[ExI] The Thirty Meter Telescope is now officially dead

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Tue Dec 31 15:02:12 UTC 2019

On Mon, Dec 30, 2019 at 9:07 PM ddraig--- via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> *This entire rambling discussion si not at all about the mob.  It is about
> you.*

Wow, I don't know what to say...I'm flattered you think I'm important
enough to deserve such a long discussion.

> *> I don't think the mob is evil. *

I know, and that's exactly why I objected so strongly when you said we

Hey Spike... do you still say not one person on the list is sticking up for
that mob?

> > Evil?

Yes evil.

> You really believe in the concept of evil, AND you apply to it to a bunch
> of superstitious people?

I believe "evil" is a word in the English language and if you can't label
behavior that not only embodies stupidity and superstition it promotes it
and even prevents people who are not stupid or superstitious from learning
more about half the universe as "evil" then there will never be a good time
to use that word and it might as well be expunged from the English language
as in 1984 where they kept destroying words and the official newspeak
dictionary kept getting smaller.

And now if you really want to boost your street cred with the politically
correct crowd you should lambast me for putting a label on a mob's
behavior. The PC people hate "label" even more than "evil"; it's OK to call
something in your own culture evil but not in another culture, however you
should never put a label on anyone or anything.

* > That's a remarkably colonial way to look at things.*

Is finding out more about half the universe colonial too?

> *> 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. *

Forget it, it's over, they've won.

* > Are you capable of understanding other people's point of view?*

Yes but to tell the truth I'm much more interested in other people's
actions than other people's point of view. You may have a beautiful point
of view but if you're chasing me with a bloody ax while you're having those
beatific visions there would be other things about you that would concern
me more.

> >> 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*

 Hey Spike... do you still say not one person on the list is sticking up
for that mob?

>> 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
> tranquilizers.
> > *Been less shit at politics, I guess.*

Thanks for the specifics, now we know exactly what to do the next time the
enlightenment (in David Pinker's meaning of the word) is threatened by an
evil ignorant superstitious mob, all we need to do is go back in a time
machine and then be less shit at politics.

> * > I have probably been on the list longer than you.  *

My first post was on March 3 1993, you've been remarkably quiet over those

> *> Where do you think these property rights came from? God?*

I think property rights are irrelevant as are where they came from because
they are only important if you have the rule of law, and there was none on
that mountain.

*> The telescope was stopped by the will of the people. *

That is just factually incorrect. The overwhelming majority of Hawaiians,
even native Hawaiians, wanted the telescope built, but a lawless mob
didn't, and the mob got it's way. The will of the people was ignored.

> *> I seriously doubt they are "evil"*

I know you don't, that's why you use apology quotes around that word, and
that's why I don't think I'm being delusional when I say you're sticking up
for that mob.

> * > the entire point of this tiresome ranty thread: pinpointing the exact

WHY IS THAT NEEDED? Nobody has any idea how you could do it but even if you
could somehow pinpoint the precise historical event that made them evil
stupid and superstitious what then? Go back in a time machine and change
things so they become less evil stupid and superstitious?

> > * you can't change people's minds unless you first attempt to
> understand their position.*

If they didn't obtain their position through logic you can't change it with
logic. And you can throw around the word "politics" as if it's a magical
charm that will solve everything all you want but sometime absolutely
nothing will change a person's mind. So then all you can do is try to find
a way that person doesn't get his way. And yes I know, that's easier said
than done.

*> You refuse to accept that a bunch of angry people have more weight than
> a patently useful and sensible project.*

You keep saying that and I don't know why. I wish I could ignore them but I
can't, and I've said more than once that I accept the fact that the bunch
of angry stupid people have won.

> *> Calling them "evil" is just writing them off*

I may be as stupid as you say I am but I'm not stupid enough to write off
evil because I know the enlightenment will certainly face it again.

*> and refusing to attempt to understand why they feel the way they do.*

I would prefer to use my finite brainpower to figure out how to make evil
ignorant people powerless than understanding exactly what historical event
made them evil and stupid because one way might actually change things and
the other won't.

John K Clark
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