Wednesday, February 06, 2019

So many milestones in space!


I'll chime in at the end with a political note - about the Democrats' incredible circular firing squad.... But first a whole slew of wonderful stuff about our outward vision, ambition and opportunities to go boldly forth!  If we prove worthy.

== Moon and more! ==

Congratulations on China’s Chang’e-4 mission to land a rover on the moon’s far side,in a potentially ice-bearing crater near the south pole. It's a milestone for all of humanity… as were the ten incredible U.S. space missions in 2018. Data will be relayed by the Queqiao craft, the first comms satellite to settle into the 2nd Earth Moon Lagrange point 37,000 miles farther away, another terrific feat. (See a cool picture of the lunar far side with Earth in background.)

The Chang’e-4 rover carries ground-penetrating radar to figure out what the structure of the Moon is like underneath the surface of the basin, which could tell us more about how this area formed. It will also have an instrument designed to figure out what the surface is made of in this region,” reports the Verge.  Though being solar powered, it can't venture into the very same permanently-shadowed corners where subsurface ice may lurk. An irony.

China plans to launch another robotic mission to the Moon next year called Chang’e-5, which is designed to return samples. China also hopes to put people on the Moon, and we should help! It’s kind of a bar mitzvah for up and coming nations… and nothing the U.S. has to prove. 

But the sterile, useless Moon is a stupid place for the U.S. to aim its efforts. Humanity is going there anyway, propelled by desperate symbolism. America should do things that only they can do… with partners like Japan and Elon and Planetary Resources... like go where the riches are. 

Ah, but it is a close-convenient target. Israel hopes soon to be the fourth nation to do a robotic lunar landing.

== Farther out! ==

What a roll humanity is on! A while back the Japanese Hayabusa probes spectacularly explored a potentially valuable asteroid. The Parker solar probe broke records on its first approach to the sun (see below), and late last year the Insight craft gloriously landed on Mars. 

Now comes the NASA Osiris-REx's rendezvous with its targeted asteroid, Bennu, aiming for sample collection and return to Earth. 

And Kepler retired after multiplying the number of known planets a hundred-fold. And TESS launched, aiming to multiply that by twenty! As well as SpaceX nailing it, even when they don't. And news that fear-of-Elon has driven ULA right into Ol' Jeff's arms (heh.)

Another grand space milestone! Announced by Ed Stone. Forty-one years after it launched into space, NASA’s Voyager 2 probe has exited our solar bubble and entered the region between stars. Its twin, Voyager 1, made this historic crossing in 2012. Edward Stone, the Voyager mission’s project scientist, and former JPL head. Congratulations Ed, and JPL and us!

A side thought. Our competence has theological significance. I mean that, literally. We may be alone and doing this purely as a projection of weird evolution. But if not? Then any theology that glowers at science, demanding obsequious humility, is clearly and decisively wrong. If there are intentions behind the way we are, then those intentions are clearly for us to be bold explorers and co-creators.... or else why are we so good at it?

An expansive thought at the dawn of an eventful year, while our advances in space and science utterly disprove all the narratives of despair and gloom. Now grab your neighbors by the lapels and tell them.

== To the sun - and way beyond ==

NASA's Parker Solar Probe.Over 12 days in October and November, Parker smashed two long-standing records, becoming the closest ever human-sent object to the sun and the fastest spacecraft in history. On its first of several upcoming deep dives, Parker sped through the corona -- the ultra-hot cosmic oven of atmosphere that surrounds the sun -- and snapped the first image from virtually inside the sun, with Jupiter in the background.  As author of SUNDIVER I was given a kind of honorary sponsorship… and I approve!

Among these wonderfully vivid Mars lander photos, all are enthralling… and not one seems at all “suspicious” of anything “alien.” That is, except for the spoon. I mean… it’s a spoon!

The search for mysterious Planet X has intensified and narrowed, as an amazing little rock was found with a way-out orbit that helps narrow the search. Meanwhile, at 120x  Earth’s distance from the sun (almost 4x Pluto’s at 34 AU), a newly discovered dwarf planet 2018 VG18 and nicknamed “Farout” by its discovery team may be 500km across.

Wonderful images from the Hyabusa2 landers on the Ryugu asteroid. A terrific mission that has already returned hugely useful information. And soon, the explosive impactor and sample return probe will tell us so much more. Many great projects await knowing how firm or soft these things are. So far, it looks good for grabbing future samples to be analyzed at the coming Lunar Gateway lab… an actual use for that lab!

Across the last few years, we have seen space missions that should fill any citizen with pride, optimism and awe. We are an amazing civilization and those who are trying to defeat us with gloom are dismal beings, wherever they lie on the political spectrum. (Though on one side the gloomcasting is very well-organized, with a brutal goal.)

We are mighty explorers. And Kudos to Japan for this spectacular role they have played. They are pointing in the right directions and America should join them.

Indeed - this excellent Economist graphic shows our accomplishments - the orbital launch totals for each nation/year since Sputnik.

==What's Next? ==

(Note: I store up these items for a couple of months, so of course there's repetition!)

Lockheed has released vague images of its planned lunar lander. And it may surprise you to know I wish it well. 

Yeah, yeah, I repeat it too often: I am so "been there" about the Moon, and deem those political factions pushing for a new U.S. Apollo mission to be massively unwise and unhelpful, distracting America from bold and potentially profitable ventures that only we can do, elsewhere. But yes humanity will be returning to Luna soon, since the principal near term use for that sterile, dusty plain is tourism. Lockheed and others should sell landers - and a hotel module on the Orbital Gateway - for those Chinese, Russian, India, European and billionaire Apollo-wannabe tourists! Terrific. Let that subsidize our prospectors heading out to the real riches.

And sure. A closeup on NASA/ESA plans for the Lunar Gateway station… the various proposed modules and components.

With its Roadmaps to Ocean Worlds (ROW), NASA’s Outer Planets Assessment Group has set up the outlines for exploring known oceans with ice roofs... I call them "roofed worlds"... such as Enceledus, Europa and Titan. But there may be as many as eight or ten more! The exciting implication is that 90% of the stars you see in the sky may have a place where liquid water exists, not even requiring a particular placement in the star's "Goldilocks Zone." A good article.

The view on Mars! Wonderful 360 panorama of Mt. Sharp and the distant crater rim, taken by the Curiosity Rover as the dust storm clears.

A cool–colorful web site “Dear Moon” created by the Japanese billionaire who has reserved a slot for himself and artists and writers (ahem?) aboard Elon Musk’s first BFR to Luna. 

The NASA Near Earth Asteroid (NEA) Scout mission will demonstrate the capability of an extremely small spacecraft, propelled by a solar sail, to perform reconnaissance of an asteroid at low cost.  The camera is the ECAM M-50 from Malin Space Science Systems.  The sail deployment mechanism is a modification of those of NanoSail and the Planetary Society's LightSail 2 spacecraft.  

The NEA Scout will be one of 13 CubeSats to be carried with the Orion EM-1 mission into a heliocentric orbit in cis-lunar space on the maiden flight of the Space Launch System(SLS) scheduled to launch in 2019.  If it works, we should send dozens… along with maybe several advanced versions of Japan’s marvelous Hayabusa probe. 

Is the surface-roof of Europa's world ocean coated with jagged-icy spikes? At NIAC we've funded concepts for Europa explorers that might be able to cope with such "penetentes," but it wouldn't be easy. Almost as if the water world were defending itself against interlopers -- eerily predicted by Arthur C. Clarke in "2010."

I knew Bepi Colombo. Not well, but he was a true pioneer of many new ways to view/explore our universe. Now the BepiColumbo Mercury Transfer Module is off to map the ice at the poles of Mercury!

== Curiosities ==

A way-cool/vivid/gorgeous progressive rock video conveying some of the wondrous imagery produced by our space adventures, with a groovy musical accompaniment, newly produced by Talin.

Futurist David Brin discusses 3D printing in outer space and its sci-fi origins on Xploration Earth 2050. Watch this episode of Xploration Earth 2050.

The sky is very different in exotic wavelengths. So NASA is doing something cool... establishing new Constellations(!) based on the brightest objects in the X-Ray and Gamma Ray spectrum. One of the top beings so deified? GODZILLA!

This amusing essay compares Elon Musk’s BFR “starship” rocket in appearance etc to the single stage tail lander in the movie Destination Moon, inspired by Robert Heinlein’s “The Man Who Sold The Moon,” which featured a moonship coordinated by an eccentric billionaire.

shadowy op-ed campaign is now smearing SpaceX in space cities.  Not all modern disinformation campaigns are Russian or North Korean or Iranian… or Fox.

While we rejoice over the New Horizons Mission, it does seem odd that our fifth emissary into interstellar space should be carrying so little in the way of outreach gestures, like the Pioneer Plaque or the Voyager Golden Record. A couple of US stamps and quarters and a clump of Clyde Tombaugh’s ashes. Hm.

== Sanctimonious self-destruction ==

Alas, humanity's space endeavors ultimately depend on whether we can solve our current madness down here. An insanity in which one "side" wages open war against science and all fact-using professions.  Those who would wreck the Earth and risk global war to entrench world oligarchy are enemies of our future as a galactic species. 

Hence, we cannot afford stupidity among those who are fighting for the future! Yes, I'm talking about the "let's eat our own" campaign of sanctimony and self-destructive "zero-tolerance" on the American left.  

Should we elect more white-clad women politicians who've never done a single wrong thing in all their lives? Sure! 

Should we commit political seppuku in order to prove our utter purity? Hell no. 

Now Elizabeth Warren has been caught in a 35 year old act of stupid politically-incorrectness, claiming on an ancient job form to have been "American Indian." Stupid? Yep. Terminal? Well you and anyone else on Twitter gets to vote (alas) in mob justice.

It doesn't have to be this way. This circular firing squad - that has Putin/Murdoch/Trump giggling in delight - can be replaced with a process! Nelson Mandela showed us how to use truth and reconciliation, and sliding scales of harm vs time vs. victimhood vs good works... instead of howls and torches and pitchforks. Doofus almost-victimless idiocies from 35 years ago should be forgivable, in light of subsequent service and crawling across broken glass in contrition. Such a process would do vastly more to promote future, decent behavior.

I outline elsewhere a proposed method for due process in reputation that would give victims or accusers full credence they currently lack in criminal or civil courts. It would work. In contrast, farthest-lefties who rail "zero-tolerance" shall be judged by the same, ruthless standards and should read what happened to Robespierre.

131 comments:

Bob Neinast said...

Sorry to refer back to your previous post, but the only Supreme Court Justices to attend the SOTU were Roberts, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Kagan.

Alfred Differ said...

(from the last posting)

The problem with the Calvinball article is the job of POTUS isn't well defined in the Constitution. Bits and pieces are. Because of that, the QB in a loincloth swinging a bat is still technically a QB when the QB's job description is loose.

Presidential duties are largely defined by custom and the Electors are supposed to isolate the rabble from doing what was done in 2016. They didn't, of course, but we should ponder that when thinking about the Electoral College and its purpose.

I DO agree that the ignoramus-in-chief isn't doing the job, but I recognize that my expectations are based on custom which many voters chose to reject in 2016. Stupid of them.

jim said...

Once again the unmanned space program shows that it valuable and has a substantial return on investment. The manned space program, on the other hand continues to be a waste with little return on a much bigger investment.

It seems that the goal of the manned space program is space tourism. Great, more public subsidies so that the 1%ers can have new ways to stomp all over the living world.

I hope that Space X's lunar space tour ends in disaster, with billionaires Pulling a Major Tom and sending this as their last message.

"Here am I floating
Round my tin can
Far above the Moon
Planet Earth is blue
And there's nothing I can do."


Mike Will said...

Thanks very much for the space post. I've been trying to bone up on the Confederacy to stay current with the discussions - hard work. Especially because Confederation is an honoured and happy word up here in the Great White North :)

I'd love to see a Brin title at http://setiathome.berkeley.edu/books.php
Is the 'collection of classic SETI papers' available?

I've been pestering gov't types up here (CSA) to build a lunar rover for years. I agree it's not leading edge, but it would be fun to see a Maple Leaf 'fluttering' in the dust. I think Elon Musk might give us a (nearly) free lift if we give him some puppy eyes about his Canadian citizenship if he still has it.

Alfred Differ said...

One thing orbital launch totals and charts showing who provides these launches can miss is the process information for how these things get to orbit.

For example, there is a difference between a $300M USD satellite flying on a dedicated booster and 64 smaller satellites flying on a small upper-stage put in GTO by the underlying launch provider. The first case is about dedicated use and prices tend to be inelastic. The second case makes us of the 'bus/public transport' metaphor where the bus maker, owner, drivers, and customers are not necessarily the same. Many different types of prices come into play and we might get elasticity.

Look at what SpaceX is doing now and go beyond the launches and landings. Look at the processes and customer relationships. It's VERY interesting to those of us who tried to make some of it happen years ago. The 'New Space' sector is winning those old debates we used to have with dueling power-point slide decks at conferences year after year.

Alfred Differ said...

@jim | The manned space program, on the other hand continues to be a waste with little return on a much bigger investment.

Your investment? Which space activities do you consider yourself to be an investor?

jim said...

It is all the tax money wasted by NASA on the space shuttle and space station, more than 100 billion dollars spent with little payback.

Darrell E said...

Jim,

You are so morally superior, it's just amazing to see. Thank You.

Alfred Differ said...

Well... the Shuttle was retired long ago.

I get it about the Station, but that thing is more about politics than it is about manned space flight. We haven't done manned space flight in the exploratory sense in a LONG time.

jim said...

Darrell,
You are welcome.

Alfred,
It seems you agree that we have spent a huge amount of money on manned space activities (doesn't even count as research? ) with little return on that investment.

Alfred Differ said...

Jim,

I do, but I don't link space tourism to that wastage.

If some billionaire wants to buy an expensive ticket that doesn't result in the government wasting your tax money (remember... I think of that money as stolen from you sometimes), then I don't see it as 'our' investment as tax payers being wasted.

What Musk and his customer wants to do isn't a waste at all in my not so humble opinion. They might inspire people to push that frontier open, but most importantly, they demonstrate that the boundary between near frontier and far frontier is just outside the Moon's orbit. That REALLY matters when you talk to business investors.

David Brin said...

Mike Will: PAPERS, ARTICLES VIDEOS AND EVEN COMIX THAT PUT IN PERSPECTIVE THE DEBATE OVER METI

1. the current controversy:

David Brin puts the general debate over METI (Messaging to Extra-Terrestrial Intelligences) in perspective: http://www.davidbrin.com/meti.html The formal abstract at JBIS http://www.jbis.org.uk/paper.php?p=2014.67.8 D. Brin, JBIS 67, pp.8-16 (2014)

JOURNALIST’S OVERVIEW: Stephen Johnson offers an excellent and thoughtful review of the METI argument appeared in the New York Times Magazine in June, 2017. My one carp is that the author did not cover how humanity has already been learning methods to deal with “unusual risks,” through mature methods like the Asilomar Process and NASA’s Planetary Protection Office, which have pioneered methods to reduce both real and moral hazards, while ultimately enhancing, rather than suppressing, humanity’s bold, exploratory spirit. Thus, asking for Pre-Discussion is not a zero-sum thing. Such worldwide consultations would be lively, informative, entertaining and ethically just. They would also – very likely – lead to a better (perhaps compromise) decision than leaving it up to a narrow cult of over-eager zealots. https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/28/magazine/greetings-et-please-dont-murder-us.html

A METI debate (video) at Ideacity. Pro opening statement : http://www.ideacity.ca/video/douglas-vakoch-calling-the-cosmos/
Con: http://www.ideacity.ca/video/david-brin-let-contact-us-first-active-meti-con/
Debate afterwards http://www.ideacity.ca/video/active-meti-panel/

A detailed dissection of the “Barn Door” and “Precautionary” arguments about METI… plus potential theological implications… in Theology and Science (2019) (search BrinMETI-theol) Prof Ted Peters Ctr f/Theology &Nat Scie Graduate Theol Union 2400 RidgeRd Berkeley 94709 510.649.2564

PRO-METI: METI International = http://meti.org/ led by Doug Vakoch: dvakoch@seti.org
Paul Quast – “A Simple Response” pro-METI Scotland. info@beyondtheearth.org
Seth Shostak: Sending Signals Into Space: Is it Really a Bad Idea? S. Shostak, JBIS 67, pp.27-29 (2014) From the Royal Society one-day debate.
And Alexander Zaitsev (2011). Rationale for METI https://arxiv.org/abs/1105.0910
Followed by METI: Rebuttals D. Brin et al., JBIS 67, pp.38-43 (2014)

VIDEO from the 10/2010 Kavli ctr Royal society METI debate etc: (#2 is the debate):
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ipX8NZy0-r8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X60_m9YdhjE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qv2YHs99nrU
The Benford paper opposing METI: http://www.jbis.org.uk/paper.php?p=2014.67.5 J. Benford, JBIS 67, pp.5-7 (2014) (1st page only; must pay for full article)

3. On a lighter vein:

SMBC Comix 
re METI: 

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2457#comic

http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2331#comic
http://www.smbc-comics.com/index.php?db=comics&id=2485#comic
(And an associated science article: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2129880-parasite-living-inside-fish-eyeball-controls-its-behaviour/) 


XKCD COMIX
http://forums.xkcd.com/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=109083
http://xkcd.com/638/

BREWSTER ROCKIT comic on METI & “REGRETI”
http://www.gocomics.com/brewsterrockit/2017/04/02


Alfred Differ said...

(not relevant to this post, but the timing matters...)

At a little celebration party my peers at work had, one of our guys got more than a little tipsy and mentioned that he liked my blue kepi. It was obvious he understood I was making a statement when wearing it and without the alcohol he might never have mentioned that he understood it. After he said he liked it a second time, I promised to buy him one and the conversation moved on.

Well... I finally delivered it today at work. I could see him struggle to recall the conversation (I didn't help much as his peers all enjoy a little rough humor now and then) and then he got it. He glanced around to see who else was watching, so he KNEW the message. I told him in light of the SOTU message, he might be needing it and got a smile out of him.

My recruitment rate is terrible, but I got to one co-worker at least. 8)

David Brin said...

Bob N… I hope Sotomayor etc stayed away for good reasons

A.F. Rey said...

Here's a depressing article: apparently, concern about climate change has gone up because Trump is in office. But once he leaves office, if he's replaced by a Democrat, concern will likely go down. :(

https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/americans-were-a-lot-less-worried-about-climate-change-before-trump-took-office/

Since 1973, public support for increased environmental spending has tended to grow during Republican administrations and decline during Democratic ones. Which means Americans are more likely to want the government to take more environmental action when the person in the White House is less likely to have environmentalism as a core focus of his policy.

So we get support when the government won't support us, and we won't get support when the government will support us. A stupid teeter-totter.

locumranch said...


Talk about a circular firing squad:

First, David attempts to discredit anti-science teleology & theology by arguing that scientific competence may have a "theological significance" if we embrace the teleology that it does, which (in turn) would also validate the teleological & theological basis of the original anti-science argument.

Second, David commits an ongoing economic fallacy as he refers to abundant extraterrestrial mineral deposits as "real riches", even though the economic principle of dynamic value defines 'riches' by their relative scarcity, which (in turn) would render those now abundant extraterrestrial asteroid 'riches' valueless upon retrieval.

And, third, David invokes the 'Goldilocks Zone' theory as he embraces the exciting implication that liquid water may exist under "roof-world" conditions outside of the 'Goldilocks Zone', the implication being that the whole habitable 'Goldilocks Zone' theory of liquid water is clearly and decisively wrong.

Around & around it goes, like some sort of Ouroboros, always reasoning backwards with its jaws clamped firmly upon its own trailing tail.

Progressives now hold the following circularly-reasoned truths to be self-evident (paraphrased):

(1) That, Scientific Progress IS always 'good & godly' as long as we define Scientific Progress as always 'good & godly';

(2) That, the scarcity-based value of "real riches" (aka 'True Scotsman') will persist in situations of non-scarce abundance as long as we define what's "real" in fallacious terms; and

(3) That, the existence of the liquid water 'roof world' exception somehow proves the validity of the very liquid water 'Goldilocks Zone' theory that it disproves.

On a side note, I recently re-watched some 40 year old SNLs from the 1970s that PROVE that Al Franken is an unrepentant sexist, racist, anti-semite & thought criminal. Not only does he routinely mock women, minorities, jews, cripples & the mentally retarded, but the man wears BLACK FACE on at least one occasion. The horror!!

And it was funny, too.

Circular reasoners invariably eat their own starting at the tail.


Best

David Brin said...

I rewarded vitamins by actually reading locum's missive, which parsed sentences in decent order and separably tries to actually paraphrase! Even succeeds about 70%.

Od course then it is followed by a dizzying display of ditzo-crazy illogic. But good on you, son.

Mike Will said...

@DavidBrin

Thanks for the loads of great references. I've never really thought much about METI, other than the obvious "What gives you you the right to act on my behalf?" argument. This response to Johnson's article mentions Asilomar (and you).
https://www.centauri-dreams.org/2017/07/21/meti-a-response-to-steven-johnson/

1) The spelling of Stephen/Steven Johnson confused me. Is this the same person who coined one of my most-used terms, "the slow hunch" (Darwin's insight), and the idea that the switch from beer to coffee launched the Enlightenment?

2) Asilomar. Interesting to see the early discussion of SETI. In recent years, they've really done great work on Ethical AI, which is when I noticed them (eg https://www.reddit.com/r/CanadianAI/comments/9bwpgh/state_of_california_endorses_asilomar_ai/)
There's a lot of Venn overlap between SETI, AI, sociology, and public policy. Maybe they all attract Asimovians :)

Frederick Ellrod said...

Re "theological significance": Absolutely.

"Discover all the new horizons / just waiting to be explored / This is what we were created for!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hVFPjIp6nkk

Rick

Jon S. said...

On METI and xkcd, I think this cartoon is even more on-point:

https://xkcd.com/1377/

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
//I DO agree that the ignoramus-in-chief isn't doing the job, but I recognize that my expectations are based on custom which many voters chose to reject in 2016. Stupid of them.

You just don't get it. Till the very end. %)
If you say "it's a custom". In a step it do mean that On Elections... people do choose Father of the Nation... not the Mother. ;)

So it's someone whose bright ideas was to give Killary just after That Black Guy...
are to blame. ;)

You are just too careless about "collective uncoscious".
And as funny as it is... when you trying to talk about "customs"... which have that CU as its (dark and webby) basement. ;)


>> Mike Will said...
\\I've been pestering gov't types up here (CSA) to build a lunar rover for years. I agree it's not leading edge, but it would be fun to see a Maple Leaf 'fluttering' in the dust.

I already did proposed here technology of how to make that "lunar rover"... and many-many other things, really.
Maybe I just choose wrong auditory?
And it would be better to talk to someone from India or China. %)


>> jim said...
\\It seems you agree that we have spent a huge amount of money on manned space activities (doesn't even count as research? ) with little return on that investment.

Read some *ing history. About When and Why it was done THAT way.

What a stupid youth ziz day. %)))


\\Re "theological significance": Absolutely.

Simple logic. ;)

What does it mean "infinite living in heaven?". Does it means "unchangable"?
If so... then "all eternity in Heaven" it's just a scam.
Because. Human do constantly changes while living here on ziz damned Earth.
But if it would not change constantly in Heaven -- what it realy means -- it's that there is NO difference between "all eternity" and just one second. And us such, form our boring atheistic death. %P

So... what could "eternity in Heaven" mean it's only "live indefinitely long and lern /change yourself all the time"... which mean... ;)

Anonymous said...

Locum(ranch) Quote of the day

"Criticism is the only known antidote to error" (c)

Tim Wolter said...

All cool space stuff. I had not even heard of Cubesats until very recently. Such a change from the days of Big Space Program where large heavy things had to be assembled painstakingly over several years. Not quite "buy it at Walmart" space tech but for sure things that could be build in many places and for many purposes.

I'm extending my 72 hour rule on political scandals and semi scandals. I think it is reasonable to assume that most of the stuff that will turn up on assorted D hopefuls originates from rival D camps, but it is difficult to impossible to know.

But regards Warren, the defining issue is whether she significantly advanced her career by claiming minority status. Succeeded on her own considerable merits while passing along fondly recalled family anecdotes? No issue. Getting high status jobs by using gossamer threads of Native American status to leapfrog over other genuine minority candidates? Hypocrisy, the last true sin of American politics. She has hinted at new material that will emerge in time. The Texas Bar Association document may just be the first. Probably her Harvard job application will be telling.

As to the entire D party leadership of Virginia....I leave that to the Party leadership to sort out in whatever fashion they deem appropriate. The sexual assault allegations against one of them are of course more serious and as it happens better grounded than the Kavanaugh accusations, but I am going to be consistent here, neither situation is going to lead to criminal charges so it is a political matter.

TW/Tacitus

Jon S. said...

In fact, Warren never got anything out of her Native ancestry except Republican harassment. She was already employed at Harvard when a questionnaire came around asking whether anyone had any minority ancestry, and she answered with an anecdote about family history of which she was proud. (I'm told that many Oklahomans claim Cherokee ancestors, with pride and with less support for that claim than Warren has advanced.)

Sadly, even here the Fox take on the entire story is the one that gets aired - even-less-supported claims that she somehow used a Cherokee great-great-grandmother to gain access to high positions (during an era in which such a claim would have been in fact used against her; it's charming how quickly we all forget the intense yet quiet racism of this nation's recent past).

Larry Hart said...

locumranch:

And, third, David invokes the 'Goldilocks Zone' theory as he embraces the exciting implication that liquid water may exist under "roof-world" conditions outside of the 'Goldilocks Zone', the implication being that the whole habitable 'Goldilocks Zone' theory of liquid water is clearly and decisively wrong.


Only in the sense that General Relativity proves that Special Relativity is clearly and decisively wrong. But on the contrary, all it proves is that the experience we mostly live in--objects moving at nowhere-near-light speed and outside of huge gravity wells--is a special case, and that more complex versions of the simplified rules that apply in that special case are required to explain other cases.

Asimov wrote a very interesting essay on the subject that someone just alluded to recently here on this blog. It described how the general impression of the shape of the earth has been refined over time, from "flat" to spherical to oblate to "pear shaped" oblate, etc. In a sense, each new theory proved the old one wrong, but not "clearly and decisively wrong". Each was really a fine-tuning refinement of the previous theories. The notion that the earth is a sphere is wrong, but not "wrong" in the same sense as the notion that the earth is a cube or a pyramid.

A theory that liquid water exists only in a certain zone is not made "clearly and decisively wrong" by a competing theory that a different set of rules applies to a different set of worlds. It just means you have to add "non-roofed" somewhere into the first theory. A refinement rather than a refutation.

Tim Wolter said...

Jon

It is not quite that straightforward. She spent 92 to 93 at Harvard as a visiting professor. Sort of a try out for the Show. At that time, 86 to 93 she was listing herself as a minority professor. This visiting prof status could be construed to be her entree, the opportunity to be seen.

That she corrected/amended her status after she had the full time, prestige job speaks to a degree of honesty, but is not relevant to how she got said job.

Most of this info comes from Politico. I don't bother with Fox as a source.

And honestly this is information that is public but not exactly transparent. A search for her applications to the various jobs she had on her way up the ladder is not clear cut. The Boston Globe does mention one Native American teacher at Harvard during her Visiting Professor time span but no name given.

Its a mess of her own creation. If the D party concludes, and I think rightly, that she is not the most electable option for 2020 there will be a bunch more information for her to clean up.

TW/T

jim said...

I don't care about the native American stuff with Warren. The fact that the wall street lobbyists hate her and consider her and Sanders unacceptable makes those two my top preferences. (Sanders is my first choice, because he seems to be the only candidate willing to be a check against a right wing, militaristic Israel.)

Booker and Harris are at the bottom of my list because wall street loves Booker and seems to like Harris.

It seems that the Democrats will again have a choice just like in 2016 between a status quo, pro-corporate, tiny incremental change is the best you can hope for with me type candidate and someone who really wants the system to change.

The cynic in me thinks that the democrats will go with the "safe" incremental change is best you can even hope for candidate and hope that Trump hatred will carry them to the white house. If they lose we get Trump again, if they win we get expensive, mandatory, shitty, for profit insurance with large copays and deductibles and call it Medicare for All.

Tim Wolter said...

Jim

As someone who has voted both ways in Presidential elections, even 3rd party once, I have my own opinions on which D candidates I'd consider supporting. It is a mixture of their record, the things they say they'll do, and the odds of them actually being elected. Trump being re-elected is probably not good for the country. Trump being re-elected in a landslide would very probably be worse.

TW/Tacitus

jim said...

Well Tim, of course you have your own opinions and your own way a evaluating candidates. I am just suggesting that looking at the forces opposing the candidates can help in making that decision.

And although I really don't like Trump, he really has been a change agent for both bad and good ( Clinton would have kept us in the same type of stalemate that Obama was in for the last 4 year of his presidency).

The question for me is has Trump changed the democratic party enough for them to actually pursue policies that really help working men and women or will the corporate democrats keep control and make sure powerful and privileged remain in place. If we get a OMB (ORANGE MAN BAD!!!!) strategy from the democratic candidate who is supported by wall street and the insurance companies, I will not vote for them.

Larry Hart said...

As to the Virginia situation, I present this bit of Q and A without comment other than "Absent the exact details, this had all occurred to me as likely"...

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2019/Pres/Maps/Feb07.html#item-10

I did a coffee spit-take this morning when I opened up the news to read that Virginia AG Mark Herring just admitted to wearing blackface in college. After your comment on Tuesday that "...if Herring-related dirt pops up in the next few days, be suspicious," should we be suspicious? C.G., Palo Alto, CA

Yes, we would say so. Not about the veracity of the claims against these three men—Northam and Herring are clearly guilty as charged, and the odds are high that Fairfax is culpable, too. It's the timing that deserves some scrutiny and skepticism.

Consider, for example, the Northam image. How many copies of a medical school yearbook from almost 40 years ago could possibly still be in existence? And what are the chances that someone just happened to be flipping through a decades-old yearbook, saw the image, decided to make a fuss, and found a media outlet to talk to? Occam's razor does not favor this series of events. No, it favors the much simpler explanation: 'Someone was digging for dirt."

Similarly, the Herring story is very...unusual. Just days ago, he slammed Northam for wearing blackface. When Herring made that attack, it must have been the case that: (1) He forgot his own bad behavior, or (2) He remembered, but expected it to remain buried, or to be unprovable (i.e., no photo evidence). What has changed, then? If it's #1, then someone must have refreshed Herring's memory. And if it's #2, then someone must have made clear to him that there is hard evidence, and that its dissemination was imminent. Either way, it points to the involvement of a second party in the last few days. And if that second party merely said, "Hey Mark, don't forget that Kurtis Blow bit we did all those years ago," then the second option from above would presumably have kicked in. That is to say, even if he forgot and than was reminded, Herring likely would have tried to keep it on the down-low, because this is dangerously close to un-survivable, particularly after wagging his finger at Northam. Better to take his chances that the secret stays secret. The only circumstance where admitting it like this makes sense is if Herring knew the leak was imminent, and he wanted to get out ahead of it. So, the whole sequence suggests not only a second party, but a hostile second party.

Then there are the sexual assault accusations against Fairfax. Again, the odds are considerably better than average that he's guilty. However, the fact that the story was published on a fairly minor right-wing website sends up a red flag or two that once again indicates there is a puppetmaster somewhere pulling some strings.

So, each story smells a little (or a lot) fishy when taken individually. For them all to happen in less than a week? It certainly could be a coincidence, but if so, it's a pretty remarkable one.

Larry Hart said...

Highlighted from above:

So, each story smells a little (or a lot) fishy when taken individually. For them all to happen in less than a week? It certainly could be a coincidence, but if so, it's a pretty remarkable one.


Three times is enemy action.

Mike Will said...

Tim Wolter: Not quite "buy it at Walmart" space tech

No, but getting closer to Commercial Off-The-Shelf (COTS) all the time. Seeing kids doing Raspberry Pi stuff for ISS experiments, FPGA rigs at SETI@home, and cable harnesses being hand-assembled at SpaceX warms my heart. NASA is great, but they don't own space.

Larry Hart said...

jim:

If we get a OMB (ORANGE MAN BAD!!!!) strategy from the democratic candidate who is supported by wall street and the insurance companies, I will not vote for them.


That's what got us Trump last time.

jim said...

yes Larry you are correct.

The same thing is likely to happen again if the Democrats select another Hillary Clinton type candidate.

Larry Hart said...

@jim,

First of all, I don't think there's the same appetite for a Clinton-type as there was last time. So there's that.

Second, there's a difference between warning of what will happen and threatening to make it happen, which is what your post sounded like. The problem I have with "Bernie or bust" type arguments--"I won't support the party unless they nominate my favored candidate"--is that it only works if your candidate is the only one people feel that way about. Once the party has to choose between caving to "Bernie or bust", "Warren or bust", "AOC or bust", etc, then there's no way to win, and we'll get Trump instead, which is the opposite outcome to what any of those bust-ers would truly prefer.

I get that you don't want to vote for a corporate, business-as-usual Democrat. What I'm asking is that in November, if the choice really is one of those or Trump, are you really going with "They're equally bad, so it doesn't matter"? Because I think we're living through proof that that is not true.

jim said...

If Trump starts a war I would vote for a corporate democrat who opposes the war.

But if situation is like it is today, I won't vote for some Clinton Clone ( I won't vote for Trump either.)

I am not saying Trump and Clinton (or a Clinton Clone) are equally bad, I am saying Clinton is worse. She would not have accomplished anything of value, at least with Trump, progressives have an enemy to organize against and are developing the potential to make real positive change down the road.

Jon S. said...

Jim, can I use that cross-universal viewing machine for a few minutes? I want to see how the Star Wars movies happened in a universe where Marcia Lucas' contributions to the story and scripts were acknowledged.

I mean, you must have one, given that you know exactly what would happen in that stub where Clinton won.

David Brin said...

Hillary bashing is bloney. Her first version of health care was more socialistbut resulted in the DP congress getting smashed and beginning the Newt-Hastert era. Obama later succeeded by adopting the GOP's own plan, which they thereupon disavowed and called satanic. These are facts inconvenient to all pat narratives.

To call her less radical than AOC is accurate. To deny she wanted science, action on climate, the CFPB, open and fair alliances against despotism, higher taxes on the rich, background checks, more transparency on Wall Street, help for inner cities and all that is pure hallucinatory raving.

jim said...

Jon
The republicans won the senate and the house. What kind of legislative accomplishment could she have obtained?
She would have been facing endless investigations (which hunts !!! fake news !!! for real).

The executive branch would likely be far less corrupt, the tax cut would not have passed, but I am pretty sure Mitch McConnell would not let her select a supreme court justice.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

To call her [Hillary] less radical than AOC is accurate. To deny she wanted science, action on climate, the CFPB, open and fair alliances against despotism, higher taxes on the rich, background checks, more transparency on Wall Street, help for inner cities and all that is pure hallucinatory raving.


All right, but apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, a fresh water system, and public health, what has Hillary Clinton ever done for us?

jim said...

I haven’t forgotten that the democrats were so lame, compromised and beholden to corporate interests that they chose to take a crappy republican policy and made it their own. Who would of thought that forcing people to buy mandatory, crappy, expensive, for profit insurance with huge deductibles and copayments would be unpopular?

Larry Hart said...

jim:

I am pretty sure Mitch McConnell would not let her select a supreme court justice.


For four years? She'd have done what President Obama should have done, and would have done had he not expected Hillary to succeed him. "By their silence on the matter, the Senate obviously registers no objection to the nominee. Merrick Garland, do you solemnly swear...?"

And that's assuming that the extra Hillary voters wouldn't have also swung some Senate races as well, such as Russ Feingold who inexplicably lost after leading in the polls by tens of points.

Larry Hart said...

jim:

Who would of thought that forcing people to buy mandatory, crappy, expensive, for profit insurance with huge deductibles and copayments would be unpopular?


I dunno, who'd have thought that Republicans in control of both houses would be threatened into not repealing Obamacare by their angry constituents?

matthew said...

jim,
You obviously are a zero sum partisan from my own side of the aisle. In the spirit of liberal fraternity, I offer the following:

Your comments on acceptable candidates and the outcome of the 2016 election are the rankest sort of privilege, based in absolutely zero knowledge of history, politics, and ethics. You obviously have never paid a consequence for your words in your life. Only an idiot would see the destruction that Trump is leveling and say "But Hillary,..." and only a provocateur would apply a purity test to the result of the 2020 Dem primaries at this stage. Go read a book or two (not by a cult leader) and come back when you education is more complete, because it is obvious that you have swallowed the bait, hook and all.




Larry Hart said...

jim:

I am not saying Trump and Clinton (or a Clinton Clone) are equally bad, I am saying Clinton is worse.


Words fail me.

jim said...

Larry
Imagine what would have happened if the Democrats would have done something popular with American people, like full, universal coverage, with moderate copays, no deductibles and prescription coverage. They would be in charge of the government for the next 20 years.

Larry Hart said...

@jim

Hillary tried something like that, or at least something that was demonized as something like that. And they lost congress for the first time since the Depression. So no, maybe your single bugaboo issue isn't worth the dismantling of our country that wouldn't be happening if Hillary were president.

To be clear, I'm not in love with the Democratic Party. I do, however, recognize the other party as a clear and present danger. I'd vote for a ham sandwich for president if that was the only way to stop Trump. And no matter how little the ham sandwich accomplished, it wouldn't be as bad as what Trump is doing to us, let alone "worse".

jim said...

Mathew
If you want see even more rank privilege look in the mirror.

jim said...

Larry sometimes you have to go through something bad before you can get better. Trump has inspired more and better democrats to run for office. Hillary Clinton would have inspired more bad republicans.

Are the bad effects of Trump worth the good effect it is having on the democrats? Don’t know yet.

(although I agree Trump is generally awful, there are a couple of things he has done that are good , in my opinion. The trade war with China (both good and popular). Withdrawing troops from Afghanistan and Syria. And totally by accident and incompetence he has gotten the US out of the way of South and North Korea resolving their differences.)

Treebeard said...

jim, you are obviously a Russian agent or a time-travelling Klingon saboteur for not supporting the neoliberal status quo and prostrating before your virtue-signalling betters. Don't you know that if things aren't getting incrementally better all the time and the Federation isn't expanding, instead of showing the lesser peoples of other star systems how great we are like Cap'n Kirk, we're going to end up in a cold, dead universe like the feudalists and Klingons want? ;)

locumranch said...


"A theory that liquid water exists only in a certain zone is not made "clearly and decisively wrong" by a competing theory that a different set of rules applies to a different set of worlds. It just means you have to add "non-roofed" somewhere into the first theory. A refinement rather than a refutation"[LH].

Did you see what Larry_H did there? He refuted my valid either-or qualitative refutation of 'Goldilocks Zone' theory with the superior logic of quantitative reasoning.

That's the problem with the qualitative logic of right or wrong:

It's a shitty means of evaluation that encourages circular reasoning & logical double binds, especially when it's used in determinations of right, wrong, bad, good, better or worse, which is exactly how our mentally deficient culture applies it.

Incessantly, we apply faulty qualitative logic to the questions of Sexism, Racism, Politics & Science, and we reap a whirlwind of unintended contradiction.

As in the case of Sexism -- which we judge BAD -- a proposition that suggests that all things sexist are also bad, including the instinctual acts of the male who seeks to protect the female from danger at the cost of his own life, even though these acts were once considered an altruistic universal good.

As in the case of Racism -- which we judge BAD -- a proposition that suggests that all things racist are also bad, including the white WEIRD-ing Way of sharing enlightenment, prosperity, science, tolerance & democracy with the non-white, non-western & non-enlightened world, even though this act of UPLIFT was once considered an altruistic universal good, too.

As in the case of Science -- which some judge GOOD -- a proposition that suggests all things science are also good, including the many NOT-good consequences of science of which nuclear weapons, climate change & automation-dependent unemployment are but a few, which has resulted in the increasingly popular qualitative conclusion that all things science are BAD.

As in the case of Climate Change, a theory which is most probably correct from a quantitative perspective, but one easily refutable by qualitative methods, even though our fine host continues to insist qualitatively that Climate Change is absolutely RIGHT (as a theory) and absolutely BAD (as an occurrence).

And, of course, there's the faulty qualitative logic of Politics which leads to the conclusion that (1) all progressive democrats are EITHER absolutely good OR black-faced pussy-hatted commie pinko racist hypocrites and (2) all conservative republicans are EITHER Horatio-at-the-gate OR black-hearted friends-to-boys nazi fascist feudalists.

The world would be a much better place if only the likes of Matthew & Jim were capable of quantitative logic, too.


Best

Mike Will said...

Oh good, someone's finally talking about space... oh wait.

David Brin said...

I actually agree with jim on one thing. The silver lining that it is the GOP being demolished before our eyes and a Hillary presidency would have included endless sabotage by an invigorated right. The question is do we have time to sit this out, with the US presidency controlled by Vladimir Putin, who envisions Russia as leader of a mafia world centered on a balmy arctic and uninhabitable below the 40th parallel?

While jim is right that we would be in a different kind of hell, under Hillary, he is a vapid, over-privileged lunatic to look at the person Putin hates most in the world and proclaim: "She's a tool of Wall Street!!!!!" because his vapid (and partly Kremlin run) sanctimony sites give him a voluptuous rush, telling him it's so.

Dig it fellah, YOU bear the burden of proof that the person Putin hates most in the world an enemy of all that's right and good.

jim said...

Treebeard,
You know I really love star trek but I think that show has really warped some peoples ideas about space ;-) Some seem to value the cold dead rocks in space far more than the amazing, beautiful, living world that created them.

David Brin said...

Um, hey locum Feudalism. 8000 years at least. ALL of it drooling vile awful and in every way worse than us, even at-our-very-worst, including the times under Good Kings.

Mike drop. You're toast.

Treebeard said...

It's hilarious that some dude living in 21st century southern California thinks he knows how every human on the planet lived for the past 8000 years (wasn't it 6000 btw?), and also knows that it was hell on earth--evil all the time, with an extra helping of evil sauce. How did these poor benighted people survive without twitter and Star Trek reruns?

Dig it, fellah, YOU bear the burden of proof that this story is true. And while you're at it, you also bear the burden to prove your story that Putin is the enemy of all that's right and good. Most of the world doesn't seem to think so; just an especially arrogant slice of humanity concentrated in the Anglo world, who still think they are entitled to run the world, if not the galaxy.

The ancients said that hubris is the first step; then comes ate (madness), followed by nemesis (divine punishment). I'd say you're well into stage #2, headed for #3.

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

locumranch,

Second, David commits an ongoing economic fallacy as he refers to abundant extraterrestrial mineral deposits as "real riches", even though the economic principle of dynamic value defines 'riches' by their relative scarcity, which (in turn) would render those now abundant extraterrestrial asteroid 'riches' valueless upon retrieval.

You are missing the point, but it is your useful attempt at paraphrasing that reveals this and makes it worthwhile to try to point this out.

There ARE a number of folks who calculate the value of asteroids in terms of current market prices and then proclaim there are trillions of dollars out there to retrieve. It's a silly idea, but most people are economically illiterate, thus it isn't a surprising idea.

Our host isn't economically illiterate. We may reasonably disagree on some points, but I'm sure he knows better that to apply current prices. Even discounted current prices won't do.

The 'real riches' position among those of us who have thought about this comes down to this. At present, there are a number of scarce resources that are consumed in current processes that do more to set the price of the related goods and services than less scarce inputs. If the scarce resources could be made less scarce, the purchase volume would make up for some of the difference. How much? Maybe more than the price reduction. Sound fuzzy? Yes. It has to be because economics is a big game of substitutions. If the price of one commodity drops relative to its substitutes, traders will adapt and processes that don't initially appear to be potentially impacted will be.

In the end, though, the 'real riches' position is about the secondary and tertiary effects. There once was a time when clothing cost a seriously large fraction of the income a man could earn in a year. One did not buy lots of clothing unless one was seriously wealthy. As the Great Enrichment got underway, one of the early signs was a dramatic drop in textile prices. At some point, it made sense for people to have 'church/Sunday clothes' because their real incomes grew large enough to put them in reach and they could be socially justified. Later, it became possible to buy clothing for children and begin to break the hand-me-down cycle. At some point, it became possible for the poorest to look as if they were wealthier and occasionally break out of hiring stereotypes. At some point, it made sense to wash the clothing frequently even though that did damage to the fabrics. Oops! Washing them changes everything, though, because cleanliness alters the probabilities associated with disease transmission.

So... Cheap clothing -> healthier people.
The 'real riches' show up BIG TIME when people survive longer with fewer parasites sapping their IQ.

So... Which asteroid resource could unleash something similar if only we could turn it into a non-scarce resource? If I knew, my money would be all in on that resource. I don't, but I'm willing to go all in on the sector. Ever looked at the refinement technology associated with platinum group metals? ugly. Would it make sense to move that industry off-world? Not sure, but the environmentalists would love it. What else can we do up there with NEO's? Well... what could people have imagined when textile supplies went up and prices went down? I doubt they thought much about disease transmission. Most of them anyway.

Alfred Differ said...

treebeard,

Most of the world doesn't seem to think so; just an especially arrogant slice of humanity concentrated in the Anglo world...

It's a bit more than that. To be accurate, you should include pretty much all member cultures that are part of 'the West' civilization. We are the ones who worked at throwing off strong-man leadership with many actually bleeding to do it. Makes us rather touchy about it all.

Putin leads in the old style and no member of a liberal democracy should fail to notice that. If that does not bother you, then you are a betrayer of your civilization.

matthew said...

Jeff Bezos blows the lid off of attempted sextortion blackmail by AMI - the publishers of National Enquirer (and Trump toadies).

https://medium.com/@jeffreypbezos/no-thank-you-mr-pecker-146e3922310f

This ties into *so* much of our political moment. And our hosts work as well.

Thank you oligarch Bezos.

matthew said...

Oh, and no one need reply to white nationalist treebeard. Remember, you don't owe your time or response to Nazis.

Donald Gisselbeck said...

Some internet commentator pointed out that every previous opponent of these Virginia politicians should demand their money back from the opposition researchers they hired.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

The silver lining that it is the GOP being demolished before our eyes


Well, except for the executive branch, the Senate, and the federal courts.

Treebeard said...

@matthew

I'm going to tell you this once son, then you can STFU with your social justice faggotry forever or come discuss it with me like a man: I have lived with a brown person for more than 20 years, I'm surrounded by brown people, and I guarantee you they are more my kind than yours. Not that I have anything to prove to you, but when some weirdo thinks he's the internet thought police and tries to decide who can speak and who must shut up at someone else's blog, then I tell you quite straight: get fucked, or come discuss it with me. The value of my comments are not for you to decide, are they? But you have provided another object lesson in the fallacy of virtue-signalling, circle-jerk liberalism, where giving someone a label in hopes that they'll shut up and die generally has the opposite effect (see Hillary and her "deplorable" tactic). Will you ever learn?

David Brin said...

Hey Treebeard, you are hilarious. "Some of my best friends are brown!" Proclaiming repression and censorship in the most relaxed-open place in the most relaxed era ever. What whines!

Um, I bear burden of proof re feudalism? Hrm. If I proclaim that ALL and EVERY feudalism was oppressive crap, well then a single counter-example crashes my universal-assertion. Like my shout that the truly evil confederate treason is waging all-out war on every fact-centered profession.

So? Disprove my general assertion with a counter-example! If you come up with counter examples, then I must back off from a UNIVERSAL!

Of course my fallback is "NEARLY ALL feudalisms sucked." In that case, we devolve into an argument.

But it's no argument -- just craven whining on your part -- if you fail to offer ANY counter-examples. Then primacy of place goes to a (tentative) universal overwhelming conclusion that feudalism was a horrid, infectious disease, as is the confederate treason-madness waging war against science, journalism, teaching, medicine, law and intel etc.

Now the irony! I know some exceptions! But let's see if this fellah can come up with them. Betcha he can't.

locumranch said...


As qualitative 'all or none' challenges go, this one about Feudalism v. Liberal Democracy is a figurative piece o'cake:

It's called 'Stability'.

Feudalism (at +6000 years) does stability much much better than the Johnny-Come-Lately called Liberal Democracy.

Plus, Feudalism never caused a single case of catastrophic Climate Change, not even once, never, while less than 300 years of Liberal Democracy has condemned the entire human race to CERTAIN DEATH in "like 12 years".

The Qualitative Logic of All-or-None extremism sucks for this very reason, but David already knows this or he wouldn't be lobbing softballs our way.


Best

Treebeard said...

Not whining or claiming censorship, just letting matthew know that he doesn't know WTF he's talking about, and that giving people labels then declaring them non-persons and trying to shut them down is a slimy Stalinist move that seems to be increasingly popular among our Puritan-progressive friends, but tends to backfire.

As for history and feudalism, I don't think we can ever know if people were happier or more miserable in previous ages. You can look at historical records and conclude that YOU don't like the way people lived, that by YOUR standards it's oppressive, backward, primitive, etc., but you can't prove that they didn't like it. Nor can you prove that some future society that has elements you consider "feudal" won't make people as happy or happier than they are now. It's a matter for people to decide subjectively; if some choose "feudalists" over "democrats" in the 21st century, then I guess that makes them happier than the alternatives. What's the problem?

Larry Hart said...


Not whining or claiming censorship, just letting matthew know that he doesn't know WTF he's talking about, and that giving people labels then declaring them non-persons and trying to shut them down is a slimy Stalinist move...


You mean like accusing Hillary of calling all Trump supporters "deplorables" when you know as well as I do that what she really said was that while many of Trump's supporters were unreachable deplorables, the rest of them could be reasoned with? She was wrong about that second part, not the first.

David Brin said...

HAr! Fall back on relativism, ent? NAME a counter example! I can name at least three feudal lines that actually managed to govern decently and promote increasing public welfare and knowledge and art and general happiness for three generations. But you can't!

You prescribe a system that was almost unalloyedly vile and oppressive and miserably stupid and cannot even gather evidence to try to defend it!

Locum at least tries. He marshals some cogent sentences, then draws stunningly illogical conclusions, but he (when the vitamins are working) actually tries....

...and deserves an answer, this time. Um, read Jared Diamond's COLLAPSE. Feudal kingdoms generally govern horrifically and a majority oversaw ecological damage on a massive scale. The Mayans, Sumerians, and several Chinese dynasties spread deserts and provoked eco-collapses that doomed millions to famine. Recent data suggest feudal Europeans killed so many native Americans that trees grew rapidly on former farmland, bringing the mini Ice Age. You... don't.... know... squat, sir.

Every decade for the last seven has seen steep declines in famine and malnutrition, almost all over the globe. And we're the first civilization ever to develop the science that let us strive to change bad habits before they kill us. We may fail, but no society ever had that maturity.

But the capper is your hatred of all the folks warning about a failure mode that YOUR insane cult turned into a crisis. Beyond crazy, you are an incredible hypocrite.

David Brin said...

What'd make a difference is to cut way down on red meat intake. All meat. But beef should be a condiment. The amount of forest regrowth might save us.

Anonymous said...

What does "fact-using" mean?

As fer me its. (let's throw in some pearls)

1. As prerequesite. Statement that there IS objective reality.(and objective truth)

2. Statement that there is some hardcoded rules, true for everything and every one out there.

3. Observation that there is some methods of inference: logic, mathematic, scientific. Only.

Alfred Differ said...

I'm surrounded by brown people

Heh. Aren't we all? Except for the rare albinos among us (red people), all humans are brown. Some more so than others, but the pigment is there.

discuss it with me like a man

Hmm.... way to make his point for him. Congrats.

The value of my comments are not for you to decide, are they?

Yah... in a way they are. He gets to state what he thinks the value is and warn the rest of us. It's up to us to decide whether to respond to his social T-cell warning.

Will you ever learn?

Sigh.

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\Feudal kingdoms generally govern horrifically and a majority oversaw ecological damage on a massive scale.

You fouly using universal quantifier here. ;)

If feu-dals are so bad... how we still alive?


\\The Mayans, Sumerians, and several Chinese dynasties spread deserts and provoked eco-collapses that doomed millions to famine.

I request precise definition of term "feudal" from you.
Because in known to me historical periodisation neither Mayans nor Sumerians was feudal societies. And quite probably that chinese too.


\\Recent data suggest feudal Europeans killed so many native Americans that trees grew rapidly on former farmland, bringing the mini Ice Age.

Native americans was farmers??? Duh. %)))
What gender studies of a science you are reading? %)


>> Treebeard said...
//...slimy Stalinist move that seems to be increasingly popular among our Puritan-progressive friends, but tends to backfire.

That one not true.
Stalinists do killed people with their "nagans"... not with some "slimy move"s. %P %)))


\\As for history and feudalism, I don't think we can ever know if people were happier or more miserable in previous ages.

Why? It's quite easy. One just must snap his fat ass from his californian jacuzzi...
and go to some less developed societies around the world. (it's not an insult, no-one from this blog was meant as that "one", just rhetoric)
There is even pre-historian stone age ones.


>> locumranch said...
\\Feudalism (at +6000 years) does stability much much better than the Johnny-Come-Lately called Liberal Democracy.

That shows. Outrageously. That you are bone fide idiot. And what our host praise you for, only? %))) Well, I know the answer.

It's that milly-vanilly bonuses of *stability* of the middle ages, like: Plage or Hundred Years War ARE you talking about??? %))))


\\So? Disprove my general assertion with a counter-example! If you come up with counter examples, then I must back off from a UNIVERSAL!

Look who's talking... about proofs. %)


\\Then primacy of place goes to a (tentative) universal overwhelming conclusion that feudalism was a horrid, infectious disease, as is the confederate treason-madness waging war against science, journalism, teaching, medicine, law and intel etc.

Read about retro-viruses for God sake. From recent sci discoveries. Is it disease?

Alfred Differ said...

Stability? That old fantasy?!

Stability to the peasants (most of us way back when) meant living slightly better than subsistence level with just enough savings to only face famine once or twice a generation, plague pretty much anytime things got going too good and the villages prospered for more than a generation, and war just often enough for peasant revolts to be fairly common unrecorded events in history.

Stability meant consistent theft, consistent oppression, consistent prevention of innovation, and damn near certainty that things would not improve in this lifetime. The meager surplus the peasantry kept was just large enough to feed a few extra babies and produce a population growth rate hovering near 0.1% at times and often averaging less.

Negative sum games DO produce a gutter level stability of conditions, but not stability for the players of the game. It is a mistake to argue that people didn't try to do something about their conditions. Humans don't work that way and for most of our history after the ice melted, we DID do things that largely failed to alter the game. Only recently has that changed and our growth rate demonstrates that.

David Brin said...

I was going to ignore poro till the end of february, but some things need answers.

1) By prim definition, “feudalism” is a specific kind of hierarchical despotism based on tenant fealty. But we all know it in general means domination by inherited owner-aristocracy. And hell yes, the Mayans, Chinese, Sumerians all practiced it. And it gets reinforced because those lords took more women and passed along the urgent need to be lords…

… or to fantasize they might be lords, like kibble locum and Treebeard.

Yes, most native American tribes had corn/beans agriculture.


And yes, we can tell from bones that people in feudal cultures generally had things much, much worse. Scurvy, Rickets, bone calcification in rigid postures that slaves and serfs had to repeat endlessly.

Alfred Differ said...

porohobot,

When our host refers to 'feudalism', it probably translates closest to 'serfdom' for you. The difference is that in a feudal society, the peasant might still own themselves in the sense that they can pick up and leave or own property. Much of western Europe avoided full serfdom and when they got close with certain kings and princes, the peasants revolted. Eastern Europe was not so fortunate.

The difference is not insignificant to someone living the life of a peasant, but from a liberal's perspective, peasants and serfs were almost equally screwed. Peasants in western Europe had to fight occasionally to avoid being treated as property. It's a small difference between BEING the income owned by a nobleman and being taxed and locked into multi-generation leases by a nobleman who treats the lease as a fealty oath. To liberals, the difference is so small we gloss over it and use 'peasant' and 'serf' interchangeably.

porohobot said...

>> Treebeard said...
\\But you have provided another object lesson in the fallacy of virtue-signalling, circle-jerk liberalism, where giving someone a label in hopes that they'll shut up and die generally has the opposite effect (see Hillary and her "deplorable" tactic). Will you ever learn?

Then... you are free to go to Russian Peace/World. They do have cookies. ;)

And use their trump labeling "fascists" only against TRUE fascists. %P

\\And while you're at it, you also bear the burden to prove your story that Putin is the enemy of all that's right and good. Most of the world doesn't seem to think so;

They too. Was thought that Hitler was not "enemy of all that's right and good".

Until.

Problem is... with current level of ICBM and other techs (about which Putin do not stop bragging recently)... will not give you THAT much time for donkey thinking (like that Buridan donkey). %P



>> Alfred Differ said...
\\Putin leads in the old style and no member of a liberal democracy should fail to notice that. If that does not bother you, then you are a betrayer of your civilization.

Probably... but he trying his very best in attempt "to look like white people.... to look like the West".

Hypocrisy is the compliment vice pays to virtue (c)


So-o-o... yeap, that is the Question. %)


\\So... Which asteroid resource could unleash something similar if only we could turn it into a non-scarce resource? If I knew, my money would be all in on that resource. I don't, but I'm willing to go all in on the sector.

I know. But who will listen? Poor invntors are not in favour now. And never be.
All like snake oil from so called proffesionals with sparking diplomas. %P


>> Anonymous Mike Will said...
\\Oh good, someone's finally talking about space... oh wait.

Yeah, Mike. That exactly my point. You showed on the door for *bot... that mean you'd have more *ranch and *beard slimming in through your windows. %PPP



>> Larry Hart said...
\\I am not saying Trump and Clinton (or a Clinton Clone) are equally bad, I am saying Clinton is worse.
\\Words fail me.

Well. But it was here, in Ukraine. And our Hillary/Timoshenko... really was worse. And still IS.

So, as little as I know about USA political kitchen... I still can empathise with that mentioned.

porohobot said...

\\1) By prim definition, “feudalism” is a specific kind of hierarchical despotism based on tenant fealty.

So. It means they have had property rights. ;) What horrible thing they had.


\\...inherited owner-aristocracy.

\\And hell yes, the Mayans, Chinese, Sumerians all practiced it.

As any other society we know about. With higher than stone/cave level of development.(well, even there...)
Because "inhereted wealth" is in the core of our reproduction cycle -- female gives her all to bear progeny, while male provide her and her children with nessecities.
Have something to oppose?


\\And it gets reinforced because those lords took more women and passed along the urgent need to be lords…

And our predecessors australopithecs do "passed along" the urgent need to be Alpha males.
So what?

You really are THAT DEEP into gender studies science? %)


\\Yes, most native American tribes had corn/beans agriculture.

That is NOT what I was asking.


\\And yes, we can tell from bones that people in feudal cultures generally had things much, much worse. Scurvy, Rickets, bone calcification in rigid postures that slaves and serfs had to repeat endlessly.

Of course, of course... its bad to be poor and ill... and better to be rich and healthy.

But it YET again NOT what was asked.

Is it deliberate? Such elusive answering mode? ;) Rhetorical question, I presume.
Or you'll answer it with all honesty? For one's.


>> Alfred Differ said...
\\When our host refers to 'feudalism', it probably translates closest to 'serfdom' for you.

That's one exactly I have questioned him -- about correctness of definitions of his terms.
Without which there could not be any rational thought, any rational thinking be performed.


Do I need to describe what was The Reaction??? %) From His Highness.


\\The difference is that in a feudal society, the peasant might still own themselves in the sense that they can pick up and leave or own property. Much of western Europe avoided full serfdom and when they got close with certain kings and princes, the peasants revolted. Eastern Europe was not so fortunate.

\\The difference is not insignificant to someone living the life of a peasant, but from a liberal's perspective, peasants and serfs were almost equally screwed. Peasants in western Europe had to fight occasionally to avoid being treated as property. It's a small difference between BEING the income owned by a nobleman and being taxed and locked into multi-generation leases by a nobleman who treats the lease as a fealty oath. To liberals, the difference is so small we gloss over it and use 'peasant' and 'serf' interchangeably.

And what substantial difference you see here?
In comparence with current state of affairs?

specially not in USA (while... well, you have mexicans), or West in general (well, ostarbaiters and so on)...
but All Other World.

Beyond happy go lucky Gold Billion?

You know there is 8(eight) billions of us, do you? ;)

yana said...


Inhabiting the Moon is pointless, maybe i agree with this in one sense of the word: it's redundant. Before staking asteroids made of electrum, humanity's first goal must be redundancy. Later in his career, Stephen Hawking grew more concerned about the survival of the human race. Can't fault him, the longer one's own shadow grows, the sharper contrast, the past seems darker and the future brighter.

First things first, not baby steps, we've already done those. Corps will want to go after resources, floating metal rocks and tappable oceans zinging around Jupiter, new minerals we never thought up or chemical processes which are far easier to harness on alien soil than re-create in earthbound labs. But none of that will matter until we have redundancy. Survivability.

Middle finger to the followers of the profit, just for the time being. Later, riches for everyone. Not to the other extreme either, not crying from the desert that 'space is for those who've given up on fixing Earth,' it's simply first things first. Before we can go around prospecting and harvesting, we have to get self-sustaining colonies on at least 2 other spheres in the neighborhood, doesn't matter which two.

Yes, there are diseases we should conquer, including ones we already thought we had. And if we keep burning things at this scale we'll make the planet fairly unpleasant. But neither of those are extinction hazards. The death of all of us, now looms in only one place, the absurdly complicated dance of gravity among billions of moving parts the Sun has cushioned its lair with.

We need two spots. Mars and the Moon are the closest, so that's going to be easiest. In particular, a colony on the moon would be in a unique position to rescue hundreds of people in the path of a mile-thick asteroid. If we're lucky and don't need to use that option for tenscore years, we can save millions of earthlings from an impact apocalypse.

So far it's only math, probability, which says Earth will certainly be smacked by another big rock. Same goes for the Moon and for Mars. In all three places, a large impact can kill all the people. The odds are known, and keep going down, the more chunks are swept up by our friendly gas giants. But impact extinction is a definably localized event. If we're all in one place, it can get all of us. But if we're in three places, two standing can re-colonize a lost third.

Anonymous said...

Your own thought? %)

yana said...


porohobot thought: "But if it would not change constantly in Heaven -- what it realy means -- it's that there is NO difference between "all eternity" and just one second."

That's on the path up, just keep one foot in front of the other. How does area change when it becomes volume? Fermat saw it first. What does time do when we move from three dimensions to four?

porohobot said...

Sorry, yana.

I'm not that knowledgible in English... to deshifer your "poetical" thought-work.
It was enough for me to deshifer you holes-elecricity malackrel. %P


For all. Wanna pop-quiz? ;)

What do you think partisan mean in Russian? ;)
It's "partisans" -- people who crowdfunded and fought against fascists in WW2... e-e-e, Great Fatherland War, as Russians tend to stand it out... beyond front lines. Guerillas.

And word for member of a party... its "chlen partii"/member of a party... eah, member. That dangling male thingy too. %)

So... when you are talking about patisans here... it makes the vivid picture of "partisans... with their memebers... on alert". %)))

Mike Will said...

On SETI

Patience in trying to decipher others' posts is hard work, but seems well worth it. Wherever there is intelligence (which is pretty much everywhere), there is something to gain. Even from mice:
https://www.geekwire.com/2019/mice-say-deepsqueak-uses-ai-translate-ultrasonic-vocalizations/

DeepSqueak is just one of many attempts to comprehend non-human brain activity. I see a lot of this in the well-studied zebrafish species. The goal of course is to bring it back to human neurology. Just like pharma isn't in business to optimize the health of Amazonian flora.

As for SETI, there's a maelstrom of EM, GW, and ?? radiation. As I've said before, it isn't silent out there, it's a din. We're pretty good at building telescopes. A task that we're sorely lagging in is to sift through that haystack of data. Many nifty pulsars have been discovered by sifting thru mountains of recorded radio by Einstein@home at MPI. New algorithms find new stuff. There's also simulation, inference (both human and machine), and even just plain old Fourier analysis to be done. SETI is starting to look a bit like archaeology. Or maybe it's just that everything is starting to look computational.

I enjoyed the cartoon that had two ants puzzling over the lack of pheromone traces on floor tiles. I'm not claiming any final answer to Fermi, and if we are indeed alone, I can live with that. I'm simply advocating patience and more DeepSqueak-esque work.

progressbot said...

>> Mike Will said...
\\As for SETI, there's a maelstrom of EM, GW, and ?? radiation. As I've said before, it isn't silent out there, it's a din. We're pretty good at building telescopes.

Ouh-Key. So I just repeat my statement, that was dimmed us unimportant and ignored as it is. In favour of some D.D. catholic school malackrel...

It possible that in Schklovsky's times it was impossible to prophet modern success of Hubble telescope and so on.
But now we do have it.
Isn't it mean that we need to correct our predixtions on SETI?

That if WE ARE smart enough to explorer Space with telescopes first.
Then our beloved highly inteligent and benevolent E.T.,
ARE even MORE smart. Isn't it plausible? ;)


And as it easy to see. (I'd not go into obvious details here)
That RANGE of exploration with telescopes is and (probably) will always be wider,
than corespondent range of contacts of the Third Kind. ;)

Do I need to show obvious corollaries too? ;) Well, I'll (try to) do. If here'd be worthy opponents.

Mike Will said...

Gosh Google is getting good. I just searched on 'malackrel' and it came back immediately with you (p*bot) using that word in a previous Contrary Brin discussion ! There's a 'pearl' in that.

I fully get the argument that ETIs would have flooded the galaxy by now. Everyone can stop hitting me over the head with that. I'm just not anthropomorphizing every single tiny last bit of minutae in the vastness of space and time, that's all. Ants. Beachcombers. I'm not the one who isn't reading others' posts.

yana said...


David Brin thought:

"Recent data suggest feudal Europeans killed so many native Americans that trees grew rapidly on former farmland, bringing the mini Ice Age."

Oh dear, advise against using this as a datapoint, multiple reasons.

Alfred Differ thought:

"war just often enough for peasant revolts to be fairly common unrecorded events in history."

Recorded history is awash with such events, and you know who writes history. In some cases, records of domestic trouble in another kingdom were preserved with smug assurance. In other cases, quelling a revolt was penis enlargement for the current king and caste, thus well recorded. And in a subset, the revolt succeeds and gets enshrined as new tradition.

You're right, this lasted until the Enlightenment, when they started tapering off. Unrecorded uprisings might outnumber recorded ones 10-1, and history still shows us plenty. All of the peasant revolts since the Enlightenment were recorded, and that's a lot.

Someone might counter that the pace increased since America, Mexico and France and Russia had successful revolts, but even folding that theory in, the number of pre-1500 serf actions was many times what we can read about today. So there goes that myth of happy slaves just grateful for stability. You're right about that, but....

"in a feudal society, the peasant might still own themselves in the sense that they can pick up and leave or own property."

That's just batsh- err, it could be, that not everyone accounts the many mechanisms which feudalism had at its fingertips to effectively prevent either of those things from happening. Don't need to dig deep, just look at the classic examples of feudalism: middleages Europe, shogunate Japan, diadochi Seleucid.

Slice open 1730: Africans in the WHemi, Malays under Dutch, Inca under Spanish... and the Welsh in their own homes. All under different social compacts, today we can see them all as slavery, which means you don't run away and any stuff you collect can be taken away very easily.

progressbot said...

>> Anonymous Mike Will said...
\\Gosh Google is getting good.

Yep. That's how they track us down. ;) I got it too.


\\I just searched on 'malackrel' and it came back immediately with you (p*bot) using that word in a previous Contrary Brin discussion ! There's a 'pearl' in that.

NOP. It's a word I learned from our host. (wide grin)

Did I spelled it (in)correctly?


\\I fully get the argument that ETIs would have flooded the galaxy by now.
\\Everyone can stop hitting me over the head with that.

Ehm... where is there my statement?

My genuine statement was quite opposite -- that, as depicted in "Accelerando" by Charles Stross... pretty advanced civilization -- will have no need and will see no point in traveling among stars.
Not in a way we could imagine. For at least. %P


\\I'm just not anthropomorphizing every single tiny last bit of minutae in the vastness of space and time, that's all. Ants. Beachcombers. I'm not the one who isn't reading others' posts.

I'm 100% and some little more with you on this topic. ;)


>> yana said...
\\Oh dear, advise against using this as a datapoint, multiple reasons.

Well... when even yana do say so... %)

\\All under different social compacts, today we can see them all as slavery, which means you don't run away and any stuff you collect can be taken away very easily.

Same as inhabitant of Central Africa or deep of RFia/PRC.
And twice as that in different "war zones" like Syria, DLNR, etc

progressbot said...

\\I just searched on 'malackrel' and it came back immediately with you (p*bot) using that word in a previous Contrary Brin discussion !

Well. Duh.

The real word site:https://davidbrin.blogspot.com/ malarkey

Who knows how my under scull machinery made it into "malackrel". (well, that's how linguistic changes do occur, I presume)

But... so be it. Let it be my catch/buzz word. %) I see I would need it many-many times, in advance.

Jon S. said...

I am curious, yana. Why do you advise against this data point? I was under the impression that historians generally agreed that the reason for the sudden collapse of inhabitant communities across most of Central and North America following the arrival of the Conquistadores was due to plagues introduced from Europe. Is that no longer so? Or was it never so and I was misinformed?

porohobot said...

The history of American public discourse is fraught with factitious, tendentious and malicious vitriol, and every so often there is some short-lived pushback against it. But most attempts to change this dominant paradigm invariably fall short. Rarely, if ever, are any suggestions given for how or why we could create a more civil society. John Stuart Mill's On Liberty...

Good addition to my own observations. %)

Tim H. said...

A question, given all the dead comsats and parked second stages in orbit, might we see attempts in the next century to use that mass to build useful things? Might be a useful intermediate step towards using off-planet materials.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

… or to fantasize they might be lords, like kibble locum and Treebeard.


Loc doesn't fantasize that he's a lord. He fantasizes that the entire system collapses and the rest of us realize too late that we should have taken his sage advice.

progressbot said...

Here is exist/presented some idea/strategy to sweep that space garbage...

but it still found no support. From That, Who Know Better. Men in Power. Greedy Previous Generation, which see point only in collecting of Welth and Power, and in building of more, MORE, no MO-O-OAR ICBMs and other such stuff.

So make some "space recycling bin"... need Even Bigger Leap of faith. And imagination.
Well. I have abundance of that two. But... have no other needed means. So. %(

So, naah. Not happen. %(

jim said...

I have been thinking that there is a non-partisan (bi-partisan?) movement in America that has potential to change our political discourse over time.

It is the movement to cut the Cable TV cord, and just get a streaming service or two. Liberals can help their Fox news watching uncles out, help him save a little bit of money avoid a lot of fox outrage and enjoy more John Wayne and Clint Eastwood. Conservatives can get their aunts off of watching CNN and watching more of the Good Place. And everyone would end up watch far fewer commercials.

This could be one of those rare Win-Win situations for American politics.

porohobot said...

That one good too. %) Ah-ah. Wizdom of Internet. %)

"Lott argues convincingly that acts of hypocrisy can be embraced, not dismissed. In this highly-readable book, he makes the counterintuitive suggestion that hypocrisy is a natural element of the human condition." --David Mark, author, Going Dirty: The Art of Negative Campaigning


"The popular usage of the term 'hypocrite' is expansive like a shotgun blast, and is often brought in to describe someone we don't like, doing something that we disagree with, involving some sort of perceived contradiction."

It's an old familiar routine. Dick accuses Jane of rank hypocrisy, while ignoring his own moral inconsistencies. Jane is outraged by the charge, and fires right back. And author Jeremy Lott? Well he's blowing a wet raspberry at the whole ridiculous spectacle.

In Defense of Hypocrisy deconstructs pat prejudices and shallow moralism to probe hypocrisy's real significance, asking:

Why there is so much hypocrisy, and so much hatred of it?
Why do we behave so inconsistently but then denounce those traits in others?
Why are people so often fooled by hypocrites?
What if hypocrisy is more than just a necessary evil? In fact, what if hypocrisy is also an engine of moral progress?
In Defense of Hypocrisy is part political, part religious, part philosophical, and all honesty.

Darrell E said...

Not a bad idea jim. I'm a bit surprised. (That's a joke, more or less)

David Brin said...

“As any other society we know about. With higher than stone/cave level of development.(well, even there...)
Because "inhereted wealth" is in the core of our reproduction cycle -- female gives her all to bear progeny, while male provide her and her children with nessecities.
Have something to oppose?”

Yes, the trap attractor state of accumulated unaccountable power. Not just because it is unfair. Far more because it always, always, always leads to delusion, stupidity and terrible statecraft.

COMPETITION is the great creative force, and it cannot happen when 95% of all children are oppressed into poverty and when 0.01% control all things and use that control to cheat.

There are still inheritance lords today. They are fighting hard to make their feudal power permanent. Why are they so desperate? Because they know the enlightenment is winning, and feudalism is doomed, unless they act fast.

“That is NOT what I was asking.”

Then work on your clarity. I still have no time to do more than skim your tsunami.

===
Justifying the Moon colony as a “lifeboat” is silly in the short term. We need riches that can keep us in space… THEN a self-sustaining civilization will create colonies.

Tim Wolter said...

Jim

I like the idea in a general sense. Probably better if we all just got out and got more exercise though.

The Good Place is a marvelous anomaly and one that I don't view as being overtly political in any particular direction. Bums me out that they are on hiatus and I fear they only have another one or two seasons of creative juice left.
More please.

TW/Tacitus

jim said...

Darrell
Thanks (don't worry about me, I have a thick skin.)

Tim
Glad you like the idea also.
I haven't seen a Better Place yet, I just heard it is good.



Alfred Differ said...

Porohobot,

Do I need to describe what was the reaction from His Highness.

Heh. You act like you’ve never talked to someone with an ego before. Mine isn’t quite as large, but if you’d stepped onto my home turf and told me you were right, I should change to listen to you, and did so in less than polite terms as defined by my community, my reaction would be about the same. This isn’t my blog, you didn’t touch on a subject I consider my subject area, and you weren’t impolite to ME, so I haven’t reacted negatively.

Our host has a thick skin, but he has his limits on how much he accepts people telling him how to think. Want to change his mind? Persuasion is necessary, but not sufficient. You also have to find a way to make it worth his time to pay attention. That usually requires being of some value to him as part of the community. The effort it takes from you is the price you pay to correct him. Only you can decide if his supposed error is sufficient to justify the price you pay to correct him.

We all work this way. Some of our neighbor’s errors are worth the cost to us to correct. Most are not. When they are not, it is important to note that the price difference determines what differences worth a fight.

And what substantial difference you see here?
In comparence with current state of affairs?


In the US, I see some of my neighbors merrily skipping along the road to serfdom as if they were not warned by Hayek. That troubles me deeply.

You know there is 8(eight) billions of us, do you?

Not only do I know that, I’m one of the Americans who actually cares about the rest of you. I know how to help, but I also know that the way up involves a lot of heavy lifting that can only be done by those of you who still have to make the climb. It may sound like I’m mixing metaphors, but I’m not. Imagine climbing a steep hill with a heavy load on your back. Some of the rocks you carry are the bastards who think they can rule you as if you were their property.

porohobot said...

\\Then work on your clarity. I still have no time to do more than skim your tsunami.

Your initial claim was

\\\\...killed so many native Americans that trees grew rapidly on former farmland...

For a minute https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farmland
First Known Use of farmland
1638, in the meaning defined above

And on my sheer amusment
\\Native americans was farmers??? Duh. %))) https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farmer

All you could come up was some lose countre-argument, like "still, they have had some agriculture".

\\\\Yes, most native American tribes had corn/beans agriculture.

And recieved my rightfull response.
\\That is NOT what I was asking.
(because... farming and "some agriculture" could be THE SAME only to Locum...
because ability to create farms means much more advanced level of development,
because with such level of development that natives would have own NATIONS)

And NOW it's MY fault that YOU stated something stupid. And was unable to support your claim with fair and square arguments.(and you can call me "rude" all you want)

Thank you for stark example of argumentum ad ignorantiam. Doctor Brin.
(and how that different from Trump's behavior? or Put_in's)


There is only ONE thing remains to ask -- DO YOU MEAN it's THE RIGHT WAY to behaive for a fact-user, fact-based thinker, scientists???


I'll just repeat my coda here.

What does "FACT-USING" mean?

As fer me its. (let's throw in some pearls)

1. As prerequesite. Statement that there IS objective reality.(and objective truth)

2. Statement that there is some hardcoded rules, true for everything and every one out there.

3. Observation that there is some methods of inference: logic, mathematic, scientific. Only.

locumranch said...


First, y'all need to reread Yana's sage post about how the "real riches" of extraterrestrial mineral deposits accrue only to those who use those raw materials to REMAIN IN SPACE, as colonists, as the relative value of those mineral deposits literally 'plummets to Earth' when they enter the terrestrial gravity well.

Second, all this argument about the relative merits of Feudalism v. Liberal Democracy is MOOT as 'Liberal Democracy' no longer exists in the Enlightened West (link below), as exemplified the Deep State Political Establishment's near universal unwillingness to accede to the 'Will of the People' in France (Yellow Vests), Germany (anti-immigration riots), the UK (Brexit) and the USA (the deplorables).

https://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-echochambers-27074746

In fact, I'm willing to concede to our fine host that Liberal Democracy was the 'Bee's Knees' (aka 'vastly superior') to Feudalism in ALL RESPECTS -- the key phrase being 'was' -- during that brief moment in history when the Liberal Democratic western variant still existed in actuality.

If individuals like Porohobot & David would just accept the reality that both Western Democracy & the Old Soviet CEASED TO EXIST some time ago, then maybe we could put aside this tired old Cold War mentality & discuss issues of temporal relevance.


Best

porohobot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\Heh. You act like you’ve never talked to someone with an ego before.

I'm more considerate then you think. But.

Life of a human is short. And I mere human, and not some *ing saint or benevolent all-forginving E.T. And it's a shame to lose it on someone with ego, but no wit.

And... it's for his own sake. As a santient, rational being. That As I understand it. Yep.



\\Our host has a thick skin, but he has his limits on how much he accepts people telling him how to think. Want to change his mind? Persuasion is necessary, but not sufficient. You also have to find a way to make it worth his time to pay attention. That usually requires being of some value to him as part of the community.

You do not need to tell it to me.
I already spotted it myself. How important is Locum and like's to ziz community.
Thank you. %)

porohobot said...

\\ then maybe we could put aside this tired old Cold War mentality & discuss issues of temporal relevance.

I'm all ear. Bite me. %)))

porohobot said...

\\Yes, the trap attractor state of accumulated unaccountable power. Not just because it is unfair. Far more because it always, always, always leads to delusion, stupidity and terrible statecraft.

Words, words, words (c)


\\COMPETITION is the great creative force, and it cannot happen when 95% of all children are oppressed into poverty and when 0.01% control all things and use that control to cheat.

That is damn simple.
Imagine you are chieftain of a tribe.
You have around hundred healthy men under you. And their families.
Stocks of grain barely enough for sow. Your tribe have not enough cattle. Etc, etc...
And there is neibours that are same starved, but have more men.

Well... that exactly THE time to think about fair competition, and oppression, and poor children, and questions of all good and evil. (and there plenty of such communities NOW, ON ZiZ DAMN EARTH)

progressbot said...

>> Alfred Differ said...
\\You know there is 8(eight) billions of us, do you?

\\Not only do I know that, I’m one of the Americans who actually cares about the rest of you. I know how to help, but I also know that the way up involves a lot of heavy lifting that can only be done by those of you who still have to make the climb. It may sound like I’m mixing metaphors, but I’m not. Imagine climbing a steep hill with a heavy load on your back. Some of the rocks you carry are the bastards who think they can rule you as if you were their property.

And I do know ins and outs of THE REVERSE side of that medal. More than that. I do observe it just now. Real-time. %(

That ITS people THEMSELF... who do not want to be freed from that "heavy load on your back".
Because they DO NOT, COULD NOT(???) imagine other ways. Could not be helped.

Not Sodom and Gomorra... by FAR margin. But still. It's NOT auditory you'd talk about space lifts and/or clonization of the Moon/Mars. %\


\\ THEN a self-sustaining civilization will create colonies.

It will be different Civilization.
Just try to imagine what would think people from 100 year ago about our current times. ;)

Duncan Cairncross said...

Is it time to just ban the two Bots?
At least loco does not post so much

David Brin said...

“Our host has a thick skin, but he has his limits on how much he accepts people telling him how to think. Want to change his mind? Persuasion is necessary, but not sufficient. You also have to find a way to make it worth his time to pay attention. That usually requires being of some value to him as part of the community. The effort it takes from you is the price you pay to correct him. Only you can decide if his supposed error is sufficient to justify the price you pay to correct him.”

What Alfred said! Fair enough.

“For a minute https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/farmland
First Known Use of farmland
1638, in the meaning defined above”

Ack ignorance! The local natives taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and beans! Most native peoples had… farms. If you disagree, prove it. When they died, those fields went back to trees. Prove otherwise. If you meant something else, then be more clear!

We are patient with your English... which is much better than our Ukrainian. But that patience is stretched when you are so quick and eager to express flares of outrage.

“And NOW it's MY fault that YOU stated something stupid.”

No, you are being stunningly stupid and I will go back to ignoring you, now.

locum, if liberal enlightenment is in peril, it is because of traitors like you.

Alfred Differ said...

porohobot,

No one here is a Saint. Some are more social than others, but most are quite intelligent, skilled, and have egos to match. Even locumranch is intelligent, skilled, and ego-filled. 8)

What each of us gets to decide individually is whether or not it is worth the price we pay in attention and effort to interact, persuade, and be the target of others trying to persuade us. My simple example of this is one I used to use at my front door when missionaries came by to talk about faith. Many were polite enough to start the conversation with a question about whether I was willing to talk to them and hear from them bout it. My trained/easy response was I was willing if they were equally willing to listen to my effort to persuade them to see things my way. If they hesitated, I pointed out that my arguments were quite good and if taken seriously might undermine their faith. That was usually enough to end the encounter with the weakest of them. The strong ones stuck around, though, and we had some fun for a while. They helped me learn about them and I helped them learn about people like me and no one lost their faith.

No one has taken me up on it in over 15 years, unfortunately. I have to come to blogs run by science fiction authors to find people with the strength of character to try it. The topic rarely stays on faith, but I'm interested in learning about the broader world so I'm fine with that. It's good for the soul to spread one's wings.

Locumranch serves a useful purpose here. Stick around long enough and our host will explain exactly what that purpose is. He reminds us roughly once or twice a year when a few too many get upset at him. You are in danger of serving a similar purpose, but I think you might be more self-aware than locumranch is, so you might avoid the trap once you adapt to life among people with egos at least as strong as yours.

Alfred Differ said...

progressbot, [separate message out of respect for the identity shift]

paraphrasing….
{Some people do not want to be freed of their heavy loads because they cannot imagine other, better ways of living.}

Yes. That's the core issue at the heart of Liberalism. Those of us who have converted already know, but we sound like missionaries when talking to those who don't know. Our better way sounds like magical thinking when we know darn well it isn't.

Unfortunately, there isn't much WE can do about it from the outside. Many of us are still ignorant enough to think we can fix things for the rest of you, but the honest truth is that the best we can do is show the way. I can point out the path, but the burdened peasant has to choose to walk it and dump the load they care. It's a scary choice they rarely make unless things are so miserably bad that they feel they have little choice.

The main reason the peasantry has largely vanished in the West started with things being THAT MISERABLY BAD that a few of them took the risk. When they found it to be slightly better, they could pull their relatives up by pointing out what they had learned. It's one thing for a stranger to point out a better path. It is something else again when kin does it. In fact, that's why I'm so opposed to policy that prevents chain immigration. The term might not mean much to you where you are, but it makes some of my fellow Americans spitting angry as if a thief was stealing from them and I was helping.

The argument many of us make FOR liberalism is that feudalism pretty much ensures things get THAT MISERABLY BAD for a large percentage of humanity. Predictably miserable to make things worse. It would seem only fools would choose feudalism, but the truth is worse. Feudalism makes sense for people with no hope. It is the social attractor that ensures despair in anyone who does not gouge out their own eyes to avoid seeing and lobotomizing themselves to avoid thinking about events around them. Their only choice for hope is belief in a better afterlife.

Alfred Differ said...

yana,

Recorded history is awash with such events…

Yah. My dark suspicion is history has many more of these events than we imagine. It would be a matter of what counts as well as who gets to record it. Maybe 10 to 1? Maybe more if one counts smaller events. We get into Pinker's territory, though, and I'm content to let others do the research. 8)

America's revolution wasn't a peasant revolt. Too many came from the merchant class for it to count as such. Our rebellion was one of the liberalism revolutions and that's very different. Mexico and points further south? Not so sure. Spain fell apart as an empire and smaller, would-be despots rose to fill the vacuum. The peasants were certainly involved, but they do that in feudal wars too. Russia? Well… they certainly call it a peasant action, but it didn't stay that way for long. That still leaves open all the other stuff as you point out, though.

As for the peasant owning themselves and property, I wasn't implying they all could. What I was pointing out was that some could, thus there is a difference between their state and that of the serfs. Post-Magna Carta Englishmen had a number of rights they jealously guarded. WE would still think of their state as 'owned', but they did not. Some in western Europe COULD leave, but it didn't make much sense to try until things got really miserable. Even in central Europe, property ownership was respected up to a point. After all, the Church had to convict you as a witch to take your property by force in many places or the Courts as they stood would respect laws/traditions.

We in the liberal democracies overstate the case that life as a peasant was essentially slavery. It wasn't at least in much of western Europe in the last 1000 years or so. Much closer in eastern Europe and let's not even get into what the Ottoman's did. We in the liberal democracies have it soooooo much better, though, that it's hard to use a peasant's perspective. It wasn't slavery, though. Close, but not really. Where it got closest was where Marx recognized the use of mental opiates.

locumranch said...


It's been almost 25 years since Francis Fukuyama declared an 'End to History' due to the triumph of Liberal Democracy over the failure of Soviet Collectivism, only to have history rebel & mockingly declare an 'End to Liberal Democracy' shortly thereafter.

Yet, like Asimov's Foundation, we are left with a stalwart few, composed of both the clueless (who fail to understand the new reality) & the true (who, like David, refuse to accept the new reality), who betray practical democracy (aka 'populism') in favour an abstract & sterile democratic ideal.

These Samsonesque stalwarts engage in overt voter nullification, zealously defy the popular will, and topple the very temple of democracy in upon itself, all in the fallacious belief that they protect what they destroy.

In both the EU & the US, these stalwart zealots destroy democracy in order to save it from the corrupting influence of actual democracy.

They destroy democracy in order to save it, they say.

Where have we heard madness like this before?


Best

Anonymous said...

One only as good as his rival. (tm)

You have choosen Locum. Which cannot pose neither logic nor fact as argument.

And look what happen...

Doug said...

DR. Brin,
Regarding your opinion (and mine) that there should be either a remedy or some statute of limitations on youthful, stupid, even reprehensible, but non-criminal behavior, here's a NY Times columnist that agrees with you
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/02/08/opinion/northam-virginia-governor-racism.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

yana said...


David Brin thought:

"Justifying the Moon colony as a “lifeboat” is silly in the short term. We need riches that can keep us in space… THEN a self-sustaining civilization will create colonies."

Every now and then, one hears an alarmist chirp up and say something to the effect that we're "overdue" for a catastrophe of some sort, megavolcano or ice age or San Andreas tumbler. But the ones which get an Olympic-level eyeroll from me are the Planetkiller Impact folks. Two reasons:

1. Our odds get better every time Jupiter eats up a Shoemaker-Levy 9. Once read an estimate of how many tons of cruft the gas giants eat every day, forget the number but it is enormous.

2. There is zero amount of periodicity in large impacts. There is a probability, but it is the same no matter if it's been 65 million years since the last one, or just since last Thursday.

We are never "overdue" for an extinction impact, but there's one item to keep in mind. If it happens after we've expanded to harvest riches, then we get to keep exploring and harvesting while we wait for Earth to become re-habitable. But if it happens before we expand, there will be no riches, no waiting, only species death.

Since we don't know when a small but momentum-rich rock will approach from the direction of the Sun, towards which we're fairly blind, there is only one wise plan.

Survival must tru- err, survival must overmatch another played card, before we think about getting comfortable, let alone wealthy.

Alfred Differ said...

Destroy it in order to save it

Meh. Says the guy who can't get into another person's head well enough to paraphrase consistently.

As for me, I recognize there are times when Liberty and Democracy are in conflict. Often they are not, but occasionally they are.

I choose Liberty.

porohobot said...

>> David Brin said...
\\Ack ignorance! The local natives taught the Pilgrims how to plant corn and beans! Most native peoples had… farms. If you disagree, prove it.

I am living in agriculture country side now. That have all stigmats of (post-soviet) stagnation all over its face. But also. Vibrant traits of new. Like never ending fields of crop.

I already provided my arguments.

\\(because... farming and "some agriculture" could be THE SAME only to Locum...
because ability to create farms means much more advanced level of development,
because with such level of development that natives would have own NATIONS)

You are trying hard to ignore it. And to pose some childish "contre-arguments."

People. Homo sapiens. Domesticated some plants really LONG AGO.
But decent level of agriculture, known as "farming" they developed NOT so long ago.
And only that level allowed modern time level of population,
and made them "rulers of the Nature"... not the mere scavengers.


Your communication with Locum... get you no good.


>> Alfred Differ said...
\\No one here is a Saint. Some are more social than others, but most are quite intelligent, skilled, and have egos to match. Even locumranch is intelligent, skilled, and ego-filled. 8)

As you can see... I have NOP with locum.

His stupidity is stanning... but it have a system. He just fulfiling here his agenda as mere troll.


\\My simple example of this is one I used to use at my front door when missionaries came by to talk about faith.

Did you see that stuff? ;) "Kiss Hanks ass" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=goQO4lcDt6E


\\No one has taken me up on it in over 15 years, unfortunately. I have to come to blogs run by science fiction authors to find people with the strength of character to try it. The topic rarely stays on faith, but I'm interested in learning about the broader world so I'm fine with that. It's good for the soul to spread one's wings.

Good attitude!
Feel free to bite me. %)



\\...adapt to life among people with egos at least as strong as yours.

No. %) My ego is very flimsy. But I have powerful henchman's -- Logic and Science. For backup. ;)


\\that's why I'm so opposed to policy that prevents chain immigration. The term might not mean much to you where you are, but it makes some of my fellow Americans spitting angry as if a thief was stealing from them and I was helping.

We at least informed about it. And... it is what await us as country. If only we sprung from our current state.
Well, Ukraine's territiory always was a road for such travelers.


\\ It would seem only fools would choose feudalism, but the truth is worse. Feudalism makes sense for people with no hope. It is the social attractor that ensures despair in anyone who does not gouge out their own eyes to avoid seeing and lobotomizing themselves to avoid thinking about events around them. Their only choice for hope is belief in a better afterlife.

I do already stated here... that I am on objective history side.
That there always some OBJECTIVE predispositions... why people choose this or that.

You word looks for me as "old medievel medicine" doctrines -- that illness is because of "bad air" or "abundance of blood".

Why I am on Lui Paster side -- with statement -- illness because of microbes.

(well, it could be good point for discussion between us ;))

Alfred Differ said...

yana,

When it comes to survival by spreading out into space it's the same thing as becoming wealthy. Treat them as synonyms. Colonization is Species Wealth. You won't get one without the other because we don't go anywhere without spreading our markets to put those places in reach.

Humans are traders.
The more of us there are, the more we specialize, innovate, and 'complexify' our markets.
We don't 'bud' a disconnected group unless a barrier imposes itself after we spread out.
Going to space will happen according to market rules meaning those who go must be able to trade with those who do not.

The 'space ark' concept ain't gonna happen.
The 'terran diaspora' might.

progressbot said...

>> yana said...

\\We are never "overdue" for an extinction impact, but there's one item to keep in mind. If it happens after we've expanded to harvest riches, then we get to keep exploring and harvesting while we wait for Earth to become re-habitable. But if it happens before we expand, there will be no riches, no waiting, only species death.

Well, you have all my approval and support on this. (well, if you need it %))


\\Survival must tru- err, survival must overmatch another played card, before we think about getting comfortable, let alone wealthy.

That's the same as risk of cancer from smoking. One need some vivid example(s???). Among closer relatives. To understand.

Well... go... beardy from the clouds do send us message after message, recently. %)

But it seems it need to be something definite. Like Twin Fall. Or Chernobyl %((((((((((((((

Sapiency in "homo sapiens" ARE greatly exaggerated. (sad) Even in "futurist, scientist... etc, etc, noble honorifics".


>> Alfred Differ said...
\\When it comes to survival by spreading out into space it's the same thing as becoming wealthy. Treat them as synonyms.

As fer me... its synonym of "becoming smart".

Because... othervise -- feudals and feudal thinking ALREADY are winners in collecting welth rat-race. ;)

progressbot said...

Well. I'll try argumentum ad vericundiam too. %)

The domestication of plants began at least 12,000 years ago with cereals in the Middle East, and the bottle gourd in Asia. Agriculture developed in at least 11 different centres around the world, domesticating different crops and animals.

On society[edit]
Jared Diamond in his book Guns, Germs, and Steel describes the universal tendency for populations that have acquired agriculture and domestic animals to develop a large population and to expand into new territories. He recounts migrations of people armed with domestic crops overtaking, displacing or killing indigenous hunter-gatherers, whose lifestyle is coming to an end.

yana said...


Jon S thought:

"I am curious, yana. Why do you advise against this data point? ... I was under the impression ... sudden collapse of inhabitant communities ... due to plagues introduced from Europe"

Certainly, your impression is spot-on. What is iffy at best, is the conjecture that subsequent reforestation triggered what climatologists call the Little Ice Age. So many reasons why that idea is improbable, so very many.

lowsemenherder thought:

"First, y'all need to reread Yana's sage post about how the "real riches" of extraterrestrial mineral deposits accrue only to those who use those raw materials to REMAIN IN SPACE, as colonists, as the relative value of those mineral deposits literally 'plummets to Earth' when they enter the terrestrial gravity well."

Cripes, don't agree with me. Are you trying to bring my cred back down? Don't hitch me to the rest of your post about the world of men and your chittering glee over toasty handbaskets.

I disagree with our host's view of the utility of a self-sustaining colony on the Moon, that's all. I feel that it fits life's primary urge to survive, while he feels that it's a wasted effort of lost time/resources, a perilous excuse for humanity to pause expansion, and even retards the inception of our expansion because there's no gold on the Moon (so to speak) and thus discourages corp investment in space activities immediately right now.

All valid points. I think i know what DB is doing, dangle the shiny carrot of wealth over the asteroid belt, and the people who seek it can't help themselves. They will automatically induce development of all points inbetween, in particular the current vast wealth of the hospitality and entertainment industries can be subtly turned to the general welfare, to literally "fill the void" and pay for it themselves.

My thought is that we have to survive before we can profit. The blogger here weighs the odds and correctly sees that the chances are very good, that we'll attain species redundancy before the Earth gets smacked by a rock we spotted 2 weeks earlier.

I agree on those odds, but at this moment the possible outcomes are a binary pair: survival or extinction. If we have three places to live, the future of the species is not two possibilities, it is eight possibilities. And still, only one is species extinction, so either 0.875 or 0.50 is what it comes down to.

A growing colony on the Moon gets us from 0.50 to 0.75, and two antipodal colonies up there gets us closer to 0.80. Aha, those crafty Chinese, once every 29 days a spaceport on the far side of the Moon becomes the most valuable piece of real estate on our block.

Chelyabynsk should have scared the everlovin' skit out of all eight billion of us. Only a few years later a big rock landed in Lake Michigan. If it landed a bit more SSW we would now be, as sure as skit, be building spaceships in Seattle and habitation modules in Detroit, as fast as our skinny trembling hands could work.

Anonymous said...

\\My thought is that we have to survive before we can profit. The blogger here weighs the odds and correctly sees that the chances are very good, that we'll attain species redundancy before the Earth gets smacked by a rock we spotted 2 weeks earlier.

Isn't it more wise to dewise ways of diverting that rock... or even making it ari-natural sputnik of the Earth?

Isn't it why we are going to comets now? ;)


\\If we have three places to live...

We can dig into Earth too. Dive into the Ocean.

And that is much cheaper, safer, robust and up to date possible (damn, it was possible even with 19th century techs). %P


So... you posing Good Point here. By ever means.

But not so bright still.

yana said...


Alfred Differ thought:

"It wasn't slavery, though. Close, but not really. Where it got closest was where Marx recognized the use of mental opiates."

It is possible that people are more familiar with European feudalism than other examples. In that geographic timeline, there was a demographic anomaly. About 1350, people started dropping like flies. When it passed, after a third of Europe was dead, labor became more valuable than capital.

That's where the common myth of free migration and property rights under feudalism comes from, particularly in England where people started to think the Magna Carta said things which it does not.

It was true for a hundred years or less, in one place, but the combined weight of the history of feudalism is bleak slavery. If we were debating this 100 years ago we wouldn't be using the word 'slavery' but today we can see clearer. Shoulders of giants.

"You won't get one without the other because we don't go anywhere without spreading our markets to put those places in reach."

Thumbs up on the market ideogram, but i feel there's a lost opportunity, one of those 2-bird shots. Yes, we need to convince industrialists to invest, but while this is going on we need to divert the natural portion of people who deeply need to strive against something immediate. Currently, that portion is absorbed by military, or mafia, or 1st-responders, or politics.

Going to space for a regular paycheck, or for a share of profits, or just to get away from the wife's family for a few months? None of these will absorb the striver portion. Shouldn't have to mention it, but expanding to space without drawing off the gung-ho via a compelling mission directive would only sharpen the risk of war planetside.

The only smart answer is to make space our mortal enemy and paint the planting of self-sustaining colonies as mankind's stiffest middle finger to a universe which has always said "fnck you" to the Earth. Yeah i know, shh, it's not true, goldilocks and all that, but if we want the stars we need to have peace on Earth, and the way to do that is give the strivers something to fight.

Ummph, if only Tunguska had happened 100 years later when we had helicopters and a billion cameras, i would not have to be laying on this skit now.

locumranch said...


Alfred would choose Liberty over Democracy if & when push came to shove -- as I would -- but then there are the Blue Urban Dum-Dum socialists who choose Democracy over Liberty & receive (and deserve) neither.

In effect, they destroy the democratic fruit of liberty in order to save it.


Best

Mike Will said...

Both Democracy and Liberty are laudable, yet useless without honourable intent and literacy. And both seem to have innate, self-serving hostility towards these, in practice at least. The former degenerates into mob-rule/oligarchy, and the latter degenerates into chaos/feudalism. I choose Rationalism.

“There never was a good knife made of bad steel.”
- Benjamin Franklin

Anonymous said...

And rationalism degenerates into madness. %((((
By far most dangerous.

Daisyworld said...

"But the sterile, useless Moon is a stupid place for the U.S. to aim its efforts. Humanity is going there anyway, propelled by desperate symbolism. America should do things that only they can do… with partners like Japan and Elon and Planetary Resources... like go where the riches are."

I really have to disagree with you on this. The Moon is not useless, and there are practical reasons to establish a permanent presence there. With gravity 1/6th that of our Earth, and no atmosphere to invoke dynamic pressures, using the Moon as a launch point to other destinations in our solar system would be one of the more important advances for ensuring the human race becomes a multi-planet species.

Mike Will said...

“Imperfection is beauty, madness is genius and it's better to be absolutely ridiculous than absolutely boring.”
― Marilyn Monroe

Anonymous said...

Yeah, Mike. I can only say it yet more time. I do sipmatise with your position.
But still... she ended not that good. Buddha's middle path see as more prefered.;)

Treebeard said...

Yana, I think a lot of the gung-ho people would rather fight the social engineers who think they can manipulate humanity arbitrarily toward their pet projects than be pawns in their phony wars. Fight space? Are you mad? Where does this mentality come from? Anyway, men need flesh and blood enemies to fight against; fighting an unbeatable abstraction is absurd. In the absence of Klingons, your kind will do fine.

David Brin said...

onward

onward