[ExI] Hawaii telescope protests

Stuart LaForge avant at sollegro.com
Wed Jul 24 19:12:00 UTC 2019

I tend to agree with BillK. This conflict is not about science versus  
superstition, or civilization versus barbarism for crying out loud,   
it is about the rights of the indigenous Hawaiians. Empire building  
always comes at the price of push back. These are not feather-wearing  
natives who live in huts in some backwards province, these are  
American citizens exercising their constitutional rights. They are,  
more or less integrated into American society, and most have jobs and  
contribute to the economy, pay taxes, and what not. Every culture  
needs breathing room, even if they want to share in the benefits of  
civilization and dare I say empire.

Most native Americans have casinos that they have license to operate  
and what not, but the native Hawaiians do not. In this era of identity  
politics, they probably want some representation in exchange for  
taxation. I am far removed from this conflict but I think the wise  
thing to do in this situation would be to some sort of concession to  
them in exchange for building another telescope.

For example, tell them that 13 is an unlucky number and that they  
should allow a 14th telescope so as not to offend their god with bad  
omens. In exchange for their cooperation, offer them the right to  
operate a casino in Hawaii and offer to build them a fancy shrine to  
their god in the middle of all the telescopes in which store their  
sacred artifacts. That is what I would do and in the long run, it will  
prove cheaper than suppressing the natives with force or abandoning  
the telescopes. In fact, a casino is likely to generate surplus wealth  
which is likely to spill over into the local universities and other  
science institutions on the island. So that sounds like a win-win  
proposition to me.

I agree that this is a little like Alexandria, only it is we who are  
like Caesar and threaten to burn down the library for the expediency  
of empire. So we should tread carefully here. Getting buy in from the  
natives is our best option.

Stuart LaForge

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