Saturday, August 12, 2017
  Aberree and UD

I'm perpetually irritated by the pointless and unjustifiable focus on space and missiles.

Using "the space program" as a marker for advancement is the worst result of this focus.

From the Hart article cited yesterday:

Man is what he thinks he is, and he can go just as far as he permits himself. ... However, when one segment of Man starts spanning space with rockets and looking toward the planets,... he is physically growing up. He should also grow up spiritually.

UncommonDescent, obsessed as always with the "made in the image of God" ratshit, feels the need to push everything except humans out of the consciousness bucket:

Actually, the claim does not make any sense at all. Only humans have the kind of consciousness that would produce a space program. Compared to sponges, octopuses are smart. But that does not make them anything like humans.

= = = = =

Tired of this crap.

In the first fucking place, consciousness CANNOT be judged from the outside. There is NO SCIENTIFIC OR PHILOSOPHICAL REASON to draw ANY LINE AT ALL among living things. If we are conscious, plants and bacteria are conscious. A line between living and non-living is more plausible but still not objectively justifiable.

We can judge some external signs like dreaming. By that standard cephalopods OBJECTIVELY belong in the same category as mammals. Cuttlefish unquestionably have dreams that look the same from the outside as human or dog dreams.

Hart is somewhat closer to the truth when he specifies 'one segment', but both are missing the point.

In the second fucking place, ants and termites have always organized to accomplish BIG THINGS. Does this automatically move them into the same category as mammals and cephalopods?

In the third fucking place, people have been organizing to accomplish BIG THINGS for at least 10k years. In Babylonian and Aztec ruins we see massive irrigation systems and dams and huge religious structures.

Missiles to the moon have been POSSIBLE since China developed fireworks 1k years ago. There's no COGNITIVE reason why China couldn't have built a huge rocket with enough thrust and fuel to break out of orbit. The potential grew even stronger 200 years ago when Newton and Kepler understood the parabolas and ellipses of orbits. Cannon and steam technology could easily have produced a practical rocket.

When US and USSR finally DECIDED to do the missile thing, the DECISION didn't move the American and Russian 'segments' of humanity into a different category.

In fact the decision DIMINISHED both 'segments'.

We were WASTING massive amounts of money and labor and brainpower on a purely symbolic PISSING CONTEST. The same money and labor could have gone into useful and helpful projects like irrigation systems.

If "the space program" is the criterion, then Russian apes magically became Russian humans on Oct 4, 1957. USA STRONG apes became USA STRONG humans on Jan 31, 1958. A few other 'segments' of apes have become human since then, but most 'segments' of apes are still apes. Do you really want to make that claim?

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Polistra was named after the original townsite of Manhattan (the one in Kansas). When I was growing up in Manhattan, I spent a lot of time exploring by foot, bike, and car. I discovered the ruins of an old mill along Wildcat Creek, and decided (inaccurately) that it was the remains of the original site of Polistra. Accurate or not, I've always liked the name, with its echoes of Poland (an under-appreciated friend of freedom) and stars. ==== The title icon is explained here. ==== Switchover: This 2007 entry marks a sharp change in worldview from neocon to pure populist. ===== The long illustrated story of Polistra's Dream is a time-travel fable, attempting to answer the dangerous revision of New Deal history propagated by Amity Shlaes. The Dream has 8 episodes, linked in a chain from the first. This entry explains the Shlaes connection.

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