[ExI] eximod & Exi Political Posting (two subjects combined)

robot at ultimax.com robot at ultimax.com
Sun Aug 23 20:01:37 UTC 2020

Jack Vance is one of my favorite SF authors.  Good one, Anton!
Another suggestion: the Oligarch from _Helliconia Winter_ by Brian W. 
Continuing with the theme of taking inspiration from grand SF writers, 
here's another: Vernor Vinge.

In _A Deepness in the Sky_, (which is a prequel to 1992's _A Fire Upon 
the Deep_ even though it was written a decade later in 1999), Traders 
are a civilization thousands of years old originating on Earth, 
star-faring but limited to sub-light speeds.  They have seen thousands 
of planet-bound "Customer civilizations" come and go.  Sooner or later, 
every one of them collapses.  In terms of culture, economics, 
governance, they have seen *everything*, and learned some general 
So, there's this minor scene takes place a generation before the main 
story, one of many setting up various characters' backgrounds.  The 
Trader fleet has traced its quarry Pham Nuwen to some semi-frozen 
backwater planet called Triland.  As always, the Traders interface with 
local ruling elite/law enforcement, a governance that started out as 
forest rangers/park police.  (Another theme of Vinge's is the 
inevitability of Lord Acton's dictum in action.)  The cops in turn hook 
up the Traders with some guy like a P.I. who does online research for a 
living.  Turns out he needs access to a part of the local internet 
forbidden to him, and he drops an idle comment to that effect.  The 
Traders glance at each other, and later in their mutual debrief say, 
"this world has partitioned its Net already?  Well, the end won't be 
long now..."

For those of you who haven't read the book, it is the best one Vinge 
ever wrote.  So far.  IMHO.
(Do note that I have taken great care to avoid any spoilers!  I hate it 
when that happens.)

This is my way of saying to you-all that I think partitioning the list 
is a very bad sign.

Now, I'm about to commit a logical fallacy here (arguing /ex cathedra/) 
but Keith can vouch for my background in these matters: I have studied 
the USSR, its precursors and successors my entire adult life, since 
before the end of the Cold War.  What I tell you below is the informed 
opinion of a subject matter expert who believes every word of it to be 
Polarizing and partitioning *any* competing society with "wedge issues" 
is in general an avowed goal and century-plus-long practice of what used 
to be called the /oprichnina/ under the tsars, then CheKa then OGPU then 
NKVD/MVD then KGB now FSB, plus their military brethren in the GRU.  To 
the guys who run /dezinformatisya/ campaigns (that word in Russian has 
never changed) and are playing the long game, chaos is a perfectly 
acceptable even desirable outcome, regardless whether or not one faction 
is aligned with Russian interests.
The *only* antidote in reach is sunlight and openness, and a commitment 
to the basic principles of self-governance.

Continuing with logical fallacies, as JKC says, /ad hominem/ attacks 
never killed anyone.  Not directly.  Perhaps indirect via apoplexy, but 
who doesn't suffer a daily bout of that these days?

As Keith says, what Spike posts bugs me far more often than the screeds 
& jeremiads that John posts.


On Sun, 23 Aug 2020 11:20:31 -0700, Anton Sherwood <bronto at pobox.com> 
>> On 2020-8-02 16:27, spike jones via extropy-chat wrote:
>> For three good reasons and one really bad one (listed at the end of 
>> this
>> post for the curious reader) I have chosen to stand down forthwith as
>> ExI moderator.? I have selected a new one (which is how I got that job
>> 21 yrs ago) and wish to try a fun little experiment: the new 
>> moderator?s
>> identity will remain in the shadows. His or her @ is
>> ExiMod at protonmail.com

> The title ought to be Anome.


> On Sun, Aug 23, 2020 at 2:34 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
>> When a good idea comes along, I drive it to completion.  Whoever 
>> thought
>> of creating a subgroup for politics was right on.
>> The political subgroup exists.  If you would like to join that, please
>> drop me a note.  We have agreed to engage in friendly banter until 
>> about
>> tomorrow evening in flagrant violation of the spirit of that group, 
>> just so
>> the late comers don?t miss out.  We are not archiving, by 
>> gentle-lifeform?s
>> agreement, so when it?s gone, it?s gone, like that thing the young 
>> hipsters
>> are using these days, what?s it called?  Crack Chat?  Something along 
>> those
>> lines.
>> ExiMod, do feel free to tell ExI-chatters to take it to ExiPolitics 
>> should
>> they feel the savage urge to unleash their innermost passions on the 
>> topic,
>> to slake their unquenchable desire to tell the world how America 
>> should be
>> run.
>> Political incorrectness is allowed there too.  We are among friends.
>> Express yourself as you will.
>> Post me, come on join us, political types!  We need you!
>> spike

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