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Scientific American: Decolonize the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence
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From once-prestigious Scientific American:

Cultural Bias Distorts the Search for Alien Life

“Decolonizing” the search for extraterrestrial intelligence (SETI) could boost its chances of success, says science historian Rebecca Charbonneau

By Camilo Garzón on August 10, 2022

… But increasingly, SETI scientists are grappling with the disquieting notion that, much like their intellectual forebears, their search may somehow be undermined by biases they only dimly perceive—biases that could, for instance, be related to the misunderstanding and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and other marginalized groups that occurred during the development of modern astronomy and many other scientific fields.

For years, science historian Rebecca Charbonneau has been exploring this possibility in the context of SETI. She earned her Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge studying the history of radio astronomy, and is currently a historian in residence at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, as well as a Jansky Fellow at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory. Her most recent paper, “Imaginative Cosmos: The Impact of Colonial Heritage in Radio Astronomy and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence,” appeared last year in a special SETI-themed issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal. To weed out biases and enhance the quest to find life somewhere among the stars, she argues, SETI’s practitioners must find a way to “decolonize” their field. But what exactly does that mean?

After all, nobody has ever before thought about the idea that alien civilizations might happily live with stone age technology and not feel the need to progress to the industrial age. I mean, other than film director James Cameron, shown here at a screening of Avatar at the U.N. Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, towering over the charmed indigenous ladies like some great white god out of a Joe Sobran quote.

Oh, and Cameron lifted the plot about an evil human mining company oppressing idyllic native aliens from the second half of Robert Heinlein’s 1948 juvenile novel Space Cadet. And who knows where Heinlein stole the idea? (H.G. Wells, maybe?)

Scientific American spoke to Charbonneau about decolonization, SETI’s feedback loop with its own context and history, and how combating cultural biases in the search for alien life can be a case study for similar reforms in other STEM fields. ,,,

Q. “Decolonization” seems to be a problematic term, in part because it carries so much historical baggage and is used in many different ways across many different fields. Finding consensus about what it actually means is challenging, to say the least. So, to start out, what does decolonization mean to you?

A. It’s something I think about a lot because it is a very difficult problem. Some of the major problems with the term decolonization is that it has been watered down to mean any kind of conversation about colonialism. That really weakens the term. There was a paper written by these two great scholars, Eve Tuck and K. Wayne Yang,

Note: Eve Tuck (“Eve Tuck is Associate Professor of Critical Race and Indigenous Studies at the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (OISE)“) and K. Wayne Yang (‘K. Wayne Yang is a professor and scholar in Indigenous organizing and critical pedagogy. He is a professor of ethnic studies at the University of California, San Diego and Provost of John Muir College. … Wayne Yang graduated with his M.A. in Education from University of California, Berkeley, and received his Ph.D. in Education from University of California, Berkeley.”) are not great scholars.

But a lot of Wokeness is this type of Mutual Admiration Society for lightweight non-STEM academics. This stuff isn’t exactly Carl Sagan and Freeman Dyson relaxing with some speculation, it’s just backscratching among academics pumping up each other’s reputations for funding reasons.

called “Decolonization Is Not a Metaphor,” where they make the argument that when we’re talking about decolonizing, it shouldn’t be about just speaking in metaphors. This is actually a real-world process that has to happen—actual, physical colonization which needs to be undone.

Q. How does this apply to SETI?

A. Oftentimes when we think about colonialism in SETI, we do think of it primarily in metaphors, right? Space being “the final frontier,” first contact with aliens as a stand-in for encounters with Indigenous peoples—that sort of thing.

The golden age of space exploration coincided with an era when Americans were highly proud of their frontier heritage — e.g., Walt Disney opened Frontierland at Disneyland in 1955 and JFK announced his “New Frontier” in 1961. Now, in contrast, we are ashamed of it.

But it actually is much more than a metaphor. Because space exploration is also an extension of our imperial and colonial histories. We know that space infrastructure, including SETI infrastructure, exists in remote locations, with places that often have colonial histories or vulnerable populations, particularly Indigenous peoples.

Fortunately, our new more sensitive society has done a heckuva job decolonizing the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

… And SETI in particular carries a lot of intellectual, colonial baggage as well, especially in its use of abstract concepts like “civilization” and “intelligence,” concepts that have been used to enact real, physical harm on Earth.

As opposed to harmless phenomena like “savagery” and “stupidity.”

Q. If decolonization isn’t just a metaphor but rather a process, that implies it’s about reckoning with history and striving to fix past mistakes. That’s something easy to say but much harder to actually define, let alone to do. In the context of SETI, what might decolonization’s “reckoning” look like?

A. It’s a great question. Ultimately, in Tuck and Yang’s interpretation of decolonization, this would look like prioritizing the sovereignty of Indigenous cultures and respecting their wishes regarding settled scientific infrastructure. And while that is critically important, we shouldn’t entirely discount the symbolic, dare I say metaphorical, nature of colonialism at play in SETI. Fundamentally, SETI concerns listening to alien civilizations, ideally, but we also have to get better at listening to Earthlings! We’re not very good at that right now, but we’re starting to move in that direction. There are members of the SETI community, myself included, who are very interested in listening to marginalized and historically excluded perspectives.

And to be paid for listening to them.

A lot of SETI scientists start their research from the technical search perspective, without deeply considering the implications and impact of their listening. They are simply interested in finding evidence of intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations, which is valuable. I think that to do that, however, without thinking critically about how we conceptualize big abstract ideas, such as “intelligence” and “civilization,” and without considering the ethics of the search and its cultural implications, would be a huge mistake. These ideas are tightly bound with the histories of racism, genocide and imperialism, and to use them haphazardly can be harmful. How we use these symbols of the past when thinking about alien civilizations also says a lot about how we view Earth’s civilizations, and this is where Indigenous Studies scholars, such as those who contributed to the special SETI issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, can make great contributions. They have a unique perspective on the impact of contact, and how concepts like “intelligence” can be weaponized.

Q. It does feel ironic. SETI is built around listening for something out there but perhaps at the cost of ignoring much of what is right here on this planet. For instance, you’ve repeatedly mentioned the cultural implications of terms such as “intelligence” and “civilization,” but how about the word “alien,” too? All of these terms have very different connotations—even destructive ones—as historically applied to Indigenous peoples or, for that matter, as applied to all the other sentient beings that live on Earth. Even now some people don’t consider nonhuman animals to be sentient, let alone possessing any real intelligence. And throughout history, building empires has come at the cost of discounting and dehumanizing Indigenous peoples as lesser beings, incapable of sophisticated thought and societal organization. Yet “intelligence” is right there in SETI’s name. Should we reconsider that framing?

A. SETI is designed to listen outward, but as you said, it’s not always so great at listening inward. And I should preface this by saying that there are members of the SETI community who are very interested in doing this work.

What work? This is the easiest work ever You sit around and make up reasons why words hurt your feelings. E.g., let’s do Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence:

The word ‘search’ is highly problematic, with a racist past. It featured in the title of African explorer Henry M. Stanley’s famous memoir “The Search for Dr. Livingstone.” The concept of “searching” is highly redolent of white male exploration and discovery.

“Extraterrestrial” is Earth-centric. Why should Earth be privileged as being “terrestrial” when all else in the universe is “extraterrestrial?”

“Intelligence” is highly discriminatory. Intelligent people know that stupidity is just as good as intelligence because they are intelligent, which makes them better than the stupid. Or something.

OK, here’s Dr. Charbonneau riffing on the intelligence of stupidity better than I can:

… As for “intelligence,” that’s certainly a dangerous word, and it has been used in very harmful ways. Eugenics, for example, used the limited concept of “intelligence” to justify genocide. I’m therefore sometimes troubled by the word intelligence in SETI. For one thing, we might not even be able to identify what intelligence is. And because of this, maybe we [will] someday make contact and [won’t] even recognize that we’ve done so. But it’s also important to think very critically about why we search for intelligence. Is there something special about intelligence? Does intelligence deserve more respect than whatever we might perceive to be nonintelligence? We might perceive microbes as nonintelligent life, for example. Does that life have a right to exist without us bothering it? Or is it just germs—just bugs that we are going to just bring back and study and pick apart?

Microbe Liberation!

We may not be able to recognize intelligence when we see it, and we may not respect or honor things we don’t perceive to be intelligent. That is what we did in many colonial interactions. Certain countries in Europe made “first contact” with Indigenous peoples, perceived them to be nonintelligent and therefore not worthy of life, not worthy of respect or dignity. And that is troubling to me. What’s going to be different next time?

Q. Let me push back on one aspect here, though. Might there be a degree of incompatibility between openness to other ways of being and SETI’s core tenets? After all, SETI—all of astronomy, really—is built on the assumption of universality, that the laws of physics are the same throughout the observable universe regardless of one’s social constructs. A radio telescope, for instance, will work the same way whether it’s here on Earth or somewhere on the other side of the cosmos. Regardless of context, certain shared fundamentals exist to allow common, predictable, understandable outcomes. SETI takes this conceit even further by elevating mathematics as a universal language that can be understood and translated anywhere and by anyone. What are your thoughts on this?

A. So let me preface this by saying I am not a mathematician. But I do write about math.

Personally, I am not a mathematician either. So I don’t write about math.

And there are many anthropologists who study mathematical systems in different cultures. They see that, even on Earth, among human cultures, there are different ways of thinking about math.

It’s not that Gauss was better than me at thinking about math, it’s just that we have different ways of thinking about math. His happened to be lucid and insightful, while mine is hazy and ineffectual.

And while mathematics is the language we use on Earth in our hegemonic culture to describe what we are seeing, we don’t know that another species will use that same language to describe what they are seeing. So while I don’t want to discount universality, I do think any assumptions about this are perhaps optimistic, to put it kindly. The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate

There’s that word again.

our assumptions about life and universality, because we will all too often find that they say more about us than aliens.

Rather than paying humanities and ed school grad students to ask indigenous people about how to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, you could just start a Reddit topic and ask for clever ideas from the countless number of science fiction stories on the subject.

 
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  1. OT — Pelosi’s and Xi’s big fake act over Taiwan was to distract you from the lastest big bailout. Even as war nerds babbled about balloons going up, Democrats in Congress moved to save Xi from himself.
    https://archive.ph/h0Pr0

  2. So literally dumb people trying to “correct” smarter people and not understanding why it’s not working (until it’s perversely enabled by political intervention). You could get a comic short story out of this where the PhD Ed’s insist on pointing the radio telescopes the wrong way while the guys who put the thing together bang their heads into a wall.

  3. What a waste. Eventually these people will figure out history is cyclical not linear and the fate of mankind is not god-emperors ruling the known universe and using telephaths to navigate wormholes, but insane, feral humans trapped on Earth, going extinct.

    http://fictionaut.com/stories/strannikov/the-fermi-panic

    Then nobody will care how we characterized the theoretical microbes supposedly living on some planet somewhere or whether we consulted Peruvian peasants about this.

    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy. I’m not sure we even have the civilizational capacity for cheap, reliable nuclear power any more.

    • Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard
    @The Anti-Gnostic


    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy. I’m not sure we even have the civilizational capacity for cheap, reliable nuclear power any more.
     
    I take it you don't think the Russians or Chinese will be able to build more nuclear reactors?

    Or maybe the issue is that so many things will be wrecked by the coming nuclear war that it will be impossible to recover that level of technology?

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

    , @anonymous
    @The Anti-Gnostic


    but insane, feral humans trapped on Earth, going extinct.
     
    Why do you think humans are going to go extinct?

    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy.

     

    Filter of what, into what?

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

  4. abstract concepts like “civilization” and “intelligence,” concepts that have been used to enact real, physical harm on Earth.

    Its not as though you have to hunt for evidence of intentional wreckage. It’s in plain sight everywhere you look. Yet just notice (or dare mention!) anything and you are a, um, ‘theorist of debunked conspiracies’.

  5. You wrote here:

    As far as we can tell, we’re the only intelligent life in the galaxy.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/as-enrico-fermi-would-ask-where-is/

    Maybe the explanation for Fermi’s Paradox isn’t nuclear war or environmental damage, it’s Wokeness.

    https://www.unz.com/isteve/mit-cancels-lecture-on-exoplanets-climates-over-the-scientists-lack-of-faith-in-dei/

    We hope that our probe will encounter someone in the future, someone who would be a teacher, someone who would tell others about us.

    It’s me, isn’t it? I’m that someone.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE1Zo5Ljws0

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms

    Every morning now, I wake up and hope it's all just a bad dream ... nope.

  6. I wonder if intelligent aliens from advanced civilizations would regard Earth as a complete shithole. Perhaps the follies of earthlings amuse them, and footage of our antics is currently the most-watched reality TV show in the rest of the galaxy.

    Polish sci-fi writer Stanisław Lem’s His Master’s Voice is an intriguing novel on the impossibility of mankind’s ability to decipher and comprehend an apparent message from space. It’s deep stuff.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @Right_On


    I wonder if intelligent aliens from advanced civilizations would regard Earth as a complete shithole. Perhaps the follies of earthlings amuse them, and footage of our antics is currently the most-watched reality TV show in the rest of the galaxy.
     
    That's an idea. Maybe we're all stars in some extra-terrestrials' Truman Show. Pride parades, trannies, "decolonizing" - they're taking bets on what crazy stuff we'll come up with next.
  7. As opposed to harmless phenomena like “savagery” and “stupidity.”

    No reason to gratuitously bring Nancy Pelosi into this.

    The word ‘search’ is highly problematic, with a racist past. It featured in the title of African explorer Henry M. Stanley’s famous memoir “The Search for Dr. Livingstone.”

    Is this the same expedition where James Jameson gave a (negro) tribesman six handkerchiefs so he could watch him purchase and then butcher a ten year old slave girl?

    Rather than paying humanities and ed school grad students to ask indigenous people about how to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, you could just start a Reddit topic and ask for clever ideas from the countless number of science fiction stories on the subject.

    Indigenouse people are so much better than us insensitive whites.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @James Speaks

    Is this the same expedition where James Jameson gave a (negro) tribesman six handkerchiefs so he could watch him purchase and then butcher a ten year old slave girl?

    Spiderman was right about him. Complete bastard.

  8. Search for extraterrestrial intelligence?

    I say, keep working on the search for plain old terrestrial intelligence.

  9. @The Anti-Gnostic
    What a waste. Eventually these people will figure out history is cyclical not linear and the fate of mankind is not god-emperors ruling the known universe and using telephaths to navigate wormholes, but insane, feral humans trapped on Earth, going extinct.

    http://fictionaut.com/stories/strannikov/the-fermi-panic

    Then nobody will care how we characterized the theoretical microbes supposedly living on some planet somewhere or whether we consulted Peruvian peasants about this.

    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy. I'm not sure we even have the civilizational capacity for cheap, reliable nuclear power any more.

    Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard, @anonymous

    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy. I’m not sure we even have the civilizational capacity for cheap, reliable nuclear power any more.

    I take it you don’t think the Russians or Chinese will be able to build more nuclear reactors?

    Or maybe the issue is that so many things will be wrecked by the coming nuclear war that it will be impossible to recover that level of technology?

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    I think the Russians and Chinese probably labor under the same decadent pressures we do. We've practically abolished calorie-scarcity and shelter-scarcity and entertainment-scarcity. In the US, that means you stop having kids and watch footsball and bouncyball. I don't discount the nuclear war-scenario either.

  10. Anonymous[275] • Disclaimer says:

    Is there any point whatsoever to space exploration? I thought that STEM guys were supposed to be hardheaded, cool eyed, rational types. Yet the entire impetus for space exploration appears to be capital-R Romanticism, of the sort that would have appealed to Shelley, Byron, Keats, etc. More inspired by science fiction than identifiable material needs/benefits. (E.g., The Bezos family really loved watching Star Trek when Jeff was 10. So he has a soft spot for spending millions on shooting rockets into the sky that he didn’t have for, say, anything less than perfectly rational ideas about managing Amazon proposed by his subordinates.)

    Doesn’t any annoyingly pedantic engineer ever rain on the parade and point out, “Look, the idea of sending a man into outer space would have sounded like the coolest thing in the world to me when I was 8 years old. But, as a logical adult, I have to point out that it’s, objectively speaking, a complete waste of the taxpayers’ money. So let’s limit space exploration to whatever commercial/scientific ends that can survive a reasonable cost-benefit analysis.”?

    • Replies: @epebble
    @Anonymous

    sending a man into outer space

    I agree that is a complete waste now, though exciting it was 60 years back. But space astronomy, as in sending platforms like Hubble, Chandra, James Webb is extremely interesting. Just these three platforms have given us so much new knowledge in cosmology and cosmogeny that deep space astronomy is as exciting now as quantum mechanics was in the first half of 20th Century.

    , @Diversity Heretic
    @Anonymous

    Way back in the Kennedy Administration, MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering Jerome Wiesner, who worked on a science advisory team to the president, opposed manned space exploration. In the interveing sixty years, it has proved a scientific and technological dead end; humans just don't do well in space and aren't even going to Mars in the absence of a completely unanticipated technological breakthrough in propulsion. The reason manned space exploration continues is drama--the presence of humans gives us something to relate to. The unmanned probes and space telescopes, on the other hand, have yielded valuable scientific insights.

    Rebecca Charbonneau's presence in an astrophysics department is just a way to check the "female" on the racial and sexual preferences reports;

    Replies: @Anonymous

    , @Mike_from_SGV
    @Anonymous

    Launching all the Woke into space would result in a huge leap for human civilization.

    Replies: @Justvisiting

  11. More likely, we are the backward indigenes.

    Does that mean that the colonized and the otherized objects of study will be best equipped to deal with the extraterrestrials?

    • Replies: @Rob Lee
    @Elli

    Your irony has been realized!

    The basis of the newly-released 'Predator' movie (the originator of which was Arnold Schwarzenegger fighting the titular alien hunter) is a 110 pound female indigenous American Indian defeating the alien with primitive tools. At one point in the movie she knocks out and leaves a white male as bait... At the end she becomes chief of her tribe in awesome! Disney style.

  12. special SETI-themed issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

    Huh? Why?

    Although I am sure this issue is full of gems.

    • Replies: @Malcolm X-Lax
    @inertial

    I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

  13. Fortunately, our new more sensitive society has done a heckuva job decolonizing the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

    I’m getting patterns from a Trekker
    And it sounds like soul records to me
    They’re waving hi from some gazebo
    Waving on to Arecibo to me

  14. Nerds from the race that invented radio looking for alien races who also invented radio rather than listening to bongos, rap, and Maya Angelou: RACIST!

  15. Katherine Johnson was a lightweight….German Rocket Scientists put 12 Native White Men on the Moon…not Hollywood bubble but Negro Women…

  16. @The Anti-Gnostic
    What a waste. Eventually these people will figure out history is cyclical not linear and the fate of mankind is not god-emperors ruling the known universe and using telephaths to navigate wormholes, but insane, feral humans trapped on Earth, going extinct.

    http://fictionaut.com/stories/strannikov/the-fermi-panic

    Then nobody will care how we characterized the theoretical microbes supposedly living on some planet somewhere or whether we consulted Peruvian peasants about this.

    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy. I'm not sure we even have the civilizational capacity for cheap, reliable nuclear power any more.

    Replies: @The Wild Geese Howard, @anonymous

    but insane, feral humans trapped on Earth, going extinct.

    Why do you think humans are going to go extinct?

    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy.

    Filter of what, into what?

    • Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic
    @anonymous

    Humans may be in a doom loop with technology, as over-sated humans eventually become unable to maintain the technology that abolished scarcity, which formerly motivated evolution to more intelligent forms.

    The Great Filter is the solution to the Fermi Paradox. Big-brained humans formerly capable of extra-orbital travel and harnessing atomic energy become egalitarian, practicing democracy and pathological altruism. So society's surplus doesn't get devoted to off-world travel and the energy and materials technologies to fuel it, but to Edumacation and Uplift. Stagnation and devolution lock humans on an increasingly browner, stupider planet. Then the resulting fat, lazy, schizophrenic hominids start getting picked off by other species and killing each other in hysterical outbursts of violence.

  17. “And while mathematics is the language we use on Earth in our hegemonic culture to describe what we are seeing, we don’t know that another species will use that same language to describe what they are seeing. So while I don’t want to discount universality, I do think any assumptions about this are perhaps optimistic, to put it kindly. The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate ”

    So how much did this person “pay” to go to “college”?

    “Bella Manningham thinks she’s losing her mind. In the evenings, she hears strange sounds and the gas lights dim for no apparent reason. But is she losing her grip on reason, or is it being loosened for her? Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play gave us the word we now use for an insidious form of mental abuse. ”

    https://www.shawfest.com/playbill/gaslight/

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @newrouter


    “And while mathematics is the language we use on Earth in our hegemonic culture to describe what we are seeing, we don’t know that another species will use that same language to describe what they are seeing. So while I don’t want to discount universality, I do think any assumptions about this are perhaps optimistic, to put it kindly. The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate ”
     
    OK. On the surface, this almost looks substantive. The Greeks thought of numbers as what we call "natural numbers", used for counting how many cattle there were in a field or coins in a purse for two examples, and would say "I have no coins" rather than "I have zero coins", just as kids do in the West today. Distance was thought of as what we call "rational numbers" (fractions), and only positive rational numbers at that, even though there existed a proof that some distances were not fractions (were what we call "irrational numbers". Asians thought of numbers as applying to pure mathematics or to commerce, and did have the idea of zero, or at least a place holder from "not there" for use in positional notation, but did not use numbers in abstractions such as "acceleration". [1]

    So different peoples did use different mathematics. The West changed its mathematics from 1600 to about 1900, after which the change appears to have frozen.

    The failure comes in "The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate . . .". Interrogate whom, exactly? Well, that would depend om what you're trying to find out.
    * Interrogate your own mind to develop new mathematics? Done by many, supposedly, although with increasingly poor results.
    * Interrogate people who know new mathematics, but aren't divulging it? Who are they? If you can't find them, should you conclude that they do not exist, or posit a White conspiracy to hide the new mathematics, presumably so that they can colonize people in another star system?

    Pratchett had an answer to this entire "What if we don't know?" line of attack:
    Patrician: "Could there be some form of magic that you and your univesiity don't know about?"
    Chief sorcerer (Ridcully): "Yes, but if so, we don't know about it."

    Change "magic" to "mathematics" and you have the answer to the "decolonization" business.

    1] https://math.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Applied_Mathematics/Math_in_Society_(Lippman)/14%3A_Historical_Counting_Systems/14.03%3A_The_Hindu-Arabic_Number_System
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-the-origin-of-zer-2001-10-04/
    As you can see, the idea that nobody has studied "other mathematics" is simply wrong.

    Replies: @Justvisiting

  18. Four comnents posted already and not one has mentioned Doctor Charbonneau’s hotness or round bits.

    She didn’t study to become a doctor just to be ignored. Attention must be paid!

    • Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Kylie


    not one has mentioned Doctor Charbonneau’s hotness or round bits
     
    Kylie, I could post pics showing her stout chonky legs, but the MEN OF UNZ would unchivalrously pylon despite the protests of kinky submissive prosa123 who would white knight for the stronk-leg canklebeeste.

    Replies: @Kylie, @TWS

  19. This shit is gay, I’m out.

  20. once-prestigious Scientific American:

    They really need to change the name of that magazine (not that magazines really exist anymore in the ink and paper sense – at least it’s been years since I’ve subscribed to one). Or at least decolonize the title. Maybe something like Superstitious Anti-American.

    As soon as you mentioned SA, I knew that what would follow was going to be tragic. It’s hard to believe that this was once a serious scientific publication. The people who run it now literally do not understand what “science” means.

    You have to be a complete idiot to think that the laws of math and physics are not truly universal in their application. No one in China is this stupid. Only stupid people are so stupid as to think that not understanding math is just as valid as understanding math, but “different”. The author is just trying to excuse stupidity.

    The circumference of a circle is always going to be a little bit more than 3 times its diameter. The sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle are always going to be equal to the square of the hypotenuse. The Chinese, as cut off from Western thought as aliens on another planet, independently came to the exact same conclusions because there are no other conclusions possible, at least not correct ones.

    No doubt if there is an alien civilization on another planet, they have their own version of this.

    • Thanks: Johann Ricke
    • Replies: @jsm
    @Jack D


    Only stupid people are so stupid as to think that not understanding math is just as valid as understanding math, but “different”. The author is just trying to excuse stupidity.
     
    This all started from an effort to be nice. Retarded little kids felt bad about being called retarded. So to make them feel better, schoolteachers in special ed started using euphemisms like "special." [It's right there in the name.] The retards were told, "You're not less worthy of being alive, you're just 'different.'" And, "Different is ok!"
    But the retarded didn't realize we were just saying that. They thought we actually meant it.

    So the retards went to college, and here we are.
    , @Corvinus
    @Jack D

    “They really need to change the name of that magazine (not that magazines really exist anymore in the ink and paper sense – at least it’s been years since I’ve subscribed to one). Or at least decolonize the title. Maybe something like Superstitious Anti-American.”

    Why? Just because they challenge your sensibilities in a manner that leads you to have a conniption fit?

    Replies: @Justvisiting, @Mr. Anon

  21. After reading this item about things extraterrestrial, it’s hard to argue with a recent comment from @The Alarmist (over on Anglin):

  22. Why do they run these embarrassing child-like, low-IQ articles?

    Did the guy who owns Scientific American lose a bet or something? Or maybe they figure their scientist readers will know that it’s like a hostage situation and that SA is being required to publish their captor’s manifestos. Or maybe they do it as a subversive troll to let the woke academics beclown themselves.

    But serious question: What does an actual SA reader think when they read something like this? (Maybe the answer is that they just roll their eyes and skip to an actual science article).

    • Agree: Rob McX
    • Replies: @Mike_from_SGV
    @Hypnotoad666

    When I was reading it as it started to transition to wokeness, I would just skip the BS articles. I haven't picked up a copy in 10 or 15 years.

    , @Jack D
    @Hypnotoad666


    and skip to an actual science article
     
    Are there any left? And if so, how long until there are none? Once you decide that it's acceptable to serve crap and chocolate together in the same bowl, how soon before it's 100% crap?
  23. I’ll bet the Scientific American author is unaware that the whole idea of respecting other cultures and other races of beings is the creation of generations of white male science fiction writers.

    As Gene Roddenberry called it, the Prime Directive is the most important principle guiding Space exploration.

    Before Star Trek, the Law of Contact was described in Orphans of the Void (1952) by Orville Shaara, the actual phrase “Prime Directive” comes from With Folded Hands (1947) by Jack Williamson, proper Relations with Extraterrestrial Life were described in Ogre (1944) by Clifford Simak, the proper treatment of extramundane aborigines is described in Symbiotica (1943) by Eric Frank Russell and the right of aliens to self-government is detailed in Co-Operate or Else (1942) by A.E. van Vogt.

    • Thanks: Mark G., Rob McX, ic1000, Gordo
    • Replies: @Ganderson
    @Anon7

    Although on Star Trek they violate the Prime Directive all the the time.

    Replies: @Anonymous

  24. @Kylie
    Four comnents posted already and not one has mentioned Doctor Charbonneau's hotness or round bits.

    She didn't study to become a doctor just to be ignored. Attention must be paid!

    Replies: @Jenner Ickham Errican

    not one has mentioned Doctor Charbonneau’s hotness or round bits

    Kylie, I could post pics showing her stout chonky legs, but the MEN OF UNZ would unchivalrously pylon despite the protests of kinky submissive prosa123 who would white knight for the stronk-leg canklebeeste.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Lol! So you did a Google Image search on Doctor Charbonneau, too. I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs. Apparently I was too distracted by the valley in which we are all supposed to want to dally.

    Anyway, Steve's hot journalist theory has again been proven to be true. Frankly I liked it better when we were supposed to agree that some dim tepid female was really hot without having to agree that she was bright, too.

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @Rob McX, @Bill Jones

    , @TWS
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Prosa would try to draft her to pull artillery.

  25. Whenever I feel disgusted at the Republicans, I am reminded that this is the alternative.

  26. @Hypnotoad666
    Why do they run these embarrassing child-like, low-IQ articles?

    Did the guy who owns Scientific American lose a bet or something? Or maybe they figure their scientist readers will know that it's like a hostage situation and that SA is being required to publish their captor's manifestos. Or maybe they do it as a subversive troll to let the woke academics beclown themselves.

    But serious question: What does an actual SA reader think when they read something like this? (Maybe the answer is that they just roll their eyes and skip to an actual science article).

    Replies: @Mike_from_SGV, @Jack D

    When I was reading it as it started to transition to wokeness, I would just skip the BS articles. I haven’t picked up a copy in 10 or 15 years.

  27. At Rollins, Charbonneau double majored in critical media and cultural studies (CMC) and art history. She also holds two minors, one in English and another in sexuality, women’s and gender studies.

    https://www.thesandspur.org/17523-2/

    I think she’s too modest. Clearly her study of sexuality should count as a major.

    I know that look, and there’s nothing innocent about it.

    Hey, if you really wonder how this woman got this job, you’re probably a decent person and better off not thinking too hard about it.

    • LOL: Kylie
    • Replies: @nokangaroos
    @Bill P


    Hey, if you really wonder how this woman got this job,
     
    Don´t nerds have a right to love too ?!
    (Good, I might have addressed it a bit more cheaply efficiently differently)

    decolonizing the search for extraterrestrial intelligence
     
    Woke-to-English: "Create sinecures for subpar Amerinds (and myself) or else."
    The Mafia Don´s dimwit nephew niece.
    - In the astronomically unlikely event SETI succeeds and we are exterminated
    by hostile aliens the Amerind POV will no doubt offer valuable insight;
    until such time, listening to yeast is probably a more productive use of taxpayers´money.
  28. @Hypnotoad666
    Why do they run these embarrassing child-like, low-IQ articles?

    Did the guy who owns Scientific American lose a bet or something? Or maybe they figure their scientist readers will know that it's like a hostage situation and that SA is being required to publish their captor's manifestos. Or maybe they do it as a subversive troll to let the woke academics beclown themselves.

    But serious question: What does an actual SA reader think when they read something like this? (Maybe the answer is that they just roll their eyes and skip to an actual science article).

    Replies: @Mike_from_SGV, @Jack D

    and skip to an actual science article

    Are there any left? And if so, how long until there are none? Once you decide that it’s acceptable to serve crap and chocolate together in the same bowl, how soon before it’s 100% crap?

    • LOL: AnotherDad
  29. Carl Sagan wasn’t within a parsec of Freeman Dyson in intellectual power.

  30. Another hack academic parasite, this one with a career “around” science. Answering the question: How can I pretend to be one of those (now) cool scientists without knowing any of that icky math or physics stuff. Ms. Charbonneau is a dedicated colon-ist – a sample of her papers:

    Imaginative Cosmos: The Impact of Colonial Heritage in Radio Astronomy and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    Creative Space: Art and Astronomy at the Center for Astrophysics

    Different Worlds: The Challenges of US and Soviet SETI Collaboration During the Space Age

    Catch Phrase: Insert Po-Mo Word Salad Here

    Yet another of those people to whom I would say: Your field of expertise is bogus claptrap. Your life’s work is useless garbage.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @Mr. Anon

    "Academia" is ripe for another Sokal hoax. But that would be shooting fish in a barrel.

  31. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Kylie


    not one has mentioned Doctor Charbonneau’s hotness or round bits
     
    Kylie, I could post pics showing her stout chonky legs, but the MEN OF UNZ would unchivalrously pylon despite the protests of kinky submissive prosa123 who would white knight for the stronk-leg canklebeeste.

    Replies: @Kylie, @TWS

    Lol! So you did a Google Image search on Doctor Charbonneau, too. I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs. Apparently I was too distracted by the valley in which we are all supposed to want to dally.

    Anyway, Steve’s hot journalist theory has again been proven to be true. Frankly I liked it better when we were supposed to agree that some dim tepid female was really hot without having to agree that she was bright, too.

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    @Kylie

    https://www.rollins.edu/college-of-liberal-arts/news/space-to-explore-rebecca-charbonneau
    https://cdn.sanity.io/images/qe2ul2l0/production/c2930227bf35935718517b99557d9ecf0cc7dcbd-2000x1333.jpg

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Mr. Anon, @ThreeCranes, @West reanimator

    , @Rob McX
    @Kylie


    I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs.
     
    Nature played a mean trick with those cruelly superfluous tree-trunk legs. It's not as if they have a heavy cranium to support.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @Bill Jones
    @Kylie

    Just wanted to say Thanks! for the Phycox recommendation. After just two weeks the beast is noticeably better. The walks are now half an hour without the rests. I am amazed and delighted.
    Thanks.

    Replies: @Kylie

  32. Every PBS show about space features a parade of female and POC “scientists” explaining the concepts. A show about the Mars rover had a clip of its launch ten years ago. Mission Control appeared to be all white and male. I wonder if that has changed.

    • Replies: @Element59
    @Ralph L

    Bingo! I see this too. NASA, PBS, and the Discovery Channel clumsily overcompensate by placing women and POC front-and-center as the faces of today's space science. Their actual representation in critical science positions are very low - probably single digit percentages - but let's make the public believe that women and POC are really at the forefront.

    The recent coverage of the new JWST was nauseatingly female...a never-ending parade of women educating us on the importance of the mission. The JWST Mission Control appears woke enough to give off a whiff of affirmative action hires in heat.

    NASA stopped pulling the best and brightest in America decades ago - those types all opted for far more lucrative jobs in Tech and in the private aerospace sectors. Now, they hire ungrateful South Asians and blue haired, overly pierced, quasi-lesbian, status-seeking "I LOVE Science" white females to fulfill their "diversity" obligations in narrow roles, along with a smattering of goofy looking white beta males and nerdy East Asian men who do the real engineering and planning work behind the scenes to pull off these missions.

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Unladen Swallow

  33. @inertial

    special SETI-themed issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.
     
    Huh? Why?

    Although I am sure this issue is full of gems.

    Replies: @Malcolm X-Lax

    I’m desperate to get my hands on a copy.

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @Malcolm X-Lax




    special SETI-themed issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.
     
    Huh? Why?

    Although I am sure this issue is full of gems.
     
    I’m desperate to get my hands on a copy.

     

    While you wait, another magazine to check out is Artistic Licence Renewed:


    https://literary007.com/
  34. Walt Disney opened Frontierland at Disneyland in 1955 and JFK announced his “New Frontier” in 1961.

    In between, we granted statehood to the Last Frontier in 1959.

    Fortunately, our new more sensitive society has done a heckuva job decolonizing the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico.

    Well, it’s not like that’s in America or anything.

    “So let me preface this by saying I am not a mathematician. But I…”

    “…play one on the Internet.”

    …like some great white god out of a Joe Sobran quote.

    Sobran grew up in Ypsilanti, so he would be familiar with feelings of inferiority.

  35. The golden age of space exploration coincided with an era when Americans were highly proud of their frontier heritage — e.g., Walt Disney opened Frontierland at Disneyland in 1955 and JFK announced his “New Frontier” in 1961. Now, in contrast, we are ashamed of it.

    Rebecca Charbonneau Retweeted:


    https://undark.org/2022/04/04/decolonizing-the-search-for-extraterrestrial-life/

    Decolonizing the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
    BY DOUG JOHNSON
    04.04.2022

    IN HIS 1962 Moon speech, then-President John F. Kennedy Jr. declared that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Speaking from a football stadium at Rice University, Kennedy adopted the language of the Wild West to describe Houston, Texas, the seat of the country’s fledgling human spaceflight operations: “What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space.”

    Kennedy’s speech and his characterization of space as a new frontier shaped the rhetoric of space exploration for decades to come. As recently as 2020, former President Donald J. Trump invoked the expansion of national boundaries when he referenced the Artemis program in his State of the Union address: “Now we must embrace the next frontier, America’s Manifest Destiny in the stars.”

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    @MEH 0910

    https://twitter.com/vdare/status/1559013278289993729
    https://twitter.com/StellarHistory/status/1510966497576984578

  36. @Kylie
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Lol! So you did a Google Image search on Doctor Charbonneau, too. I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs. Apparently I was too distracted by the valley in which we are all supposed to want to dally.

    Anyway, Steve's hot journalist theory has again been proven to be true. Frankly I liked it better when we were supposed to agree that some dim tepid female was really hot without having to agree that she was bright, too.

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @Rob McX, @Bill Jones

    • Replies: @Reg Cæsar
    @MEH 0910

    I am in awe of her peachy flesh. Somebody (equally peachy) knock her up!

    Incredibly, she's from Miami. You can avoid a tan there?

    , @Mr. Anon
    @MEH 0910

    I bet she gives great TED. And I would venture a guess that she f**king loves science too! Despite not - you know - knowing a single godda**ed thing about it. Look out, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, there's a new Science-Chick in town!

    , @ThreeCranes
    @MEH 0910

    There's a fragment from Ancient Greece that reads, "I hate a woman who is thick about the ankles."

    , @West reanimator
    @MEH 0910

    If psychologists wanted to do something useful, they should be figuring out how to cure White women like this from their hatred of their own race instead of convincing boys to chop their dicks off.

  37. @Anonymous
    Is there any point whatsoever to space exploration? I thought that STEM guys were supposed to be hardheaded, cool eyed, rational types. Yet the entire impetus for space exploration appears to be capital-R Romanticism, of the sort that would have appealed to Shelley, Byron, Keats, etc. More inspired by science fiction than identifiable material needs/benefits. (E.g., The Bezos family really loved watching Star Trek when Jeff was 10. So he has a soft spot for spending millions on shooting rockets into the sky that he didn’t have for, say, anything less than perfectly rational ideas about managing Amazon proposed by his subordinates.)


    Doesn’t any annoyingly pedantic engineer ever rain on the parade and point out, “Look, the idea of sending a man into outer space would have sounded like the coolest thing in the world to me when I was 8 years old. But, as a logical adult, I have to point out that it’s, objectively speaking, a complete waste of the taxpayers’ money. So let’s limit space exploration to whatever commercial/scientific ends that can survive a reasonable cost-benefit analysis.”?

    Replies: @epebble, @Diversity Heretic, @Mike_from_SGV

    sending a man into outer space

    I agree that is a complete waste now, though exciting it was 60 years back. But space astronomy, as in sending platforms like Hubble, Chandra, James Webb is extremely interesting. Just these three platforms have given us so much new knowledge in cosmology and cosmogeny that deep space astronomy is as exciting now as quantum mechanics was in the first half of 20th Century.

    • Agree: bomag
  38. @Malcolm X-Lax
    @inertial

    I'm desperate to get my hands on a copy.

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar

    special SETI-themed issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal.

    Huh? Why?

    Although I am sure this issue is full of gems.

    I’m desperate to get my hands on a copy.

    While you wait, another magazine to check out is Artistic Licence Renewed:

    https://literary007.com/

  39. @MEH 0910
    @Kylie

    https://www.rollins.edu/college-of-liberal-arts/news/space-to-explore-rebecca-charbonneau
    https://cdn.sanity.io/images/qe2ul2l0/production/c2930227bf35935718517b99557d9ecf0cc7dcbd-2000x1333.jpg

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Mr. Anon, @ThreeCranes, @West reanimator

    I am in awe of her peachy flesh. Somebody (equally peachy) knock her up!

    Incredibly, she’s from Miami. You can avoid a tan there?

  40. @MEH 0910

    The golden age of space exploration coincided with an era when Americans were highly proud of their frontier heritage — e.g., Walt Disney opened Frontierland at Disneyland in 1955 and JFK announced his “New Frontier” in 1961. Now, in contrast, we are ashamed of it.
     
    Rebecca Charbonneau Retweeted:
    https://twitter.com/undarkmag/status/1510913822676168704
    https://undark.org/2022/04/04/decolonizing-the-search-for-extraterrestrial-life/

    Decolonizing the Search for Extraterrestrial Life
    BY DOUG JOHNSON
    04.04.2022

    IN HIS 1962 Moon speech, then-President John F. Kennedy Jr. declared that the United States would put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Speaking from a football stadium at Rice University, Kennedy adopted the language of the Wild West to describe Houston, Texas, the seat of the country’s fledgling human spaceflight operations: “What was once the furthest outpost on the old frontier of the West will be the furthest outpost on the new frontier of science and space.”

    Kennedy’s speech and his characterization of space as a new frontier shaped the rhetoric of space exploration for decades to come. As recently as 2020, former President Donald J. Trump invoked the expansion of national boundaries when he referenced the Artemis program in his State of the Union address: “Now we must embrace the next frontier, America’s Manifest Destiny in the stars.”
     

    Replies: @MEH 0910

  41. As an indigenous American, I demand the decolonization of America from parasites like Tuck and Yang and Rebecca Charbonneau.

    • Agree: William Badwhite
  42. Ironically, the least harmful way of employing useless humanities grads such as these would be a form of colonialism: send them to teach in backwards countries, where there’s no advanced civilization for them to wreck.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
    • Replies: @AnotherDad
    @Dave Pinsen


    Ironically, the least harmful way of employing useless humanities grads such as these would be a form of colonialism: send them to teach in backwards countries, where there’s no advanced civilization for them to wreck.
     
    "Once upon a time" we had a perfectly serviceable program for "useless" humanities grads like this one. Meet a man with prospects in college and marry him. Or maybe first work for a few years teaching other peoples' kiddies.**

    But either way, then get on to actually being useful in the manner nature intended.
  43. … As for “intelligence,” that’s certainly a dangerous word, and it has been used in very harmful ways. Eugenics, for example, used the limited concept of “intelligence” to justify genocide. I’m therefore sometimes troubled by the word intelligence in SETI. For one thing, we might not even be able to identify what intelligence is. And because of this, maybe we [will] someday make contact and [won’t] even recognize that we’ve done so. But it’s also important to think very critically about why we search for intelligence. Is there something special about intelligence? Does intelligence deserve more respect than whatever we might perceive to be nonintelligence? We might perceive microbes as nonintelligent life, for example. Does that life have a right to exist without us bothering it? Or is it just germs—just bugs that we are going to just bring back and study and pick apart?

    Now that’s funny.

    Imagine getting paid a Harvard salary for trolling like this?

    But the serious question: Why do we fill young women’s heads with this sort of rubbish. And what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job–during her prime fertile years–of spewing more garbage in our elite “educational” institutions?

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @AnotherDad


    And what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job–during her prime fertile years–of spewing more garbage in our elite “educational” institutions?
     
    Maybe that's the reason right there. It stops otherwise acceptable females from reproducing. Meanwhile, ghetto women are popping out the next generation of George Floyds.
    , @YetAnotherAnon
    @AnotherDad

    "what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job–during her prime fertile years"

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/07/06/britons-evolving-poorer-less-well-educated/


    Britons are evolving to be less well-educated and poorer because smart rich people are having fewer children, a new study has suggested.

    Researchers have found that natural selection is favouring people with lower earnings and poorer education, with the next generation likely to be one or two percentage points lower in educational attainment than today.

    Evolution also appears to be favouring people with a high risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorders and coronary artery disease, as well as younger parents and people with more sexual partners.

    Prof David Hugh-Jones, lead researcher from University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, said: “Darwin’s theory of evolution stated that all species develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive and reproduce. We wanted to find out more about which characteristics are selected for and against in contemporary humans, living in the UK.

    The team looked at data from more than 300,000 people in the UK, taken from the UK Biobank - a long-term project investigating the contributions of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure to the development of disease.

    Each participant is given a polygenic score – an estimate of their genetic liability that roughly predicts a person’s health, education, lifestyle and personality.

    They then mapped the score to their number of siblings and children over two generations to see how the populations are changing over time.

    They found that scores correlating with lower earnings and education were linked to having more children, meaning those people were being selected from an evolutionary perspective.

    In contrast, scores that correlated with higher earnings and education were linked to having fewer children, meaning that they are being selected against.

    Researchers said the findings corresponded to the economic theory of fertility, which was developed more than 60 years ago and which found genes linked to high earnings predicted fewer children, because children brought a bigger relative loss of wages.

    Writing in the journal Behaviour Genetics, the authors concluded: “Many people would probably prefer to have high educational attainment, a low risk of ADHD and major depressive disorder, and a low risk of coronary artery disease, but natural selection is pushing against genes associated with these traits. "
     

    Full piece is here

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10519-022-10107-w


    Our coal-digging Mlle Charbonneau is employed doing something completely useless, literally a waste of resources, and at the same time she's not doing the thing she CAN do which is most beneficial to the rest of us - having reasonably intelligent babies.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @AnotherDad

  44. @Right_On
    I wonder if intelligent aliens from advanced civilizations would regard Earth as a complete shithole. Perhaps the follies of earthlings amuse them, and footage of our antics is currently the most-watched reality TV show in the rest of the galaxy.

    Polish sci-fi writer Stanisław Lem's His Master's Voice is an intriguing novel on the impossibility of mankind's ability to decipher and comprehend an apparent message from space. It's deep stuff.

    Replies: @Rob McX

    I wonder if intelligent aliens from advanced civilizations would regard Earth as a complete shithole. Perhaps the follies of earthlings amuse them, and footage of our antics is currently the most-watched reality TV show in the rest of the galaxy.

    That’s an idea. Maybe we’re all stars in some extra-terrestrials’ Truman Show. Pride parades, trannies, “decolonizing” – they’re taking bets on what crazy stuff we’ll come up with next.

  45. @Bill P

    At Rollins, Charbonneau double majored in critical media and cultural studies (CMC) and art history. She also holds two minors, one in English and another in sexuality, women’s and gender studies.
     
    https://www.thesandspur.org/17523-2/

    I think she's too modest. Clearly her study of sexuality should count as a major.

    https://www.thesandspur.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/39539979054_69bdaa5c5e_k-1024x683.jpg

    I know that look, and there's nothing innocent about it.

    Hey, if you really wonder how this woman got this job, you're probably a decent person and better off not thinking too hard about it.

    Replies: @nokangaroos

    Hey, if you really wonder how this woman got this job,

    Don´t nerds have a right to love too ?!
    (Good, I might have addressed it a bit more cheaply efficiently differently)

    decolonizing the search for extraterrestrial intelligence

    Woke-to-English: “Create sinecures for subpar Amerinds (and myself) or else.”
    The Mafia Don´s dimwit nephew niece.
    – In the astronomically unlikely event SETI succeeds and we are exterminated
    by hostile aliens the Amerind POV will no doubt offer valuable insight;
    until such time, listening to yeast is probably a more productive use of taxpayers´money.

  46. The Avengers episode Alpha (written by Terry Nation) has a wierdly relevant storyline: the bad guy is a rogue colonel who evilly (but also, sensibly) realizes that exploring space without the killer instincts of a Cortes could be catastrophic if we were to meet somebody meaner than us, and so he runs an academy for astronauts where they learn to mercilessly kill each other. This is also a major part of the beginning of the Man-Kzin Wars stories (humans are vulnerable to feline Klingons because they civilizationally outgrew war), although everything turns out alright in that, because in space, pretty much everything is a weapon, and the sort of people who would be in space usually would know how to weaponize things.

  47. @China Japan and Korea Bromance of Three Kingdoms
    You wrote here:

    As far as we can tell, we’re the only intelligent life in the galaxy.
     
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/as-enrico-fermi-would-ask-where-is/

    Maybe the explanation for Fermi’s Paradox isn’t nuclear war or environmental damage, it’s Wokeness.
     
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/mit-cancels-lecture-on-exoplanets-climates-over-the-scientists-lack-of-faith-in-dei/

    We hope that our probe will encounter someone in the future, someone who would be a teacher, someone who would tell others about us.

    It's me, isn't it? I'm that someone.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RQKp27ZDuCk
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AE1Zo5Ljws0

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    Every morning now, I wake up and hope it’s all just a bad dream … nope.

  48. @MEH 0910
    @Kylie

    https://www.rollins.edu/college-of-liberal-arts/news/space-to-explore-rebecca-charbonneau
    https://cdn.sanity.io/images/qe2ul2l0/production/c2930227bf35935718517b99557d9ecf0cc7dcbd-2000x1333.jpg

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Mr. Anon, @ThreeCranes, @West reanimator

    I bet she gives great TED. And I would venture a guess that she f**king loves science too! Despite not – you know – knowing a single godda**ed thing about it. Look out, Chanda Prescod-Weinstein, there’s a new Science-Chick in town!

  49. @Ralph L
    Every PBS show about space features a parade of female and POC "scientists" explaining the concepts. A show about the Mars rover had a clip of its launch ten years ago. Mission Control appeared to be all white and male. I wonder if that has changed.

    Replies: @Element59

    Bingo! I see this too. NASA, PBS, and the Discovery Channel clumsily overcompensate by placing women and POC front-and-center as the faces of today’s space science. Their actual representation in critical science positions are very low – probably single digit percentages – but let’s make the public believe that women and POC are really at the forefront.

    The recent coverage of the new JWST was nauseatingly female…a never-ending parade of women educating us on the importance of the mission. The JWST Mission Control appears woke enough to give off a whiff of affirmative action hires in heat.

    NASA stopped pulling the best and brightest in America decades ago – those types all opted for far more lucrative jobs in Tech and in the private aerospace sectors. Now, they hire ungrateful South Asians and blue haired, overly pierced, quasi-lesbian, status-seeking “I LOVE Science” white females to fulfill their “diversity” obligations in narrow roles, along with a smattering of goofy looking white beta males and nerdy East Asian men who do the real engineering and planning work behind the scenes to pull off these missions.

    • Replies: @Ralph L
    @Element59

    In the 80s, my housemate was designing a high res 1 inch monitor for NASA. He drove from NoVa to to his customer's office at Langley AFB on the Peninsula for the day. He had to shame them into staying past 4:30 to finish their meeting when everyone else was heading for home.

    , @Unladen Swallow
    @Element59

    It's easier with Astronomy than Physics at least as regards to women, there are probably more observational astronomers than theoretical ones, so the sex ratio among those is probably close to parity. I've noticed that on some of the documentaries I have seen that invariably if they talk to a theoretician who is actually working in astronomy it's usually a white male, ( not counting the few black guys with degrees in it, more below ) but all the observational ones are usually white women.

    These documentary shows also seem to have run down every black astronomer in the US, even if a lot of them don't seem employed in that capacity, they just have a degree in the subject. There is also one of the main narrators on these shows who is a black actor, although they have also given voice over work to the white guy who doesn't those "dirty jobs" show.

  50. @Anonymous
    Is there any point whatsoever to space exploration? I thought that STEM guys were supposed to be hardheaded, cool eyed, rational types. Yet the entire impetus for space exploration appears to be capital-R Romanticism, of the sort that would have appealed to Shelley, Byron, Keats, etc. More inspired by science fiction than identifiable material needs/benefits. (E.g., The Bezos family really loved watching Star Trek when Jeff was 10. So he has a soft spot for spending millions on shooting rockets into the sky that he didn’t have for, say, anything less than perfectly rational ideas about managing Amazon proposed by his subordinates.)


    Doesn’t any annoyingly pedantic engineer ever rain on the parade and point out, “Look, the idea of sending a man into outer space would have sounded like the coolest thing in the world to me when I was 8 years old. But, as a logical adult, I have to point out that it’s, objectively speaking, a complete waste of the taxpayers’ money. So let’s limit space exploration to whatever commercial/scientific ends that can survive a reasonable cost-benefit analysis.”?

    Replies: @epebble, @Diversity Heretic, @Mike_from_SGV

    Way back in the Kennedy Administration, MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering Jerome Wiesner, who worked on a science advisory team to the president, opposed manned space exploration. In the interveing sixty years, it has proved a scientific and technological dead end; humans just don’t do well in space and aren’t even going to Mars in the absence of a completely unanticipated technological breakthrough in propulsion. The reason manned space exploration continues is drama–the presence of humans gives us something to relate to. The unmanned probes and space telescopes, on the other hand, have yielded valuable scientific insights.

    Rebecca Charbonneau’s presence in an astrophysics department is just a way to check the “female” on the racial and sexual preferences reports;

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Diversity Heretic

    Yes, the rapid advances in robotics and AI will soon make the idea of sending people into space obsolete.

  51. @Mr. Anon
    Another hack academic parasite, this one with a career "around" science. Answering the question: How can I pretend to be one of those (now) cool scientists without knowing any of that icky math or physics stuff. Ms. Charbonneau is a dedicated colon-ist - a sample of her papers:

    Imaginative Cosmos: The Impact of Colonial Heritage in Radio Astronomy and the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence

    Creative Space: Art and Astronomy at the Center for Astrophysics

    Different Worlds: The Challenges of US and Soviet SETI Collaboration During the Space Age

    Catch Phrase: Insert Po-Mo Word Salad Here

    Yet another of those people to whom I would say: Your field of expertise is bogus claptrap. Your life's work is useless garbage.

    Replies: @Rob McX

    “Academia” is ripe for another Sokal hoax. But that would be shooting fish in a barrel.

  52. These people are talking as though we earthlings are already on the verge of heading out into the cosmos and colonizing those “strange new worlds” (as Captain Kirk used to say). So the authors are in need of some clueing-in.

    And until the day comes that sees us flying around in starships, SETI will continue to be a highly technical exercise in signal processing — surely not a good career fit for these authors.

  53. @Kylie
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Lol! So you did a Google Image search on Doctor Charbonneau, too. I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs. Apparently I was too distracted by the valley in which we are all supposed to want to dally.

    Anyway, Steve's hot journalist theory has again been proven to be true. Frankly I liked it better when we were supposed to agree that some dim tepid female was really hot without having to agree that she was bright, too.

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @Rob McX, @Bill Jones

    I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs.

    Nature played a mean trick with those cruelly superfluous tree-trunk legs. It’s not as if they have a heavy cranium to support.

    • LOL: Kylie, acementhead
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Rob McX

    Maybe developed by her forebears over centuries of pushing coal trucks in underground seams.


    Charbonneau Name Meaning

    French: From A Diminutive Of Old French Charbon ‘Coal’ Applied As A As A Metonymic Occupational Name For A Coal Miner Or Coal Merchant Or As A Nickname For Someone With Exceptionally Dark Skin Or Hair.


    It’s good of you to ask me, Sir, to tell you how I spend my days
    It's in a coal black tunnel, Sir, I hurry corves to earn my pay.
    The corves are full of coal, kind Sir, I push them with my hands and head.
    It isn’t lady-like, but Sir, you’ve got to earn your daily bread.

    I push them with my hands and head, and so my hair gets worn away.
    You see this baldy patch I’ve got, it shames me like I just can’t say.
    A lady’s hands are lily white, but mine are full of cuts and segs.
    And since I’m pushing all the time, I’ve great big muscles on my legs.
     

    https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3620489.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_xsmAk1tCY


    Or perhaps the appearance of "dropsy" - oedema, retention of fluid in the legs from "maintaining a standing or seated posture for an extended period of time", a common complaint of old time miners, has somehow become genetically fixed by some unknown mechanism.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

  54. @AnotherDad

    … As for “intelligence,” that’s certainly a dangerous word, and it has been used in very harmful ways. Eugenics, for example, used the limited concept of “intelligence” to justify genocide. I’m therefore sometimes troubled by the word intelligence in SETI. For one thing, we might not even be able to identify what intelligence is. And because of this, maybe we [will] someday make contact and [won’t] even recognize that we’ve done so. But it’s also important to think very critically about why we search for intelligence. Is there something special about intelligence? Does intelligence deserve more respect than whatever we might perceive to be nonintelligence? We might perceive microbes as nonintelligent life, for example. Does that life have a right to exist without us bothering it? Or is it just germs—just bugs that we are going to just bring back and study and pick apart?
     
    Now that's funny.


    Imagine getting paid a Harvard salary for trolling like this?

    But the serious question: Why do we fill young women's heads with this sort of rubbish. And what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job--during her prime fertile years--of spewing more garbage in our elite "educational" institutions?

    Replies: @Rob McX, @YetAnotherAnon

    And what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job–during her prime fertile years–of spewing more garbage in our elite “educational” institutions?

    Maybe that’s the reason right there. It stops otherwise acceptable females from reproducing. Meanwhile, ghetto women are popping out the next generation of George Floyds.

  55. @Anonymous
    Is there any point whatsoever to space exploration? I thought that STEM guys were supposed to be hardheaded, cool eyed, rational types. Yet the entire impetus for space exploration appears to be capital-R Romanticism, of the sort that would have appealed to Shelley, Byron, Keats, etc. More inspired by science fiction than identifiable material needs/benefits. (E.g., The Bezos family really loved watching Star Trek when Jeff was 10. So he has a soft spot for spending millions on shooting rockets into the sky that he didn’t have for, say, anything less than perfectly rational ideas about managing Amazon proposed by his subordinates.)


    Doesn’t any annoyingly pedantic engineer ever rain on the parade and point out, “Look, the idea of sending a man into outer space would have sounded like the coolest thing in the world to me when I was 8 years old. But, as a logical adult, I have to point out that it’s, objectively speaking, a complete waste of the taxpayers’ money. So let’s limit space exploration to whatever commercial/scientific ends that can survive a reasonable cost-benefit analysis.”?

    Replies: @epebble, @Diversity Heretic, @Mike_from_SGV

    Launching all the Woke into space would result in a huge leap for human civilization.

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
    @Mike_from_SGV


    Launching all the Woke into space would result in a huge leap for human civilization.
     
    It would definitely be a great short-term fix.

    The problem is that any alien races that encountered them would conclude that humans have no redeeming characteristics and must be annihilated immediately!
  56. @Kylie
    @Jenner Ickham Errican

    Lol! So you did a Google Image search on Doctor Charbonneau, too. I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs. Apparently I was too distracted by the valley in which we are all supposed to want to dally.

    Anyway, Steve's hot journalist theory has again been proven to be true. Frankly I liked it better when we were supposed to agree that some dim tepid female was really hot without having to agree that she was bright, too.

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @Rob McX, @Bill Jones

    Just wanted to say Thanks! for the Phycox recommendation. After just two weeks the beast is noticeably better. The walks are now half an hour without the rests. I am amazed and delighted.
    Thanks.

    • Thanks: MEH 0910
    • Replies: @Kylie
    @Bill Jones

    I'm so glad the Phycox helped your boy!

    It literally saved my old bulldog's life. She was in so much pain I was going to have her pts. She perked up within a few days of starting the Phycox.

    Thanks for letting me know.

  57. Luckily for us, there is no “extraterrestrial intelligence”, and very little of it on Earth, too.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @Dumbo


    Luckily for us, there is no “extraterrestrial intelligence”, and very little of it on Earth, too.
     
    This is correct. There are no extraterrestrials, period. The phenomenon of life in the material universe is confined to the sublunary sphere, i.e. Earth. SETI is listening for nothing.

    But with that being said, I would like to point out, just for argument's sake, that there might be something to this article that the scoffers here are missing. I haven't read the article in the OP (and I'm not going to), but the vague impression I have of it reminds me of something that I started wondering about as a teenager. That would be something we might call the Alien Semiotic Problem.

    After having read Contact and Cosmos and absorbing a heavy dose of Carl Sagan in my early teens, and then becoming more semiotic-oriented and reading Wittgenstein and Carnap in my later teens, the tidy package that Sagan presented started to fall apart under some very serious difficulties. Supposing there was an alien intelligence out there that could intercept our old TV broadcasts, Contact-wise. How would they know how to "play" it? How would they have any idea what it was supposed to be? Do they have televisions sets? Do they have eyes? Do they have any organs at all capable of perceiving this signal in a meaningful way?

    You see my point. A television broadcast means nothing without a television set, which means nothing without eyes and ears. Our signals can only be said to contain "information" precisely because we have devices that demodulate them back into colors and sounds that our organs can readily perceive. For an alien intelligence that lacked one or the other or both of these, the same signals would not contain any "information." At best, the alien intelligence would only be able to say that the signals are very nonrandom (i.e. low entropy), but they would not know what else to make of them.

    Everybody seems to forget that part. We think of information as a Platonic solid whose existence is eternal and perceptible to any reasoning being, but this is not true at all. Information is entirely dependent on demodulation into sense-perceptible qualia, and many of these (e.g. word and number symbols) are only sign conventions with no intrinsic meaning whatsoever. Trying to talk to an alien would be like trying to explain a rainbow in English to a blind man who only spoke Swahili---but worse.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Mr. Rational

  58. “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    • LOL: acementhead
    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @quewin

    Pozymandias.

  59. @Rob McX
    @Kylie


    I forgot to mention her sequoia trunk legs.
     
    Nature played a mean trick with those cruelly superfluous tree-trunk legs. It's not as if they have a heavy cranium to support.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    Maybe developed by her forebears over centuries of pushing coal trucks in underground seams.

    Charbonneau Name Meaning

    French: From A Diminutive Of Old French Charbon ‘Coal’ Applied As A As A Metonymic Occupational Name For A Coal Miner Or Coal Merchant Or As A Nickname For Someone With Exceptionally Dark Skin Or Hair.

    It’s good of you to ask me, Sir, to tell you how I spend my days
    It’s in a coal black tunnel, Sir, I hurry corves to earn my pay.
    The corves are full of coal, kind Sir, I push them with my hands and head.
    It isn’t lady-like, but Sir, you’ve got to earn your daily bread.

    I push them with my hands and head, and so my hair gets worn away.
    You see this baldy patch I’ve got, it shames me like I just can’t say.
    A lady’s hands are lily white, but mine are full of cuts and segs.
    And since I’m pushing all the time, I’ve great big muscles on my legs.

    https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3620489.html

    Or perhaps the appearance of “dropsy” – oedema, retention of fluid in the legs from “maintaining a standing or seated posture for an extended period of time”, a common complaint of old time miners, has somehow become genetically fixed by some unknown mechanism.

    • Thanks: Rob McX
    • Replies: @kaganovitch
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Or perhaps the appearance of “dropsy” – oedema, retention of fluid in the legs from “maintaining a standing or seated posture for an extended period of time”, a common complaint of old time miners, has somehow become genetically fixed by some unknown mechanism.

    The revenge of Lamarck!

  60. Imagine all the progress we’ve lost in advancing medicine from our bigoted exclusion of voodoo. And that’s not to mention the arrogance of all the lack of diversity in the NBA. The pygmies could really elevate basketball to a new level of elite sport.
    When will people learn… I guess humanity really is doomed to self-destruct

  61. That extraterrestrial beings were visiting our planet was obvious to us youngsters back in the 1960s. We knew Project Blue Book was a ludicrous farce and the later Condon Report a clumsy smokescreen. Even newspaper reporters scoffed at officials and their “swamp gas.”

    SETI is mainly a psyop to keep people buzzing around a distraction. The application of “Woke” ideology to the SETI business is but another layer of obfuscation.

  62. @AnotherDad

    … As for “intelligence,” that’s certainly a dangerous word, and it has been used in very harmful ways. Eugenics, for example, used the limited concept of “intelligence” to justify genocide. I’m therefore sometimes troubled by the word intelligence in SETI. For one thing, we might not even be able to identify what intelligence is. And because of this, maybe we [will] someday make contact and [won’t] even recognize that we’ve done so. But it’s also important to think very critically about why we search for intelligence. Is there something special about intelligence? Does intelligence deserve more respect than whatever we might perceive to be nonintelligence? We might perceive microbes as nonintelligent life, for example. Does that life have a right to exist without us bothering it? Or is it just germs—just bugs that we are going to just bring back and study and pick apart?
     
    Now that's funny.


    Imagine getting paid a Harvard salary for trolling like this?

    But the serious question: Why do we fill young women's heads with this sort of rubbish. And what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job--during her prime fertile years--of spewing more garbage in our elite "educational" institutions?

    Replies: @Rob McX, @YetAnotherAnon

    “what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job–during her prime fertile years”

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/07/06/britons-evolving-poorer-less-well-educated/

    Britons are evolving to be less well-educated and poorer because smart rich people are having fewer children, a new study has suggested.

    Researchers have found that natural selection is favouring people with lower earnings and poorer education, with the next generation likely to be one or two percentage points lower in educational attainment than today.

    Evolution also appears to be favouring people with a high risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorders and coronary artery disease, as well as younger parents and people with more sexual partners.

    Prof David Hugh-Jones, lead researcher from University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, said: “Darwin’s theory of evolution stated that all species develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual’s ability to compete, survive and reproduce. We wanted to find out more about which characteristics are selected for and against in contemporary humans, living in the UK.

    The team looked at data from more than 300,000 people in the UK, taken from the UK Biobank – a long-term project investigating the contributions of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure to the development of disease.

    Each participant is given a polygenic score – an estimate of their genetic liability that roughly predicts a person’s health, education, lifestyle and personality.

    They then mapped the score to their number of siblings and children over two generations to see how the populations are changing over time.

    They found that scores correlating with lower earnings and education were linked to having more children, meaning those people were being selected from an evolutionary perspective.

    In contrast, scores that correlated with higher earnings and education were linked to having fewer children, meaning that they are being selected against.

    Researchers said the findings corresponded to the economic theory of fertility, which was developed more than 60 years ago and which found genes linked to high earnings predicted fewer children, because children brought a bigger relative loss of wages.

    Writing in the journal Behaviour Genetics, the authors concluded: “Many people would probably prefer to have high educational attainment, a low risk of ADHD and major depressive disorder, and a low risk of coronary artery disease, but natural selection is pushing against genes associated with these traits.

    Full piece is here

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10519-022-10107-w

    Our coal-digging Mlle Charbonneau is employed doing something completely useless, literally a waste of resources, and at the same time she’s not doing the thing she CAN do which is most beneficial to the rest of us – having reasonably intelligent babies.

    • Replies: @Redneck farmer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Quit subsidizing the underclass, and the genetic outlook will improve.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    , @AnotherDad
    @YetAnotherAnon


    Our coal-digging Mlle Charbonneau is employed doing something completely useless, literally a waste of resources, and at the same time she’s not doing the thing she CAN do which is most beneficial to the rest of us – having reasonably intelligent babies.
     
    Yep. But she's--female compliance--doing exactly what our society--our "elites"--have told her to do.

    It's just that it is really, really stupid advice. For her and for society:

    Britons are evolving to be less well-educated and poorer because smart rich people are having fewer children, a new study has suggested.
     
    You can not fool "mother nature" ... or more simply basic math and logic.

    Our elites babble on about "equity" and eugenics as "discredited", but math and logic do not care.

    The nations that refuse these fantasies--or wakeup--and publicly acknowledge and build into their culture and society an appreciation for eugenics--for smart, capable productive people producing the future nation--will win. Survive and win.
  63. @quewin
    “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    Replies: @Rob McX

    Pozymandias.

  64. @YetAnotherAnon
    @AnotherDad

    "what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job–during her prime fertile years"

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/07/06/britons-evolving-poorer-less-well-educated/


    Britons are evolving to be less well-educated and poorer because smart rich people are having fewer children, a new study has suggested.

    Researchers have found that natural selection is favouring people with lower earnings and poorer education, with the next generation likely to be one or two percentage points lower in educational attainment than today.

    Evolution also appears to be favouring people with a high risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorders and coronary artery disease, as well as younger parents and people with more sexual partners.

    Prof David Hugh-Jones, lead researcher from University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, said: “Darwin’s theory of evolution stated that all species develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive and reproduce. We wanted to find out more about which characteristics are selected for and against in contemporary humans, living in the UK.

    The team looked at data from more than 300,000 people in the UK, taken from the UK Biobank - a long-term project investigating the contributions of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure to the development of disease.

    Each participant is given a polygenic score – an estimate of their genetic liability that roughly predicts a person’s health, education, lifestyle and personality.

    They then mapped the score to their number of siblings and children over two generations to see how the populations are changing over time.

    They found that scores correlating with lower earnings and education were linked to having more children, meaning those people were being selected from an evolutionary perspective.

    In contrast, scores that correlated with higher earnings and education were linked to having fewer children, meaning that they are being selected against.

    Researchers said the findings corresponded to the economic theory of fertility, which was developed more than 60 years ago and which found genes linked to high earnings predicted fewer children, because children brought a bigger relative loss of wages.

    Writing in the journal Behaviour Genetics, the authors concluded: “Many people would probably prefer to have high educational attainment, a low risk of ADHD and major depressive disorder, and a low risk of coronary artery disease, but natural selection is pushing against genes associated with these traits. "
     

    Full piece is here

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10519-022-10107-w


    Our coal-digging Mlle Charbonneau is employed doing something completely useless, literally a waste of resources, and at the same time she's not doing the thing she CAN do which is most beneficial to the rest of us - having reasonably intelligent babies.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @AnotherDad

    Quit subsidizing the underclass, and the genetic outlook will improve.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Redneck farmer

    "Quit subsidizing the underclass"

    To which the answer will be - "But think of the children!".

    https://cpag.org.uk/news-blogs/news-listings/two-child-limit-now-affects-almost-one-million-children


    This week, the UK Government published its annual statistics on the number of households affected by the two-child limit policy, which restricts support through tax credits and universal credit to the first two children in a family. Because it only affects families with a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017, the policy did not come in with a big and noticeable bang – its impact was felt by only a relatively small number of families in its first year. But its reach is growing steadily over time. The new figures show that 911,000 children now live in affected households. The majority (59 per cent) of those households contain three children.

    The two-child limit, a unique move among European welfare states, was introduced with the official aim of ensuring that families receiving benefits should “face the same financial choices about having children as those supporting themselves solely through work”. In practice, in-work as well as out-of-work benefits are affected, so the constraint affects those in low paid jobs as well as those not currently in employment. Strikingly, the statistics released by the Government this week show that nearly three in five households affected by the policy are households where adults are working.
     

    The policy is not a bad idea, but the Tories are useless and Labour are committed to reversing it when they get back in.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

  65. As a rule only Whites cares about the search for ET. Even tech savvy other folks, such as the Chinese and Indians, don’t bother about it.

    And it takes attention away from African Americans.

    On that basis alone, the search for ET as such might be deemed racist, except someone wants a piece of an existing funding pie.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
    @Joe Magarac

    The big Chinese sci-fi novel of the century, Liu Cixin's "Three Body Problem," is about contact with aliens.

    Replies: @Joe Magarac, @MEH 0910, @Dave Pinsen, @Bill Jones

  66. @Joe Magarac
    As a rule only Whites cares about the search for ET. Even tech savvy other folks, such as the Chinese and Indians, don't bother about it.

    And it takes attention away from African Americans.

    On that basis alone, the search for ET as such might be deemed racist, except someone wants a piece of an existing funding pie.

    Replies: @Steve Sailer

    The big Chinese sci-fi novel of the century, Liu Cixin’s “Three Body Problem,” is about contact with aliens.

    • Replies: @Joe Magarac
    @Steve Sailer

    But do they fund the search?

    , @MEH 0910
    @Steve Sailer

    Quinn's Ideas • Three Body Problem playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRXGGVBzHLUfIzEhovpQJ2ENiNvJoOD2A

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem_(novel)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Forest
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death%27s_End
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_of_Earth%27s_Past

    The Devastating Destruction of the Human Race | The Killing Star
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvMXkGwR-mo
    Jul 18, 2022


    So, I think I uncovered a treasure. The Killing Star by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski was originally published 1995 and it paints a dark and seemingly plausible depiction of humanity’s potential future. This book is about several things genetic engineering and cloning, it’s about the destructive power of fanaticism, It’s about the over confidence and hubris of humanity, and that gets really hammered home in this book with all it’s references to the titanic, which has for a very long time been thought of as one of the greatest symbols of human hubris, it’s about AI, and when it goes to far, it’s about our over dependence on technology, it’s about humanity’s indefinite survival outside of earth, and most importantly, it’s about the devastating annihilation of the vast majority of the human race.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Star

    The Killing Star Audiobook
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr9ZEt3UnJs

    The Killing Star by Charles R. Pellegrino and George Zebrowski
     

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    , @Dave Pinsen
    @Steve Sailer

    Liu has no POC ressentiment.

    https://twitter.com/dpinsen/status/1278519695876947979?s=21&t=-nnsCSDNlAYTscGVPsH-fg

    BTW, you really ought to read the sequels if you haven’t yet, Steve. They’re even better.

    , @Bill Jones
    @Steve Sailer

    Is it any good?


    I've always assumed Sci Fi is a White guy's thing. The White women I've read has reinforced that view.

    With a couple of exceptions, Atwoods "Oryx and Crake" other can't recall off hand.

  67. @Steve Sailer
    @Joe Magarac

    The big Chinese sci-fi novel of the century, Liu Cixin's "Three Body Problem," is about contact with aliens.

    Replies: @Joe Magarac, @MEH 0910, @Dave Pinsen, @Bill Jones

    But do they fund the search?

  68. In the seventies it was proposed that the indigenous peoples have already met extraterrestrials. Robert Temple’s book (The Sirius Mystery) on the Dogon tribe of Africa and their uncanny knowledge of Sirius B/C and of course Erich von Daniken’s infamous Chariots of the Gods? “They taught the Incas everything they know; they practically own South America.”

  69. @MEH 0910
    @Kylie

    https://www.rollins.edu/college-of-liberal-arts/news/space-to-explore-rebecca-charbonneau
    https://cdn.sanity.io/images/qe2ul2l0/production/c2930227bf35935718517b99557d9ecf0cc7dcbd-2000x1333.jpg

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Mr. Anon, @ThreeCranes, @West reanimator

    There’s a fragment from Ancient Greece that reads, “I hate a woman who is thick about the ankles.”

  70. Seriously? These people are careerists going for funding and affirmative action positions. The next long term challenge for Republicans is to attack the funding by going after the foundations and the legal requirements by going after affirmative action.

  71. @Element59
    @Ralph L

    Bingo! I see this too. NASA, PBS, and the Discovery Channel clumsily overcompensate by placing women and POC front-and-center as the faces of today's space science. Their actual representation in critical science positions are very low - probably single digit percentages - but let's make the public believe that women and POC are really at the forefront.

    The recent coverage of the new JWST was nauseatingly female...a never-ending parade of women educating us on the importance of the mission. The JWST Mission Control appears woke enough to give off a whiff of affirmative action hires in heat.

    NASA stopped pulling the best and brightest in America decades ago - those types all opted for far more lucrative jobs in Tech and in the private aerospace sectors. Now, they hire ungrateful South Asians and blue haired, overly pierced, quasi-lesbian, status-seeking "I LOVE Science" white females to fulfill their "diversity" obligations in narrow roles, along with a smattering of goofy looking white beta males and nerdy East Asian men who do the real engineering and planning work behind the scenes to pull off these missions.

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Unladen Swallow

    In the 80s, my housemate was designing a high res 1 inch monitor for NASA. He drove from NoVa to to his customer’s office at Langley AFB on the Peninsula for the day. He had to shame them into staying past 4:30 to finish their meeting when everyone else was heading for home.

  72. The really difficult question we need answered with critical thinking is “how do we respond if the aliens we summon with SETI are both superior and hostile?”

  73. Wnen one of our politicos says something about ‘more money for science’ I ocan inly think of it going to crap like this.

    All of our institutions need a flue brush put through them.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  74. @Redneck farmer
    @YetAnotherAnon

    Quit subsidizing the underclass, and the genetic outlook will improve.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    “Quit subsidizing the underclass”

    To which the answer will be – “But think of the children!”.

    https://cpag.org.uk/news-blogs/news-listings/two-child-limit-now-affects-almost-one-million-children

    This week, the UK Government published its annual statistics on the number of households affected by the two-child limit policy, which restricts support through tax credits and universal credit to the first two children in a family. Because it only affects families with a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017, the policy did not come in with a big and noticeable bang – its impact was felt by only a relatively small number of families in its first year. But its reach is growing steadily over time. The new figures show that 911,000 children now live in affected households. The majority (59 per cent) of those households contain three children.

    The two-child limit, a unique move among European welfare states, was introduced with the official aim of ensuring that families receiving benefits should “face the same financial choices about having children as those supporting themselves solely through work”. In practice, in-work as well as out-of-work benefits are affected, so the constraint affects those in low paid jobs as well as those not currently in employment. Strikingly, the statistics released by the Government this week show that nearly three in five households affected by the policy are households where adults are working.

    The policy is not a bad idea, but the Tories are useless and Labour are committed to reversing it when they get back in.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
    @YetAnotherAnon


    To which the answer will be – “But think of the children!”.
     
    There's an established solution to that:  implanted or injected long-term contraception for the females, vasectomy for the males.

    Give the gene pool a healthy shot of chlorine.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

  75. Wow, pretty heady stuff. I guess us white devil men gloat over our superior intelligence coz we done stole it from the poor oppressed races, which kinda explains why they are generally so backward today. Looks like some are catching up pretty quickly in the race to the lowest common denominator, though. And we thought finally outgrowing religion would solve our problems! All we’ve done is trade one folly for another.

    This looks like the “celebration of ignorance” Carl Sagan predicted in The Demon-Haunted World, “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time… when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    @Observator


    This looks like the “celebration of ignorance” Carl Sagan predicted in The Demon-Haunted World, “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time… when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”
     
    Sagan may well have been right, but - oh, the irony - the authorities that the masses dare not question are the scientists themselves. Belief in science is becoming a kind of superstition.
  76. @The Wild Geese Howard
    @The Anti-Gnostic


    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy. I’m not sure we even have the civilizational capacity for cheap, reliable nuclear power any more.
     
    I take it you don't think the Russians or Chinese will be able to build more nuclear reactors?

    Or maybe the issue is that so many things will be wrecked by the coming nuclear war that it will be impossible to recover that level of technology?

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

    I think the Russians and Chinese probably labor under the same decadent pressures we do. We’ve practically abolished calorie-scarcity and shelter-scarcity and entertainment-scarcity. In the US, that means you stop having kids and watch footsball and bouncyball. I don’t discount the nuclear war-scenario either.

    • Thanks: The Wild Geese Howard
  77. Hey, iSteve I’m old enough to remember when the problem with extraterrestrial colonization was them colonizing us. White people transferring their own malevolent motivations to mostly peaceful people indigenous to planets other than Earth .

  78. @anonymous
    @The Anti-Gnostic


    but insane, feral humans trapped on Earth, going extinct.
     
    Why do you think humans are going to go extinct?

    The Great Filter is egalitarianism and democracy.

     

    Filter of what, into what?

    Replies: @The Anti-Gnostic

    Humans may be in a doom loop with technology, as over-sated humans eventually become unable to maintain the technology that abolished scarcity, which formerly motivated evolution to more intelligent forms.

    The Great Filter is the solution to the Fermi Paradox. Big-brained humans formerly capable of extra-orbital travel and harnessing atomic energy become egalitarian, practicing democracy and pathological altruism. So society’s surplus doesn’t get devoted to off-world travel and the energy and materials technologies to fuel it, but to Edumacation and Uplift. Stagnation and devolution lock humans on an increasingly browner, stupider planet. Then the resulting fat, lazy, schizophrenic hominids start getting picked off by other species and killing each other in hysterical outbursts of violence.

  79. @Anon7
    I’ll bet the Scientific American author is unaware that the whole idea of respecting other cultures and other races of beings is the creation of generations of white male science fiction writers.

    As Gene Roddenberry called it, the Prime Directive is the most important principle guiding Space exploration.

    Before Star Trek, the Law of Contact was described in Orphans of the Void (1952) by Orville Shaara, the actual phrase “Prime Directive” comes from With Folded Hands (1947) by Jack Williamson, proper Relations with Extraterrestrial Life were described in Ogre (1944) by Clifford Simak, the proper treatment of extramundane aborigines is described in Symbiotica (1943) by Eric Frank Russell and the right of aliens to self-government is detailed in Co-Operate or Else (1942) by A.E. van Vogt.

    Replies: @Ganderson

    Although on Star Trek they violate the Prime Directive all the the time.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Ganderson

    Yes, I was going to mention this. TPD sounds fine in principle, but what happens if you come across a planet run by literal Nazis?

  80. After all, SETI—all of astronomy, really—is built on the assumption of universality, that the laws of physics are the same throughout the observable universe regardless of one’s social constructs.

    The laws of physics are just a social construct! I will nominate that as self-parody of the day.

  81. What a lot of rot. What she should be saying about these alternate ways of thinking about math is that they are wrong, but that would go against everything she’s been taught. And decolonizing? Yuck. Here’s a book by a black African entitled Against Decolonization:

    I hope his ideas prevail.

  82. @Jack D

    once-prestigious Scientific American:
     
    They really need to change the name of that magazine (not that magazines really exist anymore in the ink and paper sense - at least it's been years since I've subscribed to one). Or at least decolonize the title. Maybe something like Superstitious Anti-American.

    As soon as you mentioned SA, I knew that what would follow was going to be tragic. It's hard to believe that this was once a serious scientific publication. The people who run it now literally do not understand what "science" means.

    You have to be a complete idiot to think that the laws of math and physics are not truly universal in their application. No one in China is this stupid. Only stupid people are so stupid as to think that not understanding math is just as valid as understanding math, but "different". The author is just trying to excuse stupidity.

    The circumference of a circle is always going to be a little bit more than 3 times its diameter. The sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle are always going to be equal to the square of the hypotenuse. The Chinese, as cut off from Western thought as aliens on another planet, independently came to the exact same conclusions because there are no other conclusions possible, at least not correct ones.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Chinese_pythagoras.jpg

    No doubt if there is an alien civilization on another planet, they have their own version of this.

    Replies: @jsm, @Corvinus

    Only stupid people are so stupid as to think that not understanding math is just as valid as understanding math, but “different”. The author is just trying to excuse stupidity.

    This all started from an effort to be nice. Retarded little kids felt bad about being called retarded. So to make them feel better, schoolteachers in special ed started using euphemisms like “special.” [It’s right there in the name.] The retards were told, “You’re not less worthy of being alive, you’re just ‘different.’” And, “Different is ok!”
    But the retarded didn’t realize we were just saying that. They thought we actually meant it.

    So the retards went to college, and here we are.

    • Agree: Mr. Rational
  83. Since White people invented SETI, invasion by BIPOCs is cultural appropriation.

  84. @Steve Sailer
    @Joe Magarac

    The big Chinese sci-fi novel of the century, Liu Cixin's "Three Body Problem," is about contact with aliens.

    Replies: @Joe Magarac, @MEH 0910, @Dave Pinsen, @Bill Jones

    Quinn’s Ideas • Three Body Problem playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRXGGVBzHLUfIzEhovpQJ2ENiNvJoOD2A

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem_(novel)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Forest
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death%27s_End
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_of_Earth%27s_Past

    [MORE]

    The Devastating Destruction of the Human Race | The Killing Star

    Jul 18, 2022

    So, I think I uncovered a treasure. The Killing Star by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski was originally published 1995 and it paints a dark and seemingly plausible depiction of humanity’s potential future. This book is about several things genetic engineering and cloning, it’s about the destructive power of fanaticism, It’s about the over confidence and hubris of humanity, and that gets really hammered home in this book with all it’s references to the titanic, which has for a very long time been thought of as one of the greatest symbols of human hubris, it’s about AI, and when it goes to far, it’s about our over dependence on technology, it’s about humanity’s indefinite survival outside of earth, and most importantly, it’s about the devastating annihilation of the vast majority of the human race.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Star

    The Killing Star Audiobook

    The Killing Star by Charles R. Pellegrino and George Zebrowski

    • Replies: @MEH 0910
    @MEH 0910

    Blindsight by Peter Watts: A First Contact Masterpiece
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QQtb6fz51II

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blindsight_(Watts_novel)


    The full text of Blindsight at Watts' official website
     
    , @MEH 0910
    @MEH 0910

    Quinn's Ideas • Blindsight - Peter Watts playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRXGGVBzHLUcF9_xuNSF8c-NPM29qXxSj

  85. @Jenner Ickham Errican
    @Kylie


    not one has mentioned Doctor Charbonneau’s hotness or round bits
     
    Kylie, I could post pics showing her stout chonky legs, but the MEN OF UNZ would unchivalrously pylon despite the protests of kinky submissive prosa123 who would white knight for the stronk-leg canklebeeste.

    Replies: @Kylie, @TWS

    Prosa would try to draft her to pull artillery.

  86. @MEH 0910
    @Kylie

    https://www.rollins.edu/college-of-liberal-arts/news/space-to-explore-rebecca-charbonneau
    https://cdn.sanity.io/images/qe2ul2l0/production/c2930227bf35935718517b99557d9ecf0cc7dcbd-2000x1333.jpg

    Replies: @Reg Cæsar, @Mr. Anon, @ThreeCranes, @West reanimator

    If psychologists wanted to do something useful, they should be figuring out how to cure White women like this from their hatred of their own race instead of convincing boys to chop their dicks off.

    • Agree: Rob McX, Kylie
  87. @Elli
    More likely, we are the backward indigenes.

    Does that mean that the colonized and the otherized objects of study will be best equipped to deal with the extraterrestrials?

    Replies: @Rob Lee

    Your irony has been realized!

    The basis of the newly-released ‘Predator’ movie (the originator of which was Arnold Schwarzenegger fighting the titular alien hunter) is a 110 pound female indigenous American Indian defeating the alien with primitive tools. At one point in the movie she knocks out and leaves a white male as bait… At the end she becomes chief of her tribe in awesome! Disney style.

  88. So you CAN get a PhD in Gibberish–makes you a Doctor of Gibberish

  89. @Dumbo
    Luckily for us, there is no "extraterrestrial intelligence", and very little of it on Earth, too.

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    Luckily for us, there is no “extraterrestrial intelligence”, and very little of it on Earth, too.

    This is correct. There are no extraterrestrials, period. The phenomenon of life in the material universe is confined to the sublunary sphere, i.e. Earth. SETI is listening for nothing.

    But with that being said, I would like to point out, just for argument’s sake, that there might be something to this article that the scoffers here are missing. I haven’t read the article in the OP (and I’m not going to), but the vague impression I have of it reminds me of something that I started wondering about as a teenager. That would be something we might call the Alien Semiotic Problem.

    After having read Contact and Cosmos and absorbing a heavy dose of Carl Sagan in my early teens, and then becoming more semiotic-oriented and reading Wittgenstein and Carnap in my later teens, the tidy package that Sagan presented started to fall apart under some very serious difficulties. Supposing there was an alien intelligence out there that could intercept our old TV broadcasts, Contact-wise. How would they know how to “play” it? How would they have any idea what it was supposed to be? Do they have televisions sets? Do they have eyes? Do they have any organs at all capable of perceiving this signal in a meaningful way?

    You see my point. A television broadcast means nothing without a television set, which means nothing without eyes and ears. Our signals can only be said to contain “information” precisely because we have devices that demodulate them back into colors and sounds that our organs can readily perceive. For an alien intelligence that lacked one or the other or both of these, the same signals would not contain any “information.” At best, the alien intelligence would only be able to say that the signals are very nonrandom (i.e. low entropy), but they would not know what else to make of them.

    Everybody seems to forget that part. We think of information as a Platonic solid whose existence is eternal and perceptible to any reasoning being, but this is not true at all. Information is entirely dependent on demodulation into sense-perceptible qualia, and many of these (e.g. word and number symbols) are only sign conventions with no intrinsic meaning whatsoever. Trying to talk to an alien would be like trying to explain a rainbow in English to a blind man who only spoke Swahili—but worse.

    • Disagree: Corvinus
    • Replies: @Anonymous
    @Intelligent Dasein

    You've said in an earlier comment that philosophy after Nietzsche has degraded. How would you rate Wittgenstein as a philosopher?

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    , @Mr. Rational
    @Intelligent Dasein


    SETI is listening for nothing.
     
    How do you know this?  What have YOU listened for?

    Are you certain that your listening has been sufficiently thorough to prove your claim?  What evidence do you have to prove it?
  90. @James Speaks

    As opposed to harmless phenomena like “savagery” and “stupidity.”
     
    No reason to gratuitously bring Nancy Pelosi into this.

    The word ‘search’ is highly problematic, with a racist past. It featured in the title of African explorer Henry M. Stanley’s famous memoir “The Search for Dr. Livingstone.”

     

    Is this the same expedition where James Jameson gave a (negro) tribesman six handkerchiefs so he could watch him purchase and then butcher a ten year old slave girl?

    Rather than paying humanities and ed school grad students to ask indigenous people about how to search for extraterrestrial intelligence, you could just start a Reddit topic and ask for clever ideas from the countless number of science fiction stories on the subject.
     
    Indigenouse people are so much better than us insensitive whites.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Is this the same expedition where James Jameson gave a (negro) tribesman six handkerchiefs so he could watch him purchase and then butcher a ten year old slave girl?

    Spiderman was right about him. Complete bastard.

  91. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Rob McX

    Maybe developed by her forebears over centuries of pushing coal trucks in underground seams.


    Charbonneau Name Meaning

    French: From A Diminutive Of Old French Charbon ‘Coal’ Applied As A As A Metonymic Occupational Name For A Coal Miner Or Coal Merchant Or As A Nickname For Someone With Exceptionally Dark Skin Or Hair.


    It’s good of you to ask me, Sir, to tell you how I spend my days
    It's in a coal black tunnel, Sir, I hurry corves to earn my pay.
    The corves are full of coal, kind Sir, I push them with my hands and head.
    It isn’t lady-like, but Sir, you’ve got to earn your daily bread.

    I push them with my hands and head, and so my hair gets worn away.
    You see this baldy patch I’ve got, it shames me like I just can’t say.
    A lady’s hands are lily white, but mine are full of cuts and segs.
    And since I’m pushing all the time, I’ve great big muscles on my legs.
     

    https://nwhyte.livejournal.com/3620489.html

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m_xsmAk1tCY


    Or perhaps the appearance of "dropsy" - oedema, retention of fluid in the legs from "maintaining a standing or seated posture for an extended period of time", a common complaint of old time miners, has somehow become genetically fixed by some unknown mechanism.

    Replies: @kaganovitch

    Or perhaps the appearance of “dropsy” – oedema, retention of fluid in the legs from “maintaining a standing or seated posture for an extended period of time”, a common complaint of old time miners, has somehow become genetically fixed by some unknown mechanism.

    The revenge of Lamarck!

    • LOL: YetAnotherAnon
  92. If we find Intelligent life out there it may want to Colonize Earth. Those darn Daleks and Vogons will undoubtedly marginalize indigenous peoples or people of color unless they find them tastier than white meat.

  93. This dumb bitch is absolutely wrong: both searching for alien life and listening to retarded savages whine about Europeans are an utter waste of time and money.

    • Agree: acementhead
  94. @Element59
    @Ralph L

    Bingo! I see this too. NASA, PBS, and the Discovery Channel clumsily overcompensate by placing women and POC front-and-center as the faces of today's space science. Their actual representation in critical science positions are very low - probably single digit percentages - but let's make the public believe that women and POC are really at the forefront.

    The recent coverage of the new JWST was nauseatingly female...a never-ending parade of women educating us on the importance of the mission. The JWST Mission Control appears woke enough to give off a whiff of affirmative action hires in heat.

    NASA stopped pulling the best and brightest in America decades ago - those types all opted for far more lucrative jobs in Tech and in the private aerospace sectors. Now, they hire ungrateful South Asians and blue haired, overly pierced, quasi-lesbian, status-seeking "I LOVE Science" white females to fulfill their "diversity" obligations in narrow roles, along with a smattering of goofy looking white beta males and nerdy East Asian men who do the real engineering and planning work behind the scenes to pull off these missions.

    Replies: @Ralph L, @Unladen Swallow

    It’s easier with Astronomy than Physics at least as regards to women, there are probably more observational astronomers than theoretical ones, so the sex ratio among those is probably close to parity. I’ve noticed that on some of the documentaries I have seen that invariably if they talk to a theoretician who is actually working in astronomy it’s usually a white male, ( not counting the few black guys with degrees in it, more below ) but all the observational ones are usually white women.

    These documentary shows also seem to have run down every black astronomer in the US, even if a lot of them don’t seem employed in that capacity, they just have a degree in the subject. There is also one of the main narrators on these shows who is a black actor, although they have also given voice over work to the white guy who doesn’t those “dirty jobs” show.

  95. @Jack D

    once-prestigious Scientific American:
     
    They really need to change the name of that magazine (not that magazines really exist anymore in the ink and paper sense - at least it's been years since I've subscribed to one). Or at least decolonize the title. Maybe something like Superstitious Anti-American.

    As soon as you mentioned SA, I knew that what would follow was going to be tragic. It's hard to believe that this was once a serious scientific publication. The people who run it now literally do not understand what "science" means.

    You have to be a complete idiot to think that the laws of math and physics are not truly universal in their application. No one in China is this stupid. Only stupid people are so stupid as to think that not understanding math is just as valid as understanding math, but "different". The author is just trying to excuse stupidity.

    The circumference of a circle is always going to be a little bit more than 3 times its diameter. The sum of the squares of the legs of a right triangle are always going to be equal to the square of the hypotenuse. The Chinese, as cut off from Western thought as aliens on another planet, independently came to the exact same conclusions because there are no other conclusions possible, at least not correct ones.

    https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/Chinese_pythagoras.jpg

    No doubt if there is an alien civilization on another planet, they have their own version of this.

    Replies: @jsm, @Corvinus

    “They really need to change the name of that magazine (not that magazines really exist anymore in the ink and paper sense – at least it’s been years since I’ve subscribed to one). Or at least decolonize the title. Maybe something like Superstitious Anti-American.”

    Why? Just because they challenge your sensibilities in a manner that leads you to have a conniption fit?

    • Disagree: MEH 0910
    • Troll: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @Justvisiting
    @Corvinus

    Scientists have become little more than witch-doctors these days.

    It is time to end the bait and switch.

    So my new name for this publication:

    "Witch doctors Indigenous"

    At least then the readers would know what they were getting.

    , @Mr. Anon
    @Corvinus


    Why? Just because they challenge your sensibilities in a manner that leads you to have a conniption fit?
     
    No, s**t-for-brains, because it has grown to be an unserious and unscientific publication.

    The kind that only an idiot like you might find profound.

    Are you capable of writing even a single sentence that isn't stupid, a**hat?

  96. @Bill Jones
    @Kylie

    Just wanted to say Thanks! for the Phycox recommendation. After just two weeks the beast is noticeably better. The walks are now half an hour without the rests. I am amazed and delighted.
    Thanks.

    Replies: @Kylie

    I’m so glad the Phycox helped your boy!

    It literally saved my old bulldog’s life. She was in so much pain I was going to have her pts. She perked up within a few days of starting the Phycox.

    Thanks for letting me know.

  97. @Dave Pinsen
    Ironically, the least harmful way of employing useless humanities grads such as these would be a form of colonialism: send them to teach in backwards countries, where there’s no advanced civilization for them to wreck.

    Replies: @AnotherDad

    Ironically, the least harmful way of employing useless humanities grads such as these would be a form of colonialism: send them to teach in backwards countries, where there’s no advanced civilization for them to wreck.

    “Once upon a time” we had a perfectly serviceable program for “useless” humanities grads like this one. Meet a man with prospects in college and marry him. Or maybe first work for a few years teaching other peoples’ kiddies.**

    But either way, then get on to actually being useful in the manner nature intended.

  98. @YetAnotherAnon
    @AnotherDad

    "what is the social benefit of taking a reasonably intelligent young woman, filling her head full of garbage, then giving her a job–during her prime fertile years"

    https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/2022/07/06/britons-evolving-poorer-less-well-educated/


    Britons are evolving to be less well-educated and poorer because smart rich people are having fewer children, a new study has suggested.

    Researchers have found that natural selection is favouring people with lower earnings and poorer education, with the next generation likely to be one or two percentage points lower in educational attainment than today.

    Evolution also appears to be favouring people with a high risk of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), major depressive disorders and coronary artery disease, as well as younger parents and people with more sexual partners.

    Prof David Hugh-Jones, lead researcher from University of East Anglia’s School of Economics, said: “Darwin’s theory of evolution stated that all species develop through the natural selection of small, inherited variations that increase the individual's ability to compete, survive and reproduce. We wanted to find out more about which characteristics are selected for and against in contemporary humans, living in the UK.

    The team looked at data from more than 300,000 people in the UK, taken from the UK Biobank - a long-term project investigating the contributions of genetic predisposition and environmental exposure to the development of disease.

    Each participant is given a polygenic score – an estimate of their genetic liability that roughly predicts a person’s health, education, lifestyle and personality.

    They then mapped the score to their number of siblings and children over two generations to see how the populations are changing over time.

    They found that scores correlating with lower earnings and education were linked to having more children, meaning those people were being selected from an evolutionary perspective.

    In contrast, scores that correlated with higher earnings and education were linked to having fewer children, meaning that they are being selected against.

    Researchers said the findings corresponded to the economic theory of fertility, which was developed more than 60 years ago and which found genes linked to high earnings predicted fewer children, because children brought a bigger relative loss of wages.

    Writing in the journal Behaviour Genetics, the authors concluded: “Many people would probably prefer to have high educational attainment, a low risk of ADHD and major depressive disorder, and a low risk of coronary artery disease, but natural selection is pushing against genes associated with these traits. "
     

    Full piece is here

    https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10519-022-10107-w


    Our coal-digging Mlle Charbonneau is employed doing something completely useless, literally a waste of resources, and at the same time she's not doing the thing she CAN do which is most beneficial to the rest of us - having reasonably intelligent babies.

    Replies: @Redneck farmer, @AnotherDad

    Our coal-digging Mlle Charbonneau is employed doing something completely useless, literally a waste of resources, and at the same time she’s not doing the thing she CAN do which is most beneficial to the rest of us – having reasonably intelligent babies.

    Yep. But she’s–female compliance–doing exactly what our society–our “elites”–have told her to do.

    It’s just that it is really, really stupid advice. For her and for society:

    Britons are evolving to be less well-educated and poorer because smart rich people are having fewer children, a new study has suggested.

    You can not fool “mother nature” … or more simply basic math and logic.

    Our elites babble on about “equity” and eugenics as “discredited”, but math and logic do not care.

    The nations that refuse these fantasies–or wakeup–and publicly acknowledge and build into their culture and society an appreciation for eugenics–for smart, capable productive people producing the future nation–will win. Survive and win.

  99. • LOL: Kylie
    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @MEH 0910

    From Newton and Galileo to this. At least there's not much farther down our civilisation can go.

  100. @Diversity Heretic
    @Anonymous

    Way back in the Kennedy Administration, MIT Professor of Electrical Engineering Jerome Wiesner, who worked on a science advisory team to the president, opposed manned space exploration. In the interveing sixty years, it has proved a scientific and technological dead end; humans just don't do well in space and aren't even going to Mars in the absence of a completely unanticipated technological breakthrough in propulsion. The reason manned space exploration continues is drama--the presence of humans gives us something to relate to. The unmanned probes and space telescopes, on the other hand, have yielded valuable scientific insights.

    Rebecca Charbonneau's presence in an astrophysics department is just a way to check the "female" on the racial and sexual preferences reports;

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Yes, the rapid advances in robotics and AI will soon make the idea of sending people into space obsolete.

  101. @Mike_from_SGV
    @Anonymous

    Launching all the Woke into space would result in a huge leap for human civilization.

    Replies: @Justvisiting

    Launching all the Woke into space would result in a huge leap for human civilization.

    It would definitely be a great short-term fix.

    The problem is that any alien races that encountered them would conclude that humans have no redeeming characteristics and must be annihilated immediately!

  102. @Corvinus
    @Jack D

    “They really need to change the name of that magazine (not that magazines really exist anymore in the ink and paper sense – at least it’s been years since I’ve subscribed to one). Or at least decolonize the title. Maybe something like Superstitious Anti-American.”

    Why? Just because they challenge your sensibilities in a manner that leads you to have a conniption fit?

    Replies: @Justvisiting, @Mr. Anon

    Scientists have become little more than witch-doctors these days.

    It is time to end the bait and switch.

    So my new name for this publication:

    “Witch doctors Indigenous”

    At least then the readers would know what they were getting.

  103. @MEH 0910
    https://twitter.com/StellarHistory/status/1557450500953481217
    https://twitter.com/StellarHistory/status/1557451593485787136
    https://twitter.com/StellarHistory/status/1559134615343960064

    Replies: @Rob McX

    From Newton and Galileo to this. At least there’s not much farther down our civilisation can go.

  104. The plot of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is based on the Great Replacement of Native Americans by European settlers. In his book, American settlers replace the native Martians. Everyone who claims the Great Replacement is a racist myth is ignoring the fact that it already happened at least once in North America, probably multiple times.

    • Replies: @Joe Stalin
    @Joe H

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ftSOffHP42Y

  105. Charbonneau; obviously descended from the evil French colonists who arrived inCanada centuries ago . Also Sacajawea’s married name. Evil evil Jean Baptist and Sacajawea Charbonneau who worked for the supreme satanic slave owner Thomas Jefferson. Exploring and claiming for America the land between the Missouri and the Pacific.

    Ms Charbonneau is a colonist oppressor. Hang her high. And advise her to wear pants. Several nice black and dark muddy gray pantsuits worn with black T shirts or a white blouse.

  106. “From once-prestigious Scientific American”

    about sums it up.

    Steve notes an important inflection point here – we’re into second wave wokeness already, or something like that. after the initial big, juicy targets are already long since attacked, the woke acolytes then realize there are literally hundreds of fields of human endeavor to do a google, wikipedia based head count on, notice that almost every important person in the field was a pale penis person, then launch their own, minor campaign against it. which is still somewhat lucrative, in decreasing fashion as the fields get more esoteric.

    again showing that pale penis persons invented about 90% of everything in the world. nobody else did ANYTHING AT ALL to create or develop these fields. thousands of years passed with hundreds of millions of different humans all around the planet, DOING NOTHING. but suddenly NOW it’s a big problem (actually the thing that changed, yet again, is that they can sue or litigate about it).

  107. another note is that the woke attack on a field is usually only on academic or professional fields. they don’t care about diesel engine mechanics or something like that – a good paying industry. the woke attacker would have to actually, you know, repair diesel engines, in order to do anything in industries like that. hands on productivity stuff is kryptonite to these people.

    there’s zero room for them to sit in an office and lecture blue jeans and bandana wearing Cummins or Caterpillar guys about the diesel cycle or fuel detergents. wokesters can only do invasion and entryism in productivity-optional fields where lots of people already do nothing all day, like professors and lawyers.

    for now, we’re pretty safe with regard to these morons directly attacking the electrical grid itself, and so forth. chances of them lecturing electricians and EE grads that the frequency, amps, volts, phase of the transmission lines are ‘colonized engineering’ are extremely low. this is why these people don’t show up in the actual electric vehicle world, at least so far. we’re in trouble if they do. “This battery pack needs to be de-colonized. Redesign it, now.” yes, i realized that some of these morons have started to affect civil engineering projects. that’s minimal for now, thankfully.

    • Replies: @Rob McX
    @prime noticer

    True. But another reason they won't try to interfere with engineers etc. on the ground is that they instinctively know they can't live without them. Can you imagine the people who wrote and are cited in this article going without power or water for a month?

    Replies: @Justvisiting

    , @ic1000
    @prime noticer

    Good point. Last year, in one of the Amy-Wax-like cancellation imbroglios that are now a regular feature of university life, I wrote the Chairman of my STEM major department at my Tier-1 alma mater to ask if he or the department were aware of this latest blot on the character of U.S. academia. Did he or they plan to take a stand to defend their time-honored principals?

    I got a prompt response, and it was not the grudging, mealy-mouthed acceptance of the new woke order that I had expected. Instead, the Chair took the time to explain, as if to a not-very-bright child, the glorious new horizons that embracing our new insect overlords has opened up for the sciences. By prioritizing skin-tone and gender diversity over research and scholarship, wokism is enhancing research and scholarship! Did I know that the Department was on track to exceed the quotas for Merit and Excellence that had been proclaimed in the current Five Year Plan!

    And so forth.

    Which brings me to a request. I'd be obliged for a pointer to a book or article that's covered one of the historical cases where universities and professors were forced to come to terms with a culture that had turned hostile to academic ideals. An account of the evolution of Russian universities from 1919-on would be of greatest interest, followed by China (1949-0n). Perhaps Iran (1980+) or Germany (1933+), though those seem to be less directly relevant.

  108. I have never believed that humans are intelligent. If they were they would be living in peace and prosperity. Even our Professors are not intelligent. Would anyone argue that our President is intelligent? IQ does not measure intelligence. It measures a specific quality of mind among unintelligent beings. Like 20/20 measures the power of eye sight among unintellegent beings.

    I myself am merely human. I just pulled this out of my ass.

  109. @prime noticer
    another note is that the woke attack on a field is usually only on academic or professional fields. they don't care about diesel engine mechanics or something like that - a good paying industry. the woke attacker would have to actually, you know, repair diesel engines, in order to do anything in industries like that. hands on productivity stuff is kryptonite to these people.

    there's zero room for them to sit in an office and lecture blue jeans and bandana wearing Cummins or Caterpillar guys about the diesel cycle or fuel detergents. wokesters can only do invasion and entryism in productivity-optional fields where lots of people already do nothing all day, like professors and lawyers.

    for now, we're pretty safe with regard to these morons directly attacking the electrical grid itself, and so forth. chances of them lecturing electricians and EE grads that the frequency, amps, volts, phase of the transmission lines are 'colonized engineering' are extremely low. this is why these people don't show up in the actual electric vehicle world, at least so far. we're in trouble if they do. "This battery pack needs to be de-colonized. Redesign it, now." yes, i realized that some of these morons have started to affect civil engineering projects. that's minimal for now, thankfully.

    Replies: @Rob McX, @ic1000

    True. But another reason they won’t try to interfere with engineers etc. on the ground is that they instinctively know they can’t live without them. Can you imagine the people who wrote and are cited in this article going without power or water for a month?

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
    @Rob McX


    Can you imagine the people who wrote and are cited in this article going without power or water for a month?
     
    These jerks are doing cultural appropriation of white male technology--they should be ashamed of themselves.

    All of the woke institutions need to shut off their own electricity and no generators allowed either--time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.
  110. Well, one thing’s for sure. With people like her in charge of the search, we’ll never discover any sign of intelligence in the universe.

  111. @Rob McX
    @prime noticer

    True. But another reason they won't try to interfere with engineers etc. on the ground is that they instinctively know they can't live without them. Can you imagine the people who wrote and are cited in this article going without power or water for a month?

    Replies: @Justvisiting

    Can you imagine the people who wrote and are cited in this article going without power or water for a month?

    These jerks are doing cultural appropriation of white male technology–they should be ashamed of themselves.

    All of the woke institutions need to shut off their own electricity and no generators allowed either–time to stop talking the talk and start walking the walk.

  112. “And there are many anthropologists who study mathematical systems in different cultures. They see that, even on Earth, among human cultures, there are different ways of thinking about math.”

    Yes! We need more skepticism about the so-called “proof” of Fermat’s Last Theorem. See

    https://www.npr.org/sections/krulwich/2014/05/08/310818693/did-homer-simpson-actually-solve-fermat-s-last-theorem-take-a-look

  113. I am more concerned about decolonising the search for extra-Aldebaranian intelligence. The world leaders ought to declare that the solar system is the exclusive possession of our species – just in case.

  114. @Ganderson
    @Anon7

    Although on Star Trek they violate the Prime Directive all the the time.

    Replies: @Anonymous

    Yes, I was going to mention this. TPD sounds fine in principle, but what happens if you come across a planet run by literal Nazis?

  115. Gaahd, what a waste of time, searching for alien life. There is none.

    We have one, only one shot at seeing aliens fill the universe. That’s if we put them there. They will be our descendants. That’s one of the crosses we have to bear, we have to make our own dreams come true. Sucks, but it’s fair.

  116. The worst part of these stupid ass grifters is that most of them are on the public teat one way or the other. So not only do we have to listen to this shite, but we also get to pay for it.

    The emancipation of women is not turning out to be an unalloyed success.

  117. @Joe H
    The plot of Ray Bradbury’s The Martian Chronicles is based on the Great Replacement of Native Americans by European settlers. In his book, American settlers replace the native Martians. Everyone who claims the Great Replacement is a racist myth is ignoring the fact that it already happened at least once in North America, probably multiple times.

    Replies: @Joe Stalin

  118. @prime noticer
    another note is that the woke attack on a field is usually only on academic or professional fields. they don't care about diesel engine mechanics or something like that - a good paying industry. the woke attacker would have to actually, you know, repair diesel engines, in order to do anything in industries like that. hands on productivity stuff is kryptonite to these people.

    there's zero room for them to sit in an office and lecture blue jeans and bandana wearing Cummins or Caterpillar guys about the diesel cycle or fuel detergents. wokesters can only do invasion and entryism in productivity-optional fields where lots of people already do nothing all day, like professors and lawyers.

    for now, we're pretty safe with regard to these morons directly attacking the electrical grid itself, and so forth. chances of them lecturing electricians and EE grads that the frequency, amps, volts, phase of the transmission lines are 'colonized engineering' are extremely low. this is why these people don't show up in the actual electric vehicle world, at least so far. we're in trouble if they do. "This battery pack needs to be de-colonized. Redesign it, now." yes, i realized that some of these morons have started to affect civil engineering projects. that's minimal for now, thankfully.

    Replies: @Rob McX, @ic1000

    Good point. Last year, in one of the Amy-Wax-like cancellation imbroglios that are now a regular feature of university life, I wrote the Chairman of my STEM major department at my Tier-1 alma mater to ask if he or the department were aware of this latest blot on the character of U.S. academia. Did he or they plan to take a stand to defend their time-honored principals?

    I got a prompt response, and it was not the grudging, mealy-mouthed acceptance of the new woke order that I had expected. Instead, the Chair took the time to explain, as if to a not-very-bright child, the glorious new horizons that embracing our new insect overlords has opened up for the sciences. By prioritizing skin-tone and gender diversity over research and scholarship, wokism is enhancing research and scholarship! Did I know that the Department was on track to exceed the quotas for Merit and Excellence that had been proclaimed in the current Five Year Plan!

    And so forth.

    Which brings me to a request. I’d be obliged for a pointer to a book or article that’s covered one of the historical cases where universities and professors were forced to come to terms with a culture that had turned hostile to academic ideals. An account of the evolution of Russian universities from 1919-on would be of greatest interest, followed by China (1949-0n). Perhaps Iran (1980+) or Germany (1933+), though those seem to be less directly relevant.

  119. OT:
    https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/movies/movie-news/sacheen-littlefeather-oscars-apology-1235198863/

  120. @Observator
    Wow, pretty heady stuff. I guess us white devil men gloat over our superior intelligence coz we done stole it from the poor oppressed races, which kinda explains why they are generally so backward today. Looks like some are catching up pretty quickly in the race to the lowest common denominator, though. And we thought finally outgrowing religion would solve our problems! All we’ve done is trade one folly for another.

    This looks like the “celebration of ignorance” Carl Sagan predicted in The Demon-Haunted World, “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time… when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”

    Replies: @Mr. Anon

    This looks like the “celebration of ignorance” Carl Sagan predicted in The Demon-Haunted World, “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time… when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness.”

    Sagan may well have been right, but – oh, the irony – the authorities that the masses dare not question are the scientists themselves. Belief in science is becoming a kind of superstition.

  121. @Corvinus
    @Jack D

    “They really need to change the name of that magazine (not that magazines really exist anymore in the ink and paper sense – at least it’s been years since I’ve subscribed to one). Or at least decolonize the title. Maybe something like Superstitious Anti-American.”

    Why? Just because they challenge your sensibilities in a manner that leads you to have a conniption fit?

    Replies: @Justvisiting, @Mr. Anon

    Why? Just because they challenge your sensibilities in a manner that leads you to have a conniption fit?

    No, s**t-for-brains, because it has grown to be an unserious and unscientific publication.

    The kind that only an idiot like you might find profound.

    Are you capable of writing even a single sentence that isn’t stupid, a**hat?

  122. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Dumbo


    Luckily for us, there is no “extraterrestrial intelligence”, and very little of it on Earth, too.
     
    This is correct. There are no extraterrestrials, period. The phenomenon of life in the material universe is confined to the sublunary sphere, i.e. Earth. SETI is listening for nothing.

    But with that being said, I would like to point out, just for argument's sake, that there might be something to this article that the scoffers here are missing. I haven't read the article in the OP (and I'm not going to), but the vague impression I have of it reminds me of something that I started wondering about as a teenager. That would be something we might call the Alien Semiotic Problem.

    After having read Contact and Cosmos and absorbing a heavy dose of Carl Sagan in my early teens, and then becoming more semiotic-oriented and reading Wittgenstein and Carnap in my later teens, the tidy package that Sagan presented started to fall apart under some very serious difficulties. Supposing there was an alien intelligence out there that could intercept our old TV broadcasts, Contact-wise. How would they know how to "play" it? How would they have any idea what it was supposed to be? Do they have televisions sets? Do they have eyes? Do they have any organs at all capable of perceiving this signal in a meaningful way?

    You see my point. A television broadcast means nothing without a television set, which means nothing without eyes and ears. Our signals can only be said to contain "information" precisely because we have devices that demodulate them back into colors and sounds that our organs can readily perceive. For an alien intelligence that lacked one or the other or both of these, the same signals would not contain any "information." At best, the alien intelligence would only be able to say that the signals are very nonrandom (i.e. low entropy), but they would not know what else to make of them.

    Everybody seems to forget that part. We think of information as a Platonic solid whose existence is eternal and perceptible to any reasoning being, but this is not true at all. Information is entirely dependent on demodulation into sense-perceptible qualia, and many of these (e.g. word and number symbols) are only sign conventions with no intrinsic meaning whatsoever. Trying to talk to an alien would be like trying to explain a rainbow in English to a blind man who only spoke Swahili---but worse.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Mr. Rational

    You’ve said in an earlier comment that philosophy after Nietzsche has degraded. How would you rate Wittgenstein as a philosopher?

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
    @Anonymous


    You’ve said in an earlier comment that philosophy after Nietzsche has degraded. How would you rate Wittgenstein as a philosopher?
     
    As a philosopher, I would rate him quite low. He is significant to me personally only because semiotics was the route by which I became interested in philosophy in the first place.

    As a kid, I was a pure math and science guy and had little interest in anything else. This continued for me until about midway through high school, when a series of personal crises opened up the worlds of art and history and humanities to me as subjects worthy of attention. For someone who knows all about math but not much about metaphysics, the whole idea of "meanings" and their ambiguity (e.g the Russell Paradox, the Godel Incompleteness Theorem) becomes the path by which you start to crawl out of Plato's Cave. Wittgenstein is inevitably met with along this route.

    In my late teens and early twenties, I used to wander around city streets being genuinely tortured by questions like "If you start to distort the images of the letters in a word, at what point are they no longer letters and, when you reach that point, what happens to the meaning of the word?" That's a phase I've left long in my past; but if I hadn't gone through that phase, I wouldn't be where I am today.
  123. @Anonymous
    @Intelligent Dasein

    You've said in an earlier comment that philosophy after Nietzsche has degraded. How would you rate Wittgenstein as a philosopher?

    Replies: @Intelligent Dasein

    You’ve said in an earlier comment that philosophy after Nietzsche has degraded. How would you rate Wittgenstein as a philosopher?

    As a philosopher, I would rate him quite low. He is significant to me personally only because semiotics was the route by which I became interested in philosophy in the first place.

    As a kid, I was a pure math and science guy and had little interest in anything else. This continued for me until about midway through high school, when a series of personal crises opened up the worlds of art and history and humanities to me as subjects worthy of attention. For someone who knows all about math but not much about metaphysics, the whole idea of “meanings” and their ambiguity (e.g the Russell Paradox, the Godel Incompleteness Theorem) becomes the path by which you start to crawl out of Plato’s Cave. Wittgenstein is inevitably met with along this route.

    In my late teens and early twenties, I used to wander around city streets being genuinely tortured by questions like “If you start to distort the images of the letters in a word, at what point are they no longer letters and, when you reach that point, what happens to the meaning of the word?” That’s a phase I’ve left long in my past; but if I hadn’t gone through that phase, I wouldn’t be where I am today.

  124. @Steve Sailer
    @Joe Magarac

    The big Chinese sci-fi novel of the century, Liu Cixin's "Three Body Problem," is about contact with aliens.

    Replies: @Joe Magarac, @MEH 0910, @Dave Pinsen, @Bill Jones

    Liu has no POC ressentiment.

    BTW, you really ought to read the sequels if you haven’t yet, Steve. They’re even better.

  125. @YetAnotherAnon
    @Redneck farmer

    "Quit subsidizing the underclass"

    To which the answer will be - "But think of the children!".

    https://cpag.org.uk/news-blogs/news-listings/two-child-limit-now-affects-almost-one-million-children


    This week, the UK Government published its annual statistics on the number of households affected by the two-child limit policy, which restricts support through tax credits and universal credit to the first two children in a family. Because it only affects families with a third or subsequent child born on or after 6 April 2017, the policy did not come in with a big and noticeable bang – its impact was felt by only a relatively small number of families in its first year. But its reach is growing steadily over time. The new figures show that 911,000 children now live in affected households. The majority (59 per cent) of those households contain three children.

    The two-child limit, a unique move among European welfare states, was introduced with the official aim of ensuring that families receiving benefits should “face the same financial choices about having children as those supporting themselves solely through work”. In practice, in-work as well as out-of-work benefits are affected, so the constraint affects those in low paid jobs as well as those not currently in employment. Strikingly, the statistics released by the Government this week show that nearly three in five households affected by the policy are households where adults are working.
     

    The policy is not a bad idea, but the Tories are useless and Labour are committed to reversing it when they get back in.

    Replies: @Mr. Rational

    To which the answer will be – “But think of the children!”.

    There’s an established solution to that:  implanted or injected long-term contraception for the females, vasectomy for the males.

    Give the gene pool a healthy shot of chlorine.

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    @Mr. Rational

    I spent a few months on benefits in the 1970s, not sure I'd have fancied the snip. OTOH, if it was a job or a snip, I'd probably have got a job!

  126. @Intelligent Dasein
    @Dumbo


    Luckily for us, there is no “extraterrestrial intelligence”, and very little of it on Earth, too.
     
    This is correct. There are no extraterrestrials, period. The phenomenon of life in the material universe is confined to the sublunary sphere, i.e. Earth. SETI is listening for nothing.

    But with that being said, I would like to point out, just for argument's sake, that there might be something to this article that the scoffers here are missing. I haven't read the article in the OP (and I'm not going to), but the vague impression I have of it reminds me of something that I started wondering about as a teenager. That would be something we might call the Alien Semiotic Problem.

    After having read Contact and Cosmos and absorbing a heavy dose of Carl Sagan in my early teens, and then becoming more semiotic-oriented and reading Wittgenstein and Carnap in my later teens, the tidy package that Sagan presented started to fall apart under some very serious difficulties. Supposing there was an alien intelligence out there that could intercept our old TV broadcasts, Contact-wise. How would they know how to "play" it? How would they have any idea what it was supposed to be? Do they have televisions sets? Do they have eyes? Do they have any organs at all capable of perceiving this signal in a meaningful way?

    You see my point. A television broadcast means nothing without a television set, which means nothing without eyes and ears. Our signals can only be said to contain "information" precisely because we have devices that demodulate them back into colors and sounds that our organs can readily perceive. For an alien intelligence that lacked one or the other or both of these, the same signals would not contain any "information." At best, the alien intelligence would only be able to say that the signals are very nonrandom (i.e. low entropy), but they would not know what else to make of them.

    Everybody seems to forget that part. We think of information as a Platonic solid whose existence is eternal and perceptible to any reasoning being, but this is not true at all. Information is entirely dependent on demodulation into sense-perceptible qualia, and many of these (e.g. word and number symbols) are only sign conventions with no intrinsic meaning whatsoever. Trying to talk to an alien would be like trying to explain a rainbow in English to a blind man who only spoke Swahili---but worse.

    Replies: @Anonymous, @Mr. Rational

    SETI is listening for nothing.

    How do you know this?  What have YOU listened for?

    Are you certain that your listening has been sufficiently thorough to prove your claim?  What evidence do you have to prove it?

  127. Anonymous[393] • Disclaimer says:
    @newrouter
    "And while mathematics is the language we use on Earth in our hegemonic culture to describe what we are seeing, we don’t know that another species will use that same language to describe what they are seeing. So while I don’t want to discount universality, I do think any assumptions about this are perhaps optimistic, to put it kindly. The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate "

    So how much did this person "pay" to go to "college"?

    "Bella Manningham thinks she’s losing her mind. In the evenings, she hears strange sounds and the gas lights dim for no apparent reason. But is she losing her grip on reason, or is it being loosened for her? Patrick Hamilton’s 1938 play gave us the word we now use for an insidious form of mental abuse. "

    https://www.shawfest.com/playbill/gaslight/

    Replies: @Anonymous

    “And while mathematics is the language we use on Earth in our hegemonic culture to describe what we are seeing, we don’t know that another species will use that same language to describe what they are seeing. So while I don’t want to discount universality, I do think any assumptions about this are perhaps optimistic, to put it kindly. The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate ”

    OK. On the surface, this almost looks substantive. The Greeks thought of numbers as what we call “natural numbers”, used for counting how many cattle there were in a field or coins in a purse for two examples, and would say “I have no coins” rather than “I have zero coins”, just as kids do in the West today. Distance was thought of as what we call “rational numbers” (fractions), and only positive rational numbers at that, even though there existed a proof that some distances were not fractions (were what we call “irrational numbers”. Asians thought of numbers as applying to pure mathematics or to commerce, and did have the idea of zero, or at least a place holder from “not there” for use in positional notation, but did not use numbers in abstractions such as “acceleration”. [1]

    So different peoples did use different mathematics. The West changed its mathematics from 1600 to about 1900, after which the change appears to have frozen.

    The failure comes in “The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate . . .”. Interrogate whom, exactly? Well, that would depend om what you’re trying to find out.
    * Interrogate your own mind to develop new mathematics? Done by many, supposedly, although with increasingly poor results.
    * Interrogate people who know new mathematics, but aren’t divulging it? Who are they? If you can’t find them, should you conclude that they do not exist, or posit a White conspiracy to hide the new mathematics, presumably so that they can colonize people in another star system?

    Pratchett had an answer to this entire “What if we don’t know?” line of attack:
    Patrician: “Could there be some form of magic that you and your univesiity don’t know about?”
    Chief sorcerer (Ridcully): “Yes, but if so, we don’t know about it.”

    Change “magic” to “mathematics” and you have the answer to the “decolonization” business.

    1] https://math.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Applied_Mathematics/Math_in_Society_(Lippman)/14%3A_Historical_Counting_Systems/14.03%3A_The_Hindu-Arabic_Number_System
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-the-origin-of-zer-2001-10-04/
    As you can see, the idea that nobody has studied “other mathematics” is simply wrong.

    • Replies: @Justvisiting
    @Anonymous

    With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke:

    "Advanced woke science is virtually indistinguishable from magic."

  128. @Anonymous
    @newrouter


    “And while mathematics is the language we use on Earth in our hegemonic culture to describe what we are seeing, we don’t know that another species will use that same language to describe what they are seeing. So while I don’t want to discount universality, I do think any assumptions about this are perhaps optimistic, to put it kindly. The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate ”
     
    OK. On the surface, this almost looks substantive. The Greeks thought of numbers as what we call "natural numbers", used for counting how many cattle there were in a field or coins in a purse for two examples, and would say "I have no coins" rather than "I have zero coins", just as kids do in the West today. Distance was thought of as what we call "rational numbers" (fractions), and only positive rational numbers at that, even though there existed a proof that some distances were not fractions (were what we call "irrational numbers". Asians thought of numbers as applying to pure mathematics or to commerce, and did have the idea of zero, or at least a place holder from "not there" for use in positional notation, but did not use numbers in abstractions such as "acceleration". [1]

    So different peoples did use different mathematics. The West changed its mathematics from 1600 to about 1900, after which the change appears to have frozen.

    The failure comes in "The core of what I’m trying to say is that we must critically interrogate . . .". Interrogate whom, exactly? Well, that would depend om what you're trying to find out.
    * Interrogate your own mind to develop new mathematics? Done by many, supposedly, although with increasingly poor results.
    * Interrogate people who know new mathematics, but aren't divulging it? Who are they? If you can't find them, should you conclude that they do not exist, or posit a White conspiracy to hide the new mathematics, presumably so that they can colonize people in another star system?

    Pratchett had an answer to this entire "What if we don't know?" line of attack:
    Patrician: "Could there be some form of magic that you and your univesiity don't know about?"
    Chief sorcerer (Ridcully): "Yes, but if so, we don't know about it."

    Change "magic" to "mathematics" and you have the answer to the "decolonization" business.

    1] https://math.libretexts.org/Bookshelves/Applied_Mathematics/Math_in_Society_(Lippman)/14%3A_Historical_Counting_Systems/14.03%3A_The_Hindu-Arabic_Number_System
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/what-is-the-origin-of-zer-2001-10-04/
    As you can see, the idea that nobody has studied "other mathematics" is simply wrong.

    Replies: @Justvisiting

    With apologies to Arthur C. Clarke:

    “Advanced woke science is virtually indistinguishable from magic.”

  129. @Mr. Rational
    @YetAnotherAnon


    To which the answer will be – “But think of the children!”.
     
    There's an established solution to that:  implanted or injected long-term contraception for the females, vasectomy for the males.

    Give the gene pool a healthy shot of chlorine.

    Replies: @YetAnotherAnon

    I spent a few months on benefits in the 1970s, not sure I’d have fancied the snip. OTOH, if it was a job or a snip, I’d probably have got a job!

  130. It might be hilarious though if we could find extraterrestrials whose cultures perhaps resemble something other than 1960s-optimistic Western liberal peoples.

    Maybe the aliens would like to trade for malt liquor 40 oz bottles and gold grills with us? Or who get belligerent with humans occasionally but mostly participate in intra-alien feuds with each other?

    Or they’d offer us their exotic delicacies in exchange for our pangolin and bats? And be otherwise really indifferent to us?

    Or their version of female circumcision involves killing all women and extracting the uterus to grow male children in an otherwise artificial lab?

    Sci fi aliens are either bloodthirsty conquering monsters or enlightened all wise brahmin. Something in between would violate the tropes but be not all that surprising in hindsight.

  131. Oh dear oh dear. ET aborigines are trying to contact us with interstellar drumbeats but our White SETI scientists are too colonized to understand their signal!

    Babylon Bee got nothin’ on these people.

    Is there anything Whites do that can’t be improved by addition of <80 IQ sub-Saharans?

    • LOL: Mr. Rational
  132. @MEH 0910
    @Steve Sailer

    Quinn's Ideas • Three Body Problem playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRXGGVBzHLUfIzEhovpQJ2ENiNvJoOD2A

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem_(novel)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Forest
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death%27s_End
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_of_Earth%27s_Past

    The Devastating Destruction of the Human Race | The Killing Star
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvMXkGwR-mo
    Jul 18, 2022


    So, I think I uncovered a treasure. The Killing Star by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski was originally published 1995 and it paints a dark and seemingly plausible depiction of humanity’s potential future. This book is about several things genetic engineering and cloning, it’s about the destructive power of fanaticism, It’s about the over confidence and hubris of humanity, and that gets really hammered home in this book with all it’s references to the titanic, which has for a very long time been thought of as one of the greatest symbols of human hubris, it’s about AI, and when it goes to far, it’s about our over dependence on technology, it’s about humanity’s indefinite survival outside of earth, and most importantly, it’s about the devastating annihilation of the vast majority of the human race.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Star

    The Killing Star Audiobook
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr9ZEt3UnJs

    The Killing Star by Charles R. Pellegrino and George Zebrowski
     

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

  133. @Steve Sailer
    @Joe Magarac

    The big Chinese sci-fi novel of the century, Liu Cixin's "Three Body Problem," is about contact with aliens.

    Replies: @Joe Magarac, @MEH 0910, @Dave Pinsen, @Bill Jones

    Is it any good?

    I’ve always assumed Sci Fi is a White guy’s thing. The White women I’ve read has reinforced that view.

    With a couple of exceptions, Atwoods “Oryx and Crake” other can’t recall off hand.

  134. @MEH 0910
    @Steve Sailer

    Quinn's Ideas • Three Body Problem playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRXGGVBzHLUfIzEhovpQJ2ENiNvJoOD2A

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Three-Body_Problem_(novel)
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Dark_Forest
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death%27s_End
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Remembrance_of_Earth%27s_Past

    The Devastating Destruction of the Human Race | The Killing Star
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvMXkGwR-mo
    Jul 18, 2022


    So, I think I uncovered a treasure. The Killing Star by Charles Pellegrino and George Zebrowski was originally published 1995 and it paints a dark and seemingly plausible depiction of humanity’s potential future. This book is about several things genetic engineering and cloning, it’s about the destructive power of fanaticism, It’s about the over confidence and hubris of humanity, and that gets really hammered home in this book with all it’s references to the titanic, which has for a very long time been thought of as one of the greatest symbols of human hubris, it’s about AI, and when it goes to far, it’s about our over dependence on technology, it’s about humanity’s indefinite survival outside of earth, and most importantly, it’s about the devastating annihilation of the vast majority of the human race.
     
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Killing_Star

    The Killing Star Audiobook
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vr9ZEt3UnJs

    The Killing Star by Charles R. Pellegrino and George Zebrowski
     

    Replies: @MEH 0910, @MEH 0910

    Quinn’s Ideas • Blindsight – Peter Watts playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLRXGGVBzHLUcF9_xuNSF8c-NPM29qXxSj

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