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Mail 429 August 28 - September 3, 2006







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This week:


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Monday  August 28, 2006

Subject: Pictures that lie


Here is an amusing collection of "Pictures that lie." Not only are there some recent composite shots, but there is also a classic jackalope pic. It's been decades since I'd seen one of those.




Subject: Open Source anti-spam/anti-virus email gateway, built from an old PC.

In the continuing fight against spammers and virus authors, this document could help provide protection from the growing nuisance: http://www.unimatrixzero.plus.com/OpenSourceBastionHost.pdf 

It details all the steps required to build your own Linux/Open source email gateway. All the information is available elsewhere, but it's nice to see it all together in one easy to follow resource.



I'll have to look into that. Thanks.


Subject: Re: Hezbollah didn't win

Jerry P:

Hezbollah's influence is not known to me or anyone else outside of Lebanon. Israel certainly doesn't have any more friends in Lebanon or any where else in the Middle-East. You do not have to be a friend of the tiger, only to fear it, to leave it alone. Now all Arab leaders know that Israel may over-react, and will fight like a cornered mouse. If they are wise they will not corner Israel and if they are even wiser they will not allow anyone on their territory to corner Israel. The situation to me is a mini-version of the Cold War between the Soviet Union and the US; mutual assured destruction. Except too many leaders in the Middle-East don't understand that and there seem to be radicals there who don't care who dies because of their "Death to the Infidels" campaign. Israel has never had many friends in that area, only those who got tired of war at the expense of their people.

Charles Simkins

That is certainly a view. It is not mine. Israel lost much of the moral high ground without benefits when they began bombing in areas far from the locality of the incident.

The head of Hizbollah has said that he regrets the incident because of Israel's indiscriminate response. That at first sounds like a win for Israel, but think about it. When it is all over, Hizbollah weill be more firmly entrenched in Lebanon. To justify the magnitude of the IDF response, Hizbollah had to be thoroughly and permanently damaged. It was not.


An israeli explains how the IDF became soft.

The occupation has corrupted our army. End the Occupation by Uri Avnery http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig7/avnery4.html 

Bit of a rant. Interesting bits of background, such as soldiers not digging foxholes?! Can be taken as a prediction of what is happening to the USA army in Iraq.

Scott Rich


Subject: Kicking Wiki Out Of The Patent Office (Business Week)

CITINGS Kicking Wiki Out Of The Patent Office

Patents are enduring, conferring rights on their owners for up to 20 years. Yet until about a week ago, scores of them may have been granted based partly on information that can be altered with a keystroke from anyone surfing the Web.

On Aug. 15, the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office yanked Wikipedia from the digital toolbox its examiners use to help determine a patent application's validity. But over the past several years, examiners used the online encyclopedia, which allows users to edit entries, to inform their decisions. Wikipedia has been cited in patent decisions on everything from car parts to chip designs.

"The problem with Wikipedia is that it's constantly changing," Patents Commissioner John Doll said. "We've taken Wikipedia off our list of accepted sources of information." An agency spokesperson said inquiries from BusinessWeek about the use of Wikipedia led to the policy shift.

Critics say the change is long overdue. "I've been complaining about this for years," says Greg Aharonian, publisher of a patent newsletter and a longtime agency gadfly. "From a legal point of view, a Wiki citation is toilet paper." Doll says the agency used Wikipedia entries as background and not as a basis for accepting or rejecting an application.

By Lorraine Woellert


Subject: Stars & Stripes Article on Swift

http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,82694,00.html <http://www.military.com/features/0,15240,82694,00.html>



Subject: The Camp of the Saints

> Of course in the west we are playing out Camp of the Saints, but We Have Diversity.

Jerry -

Every so often, I mention that prescient book to people, even at National Review, but to no avail. There really is no assurance that Western Civilization will endure. Japan, of all places, has made a brave effort., but they're losing to the continent. Meanwhile, we've sold ourselves to India and China.

I don't like the way things are going. And don't even mention the Muslims.

Bill Dooley


Subject:  Pluto no longer a planet


Apparently Pluto doesn't get to be a planet (despite having a moon!) because it has an orbit that overlaps the orbit of Neptune. I'm not actually caught up in the emotional debate over whether Pluto is or isn't a planet, but I foresee this debate restarting when we find a Kuiper belt object that is larger than Mercury. I think there is a fair chance of that, and there are other issues.

The problem with this definition is the phrase about a planet having sufficient gravity to clear the neighborhood around it's orbit. This means that the discovery of a planet can't really happen as a single discovery, because it hinges on the exhaustive non-discovery of other planets in the same neighborhood. We can easily have multiple planets that mutually disqualify each other (think two objects the size of Pluto or Xena). In fact, two Mercury size Kuiper objects could disqualify each other, while leaving Mercury as a planet, and at least a fair case could be made that the Earth isn't a planet because of our large moon.

All told, I think I was happier when they were heading towards definitions that would have given the solar system 20-30 planets. The trouble is that between the "large enough to assume a spherical shape" and "too small for fusion" I don't see any obvious physical breakpoints....


Pluto's a planet, this I know

For Clyde Tombaugh told me so...


Subject: One way to stop nuclear proliferation? 


Ok, so you're a liberal Democrat and you want to stop Iran's nuclear program. What do you do?




Subject: Mexico leftist to create parallel gov't 

"We just hope there won't be any need to shoot anyone."


Interesting times down south...


I foresee interesting times.


Make Way, Peasant!


- Roland Dobbins

The Imperial style


de Borchgrave: Gathering nuclear storm.


 Roland Dobbins








This week:


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Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Subject: Letter from England

Kurdish (?) attacks in Turkey: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/europe/5291736.stm>  <http://www.guardian.co.uk/turkey/story/0,,1859899,00.html>  <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,13509-2332041,00.html

Hizbullah regrets the kidnappings: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/syria/story/0,,1859755,00.html

Byers on Labour: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/5291912.stm

 They're watching you: <http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-2331396,00.html>  <http://www.guardian.co.uk/waste/story/0,,1859717,00.html

Pop prepares to embrace intelligent design: <http://www.guardian.co.uk/religion/Story/0,,1859760,00.html

Censorship in response to Muslim complaints: <http://arts.guardian.co.uk/news/story/0,,1859739,00.html

-- Harry Erwin, PhD, Program Leader, MSc Information Systems Security, University of Sunderland. <http://scat-he-g4.sunderland.ac.uk/~harryerw> Weblog at: <http://scat-he-g4.sunderland.ac.uk/~harryerw/blog/index.php>


Subject: They've taken leave of their senses in Scotland buffy willow


-- Harry Erwin, PhD, Program Leader, MSc Information Systems Security, University of Sunderland.




This week:


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Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Subject: Scotland, Football, and religious gestures

Dr. Pournelle,

For a little background on Dr. Erwin's reference to us "taking leave of our senses" in Scotland,

I commend this <http://mreugenides.blogspot.com/2006/08/football-and-sectarianism.html>  to your attention if you have time.

Hope the headaches go away soon...

Andrew Duffin


Subject: Why Not Science?

My 17-year old daughter phoned after her Biology 101 class this morning providing me with clear evidence as to why more kids don't study science.

She said her instructor gave them an outline of what he wanted them to know and then told them to go learn it. My daughter's first reaction: Why am I attending a class if I am expected to teach myself?

Then, when asked about this approach, the professor told her it was the only way he knew how to teach. Now that is VERY SAD.

Finally, she said during the class period the professor took the time to tell the Biology majors what a hard road was ahead of them. Now that was productive, no? This is a community college; we're not talking Biology 101 at Princeton.

My daughter was furious. Why is the professor so discouraging and negative she asked. My response: Well, if he can get a good majority of you to change your majors, he lightens his teaching load and gets to teach only the really serious students.

He's a bozo mom!

Yes, he is. And, now that she knows he's a bozo, I told her not to give him the satisfaction of dropping his course. Make him work. Ask him questions.

Fortunately, her lab instructor she tells me, "is awesome!"

So, at my daughter's request, I too will be studying Bio 101 to make sure she learns what she needs to learn.

And we wonder why American kids can't achieve?



Are terrorists pirates under international law?

Morning Jerry,


Very interesting article - such an approach offers a host of advantages, not the least of which is the end of legitimizing terrorism by elevating the perpetrators to the same level as a nation-state.



Good point.


Subject: Passenger profiling


Well, if government won't profile, then other passengers will:


If this keeps up, how will non-jihadi Arab-looking men get around?



Hey jerry

Your Vote Counts:




Subject: NASA like the Moties,


The report of NASA going back to look at Apollo hardware made me think about how having a tech-centered museum allows one to be able to re-use old technology - which then made me think of a society (or rather, a series of societies) where such museums allowed the thread of civilization to continue even when whole civilizations failed.

It was, of course, the Mote in God's Eye, by you and Niven. I re-read it not too long ago. It is still very very good.



Subject: Yet more Korea



Seoul's Push to Regain Wartime Control From U.S. Divides South Koreans

By Anthony Faiola Washington Post Foreign Service Tuesday, August 29, 2006; Page A10

SEOUL -- At a packed news conference last week, a formidable coalition of retired South Korean military officers and former defense ministers issued a dire warning. They declared the half-century-old military alliance between South Korea and the United States in danger of falling apart, resting the blame squarely at the feet of President Roh Moo Hyun.

South Koreans debating what Rumsfeld meant by ‘equitable’ Letter about sharing USFK costs worries host country

By Teri Weaver and Hwang Hae-rym, Stars and Stripes Pacific edition, Wednesday, August 30, 2006

SEOUL — A linguistic quibble over the word “equitable” has South Korea’s Ministry of National Defense, local military experts and local media arguing about what Donald Rumsfeld expects in next year’s cost-sharing formula.

In an Aug. 17 letter to South Korean Defense Minister Yoon Kwang-ung, the U.S. defense secretary called for an “equitable” formula to share the cost of hosting the U.S. military in South Korea, according to the Korean defense ministry.

But as news of the letter leaked over the weekend, some military experts and media translated the word equitable as an equal split, with South Korea paying half of U.S. Forces Korea’s costs.

Obviously there is more to it going on, and the rest of the article does cover much of it.





CURRENT VIEW    Wednesday


This week:


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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Subject: Daily diatribe (from Joanne Dow)

The Reuters van - MIGHT have been a 70 mm round detonating just above the vehicle's roof line. There is serious discussion of this on hotair and confederate yankee: http://hotair.com/archives/2006/08/30/milkin-it-
another-bomb-expert-thinks-reuters-van-was-hit-by-70mm-rocket/  and http://confederateyankee.mu.nu/archives/194661.php 

The lack of blast damage inside still seems a little suspicious. But then if it was a "concrete block" as I originally suspected or "shrapnel" as others have opined "where's the beef?" It doesn't show in any of the images presented.

The confederate yankee site has some nice brief messages from armored car manufacturers that are good meat in this discussion.

And from an unlikely place, Bangkok, comes this article: http://www.bangkokpost.com/breaking_news/breakingnews.php?id=112492 

And Melanie Phillips puts it into the perspective of "The media war against Israel": http://www.melaniephillips.com/diary/?p=1316  She does get it wrong about the "rusty gash". It was lighting that produced the apparent rust. A straight down shot elsewhere reveals it was basically bare metal. And elsewhere the "modest" part comes to light that it was probably some fairly high strength steel at that point on the vehicle's body. The point that it is not consistent with a missile strike stands. That is not direct damage from a missile. It may be the result of shrapnel from a missile attack nearby.

So the jury is still out on this one. Those who question the idea that the Lebanese 782 ambulance was not damaged by airborn weapons are thin on the ground, though.



New York Times hatchet job on Rumsfield - misquotes revealed

What can I say? It's the New York Times....



Hezbollah, "We're arming for the second round"

Yeah, cease fire when you're losing. Tactics right out of the Koran. Rearm during a cease fire http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/012938.php .



Robert Spencer on the Fox News forced conversions: http://www.jihadwatch.org/archives/012934.php#more 



Yusuf al-Qaradawi = often portrayed as "moderate" - riiiight!

Read it - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Qaradawi 

Especially note the "Secular criticism of Qaradawi" section on his moderate views. (Yup, Mohammedans who have turned away from their faith "deserve killing." - with a cite.)

And HE as a MODERATE has me concerned - I suppose the good ones that I know would be called extreme liberals or something.



Porkbusters wins one. The "Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act" was put on secret hold by Senator "It's a set of pipes" Stevens (R) of Alaska. He's getting roasted over it. He must REALLY hate the Internet by now. I bet he's very pro-Internet-censorship at this point.


Sooey! Sooey! {^_-}

Is this going to be a regular feature? I like it...


I'm honoured to be referred to in your blog (mail, Scotland taking leave of its senses, August 30th) (even if it is in the mail section!).

As soon as I saw your URL in my referrals log I had instant recall of Footfall and The Mote in God's Eye, which are two of my all-time favourite books.

Keep up the good work!


Mr Eugenides


Thank you for the kind words.


MIT's Inconvenient Scientist.


-- Roland Dobbins

<snip>I sat in a roomful of journalists 10 years ago while Stanford climatologist Stephen Schneider lectured us on a big problem in our profession: soliciting opposing points of view. In the debate over climate change, Schneider said, there simply was no legitimate opposing view to the scientific consensus that man - made carbon emissions drive global warming. To suggest or report otherwise, he said, was irresponsible.

Indeed. I attended a week's worth of lectures on global warming at the Chautauqua Institution last month. Al Gore delivered the kickoff lecture, and, 10 years later, he reiterated Schneider's directive. There is no science on the other side, Gore inveighed, more than once. Again, the same message: If you hear tales of doubt, ignore them. They are simply untrue.

I ask you: Are these convincing arguments? And directed at journalists, who are natural questioners and skeptics, of all people? What happens when you are told not to eat the apple, not to read that book, not to date that girl? Your interest is piqued, of course. What am I not supposed to know?

Here's the kind of information the ``scientific consensus" types don't want you to read. MIT's Alfred P. Sloan professor of meteorology Richard Lindzen recently complained about the ``shrill alarmism" of Gore's movie ``An Inconvenient Truth." Lindzen acknowledges that global warming is real, and he acknowledges that increased carbon emissions might be causing the warming -- but they also might not.<snip>



I read the email you got from Sue and I was outraged. I feel that learning, specially at the college level, is 90% student and 10% teacher. Expecting something different than an average teacher is like looking for pie in the sky. If one gets a teacher that makes the subject uninteresting consider your self unlucky but don't believe for a moment that that forgives you for failing to learn.

Ephraim F. Moya moya.us

I tend to agree. But when you get someone like George Mosse for history and James Van Allen for physics, one does get a very high expectation... I was enormously fortunate in my early years at the State University of Iowa.

Let me add to my response: I agree with Sue that one ought to have good teachers. Reality says, though, that you often will not, and then the responsibility is yours to learn despite the school not doing its job.


Subject: Writers of the Future and your website

Hello Jerry,

I'd appreciate it if you would include the attached link to your site along with anything you plan to say about the Writers of the Future event. I have lots of photos of you at the awards ceremony--presenting and receiving your award--and at the book signing the next day.

Best, John

http://www.writersofthefuture.com/cat/wofcatA.htm <http://www.writersofthefuture.com/cat/wofcatA.htm




CURRENT VIEW    Thursday


This week:


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Friday,  September 1, 2006

An exchange of letters between friends. Referencing my "partition of mankind" notes yesterday, Robert Bruce Thompson says:

Subject: Atheist humanists

You consider us enemies?

Of the three groups you mention, I'm certainly in the atheist humanist camp, or I suppose Secular Humanist. I'm not religious and I value logic and science above all other modes of thought.

That doesn't mean that I deny your right to worship your God. I think you're deluded in that respect, just as you think I am. But that doesn't mean we can't respect each other or each other's right to believe what we want to believe.

I consider myself much more tolerant than the average Christian, let alone fundamentalist Christians. Islamics have zero tolerance, period. So I suppose I'd reverse your rankings, putting us atheist humans on the tolerant side, Christians in the middle, and Islamics on the far intolerant end.

-- Robert Bruce Thompson

To which I replied:

I consider them enemies. You are quite odd among the breed, as you must know. Not a day goes by but I note that the prevailing Humanists want to strip out yet one more feature of our culture. The tiny cross on the County Seal. The War Memorial cross in San Diego. Mangers in the public squares at Christmas. And in the schools, to strip out every semblance of historical instruction that makes religious people look good.

You may be right, of course. There ain't nothing but the dance of the atoms. But as Chesterton said, when a man ceases to believe in God he doesn't stop believing: he will now believe in anything. In your case you allow logic and science to govern your life, and you have a sense of honor without quite knowing why you have it.

Most secular humanists have no honor at all, and little logic. They are quarrelsome and petty and tend to envy the believers their tranquility -- what Burke called the consolations of religion and deemed a basic right -- and seek to undermine faith to no great purpose.

Religion has had a strongly stabilizing effect on societies. Removing it often results in a kleptocracy as you see in Russia today.

You are a rare bird, as you probably know. No, I don't consider you an enemy. I might well try to persuade you to join the ranks of the Thomists, who are no less dedicated to logic and science than you are, but I don't worry a lot about whether you will or not.

But among the Brothers Karamazov was one who saw that if God exists then anything is possible, but if He does not exist then EVERYTHING is lawful. And that tends not to build stable social orders.

I added:

But I think you know as well as I do that most Atheist Humanists are entirely intolerant even of petty symbols, and find themselves subject to offense if they see priestly vestments in public, or religious symbols on holidays, and generally just hate it if someone draws happiness from religious solace. If you don't know of such people you are fortunate.

I know of many. Many are lawyers, who do well by bringing suits to destroy religion. The Constitution allowed the States to establish religions. I would argue they still have that right. I would also argue that they should not exercise that right, but that's a different story.

Preaching atheism to a regiment about to charge a hill is not usually good practice, by the way. Usually the public atheist is quiet when the chaplain is speaking to the troops.

Mr. Thompson replied:

I think you're confusing the minority of large-mouth fuggheads for the whole group. I know many people that you'd consider atheist humanists, and all are pretty much like me.

We don't care that you believe in God. We don't care if the Ten Commandments are posted on the courthouse steps. It's part of our culture, a part that we don't happen to agree with, but a valid part nonetheless. Nor do we care if the Jews want a menorah, or if the city council puts a creche and Christmas tree up in December. Hell, Jerry, we'll work for you on Christmas day so that you can have the day off.

I draw the line at tolerance for Islamics, because Islam is a totalitarian political system masquerading as a religion. Islam recognizes only the two houses, the House of Slavery (Submission) and the House of War. I'll fight them, because I'm not willing to live under Islam. I'll do whatever it takes to prevent that from happening.

I also draw the line at compelling people to rub blue mud in their navals. If I move into a town knowing that's part of the rules, fine. But if I'm living where I'm living and a bunch of people vote to require blue mud rubbing, well screw them. Protecting the rights of minorities is very important in my opinion. One of the few valid justifications for government is to prevent the tyranny of the majority, as I'm sure you would agree upon reflection.

Put it this way, Jerry. If the voters in Studio City decided to require all residents to repudiate religion (of course, that couldn't happen today, but it it could...) what would you do? Would you move out? Really? Or would you fight it? Or would you keep your mouth shut and continue to believe in your God without making a public point of it? And what if you were somehow discovered to have falsely repudiated your religion and were to be hanged next Monday? Is the majority within its rights to demand that you give up your religion and to hang you if you refuse? I don't think so, and I don't believe you do, either.

Deal first with your trivial point: it is unlikely that Studio City would vote to repudiate religion, and it is even less likely that I would choose to live in a place that might do so. I'd have plenty of warning signs. But yes: I think the principle of local control important enough that my house would have a For Sale sign up the day such action were adopted here.

You cast up hypothetical situations. I cite what is happening daily.

And in fact, your hypthetical about the Blue Belly Baptists is contrary to reality. In reality the Blue Bellies would not much care if you blued your belly button; what would happen is that the Atheist Humanists would sue to prevent their doing it in public, to be sure that no mention of the Biblical Command (assuming there were one) was ever made in the public schools, and they would try to jail the leader of the Blue Bellies as a madman. They might even send in Lon Horiuchi to shoot him, even if the sect consisted of two or three people who believed in the Second Amendment and lived out in the remote woods. Of course none of them would risk much for their cause; they get the authorities to do their work for them.

Which is the point. Atheist Humanism isn't much of a motivator for saving civilization. Few kids ever charged up the hill for their standard of living, and even fewer want to die for someone else's standard of living. As many have pointed out, it is hard to get righteous fervor for the proposition that I have no free will, all my actions are determined by the dance of the atoms, and the argument is as meaningless as the rest of the universe. It may be a true proposition, but it isn't one to inspire suicide bombings.

Civilizations generally do not fall to the fury of the enemy; they fall for lack of equally motivated defenders. Not always. There have been civilizations whose citizens have died standing to the walls, doing their duty to the last; but not many. By the time that Mass was interrupted in Hagia Sophia, Byzantium was a shell of its former self, its military religious orders reduced to fragments of their former selves. By contrast, Malta was never converted to Islam because some 100 Knights and Sergeants of the Sovereign and Military Order of Malta refused to allow the island to fall.

I have no objection to those who think military chaplains useless. I do believe those who go to court to end their existence endanger the defense of the realm. And I do believe the realm is in danger.


Subject: Niven's law and secular humanism

Hi, Dr. Pournelle,

In your View today, you talk about the secular/atheist humanists being the least tolerant of the lot. Please keep in mind that Niven's law applies to secular humanism at least as much as it applies to fundamentalist Christianity; most of us who aren't "believers" have no particular problems with others who are.

Thanks for maintaining your journal online; it's one of the view voices of reason I have easy access to.

Charles Cazabon


Subject: Latvia as the trigger spot for World War III

Dr Pournelle

With all the attention given to the Middle East and terrorist fanatics, has anyone spared a thought for the insanity going on in Latvia?

The Latvian gov’t seems hell-bound to pursue a policy of institutional discrimination against ethnic Russians in Latvia. No matter that these people were born in Latvia. No matter that the Russification of Latvia was a policy of the Soviet gov’t, not the Russian immigrants. No matter that the ethnic-Russian minority in Latvia accounts for 25 to 40 percent of the total population, depending on who writes the figures.

The question is how far will the Latvian gov’t go in oppressing its Russian minority before Russia responds with force. And because Latvia is a member of NATO, the US will be involved. Do Latvians want to be remembered as the bigots who triggered thermonuclear war?

Bigotry from individuals is bad. Bigotry from a government can be deadly.

Respectfully h lynn keith

The question is, can Latvia and Estonia exist? The Soviets used mass deportation of ethnic Latvians and Estonians coupled with mass influx of Russians to try to destroy the national existence of those nation states.

Sweden is no longer for the Swedes. Denmark is no longer for Danes. Is this inevitable? And is the destruction of such places a good thing?


Subject: These Three 


You said: ...the Atheist Humanists do not seem willing to die for their faith although they will kill to impose it if the costs are not too high."

Is "...if the costs are not too high" a euphemism for "... we will kill a few of the most extreme Christians, and look the other way while Christians are killed by others, because while a small, vocal minority actively oppose us, the vast majority with their tolerant views will leave us alone; and we will defend Islam against Christianity, at least for now, because (a) the cost of opposing them is and forever will be too high, and (b) we are content to delude ourselves for the time being that the enemy of our enemy is our friend, even though some few of us already recognize that "...the enemy of our enemy is our enemy's enemy, no more, no less." And doom our children and our Christian enemy's children to dhimmitude."

(reference: http://www.dansimmons.com/news/message/2006_04.htm



Shakes of Velikovsky.


-- Roland Dobbins


Subject: Pluto and An Inconvenient Truth

Dr Pournelle

The change of Pluto’s status is a good thing. It shows science to be not a quest for absolute truth but a human activity whose goal is to increase our understanding of our world.

Once we had truth, and the Church was sole arbitrator of truth. Truth did not change and could not be challenged.

Today we have science (for the greater part, anyway). Science promises only a world that is knowable and predictable. (For us who believe the universe is a chaotic engine, the promise of predictability is tenuous.) Because science is a human activity limited by human intelligence and human understanding, what we know and what we can predict changes.

I think it better that science be taught in schools as an activity--as a quest for better understanding--than as a collection of truths. Science proceeds by zigs and zags, by exploring many dead ends until only profitable paths remain. For examples, Einstein’s theory of relativity was challenged as recently as 1963 by Branz and Dicke; gradualism in evolution was supplanted by catastrophism in the last 20 years; the sporadic development of chaos theory over the last century has led to an appreciation of the limits of our ability to predict seemingly linear processes.

My problem with An Inconvenient Truth is not that it is inconvenient but that it purports to be "truth". (My first impression was that it was a mere political ploy to prepare Al Gore for another run at the White House. It disturbs me that so many seem to take it seriously.) If something as plain as our understanding of the planetary standing of Pluto is not a "truth", how much credence can we place in the "truth" published by Al Gore? (I know that he says he is only relating the conclusions respected scientists, but he selected scientists whose views were in line with the object of his book.)

I do not doubt the "effect" of global warming. But the "cause" has not been sufficiently substantiated to persuade me that human agency and only human agency is responsible.

The power in all the lightning that strikes this planet in one day exceeds the total of all the nuclear weapons that have been exploded in our history. "What is Man that we should be mindful of him?"

In the end, perhaps it is best to pay heed to the words of that great philosopher Paul Simon: The man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.

I would that it were not so.

Respectfully h lynn keith


Subject:   Happy Trash Day!

Dear Dr Pournelle,

Life imitates Lucifer's Hammer!

From http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5294708.stm

Junk-mail tip postman faces sack

A postman who advised people how to stop junk mail being delivered to their home could lose his job after bosses suspended him for misconduct. Roger Annies composed and circulated a leaflet about the Royal Mail's opt-out clause for unsolicited mail during his rounds in Barry, south Wales. <SNIP>

Best wishes, Simon Woodworth.


Read this and be afraid:

Subject: O Canada -

But Canadians, like us, were born in a free country...




-- Stephen Fleming | Chief Commercialization Officer | Georgia Tech

Be very afraid. They have all taken leave of their senses.


Subject: From "The Writer's Almanac"...Tarzan

Interesting item in today's (September 1, 2006) "Writer's Almanac" Dr. Pournelle:

"It's the birthday of one of the most popular pulp fiction writers in American history, Edgar Rice Burroughs...born in Chicago (1875). He had read Darwin's book Descent of Man back in 1899, and he was fascinated by the idea that human beings were related to apes. He began to wonder what might happen if a child from an excessively noble, well-bred family were somehow left in the jungle to be raised by apes. The result was his story "Tarzan of the Apes," which filled an entire issue of All-Story magazine in October of 1912.

"He went on to write all kinds of stories, from science fiction to adventure, but Tarzan was his most popular character and one of the most widely recognized fictional characters of all time. When the first Tarzan movie came out in 1918, as a silent film, it was one of the first movies ever to gross more than $1 million. Tarzan was also one of the first fictional characters to become an icon for mass-market merchandise. There were Tarzan bathing suits, Tarzan chewing gum, Tarzan ice cream, even Tarzan bread. There have since been more than forty Tarzan movies, as well as comic strips, radio serials, and TV shows.

"For the first half of the twentieth century, Burroughs was the most widely read author in America. His novels have since sold more than 100 million copies."

Generic link: http://writersalmanac.publicradio.org/ 


Charles Brumbelow


Russian scientist predicts global cooling.


-- Roland Dobbins

Clearly he is in the pay of the Oil Companies, and not really a scientist, and a right wing extremist.

Or, perhaps, he has taken another look at the data. Which the Kyoto Mafia will never do.


RE: China And Christianity

There was a question about China in relation to the war between Christianity, Islam and Atheistic Humanity.

Actually, it is my understanding (from sources I trust) that the Christian faith may comprise 25% of the population and is enjoying growth. You would never hear of these numbers from the Chinese government, nor, from our own media. So ... that fact may need to be stirred into the mix.

Mike Cheek (graduate of Fuller Theological Seminary of Pasadena, CA)

I have heard this from other sources. It's an interesting datum. And China has a considerable Muslim problem with the Turkestans. The question is, is the West Christian? The Anglican Church is growing world wide, but splintered to nothing in the United States, as an example.







This week:


read book now


Saturday, September 2, 2006


I took the day off.




CURRENT VIEW     Saturday

This week:


read book now


Sunday, September 3, 2006

Sane Mutiny: The Coming Populist Revolt.


- Roland Dobbins


Subj: Why no Fithp Orchestra??

When you and Mr. Niven do the sequel to _Footfall_, you might ...


||| Mulatta Records |||

Rod Montgomery==monty@sprintmail.com

I'll tell Niven...


iPods at War.


- Roland Dobbins


"A Muslim should never allow the disbeliever to have the upper hand."


-- Roland Dobbins


And Joanne Dow

Subject: Smallish Daily Diatribe

Robert Spencer honored by Al Qaeda

Robert Spencer declares he is honored to be one of the people singled out for Gadahnie boy's wrath in the new al Qaeda video.


Note that the video is the direct invitation to convert that is cited in the Koran and in Mohammedan religious law. It is an explicit convert, accept humiliation and ruinous taxation, or die threat. NOW can anybody go ahead and declare with a straight face that we are fighting an enemy that is upset with things we have DONE rather than with our mere presence on the face of the Earth? I hope our liberal weenies end up enjoying the futures they so much hope to face. I'll not be around for most of what THEY will have to enjoy if the Mohammedan pirates win.



Of course, you can tell the quality of the folks by the company they keep.


Michael Moore is an Jihadist darling these days. (I thought they abhorred pork....)



Lest anybody think Maher has a pico-gram of humanity in his soul.


What a despicable piece of work.



ABC gets the Daily Kos goat - Clinton and Dems to blame for 9/11 Has ABC gone conservative momentarily? An upcoming ABC docudrama will blame Clinton and Dems for 9/11. Like - the TRUTH for a change?


The link to Daily Kos is WONDERFUL - looking at the babies whining about how their pet Clinton is being trashed.

The docudrama is apparently straight out of the 9/11 report.





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