I’m at the AIAA Space 2015 Conference in Pasadena through tomorrow. A lot going on, and not a lot of time to blog. A lot of useful inputs to the Kickstarter project here. Probably back to normal on Thursday.
It’s not the Puppies, it’s the monoculture.
Though I think another big problem is that it has one too many “F”s.
Dave Brody interviews Jim Green, who regurgitates the standard NASA BS about the need for SLS.
Lessons learned. A long essay from Doug Messier.
Modumetal uses nanotechnology — manipulation of matter at the molecular level — to micromanage at a very small scale to better control the conditions and substances through which electroplating occurs. Basically, the company grows metal on a surface in a way that makes it easier to shape and tinker with the material’s characteristics. Lomasney says it’s similar to how nature controls the environment related to a tree’s growth— sunlight, soil, location, temperature—and then creates a tree that is a product those conditions.
This is the sort of thing that Eric talked about in Engines of Creation almost thirty years ago. It’s one of the reasons that any plans NASA has for Mars missions decades from now are already obsolete.
The launch pads can probably handle a serious storm, but the VAB can’t handle more than a Category 2 or 3. It’s been dodging bullets for decades. A Category 5 storm would probably level it. No VAB, no SLS.
If that were to happen, it would almost be like a divine intervention to end the Apollo cargo cult, by destroying its temple.
[Update a while later]
I’d note that if it stays on that track, our house in Boca is currently in the crosshairs.
Latest track shows it heading up the coast as a Cat 1. Of course, they’re not as good (or at least didn’t used to be) at predicting intensity as they are on tracks.
This post is a few days old, but I didn’t link it at the time. I think that Keith is right. It’s largely been a failure, and will probably continue to be. We have to make it profitable.
I haven’t read it yet, but they’ve posted it.
[Update a few minutes later]
OK, I read it. It seems like a reasonable approach to me, but of course, the initial inquiry from Congress was completely disingenuous.
Burning down the field in order to “save” it:
…while I am not upset at the results (except insofar as it proves a large number of my field is running the Marxist malware to such an extent that it will vote a slate to avoid an imaginary slate) I am upset at the display of infantility or senility or perhaps roboticity in my field yesterday (Though who would program robots that way?) No one watching that live stream — and there was a lot of it captured and it will be replayed — can imagine that those who proclaim themselves the “intellectuals” of our field have an IQ above room temperature. And certainly no one can imagine they have an emotional maturity above that of a toddler displaying to one and all the magnificence of the turd just deposited in the middle of the floor.
Related: And you cheered:
We saw those no-awards coming from a mile away. By voting no-award, you proved the Sad Puppies’s point. And most of you are too damn stupid to know it.
You’d rather no one win, than see someone you don’t agree with walk across that stage.
We only wanted a fair ballot; real diversity among the Hugos, books by authors who don’t all think the same way. Books that tell stories rather than try to force-feed us messages. But you couldn’t have that.
It was you, not us, who brought the Hugo Awards down last night.
And you cheered while you did it.
A lot of this is why I haven’t read much science fiction in the past couple decades.
[Update a couple minutes later]
Uh oh. Hitler found out what happened [language warning, but only in subtitles]
[Update a while later]
See? I told you so.
People have asked me if I’m disappointed in the results. Yes. But maybe not in the way you might expect. I’ll talk about the slap in the face to specific nominees in a minute, but I can’t say I’m surprised by what happened, when it was just an extreme example of what I predicted would happen three years ago when I started all this.
I said the Hugos no longer represented all of Fandom, instead they only represents tiny, insular, politically motivated cliques taking turns giving their friends awards. If you wanted to be considered, you needed to belong to, or suck up to those voting cliques. I was called a liar.
I said that most of the voters cared far more about the author’s identity and politics than they did the quality of the work, and in fact, the quality of the work would be completely ignored if the creator had the wrong politics. I was called a liar.
I said that if somebody with the wrong politics got a nomination, they would be actively campaigned against, slandered, and attacked, not for the quality of their work, but because of politics. I was called a liar.
That’s how the Sad Puppies campaign started. You can see the results. They freaked out and did what I said they would do. This year others took over, in the hopes of getting worthy, quality works nominated who would normally be ignored. It got worse. They freaked out so much that even I was surprised.
Each year it got a little bigger, and the resulting backlash got a little louder and nastier, culminating in this year’s continual international media slander campaign. Most of the media latched onto a narrative about the campaign being sexist white males trying to keep women and minorities out of publishing. That narrative is so ridiculous that a few minutes of cursory research shows that if that was our secret goal, then we must be really bad at it, considering not just who we nominated, but who our organizers and supporters are, but hey… Like I said, it is all about politics, and if it isn’t, they’re going to make it that way. You repeat a lie often enough, and people will believe it.
It isn’t about truth. It is about turf.
#ProTip to journos trying to cover the Hugo story: We know from experience that the Puppy kickers will lie to you without compunction.
— Rand Simberg (@Rand_Simberg) August 24, 2015
Why the “war on nereds” is a war on art.