[ExI] Hawaii telescope protests

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Wed Jul 24 22:59:02 UTC 2019

On Jul 24, 2019, at 9:18 AM, SR Ballard <sen.otaku at gmail.com> wrote:
> You have absolutely no proof that those works would have survived anyways, and again, the library was already in decline well before the fire, and again, the burning was likely not intentional.

Right. The decline of the Library (and other great libraries) and the loss of most works of the ancient world had little to do with the fire and the particular fire we know anything about was likely unintended, the result of Caesar’s forces taking the city. In other words, it wasn’t a deliberate attempt to destroy the texts or to stop research. Hence, it not being a good analogy.

And, again, though I’m sure John will completely ignore this, most ancient world were lost simply because they didn’t keep getting copies over the centuries. Ancient scrolls and codices tended to last a few decades with a few exceptional cases, such as the Dead Sea Scrolls. Most texts were lost simply from the vagaries of time and not because barbarians burned down a once major library.

> Yes, I do think the telescopes can discover groundbreaking things, but just because it can doesn’t make it right. 
> You can get upset about “imaginary friends” all you want, but the fact is that belief in the supernatural is found in all human cultures I have ever heard of. To compare other forms of belief in god(s) to the Christian God is to really display your ignorance of the subject anyway. “You think the Gods would take care of themselves” is a bizarre thing to say. In many religious traditions, men and gods exist side by side and interact quite closely. Often these gods are not even terribly powerful outside of a specific domain. 

To me, the issue should be about who owns the land and other stuff. That’s generally how is approach a conflict over a resource like this. (I’m trusting here that John wouldn’t, say, be okay with doing medical experiments on unwilling participants because groundbreaking things might be discovered.)

> I think you’re over-reacting to fundamental ignorance. One isn’t “excusing” barbarians by explaining how and why they do what they do. How do you get to be arbiter of who is civilized and who is not? We’re the Mongols barbarians? Why do they get to be considered barbarians but Alexander the Great is not?
> Ignoring cultural issues, flat out, was stupid. Building telescopes on such a contentious site is exactly the same as replacing Jerusalem with a college, or the Kaaba with a Hospital, or the Alamo with a shuttle launching pad. Imagine how people would react if you tore down the Vatican for a space elevator!!!
> These are all very valuable endeavors, but replacing cultural artifacts with scientific ones and expecting people to be okay with it is frankly illogical and juvenile.

Last I’ve read on this issue, the state government is arresting the protestors. So I’m wondering why John is raging over this. It looks like the state government is doing what he wants it to do here.

Anyhow, I don’t know enough about this particular conflict, but what BillK wrote earlier about it likely being more about the overall state of things rather than this one telescope sounds like it might be closer to the truth. Sometimes one incident can better galvanize a movement or it simply gets everyone’s attention. (Think of how BLM caught on now despite over a century of racist policing. Certain touch point incidents galvanized that movement.)


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