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Tara Li
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Just started re-reading James P. Hogan's Outward Bound.  One passage just struck me pretty hard:

Linc put a hand to his brow and closed his eyes.  "This is a game?  Okay, let's try it another way.  You don't know what you want, and I don't know what you're talking about.  Then what are you offering?  What am I supposed to think I stand to get out of it?"

"And there you have the game that marks our times," Grober observed.  "Zero sum.  What's in it for me?  My gain can only be at someone else's loss.  We build mistrust and antagonism into all our transactions and relationships."

The problem here is that this Grober character really hasn't communicated much of anything with Linc at this point.  Linc is really asking for more information - what's the payoff on my various choices.  Because even a game that is over-all positive sum, can have some pretty awful negative consequences buried in it.  Even the Prisoner's Dilemma has a positive sum outcome.  But in the Game Theory sense - Perfect Play can only come from Perfect Knowledge.

Linc didn't ask "What's it going to cost you?", he asked "What's in it for me?"  Perhaps we really need to pay more attention to what people actually say, and less time trying to read into their statements things that aren't there.

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I can't say it any better than this scientist did.

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Ok - #shirtstorm was stupid and over the top in one direction - but this is far far more stupid and over the top in the other direction!

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Hey, sure, let's spit on all the people who took the time to enter the US legally.  They're suckers for actually playing by the rules.  I guess cheaters do prosper.
On one hand, tonight’s presidential announcement, removing the threat of deportation for up to 5 million of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living in America, will be a historic moment cherished especially by immigrant families that no longer will live in fear of being torn apart. Make sure you have a box of tissues handy.

On the other hand, watching Republicans go apoplectic is just going to be fun to watch. Make sure you have a tub of buttered popcorn handy.

The White House rollout of the immigration executive action has been designed to maximize outrage on right, ruining the Republican leadership’s strategy of appearing sober and pragmatic as they are forced to grapple with renewed calls for government shutdown and other childish retaliatory measures.

Yesterday, as word spread of the imminent announcement, Operation Epic Troll was doing its job: Sen. Ted Cruz laid a strategy for sending poison pills to Obama’s desk and then try to blame him for the inevitable shutdown, proving he’s a one-trick pony. Sen. Tom Coburn is talking about the possibility of mass riots. Rep. Michelle Bachmann railed to The Washington Post that “illiterate foreign nationals … we all know that many, in all likelihood, will vote,” and added that was Obama’s intention: “He’s looking at new voters for 2016…. People do vote without being a citizen.”

Just two weeks ago, rational Republicans thought they had a model of success to elevate in Sen.-elect Cory Gardner, who ran as an immigration moderate and performed well with Latino voters. Now Republican voices of petulance and bigotry are dominant, and if they remain so, Republican chances to compete in higher-turnout presidential years dims yet again.

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I figure a lot of people have already seen this but...

I am pleased to announce THE LENSMEN REBORN, an original anthology of stories set in E.E. "Doc" Smith's Lensman Universe.

Stories by David Gerrold, Steven Barnes, Steve Perry, Matthew Stover, Rosemary Edghill, and others to be named.

Cover art by Jim Burns. Michael Kogge will edit.

More details as they become available.

Basic research.  I know it seems old fashioned, especially in political circles these days, but it does help to keep the egg off the face:

Q: "When did Rand Paul become a Doctor?" - answer: 1993.…/cbs-staffer-mocks-rand-paul-for-not-…/ )

Q: "Rep. Brooks, do you have an economics degree" - answer: "Yes ma'am, I do. Highest honors." (…/msnbc-anchor-contessa-brewe-econ…/ - note the old-fashioned politeness of addressing her as ma'am.)

They REALLY should do some basic Google research, much less ACTUAL research that involves diving into newspaper archives!

"When the New Orleans #VA hospital needed to be rebuilt out of the rubble of Katrina & Rita, #WhereWasBill ?” (Cassidy, in run-off with Mary Landrieu) with a link to a press coverage of her news conference.

Answer: Cassidy tweeted a response to Landrieu with a link to a news story on his activities, answering: “Mary Landrieu wants to know where I was during Hurricane Katrina? Setting up a surge hospital for refugees.”  ( )

Seriously - they need to try a little harder.

Post has attachment  - more importantly, the mouse-over text.  Because robotic exploration of space is like cybersex - cheap, safe, convenient, and somewhat emotionally satisfying, but nothing at all like really going there yourself.

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Oh, the insanity!  And yes, this is insane.

I was listening to some of the Anthropogenic Global Warming talking heads discussing how those who argue against their position are traitors to the human race, and murderers, and that the Government should not allow them to speak.  And it sounded very familiar, but I couldn't quite place it.

And then I could, except that it wasn't Global WARMING that it had been about - but Global COOLING.  And it wasn't pretty.

I'm going to hang my ObRef here to Space Opera on the grounds that Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle's Co-Dominion universe is Space Opera, if you include the full set, and not just the Falkenberg's Legion stories - after all, a gunpowder-powered version of the old Project Orion has got to qualify as Space Opera, right?  But the actual book I'm referring to is Fallen Angels (I've got e-copies I can legally share due to the Baen Free Library, even if it's not there any longer).

And somehow, that scares me far more than ISIS (or ISIL) does.

Seen in a coding context, which is probably the only place other than deep philosophical 3 am college sophomore dorm discussions where it makes sense:  Is almost zero approximately zero?
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