Daily Archives: April 26th, 2007

Hard Core Sci-Fi

For all of you hard science type fans, I have a treat for you. The following is just a sample by Steve Bowers from Orion’s Arm:

  Zero minus 2 days 

Three nights before the ascension they had held a party.
Auguste could not remember it too much; he had been saying his goodbyes to his robot, and they had both been drunk. Now he was sober, thanks to the instant cure he had taken in lieu of breakfast; but something else had been going on. Something between Lesöva and the multibodied freak. And what was worse, that self same freak was coming with them, to the centre of the world, far above their heads.

But first they all had to go through the wall of the world, and into the waiting shuttlecraft. Eighty or more souls were soon on board the Geographer Cone, all hopeful Acolytes for Ascension, including Auguste Gienah, Lesöva Zubenelshamali, and the multiple bodied SDiavid Slarian.
Gus Gienah was feeling that he had been human long enough, and he suspected Lesöva thought that he had been too. He was six hundred and seventy three standard years old. She was his current long-term dyad partner, and seated herself beside him as they secured themselves for take-off.
  “Well, you knew very well Slarian was going to the Lamp, too. All that sort of thing won’t be important after It happens, you know,” she said, not too loudly, but with some emotion.

Outside the wall of the world there was a long, long drop.

Down there were the rest of the stars of the galaxy, and all anybody had to do was let go, and sooner or later they would get there. Today, however, the small shuttlecraft Geographer Cone was going upwards to the overhead Lamp, and the one hundred-fifty passengers on board, in a manner of speaking, were set on ascending even higher. Despite the fact that the Lamp was as high as they could get in the physical world (as it was constructed), they were each hoping to pass into an elevated realm of mentality, together and separately. 
Some eagerly awaited it, some were apprehensive and some sought refuge from lives that never seemed to bring fulfilment.

The shuttlecraft moved up the magnetic track, set into the side of the atmosphere wall, ready to be flung towards the central Lamp of the huge two thousand kilometre diameter habitat known as Rendell Ring. This habitat rotated to provide artificial gravity, and to stop the atmosphere from escaping over the top of the wall. From further away, it could be seen to be one of two hundred and thirteen similar, but by no means identical Rings, joined by a tiny, almost invisible string; the Cable Railway. The whole structure was collectively known as the Arkab Prior B Necklace in the Sagittarius sector; further out could be seen the beginnings of a new necklace, tiny sparks of light at this distance.

SDiavid Slarian; all ten of him, was seated in different seats all round the comfortable cabin. Slarian was a multi, a composite individual made up of ten bodies, some coloured pink, some blue, but who all shared a single consciousness. The idea was that they would be ten times as intelligent as a single human being. Gus thought they were easily ten times as stupid as well. 

  “Which one was it? They all look the same to me,” said Gus. 
Beneath his frosted transparent jacket his variable skin tattoos were displaying lines of marching cartoon savages, armed with machetes. 
  “Well, they are all the same-“ she said, shortly. ”Oh, by Binah, I don’t know, one of the blue ones. 
I thought we agreed it doesn’t count with robots.”

Lesöva’s skin tattoos currently depicted stylised thorns and flowers slowly moving in the wind. To Gus it looked like the petals were constantly becoming detached and blown away, but it was hard to tell beneath her translucent shirt. Sometimes the pictograms they both wore could convey subtle clues to the state of mind they were in, as the tattoos were only under semi-conscious control.
He willed his own tattoos to show a neutral set of non-sentient advertisements and pop-ups.

Orion’s Arm is a site which dedicates itself to amateur writing, world-building, roleplaying and games. It has built a whole future society based on real science; physics, biology, chemistry, everything!

Not much tinfoil here, unless you count the whole future theme of the site tinfoil. But that’s okay, as Sir Arthur C. Clarke once said (Clarke’s Third Law), “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic”.

Read the story (it has 29 installments) and explore the site. If you’re a true believer, you won’t be disappointed.


Rosie gives network neocons the ‘bird’

From prisonplanet.com:

Rosie O’Donnell was ordered by ABC not to talk about U.S. casualty figures on The View and was continually censored and blocked in her attempts to feature prominent members of the 9/11 Truth Movement as guests on the show.

O’Donnell had met with 9/11 truth crusader and World Trade Center hero William Rodriguez before she went public with her comments on The View questioning the suspicious collapse of Building 7. Pictured above is Rosie holding the famous key that Rodriguez used in the twin towers during the rescue efforts.

Rodriguez was instrumental in arranging the appearance of 9/11 first responders on The View which is set to air Friday.

Rosie has attempted to get William Rodriguez on the show as a guest on numerous occasions over the last few weeks but was rebuffed by program directors every time due to Rodriguez’s vocal stance that 9/11 was an inside job.

Rosie was told almost from day one that she could not mention U.S. troop casualty figures in Iraq and the cover-up of the real death count, despite the fact that Neo-Con panelist Elisabeth Hasselbeck was given free reign and allowed to say what she liked, including referring to the Iraqi people as “animals.”

The fact that O’Donnell was blocked from talking about dead U.S. troops feeds into the same censorship that bars the media from filming coffins of returning soldiers at Dover AFB and other locations.

Rosie O’Donnell has had run-ins with with people of a “conservative” bend for a while, not only with gay rights, but guns as well. The 9/11 and dead U.S. troop coverup maybe her latest “cause celebrataire”, but we need people like her to get issues into the corporate mainstream media that will otherwise be pushed under the rug and forgotten.

She might be caustic to some, but she never hides who she is. Keep giving them the ‘finger’ Rosie!

ABC Told Rosie Not To Talk About Dead U.S. Troops

Madam Supertanker’s Freudian Slip Is Showing

From Scholars and Rogues:

Posted by Sam Smith in Condoleezza Rice, NATO, Soviet Union, Russia, Republicans.

At first I was tempted to take Condoleezza Rice’s “no thanks” to a Congressional subpoena as yet another example of executive branch arrogance. But then I realized that’s she’s actually very busy … resurrecting the Cold War?

OSLO, April 26 — Brusquely dismissing protests by Russian officials, Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said here on Thursday that a missile-defense system the United States plans to install in Poland and the Czech Republic would pose no danger to the security of Russia.

“The idea that somehow 10 interceptors and a few radars in Eastern Europe are going to threaten the Soviet strategic deterrent is purely ludicrous, and everybody knows it,” Ms. Rice said before a meeting of NATO foreign ministers expected to focus on the missile-defense dispute.

“The Russians have thousands of warheads,” Ms. Rice said. “The idea that you can somehow stop the Soviet strategic nuclear deterrent with a few interceptors just doesn’t make sense.” (Story.) (Emphasis mine.)

Know what else doesn’t make sense? That our Secretary of State, who allegedly holds a PhD in International Studies, thinks that the Soviet Union still exists. What next – outrage over a Prussian cavalry build-up along the border of Pomerania?

What can this mean? Was she trying to speechify before having her morning coffee? Did she just miss that whole “dismantling of the Soviet Union” thing in the same way that you or I might miss an episode of 24? Or, gods forbid, was this an intentional move designed to begin reconstructing a powerful enemy? This administration needs us to be focused on our fear, and the whole al Qaeda/Iraq frame has turned on them. Putin has been acting badly of late, so maybe our leaders are trying to bring back the Evil Empire?

Just speculating – I honestly have no idea what Dr. Rice is up to. She may not, either. But at a minimum, is it asking too much of a Sec o’ State that when she addresses NATO meetings that she at least get the names of large countries right?

The neocons may be arrogant, bullheaded and cowardly, but you can say one thing about them, they’re consistantly ignorant about the cultures they want to brush aside or conquer. It’s going to be the death of us all.

Is Beyond Human In Our Future?

Wikipedia’s definition of transhumanism is this:

Transhumanism (sometimes abbreviated >H or H+) is an international intellectual and cultural movement supporting the use of new sciences and technologies to enhance human mental and physical abilities and aptitudes, and ameliorate what it regards as undesirable and unnecessary aspects of the human condition, such as stupidity, suffering, disease, ageing and involuntary death. Transhumanist thinkers study the possibilities and consequences of developing and using human enhancement techniques and other emerging technologies for these purposes. Possible dangers, as well as benefits, of powerful new technologies that might radically change the conditions of human life are also of concern to the transhumanist movement.

I consider myself a transhuman for the simple fact that if it wasn’t for science, I would not be alive at all. By using the above definition, the surgery and the revascularization (replacing damaged blood vessels) of my heart enables me to make that claim. Although in most cases a purist would say since I didn’t receive any artificial parts,(the surgeon used blood vessels from my own body) I couldn’t claim the transhuman label, the act of the surgery alone lets me do that because the technology of the surgery itself saved me. Without the ongoing research in bioscience, biotechnology and bioethics, there would be people dying  from diseases and injuries like they did from the Middle Ages until after World War II.

Campaign For Longer Better Lives