Friday, August 13, 2021

Reaching for the Heavens - and expanding our vision

I won't mock them, or get involved in their reciprocal tiffs, because for all their faults, they are at least doing what Republicans promised (lying) that all of the rich would do with massive tax cuts. That is, investing in new capabilities. (Maybe Supply Side woulda worked... if the other 99.99% of rich folks did that, as promised.)

Well. While Branson and Bezos do their suborbital jaunts, SpaceX plans to send half a dozen civilians – with no professional astronauts aboard – into orbit possibly as early as mid September. 2021. This is making my novel Existence darned prophetic about zillionaires in space. (Watch the video trailer!) Apparently, this crew Dragon capsule will have a cupola window and toilet combo (!!) where the docking hatch would usually go. Yipe. A loo with a view.

A MAGA Congressman, Louie Gohmert, recently suggested that the US Bureau of Land Management (BLM) attempt to solve global warming by altering the Earth’s orbit. While Gohmert’s sarcastic dig was just another salvo in the mad-right’s all-out war on science, it did get some folks re-evaluating ways to supplement carbon-emission-reduction, e.g. with sunshades or geoengineering. Or else… sure, why not talk about what it would take to alter Earth’s orbital radius outward by about 3 million kilometers, enough to reduce ambient temperatures by about 3 degrees? (Across the next billion years 'we’ will have to do it several times, as the sun grows hotter. And by 'we' I mean our vastly-better heirs who are reading this 'now,' in the year 35640c.e.. and not you, my fellow ancestor sims.)


Could we move the Earth? In a Scientific American essay, Maddie Bender started by offering a cogent appraisal of the energy transfers needed – only about a billion billion times the annual energy use of today’s human civilization. Which makes the whole thing seem… not-so-ridiculous! Given that we need to use other, much quicker methods (like carbon-pollution reduction) in the short term, it is suddenly actually conceivable that advanced descendants might deal with the long term warming by gradual orbit-altering over tens of millions of years. 


Alas, the author then goes on to describe methods for doing this orbital velocity augmentation, by listing nothing but absurd non-starters, like the jibbering-loony notion of flying massive objects past the Earth-Moon system over and over, millions of times, without ever suffering an ‘oopsie” accident.'


As some of you know, I have offered a much better way for a future advanced civilization to do this with utter safety – if patiently – across the requisite time scales. See my video: Let's Lift the Earth! Spaceflight-explanation-maven Scott Manley even referred to the method, recently. (Perhaps someone will tell Scientific American or @MaddieOBender.)  

Meanwhile though, let’s stop with the carbon poisoning, eh? And science-hating meme-poisoning, too? Retiring crazy-moronic traitors like Gohmert to sipping their mint juleps on a virtual veranda, while the nerds they hate save the world for them.


== News from Beyond ==


A large asteroid… or up-size comet… that’s almost big enough to call a  minor planet is about to make its closest pass to the Sun on its 600,000-year highly-eccentric orbit, whose perihelion will come (apparently) within 11 au in 2031.  If it is cometary in makeup (ref. my doctoral thesis) then it may put on quite a show and it’s certainly a good candidate for a flyby mission.


Alas, its passage through the ecliptic, a bit later, will apparently be in August 2033. And that’s NOT good news… not for real world reasons but because we can expect a maelstrom of insanity that year, around the time of the 2000th Easter, as I describe here.


Mark Buchanan has an article in WaPo offering an argument I've also made about the foolishness and utter irresponsibility of those attempting METI "Messaging to Aliens." My own missive about this, refuting every METI argument in much more detail, including the "I Love Lucy" falsehood, is “Shouting At the Cosmos” – about METI “messaging” to aliens - and can be found on my website.


== And more fun sci-stuff! ==


In detections that came back to back, just 10 days apart, in January 2020, gravity wave detectors revealed events happening a billion years in the past, when black holes ate neutron stars. One had a mass nine times bigger than our sun and gulped a neutron star with about two times our sun's mass. The other black hole had about six times the mass of the sun and ate up a neutron star with 1.5 times the sun's mass. One member of the LIGO team calculates that a black hole eats a neutron star roughly every 30 seconds somewhere in the whole observable universe, though scientists would have to be looking in the right place with the right kind of equipment to detect it. Within 1 billion light-years of Earth, it happens roughly once per month.


A few weeks ago I linked to the new, better images of the M87 black hole showing powerful polarization effects. Now rapid simulation work suggests that the MAD theory of tightly rotating magnetic fields may explain the super-tight jets that spew north and south from many black holes. Wow, what an age we live in.


And further proof of amazing times. From lab experiments, measuring momentum effects in tritium beta decay we have an upper bound on the mass of the electron neutrino at about 1.1ev and from "astronomical oscillation data" a lower bound of 0.5ev... a narrow and narrowing gap. The presenter of a talk I saw yesterday suggests - and she was persuasive - that the number density across the universe is about 330 neutrinos per cubic centimeter.


AND I just read that they are studying the microbiome of Southwest Pueblo Native Americans from 1000 years ago to recover lost symbionts. (Might one turn into Larry Niven's "booster spice"?)    Again amazing times.


== You want more science. Here's more! ==


 A newfound tiny white dwarf, named ZTF J1901+1458, just 130 light years away, is immensely massive, just shy of Chandrasekhar’s Limit where the mass triggers a type 1a supernova, probably having formed when a binary pair of stars – each having become a white dwarf separately, whirled, emitted gravity waves, and slowed into a merger that created incredible angular momentum (rotation) and magnetic fields. (How’s that for a sentence?) Now this. It would take very little added mass to tip this thing into a too-close-for-comfort 'pop'. And did I mention it's just 130 l.y. away? Sci fi folks take note. 


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96 comments:

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin in the main post:

Or else… sure, why not talk about what it would take to alter Earth’s orbital radius outward by about 3 million kilometers, enough to reduce ambient temperatures by about 3 degrees? (Across the next billion years 'we’ will have to do it several times, as the sun grows hotter. And by 'we' I mean our vastly-better heirs who are reading this 'now,' in the year 35640c.e.. and not you, my fellow ancestor sims.)


The whole concept of days and years would have to change, so who knows what year it would be?

Just sayin' ;)

Larry Hart said...

As long as I'm in calendar boy mode...

Dr Brin in the main post:

Alas, its passage through the ecliptic, a bit later, will apparently be in August 2033. And that’s NOT good news… not for real world reasons but because we can expect a maelstrom of insanity that year, around the time of the 2000th Easter,


Wouldn't that be the 2001st Easter?

Mark Olbert said...

I always liked Niven’s idea of using Uranus and a giant fusion pulse drive (in Uranus’ atmosphere) as a dirigible planet to move the Earth.

David Brin said...

LH I said "around" the 2000th Easter.

We desperately need to "sane-up" before then.

scidata said...

This may be a dumb question, but wouldn't it be a whole lot simpler just to deploy foil screens to deflect significant solar radiation away from Earth? It could even have an automated 'thermostat' and why not a UV-B filter and energy conversion station too. That would only require today's technology, not that of the distant future.

Plus, what happens if we discover some horrific consequence only after the lift?

David Brin said...

scidata you have to keep doing it. You haven't saved the planet, you've kept it on life support.

monkyhead said...

I'm not convinced that Gohmert was being sarcastic.

Pappenheimer said...

some of Niven's ideas are all "this would be cool!" with no "are there any side effects?", I seem to remember him pushing the Orion spacelift concept (TBF, as a last resort) - or was that Pournelle?

I recently read an old Flinx book (bucket list stuff), The End of the Matter (1977), where our heroes save 2 Humanx-inhabited systems from a(n apparently FTL) "collapsar". When did the term "black hole" become predominant?

David Brin said...

Yeah Monkeyhead. I deem it plausible - if less than 50% - that the fool was being a jibbering loon.

Laurence said...

In terms of apocalypse prophecies, Id have though the year 2029 would grab people's attention. I remember my old (devoutly Christian) headmaster saying that the acutal date of Jesus' birth was more likely 4 BC than 0 AD, which would make 2029 the 30th easter. That also happens to be the year in which the asteroid apophis first makes a worryingly close pass to Earth, on Friday the 13th of April no less! Maybe the basis for another heaven's gate style mass suicide?

Daniel Duffy said...

Create a Dyson Swarm by robotically mining out Mercury and you will have all the power you need to play with planets the way a child plays with toy blocks.

If we only capture 3% of the sun's energy output and the whole process is a mere 50% efficient we increase Mankind's energy resources by 500 billion times. Once the first solar power satellites of the swarm get deployed, they can be used to power more mining and manufacturing operations on Mercury, which create more SPS, which powers even more mining and manufacturing, and even more SPS - allowing exponential growth of the swarm in a relatively short time.

Then use that energy to power mining operations that extract the carbon from the atmosphere of Venus to build carbon nanotube structures, from a giant sunshade that cools Venus and makes it livable (once all of the CO2 has been mined) to giant Bishop Ring habitats each providing the land area equivalent of India and all together providing living space equal to a dozen new Earths.

Mining the asteroids, comets and Saturn's rings for water an metals becomes simple.

The Moon and Mars can be terraformed as an afterthought.

Colonies can be established throughout the moons of the Jovian worlds and all the way out the the Kuiper Belt.

And yes, when the time comes we can uplift the Earth and get it out of the way of an expanding and dying Sun.

In the meantime, create enough wealth to allow every human to live like the aristos of Downton Abbey, with a servant staff consisting of robots and AIs.

Lastly, build laser sail space craft whose laser propulsion sources are powered by a fraction of the Dyson swarm's energy output. These would be the cheapest way to get to the stars since we are only building and sending out payloads while the propulsion source stays home. One rocket "engine" could propel 1,000s of sail payloads to 1% - 10% of light speed (deceleration via boron drogue chute interacting with interstellar atoms and dust, or by circling the star to receive a breaking force of lasers multiple times until it settles into orbit).

The passengers would be millions of frozen embryos and seeds of every species on Earth (and new ones genetical engineered for the destination world) raised by "mom and dad" robotic AIs after they are birthed from artificial wombs upon arrival. The new colony builds its own Dyson Swarm, repeating the process as mankind spreads across the galaxy exponentially.

But it all starts with Mercury, because you can't do nuthin' without power.

Der Oger said...

We desperately need to "sane-up" before then.

I doubt that will happen, a bit.

What could coincide with the date is the "Point Of No Return" regarding climate change... which gives "Doomsday" a whole new meaning.(I am shuddering on the thought of apocalypse-adoring cults actually trying to increase global warming...)

Larry Hart said...

monkyhead:

I'm not convinced that Gohmert was being sarcastic.


I took Gohmert's comment as suggesting how pie-in-the-sky a project it would take to help with climate change. "If they can lift the earth to a more distant orbit, sure, go for it. Short of that, what's the point?" That sort of thing.

Of course, when he mentioned BLM, I thought he was snarking that "Black Lives Matter" wasn't doing anything about climate change, thereby undermining the group's liberal cred. So what do I know? :)

Jon S. said...

"I seem to remember him pushing the Orion spacelift concept (TBF, as a last resort) - or was that Pournelle?"

You might be thinking of Footfall, where Our Heroes use stolen nuclear warheads (how they stole and transported them, I have no idea - they're not light) to launch a heavily-modified battleship with an Orion drive into orbit to fight the alien invaders. It was very much a last resort, and they did acknowledge that the process of launching obliterated Bellingham, WA, and surroundings - but as the alternative was the complete subjugation of humanity by the fithp, it was seen as an acceptable loss. (Not sure I agree, but I didn't write the story, they did.)

Pournelle also used an Orion drive in King David's Spaceship to earn Prince Samual's World provisional membership status in the Second Empire of Man, as no planet that had space-launch capability as of its induction into the Empire could be used as a colony world by said Empire, but that used gunpowder shells rather than nukes (Prince Samual's World didn't have the ability to refine radioactives at that point, which was probably good given the amount of warfare going on there). The primary damage there was to the pilot's internal organs, but nothing that couldn't be repaired by the Imperial ship that picked up the capsule in orbit.

David Brin said...

Laurence you need to add, not subtract… ==>2037

DD the amount of available power is not the issue, which is how you APPLY power to a planet to change its orbit. My concept assumes a large supply of power. But how do you push a planet without wrecking it?

scidata said...

Re: Sane-up before then

You'd be amazed at how many citizen scientists there are, and how hard they work towards personal enlightenment. For many, it's redemptive. You'd be astonished at how many of them are in red states, though they don't crow about it for obvious reasons.

Larry Hart said...

Laurence:

In terms of apocalypse prophecies, Id have though the year 2029 would grab people's attention. I remember my old (devoutly Christian) headmaster saying that the acutal date of Jesus' birth was more likely 4 BC than 0 AD, which would make 2029 the 30th easter.


Well, no, the "Easters" after His birth are a meaningless concept. The First Easter would be the one on which He returned from the dead. Right?

Dr Brin:

Laurence you need to add, not subtract… ==>2037


???

If Jesus was really born in 4BC, then He would have been 33 years old in 2029.

I was under the impression that we already knew He was crucified in the year we now call 33AD, no matter when He was actually born.

So it depends what we actually know.

- calendar boy

David Brin said...

Kaurence apologies, I misread. So if he was born 4 BCE then he might have been old enough to remember celebrating the 1st Christman 5 years later? Maybe he was the little drummer boy! Oh, wait...

I promise you around 2029 there will be claimants to second coming beginning their 'ministries.'

Laurence said...

Not sure why I said 30th Easter up there, I meant 2000th Easter! I just discovered Easter in 2029 will be on the 1st of April, it would've been quite cool had it been the 15th, making Friday the 13th good Friday. I'm sure that won't deter people though!

TheMadLibrarian said...

Hmpf. I'm assembling a display for the library of 'Cautionary Tales', highly regarded people that turned out to have feet of clay. The easy stuff is current political boneheads, but I've been looking for (and failing to find locally) exposes of the prosperity gospel preachers, who spend a large proportion of their church's tithes on personal goodies like jets and Ferraris. Anyone have any suggestions of people I should get for the 'Walk of Shame'?

Pappenheimer said...

one of the great things about the Traveller RPG is that the Imperium has a Year 0 instead of a Year 1.

Although it seems to inhabit a galaxy that has only 2 dimensions...

scidata said...

I've noticed that it isn't SpaceX's successes that scare the competition, it's their failures. Entire vehicles experience rapid unscheduled disassembly, the wreckage is cleared, and a brand new improved shiny vehicle is on the pad often within days. That's terrifying to the $400 ice cream scoop guys who get pushed back months by sticky valves.

Danny said...

'Republicans promised (lying) that all of the rich would do with massive tax cuts. That is, investing in new capabilities. (Maybe Supply Side woulda worked... if the other 99.99% of rich folks did that, as promised.)'

I don't set the standards for the thinking man's SF writer, but this seems like a fun 'us and them' piece of polemic, not that sophisticated. Thus, 'Republicans', who? Who is lying, with their promises, what, in so many words, were these promises? I doubt it was ever that 'all of the rich' etc. What is the 'massive', in massive tax cuts? We are living in a world where these massive tax cuts happened? When? Like, the idea here is that the US tax bite is smaller than other nations'? But the gap isn't as big as you might think. Of course I have heard of supply-side fiscal policy, so-called, but then again, I've also heard fo Keynesian, demand-side policy, and its promises....?

Larry Hart said...

Laurence:

I just discovered Easter in 2029 will be on the 1st of April, it would've been quite cool had it been the 15th, making Friday the 13th good Friday


Maybe that will be Orthodox Easter?

Larry Hart said...

Danny:

Of course I have heard of supply-side fiscal policy, so-called, but then again, I've also heard fo Keynesian, demand-side policy, and its promises....?


You mean like the New Deal getting us out of the Depression? Or the 2020 "stimulus" (really more like disaster relief) keeping people employed and companies in business at the height of the panic over COVID?

Seriously, it's not like demand-side gets implemented very often, but when it does, it seems to do the job. In fact, I'd guess that the reason it doesn't get implemented more often is that the American people would see that it works.

Larry Hart said...

Danny:

Who is lying, with their promises, what, in so many words, were these promises?


"Tax cuts on the rich and corporations will increase tax revenue."

Always promised, never delivered.

And that's more than I should have responded to an obvious sealioning attempt.

David Brin said...

Danny hi and thanks for the kind words. But I have standard offers out there to compare the effeveness... at both prediction and positive economic outcomes and even deficiits(!) ... of Keynsian vs. Supply Side economic stimulation.

The latter has an abolutely perfect record of utter failure on all acounts. Adam Smith told us what most aristovrats do when they get more money and (unlike exceptions like Musk/Bezos) they pour it all into capital preservation, asset bubbles, cheats, rent-seeking and tax-evasion. Money velocity and capital investment plummet and deficits skyrocket.

Keynsian interventions - especially when responsibly handled by sincere Keynesians like Jerry Brown & Bill Clinton (who pay down debt in good times) - nearly always DO work, raising middle class health, money velocity and tax revenues. My wager offer stands, if you wish to take it up.

Larry Hart said...

Laurence:

Not sure why I said 30th Easter up there, I meant 2000th Easter!


I still think that, whatever year it is, the Easter when Jesus would be 2033 years old would be the 2001st Easter.

Because the one when He was 33 years old* was the 1st. The rest is math.

I have this argument every ten years when I assert confidently that the May prior to (say) my 60th birthday is my mother's "60th Mothers' Day". My wife thinks that Mom's 60th Mothers' Day would be the one on which I'm already 60 years old. But I'm right, dang it! Math works.

(* Assuming He was actually 33 when He was crucified)

Larry Hart said...

Pappenheimer:

one of the great things about the Traveller RPG is that the Imperium has a Year 0 instead of a Year 1.


We might have had this conversation before. If not, I've had it with someone else here. In any case, while I understand the elegance of having your calendar precede Year 1 with Year 0, I can make a decent case that the way we do it is justifiable.

You're thinking of the years as highway milestones. So the one before 2021 is 2020 and the one before 3 is 2, and so it makes sense that the one before 1 is 0. If the one before 1 is -1, that throws everything off. I get that.

I'm thinking of the years as entire intervals (not just points) on the number line. The year between point 2020 and point 2021 is the 2021st interval on that line--the 2021st year. The interval between 0 and 1 is the First interval in the positive direction--the First interval (year) AD if you will. I don't think of the previous interval as the one between -1 and 0, but as the one between 0 and -1, i.e. the First interval in the negative direction or the First interval (year) BC. I guess I'm saying that if the positive years are presumed to be counting up from an event, and the negative years are counting down from that event, it makes sense to think of the "First year of Our Lord" following the "First year Before Christ" without a "zeroth year" in between. I think of the point 0 (not the segment 0) as a mirror.

I'm not saying you're wrong, just saying I'm not wrong either.

Zepp Jamieson said...

LH wrote: "Friday the 13th good Friday"
Supposedly good Friday happened on Friday March 13th, 33 AD. Of course, it wasn't called 33 AD--that method wasn't invented until Dionysius came up with numbers for the years based on what he fondly imagined was the number of years since Jesus was born. So the first year of the "Christian calendar" was 533. Friday was named "day of Frig" after the Nordic goddess Frigg. Frig is also a slang term fro a dangerous activity conducted in the rigging of a sailing ship. Don't try this at home. March, of course, is named after Mars, which is some sort of candy bar. I celebrate Friday the 13th by blowing a buck on a lotto ticket. I never win.

Zepp Jamieson said...

"Keynesian, demand-side policy"...
That's also referred to as trickle-up economics. The rich made out like gangbusters when it was implemented AND enjoyed the support of a prosperous population.
A survey last week showed that only 40% of workers can afford a single-room apartment. That puts our standard of living just above that of France shortly before their revolution and well below that of the Soviet Union or Cuba.

Alfred Differ said...

scidata & other NewSpace advocates

I've noticed that it isn't SpaceX's successes that scare the competition, it's their failures.

From what I'm seeing there are two types of fear among their so-called competitors.

1. There is obviously a lot of money being thrown into development and it's resulting in market capture. Big bosses understand what this means for their future revenues. Numbers collapse toward zero. A Halloween Horror Show occurs during an upcoming Board meeting.

2. Failures that result in parts that can be examined by engineers worth at least the price of their underwear result in evolutionary advances in related processes. Good simulation tools are a wonderful thing to have, but broken parts and flight data are treasures. Engineering bosses understand what this means for future conversations with un-captured regulators. Theory gets squeezed out of safety discussions and is replaced by statistical evidence. Empirical theory survives but full-range-of-the-possible theory does not. For example, we worry about failures on aircraft that can make them fall out of the sky, but we don't worry much about them ALL falling out of the sky. It's possible, but not something to which we pay attention.


What is wonderful about the story providing context for SpaceX here in the US is how the competitors had just recently abandoned the commercial launch niche to foreign companies. They actually did this… and said so... to investors! They chose to focus on DoD and other government related launches because that was where the money was. When history books are written about this period, I hope authors devote some pages to the stupendously poor vision of the future demonstrated by those who made that decision. Those people have probably killed their companies, but it's not obvious yet while they still shamble around like zombies looking really stupid and really slow.

This isn't a space race between billionaires. It is an extinction event.

David Brin said...

Yes, Alfred. But the greatest failure of vision, even worse than Xerox PARC or Xeron not making personal cvopier, or Kodak's utter insanity was Sears. In 92 - at the top of their mountain, they dropped their mail order catalogue. In 1992. In... 19 freaking 92.

Alfred Differ said...

re Sears...

I completely agree.



I'd add one thing, though, that speaks to the degree of failure at Sears. Sears WITH a mail order catalogue would have failed to do what Amazon did. Utterly. Too much a dinosaur from the Jurassic. They hadn't even caught up to the Cretaceous yet. Clearing them from the field worked to all our advantage.

I feel roughly the same way about our defense contractors who provide space launch to government customers with a tiny difference. They are more Cretaceous. When I invest in them, it is with an eye toward which of them has bits and pieces that might be worth buying when mammals own the entire field.

scidata said...

The beauty of FOUNDATION was that it clearly illustrated that extinction events are largely unheralded. I recently criticized algebra as formalized zero-sum thinking. I'll add linear regression to the list of methods that are correct, but dangerous in the hands (minds) of mere mortals. Math is not science, and history is not destiny (if there even is such a thing).

"One can’t proceed from the informal to the formal by formal means."
- Alan Perlis

Daniel Duffy said...

As a kid, I used to love the Sears catalogue. When it arrived in August, the clock started ticking for Christmas. And everything I could possibly want under the tree was on those pages.

Daniel Duffy said...

As for Jesus' birthday, it was probably in March or April. That is calfing season and "shepherds keep watch of their flocks by night" only during calfing season.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Sears. In 92 - at the top of their mountain, they dropped their mail order catalogue. In 1992. In... 19 freaking 92.


Enemy action?

Don Gisselbeck said...

I think someone commenting on this blog said that the way to treat trolls was to take what they said seriously.

Larry Hart said...

Daniel Duffy:

As for Jesus' birthday, it was probably in March or April.


Ok, but was anyone here talking about Jesus's birthday?

Easter (well, ok, Good Friday) is a different thing, in fact the opposite thing. :)

Pappenheimer said...

If we can last long enough to become a class II civ (by Dyson standards) as Daniel Duffy suggests, we will be able send out, for a comparative pittance, STL AI probes - and eggships with embryos to be raised by similar AIs, providing the nearest thing we've ever gotten to a Platonic Republic.

Unless the AIs have secret instructions backdoored by long-dead programmers (who donated their genetic samples...or were bribed...) to favor certain genetic samples over others?

Hey - is this a done concept in SF? It has to be, but I don't recall any examples.

Anyway, our paramount concern is to survive the Crazy Years, which seem to be lasting longer than the Old Man predicted, so that we can reach the launch point of an interplanetary civilization. Movies like the original Trek series and Valerian and the City etc.* are planting concepts like "cooperation and expansion beats selfishness and fragmentation", but I don't think we are any closer to changing elite patterns of thought, and what they say will get the money backing.

*I wish that movie had come anywhere near its potential

Paul451 said...

Pappenheimer,
"some of Niven's ideas are all "this would be cool!" with no "are there any side effects?"

I would say that (like a lot of classic SF) most of his "what ifs" are purely to let him play with the side-effects. That's where the fun is.

Like Asimov's robot stories are not pushing the three laws, they are for him to play with the consequences. Niven's "Hole In Space" series of short stories based around the problems caused by the existence of transporter booths.

Hell, Niven got a whole sequel novel out of readers pointing out an error in orbital mechanics in his first novel. (Ringworlds aren't in orbit therefore aren't stable.)

--

Jon S.,
"You might be thinking of Footfall, where Our Heroes use stolen nuclear warheads (how they stole and transported them, I have no idea"

Nothing was stolen. It was an official US government war project that the protagonist stumbled upon.

Paul451 said...

David,
Re: Moving Earth via gravitational slingshot, many many gravitational slingshots...

Earth will encounter a lot of asteroids and comets during the next billion years. Perhaps 10-20 K-T scale impacts. So if civilisation falls to the point where they can't deal with the Planet Lifter masses, they won't be able to deal with natural ELEs either.

--

However, if Cyclers prove to be useful transport methods for long distance trips, like between the gas giants and Earth, then the Earth-lift process might happen anyway. Especially if, over time, those Cyclers develop into cities in space, swinging by Earth in some years, and by the Jovian-moon colonies in other years.

Paul451 said...

Daniel Duffy,
"and get it out of the way of an expanding and dying Sun."

You think too small. The the power of even a partial Dyson Swarm, we can do starlifting. That allows you to bleed off the heavier elements from the sun, prolonging its life by tens of billions of years, perhaps hundreds.

Also solving the brightening issue.

Robert said...

Our Heroes use stolen nuclear warheads (how they stole and transported them, I have no idea - they're not light)

The Orion vehicle was a secret program, so presumably had sufficient official support to acquire and move the warheads. Navy, IIRC, so possibly from SSBNs (can't remember, on the road so can't check book right now).

Robert said...

I think someone commenting on this blog said that the way to treat trolls was to take what they said seriously.

Doesn't work if their goal is to mess with you and keep you responding to them. A considered response is often met with five seconds of googling another talking point and more 'just asking' questions. (I think the internet term is "sealioning"

https://www.forbes.com/sites/marshallshepherd/2019/03/07/sealioning-is-a-common-trolling-tactic-on-social-media-what-is-it/

David Brin said...

Paul451 Pournelle smacked his forehead when I told him his Orion-launched battle stations to fight the invaders would hve been topped by clusters of old Polaris nuke subs. Reactivate the power plants, fill the tubes with missiles, slap on a maneuvering rocket unit. Voila.

Cycler cities swinging by Earth had better be HUGE and numerous beyond belief. And utterly persistent and - above all - NEVER abandoned to drift. Which is my top point about the lunar tether. You can go into hard times and not endanger the world.

Paul451 said...

David,
"Cycler cities swinging by Earth had better be [...] utterly persistent and - above all - NEVER abandoned to drift."

The advantage of them being cities rather than passive masses is there's now a whole other group with a vested interest in not crashing into a planet. And much less likely to forget about the risk.

If Earth declines rapidly (say a major natural disaster disrupts civilisation there), then while the Cycler-cities are declining from reduced interplanetary trade, but before decaying beyond the ability to self-repair, they'd presumably move themselves to another orbit with better long term survival prospects. Perhaps permanently around a gas giant, or amongst the inhabited trojans. Wherever their financial prospects are greater.

My point wasn't to suggest it was more viable than the lunar-electrotether, but that cyclers might be so useful that the gravitation slingshot relay might happen even without being intended as an Earth-lifting process.

David Brin said...

Well, Paul, the cycler concept is cool. And yes there are ways to time near passages to add momentum to the planet. But only a few angles of approach will do, and at pretty high speeds and needing a LOT of mass, and hence that civilization lives in constant peril of accidents.

But yeah, the concept is at least better than flinging asteroids, which don't care what they then hit.

Alfred Differ said...

If we consider a range of tech options for permanent fixes for cooling Earth, we should include lifting mass off Sol. High solar latitude mass jets operating where the power flux is already quite high would be the goal.

This tech wouldn't be developed in one swoop. Besides the fact that Sol is warming, we should be pondering what to do about CME's. Can we possibly pull the magnetic cork on a prominence before the ejected mass would point at Earth? How much energy and power is involved involved? Can we hit them from the side and not be caught in the X-ray flux? Developments in this direction would be useful toward tech for lifting mass off Sol, no?

scidata said...

I've been considering the 'kept it on life support' answer to the cheap foil reflector quick fix. Isn't that what we've always done? Buy time, stay alive, see what the tide brings in tomorrow. Big Plans usually don't work out that well because the cost invariably skyrockets and the long-term situation (both physics and politics) changes in unpredictable ways. Who would have imagined that the Northwest Passage would become ice-free so soon after the Panama Canal was dug? Warp drive, AI, immortality, or 1st contact could arrive as suddenly as the transistor did.

A better name for our species than Thinking Man might be Contingency Man.

David Brin said...

Scidata 'emergency measures for life support may save a generation... but the instant they stop (civilization collapses or just has a depression or Prairie Dogs take a while rising up) the planet is toast and all that work wasted. The moon tether tug can fail without any harm and if it worked for ten million years then goes into ten million of hiatus, the work of those first ten million isn't lost.

==
Navy Christens future USS Hyman G. Rickover
https://www.navy.mil/Press-Office/News-Stories/Article/2715174/navy-christens-future-uss-hyman-g-rickover/

Though... wasn't he Jewish? Wouldn't this event better be called a bris?
His fleet likely stabilized the world and saved all our lives.

Anyway, by interesting coincidence see the "Brin"-class of submarines! Yes, they were built and served in war. I kid you not.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brin-class_submarine

Larry Hart said...

Too good not to share...

https://www.electoral-vote.com/evp2021/Senate/Maps/Aug17.html#item-1

Trumpy radio host Dan Bongino, meanwhile, declared that "If this was Donald Trump in office right now, as Afghanistan falls in a matter of days after spending twenty years, thousands of lives, limbs, bodies, and treasure, 20 years...You know damn well, Donald Trump would be forced into resignation right now, and Republicans would be leading the way." We'll pause for a moment while you regain your breath after your bout of uncontrollable laughter.

Robert said...

Larry, you owe me a new keyboard…


Not surprised, honestly. My daily Republican emails have been blaming Biden for pulling out, saying he should have stayed — entirely ignoring who started the pullout…

Paul451 said...

David,
" 'Navy Christens future USS Hyman G. Rickover'
Though... wasn't he Jewish? Wouldn't this event better be called a bris?"


Submariners get annoyed when you cut bits off their boats.

(Mind you, so do parents if a priest does the champagne thing with their infant.)

David Brin said...

See the image in the article. Note the protective insentitive tip the factory provided the sub, to prevent damage to the actually valuable/sensitive working hull. Removed, exactly as in a bris.

Larry Hart said...

Robert:

My daily Republican emails have been blaming Biden for pulling out, saying he should have stayed — entirely ignoring who started the pullout…


That particular hypocrisy doesn't surprise me. But his having the chutzpah to assert with a straight face that Republicans would have "led the charge" to hold Donald Trump accountable for anything is so ridiculous as to prove that the person making the statement doesn't care how stupid he seems.

It's like the right-wing talking point that Cuomo's situation proves that Democrats don't police their own, even though:
1) That's exactly what did happen.
2) Republicans don't police their own, and are out and proud about this fact.

Accusing your opponent of doing what you actually do is bad enough. It takes a special level of...something...to insist that what you do (while pretending your opponent is doing it) is an egregious high crime deserving of swift and sure punishment.

Der Oger said...

@Larry:
Stonekettle also has an article on his blog about Kabul.

I hope the wave of refugees breaks after September, 26 (Federal Election day), but also that this time the number of refugees are divided fairly between NATO member states. Of course, if they survive what is to come.

David Brin said...

But aside from screeching blame from Foxites, I am amazed by the lack of appraisal of what the Taliban have "won."
Do you think the Afghan army units ALL "melted away?" Many of the places that "fell" to the Taliban were Afghan military units who spent a week growing beards then changed clothes and became the local "Taliban."

Others likely hauled their arms into non-Pashtun tribal regions, to take their own turn being the ones with the easier job, as insurgents.

The actual Taliban must now spread thinly and rule every city and outpost. Now THEY are the ones with buildings to guard and vulnerable checkpoints to man.

What happens when Afghani women start carrying bombs into Taliban HQs?
I don't have answers to all these questions. But they are important questions.

scidata said...

Dr. Brin: Now THEY are the ones with buildings to guard...

If I was the cynical type, I'd suspect that the Americans and others would like to use Afghaniland as a training ground for slaughterbots.

Larry Hart said...

Dr Brin:

Do you think the Afghan army units ALL "melted away?" Many of the places that "fell" to the Taliban were Afghan military units who spent a week growing beards then changed clothes and became the local "Taliban."

Others likely hauled their arms into non-Pashtun tribal regions, to take their own turn being the ones with the easier job, as insurgents.


Maybe.

All I know of the region is what I see on the evening news, but the impression I got of the non-Taliban Afghan army was that they were not motivated to fight the Taliban, and that they were simply doing a job for pay. My late father used to explain how the 1776 colonists were better situated in the Revolutionary War because they were fighting for their land and their homes, while many on the British side were hired mercenaries without much skin in the game. Seems to me that the Taliban were the metaphorical Americans in this scenario.

I don't like it, but it does appear that the Taliban wins because they have a certain amount of support and sympathy and even respect among the Afghan populace, whereas the Americans were just another in a long line of temporary invaders, finally forced to leave in disgrace.

Robert said...

One of my department heads, who was Jewish, described chutzpah as an admirable character trait, and described it as something possessed by the man who murders both his parents and pleads for clemency because he's an orphan…

My opinion at the time was that sounded like what the British call 'bloody cheek', and I didn't find it admirable.

My opinion hasn't changed, except that what I've often heard called chutzpah seems more like acts of sociopathy.

Possibly I don't understand the term, or possibly it's being misused.

David Brin said...

I don't get it!!! WHY is everyone calling the Taliban takeover a "conquest" when it was clearly nothing of the sort? There was almost no violence, for example, and I have yet to see it confirmed that a majority of Afghan troops, dropped weapons and trou and "melted away." What it clearly was was POLITICAL. Afghan force commanders all over the country made deals to convert themselves into local warlords under nominal (- all right, maybe more than nominal -) Taliban-led coalition government.
Under that interpretation, it was a vote of no-confidence in the Ghani regime and a shift in coalition power.
Is this actually the case? I am not a master of all strategic information and I have been wrong before. But this is the only interpretation that appears to be consistent. And it helps explain why there have been no massive vengeance purges, so far, and Taliban leaders are making soothing sounds.
IF this is the case... big if... then making it clear could calm down a lot of fears by Afghanis. In fact, I am not sure what the downside would be to checking this and announcing it. If it is true - again, big if - then it is the same Afghanistan politics as the last 2000 years. Only now it is the Taliban who must pay thousands of guys to man vulnerable checkpoints and guard buildings and go out on patrol.
Welcome to the party, mac.

Pappenheimer said...

Just as in the Viet Nam conflict, there are many families who have relatives in the ANA and in the Taliban.

And, just as in Viet Nam, the US supported a corrupt government that could be easily seen as a puppet, while the Taliban could portray itself as resisting foreign invaders. (you can disagree about the actuality of the former, but the latter is undeniable.)

Dr, Brin, conquest IS political, and what the Taliban are doing is conquering - Alexander didn't sent armies to every city in Persia. They are likely to stay in power, too, as long as the ISI thinks they are worth supporting - current resistance is local in nature (non-Pashtun for the most part, so based on minorities). ISIS pulled something similar in Iraq against the Iraqi national army, but ISIS's position was far more precarious, being based on a Sunni minority (among other reasons).

I do wonder what effect global warming will have on the already precarious water supply in Afghanistan. I found a 2009 study suggesting that the local farmers aren't going to be happy no matter who is in charge, and whoever IS in charge is going to take the blame. Much of the remaining rainfall will likely be in the form of "severe events" - so it will be vital to develop dams and catchments.

Larry Hart said...

Robert:

Possibly I don't understand the term [chutzpah], or possibly it's being misused.


I think the original usage by Yiddish-speaking Jews was as you were told (a positive trait), but it's been used more ironically by the goyim, and that has become the more common usage.

When I say that Lindsey Graham shows a lot of chutzpah to say some obnoxious thing, there's an implication that that is the most charitable explanation. As opposed to having no self-respect or self-awareness or morals.

Der Oger said...

@Dr. Brin: They conquered because they used any other asset they had - bribes, diplomacy, terror, psy ops and intelligence - to much greater effect than we did; they did not have to use soldiers and bullets (and might have lost if done so).

They did not conquer because they were strong; they did conquer because the Afghan government was so weak. The latter was known even before Trump started his negotiations.

I assume that political leadership was fully aware of what might happen and that intelligence services worked correctly; yet, they chose to do nothing about it (Midterms in the US; Federal Elections in Germany; Not wanting to haste the downfall by openly withdrawing and evacuating personnel and local allies).

Personally, I find it shameful and it enrages me. We betray our allies in Afghanistan, just as we have betrayed our allies in Kurdistan. Who should trust us in the future?

@Pappenheimer:
They are likely to stay in power, too, as long as the ISI thinks they are worth supporting - current resistance is local in nature (non-Pashtun for the most part, so based on minorities).

Part of the Taliban are Pashtuni nationalists, who want to reunify their ancestral lands. Might be a dangerous gamble.

Also, Taliban leadership seems to have opened diplomatic channels to China; I wonder what form of mental gymnastic it takes for supposedly radical Islamists to form an alliance with a nation that genocides others of their faith.

I doubt the Taliban are as unified as they try to portray themselves ... thus, the moderates have all reason to form a government of national unity, to appease the west (at least for a time).

Robert said...

I think the original usage by Yiddish-speaking Jews was as you were told (a positive trait), but it's been used more ironically by the goyim, and that has become the more common usage.

I got curious and checked Wikipedia. Seems to be the reverse — started out as negative, has become somewhat positive in American English, especially Business English.

Etymology:
Originated 1890–95 from Yiddish חוצפּה‎ (ḥuṣpâ), from Mishnaic Hebrew חוֹצְפָּה‎ (ḥôṣǝpâ),[3] from חָצַף‎ (ḥāṣap, “to be insolent”). Ultimately from Aramaic חֲצִיפָא‎ (ḥăṣîpāʾ), חֲצַף‎ (ḥaṣap, “to be barefaced, insolent”).

So I stand by my reasoning that it's a synonym for "bloody cheek" :-)

Chutzpah amounts to a total denial of personal responsibility, which renders others speechless and incredulous ... one cannot quite believe that another person totally lacks common human traits like remorse, regret, guilt, sympathy and insight. The implication is at least some degree of psychopathy in the subject, as well as the awestruck amazement of the observer at the display.

Larry Hart said...

Robert quotes a definition of chutzpah :

The implication is at least some degree of psychopathy in the subject...


Which, I suppose, explains how it has become a positive trait in the business world.

Robert said...

Which, I suppose, explains how it has become a positive trait in the business world.

I knew you'd get the point… :-)

David Brin said...

Earth already skates the inner edge of the Sun's continuously habitable zone CHZ, which is moving steadily outward. That is why our Gaia equilibrium settled at a level of CO2 that's barely enough to feed plants, in order to let enough infrared escape. And yes, 100 My is the estimate for when the 'permissible' CO2 levels approach zero... and when heated water vapor threatens a true runaway greenhouse.

duncan cairncross said...

Der Oger

Its a strange type of "Genocide" that has the "genocided people" growing in numbers faster than the majority!

China has committed "cultural genocide" - by making them so rich (not poor) that they have changed their old way of life!

TCB said...

I realized at some point that, because main sequence stars get hotter (from the planets' point of view) as they age, any inhabitable Goldilocks zone planet inevitably creeps toward the inside of its Goldilocks zone (or rather, the inner edge of the zone creeps outward) so the clock is always ticking on any living planet. 100 My is TRIVIAL compared to how long it took terrestrial life to reach this point of development, and if we humans wipe out sentient life here, the odds that any other sentient life can evolve before that deadline are NOT. GOOD.

And if sentient life did evolve before the 100 My deadline, would it have the sort of easy access to energy sources and raw materials we had? Given that we are digging up the buried sunlight of the Carboniferous, again, the odds are NOT. PARTICULARLY. GOOD.

Sophonts like us may, in most cases, get just one shot per planetary lifetime to evolve offworld, IF they are lucky.

And to think we may piss away that one chance on, get this, a stew of sociopathic oligarchs, religious fanatics, and Republican fascists. Even the Necromongers have a better game than that.

TCB said...

Re: Afghanistan, a few days ago NPR interviewed the then-acting-secretary-of-Education in Afghanistan, a woman who spent most of her formative years here in the US. God knows what her situation is now, and I hope she is safe...

Anyway: She said "A lot of us tried to warn the Americans, for years, that warlords and drug lords are not good allies." The minute you stop bribing them, they flip on you. And that is how the Taliban took over so quickly. They flipped "American allies" as they went from city to city, until the people who really wanted to resist them were outnumbered.

Scuttlebutt says that the vice president under Ghani, and the son of a legendary general, have rekindled the Northern Alliance... so just as before, the Taliban do not quite control all of the country.

P.S. Alexander the Great's record of being the only one to take and keep Afghanistan still holds. (He married a local princess, and the region was Buddhist then anyway...)

duncan cairncross said...

How low can CO2 levels go and still be enough for plant life?

Todays plants cannot go much below 200 ppm - but that is when evolved in higher levels

I suspect that the actual minimum level for a plant evolved for those levels is a lot lower

scidata said...

An ugly word that I haven't heard yet coming from Afghaniland, but expect to soon:
RANSOM

TCB said...

@duncan cairncross, I have heard that most trees etc. cannot thrive on much lower CO2, but grasses and bamboo can work with less. Therefore one would expect grasses and bamboo to gradually replace trees... as the planet heats up in the tens of millions of years to come, complex life loses out to simpler extremophiles long before all life is extinguished here.

Robert said...

China has committed "cultural genocide" - by making them so rich (not poor) that they have changed their old way of life!

If you're talking about the Uyghurs, before Xi they (like the other 'ethnic minorities') were allowed more children etc.

Now, there are concentration camps, forced education in residential schools, families separated, etc. It is really very different to when I last visited Xinjiang a decade and a half ago — so much so I wouldn't go back.

Alfred Differ said...

Duncan,

My understanding is that C3 plants begin to suffocate at about 200 ppm AND we hit those levels in recent glacial periods. I wouldn't be shocked if that was responsible for the relative growth of C4/CAM plants which apparently have a CO2 concentration method in front of the C3 process.

From what I've read, all the C4 plants are flowering plants. (I could be out-of-date, though.) Many of our food sources are not among them, though. Rice in particular. (Not yet anyway. People are certainly working on that.) I don't think any of the larger plants like trees are among them either.

duncan cairncross said...

Hi Robert
I hear two stories about that
One is the "concentration camps, forced education in residential schools, families separated"

The other says that is a lot of bollocks

So far the people with story 2 are a LOT more credible!

Even the USA has gone back to talking about "cultural genocide" and stopped talking about the other things as it is clear they are not happening

duncan cairncross said...

Dr Brin

You talk about the idea of bringing up advanced AI like our children - sounds like great idea

Can you post a link to one of your articles about that - please - I can't find one on your site

Der Oger said...

@Duncan Cairnross:
Aside from putting people into concentration camps and splitting up families, there are also reports of forced sterilizations and forced marriages with Han Chinese, which is very much part of the definition of genocide.

Tony Fisk said...

According to the OED, the archaic meaning of 'egregious' is 'outstanding'. So, yes, irony can reverse a word's meaning.

If we can't perform a 'fleet of worlds' thing in 100my, my uploaded post-Tipler omega point proxy will be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

Treebeard said...
If the evidence for your claims about Trump and Russia are circumstantial, why do you make them repeatedly as if they are settled fact? I recall you calling Trump a “Siberian Candidate” and a puppet on numerous occasions, whose strings are being pulled directly by Putin. How is this rational and empirical, as opposed to hysterical propaganda?

For the record I’m not a member of any cult. I don’t deny “climate change” and I’ve never voted for a Republican in my life. I will compare carbon footprints if you’re into that, because I mostly get around by foot and pedals. But spare me the “be a man and bet me” stuff. Don’t you think people can see through that? Condescending manipulation is not a winning tactic, and nobody settles arguments on the internet by betting. And again you overestimate yourself by suggesting that someone might take you out if “my cult” wins. It reminds me of the time you suggested that you might be targeted by Putin on your visit to Russia. Your rhetoric is embarrassing; the sort of thing you’d expect from a delusional old crank.



Oh... you realized the Truth. Finaly.




On a friendlier note, I do agree that Lynch’s Dune was a good film; the cast was excellent and it captured the weirdness of the Dune universe pretty well, I thought.


But ruined all pre-story, past-story and fast-forward flashbacks. :)))


Like in Disney Pinnochio... in compare to soviet version Buratino. ;P

Larry Hart said...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/18/opinion/united-states-classrooms-conflicts.html

At first blush, the virulence of the reaction to mask mandates in schools might seem like nothing more than the usual anti-government theatrics, ginned up by right-wing politicians and commentators who have derided mask wearing as an infringement on personal liberties.


I know I shouldn't be surprised after decades of this, but it still blows my mind that "right-wing" and "anti-government" are so closely aligned in modern parlance. I was raised to understand that "right-wing" was biased toward the power of the authorities in the service of a strong-man of a leader. Hitler was right-wing (despite the unfortunate term National Socialism). Mussolini was right-wing. Louis XVI was right-wing. The line from Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat has it about Pharaoh Ramses:

No one had rights or a vote but the king.
In fact, you might say he was fairly right wing.


None of these rulers had any interest in personal liberties superseding the unquestioned right of dictatorial authority. How in the world has "right-wing" come to mean a different thing, in fact the opposite thing?

David Brin said...

Duncan re AI as children see EXISTENCE or else this essay: https://www.davidbrin.com/nonfiction/artificialintelligence.html

=

Treebeard (I assume the Unknown is him?) is such a hypocrite! Sorry man, your raving, pyrotechnic language is used to accuse ME or emotionalism? You offered zero evidence while the mountain of evidence for Russian control of the Trumps reaches the vaccum of space.

But your hysterical fear is of the wager demand, because it puts an end to the "he said" comparison of web links that American politcal debate has been deliberately reduced to. Either you believe you have factual proof of your position and I don't... or else the opposite. I am UTTERLY confident that I do and will stake many thousands. In some cases, my house. I'll happily put the fact adjudication before panels of retired senior military officers...

... or how about panels composed of randomly chosen citizens who have served to completion on Federal or Superrior Court juries? They'll lean Republican! But will have been vetted to some degree to cull the hysterics.

If you had a shred of honesty or dignity, you'd want such tests. If you had a smidge of confidence in the factual provability of your ravings, you would WANT MY MONEY! And if you whine that you have less money than me and I am bullying with my wealth... gather friends into a tontine to TAKE that wealth from me!

You writhe and squirm and spew verbal diarrhea because you know the real reason you don't step up like a man and do a bar bet, the way a man would.

Because you are no man.

Robert said...

None of these rulers had any interest in personal liberties superseding the unquestioned right of dictatorial authority. How in the world has "right-wing" come to mean a different thing, in fact the opposite thing?

Right-wing doesn't mean anti-government.

Modern right-wingers are opposed to government actions that support people/viewpoints they oppose. They are in favour of government actions that support their people/actions.

Just as they oppose "welfare" for the poor, but support "business supports" for the rich.

Treebeard said...

LOL no, someone (maybe your Ukrainian friend?) was quoting me from a previous thread, and you already responded to it, remember?

If I were to make any bet I'm not sure I'd want "senior military officers" on the panel. Their competence seems to be focused on raiding the treasury, winning the hearts and minds of congressmen, and propagandizing Americans much more than their actual job of winning wars, at which they do nothing but fail. Here again, your trust in credentialed experts who have repeatedly been made to look like clueless fools and grifters is amusing.

Larry Hart said...

Anonymous (Treebeard ?)

If the evidence for your claims about Trump and Russia are circumstantial, why do you make them repeatedly as if they are settled fact? I recall you calling Trump a “Siberian Candidate” and a puppet on numerous occasions, whose strings are being pulled directly by Putin. How is this rational and empirical, as opposed to hysterical propaganda?


The line from Star Trek comes to mind. Paraphrasing from memory: "If I drop a hammer on a planet with a positive gravity, I don't need to see the hammer fall to know that it has, in fact, fallen."



But ruined all [Dune] pre-story, past-story and fast-forward flashbacks. :)))


Can you ruin something that already sucks? :)

Larry Hart said...

Robert:

Right-wing doesn't mean anti-government.

Modern right-wingers are opposed to government actions that support people/viewpoints they oppose.


I know, but I'm talking about their rhetoric and how they sell their position.

"Right-wing" and "anti-government" are now almost synonymous in the public mind. I guess because "liberal" and "nanny state government" are also. As a child of the 1960s, I find that ridiculously absurd.

David Brin said...

Treebeard, apologies for assuming that was you. That one got past the automatic filter... and I frankly don't care.

(But out of curiosity I did just now dip into the swill bucket and saw that all three of the obsessives had lapsed away for a good long time!... till one of them tried another spew again today, Poor fellow. Let him crow a 'victory' getting past a mere robot, now and then. We just yawn.)

Your dismissal of military officers as a clade shows your specatcular dumbness and hypocrisy. They have for generations been more traditionally Republican - 'conservative' in most old-fashioned ways - and were driven lately to flee that madness for one reason... they are foremost patriots and fact-people who cannot afford raving delusions. ALL of them, starting with the Navy, knew early on that global warming, for example, was an absolute fact benefiting only one nation on Earth, Russia. They all could see that Trump was a Putin shill.

Your masturbation to a convenient story - that all senior officers got where they are through graft and scams - is a magical incantation to dismiss the very last fact-using profession that had reason to call upon conservative respect. It is now a perfect sweep, from science, teaching, law, medicine and journalism to the 'deep state" who won the Cold War and the War on Terror. EVERY fact profession is on your hate list, weakening the nation that fact-users made the envy of the world.

Now who would want that, Kremlin-boy?

That is the common theme, and I leave you with this from Robert Heinlein.

“Throw in a Depression for good measure, promise a material heaven here on earth, add a dash of anti-Semitism, anti-Catholicism, anti-Negrosim, and a good large dose of anti-“furriners” in general and anti-intellectuals here at home, and the result might be something quite frightening — particularly when one recalls that our voting system is such that a minority distributed as pluralities in enough states can constitute a working majority in Washington.”

You are everything he hated. And yes, you are no man.

https://david-brin.medium.com/heinleins-future-history-coming-true-before-our-eyes-10356a95556a

Laurence said...

Earth already skates the inner edge of the Sun's continuously habitable zone CHZ, which is moving steadily outward. That is why our Gaia equilibrium settled at a level of CO2 that's barely enough to feed plants, in order to let enough infrared escape. And yes, 100 My is the estimate for when the 'permissible' CO2 levels approach zero... and when heated water vapor threatens a true runaway greenhouse. I know Peter Ward put the figure at somewhere between 500 and 800 million years hence, if one accounts for C4 photsynthesis. Cynaobacteria are also considerably more effective photsyntheisisers than the chlorplasts used by, but suffer from not being bonded to larger multicellular organisims. Since cynobacteria are already forming symbiotic relationships with lichen and with sponges, it's entierly possible that this represents the future of photosyntheis sometime between 100 and 500 million years into the future.

duncan cairncross said...

Der Oger

Aside from putting people into concentration camps and splitting up families, there are also reports of forced sterilizations and forced marriages with Han Chinese

"Reports" - which when you drill down all come from about ten people who keep changing their stories

Where are the tens of thousands of refugees??

Anti-Vaxxers are the same
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2021/jul/17/covid-misinformation-conspiracy-theories-ccdh-report

A small handful of people lying their socks off

scidata said...

"Ancient astronauts didn't build the pyramids. Human beings built the pyramids, because they're clever and they work hard."
- Gene Roddenberry born Aug 19, 1921. RIP

David Brin said...

Scidata, Roddenberry put it more concisely than I did. But I'd add something about motivation.

If your children kept dying in your arms and the world was filled with pain... and priests told you that gods might fix some of that if you chipped and moved stone blocks... you would find ways to chip and move stone blocks.

See the movie RAPA NUI.

scidata said...

Re: RAPA NUI

Sometimes I despair at the fodder folk still being grifted out of next month's rent money (and much more) by a brain-wormed, soulless, abusive, monstrous pigman and his cynical puppeteers. A prison for the mind forged out of bone-crushing ignorance. A white canoe with a Moai as coxswain.

David Brin said...

onward

onward