Posts Tagged ‘Space’

Chaos Patch (#92)

(Open thread + links)

Tech-decay. Unregimented order. Hold the genocide. Men stuff. The weekly round.

Oil zombies, plus $20 a barrel? The transhumanist candidate.

Calamity for the Left in Venezuela (comedy version). Saudi didn’t do anything wrong (it’s just unlucky). Japanese at work. The nationalist surge in France (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6), and Germany. Sweden on the brink. A blitz-tour of future chaos. Resurgent nationalism against the Internet (also, and).

Trumpenführer panic update (going hyperbolic): “Are Republicans and Democrats finally uniting against Donald Trump’s racist fascism?” Straight-up Trump-Fascism howling and analysis (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9). Running the numbers (and more). Ridiculous, or not? He’s a hate machine. Family values (video). “Asked about what prompted the statement, Trump said simply, ‘death.'” The broken Overton Window. Molyneux and Whittle on the case (video). What a guy! Plus, more chaos (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6). The Left Accelerationist argument for Trump.

Terror and politicization. Post-ISIS super-jihad. Yes, there’s a problem. The WMD angle. Oops. Under the rock. Narrative collapse. The case for cultural profiling. “New horrors are likely ahead — that will continue America’s turn to the right.” A return to borders (1, 2, 3). Islam breaks the Left. Obama’s on it.

Media in crisis (see also). Hiding the decline.

Classical mastery.

Nostalgia for apartheid. Roots of black resentment. The real lesson of Clock Boy. “The Antiracism religion, then, has clergy, creed, and also even a conception of Original Sin.” In black and white. East and West (comment).

Hive Mind reviewed (plus notes, and see also). SEK III. Try capitalism (or not).

Stoicism 101. Harrowed by Hollywood. Recruiter. Confused (but fun).

Tech trends. Buying in to the nightmare. Shockley (Part 1).

Science is dead and what’s left is raw power.”

Tegmark reviewed. “Bullets are magic.” ISS on the chopping block. Pluto video. Dark fire. 4D celestial mechanics. Quantum indeterminacy. Quantum hell. Beyond the End. Flaky (but fun).

December 13, 2015admin 27 Comments »
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Chaos Patch (#91)

(Open thread + links)

A Christian approach to genocide (and comment). A call to sobriety. Cultural fragility. The enablers. Psychology of losing (plus tweaked social typology). The political case for Plato. The weekly round.

A puppet in Germany. Social chaos in Venezuela. Those subversive Saudis (plus OPEC is dead, see also). Heading into Cold War II. Colonialism II. Fear a world without growth (plus nightmare fuel). Misreading the Great Depression. Hobbes is back. Siberia’s Chinese future.

“The greater freedom for private governance provided by liberal states allows for adaptive flexibility in solving public problems in ways that promote peace and prosperity, and consequently liberal states will outcompete illiberal states through cultural group selection, which includes competition in war.”

Trumpenführer panic update (1, 2, 3). Brown scare. Joseph McCarthy did nothing wrong. Latest star of the Le Pen dynasty. ‘Liberals’ today. Pure ideology. Default settings.

The kebabed canary in the coal mine. A tale of two civilizational civil wars (1, 2, 3, 4), plus video.

Some CRISPR backstory (and thought points). International Summit on Human Gene Editing, official statement. Conformist intelligence. Idiocracy in France. Neuronal factors determining high intelligence. The AA generation. African demographics. Assisted jewdar.

Intolerance wins. The value of stereotypes. Gregory Hood on Ayn Rand. The whig history of science. English is odd. Doomsday decoded. The mortal tedium of A.J. Ayer. Occidental asemic writing (also).

The off-planet frontier (and its enemies). The future of drones. The Hyperloop race. Techno-metaphysics. IoT infographic.

Full-spectrum Climate Apocalypse (1, 2, 3).

December 6, 2015admin 29 Comments »
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Quote note (#204)

If there’s a downside to this, it’s well-hidden:

Richard Yonck, writing in the Scientific American, calls the recent “passage of the Space Act of 2015 in the U.S. House and Senate” the Dawn of the Space Mining Age. In essence, it “gives any American who successfully extracts natural resources from outer space the property rights over the haul.” The act has angered those who believe the cosmos should be free from the greedy scourge of capitalism. For the first time in human history, celestial objects, once the property of all because they were inaccessible to everyone, can be bought and sold by those who can reach them. […] … At stake is not only the biggest Gold Rush in human history, but the greatest territorial expansion since the Age of Discovery. Most products built from space resources will be left outside of earth’s gravity well and men will go up to join their products rather than return them to Terra. Exploration means diaspora.

Off-world development is going to take a while to catalyze, but it’s ultimately where everything that matters is going to happen.

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November 30, 2015admin 41 Comments »
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The Dark Forest

Volume two of Cixin Liu’s science fiction trilogy.

The universe had once been bright, too. For a short time after the big bang, all matter existed in the, and only after the universe turned to burnt ash did heavy elements precipitate out of the darkness and form planets and life. Darkness was the mother of life and civilization.

The dark forest is the universe, but to get there — with insight — takes a path through Cosmic Sociology:

“See how the stars are points? The factors of chaos and randomness in the complex makeups of every civilized society in the universe get filtered out by distance, so those civilizations can act as reference points that are relatively easy to manipulate mathematically.”
“But there’s nothing concrete to study in your cosmic sociology, Dr. Ye. Surveys and experiments aren’t really possible.”
“That means your ultimate result will be purely theoretical. Like Euclid’s geometry, you’ll set up a few simple axioms at first, then derive an overall theoretic system using those axioms as a foundation.”
“It’s all fascinating, but what would the axioms of cosmic sociology be?”
“First: Survuival is the primary need of civilization. Second: Civilization continuously grows and expands, but the total matter in the universe remains constant.”

“Those two axioms are solid enough from a sociological perspective … but you rattled them off so quickly, like you’d already worked them out,” Luo Ji said, a little surprised.
“I’ve been thinking about this for most of my life, but I’ve never spoken about it with anyone before. I don’t know why, really. … One more thing: To derive a basic picture of cosmic sociology from these two axioms, you need two other important concepts: chains of suspicion, and the technological explosion.”

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October 1, 2015admin 34 Comments »
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Quote note (#184)


It is little surprise that people want to move from badly organised countries to better organised ones. What is more surprising is that the causes of bad national organisation are so often ascribed to external factors rather than to the people who live in such countries. The theory seems to be that some people, by an accident of birth, had the good fortune to be plonked down in a place with laws, institutions, roads, schools and hospitals, while others had the misfortune to be born in places with dictators, gangs, muddy tracks and slums. According to this world picture, if you move people from the unfortunate to the fortunate geographies, then the world’s problems are solved.

One consequence of escaping this common error is the downgrading of the territorial obsessions common on the right. Free association is the real topic of concern. Pieces of real estate are never more than rough proxies for that.

September 14, 2015admin 39 Comments »
FILED UNDER :Discriminations

Greatness IIb


Are you getting this? (More, and better now you know what’s going on here.)

Background at SpaceX and Wikipedia.

Oh, go on then.

August 20, 2015admin 69 Comments »
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Greatness II

Tim Urban relates the utterly awesome story of the SpaceX boost-phase:

This was a venture few sane investors would touch, and the ability for the company to exist rode largely on Elon Musk’s personal bank account. By the time 2006 rolled around, Musk had decided to revolutionize the automotive industry as a side project, and with $70 million of his PayPal fortune tied up in Tesla, that left about $100 million for SpaceX. Musk said this would be enough for “three or four launches.” SpaceX would have that many tries to prove it was worthy of paying customers. And since the thing paying customers would want is for SpaceX to deliver a payload of theirs into orbit, that’s what SpaceX needed to do — successfully launch something into orbit to show the world that they were for real. […] So the game was simple — launch a payload into orbit in three or possibly four tries, or the company was done. At the time, of the many private companies who had tried to put something into orbit (see the dearth of “operational” companies on this list), only one had ever succeeded (Orbital Sciences).

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August 19, 2015admin 36 Comments »

Chaos Patch (#73)

(Open thread + links)

NRx Disney. Passivism, and prospects. Species of altruism. Peace gets you eaten. Feedback sensitive. The GOP is just doing what it does. A month in Soros. Order patch. Sperglords. Criticizing Hoppe. The cannibalism begins. Exit advice. Friday frags. The weekly round.

Utah oil sands. Pining for the Fjords. Retardation. A reckoning? FedGov gigantism. Swedish vibrancy. A Trump prophecy. Camp of the saints latest (Jim comments). Oil pressure. Scenes from Venezuela.

The antiracism religion (plus). Pinker’s big hole. Eugenics panic (relevant). On dualization. Internet racists. Simba pathetic.

Please make it stop.

Biotech breakthroughs. No brainer. Space drones. Pluto wars. Zombie-bugs. God and aliens. Simulation Argument stuff.

Cuckoo-doodle-doo: XS top-pick (responding to this, but then there was this, and Alrenous comments), funniest (video), Wapo wades in, on the tightrope, appalled / gloating (1, 2, 3, 4), thrilled (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11More.). If you really can’t get enough of this stuff. “This article is being considered for deletion in accordance with Wikipedia’s deletion policy.” A giant sucking sound:

August 2, 2015admin 22 Comments »
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Pluto II


“Pluto is something much cooler than a mere planet,” argues Mika McKinnon. “It’s the largest dwarf planet we know, and one half of the first binary planet system. Pluto didn’t get demoted, it got promoted.”

When it comes to stars, any time the barycenter of two stars’ orbit is beyond the surface of the primary object, and is instead out in space somewhere, that’s enough to declare them a binary star system. The same is true for asteroids — we’ve found asteroid pairs with barycenters outside both rocks, and declared them binary asteroid systems. Since the barycenter of Pluto and Charon is an empty point in space, surely that means that Pluto-Charon a binary planetary system. This would make Pluto and Charon not only the first binary planet system in our solar system, but the first one we’ve found among the literally hundreds of Kepler exoplanet worlds. […] One final argument in favor of listing Pluto and Charon as a binary dwarf planet system is that they are the undeniable pair dominating all the little moons. Nix and Hydra are the larger of the remaining moons, but are just a tiny fraction of a percent of the size of Charon. Styx and Kerberos are even smaller yet. This family of tiny moons doesn’t even orbit Pluto directly: they all orbit the barycenter between Charon and Pluto.

(Here‘s some Wikipedia background to the double planet issue.)

July 25, 2015admin 7 Comments »

Bargain Base

Suddenly, with private space activity re-setting the cost calculus, all kinds of things become realistic:

… a new NASA-commission study has found that we can now afford to set up a permanent base on the moon, by mining for lunar resources and partnering with private companies. […] Returning humans to the moon could cost 90 percent less than expected, bringing estimated costs down from $100 billion to $10 billion. That’s something that NASA could afford on its current deep space human spaceflight budget. […] “A factor of ten reduction in cost changes everything,” said Mark Hopkins, executive committee chair of the National Space Society, in a press release. […] The study, released today, was conducted by the National Space Society and the Space Frontier Foundation — two non-profit organizations that advocate building human settlements beyond Earth — and it was reviewed by an independent team of former NASA executives, astronauts, and space policy experts.

To dramatically reduce costs, NASA would have to take advantage of private and international partnerships — perhaps one of which would be the European Space Agency, whose director recently announced that he wants to build a town on the moon. The new estimates also assume that Boeing and SpaceX, NASA’s commercial crew partners, will be involved and competing for contracts. SpaceX famously spent just $443 million developing its Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon crew capsule, where NASA would have spent $4 billion. The authors of the new report are hoping that 89 percent discount will extend beyond low Earth orbit as well.

The most interesting reasons for wanting to do this stuff are politically edgy in the extreme, and if the whole process gets started, no one involved will want to discuss them. The helpful approach is to treat them as unmentionable in advance. Best to concentrate on the techno-economic practicalities, until the lunar neocameral splinter Human extraterrestrial foothold is safely in place.

ADDED: Plus one of these, please.

July 22, 2015admin 25 Comments »