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  1. emptc12 commented on Clay Jones about 4 hours ago

    He should join the Al Capp School of Boobology.
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    Sorry.

  2. emptc12 commented on Jeff Stahler about 5 hours ago

    What sense would it have made to fragment? All these communications networks meant to bring us together seem to emphasize our differences rather than our similarities. It’s extreme rhinoplasty on national levels.
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    It calls to mind a Kurt Vonnegut Kilgore Trout bogus novel wherein the human race finally achieves immortality and then humans immediately proceed in attempts to kill each other.

  3. emptc12 commented on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal about 5 hours ago

    My favorite parts of CONTACT (the book, not the movie) deal with Ellie’s fascination with numbers, especially pi. At the alien research center, it is explained that the Universe is a construct of mathematics and can best be understood through mathematical study; that messages to help stellar civilizations understand the Universe are encrypted within the structure of this mathematical Universe by some past high intelligence. As I recall she eventually finds a simple message in base-eight pi around the billionth digit.
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    And as portrayed in the (humorous) story “Mathenauts,” (Norman Kagan) travel into the Universe is attainable only by those with an advanced, intuitive understanding of Mathematics, because – reality is Mathematics.
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    Of course quantum theory introduces complexities far beyond what past mathematicians imagined. When humans try to apply science to society, cultural biases inevitably creep in – witness the attempts in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries to apply Darwinism to race theories and intelligence tests. Economic theory also began its deep mathematical, statistical basis then.

    I doubt humans in their present state can ever understand the true mathematical structure of everything, based as we are to our everyday Newtonian frame of existence. It will probably be up to AI computers to extend the understanding. Will they take us along, or in soaring outward, leave us on our quaint terrestrial preserve?

  4. emptc12 commented on Darrin Bell about 20 hours ago

    Did you ever notice how in repeating a sentence (no matter how simple) and each time putting the emphasis on a single different word, changes the meaning of that sentence? It must be difficult to get that right in translating to different languages. And how does “boots on the ground” translate idiomatically?

  5. emptc12 commented on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal about 21 hours ago

    “The classics never go away because they conform to the basic plotlines of history, sort of like the I Ching describes.”
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    I agree. I’ve believed that there are only a few basic literary themes, done over and over with variations. And reading various “big” books after a decade or so away, I tend to understand them better, through other reading as well as accumulated life experiences. I think if you reach or surpass an author’s age at the time of his or her writing a book you always admired, you might be entitled to find flaws.
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    The best works transcend an author’s limitations of age, pass the test of time cultural and personal. Those works stay ever true and the authors are ever your “elders."

  6. emptc12 commented on Ted Rall 1 day ago

    The two activities humans think most about, procreation and war, probably make us most nearly to the old gods.

  7. emptc12 commented on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal 1 day ago

    Where is Hari Seldon when he’s needed? When will “psycho” history become Psychohistory? I read that Paul Krugman was inspired by the FOUNDATION novels to take up Economics.

  8. emptc12 commented on Clay Bennett 2 days ago

    I like the way Bennett draws with flowing lines and soft shading.

  9. emptc12 commented on Matt Davies 2 days ago

    They are an infection in themselves, born of a system TO BE SERVED rather than TO SERVE. And I know some don’t like to hear it, but in my opinion: free universal basic health care is a human right. A healthy country is a strong and happy country. And in the long run it is cheaper.
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    As populations increasingly crowd into cities, some nasty microbe will eventually brew there and burn through large swaths of humanity before it is diagnosed and stopped. It’s only a matter of time.

  10. emptc12 commented on Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal 2 days ago

    Last comment today, because I tend to chatter too much: I had no idea Heinlein dealt with that topic. I stopped reading him after STRANGER IN A STRANGE LAND: Too much character dialogue, and it seemed as if he was dictating his books. Shallow of me.