Views and discussions on Thoughtcrime; note on global warming; 8” floppy disks; thoughts on the Fermi paradox; and other selected mail.

Mail 823 Tuesday, May 06, 2014


This is pledge week at Chaos Manor.  If you have not subscribed this would be a good time to do that.  If you have not renewed in a while. why not do that now? This place is free to all, but it stays open only so long as enough subscribe.


Different Push for Thoughtcrime, but in CA

Well, since thoughtcrime is all the rage right now, I"ll look for more instances of this in the news and get those to you.  I have some writings on it, in various stages of completion, but I suspect I’ll offer little that’s new to anyone here, though I think my points on the principles of INGSOC may be of interest.  In any case, we have this: 


The ordinance (PDF) would make it a misdemeanor to cause any Carson residents from kindergarten through age 25 to “feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested” without necessarily requiring a threat of physical harm.

The California Penal Code only penalizes bullying “where a bully makes an actual threat to the life or safety of his or her victim.”

The ordinance would also make a parent or legal guardian responsible for the bullying acts of his or her child, provided that they were made aware of any violation within 90 days.

Under the measure – which would also cover cyber-bullying – police and other law enforcement officials would be given discretion to file lesser charges against any alleged bullies, the Los Angeles Times reported.


No actual threat is required for this thoughtcrime ordinance.  I’m not sure if this is thoughtcrime or feelcrime, but we have either through proxy as well since parents are responsible for their childrens’ thoughtcrimes if notified within 90 days of said thoughtcrimes.  I’m still not sure why 90 days would be a measure of responsibility.  I guess it’s okay to charge someone with a crime if someone says they are intimidated by them within 90 days of the intimidation, but after that it’s beyond the limits of good taste? 

Intelligent people intimidate the stupid simply by talking.  If that sounds like a bigoted statement, then you must not be smart or you must not have spent time with people of lower IQ than you because they seem to think that you want to be a "greater mental power" when you open your mouth with something that doesn’t sound almost exactly like what everyone else in the group said.  It’s been that way since high school and it’s the reason I am selective about who I spend my time with.  Most people are simply insecure about their lacks of competence and effectiveness and project those insecurities onto you; therefore, I see huge potential for abuse even beyond the disgusting imposition of the idea of thoughtcrime in the first hand! 

Police can file lesser charges for someone saying something on the internet that offends someone?  It’s just not even worth talking to anyone with an IQ below 100 and/or a lack of emotional control if they’re going to do this.  I simply won’t associate with people or will do so as little as possible and with as little genuine interaction as possible because any one of these people could, potentially, use this against me and why would I care to risk it?  I’d rather just not do business with these people and hope they wither like tomatoes when taken off the vine. 

This is the most disgusting and divisive piece of legislation I’ve ever seen and I hope it fails and its architects are, politically, tarred and feathered and isolated from public life.  Ideally, they would be unable to transact business for goods and services and would need to renounce their American citizenship to have any hope of gaining acceptance among human beings for this grotesque abomination!  Were that the case, we’d only need to wait until their pantries became empty before they would be someone else’s problem or they would dig their own grave and pull the dirt in after them. 


Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

I recall that one of the horror stories we were told in World War II was that the Nazi’s were requiring children to turn in their parents for harboring bad thoughts about Hitler. Of course that all turned out mostly to be true.

Thoughtcrime, Again


Your reply on one of your reader’s responses to your essay on thoughtcrime seems to have missed the point. Crime is an act committed against Law. Guilt is found by a jury of peers convened before the State and punishment is meted out by the State within the accepted Laws made by the State and Constitutional limits set upon the State.

What happened to Sterling was a private mater in as much as his violations were of the trust placed in him by a private organization to which he belonged and to the governance by which he had agreed. That private organization acted within its rules (if only barely) to protect its interests from a member who had violated the trust of the organization.

I think you would not find anything unacceptable about the expulsion of a Catholic Priest who began to expouse the notion that there is no God. That would be a "thoughtcrime" by the same standards you are applying to Sterling, but I, who am not Catholic, would find it, like you probably would, wholly appropriate for the Church to act to protect its interests. Again, at least here in the U.S., the Church is NOT the State and it can set standards for the speech of its official members if it wants to.

Kevin L. Keegan

Surely this is not the same? Of course the NBA has good reason to expunge itself from any association with Sterling now that his inner thoughts are known, but he did not publicly espouse any negative thoughts about blacks; indeed he barely did so in what he had every right to believe was a private setting, confining himself to telling his mistress that she should not publicly associate herself with black me: almost as if he was more worried about what others would think about her doing so than expressing any strong feelings of his own. Publicly he gave money to the NAACP.

We can control out actions, or the law assumes that we can do so absent some malady; but no one has full control of thoughts. Suppose I harbored lustful desire for my sister (I don’t have one so this is purely hypothetical). I would be ashamed to let anyone, particularly in my family, know I had such thoughts, and I could be careful not to express them in public. I know that such obsessions exist: are those who have them to be despised? The moralists would say only if their possessor reveled in them, but not if he tried to control them; at least that’s my understanding.


Freedom, Congress, America, Global Warming

This was supposed to be an email on global warming, but it’s become more than that.  Let’s start with some context on how I’m putting together my view of the forces ("powers that be" to laity) that produce the tension we call "the body politic".  I’ll not bore you with my precepts; I’ll skip straight to the conclusions, which offer the context and offer the link if you wish to follow up on my precepts:


Centrist:  They are in the middle of all this; they answer moderately on both sets of questions for whatever reasons this may occur and it would be different for different individuals, based on certain considerations.

Leftist:  They tend to value personal freedom but not economic freedom; belief ranges from the extreme leftist to someone who is moderate but generally left.  Not all, or even most, leftists seem extreme.

Rightist:  They tend to value economic freedom but not personal freedom.  We observe the similar ranges as we see with the left with not all, or most, seeming extreme.

Libertarian:   They tend to value both personal freedom and economic freedom in similar ranges and as with the left and the right, not all or most seem extreme.

Statist:  These people do not value personal or economic freedom; they’re not all aspiring Hitlers waiting for the right climate to flourish in; some of them are bureaucrats or elected officials — Hitler needed people to clean his toilets too.


I’m not sure how much of that last one is satire directed against satirists and how much of it is truth directed against cowards.  But, to the point:


White House adviser John Podesta told reporters Monday afternoon that Congress could not derail the Obama administration’s efforts to unilaterally enact policies to fight global warming.


This position values neither personal nor economic freedom; I can and have proven this logically and I have yet to be *challenged* in this argument.  Carbon tax = life tax; the rest flows easily.  Separation of powers be damned, we must save the world from this menace.  Forget that we’ve not proven that this is right, forget that we’ve not proven that we can do anything about it even if it is right; just do what we say because we love you and we want to continue to be the number one cause of unnatural death as government was in the 20th century and others. 

It gets better!  I know you know this, but for anyone who doesn’t:  if you were paying attention in school, they told you a meteorologist was not a scientist, but someone who said some stuff on TV and wanted a pompous title.  Well, most kids were sick the day they taught life skills at school and they missed that and for that reason, we get to read bs like this:


President Obama will speak about climate change on Tuesday with a number of national and local TV meteorologists across the country, according to an administration official.


Unless, *gasp*, the president knows this too and he’s only meeting with these people so he can put together a propaganda campaign.  But, he wouldn’t do that?  Oh, no, I only have a 60+ page white paper discussing Obama’s use of conversational hypnosis and neurolinguistic programing.  Yeah, I know, that’s pseudoscience unless it’s subliminal messages in heavy metal music that encourages kids to masturbate while looking at pictures of Satan or whatever the fundies were crying about in the 1980’s.  "Fundies" is an epithet, meant to be in the abusive sense, for a cohort or informal group of fundamentalists of any religious denomination to include atheists, partisans, and sports fans. 

So, before we continue, I believe that we’re looking at a president who wants to grease the skids to push more of his stalled bs through congress; they plan to violate the Constitution again in so doing and they’re going to get meteorologists in major population centers on board for this final push to save their carbon tax agenda.  But, there is more.  Come on, this is America, you had to know we were going to include MORE for only 19.95!  =)

If you have a problem with this agenda, forget it.  It’s a fiat accompli and you just failed to accept the new reality — THOUGHTCRIMINAL! 


The Obama administration is more certain than ever that global warming is changing Americans’ daily lives and will worsen — conclusions that scientists will detail in a massive federal report to be released Tuesday.


I apologize if my tone is "silly" or "stupid", but I just can’t take this seriously anymore.  These people are like cartoons and I’ll laugh as long as they stay in the idiot box.  I can’t take their supporters seriously either; I know idiots have power in large groups and all that but I have an answer for large groups of idiots too. 


Most Respectfully,

Joshua Jordan, KSC

Percussa Resurgo

Many are coming to the conclusion that it is not mere error.

US physics professor: ‘Global warming is the greatest and most successful pseudoscientific fraud I have seen in my long life’


Carrington-class CME narrowly misses Earth

Greetings Doctor Pournelle,

I trust this email finds you well.

Between CMEs and bolide impacts; you need to get back in the TEOTWAWKI and SHTF business. A series of short videos would go like hotcakes on YouTube.

Carrington-class CME narrowly misses Earth

Best regards,

Paul T.

Survivor and disaster stories are lucrative, but wrenching to write properly. I’d really like to be of better cheer. But we’ll see.


An upgrade might be in order…

I was shocked to see they are still in use. Mine are unreadable. But they are better than a box of punched cards which is what we started with.


Thought you might enjoy this clip of a vtvl test

F9R Flight Test | 1,000m <>

image <>

F9R Flight Test | 1,000m <>

View on <>

Preview by Yahoo




Subject: Elon Musk sues to get SpaceX into Spy Sat launch biz


More Thoughtcrime. Now Pre-Thoughtcrime

Hello Jerry,

In light of your commentary on ‘thought crime’ I thought you may be interested in Dr. Briggs column on the subject of punishing ‘pre-thought crime’ on 26 April.

Although the column is about pre-thought crime in Canada, can you doubt, given multiple recent US stories, that the same legal principle will be ‘coming (has come?) to a country near you’?

Bob Ludwick=



This is obviously not an unbiased source, but it raises issues that have concerned me for a decade.

The US has deployed tens of thousands of troops to a country that is land locked. It is surrounded by China to the East, Pakistan, Iran and three other Islamic republics: Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan that are also land locked. Russia has had effective control over the Northern communications route. This was not problematic when George W Bush was President because for all of his faults he had the good sense to maintain good relations with Pakistan while gently encouraging economic and political reforms intended to enable a secular democracy that would be stable as an alternative to the traditional options of either Islamic theocracy or military dictatorship. President Obama’s grand standing about the Osama Bin Laden debacle ( it was not intended that our stealth helicopter would crash and that the assault team would languish at a Pakistani airport while the US secured permission for them to leave the country) has so effectively alienated the Pakistanis that a theocratic, military dictatorship is evolving. Bush was also careful to encourage Russia’s acquiescence to our war on terror.

It seems to me that President Obama is intent on stranding our expeditionary force in Afghanistan by offending all of the surrounding nations whose cooperation might be needed to supply our forces in Afghanistan or evacuate them from the country. Pakistan is as hostile to the US as it has ever been. Iran not only remains bellicose and belligerent, they are no longer intimidated by the US. The Islamic republics to the North are becoming increasingly militant. Given Obama’s idiotic incitement of the Ukraine crisis, Russia can be depended upon to not be of assistance. China might be willing to allow our troops to evacuate through its territory and provide logistical support, but for a price. Given Obama’s "interesting" responses about various territorial disputes with Japan, Korea, Vietnam and Malaysia; it is far to easy to imagine what that price would be.


I am concerned that the Russians will stop taking us to space and will declare the ISS abandoned jetsam.


Thank you


I just want to say thanks for your expressing what I’ve been thinking about the racist comments by Donald Sterling.

Sterling has, in effect, been given a death sentence for having an opinion which is unpopular with most intelligent people — and, as you point out, an opinion which doesn’t seem to be reflected in his actions, considering the number of non-whites he has hired and put into positions of authority within his organization.

Personally, I couldn’t care less about this whole thing. I’m no fan of basketball, and Sterling doesn’t sound like the kind of person that I would be interested in spending time around. However, it seems that he’s being penalized to a level far beyond justification. Would we see similar action taken against a black team owner who made similar comments about white people? I would hope not, because even though I’m white, he would be entitled to his own thoughts.

Oh, wait . . .ARE there any black owners of major sports teams . . ?

Keith Wood


Police Searches


On the issue of the police searching cell phones once you are caught for a traffic violation, I have a feeling the Supreme Court will allow it. The State already has the right to search your entire car when you are stopped for a traffic violation. Usually, once you are stopped in the act of committing one crime, the State has the right to see if you have committed any others — most crimes are committed by repeat offenders, so you just became the low hanging fruit in your traffic violation.

I believe you are beginning to feel that these extended searches are getting too broad, and I tend to feel the same way, but we need some sort of principle to argue for limitations. If the State can search your car because you did not stop before turning right on red, what makes the phone off limits? Consider this under the continuing merger of technologies — it may be difficult to logically or physically separate car from phone from home in a few years as the computer systems in your car become increasing integrated with the other computers in your life.

Perhaps the severity of most traffic violations does not rise to a level that justifies a major invasion of privacy by the State. Perhaps this should limit searches of the car itself as well.

Kevin L. Keegan

This is the sort of thing best left to the states, is it not? Hard cases make bad law.


Fragility of Civilization of a Technological World

Good Morning Jerry,

I have pondered the fragile nature of the modern technological world for 25 years. After numerous thought experiments over the years, I repeatedly arrive at the same conclusion: In all-out war, weapons of a traditional nature will be obsolete within 100 years. Perhaps much sooner that that.

Given the rapid advancements in biotech, within 100 years it should be child’s play for a graduate student to manufacture a lethal virus to target people with blue eyes. Or any other identifiable genetic trait for that matter.

How do we protect ourselves from a lone madman in such a world?



Scott Sutton

As best we can, and having thought and written about it for decades, I still do not know. It may well be the answer to the Fermi paradox.

Explaining the Fermi Paradox

Dear Jerry –

A recent letter to you suggested that the Fermi Paradox could be explained by the development of individual power sufficient to destroy the civilization. Sounds fair to me.

Another, related, explanation that I thought you’d enjoy is


Jim Martin


Belters and their Torchships

Regarding James Crawford’s message about the damage potential of singleships, I’d like to make some comments. The first is that a mass ratio of 2.7 is a bit conservative; if a Belter was planning to do this, stripping out all equipment not absolutely necessary to the job of getting it there would be possible to be replaced with more fuel. (One major item would be life support, unless it was a suicide run.)

The other is that although "destroying Earth" might be hyperbole, ten thousand megatons would make a mess of Earth’s ecology and kill billions, especially considering that Known Space Earth supports twenty billion people. Dust, secondary meteors, induced volcanic eruptions – well, telling the author of Lucifer’s Hammer about all that would be a little hubristic. 🙂

This leads to a general point. Try as I might, I can’t imagine that the conquest of the Solar System could possibly proceed in a way much comparable to the conquest of America’s West (or the lesser-known conquests of Australia and Southern Africa). After all, covered wagons weren’t WMDs; and any spaceship is, at least potentially.

Ian Campbell



Spengler has an interesting take on Why Liberals Don’t Care About Consequences:

“Do you hear liberals wringing their hands and asking, “Where did we go wrong?” They don’t, and they won’t. Ditto the disaster in Libya, which is turning into a Petrie dish for terrorists post-Qaddafi. It doesn’t matter. Being in love with yourself means never having to say you’re sorry.”

“It’s all about having done the right thing according to the dogma of the ersatz liberal religion. Liberalism has nothing whatsoever to do with policy and its real-world consequences. Instead of finding one’s salvation on the path of traditional religions, liberals look for salvation in a set of right opinions–on race, the environment, income distribution, gender, or whatever.”

Thought you might enjoy it.



This is pledge week at Chaos Manor.  If you have not subscribed this would be a good time to do that.  If you have not renewed in a while. why not do that now? This place is free to all, but it stays open only so long as enough subscribe.



Freedom is not free. Free men are not equal. Equal men are not free.




Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.