[ExI] The Thirty Meter Telescope is now officially dead

ddraig@pobox.com ddraig at gmail.com
Tue Dec 31 00:54:50 UTC 2019

On Tue, 31 Dec 2019 at 06:58, John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> On Sun, Dec 29, 2019 at 7:09 PM ddraig at pobox.com <ddraig at gmail.com> wrote:
>> > *None of us are sticking up for the mob,*
> Bullshit. You're crying about past injustices, most centuries old, and
> somehow think that wailing will magically help get the telescope built. It
> won't.

I'm not.  I'm saying that thinking logically does sometimes does not work
when a horde of people are upset about something.   This entire rambling
discussion si not at all about the mob.  It is about you.

>  And in the end all the mobs wishes came true and everybody lived happily
> ever after, except for the scientists, and the majority of residents in the
> state of Hawaii, and all rational people everywhere.

Yes, politics trumps logic.  It almost always does.  This is why idiots and
vicious maniacs wind up in power despite the sensible people saying "but,
this will end badly" - because the bad peopel have the numbers, and the
smart people feel that logic and careful explanation is all that is needed.

>  >* Unfortunately, the mob has sway locally, *
> Has sway locally... what a pleasant lovely sounding way to say that the
> rule of law has broken down and the dark anti-enlightenment forces have
> won.

I will just refer you to most of human history as an example of what you
are describing. Ignoring this behaviour will not make it go away.

>> And in no shape way or form do you agree with me. Every defender of that
>> evil ignorant anti-science anti-enlightenment mob has the same basic
>> mantra, "it would be nice if the telescope could be built *BUT* ..."
> NONE OF US ARE AGREEING WITH THE MOB- we are attempting to *understand*
> the mob,

> I know. And if you are successful at the end of your long deliberations
you'll be able to understand why the mob is ignorant evil and stupid.

Eh, the Gmail client has just broken it's own quoting, so I'm going to use
> so the sensible and the warped comments are distinguished.

I don't think the mob is evil.  Evil? You really believe in the concept of
evil, AND you apply to it to a bunch of superstitious people?  That's a
remarkably colonial way to look at things.

We all understand why the mob is stupid.  I guess people who have engaged
with you at greater length than I have understand why you are stupid.

> But after that you're right back to square one where you started because
the mob will be just as ignorant evil
> and stupid as they were before you started to think about them.

The only way things will get done, is to understand why the mob thinks this
way, and either convince them otherwise, or else organise an effective
counter to them.  This is what most of this thread has been about - an
attempt to understand why the people behaved this way, which you have
chosen to just not even attempt to do, and then you've decided the rest of
us think the same way.  Despite being repeatedly told this is not how we
think.  Which is why I think you are trolling, and not even trolling for
the lols, trolling because you are arguing with a mythical version of us
you've constructed inside your head, instead of actually attempting to
understand what other people have written.  Are you capable of
understanding other people's point of view?

> You seem to think it's the astronomers fault for not casting some sort of
magical spell that would have pacified the protestors,

I do, actually.  It's the astronomer's fault for not adequately engaging
with the public opinion which resulted in the project being shut down.
It's called "politics" - something the science community generally is not
very good at, and you are a prime example of this.

> but they were offered all sorts of compromises but the mob, sensing total
victory, saw no reason to compromise so they rejected them all. I don't
know what more the astronomers could have done without resorting to animal

> Been less shit at politics, I guess.

*> I understand why people on the list call you a troll.  you are a troll.*

> Then Mr.Newbie I am the internet's longest living troll because I've been
on this list for close to a quarter of a century.
> Do you really think I'd write a post about things I didn't believe in
just to get the goat of a silly pissant like you?

I think you are writing about things you don't understand - the viewpoint
of pretty much everyone else who has responded to this thread.  And I'm not
a noob, I have probably been on the list longer than you.  I just don't
read or write to this list very often.

> >>That's not politics that's just crime.
> *> It's all much the same.*

> People like to say stuff like that because they think it makes them seem
street smart, worldly-wise, but I think it just makes them look dumb.

No, it makes me look like someone who understands how people and society
work.  Politics is the interaction of people in large groups, often leading
to or bound by the laws those people enact.  Crime is the interaction of
people in small to large groups, governed by those laws.  It's all much the

> What you say in the above is not a skeptical view it is a cynical view
and the two things are opposites.

Please don't attempt to do my thinking for me, you are patently not
qualified.  Most of this thread has been you thinking you know what people
mean (despite the actual words they are using) and then arguing against
that mythical point.  As you have done here.

> A cynic believes in nothing he hears, and that is closely related to a
very naive person who
> believes everything he hears because neither view requires any brain
power whatsoever.
> But a skeptic believes some things he hears but not others, and for that
you need a brain.

Again: this has nothing to do with what I said

*> Now you are going to spout some freedom rubbish when it was really about
>> a small group of middle-class people not wanting to pay taxes.*
> I think you're confusing me with a Trump suporter; I know you're new

I've been on this list since 1991 or 1992, it's a bit of a blur.  I was
hiscdcj at lux.latrobe.edu.au and since 1995 I've been ddraig at pobox.com

> *> Power comes from the barrel of a gun. *
> So why did you complain that I didn't want to debate the finer points of
> property rights if the only thing that matters is who has the bigger gun?

Where do you think these property rights came from? God? They came from
will of the people. The telescope was stopped by the will of the people.
To accomplish something that has widespread opposition you need to engage
with and change the will of the people.  Chanting "but mah logics is
smarter than your mob" won't change anything.

>  > *Unfortunately the mob had the numbers and so the telescope was
> cancelled.*
> The mob did NOT have the numbers, but they did have the bigger gun, and if
> you've got that and the rule of law breaks down then you win.

Yes. Correct.  So you need to convince the mob, or have a bigger gun.
Logic is peripheral.

*> unlike you, we are making an attempt to get our head around why it
>> happened,*
> It's no great mystery, it happened because evil stupid people prevailed.
> We can speculate but it's impossible to know for certain what historic
> factors conspired to make them evil and stupid and, unless you had access
> to a time machine, it wouldn't help in the slightest even if you could
> pinpoint the exact cause because they'd still be evil and stupid.

1: I seriously doubt they are "evil"

2: here we have the entire point of this tiresome ranty thread: pinpointing
the exact cause IS PRECISELY WHAT IS NEEDED - you can't change people's
minds unless you first attempt to understand their position.

>> *> what is needed is people with more of a clue about politics than you
>> to counter-organise.*
> And yet you support this list's radical new policy (at one time not so
> long ago it was intensely political) of ignoring the elephant in the room.
> You want to talk about political theory but don't want to talk about
> testing how well those very abstract theories work in the real world.

But this sounds like you.  You refuse to accept that a bunch of angry
people have more weight than a patently useful and sensible project, when
mobs of people are rarely sensible.  So, you either brute-force it
(probably not possible on Hawaii) or you attempt to understand the mob and
change their minds.  Calling them "evil" is just writing them off and
refusing to attempt to understand why they feel the way they do.

> *> Perhaps I should just work on killfiling the obviously stupid people on
>> the list*
> EXCELLENT IDEA! I'm a libertarian so I'm not going to put a gun to your
> head and make you read what I write.

Putting a gun to my head would not work.

You think I'm stupid so just don't read what I write.

That's the only good idea you've had so far.

  ddraig at pobox.com irc.bluesphereweb.com #dna
our aim is wakefulness,  our enemy is dreamless sleep
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