Saturday, October 27, 2007

A Link...

Y'know, they did start out as "web logs," as in "places I have went." While I have Some Thing percolating in my noggin about Why The Village Is Not Obliged To Raise Your Child No Matter How Sick He Is, I don't know if the brew will be fit to post; it will make me look even more heartless than I am, which is sayin' a lot, and won't address the useless tears I have shed over other people's tragedies and things I cannot fix.

So try this, instead: an essay on a different sort of topic (or is it?) by Geek With A .45. An Excruciating Truth/"The Lightning"
I am not entirely comfortable with his angle of attack or his conclusions but I can't find any really big holes in it, either. Well, maybe two: I dunno if keeping America free is an inevitable result of the US of A havin' hold of The Lightning [and neither does The Geek. My apologies, sir] and I believe anarchy is the real state of human affairs; "civilization" is merely a game most of us have agreed to play and power in the hands of the State is most often the opposite of freedom. But granting that, the boy's not makin' stuff up. Read it an' see for yourself.

...While you're at it, go have a look at The Lawdog Files. The link is right over there at the right. He's a genius of the heart -- and no fool in other ways, too. Wish there were more like him.


Unknown said...

I do not do much with my olde Brooklyn blog—I am stuck amid a literal ring of fire that is only know dying down, in Los Angeles—but while I was linking my olde blog to a comment to one of my new endevaours (of which there are many), I popped onto yours.
To be sure, I appreciate what you write, and I wish I could divulge more about why I appreciate yer brass.

Unknown said...

P.S. (from R, above: aka BusTard)

Roberta X said...

I'm pretty much made of brass, with a little bit of steel, Jell-O and porcelain thrown in for good measure.

Always nice t'hear from a member of the old tribe of linotypist-feeders, especially one who slings much the same dialect.

geekWithA.45 said...

>> I dunno if keeping America free is an inevitable result of the US of A havin' hold of The Lightning...

I believe I explain that mere posession of the Lightning does NOT guarantee our freedom or prosperity. The point was that -failure- to possess the Lightning means that our Freedom and Prosperity is at the mercy/whim of whoever DOES possess the Lightning.

Morally, ethically and philosophically, I would be much more comfortable if the Lightning was widely available as wss the case up to the end of the 19th century. The sooner we figure out a realistic alternative, the better for every one, because a high potency, military capable power source is -also- the key to get off this rock. As Niven points out, any energy source potent enough for space travel innevitably has military applications.

Roberta X said...

Sometimes, I swan, my readin' comprehension is not what it ought; and likewise my writing.

Geekwith, my ol' and dear (though you knew it not), I getcha and I'm still distinctly uncomfortable with This Republic havin' The Lightning as opposed to the citizenry thereof having it; the State's Monopoly on Force [(c) 1957, Rand, Ayn] inevitably means No Freedom and a choice of slaveries is not an acceptable outcome even though one is nicer than the other.

Defining what this "us" is strikes me as a critical bit. Congress is not you'n'me and neither is the Chief Executive.

...Which puts me bang smack back in the middle of the "twittering idealist" camp and ultimately leads to a death untimely in, if I am lucky, a big old pile of spent brass. Can't say I am comfy with that, either.

I'm out of answers. I'm pleased persons more articulate than myself are posing the questions and still suspect we're all 90 degrees off from the path out of this mess.

Anonymous said...

"Colonialism" was a prettier face put on the 19th cent.grab for coaling stations and guano islands (they don't call it "bat-shit crazy" for nothing). I sure don't see that era as a golden age of non-centralized lightning. Metal-forging and powder technology were "the lightning." When we started out here, we had none of that. So they-uns got Krupp, millions of subjects, and a sun that never set; we got duPont, all those Jewish physicists, and Navassa Island.

A rich rube toured the Corliss works, and asked what they made there. Corliss answered, "We make here, sir, what all the world desires: Power."

I'm always skeptical of exporting lightning. But I don't worry about running short. We make it here. It's only the lack of brass that bothers me.

Roberta X said...

There never was a Golden Age and there never shall be -- and for, m'lad, you should fervently kiss the feet of Reality, 'cos in the Land Of Hilk And Money nothin' ever changes! It's a bad place, a diresome despotism even when it lacks a despot. No less a hoplophobic blisser than Ursula K. LeGuin dreamed up her perfect anarchosocialist Eden and quite promptly found the unpatchably huge snake in it. (The Dispossessed, for any reader raised by sleekly happy seals at an abandoned whaling station in the Antarctic. She did quite well with that glitch and give her this: she knows we're not perfectable, she just doesn't like to think it).

What there has been, what there will be again if our species sticks around -- is a civilization with a bit of order and a large amount of looseness to it. This appears to be the arrangment under which most progress is made; sometimes it's by brilliant loons who can find their own freedom but the easier that freedom is to find, the more stuff happens. Not all of it is good stuff. Humans are middlin' clever critters, not godlings, and much of what we try, fails. The important thing is that we try.

This does not so much happen in societies with a big fetish about safety and security. I don't think we can fix that broken part of the West, no matter how dang much of the The Lighning our society gets -- unless, maybe, we can each have a significant chunk thereof in our own individual possession rather than in the hands of Exxon or the Pentagon.

"...And then," crusty old Aunt Ayn wrote of the ubermensch John Galt, "a miracle happened." Don't hold yer breath.