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Member since: Sat Mar 29, 2008, 10:11 PM
Number of posts: 45,851

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You may be ambassador to England or France

But Tommy Castro and Bob Dylan say you gotta serve somebody.

NASA Scientist to Scour Kepler Data in Search of Alien Technologies

I think this is a long shot but it's worth taking a look, every now and then long shots pay off.


The Kepler space telescope may be dead in the water, er space, but the data it has collected over the years lives on. A new initiative is set to use this data in an effort to locate alien spaceships, Dyson spheres, and a galactic laser internet and they've been given $200,000 to make it happen.

The Templeton Foundation recently granted the money to Geoff Marcy, a NASA researcher for the Kepler mission. Marcy, who was recently appointed the new Watson and Marilyn Alberts Chair for SETI at the University of California at Berkeley, is a superstar when it comes to detecting planets outside of our solar system. His work has resulted in the discovery of over 100 exoplanets, including the first system of planets orbiting a distant star.

And fascinatingly, he's going to use the same approach used to detect exoplanets to search for extraterrestrial artifacts like massive spaceships, Death Star-like objects, and Dyson spheres. By using the transit method, where the dimming of a star indicates the presence of an orbiting planet, Marcy hopes to detect artificial objects as well.

"I do know that if I saw a star that winked out, then at some point it winked back on again, then winked out for a long, long time and then blinked on again, that that would be so weird," he told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Obviously that wouldn't constitute the detection of an advanced civilization yet, but it would at least alert us that follow-up observations are warranted."

Indeed, Marcy is on the right track. A Dyson sphere a hypothetical massive structure of solar panels that would completely surround a star at a distance of about 1 AU (the distance of the Earth to the Sun), would give off a tremendous amount of waste heat in the form of infrared radiation a potentially detectable signature. The dimming of a Dyson-sphere-enveloped-star would be erratic or quasi-periodic, unlike the regular transit of planets. It's important to remember that a Dyson sphere would consist of a series of interconnected solar panels, and would not be a solid object.

Harry Turtledove, The Last Article

Harry pits Gandhi against the Thousand Year Reich to make a point about the limits of non violence.

Like most Turtledove stories he puts in a lot of little details that add to the atmosphere of the tale.

I ended up reading this through a convoluted chain that started with a post in this forum about Cordwainer Smith that got me thinking about Eric Frank Russell which led me to Operation Mincemeat and thence to Jo Walton's blog post about Russell where I then found a link to the story below.


If you really think that privacy is unimportant in the 21st century then perhaps you should consider

Consider that Roe v Wade, the landmark Supreme Court decision making abortion legal, was decided on the basis of a right to privacy.


The Court declined to adopt the district court's Ninth Amendment rationale, and instead asserted that the "right of privacy, whether it be founded in the Fourteenth Amendment's concept of personal liberty and restrictions upon state action, as we feel it is, or, as the district court determined, in the Ninth Amendment's reservation of rights to the people, is broad enough to encompass a woman's decision whether or not to terminate her pregnancy."

No privacy rights means no abortion rights. Bear in mind as well that corporations such as Target can already often tell when a woman is pregnant from her digital metadata, if corporations can do that then so can government.

Would you trust the NC state legislature to respect a woman's right to privacy in reproductive matters? How about a Republican US Senate and House?

Early to mid 2000's I spent a lot of time posting on right wing boards as a liberal

Although I can climb into the head of a wingnut well enough to post a pretty good spoof that will slide by most Poe detectors it doesn't come naturally to me and that makes it more work than I care to engage in for something I do mainly for entertainment so I almost always just posted as a liberal in enemy territory.

I was told I had Bush Derangement Syndrome and that I was just a hater more times than I could possibly count. What I really found most interesting about the experience of posting in enemy territory though was that if I was abusive and slung insults and was generally an asshole then most of the time I wouldn't get banned from commenting. No, what got me banned very quickly almost everywhere was being calm, polite and rational, using logic and posting links to published articles or news items backing up what I had to say.

Authoritarians want to make everything about personality, personal animus and emotion, they really can't help themselves because that's the way they see the world. In the end authoritarian followers want a leader from whom all wisdom flows, someone to tell them what to think and how to think it, it's a difficult thing to comprehend for those of us who aren't wired that way and I think they have an equally difficult time understanding someone who is not an authoritarian follower.

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