Tag Archives: politics

Science Must Fall?

“Science as a whole is a product of Western modernity, and the whole thing should be scratched off…If we want a practical solution for how we can decolonize science, we have to restart science from our own African perspective of how we experience science…”

Mmkay. Good luck with that.

“It’s not true!”

“You see? That very response is why I’m not in the science faculty.”

You don’t say.

The rest of her word salad – I thought to fisk it, but the addled thinking and pomo whargarbl speak for themselves:

“Western modernity is the direct antagonistic factor to decolonization because Western knowledge is totalizing. It is saying that it is Newton and only Newton who knew or saw an apple falling, and out of nowhere decided that gravity existed, and created an equation, and that is it. Whether people knew Newton or not or whether that happens in western Africa or northern Africa, they say the only way to explain gravity is through Newton who sat under a tree and saw an apple fall. So, Western modernity is the problem which decolonization directly deals with, to say that we are going to decolonize by having knowledge that is produced by us, that speaks to us, and that is able to accommodate knowledge from our perspective. So to say that you disagree with her approach it means that you have vested in the Western and Eurocentric way of understanding which means you yourself still need to go back, internally, decolonize your mind and come back and say ‘how can I relook at what I’ve been studying all these years’ because Western knowledge is very [pervasive?] to say the least. I from a decolonized perspective believe we can do more as new knowledge producers as people who are given the ability to reason or whatever it is people say we do when we think or rationalize. So, decolonizing the science would mean doing away with it entirely and starting all over again to deal with how we respond to environments and how we understand it, thank you.”

The best part is at the end when she nods sagely to the crowd, proud of her oration, then pulls out a smartphone and starts fiddling with it. Umm, sweetie? Yeah, giving up science means giving up all the goodies it has produced, too.

Better Never than Late?

Barrack Obama has been busy writing OpEd pieces lately, including one in my favorite magazine, The Economist, and an extremely curious one published October 11 on CNN.com.

While I might take issue with a few of the assertions in the piece, I certainly don’t disagree with the overall message that we will go and that this time it is to stay.  However, the timing is bizarre, and the message odd from a President that hasn’t displayed an overwhelming interest in space exploration.  I do not tend to be cynical, but to me this screams of a transparent attempt at legacy building on the cheap.

On a curious note, right below the President’s piece is another by Michelle Obama advocating improving access to education for girls the world over.  Right now the link is titled “Michelle Obama:  Let’s get girls to school”, but here’s what it looked like earlier today when it was originally published:

10-11-2016-3-32-30-pm

 

A Reason for Optimism?

MS Convention 2015 Poster by Ed Sludden

Earlier this month I attended the 18th Annual Mars Society Convention, held at the Catholic University of America In Washington D.C.  It was my 7th Convention in 15 years, and much the same as the others in terms of tone and attendance, but I came away from it feeling much more optimistic than I had after past meetings.

Highlights included a visit during the Saturday banquet, via Skype, by The Martian author Andy Weir.  It was fun to hear his perspective on his stunning success of late, and I have high expectations for the film adaptation premiering October 2, though I also had high expectations many years ago when Mission to Mars (blech) and Red Planet (meh) debuted.

What made me more hopeful this year was the sense of modest expectations and goals taking root versus the bold yet unrealistic aim of a full-blown Mars exploration program.  Despite Dennis Tito’s Inspiration Mars program fading with hardly a whimper, at least in terms of a 2018 launch, support for a near-term Mars flyby is growing and I expect there will be a major push for such a mission in the upcoming election cycle.

A Mars flyby would be a major achievement, again showing the world what America and its allies can accomplish.  While no landing would occur, most of the “dragons” raised to oppose a near-term mission (radiation exposure, long duration life support, psychological challenges, etc.) would be slain in a single mission.  Best of all, compared to other proposed missions, this one could be launched before the end of a president’s second term and could fit well within NASA’s current budget.

Or could it?  Is NASA too bloated and risk-averse to be entrusted with such a task?  Harrison Schmitt, who spoke at the conference as part of a Moon versus Mars debate with Robert Zubrin, advocated the scrapping of NASA in favor of a new, focused agency with an average age of under 30 like the NASA of the 1960s (the average age in Mission Control when Apollo 11 splashed down was 28).  That raises some very interesting questions.  How would this agency be created?  How would NASA be reduced or eliminated simultaneously, to justify it as an offset or a reduction?  Is it even politically feasible, or is it a necessity?

No More Bushels

Sarah Hoyt discourses on  on the politics of SF writers, and outs herself along the way (heh, like we didn’t already know someone who won the Prometheus Award and writes for Instapundit and Pajamas Media was not a leftie):

And so, whatever it costs my career, it’s time to come out.  I think it’s time for all of you to come out too, wherever you are, though honestly, I wouldn’t presume to judge your circumstances better than you.  Like my gay friends who never judge someone who chooses to continue closeted, I don’t presume to know what’s best for you.

However, everyone sending me “kind” missives on how they’re going to never read me again, because they always suspected I’m racist/sexist/homophobic but now that I’ve said it I’m despicable, and I’ve hurt them, can stop.  What you’re experiencing is neither hurt nor my despicableness.  It’s the cognitive dissonance of KNOWING I’m neither racist/sexist/homophobic nor – amazingly – a Marxist.  You can’t reconcile those two, and so you want me to make it go away and shut up.  That’s understandable, but no.  As a country we have (economically) come to the end of cake and as a person I have come to the end of patience with those who would enslave others and ruin the last, best thing on Earth to make themselves feel good.

If that means I lose readers, so be it.  And you can’t cow me into shutting up by telling me I’m losing readers – guys, we’ve gone well beyond that point.  When a mad woman is running around soaking the bridges with gasoline before setting them on fire, she’s just going to laugh at you when you tell her she’ll now have to swim across.  She knows.  She thinks it’s more important to keep the armies of ruin, starvation and statism from marching  in and despoiling her home.

And this is me laughing at you.  And your pious little missives (only one of you, btw, is a recognized reader/fan) only make me angrier, and you won’t like me when I’m angry.  Chiding me on not understanding the current trend won’t save you either – I’ve seen this before.  THESE EXACT POLICIES.

Hate mail? I’d love some hate mail! But then, I don’t think that anyone could ever seriously claim to be butthurt when confronted with our political leanings – we’ve never had to make a secret of them and have always billed In the Shadow of Ares as being pro-liberty and pro-capitalism. This latter point may have contributed to our troubles trying to find an agent in 2008-2009, since despite noticing the misanthropic, anti-West, anti-capitalism, eco-mystic, dismal, and intolerant Progressive contamination of science fiction we were unaware at that time that this phenomenon had its roots in the genre’s publishing gatekeepers.

Larry Correia rants on a similar theme.