Archive for September, 2009

Something to ponder

Posted in Odds on September 29, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

I probably have over twenty bookmarks. A few are fancy with flair, which I just use to spruce up my bookshelves. Most are simple thin cardboard – either plain or laminated – printed with logos for companies or events. Some I’ve had for a decade or more, and they are bent or faded or torn and I wonder how do you tell when it’s time to throw them away? Technically, as long as there is something with which you can use to mark your place in a book, it’s still a bookmark. If you rip a bookmark in half, you end up with two bookmarks.

I think I did throw a bookmark away about a year ago. It had seen its way through many a book, and I think it was on the verge of disintegrating. I threw it away mainly so I could start working on another bookmark.

What? You were expected something profound on a blog?

A prediction

Posted in Humor, Religion, Science on September 29, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

I predict that December 22, 2012 will begin like most mornings, although there will be more hangovers because of all the “End of the World” parties. 99.99% of people will laugh off the idiocy of the doomsdayers and continue their lives. Of those who truly thought the world was going to end, some will actually be upset that it didn’t; now they’ll have to pay off those gigantic doomsday bunkers that they built. The rest will probably just assume that their prayers (happy thoughts) prevented the disaster.

And I will link back to this blog as proof that I’m a prophet. :P

The Moon or Mars?

Posted in Science, Spaceflight on September 25, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

Of late there has been much discussion over whether we should focus our space exploration on returning to the Moon or going to Mars. Well, here’s my two cents.

The Moon, hands down. Don’t get me wrong, I like Mars and can’t wait until we go there, but this is what I think will be on Mars 200 years from now: a few thousand people. There will probably be a main spaceport, and numerous bases around the planet, think Antarctica on a far larger scale. The main research will be if there was/is life there. If it is found, you can pretty much scrap those giant domed cities you find so often in scifi. Martians will trump urban sprawl. But if life isn’t found, then we’ll just keep looking, and the possibilities of Martians will trump urban sprawl.

Now, does the Moon get my vote just because of these problems on Mars? No. The Moon is far better than Mars in evolving humanity into a space faring species. While there is interesting selenology (lunar geology), the lunar outposts will soon grow into lunar factories. There will be factories on Mars, but most of their products will just be for Mars. Why ship a sledgehammer all the way from Earth when you could just make one here? But with a lower gravity and no atmosphere to deal with, the products from the lunar factories will probably go into lunar orbit and from there out to the asteroids.

From Earth we could launch a mission to the Near Earth Asteroids using the same equipment we go to the moon with, but throwing in the resources of the Moon means we could do so much more. And among the asteroids is where we will truly become a space faring species. Learning to live on Mars lets you live on Mars. In that sense, focusing on Mars is like going down a dead end street, it may be interesting, but you don’t really go anywhere. In contrast, learning to live on the Moon and the asteroids lets you live everywhere else in the solar system except the Gas Giants and Venus. We need to learn to live in space because there is far more space than there are planets. I said that I expect a few thousand people to be living on Mars 200 years from now. 200 years from now there may be just as many people living on asteroids, but I bet their population growth will be ten times greater than that of Mars.

So, Mars is interesting, but we will be able to do so much more going to the Moon and the asteroids.

Competition

Posted in Rant, Religion, Science on September 22, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

Over the years I’ve often wondered what I was.  An atheist?  A secular humanist?  A bright?  None seem to fully fit.  Recently, I figured out the best description of me is a Realist.  I accept the real world as described by science and reason.  Some will say that’s all find and dandy, but what about purpose?  My usual reply had been, “Why does there need to be ‘a purpose?’” While that is still a valid answer/question, I have come up with another answer.

Living in reality, I see that humanity has but two options: Evolution or Extinction.  By that I mean we can either embrace the Future, spread out amongst the stars, and over the millennia evolve beyond Homo sapiens, or we can stay here and fall to our own ignorance.  My purpose is to try to push humanity one millimeter close to this Future, leaving the world a better place than I found it.  Some will say those are lovely words, but what do they mean?  What does it mean when others use flowery language to describe their versions of the purpose of life?  Say I found glorious happiness or whatever.  If humanity then became extinct and everything about us fell into dust, what would have been the point?

So I embark to push humanity forward, but I face competition.  There are psychopaths out there who want Humans to be extinct, but their numbers are few (I hope).  My competition is mostly groups and individuals who instead of forward push humanity sideways, largely (I believe) in a quest for power for themselves or those like them.  I don’t want to put it in terms of you’re either with me or against me.  They’re not pulling us back from the Future, but they are diverting energies from the forward motion.  This results with them acting as a dead weight holding humanity back.

Since it is wise to keep track of what your competition is up to, so I’ve added a “Competition” section over with my blogroll, etc.  This is an incomplete list, but who will end up on it?  Outright hate groups like the KKK and – if they had an official website – Al-Qaeda, pseudoscience like the Discovery Institute and the moon hoaxers, and religious groups like Scientologist and the Vatican.  Now, pushing humanity sideways for your own goals is very common; most – if not all – groups engage in it to some extent.  But some groups only push sideways 99% of the time.  The other 1% is in the “Right” direction as I define it, so I cut them some slack.  Every little bit helps.

Finally, who the hell am I to say what the “Right” direction for humanity is?  I’m a guy with a blog, damn it!  Listen to me!  :P  Seriously, good question.  I’m not the tyrant Leto II out to set humanity upon the Golden Path, (I’ve been reading the Dune series for the past few months) although the idea of spreading humanity far and wide so that it would survive is basically my … hope, I don’t think I can call it a plan.  I believe it all comes back to Evolution or Extinction.  In my judgment, these groups work against Evolution, which only poor planning or concerted, psychotic effort could defeat.  It will triumph over all else.  That is reality, and I’m a realist.

So it begins

Posted in Rant, Religion on September 18, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

Today I was over on OneNewsNow (I like to muck up their polls) when I saw something that both sickend and infuriated me.

begins

Jesus Christ.  It’s September 17th and they’re already hocking the Christmas crap?

Now, I’ve lost interest in Halloween.  I think once I was old enough that I could just buy candy whenever I wanted it, the allure pretty much went away.  But since the Thanksgiving levee failed in holding back the Christmas flood, I think we need to fortify the Halloween levee.  It looks like the greedy, money suckers have already been out sabotaging it.  I believe their plan is in a few years to spring “Back to School and Christmas” sales upon us.  We need to do our part in stopping this scourge.

Did you know the world ended?

Posted in Astronomy, Science on September 17, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy

Conspiracy theorists wouldn’t lie!

Canada is looking better and better

Posted in Politics, Rant on September 15, 2009 by The Prince of Pithy
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