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otherles
12 June 2016 @ 07:15 am
 
 
otherles
10 April 2016 @ 08:22 am
 
 
otherles
04 March 2016 @ 11:00 pm
 
 
otherles
04 February 2016 @ 11:59 am
 
 
otherles
27 January 2016 @ 09:25 pm
Once upon a time ago before I read any work by Ayn Rand I saw The Man Who Fell To Earth starring David Bowie. I didn’t enjoy sitting through it and the one scene that stuck with me depicted a nihilist denouncing innovation. Having never read a word of real philosophy at the time I merely saw the character as being stupid.

After the recent death of Mr. Bowie a local film society held a showing of the film. I won’t claim the excuse of brain damage in deciding to see it. I had actually forgot how truly awful it was.

It wasn’t just the fact that the director was a no talent hack with delusions of cleverness.

Nor was it his insistence on using Manhattan skyscrapers as an anatomical reference along with inserting two pointless scenes that stop just short of actual pornography.

No.

Every second of the film was an expression of the hatred of human life and after only half an hour I walked out.

Remember the nihilist? When I originally saw the film I could not understand how any character could be so stupid. I now understand that in denouncing any improvement in the tools used by man he was denying the value of human life.
 
 
 
otherles
21 October 2015 @ 02:15 am

 
 
otherles
27 September 2015 @ 05:55 pm
 
 
otherles
11 September 2015 @ 03:07 am
I was attempting to rewrite (steal) the Watershed scene from The Tactics Of Mistake by Gordon R. Dickson but I wasn't happy with it:

For Colonel Thomas Kearney the operation had gone off without flaw and with no casualties for his men. The objective of this operation was a small mining town on one the minor outer colony worlds.

Vance was a barely habitable and tidally locked moon of a Jovian class gas giant that in turn orbited a red dwarf star. The initial settlement had served as a way station for the exploration and colonization of better worlds further out from Earth. But a more detailed survey of the world had found recoverable minerals in the platinum group and a rare earth element used in the manufacture of hyperdrives.

The world was named for Sir John Vance, an Australian astronaut employed by the Martian Relocation Project. Although the MRP had set up their own outpost on this world they also opened it to settlement dissident groups from Earth. What made the operation possible was the fact that not all of the settlements had joined the newly independent central government. But for Colonel Kearney this action was also a step forward in the recovery from two disasters. The minor and most recent was the defeat of the unit that left him with a bit less than three hundred effective soldiers out of was once a first class mercenary regiment. The more distant and most devastating to him was the loss of the home world and his family to what was in practical effect a band of invading savages.

The first part of operation was a night march through the forest bordering Federal Republic of Vance and the dissident colony of Vermillion. The march to the objective was illuminated by the reflected light of the gas giant planet that was permanently fixed on the southern horizon. The objective of the operation was the town of Runoff and the mining sites surrounding it. Which was a cluster of homes, small businesses, and offices. Very few of the people were awake at the time and once the mercenaries were in position their unit simply walked in and seized the town.

With the streets, the government buildings. and the local militia armory of the town secured Kearney ordered the transmission to the client of the code for the successful mission. But as Kearney waited for arrival of the sponsors there was unfinished business to be dealt with.

Kearney sat at the official desk as the Mayor of Runoff was dragged in. The Mayor was barefoot, unshaven, and hastily dressed. He looked around the room and shook his head before speaking to his captor.

“So you think you’re special?”

“We’re professional soldiers.”

“You’re only criminals.” The Mayor replied. “Did you kill anyone yet?”

“No.” Kearney replied.

There was no resistance from the police or any of the civilians that were awake.

So much for the sea of armed civilians. Kearney thought.

The Mayor looked directly at Kearney and spoke.

“Then if you leave right now and cross the border back into Vermillion you and your unit may yet get away.”

Kearney mentally dismissed the statement and placed a document on the desk before the Mayor.

“Sign it.” Said Kearney.

The Mayor briefly scanned it and then replied.

“No.” Said the Mayor. “You are nothing, you have no authority and thus no power over any of us.”

Kearney stared at the Mayor for a moment.

How can he say that? He thought.

“I can have you shot.” Kearney replied.

The Mayor looked Kearney straight in the eyes and then calmly replied.

“In that case you will actually become something, but it would only be a diseased animal that should be put down quickly and with mercy.”

Kearney could not believe what he had just heard.

Is he insane?


The Mayor spoke again.

“Now you should lay down your arms, go home, grow up, and get a life.”

For Kearney and his men this wasn’t possible--there was no place they could call a home. With
the refusal to sign the surrender document Kearney sent the Mayor downstairs to the town jail with the police officers that were on duty and other elected officials.

The local sun was beginning to rise as the gee-vee arrived with two well dressed civilians. The first man represented the sponsor of the operation, the Superior Mining Company, and the other was an official of the official central government. Superior Mining originated on the Iron Range of Minnesota in the late 19th Century and the firm had barely survived into the Interstellar Era. But under new management the firm would expand again by exploiting the resources found on the colony worlds and shipping them to Earth. Or it did until the extinction event that killed most of the population and the advanced civilization of Earth.
 
 
otherles
06 August 2015 @ 02:16 am
On this day 70 years ago the first operational nuclear weapon was used against a nation that initiated a war against the United States and I fully expect the current occupant of the White House to openly condemn this morally necessary action.
 
 
otherles
25 December 2014 @ 08:36 pm
It was Thursday, May 4th 1972. On the original timeline this would have been the second anniversary of the Kent State Massacre. Today it was just another day at school for Evelyn Boatman. He didn’t actually need to attend a public school in the United States at this time but it allowed him to hide in plain view and gave him an opportunity to study in depth the virtual cesspit of public education in America at this time. It also allowed him to meet two people that would make history.

In the lunchroom in the basement of the Sheridan Junior High School in Minneapolis he was about to sit down when a another student stepped up and spoke to him.

“Evelyn,” she said, “can I talk to you about something personal?”

“Yes,” he replied.

Maria Mitchell was slightly shorter with long dark brown hair and glasses. She also dressed modestly by the standards of the day. He quickly stepped to the opposite side of the table where he was about to sit and pulled out a chair for her. A clearly gentlemanly act that no other male student would have performed in this day and age.

She was astonished.

“Thank you,” she said as sat down with her lunch tray.

Her lunch was the unspeakable concoction of the day served up by the Minneapolis Public Schools. He did not doubt for a second that at least one member of the school board received a kickback from the current supplier of mystery meat. What the meat was remained a mystery. His own lunch was a sandwich he made and packed himself. Corned beef and Swiss cheese on rye with a handful of potato chips.

“You’re welcome,” he replied to her.

Once seated he looked across the table and spoke.

“So Maria,” he said in a clearly calm and adult voice, “what did you want to discuss?”

“I don’t know how to say this...”

He calmly responded.

“Maria, try to make a simple statement.”

She stared and thought for a moment, and then replied.

“Do you want to have sex with me?”

He blinked.

If Evelyn Boatman had been an actual fourteen year old American boy of the late Twentieth Century he would have immediately answered in the affirmative and then clumsily attempt to arrange the full contact encounter. But he was an extremely old man from 10 Ursae Majoris in his second incarnation. With the memory of being a father and grandfather his answer would be radically different.

“No,” he replied.

Maria was clearly disappointed.

He spoke again.

“Maria, do you want me to explain?”

She gently nodded.

“My family is a bit weird,” he said, “we have a rule, never engage in sexual intercourse with someone you are not willing to marry. It’s a rule that came down from the family patriarch, also named Evelyn, and it works for us.”

He actually adopted the rule himself in the younger days of his original incarnation. He then passed it on to the succeeding generations of the family.

“This is not an objection to you as a person, it’s just a practical ethical rule. And we’re both too young to be thinking of marriage, anyway.”

Maria nodded again. And then asked another question.

“So if our age wasn’t the problem?”

Boatman thought for a moment and then replied.

“Maria, you are a very intelligent young woman and only a complete idiot would not want you as his partner for life.”

With that reply she smiled.

In the Oval Office of the White House, Richard Milhous Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, sat at his desk and examined a list of names. It was a list of the latest targets in the dirty war against the Hard Left in the United States. For the most part they were members of the Students for a Democratic Society. But is some cases there were members of the academic staff of one institution or another. A special emphasis was made to remove those--who according to records brought back aboard the Resolution--would become members of terrorist groups such as the Symbionese Liberation Army.

Once he signed the order each one would be made to quietly disappear in the middle of the night, never to be seen by another living person again.

Once again he asked himself, why?

Intellectually he knew they were Communists, believers in an ideology of death and destruction, and Enemies of Humanity in General. And if the records brought back on the Resolution were accurate it would have been a great amount of death and destruction. The images of the killing fields of Cambodia, which had yet to occur on this timeline, had sickened him to the core of his soul. But the same records also showed that the Communist movement worldwide would eventually retreat and in some places actually fall from power. His counterpart on the original timeline had lived to see the day that the Red Banner of Soviet Union lowered from the Kremlin for the last time.

Again, why?

Even though the Communist states in existence fell or had retreated from their doctrine, the American fellow travelers who supported the ideology, remained in place in the United States. Here they continued to preach their doctrines and eventually their students would take full control of the nation.

The result was a massive and bloody disaster. Economic collapse within and the end of peace worldwide. As a result civil war within the United States would erupt and the world outside would be immersed in a global war. Major American cities would be held under siege. Upon their fall to the insurgents the surviving inhabitants would resemble the inmates of death camps. In the Second Civil War the city of Chicago would be burned to the ground and never be rebuilt. Even in the 23rd Century the city would remain a ruin.

President Nixon was horrified to learn the fate of his nation.

“How can we stop it?” He asked.

The apparent child who led the people from the future answered.

“Root them out and kill them.”

“But...but...” Nixon objected, “they may be Reds but they are Americans.”

“'Those who deny the Rights of Man cannot claim those same rights for themselves.’”

The apparent child had quoted from a book. President Nixon would eventually read the book for himself and conclude that he had made a Faustian bargain with the people from the future.

In the school lunchroom another boy came up to the table. Allen Keller was a year younger than Maria and 92 years younger than the objective age of Evelyn Boatman.

“Am I interrupting anything?” He said.

“No,” Evelyn replied, “go ahead.”

Allen sat down next to Maria, as a result she appeared to be annoyed. For lunch he brown bagged a peanut butter sandwich. Like Evelyn he made his own sandwiches at home. But his family was not as well off as the Boatman household. This fact was reinforced by the thrift shop clothes that Allen always wore.

“So anyway,” said Allen, “I turned in the report on that book to my social studies teacher for the extra credit assignment, as you predicted the bastard gave me an F.”

“What book was this?” Maria asked.

The Society Of Consent.” Evelyn replied.

Maria’s eye widened.

“You’ve read that book?” She said. “That book has been condemned by every moral authority on Earth!”

Evelyn replied.

“Maria, the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is not a moral authority.”

“You know what I mean,” she said.

“Yes, I do.” Evelyn relied. “Setting aside the Reds what we have are the religious authorities. By declaring that a proper moral code must be based on reason the author is effectively firing the lot of them. And everyone, from the Pope on down, will have to find a real job.”

“It made perfect sense to me.” Said Allen.

“Well that’s because you’re so resistant to brainwashing, Al.” Evelyn replied.

In the original timeline Allen Keller would continue to think for himself. He would become a significant figure in the history of the early 21st century and would eventually become the author of the original version of The Society Of Consent.

The version currently in public circulation on this timeline had been sterilized. It had been rewritten to remove references to events that had not yet occurred as well as clues to the identity of the author.

Allen asked Evelyn a question.

“So how did your paper work out?”

“I got an F.”

“You expected that?” Said Allen.

“Yes.”

What Boatman had presented to his social studies teacher had been a shortened and sterilized version of the masters thesis for his degree in Political Science.

“It was clearly way over his head,” said Evelyn.

In Boatman’s opinion the 8th grade social studies teacher was clearly a waste of mass and energy.

In the Oval Office President Nixon still held the list in his hands. On the list were the names of William Clinton and Hillary Rodham. Together they would contribute to the ignition of the Second Civil War on the original timeline. The people from the future had gone beyond hatred for them. They saw Clinton and Rodham simply as animals who had to be put down for the good of the nation and Humanity as a whole.

But the briefing on the Waco Massacre was the major eye opener. Director Hoover of the FBI was present for it. Nixon had never seen such an effort to repress open anger in his life. Hoover remained silent as the depths of the moral corruption to which the Bureau had descended were illuminated. When the briefing was over Hoover only said one sentence in a level voice.

“No, Mr. President, I will not allow it to happen.”

It was at this time that President Nixon made his decision. He signed the order.

May God forgive me. He thought.

It was a bright and sunny Friday morning at Cape Canaveral and a Saturn V with an unmanned payload waited on Pad 39-B as the countdown entered the final phase.

“Twelve, eleven, ten, nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, engines start, three, two, one, LIFTOFF! The Saturn Five has cleared the tower with the Eos One satellite for the Voice of America! Broadcasting the word of Freedom across Europe and Africa!”

Three of the Eos series satellites as well as the Saturn V launch vehicles were ordered two years ago. Assuming that all systems actually functioned properly the order of deployment would be over Europe and Africa, East Asia, and the Americas. If all three launches succeeded and the satellites worked there would be direct radio broadcast coverage for the entire world.

At lunchtime the head of the Political Science department of Harvard asked an associate professor a question.

“Fred, have you seen the papers this morning?”

“Yes Tom, I have.”

“Can you believe the nerve of that trash? They know damned well these are lies and yet they publish them anyway!’

The department head pointed to a photograph on the front page of the Boston Herald. It showed a mass grave that was dug up in Western Cambodia by American and Vietnamese ground forces. The site of the grave was in the zone formerly controlled by the Cambodian Khmer Rouge faction.

The joint American-Vietnamese offensive had two goals. To clear out the Communists from Cambodia and to cross Laos on the ground at roughly the 17th parallel and physically cut the Ho Chi Minh trail. It worked and now the Communist forces in South Vietnam and Cambodia were starving without outside support.

Tom the department head asked another question.

“When can we set up a demonstration over this?”

“I don’t know.”

“What do you mean you don’t know?”

“The SDS organizer for my class, Dave March, has disappeared.”

“What do you mean disappeared?”

“He’s vanished, he stopped attending classes. His landlady called me too, he hasn’t paid his rent and he left a mess in the apartment. For some reason even the carpet in the living room is gone too.”

The department head leaned back in his chair for a moment to think. And then he asked another question.

“He’s the really rich kid from the Midwest?”

“Minnesota.” The associate professor replied. “His family was into lumber and mining.”

“Despoilers of the Earth?”

“Yes, they were.”

Tom the department head nodded. The newly founded environmental movement appeared to another possible means to overturn the established order and obtain power for themselves.

He spoke again.

“There’s a new sci-fi flick called Awaken opening at the Paramount Theater tonight. Interested in seeing it?”

“We have nothing to do tonight, what do the reviews say?”

“That’s the funny thing, there aren’t any.”

The associate professor raised an eyebrow.

“Really? Are they trying to hide something?”

“Perhaps they are.” Said Tom. “They’re capitalists after all.”

Associate professor Fred nodded.

“Let’s see if we can get some other staff members to come with us.

Somewhere under a mountain in West Virginia a woman in a white lab coat stepped up to a podium.

“Good morning.” She said with a unfamiliar accent.

The accent wasn’t quite a proper American accent. One local American member of the Black Mass project team had once described it as being a bit Martian.

“Close.” She replied.

She started today’s briefing.

“Today we will perform a test to determine if we can interface with a human brain and do a proper interrogation download with present day locally made components. As you know the parts of the system to interface with the brain that we use to perform the download were designed to be disposable and the supply of such components we brought back on the Resolution is limited. Once we have successfully carried out an interrogation download with newly made interface components we will also be able to perform consciousness download part of the recorportaion process.”

In another part of the newly drilled underground complex a an effort was being made to grow human cells as the cloning part of the recorportaion process. One volunteer for the project was a bit impatient, as he was now past the date of what would have been his death from aging on the original timeline.

“Our test subject for today is one David March. He was an Communist agitator as a member of the Students for a Democratic Society and thus no loss to humanity. In the original timeline he was a lifelong Communist and a homosexual.”

Dave March was in the middle of a homosexual encounter when the Black Mass acquisition team entered his apartment. The other party to the tryst was essentially a nobody and was immediately terminated and disposed of.

“We have a detailed account of his life to compare to any data we acquire in the session as a result of his being the uncle of President John Andrew March. In contemporary documents he was referred to as “Uncle Dave” and acted and was regarded as a major problem during The Reformation.”

The ship’s physician of the Resolution, Dr. Angela Mercer, looked over the team who would help her today. They were effective people, and that was what mattered.

“Let’s get started..”