Saturday, May 08, 2010

Rayguns, Space germs, and Titanium

Even in our own envisioning of encounters with an alien race, we dont perceive them as pleasant.

Assuming that space-faring aliens exist, and that they are anything like us, Steven Hawking is probably correct.

Though it was posited even in Hawking's own "A Brief History of Time" that in order to develop a space faring, interstellar civilization, any alien race would have to be peaceful enough to have not destroyed themselves or their planet before acquiring space travel.

That thought kind of glosses over the fact that space technology is closely linked to military technology on our planet. Again, we tend to envision our own forays into space as military in nature. A species need not be beneficent in order to develop technology, even if the bar is particularly high for the entry into rocket science. That society just has to be pretty large and have access to plenty of resources. Like the U.S., U.S.S.R. and now China and India.

The cold war is a particularly good example for a caviat to the above proposed rule. Sure a society has to be peaceful enough not to destroy itself with the technology that leads up to space travel but that thought is only meaningful with reference to our own history. Sure nuclear power arose in society around the same time as space travel. Space travel developed as a means to deliver nuclear explosives. And that competition produced rapid advancement of the two technologies such that both advanced cultures would have been destroyed if either was warlike enough to use that technology. But then the threshold of "peacefulness" is pretty low.

Not to mention it assumes a parallel history and a culture built around out-group antagonism.

A bunch of real scientists have similar but more intelligent things to say.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Friday, January 01, 2010

The Friday Bacon

Friday, December 25, 2009

The Friday Bacon

Saturday, December 19, 2009

So it's come to this: a slight, indirect defense of W.

Friends, poor men, countrymen, lend me your beers! Cause I need to kill off the rest of my braincells after my most recent rage induced aneurysm.

As we all know, the U.S. economy is like a fish flopping on the dock right now. It is gasping and flopping. It isn't dead and gone, though, and, if good catch and release practices are used, it will be swimming once again. However, there is still the possibility it could be carved up for a lovely Chinese dish, too.

And, like in any good political crisis, pundits and office holders on "both sides" are blaming one another. As Obama's time in office drew further away from election day, the memories of the conservatives faded. They could not remember that the crisis started under Bush's reign (of terror.) So, they began treating Obama like the new Hoover, and blaming him and his Democratic allies for the recession. Not being a dullard, I never bought into that. I am ot saying they have done some great job responding to it, but they certainly didn't bring it about, they weren't in office yet.

So, naturally, I took a bit of the "other side's" argument to heart. That being, Bush and the Republicans pushed through too much deregulation which allowed these greedy bankers to cut corners and make unstable investments. It makes sense. Bush is a "free marketer" and the investments at the heart of the collapse were investments that could not have been done under old rules.

Now, I don't know if deregulation caused the recession; I know far too little about economics and the banking system to make that claim. It is a good topic for debate, because there are compelling arguments both ways, and discussing and challenging each other on important issues like that is what we should be doing. What I previously thought was indisputable though, is that it was Bush and the elephants that pushed through deregulation. I am sure they did to some degree, it would fit their M.O.

However, I recently read that under the Clinton administration, working with a Republican majority Congress and some turncoat Dems, repealed the Glass-Steagall Act. The act was designed to keep investment and lending banks separate. I have never liked or trusted Clinton, politically, or Democrats in general. And the less said about Republicans the better. But I at least thought there was some sort of guiding ideology to them. Sure, they both work to screw us all over, but in different ways.

I boil over thing of all the liberals out there bashing Bush ( and Regan) for deregulation when it seems it was there beloved Bill Clinton who took a very important and far reaching step in deregulation. I am sure Bush would have done the same repeal if it hadn't already been done, but he didn't do it. It was Clinton. So, let's bash Bush for the treasonous things we know he did, and stop applying blame to him for everything wrong with us now. That makes him a scapegoat, and we all know who famously used scapegoats.

Oops, thread over.

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Friday Bacon

Friday, December 11, 2009

The Friday Bacon

Friday, December 04, 2009

The Friday Bacon

I think this is hydrogenated vegetable oil made to appear to be cheese and mixed with bacon.

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Friday Bacon

Thats Bacon floating on top of a can of Bush's Baked Beans. Photo snapped while camping.