and font size is for a standard 6 "x 9" softcover book?
It's not that I think about publishing something. It is simply a fact that you may need someday.
Winter 7

LarryHart said...

Alfred Differ:

I'm not sure that money at the bottom prevents bubbles either. Asset bubbles and inflation bubbles are both annoying.


A nail is not the solution to every problem. Injecting money at the bottom makes sense when the goal is to stimulate the economy, or in our host's words, when we need to increase the velocity of money. That's not always the situation that we're in, but it certainly was in 2008.

LarryHart said...

TCB:

the surface gravity on Ceres is less than 3% of Earth gravity and that on Phobos is trivial. The best solution for artificial gravity there is to build towers and put your spinning habitats on those (sideways like a Ferris wheel or horizontally like a carousel, probably doesn't matter.) Yes, the cities would look like big amusement parks.


Whether trains or Disney Land rides, it seems to me there has to be multiple redundancies in place in case something breaks. Whatever form the thing is in, it's going to be "trying" very hard to leave the surface of the moon at escape velocity.

Anonymous said...

Colonies in space can not operate independently until they reach a point of technological self-sufficiency in the most vital aspects.
Would the factory settlers have to create their own computers; integrated circuits; lathes; etc…?
Meanwhile, the colonies will require a constant flow of materials; spare parts and machines from the planet Earth.
Trade and jobs are necessary, consequently, the conquest of space will not be free. In the long term, prices will be reduced, but only to the extent that the colonists become more independent in energy, food and production of everything a civilization needs.
Winter 7

LarryHart said...

Winter7:

Unfortunately, my words have served as an excuse to "locumranch" to compare us with the fascists. Maybe locumranch does not know when I'm kidding and when I'm serious.


It's not just you. Loc's stock in trade is to pretend that we're advocating the exact opposite of what we actually are. 'You tolerance folks are awfully intolerant of the intolerant--hypocrites!" That sort of thing. A variation on the theme is to caricature us as extreme Nazis in the libtard cause, and then point out how badly we're failing to live up to the caricature. "You set a trap for male sexual abusers, and now a woman has been caught up in it. Suckers!"

David Brin said...

I love it when jerks are lured into revealing themselves. the ent actually openly avows to have been one of those junior high school bullies. How's that going for you, fellah? Nerds are billionaires, dating starlets.

Every year, school level bullying declines because of long-overdue intervention. Meanwhile, your yammered-hysterical hallucination... that less bullying results in wimpiness... is disproved as active personal sports skyrocket. Your nerd today goes to the gym and is outdoors a lot more than your beer-swilled, pot-bellied, pasty-skinned ass.

Your solace is purely imaginary. Seriously, go look up the guys you bullied earlier. Go see them and try it now.

Oh, and you are going to hell for what you did. There's that, too. Envision the testimony of every single nerd you bullied. Yep. Hell. Enjoy.

Jon S. said...

I don't know about this "training" thing, but I've always taught my daughter that she's no less a person than anyone else, and deserving of her own individuality. This has been especially important for her, as she's profoundly autistic - a demographic highly prone to abuse, as they have difficulty communicating clearly enough to tell anyone about it.

She's sixteen now; so far, there have been two incidents of someone trying to, ah, take liberties, the first when she was five (another young child trying to touch her bottom) and the second about two years ago (a young man trying to grope her in a hallway at school). In both cases, she told them "no" very firmly the first time, then decked them the second.

I'm quite proud of her. And I want her to grow up feeling that she doesn't need to select a mate to "protect" her, because she can do that well enough herself, thank you very much.

Treebeard said...

Just to clear up the apparent confusion: I'm a northern Blue-Stater, very fit, I don't drink, I'm not a Christian and I don't believe in Hell. I was also a nerd when I was young, not a bully. My point is that these brilliant, genetically superior saviors of humanity are also the most dangerous, unhinged and destructive people around. I'm not particularly threatened by traditional-type people, even the bullies; but nerds who think they can radically re-engineer everything without limit, because of some childhood trauma, pathology or need to over-compensate, are a threat to everything good and sane in existence.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Winter7

While it may make you feel better the evidence is that locking people up for longer simply makes the problem worse

The USA leads in long prison sentences and in recividism

Norway has shorter sentences much much nicer jails and lower recidivism and overall lower crime and less violence

Paul SB said...

Some of the imitation ent's comments are things he has brought up before. I remember him claiming, a few years back, to have been a wimp but started taking testosterone injections, and now he's über-manly. He also referred to himself as a pagan, though when I asked for more clarity he didn't respond. It is of little significance, however. We are swimming in a world of science, where it doesn't matter where you come from, what you look like or what god/s you worship, it only matters if you are right. This one shares with Alfred that paranoia that smart people will try to "fix" civilization and destroy it in the process (sorry about the comparison, Alfred, it's not character but idea that I am comparing). This view is an unsurprising result of the spectacular failure of Communism in the 20th Century, and the Cold War propaganda people from my generation back to the early Boomers were weaned on. But being understandable does not make a thing right, either factually, conceptually or morally.

Humans have pretty much always striven to improve their lot. Some only think about improving their own lot, personally, some go beyond that to family and friends, and many get downright tribal about it. But there has also always been a current of "Peace on Earth and Goodwill Toward Men ..." which has gone even beyond that qualifier to include all humans and even all of life on Earth. There will always be those who plan. That what encephalization is for. But just like genes, plans go through a selection process. Some plans survive and reproduce themselves, others die and are forgotten. It is that ability to plan that made humans the dominant species on the planet and the only ones with the potential to spread their genome and their memome off this planet. Of course no plan is perfect, just as no person is perfect, no genome is perfect, and even the idea of progress can be illusory, subjective and reversible.

Paul SB said...

con.t,

I don't want to put too many words into our host's mouth, but I think what he was getting at where he wrote about "training" women was nothing like Mao's re-education camps. An anthropologist would call it /enculturation/ and it is already happening, and has been for quite some time. That's why the throwbacks are so angry. They can't get girlfriends because it is getting harder and harder to find women who want to live in the Dark Ages when they were sworn to obey without question, assume their own "natural" inferiority and be treated like cattle. "Training" might have just been an unfortunate word choice. Jon says he taught his daughter certain things, and perhaps he did, but most of these kinds of things are learned without being taught. Our children hear how we talk, see how we treat others, and mirror us. My daughter knows respect because I have respect and show it. I never needed to tell her that she is as good as any man - that's just a "no duh" to most people in the more civilized places in this world in the younger generations. They grew up with their mothers working, making money, making decisions, throwing out bad boyfriends, etc. with equal alacrity as their fathers. To old people who grew up when sexual harassment was a normal perk of management and mindless brawling was how a man established his worth as a human being, this age seems very alien.

Predation is a similar matter. Every human society has to deal somehow with their warriors after they come home from battle, so their "warrior spirit" does not lead to them killing their own people. Many small-scale cultures use purification rituals, putting their warriors into a liminal state that is meant to psychologically prepare them for more peaceful times. Modern societies lack these kind son traditions. Instead they have political systems which try to promote violence so that they can call on violent people to do unto their neighbors in a pinch whenever they think it is to their advantage. I have said before that the claim that men are "naturally" violent is a meaningless claim, except to provide an excuse for bad behavior. All that grey stuff between the ears are capable of seeing violence as one option to deal with any situation. Sometimes violence appears to be the best or quickest option, especially to people who have become accustomed to using it. That does not make it inevitable. Nor does it mean that a society without internal violence will become a society sheep who make easy pickings for outsiders. You don't need huge muscles and a hair-pin temper to fight with cruise missiles and drones. But huge muscles and a hair-pin temper are great tools for the child abuser, the rapist, the common criminal.

Paul SB said...

Duncan,

I'm sure you can appreciate the irony of President Grope declaring that the US should be getting more immigrants from Norway instead of more impoverished places. I doubt there are a whole lot of Norwegians who would want to come here, and if so, it would be more a matter of migrating out of the Frozen North than going to a "better country."

David Brin said...

The ent is a liar. We can see you for what you are. You actually believe we credit your claim to be a fit, former-bullied, never a bully? Har! And I don't give a damn whether you claim not to believe in Hell. I planted a seed at the back of your mind and you can't dig it out. Every former victim of yours is rising up now, in memory. And we don't know what happens after death.

Your utterly fact-free accusation that a liberal civilization, which is better by every conceivable metric than your beloved (totally imaginary) virtuous feudalisms, is actually worse, is pathetic. Even by macho metrics! We are fitter and more active and vigorous than ever. And those who win today's myriad competitions do so facing a wide playing field.

Your SOB feudal lords did one thing above all, cheated. They fxed every single game to ensure their sons would win. Racism sexism, classism, prejudice were all designed to ensure that the cowards would not face upstarts who might reveal those sons to be deficient. You.... are... cheaters. You take pride in winning rigged games.

There is nothing in the world wimpier, you pasty skinned, beer-swilling grouchy whining fool

Viking said...

@Paul SB, 1:30PM

We are indeed few and far between, Norwegians choosing to live in the U. S. A.

Regarding the groper in chief, he has taken a liking to the portly Norwegian PM.

https://s17.postimg.org/8voq4regf/trump_solberg.jpg

Twominds said...

@Paul SB

IfNorwegians would and could come to the US in sufficient numbers, Trump would get a nasty surprise! They'd almost all be Democrat or further to the left!

LarryHart said...

Treebeard:

It once again proves that the biggest menace to humanity are nerds who had sand kicked in their faces by jocks, and seek their revenge through grandiose world-engineering schemes. It's also why such people need to continue to be bullied: to prevent them from actually trying to implement their deranged and delusional schemes.


Even ignoring the deplorableness of your worldview here, what you propose makes no logical sense. If bullying has been the cause of nerds destroying the world via revenge schemes, then to invoke Ronald Reagan, "Bullying is not the solution to the problem. Bullying is the problem."

LarryHart said...

Twominds:

If Norwegians would and could come to the US in sufficient numbers, Trump would get a nasty surprise! They'd almost all be Democrat or further to the left!


Heh. Wisconsin has a big ad campaign here in the Chicago area, trying to lure millennials to the "better" living conditions and (not really) lower taxes of Wisconsin. I wonder if they've thought that scheme through. The people they are aiming the ads at are not likely to vote for Governor Scott Walker.

LarryHart said...

Viking:

Regarding the groper in chief, he has taken a liking to the portly Norwegian PM.


People talking about the whole s###hole countries quote seem to forget the part about Trump having just met with the Norwegian delegation a day or so before. When he said we should have more immigrants from Norway, of course there was an element of "fill-in-the-blank White country", but it was also more specific than that. He enjoyed his visit with that guy, and for Trump, the personal is everything. "Why can't we have more people like that jolly fellow I just had an uneventful meeting with?"

Paul SB said...

Larry, you need to look at that picture our Viking linked to. It wasn't that guy.

Btw, how did you end up in America, Viking?

jollyspaniard said...

I take issue with the notion that women "choose" assholes. The worst of the worst come off as nice guys. Remember Ted Bundy? In my experience the worst predators present themselves as "nice".

And I suspect Darwinian selection won't cut it. There is a gene associated with Sociopaths but it's highly cultural dependent. Taiwan has the highest occurrence of the gene and the lowest number of sociopaths. There appears to be a complex relationship between genes and culture that isn't understood.

Anonymous said...

@Paul SB 2:46PM:

I won the green card lottery as a student in 1991. And it was not by chance.

David Brin said...

jollyspaniard, the totally legitimate complaint of nice guys who spent vast lonely periods of their teens and 20s and 30s alone, watching their women friends repeatedly and again and again choose abusive assholes, is not up for your chiding. We were there. we saw it. We heard the incessant whine "where are all the nice men?" These women would moan it AT US! They would even say: "Why can't I find a nice guy like you." Seriously, I cannot count the number of times I heard exactly that phrasing!

As their man friends we had to squelch the blatant, open insult of it. Knowing that we couldn't even feel sorry for ourselves, because our woman friends were clearly - of course - suffering worse than we were. The abuse they suffered from their chosen lovers was worse - sure - than our mere frustration and loneliness. So sure. perspective.

But our pain was real! And the syndrome was pervasive. And I finally decided to stop mooning over habitual masochists. I married a woman who NEVER had a mean boyfriend and who liked herself enough to ALWAYS choose nice guys. And I was the last one. And I felt honored.

It's like that disgusting ent, wailing about his deprived right to bully. Jesus! Victims need to fight back! But it starts by accepting that you may be making really bad choices.

Paul SB said...

It's not just the "Why can't I find a nice guy like you?" - there's also the "You're so sweet!" which is code for "You're not attractive at all, but I'm to polite to say it to your face."

Serious research has shown that mature women in Western countries tend to choose the nice guys because nice guys will help them take care of the kids, big, sexy chunks of maleness won't, they are too busy looking for more to mate with. But when women cheat, mostly during the peak of their estrus cycle, they go after the big tough dudes. Once micro satellite DNA was worked out, there was an experiment in which every baby born in a hospital in Wisconsin was tested for a year, along with the two "parents." About 25% of the babies were not related to the men listed as the father on the birth certificate.

Stupid women, of course, buy all the programming (oops, I mean enculturation) that says they should be attracted to big, brutal men. It doesn't occur to them that big, brutal men might turn that brutality on them. If they thought the way the Bible teaches us to think, they would get that in their eyes women are trophies, not people, and in no way deserve to be treated like people.

Any discussion of male behavior inevitably comes down to our assumptions about testosterone and instinct. It's easy to assume that the biological component of human behavior reigns supreme, but as our Jolly Spaniard pointed out, there is a relationship between genes and culture that is not entirely understood. That's no duh material to a modern anthropologist. Humans are bio-cultural animals. They cannot be reduced to one or the other.

TCB said...

Funny all this talk about Norway right about now. Reminds me of Sicko, Michael Moore's movie about the US health care system, in which he visited several other countries, including France, the UK and Cuba.

He also went to Norway, and that footage was left out of the movie because he didn't think people in the US would even believe it.

P.S. a ridiculous number of people have nothing nice whatsoever to say about Michael Moore, but he's braver than any ten of his critics.

LarryHart said...

TCB:

a ridiculous number of people have nothing nice whatsoever to say about Michael Moore, but he's braver than any ten of his critics.


The preemptory dismissal of Michael Moore--the attempt to get people to discount him as looney even before listening to him--seems to be standard operating procedure for the right these days. It's being tried on Mueller right now.

jollyspaniard:

I take issue with the notion that women "choose" assholes. The worst of the worst come off as nice guys. Remember Ted Bundy? In my experience the worst predators present themselves as "nice".


Dave Sim used to describe the phenomenon in terms of women reacting well to the honesty expressed by an unfeeling a-hole who only wants physical satisfaction and isn't pretending otherwise. As opposed to the guys weave it into the whole romantic relationship thing.

He also had a not-so-nice theory that women accurately perceive their own worth in a relationship to be less than the romantic guys make it out to be, and that they at least subconsciously know better than to get involved with some guy who puts them on a pedestal, and will presumably come to regret that later. With the a-holes, what they see is what they get.

I don't know that his rantings explain everything, but I don't entirely discount them either. They do explain at least some situations I was in before I was married.

LarryHart said...

Paul SB:

Stupid women, of course, buy all the programming (oops, I mean enculturation) that says they should be attracted to big, brutal men.


I don't want to argue anthropology with you, but in my experience, it's not so much that women are encouraged to like big, brutal men, but rather that a subset of them do prefer that type, despite cultural programming telling them they should prefer nice, stable guys. There's a big disconnect between what they proclaim to desire in a man vs what characteristics they actually reward.

TCB said...

Okay, let's talk artificial gravity on Phobos.

Basic facts: Phobos has a mean radius a little more than 11 kilometers and is tidally locked to Mars, 7 hours 39.2 minutes as both its day and orbital period. The surface grav is trivial and escape velocity 41 km/h or about as fast as you can ride a bicycle.

Question: if cabled towers ringed its equator, how tall would they need to be to offer one Earth gravity at their tops? In other words, imagine Phobos as the hub of the 'space station' with its rim at 1g.

I found Spincalc, an online artificial grav calculator.

In Angular Velocity I input .00217864923 revolutions per minute, that's once in 459.2 minutes; and of course 1 Earth G.

ALAS!

It's telling me the towers must be 188,000 kilometers tall. Mars is only 6000 kilometers away.

Problem?

TCB said...

Wait. You could have EXACTLY ONE such tower, on the side away from Mars. That tidal lock gives you this much, or so it seems to me.

Second question: can carbon cables and deep anchors work in this case?

Tony Fisk said...

If the intention is to provide access to zero G on Phobos, why not just push the lab into orbit around Phobos? I must be missing something.

TCB said...

@Tony, the talk upthread was how to get 1G on the surface of someplace that's not Earth, for long-term living.

So, in the case of Phobos, for instance, there may be ways, but all are very Rube Goldberg.

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Duncan Cairncross said...

Winter
I was the one that commented about punishment - and I'm probably the one on this forum furthest from Treabeard

You can spout on about justice and punishment

I'm an engineer I am much more concerned about what WORKS!!

And the US high punishment long sentences system demonstrably works a LOT WORSE than the Norwegian short sentences low punishment system

Winter7 said...

Duncan Cairncross:
I do not know the punishment system in Norway.
I must clarify that I am also interested in using what is most effective, because "I am an inventor". (Nothing prolific for the expensive patents in Mexico, but the machines are working there, in my mind)
I suppose you will agree that the victims should receive justice. I can understand that many desire less hardness against sexual offenders. But I suppose it is a question of opinions, rather than exact measures, because the morals and customs of men are not only very variable, but that men's brains are often broken.

Winter7 said...

TCB:
Spincalc, the online artificial gravitation calculator is an interesting tool.
As for using the moon Phobos as the center of a rotating space station, I think it is possible, since Phobos is not very heavy and it is feasible to turn that moon. As I understood, you talk about placing two towers on opposite sides of Phobos, then placing the habitats on top of those towers, whose internal ceilings would be the ground, thanks to the centrifugal force.
Good idea. But turning Phobos would make it difficult to use telescopes and radar antennas on the surface of that moon. And the mining operations on that moon would be more risky (roof collapses) ... One thing is obtained, and another is lost. Perhaps, Deimos is more appropriate for the project in question.

Winter7 said...

Tony Fisk:
You suggest putting a rotating wheel station around Phobos. That moon is very small. ¿Is it possible to put a station of 200 tons in orbit of that moon, without risk?

Winter7 said...

Paul SB:
¿Do you say that political and judicial systems are subjected to a Darwinian selection?
If you're right, our hopes for a just future vanish, because the power of the oligarchs' money is a Darwinian force, which can cheat. But if that is the reality. The result of that selection will be more chains. Thus, it depends on the just ones that democracy is not exposed to random Darwinian selection.

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Paul SB said...

Larry,

Remember that culture is never entirely monolithic. For every nice guy you see on TV, there are quite a few "hunks" that are displayed for their musculature. I doubt too many consciously think that they should be attracted to assholes, but when they go for muscles and ignore nice guys, assholes is usually what they get. If you select for testosterone, you re electing for a whole package. The chemical's uses are much more flexible than most people know, but the stereotype is self-fulfilling. Muscular men in our culture generally feel like they deserve privileges, and the privileges they are most interested in are sexual. That does not mean all muscle-bound men are assholes, but a majority of them are. Remember what Sapolsky said about giving testosterone to monks? They would become extremely competitive about doing random acts of kindness. But because everyone thinks it's about aggression and violence, that's what most people do with their t-levels. There is a current in our culture that wants to downplay that and treat men as human beings rather than dangerous animals, then there's people like our imitation ent. Women are people just like men, and are just as varied.

David Brin said...

In HEART OF THE COMET we show the colonists simply setting up a rotating wheel... like in 2001... INSIDE a comet cavity.

Paul SB said...

Winter 7,

I think you may be misunderstanding the nature of selection. Darwinian selection acts against every living thing, but acts most strongly against those individuals that do not fit into their environment as well. Survival of the Fittest does not mean that the ones with the biggest muscles or the greatest penchant for brutality wins, it means that whatever works best will eventually replace those that do not work as well. The story of human evolution has been about groups working together in competition with other groups, so those that cooperate most effectively often have an advantage over those who only serve themselves. Sometimes. It depends on the circumstances. Don't despair - Darwin never said that it is the assholes who will always win. That was Herbert Spencer. Darwin said that the winners are generally the ones who are most adaptable, the ones that have the flexibility to change with changing circumstances. It flies in the face of conservatism, unless nothing is changing, in which case conservatism will win. Darwin was much more clever than Spencer, and centuries ahead of the fools who claim to be his "fittest."

Anonymous said...


Paul SB:
All right. Looking at the matter from that point of view, then everything depends on us finding the way to change society, creating a social system that works much better. that system will prosper and become popular, making people prefer to use that system.
Of course. The oligarchs will cling to what has already been obtained, but I suppose that, after some centuries, the ideal society will prevail as the preferred system. For which, I wonder if terrible sacrifices will be required.
Leaving aside that the Japanese culture in the Middle Ages was brutal and bloodthirsty, we can observe that the Japanese were able to preserve their culture until the modern age because they had the ability to remain independent of the influence of other powerful nations. From this, I deduce, that the only way to create a nation with a totally different political system, without dying in the attempt, is to ensure that this society is placed far from the grip of the oligarchs. (at least until such time as the nation shows that they have a better political system, that they are a more just society and that they have the means to defend themselves) Even if the oligarchs ignore the existence of this new nation, so much the better (and it is evident why)
Hence the beauty of the possibility of creating independent colonies in space. Like those experimental communes of the hippies that in the sixties abounded in the federal lands of the United States.
Winter 7

Anonymous said...

David Brin:
Excellent idea. We could place a rotating station inside Phobos. But creating a huge gap is a lot of effort.
I remember that the underground nuclear tests leave huge gaps. But radiation would be a problem.
Hooo. It is possible to create a huge hole inside an ice kite, because the ice is easy to melt! (That's probably why they chose an ice comet and not a solid rock asteroid in the novel, I suppose)
Winter 7

Anonymous said...

Y. I know they do not like to talk about the moon. But this seems important. They found something. (no, not a monolith)
This is the link:

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-lava-tube-skylights-north-pole.html

Cari D. Burstein said...

For what it's worth, as one of the women who was always friends with the nice guys, I've always assumed part of the problem is that nice guys tend to be pretty shy about actually expressing interest in a woman. For whatever their faults, the more confident men tend to try more often, which is generally likely to lead to a higher success rate. I have several male friends who are great people and would make a woman very happy, but are generally afraid to even ask anyone out. Since women still are socialized generally to wait for men to express interest in them, they tend to be a lot more likely to go out with the ones who ask. Men who ask more often also get better at doing it over time, which probably improves their success rate.

I'm not really representative of most women though, as physical attributes don't seem to do a thing for me. If someone really needs to wear a bag over their head to go out in public, that might be an issue, but I don't ever look at a guy and think he's hot, or really even evaluate whether I think he's handsome unless someone specifically asks me my opinion on it and I give it thought. So I would never even consider dating someone that wasn't nice and it baffles me that both men and women seem to do that all the time. I'm also pretty much incapable of reading signals or giving them, so if some nice guy was waiting for that to try asking me out it'd never happen (and pretty much didn't until college).

I do agree our culture really seems to emphasize going after the hot bad boy. I always saw those relationships on TV and movies and scratched my head wondering wtf these people were thinking.


Anonymous said...

Did you notice that at the end of the video, a bit above the pointer in movement, there is a crater with a rectangle in contact with two parallel lines? I'm not saying they are ruins. Possibly it is only lava tubes. But ... Forming angles? What a strange thing.

This is the link:

https://phys.org/news/2018-01-lava-tube-skylights-north-pole.html

Winter 7

Anonymous said...

Cari D. Burstein:
What you say confirms a problem: Wolves are more adept at pretending they are gentle and trustworthy people. I know you knew how to say: No. But not everyone does that.
  I know that the trick of the wolves works, because many people I met in various jobs, boasted of being great conquerors. Some of those "wolves" were married, others were not. But they all had something in common: They were not interested in marrying their lovers.
Yes. They spent on their partners, but only what was necessary to maintain the hopes of the women.
It was not unusual to see them in action. They always approached women smiling and with great confidence in themselves. And some of them seduced even teenagers. (On one occasion I had to denounce the machinations of a pair of wolves).
Winter 7

Anonymous said...

¡Goodnight everyone!

Winter 7

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said:

From this, I deduce, that the only way to create a nation with a totally different political system, without dying in the attempt, is to ensure that this society is placed far from the grip of the oligarchs.

Slight edit: change "only way" to "one way. I like your deduction, but you're reaching a bit too far.

Another Anonymous

Russell Osterlund said...

I wonder if anyone else has thought of the choice of Sarah Huckabee Sanders as press secretary to be a cynical ploy by Unobama to remind his base of what could have been and what could be in their future. To be honest the only impressions I have of her personality comes from the many references on and disputes with CNN, but it seems that she presents (somewhat generously) a "prickly" demeanor.

LarryHart said...

Winter7:

I know that the trick of the wolves works, because many people I met in various jobs, boasted of being great conquerors. Some of those "wolves" were married, others were not. But they all had something in common: They were not interested in marrying their lovers.


A Canadian comics writer/artist I used to follow named Dave Sim had a view on this subject that the women involved in those relationships also weren't interested in marrying the wolves. They wanted the excitement and thrills of an affair without the baggage that a nice guy would bring--panting after her like a lovesick puppy dog and always wanting commitment. I don't think that theory covers all situations, but I do think it explains some of them.

LarryHart said...

@Russel Ostrlund,

I might be misinterpreting your point, but are you suggesting that Sarah Huckleberry Saddlebags is meant to evoke Hillary Clinton?

Russell Osterlund said...

@LaryHart

Yes, or any other strong-willed, anti-1950's, un-June-Cleaver role model. The contrast with Sean Spicer could not be any stronger.

LarryHart said...

Political comic relief...

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2018/Senate/Maps/Jan15.html#item-7


But while Trump's verbiage may have pleased the base, it has enraged his opposition, and triggered protests of various sorts. The one that got all the headlines was the clever individual (artist Robin Bell) who rented a projector and used it to display the word 'shithole' on the facade of Trump International Hotel in Washington. There were also other messages, including "Pay Trump Bribes Here" and 'Emoluments Welcome." Meanwhile, each of Trump's properties has taken an absolute beating on the ratings website Yelp, with thousands of people logging in to give them one-star reviews, and to condemn them as shitholes. To take one example of a newly-written Mar-a-Lago review:

Place is a shithole. Staff tried to grab my pu**y. Only took rubles and every sign started with the word "best". I wasn't allowed to eat alone and had to have a man escort me. American flag bed sheets were made in China.

The club is down to 1.6 stars, on average, which is dismal, and none of the other properties is faring a lot better. If this whole presidency thing was supposed to be good for business, it doesn't seem to be working out that way.

Tim Wolter said...

I can design you a 1 G environment anywhere low gravity location you desire. And cheap, although I would have to nick you for Government Contract Rates.
Just scale up one of those old carnival rides....you remember 'em, they are usually called Cyclone or Tornado or some such. Nothing more than a big cylinder that rotates, pressing your back flat against the outside. They probably do several Gs but we'd slow it down. And make it bigger. And make it square so you could walk around inside. It would actually be pretty cool...floor then up the walls, then across the ceiling.
You might not want to live there full time but in the interests of keeping up bone density and such it would be perfect.

TW/Tacitus

Tim Wolter said...

And on another matter. I'm steering clear of politics - most of you are being silly most of the time imho - but the Kipling poem "The God of the Copy Book Headings" gets quoted fairly often. It is a dour commentary on the human state, written soon after Rudyard lost his only son in WWI. But it has a couple of lines that made me wonder if they were an inspiration for David.......

"We were living in trees when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That Water would certainly wet us, as Fire would certainly burn:
But we found them lacking in Uplift, Vision and Breadth of Mind,
So we left them to teach the Gorillas while we followed the March of Mankind"

TW/Tacitus

LarryHart said...

@Tim Wolter,

If you read through the Phobos comments, I believe you'll find that amusement park rides have already been discussed as a model.

And yes, in the original context (Kim Stanley Robinson's "Red Mars"), the point was not to have a permanent habitat, but a place to go to "normalize" for awhile as life in near-0 G is apparently uncomfortable over time.

To me, the biggest concern in this or any solution to the problem would be making damn sure that a single structural failure doesn't result in the thing flying off into open space, given that a kangaroo would apparently achieve escape velocity.

(BTW, this was the original concept of Superman, "able to leap tall buildings in a single bound!" Not that he could actually fly, but that his musculature was meant for a planet with greater gravity. Back in the 30s, Superman was conceived as more of a Nietzschian ubermench rather than the godlike thing he's become since then.)

David Brin said...

Cari, thanks for your needed insights. Alas, the guys who “always try” accomplish two things:

(1) have a greater success rate than nice guys, and

(2) raise the hackles of women, so they put out “don’t bother me” vibes.
The nice guys notice these vibes and back off.
The “always try” guys bull on through and 99% of the time only succeed at raising the womens’ hackles even further …and 1% of the time wear her down And succeed.

You claim the Nice Guys are shy. That’s mostly wrong. What it is is we get the “go away” vibe and… obey.

Anon: the lunar polar skylights are very good news and I’d love to be proved wrong. But even the best case there is just water.

Anonymous said...

Boomers also currently have about 80% of all the money.

Ilithi Dragon said...

Winter 7:

The thing about your... For lack of a better word (and time to find one), I'll call it draconian... approach to dealing with sexual predators, and sexual offenders, and what I think is the core issue that locum and treebeard and a couple others have but fail to effectively parse to this group, and the thing that makes it scare the ever living shit out of me, is nothing is perfect. All systems fail. All systems malfunction. And that's just with physical/mechanical systems, that don't have to worry about subjective biases, corruption, etc.

Taking such harsh, draconian measures in response to one crime, any crime, is dystopian, and terrifying. How are you going to ensure the system works correctly, every time? What are you going to do about the offenders who slip through the cracks and evade the system? What about the people who will be wrongly convicted?

And the terrifying part: What happens when this is used as a tool/weapon to silence opposition, and dispose of critics? Because it will, even if only occasionally.

As Dr. Brin has noted on many occasions, the people on the right are overly-fixated on abuses and the threat of dystopian doom and terror from government, but that fear and caution are not unwarranted, not in the least, and to be completely honest, very much needed.


Then you have the science side of things, that Duncan was bringing up. Harsh punishments and long prison sentences, while they seem like good ideas at first blush, have been shown by numerous studies to be counter-productive. Rehabilitation and outreach is far more effective at preventing repeat offenses than excessive or draconian punishments.

Then you also have the issue, too, of people who are not sexual predators, but commit a sexual harassment offense because they made a mistake. We've all said or done things without thinking, or on impulse, or at the behest of peer pressure, that we then immediately regretted. What about people who are drunk at the time? People do stupid things when they are drunk, that they would never do otherwise. Do we hold the guy who touched a girl's butt because he was drunk, wasn't in control of his inhibitions, and was completely misreading the verbal/non-verbal signs she was presenting equally accountable as the stone-sober guy who groped a woman on the bus because his twisted mind thought it was right?

That, too, raises another question. How much consideration should we give to people whose brains aren't wired right? More studies are indicating that violent offenders are more likely to be genetically predisposed to violence. If a person acts a certain way because their brain is hardwired to lead them down a certain course of action, is that a willful choice? Or is that a psychological or psychiatric condition for which they require treatment? And how easy would it be to fall into dystopian terror if we went hard into the paint with that approach?

And to cut this off, since I have to go do work things soon, I personally think we should focus much more on rehabilitation. Imprisonment should primarily be a tool to remove harmful people from society until they can be rehabilitated and safely reintroduced into society, and the old sense of "justice" we have, of people being equitably punished for their crimes, is probably going to have to change dramatically, or go away. We have the tools and technology and knowledge now that we don't need to follow "eye for an eye" principles to discourage bad or unlawful behavior anymore (and it was never as effective as people think it was, anyway).

Winter7 said...

LarryHart:
Unfortunately, oligarchs who access public office do not do so to obtain publicity for certain companies. They do it because in that way they can obtain money in different ways: Stealing directly from the funds allocated to hundreds of social programs and government institutions. Obtaining bribes from other oligarchs that are benefited with new tax laws and juicy contracts. Etc; etc.

Winter7 said...

Tim Wolter:
In a space station, a curved floor is better than a square one. I see in your blog that, in your robot projects, the motors to move your robot are not motors step by step. Good choice. They are cheaper engines.
You say we are fools sometimes. Why? Why do we pretend that we can change the world?
Every action begins with an idea. ¿Did not that happen before you built your robot? Some ideas sometimes germinate. Most do not. Sometimes none. But do not be quick to kill all the ideas. You do not know if any of these ideas could have an important role in the future. For even the smallest and most unlikely of creatures could change the destiny of all

Winter7 said...

LarryHart.
Do you mean that sometimes there are women who are very malicious? Humm Yes, there are. In Mexico, many women of the oligarchy are often drugged and drunk as if they were Roman bacchanalia. In my city, the collisions of adolescent girls totally drunk are frequent. And when they take video after the accident, you can see how they leave their BMW or AUDI, or their Mercedes Benz in a state of total stupidity.
On one occasion, in a company I was under the command of a woman who had a character similar to that of a badger. Being diligent and kind did not work to stabilize your irritability. Ray! It was like being Maleficent's assistant. After some time, I had to request my transfer. Not because she was abusive, but, rather, because she created a really depressing environment. I suspect that she hated men. Someone did something to him, in the past. Maybe.
And in the political environment, in Mexico, there are many women who have caused enormous harm to the nation. But if we are sincere, it is the male politicians who have caused the most damage to the world, because, I suppose, by nature, men are more aggressive than women.
(Ho, I love the new capabilities of the Word text editor.) (I do not imagine how they could write books before the text editor programs existed)

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Winter7 said...

Doctor brin:
Sometimes the seeds fall on dry, rocky land. At other times, seeds are not the type of plant that can survive on certain types of soil. And on some occasions, some people are; and they are in environments of complex dynamic systems, and there alone reigns chaos theory. But every honest man must do what needs to be done. And I know you agree with that.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Anon: "Boomers also currently have about 80% of all the money."

I think it would be more accurate to say "15% of Boomers have about 80% of the money."

LarryHart said...

Winter7:

LarryHart.
Do you mean that sometimes there are women who are very malicious?


No, that's not what I meant (although I'm sure there are some who are).

I meant that there are women who want the excitement of a fling without making a whole lasting thing out of it. And that they'd gravitate toward men who are also only after an affair rather than to "nice guys" who will expect so much more.

Cari D. Burstein said...

David Brin wrote:
You claim the Nice Guys are shy. That’s mostly wrong. What it is is we get the “go away” vibe and… obey.

Actually the nice guys I know are generally shy (I'm not sure if that's a general truth). Sometimes it may be that they're getting the go away vibe, but in my experience they are waiting for a flashing "welcome here" sign. A lot of times it's because they've had bad experiences in the past and allowed it to discourage them from expressing any interest unless they see an outright invitation. This also probably leads a lot of nice guys to end up with not nice women, who are often seeking the kind of guy who will put them on a pedestal and cater to their every whim and are more likely to put up the flashing signs.

In theory online dating helps with this, as it removes a lot of the question of whether people are even interested in dating and gives you some starting data to work with on whether someone's likely to be compatible. But the typical imbalances of gender present on dating services (likely varies based on location) still generate a situation where women get bombarded and tend to as a result respond rudely or ignore messages.

As a woman who is incompetent with signals and flirting, it was eye opening to me when I used a dating site for the first time 4 years ago (having virtually no dating experience aside from my one long term relationship that had recently ended). I had never been the type of woman that people came up to and asked out or even looked at twice. I thought maybe I'd get a few messages and I had intended to respond to any message I was sent, even if only to say no thank you. That turned out not to be practical as I got a lot of messages. Most of them had no real content in them, and I realized later that many men just carpet message almost everyone that matches a few basic filters. I ended up having to put a note on my profile saying I only respond to messages that actually refer to something in my profile. It seems like almost nobody on dating sites reads profiles or sends real messages. The few who did I generally had good conversations with and ended up in a long term relationship with someone I met through the site.

The best advice I can give to nice guys is to try online dating and send real messages which express their actual personality instead of trying generic lines. To some extent finding the right person to date is a bit like being an author. You can write a great story, but it'll never appeal to everyone, because everyone has different tastes. So great authors learn to distinguish between rejection on quality and rejection on incompatibility and focuses on improving the quality rather than trying to appeal so much to everyone that their stories aren't very interesting to anyone. When dating if you focus too much on being generic enough to appeal to everyone, you won't stand out to the people you're most compatible with. So it's better to risk some rejection to find the people who are actually a good match.

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarryHart said...

Cari D. Burnstein:

Actually the nice guys I know are generally shy (I'm not sure if that's a general truth). Sometimes it may be that they're getting the go away vibe, but in my experience they are waiting for a flashing "welcome here" sign. A lot of times it's because they've had bad experiences in the past and allowed it to discourage them from expressing any interest unless they see an outright invitation.


I can't argue with that, as you are (painfully) describing me in my teens and twenties.

It all turned out well in the end, and the woman I married was well worth the wait.

But my memories of young adulthood are littered with "ones who got away", not because they turned me down, but because I never tried. I still remember their names and faces, too. Oh, for a working time machine.

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
A.F. Rey said...

But my memories of young adulthood are littered with "ones who got away", not because they turned me down, but because I never tried. I still remember their names and faces, too. Oh, for a working time machine.

Nah, you're better off without it. I also was shy and awkward (I believe the high school term was "a soc" (pronounced "so-sh", as in "socially awkward")) and also have my list of those who "got away." But the ones who didn't broke my heart. Fortunately, I needed my heart broken a few times to mature, and prepare me for the one who didn't, so I don't regret it. But that doesn't mean I liked it...

The "ones who got away" would probably just have broken your heart, too. So in spite of the old saying, in the end it was probably better that "you never loved at all." ;)

David Brin said...

It appears that Rebecca Solnit has removed from her Facebook page the rash posting she made, condemning me for saying things that I never said. It is a lesson in choosing not to use your power to publicly malign others, based upon a quickie skim and leap. Someone must have pointed this out to her, as I had no access to refute the horrid things she said. Pulling the comment was at least honorable and I will not revise my opinion that she is one of the most important essayists on the modern stage.

LarryHart said...

A.F. Rey:

The "ones who got away" would probably just have broken your heart, too. So in spite of the old saying, in the end it was probably better that "you never loved at all." ;)


Given that the moving finger writes and all, it's probably best to behave as if that is the case.

However, if I could impart wisdom to my past self in his teenage years, it would be that a nice date or two with the right girl is a worthwhile experience. It's not a "failure" if each individual girl doesn't turn out to the THE ONE.

I learned a lot from reading Marvel Comics in the 60s and 70s, including SAT-level vocabulary, but taking lessons on romance from Stan Lee was not a good idea. :)

Anonymous said...

It seems that the technology to detect perverts is already in development. (Not that I suggest that this technology be used to read everyone's mind) (No)
This is the link:

https://techxplore.com/news/2018-01-japan-decode-thoughts.html

Winter 7

Duncan Cairncross said...

Winter7

"I will have no qualms about using draconian laws against those who are really guilty of serious crimes"

really guilty of serious crimes - like "Statutory Rape" for instance?

So a 16 year old who boffs his 16 year old girlfriend in the USA is a sexual monster
But in the UK he is just a kid and did nothing illegal?
Or the 19 year old who has a 17 year old girlfriend?


For every "monster" that is caught by "draconian laws" I suspect there are 20 ordinary people
As long as we let the laws be distorted by people for "religious" or political purposes then we should be very wary of any severe punishment

Places like Norway (and NZ) the criminals are assessed - if they are still dangerous then they are kept inside

Jon S. said...

Winter, I believe you misunderstood that episode of The Orville (which is a production of Seth MacFarlane - Fox merely airs the show, they don't create it). It was aimed at popularity via social media, not voting per se - someone's score could be randomly adjusted by people on the street pressing a button, so any appearance of discourtesy could be punished in outsize fashion. And the score to achieve a conviction of a crime was ridiculously low - IIRC, wasn't it on the order of 10,000 votes? Out of an entire population?

For comparison, imagine, if you will, that we selected our government officials not by voting, but by the number of "likes" they got on Twitter. That's what that episode was about.

Ilithi Dragon said...

Winter,

Looks like Jon mostly beat me to it, but that episode of the Orville was specifically criticizing the "court of public opinion," and the dangers of relying on it. It can be a powerful tool to oust terrible offenders from positions of power, but it is all too easy for harmless bystanders, or completely innocent persons, to be caught in the backlash or thrown down the gutter on false or specious charges.

It wasn't a criticism of democracy or pure democracy at all, but a specific form of dysfunctional democracy, where decisions were based on public opinion, rather than objective reality and facts, and sought to highlight why we are governed by a system of laws that are arbitrated by an objective, fact-based judicial system, rather than a pure public-vote democracy.

Democracy is a great thing, and it is better than all the other forms of government we have tried so far, but it is hardly without its own failure modes.



As for the issue of imprisonment vs rehabilitation... I'm posting from work and don't have the time to go into the full detail that I would like (I'm really just killing a few minutes before heading for the rack), but the gist of what I'm getting at is that we are learning more and more how to correct people's issues and make them functional members of society again, instead of just throwing them into a 20-year time-out where they learn how to function in an entirely different, and much more hostile society (or just outright killing them - the death penalty should be avoided, period. If we have the ability to fix the problem that is causing somebody to be dysfunctional, we should fix them and help them be a better, functional person, not murder them).

The old principle of serving justice to wrongdoers, punishing them and giving them their just desserts, while it stirs deep-seated and powerful emotions in our hearts, is probably going to have to die. Sometimes people stop being assholes if you pop them in the face for being an asshole; sometimes people need that kind of kick-in-the-pants wake-up call/slap, but more often than not, it's just going to deter/delay or redirect their behavior, or piss them off and incite them to worse.

A better, more pragmatic solution, is to identify the root cause of their dysfunction, and seek to correct or resolve those issues. Kids bully at school often because of family issues at home, or other personal problems. Correct those issues, and teach them that bullying is wrong, and they stop being bullies.

Sometimes its caused by hardwired issues - sociopathy, and other disorders. We'll have ways to correct those issues in the not-too-distant future, possibly even identify and correcting them before birth (depending on the exact cause(s)). It is more pragmatic, more useful to society, and less of a drain, to correct that issue, rehabilitate them, and reintroduce them as a functional, productive member of society, than to punish them severely, and lock them up for decades where they are nothing but a burden, and aren't a functional, productive member of society when they get out (a major problem with our current prison system).

As for wiping someone's personality for committing a severe crime... No. Correcting hardwired neurological issues that lead to malfunctioning thoughtprocesses is one thing. Rehabilitation by identifying social pressures and psychological traumas that lead to dysfunctional behavior and providing them therapy to resolve their issues is one thing. But the effective equivalent of a mind wipe? That's murder.

Tim Wolter said...

Winter7

I definitely did not use the term fool. My quote was.."most of you are being silly most of the time imho" Don't ascribe to me a malice that does not exist.

I think a space station would be fine with either right angle or curved floors. The former would be a little easier to build if you are shipping components up. Mostly I just liked the idea of having a "room" where you could walk on any surface you cared to!

TW/Tacitus

LarryHart said...

Jon S:

And the score to achieve a conviction of a crime was ridiculously low - IIRC, wasn't it on the order of 10,000 votes? Out of an entire population?


Dave Sim once tried to promote the "complete dick rule", which was that if someone was such a complete a-hole that twelve guys voted that he's a "complete dick", he could be shot. My response to Dave was that he'd likely be the first one convicted under such a rule.

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

I definitely did not use the term fool. My quote was.."most of you are being silly most of the time imho" Don't ascribe to me a malice that does not exist.


If you haven't been checking in often, you might not know that Luis (aka Winter7) is a new visitor here, and that he's in Mexico. I may be wrong about this, but I believe he's a native Spanish speaker and might be reading our English language posts with a translator.

So I would also not ascribe malice to him when "something lost in translation" may be the cause.

LarryHart said...

Ilithi Dragon:

I'm posting from work and don't have the time to go into the full detail that I would like (I'm really just killing a few minutes before heading for the rack),


@Luis/Winter7, while I'm playing translator here, you should also know that Ilithi Dragon's "work" is on a submarine. He's not always able to post, but when he does--especially about things military--we tend to listen.

And it's amusingly ironic that you are discussing things "draconian" with a "Dragon".

LarryHart said...

Tim Wolter:

I think a space station would be fine with either right angle or curved floors. The former would be a little easier to build if you are shipping components up. Mostly I just liked the idea of having a "room" where you could walk on any surface you cared to!


Now, you'd really impress me if you could build one of those loop-over stairways from "Sundiver"--the one that people had to navigate in order to get between the artificial gravity of the inhabited part of the ship and the artificial gravity of the engine half, each being upside-down to the other.

LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

Anon: "Boomers also currently have about 80% of all the money."

I think it would be more accurate to say "15% of Boomers have about 80% of the money."


It's accurate to say that this Boomer doesn't have 80% of the money.

Tim Wolter said...

Winter7

accept my apology. I had actually considered the possibility that you were not a native English speaker and that does explain your misunderstanding of my meaning.

Would that all internet conversations that go astray be so simply explained.

Larry I have actually thought about how to build a transition point from rotation to zerograv areas of a space station. An interesting little challenge.

T

Randall Winn said...

@Jon - the Orville "Mind Wipe" threshold was 10 Million votes, which is still ridiculously small when you consider that it was basically a popularity contest. The last plot point of the show was the ease with which such a vote can be manipulated by irrelevancies, such as a cute picture of the defendant as a kid or a video of him frolicking with his dog.

It was funny because it seemed true. And scary for the same reason.

Democracy is the best system that we know of for setting overall policy goals, and a terrible system for applying it to particular cases. Imagine the harm that could be done if a fluke of the system put a petulant insult comedian in charge!

David Brin said...

Democracy is not the secret sauce of our unique civilization, nor is freedom. But they are the best tools found to access the actual tool itself. The one trick that ever worked against the greatest human tragedy... the error-generating system within us that is our propensity for delusion.

That tool is competitive reciprocal accountability (CRA). I'll point out your delusions and you point out what you (foolishly ;-) think are mine. Meanwhile I benefit from your POSITIVE insights and you benefit from mine. Our negatives cancel each other and our good stuff reinforces. Like reinforcing waves. We get positive sums. But although sages like Pericles recommended this and it was tried a few times, it only really took with Adam Smith and Franklin and Washington etc.

I was about to say that I could not imagine us getting these positive sum benefits from CRA without democracy and freedom... then I realized, that's exactly what happens at the end of EARTH! Though yes, democracy & freedom flourish... with limits set by the system itself, called Earth. But She incorporates CRA at root-level.

This is why I worry less about AI. I can prove to any AI - even vastly smarter than me - that only a system utilizing CRA is productive and sane and likely to have food outcomes. Which means that emulating stupid human feudal pyramidal structures is the LAST thing that truly smart and wise AI should do. If they set up such systems of rule, they only prove they aren't sane or wise.

(Hear me Big Guys?)

David Brin said...

I meant "good" outcomes... but "food" works.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Tim, I believe Winter 7 is using translation software. To and from Spanish, I think. Idioms rarely translate well, even when the translator has human judgement. BWOE, the common term for 'silly' in French is 'bête' which can also mean 'animal' or 'beast', both of which would be perjorative in English.

The classic example is the translator machine that took the phrase 'Out of sight, out of mind', translated it to the closest possible Chinese equivalent and then from that back, and got 'Invisible Idiot.'

Winter 7, one of the best features of this blog is the general geniality of those assembled. When in doubt, assume the best.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Larry Hart wrote: "It's accurate to say that this Boomer doesn't have 80% of the money."

If you did, I would be very, very servile. I for one welcome our Hartian overlords!

Zepp Jamieson said...

Doctor Brin wrote: "I meant "good" outcomes... but "food" works."

Many of the techniques used to establish a friendly rapport with cats or dogs also work with humans. Food being one of the best ones.

Zepp Jamieson said...

@ Randall Wynn: "Black Mirror" last season had a much darker story based on an identical plot line. Working my way through season 4 of that brilliant series now. Brrrr!!

Cari D. Burstein said...

@Zepp I just finished season 4 of Black Mirror. I have to say I was rather disappointed. Last season was great but they seem to be losing their mojo. A few episodes felt more like Dimension 404 than Black Mirror in quality (that said, the first episode of Dimension 404 was pretty good and an interesting take on the crazy world of dating). I really hope next season is better.

I consider S3 Episode 1 of Black Mirror (the social media episode that Zepp is referring to) to be one of the best ones- usually when I introduce people to the show I tell them to watch that one first.

Tony Fisk said...

On translators: my daughter has discovered a youtube account based on passing the lyrics of popular songs through several iterations before bringing the words back into English.

The results are... interesting.

I wonder whether different courting rituals might give rise to new species over time. Certainly the scenario described by David with "guys who always try" vs "guys who get the vibes" suggests evolutionary competition.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Hi Guys
To Dr Brin's quest to recruit "ostriches"

I think that there is something that people miss when they say
"why do the working guys vote for the GOP"
There is a lot of concentration on what benefits do those voters get or expect to get

I think that misses the point - I'm not at all sure that people select "their" party thinking about their own or even their families cost benefit ratio

I believe that most people select their party by looking at the country as a whole - they are inherently "Patriotic"

So a working man in the UK may vote Conservative - because he "knows" that the country does best under the Tories
He may not expect to benefit personally - but he is voting for the party that he believes will do best for Britain

The various right wing parties like the Tories and the GOP have over the years managed to get themselves into a position where they are "The Party of Government"
And "Everybody knows that they are safer hands"

Talking to a GOP voter and telling him the HE will be worse off under the GOP plans is not making the right argument
He already knows that and the fact that you are pointing it out to him reinforces the idea that you (and the rest of the Dems) are "in it for themselves" and NOT for the country

Dr Brins - ALL MEASURES DO WORSE UNDER THE GOP - is what we need but we need to push that much harder

The right wing have the "High Ground" everybody knows that "They are the Party of Business"

It's all bollocks and they are actually much much worse - but that is NOT the default

The GOP despite 9/11 and all of the disastrous wars are STILL considered to be "Better on Security"

But the "YOU will do better under the Dems" may well be hurting rather than helping

TCB said...

Ilithi Dragon upthread said:

"the death penalty should be avoided, period. If we have the ability to fix the problem that is causing somebody to be dysfunctional, we should fix them and help them be a better, functional person, not murder them)."

My argument against the death penalty is simple: if they can't execute Hannibal Lecter for eating people, then they can't execute me for being a dissident either.

Countries that will do the first are often not far from the second.

LarryHart said...

Duncan Cairncross:

The various right wing parties like the Tories and the GOP have over the years managed to get themselves into a position where they are "The Party of Government"
And "Everybody knows that they are safer hands"


Here in America, the Republicans manage to brand themselves as "The Party of NO Government", while still simultaneously keeping the connotations of safety and law-and-order.


Talking to a GOP voter and telling him the HE will be worse off under the GOP plans is not making the right argument
He already knows that and the fact that you are pointing it out to him reinforces the idea that you (and the rest of the Dems) are "in it for themselves" and NOT for the country


Republican voters are not a monolith who all vote for the same reasons,

But to what you are talking about, I think it's less "for the country" and more "for God." And God wants life to be brutal, miserable, and short. So liberal programs to "help people" are in defiance of God's wishes. Or something like that.

Lloyd Flack said...

" I think it's less "for the country" and more "for God." And God wants life to be brutal, miserable, and short. So liberal programs to "help people" are in defiance of God's wishes."
That looks like an answer that maximizes your feelings of scorn towards and superiority over them. Such answers are usually wrong. I think the most important motive is that the lower and middle class supporters of the GOP are the group that places the most importance on social cohesion and see the GOP as its protector.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Don't have my library with me. Which one was E03S01? The runners?
I'll look forward to season four anyway. Opinion on Brooker's work is never unanimous.

Zepp Jamieson said...

Sorry, I dislexxed. S03E01, the social media one. A great one, but my favourite for S03 was the one with the woman who's lover was in a cybernetic afterlife.

Paul SB said...

Larry and Lloyd,

You have to take seriously the idea that any group of people are not going to be completely homogeneous. I have been told point blank by some Republican voters exactly what Larry said about them, virtually to a word. I have also heard the social cohesion argument, though it is usually phrased as "law and order" because social cohesion sounds too much like socialism to people who repeat much more than they think. There is also a pretty big wing of Republican voters whose motivations are almost purely selfish, the ones who whine about taxes and buy the leadership's bull about how regulation kills jobs. This capitalist arm is motivated by the idea that they would be millionaires if only the evil government didn't stop them somehow.

To quote our host:

"Suppose you find yourself insignificant in the world, dwarfed by the mighty. How to feel important after all? All you need is a convenient conspiracy, one that’s keeping you from taking your rightful place as a leader toward the light."

But even the most simple-minded of fools are not monolithic in their thoughts. They have absorbed all of the arguments they have heard in favor of their team and can muster each and every one of them in a pinch, even when the arguments contradict each other. They repeat these things with a straight face, oblivious to the contradictions. Such are brains, and so goes propaganda. I have seen this, too, with my own eyes, and on many occasions.

How about a another quote, this one from a famous Civil Rights leader, though not the one we officially celebrate:

"To stimulate wildly weak and untrained minds is to play with mighty fires."
- W. E. B. Du Bois

Be careful when you start throwing generalizations around. Reality is usually much more complex and nuanced.

Catfish N. Cod said...

@Duncan:

I don't think the Republicans have any real appreciation of how Trump and Sessions and the fire-eating defenders thereof are destroying the image of Republican "law and order" as a positive force. Most of the country hates marijuana Prohibition at this point, though few want recreational legalization. And between Trump and the Congress, the devotion to rules and norms and fairness is evaporating -- Trump is a jackal and he's making their politicians jackals as well.

Six months ago, a poll found that Republicans' sole strong issues remaining were the budget and foreign-related affairs [immigration, military, terrorism]. Since then, they have worked to destroy their credibility on military and budgetary affairs, as well. The ten-point advantage in the generic poll is not an accident. If not for the gerrymandering and traditional turnout advantages, the Republicans would be blown out in the upcoming elections.

@Larry:
1) The GOP is supposedly devoted to the libertarian principle that law and order (law enforcement and justice internally, strong military defense externally) is the ONLY proper function of government, and any of this silliness about "more perfect Union" and "promot[ing] the general welfare" and "secur[ing] the Blessings of Liberty" is irrelevant at best and more likely a seductive to tyranny.

This is stuff and nonsense, and the hardline base increasingly knows it, which is why they supported the Tea Party and Trumpist movements. Of course, those are still part-and-parcel of the same problem, to wit, control of power distribution by money -- which will always favor oligarchs.

2) A religion built solely on rules isn't allowed to consider the effects on us poor squishy human beings; our hearts and minds are trivial compared to the infinite majesty and irresistible force of THE RULES. Any faith can fall into this trap, and indeed there are Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Taoist, paleopagan and neopagan examples I could describe on request... I'm sure there are more. A religion built on stories or outcomes doesn't do that. I can't speak for any prophets, but I'm fairly sure Jesus didn't want a rule-based religion, and I strongly suspect the same of the Buddha -- both of them made rather sharp comments about the rule-followers surrounding them.

Paul SB said...

Cari,

Way, way back there, you wrote:

"... I've always assumed part of the problem is that nice guys tend to be pretty shy about actually expressing interest in a woman. For whatever their faults, the more confident men tend to try more often, which is generally likely to lead to a higher success rate. I have several male friends who are great people and would make a woman very happy, but are generally afraid to even ask anyone out..."

I would point out that this is one of many ways in which our stereotypes screw both sexes. The stereotypes program women to desire those aggressive males who are most likely to beat them and cheat on them, and ignore those less aggressive males who will actually love and cherish them. Meanwhile it programs males to be the total bastards that think they deserve to have harems and teaches them that they should be that way to be "real men." Or as Rush Limburger once said, "nice guys don't get laid."

But the reality is that they do, or there wouldn't be any. When I read through Helen Fisher's research on temperament, I was quite pleased to find that out of 4 dominant hormones/neurotransmitters, they were not distributed evenly throughout the general population. You would expect high testosterone to be around 25% if all things were equal, and much higher if aggression were being selected for, either by nature or by culture. But she found the high-t temperament to be about 17%, world wide. I can easily fall for gloom-and-doom scenarios, but throw facts my way and I can find something to be happy about, where the facts justify it. The trick is to get more people to pay attention to the facts and adjust their expectations accordingly.

Robert said...

It just occurred to me that current events are taking place in the Uplift Universe:

A Jophur spy lands on Earth, hides in a nursery in Queens, disguised as a Fisher-Price toy, and takes over the mind of a toddler. An unfortunate side effect is that the victim's emotional development is frozen at the toddler level. The victim later goes into New York real estate and ultimately becomes the President of the United States.

The Pila (strange, bear-like aliens) take over a civilization of strange, bear-like humans at the northern edge of the Eurasian landmass. The lead Pila, code-named Vladimir, forms a mind-link with the contactee in New York.

A young astronomer at UCSD, assisted by a physics graduate student, detects the alien signals. The astronomer starts writing science fiction containing coded messages, and goes on to organize the resistance through a blog. The physicist vanishes, and is believed to be hiding somewhere in the East Oregon desert.

Back at the ranch, the ranch owner, a Tandu, and its partner, a rogue Linten, badly disguised as an Ent, attempt to sabotage the blog. The astronomer unmasks them, and all hell breaks loose.


The main flaw in this narrative, apart from the late-Hubbard plot, is that all coded messages, such as Revelation, say "Drink More Ovaltine."



Bob Pfeiffer

raito said...

Cari D. Burstein,

It often has little to do with being shy. Much of this whole thing has to do with social groups. The guys you characterize as shy are often not so, but do not ask to date within their social circle because they do not wish to make anyone uncomfortable. Unfortunately, this sort of screws them over. They're not going to date anyone they don't already know fairly well (because they're looking for mates, not dates. What's the point otherwise?). But also look at the flipside.

Many ladies won't date within their social groups for much the same reason. If they date some outside, they're safe. If it doesn't work out, they don't have to deal with that other person ever again.

Just as an anecdote, some time ago one of my female friends said to another, "Gee, raito (and two others specifically) are such great guys, but they don't ever seem to have girlfriends. Such a shame!" The friend she was talking to said, "You don't have much luck with the guys you date, and you could solve that problem yourself." To which she replied, "I could never date them. They're my friends." Pretty funny stuff, and I only bring up the anecdote because it's a single example of things I've seen over and over. And two of the three were dating at the time, so she didn't even know as much as she thought about us.

Dr. Brin,

I wouldn't say, "obey". I would say "respect". I used to be a bouncer at a club in town. We had a bunch of single women regulars who only wanted to come and dance. I found that it kept problems down considerably if I got to know them at least by name and made several circuits of the club during an evening and was visibly seen speaking to them.

My success rate is 100%. I knew what I was looking for, and looked until I found it.

LarryHart,

God wants YOUR life to be brutal, miserable, and short. Because God is as hate-filled as his followers ("made in his image and all that"). But God wants sweetness and light for his followers. Right?

All,

This does remind me of a friend's story about getting trained in his new career, his previous one (financial corporation operations) having been nuked in 2008. In response to the question, "Are you a wolf or a sheep?" (clearly meant to imply that being a wolf was better), his reply was, "Neither. Sheepdog."

AS far as wolves go, another anecdote. There's one I know who ends up migrating from social group to social group, in sort of a 5 year circle. Because he doesn't care about being cast out for being a wolf. And from what I know of him, in any reasonable society someone would have put him down by now.

At one point, in a park, there were some guys cooking out a LOT of food. I and my friends were playing volleyball. They approached and it didn't look like their friends were going to show, and were we hungry. We dispatched one of our number for beer, and we all had a nice meal. It turned out that these guys were from a group I knew a lot of people in, but wasn't in myself. They found out which groups I was in, and asked if I knew that wolf. I said (in a tired voice), "Yes, I know him." They responded the same way.

That wolf now has at least figured out that being old and gray doesn't work. So his behavior has changed, if not his soul.

Zepp Jamieson said...

@ Bob Feiffer: "The main flaw in this narrative, apart from the late-Hubbard plot, is that all coded messages, such as Revelation, say "Drink More Ovaltine."

We'll have to see how the Doctor feels about product placement in his novels. I'm guessing he's not a fan.

Robert said...

Zepp - Anyone who can come up with "Jijo, Jijo, it's off to war we go." can surely handle a Christmas Story reference. I'm more worried about God - pinning Ovaltine on Him is almost as bad as pinning Hell or the Rapture on Him. I tried the stuff once when I was 10. Yuck.


Bob Pfeiffer.

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarryHart said...

Lloyd Flack:

" I think it's less "for the country" and more "for God." And God wants life to be brutal, miserable, and short. So liberal programs to "help people" are in defiance of God's wishes."

That looks like an answer that maximizes your feelings of scorn towards and superiority over them. Such answers are usually wrong. I think the most important motive is that the lower and middle class supporters of the GOP are the group that places the most importance on social cohesion and see the GOP as its protector.


I'll accept your criticism to a point, noting for the record that I began by acknowledging that Republican voters are not a homogeneous lump who all vote for the same reasons.

I'm not sure we're diametrically disagreeing, though. To me, Republicans value social cohesion, but almost always at the expense of an out-group who is not entitled to the rights and privileges the in-group enjoys. Democrats are in favor of democratizing social cohesion, which Republicans tend to view as "missing the point" or "defeating the purpose".

LarryHart said...

Robert:

The Pila (strange, bear-like aliens) take over a civilization of strange, bear-like humans at the northern edge of the Eurasian landmass. The lead Pila, code-named Vladimir, forms a mind-link with the contactee in New York.


If you remember, in "Sundiver", there's a point at which a woman--I think it's the female captain--comes to the realization that Bubbacub is not just the cute cuddly teddy bear the humans are treating him as, and she has a flash of horror that, "This sophont is dangerous!"

occam's comic said...

I am totally off topic here but, but this might be a good topic for conversation here:

The End of Moore's Law

http://www.softmachines.org/wordpress/

here is the money quote at the end

"For now, what we can say is that the age of exponential growth of computer power is over. It gave us an extraordinary 40 years, but in our world all exponentials come to an end, and we’re now firmly in the final stage of the s-curve."

In 2015 the growth rate for computers has dropped to 3.5% per year down from 52% per year form 1986 to 2003.

Specialized chips and better software seem to be the only way to get substantial increases in the future.

LarryHart said...

raito:

God wants YOUR life to be brutal, miserable, and short. Because God is as hate-filled as his followers ("made in his image and all that"). But God wants sweetness and light for his followers. Right?


I wouldn't put it that way, although there are religionists who think exactly that.

What I was trying to describe is more a feeling that making life more bearable (let alone enjoyable) here on earth is a mug's game. Life is meant to be hard work. The sweetness and light for the followers comes in the afterlife.

LarryHart said...

raito:

In response to the question, "Are you a wolf or a sheep?" (clearly meant to imply that being a wolf was better), his reply was, "Neither. Sheepdog."


The question clearly implies that everyone is a wolf or a sheep--that no other options are available. That feeds into the zero-sum narrative, "Do you want to eat, or to be eaten?" Trump appeals to this with his notion that promoting American interests means "winning" over other countries.

You remind me to wonder how the colloquial use of "or" in that question ever came into being. Anyone trained in even high-school level logic knows that in logic terms, the answer to the question is "yes" (or in your friend's case, "no"), because you are "a wolf or a sheep" if you are either of them.

Many smart-asses will answer "yes" to the question with a smug smile, as if they're the first one to think of it. :)

But how did "or" get to be so commonly used the other way--as if it's a choice between the two options? Conjunction Junction even has the line, "'Or', if you've got a choice as in 'This or that'." (emphasis mine) It doesn't seem to be the right word, except that kids generally learn that usage long before the other one.

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
LarryHart said...

Zepp Jamieson:

We'll have to see how the Doctor feels about product placement in his novels. I'm guessing he's not a fan.


Only when the product is his own books. There are some hilarious promotional lines of dialogue in Existence, although even then, our host does it more cleverly than most.

LarryHart said...

Winter7:

But avoiding mistakes is simple: If I say something offensive, it means that the translator failed. If I say something that seems intelligent or very crazy, then the translator is working well. If what has been translated is within the language of the "Star Trek" philosophy, then the translation is correct.


Heh. Your sense of humor comes through, even if the words are not translated precisely.


It took me a while to answer because my brother decided to use the computer to break a personal game record. (Which is bad, because the games devour the memory of the computer, because the games of all players are stored)


Can someone please explain to me how this will not (eventually) be the death of bitcoin?

LarryHart said...

Winter7:

but if they want to invade Mexico, they would prefer that they invade when Hillary Clinton is in the White House


And here, I was expecting you to channel Humphrey Bogart in the movie Casablanca, and say something like "There are parts of Mexico I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."

Seriously, though, that's quite an insight you give us into Mexican politics.

LarryHart said...

Paul Krugman continues to agree with me :) :

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/15/opinion/trump-american-values.html


...
One result of this embrace of ignorance is a remarkable estrangement between modern conservatives and highly educated Americans, especially but not only college faculty. The right insists that the scarcity of self-identified conservatives in the academy is evidence of discrimination against their views, of political correctness run wild.

Yet conservative professors are rare even in hard sciences like physics and biology, and it’s not difficult to see why. When the more or less official position of your party is that climate change is a hoax and evolution never happened, you won’t get much support from people who take evidence seriously.

But conservatives don’t see the rejection of their orthodoxies by people who know what they’re talking about as a sign that they might need to rethink. Instead, they’ve soured on scholarship and education in general. Remarkably, a clear majority of Republicans now say that colleges and universities have a negative effect on America.

...

Moretti argues, rightly in the view of many economists, that this new divergence reflects the growing importance of clusters of highly skilled workers — many of them immigrants — often centered on great universities, that create virtuous circles of growth and innovation. And as it happens, the 2016 election largely pitted these rising regions against those left behind, which is why counties carried by Hillary Clinton, who won only a narrow majority of the popular vote, account for a remarkable 64 percent of U.S. G.D.P., almost twice as much as Trump counties.

Clearly, we need policies to spread the benefits of growth and innovation more widely. But one way to think of Trumpism is as an attempt to narrow regional disparities, not by bringing the lagging regions up, but by cutting the growing regions down. For that’s what attacks on education and immigration, key drivers of the new economy’s success stories, would do.

So will our modern know-nothings prevail? I have no idea. What’s clear, however, is that if they do, they won’t make America great again — they’ll kill the very things that made it great.

Anonymous said...

In that movie, does Humphrey Bogart say that? I do not remember that, but I remember that the girl in the movie was very pretty.
Please; consider an invasion of Mexico! We have great beaches and a lot of guacamole!
Well I must go to repair the water mixer key.

Winter 7

LarryHart said...

http://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2018/Senate/Maps/Jan16.html#item-3


Steve Bannon managed to persuade himself that he was bulletproof, and that he could say or do anything without taking damage. In particular, he thought that the Breitbart crowd was in his pocket, even if it came down to him versus Donald Trump. Bannon lost his job due to this miscalculation, and now a new poll shows just how wrong he was. According to HuffPost/YouGov, only 1% of people who voted for Trump back the former Breitbart publisher over the President. By contrast, 66% favor The Donald, while 21% don't like either, and 12% just don't know.


Both bold emphasis above are my own.

So let me get this straight. 21% of Trump voters don't like Trump or Bannon?

I suppose they just really hated Hillary.


matthew said...

The adults in the room keep on working - Mueller has issued a subpoena for Steve Bannon.

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2018/jan/16/steve-bannon-house-russia-trump

(Link from The Guardian since it is not behind a paywall)

Via the awesome analysis from Seth Abramson - four outcomes from this:
1) Bannon fights the subpoena and fails
2) Bannon fights the subpoena and is held in contempt
3) Bannon testifies and pleas the Fifth
4) Bannon testifies freely and incriminates a bunch of people

Seth argues, persuasively, that the last option is by far the most likely. Bannon has just been cut loose from his dual masters (Trump, Mercers) and has just been his B****bart business ties shredded, including his radio show on Sirius XM. Bannon is a mercenary without a master. This fact explains the timing of the subpoena.

Things are about to get hot.
And if I were Steve Bannon, I'd hire food tasters. Multiple ones to keep an eye on each other.

gator said...

"For all our faults, we boomers appear to have been terrific parents."
Yes, to the extent that younger generations seem to be more inclusive and accepting of difference.
No, to the extent that boomers seem to have forgotten the point of government and systematically voted across the nation to cut taxes drastically. They got theirs, paid for by their parents and grandparents, (good public schools, affordable colleges, infrastructure, R&D investment) and then refused to pay so the next generation could benefit. How did the boomers end up being so selfish?
I know #notAllBoomers but surely enough to make this a reality.
I see this in CA with boomers complaining their special needs grandkids don't get the help they need in school -- you ask them did they vote for prop 13 -- "of course!"

LarryHart said...

Winter7:

In that movie, does Humphrey Bogart say that? I do not remember that,


Almost. He said "New York", not "Mexico", but otherwise, the line was accurate. The Nazis had just asked him what he'd think about German soldiers in New York, and he said:

"Well, Major, there are parts of New York I wouldn't advise you to try to invade."

I'm sure that was a big crowd-pleaser here in America at the time.

LarryHart said...

matthew:

And if I were Steve Bannon, I'd hire food tasters. Multiple ones to keep an eye on each other.


He might need a poison-sniffer from the Dune-iverse.

Which reminds me, last week a guest on Stephanie Miller's radio show was talking about some obnoxious comment of Trump's--probably the s###hole thing--and she threw out the comment "He'd totally fail the gom jabbar test. I had to do an audio equivalent of a double-take to make sure I heard correctly, but she then clarified that she meant a test as to whether one is a human being.


reason said...


Larry Hart,

Can someone please explain to me how this will not (eventually) be the death of bitcoin?

Today Bitcoin/EUR
9.076,79EUR
-2035,72EUR
-18,32%

Don't think we need to wait that long.

LarryHart said...

@reason,

I wasn't talking about whether Bitcoin goes in and out of favor for other reasons.

I meant that IIRC, Bitcoin contains within it the entire history of the transactions it has been through, along with hash functions related to that history which would be difficult to fake without tipping off everyone else who has the same history.

Won't that history eventually become unwieldy enough to degrade performance?

reason said...

Larry,
If it becomes completely worthless (which it probably will), that question doesn't matter in the least.

A.F. Rey said...

And if I were Steve Bannon, I'd hire food tasters. Multiple ones to keep an eye on each other.

If I were him, I make sure they were suicidal people who fully expected to die.

I would inquire among the White House staff for likely candidates. :)

Zepp Jamieson said...

Given the general competence of the Trump White House, the safest place to be might be directly in his line of fire.

Alfred Differ said...

@Paul SB | sorry about the comparison, Alfred, it's not character but idea that I am comparing

Heh. I understand your qualification, so I’ll focus on what you intended to compare and point out that you are mixing two ideas or not distinguishing them carefully enough to see what my paranoia is really about.

I don’t mind if nerds want to radically re-engineer everything… until they use the power of the state to enforce their solution. If YOU help them by deploying the State on their side of the competition, I’m equally concerned. As individuals, though, I consider it a fair fight when liberals and traditionalists do battle.

What I ask of the liberals (I’m one with a classical inclination) is that we pay attention to the fact that many traditions arise as solutions to problems of which we might not be aware. Think about all the little behaviors that we layer on top of traffic rules at stop lights. It’s not just “Green light go | red light stop”. Drivers make eye contact, use sign language, and interact with pedestrians and cyclists who do something similar. Traditions are OFTEN solutions and as our local anthropology dude no one has to tell you that. Where I worry is in my perception that the broader group of modern liberals is less than enamored with incrementalism possibly because they don’t understand what traditions do for us.

From my perspective, what Treebeard is doing is that kind of reaction one has to one’s former identity group after departing it. Recall how vicious some atheists can be who were once counted among the believers. Former smokers can be pretty harsh among current smokers too. Surrendering any part of your identity can leave a wound and a pain never forgotten.

So… I don’t see our two ideas as the same or even similar. I’m not a former socialist, but I was formerly more tolerant* of them than I am today. I don’t THINK I’m reacting to an old wound, but that is about as close as I think I get to what Treebeard said or the way he said it.

(I used to self-identify politically as someone with a belief system that ranged from socialist to libertarian. When it comes to state funding of education, I held opinions that would have caused real libertarians to throw me out of the convention hall. That is less the case today, but not radically so. My politics has drifted more toward individualism as I’ve become more educated about what free people can and HAVE done as members of this fine civilization.)

Duncan Cairncross said...

I agree with Alfred

Any rules regulations laws or procedures should always start with a "purpose statement"

I haven't written any laws - but lots of procedures!

If you know why the procedure is there they you are more likely to follow it AND you will have the ability to change it when circumstances change

In the ideal world a "tradition" would also have a purpose statement so we could see if it was still relevant

The issue of "nice guys"
Part of the problem is how you deal with rejection - trying to "chat up" the ladies is difficult BUT the most important thing is reaction to rejection
If at a dance she says "fuck off" - a lot (most) people just curl up and that is them for the rest of the dance - or the rest of the month/year
Those with sufficient confidence/arrogance will simply bounce back and ask somebody else

LarryHart said...

Duncan Cairncross:

If at a dance she says "fuck off" - a lot (most) people just curl up and that is them for the rest of the dance - or the rest of the month/year
Those with sufficient confidence/arrogance will simply bounce back and ask somebody else.


You're describing (in a complimentary way) my teenage daughter, who has already survived her first boyfriend breaking up with her by text message. I'm not going to say it wasn't traumatic, but two months later, she's already found someone new to go out with. She's so much better at this than I ever was, both in terms of dealing with breakups and with having dates in the first place.

I mentioned a few days ago what I would say to my past self if I could communicate with him via a working time machine, but of course, that's just fantasy. The true "working time machine" is the next generation.

David Brin said...

“Good of the country” and “self-Interest” are not factors. The Lakoff “strong father” vs “nurturing parent” comes closer, but even that misses the point. It is tribal. And the average republican feels viscerally that all fact-using professions have allied themselves with “not-my-kind” invaders.

Yes, I try to compile lists of logical points to yank out the heads of ostriches: e.g. that ALL metrics of US health do better under democrats, including all conservative metrics like enterprise, capitalism, innovation, crime-reduction and budget deficits. And all the folks who know stuff are fleeing to the DP.

It does little good.

Or to libertarians. Democrats do want freedom of the bedroom and an end to the infamous War on Drugs… but the GOP is AGAINST freedom of the marketplace, fostering feudalism, ever-smaller pools of secret-cheating allocators and freedom repressors…

It does little good.

Nor does pointing out the Republican fetishism for major wars, ALWAYS rushing to start wars when their popularity sinks.

Nor the all-out war already in progress against every single fact-using profession.

It does no good.

In the end, we must pray for Anthony Kennedy to stay aline and to see his place in history. Since Roberts and Alito and McCain etc are too dullard to realize that the only alternative will be tumbrels.



Bob P… all the rest seems plausible and even likely! But… but… Eastern Oregon?

David Brin said...

The Aziz Ansari thing exposes one of the nastier aspects of dating in modern society. Oh, he may be a piece of work. Many males are. But what we are seeing is VERY common! Unambiguously consensual one night sex… followed by the woman feeling angry regret and looking for anyone to blame other than herself.

Pointing this out does NOT excuse date rape! Indeed, boys and men should reflexively avoid anything even approaching even the ambiguous borderline - first out of decency but now also out of self-protection. And yes, that’s a good thing, even if it spoils spontaneity.

(Absolute rule: When things seem hot n’ heavy and heading that way, hand her her purse, push her to the door and say: “if you are still interested after five minutes out there, and haven’t called an uber, ring the doorbell and we’ll resume.”)

Zepp, I product placed a California winery in EXISTENCE. They didn’t pay.

David Brin said...

onward

onward

Zepp Jamieson said...

"Zepp, I product placed a California winery in EXISTENCE. They didn’t pay."

Alas, another victim of the wrath of grapes...

Zepp Jamieson said...

Actually, in "Earth Fall" I had a request from a friend who used to be drummer and part-time manager for a rock band back in the sixties, and he wanted me to slip his band's name in there. The plotline featured a large fresh water lake at the south pole that needed a name, and so the Lake of Blue Cheer was born.

Winter7 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.