Chat Log: May 7th, 201

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[12:26] #knownspace> sean: yo mark
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[13:10] #knownspace> Lensman_Free: Hi Nedry
[13:59] #knownspace> Akiraa: so much history happened before the greeks and the romans
[13:59] #knownspace> Akiraa: I had little idea
[14:01] #knownspace> Akiraa: apparently, for about of history (2500 BC to the present), writing was done in cueniform
[14:01] #knownspace> Akiraa: *half of*
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[14:16] #knownspace> Lensman_Free: Nedry, are you actually here or was that just your 'bot that rejoined chat?
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[14:56] #knownspace> Jim: Jonathan has jumped the shark
[14:57] #knownspace> SeanS: heh
[14:59] #knownspace> Lensman: In what way?
[14:59] #knownspace> Lensman: Oops... I may have just asked for a political comment. If it's that, then nevermind.
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[15:03] #knownspace> dmac44: Hi guys.
[15:03] #knownspace> SeanS: hey
[15:03] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi!
[15:03] #knownspace> dmac44: Do we have a topic today?
[15:03] #knownspace> Lensman: No, but if you'd care to suggest one...
[15:05] #knownspace> dmac44: we usually talk about known space. Are there other Niven universes you all are interested in?
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[15:08] #knownspace> Hippy: Good morning, everyone
[15:08] #knownspace> SeanS: hi hippy
[15:08] #knownspace> dmac44: Hi hippy
[15:08] #knownspace> Hippy: How's it all going?
[15:09] #knownspace> Hippy: I noticed that that was out
[15:09] #knownspace> Hippy: Also, has anyone else got their Hugo ballot?
[15:09] #knownspace> Lensman: Oh thanks, I had not noticed.
[15:10] #knownspace> Hippy: Amazon recommended it to me :)
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[15:10] #knownspace> Hippy: G'day, Larry
[15:10] #knownspace> Lensman: Welcome, Larry!
[15:10] #knownspace> Hippy: Happy Birthday for last week
[15:11] #knownspace> Larry: Hello everybody. I had a good birthday. Eeriecon generated a cake.
[15:11] #knownspace> Lensman: Pictures?
[15:11] #knownspace> dmac44: Hi Larry
[15:12] #knownspace> Jim: hi
[15:12] #knownspace> Larry: I'll be getting pictures. The cake had my photograph on it.
[15:13] #knownspace> Larry: re The Moon Maze Game: we've turned it in. We're awaiting editorial comment.
[15:13] #knownspace> Lensman: So I see, Larry!
[15:13] #knownspace> Lensman: Link
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[15:14] #knownspace> Hippy: Oh. Amazon says it's been released!
[15:14] #knownspace> Hippy: G'day, ronn
[15:14] #knownspace> ronn: Hi, all!
[15:15] #knownspace> Larry: has it? I must have lost track. Yeah, I guess I did the proofs.
[15:15] #knownspace> dmac44: Amazon here says you can order it. release date Aug 16th.
[15:15] #knownspace> dmac44: pre-order it
[15:15] #knownspace> Hippy: Just in time for the WorldCon, good
[15:17] #knownspace> Larry: What else is new?
[15:18] #knownspace> Hippy: The nominees for the Hugo are out
[15:18] #knownspace> Hippy: If you can judge by the titles, SF has vanished from the Earth
[15:19] #knownspace> Larry: I haven't even competed for a hugo in decades. Haven't won one since 1976.
[15:19] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, I voted for Footfall in 1985 :)
[15:19] #knownspace> Larry: I got my Hugos when I needed them, needed the ratification.
[15:19] #knownspace> Jim: Hippy: Which brings me to my point last week about the evils of fantasy.
[15:20] #knownspace> Hippy: Last week?
[15:20] #knownspace> Larry: I write some fantasy. I find it relaxing. I wouldn't want to see fantasy disappear.
[15:20] #knownspace> Jim: Do the Hugos favor young writers?
[15:20] #knownspace> Jim: last month
[15:20] #knownspace> Larry: Jim, they do.
[15:21] #knownspace> Hippy: But publishers also favour young (or at leat new) writers
[15:21] #knownspace> Hippy: Of course a collection of old stories from, say, the 1940's wouldn't be eligible for a Hugo, so that's another factor behind who gets nominated
[15:22] #knownspace> Lensman: It certainly seems like fiction publishers show a preference for younger writers, yes.
[15:22] #knownspace> Larry: Old writers are more dependable. New writers don't cost as much. For a publisher, it's "do you feel lucky?"
[15:23] #knownspace> ronn: If they favor new writers, the why is it so hard for new writers to get started? Or has that changed?
[15:23] #knownspace> Hippy: At least these days it's a bit easier to get those old collections. I'm still recovering used copies of the stuff I grew up on
[15:24] #knownspace> Hippy: There seems to be so many venues out there now that the real problem is searching for somewhere to plunk your story, not whether they'll reject it
[15:24] #knownspace> Lensman: Yeah, is a much, much easier way to find books I missed than browsing thru the shelves of used bookstores!
[15:25] #knownspace> Hippy: Ooh, that's a new one, I'll have to check that out
[15:25] #knownspace> Larry: I do find it easy to publish collections. "The Best of Larry Niven" and "Stars and Gods". Of course that's only for older writers.
[15:25] #knownspace> Lensman: ronn: Because there are very many more would-be writers than the publishing business will support.
[15:26] #knownspace> Hippy: Larry, did you put any commentary in 'The Best Of. . '?
[15:26] #knownspace> Larry: Of course there's commentary in "The Best of--". For each story.
[15:27] #knownspace> Larry: And it's every story I couldn't stand to leave out.
[15:28] #knownspace> Hippy: Good! Excellent!
[15:28] #knownspace> Hippy: 'No Exit' is apparently for sale for the Kindle, too
[15:28] #knownspace> Hippy: And Jerry Pournelle was on TWIT a few weeks back saying that 'Lucifer's HJammer' is coming out in Kindle format. Hurrah!
[15:29] #knownspace> Lensman: "No exit" has been available as an e-book before there was a Kindle, I think.
[15:32] #knownspace> Larry: "No Exit," short story with Hank Stine>
[15:32] #knownspace> Jim: me too
[15:34] #knownspace> Jim: Which writers generate more revenue for the publishers: new writers, or experienced writers?
[15:35] #knownspace> Larry: I think experienced writers generate better revenue but demand better terms.
[15:36] #knownspace> Jim: OK
[15:36] #knownspace> Larry: Generalizing about writers isn't easy. We're all different.
[15:36] #knownspace> Lensman: Old writers, or rather well-established writers, are a better bet for generating revenue for a new book. But established writers get paid more. Best payoff for a publisher is a new writer who writes a best-seller. Hard to pick those in advance!
[15:37] #knownspace> Jim: Have anyone heard of publishing contracts that were truly abusive?
[15:38] #knownspace> Lensman: Jim: Sure. "PublishAmerica".
[15:38] #knownspace> Jim: Aside from POD.
[15:38] #knownspace> Lensman: But that's not a real publisher, it's a scam.
[15:38] #knownspace> Larry: I know some tales. SFWA sometimes hits a shitstorm.
[15:39] #knownspace> Jim: One time on MTV they had the story of the rock band Bad Finger which had a couple of certified hits in the 1970's, but were paid nothing.
[15:40] #knownspace> Lensman: Larry, any tales you'd care to relate?
[15:40] #knownspace> Larry: Government sometimes falls upon publishers, and the grief is passed on. See Thor Power Tools.
[15:41] #knownspace> Larry: I have a letter froim H
[15:43] #knownspace> Larry: Sorry. from Random House. It says that if I sue them, I'm obliged to pay their lawyers and pay any judgment against them. This is a truly novel interpretation of a standard clause in most contracts.
[15:43] #knownspace> Hippy: Good grief
[15:44] #knownspace> Hippy: I suppose the Supreme Court will in due course uphold such a contract
[15:45] #knownspace> Lensman: Good grief indeed!
[15:45] #knownspace> Larry: We negotiated. But I still have the letter.
[15:46] #knownspace> Lensman: I imagine the SFWA would have something to say about such abusive contract clauses.
[15:47] #knownspace> dmac44: Sounds more like their interpretation than the clause itself.
[15:48] #knownspace> Hippy: I suspect they were just trying it on to see who wouldn't notice
[15:53] #knownspace> Hippy: So. . .have I killed the conversation?
[15:54] #knownspace> Larry: or did I?
[15:54] #knownspace> Lensman: Larry, no. The sad fact is that no one has suggested a good topic today.
[15:54] #knownspace> Hippy: Larry, have you heard any of the audibooks of your works? I just got 'Footfall' from Audible the other day
[15:55] #knownspace> Lensman: I thought Ed had a good point in a chat not so long ago. We are told that protectors do age over thousands of years, and die of old age. That's in /Protector/.
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[15:56] #knownspace> Lensman: So how is it that Proserpina claims to have survived since before the Ringworld was built?
[15:56] #knownspace> Lensman: Is she lying?
[15:56] #knownspace> Jim: Slice of Sci-Fi has a caller who calls himself Foxleader. Now, I would pay good money for a book to be read by him.
[15:56] #knownspace> Lensman: Or did the Ringworld Engineers discover some form of immortality?
[15:56] #knownspace> Andy: Possibly crazy with isolation?
[15:57] #knownspace> Larry: "Rainbow Mars" had a good reader. Others of my novels, not so hot. I've listened to a few. Sometimes I have to, to bone up for a sequel.
[15:57] #knownspace> Andy: Asimov used to say that he liked reading his own works almost as much as writing them
[15:57] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes, it is a good way to glean facts from the text
[15:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Is it possible that Proserpina is like the Phantom... the Ghost Who Walks? Only the latest in a long line of individuals who all assume the same identity?
[15:57] #knownspace> Larry: If Proserpina is lying about her age, she'll be good at it. She'll have done research into her predecessors.
[15:58] #knownspace> Lensman: Personally, I suspect there are many devices hidden in the Penultimate's Citadel... possibly including a protector immortality device.
[15:58] #knownspace> Andy: Yeah - if a protector wants to lie to you, the odds of a mere breeder being able to detect it are slim.
[15:59] #knownspace> Hippy: Or the Ringworld is much younger than we beliece it to be
[15:59] #knownspace> Jim: What is the age of Ringworld?
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[15:59] #knownspace> Jim: Even more important, how can one calculate the age of Ringworld?
[15:59] #knownspace> Lensman: The Ringworld can't possibly be much younger. After all, I went to all that work to make the Ringworld timelines! :)
[16:00] #knownspace> EML: Hi, all.
[16:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi, Ed.
[16:00] #knownspace> Jim: Larry and EML together.
[16:00] #knownspace> Hippy: G'day, Ed
[16:00] #knownspace> Larry: That's a new thought. But the Ringworld must be old: there's been so much evolution among the Pak breeders.
[16:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Erosion patterns would be a good way to judge. Like the Grand Canyon, the timeline is written in stone.
[16:00] #knownspace> Hippy: Oh, yes, the breeder population is old - but it evolved elsewhere
[16:01] #knownspace> Lensman: Unless you want to believe that was faked with nanotech or some such.
[16:01] #knownspace> Jim: I am not a biologist; can evolutionary change be used as a chronometer?
[16:01] #knownspace> Hippy: How eroded could it get? The rok is only forty feet thick, a working Ringworld congtrols its erorisin and scrith doesn't eorde
[16:01] #knownspace> ronn: "[Jim] Larry and EML together."
[16:01] #knownspace> ronn: Isn't there some preacher or cult out there that has been quoted in the news saying the world will end this month? ;)
[16:02] #knownspace> EML: Ecologies are hard to move -- I'm inclined to think the hominids evolved in situ.
[16:02] #knownspace> Andy: You'd have to check how much of the surface was eroded down to the scrith to get an estimate of age
[16:02] #knownspace> Larry: Evolution can be argued to happen suddenly, "Catastrophically".
[16:03] #knownspace> Lensman: Jim: Yes, the random changes in mitochondrial DNA are claimed to be a reliable clock. But that depends on the mutation rate, which depends on the level of background radiation. If populations lived frex around nuclear piles which had melted down, mutation rate would increase drastically. That's one scenario proposed in /Protector/.
[16:03] #knownspace> EML: The rate of genetic drift in junk genes is a rough clock of evolution. We used that in Fleet of Worlds.
[16:03] #knownspace> Hippy: Plus, it would speed up with a huge base population of breeders and at first no control of what mutations can survive in what would be a very harmonious environment
[16:03] #knownspace> Lensman: Ronn: Yeah, some Millennialists. I haven't paid any attention myself.
[16:04] #knownspace> Andy: Hippy, I don't think that would affect the junk gene change rate, just the active gene change rate (which is variable anyway)
[16:04] #knownspace> Lensman: Millennialist (sp?) claims pop up every year or two, nothing new there.
[16:04] #knownspace> Hippy: Unless they're right
[16:04] #knownspace> Andy: But this guy has used multiplication to come up with his answer - he must be right!
[16:05] #knownspace> ronn: @Lensman: Just wondering if having Larry and EML on the chat at the same time was so rare it could be one of the "signs of the times" . . . :D
[16:06] #knownspace> Lensman: Ronn :)
[16:06] #knownspace> Jim: 21 May 2011 is the date of the rapture according to the Family Radio guy.
[16:06] #knownspace> Andy: It's rare enough that I'm on chat to be a sign of something!
[16:07] #knownspace> Hippy: That's my cousin's 50th. She'll be so disappointed
[16:07] #knownspace> EML: how did the age if the RW come up?
[16:07] #knownspace> Jim:
[16:07] #knownspace> Larry: It isn't rare for EML and I to meet here.
[16:07] #knownspace> Jim: EML: I asked about the age of RW.
[16:08] #knownspace> Lensman: Ed: I brought up your point that Proserpina claims to be about a million years old, yet protectors in general don't live that long.
[16:08] #knownspace> EML: Older even than ME ...
[16:09] #knownspace> Larry: Ed, the argument was over Proserpine's age. Protectors do die, after all.
[16:09] #knownspace> EML: Lens: Larry may differ, but I always figured Prosperina was a few TOL roots short of a combination plate.
[16:09] #knownspace> Andy: Which book mentioned protectors dying of old age (as opposed to starvation or violence, which are much more common)?
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[16:10] #knownspace> Andy: EML: Yeah, I agree - she may very well believe that she was that old, but actually wasn't
[16:10] #knownspace> Lensman: Ed: Proserpina herself admits that her mind... drifted... for long periods. Claiming she's insane is not much of a stretch. So, yeah.
[16:10] #knownspace> Andy: Hey Fred!
[16:10] #knownspace> EML: Andy: in Protector, it's mentioned that P. had spent most of his life on the trip, and something about how long the trip had taken (in is timeframe).
[16:10] #knownspace> Hippy: G'day, Fred
[16:10] #knownspace> Larry: I too doubted Proserpina's sanity, and played her that way.
[16:10] #knownspace> Fred: Andy, Hippy, et al
[16:11] #knownspace> EML: In Destroyer of Worlds, we used a normal lifespan of about (if memory serves) 1200 years.
[16:11] #knownspace> ronn: Larry: On more than one first Saturday recently I recall Ed joining the chat and about the first thing others did was to tell him he had just missed you.
[16:11] #knownspace> Lensman: Question is: Is the story Proserpina told true or false? Maybe she's relating tales handed down to her by a long line of ancestors. Maybe she *believes* she is those ancestors. Maybe that's part of her insanity.
[16:12] #knownspace> Andy: Lens: yes, I think she believes what she said
[16:12] #knownspace> Hippy: And her age isn't explained by relativity?
[16:12] #knownspace> Lensman: But note she lives next door to the abandoned Penultimate's Citadel. Maybe the Penultimate had a protector/Pak immortality machine. Maybe Proserpina found it.
[16:13] #knownspace> Andy: EML - thanks. I have a vague memory of protectors encountering old age for the first time in one of the books (a phenomenon that they've never encountered before)
[16:13] #knownspace> Lensman: Andy: Yes, that's in /Protector/.
[16:14] #knownspace> Andy: Lens: Thanks.
[16:14] #knownspace> dmac44: We know Brennan could take a copy of a mind. Why not a Protector building a device like that combined with cloning?
[16:15] #knownspace> Andy: Dmac - great idea!
[16:15] #knownspace> EML: A mind that keeps getting older is going to be problematical. no matter the youth or rejuvenation of the body. (Comes up in Fate of Worlds, as it happens).
[16:16] #knownspace> Andy: EML- the aging mind in younger bodies might explain the crazy, though
[16:16] #knownspace> EML: Andy: agreed.
[16:17] #knownspace> ronn: EML: If 1200 years ("Standard" years? Earth years) is the "normal" lifespan, what is the range of the outliers. Frex istr reading somewhere that even if natural aging were turned off after maturity and all diseases wiped out the upper limit on human existence would be around 3,000 years due to inevitable accidents (presuming advanced technology did away with most common types of accidents, such
[16:17] #knownspace> ronn: as reliable AI in cars doing away with auto accidents, etc.)
[16:17] #knownspace> Lensman: "He'd spent most of twelve hundred years in that couch, staying immobile to conserve his food supply. It would have been thirty times that but for relativistic effects." I'm not sure if /Protector/ ever indicates how old P-pok was when he left on his voyage.
[16:17] #knownspace> Lensman: dmac: I echo Andy: That's a great idea!
[16:18] #knownspace> dmac44: I'll get right on building one. :)
[16:18] #knownspace> EML: Ronn: no opinion and no data.
[16:18] #knownspace> ronn: Andy: A young mind stuck in an aging body drives people crazy, too.
[16:19] #knownspace> Hippy: Lens: I would've thought P pok not much over 50
[16:19] #knownspace> Andy: P-Pok's descendant Ttuss was 40 when P-Pok had the idea to rescue Earth, but we have no idea how long the War of the Librarians lasted before P-Pok left for Earth
[16:19] #knownspace> Lensman: So that's taking the idea of someone having adopted memories of a long line of ancestors a step farther... It's not that she has confused her memories with tales from the older generations, it's that those memories have actually been implanted in her mind!
[16:19] #knownspace> Hippy: Oh, hang on, yes, I'd forgotten all his time in the library researcing
[16:19] #knownspace> Andy: ronn: Ain't it the truth
[16:20] #knownspace> ronn: EML: Thanks. I figured as much, but it seems like one of those "interesting research questions for further study" ;)
[16:21] #knownspace> dmac44: Ed: In Destroyer you suggest that Ol't'ro and Jeeves are both potentially immortal beings. Now though other races aren't?
[16:22] #knownspace> EML: More on Ol't'ro in Fate -- I don't want to say more.
[16:23] #knownspace> Larry: In FATE OF WORLDS we've been dealing with Ol't'ro's aging.
[16:23] #knownspace> EML: Yes, an AI is governed by different rules (I woud think).
[16:23] #knownspace> ronn: Lens: I think it's Gregory Benford who writes about characters who typically have some kind of memory chips containing the memories of ancestors implanted so they have instant access to all of those memories . . .
[16:24] #knownspace> Hippy: Oh, that's Heinlein's 'grid' or whatever it was, that all the kings of some planet could tap into
[16:24] #knownspace> Lensman: Estimating maximum lifespan from human accident rates... actuarial tables... isn't very appropriate. Protectors are much, much more careful, much less prone to exposing themselves to *random* danger. They would not casually expose themselves to daily danger commuting to work on our highways, not with our auto accident rate.
[16:24] #knownspace> Larry: see Benford's "galactic center" series.
[16:25] #knownspace> EML: Ronn: an augmented brain like that ceases (at some level of augmentation) to be human as we known ourselves. I dealt with that in SMALL MIRACLES.
[16:25] #knownspace> Andy: Got to run. Glad I was able to sign in at all
[16:25] #knownspace> EML: Bye, Andy.
[16:26] #knownspace> Jim: Yes, the later versions of homo sapiens in Benford's Galactic Center books use augmented memories
[16:26] #knownspace> ronn: EML: I agree.
[16:28] #knownspace> Lensman: I think that's a theme in some of Larry's stories... people with potentially much longer lifespan will tend to be more careful, less prone to casually expose themselves to danger.
[16:28] #knownspace> Larry: Heinlein's memory grid served the Empress in GLORY ROAD.
[16:28] #knownspace> Lensman: But not in all stories. The Boys in AWOOT didn't think that way.
[16:29] #knownspace> Jim: What is the expected lifetime of a puppeteer?
[16:29] #knownspace> EML: I'm not convinced that longer lifespan equals greater care. Why do billionaires, who can afford the best care, do risky things (eg, Steve Fosset and his balloon adventure)?
[16:29] #knownspace> dmac44: That's true, see Safe at Any Speed. It suggests that the human life span may be unlimited (though it is a commercial).
[16:29] #knownspace> Hippy: Glory Road! I've beenn wracking my brain! Thanks, Larry
[16:29] #knownspace> Lensman: Gonna have to re-read /Glory Road/. I hardly remember anything about it.
[16:30] #knownspace> Jim: Steve Fosset and the Virgin Galactic guy do risky things because they are old.
[16:30] #knownspace> Jim: S/old/bored/
[16:31] #knownspace> Lensman: I'd be interested to hear Larry's comment on the lifespan of Puppeteers. I've looked rather hard at the stories. I think thousands of years. There are mentions of generations in the OF WORLDS books, so we know they are not *extremely* long-lived.
[16:31] #knownspace> dmac44: Grendelspeaks to bordom and aging.
[16:31] #knownspace> Hippy: The thing that sticks in my mind (apart from the grid, which they stole for 'Doctor Who') was that they had no fixed idea of marriage. A marriage 'could be anything form as simple as a hsndshake to as complex as a corporation merer'. A very good idea, that
[16:31] #knownspace> dmac44: boredom
[16:31] #knownspace> Larry: Old doesn't imply bored. Old and healthy do. Old and feeble have to work at staying alive.
[16:31] #knownspace> EML: Steve Fossett was 63 when he went missing. With good medical care, he had decades left.
[16:32] #knownspace> SeanS: To the Derby party I go
[16:32] #knownspace> Jim: bye SeanS
[16:32] #knownspace> ronn: The announcer shouts: "Sean's OFF!!"
[16:33] #knownspace> SeanS: sorry I havent really been in, was ripping up carpet getting ready to put down wood floor at gf's
[16:33] #knownspace> Hippy: It's that risk-taking that makes them billionaires, at least sometimes. Richard Branson, Larry Ellinson, Steve Fossett - but not Bill Gates, for example
[16:33] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Bye, Sean
[16:33] #knownspace> EML: Bye Sean
[16:33] #knownspace> EML: risk-taking in business does not requrie death-defying hobbies.
[16:34] #knownspace> Lensman: As dmac says, the story "Grendel" speaks to a death wish if you get too old and bored.
[16:34] #knownspace> Lensman: Yeah, I see financial risk and physical risk as being two rather different things.
[16:35] #knownspace> Hippy: Steve Fossett apparently didn't
[16:35] #knownspace> dmac44: Ellison used to take both until the World Cup race that took him south of Tasmania.
[16:35] #knownspace> Larry: Breaking for lunch. Back in a minute.
[16:36] #knownspace> Jim: Did Larry Ellison run into icebergs?
[16:36] #knownspace> Hippy: Now, consider Bernie Maydoff (sp?) of that Ponsi scheme fame. Financial risk taking, but not physical
[16:37] #knownspace> dmac44: Huge seas and winds that almost sunk his sailboat.
[16:37] #knownspace> EML: So a case can be made that superintelligence leads to super boredom leads to super risk taking.
[16:37] #knownspace> Hippy: Being anywhere near Tasmania is dangerous. Look at me!
[16:37] #knownspace> Lensman: Madoff was beyond mere risk taking, that was insanity.
[16:38] #knownspace> Lensman: I haven't studied the Madoff case, but my guess is he started out with good intentions and then got caught in his own deceptions. Self-deception can be a very powerful psychological force.
[16:38] #knownspace> Hippy: EML: Yes. Imagine a superintelligent being that solves all their problems instantly. Wouldn't they get bored more quickly?
[16:39] #knownspace> EML: Of course stupidity leads to risk taking, so maybe there's a Laffer Curve for intelligence vs. life span, with a sweet spot for the merely bright.
[16:39] #knownspace> dmac44: Or an intelligent being who had livied long enough to solve all those problems could get bored too. Either way.
[16:39] #knownspace> Lensman: Protectors just don't think like we do. I don't think they practice self-deception at all.
[16:39] #knownspace> Hippy: Proserpina would seem to indicate that they practice deceit
[16:40] #knownspace> Lensman: Boredom doesn't seem to be a problem for protectors either, other than losing interest leads to losing appetite.
[16:40] #knownspace> Lensman: They don't seem to get cabin fever... don't suffer from sensory deprivation.
[16:40] #knownspace> dmac44: EML: The problem with the Laffer Curve is there is not just one of them. YOu can jump from one to another.
[16:40] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, Phssthpok's attention span was awesome
[16:41] #knownspace> EML: Beware of extrapolating with very few data points ;-)
[16:41] #knownspace> dmac44: If that's all you have though ....
[16:41] #knownspace> Lensman: Deceit is common for protectors. Where I don't agree with some Niven fans is where they say that protectors *always* lie except in rare circumstances. If you always lie, then you lose the power to influence others. I think protectors only lie where they see some advantage to themselves by doing so.
[16:42] #knownspace> dmac44: Lens: I would agree.
[16:42] #knownspace> Hippy: As would I
[16:42] #knownspace> Lensman: Yeah, when it comes to Protectors it seems we *must* try to generalize from just a few examples.
[16:42] #knownspace> EML: Doug: but if your data points are clearly outliers, it's REALLY dangerous to extrapolate. (E.g.,, knowing Nessus doesn't tell you much about sane Puppeteers.)
[16:43] #knownspace> Lensman: Note that the backstory of /Protector/ and the early part of /Destroyer of Worlds/ indicates that closely-related protectors do cooperate long-term. It seems the more distantly related protectors are, the less they tend to cooperate. At least that's my interpretation, Larry may not agree.
[16:44] #knownspace> dmac44: Ed: But you make a model from them and look for tests, then repeat .... Only thing we can do. But, yes, I agree, in general one shouldn't extralope from just a few data points.
[16:44] #knownspace> dmac44: What will keep me living forever is learning how to spell. :)
[16:45] #knownspace> Hippy: It's a thousand year project, alright
[16:45] #knownspace> dmac44: lol
[16:45] #knownspace> Hippy: More if you have to battle Microsoft for how to spell 'colour'
[16:46] #knownspace> dmac44: I thought it was colure.
[16:47] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Culla' - hooked on phonics!
[16:48] #knownspace> dmac44: Protector minds seem to be more like computers (organic computers) than normal human minds. Does this change things?
[16:49] #knownspace> Lensman: I pronounce it "cuhler".
[16:49] #knownspace> EML: Doug: why do you describe Protectors that way? Smarter than human does not necessarily mean a lot different than human (especially considering the common DNA).
[16:51] #knownspace> Lensman: It changes a lot of things, dmac. An emphasis on pragmatism and logic over esthetic considerations. The Ringworld has no artistic influence on its design, it's purely brute-force pragmatism.
[16:52] #knownspace> Lensman: Altho I seem to recall some description of artistic design in the booms holding the seats in the Repair Center control room in RC.
[16:53] #knownspace> Lensman: That may have been misdirection, though, since one seat held a stepping disc.
[16:53] #knownspace> Lensman: Protector writings have no love stories.
[16:53] #knownspace> dmac44: Ed: It's an impression I have from reading the stories. It may be wrong. Do you have a different view?
[16:55] #knownspace> Lensman: Most human decisions are made for emotional reasons, not logical decisions. Who you date, who you marry, what house you live in... these are emotional decisions, not logical ones. Likewise, most stock market decisions-- buying and selling-- are emotional decisions, not logical ones.
[16:55] #knownspace> Jim: Lensman, protector literature contain no love stories because only breeders reproduce.
[16:56] #knownspace> EML: Doug: yeah, FWIW, I don't see (or write) protectors as unknowable. they run rings around humans, but after the fact, a smart human can understand how a protector reached a decision.
[16:56] #knownspace> Hippy: And I"m sure that they would have love stories about love of one's children
[16:56] #knownspace> Lensman: Jim: Right. But consider how much of human activity concerns finding a mate and falling in love.
[16:57] #knownspace> Hippy: Most of mine, which is why I'm typing on this thing of a Sunday morning :)
[16:57] #knownspace> EML: Fixation on family is an emotion of a sort.
[16:57] #knownspace> dmac44: Jim: While related, procreation and love can be independent.
[16:57] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, Truesdale *did* end his account with "I love you."
[16:58] #knownspace> Hippy: I was going to say that
[16:58] #knownspace> EML: Oops -- that might not have been clear. Protectors' fixation on family is an emotion of sorts.
[16:58] #knownspace> Hippy: But he wasn't a 'pure' Protector. He'd learnt about love as a human
[16:59] #knownspace> EML: I'm going to pack it in guys. It's been fun.
[16:59] #knownspace> Lensman: Yes, a protector's desire to protect his children is most definitely an emotion. A powerful, indeed overwhelming one.
[16:59] #knownspace> Jim: seeya EML
[16:59] #knownspace> Hippy: See you next month, Ed
[16:59] #knownspace> Lensman: Bye, Ed. Thanks for coming!
[16:59] #knownspace> dmac44: Bye Ed.
[16:59] #knownspace> Hippy: Is it an emotion if it's instinctive behaviour?
[17:00] #knownspace> Jim: difference?
[17:00] #knownspace> Lensman: Define "instinct", Hippy. I find that there is a lack of consensus on the meaning of that.
[17:00] #knownspace> Larry: Hippy, that's a sillly question,. Of course emotions tally with instinct.
[17:00] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, I'm thinking of human instintive behaviour - fear of falling, for example. Is that an emotion?
[17:01] #knownspace> Lensman: There is a difference between a reflex and an instinct.
[17:01] #knownspace> Hippy: What about, say, patriotism? That's an emotion, but is it incstinctive?
[17:02] #knownspace> Lensman: It's true, babies instinctively avoid crawling off the edge of a table. (But obviously not always!)
[17:02] #knownspace> Jim: I have got to go too.
[17:02] #knownspace> Jim: bye
[17:02] #knownspace> Lensman: So fear of falling is instinctive. But fear is certainly emotional!
[17:03] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Bye, Jim
[17:03] #knownspace> Hippy: But are all our emotions derived from instinct?
[17:03] #knownspace> Lensman: Humans are social animals. Emotional identification of the group is instinctive. Patriotism is an expression of that... culturally conditioned reinforcement of that instinct.
[17:04] #knownspace> Hippy: Okay. . .I'll buy that
[17:04] #knownspace> Hippy: Or I'll lease it for the duration of this chat
[17:05] #knownspace> Lensman: I mean, emotional identification *with* the group.
[17:05] #knownspace> Larry: Some emotions are learned. Fear of falling due to loose gravel and icy pavements is learned. So is patriotism.
[17:05] #knownspace> Hippy: What you might call 'the higher meotions'
[17:05] #knownspace> Hippy: are learnt
[17:06] #knownspace> dmac44: But aren't both of those based on more primal emotions?
[17:06] #knownspace> Hippy: Esprit de corps, religious fervour, paedophilia - leant
[17:06] #knownspace> Lensman: Human behaviorists say that fear of snakes is not instinctive, but a /tendency towards/ fear of snakes is. So you may not be born afraid of snakes, but maybe it only takes one or two cases of your mother or sister displaying fear of snakes, and you internalize it.
[17:07] #knownspace> Lensman: So you see, it's a complex situation. Not an either/or situation at all. Like most human behavior, it's not nature OR nurture, it's nature AND nurture.
[17:07] #knownspace> Larry: I've been working on FATE OF WORLDS. Time to resume. Fare you well.
[17:07] #knownspace> dmac44: Bye Larry.
[17:07] #knownspace> Lensman: Bye Larry.
[17:08] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Bye, Larry
[17:08] #knownspace> Lensman: Thanks for coming.
[17:08] #knownspace> ronn: Bye, Larry!
[17:08] #knownspace> Hippy: That was fun
[17:08] #knownspace> Hippy: Instinctively fun
[17:09] #knownspace> Lensman: :)
[17:10] #knownspace> Hippy: Emotionally. . .I haven't been taught that
[17:11] #knownspace> dmac44: So did we decide that the further we get from instinct the further we get from emotion but never get all the way into just a logic engine?
[17:11] #knownspace> Hippy: No, but it's worth proposing
[17:12] #knownspace> dmac44: I so move. Seconds? :)
[17:12] #knownspace> ronn: My mother's rather significant fear of snakes (she couldn't watch them on TV, frex) was probably mainly due to the time as a young girl when she was dangling her feet in a stream and a water moccasin swam by and bit her on the leg, leaving a pair of scars that she still had as an adult.
[17:12] #knownspace> Hippy: Consider an AI tha's programmed to be logical but whose logic is affected by how we emotionally programmed it
[17:12] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, but even protectors have this powerful instinct to protect their children. And that is so powerful it consumes them... they spend all their time working toward that goal. That's a very powerful instinct!
[17:13] #knownspace> dmac44: Lens: But are there other examples of instincts or emotions they have?
[17:14] #knownspace> Hippy: Good question. . .
[17:14] #knownspace> Hippy: Insatiable curiosity?
[17:14] #knownspace> dmac44: I guess this is one place I disagree with Ed. I don't see Protectors saying "I'm sorry." to anyone.
[17:15] #knownspace> Lensman: Ronn: Ouch! That would certainly be sufficient to give *anyone* a fear of snakes! I can trace my mild phobia of needles to a time when I was hospitalized, about age 13, and to make it easy to do regular blood tests on me, they stuck a spigot in a vein. Now, they were supposed to coat that plastic needle attached to the spigot in anesthetic before inserting it in my vein. Guess what they...
[17:15] #knownspace> Lensman: ...forgot to do? Guess why it took four nurses or orderlies to hold me down while they inserted it?
[17:15] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, not and meaning it. They might say it to cure emotional stress in their descendants
[17:16] #knownspace> Hippy: Bloody hell, Lens
[17:17] #knownspace> dmac44: Lens: Sounds like a really bad experience.
[17:17] #knownspace> ronn: Lens: OUCH, indeed!
[17:17] #knownspace> Lensman: I think there is a line like that in a Trek episode. An emotionless character says to a human: "There is a word which means nothing to me, but I understand it does to you: 'Please'."
[17:18] #knownspace> Lensman: That's not word for word, but you get the idea.
[17:19] #knownspace> Lensman: Oh, wait! That's not Trek, it's from... tanj. Forget the name. A Roddenberry pilot about a robot which passes for human.
[17:19] #knownspace> dmac44: I agree that Protectors would say something like that if they saw a reason to do so. But, it'd be a logical reason not an emotional one.
[17:19] #knownspace> Lensman: Yeah, it was pretty traumatic.
[17:19] #knownspace> Fred: The Questor Tape
[17:20] #knownspace> Fred: s
[17:20] #knownspace> Lensman: THANK you Fred!
[17:20] #knownspace> Hippy: Well done, Fred
[17:20] #knownspace> Fred: I can make a case for it being Trek
[17:20] #knownspace> Fred: Data was a reuse of Questor, right down to word for word dialog lifts
[17:20] #knownspace> Lensman: Okay, knock yourself out.
[17:20] #knownspace> Fred: Not sure if he said that one or not :)
[17:21] #knownspace> Lensman: Well argued, sir.
[17:22] #knownspace> Lensman: Questor was programmed to be a child-less protector. :)
[17:23] #knownspace> Fred: heh. last of his line.
[17:23] #knownspace> Lensman: I'll bet if the series ran a few seasons, that would have turned out not to be true. :)
[17:24] #knownspace> Hippy: There's a thought
[17:25] #knownspace> Lensman: Just like Data was the only intelligent robot made by his creator. Oops, no he wasn't!
[17:25] #knownspace> dmac44: Is there some reason Data couldn't be sent through a industrial scale replicator to make new copies?
[17:25] #knownspace> Lensman: Yeah, the reason is the Trek Bible.
[17:25] #knownspace> ronn: Lens: Oh, I thought you were referring to his being "fully functional" . . .
[17:27] #knownspace> Lensman: No, I just mean that if the series ran for long, the odds of an episode introducing another similar robot would have increased exponentially. Just like if a sitcom goes on for long, the odds that one of the characters will experience amnesia for most of the episode increases exponentially.
[17:28] #knownspace> Lensman: Or any other of a large number of stock sitcom situations.
[17:28] #knownspace> dmac44: I'm heading out. See you all next month.
[17:28] #knownspace> ronn: One of which is to have the main character(s) produce offspring . . .
[17:28] #knownspace> Lensman: How long did "Next Generation" go on before introducing Lore?
[17:28] #knownspace> Hippy: 'Bye, dmac
[17:29] #knownspace> Lensman: Well, Data did create a "daughter", altho not thru biological means.
[17:29] #knownspace> ronn: "Not long enough?"
[17:29] #knownspace> Lensman: LOL! Actually I thought Lore was a good addition. But then, I never did like Data.
[17:30] #knownspace> Hippy: Plus, Data had a 'mother' android, too
[17:30] #knownspace> Lensman: Gahh! I'm glad I missed *that* episode!
[17:30] #knownspace> Hippy: And in unaired episodes, a hairdresser, guidance counselor, sexy next-door neighbour. . .the whole box and dice
[17:32] #knownspace> Hippy: And the treatment for 'Data Coast to Coast' a horrifying epic where various androids come on and try to flog their weight-loss and memory improvemnt products
[17:33] #knownspace> Lensman: LOL "horrifying epic..."
[17:35] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, the sun is up and it's a balmy 42 degrees F. . .I might as well put the milk out on the porch
[17:36] #knownspace> Lensman: Hippy, I'm embarrassed to admit I forget what country your abode resides in.
[17:37] #knownspace> Hippy: Australia
[17:37] #knownspace> Lensman: Ah.
[17:37] #knownspace> Hippy: Quite alright, I remember you're in Kansas, but I forget where exactly
[17:37] #knownspace> Lensman: I was guessing somewhere south of the equator, as your days get colder while ours get warmer.
[17:38] #knownspace> Lensman: Northeast Kansas. Kansas City, KS.
[17:38] #knownspace> Lensman: Not far from the eastern/northern border.
[17:38] #knownspace> Hippy: Oh, Kansas City. Ah. . .
[17:38] #knownspace> ronn: Hippy: It was that cold or maybe a few degrees colder here a morning or two at the middle of the week (after rain that made it a mess for those trying to clean up after the previous week's tornadoes), but the forecast for tomorrow is 87°F.
[17:39] #knownspace> Hippy: 87. . .ah, it sounds like paradise
[17:39] #knownspace> Fred: "how long did TNG go before introducing Lore?"
[17:39] #knownspace> Hippy: Of course, I'd be complaiing about the heat then
[17:39] #knownspace> Fred: like 3 months
[17:39] #knownspace> Lensman: Fred: Then I was more right than I realized.
[17:40] #knownspace> Hippy: ronn: That's Global Warming for you
[17:41] #knownspace> Fred: Don't make me Gore you!
[17:41] #knownspace> Hippy: LOL!
[17:41] #knownspace> ronn: Lens: I think the last time I went through KC, KS was in late 89? Found it's quicker to head north before crossing the state line between the two KCs and hit I-80 in Nebraska . . .
[17:42] #knownspace> Lensman: Ronn: Yeah, the northern loop of I-435 is a useful way to avoid the congestion of mid-town traffic, especially if you're headed north.
[17:43] #knownspace> ronn: Hippy: Won't be an a few weeks then that or higher is the normal daytime high and it never gets below the low 70s outside and so the heat stays trapped in the house keeping the inside temperature up in the 80s all night. (AC being too expensive these days.)
[17:44] #knownspace> Fred: ugh. I can't conceive of AC being too expensive.
[17:44] #knownspace> Hippy: Nor me. I'd starve the children before I'd swelter
[17:44] #knownspace> Hippy: Of course, they're not my children, so it's win-win
[17:45] #knownspace> Fred: AC is a survival requirement here
[17:45] #knownspace> Lensman: I can't sleep at night if the inside temp is in the 80s or higher. I'd be exhausted all the time.
[17:45] #knownspace> Fred: it's been howlin for weeks already
[17:45] #knownspace> Hippy: You're in Arizona, aren't you, Fred/
[17:45] #knownspace> Fred: Yes
[17:46] #knownspace> Fred: we went over 100f some time ago
[17:46] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, at least it's a dry heat
[17:46] #knownspace> Fred: lol
[17:46] #knownspace> ronn: It's why they call it a "fixed" income. (/sarcasm)
[17:46] #knownspace> Fred: last week we had THE LOWEST HUMIDITY EVER
[17:46] #knownspace> ronn: Negative?
[17:46] #knownspace> Fred: people with nosebleeds, everywhere
[17:47] #knownspace> Fred: it was 2% or .2% or some lucicrously small number
[17:47] #knownspace> ronn: Maybe there was a Scanners convention in town?
[17:47] #knownspace> Hippy: Holy. . .
[17:47] #knownspace> ronn: . . . cow?
[17:47] #knownspace> Fred: These silly people with 'oh, it's humid here, that's worse'
[17:48] #knownspace> Fred: yeah, right. our freaking membranes are bursting. had to take mom to the ER
[17:48] #knownspace> Lensman: Wet/dry does make a big difference. Western Kansas gets only 1/3 the annual rainfall of Kansas City. When I went to work on Grandpa's farm in Western KS, it was a lot easier to put up with 102 degree heat there than 87 degree heat here.
[17:48] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes, 'cow' would cover it. At least alliteratively
[17:49] #knownspace> Hippy: I suppose it's what you're used to. I know some Queenslanders who don't mind the humidity, but were nearly paralysed by sub zero weather down here
[17:49] #knownspace> ronn: Don't knock it until you have had 87°F heat combined with 87% humidity, or with both numbers higher . . .
[17:49] #knownspace> Lensman: But now I'm so acclimatized to Kansas City weather than I can't put up with the dust in Western Kansas for long. Even overnight is a problem.
[17:49] #knownspace> Hippy: ronn, where would that be?
[17:50] #knownspace> Lensman: 87/87 sounds like Kansas City in the summer.
[17:50] #knownspace> Hippy: I see your 87/87 and raise you Sydney in February. God. . .
[17:51] #knownspace> Hippy: Even the goldfish can fly
[17:51] #knownspace> Hippy: You have to use shellac for deodorant as nothing else is waterproof enough
[17:52] #knownspace> Hippy: You have to get under the shower to get dry
[17:53] #knownspace> Lensman: Wasn't trying to do on-upsmanship. But it's very common to have temps above 90 here in K.C., and rarely over 100. And it's also common to have humidity of 80-90 or even higher. Still not as bad as where Fred lives, though. It is possible to live here with no A/C... just not pleasant.
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[17:54] #knownspace> Hippy: And KC gets snow in the Winter
[17:54] #knownspace> Lensman: Get under the shower to get dry. Pardon me while I put on my hip boots...
[17:54] #knownspace> Hippy: . . which most of Australia doesn't
[17:55] #knownspace> Hippy: Ah, UncleNasty! Now we can really talk about extremes of weather
[17:55] #knownspace> Lensman: We still get more rain than snow even in the winter. Unfortunately that means we get ice storms with some frequency. I'd rather have the snow! Much rather. Snowfalls don't kill trees and don't down power lines.
[17:56] #knownspace> flashNasty: hey all
[17:56] #knownspace> Lensman: Hi Uncle!
[17:56] #knownspace> flashNasty: how's it going? did I miss anything fun?
[17:56] #knownspace> Hippy: Everyone told me when I moved up to Ballarat that I would get snow. Yet to see it. But I hold out hope
[17:57] #knownspace> Hippy: Larry was here
[17:57] #knownspace> ronn: Lens: Yep, that's pretty much how it is here. A few days last summer of 100 or above.
[17:57] #knownspace> Lensman: You missed another debate about protectors. This time concerned longevity and emotion, or lack thereof.
[17:57] #knownspace> ronn: Hippy: We had snow five or six times this past winter, including on Christmas. None very deep or lasting, though.
[17:58] #knownspace> flashNasty: we've had really high winds lately - enough to push a 35' trailer 4' sideways, which was kinda freaky
[17:58] #knownspace> Hippy: Yes!
[17:58] #knownspace> Lensman: We had snow last winter like we haven't had since I was a young child. Near record-breaking at times, and lots of accumulation as the previous hasn't melted off yet when the next one hits.
[17:59] #knownspace> ronn: And whether or not there are any protectors about 6" high, sized to fit in a pocket . . .
[17:59] #knownspace> Lensman: I'd groan, but I'm too lazy.
[17:59] #knownspace> flashNasty: we are not discussing pocket protectors... the nerd factor in here is way too high
[17:59] #knownspace> Lensman: :)
[18:00] #knownspace> flashNasty: in other news: Minecraft. The digital equivalent of legos crossed with crack cocaine?
[18:01] #knownspace> Hippy: I've heard of 'Minecraft'
[18:02] #knownspace> ronn: I'll confess that I have several filled with various pens, highlighters, etc., to organize them, all in a larger bag, since it beats just dumping them all in together . . .
[18:03] #knownspace> Lensman: Minecraft: Like Second Life but blockier? :)
[18:03] #knownspace> flashNasty: it's very addictive
[18:07] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, gentlemen, I think I shall adjourn. Time to get ready for Mother's Day
[18:07] #knownspace> ronn: flash: When I lived in Ogden, UT (still, I presume), the canyons are shaped so when there is higher pressure to the east and lower pressure to the west the air spills through the canyon and reaches speeds of as much as 80 mph or higher in town, and blows trucks over on the interstate.
[18:07] #knownspace> Hippy: Wow!
[18:07] #knownspace> ronn: Hippy: Apparently you do more than flowers and a card . . . ?
[18:08] #knownspace> Hippy: Ah, yes. A phone call, probably followed by lunch
[18:08] #knownspace> Hippy: Ie, Mum comes up for lunch or dinner
[18:08] #knownspace> Fred: we had 55 mph winds here last week, just out in the open
[18:08] #knownspace> Fred: not that I went out in the open. I hid inside.
[18:08] #knownspace> Hippy: She has two perfectly good children within ten miles of her, but the 140 to here is much more fun
[18:09] #knownspace> flashNasty: no rest for the wicked - I gotta run :(
[18:09] #knownspace> flashNasty: though there may be beer
[18:10] #knownspace> flashNasty: ttfn
[18:10] #knownspace> Hippy: Now, there's a thought
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[18:10] #knownspace> Hippy: Well, same time next month
[18:10] #knownspace> Hippy: 'By, everyone
[18:11] #knownspace> ronn: It generally only happened once or twice a year, but the next morning everyone would go around the neighborhood to reclaim their trash cans. One time I found pieces of someone's shed in my yard (as well as others). And on several occasions that wind blowing across the vent pipe blew out the pilot light in the furnace: one day I came back after spending the night out of town to find it was...
[18:11] #knownspace> ronn: ...17°F in the house...
[18:11] #knownspace> ronn: Bye, flash, hippy!
[18:40] #knownspace> ronn: Looks like everyone's leaving, so I guess I'll sign off as well. See everyone later!