Sunday, May 23, 2021

More marvels from space -- starting with this UFO crap, then real wonders.

Okay, let's get the damned UFO stuff out of the way first.

No living human is better qualified to talk about alien life (I assert). I consult on innovative and advanced spacecraft design projects. I have spent almost 40 years as a leading investigator on SETI matters. My doctorate dealt with organic dust from comets, a possible source of 'panspermia.' Oh... and there's the science fiction, lots of that, constantly exploring concepts of 'otherness' - including a book by that title.  (See my new "Best of David Brin" collection!)

So when I call bullshite it is not from some stodgy unwillingness to imagine the unusual!  To the contrary, I have always found most (not all) UFO stuff to be shockingly unimaginative and dull.  I mean, look at purported UFO behavior! The universe is athrong with space-twerps?

Only now...  Omigosh!  The US Government now admits that there are sometimes reports and even blurry frootage of wildly veering and swerving "tictac" blobs! Not in any way saying it's aliens, but Unexplained Aerial Phenomena. Gosh-a-roony!

Okay, let's get my response-and-theory out of the way before we go on to real wonders of space! All this brouhaha (ha ha ha?) is blatantly over a freaking obvious cat laser. 

Cripes, I've been quiet about it because the ones messing with Navy pilots and the rest of us may have had some reasons for some confidentiality. But this has gone too far and someone has to point out the obvious. Look up the words cat and laser on YouTube, and tell me you don't see it!

Here is just one example of how the US Navy itself has developed ways to create distracting blob spots in the open air. And this doesn't even use the far better, more compact and agile method that I know they know about. (I mean if *I* know it...)

OMG you'd rather believe in aliens with 'ships' that break every law of physics and optics in order to mess with us, all of it while maintaining 1950s levels of blurriness when there are MILLIONS of times as many cameras, now, than there were then?
The list of absurd claims goes on and on. One of them might make a good sci fi tale. TWO make a decent cult belief. But all parts of this outrageously dumb scenario?

Sure, aliens may be waving the cat laser! But other wielders are far more plausible.

Looking further out...

“The most distant Solar System object, Farout, has lost its crown after just two years. As Inverse reports, astronomers have confirmed that the planetoid Farfarout is now the farthest known Solar System object. It's currently 132AU, or about 12.3 billion miles from the Sun (Farout is 'just' 120AU away), and its elongated orbit will take it 175AU away. For context, Pluto is 34AU from our host star...” 

A nice talk by David Jewitt about the Asteroid Belt and what a large fraction of the half-million+ belt roids are sublimating water, suggesting they are more primitive carbonaceous chondrite types breaking up via thermal stress... though he also discusses exemplars of asteroid-like comets and at 48’ he lays out the theory that I first presented in my doctoral dissertation (1981).  I think he may have missed a few things.  But a truly enlightening talk. 

Another truly wonderful Hubble image, this time from a star-forming nebula around 4,900 light-years away in the constellation of Gemini. 

Farther out, but still in our ‘neighborhood.’ Fascinating article offers TWO amazing results from the EU's Gaia craft that tracks the parallax of over a billion of the Milky Way's closer (to us) stars. (1) An embedded video shows the projected paths of thousands of the nearest of these stars across our sky across then next few thousand years. Note longer-faster streaks will be close passages! (2) a corrugation spur of super-hot/big OB type blue giant stars will likely erupt with supernovae across the next million years or so and some of them maybe soon. And (3) YOU are a member of a civilization that does stuff like this.

Which is the greatest of those three wonders?

Spectacular polar lightning shows on Jupiter!

And did lightning start life on Earth, by releasing trapped phosphorus to help make a biosphere? Phosphorous is  the rarest ingredient in LIFE ™ And cheaply available Phosphorous is getting used up fast from North America’s once vast deposits, leaving the largest lodes in Morocco, Iraq and Iran. Lovely. (As depicted in my novel EXISTENCE.)

And there may be a lotta wattah left under the surface of Mahz.

Seeking life farther out… Panspermia is back, being discussed as astronomers catch up with science fiction. It is stylish now to discuss how our sun’s cometary Ooort Cloud likely brushes against the comet clouds of other stars, intermittently, exchanging (perhaps) bio-materials that way, as bacteria exchange plasmid DNA… and as Gregory Benford and I posited in the 1980s in HEART OF THE COMET

And just prior to getting into singularities… Supergiant stars like AG Carinae are rare: less than 50 reside in our local group of neighboring galaxies garishly emitting a million times the output of our 70x less massive Sun and racing toward inevitable supernova oblivion. Kewl video.

== Singularities! We got your black holes here! ==

A stunning new animation from NASA shows the entrancing dance of two monster black holes in orbit around each other, each one’s titanic gravity warping the other’s “Thorne Thimble”… the unique way that a mammoth-hole’s glowing accretion disk appears to surround such monsters. (As first predicted by my friend, Caltech prof and Nobelist Kip Thorne, for the movie Interstellar.)

A single neutrino began its journey some 700 million years ago, around the time the first animals developed on Earth, when a doomed star came too close to the supermassive black hole at the center of its home galaxy and was ripped apart by the black hole's colossal gravity. That event was first detected by the Zwicky Transient Facility (ZTF) on Mount Palomar in California on 9 April 2019. Half a year later, on 1 October 2019 the IceCube neutrino detector at the South Pole registered an extremely energetic neutrino from the direction of the tidal disruption event. "It smashed into the Antarctic ice with a remarkable energy of more than 100 teraelectron volts..." and its path led straight back to that crushed star’s death throes. Wow. Ain’t we something? 

The black hole at the center of this galaxy – in the latest amazing Hubble and radio-VLA mashup – is spewing million-light year jets. It's an elliptical galaxy that's roughly 1,000 times larger than our own Milky Way. Same goes for the black hole the galaxy formed around; it's also about 1,000 times larger than the one at the center of our Milky Way, at around 2.5 billion solar mass. (Many galaxies are believed to have formed around supermassive black holes.) "Emitting nearly a billion times more power in radio wavelengths than our Sun, the galaxy is one of the brightest extragalactic radio sources in the entire sky.”

With this incredible, stunning image of a black hole - scientists have mapped using polarized light, the magnetic fields around a black hole at the center of galaxy Messier 87, which is located 55 million light-years awayAstronomers are still working to understand how jets larger than the galaxy itself are launched from the black hole within it, but these powerful magnetic fields have a lot to do with it.  (And my masters thesis slightly advanced the theory of polarized light passing through anisotropic media.). Just incredible. Look at this!  And know you are a member of a civilization that does stuff like this.

Even farther out, toward the edge! Astronomers had found about 50 of "quadruply imaged quasars," in which a foreground galaxy’s massive gravity has lens-warped the quaser’s image into four parts. (There are many more known with just doubled images.) The number of quads known has been grown by applying recent methods of machine learning. Among many uses would be checking on the two somewhat different estimates – local vs long range – for the expansion rate of the universe. “A quasar-based determination of Hubble's constant could indicate which of the two values is correct, or, perhaps more interestingly, could show that the constant lies somewhere between the locally determined and distant value, a possible sign of previously unknown physics.” Another use not mentioned is to see how the quasar’s four images change with time, since distance traveled varies!

Cosmologists are pressing rewind on the first instant after the Big Bang by simulating 4,000 versions of the universe on a massive supercomputer, all with slightly different initial density fluctuations. The researchers allowed these virtual universes to undergo their own virtual inflations and then applied a reconstruction method to check them.

And while we’re going cosmic… this paper asserts that the whole dark matter thing may be based on an oversimplification of the gravitational models of a rotating galaxy, leaving out general relativity effects or “gravito-magnetic” influences. The authors assert motion curves now fit without any need for a possibly mythical Dark Matter component.  Okay. Mind you that while I have my astrophysics union card -- a member of the priesthood, so to speak-- I am more of a Franciscan (I model orbits and spacecraft and comets and such… or did)… and this is real Jesuit stuff. Above my pay grade. Still…. 


David Brin said...

Tony Fisk, are you still out there? Is this yours?

"We noticed that you haven't used your workspace named: Earth by David Brin for over 11 months.
As you may have heard, we reclaim workspaces that have fallen into disuse (PBworks Spring Cleaning).
Reclaiming these idle workspaces frees up thousands of potentially useful URLs for people who will actually put them to use. We're planning to reclaim your workspace in 30 days. If you want to keep your workspace, click here. If you're not currently logged into your PBworks account, you'll be asked to log in. You'll know that your workspace has been removed from the deletion list once the warning message disappears." Link address:

Happy to discuss what to do.

Brian Nextbigfuture said...

Hi David,

There is reporting that there are hundreds of videos. The ones released so far are the lowest quality and least compelling. Obama, Pentagon, Harry Reid, Marco Rubio have been saying that the UAP videos are valid. Others supported the UAP investigation before their deaths Ted Stevens. Daniel Inouye. One of the military officers is saying that they sometimes had encounters every day for two years.

I agree that this is not close to getting over any level of proving actual interstellar aliens. There are claims of 13000 mph movement at 600Gs. There are claims of multiple simultaneous visual and sensor recordings.

We need to see more of this evidence to figure out what it is. There are claims of a
video with an object observed 50 feet from the cockpit.

Reid claims Lockheed Martin has material from an object.

It is not consistent that things can be sent 4+ light years and then some of them breakdown.

IF there are hundreds of videos (and a lot more get released) and some that are not grainy and if they record exceptional movement of physical objects then at that point what do we make of this? If there are hundreds of eyewitness testimonies that confirm the evidence.

Would it be something far more elaborate than the crop circles or the Piltdown man?

Paul451 said...

Re: UFOs

The online community has pretty thoroughly explored the leaked-then-acknowledged videos of UAPs and the main "tic-tac" report. Mick West's youtube channel gives an idea of the main explanations, and the reasoning/maths behind them. (There's some quibbling over fine details, given the lack of... you know... fine details.)

No cat lasers, but they're easily explained as mundane things (large migrating birds (Go Fast), distant aircraft engines (Gimbal), weather balloons (tic-tacs.)) The radar reports are presumed to just be radar glitches, caused by either weather, or (more likely) recent software updates. The latter suspicion comes from reports that the incidents stopped when the radar contractor pushed out new updates.

But when the rumours of those weird radar signals spread through the ships, especially the carrier, it created heightened suggestibility in pilots who were being scrambled over and over to respond to the radar reports, which led them to misidentify mundane things as potential threats, the thing they'd been scrambled to look for.

The key thing is that "they" aren't a single thing, with a single explanation, which seems to be how some want them to be treated. Each encounter was different, because each encounter was different.

Paul451 said...

Re: UFO behaviour is lame.

I'll also add that the Great Cover Up, if real, also seems kind of pathetic.

Best explanation I'm heard (which I've mentioned a few times here, I think) is that an early civilisation in galactic history had a bad encounter with a less advanced but more aggressively expansionist civilisation, resulting in a prolonged war-of-extinction, which the older/advanced/non-expansionist civilisation won. But it left them scarred. They remain terrified of any future rivals, so they monitor every planet with intelligent life (or the potential for it).

If the young civilisations stay confined to their world, either staying pre-technological, or stabilise and stagnate, they are allowed to exist. If they meet certain threshold conditions, their planet is glassed. Obviously one trigger is if they threaten to expand beyond their world, but a critical one is if they become aware of being monitored.

With a few hundred billion stars in the galaxy, it's a difficult job monitoring them all when you aren't an expansionist species. Even moreso if you are can't cheat and use automation because you are afraid of AI and any kind of Von Neumann self-replicator, and have to use individuals in each system.

So the people who get assigned to monitor planets like Earth are... not qualified to do anything else. Doing a job which is not at all desired. Hence Earth's monitors are mostly just going through the motions; hence they suck at secrecy because they don't care enough to try harder.

At some point in recent history, some people within the government captured some crashed alien technology, and not only found out about the alien monitors, but learned about the existential consequences of the monitors realising that we've found about them.

Early on, they tried to keep senior government people informed, tried to cooperate internationally, tried to do a lot of research on the alien tech. But the more they expanded, the more it leaked, the more public it was, the greater the risk of the monitors finding out. So over the decades, they've kept the numbers down to as few as possible. Basically, anyone who has definitive evidence that can't be stolen, debunked, discredited, etc, gets read in on the big secret and given a join-us-or-die ultimatum.

So the conspiracy to hide the truth about aliens is to prevent the extinction of our species. They are actually the good guys. But they have few resources, few people, and their recruiting policy is little more than dumb chance. They... aren't our best and brightest. And they aren't doing a very good job. Their only saving grace is that our monitors are even worse.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

Of course it's a cat laser. I wrote that here a year ago. The US military have been working on manipulating the visible spectrum just as they have been doing on radar bands for decoys. Twenty years ago they had a pod that could project a mimic of the radar signatures of different airplanes. Visible light is harder to manipulate but it has been doable for some time now. What I find strange is why there is a push over all media to sell the UFO story at this time.

scidata said...

About two weeks ago I was preparing a response to someone who roasted me for my 'universality is an assumption' phrase (the usual 'get out of our kitchen, go home and ask your mommy for a cookie' flame). An excerpt:

Walk with me from the whiteboard/telescope/microscope over to the computer.

This machine computes. It doesn't observe, theorize, infer, or deduce. It computes. It can create a model based not on axioms, but on arbitrary, primitive, initial conditions (see Wolfram's computational universe). The initial conditions would simply specify one particular location in potential reality (space-time). We escape the single locality cage we've been trapped in from the start. Universality is no longer presumed. Similar models have been used for years to study galaxy formation and evolution.

This isn't machine/deep learning. It's simulation of reality on a truly vast scale, yet as simple as strings or quarks, or even integers, at it base. If universality does in fact exist, such computation should be able to show it either as a stable state or as an emergent property. Possibly as an 'attractor', but that's chaos theory which is a bit out of my depth. Perhaps gravity is involved (usually a pretty safe assumption), but that's way, way out of my depth. If universality isn't manifested, well, I guess we don't know enough yet - awkward.

I left out the Calculemus! tagline -- that gets me uber-flamed (except here or similar Asimovian discussions).

Brian Nextbigfuture said...

I found analysis of the Pentagon video analysis. The US airplanes are able to track a bird.

FMK said...

Just came across this article by former New York Times science writer Donald McNeil Jr. How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Lab-Leak Theory.

He concludes that there is no conclusive evidence of a lab leak in Wuhan "but the Occam’s Razor argument — what’s the likeliest explanation, animal or lab? — keeps shifting in the direction of the latter."

Most scientists were eager to dismiss such speculation a year ago but minds seem to be changing.

Brian wang said...

I do not know why I used my google account and it put me as unknown. I followed up with the video analysis by thunder foot showing that they seem to have mistaken large birds and planes for ufo. If they have better video there might be something. But it seems they are making simple mistakes by not modeling what the correct speed and movements are. Triangulation and found objects show that the videos shown so far are not showing anything unusual. It does show US planes can lock and track birds which is impressive.

Brian wang. Nextbigfuture

Brian Nextbigfuture said...

Blurry birds. Blurry planes. Planes with flashing landing lights. Not correctly understanding that planes become black blobs in infrared view. Things disappear “into the water” when they pass over the horizon. The pro UFO side will have to provide better analysis that rules out what appear to all be mundane explanations for the video evidence provided. The human witness testimony appear to be people making mistakes and not understanding how cameras and their eyes can fool them. The guy who saw things everyday seems to be mistaking birds every day. He wanted to see things. If it is all mistakes and bad math and bad analysis and they all went uncorrected for 10-20 years then that is scary

CP said...

I think it's far more likely that the government has been covering up the conclusion that "the aliens are not here" than the conclusion that "the aliens are here."

Start with the proposition that most UFO sightings are misinterpretations of natural phenomena but that some are misinterpretations of military testing or other classified activities. If there are random reports/observations/interpretations generated by amateurs in circulation, it muddies the waters: creates noise that makes it more difficult for our adversaries/the public to figure out what's actually going on. And, once the government starts passively ignoring such reports or, in some cases, actively promoting them as a smokescreen it becomes very difficult to stop since the public might get upset if they find out they've been lied to.

Imagine that a new president takes office, says its time to "come clean" and asks for a report on the subject. The relevant bureaucrat takes "the report" out of the safe, deposits it on his desk and it's discussed... They realize that they could release everything they have, demonstrating, in detail, that the aliens aren't here. But, if they do the public will find out about "that little accident back in 73"... And, the Russians will be able to figure out "just how fast the X53 can actually fly"... Meanwhile, the true believers will continue to insist they're lying and nothing will change on that end. So, they think about it a bit and "the report" goes back into the safe till the next administration.

Paul451 said...

Thunderfoot's style is to have mock the things he criticises. It can be fun to watch, but isn't a deep analysis. Mick West's analyses are more serious and considerate.


Just to repeat:
"The key thing is that "they" aren't a single thing, with a single explanation, which seems to be how some want them to be treated. Each encounter was different, because each encounter was different."

Brian's list of the characteristics of the encounters illustrates that. The believers put all the claims together and demand a single explanation that covers everything. "Can birds accelerate to 600G's and descend from space to the ocean in one second??!!1!" No. But the video that shows a bird ("Go Fast") didn't do any of that.

(Aside: Harry Reid is apparently a close friend of Robert Bigelow, who is a true believer in alien visitation, crypids, etc. When Reid pushed through the $22m AATIP program, you'll be completely surprised to learn that most of the funding went to Bigelow's "Skinwalker Ranch".)

IMO, while the individual pilots and radar operators are honestly reporting what they saw, nothing that comes out of AATIP program and its successor can be trusted. The people involved, including the person who was in charge (Elizondo), are true believers, who've produced nothing but confusion and noise. A waste resources and opportunity.

David Brin said...

Brian hi and good to see you here. Alas, I deem this whole area to be loonier and LESS supportable with every passing year, as the number and quality and mobility and responsiveness of CAMERAS all increase across this planet at rates vastly greater than Moore’sLaw (Brin’s Corollary). And yet, the observed ‘phenomena’ keep getting Fuzzier! No longer ‘saucers’ but ‘tictac’ blobs that almost always analyze out as illusions created by optical systems.

That ‘almost’ bears investigation, certainly! But the simplest explanation for a fast-swerving blob in the atmosphere is that someone is able to make systems that create a fast-swerving blob in the atmosphere! And I am telling you now that I know at least three ways to do that! Hence the ‘cat laser’ metaphor. And hell yeah, there are powers on Earth who might want to mess with pilots by creating near their cockpits a fast-swerving blob in the atmosphere.

But honestly? My biggest beef with UFO stuff is not technical, it is ideational. The depicted BEHAVIOR of these “phenomena” is not the behavior of ‘intelligent life’ let alone some advanced civilization. And from the perspective of one who has explored a vast range of contact scenario possibilities, all his life, the sci-fi-ish ravings of true believers are just dull, dull, insipid, boring and dull!

No, that’s not my biggest beef! My biggest is the implied insult to TENS OF THOUSANDS of skilled professionals, scientists and engineers who would have been hurled at this thing, if there were anything to it. FOUR GENERATIONS of our very best people! You think none of those thousands would have blabbed by now? (Forget the publicity seeking ’revealers’ shown on the far-fallen show 60 Minutes. Whose ‘revelations’ were a pot pie of nothings.) You think some of these tens of thousands wouldn’t at least tell the new president?

Consider this. If EVERYONE who worked on this agreed it must be kept secret, then who the FUCK are we not to consider that maybe these folk - among our very best and in large numbers, might have a damn good reason? As I portrayed in my novella “Senses, Three and Six”? And yes, Paul 451 hinted at this angle.

Welcome back Deuxglass.

But CP gets post-of-the day.

Tony Fisk said...

The 'Earth' wiki lives to fight another year or two. I get those emails, too. I think it's just a matter of log on to pbwiki and tweaking it. (You are listed as an administrator under your sbcglobal mail account, David.)

Just to shoot up another clay pigeon: our fuzzy blobby friends may not be intelligent as such. Maybe they occasionally take advantage of a suitable CME and come up from the Sun to check out what's going on with these funny little hard places?

Maybe they are attracted by the cat lasers?

On a slightly different note, Steve Jackson Games has announced an upcoming Kickstarter campaign which will feature 'Tribes'

deTerrence said...

I'd be a lot more inclined to take your bona fides seriously and read anything you said after the first paragraph if you dropped the sarcastic expletives. You come across as a know-it-all-but-really-doesn't teenager.

Deuxglass said...

Plausible deniability

Der Oger said...

@UFOS: I am quite sure that if there were anything to it,President He Who Must Not Be Named would have probably spilled the beans and he or his goons would concocted some sort of conspiracy theory, linking aliens, Biden, a Pizza store and Antifa.

But it may be a way to get more budget for less-grainy weapon camera systems or a dumping place for DOD personnel that have questionable loyalties, morale or work ethics.

@Jupiter: Just a question: Is it realistic to think of a technology that "harvests" the energies this or other gas giants radiate? Some sort of a Solar Panel?

Larry Hart said...

Paul Krugman knows his Orwell...

So if Trump or a Trump-like figure declares that we have always been at war with East Asia, well, his party will say that we’ve always been at war with East Asia. If he says he won a presidential election in a landslide, never mind the facts, they’ll say he won the election in a landslide.

The point is that neither megalomania at the top nor rage at the bottom explains why American democracy is hanging by a thread. Cowardice, not craziness, is the reason government by the people may soon perish from the earth.

Larry Hart said...

But of course the whole world didn't stand still. The world grew.
In a couple of years, the new highway came through.
And they built it right over those two stubborn Zax,
And left them there standing un-budged in their tracks.

By which, I mean that despite Paul Krugman's concluding sentence (posted above), democracy will not "vanish from the earth", whatever happens in these united states. The seed planted in 1776 has grown and flourished.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

I stayed away because with the election coming up and things were getting crazy and people were locking themselves into opinions and positions through misplaced or justified loyalty which in normal times they would have avoided. My politics are not yours as you know but since I appreciate you blog and like the scientific and futurist ideas I find here I decided to take a break and refuged into places where any political discussions whether of the right or left were severely sanctioned. Three strikes and you were out. I must admit that it was refreshing and very useful. I cruise by from time to time here but I still see that interesting ideas get smothered as the blog discussions invariably turns to politics to the point where they consist of 3/4 of the comments. Nevertheless maybe it's time for me to come back.

David Brin said...

Deuxglass, your view of the culture here is disturbing. I'd fret over your assertions/accusations of "smothering dissent" if there were a scintilla of evidence to support it. Unless, are you talking about an occasional caustic dismissal? THAT is "smothering"?

Well, I'm glad you found a solution that gives your serenity. I am wholly in favor of venues for folks of varying thickness of skin. Feel free to swing by when yours feels thick enough to wade in.

Larry Hart said...


but I still see that interesting ideas get smothered as the blog discussions invariably turns to politics to the point where they consist of 3/4 of the comments.

Tacitus2 used to express the same opinion. But be aware that to some of us, the politics is a feature, not a bug. And to me at least, the times call for--well not so much a "safe space" as a sane space for it.

Larry Hart said...

Seen on Malcolm Nance's Twitter feed:

Republicans: "Here is our latest counteroffer to your infrastructure proposal."

Biden: "This is just a dirty cocktail napkin with the words 'repeal Obamacare' scrawled on it in crayon."

Manchin: "The important thing is that we let this bipartisan negotiation continue."

scidata said...

To finish my thought above, and to agree with Larry Hart's 1776 seed:

FWIW, I actually do embrace universality. It makes the universe warmer and saner. But authoritative assertions shouldn't be deemed as fact or universal laws. Verification to 26 decimal places is qualitatively different from proof. Indeed, that kind of precision seems almost 'unnatural'. Is there any chance that observations have somehow become entangled with definitions? Map vs territory? It's not nice to anthropomorphize Mother Nature.

Inversely to getting sci-roasted, I also get trolled elsewhere by Brin-haters who accuse me of sycophancy. It's a great insult to Dr. Brin to describe me as his devoted disciple. Ironically, if they would put down their grudgy manifestos of butt-hurt grievance for a sec, they might realize that I have more kinship with them than with academia. It's just that reading Shelley, Verne, and Asimov at a young age inoculated me against zombification. A fairly common story actually. The Enlightenment can't be undone by cartoonish fiat or statehouse hokery-pokery. US politics may be fragile, but the wider Terran, transistorized civilization isn't. The churlish Dark Side constantly mistakes civil forbearance for fecklessness. May they ever continue to do so.

Deuxglass said...

Dr. Brin,

I never said "smothering dissent" at all. I said that interesting ideas get smothered by the commentaries turning political. My meaning was that interesting scientific ideas are bypassed as people hurry to post their latest political rant which have mostly already been discussed ad infinitum. The forums I retired to are about more scientific and technical matters where political discussion is unnecessary and harmful to exploring ideas. They are heavily moderated so people keep to the questions. I realize that Dr. Brin's blog is not that way and although I wish there would be more science and less politics it belongs to him and he does what he wants. I know that it may come as a surprise to some people here but most people do not live and breath politics and don't define their existence by which party they belong to. After a while politics gets boring and I go to where I can learn something new.

Alfred Differ said...


Interesting ideas getting smothered...

Yah. Kinda. More like swamped or swept away in the flood.

When I see that happening, I switch to my desktop browser while enables me to roll-up comments en masse. (Collapse feature) From there I unroll certain people and it's easier to follow interesting 'side' topics.

Deuxglass said...

Larry Hart,

It has nothing to do with safe spaces at all. It's got to do with not wasting my precious time. You like Paul Krugman. I do not but I have no desire at all to convert your thinking to mine about him. It's a waste of time for me. You seem to be a nice fellow so I have no problem with you personally.

Pappenheimer said...

I've had 1 close encounter with a believer who showed me UFO footage - of a white scientific balloon with a package underneath, drifting in broad daylight. I identified it as such, as in those days I used to launch similar weather balloons twice a day, 2 days on and 2 days off, at 00 and 12 GMT, along with literally hundreds of other people across the globe. Then I was asked how to explain that it was moving against the wind. The ground level wind, when the thing was obviously above 3000' AGL.

I've also fielded panicked calls from people who've sighted Venus. And don't even get me started about the USAF base security guy who dragged me out of my weather station and onto the base golf course so I could get a good look at - the Aurora Borealis. (To be fair this is seldom seen above Wright-Patterson AFB, OH - the latitude is too low.)

People get panicked if they see something up there that they don't expect. I'm sure the Venus spotters all thought I was part of the cover-up.

Treebeard said...

Jacques Vallee was writing about UFOs being used to manipulate societies and re-engineer belief systems back in the 1970s. Maybe that program is being rolled out again. Whenever some memetic object like this suddenly starts flying across the media, the first questions I ask are: What agenda is this serving? What control system is this part of? Who benefits? Since all media is a conspiracy to manipulate people’s minds, this is always a good policy, but it becomes more apparent when weird issues like covid, UFOs, transsexualism, Russian mind control or whatever suddenly appears on their radar. I of course assume it’s all propaganda and ignore it, and never seem to have any problems (for example, I haven’t done anything differently for covid, don’t bother wearing masks anywhere, and I’m fine and no one cares—for me covid is as real as UFOs, and face masks and vaccinations are akin to tinfoil hats and alien anal probes). I suspect that the success of the engineered covid mass hysteria has emboldened the control freaks to roll out new programs, and UFOs, along with “climate change”, are good bets for the Next Big Hysterical Issues That (Give Them the Power to) Change Everything. Fortunately this, too, shall pass.

matthew said...

Senator's son claims Trump and Kraft offered his father money to shit down an investigation into the Spygate scandal in 2008.

Legendary cheaters like to cheat together, it seems.

And why could have this not been reported to the DoJ in 2008? Woulda saved us a crappy president and some of Tom Brady's BS as well.

Tony Fisk said...

Well here's one for the predictions registry: the prospect of retrieving valuables from rubbish. In this case, rare earths from coal ash. There's an added incentive of taking the opportunity for a proper clean-up. Do my rose tinted glasses need a wipe?

Pappenheimer said...

A bit late to the UFO dunking here, but I've had to deal with frightened civilians on the phone wanting me to look at a UFO ("Ma'am, that's Venus on the horizon. Yes, it's pretty bright") and a USAF SP who dragged me from the weather station out on the Wright-Pat golf course so I could look up and tell him, "Aurora Borealis. Yeah, it's not common at this latitude."

Which of course made me part of the conspiracy. When I worked at Wright-Patterson in the 80's, I was informed by one the FTD (Foreign Technology Division) boffins that people were still trying to sneak on base to find the alien corpses. He assured me with great solemnity that they were wasting their time, as all the crash remains had been shipped to Area 51 years ago.

David Brin said...

“-You know, both Martin Luther King and Gandhi credited cameras with saving their own lives, as they marched and took on entrenched power nvm they're dead. And also, nvm.”

When they said that cameras saved their lives, they were – by definition – alive at the time they said it. And cameras did save them on many occasions. and the assassinations were in circumstances where that safety measure did no good. Still…. good point, sir.

“ I know that it may come as a surprise to some people here but most people do not live and breath politics and don't define their existence by which party they belong to

So you amend one slightly insulting assertion in order to hurl another. Fine. Whatever. You’ll not find another blog online that delivers more distilled science news and perspectives than Contrary Brin. The COMMENT community has the freedom to chime into whatever aspect they like, if polite. As we did here re UFOs. And YOU have a right to comment and try to stir discussion of any of the topics, especially when it’s a science posting.

matthew said...

I see the dog kibble is trying to talk up their manly bona fides here again. They add COVID and vax denial to their other litany of hates and stupidities this time. No surprise.

Including transsexualism in this list is another reminder that the kibble is a hateful bigot. They are a white nationalist who adores Putin, brags about beating up LGBTQ folk, and threatens violence here.

Really makes this a nice place for discourse, don't they?

Of course, I do suspect they are doing it on purpose. Shitting on the world to get a response and dictate the conversation. It is sad if it is not an op.

matthew said...

Biden is affirming the US leaving the Open Skies Treaty.

Dumb, dumb, dumb.

Even if *we* think that we do not need the overflights anymore, this is a horrible prescient to set for world-wide transparency.


David Brin said...

Matthew please tone it down. Yes, if Treebeard raises again his support for a collapse of civilization, the horrible death of 7 billion people and a return to beastly feudalism, I will happily remind him that he will NOT be a top dog under those circumstances, but either a collared and neutered slave ... or kibble...

But that is not what he did this time. He instead tried to "own" us libs with the image of his obnoxiously aggressive spite toward community responsibility or acceptance of the existence of science or objective reality. Those are two different things! And the proper response is not to act all offended! That is giving him what he wants. He'll interpret a response like yours as having gotcha's you or "owned" you!

Rather, the best response is a shrug of mild amusement combined with sad determination to save the world FOR him.

Above all, he does not come in screaming and demanding a 'free speech" right to bellow and shit on our rug. So I have not added him to the spam filter. He is welcome to continue coming by and raving such nonsense in a calm voice, as an example of what craven fear of modernity and smart people does to an otherwise somewhat sapient mind.

Alfred Differ said...


I get most of my science comm on Twitter nowadays. Takes a bit to establish who is worth following and who won't mix politics into the same stream, but it can be done. I have a three part stream, though, with one of them containing people who DO mix their politics because I want to see how they interpret science events in a cultural context.

When Contrary Brin turns a science corner, we occasionally get a similar mix. It's useful stuff to know. At least I think so.

For example, my mixed feed is currently going on and on about billionaires and space exploration. What SHOULD they be doing? What ARE they doing? I already know some of the exploration stuff from the mild feeds, but the mixed one tells me how our civilization is dealing with the changes.

Slim Moldie said...

Treebeard’s healthy dose of skepticism toward media’s agenda is warranted.
I have friends who rattle off similar arguments (not even trying to piss me off or anything) so I sincerely appreciate hearing what TB has to say and being able to have a transcription on hand to deconstruct the logic of the argument.

The logical construction of the post is fascinating. “All media is a conspiracy to manipulate people’s minds” which taken with the rest, infers that a group of unknown “Control Freaks” with secret plans are actively engineering mass hysteria (to do something (conspiracy) unlawful or harmful...which sounds like he might be describing the events of January 6th or the election “audits” in Arizona and elsewhere. Which I’d agree with.

But instead, the harm he ascribes to the control freaks is “changing everything.” Meaning, maybe Tuesday is different than Monday?

Then he argues that because he ignores the “weird issues” that appear, that they don’t effect/affect him. (I might point out that if he truly ignored the weird issues, he wouldn’t be able to list them. But I figure he meant that he doesn’t act on choosing to not mask up etc.)

As for the pot of “weird issues” (I wish I could draw a venn diagram)
A: UFO; never proven to exist
B: Transsexual. Look a squirrel!
C: Russian Mind Control. I don’t even know what he’s referring to. (The diplomats in Cuba?)
D: Climate Change: Okay, but I’d argue even if the scientific consensus of alarm is wrong, why and how would acting on their false hypothesis ruin tomorrow?
E. Covid. He simply infers that because he or nobody he knows got it, so it might as well not be real.

Then here's the fun part. Because A is false, and E is in the same domain of “weird issues” as A, then E (and D) must also be false, hence E is a conspiracy created by the “Control Freaks” to change everything!

It sort of sounds like “River World” where the ethicals are conducting a sociological experiment.

David Brin said...

"The... media's... agenda... " good lord THAT sick, stoopid cliché?

Are there media mega corps with agendas? sure. But that bears little relationship with that paranoid and dismally dumb image, which is part of tghe all out war on all fact/verification professions.

Larry Hart said...

Slim Moldie referring to Treebeard:

C: Russian Mind Control. I don’t even know what he’s referring to. (The diplomats in Cuba?)

More likely the idea that Russians on Facebook and Twitter affect the outcome of American elections.

D: Climate Change: Okay, but I’d argue even if the scientific consensus of alarm is wrong, why and how would acting on their false hypothesis ruin tomorrow?

Doing what a shadowy elite tells us we have to just on faith because we can't understand the nuances ruins freedom.

- Translator droid

Tim H. said...

Fascinating, especially for those that've re-read ACC's "2010" recently:

Or, for that matter, Eric Flint & Ryk E. Spoor's Boundary series.

Slim Moldie said...

Sheesh. DOA as soon as I attempted to paraphrase.

I had an English teacher who made a double-sided paper listing F-mistakes, any one of which would immediately terminate your paper with an F. To, two, too fails etc. And little me, whose whose very user name is a typo, never got one.

So if you want to make a list you can start with "Media's Agenda."

The ONE thing I agree with TB on is when I read something or hear something in the domain of news which I referred to as media, I see no problem asking (I will quote him this time) "What agenda is this serving? What control system [okay, usually not any] is this part of? Who benefits?"

Duh! Of course I don't automatically ascribe nefarious intent or control systems lurking behind everything I read or hear. However, when any editor chooses to publish A over B-Z, that's an agenda based on what they consider newsworthy. This website certainly has a clear agenda: You curate the news or set the table with every blog entry. Transparent.

If you don't get my point (f-mistake run on sentence.) Consider the % of news volume given to cover deaths from via car crash, mass shootings and Covid. We have a fatal car crash every 16 minutes. 600,000 deaths from Covid. 194 mass shootings in 18 weeks? If you were an editor of a media organization, how would you choose to report these things?

And BTW calling "Transsexual" a weird issue and equating it to UFOs is at best immature. If someone you know and love chooses that path you hope they're accepted and respected just like anyone else.

Robert said...

I’d argue even if the scientific consensus of alarm is wrong, why and how would acting on their false hypothesis ruin tomorrow?

Like in this cartoon?

(Punchline: "What if it's a big hoax and we create a better world for nothing?")

Jon S. said...

I agree that the ent has his freedom of speech.

And I have my freedom to scroll right past and not pollute my attentions with his garbage. It's very nice.

As for "UFOs", I don't recall if I've ever given my story here, but...

Back in '90, I was temporarily homeless, living in a tent in Weyerhauser forest land on the shoulder of Mt. Rainier in Washington. One night, I looked toward the mountain, and saw an odd, cigar-shaped craft coming around the mountain. It wasn't brightly lit, but it did have running lights, and was large enough to occlude stars. When I shone my light at it, the lights turned of and it went back around the mountain.

A few years later, I saw the craft again - in the pages of Scientific American. There was a spread on an experimental Soviet-built dirigible, reportedly made to recover logs from steep mountainous forests.

I speculate that US intelligence services had gotten hold of the plans (this was before the USSR collapsed), had built their own, and were flying it out of the Yakima Test Range just the other side of Mt. Rainier from my position. It would be a great region to test the capabilities - steep hillsides, thick forest, and between hunting season and ski season the only people you'd find out there would be long-term homeless and the occasional Vietnam vet still seeking privacy, not exactly reliable witnesses.

locumranch said...

What are UFOs?

David describes them as "freaking obvious cat lasers" (distractions); Treeboard concurs and describes them as distraction-based propaganda of questionable motive; and William Gibson describes them as "semiotic ghosts" or "‘bits of deep cultural imagery that have split off and taken on a life of their own’".

You can read all about UFOs from an authoritative post-modern, historicistic and Sci-Fi perspective at

Personally, I interpret Ufology as a type of psychological Rorschach test wherein everyone pretty much interprets unidentified phenomena in a way that validates their own personal narrative and allows them to see whatever it is they wish to see.

The Ancient Chinese probably saw dragons and omens; the Medieval Church nattered on about dancing angels and witches in flight; Trekkies everywhere fantasied about officious pajama-clad progressive bureaucrats 'in Space'; and, in our current state of cultural hysteria, partisans probably see UFOs as proofs of Russian collusion, the coming fascist insurrection and the imminent failure of Capitalism.

That the failing US Empire has decided to re-release 'Project Bluebook' at this very point in time -- and has chosen to reveal the very 'real' existence of 'tippy top-secret' UFOs unto the world yet again -- this should trigger tsunami-sized amounts of skepticism from all critical thinkers.

Will this sudden revelation be followed by a Leftist Messiah carrying stone tablets containing 15 -- oops, crash, I mean 10 -- commandments from On_High, designed to save humanity from the twin horrors of vaccine denial and dental caries ?

Are UFOs simply a failed US missile defense system as suggested in P. K. Dick's 'Deus Irae" ?

Or, is this glitzy UFO reveal simply an excuse to roll out the new & improved World Government promised by the sci-fi farce 'The Monitors' ?

Time will tell and, until then, I suggest that you travel while you still can, before an unidentified World Government shuts down Shell, Exxon & Chevron because *reasons*, aliens and climate change.


Alfred Differ said...

Slim Moldie,

From TB | Since all media is a conspiracy to manipulate people’s minds

Heh. That got a chuckle from me and then I skipped the rest. I learned about Yellow Journalism in US History in HS, thus was inoculated against a belief in Objective Journalism. My teachers made sure to link the publisher's objectives to the publication's slant, though. "Media" isn't biased. People are.

From TB | success of the engineered covid mass hysteria

But you made the list of 'weird' easy enough to read that I went back to the original and ran into that gem. It has some wonderful, conspiratorial assumptions built in much like Creationism. If it's complex like a watch, it MUST be designed, no? Thus mass hysteria must be engineered. Never mind that it's not really hysteria when your parents and grandparents are getting sick and dying.

I'm going to take a potentially rash step here and apply the broad brush to it all. This is just the behavior of a young mind that thinks it is invulnerable or of an older one that wishes to remain in that blissful state. Either ignorance or delusion.

Personally, I spent a little over a week in the ICU back in 2013 with my lungs half filled with fluid and RBC's escaping confinement in pretty much every direction. The only thing I didn't suffer that I saw some ventilated covid patients facing was that fluid in my lungs turned into a hydrogel. It was scary enough while I could cough it out, but they couldn't and that put a hell of a chill in my gut. Could help but deep-cough sympathetically.

Hysteria? Nope. I'm just not able to be ignorant or delusional about that. TB is and there is no ethical way to convince him and many others like him of their error. However, they'll learn some day if they survive the experience they'll face.

Larry Hart said...

@Senator Joe Manchin,


Just sayin'

Larry Hart said...

Looking at the calendar, I can't help but notice the (44th) anniversary of the day I first saw the original Star Wars.

That changed everything.

David Brin said...

Hey Slim! No sweat, man.

“I agree that the ent has his freedom of speech. And I have my freedom to scroll right past …”

Yep. What gets nutters into the spam filter is screeching howls that attempt to force our community members to watch them shit on our rug. Treebeard – in contrast - is concise and skippable… though I tend to actually read his stuff! I always find it interesting… if not in ways he intended.

Heh! Even locumranch was kinda fun, this time, with Mel Brooks references. His 1st half wasn’t even insane! Of course it couldn’t last and he went dopey. But a pat on the head, anyway.

Oh, just for you guys, not even FB, I spent a couple hours in hospital from a bad bee sting reaction. So that’s one hobby I was hugely enjoying that I may have to give up. Crap.

Der Oger said...

Story idea:
UFOS are real, Aliens too. Yet, those aliens are neither saviors, conquerors, wise teachers or researchers - they are simply criminals who illegally enter the Sol System Primitive & Dangerous Species Reservation, to poach, to play with us, to provide an opportunity for an interstellar safari for well-paying clients. The jerk who was responsible for event in Nebraska now serves his time in a penal colony not far away, since the reptiloid undercover police agents were able to apprehend him shortly after.

I agree that the ent has his freedom of speech.

And I have my freedom to scroll right past and not pollute my attentions with his garbage. It's very nice.

I have made the experience to ignore them. Don't feed the troll, and so on. Saves time and life quality. Ignore them to death.

Funny thing is (or a repeating pattern), they sound similar all over the world - those Reichsbürger and Neonazi loonies of ours utter the same crap about the press, as do rightwing politicians all over the world do.

Robert said...

Just curious — how many people here know someone who died with Covid? I've lost a relative myself…

TheMadLibrarian said...

Owie owie on the bee sting!
I just got my first sample of a new variety of carbonaceous chondrite, type CL (Loongana). I have to research what differentiates it from its brethren, but it looks like all the ones we have samples of right now have been substantially altered on their home planetoid before getting bounced into an Earth-crossing orbit. We have proposed a few other flavors of carbonaceous chondrites (see also CY et. al.) but this is the first new official classification in a while.

Larry Hart said...

Jon S:

I agree that the ent has his freedom of speech.

And I have my freedom to scroll right past and not pollute my attentions with his garbage. It's very nice.

Like Captain Renault in Casablanca:

"It is a little game we play. They put it on the bill, I tear up the bill. It is very convenient."

Larry Hart said...

Alfred Differ:

I'm just not able to be ignorant or delusional about that. TB is and there is no ethical way to convince him and many others like him of their error.

No, it's kind of like religion. You know, when I tell someone I don't believe in Jesus, and she says all teary-eyed, "But He believes in you."

It doesn't matter whether you believe in COVID. COVID believes in you.

Alfred Differ said...


No, it's kind of like religion.

Heh. Could be... but I was pretty delusional when I was younger too.

I think there might even be a mental defense in play. When asked how I was doing (after returning to work from the ICU) I used to tell people what happened and what was still happening. Many of them quickly decided they didn't want to know. I eventually learned to spot the "I'm trapped" look on their faces and let them go. 8)

One guy I told early, though, turned white as a sheet. Turns out his mother suffered the same exact way. She beat it the first round using the nasty chemo-drug, but it returned later and she gave up. The look on his face was the kind you give to dead men walking. (I'm still alive and kicking, but he knew too much to think that highly likely.)

From all this, I've decided not to get too harsh on people who prefer to remain ignorant or delusion about health risks. It just doesn't seem to matter much or even very often.

Alfred Differ said...


I do. At least two. No one real close to me, but within two degrees of separation through someone who is.


So much for arthritic toe relief.

As a kid I wasn't allergic to much beyond penicillin. My first degree family was, but not me. My older-self reaction to pollen skipped over allergies and went straight to asthma after heavy exposure in CA's central valley.

I know there are desensitization tricks, but I never felt like getting jabbed enough to find out if they'd work. It was simply easier for me to move to the coast for the on-shore (pollen-poor) breeze.

Larry Hart said...


how many people here know someone who died with Covid? I've lost a relative myself…

I lost one older relative who was in bad shape to begin with.

His wife was also hospitalized, but survived.

One of my cousins's sons brought COVID home to all of his siblings, parents, and grandmother. The grandmother was hospitalized, but also survived.

While I don't know him personally, the proprietor of a famous rib joint in my home town of Evanston also died of COVID.

David Brin said...

Sorry, I had to go back to: "Time will tell and, until then, I suggest that you travel while you still can, before an unidentified World Government shuts down Shell, Exxon & Chevron because *reasons*, aliens and climate change."

Wheeeee! "Unidentified" because it is a pure fantasm with ZERO evidence it exists... while the combine of Putinist "ex" commies, and still-commie allies across their border, plus oil sheiks, mafiosi, casino moguls and inheritance brats is utterly real, documented, proved and actively uncaring whether they are seen or not.

And this character tries to lecture us on perception?

Jon S. said...

Wait. Somebody wants us to believe we can't travel without burning massive amounts of fossil fuels? In this age of bio-jet fuel, electric vehicles, and spacecraft (which don't fly to orbit on gasoline)?

Some folks really are stuck in the past, I guess...

David Brin said...

Moreover, if we replace fossil fuels where they CAN be replaced, then constinuing to use them in jet planes and rockets won't make a lick of difference or harm to the planet. Only idiots who deeply believe in zero-sum would even pose that dumb strawman.

locumranch said...

"The question for oil companies is when and how much" do they reduce oil and gas production in response to investor and social concerns, said Charles Elson, a professor of corporate governance at the University of Delaware.
End quote

As a horse owner, I'm well aware that it's theoretically possible to transition from fossil fuels to renewable non-polluting energy sources, just like it's theoretically possible for California to keep its electrical grid functional when a light breeze shorts out its aging infrastructure, it may happen eventually or some day, or maybe not, and maybe not soon.

Not holding my breath, just not a big fan of auto-asphyxiation, no thank you. I nearly suffocated once in the 1990s while waiting on cold fusion. Never again, but feel free to call when cheap renewable non-polluting energy becomes a fait accompli.


Tony Fisk said...

Ah. Read about the bee that snuck through a trouser cuff on twitter, but not the result.

In addition to the short, sharp shocks Shell and Chevron received, there were a couple of local wins on the environment front this week:
1. Australian Federal Court ruled that 'water triggers' were valid and should be applied to Adani's proposed Carmichael coal mine. (Central Qld has a lot more other uses for 15 billion litres of water). Mind you, it might require 15 billion litres of salt to be poured onto the zombie project before it finally dies!
2. Environment minister has been found to have 'a duty of care' to protect younger people against future harm from climate change in deciding mining approvals. What that duty entails has yet to be decided, but this is apparently the first time anywhere such a duty has been established.

john fremont said...


One of my in-laws died just before New Years Day. A few of my relatives caught COVID-19 in December and one of them still had the cough three months later. An acquaintance I just found out had been in the hospital with it back in October. I was surprised to learn he was down for a month recovering afterwards.He's an otherwise healthy middle aged male like me and had to receive antibody plasma injections.

matthew said...

Sorry about the bee sting reaction, David. I kept bees when I was a kid and I have always loved the hobby. I have neighbors that insist on spraying or I would be considering them now. I have been doing some landscaping rehab to my property and planted crimson clover to fix some nitrogen in the soil. Bees this spring were *everywhere* and it was glorious. I've counted around 16 species on my property that I can differentiate between with my low knowledge base.

Note that the ent does not have "free speech" here. This is a private blog on a commercial website. The first amendment says that the government cannot regulate speech. Nothing about blog owners or commercial businesses. Not saying that the ent should be barred - we've had that discussion before and I voiced my support for keeping them.
But there is no free speech here. This is a regulated environment. How it is regulated is the Doc and Blogger's business. The Doc decided that the ents past threats did not deserve a ban. If I disagreed with the DOc, then I'd leave if I felt unsafe. The kibble-ent doesn't scare me, so I stay and sometimes point and laugh at the pathetic neo-nazi pretending to be a deep thinker. Not feeding the trolls is one thing, allowing hate speech to go unchallenged is another.

David Brin said...

Caught in fabulation, he retreats to implicit sarcasm... sure we can reduce CO2 emissions (but not methane!) by shifting to horse-power! Blah, blah, blah. None of this, nor even zero-sum fixation, proves insanity as much as the inability to NEGOTIATE a balanced outcome, starting with low-hanging fruit.

Biggest example. If they weren't insane and evil, the mad right would have wanted to continue and enhance enforcement of methane leak-prevention from wells and pipelines, since eliminating those sources of greenhouse gas could be done cheaply and win sincerity cred for them, while (maybe) slowing down a catastrophe that would lead to harsher measures.

The fact that Trumpists instead sabotaged all efforts to track and stop egregious venting of kilotons of methane, wasting a resource while polluting the planet, just to save a few criminal assholes a few pennies here and these, is absolute proof that these guys aren't in it to negotiate pragmatic solutions for us all, but rather are a pack of drooling-evil, truly-treasonous and utterly insane-stupid horrors.


Much better stated this time, Matthew. I DO have a complete right to moderate and ban whomever I wish, and my standards are clear and reasonable. Dopes expressing politely troglodytic opinions are eminently shruggable and I don't mind. Rug-shitters are handed over to the filter, which keeps getting better!


Robert said...

sure we can reduce CO2 emissions (but not methane!) by shifting to horse-power!

When I was a wee lad my grandfather told me about how the motor car cleaned up London. Diseases and such used to be a much bigger problem before motor cars cleaned the streets!

Today's problems were often yesterday's solutions — and it behooves* us to remember that.

*Pun fully intended. :-)

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

The fact that Trumpists instead sabotaged all efforts to track and stop egregious venting of kilotons of methane, wasting a resource while polluting the planet, just to save a few criminal assholes a few pennies here and these, is absolute proof that these guys aren't in it to negotiate pragmatic solutions for us all, but rather are a pack of drooling-evil, truly-treasonous and utterly insane-stupid horrors.

All true, but not quite far enough. "Wasting a resource while polluting the planet" is not just a price they're willing to pay to save money for their crime bosses. They actively like the fact that they cause damage and make liberals cry. They would be in favor of wasting resources and polluting the planet even if doing so cost them money.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Dopes expressing politely troglodytic opinions are eminently shruggable and I don't mind. Rug-shitters are handed over to the filter, which keeps getting better!

That's what the old Cerebus list was like too. The one and only banning ever on that list was not because of the guy's ideas, but because he posted hundreds of posts at a time--many of them personally threatening to other individuals--which basically made the list unreadable. And he did that intentionally so that he would be banned, I guess to make the list moderators into seeming-hypocrites. Even those who generally argued against banning in general--I was one of them--had to concede that this was a special case.

And it didn't lead to a slippery slope of banning for increasingly-trivial excuses. It remained the singular exception which proved the rule of open dialogue.

As a metaphor, this might be the kind of thing which ultimately convinces Senators Kristen Sinema and Joe Manchin that the McConnell Senate is singular exception which requires abandonment of the illusion of bipartisanship.

David Brin said...

Robert, heh? Neigh!!!

LH yeah, it's called "rolling coal" and the fact that many of them have wives and have reproduced is clearly the fault of a faminism that has not confronted the greatest service they can to for girls... teaching them to have high standards.

David Brin said...