Saturday, January 26, 2019

History ramming at us fast. Are we in the foretold "crisis?"

As we await the Big News about Trump Enterprises laundering tens of billions for Russian mafias via Deutsche Bank... and mountainous KGB subsidies of the NRA and Fox... now it seems the assault has pervaded nearly the entire American-confederate right, from fundamentalist churches to the Home School Movement. Sure, this site is a bit lefty. But if even one of the connections were true (and some are proved, or public record) then there has been more outright treason on the US right than in the history of the republic. Not even the Walker or Ames or Embassy Guard spy rings (all of them Republicans who betrayed us to Moscow) came anywhere near.

God bless the public servants and whistle blowers who are bringing this to light.

Note that even 1% of this tsunami of treason would have stained the American left fatally, back in the 1950s. And Stalinists tried! Read about how - in 1947 - the democrats and liberalism were saved and became the primary forces for containing Russian expansionism and communism.


And now we see the truth. This was never about "socialism." It has always been about expansionist-paranoid Russian spycraft being used to suborn sectors of American life in order to topple their one obstacle to world domination. Surface catechisms veered from czarist-Checka royalism to Leninist dogma, to mafia-oligarch cynicism, but the methods and aims remained the same.

Remind your mad uncles that their hero -- Vladimir Putin -- called the fall of the USSR "history's greatest tragedy." If there are any sane or patriotic Americans left in the GOP, now is their time to snap out of the trance. No more excuses or rationalizations. If you watch Fox, you are clutching Moscow-brewed incantations. 

== Let's Make a Deal ==

Donald Trump tried his mafia tactic -- take hostages and hurt people till you get what you want -- but what worked in casinos and organized crime hasn't worked once in government. So ask yourself, fellah, what would get you your wall?

Simple: first remove hostages from consideration by fixing DACA and refugee families.

Only then make an actual political deal. Democrats should offer him not $5.7 billion, but TEN billions for big, beautiful walls, if he and McConnell agree to pass the anti-corruption House bill HR1, which would reduce cheating in American politics. End gerrymandering. Enforce transparency of donors. Offer matching funds for small donations. And combat the open war against our institutions by foreign powers.

They can't allow it -- without cheating and corruption, today's GOP would collapse overnight. So go ahead and make the offer!

== Party of Cheaters ==

What happens when the U.S. states – our “laboratories of democracy” become tools of oppression and cheating? Throughout history, the power invested in the states has allowed all sorts of anti-democratic abuses to flourish, e.g. the Jim Crow system. This article is interesting… but ignores how much “laboratory” work is done by the other side, where Blue States are pioneering better election laws, support for science, and getting out of the insane War on Drugs. 

If Obama and Holder succeed in arm-twisting Maryland and Illinois to abandon gerrymandering, that horrific, treason-level crime – rejected by Democratic voters in most blue states -- will be one purely associated with the Republican Party. No longer the GOP but POC – Party of Cheaters.

Doomed to repeat history? You might be interested in the “Know Nothing” Party that surged briefly in the 1850s. Volcanically populist, “it was primarily anti-Catholicxenophobic, and hostile to immigration, starting originally as a secret society. The movement briefly emerged as a major political party in the form of the American Party. (See the diCaprio movie "Gangs of New York.) Adherents to the movement were to reply "I know nothing" when asked about its specifics by outsiders, thus providing the group with its common name.”  It didn’t fit any modern “left-right” spectrum… (in fact, neither do democrats and republicans today, since entrepreneurial markets do far better under the former and the GOP is the party of fiscal-mad deficits feeding into feudalism.) Notably, the Know Nothings favored more rights for women, amid a general agenda of prejudice and hostility toward people who “know.” One of these maps onto today’s confederatism. Guess which.

An interesting proposal for how to fix the Supreme Court in ways that will improve its process and outputs while returning us to a less partisan approach that is more sagacious.

== Provocative evidence ==

"It’s amazing enough that any U.S. president would retrospectively endorse the Soviet invasion (of Afghanistan). What’s even more amazing is that he would do so using the very same falsehoods originally invoked by the Soviets themselves: “terrorists” and “bandit elements," writes David Frum in The Atlantic.

Read this. Aloud to your aunts. (Your uncles are too far gone.) Putin's parrot now completes the passage of the American Confederacy 180 degrees into a cult defending the USSR. "(Putin) cares a lot about the image of the U.S.S.R. In 2005, Putin described the collapse of the Soviet Union as ...“the greatest geopolitical tragedy of the 20th century” He later vowed revenge on Clinton, Obama and Soros for "stealing the Ukraine" from Russia's rightful sphere of dominance. All of these are now demons to the mad-treasonous US right. who devote themselves to service to Lenin-raised KGB mafiosi.

Oh, Putin is a genius. his new Iron Curtain stretches from Moscow, Crimea and Ankara through Syria, Iraq and Tehran to the Straits of Hormuz, where his puppet has ordered a vulnerable US carrier strike group to serve as a sitting duck temptation to trigger a US-Iran "war" that can only be won by Russia. (Despite our hard-won energy independence from economic dependance on that awful region.) 


We may never know how many attempted pretext incitements the Navy has quietly dealt with, frustrating those eager for a "Tonkin" or "Gleiwitz." But God bless the brave, skilled men and women out there with presidentially assigned targets on their chests.

In the 1860s, the Confederacy never got its desperately wanted foreign ally. In this phase, the confederacy has embraced treason-complicity with foreign fascists and mafias actively waging war against us. This truly evil coalition has taken Washington. We - the Union - may need to march to the sea. 

== Saving civilization from high debt and slow growth? ==

I confess an ulterior motive for praising this cogent article by Tim Morgan. It begins with daunting news -- it's not only in the developed world that prosperity growth has stalled. The fast-rising upper half of the developing world has been the engine of the world economy for 20+ years, but that boiler is apparently cooling. And when you lack growth, then the fast-rising rate of debt - fueling rentier asset bubbles - becomes more than just a problem. It becomes a poison.
  
(To be clear, the Republican Party raved that Supply Side ("voodoo") tax gifts to the rich would both stimulate growth and reduce public debt. How many times must you prove 100% diametrically wrong before you lose credibility?)

Morgan is not without hope. There are ways to fix this, and they are rooted in what's worked ever-better for 200 years... entrepreneurial enterprise that is kept truly competitive by thoughtful-adaptive regulation that limits inevitable oligarchic cheating, of the sort that Adam Smith denounced and that our parents in the Greatest Generation wisely outlawed. And so we get to my favorite paragraph:

"The good news is that we’re not going into this new era wholly lacking in knowledge. The trick is to understand what that knowledge really is. Keynes teaches us how to manage demand – or can teach us this, so long as we don’t turn him into a cheerleader for ever bigger public spending. Likewise – if we can refrain from caricaturing him as a rabid advocate of unregulated and unscrupulous greed – Adam Smith tells us that competition, freely, fairly and transparently conducted, is the great engine of innovation. More humbly, or perhaps less theoretically, but surely more pertinently, experience tells us that the “mixed economy” of optimised private and public provision works far better than any extreme."

Several members of my blog community have linked to this, asking if I wrote it originally, so consistent is it with my own drums -- the study of Adam Smith and fiscally responsible Keynsianism, along with the spectacular success story of public investment in research, education, health and infrastructure, which can only be denied by the hysterically delusional.

No I didn't ghost write that -- (I lived in Britain for a couple of years, but would never spell "optimised" that way, shudder.) But I do recommend having a look. Tim Morgan continues:

"Going forward, we should anticipate the collapse of the “everything bubble” in asset prices, and should hope that we don’t, this time, go so far into economic denial as to think we can cure this with a purely financial “fix”. I’m fond of saying that “trying to fix an energy-based economy with financial fixes is like trying to cure an ailing pot-plant with a spanner”. We should understand popular concerns, which seem to point unequivocally towards a mixed economy, extensive redistribution and an economic nationalism that needs to be channelled, not simply vilified."
None of this will happen unless the last remaining Knowledge Castes who cling to the mad right finally acknowledge what the scientists, teachers, journalists, civil servants, skilled workers, and almost every fact-using profession - including the maligned "deep state" protectors - all know. That the worldwide mafia-oligarchy is not friend of anything we value. They are the Olde Feudal Enemy of every type of freedom and progress. And it will take all of us to achieve what the Greatest Generation did, a whole human lifetime ago Save civilization.

== Again, the greatest judo move Pelosi could pull... ==

While the reform package that will be passed by Democrats for the U.S. House of Representatives consists of all good things that will help improve ethics, efficiency and fairness, it's still fairly minor stuff. Democrats should pass rules that really change the dynamic, like permanently giving some power to the minority! 

Why do this, when that minority party is the Republicans? Because Democrats will be out again, sooner or later, silenced and impotent... unless they set precedents now!

My top proposal? Give every member of the House one subpoena per term, that can compel anyone to testify for 2 hours before a committee.

Sure, some GOPpers will use such a power to irritate and pursue grudges (virtually the only use to which they put subpoenas and hearings, when they were majority!) So? That means they'll be approving this minority right, institutionalizing it. (Maybe make that vow a necessary part of using that subpoena.) But other Republican legislators will wait, hoping to use their one subpoena to benefit the home district. And why not? Pulling them away from their caucus?

We've seen how the lack of such a minority power kept Congress from meaningfully exercising any meaningful oversight, when the only grownups (Democrats) had zero power to investigate anything at all. Envision how just 200 hours of such testimony, this last term, would have empowered Dems to apply accountability, even from a minority.

The crux: letting goppers vent blowhard-steam when they are in minority is a small price for letting demmies apply real accountability, when they have their minority turn.

It would also vest individual members with a measure of autonomy that might possibly lift their gaze from pure partisanship. 

It's one of several proposals in my FACT Act.


And finally....

Fascinating. During the harsh winter of 1776, in the wake of George Washington’s disaster at New York, but before they could learn about his triumphs at Trenton and Princeton, volunteer soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga fought a brief, one hour battle between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts bivouacs. More of a nasty brawl, because, despite slashing sabers and blazing muskets, no one died and order was re-established. Never knew this!

153 comments:

Andrew T Smith said...

If the Democratic majority in the House can change the rules to give the minority powers then can't a Republican majority take them away?

raito said...

Ah, back to politics.

There may be residual sanity in Wisconsin. Check out the latest Marquette University Law School poll (which is usually well done):

https://law.marquette.edu/poll/

Since gerrymandering was mentioned, here's a highlight:
Seventy-two percent of voters say they prefer redistricting of legislative and congressional districts to be done by a nonpartisan commission, while 18 percent prefer redistricting be done by the legislature and governor. Majorities in each partisan group favor a nonpartisan commission for redistricting, with 63 percent of Republicans including leaners, 83 percent of Democrats including leaners, and 76 percent of independents favoring a nonpartisan commission. Less than 30 percent of each group preferred redistricting be done by the legislature and governor, with support for the current system coming from 27 percent of Republicans including leaners, 10 percent of Democrats including leaners, and 10 percent of independents.

Not bad, but not my favorite bit:
After leaving office, Walker said in interviews that he might consider a future run for office in Wisconsin. Thirty-seven percent say they would like to see him run for governor or senator in 2022, while 53 percent say they do not want him to run.

The president? 44 percent approve of what he's done, but only 39 would likely vote for him today.

progressbot said...

__IDEA OF HOW TO US ALL LIVE LONGER AND PROSPER__

Idea of technology... or more like industry... which allow to build NUMEROUS swarming robots.
As well as countless other things. On the Earth and in the Space?

It's (relatively) easy to start:
make design and engineering, modeling tools for such technology -- because current CAD\CAE systems are mostly for rigid bodies and far simpler structures,

make at least prototype of such robots, I think about fish-like robot, because it relatively simple (only one coordinate) -- to test different approaches (as in Edison Workshop),

make special 3D printers -- which can use flexible material and have multi-material nuzzles, etc.

Today is NOT time of singular inventors. We came past it EVEN in Edison's times.

So... vision that I do propose... need to re-establish notion of "Edison's workshop".
To combine smart-asses of different kinds. And give em many different tasks.
Result of which will be that I said -- unmeasurable power for humans -- to build anything, anywhere.

And of course there need to be board of "guarding angels",
so that omnipotent techs would not be subcepted to whims of free market (so easily),
and as such to fall in hands of malicious people... (do I need to depict disastrous possibilities here?) to perceive and resolve such moral dilemmas.

Tony Fisk said...

Andre Smith said:
If the Democratic majority in the House can change the rules to give the minority powers then can't a Republican majority take them away?

They could, especially as the gop removed that other bit of minority agitation, the filibuster.

Even so, minority powers are worth experimenting with. One party acting in bad faith is a separate issue.

David Brin said...

This is a games of yards and miles, tactics and strategy. If the dems give each House member one subpoena per session, it would empower INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS with a prerogative that would be hard to justify removing, if members actually use it, then hypocritically vote to rescind it later.

Sure, most goppers are already hypocrites and cheaters. but they know the next monstrous act may be the straw that breaks the back. And people will see which party always cheats.

progressbot said...

>>David Brin said...
\\1) I see no reason why Feudalism would not be a Top Ten entry for fermi paradox explanations.

As sub-category of Was Unable to Develop because of lack of oil and coal needed to fuel Malthusian Inflation of Industrialisation?
And was stuck in Malthusian Trap of pure agricaltural.


\\2) Feudalism's logic works no matter whether the sapient race descended from herbivores, omnivores or carnivores.

Very questionable. And good starting point to training one's imagination.
We know only (zigzaged) path of scavengers-omnivores.
What evolutionary pressure and circumstances could lead to achieving of Mind... for herby and carny... hmmm?


\\3) Feudalism always slowed technological advance and actively stifled many.

And exactly because of this, european civilization, which become an exemplar and coined exact term "feudalism" -- became underdeveloped and lose itself in civilizations race... oh,sh... %)


\\4) Over time, it may make a species ever more paranoid, reluctant and conservative.

Or... more law-abiding, cooperative and diligent. Look at japanese. ;)


\\Once that happens, a race might indeed "lose the stars" permanently. As I said, it is a leading candidate for the Fermi Paradox.

We do not know The First Thing -- how race CAN achieve "path to the stars".(or at least prolong it's life after Peak Oil)
So... declare that we will lose it because of this or that... too early. IMHO.

As for example. I do propose here sure deal techs, that can open to us the Space.
But nobody interested.

So. Maybe, just maybe, it's more like lack of interest and imagination IS "the leading candidate for the Fermi Paradox". ;)

porohobot said...

I'll show what (as here is no discussions... if it not spaicy)

locumranch of a healthy man (instead of usual locum of a smoker) could look like.


"""
Facebook engaged in practices that tricked children and parents into spending money in free-to-play games, according to court documents unsealed and reported by the publication Reveal. And the company often denied attempts by parents to recover hundreds or even thousands of dollars until credit card companies “clawed back” the money from Facebook.
...
The Reveal story suggests that Facebook’s own reports showed underage users — who were not authorized to be on the platform in the first place — did not realize their parents’ credit cards were connected to their Facebook accounts, according to the documents. Employees warned of the problem, but Facebook took o action. A team suggested how to reduce the problem, but the company did not implement it and “instead told game developers that the social media giant was focused on maximizing revenues,” Reveal said.
...
Facebook did not approve the fix. Data showed that from October 12, 2010, to January 12, 2011, children had spent $3.6 million, the documents said. (Facebook’s revenue for all of 2011 was $3.7 billion).
...
Part of the concern about stopping those situations from happening was that it would also hurt intentional revenue. Presumably, that meant that the “friction” of putting in a barrier, like a new authorization of a card, would stop people who really did intend to make another purchase. Facebook said in a memo that “friendly fraud” was OK. That is, it told game developers to let children proceed without their parents’ permission, to maximize revenue. If people complained, they should simply get some free virtual items, as those bore no cost for Facebook.
"""


And of course... there is such patent -- for in-app payments, isn't it?
Patents and free entrepreneurship they say. %)


---

That's what all "merchant economy", "beneficial to all" really look like!!!
It's just a tricks to make people pay (more... no... MOAR!!!) money for useless stuff.
That's totally not like in Old Gold Times when crafty artisans made REAL things...
and for that was called "luddites" and smashed by that your "enlightement" of crooks and cheaters. %P


Best

Larry Hart said...

Tony Fisk:

"If the Democratic majority in the House can change the rules to give the minority powers then can't a Republican majority take them away?"

They could, especially as the gop removed that other bit of minority agitation, the filibuster.


You're talking about the Senate, and even there, the filibuster is still available for legislation. In the House, the minority has essentially no powers. I don't think that was the original concept of how congress should work.


Even so, minority powers are worth experimenting with. One party acting in bad faith is a separate issue.


They'd have to act publicly in bad faith, which in itself might be a worthwhile endeavor. It helps expose the Republicans as the Party of Cheaters. That might be a better path to defeating them electorally than debates over policy issues.

Mitch McConnell referred cynically to HR1 as the "Democrat Preservation Bill" or something to that effect. He meant it was a wish-list for the Dems' leftist base, but what he's really getting at is, "If the American people are allowed to actually vote their will, Democrats will be in power. We can't have that!"

Mike Will said...

Oligarchy has a flip side: Philanthropy. The battle has several fronts, not just between the powerful and the weak, but also between feudalism and science. And there are some heavy hitters on science's side too. Some can even match Congressional action: https://www.geekwire.com/2019/report-bill-gates-promises-add-billions-congress-helps-nuclear-power-push/

progressbot said...

Just as I said erlier.

That who have money -- have NO ideas. And so... they trink their money randomly. On pointless efforts. %)))

progressbot said...

\\https://www.geekwire.com/2019/report-bill-gates-promises-add-billions-congress-helps-nuclear-power-push/

What whould be better... for climate change, and for all.

His NUKElear reactors? (yep... let's give it to the terrorists portative radioactive sources)

Or my swarming millions of robots...
that could cover Sahara desert (or ocean) with light reflecting foil...
or even better -- solar accumulators which in a step will be taking carbon out of air...
to build yet more swarming robots? ;)

locumranch said...


First, I'd like to point out the McCarthyism-grade hypocrisy inherent in lionising US Democrat Party members & an unelected Deep State bureaucracy intent on recreating the failure-that-was Old Soviet Style Communism within US borders, while simultaneously condemning Trump and nearly the entire American-confederate right as being potentially influenced by a defunct KGB & the failure-that-was Old Soviet Style Communism.

Second, I'll mention that the acronym 'POC' has already been adopted by Democrat Party communists like Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez.

And, third, I'd like to congratulate our fine host for his courageous endorsement of what Tim Morgan describes as "economic nationalism", also known as Mercantilism, the precursor and product of ethnic & religious nationalism.

We can talk more about the Buddhist principle of Samamana, also known as the 'Conceit of Equality', later.


Best
_____

Either-Or choices perpetuate false dichotomy, but know that there is a Middle Way between the extremes of Merit & Equality, Collectivism & Anarchy and Industrialisation & Agrarianism.

Anonymous said...

Hey! I'll teach you new shiny truth. %) Your Middle Way it's Middle Ground Fallacy. %)))

matthew said...

The Supreme Court article is thought-provoking. I do suspect that the current SCOTUS would find such changes done legislatively to be unconstitutional, though. They have come so close to locking in conservative control of the higher courts for the next 25 years. No way they let a mere law change their iron control of the courts.

David Brin said...

Porohobot: “\\4) Over time, it may make a species ever more paranoid, reluctant and conservative.

“Or... more law-abiding, cooperative and diligent. Look at japanese. ;)
Yes, very good point… but follow your own example! The Japanese Daimyos and Shoguns banned foreign contacts and travel, many technologies and even (over distances) the wheel!

“So. Maybe, just maybe, it's more like lack of interest and imagination IS "the leading candidate for the Fermi Paradox". ;)”

It is the LEAD theory… that human styles of intellect are very rare.

More important, that we got our powerful minds relatively QUICKLY. So fast that we developed science before turning the planet into a desert. (With goat herds and bad irrigation.) So quickly that we have a chance to use some remaining surplus to get into space. If a race does it more slowly, their world is impoverished by the time they have real science.

--

Skimmed: boring. Again: Yowled assertions don't become true by yowling them repeatedly.

Mike Will said...

Re: SETI and Fermi

Imagine someone standing on a Bahamian beach on the evening of Oct 11, 1492 and looking eastward out across the sea. They mutter, "I've been searching for the tiniest trace of evidence of people out there all my life. Nothing. Only silence. If life is common everywhere, the sea should be crowded with canoes. Our local islands must be unique. We are alone." They turn in bitter disappointment and walk home.

I wasn't saying that implies . I was saying that we are still learning so much, the Fermi paradox is premature, way-y-y premature. The whole debate feels a bit 'angels dancing on the head of a pin'-ish right now. Gosh, we don't even have a good handle on origin-of-life processes yet. Even our robotic exploration bubble has a radius of only light hours. That's hardly searching the beach for fossils. Here in Canada, they just turned on CHIME and are already finding new FRBs. It's not silence, it's a din out there. New terrestrial, lunar, deep space, and GW observatories will swamp our computers.

I value raw computation over mathematical logic. It's easier to try than to prove it can't be done. Speculation, deduction, and inference have limits, especially when using vanishingly little data. Gold is where you find it.

Calculemus!

Mike Will said...

2nd paragraph line 1 got chopped off:
I wasn't saying that [many planets] implies [much Terran-understandable signals].

David Brin said...

Mike sorry, your angels on pins argument would hold if any policies or actions toward discovery are at stake. They aren't. SETI has gained support in tandem with Fermi discussions. What you are asserting IS a position among the Fermi hypotheses. You are implicitly assuming that migration and colonization are virtually nil, since if they are common and rapid, then the entire Earth and solar system would show signs by now.

Your glass-of-water analogy only works if life starts out rare or if it does not diffuse. Both are hypotheses. It is worth noting there are about 90 other hypotheses.

Mike Will said...

Bacteria have been with us for our entire history, and long before. Hundreds of millions of years. Yet we have only known about them (able to detect them) for a tiny, tiny sliver of human history. I'm not claiming, asserting, assuming, or hypothesizing anything (at least intentionally). Quite the opposite. I'm saying that we are brutally ignorant, in deep time terms. I'm advocating further data gathering.

Mike Will said...

Perhaps a better example is Hubble, both the original galactic nebulae and the much later deep field image. An ounce of data is worth more than a ton of speculation.

David Brin said...

Disparagement of speculation is not the same thing as asking for perspective in speculation.

I am very involved in doing the latter, discouraging very bright people from declaring "I know what the Fermi Answer HAS to be!" Instead, I catalogue them and discuss falsifiability tests. Likewise, I concoct and compare plausible scenarios for corporations, agencies and buyers of my books. And members of this community.

You are doing the former. And if your position is generalized, then you are demanding that I starve, since carefully plausible speculation is how I earn a living and feed my family.

Mike Will said...

It's not Enrico I have a problem with. You're right, his question is the trellis on which serious SETI strategy grows. It's the nihilists who delight in dead ends that irk me. Killjoys make terrible scientists :)

David Brin said...

Agreed. Even St. Hawking declared "this IS the answer." I have no such confidence in any one theory in a field without any known subject matter.

Mike Will said...

I wasn't casting any aspersions on you or your work. If anything, people in this blog might accuse me of being a fan-boy or flatterer. I've read FT and much of this venerable blog. My excessive suspicion of formal, mathematical reasoning maybe springs from my lack of ability in that area, especially as I age. Also, I have some trouble deciphering the often esoteric, and deeply American, perspectives in here. I'm sorry (Canadianism eh).

My opinion on this and most other topics matters naught, and anyway my race is largely run. I have no pet theories to hawk (not even computational psychohistory). I do look forward to the end of the current wave of tribal populism, and to the next scientific Enlightenment, which will hopefully spread wide and deep as in "Foundation". I wish nothing but success for you. I certainly wouldn't like to see you become a Popper pauper.

The one subject I do know something about is computation. Not because I'm smart, but because I've been building, tinkering with, programming, designing, and defending these machines since I used to save my pennies to buy transistors and solder half a century ago. Over the years, the number of transistors in my pocket has gone from 3 to a billion. The miracles that people ignore are often the ones that happen right in their midst. Tik Toks have always fired my imagination. Perhaps I should stick only to them.

progressbot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\\\Porohobot: “\\4) Over time, it may make a species ever more paranoid, reluctant and conservative.

\\“Or... more law-abiding, cooperative and diligent. Look at japanese. ;)
Yes, very good point… but follow your own example! The Japanese Daimyos and Shoguns banned foreign contacts and travel, many technologies and even (over distances) the wheel!

"banned foreign contacts". Yeap. To make more profit from silk trade, what encouraged trade... end rised interest in foreign gods. ;)

There Evolution Theory for you.

I already used it's framework here. In a nutshell it is quite simple.

It do oscilate in between two extremes: stabilizing selection and variability adaptation evolution.

1. specie locked in some territory, with specific resources, climate and other factors, and thrive to adapt to it optimally -- it's what occur most of the time.

2. something changes -- new, bigger territory, new source of resources emerges -- and specie start divercifing.


\\“So. Maybe, just maybe, it's more like lack of interest and imagination IS "the leading candidate for the Fermi Paradox". ;)”

\\It is the LEAD theory… that human styles of intellect are very rare.

Sorry to say.
But it's utter bullshit.
You can draw anything you want with ONE point of data. %)))

And... we still have NO definition of "intellect"... HOW can they do their inference in such case?

It's not speculation... even non-scientifical. It's locum-looney thoughts. %P

Alfred Differ said...

Space exploration and space science was largely in dormancy between Apollo 17 and SpaceX.

Good grief. That is SO not true. 8)

I too thought we'd be a lot further by now back when I was young. I don't anymore because I understand a little better the nature of government funding of programs. Apollo ended for political reasons. Shuttle was stranded without it's two siblings for political reasons. ISS was redesigned many, many times and stripped of its early purpose for political reasons.

We get to Titan when it makes economic sense for private industry to go or the politicians come to realize they can win some votes by satiating some of the public's curiosity about the place. If you want to get there and STAY THERE, only the first option will work.

progressbot said...

>> Mike Will said...
\\My excessive suspicion of formal, mathematical reasoning maybe springs from my lack of ability in that area, especially as I age.

They say that there is something called wisdom... emerges with age.
So, maybe that suspicion have some real ground. ;)


//and anyway my race is largely run.

//Perhaps I should stick only to them.

That point of view... I would like to snap you out of it (the same as my recently died granny :(( ). Thought that "all is at end for me".

If only I'd know HOW... :(((((((((

It's really bad to thnk that way. Especially in this times... times in just one step before Exponential Techs emerging.

Live LONG. And Prosper. (C)

progressbot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\We get to Titan when it makes economic sense...

Yep. Except there is NO economic sense in any endeavour... which contain step with lifting something bulky from deep down of gravity well.

Except if you have Clark's "fountaines of heaven" -- gravity lifts. ;)

You know how to build one? (I know. but have niether power no money %(()

And of course... it will be economically uneffective to do it manually... not with my swarming robot. ;)

progressbot said...

>> Mike Will said...
//It's the nihilists who delight in dead ends that irk me. Killjoys make terrible scientists :)

Memetic space. Same as any biocenoze. Need to have inhabitants within different roles.
There need to be crop.
And herbivores.
And predators to kill them.
And different types of scavengers and so on...

That's life. That's ce la ve. (shy)


\\Quite the opposite. I'm saying that we are brutally ignorant, in deep time terms. I'm advocating further data gathering.

10th Century BC; “If you shut the DOOR to all errors, truth will be shut out TOO.” (C)

And... you need an idea Where and What info to search. And constant vigilance to not trash it when you found something... e-e, incomprehensible. ;)

It's EVEN MORE important TODAY. In a step before Inflation of Knowlege.(or we already half step in it?)


\\Gosh, we don't even have a good handle on origin-of-life processes yet.

And what makes you not happy with RNA-world hypotesis? ;)



>> David Brin said...
\\More important, that we got our powerful minds relatively QUICKLY.

Even our pre-history was tens of thousand long.
And I see no problem for it to be 100 thousands... or even millions.
We was very little over ordinary animals that time.

So... I was read some little story where it was played other way -- that we, humans, are way TOO slowpoks... other species do start from wheel to hyperdrive in couple of generations.
So. When they encountered us... they made an reservation out of Earth. To keep us safe. %P


\\So fast that we developed science before turning the planet into a desert. (With goat herds and bad irrigation.)

It need TOO great of uniformity. For that to happen.
When I said about "Earth is our island"... it was grave exaggeration, still. %)


\\So quickly that we have a chance to use some remaining surplus to get into space.

Light of the Sun -- that's all we need.
And we still only tiny percentile of ALL biosphere.


\\If a race does it more slowly, their world is impoverished by the time they have real science.

There TOO MUCH other danger factors... from meteorites to gamma-bursts. So.

And who said that our science is "real"? ;) Isn't it sore anthropocentrism? %)

Alfred Differ said...

Of course it makes no economic sense to go to Titan right now. Who would pay for it? What services are to be provided to businesses operating in an open, flat, fair market? None. Nada. Hence, there is no reason to go to Titan except for Science and to serve the human spirit.

The Moon, all of cis-lunar space, and the near-Earth asteroids are another matter. Musk wants Mars, but he'll do that providing services to businesses willing to pay for what moves them in spaces closer to home.

We move outward as our markets move outward. Science is a type of market with long reach and poor appeal to those who optimize too much for prudence in their lives. Justice produces a market too, but it is tricky to provide services without encountering conflicts of interest and conflicts with human nature. Commerce is the market that will give us the stars.

progressbot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\Of course it makes no economic sense to go to Titan right now.

With current techs. Needed clarification.


\\Who would pay for it? What services are to be provided to businesses operating in an open, flat, fair market? None. Nada.

What market paid for Columbus and Magellan travels? %)


\\Hence, there is no reason to go to Titan except for Science and to serve the human spirit.

Still. I think it's more of ability. Then reason. ;)


\\The Moon, all of cis-lunar space, and the near-Earth asteroids are another matter.

Yep. To catch asteroid and drag it onto Moon, Earth... or even better Moon-Earth orbit... so we could haul anything we want here and there (almost) for free.

And we even can have money for it -- as for "defence from asteroids" program. ;)


\\Musk wants Mars, but he'll do that providing services to businesses willing to pay for what moves them in spaces closer to home.

Yeah. I too, dunno of his thought process on that.
Maybe it's something political -- if make it on the Moon.
That'll in a second would create tons of political quarrels... because of property rights, nukelear defence, etc.


\\We move outward as our markets move outward. Science is a type of market with long reach and poor appeal to those who optimize too much for prudence in their lives.

Interesting POV. (curious)


\\Justice produces a market too, but it is tricky to provide services without encountering conflicts of interest and conflicts with human nature.

Yep. USSR the stark example of it.


\\Commerce is the market that will give us the stars.

Hardly.

David Brin said...

“I wasn't casting any aspersions on you or your work.”

And I was kidding! And live long.

“Even our pre-history was tens of thousand long.
And I see no problem for it to be 100 thousands... or even millions.”

Once we had spears and fire we could protect goat herds and they were rapidly spreading deserts behind them, even before agriculture.

progressbot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\Once we had spears and fire we could protect goat herds and they were rapidly spreading deserts behind them, even before agriculture.

Yep. The same way in tundra and tropics. Freely cattle-herding them across the oceans and mountains.

I wonder... it's just a level of your respect toward that miserly anonymous?
(deserved, without doubts)
Or just usual way of thinking? (sad)

Because I already stated HOW it could be possible.

"It need TOO great of uniformity. For that to happen."

If there'd be Gondwana-like continent. And climate more uniform and no secluded nooks on the map.

Of course... there'd be problems. But.
Its a HUGE question -- how so complex life form would appear in such an undiversified environment???

On Earth... it was the era of brontosaurus %))) VERY intelligent specie. %P

progressbot said...

ERRR!!! Shame on me! %)))

Of course... there was NO brontosaurus in times of Gondwana!

Shame on me. Shame on me.

Here. Where can lead haste with concocting metaphorical counter-argument.

People! Don't do it!!! (shy)

yana said...


From original blogpost:

"volunteer soldiers at Fort Ticonderoga fought a brief, one hour battle between Pennsylvania and Massachusetts bivouacs."

Returned fresh from Kuwait/Iraq in 1992, one soldier told me about his unit awakened in the night by artillery, a week before everyone surged north for 100 hours. Was it go-time? Had the war finally started? They scrambled into posture, only ordered to stand down after some hours, once word came that the firefight was merely the Pakistanis shelling the Egyptians. Never heard that on CNN.

It's just a symptom, times of rapid change like war bring people to a higher individualism, weakening their sense of community and its social mores. Yukon, Sutter's Mill, Klondike, Homestake. All were a rapid influx of strangers, all led to violence and alchoholism. When oil/gas transformed the East Scottish coastline in the 1970s, complaints came that "local girls become promiscuous" and, of course, the alcoholism too. Same all over the world in both the 20c's Big Ones. Postwar babybooms are not unique to any country.

And not unique to humankind. Many species respond to environmental stress by reproducing both faster, and farther afield. If you want to check the power of the redfederates, you must divorce the political right from fundy religions. In our case, Republicans are widely seen as more accomdating to war in general, and war is well known to foster demon rum and turn milkmaids into flappers.

Christians and Muslims and Mormons might start to think maybe love and charity are better ways to save their own daughter, than a hawkride to a land where she can't get the abortion she will never want. The rub, is that if we get the semi-socialist love-N-charity society the political left wants, we will still have to figure out what to do with the human need to strive above survive.

progressbot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\...follow your own example! The Japanese Daimyos and Shoguns banned foreign contacts

Because there was few of them possible.
And with one -- China/Chuu-goku, they couldn't even think of... to confront with. (Kami-kaze, remember?)
And next one -- Korea/Kan-koku, they tried to brawl and lose sorely.
And from other side there was vastless ocean.

As for me it's quite enough of reasons to be vary in contacts. %)


\\ and travel,

Where to?
And for what?
Chinese for example was aware of other nations. Through Silk Road. But not interested.


\\many technologies

Technologies... need markets. That's (almost) sole most limiting factor for it.


\\and even (over distances) the wheel!

They have had wheel. But it was unpractical on their territory with lots of mountains and hills.
So it was solely for ceremonial usage.

Esolb Nairb said...

I love the thought of trading HR1 for border wall funding. It would set Trump and congressional Republicans on a collision course.

Mike Will said...

I said: //and anyway my race is largely run.

progressbot said:
That point of view... I would like to snap you out of it (the same as my recently died granny :(( ). Thought that "all is at end for me".
If only I'd know HOW... :(((((((((
It's really bad to thnk that way. Especially in this times... times in just one step before Exponential Techs emerging.
Live LONG. And Prosper. (C)


Thanks progressbot. No need for concern or sympathy. My race is largely run because I've won it. I've reproduced very successfully, and I've achieved a very small example of Horace Mann's "victory for humanity". It's all good. Also, I've had a very long view of the future since reading "Foundation" as a kid. That book is really chicken soup for the soul. It should be required reading in grade school.

Mike Will said...

"required reading in grade school"

- or maybe better high school

Anonymous said...

I know.
It's selfish request.
But I do not trust that beardy on the cloud.
That info. That expirience. Dim as most preshious. And unfair to be lost. :(((((((

Larry Hart said...

My wish might be coming true (emphasis mine) :

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2019/Pres/Maps/Jan28.html#item-3

Republicans in the Senate have gotten the message that shutdowns are bad for...them. They are also bad for the hundred of thousands of government workers who don't get paid and for those people who use the government services that are stopped, but that doesn't actually matter much to them. It is the fact that Republicans are nearly always blamed when they shut down the government that is the problem.

Larry Hart said...

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2019/Pres/Maps/Jan28.html#item-1

Unlike Stone, who thinks he will walk, Zeidenberg says that the evidence Mueller already presented in the indictment is so solid that Stone would have no chance of being acquitted even if his trial were in Idaho or Wyoming. But it won't be there. It will be in D.C., where at least half of the jury pool consists of black Democrats who hate Donald Trump with a passion and who will fight tooth and nail to be on the jury that puts his buddy away for the rest of his life.


Tangentially, this gave me an idea of how to characterize what someone here recently said about both the Brexit vote and the election of Donald Trump. Both are the electoral equivalent of jury nullification.

locumranch said...


Although Mike_W's Moody Blues reference was quite impressive, Alfred wins the booby prize for arguing that "We get to (conquer space) when it makes "economic sense", the problem being that the conquest of space has never & will never make "economic sense".

As an armed orbital force may quite literally command the world, the Space Race only made 'strategic sense' from a Cold War military perspective, but it never made strict 'economic sense' as evidenced by NASA's USD $10,000 toilet seat.

Putting the fantasy of limitless 'Supply & Demand' independent asteroid wealth aside for the moment, Space Travel is primarily a ROMANTIC notion best suited for the heroic tales of childhood.

We must turn our backs on Space if we truly desire to create an enlightened, hunger-free, politically-correct, climate-stabilised, gender-neutral, post-racial, fair-level-open-equal, progressive global utopia.


Best

Mike Will said...

Aw, heck. I came this close to winning a prize.

"We must turn our backs on Space" - sent from personal computer
IRONY PRIZE WINNER !

jim said...

There is some economic sense in launching communication and sensing satellites into Earth orbit, but the rest of the space program does not make economic sense (there is not a positive economic return on investment.)



In other news, there is frightening news from Puerto Rico

" GarcĂ­a and Lister once again measured the forest’s insects and other invertebrates, a group called arthropods that includes spiders and centipedes. The researchers trapped arthropods on the ground in plates covered in a sticky glue, and raised several more plates about three feet into the canopy. The researchers also swept nets over the brush hundreds of times, collecting the critters that crawled through the vegetation.

Each technique revealed the biomass (the dry weight of all the captured invertebrates) had significantly decreased from 1976 to the present day. The sweep sample biomass decreased to a fourth or an eighth of what it had been. Between January 1977 and January 2013, the catch rate in the sticky ground traps fell 60-fold."

It is not just climate change that is a major problem, ecosystem destruction is also picking up pace.

Daniel Duffy said...

The point of the Fermi Paradox isn't that we haven't look at more than a small fraction of the sky.

The problem is: if there are other alien civilizations more advanced than our own, then their presence should obvious. They should light up the night sky.

Whether it's Dyson spheres or swarms, starships travelling even a fraction of the speed of light, powerful telecommunication and navigation beacons, etc. - an alien civilization should be obvious.

We should be able to see the presence of a Kardeshev Type II civilization with the naked eye.

But we see.... nothing.

Why?

Daniel Duffy said...

From a previous post -

Though the signs of our civilization may exist in the future, for now there is still no sign of an other civilization in the universe.

It is looking more and more likely that we are all alone.

https://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2018/06/but-seriously-where-is-everybody/563498/

https://qz.com/1314111/we-may-have-answered-the-fermi-paradox-we-are-alone-in-the-universe/

"Many solutions have been proposed to solve this riddle, known as the Fermi Paradox. The aliens are hiding. They’ve entered suspended animation until more propitious conditions arise. A Great Filter makes the leap from “life “to “intelligent life” improbable, if not impossible. They’ve blown themselves up.Researchers of Oxford University’s Future of Humanity Institute have another answer. It’s likely intelligent life doesn’t exist at all, outside of Earth."

No Klingons. No Wookies. No ET phoning home.

Just us.

Maybe because Earth is a VERY rare place. Even more rare is a large companion moon.

https://www.forbes.com/sites/brucedorminey/2013/04/21/rare-earth-revisited-anomalously-large-moon-remains-key-to-our-existence/#4dd8438035ed

So if we fail as a species the universe goes back to the unaware darkness of being mindless, blind, deaf and dumb.

But if we succeed, we can seed the universe with intelligent life in a remarkably short period of time - even at only a fraction of light speed.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3WtgmT5CYU8

https://io9.gizmodo.com/it-s-easier-for-aliens-to-visit-us-than-previously-thou-909418813

"And indeed, the power of the SRP lies in its ability to replicate at an exponential rate. The initial rate of exploration would be slow, but after producing potentially millions upon millions of offspring, the rate of expansion would increase by an order of magnitude. So even at a speed of about a tenth the speed of light, these probes could cover a huge amount of territory in a relatively short amount of time from a cosmological perspective.... The researchers put this model to test by using a computer simulation. What they discovered was that, by using this technique, an alien civilization could send probes traveling no faster than 10% the speed of light to every single solar system in the galaxy in only 10 million years. Which is incredible — that’s an amount of time that’s significantly less than the age of the Earth."

Daniel Duffy said...

The explanation of the Fermi Paradox in accordance with Occam's Razor:

We are all alone in the galaxy, if not the universe.

Mike Will said...

@Daniel Duffy
"their presence should obvious"
What about the Bahamian beachcomber I described above?

"in accordance with Occam's Razor"
So the simplest explanation is 1 living world in 100 billion stars?
I think Occam just raised a Spockian eyebrow.

David Brin said...

Reproduction, expansion, diffusion. Life does those things. Earth has been prime real estate for 2 billion years. That's SIX full galactic rotations (at our distance from center).

Rarity explanations rank high... but there are two dozen of them.

Daniel Duffy said...

@Mike Will

Columbus' ships did not give off massive heat signatures or emit powerful radio waves. If they had, they would have been obvious to the Bahamian Beachcomber looking to the eastern sky before the left Spain.

Humanity is currently about a Type 0.7 on the Kardashev scale and probably won’t obtain Type 1 status (commanding the energy of an entire planet) for another 100 to 200 years. A Type 2 (controlling the energy of entire solar system) would be capable of regular starflight. Such a civilization (Earth in 1,000 years?) would be able to build and launch fleets of massive starships.

And they would have to be massive. A Project Orion design would be the most practical approach to interstellar travel. Just find a good sized nickel-iron asteroid. Hollow it out and shape it to look like a pencil. The sharp end is pure mass shielding at an acute deflective angle (like sloped armor on a tank). The rear is a reactive plate where the nuclear charges go off accelerating the craft. The entire ship is spun on its longitudinal axis to provide artificial gravity on the inside walls of the hollowed out interior.

Such a craft would give off immense amounts of heat during acceleration, from impact with atoms and dust between the stars, and when decelerating upon arrival. Such heat would be visible across thousands of light years and be especially noticeable because it is moving at relativistic speeds. Any star-faring civilization would have hundreds of these rapidly moving heat generators cruising between the stars and it would be impossible to hide their heat signature.

The other mega-structure built by a Type II star cruising civilization would be a Dyson swarm or sphere. These would also generate huge amounts of energy as waste heat in the infra-red range. There was actually a recent attempt to detect alien Dyson spheres using the Infrared Astronomical Satellite (IRAS).

https://www.centauri-dreams.org/2008/11/19/searching-for-dyson-spheres/

"The idea being to look for objects that seem to be radiating waste heat in such a way that they might be Dyson Spheres of one kind or another. A fully enveloped star won’t be visible to the eye, but Carrigan’s infrared search covers the blackbody temperature region from 100 to 600 degrees Kelvin for full or partial Spheres. The data come from an IRAS database that covers 96 percent of the sky and includes some 250,000 sources. Exciting stuff on the face of it, because unlike a conventional SETI search, a hunt for Dyson Spheres involves no necessary intent to communicate on the part of the civilization in question."

But again, nothing.

In the grand scheme of things it would take relatively little time for an alien civilization to spread across the galaxy. Have each ship replicate itself once it reaches another star, sending out two more probes (or 10, or 100) Take one probe and double it only 19 times and you have over a million probes spreading throughout the galaxy.

So what can we conclude:

A. It only takes one space-faring intelligent species to spread across the galaxy.
B. Using self replicating craft it can spread across the galaxy very quickly.
C. Such a civilization and its ships would generate massive amounts of heat and radio waves that can be seen from anywhere in the galaxy
D. There are no such heat or radio signs anywhere of such a species.

Conclusion: There are no other intelligent species in the galaxy (every other argument is special pleading).

See Dvorsky's recent column "Is it Time to Accept that We Are All Alone in the Unverse?
http://io9.com/is-it-time-to-accept-that-were-alone-in-the-universe-1654960619

Daniel Duffy said...

And don't be expecting to find some incredibly advanced ancient alien civilization. Gamma ray bursts (GRBs) in the early galaxy snuffed out life repeatedly before it could get a foothold.

http://io9.com/is-it-time-to-accept-that-were-alone-in-the-universe-1654960619

James Annis of Fermilab in Illinois proposed that GRBs could cause mass extinction events on any habitable planet within a distance of 10,000 light-years from the source. To put that into perspective, the Milky Way is 100,000 light-year across and about 1,000 light-years thick. Thus, a single GRB would extinguish life across a sizeable portion of the galaxy.

According to new work conducted by astronomers Tsvi Piran and Raul Jimenez, the odds that a planet could be hit by a GRB depends on its place in space and time. The closer that a planet is to the galactic core, where the density of stars is much greater, the odds increase. Their models show that a planet near to the core has a 95% chance of being hit by a catastrophic GRB at least once every billion years. Pulling back a bit, about half of the solar systems in the Milky Way are close enough such that there's an 80% chance of a GRB per billion years.

But here's where it gets interesting: The frequency of GRBs were greater in the past owing to lower levels of metallicity in the galaxy. Metal-rich galaxies (i.e. those with significant accumulations of elements other than hydrogen and helium) feature less gamma-ray bursts. Thus, as our galaxy becomes richer in metals, the frequency of GRBs decreases. What this means is that prior to recent times (and by recent we're talking the past 5 billion years or so), GRB extinction events were quite common. And in fact, some scientists suspect that the Earth was struck by a GRB many billions of years ago. Piran and Jimenez figure that these events were frequent and disbursed enough across the Milky Way to serve as constant evolutionary reset buttons, sending habitable planets back to the microbial dark ages before complex life and intelligence had a chance to develop further. Fascinatingly, before about 5 billion years ago, GRBs were so common that life would have struggled to maintain a presence anywhere in the cosmos (yes, the entire cosmos).


So, we are alone in the galaxy. In fact, we are the oldest civilization in the galaxy.
WE are the "Ancient Old Ones". Our purpose as a species is to spread intelligent life throughout the galaxy and we seed the universe with our kind (like the Engineers in the Prometheus movie).

Again let me reiterate - WE are the Engineers who will seed the universe.

Cool

Mike Will said...

@Daniel Duffy
Great stuff. I'll read it when I get a chance. Liking this blog more and more.

Just back to Occam for a sec:
If someone tasked you with designing an experiment that would succeed exactly once in billions of potential runs, I doubt if the first word out of your mouth would be 'simple'. One-in-billions is 'rare' like a fusion reaction is 'balmy'. This is one of the reasons that I value computational thinking over mathematical reasoning. It tends to give one a much better appreciation for numbers.

Another explanation of the Fermi Paradox in accordance with Occam's Razor:
We don't know enough yet to resolve the paradox.

Mike Will said...

Re: SETI

Here's the argument I would make for the "We're Alone" answer (taking the other side is great fun).

Of the many essays that Asimov penned, one of the best was "The Relativity of Wrong" https://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm
He argued that scientific theories are not utterly and completely destroyed and abandoned. Rather, they are progressively expanded and/or refined to cover an ever-greater set of evidence. In this way, we at least appear to be zeroing in on the truth. Asimov also wrote a great piece about fractals and infinite refinement of precision, but I don't have a link for it. Dr. Brin refers to "attractors" that might serve a similar purpose, for bigger things like human civilizations.

If many, and possibly an increasing number of, Fermi resolutions point to "We're Alone", then we may have an attractor. That's not a proof, but it's a pretty good "slow hunch" as Steven Johnson would say.



Now here's your homework assignment. Put on your "We're Not Alone" hat. Find a solid, thoughtful, and convincing argument made by a past scientist or school of thought (hint - think Vienna) that turned out to be complete rubbish. A very enlightening and none too rare situation.

Larry Hart said...

Daniel Duffy:

Columbus' ships did not give off massive heat signatures or emit powerful radio waves. If they had, they would have been obvious to the Bahamian Beachcomber looking to the eastern sky before the left Spain.


Only if he had a radio.

Larry Hart said...

Mike Will:

Of the many essays that Asimov penned, one of the best was "The Relativity of Wrong" https://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm


Asimov's essays are as entertaining as his stories. I read that one a long time ago, but never found it online before. Glad to see it again.

Another one I especially liked related the original discovery of vitamins, and how the name came from the mistaken belief that they would all be in the amine group. That essay contained one of my favorite lines, paraphrased from memory: "We've known for centuries that 'oxygen' is a misnomer, but what are you gonna do?"

It's a rare writer who can make such topics fun to read.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Re - GRB's
These are short term - minutes not hours so even if they did do a number on one hemisphere they would not directly damage the other hemisphere - and life would rapidly re-colonise the empty hemisphere
The ozone layer would be regenerating as fast as it would be dissipating

David Brin said...

Duncan the damage to the atmosphere would be lethal to vast numbers of organisms.

The fermi asserting that "the galaxy is only now hospitable" might shift the calculation by two orders of magnitude. You need several more multipliers of 0.1 to get to what we observe, since certainly the galaxy was "habitable" half a billion years ago, when complex life took hold on Earth. That's up to three galactic rotations. So more is needed!

Top of my list are:

1) Humans got especially smart especially fast and proved at least a bit capable of resisting failure mode #2.

2) Feudalism. An attractor trap that lobotomizes civilizations and promising species and reinforces through reproductive success.

3) Rare Earth hypotheses?
* We skate the inner edge of our goldilocks zone, hence have more continental area for a water world.
* Big moon?
* Chloroplasts that use quantum effects... and many others...

4) Suicide land mines. (I spoke of goats earlier. or nuclear winter or climate idiocy)

5) Law. For a sci fi bunch you ignore the possibility of one or another "zoo" hypothesis.

Alfred Differ said...

GRB's are nasty things, but against roofed worlds that might crack open like eggs when their suns warm up later I'm not so certain that they would wipe clean whole galactic sectors. Besides, they aren't omnidirectional last I learned about them.

Reproduction, expansion, diffusion. Life does those things.

True, but most rapidly along the easiest paths. Diffusion time constants along paths through barriers might be longer than the lifespan of the barrier. We've seen this on Earth, so there is no reason to invent it anew for space with its high-rad hot spots and its slow chemistry cold spots.

My money is on the social attractor concept. The zoo puts up its own fencing that way. The other hypotheses sure are fun to consider, though. Well worth the effort to try things to look for constraining evidence.

Alfred Differ said...

I did not mean to exclude military needs from 'economic sense' requirements for breaking out into space as a civilization. It's just that military needs can change quickly from gushers of cash pointing at anyone willing to solve a problem or provide a service to no cash and maybe even a gun pointing at the former service provider.

For example, I have friends who think a great deal about space-based solar power stations beaming electricity to the ground from orbit. If you've worked in the electricity industry even a short time, you'll see the problem with their notions. They aren't even remotely competitive, so all investment money has to come from taxes. Operational maintenance probably does too. Industry people simply dismiss the concepts with a polite if strained smile.

However, there is one customer who would be willing to pay in the right setting. If the US ever gets stuck having to fight a land war on Russia's home turf, our supply lines to our land forces will be the vulnerable places to hit. Electric vehicles and bases wouldn't face this issue IF they could be supplied without the use of a land-based grid. Rebuilding our armed forces for this kind of war would be hideously expensive, but the US is the only nation on Earth that might try if pushed hard enough. In that scenario, we get space-based solar generated electricity that can be beamed around the Earth and that changes everything.

Nukes? You think they'd use nukes? Maybe. The ICBM's wouldn't get very far, though. BZAP.

I'd rather get to space in a less violent way, though. Let's hope it doesn't come to that. We can build the big power generators later and focus now on ground-based generation that doesn't change the chemical composition of the atmosphere and ocean.
____________

There is some economic sense in launching communication and sensing satellites into Earth orbit, but the rest of the space program does not make economic sense (there is not a positive economic return on investment.)

No. The thing about 'economic sense' arguments is that no one person gets to make them with any authority. It doesn't matter what I think makes economic sense. Only WE get to decide that and it's a trial-n-error demonstration all the time.

locumranch said...


Humans are analogous to a beachcomber searching for alien intelligence among stars as plentiful as grains of sand on a beach, argues Mike_W, referring perhaps to a certain golden age science fiction tale wherein a traveler hides an entire civilisation on a storage device that resembles a pebble, only to drop the device into the ocean upon his arrival to present day Earth.

We could resolve the Fermi Paradox sooner, maybe, if we abandoned SETI and turned our eyes, ears & attentions to our beaches for signs of alien intelligence, where our bare toes may caress a countless number of intergalactic civilisations with every squishy step.


Best

Alfred Differ said...

hrmm... One other thing about economic sense is important to mention.

If Mr Max Utility and his family get to decide what makes sense, we won't go to the stars.


Strictly in terms of prudence, it is usually more sensible to optimize using the resources within reach. One CAN take risks, but they are calculated risks based on experience. Prudentia holds a snake in one hand and a mirror in the other. Those who acquire knowledge know the pain of being bitten occasionally and we use this experience in the sense of hindsight even when trying to predict the future.

Prudentia teaches difficult lessons, but not ones of courage, justice, and temperance. Certainly not stories of faith, hope, and love. Gaining the stars will require we write more complicated stories of ourselves.

prgressbot said...

>> Daniel Duffy said...
\\The problem is: if there are other alien civilizations more advanced than our own, then their presence should obvious. They should light up the night sky.

Look at those aborigines in the deep of amazonian forests.
Above which only rare flying by planes could appear. ;)

If that civilizations are able to fly among stars -- it's _up_to_them_ to decide... when and how to meet with us.
Not to us.
The same as with those aborigines. %)


\\Whether it's Dyson spheres or swarms, starships travelling even a fraction of the speed of light, powerful telecommunication and navigation beacons, etc. - an alien civilization should be obvious.

Barbarian thoughts. %P That all.

All progress of civilisation. No... all progress of life.
Showed that most important optimisations was made -- it's coefficient of efficiency optimisations.

And your this thought... it's like -- they need to come to us riding steam engines... Fer Sure!(tm) %)))

Because we know how to detect exactly steam engines... by their whistles. Isn't it? %)))


\\We should be able to see the presence of a Kardeshev Type II civilization with the naked eye.

From the time when Bible of SETI was written. Shklovsky book. ;)
That coined an idea that we can spot on aliens with our radio telescopes...
because they surely will use radio waves. Fer Sure.(tm)
Recent computer simulations showed. That our radio waves would dissipate much more quickly than we thought.


\\But we see.... nothing.
\\Why?

I see there 3 possibilities.

1. I already showed one. That they just not interested in us.
Because our horror stories. About space vikings who will sale to us to enslave us, grab our treasures, pillage the Earth. Are laughable.

2. They exist. But encounter the same hardships as us.
With unforgiving physics first of all... that do not give REAL power into hands of that children. (NO warp drive. Yep %P)

3. They just not exist. Could not be helped.


All three are pretty viable. As you can see. %)

But I... I'll double here on my own reason -- lack of interest and imagination.

I already two post in a row shouting here about idea of technologies...
which can give as POWER to build anything, anywhere...
but, here is NO interest.

So... my bet, that there IS aliens. Lots of them. But they JUST THE SAME -- all talk and no action... waiting: LET'S SOMEONE ELSE make all work done -- develop warp drive, build Dison sphere, come to us with his Cargo... and pull us of our intellectual misery with HIS galactic Wizdom %)))


PS Just for fun: DT. Master of Bark-gain. %)))

progressbot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\If Mr Max Utility and his family get to decide what makes sense, we won't go to the stars.

Yep. It's always more important to build more cosy toilets and moar soft toilet paper. %)

\\If the US ever gets stuck having to fight a land war on Russia's home turf, our supply lines...

Generals always preparing to the last war. (c) %)

\\My money is on the social attractor concept.

Economy have NO objective factors? ;)


>> David Brin said...
\\1) Humans got especially smart especially fast and proved at least a bit capable of resisting failure mode #2.

\\2) Feudalism. An attractor trap that lobotomizes civilizations and promising species and reinforces through reproductive success.

Thank you for the answer. %(

progressbot said...

"""
So what can we conclude:

A. It only takes one space-faring intelligent species to spread across the galaxy.
B. Using self replicating craft it can spread across the galaxy very quickly.
C. Such a civilization and its ships would generate massive amounts of heat and radio waves that can be seen from anywhere in the galaxy
D. There are no such heat or radio signs anywhere of such a species.

Conclusion: There are no other intelligent species in the galaxy (every other argument is special pleading).
"""


So what can we conclude:

A. There can be only ONE king to rule them all.
B. King-warrior would conquer country one after one and expand his empire indefinitely.
C. Soldiers of such empire would be known all over the Earth.
D. We couldn't find remains of Macedonian or Chinggis Khan warriors around our Chattanooga.

Conclusion: There was no such great kings and empires. That's all fakes. %P

Daniel Duffy said...

If Macedonian or Chinggis Khan warriors gave off massive amounts of heat and broadcast powerful radio waves you would see them across half the galaxy.

Daniel Duffy said...

>That they just not interested in us.

Doesn't matter if they are interested or not. If they existed they could not hide their heat signature from us. The existence would be obvious.

progressbot said...

I do not know how much this agrument new and genuine.
But for this auditory, which meet Schlovsky-level (70x years) as something new and amusing... %)

Lt's just simply extrapolate it.
We are already doing Exoplanet Search and Modeling/Simulating of Extra-species.

So. Let's assume civilzation just a tiny bit more advanced than current US.
Literally us... in a decade or two.
With even more advanced telescopes and simulations.

Easy to see... that our ability to see... greatly overcome (possible... like in scifi "possible" %)) our ability to get there.

So. If we are not lucky (and there no reason to think it otherwise), there'd hardly be something interesting around us...
and so close, so we'd find it necessary to fly to.

Laws of physics are the same everywhere.
And to make simulation... even of greatest of scales... still MUCH MORE cheaper... than any "Orion projects". %P

And even building new bigger, no biggest (space)telescopes... still way more cheaper.

So. In short. We need to assume that advanced Civ we so desperately trying to nail with our notion of "Fermi Paradox" -- MUST know about their's whereabouts and prospects GREAT DEAL more then we are... and as such, have no need to travel. For a scientific reason (reason of economy and/or conquest I'll dim as null here)


And next.
As for me, it's obvious that if some Civ will decide to travel across Space.
They'll start it only after/with development of Nanotech(or similar tech).

And that Civ... as was cleverly shown by Charles Stross in "Accelerando"
will have many much more interesting uses for such tech. Before that.

And what will be reasons to travel for such Civ... we could not be less clueless then the dogons... about prospects of using solar powered cheapware for mining of Bitcoins. %)))

Daniel Duffy said...

@ Dr. Brin

>An attractor trap that lobotomizes civilizations

It is quite possible that no only is complex life and intelligence rare in the universe (aka the Rare Earth Hypothesis"), science and technology may be equally rare.

I would suggest "The Soul of Science" by Pearcey and Thaxton who make a very strong case that only Judeo-Christianity (especially in Western Christendom) created the mind set necessary for the development of what we today call "science". They also do an excellent job of dispelling some of the anti-Church myths surrounding Bruno, Copernicus, Galileo, etc.

To quote from the book, "The most curious aspect of the scientific world we live in, says science writer Loren Eiseley, is that it exists at all. Westerners often unconsciously assume a doctrine of Inexorable Progress,as though the mere passage of time leads inevitably to increased knowledge as surely an acorn becomes an oak. Yet the archaeologists would be forced to tell us most great several civilizations have arisen and vanished without benefit of a scientific philosophy. The type of thinking known today as scientific, with its emphasis upon experiment and mathematical formulation, arose in one couture - Western Europe - and in no other.... Science demands some kind of unique soil in which to flourish. Deprived of that soil, it is capable of decay and death as any other human activity, such as religion or a system of government....What is that unique soil? Eiseley identifies it, somewhat reluctantly as the Christian faith"

"Through sheer practical know how and rules of thumb, several cultures in antiquity - from the Chinese to the Greeks to the Arabs - produced a higher level of learning and technology than medieval Europe did. Yet it was Christianized Europe and not those more advanced cultures that gave birth to science as a systematic, self correcting discipline. The historian is bound to ask why this should be so. Why did Christianity form the matrix within which this novel approach to the natural world developed?"

Faith in the possibility of science came antecedently to the development of actual scientific theory, a tone of though was required before science could even develop. This tone of thought was present nowhere else but in Western Christendom. So before you go any further with your claim, please consider the following psychological advantages Western Christendom had over these civilizations:

To begin with the Bible teaches that nature is real. If this seems too obvious, remember that the Hindus teach that that the everyday world of material objects is maya, illusion. Any culture which denigrates the real world is infertile soil for the growth of science.

Daniel Duffy said...

(cont.)

Second, a society must be persuaded that the study of nature is of great value. The ancient Greeks lacked this conviction, equating the material world with evil and disorder. Manual labor was left for slaves while philosophers sought a life a leisure to pursue higher things. Hands on, practical empiricism was alien to the Greeks. In contrast, Judeo-Christianity teaches that the world has great value as God's creation. "And God saw that it was good". There has never been room in either Hebrew or Christian tradition that work was degrading.

Third, in the Christian world view, God made the world, but is not the world itself. Nature is de-deified - a crucial precursor for scientific study of nature. So long as nature is worshiped, dissecting it would be considered impious, an advantage Christianity had over most pagans and animists.

Fourth Christianity established a legacy of a rational God creating an orderly world. To become an object of study,the world must first be regarded as a place where predictable events occur in a reliable predictable fashion. Unlike the Greeks and Romans, the Christians and Jews did not face a pantheon of capricious, unpredictable, immoral, and often childish gods.

Fifth, belief in an orderly universe made possible the belief in a universal, fixed natural law. The use of law in the context of natural events would have been unintelligible to every other culture except Judeo-Christianity.

Sixth, the modern emphasis on the use of mathematics to precisely measure nature can also be traced to the Biblical teaching that God created the world ex nihilo. This is an alien concept to all other cultures, whose gods merely reshaped existing primordial matter. For example, the ancient Greek world view consisted of eternal matter structured by eternal rational universals called Forms or Ideas. Plato's demiurge did not create from nothing he merely injected Ideas into reasonless matter. As a result, the Greeks expected a certain level of fuzziness in nature, which could never be considered to be precise or represented mathematically.

Seventh, Christianity believed that humans can discover the inner workings of natural order. AN orderly precise universe presuppose that it could be interpreted by retinal minds. This was absent in other cultures. The Chinese came close, sensing some order in nature but they conceived it as an inherent necessity inscrutable to the human mind.

Eight, by preaching free will as opposed to deterministic fate, Christianity made it possible to believe that humans could actually do something about nature. Instead of being forever the victims of uncontrollable ate. Contrast this with the Muslim emphasis on kismet.

For these reasons and others, Christianity (and only Christianity) can be considered the Mother of the concept of progress, the modern scientific method and advanced technology.

Daniel Duffy said...

(cont.)

The above is not to say that only Christianity is required for a technologically advanced civilization.

Only that some sort of progenitor belief system and world view is required to provide fertile soil for the later development of science and technology (even if the parent philosophy actually tries to squelch subsequent scientific advancement)

And such belief systems are incredibly rare in human history.

And may be equally rare among alien civilizations.

The galaxy may be home to millions of intelligent species, which histories spanning millions of years, masters or art and philosophy - but none of which have advanced beyond basic iron age technology.

Because they never developed science.

Larry Hart said...

Daniel Duffy:

For these reasons and others, Christianity (and only Christianity) can be considered the Mother of the concept of progress, the modern scientific method and advanced technology.


He keeps mentioning Jews along with Christians, so why "only Christianity"? Why not Judaism? And Islam was also a thing by the time of medieval Europe. Don't those same bullet points pertain to Islam as well?

Jon S. said...

Islam, in fact, was the dominant religion in a technologically fairly well-developed part of the world, until the lands were repeatedly attacked by people using their interpretation of Christianity as an excuse for war. Resultant societal upheavals led to a rising fundamentalist movement in Islam, reinterpreting the words of the Prophet to allow, nay encourage, a narrowing of vision and a rejection of outsiders.

As we can see, it's not the faith that matters - the most technologically-developed regions in history, from the vales of southern Europe where H. sap. sap. and H. sap. neandertalensis first interbred, to the movable type of Korea, to the astronomical observatories of Baghdad, on up to the modern US (well, until recently it would seem), are those that welcome outsiders, and consider their insights potentially valuable.

progressbot said...

>> Jon S. said...
\\...welcome outsiders, and consider their insights potentially valuable.

It look not that great... as for me. %(

jim said...

Although I don't want to discount the importance of culture, you can't get develop science and technology (the way we have in the last ~250 years) without a great deal of surplus energy. And if that surplus energy comes from a non renewable source that society only has a limited time to develop and put in place energy sources that both generate a substantial energy surplus and are renewable.

Something like fossil fuels may be both a treasure and a trap for the societies that figure out how to use them.

matthew said...

Daniel Duffy that is the most egotistical definition of the culture needed to produce science that I've ever seen. Utterly garbage.

Oh, Christianity is *required* to allow the formation of the scientific method?

Christ had to come and save mankind so that we would figure out how to:
1) Form a hypothesis
2) Verify the hypothesis
3) Record the results to share
4) Repeat

And this required a fucking Messiah?

What a joke.

Alfred Differ said...

It is a mistake to think of Christianity as a single culture. It isn't.

It is a mistake to think of western Europe as a single culture. It isn't.

It is a mistake to think the social contributions that enable the rise of scientific thinking came from one culture, religion, or region. They didn't.

There IS an argument to be made, however, that the conflict between certain Protestants and the Roman Church did provide for the final straw that snuff out a segment of the aristocracy enabling merchants and traders in one particular region of Europe to engage in a variation on free thinking that mixed and mashed much of what was available to them. In that stew pot among the Dutch, they had to learn to respect individual liberty to some degree or else be squashed by the Hapsburgs and their Roman Church ally. When the English adopted a Dutch approach (after their messy civil wars motivated them) there were too many weak nobleman to prevent what happened next.

One can argue about most of the contributing factors for scientific ways of thinking, but the best I've seen takes them on piecemeal recognizing the role each plays. My personal favorite for 'last straw' is individual liberty and only some Christians are in favor of that.

Larry Hart said...

matthew:

And this required a fucking Messiah?


That's what I don't get about the article in question. The examples he gives supposedly distinguishing Christianity from everything else really apply in general to monotheism, or at least to Abrahamic monotheism.

The characteristics which distinguish Christianity from Judaism and Islam don't seem to enter into it.

Treebeard said...

Hello again. I've been away for awhile, busy with my new life as a feudal oligarch (which is great by the way, don't knock it 'til you try it) following deaths in the family.

My guess is there's no paradox in the lack of aliens, except to people who grew up on too much science fiction. My best guesses are:

1. Interstellar colonization is a practical impossibility—too difficult, too expensive, civilizations don't have the resources to develop it before something else consumes their energy and does them in.

2. There's nobody out there.

3. Any species smart enough to figure out interstellar travel also figures out that metastacizing across the cosmos is an absurd project, and does something else with its time.

Alfred Differ said...

There is a decent argument to be made that monotheism is the limit of a natural progression involving polytheistic cultures in conflict with each other. Whether one accepts the argument or not, I think the case is strong enough to make me skeptical that a monotheistic progenitor belief system would be rare among intelligent species in the galaxy.

yana said...


earlier, Larry Hart thought:

"I also thought that "positive holes" in electric current were a convenient fiction, something that we could pretend moved in the direction opposite the direction of electron flow (since electrons are arbitrarily assigned a negative charge). Not an actual thing."

Sorry for the late reply, distracted by sexism. In fact, the idea of an electron is the convenient fiction. I learned EE from a physics prof, there is no such thing as a flow of electrons. Upon jumping from one atom's orbit to an adjacent atom's orbit, that electron ceases to exist. Because an electron does not exist. What exists is a probable likelihood that an amount of "negative" energy can be siphoned off an atom with a lower likelihood that the atom will explode or transmute in the picoseconds meanwhiles.

Whatever energy is traded by an atom, via an outside force like EMF, travels not as a child's plaything like a tinkertoy electron, but travels more like a wind. In this context, it is equally valid to see EMF as an opposite flow of "holes", which is an equally unsatisfying tinkertoy analogy. All the equations still work, as if it was a flow of discrete electrons.

The difference is, that we know an electron absorbed by an atom is never the same electron the atom might release later. But a hole is always a hole, right? What moves in electric current is not electron balls, but the potential for the next atom over to poop out a dollop of "negative" energy. It is the "holes" which move, the potential.

Treebeard said...

Matthew, I think Daniel Duffy makes some excellent points. You have to step outside of the 21st century Western rationalist materialist mindset to realize how weird it is. The things you listed entail a worldview that isn't simple or natural at all. Analyzing the world into component parts, forming hypotheses about it, thinking there are natural laws that we can understand quantitatively instead of random or magical events, believing that the material world is worth studying abstractly and not just living in or trying to escape from, etc., required a pretty unusual worldview that no culture managed before Western Christendom. Maybe Judaism and Islam could've managed it, but it took Western Christianity to make it work and export it to the world. You think they'd be studying science in the Americas today if the Aztecs, Apaches or Incas were still around? This is where the modern liberal has gotta get real and recognize that his whole world was made possible by Christianity; that liberal civilization wasn't some historical inevitability that regressive Christians tried to prevent, but quite the opposite.

David Brin said...

Daniel, sorry, but the classic Christian notion of “inexorable progress” is just another case of the Look-Back view. Things were vastly better in the past, the world is decaying and worthless, and things will only get better via sudden, divine intervention via a closing curtain… the same apocalyptic vision as almost every other Look Back cult.

The rediscovery of classics opened up a diversity of Greek views… and Jews migrated into a notion that Creation was good and worthwhile in its own right, even repairing its damage. But it took simultaneous discovery of glass lenses, movable type, perspective and the New World to shake things up and make folks realize tomorrow might be different.

The core element of science: the incantation “I might be wrong” — is not Christian.

Treebeard, sorry about your family milestones. Peace be upon you and yours. Also, you begin with the words “my guess” instead of grand declarations. Bodes well and welcome.

In contrast: ‘abandon’ is a key word for poor locum. BTW… did you ever answer the recurring question: were you a junior high school bully?

David Brin said...

For those of you who don't see my FB posts:
Gary Trudeau warned us for 30 years about Roger Stone, the real life "Uncle Duke." With partners Paul Manafort and Charlie Black, they lobbied for the world’s most despotic dictators and the “Torturer’s Lobby” e.g. Mobutu of Zaire, Marcos of the Philippines, and Putin's puppet Yanukovich of Ukraine. Also casino lords and mafia dons. Donald Trump was one of Black, Manafort & Stone’s first clients. "Lee Atwater, known for his racist "Southern strategy" politics and Willie Horton fear-mongering, was a partner. It was Stone’s idea for Trump to revive Obama "birtherism" (And taunt your mad uncle "Where's the "amazing proof from Kenya" Trump promised, years ago?")

The most spectacularly and proudly evil-stinking part of the "swamp" that imbeciles chanted for the GOP... (seriously?) ... to "drain."

Portrayed by Foix as a poor-terrorized 66 yr old geezer, Stone posts beefcake brag-pics of his pecs - (I am older, buffer and braggier, but not as evil) - and a tat of Richard Nixon between his shoulder blades. (Mine is that illusion turning Albert Einstein into Marilyn Monroe.)

But seriously, with Putin's occupying army collapsing in DC, I hope security is good at the SOTU speech. Several supreme justices should call in sick (RBG?) Here's a litmus. If the "designated survivor" is among the most-solid and least-compromised cabinet officers, then Trump cares mostly about applause and Putin probably isn't planning anything. If it's one of the most "compromised" then everyone hunker till its over.

And it's not over till the United States of America retakes Washington

https://www.salon.com/2019/01/29/roger-stone-is-more-than-a-toxic-clown-hes-a-danger-to-democracy/

raito said...

Mike Will:

4.3 billion in my pocket. Up from the same 3 you had, if my parents would have let me. Absolutely amazing.

Alfred Differ:

While space travel didn't stop between Apollo and SpaceX, to those of us who grew up then, it seemed so. We didn't want the orbitals, we wanted the solar system. And we didn't get it. Now we're too old to get it.

Daniel Duffy said...

To all my critics, let me reiterate:

"Through sheer practical know how and rules of thumb, several cultures in antiquity - from the Chinese to the Greeks to the Arabs - produced a higher level of learning and technology than medieval Europe did. Yet it was Christianized Europe and not those more advanced cultures that gave birth to science as a systematic, self correcting discipline. The historian is bound to ask why this should be so. Why did Christianity form the matrix within which this novel approach to the natural world developed?"

and

The above is not to say that only Christianity is required for a technologically advanced civilization.
Only that some sort of progenitor belief system and world view is required to provide fertile soil for the later development of science and technology (even if the parent philosophy actually tries to squelch subsequent scientific advancement)
And such belief systems are incredibly rare in human history.
And may be equally rare among alien civilizations

My point, once again, is that science needs a fertile world view before it can achieve what we today consider to be science - despite all of the advanced engineering and mathematics and astronomy practiced by the Greeks, Arabs and Chinese.

Without such a fertile world view, science never gets beyond the embryonic stage and a technologically advanced society remains stillborn.

The Greeks suffered from disdain for the hard work of science (Aristotle never did count the number of teeth he reasoned that a horse should have).

Arab science was hobbled by the belief in kismet - unchangeable fate, which made belief in progress impossible.

The Chinese never believed in an inherent order in nature.

And yes, I should include Judaism but it was a persecuted minority religion by the Middle Ages and Renaissance.

None of them had all of the ingredients to create a fertile world view that would make modern science possible.

locumranch said...


Yet it was Christianized Europe and not those more advanced cultures that gave birth to science as a systematic, self correcting discipline[DD].

By correctly identifying the Western (aka 'European') Enlightenment as the product of predominantly White, Christian & Male Europeans, the deplorable Daniel_D comes within a hairs-breath of committing the unforgivable sin of Multicultural Heresy.

And, Boom! A triggered Matthew steps in to condemn the practitioners of historical accuracy as hate-speaking Racists, Sexists, White Supremacists & Nazi Sympathisers.

What's that, SJW? Did some truth hurt your fee-fees?

Please feel free to enlighten us with some MSM infotainment about the the Non-Western, African & Feminist Enlightenments.


Best
____

Welcome back, Treebeard. You help is much appreciated as this site has succumbed to full-blown lefty TDS since your departure.

Daniel Duffy said...

@treebeard

>that liberal civilization wasn't some historical inevitability that regressive Christians tried to prevent, but quite the opposite.

Well, it's complicated. As shown by the Roman Catholic Church's treatment of Galileo, Bruno and Copernicus.

Let's talk about some of these martyr's to science, shall we?

Giordano Bruno,

Who was not burned at the stake for advocating the idea that there were other inhabited planets orbiting around other stars. He was condemned for being a pagan advocate for the hermetic tradition. Hermetic writings treated the sun as a god, and the rest of the universe as moving, and hence alive. This it turns out is the real reason Bruno was attracted to Copernican helio-centricism. His belief in the sun's divinity nicely dovetailed with a heliocentric world view. Bruno was a martyr to pagan mysticism, not scientific inquirer.

What was done to him was wrong, but to make him out, like Cosmos did, to be some sort of scientist persecuted by the evil Catholic Church is a load of crap.

Galileo Galilei,

Whose friends and admirers included the Pope and Jesuit college in Rome. There was much more involved in Galileo's trial then a simple confrontation between religion and science. Ironically, the majority of church intellectuals were on Galileo's side while the clearest opposition came from secular ideas of the academic philosophers (see "The Crime of Galileo" by Giorgio de Santilanna).

The truth is, on the whole, the Church had no argument with Galileo's theories on science.
Their objections lay with his attacks on Aristotelian philosophy (as formulated for the Church by Thomas Aquinas' Scholasticism) - and all the metaphysical, spiritual and social consequences associated with it. Aristotle's philosophy was thought necessary for the formulation of religious and moral laws. Galileo was also caught up in an intellectual power struggle between the older secular elites which ran the universities and had a vested interest in defending Scholasticism and a new generation of pragmatic young Turks like himself. The Church, being threatened by Protestantism felt it imperative to defend Aristotle.

His friends in the Jesuits in effect told Galileo, "We know you're right, but give us time to break the news to the masses. The middle of a war with the Protestants is no time to be undercutting what was considered the basis of our faith. So please publish in Latin for the elite and not in the vernacular for the masses." Not only did Galileo ignore the advice of his Jesuit friends, his "Dialogue Concerning the Two Principle Systems of the World" includes a dim witted buffoon named Simplicio, a thinly disguised caricature of the Pope who had been Galileo's friend and admirer. Is it any wonder that the Pope and the Jesuits turned against him?

In short, Galileo was being a total dick.

In spite of this Galileo never repudiated his faith and remained a devout Catholic. Only Galileo's determination to remain within the Church can explain his determined efforts to convince the Church hierarchy and why he declined all chance to escape to the safety of the Venetian Republic.

Daniel Duffy said...

(cont.)

Kopernick (Copernicus),

Whose helio-centricism was proposed without a single shred of empirical evidence. Such evidence would not be available until Galileo saw through his telescope that Venus had phases like the moon. A mechanical explanation for planetary orbits would await Newton's "Principia". (Newton, BTW would remain a devout Christian who spent more time in Biblical study than in scientific pursuits). What motivated Copernicus wasn't science but neo-Platonist philosophy which taught that the sun was symbolic of God's ability to create and therefore deserved primacy at the center of the universe. This was in opposition to the Aristotelian view which dominated the Church as Thomas Aquinas' scholasticism) which assumed that the Earth was the center of the universe. Furthermore, Copernicus' initial heliocentric system was MORE complicated than Ptolemy's and lacked any supporting evidence.

Daniel Duffy said...

And at no time do I want ti imply that it was Christianity per se or that the development of science connotes some sort of inherent superiority,

The confluence of cultural factors that allowed for modern science simply required a fertile word view to flourish and grow. Any philosophy/religion with these ingredients would have done the trick.

The fact that Western Christianity had these cultural factors is the result of pure chance - just like any other evolutionary change. If certain heresies had become orthodoxy in the early days of the Church, there would have been no fertile world view - no science.

And we would all still be living like medieval peasants.

matthew said...

Naw I just described the scientific method with a few added barbs at Christianity. Christianity isn't special - I've never liked *any* of the Abrahamic religions. I'm not ok with a pastoral God because man is not a sheep, MAGA-hatted idiots notwithstanding.

What, ent, not spouting Nazi slogans today? A little worried about how your future grandkids might find grandpa's racist spoutings on the interwebs? Fuck off back beneath your bridge, troll. I still have not forgotten your admiration for Nazis and your hatred for the queer. Neither will anyone on this site as long as you keep reappearing to "reinvent" your loathsome presence here.

Oh, loco wants some attention... naw, not today. I'll make a deal - I'll gladly insult you next payday for your blathering today if you'll just loan me the SJW juice.


Mike Will said...

The recurring false dilemma of Western Enlightenment vs Humanist Multiculturalism is a shame. The East has produced much brilliant science and technology, and the West has produced some of the greatest Humanists in history. More to the point, they are two facets of the self same gem. I wonder if that's where the innate and robust fear of SETI and AI springs from. The thought that there might actually, factually, be a very real OTHER.

yana said...


Alfred Differ thought:

"skeptical that a monotheistic progenitor belief system would be rare among intelligent species in the galaxy."

I tend to believe it'd be different for any species growing up orbiting a binary star system.

Daniel Duffy said...

@yana

So Tattoine would have God the Father and God the Mother?

But what if the aliens have more than two genders?

David Brin said...


DD: Progress tends to accelerate when you have competing nations in close proximity, and when the overall system has broken out of total feudalism. Pre-Chi'in China and certain phases in India and pre-roman empire hellenistic Europe were times when those nations subsidized tech advances and an innovator could leave for elsewhere, if he felt unappreciated. Those advantages were countered by the overall peace one gets under a Pax.

Europe settled into a strange, quasi mix of these. The Hapsburg threat kept protestant nations eager to innovate. Given that the previous 1000 years weren't bursting with freshness, I'd rank Christianity low on the list of factors.

==

I ask locum again. Were you a bully in junior high? It should be easy enough to answer? Or even lie. The fact that he hasn't just lied by now, in order to put the question behind him, is actually weirdly respect-worthy.

yana said...


Daniel Duffy thought:

"But what if the aliens have more than two genders?"

What if a species finds one god and decides that previous polytheism was merely a subconscious expression of polygender all along? Maybe that's happening down the street, even as we speak.

yana said...


@Daniel Duffy:

By the way, rooting science in the tree of judaism and christianity is problematic. By 100 AD, there were dozens of different christianities, all adapted to local social structures, in effect an umbrella polytheism. Why did you think Paul had to write all those letters whipping provincials into shape? In fact, only half of the epistles were actually by Paul, we can tell this lexicographically, so there were more, between 2 to 5 authors who felt a need to shame local variants into catholicism.

And once catholicism really took off, it also spent ten more centuries fighting off heresy within christendom. Hey, if it walks like polytheism and it quacks like polytheism, it's probably a duck.

David Brin said...

Um, praying to saints? How is the polytheism even at issue?

Alfred Differ said...

yana,

Hadn't thought about binary star systems. Good one. 8)

I have trouble thinking of any trinitarian belief system as monotheistic, though. I'd guess the binary star dwellers would use a similar trick to unify things... or skip the whole mess.

Alfred Differ said...

Daniel,

And at no time do I want ti imply that it was Christianity per se or that the development of science connotes some sort of inherent superiority,

I was looking carefully for this and I agree that you avoided it. Thank you. 8)

Daniel Duffy said...

Dr. Brin - and yet the Hapsburg threat did not motivate the adjacent Ottoman Empire to innovate. Of all the great "Gunpowder Empires" of the early modern era (Hapsburg Europe, Ottoman Turkey, Sahfavid Persia, Mogul India, and Ming China), only Europe saw the birth of what we call science.

Cultural factors had to play a major role. And they would change over time. Eventually the Inquisition and the Counter Reformation would dampen innovation and science in Latin Christendom, but he torch would be passed to the first to the Dutch and then to the Puritans.

An interesting mutation of the Christian meme, the Puritans were not the repressive fundy society we imagine them to be.

The Puritans were always willing to try out the latest advances in industry and war. Cromwell's New Model Army wasn't just the most motivated military force on the planet; they were also the best equipped, best armed and most ably led. Cromwell's Puritans also successfully built a navy from scratch, and handily defeated the Dutch who had dominated the seas. They were the high tech warriors of their day. Puritan industrialists and merchants created their own commercial empire and lead the world in ship design, navigation, manufacturing, merchandising, etc. Then there is that famous work ethic.

What is not commonly know is that Puritans were disproportionately represented in the ranks of 17th century scientists (70% of the Royal Society - see Merton's study of the impact of Puritanism on the birth of modern science).

"The oldest university in the United States—Harvard—was founded by the Puritans. Named for the institution’s first benefactor, John Harvard, the school was originally founded to teach religious doctrine. However, the curriculum also expanded into the secular world. The Puritans believed that the more they learned about science and nature, the more they honored God. By gaining more intimate knowledge into His creations, they believed it allowed them to become closer to their creator. Anyone allowed to know the innermost workings of His world was clearly in His grace."

David Brin said...

See my short story "A Professor at Harvard" (in INSISTENCE OF VISION.)

Seriously. You'll like it.

Duncan Cairncross said...

Regarding the advance of humanity - I think Jared Diamond with his https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel
Has a lot of very good points to make

As an engineer I am very conscious of the HUGE database knowledge and tools that we now have

As far as I am aware the progress of humanity has been upwards - some of the big "falls" like the fall of Rome if properly examined most of the "fall" goes away

The older societies did not "fail to advance" so much because of social issues but because the "tools" that they needed had not been developed

Once something has been developed it becomes easy to learn

At University we (unwashed engineering students) would be taught in a matter of a few hours relationships and mathematical tools that some Genius level double dome had spent decades developing

Hindsight is a LOT easier than path breaking

How much that is "obvious" these days was actually "not obvious" before?

yana said...


Alfred Differ thought:

"I'd guess the binary star dwellers would use a similar trick to unify things."

Quicker than us perhaps, with a daily example of dance in heaven. High variance in types of sunlight could evolve five eyes, each with a separate image processing cortex, which in later descent species has 1/5 of the being's consciousness. Holding maybe five concepts in one animal's mind at the same time:

1. Two suns bad.

2. Yellow sun good, orange sun bad.

3. Orange sun good, yellow sun bad.

4. All suns good.

5. What's playing at the pentaplex tonight?

David Brin said...

Yes, there were far fewer complete "falls" than we assume, though enough for Jared Diamond to study in COLLAPSE and Toynbee earlier. The notion of "age and senescence" is a right-wing fixation that's dumb and disproved. But there ARE syndromes and mistakes. Toynbee found one in particular...

... when a society stops investing in its "creative minority." Which of course is what the Foxzoids centrally are aiming to achieve.

potohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
//and when the overall system has broken out of total feudalism.

One need to say here.

It's that monothesm and christianity sole purpose -- to be that concreate that chements feodalism. %P

Really -- ONE god in heavens. ONE king of the land. Doesn't ring a bell?

Or it need to be someone from post-soviet... where that mantra was everywhere, to point at it??? %)

So... if one want to argye that christianity -- it's the path of progress,
then our host with his pet peeve need to conclude that feodalism -- it's progressive social system. %P

Can he do it? %)))

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\There IS an argument to be made, however, that the conflict between certain Protestants and the Roman Church did provide for the final straw that snuff out a segment of the aristocracy enabling merchants and traders in one particular region of Europe to engage in a variation on free thinking that mixed and mashed much of what was available to them. In that stew pot among the Dutch, they had to learn to respect individual liberty to some degree or else be squashed by the Hapsburgs and their Roman Church ally. When the English adopted a Dutch approach (after their messy civil wars motivated them) there were too many weak nobleman to prevent what happened next.

\\One can argue about most of the contributing factors for scientific ways of thinking, but the best I've seen takes them on piecemeal recognizing the role each plays. My personal favorite for 'last straw' is individual liberty and only some Christians are in favor of that.

And what was in common? Between dutch and english? ;)
If not that both was sea-ferrying civs.
And exact that -- technologie of sea-ferrying.
Created need for steady technological(first of all) and then scientifical
progress.

HOW it is NOT obvious???


>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
>> yana said...
\\I learned EE from a physics prof, there is no such thing as a flow of electrons.

Quite simple. (wide green)
It's either that *proffesor* is senile idiot.(I doubt it, except it was gender stugies prof)
Or just you... dambas of a student.

Because -- how it would be possible for Cathode Ray Tubes, electronic lamps in general to work.
If there'd be "no such thing as a flow of electrons". %))))))))))))))))))))

What a HOMERIC size, humongous BULLSHIT. Trying to dress itself... like that notorious "naked king" into clothes of "wizdom and scientifical knowledge". %)))))))))))



\\Whatever energy is traded by an atom, via an outside force like EMF, travels not as a child's plaything like a tinkertoy electron, but travels more like a wind.

YET one malackrel. %)))
Wind -- it's EXACTLY mass transition. %)))
You's better said something like "sound wave" or general waves on water to express this your tongue in chik "scientifical thoughts". %P
>>>>>>>>>
>>>


\\What moves in electric current is not electron balls, but the potential for the next atom over to poop out a dollop of "negative" energy. It is the "holes" which move, the potential.

"holes"... it's theortical methaphora for electric current INTO SEMICONDACTORS ONLY. While current can flow in many other substances like plasma, ioinised liquid, metals... even non-conducting materials... even vacuum. ;)
And everywhere it's about moving ACTUAL charged particles. Electrons, ions, etc.


>> Duncan Cairncross said...
\\Regarding the advance of humanity - I think Jared Diamond with his https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel
Has a lot of very good points to make


THANK YOU. Let me to shake hand of fellow engineer in this dark (dimmed) kingdom of gender studies and catholic shool malackrel. %)


\\The older societies did not "fail to advance" so much because of social issues but because the "tools" that they needed had not been developed

If we'd try to look on "societies" not as separate entities...
but more like populations -- in ecological and evolutiona terms.
The fog is fading...

locumranch said...


Progress tends to accelerate when you have competing nations in close proximity[DB].

Sounds like a good argument for nationalism.

I ask locum again. Were you a bully in junior high?[DB].

Quite the opposite: A perennial cheek turner, grind, renunciate, ethicist, bookworm, obedient son, feminist, child of pacifism & science. In short: Credulous grist to be crushed 'Beneath the Wheel' of worldly malice.

Puritans also successfully built a navy from scratch... They were the high tech warriors of their day. (They) created their own commercial empire and lead the world in (damn near everything due to) that famous work ethic[DD].

There's that unique PROTESTANT WORK ETHIC again, wherein one labours as a sacrifice to god, embracing long hours, foregoing pleasures, deferring gratification, all for a promise of eventual heavenly bliss, aka the 'American Work Ethic', occasionally adopted by overachieving interlopers like Asimov.

The foundation that modern progress is built upon was 'The Pilgrim's Progress', a Christian Allegory all the way down, authored by J Bunyan, circa 1678[LR].

A pious definition of Progress which has been thoroughly debunked by countless satirists & scientists who prove that this 'progressive' ethic is a fool's errand in an indifferent world which rewards worldly science over piety, sloth over labour & experience over innocence...

Progress is a tired old confidence trick as in the case of the Climate Change Cult which demands worldly renunciation & ceaseless labour in exchange for eventual PROGRESS towards a pig-in-a-poke otherworldly paradise (aka 'a heavenly reward') which its adherents will never ever live to see.

So, screw you & your false progressive promises until you can deliver unto me my 72 virgins. Cash up front! No credit!


Best

porohobot said...

>> Daniel Duffy said...
\\And at no time do I want ti imply that it was Christianity per se...

How we can believe you didn't mean that... if you said it?

Elaborate. Please.


\\The confluence of cultural factors...

Then... why you said that Christianity was solely needed?
Not buddhism. Or something. %P


\\The fact that Western Christianity had these cultural factors is the result of pure chance - just like any other evolutionary change.

Malackrel.
Evolution ALWAYS working out of DEFINITE factors, actual circumstances.
It's just our ignorance... that sweep em under broad carpet of "pure chance".
Nthing else.


\\If certain heresies had become orthodoxy in the early days of the Church, there would have been no fertile world view - no science.

\\And we would all still be living like medieval peasants.

YOU ARE living as medieval peasant... at least if take in account your level of scientifical ignorance. %)))



>> locumranch said...
\\What's that, SJW? Did some truth hurt your fee-fees?

Ouh! Thank you, locum.

Now I know what "cowfefe" is. It's just cow fee-fees. %))))))))))))))))

\\Welcome back, Treebeard. You help is much appreciated as this site has succumbed to full-blown lefty TDS since your departure.

And they do say that you are not self devoted mere stupid troll. %))))))))))



>> Daniel Duffy said...
\\What was done to him was wrong, but to make him out, like Cosmos did, to be some sort of scientist persecuted by the evil Catholic Church is a load of crap.

Question was not in that -- was he scientists or not.
But in persecution and punishment of independent thoughts/thinkers.

\\His friends in the Jesuits in effect told Galileo... Not only did Galileo ignore the advice of his Jesuit friends, his "Dialogue Concerning the Two Principle Systems of the World" includes a dim witted buffoon named Simplicio, a thinly disguised caricature of the Pope who had been Galileo's friend and admirer. Is it any wonder that the Pope and the Jesuits turned against him?

\\In short, Galileo was being a total dick.

You are so *vata* in it. %P


>> Alfred Differ said...
\\There is a decent argument to be made that monotheism is the limit of a natural progression involving polytheistic cultures in conflict with each other. Whether one accepts the argument or not, I think the case is strong enough to make me skeptical that a monotheistic progenitor belief system would be rare among intelligent species in the galaxy.

Bingo!
And that needed that tens of page-sized catholic school propaganda malackrel comments from that Duffy Duffer... to come to this simple counter-argument.

That anyway will be ignored and buried under pile of next one malackrel comments. %((((

It's... Evolution in action. If you productive and dumb enough to flood the vicinity with your progeny -- you are one WHO are the victor then.

So... it need to be mitigated. %P



So. In short. We need to assume that advanced Civ we so desperately trying to nail with our notion of "Fermi Paradox" -- MUST know about their's whereabouts and prospects GREAT DEAL more then we are... and as such, have no need to travel. For a scientific reason (reason of economy and/or conquest I'll dim as null here)


And next.
As for me, it's obvious that if some Civ will decide to travel across Space.
They'll start it only after/with development of Nanotech(or similar tech).

And that Civ... as was cleverly shown by Charles Stross in "Accelerando"
will have many much more interesting uses for such tech. Before that.

And what will be reasons to travel for such Civ... we could not be less clueless then the dogons... about prospects of using solar powered cheapware for mining of Bitcoins. %)))

helix jump said...

Love the palm tree costume, especially the crown!

progressbot said...

.


Dr.Brin

You are in process of failing your Reality Check just now. Be advised!

Well.

" All right, you are refusing to waken, so we'll let you go.
Dear friend. Beloved. Go back to your dream.
Smile (or feel a brief chill) over this diverting little what-if tale, as if it hardly matters. Then turn the page to new "discoveries."
Move on with the drama — the "life" — that you've chosen.
After all, it's only make believe."
%P


.

Tim H. said...

A piece of the answer on "Why progress?" would be whether the powers in charge saw progress as a threat or opportunity. The dominant mythologies are irrelevant. Not to cast shade on anyone's mythology, I suspect any theologian interested in thinking in a positive way could craft a positive message from their favorite scripture.

Darrell E said...

Daniel Duffy,

Where in the hell did you find that story of the Bruno / RCC fiasco? That's pure crap. Are you with the church or what?

Daniel Duffy said...

See "Giordono Bruno and the Hermetic Tradition" - Frances Yates

"Bruno pushes Copernicus' scientific work back into a prescientific stage, back into Hermetism, interpreting the Copernican diagram as a hieroglyph of divine mysteries."

progressbot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\The core element of science: the incantation “I might be wrong” — is not Christian.

This one need very true believer. Because christianity, to say truth, really do contain that needed thing -- in rarely used, especially with genuine prudence, except for condolancing theirs in pain, form -- “God works in mysterious ways”.

Other religions also have such, so to say, pressure safety valve.(god must be omni-potent, but cannot be willing to come to treat each and every of our daily bruises)
Buddhism ALL ITSELF such a valve,e.g. %)


>> matthew said...
\\And this required a fucking Messiah?

Still. Humankind needed. More than that, we still dearly need.
Something. That could stop us from immediate instinctive reactions against anything new, alien, disturbing.
Something that can mitigate living pains of that complex sentient being.

Like for example Locum. :-)

In it misery. %P

And if one would be forced to choose that one person... to stay with it in Forever.
Jizes is not half bad.
At least there'd always be wine. %P And infinite source of topics to talk about. %)))


>> Daniel Duffy said...
\\Doesn't matter if they are interested or not. If they existed they could not hide their heat signature from us. The existence would be obvious.

To whom? To WHOM I concokted that clever methaphorical contre-argument?
With steam engine.
To the locum? To the wall? %)))

You ARE really that dumb to think that way as vatniks do?
That -- the more smoke, the more powerfull that aircraft carrier??? %)

That power can be counted by its superficial appearance. Only?


>> Mike Will said...
\\Of the many essays that Asimov penned, one of the best was "The Relativity of Wrong" https://chem.tufts.edu/answersinscience/relativityofwrong.htm

Still. As Evolution teaches US. To have the Right Answer. Or at least passable one. Here and Now. ARE more important, than carefull, true and complex one. After a while or sometime in the future. %(

I don't know. Would be glad Asimov himself by such distastefull corrections. But it's, ce la ve.

\\Another explanation of the Fermi Paradox in accordance with Occam's Razor:
We don't know enough yet to resolve the paradox.

We do know quite enough.
Just have not enough courage and/or intellectual sincerity.
Or maybe so favoured today Emotional Intelligence.
To make direct eye contact with that Truth.
Or just torn our eyes away of her Big Bust. %)))


And.

I already two post in a row shouting here about idea of technologies...
which can give as POWER to build anything, anywhere...
but, here is NO interest.

So... my bet, that there IS aliens. Lots of them. But they JUST THE SAME -- all talk and no action... waiting: LET'S SOMEONE ELSE make all work done -- develop warp drive, build Dison sphere, come to us with his Cargo... and pull us of our intellectual misery with HIS galactic Wizdom %)))


PS Just for fun: DT. Master of Bark-gain. %)))

Jon S. said...

Pobo, you've shouted a lot about some vague idea you have. It would seem to require some pretty massive, not-yet-extant advances in a number of technologies, from manufacturing (particularly nanomanufacturing) to AI to materials science. "No interest" is more a reflection of the fact that you're not the first to invent the idea of the von Neumann machine, and you've provided no more actual data about how to implement your idea than White has of how to manufacture the 700 kilos of exotic matter needed to run an Alcubierre-White warp device.

If you want us to get all excited about your idea, do some engineering. Show that it's possible. Until then, well, we've heard all manner of rants about how this or that person has the one idea that will save us all, if they just get enough money...

Larry Hart said...

This reminded me somehow of Dr Brin's Uplift books and the significance of the discovery that the progenetors had fled to the Shallow Cluster.

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/29/opinion/artificial-intelligence-surveillance.html

Around the end of each year major dictionaries declare their “word of the year.” Last year, for instance, the most looked-up word at Merriam-Webster.com was “justice.” Well, even though it’s early, I’m ready to declare the word of the year for 2019.

The word is “deep.”

Why? Because recent advances in the speed and scope of digitization, connectivity, big data and artificial intelligence are now taking us “deep” into places and into powers that we’ve never experienced before — and that governments have never had to regulate before. I’m talking about deep learning, deep insights, deep surveillance, deep facial recognition, deep voice recognition, deep automation and deep artificial minds.

Some of these technologies offer unprecedented promise and some unprecedented peril — but they’re all now part of our lives. Everything is going deep.

Which is why it may not be an accident that one of the biggest hit songs today is “Shallow,” from the movie “A Star Is Born.” The main refrain, sung by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper, is: “I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in. … We’re far from the shallow now.”

...

Larry Hart said...

BTW, for those of you other than Wisconsinites Tacitus2 and raito who might not be aware of the weather in the Great Lakes region, we're about to break all-time records in Chicago. The all-time record low for any date in Chicago is -27 Fahrenheit, and the forecasters are hinting we might break that tonight. I don't think we'll get down quite that far, but what seems certain is that this afternoon's high temperature will be lower than the current record coldest high temperature for any date, which is -11 F.

For anyone who goes to, "What about global warming?", my understanding is that I am living in the only region of the planet whose temperature is currently below normal for the time of year. Global warming is everywhere but here.

progressbot said...

>> Jon S. said...
\\Pobo, you've shouted a lot about some vague idea you have.

Thank you for your response.

There is important reasons after that perfectly correct observation... that my idea looks "vague".
Reasons, that I can't resolve by myself.
That's why I need some attention. Sorry.
And thank you in advance. ;)


\\It would seem to require some pretty massive,

Not that massive. Really.
Not "Manhattan project" by far margin. But still... quite complicated.
And the main reason of such complications is not in lots of/rare resources, or some special thought work needed.
But... great multi-disciplinarity. That nobody can thought it off. From the start to an end. From point of view of separate discipline. ;)


\\not-yet-extant advances in a number of technologies, from manufacturing (particularly nanomanufacturing)

NO. It need NO nanotech. With all its quirks, irks and dangling atoms. %)


\\ to AI to materials science.

Yeap. There need to be some "AI".
But as the matter of fact -- not in greater extent that it is anywhere now. ;)
With current AI buzzwording.


\\"No interest" is more a reflection of the fact that you're not the first to invent the idea of the von Neumann machine, and you've provided no more actual data about how to implement your idea than White has of how to manufacture the 700 kilos of exotic matter needed to run an Alcubierre-White warp device.

So. I need to *shout* it yet one time. %)

It's (relatively) easy to start:
make design and engineering, modeling tools for such technology -- because current CAD\CAE systems are mostly for rigid bodies and far simpler structures,

make at least prototype of such robots, I think about fish-like robot, because it relatively simple (only one coordinate) -- to test different approaches (as in Edison Workshop),

make special 3D printers -- which can use flexible material and have multi-material nuzzles, etc.


You welcomed to state any your suggestions/disagreements you want.
As well as questions and misunderstandings. ;)


\\If you want us to get all excited about your idea, do some engineering. Show that it's possible. Until then, well, we've heard all manner of rants about how this or that person has the one idea that will save us all, if they just get enough money...

If only it would be so simple. %)
There is lots YouTube videos where crafty students doing this or that on 3D printer.
HOW it would help me to advertise my ideas???
If I make yet one, millions + 1 video???

Especially that. My idea is not in making some funny gimmick at all.
Need some thought work to comprehend.
First hand.

And so, I seeking people with level of understanding of complex stuff.
Higher than ordinary "monkey see, monkey like, monkey ready to give its money". ;)

raito said...

Mike Will:

4.3 billion in my pocket. Up from the same 3 you had, if my parents would have let me. Absolutely amazing.

Alfred Differ:

While space travel didn't stop between Apollo and SpaceX, to those of us who grew up then, it seemed so. We didn't want the orbitals, we wanted the solar system. And we didn't get it. Now we're too old to get it.

Tim H. said...

LH, it might get as high as 8℉ in the Kansas City area, not as numbingly cold as Chicago, but quite unpleasant. In my limited understanding of climate change, unpredictability is to be expected. I wonder if it would be more useful to refer to carbon dioxide emissions as "Overloading recycling capacity" rather than "Pollution"? It might be a more meaningful metaphor in rural areas where the results of overuse of say, sanitary facilities is something many have seen, and smelled.

Larry Hart said...

@Tim H,

8℉ still isn't tea with the freakin' queen. I feel your pain.

jim said...

It turns out that one of the favorite “stats” for the globalization is good crowd is a horribly misleading, cherry picked stat that hides the truth.

That “stat” is that globalization has reduced extreme poverty by 50% over the last thirty years. Now most people would put extreme poverty at about the level of income need to supply basic nutrition. But that is not what the “extreme poverty stat” uses. They use a completely arbitrary level equal in purchasing power to 1.90$ per day in the US (In 2011).
Why do they do that? Because if you pic a realistic number for extreme poverty (7.40$ per day in purchasing power ) the number of people in extreme poverty is 4.2 billion a dramatic increase sense 1981.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2019/jan/29/bill-gates-davos-global-poverty-infographic-neoliberal

https://www.commondreams.org/views/2015/03/16/four-reasons-question-official-poverty-eradication-story-2015

Alfred Differ said...

$1.90 / day is not arbitrary. It is an inflation corrected number for a value determined a few years ago. Back then the number was $1/day and the average purchasing power for the average human through history was about $3/day. I forget which year these were calculated, the the idea holds no matter what inflation has done to the dollar.

The average human through history after the ice-age has lived a subsistence farmer/herder life mostly making and growing what they needed, but not entirely. Humans trade quite a bit even at $3/day. Basically, imagine spending most of your time providing for yourself and your family (likely extended family) and try to calculate the value of all that work and the small amount of surplus you have at the end of the day. What ever number that comes out to be, let's peg the value of the dollar to it at $3 for each day for each average person.

If any particular person only makes $1/day, they are in serious trouble. Any shock to their situation can lead to starvation and loss of children. ANY shock including an unusually long winter or badly timed storm when the harvest is due. At $3/day, the shock has to be quite a bit larger, but those still happened about once or twice a generation. Extreme poverty is mostly a measure of one's vulnerability to small shocks and shows up as loss of nutrition because that is a frequent need.

You can use any number you like, though, when it comes to noting how our condition is improving. If you scale the $3 number for inflation and measure today, you'll find a large number of us are above that level now. In the past, the vast majority of humanity lived AT that level. If you scale $10, less of us are above that level, but there is a much larger percentage of humanity that is than ever before. If $10/day doesn't sound like much, remember to ask someone earning $3 what they'd think of a tripling of their income.

This stuff isn't arbitrary, but the reporters might not know enough economic history to know how to put it in context. Take the time to learn it and you'll find one of the most amazing stories existing today that few people know. It's called 'The Great Enrichment' and it spans most of humanity today.

Alfred Differ said...

... one other thing...

The average human living on Earth today is around $48/day on that old scale before one accounts for quality improvements (e.g. the grain used to make flour to make bread not having as many stone fragments in it from the milling process. )

Beat that with a stick.

jim said...

Bullshit Alfred
You want a ridiculously low number, an amount far less than is need to provide basic nutrition. If you use an income number that can actually purchase the bare bones minimum for food and nothing else (something closer to 7.40$ per day US purchasing power). If you choose a realistic number the number of people in poverty has increased dramatically over the last 30 years.

Alfred Differ said...

porohobot,

The entanglement between the Dutch and English goes way back and gets very complicated. People have written many books on the subject that don't agree with each other even on what would seem to be objective facts. For example, look up what happened in 1689 and ask yourself if England was invaded or not. Some say no. Some say yes. Most will point out that there appeared to be an invitation, but it's unclear whether the invitation was broadly supported or over-hyped by a Dutch nobleman.

What does appear to be clear, though, is that the civil war era a few decades earlier shook England to it's core and enabled a gradual revolution over the next century. In the American colonies, a similar revolution occurred later over a shorter time span that involved a lot of people shooting at each other. The French did their version much faster and MUCH bloodier. These events are all tangled together, though.

As for being sea-faring, everyone on the North Sea was if they wanted to survive. It goes without saying that they ran into each other at sea. Think of the North Sea as a big trading lake largely dominated by the Dutch back then. Polish wheat went many places because of Dutch traders. Etc. At some point (maybe starting around 1689... maybe in the aftermath of their civil wars), the English became envious enough to try the Dutch approach to achieve what was obviously Dutch success. It worked too, but was greatly enabled by weak English nobility.

Alfred Differ said...

jim,

Who said anything about purchasing food? Of course you'd need more money to do that. The vast majority of humanity GREW their own food... and we can't do that today since most of us live in cities now.

I don't care if you like or dislike their measurements. I'm just pointing out the fact that they are NOT arbitrary. They are what they are, but feel free to make up your own measures.

Darrell E said...

Daniel Duffy said...

Let's talk about some of these martyr's to science, shall we?

Giordano Bruno,

Who was not burned at the stake for advocating the idea that there were other inhabited planets orbiting around other stars.


What evidence there is does not support your claim.

”When Bruno announced his plan to leave Venice to his host, the latter, who was unhappy with the teachings he had received and had apparently come to dislike Bruno, denounced him to the Venetian Inquisition, which had Bruno arrested on 22 May 1592. Among the numerous charges of blasphemy and heresy brought against him in Venice, based on Mocenigo's denunciation, was his belief in the plurality of worlds, as well as accusations of personal misconduct.” [Wikipedia, Giordano Bruno, Last years of wandering, 1585–1592]

“Bruno defended himself as he had in Venice, insisting that he accepted the Church's dogmatic teachings, but trying to preserve the basis of his philosophy. In particular, he held firm to his belief in the plurality of worlds, although he was admonished to abandon it. His trial was overseen by the Inquisitor Cardinal Bellarmine, who demanded a full recantation, which Bruno eventually refused.” [Wikipedia, Giordano Bruno, Imprisonment, trial and execution, 1593–1600]

“White considers that Bruno’s later heresy was “multifaceted” and may have rested on his conception of infinite worlds. “This was perhaps the most dangerous notion of all… If other worlds existed with intelligent beings living there, did they too have their visitations? The idea was quite unthinkable.”[White, Michael. The Pope and the Heretic: The True Story of Giordano Bruno, the Man who Dared to Defy the Roman Inquisition, p.7. Perennial, New York, 2002.]

Daniel Duffy said...
“He was condemned for being a pagan advocate for the hermetic tradition. Hermetic writings treated the sun as a god, and the rest of the universe as moving, and hence alive. This it turns out is the real reason Bruno was attracted to Copernican helio-centricism. His belief in the sun's divinity nicely dovetailed with a heliocentric world view. Bruno was a martyr to pagan mysticism, not scientific inquirer.”

Even if this were entirely accurate, so what? Christianity is pagan, lock stock and three smoking barrels. Virtually every aspect of it is lifted from previous pagan traditions and despite the protestations of "one god" Christianity worships many gods, as has already been pointed out, not to mention the three in one monogod itself. This is like yelling squirrel!. In Bruno's time virtually all “scientists” held superstitious beliefs that would be considered bizarre by most modern scientists. Modern science didn't exist yet. Meanwhile science “broadly construed” has existed for all of human history. Bruno is, rightly, considered a martyr for science because he died in significant part because of his refusal to allow authority, the RCC, demand that he not pursue certain lines of inquiry. A trait which was central and necessary for modern science to bloom as it did and for it to continue to flourish.

“Who so itcheth to Philosophy must set to work by putting all things to the doubt.”[Giordano Bruno from his book, The Threefold Leas and Measure of the Three Speculative Sciences and the Principle of Many Practical]

“Bruno wrote: “Everything, however men may deem it assured and evident, proves, when it is brought under discussion to be no less doubtful than are extravagant and absurd beliefs.” He coined the phrase “Libertes philosophica.” The right to think, to dream, if you like, to make philosophy.”[Giordano Bruno: The Forgotten Philosopher by John J. Kessler, Ph.D., Ch.E.]

Darrell E said...

continued . . .

Daniel Duffy said...
“What was done to him was wrong, but to make him out, like Cosmos did, to be some sort of scientist persecuted by the evil Catholic Church is a load of crap.”

The Vatican, at least some there, seems to disagree with you.

“In the same rooms where Giordano Bruno was questioned, for the same important reasons of the relationship between science and faith, at the dawning of the new astronomy and at the decline of Aristotle’s philosophy, sixteen years later, Cardinal Bellarmino, who then contested Bruno’s heretical theses, summoned Galileo Galilei, who also faced a famous inquisitorial trial, which, luckily for him, ended with a simple abjuration.”[“Summary of the trial against Giordano Bruno: Rome, 1597”. Vatican Secret Archives. Archived from the original on 2010-06-09. Retrieved 2010-09-18.]

It seems rather clear that the Bruno (& Galileo) affair(s) was about the maintenance of political power and that the perceived threat to that political power was, in part, the new cosmological ideas being introduced by certain people, such as Bruno. It was about challenges to the cosmology approved by the church. Even if only because those were challenges to the church’s authority.

Your arguments on this issue sound exactly like apologetics. Especially combined with your claims of how Christianity gave rise to modern science. The RCC is evil and it sure as shit has done plenty of persecuting.

“On the 400th anniversary of Bruno’s death, in 2000, Cardinal Angelo Sodano declared Bruno’s death to be a “sad episode” but, despite his regret, he defended Bruno’s prosecutors, maintaining that the Inquisitors “had the desire to serve freedom and promote the common good and did everything possible to save his life.”[Seife, Charles (March 1, 2000). “Vatican Regrets Burning Cosmologist”. Science Now.]

If that's not evil I don't know what is. Yes, Bruno was a proto-scientist and the RCC burned him at the stake for several reasons*, and one very prominent key reason that he refused to recant about (see quotes above), was his plurality of worlds view. Did he arrive at this view by methods that would meet the standards of modern science? No. So what?

Charges leveled at Bruno by the Inquisition

“holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith and speaking against it and its ministers;
holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about the Trinity, divinity of Christ, and Incarnation;
holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith pertaining to Jesus as Christ;
holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith regarding the virginity of Mary, mother of Jesus;
holding opinions contrary to the Catholic faith about both Transubstantiation and Mass;
claiming the existence of a plurality of worlds and their eternity;
believing in metempsychosis and in the transmigration of the human soul into brutes;
dealing in magics and divination.” [Luigi Firpo, Il processo di Giordano Bruno, 1993.]

jim said...

OK I will accept that the 1.90$ per day was not arbitrary. It looks like it was deliberately chosen because it provides for a way deceptively claim that poverty is going down when the truth is just the opposite.

And yes I am familiar with your "great enrichment" it is powered by fossil fuels that are destabilizing the climate ( as Larry, Tim, and I are experiencing now).

Daniel Duffy said...

Darrel you went through a lot of work just so you could completely miss the point.

>“He was condemned for being a pagan advocate for the hermetic tradition. Hermetic writings treated the sun as a god, and the rest of the universe as moving, and hence alive. This it turns out is the real reason Bruno was attracted to Copernican helio-centricism. His belief in the sun's divinity nicely dovetailed with a heliocentric world view. Bruno was a martyr to pagan mysticism, not scientific inquirer.”

>Even if this were entirely accurate, so what?

Well, as I wrote:

>What was done to him was wrong, but to make him out, like Cosmos did, to be some sort of scientist persecuted by the evil Catholic Church is a load of crap.

Bruno was a mystical heretic - NOT A SCIENTIST.

And yes, by our standards the persecution of heresy is indefensible and burning live human beings at the stake is a horrible act of state terror.

He advocated that the sun and stars were living, conscience being - not a scientific concept but it was what got him burnt at the stake.

Alfred Differ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Alfred Differ said...

Jim,

Fossil fuels came later. The great enrichment started without them. The evidence is found in economic numbers from the Dutch during their war with the Hapsburgs.

Poverty by the old measure IS decreasing, but since the majority of humanity now lives in cities, we have to up our game. One thing to ponder is the FACT that people are moving to cities of their own accord. WE may think they are impoverished, but they wouldn't move if things weren’t at least a little better. One of the things that can be better is a sense of hope even if other things suck big time.

The old measure was deliberately chosen to account for the fact that most humans (after the ice melted) lived a pastoral or agricultural life. Many of us still do, but that percentage is rapidly dwindling even as our population continues to climb. We'd probably all starve to death if we tried to return to that lifestyle... or become goat shepherds and as our host points out make a desert of the entire world. What we are doing instead isn't much better, but there is a chance we won't screw the pooch.

Daniel Duffy said...

>"Going forward, we should anticipate the collapse of the “everything bubble”

Dr. Brin if you want something that will keep you up late at night, may I suggest you read Chris Hedges (especially his book "America, the Farewell Tour")

https://www.truthdig.com/author/chris_hedges/

The ruling elites are painfully aware that the foundations of American power are rotting. The outsourcing of manufacturing in the United States and the plunging of over half the population into poverty will, they know, not be reversed. The self-destructive government shutdown has been only one of numerous assaults on the efficiency of the administrative state. The failing roads, bridges and public transportation are making commerce and communications more difficult. The soaring government deficit, now almost a trillion dollars thanks to the Trump administration’s massive corporate tax cuts, cannot be eliminated. The seizure of the financial system by global speculators ensures, sooner rather than later, another financial meltdown. The dysfunction of democratic institutions, which vomit up con artists such as Donald Trump and hold as alternatives inept, corporate-indentured politicians such as Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi, is cementing into place a new authoritarianism. The hollowing out of the pillars of the state, including the diplomatic corps and regulatory agencies, leaves the blunt force of the military as the only response to foreign disputes and fuels endless and futile foreign wars.

And it goes down hill from there.

jim said...

Yes Alfred I am aware that Europe benefited greatly from contact with the new world.
Genocide for the native Americans,
gold, silver, new foods and vast new lands for Europeans.

Darrell E said...

Daniel Duffy,

Says the Gish Gallop expert. Nope. I read you loud and clear. You have the bit well and truly between your teeth making it pointless to point you to any evidence or interpretations that don't suit your views. You are flat out wrong. You first claim that an interpretation of the Bruno incident that is widely held among experts, not exclusively of course but widely, and which has clear evidence in support of it is complete bullshit. Then when challenged you step back and claim that I missed the point and that you are only suggesting a more mild reframing of the incident. Nope. As some of the quotes I provided show the RCC itself disagrees with you.

Another small example, Tyson clearly explained in that Cosmos segment that Bruno did not arrive at his cosmological ideas by the practice of anything we in the age of modern science would call science. You can't get the point or argue reasonably against it if you don't acknowledge what has actually been said.

Alfred Differ said...

jim,

No. You are still missing the important point of the great enrichment. Contact with the new world and all its gold and silver and whatnot enriched a relatively small sliver of Europeans. It did NOT enrich the common man in Europe. If you account for the gold and silver the Dutch took from the Spanish Crown, it doesn't come close to the change in income for the common Dutchman.

Colonization enriches SOME people, but not the average man. Economists can show that.
Fossil fuels came onto the scene at least a century and a half AFTER the enrichment started.
What matters was more of a cultural shift among the Dutch. People started treating each other different and THAT unleashed the tsunami.

Duncan Cairncross said...

I agree with Alfred about timing
I disagree about the cause of the enrichment - IMHO it was simply the fact that we now had a large enough "toolbox" of materials knowledge (and tools) to start making a real difference

Alfred Differ said...

Duncan,

The argument against that goes like this...

The Chinese had a larger technical toolbox earlier and they didn't kickstart the enrichment.
What the Dutch had was a couple of social tools and their adoption can best be described as accident or necessity.

Lots of our technology was invented over there first. The stuff that wasn't came along after the enrichment was underway. That's the argument McCloskey makes.

Alfred Differ said...

meh. I still mangled it. 8)

_____________

The Dutch had a smaller technical toolbox, but had two particular social tools the Chinese did not have. The Chinese had a larger technical toolbox and didn't kickstart the enrichment. The Dutch did. Therefore, those social tools are critical.


That's a better paraphrasing of one of the chapters in McCloskey's second big book of that trilogy.

Alfred Differ said...

Cardinal Bellarmino was a Jesuit of his time. That pretty much says all you need to know. Conformance with RCC/Jesuit doctrine was required and his folks took that deadly seriously. In the next century, they were primarily responsible for the demise of 'Italian' innovation in science and mathematics since they were often the educators of the elite. Innovation moved north and out of their reach.

Since spiritual and temporal power were co-mingled back then, intellectual innovation was as much a threat as Protestantism. This slice of history helps show why classical liberals react just as badly to priests as they do princes. Cardinals are both.

porohobot said...

>> Duncan Cairncross said...
\\I disagree about the cause of the enrichment - IMHO it was simply the fact that we now had a large enough "toolbox"...

But hesitant to make it. Those differences.
It's China which research cloning.
It's "shiny star" Musk who proposes to ban progress in robotech... because it can be used in war.
It's our host... who tend to discuss locum-crap, etc. Instead of real prospects of progress. %P

It's ok. It's in human nature. One who lives a good comfy life -- do not want anything that could change it. Need more work. Even... if it proposes YET more good and comfy life. It's good to be Them, Who Know Better. It's good to be feudals. %P


>> Alfred Differ said...
//In the next century, they were primarily responsible for the demise of 'Italian' innovation...

I was raised on materialists (marxists, yah) notion of the history. And I do fav Evolution much.

So, I am trying to see materialistic/objective reasons. In everything.

So... that innovations could not be stalled by ideology alone -- they just have NO ROOM to grow. (Darwin Evolution Theory was not stalled by ideology, though it tried and still trying to, badly... but it was needed previous tech advances, like that "Bigle")


//What matters was more of a cultural shift among the Dutch. People started treating each other different and THAT unleashed the tsunami.

Or... it was effect of new territories/resource opened... as I showed higher.
Common reason for evolution of species. ;)
And not some idealistic, ephemeral, "emergent" "cultural shift". ;)


\\For example, look up what happened in 1689 and ask yourself if England was invaded or not. Some say no. Some say yes.

It happens so... it's easier for me to argue about it.
Because I, we, Ukraine. Do have Exact That Point in History.
Where all the same as you described -- fuzzy and uncertain. From outside.

Like "people in Crimea do invited Rusians" or it was occupation?
East-South Rebellon it was genuine rebellion against "hunta in Kiev" or just RFia inspired and supported "Potiomkinskaia Derevnia"?

From within. It all looks pretty clear.
But I greatly doubt that that feeling will be fixated somewhere.
So next generation would know that answer.
Because. They will be digging factual material... and there still too much controversy -- each political side shouting its beliefs non-stop.
Especially now, during elections.
And still. Here. Lots of uncertain. Who will win -- Ukraine at last, or USSR/RFia.
New sprout of hope... or dead zombie of resentment. %)


\\As for being sea-faring, everyone on the North Sea was if they wanted to survive.

Trick is... there was several such nations.
So evolutional concurrent process started. Evolutional pressure to try new things.
That created that big differencies.

Because there was many other countries that used sea-faring in our history...
but they used it (more) exclusively.


//the English became envious enough to try the Dutch approach...

That is the details. Which can be researched by younger apprentices of Hari. %)

\\Back then the number was $1/day and the average purchasing power for the average human through history was about $3/day.

It's a big question. How correct could be that numerical, nominated in currency calculations... for non-market activities. Or very different markets.
Hardly dollar equivalent means something in the deep of Africa.


\\ jim said...
\\Genocide for the native Americans,

They would not do the same? %)



>>Larry Hart said...
\\For anyone who goes to, "What about global warming?"... Global warming is everywhere but here.

Physics. Larry, it's physics.

More heat means MORE water vapoured. Mean more water/ice in the clouds.
And more heat/cold collected in it and transported by wind.
And in a step. It means colder winters for continental parts... because there is no sea to make it warmer.
That's how they feel it. In Syberia. %P

porohobot said...

\\The entanglement between the Dutch and English goes way back and gets very complicated.

That's why people devise theories. That allow to explain complex things in a simpler ways. ;)


\\People have written many books on the subject that don't agree with each other even on what would seem to be objective facts.

That is "business as usual". Cleverly depicted by Lem in his "Solaris". (and what is rearily understood by readers)


//These events are all tangled together, though.

Do you know some decent theory of revolution? ;)

progressbot said...

>> Daniel Duffy said...
\\Bruno was a mystical heretic - NOT A SCIENTIST.

Truth is.
Scientists ARE "mytical heretics"... until their theories proved. %)))

And even LONG after that.(for screaming ignoramuses herded by shady ideologist)

Like Darwin. Like Einstein. Etc.

Larry Hart said...

porohobot:

\\For anyone who goes to, "What about global warming?"... Global warming is everywhere but here.

Physics. Larry, it's physics.


You don't have to convince me. It's those right-wingers who want to disbelieve in global warming who think that the presence of a snowball is a counter-argument.

progressbot said...

It's tricky.
Propaganda need to be simple... and obviously looking.
And "what global worming??! when it's freezing out there" works much more better
for them, then to us.

Darrell E said...

Jumping in on the discussion about the reduction in extreme poverty, just to throw some more information into the ring. Here are some excerpts from an email written by Steven Pinker in response to a question posed to him by Jerry Coyne about a recent criticism against Pinker by Jason Hickel in an article published in the Guardian. (link to the source for anyone who wishes full context, Is the world really getting poorer? A response by Steve Pinker)


"1. The massive fall of global extreme poverty is not a claim advanced by me, Bill Gates, or people who go to Davos, but every politically neutral observer who has looked at the data, including the Nobel laureate economist Angus Deaton in The Great Escape, the United Nations (which declared its Millennium Development Goal of having extreme poverty as having been met five years ahead of schedule), and other experts in global development (who bolster their data with observations they have made while they spent time in the poorest countries), such as Stephen Radelet, Charles Kenny, and the Roslings. A comprehensive overview can be found (as always) in Max Roser’s Our World in Data in the entry on Global Extreme Poverty."

"2. The level at which one sets an arbitrary cutoff like “the poverty line”
[this is the $1.90 per day that has been argued about here] is irrelevant — the entire distribution has shifted, so the trend is the same wherever you set it."

"5. The drastic decline in extreme poverty is corroborated by measures of well-being other than income that are correlated with prosperity, such as longevity, child mortality, maternal mortality, literacy, basic education, undernourishment, and consumption of goods like clothing, food, cell phones, even beer—all have improved."

David Brin said...

=progressbot,
Do not blame us for not answering every point you raise.

Your postings are very difficult to read and people generally skim through these comments section, picking just one or two points to answer. If they find one interesting thing, then may skim past a long posting that is difficult to read.

But you will find plenty about Von Neumann self-replicating machines in my novel EXISTENCE.

porohobot:
“It's our host... who tend to discuss locum-crap, etc. Instead of real prospects of progress. %P”

And this is why I will progressively and increasingly ignore you.


jim, by all means spurn the poverty experts at every foundation and agency that strives daily to improve the lot of the people of the world. You know better, picking an arbitrary number that then lets you yell “Poverty is increasing!” Even though, unlike 30 years ago, 3/4 of the world’s children now bring schoolbooks home to electric lights and a refrigerator

Criticism of the unfinished job is proper! You do not gain cred by yowling “Nothing’s been accomplished!” A better mantra would be “pausing with a job half-finished is fucking it all up.” But you are far more interested in sanctimony than metrics of progress.

David Brin said...

BTW... yesterday had lunch and dinner with Freeman Dyson. So there.

Mike Will said...

Measles. Lack of scientific literacy is a huge threat, not just a coffee shop discussion. U.S. politicians get slammed if they don't check off the safe religious, heritage, and PC talking points. Is reading waning down there?

David Brin said...

“So, screw you & your false progressive promises until you can deliver unto me my 72 virgins. Cash up front! No credit!”

And your bargaining leverage is….?

David Brin said...

onward

onward