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Warren DeMontague

Profile Information

Name: Commodore Schmidlapp
Gender: Male
Member since: Thu May 20, 2004, 05:02 AM
Number of posts: 76,861

About Me

Your socks smell

Journal Archives

Worst. Hood Ornament. Ever.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Mon Feb 9, 2015, 09:50 PM (0 replies)

"picture her with hair"

Okay, now what?

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Fri Feb 6, 2015, 03:42 AM (7 replies)

even better, I'm entitled to think "insidious and systematic objectification" is just what happens

to some people's hard-wired western religious sex-guilt when they filter lame-ass concepts like "lust is bad" through an overpriced sociology degree.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Fri Feb 6, 2015, 02:41 AM (2 replies)

You take your username from a guy who settled arguments by jamming his finger into peoples' eyes

People in fucking glass houses, and whatnot.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Wed Feb 4, 2015, 06:28 AM (1 replies)

Here is how I interpret the broad religious warnings against "graven images" and why

They are a classic example of how religion, as practiced by humans, tends to get fundamental concepts wildly, spectacularly, disasterously wrong.

I believe the original messaging- which turns up in many religions, including the western monotheisms- was specifically intended to communicate the idea that "God" the concept was too big, broad, and ineffable to be contained in a word, a symbol, a picture.

More widely the intent, the deep intent, is hopefully to get people to grok that ALL their language, their symbolic abstractions, while undeniably useful tools, are just that- a necessarily limited and limiting fascimile of the real "thing", which which exists above, beyond, and outside of language.

The point is that no map will ever perfectly reflect the territory. So as long as you remember that you are dealing with a map, and not the actual thing itself, you're fine.

Religion, of course, misinterprets this to "kill everyone who makes maps"
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Sat Jan 10, 2015, 10:45 PM (0 replies)


That's Pat Buchanan in a wig, is who that is.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Wed Dec 24, 2014, 10:39 PM (4 replies)

Except, NASA is not suggesting sending astronauts to Mars just in the Orion capsule.

The capsule willl be an important part of the mission, but other habitation and shielding requirements will clearly need to be met.

And remember, no one is talking about going next week.

But to imply that this is all some huge deliberate waste of time and money, or that somehow no one has thought of the issues you bring up, is wildly disingenuous.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Sun Dec 7, 2014, 04:53 AM (1 replies)

He covered his face but not his license plate.

Not the brightest Wizard at Hogwarts.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Fri Dec 5, 2014, 09:21 PM (1 replies)

What happens in Vegans should stay in Vegans.

Posted by Warren DeMontague | Wed Oct 8, 2014, 08:52 PM (1 replies)

These are all really good questions.

1) Higher, absolutely. NASA currently gets a sliver of the discretionary budget and yet, science and exploration always pay off not just in material benefits but also in knowledge (and the two are linked). Prime areas for redirecting funding towards NASA could come from the Military/Industrial Complex and the Drug War, for starts.

2) See above: I think it's ludicrous that we spend a Trillion on the Military, we spend 60 Billion a year to try to keep people from smoking pot... NASA gets, what, 12? 16? I think that the entire DEA budget could be subsumed and given to NASA, that's a start. How much, dollar figure? Increase it by an order of 10 from where it is, just for starters.

3) Both are important. Obviously given the current status of technology, deep exploration will need to be robotic for the time being. I'd like to see a situation where one does not always need to come at the expense of the other.

4) Is pretty tied up with 3), also 2) and 1). If we're talking percentages, split it down the middle.

5) I actually think the idea of a specialty-focused science and environmental gov. org separate from NASA is not a bad idea; nevertheless, NASA is leading the way in understanding planets as whole systems, which is what the Earth is. But NASA's core mission should be exploration and knowledge of the universe off-Earth. If budget allowed, Earth sciences going to a new department is a reasonable idea.

6) Solar observation? Sure. Solar science could remain a NASA job. Perhaps a partnership.

7) If by "worlds" you mean Planets, moons, and dwarf planets, that's another good question. Mars first. Then Europa. Ceres if it looks interesting enough (we should have an idea next year) Enceladeus, Titan.. Venus has gotten short shrift but I think it could be an interesting case study. Jupiter. I'd also like to know what is out in the Kuiper belt. We're going to get a close up look at Pluto-- so how about Eris next?

8) Mars is the obvious next destination for landing humans, to my mind.

9) Ceres, again. A Venus flyby is technologically feasable near-term and could provide crucial mission experience for long-duration spaceflight outside the near-Earth environment. Science might be low but the historic factor would be high. Plus, again, everyone likes to blow off Venus because, obviously, it's so frikken hellish there, but it is close and might have some interesting data points. Beyond that the moons of the 2 big gas giants are an obvious additional destination for human spaceflight, depending on how well issues like radiation can be dealt with.

10) I think the shuttle, with its inherent design flaws, brought the risk rate too high. There will always be risks. That said, I don't know what the acceptable rate is.

11) Depends on my personal life situation. I have others who depend on me so that factors pretty highly into any decision I would make that would put me in danger at this point in my life. Plus, I'm probably getting too old.

12) Yes, although like I said, I'd like to see the military cut and the drug war ended first. Yes. Unknown, since again these things don't take place in a vacuum. The fantasy political will to raise NASA's budget significantly (namely, in a universe where I ran everything) would also include the will to re-prioritize the areas I've mentioned, as well as others.

13) Unknown, although I personally believe that humans will be living, for instance, on Mars permanently by the end of this century. Colonization implies familes and children. I think when humans decide to go to live there, they will take their kids. That's how it works.

14) If I could go anywhere? I'd like to see other solar systems. That's not likely to happen. If I could go anywhere in this solar system? I think looking at Saturn from one of its moons would be the best view imaginable. But I'm old school, I'd have to go to Mars to appease my inner 8 year old, who would never forgive me if I didn't make that my first choice.

15) Another good question. I think humans will live on the moon and Mars- I think eventually (1000 year timeframe) humans will begin to Terraform Mars and, perhaps, other worlds of the solar system, depending on our abilities. Mars seems most doable. I suspect humans will establish outposts on Ceres and also Jovian and Saturnian moons. If we're still technologically backwards enough to need to burn hydrocarbons, humans may utilize the methane lakes on Titan, etc.

16) Another excellent question. I think social predictions for the future are hardest of all (look how ludicrous past ones all turn out, like how in the 1950s by 2000 we were all going to be wearing shiny unitards and plastic skullcaps) but I do think, if history and human nature are any guide, social and governmental experimentation will continue to take place in their most innovative, or at least different, forms at the frontiers of human exploration.
Posted by Warren DeMontague | Fri Sep 12, 2014, 06:02 AM (0 replies)
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