Heinlein Readers Discussion Group Thursday 06/03/2004 9:00 P.M. EDT Warm Body Democracy in Heinlein

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group

Thursday 06/03/2004 9:00 P.M. EDT

Warm Body Democracy in Heinlein

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From: “Oscagne”

Subject RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Wednesday, May 19, 2004 7:34 PM

The next RAH-AIM Readers Group chat topic will be “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein”, scheduled for June 3 and 5, 9pm and 5pm U.S. Eastern Time (respectively). Anyone wishing to join us for the first time can find out how by visiting http://heinleinsociety.org/readersgroup/index.html#Info.

As is my tradition, I’ll start out with an apology. It has been much too long since I organized a chat, and I can only plead youthful inexperience and long and faithful service. The fact is that working and going to school full time ate me up, and many things fell through the cracks. One of those things was the HRG chat. I’m sorry. Now that I’ve finished the semester (4 As and 1 B, TYVM) I have time to devote to the chat once again. I would like to point out that I am looking for volunteers to help with the chat. While it would be nice to have volunteers for the summer, it will be essential to the chat to have volunteers after about the end of August, as I am continuing to go to school full time, and the next semester will be starting then.

And in that vein, to potential volunteers: while many of the previous chat kick-off posts have been rather huge and academic, a quick perusal of the archive shows that many of the early chats were kicked off with a paragraph or two. You don’t have to be a scholar to host a chat, you just have to have an idea or a story that you would like to talk about.

Also please notice that I’m noting the time for the meetings in the U.S. Eastern time zone, because of all the funny “looks” I got noting it in Central time. The time has not changed, I’m just noting it differently.

So, a short kick-off:

Warm-body democracy has been fairly beaten-up in Heinlein. We’ve recently had discussion of _Starship_Troopers_ as an example of a society that eschewed warm-body democracy in favor a selective-participation democracy. While the benefits of such a society can be argued ad infinitum, we can also look at the other side of the coin.

Heinlein has depicted warm-body democracy several times. We see it in _The_Moon_is_a_Harsh_Mistress_ and its sequel _The_Cat_Who_Walks_Through_Walls_. The picture painted of the outcome of this version of democracy is not a very rosy one, at least from the protagonists points of view. Another place we see warm-body democracy is in _Friday_’s California, and here it’s taken to extreme. Again, this is a not-so-great depiction of the theme. Heinlein even mentions such wrong-headedness from our reality, when he mentions (I forget where) a state legislature passing a law to set the value of pi to exactly three. My own education is not classical enough to evoke the origins of that phrase, but as All Knowledge is Contained in Fandom (especially Heinlein Fandom), I’m sure some folks here (Rufe? Davids? OJ? Howard?) will be able to enlighten me on whether these factors fall within the classical meaning of “bread and circuses”. Are all these just examples of “bread and circuses”?

So, has Heinlein treated warm-body democracy fairly?


Oscagne, High Priest of Skeptics and Cynics
wanna read a story? http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/mss
or see my goofy website? http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/webpage/home.htm

The next Heinlein Readers Group Chats will be:
“Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” on
Thursday, June 4 at 9:00 P.M. Eastern U.S. and
Saturday, June 6 at 5:00 P.M. Eastern U.S.
See http://heinleinsociety.org/readersgroup/index.html#Info
to participate.

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, May 27, 2004 1:07 AM

In article,

“Oscagne”wrote:

> So, has Heinlein treated warm-body democracy fairly?

Naif that I am, the question that occurs to me, is whether readers treat warm-body Heinlein, rather than his plot and themes and characters fairly.

Mainly, it seems to me that many of the situations posed in Heinlein’s plots, e.g., Friday, with its direct democracy taken to an extreme (the trend continues here in California), are satires bewailing in tone the world as it should be and harken back to something Deacon told a student in _Tunnel in the Sky_, where what may be a true example of Heinlein’s views on a warm-body democracy is created, “Anyone who thinks of the world in terms of what it ‘ought’ to be, rather than what it is, isn’t ready for final examination.”

That was just after Deacon had failed a student without letting him take the final examination and just before he suggested to the romantic Rod that he beware the Truce of the Bear.

I’d suggest Heinlein’s real feelings on warm-body democracies are contained within _How To Be a Politician_, aka “Take Back Your Government!” rather than within his satires of a world gone wacky such as _Friday_.

Thought I’d give you a little nibble before I packed to go back to Baltimore for Memorial Day Weekend, Joe.

Maybe someone else will now start the replies, if they can find your last Wednesday’s lead-off on their server again.


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “Oscagne”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, May 27, 2004 1:42 AM

“David M. Silver”wrote in message news:

> In article ,
> “Oscagne” wrote:
>
> > So, has Heinlein treated warm-body democracy fairly?
>
> Naif that I am, the question that occurs to me, is whether
> readers treat warm-body Heinlein, rather than his plot and themes and characters fairly.

I’m not sure I’m catching your drift. Did I treat Heinlein unfairly with my question?

> Mainly, it seems to me that many of the situations posed in
> Heinlein’s plots, e.g., Friday, with its direct democracy taken
> to an extreme (the trend continues here in California), are
> satires bewailing in tone the world as it should be and harken
> back to something Deacon told a student in _Tunnel in the Sky_,
> where what may be a true example of Heinlein’s views on a
> warm-body democracy is created, “Anyone who thinks of the world
> in terms of what it ‘ought’ to be, rather than what it is, isn’t
> ready for final examination.”
>
> That was just after Deacon had failed a student without letting
> him take the final examination and just before he suggested to
> the romantic Rod that he beware the Truce of the Bear.
>
> I’d suggest Heinlein’s real feelings on warm-body democracies are
> contained within _How To Be a Politician_, aka “Take Back Your
> Government!” rather than within his satires of a world gone wacky
> such as _Friday_.

Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of any of Heinlein’s fiction that showed a warm-body democracy that didn’t go haywire for some reason or another. Is there not, also, some disagreement in the group about whether Take Back is useful in today’s political system? I’m not going to express an opinion on that, because, while I’ve read the book, I haven’t studied it the way I would a text, and it didn’t inspire me to read it more than once for pleasure.

> Thought I’d give you a little nibble before I packed to go back
> to Baltimore for Memorial Day Weekend, Joe.

Alas, I’m going out of town for 3 days, also (be back Saturday).

> Maybe someone else will now start the replies, if they can find
> your last Wednesday’s lead-off on their server again.

I was going to give it until I get back Saturday before I posted a poll:

1) have the chat as planned.

2) cancel the chat.

3) have the chat with another topic.

I’m not very good at being stimulator, apparently, and I haven’t gotten any volunteers to help out, so I’m wondering if I might ought to resign the position and pass it to someone who could get better results.


Oscagne, High Priest of Skeptics and Cynics
wanna read a story? http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/mss
or see my goofy website?
http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/webpage/home.htm

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, May 27, 2004 2:28 AM

In article, “Oscagne”wrote:

> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
> news:
> > In article ,
> > “Oscagne” wrote:
> >
> > > So, has Heinlein treated warm-body democracy fairly?
> >
> > Naif that I am, the question that occurs to me, is whether
> > readers treat warm-body Heinlein, rather than his plot and themes
> > and characters fairly.
>
> I’m not sure I’m catching your drift. Did I treat Heinlein
> unfairly with my question?
>

Not at all, Joe. You’re too defensive sometimes. Heinlein wanted to pose the question whether ‘warm-body’ democracies always must necessarily degenerate; otherwise he wouldn’t have portrayed so many as doing so — but that’s a long-run viewpoint that historically is true, which only means the contrary hasn’t yet occured. It’s like the “Fifth Way” story also portrayed in Tunnel in the Sky. The Ape. Psychologists who create a room with four ways out as a test. Ape finds a fifth way.

Heinlein, in addition to satirizing warm-body democracy, or the extremes and foibles to which some may take it, or use to degrade it, may have been suggesting a better search for a “fifth way” missed by the Romans, the Greeks, whomever … when he satirized what we have today, or what he sees as what we tend towards.

> > Mainly, it seems to me that many of the situations posed in
> > Heinlein’s plots, e.g., Friday, with its direct democracy taken
> > to an extreme (the trend continues here in California), are
> > satires bewailing in tone the world as it should be and harken
> > back to something Deacon told a student in _Tunnel in the Sky_,
> > where what may be a true example of Heinlein’s views on a
> > warm-body democracy is created, “Anyone who thinks of the world
> > in terms of what it ‘ought’ to be, rather than what it is, isn’t
> > ready for final examination.”
> >
> > That was just after Deacon had failed a student without letting
> > him take the final examination and just before he suggested to
> > the romantic Rod that he beware the Truce of the Bear.
> >
> > I’d suggest Heinlein’s real feelings on warm-body democracies are
> > contained within _How To Be a Politician_, aka “Take Back Your
> > Government!” rather than within his satires of a world gone wacky
> > such as _Friday_.
>
> Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of any of Heinlein’s
> fiction that showed a warm-body democracy that didn’t go haywire
> for some reason or another.

Tunnel occurred to me when I read your post, so I mentioned it. Without the warm-body democracy the kids (not kids or mere ‘students,’ really, by they time they finish) recreate for themselves, reminiscent of a New England town meeting sort of democracy, one early form, they wouldn’t have survived.

Compare and contrast that to Golding’s kids in _Lord of the Flies_, a similar situation, without a hope of survival where the kids place their faith in such ploys as worshiping a counch shell (e.g., following a religious type of model much like, btw, the Monist ceremony that Rod’s family sits down to eat to in Tunnel) as an article of faith, or herding along as members of the “choir” unthinking sheep who will follow their leader anywhere, even on to canibalism and murder of political opponents.

> Is there not, also, some
> disagreement in the group about whether Take Back is useful in
> today’s political system? I’m not going to express an opinion on
> that, because, while I’ve read the book, I haven’t studied it the
> way I would a text, and it didn’t inspire me to read it more than
> once for pleasure.
>

I wouldn’t rely on Jerry Pournelle’s ex cathedra pronouncements for much, especially that point. Too many have disagreed with him on exactly that point. What does managing a campaign or two of Sam Yorty have to do with a well-based knowledge of politics? Yorty was a classic example of the Peter Principal, good assemblyman, good congressman, classic incompetent as mayor (in a weak mayor-strong council form of city government, so it really didn’t matter much to the city who was mayor), who finally let his alligator-bigot’s mouth get out in front of his teeny arsehole and got thrown out of office by people revolted by what he had allowed his ‘political managers’ to do. Frankly, I’m surprised that Pournelle even mentions his association with that turkey. In you’d lived in Los Angeles, you’d know Herbert Block made Yorty famous, by drawing for years political cartoons of Yorty with little stars of light around his head, indicating the daze Yorty walked around in most of the time, while he was in office or out.

> > Thought I’d give you a little nibble before I packed to go back
> > to Baltimore for Memorial Day Weekend, Joe.
>
> Alas, I’m going out of town for 3 days, also (be back Saturday).
>
> > Maybe someone else will now start the replies, if they can find
> > your last Wednesday’s lead-off on their server again.
>
> I was going to give it until I get back Saturday before I posted
> a poll:
> 1) have the chat as planned.
> 2) cancel the chat.
> 3) have the chat with another topic.
>
> I’m not very good at being stimulator, apparently, and I haven’t
> gotten any volunteers to help out, so I’m wondering if I might
> ought to resign the position and pass it to someone who could get
> better results.

Actually, you are. But you have to keep trolling or mooching the prey. Try as many tacks as you can, if one doesn’t work, provoke in another direction.

Of course, it would help if someone gave you a response instead of sitting there waiting for someone else to dive in . . .


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “Oscagne”

From: “Vance P. Frickey”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, May 27, 2004 3:48 PM

“David M. Silver” wrote in message
news:
> In article ,

> I wouldn’t rely on Jerry Pournelle’s ex cathedra pronouncements
> for much, especially that point. Too many have disagreed with him
> on exactly that point.

 

In his fantasy/horror novel _The Lost Boys_, Orson Scott Card draws a character who has a column in a prominent computer magazine and is a well-known author of science fiction, whose politics he has the protagonist describe as “Neanderthal.” I didn’t have to scratch my head too long to figure out who he meant by that. Certainly, if one takes the political setup Pournelle has the Second Empire of Man using in _The Mote in God’s Eye_ and related books such as _King David’s Spaceship_ and _The Gripping Hand_ and the Falkenberg short stories and novels, then it’s easy to see where Card may have gotten the idea – but I’m sure their paths have crossed many times, too.

However many names Card might have for Pournelle’s politics, it’s difficult to dispute what Pournelle says about the tendency for democratic systems to go bad. The Grand Senate in the Falkenberg short stories might have been taken directly from American history. In fact, it’s easy to see how a “working” democracy in which the Will of the Peepul was faithfully executed would be just as Neanderthal as the both the dystopic model of the CoDominium and the more exemplary model of the First and Second Empires of Man. I don’t know enough about Sam Yorty’s administration or Pournelle’s work therein to comment intelligently on it at all.

In Pournelle’s Empire of Man, which rules most human-settled worlds in the Galaxy, there is an Emperor with real political powers, a landed aristocracy with real political powers, and an elected Assembly with political powers. In addition, Magnates (basically, really big businessmen, the Aristotle Onassises and Rupert Murdochs of the Empire) are formally and explicitly rec ognized as having political power, which is generally exercised through the Imperial Traders Association. Finally, the Church (essentially Roman Catholicism or high-church Anglicanism shot off into space) has enough political power to prevent the worst exploitative outrages during colonization from happening, not enough to dictate the actions of Imperial politicians, and, ominously, the mandate to subsume all colonial churches into itself.

Pournelle’s doesn’t pretend his Empire’s _very_ exemplary – in _King David’s Spaceship_, he even has a newly-annexed colony world plot to win as much independence as it can under the Imperial setup. That means fooling the Imperial Navy – which, with its Marines, is the only enforcer of the law between Imperial member kingdoms or in colony worlds – AND the Imperial Traders Association in order to quickly gain spaceflight technology, and thus equal standing with most of the other worlds in the Empire.

My point in bringing all this up is that while Pournelle’s thoughts on government, as presented in his novels or whatever treatises on real-life politics he has written, may strike a lot of us here as grim and undemocratic, he has at least come up with a model that attempts to deal with many of the factors (such as the political power of the Church) that we find so disconcerting – and his answer to creeping plutocracy is to admit the Magnates into the formal ambit of political power and thus define and circumscribe their piece of it. The ways in which he co-opts the forces which have damaged or destroyed other democracies are worth studying.

I freely admit that I dote on Pournelle’s work, either alone, or with Larry Niven and Steven Barnes, and have worn out two copies of _The Mote in God’s Eye_ re-reading it – more than I’ve done for any other author’s work save RAH and C.S. Lewis. It’s not his political thought I admire, though, but the quality of his writing. In fact, I have been developing a science-fictional world in which the “good guys” spend a lot of their time fighting off attempts to be absorbed into other people’s Empires – a world which would rapidly find itself at war with Pournelle’s Empire of Man were they to co-exist in the same fictional universe. In my world, government is largely a matter of dumb luck, which means I probably have some more thinking to do.

VPF

From: “Bookman”

 

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, May 27, 2004 4:07 PM

“Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
news:40b645d0$

 

> I freely admit that I dote on Pournelle’s work, either alone, or with Larry
> Niven and Steven Barnes,

Not the “Spartan” collaberation with S. M. Stirling, Vance?

reg’ds,

Rtb

From: “Vance P. Frickey”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, May 27, 2004 4:41 PM

“Bookman” wrote in message
news:JTrtc.7196$
>
> “Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
> news:40b645d0$
>
>
>
> > I freely admit that I dote on Pournelle’s work, either alone, or with Larry
> > Niven and Steven Barnes,
>
> Not the “Spartan” collaberation with S. M. Stirling, Vance?
>

Haven’t heard of it, Rusty. But I will look into it.

Interestingly, the Second Empire of Man in Pournelle’s novels is ruled from a planet named Sparta. Earth is nominally the Empire’s homeworld, but is a radioactive ruin and mainly used as a training base for Imperial Navy cadets – to show them the consequences of letting this “independence” thing get out of hand 🙂

VPF

From: “Bookman”

 

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Friday, May 28, 2004 10:41 PM

“Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
news:40b65249$
>
> “Bookman” wrote in message
> news:JTrtc.7196$
> >
> > “Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
> > news:40b645d0$
> >
> >
> >
> > > I freely admit that I dote on Pournelle’s work, either alone, or with Larry
> > > Niven and Steven Barnes,
> >
> > Not the “Spartan” collaberation with S. M. Stirling, Vance?
> >
>
> Haven’t heard of it, Rusty. But I will look into it.
>
> Interestingly, the Second Empire of Man in Pournelle’s novels is ruled from
> a planet named Sparta. Earth is nominally the Empire’s homeworld, but is a
> radioactive ruin and mainly used as a training base for Imperial Navy
> cadets – to show them the consequences of letting this “independence” thing
> get out of hand 🙂

(Wetware alert!) Pournelle sets them up with _Prince of Mercenaries_ (IIRC – the one set on Tanith and including Prince Lysander, at any rate.) Then it’s Stirling and JP for _Prince of Sparta_ and _Go Tell the Spartans_, which provide a veiw from afar of the end of the CoDo.

HTH, e-mail if you need details.

Rtb

From: “Vance P. Frickey”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Saturday, May 29, 2004 11:49 AM

Bookman wrote:
> “Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
> news:40b65249$
>>
>> “Bookman” wrote in message
>> news:JTrtc.7196$
>>>
>>> “Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
>>> news:40b645d0$
>>>
>>>
>>>
>>>> I freely admit that I dote on Pournelle’s work, either alone, or
>>>> with Larry Niven and Steven Barnes,
>>>
>>> Not the “Spartan” collaberation with S. M. Stirling, Vance?
>>>
>>
>> Haven’t heard of it, Rusty. But I will look into it.
>>
>> Interestingly, the Second Empire of Man in Pournelle’s novels is
>> ruled from a planet named Sparta. Earth is nominally the Empire’s
>> homeworld, but is a radioactive ruin and mainly used as a training
>> base for Imperial Navy cadets – to show them the consequences of
>> letting this “independence” thing get out of hand 🙂
>
> (Wetware alert!) Pournelle sets them up with _Prince of Mercenaries_
> (IIRC – the one set on Tanith and including Prince Lysander, at any
> rate.) Then it’s Stirling and JP for _Prince of Sparta_ and _Go Tell
> the Spartans_, which provide a veiw from afar of the end of the CoDo.
>
> HTH, e-mail if you need details.
>
> Rtb

Muchas gracias, Rusty! You just informed my reading list.

VPF

From: “Bookman”

 

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Saturday, May 29, 2004 3:01 PM

“Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
news:40b8b0ce$
> Bookman wrote:

> > (Wetware alert!) Pournelle sets them up with _Prince of Mercenaries_
> > (IIRC – the one set on Tanith and including Prince Lysander, at any
> > rate.) Then it’s Stirling and JP for _Prince of Sparta_ and _Go Tell
> > the Spartans_, which provide a veiw from afar of the end of the CoDo.
> >
> > HTH, e-mail if you need details.
>
> Muchas gracias, Rusty! You just informed my reading list.

De nada, ducks. FWIW, I liked them, thought they kept the style consistant with the other JCF books.

Rtb

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 3:42 AM

In article ,
“Bookman”

wrote:

> “Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
> news:40b645d0$
>
>
>
> > I freely admit that I dote on Pournelle’s work, either alone, or with Larry
> > Niven and Steven Barnes,
>
> Not the “Spartan” collaberation with S. M. Stirling, Vance?
>
> reg’ds,
>
> Rtb
>
>

Dote away anyone on Pournelle’s fiction (I like it generally myself); except what we’re talking about here isn’t Pournelle’s fiction. It’s his explicit factual opinion regarding techniques suggested and believes expressed in _Take Back Your Government!_; and Pournelle’s fiction, good and bad, isn’t relevant to his opinion on certain sweeping claims he makes in a hastily-written and fairly unreliable forward.


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “Bookman”

 

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 5:01 AM

“David M. Silver” wrote in message
news:
> In article ,
> “Bookman” wrote:
>
> > “Vance P. Frickey” wrote in message
> > news:40b645d0$
> >
> >
> >
> > > I freely admit that I dote on Pournelle’s work, either alone, or with Larry
> > > Niven and Steven Barnes,
> >
> > Not the “Spartan” collaberation with S. M. Stirling, Vance?
> >
> > reg’ds,
> >
> > Rtb
> >
> >
>
> Dote away anyone on Pournelle’s fiction (I like it generally
> myself); except what we’re talking about here isn’t Pournelle’s
> fiction.

What’s this “we” you are referring to, Mr. Silver? You now speak for the entire ‘froup, perchance?

For _my_ part, I noted that Vance has missed two books in the “Co-Do” continuum, and courteously (IMO) offered said supplemental information to him.

> It’s his explicit factual opinion regarding techniques
> suggested and believes expressed in _Take Back Your Government!_;
> and Pournelle’s fiction, good and bad, isn’t relevant to his
> opinion on certain sweeping claims he makes in a hastily-written
> and fairly unreliable forward.

Well, TYVM for keeping me in line as to what I am talking about. Please be so kind as to provide this service to all other AFH netizens in the future, OK? I’m sure that they all desire your guidance.

Your most humble and obedient servant,

Rusty the bookman

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 1:53 PM

In article ,
“Bookman”

wrote:

> What’s this “we” you are referring to, Mr. Silver? You now
> speak for the entire ‘froup, perchance?

Pardon me, Rusty; but “we” in this thread are talking about a proposed chat topic, _and_ “we” _try_ to keep it on topic, which is what “we” do in RAH-AIM Readers Group chats. I know you’ve been around that long to know all that.

If you read back you’ll see Oscagne alluded to Pournelle’s criticisms expressed in his introduction and foward to RAH’s _How To Be a Politician_ (retitled “Take Back Your Government!”) indirectly in his reference to how RAH’s views of democracy expressed in it may be discredited or possibly might have been abandoned. I pointed out my view that Pournelle’s statements in that introduction are not particularly reliable — he’s certainly not RAH’s spokesman as that would be impossible — and he doesn’t purport to cite a quotation from RAH repudiating anything in the manuscript he edited and Baen published with Ginny’s permission; and his basis of authority as a political operative for making them is less than enviable as he worked in one area of Los Angeles for one discredited city-level politician.

If you want to take an off-topic subject, i.e., talk about Pournelle’s fiction, except as it pertains directly to the chat topic (and it doesn’t very directly or more than merely peripherallly), make it another thread, please. I might even join you in discussing Pournelle there.

[And considering the fact that I founded the chat group in 1977, and it is an intergral part of The Heinlein Society, actually, sometimes I still _do_ speak for the chat group.]


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 2:08 PM

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> 1977

Sorry, 1997 … I didn’t have time to be chatting about RAH in 1977 — that was the year we moved into the new house the weekend before the four week trial I had to prosecute. Fun!


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “Oscagne”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 4:50 PM

“David M. Silver” wrote in message
news:
> In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:
>
> > 1977
>
> Sorry, 1997 … I didn’t have time to be chatting about RAH in
> 1977 — that was the year we moved into the new house the weekend
> before the four week trial I had to prosecute. Fun!

Well that’s ok… I was chatting about Heinlein back in 1799. Of course we used telepathy and prescience in those days, but we had to… _and we liked it_!!

%^)


Oscagne, High Priest of Skeptics and Cynics
wanna read a story? http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/mss
or see my goofy website?
http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/webpage/home.htm

The next Heinlein Readers Group chats will be:
“Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” on
Thursday, January 22 at 8:00 p.m. central and
Saturday, January 24 at 4:00 p.m. central.
See http://heinleinsociety.org/readersgroup/index.html#info
to participate.

From: “Oscagne”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 4:53 PM

“David M. Silver” wrote in message
news:
> If you read back you’ll see Oscagne alluded to Pournelle’s
> criticisms expressed in his introduction and foward to RAH’s _How
> To Be a Politician_ (retitled “Take Back Your Government!”)
> indirectly in his reference to how RAH’s views of democracy
> expressed in it may be discredited or possibly might have been
> abandoned.

Actually, I didn’t have Pournelle specifically in mind, I just remembered that there had been debate about it here in the ng. So, still related, but I guess I was step or two up the causality ladder than you were.


Oscagne, High Priest of Skeptics and Cynics
wanna read a story? http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/mss
or see my goofy website?
http://users4.ev1.net/~mcgrew/webpage/home.htm

The next Heinlein Readers Group chats will be:
“Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” on
Thursday, January 22 at 8:00 p.m. central and
Saturday, January 24 at 4:00 p.m. central.
See http://heinleinsociety.org/readersgroup/index.html#info
to participate.

From: “Vance P. Frickey”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 6:20 PM

Oscagne wrote in message
news:
>
> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
> news:
> > If you read back you’ll see Oscagne alluded to Pournelle’s
> > criticisms expressed in his introduction and foward to RAH’s _How
> > To Be a Politician_ (retitled “Take Back Your Government!”)
> > indirectly in his reference to how RAH’s views of democracy
> > expressed in it may be discredited or possibly might have been
> > abandoned.
>
> Actually, I didn’t have Pournelle specifically in mind, I just
> remembered that there had been debate about it here in the ng.
> So, still related, but I guess I was step or two up the
> causality ladder than you were.

chuckle… Gee, Der Reichskanzler’s excuses for being a lout all evaporated.

VPF

From: “Bill Reich”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 7:09 PM

“David M. Silver” wrote:
>In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:
>
>> 1977
>
>Sorry, 1997 … I didn’t have time to be chatting about RAH in
>1977 — that was the year we moved into the new house the weekend
>before the four week trial I had to prosecute. Fun!
>
>–
>David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
>”The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
>Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

I was gonna SAY!! I knew you’d been around a long time but founding the chat group in 1977 was kinda hard to visualize. I am glad I waited to respond while I waded through various messages.

Still, I bow to your grey hairs.

Will in New Haven

For the Day

You fellas on the Arizona
Near Ford Island in the Harbor.
I said that I would try to tell ya
How things are now in your Republic.
We move along, it isn’t perfect
But the flag is flying and we keep trying On this Memorial Day.

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 7:15 PM

In article ,
“Bill Reich” wrote:

> Still, I bow to your grey hairs.

How ’bout the ones I lost since ’97, trying to do what Oscagne is doing now, figuring out a good chat topic to schedule? Young man is going to be bald by the end of the summer unless he gets some he’p.


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 7:12 PM

In article ,
“Oscagne” wrote:

> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
> news:
> > In article ,
> > “David M. Silver” wrote:
> >
> > > 1977
> >
> > Sorry, 1997 … I didn’t have time to be chatting about RAH in
> > 1977 — that was the year we moved into the new house the weekend
> > before the four week trial I had to prosecute. Fun!
>
> Well that’s ok… I was chatting about Heinlein back in 1799. Of
> course we used telepathy and prescience in those days, but we had
> to… _and we liked it_!!
>
> %^)

And it was tough, too, I betcha! Mule power being the source for telepathy augmenting projectors and other prescient devices. And the mules had to drive uphill on sleet covered roads. Not like today. The young kids have it too easy! ;-P


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Tuesday, June 01, 2004 11:22 PM

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> > > I’d suggest Heinlein’s real feelings on warm-body democracies
> > are
> > > contained within _How To Be a Politician_, aka “Take Back Your
> > > Government!” rather than within his satires of a world gone wacky
> > > such as _Friday_.
> >
> > Off the top of my head, I couldn’t think of any of Heinlein’s
> > fiction that showed a warm-body democracy that didn’t go haywire
> > for some reason or another.
>
> Tunnel occurred to me when I read your post, so I mentioned it.
> Without the warm-body democracy the kids (not kids or mere
> ‘students,’ really, by they time they finish) recreate for
> themselves, reminiscent of a New England town meeting sort of
> democracy, one early form, they wouldn’t have survived.
>

There’s a little passage about ‘government’ given in _Tunnel in the Sky_, stated by Heinlein’s character Grant Cowper, the first elected mayor of what becomes Cowperstown.

He asks, in his flowerly politician’s style, the town meeting audience, “What is the prime knowledge acquired by our race? That without which the rest is useless? What flame must we guard like vestal virgins?”

He gets various answers, but then answers his rhetorical question himself, ” . . . The greatest invention of mankind is government. It is also the hardest of all. More individualistic than cats, nevertheless we have learned to cooperate more efficiently than ants or bees or termintes. Wilder, bloodier, and more deadly than sharks, we have learned to live together as peacefully as lambs. But these things are not easy. That is why that which we do tonight will decide our future . . . and perhaps the future of our children, our children’s children, our decendants far into the womb of time. We are not picking a survival leader; we are setting up a government. We must do it with care. We must pick a chief executive for our new nation, a mayor for our city-state. But we must draw up a constitition, sign articles binding us together. We must organize and plan.”

The form he suggests and that which they implement is a warm-body democracy — in fact everyone is a voter, even those younger than eighteen (which in 1955 was not the eligible age — twenty-one was the age of majority for voting rights).

Now Grant has some problems about drafting his constitution, initially, and we never do find out what form exactly it takes, although it’s described as a parliamentary democracy, with votes of no confidence, etc. There is no royalty, but the chief executive rules subject to those votes of confidence. Rod, later, reflects he’s survived a few of them.

It seemingly works . . . for the fictional story.

[snip my suggestion to compare and contract LotF]

> > Is there not, also, some
> > disagreement in the group about whether Take Back is useful in
> > today’s political system? I’m not going to express an opinion on
> > that, because, while I’ve read the book, I haven’t studied it the
> > way I would a text, and it didn’t inspire me to read it more than
> > once for pleasure.
> >
>

Perhaps that’s because it’s written as a cookbook, but it is ripe with rationales expressing Heinlein’s personal views — many of which are in sharp contrast with what views he places as criticism of later fictional universes in which warm body democracies are portrayed as quickly going or gone defunct.

He, of course, alludes to the quotation attributed to Winston Churchill, acknowledging that democracy is imprefect; but his point isn’t that it’s the best we have come up with yet, leaving with that note; but Heinlein fills the book with suggestions how democracy can be improved. It’s well worth at least one re-read from the standpoint of comparing it with what Heinlein wrote both in fiction and non-fiction later.

Further, the notion that Heinlein paled on warm-body democracy isn’t well-supported in my view. His novels and stories of the early half of his writing career are optimistic, generally, about taking the warm-body democracy in its many forms into space along with mankind. His later half of writing tended to satire, and criticism, of what forms of perversion of the democratic idea might occur, generally speaking.

But even in dictatorships that are portrayed, and Lazarus Long’s family on Boondock is said to be one (by its proprietator, whom we all know won the Axe for his truthfulness every Washington’s birthday, and so whom we also know always speaks the truth and may be utterly relied upon), there are principals of warm body democracy shown, even if it’s everyone ganging up on Lazarus and throwing him in the pool to cool off substantially when he gets a mite too dictatorial — i.e., anytime they disagree, and sometimes just on general principals.

The contrast is always shown on one side between perversions, or other forms, such as the empire on Sargon, the government by corporations in Friday that renders the elected government immaterial, the dictatorial bureaucracies in Cat Who Walked (governmental or corporate, take your pick), the religious theocracy shown in the world in which Maureen is stranded which opens To Sail, and the irrelevancies shown in other stories, and, on the other side, with the warm body form of democracy.

There are many examples I could cite; but how about a few that others think are contrary? Cite me a better form shown from any of Heinlein’s works?


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “Bill Reich”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Wednesday, June 02, 2004 8:02 AM

“David M. Silver” wrote in message news:…
> In article ,
> “Bill Reich” wrote:
>
> > Still, I bow to your grey hairs.
>
> How ’bout the ones I lost since ’97, trying to do what Oscagne is
> doing now, figuring out a good chat topic to schedule? Young man
> is going to be bald by the end of the summer unless he gets some
> he’p.

Well, I am about to put AIM onto my computer once again. I will be doing everyting I can to u/n/d/e/r/m/i/n/e aid his efforts in the near future. It will be a pleasure to b/i/t/c/h/s/l/a/p debate LNC (Lunatic National Commitee?) in a more immediate environment. Won’t make all the sessions but I will be around.

Will in New Haven

Heir to Empress Born in San Diego, details on the eleven o’clock news

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Wednesday, June 02, 2004 8:17 AM

In article ,
(Bill Reich) wrote:

> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
> news:…
> > In article ,
> > “Bill Reich” wrote:
> >
> > > Still, I bow to your grey hairs.
> >
> > How ’bout the ones I lost since ’97, trying to do what Oscagne is
> > doing now, figuring out a good chat topic to schedule? Young man
> > is going to be bald by the end of the summer unless he gets some
> > he’p.
>
> Well, I am about to put AIM onto my computer once again. I will be
> doing everyting I can to u/n/d/e/r/m/i/n/e aid his efforts in the near
> future. It will be a pleasure to b/i/t/c/h/s/l/a/p debate LNC (Lunatic
> National Commitee?) in a more immediate environment. Won’t make all
> the sessions but I will be around.
>

Be nice to have you back again, Will.

But a funny thing has happened in the chats, Will: everyone has always noted the RAH-AIM chat attendees are always ladies and gentlemen, although there has been pointed debate and marked disagreement at times. Zim likes it that way, he told me so once, as did Ginny; and I’d do just about anything to keep Zim quiet in his tent, to say nothing of Ginny’s rest.

It’s much the same way around a table of good bridge players, I find.


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “David Wright”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Wednesday, June 02, 2004 10:28 AM

“David M. Silver” wrote in message
news:
> In article ,
> (Bill Reich) wrote:
>
(snip)

> > Well, I am about to put AIM onto my computer once again. I will be
> > doing everyting I can to u/n/d/e/r/m/i/n/e aid his efforts in the near
> > future. It will be a pleasure to b/i/t/c/h/s/l/a/p debate LNC (Lunatic
> > National Commitee?) in a more immediate environment. Won’t make all
> > the sessions but I will be around.
> >
>
> Be nice to have you back again, Will.
>
> But a funny thing has happened in the chats, Will: everyone has
> always noted the RAH-AIM chat attendees are always ladies and
> gentlemen, although there has been pointed debate and marked
> disagreement at times. Zim likes it that way, he told me so once,
> as did Ginny; and I’d do just about anything to keep Zim quiet in
> his tent, to say nothing of Ginny’s rest.
>
> It’s much the same way around a table of good bridge players, I
> find.

I have to admit, (as much as I dislike Mr. Collier’s behavior on this newsgroup), that he has, for the most part, behaved fairly well during the discussions. So far, I have not had any occasion to edit him out of the transcripts. However, since I have him in my killfile, I haven’t seen any of this postings on this thread. What I have seen in other people’s replies doesn’t prompt me to retrieve his posts to add to the log pre-chat posts. If he says anything significant, and I see a reply to it, I will do retrieve his post.


David Wright
If you haven’t joined the Society, Why Not?
http://heinleinsociety.org/join.html

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http://www.heinleinsociety.org/updates.html

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From: “Bill Reich”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Wednesday, June 02, 2004 9:46 PM

“David M. Silver” wrote:
>In article ,
> (Bill Reich) wrote:
>
>> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
>> news:…
>> > In article ,
>> > “Bill Reich” wrote:
>> >
>> > > Still, I bow to your grey hairs.
>> >
>> > How ’bout the ones I lost since ’97, trying to do what Oscagne is
>> > doing now, figuring out a good chat topic to schedule? Young man
>> > is going to be bald by the end of the summer unless he gets some
>> > he’p.
>>
>> Well, I am about to put AIM onto my computer once again. I will be
>> doing everyting I can to u/n/d/e/r/m/i/n/e aid his efforts in the near
>> future. It will be a pleasure to b/i/t/c/h/s/l/a/p debate LNC (Lunatic
>> National Commitee?) in a more immediate environment. Won’t make all
>> the sessions but I will be around.
>>

>Be nice to have you back again, Will.
>
>But a funny thing has happened in the chats, Will: everyone has
>always noted the RAH-AIM chat attendees are always ladies and
>gentlemen, although there has been pointed debate and marked
>disagreement at times. Zim likes it that way, he told me so once,
>as did Ginny; and I’d do just about anything to keep Zim quiet in
>his tent, to say nothing of Ginny’s rest.

It is much more entertaining to bitchslap someone while REMAINING a lady or a gentleman. In fact, that is an art than LNC, say what you will about him, can practice as well as almost anyone, if he chooses, and it should be interesting to go at it with the niceties observed.

>It’s much the same way around a table of good bridge players, I
>find.

Same, same. Plus 1100 is better than rancor. Better even is going off eight tricks, not vul, not doubled in the suit that THEY should be playing in slam. But without rancor, certainly.

>–
>David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
>”The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
>Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

Will in New Haven

This hand will raise now.
There is no I to do it;
The cards themselves act.

From: “David M. Silver”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, June 03, 2004 3:02 AM

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> I’d suggest Heinlein’s real feelings on warm-body democracies are
> contained within _How To Be a Politician_, aka “Take Back Your
> Government!” rather than within his satires of a world gone wacky
> such as _Friday_.

A few points from “Take Back … .”

Dr. Pournelle, who wrote an introduction to the published single paperback edition of Heinlein’s _How To Be a Politician_, shares a favored technique with Robert Heinlein. He often is deliberately provocative in what he maintains to be a fact. When Heinlein is being most provocative, that’s usually a good tip that he’s more probably than not _mainly_ or _in most part_ only trying to provoke a perceptive reader to think.

The arguments at the end of Part Two, for example, made by Professor de la Paz (the “old pretender” I’ll call him here) and Compte LaJoie (the “young pretender” is good enough for him), in _The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress_, both of whom were fearless and beyond compare liars on their feet, i.e., wonderful in dealing with a hostile press and equally ‘wonderful’ in dealing with a political argument, who, after going through a little dog and pony act, put forward to Manny what is ostensibly only Stuart’s plan to create a ‘consitutional’ monarchy rather than a republic so that Bernardo the First, King of Luna and Emperor of the Surrounding Spaces, can get the kind of constitution he wants.

LaJoie’s rationale stated to Prof, but aimed at Manny, whose support they need, when Bernardo the First asks him to stop, feigning sickness, is one of my favorite Heinlein deliberate ironies:

” . . . I’m a royalist because I’m a democrat. I won’t let your reluctance thwart the idea any more than you let stealing stop you. * * * * * A king is the people’s only protection against tyranny . . . especially against the worst of all tyrants, themselves. Prof will be ideal for the job . . . because he does not want the job. His only shortcoming is that he is a batchelor with no heir. We’ll fix that. [Here comes the payoff!] I’m going to name _you_ as his heir. His Royal Highness Prince Manuel de la Paz, Duke of Luna City, Admiral General of the Armed Forces and Protector of the Weak.”

“Oh, _Bog_,” said Manny, and covered his face with his hands. And so should you as I do whenever I read it.

With Jerry, Bog bless him, it’s a little harder to tell when the author is being ironic. It’s too easy because of the power and intensity of his writing — Jerry is never light — to believe he fully intends every provocation he writes as gospel.

Hence, when he ends his notes to the book by Heinlein by observing that “for the moment parts are more of academic and nostalgic interest” than of real use today, one is inclined to believe he means that; and perhaps discount the cookbook recipes.

I think that’s a mistake, whether Dr. Pournelle intended it or not.

On the “rational anarchist” and the royalist’s scheme, consider the following, which isn’t exactly a cookbook recipe:

“(6) Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever
invented by the human race. On the record, it has worked better
in peace and in war than fascism, communism, or any other form of
dictatorship. As for the mythical yardstick of “benevolent”
monarchy or dictatorship — there ain’t no such animal!”
— p. 4, Cp. 1, How To Be a Politician,
retitled, “Take Back Your Government!”

And since it’s my theory that Michael recognized that Manny was gullible enough to buy the scheme offered, the Holmes IV wacked out our favorite confessed hypocrite, Bernardo de la Paz, during the next battle. Otherwise Manny wouldn’t have been complaining about how things changed and thinking about heading for the astroids at the end of his journal. He’d have been assassinated long before, and likely Stuart The First would have succeeded Bernardo The First — and do what all those oh so benevolent Stuarts did. Rule.

Chat is tonight!

The next Heinlein Readers Group Chats will be:
“Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” on
Thursday, June 4 at 9:00 P.M. Eastern U.S. and
Saturday, June 6 at 5:00 P.M. Eastern U.S.


David M. Silver www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(jg), USN, R’td, 1907-88

From: “Bill Reich”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, June 03, 2004 6:07 AM

“cmaj7dmin7” wrote:
>> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
>> news:
>
>> Heinlein, in addition to satirizing warm-body democracy, or the
>> extremes and foibles to which some may take it, or use to degrade
>> it, may have been suggesting a better search for a “fifth way”
>> missed by the Romans, the Greeks, whomever … when he satirized
>> what we have today, or what he sees as what we tend towards.
>
>I clipped that, up there, out of Google because Outlook Express or my server
>or something dumps posts older than X days and I needed a place to start,
>away from the fiction tangent and away from the flame subtangent to which
>I’ve already contributed. Now, where to start?
>
>As I understand it, the subject of the discussion is to be something called
>”warm-body democracy” and, maybe, given what Heinlein wrote as non-fiction,
>how he really felt about it. Of course, if I’ve got this wrong (and there
>are, believe it or not, persons abroad yearning to obtain one more example
>of my wrongness, as astounding as that might seem) then what I write next
>will have limited pertinence to such a discussion.
>
>You know, or maybe you didn’t, that they call the law a “seamless web.” All
>the concepts and constructs and facts and fictions are bound together in a
>network of dependencies that rely on each other for their continued
>existence. It’s a conceit of the law and lawyers that the law’s that way and
>lots of them don’t give a whit to know that it’s not just the law that’s
>that way.
>
>The web that is what we know about how Heinlein really, truly believed about
>democracy cannot, I suggest, be neatly summed up by reference to the one
>book-length, non-fiction work published under his name since, if you extract
>that piece from the context of the web, both collapse. Without the context
>of the main body of his life’s work, TBYG can only come off as a
>negativistic, undully hard-nosed, possibly dated and cynical sour grapes of
>rueful wrath written by a failed, street-level politician. Without TBYG,the
>fictional treatments he gave democracy remain just that: speculative fiction
>set in far fetched places populated by unlikely characters.
>
>In this group, though, we have an advantage.
>
>There’s not a person here who doesn’t have the entire fiction output in her
>head to the degree necessary to talk about this warm-bodied democracy and
>TGYB/what the old guy really thought and not forget the tinkering he did
>with it, in the crucible of his literary imagination. So, in that light, I’m
>suggesting that I do know what he really thought about it, this “warm-body
>democracy.”
>
>He thought it was a good thing.
>
>Anybody here left with the impression after reading anything he ever wrote
>that he was the kind of guy who ever advocated throwing up your hands and
>giving up when the going got rough or things didn’t turn out the way you
>liked? Never. He might have Woody move on to another planet or system or
>occupation or persona when things got too weird and threatened his ongoing
>existence but there was never any giving up. Friday would split for the
>stars, the whole Howard family decamp but nobody gave up.
>
>Further, they took politics and democracy with them, all of them, everywhere
>they lighted. Sure, predictably, it would become “corrupted” sooner or later
>and the cycle might repeat itself; but nobody gave up and Heinlein never
>gave up on the process of societal organization that is democracy. He
>couldn’t.
>
>He thought it was a good thing.
>
>A frustrating thing. A thing like a golem that you built, like a Friday you
>built, like a Lazarus Long that you built, hopeful that if nobody monkied
>with it, the improvements would advance the overall condition of humankind,
>only to find out that somebody took your little creation and twisted it to
>his own, personal advantage and, before you knew it, it had turned on you,
>its creator. Still, you don’t give up.
>
>So, when you come to the end of a perfect day or a perfect career or a
>perfect life and you see that all your coniving with the possibilities still
>hasn’t obtained you the answer to the question you’d most like to know, have
>you failed? The fans call you a genius, a Grand Master but you know you’re
>still the same midwestern boy who’s seen all his notions of how to make the
>trains run on time fail, miserably, in real life and in fiction. Give up?
>
>Nah. You can’t. Democracy’s a good thing. The alternatives are repugnant to
>what you believe is the nature of people.
>
>In closing, I know I haven’t made the definitive case or even stimulated
>much of an interesting discussion. I certainly haven’t furnished the answer
>in my bland, “he thought it was a good thing,” drone. It’s as hard, though,
>to discuss or write about what he thought about it was as it was for him to
>write or believe it. There’s way too much to consider. Democracy,
>capitalism, the nature of people, the meaning of life. I would be hopeful,
>though, that what may have emerged is my opinion that while it might be nice
>to have black and white answers, there are just questions left. I can live
>with that.
>
>LNC
>
>

It’s going to be VERY difficult dealing with you if you continue to act in this reasonable fashion. Where is the LNC we know and loathe. Are you holding him for ranson?

For what it’s worth, I tend to agree with your reasoning here.

Will in New Haven

This hand will raise now.
There is no I to do it;
The cards themselves act.

From: “pixelmeow”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, June 03, 2004 10:29 AM

On Thu, 03 Jun 2004 06:22:27 GMT, in alt.fan.heinlein, “cmaj7dmin7”
scribbled:

>> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
>> news:
>
>> Heinlein, in addition to satirizing warm-body democracy, or the
>> extremes and foibles to which some may take it, or use to degrade
>> it, may have been suggesting a better search for a “fifth way”
>> missed by the Romans, the Greeks, whomever … when he satirized
>> what we have today, or what he sees as what we tend towards.
>
>I clipped that, up there, out of Google because Outlook Express or my server
>or something dumps posts older than X days and I needed a place to start,
>away from the fiction tangent and away from the flame subtangent to which
>I’ve already contributed. Now, where to start?
>
>As I understand it, the subject of the discussion is to be something called
>”warm-body democracy” and, maybe, given what Heinlein wrote as non-fiction,
>how he really felt about it. Of course, if I’ve got this wrong (and there
>are, believe it or not, persons abroad yearning to obtain one more example
>of my wrongness, as astounding as that might seem) then what I write next
>will have limited pertinence to such a discussion.
>
>You know, or maybe you didn’t, that they call the law a “seamless web.” All
>the concepts and constructs and facts and fictions are bound together in a
>network of dependencies that rely on each other for their continued
>existence. It’s a conceit of the law and lawyers that the law’s that way and
>lots of them don’t give a whit to know that it’s not just the law that’s
>that way.
>
>The web that is what we know about how Heinlein really, truly believed about
>democracy cannot, I suggest, be neatly summed up by reference to the one
>book-length, non-fiction work published under his name since, if you extract
>that piece from the context of the web, both collapse. Without the context
>of the main body of his life’s work, TBYG can only come off as a
>negativistic, undully hard-nosed, possibly dated and cynical sour grapes of
>rueful wrath written by a failed, street-level politician. Without TBYG, the
>fictional treatments he gave democracy remain just that: speculative fiction
>set in far fetched places populated by unlikely characters.
>
>In this group, though, we have an advantage.
>
>There’s not a person here who doesn’t have the entire fiction output in her
>head to the degree necessary to talk about this warm-bodied democracy and
>TGYB/what the old guy really thought and not forget the tinkering he did
>with it, in the crucible of his literary imagination. So, in that light, I’m
>suggesting that I do know what he really thought about it, this “warm-body
>democracy.”
>
>He thought it was a good thing.
>
>Anybody here left with the impression after reading anything he ever wrote
>that he was the kind of guy who ever advocated throwing up your hands and
>giving up when the going got rough or things didn’t turn out the way you
>liked? Never. He might have Woody move on to another planet or system or
>occupation or persona when things got too weird and threatened his ongoing
>existence but there was never any giving up. Friday would split for the
>stars, the whole Howard family decamp but nobody gave up.
>
>Further, they took politics and democracy with them, all of them, everywhere
>they lighted. Sure, predictably, it would become “corrupted” sooner or later
>and the cycle might repeat itself; but nobody gave up and Heinlein never
>gave up on the process of societal organization that is democracy. He
>couldn’t.
>
>He thought it was a good thing.
>
>A frustrating thing. A thing like a golem that you built, like a Friday you
>built, like a Lazarus Long that you built, hopeful that if nobody monkied
>with it, the improvements would advance the overall condition of humankind,
>only to find out that somebody took your little creation and twisted it to
>his own, personal advantage and, before you knew it, it had turned on you,
>its creator. Still, you don’t give up.
>
>So, when you come to the end of a perfect day or a perfect career or a
>perfect life and you see that all your coniving with the possibilities still
>hasn’t obtained you the answer to the question you’d most like to know, have
>you failed? The fans call you a genius, a Grand Master but you know you’re
>still the same midwestern boy who’s seen all his notions of how to make the
>trains run on time fail, miserably, in real life and in fiction. Give up?
>
>Nah. You can’t. Democracy’s a good thing. The alternatives are repugnant to
>what you believe is the nature of people.
>
>In closing, I know I haven’t made the definitive case or even stimulated
>much of an interesting discussion. I certainly haven’t furnished the answer
>in my bland, “he thought it was a good thing,” drone. It’s as hard, though,
>to discuss or write about what he thought about it was as it was for him to
>write or believe it. There’s way too much to consider. Democracy,
>capitalism, the nature of people, the meaning of life. I would be hopeful,
>though, that what may have emerged is my opinion that while it might be nice
>to have black and white answers, there are just questions left. I can live
>with that.
>
>LNC

I want to thank you *profusely* for this wonderful post. It has inspired me to think, about everything I’ve written, and I agree with what you write. It will be nice to see what you say in the chat, and I hope I can make it tonight. I’d hate to miss it. 🙂


~teresa~
AFH Barwench

^..^ “Never try to outstubborn a cat.” Robert A. Heinlein ^..^
http://pixelmeow.com/ http://www.heinleinsociety.org/
http://pixelmeow.com/Book_Exchange/index.htm
http://pixelmeow.com/forum/
aim: pixelmeow msn:

From: “cmaj7dmin7”

Subject Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting– “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein” — June 3, 5

Date:Thursday, June 03, 2004 2:38 PM

“David M. Silver” wrote in message
news:
> In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:
>
> > I’d suggest Heinlein’s real feelings on warm-body democracies are
> > contained within _How To Be a Politician_, aka “Take Back Your
> > Government!” rather than within his satires of a world gone wacky
> > such as _Friday_.

> > > “Woodrow W. Smith” wrote in
> > > message news:callmebobandI’llbreakyourkneecaps-
> > >

> > > From politics I have come to believe the following:

“Believe,” you say? At least you’re honest, you’re an honest politician, and say, right up front, that it’s a “belief” although, might dissembler that you are, you know the weight of the words that follow will bury the term under them.

> > > (1) Most people are basically honest, kind, and decent.

Right off the bat, you’re contradicting yourself. Didn’t you say, “Beware of altruism. It is based on self deception, the root of all evil.(?)” Who’s fooling who, here?

> > > (2) The American people are wise enough to run their own affairs. > >
> They do not need Fuehrers, Strong Men, Technocrats,
> > > Commissars, Silver Shirts, Theocrats, or any other sort of dictator.

Right, and a human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Are you just a little detached from reality? Mistaking one conn for another? If it’s human beings in the abstract and not garden variety, living, breathing people, mostly between +1 and -1 standard deviation from the mean, having to live lives and make livings and cope with the viscissi–vissciss–arbitrary and capricious goings on of the mostly average people around them, yeah. There’s intellectual, emotional and physical capacity theoretically present. On Main Street, day to day, stop ten people at random and then get back to us on who needs to be led by the nose and who can be trusted not to go over his Mastercard limit buying frivolities.

> > > (3) Americans have.a compatible community of ambitions. Most of
> > > them don’t want to be rich but do want enough economic security
> > > to permit them to raise families in decent comfort without fear of
> > > the future. They want the least government necessary to this
> > > purpose and don’t greatly mind what the other fellow does as long
> > > as it does not interfere with them living their own lives. As a people
> > > we are neither money mad nor prying; we are easy-going and
> > > anarchistic. We may want to keep up with the Joneses-but not
> > > with the Vanderbilts. We don’t like cops.

Mom, apple pie and Chevrolets, particularly bitchin’ Camaros with radar detectors. Again, pretty much right and pretty much wrong. Certainly not static. Quaintly nostalgic. Finally, disingenuously charming. Take a look at your own examples of people who caught up with the Vanderbilts and how much better they handled their wealth and their self actualization and tell me that you’re not just moralizing for the sake of supporting a belief, Thorby.

We don’t like cops? You just leave it at that. We don’t like cops. Too bad you’re dead and can’t elaborate. I know why I don’t like cops, it’s because to be a good cop you have to think like a criminal and before long you either are one or suspect you’re the only one who’s not.

> > > (4) Democracy is not an automatic condition resulting from laws
> > > and constitutions. It is a living, dynamic process which must be
> > > worked at by you yourself–or it ceases to be democracy, even if
> > > the shell and form remain.

That’s so glitteringly general and high-flown only a suicidal fool would disagree with it. You’re wrong. It’s like your teeth, you know: just ignore them, they’ll go away. Somebody’ll always step in if “you yourself” don’t. It’ll still be democracy and it’ll still be called democracy and you might not like it but democracy hasn’t ceased to exist. What happens is you, yourself, become disaffected and disgruntled and resentful and say, “this is not the country of my birth and that flag and what they’re saying it stands for isn’t the flag under which I was born.” Wrong, Show-Me Boy. The parade just passed you by and you’re standing in the elephant shit. It’s still democracy.

> > > (5) One way or another, any government which remains in. power
> > > is a representative government. If your city government is a
> > > crooked machine, then it is because you and your neighbors
> > > prefer it that way-prefer it to the effort of running your own
> > > affairs. Hitler’s government was a popular governmentment; the
> > > vast majority of Germans preferred the rule of gangsters to the
> > > effort of thinking and doing for themselves. They abdicated their
> > > franchise.

Heinlein was a man, all men refuse to ask directions, Heinlein never asked for directions. Faulty syllogisms abound. You don’t put out something like this without acknowledging that it’s a rebuttable presumption. You don’t set yourself up as a seer, either, claiming to know how long a thing would have lasted but for another event, in this case a world war. Finally, it would be more helpful to put it in the form of a conclusion that could be drawn rather than as an absolute. It’s not because we wanted a cheap bribe-taker to be a heartbeat away from the Presidency that Spiro Agnew got to be Vice President. It’s not because we, the electorate, wanted a criminal conspirator to be President that those (deluded fools) who voted for Nixon, voted for Nixon.

> > > (6) Democracy is the most efficient form of government ever
> > > invented by the humam race. On the record, it has worked better
> > > in peace; and in war than fascism, communism, or any other form
> > > of dictatorship. As for the mythical yardstick of “benevolent”
> > > monarchy or dictatorship–there ain’t no such animal!

I’d go with this presumption and the corollary. I’d quibble with the term “efficient.” I wouldn’t argue long, though, since it’s part of the process, bickering over how the money ought to be spent. In fact, it is the process.

> > > (7) A single citizen, with no political connections and no money,
> > > can be extremely effective in politics.

Well, you left out talent, time and motivation, buddy boy. That’s fine, though. You called it “non-fiction” knowing you still had to sell it, or somebody might sell it someday. You didn’t write for your health. Frankly, though, since you had to know that there was a chance you’d be elevated (and here, you have been) to the rank of “shaman” because of it, that the profession of shaman has many advantages. It offers high status with a safe livelihood free of work in the dreary, sweaty sense. In most societies it offers legal privileges and immunities not granted to other men. But it is hard to see how a man who has been given a mandate from on High to spread tidings of joy to all mankind can be seriously interested in taking up a collection to pay his salary; it causes one to suspect that the shaman is on the moral level of any other con man. But it’s lovely work if you can stomach it.

LNC

End of Postings

Go Beginning of Posts

Here Begins the Discussion

You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”

DavidWrightSr: Hi. Dave Wright here. Who are you? 😎

: Andrew Salamon.

: I think you’re the first person I’ve ever seen in this chat room.

DavidWrightSr: Welcome. We haven’t had a chat in several months now. Tonight’s starts at 9:00 EDT.

DavidWrightSr: We had them every couple of weeks for quite a while, but it’s been hard to get it up and running again.

: Cool. I’ll try my best to be here. Time for me to head home now though. What’s tonight’s topic?

DavidWrightSr: Heinlein’s Warm-Body Democracy thoughts and comments.

OscagneTX has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Our fearless leader just signed on.

DavidWrightSr: Hi Os

: Sounds good. Be back later, I hope.

OscagneTX has left the room.

has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Ok Andrew. Be happy to see you.

OscagneTX has entered the room.

OscagneTX: That’ll teach me to update my client.

OscagneTX: *twack*twack*twack* Is this thing on?

DavidWrightSr: The fellow who just left was named Andrew Salamon. I’ve never met him before. Didn’t have a chance to ask how he found us. He said that He’d try to get back at 9

OscagneTX: Okay.

DavidWrightSr: What version are you using.

OscagneTX: Whatever the latest one is… I *just* updated.

OscagneTX: That’s what knocked me back off.

OscagneTX: uh… 5.5.3595

DavidWrightSr: I’m still using 4.10 on this computer. I have 5.1036 on my laptop, but haven’t tried it extensively.

OscagneTX: It was an autoupdate.

DavidWrightSr: I’ve also got the one that came with Netscape 7.1, but I don’t like it.

OscagneTX: I tried using one of those universal chat clients, but it has waned in my attention.

DavidWrightSr: Never could get satisfactory results from them.

OscagneTX: It would have been very useful 4 years ago, when I used AIM and IRC and ICQ and all that stuff.

DavidWrightSr: 5.1036 is actually supposed to be universal, IIRC.

OscagneTX has left the room.

OscagneTX has left the room.

OscagneTX has entered the room.

OscagneTX: I don’t know what the deal was there.

DavidWrightSr: The old revolving door 🙂

OscagneTX: yeah. it usually doesn’t bother me.

OscagneTX: I’m noticing there’s a lag between entering a comment and seeing it. There didn’t used to be.

DavidWrightSr: No problem. Must be the new version.

OscagneTX: must be

DavidWrightSr: Well, I’m going to be afk for a while. I’ll keep checking back and start inviting people that I see around 10 to 9:00 EDT or so.

OscagneTX: ok

maikoshT has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy

DavidWrightSr: That’s me Os. I have two computers going to make sure I don’t lose anything. I’ve got DSL now through a router, so I can have both running at the same time.

OscagneTX: OK

DavidWrightSr: I used to do this all the time with one computer at my office and one here at the house, but my firewall at the office prevents AIM from working, so I’m cut off there.

OscagneTX: ah

AGplusone has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy

AGplusone: Hi, Joe, David

DavidWrightSr: Hi. Young David

pixelmeow has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy, pix.

AGplusone: Hi, Teresa

pixelmeow: hey all!

AGplusone: How’ve you been?

DavidWrightSr: Hi

pixelmeow: well, pretty darn tootin’ over my new car…

OscagneTX: it just occurred to me, pix… you’re email is munged on your posts, isn’t it?

AGplusone: What did you buy?

AGplusone: Or steal?

OscagneTX: woo hoo! newcars roxor!!!11!!

AGplusone: Or find wandering around without a brand?

pixelmeow: Yes, Osc, it is, but if you send to it spammotel sends it to me

pixelmeow: I got an 04 Honda Accord Coupe

pixelmeow: got a good deal on it, too

OscagneTX: oo. even a new new car.

pixelmeow: traded in the gas guzzler on something better.

AGplusone: that’s great — what Andrea bought two years back, the’02 model of course.

pixelmeow: 🙂

pixelmeow: I love my car. I haven’t been able to say that in years.

AGplusone: I like to drive it.

pixelmeow: me too. 🙂

pixelmeow has left the room.

pixelmeow has entered the room.

pixelmeow: sorry, noises wouldn’t go away

OscagneTX: noises?

AGplusone: Noice blew you out of chatroom?

pixelmeow: ROFL!!!

pixelmeow: no, it’s that bloop that aim makes when you send a message

pixelmeow: I hate that noise

pixelmeow: alright, drinks all around,

pixelmeow: here, here, here, and here.

pixelmeow: but I only know the davids and osc

OscagneTX: there are two of dave the younger.

pixelmeow: …really…?

DavidWrightSr: You can cut out the sound. File–>Chat Preferences–>Sounds in right-hand.

pixelmeow: I *still* don’t know who that guy is down there…

pixelmeow: yeah, I finally found it.

AGplusone: Problem is it cuts the sound level for all applications instead of just AIM. I just tried it.

OscagneTX: maiketc. is his other machine.. for logging purposes.

DavidWrightSr: MaiKoshT is my silent running recorder :>)

pixelmeow: oh, I get it!

AGplusone: Should be a default to turn off alerts that might work.

DavidWrightSr: O:-)

pixelmeow: see, I ain’t always so blonde!

AGplusone: It keeps you from falling asleep.

pixelmeow: okay, his drink is coolant fluid then.

pixelmeow: 😀

pixelmeow: my daughter is over here singing david bowie

AGplusone: How old is Heather now?

pixelmeow: did I tell you guys that I took her to see him a few weeks ago? She’s almost 9

OscagneTX: #include

pixelmeow: what is that, Osc, C++?

OscagneTX: C

pixelmeow: ah.

AGplusone: She’ll be zeroteen in a year. Yikes!

pixelmeow: yep.

pixelmeow: yikes indeed!

pixelmeow: she’s been preteen her whole life.

pixelmeow: so how did it go last weekend?

AGplusone: Better get the bag for the bride ready.

pixelmeow: ROFL!!!

AGplusone: Very nice indeed. We maxed the bloodmobile capacity, had two nice panels, picked up a few new members, and I had a nice dinner with Cynthia Kondo, where she told me a little about MPs in Afghanistan, perhaps less than what she’d

TheCOinOz has entered the room.

moultonfcx has entered the room.

TheCOinOz: Hi all

AGplusone: have said if her parents weren’t there.

OscagneTX: howdy, OZ.

pixelmeow: Cool!!!

n1yqh a has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Howdy, m.

pixelmeow: Hey dood!

AGplusone: Hi, Fred.

TheCOinOz: Hi Pix how the heck are you?

OscagneTX: howdy, n.

moultonfcx: HI

pixelmeow: hello!

TheCOinOz: Thanks for the invite David

pixelmeow: hello!

pixelmeow: drinks all around

AGplusone: Forget your name, CO, help me …

EBATNM has entered the room.

pixelmeow: geoff

pixelmeow: hello

AGplusone: Ah, yes. Hi, Andy

OscagneTX: howdy, E.

pixelmeow: is that E?”?”????

EBATNM: Good Evening All

pixelmeow: hello!

OscagneTX: not E!, but #.

OscagneTX: err..

OscagneTX: E.

pixelmeow: oh…

Aurorax13 has entered the room.

pakgwei has entered the room.

OscagneTX: meaning Andy… his nick.

OscagneTX: howdy, all.

pixelmeow: man look at all the people!

AGplusone: Hi, pakqwei, ltnc. Who’s auroax13?

OscagneTX: I take it David just did a global invite?

mjriley78 has entered the room.

pixelmeow: I don’t have some of these names on my aim to names page.

EBATNM: I’m on my wife’s computer so I may be evicted for lesser things

DavidWrightSr: Wow. The mass invite worked. Had a couple of declines and a few haven’t responded.

OscagneTX: Howdy, mj.

EBATNM: Where’s Bill?

Aurorax13: well hello all

AGplusone: sometimes you’re stil a57thornton, or have you given that one up, Andy?

Aurorax13: what’s the topic tonite?

OscagneTX: I also did a “the chat is NOW” on the ng.

LanaiHoward has entered the room.

mjriley78: Sorry, Mike’s not available and while I enjoy Heinlein, I’ve got to finish somethings and then get off line.

pixelmeow: HOWARD!!!

OscagneTX: “Warm-Body Democracy in Heinlein”

AGplusone: ‘lo, Howard

OscagneTX: Howdy Howard.

pixelmeow:

OscagneTX: I have a housekeeping question…

cvproj has entered the room.

OscagneTX: objections?

pakgwei: wow… flashback

pixelmeow: howdy!

OscagneTX: howdy.

AGplusone: Anyway, you’d have enjoyed meeting our secret weapon to Afghanistan, Pix.

cvproj: Evenin’

pixelmeow: yeah?

moultonfcx: I am actually at work right now so I need to drop off.

pixelmeow: see you

moultonfcx has left the room.

LanaiHoward: Hi all — pix, just sent you IM as your mailbox is full

Aurorax13: well everyone I wish I could participate but I have a hot date

Aurorax13: and I NEED a shower

OscagneTX: Lookin’ at the participation in the lead-up thread(D.Silver was about 90% of it)… how about just general discussion for the next chat or two? No specified topic.

OscagneTX: It could be just… whatever on topic thread is getting the most traffic that fortnight.

DavidWrightSr: As I just told Aurorax13 by IM, I am sorry that I forgot to send out messages. It’s been a tough week.

Aurorax13: I hear that

Aurorax13: oh well sry to miss the mayhem but…… well I smell funny

LanaiHoward: the thread of topicality is always on-topic, isn’t it?

OscagneTX: anyone? bueler? anyone?

Aurorax13: hagn everyone

Aurorax13: lol

cvproj has left the room.

Aurorax13 has left the room.

OscagneTX: Davids? Comment?

pixelmeow: can I get everyone to write their name? I’m Teresa

AGplusone: I’m not sure what you’re asking, Joe.

AGplusone: David

OscagneTX: OscagneTX: Lookin’ at the participation in the lead-up thread(D.Silver was about 90% of it)… how about just general discussion for the next chat or two? No specified topic.

LanaiHoward: I’m not sure if it would be depressing or not, but it struck me that warm-body democracy fit rather well with the…ummm…well, let’s say I want to confirm Kermit’s theory

LanaiHoward: “It’s hard being Green”

DavidWrightSr: Sorry, I’m trying to do 3 things at once. Be attentive again in a few.

OscagneTX: s’ ok.

LanaiHoward: we all timeshare…I suddenly have a surplus of small projects.

TRTPANGL has entered the room.

AGplusone: Hi, Elizabeth

TheCOinOz: geoff

LanaiHoward: I’m Howard…I think. Assisted by felinoids Mr. Clark, Rhonda….and Ding is here somewhere

OscagneTX has left the room.

pixelmeow: HEY!!!

TheCOinOz: on phone brb

OscagneTX has entered the room.

TRTPANGL: Hello Everyone!

OscagneTX: Note to self: don’t touch the escape key.

pixelmeow:

DavidWrightSr: Sorry, I had a panic moment when I thought that I had lost the mailing list when my laptop crashed last week. Fortunately, it’s on my home computer not my laptop. Whew!

pixelmeow: good!

OscagneTX: Okay, so… the kick-off question was, “Was Heinlein fair to warm-body democracy?”

AGplusone: I had a crash too last week, David. Fortunately it was brought back, but it’s not long for the world. Moving it all slowly to a new G4 iMac I had to buy.

pakgwei: mmmm… G4

DavidWrightSr: Can we get a definition on just what “Warm-Body” democracy means?

pixelmeow: I am just not one to know if he was fair or not, I’m still an egg.

n1yqh a: One Warm Body = One Vote?

OscagneTX: Specifically, I was thinking of Friday’s California democracy, and Moon’s democracy’s eventual outcome.

has entered the room.

NitroPress has entered the room.

NitroPress: Zup?

NitroPress has left the room.

OscagneTX: howdy jim.

AGplusone: Why do you have to be fair to a thing?

pixelmeow: hey jim!

OscagneTX: later, jim.

pixelmeow: heh

pixelmeow: hi, bleyddyn (sorry, I don’t know your name)

AGplusone: I should think you’d want to take it apart over and over and over again to see if it’s doing what you want to do with it.

: Andrew, although I’ve used Bleyddyn so long and so often that I answer to it just as well.,

OscagneTX: Maybe I didn’t express the idea well enough. Did Heinlein give it a fair shake, compared to reality?

LanaiHoward: Osc, a good test point of such democracy is the Howard Families before the Diaspora.It seemed to be a democracy, with trustees–although unilateral action happened in crisis.

OscagneTX: warm-body = not excluding anyone’s franchise.

pakgwei: definition, please

DavidWrightSr: Ok. I get you now. Not like in “SST” 😀

OscagneTX: Keep in mind, that we don’t even have a warm-body democracy now… we exclude felons and children, etc.

LanaiHoward: And that is one of the key differences between classical, oh, let’s say New England town meetings. There are times when decisions are needed RIGHT NOW.

pixelmeow: okay!

OscagneTX: But it’s pretty frickin’ close.

OscagneTX: I can use a different term. “Universal Democracy” whatever.

LanaiHoward: Does the whatever-democracy make all “legislative” proposals, or do they vote on them? In other words, how involved is everyone in the whole process?

AGplusone: We don’t take a referendum in any form of democracy except at stated times. We cannot without notice. We always have managers pro temporare, or elected.

AGplusone: That’s what an Executive is.

EBATNM has left the room.

LanaiHoward: I keep almost-resigning from a radical-oriented Internet & society list that feels everyone should be a “Netizen” and be involved in EVERY decision.

LanaiHoward: So, there is the question — do warm body democracies have executives?

OscagneTX: I guess what I was trying to do is set up a contrast between the exclusive democracy in SST (depicted VERY favorably) and the inclusive democracy of Moon (depicted very unfavorably).

LanaiHoward: In other words, there are those that believe everything should be by referendum — and we have the technology to do that, wise or not

AGplusone: They have to unless they are going to have a quorum presenty at all times in session micro-debating and managing everything the society does.

TRTPANGL: Warm body democracy would only work in a small population.

LanaiHoward: Yes–but there are a number of proposals — with which I don’t agree — to do just that micromanaging

OscagneTX: AFAICT, democracies that resemble what we have in reality, when depicted in Heinlein, don’t fare very well.

LanaiHoward: Quite a number of radical activists disdain even democracy for “consensus”. That tends to be dominated either by charismatic people, or those that never have to go to the bathroom

TRTPANGL: Like a town meeting type situation.

AGplusone: All SST is is a limited franchise democracy, a meritocracy dependent on service. I doubt whether a referendum on all decisions could ever work ….

n1yqh a: The “inclusive” democracy of “Moon” wasn’t depicted all that poorly, but then again, it was only “inclusive” if you define “inclusive” to mean “whatever Mike thought was a good idea”

AGplusone: or allowed Prof to program in his innards….

OscagneTX: nly: at first… but we see in Cat what that government turned into.

LanaiHoward: ironic that Mike was the trusted vote-counter….and the questions that have been raised, in some pretty objective forums, about Diebold voting machines

OscagneTX: We also get Manny’s commentary at the very beginning.

OscagneTX: I don’t have it in front of me, but Manny had basically decided to hit the asteriods to get away from the yammerheads. They had taken over.

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AGplusone: Are you distinguishing ‘warm-body’ from ‘representative’ democracies, Joe?

pixelmeow: hey!

OscagneTX: Is that basically the fate of any democracy that lets anyone participate? Do the yammerheads inevitably take over and ruin everything for everyone else?

n1yqh a: Good point – I was thinking of more “before the big bangs”.

OscagneTX: Howdy, POB.

AGplusone: Hi, Steve

OscagneTX: No, Dave.

PrinceOfBaja: hi. didn’t know what the reception wojuld be if I came in here.

OscagneTX: I was using it to distinguish from SST-type democracy. SST was representative, too, just not universally.

LanaiHoward: Osc, there can be compromises. Our county government (there’s no city) has open mike after the formal agenda, 5 minutes for an issue already open, 10 minutes for a new one…

AGplusone: When then you don’t have the yammer heads inevitably take over. Until it’s voting time, they deal with their representative.

pixelmeow: have a drink, Steve!

PrinceOfBaja: no thanks; I probably can’t be here long.

LanaiHoward: theory is that you could have sent written comments for open issues, and, in practice, without a time limit, 2-3 yammerheads would go on for hours

AGplusone: And they suffer through the yammerheads, Howard, just as they do here, and then adjourn.

n1yqh a: Speaking of town meetings, my town’s is Tuesday night – and it will as usual be a battle between caffiene and yammerheads to see if I make it awake till the end…

pixelmeow: well, I’m glad you came.

LanaiHoward: at least I can videotape the county board and listen in installments

PrinceOfBaja: thanks, Teresa!

TRTPANGL: Me too, Steve

pixelmeow: 😉

PrinceOfBaja: My posts in the NG lately have either gotten very caustic replies or been completely ignored.

AGplusone: If they really want something on an agenda they present it to an elected rep, outside the meeting, and he brings it up on their behalf … and it’s addressed instead of being yammered at just before the meeting ends.

OscagneTX: It feels like I’m talking against the grain… %^)

PrinceOfBaja: Thought I might have become persona non grata

OscagneTX: Not that I know of, PoB.

pixelmeow: you have not been watching the group lately, have you.

AGplusone: I haven’t seen any of your posts, Steve; and I don’t have you blocked …. I had to hunt for the last one you made because I saw a reference to it, but never saw the original until I hunted.

PrinceOfBaja: Well, you’re not a frothing-at-the-mouth neocon, Oscagne. ;o)

pixelmeow: my news server has been doing posts out of order sometimes.

OscagneTX: Almost, Steve… almost.

pixelmeow: oh, and I came up with an idea about name-calling…

PrinceOfBaja: I stopped posting very much because of all the negative reactions.

OscagneTX: I only froth when I drink beer too fast.

pixelmeow: you know how people got dumped into the pool?

PrinceOfBaja: I’ve just gotten so angry with the shrub and his dishonest cronies that I feel I shouldn’t read all the fawning praises of him.

pixelmeow: I say the Lanai has a new pool, and name callers get dumped.

pixelmeow: one thing is certain, you’ll see no praise from me.

OscagneTX: So, I guess we’re all agreed, then and we can go home, huh? I was looking at the treatments Heinlein has given this democracy type:

OscagneTX: The one from moon fell to the yammerheads.

LanaiHoward: could there be a range of pools? Dolphins, jellyfish, piranha?

OscagneTX: The one in California in Friday did, too.

DavidWrightSr: Hey, this is a discussion on democracy, lets keep the politics out of it O:-)

pixelmeow: right. 🙂

PrinceOfBaja: a motion to adjourn is always in order, but not always appropriate,

Oscagne

TRTPANGL: yes, howard!

PrinceOfBaja: :o)

OscagneTX: pick another… TiTS… it never got a chance to flourish because all the participants bailed at first chance.

LanaiHoward: Pix, as in my examples from Disraeli and Cannon, to say nothing of GB Shaw, great scorn and derision can be delivered with not an expletive in sight.

AGplusone: I don’t think it did, Joe. We really don’t know what slowed it down by Mannie’s time ending. By the time of Campbell it’s bureaucrats and machines politics.

OscagneTX: you wouldn’t describe the bureaucrats and machine politicians as yammerheads?

AGplusone: Bureaucrats and machine politicians. No.

OscagneTX: “Let’s extend the boundaries of the cities 100 miles in radius so we can tax those pressures out there.” etc.

LanaiHoward: A machine politician can’t afford to be a yammerhead. Must be focused, constantly dealmaking

AGplusone: Exactly

TRTPANGL: If you are asking me…I think they are all yammerheads

AGplusone: And not all bureaucrats are invidiously evil

PrinceOfBaja: bureaucrats and machine politicians aren’t interesting enough to compete with yammerheads

AGplusone: Kiku is a bureaucrat and a pretty good one.

LanaiHoward: Historically, machines haven’t always been bad — they played a large part in assimilating 19th & early 20th century immigrants…

AGplusone: Otherwise he’d accomplish nothing.

PrinceOfBaja: at least yammerheads give you some comic relief

OscagneTX: Okay… so say corruption and yammerheadism… the point is… it became untenable for the individualist protagonist to stay.

n1yqh a: It’s been a long time since I read “The Rolling Stones” – but weren’t there some political references as to the then-current state of Luna, maybe ~50 years post-Manny?

LanaiHoward: consider the etymology of New York Irish cops being asked “who’s your rabbi?”

LanaiHoward: David, Kiku is not alone. Slayton Ford for another.

AGplusone: Machines still exist. We have one here in Santa Monica. It’s called the Renter’s Rights Organization. It runs the city.

AGplusone: Agreed. Ford was a pretty good administrator. The Howards picked him to run their act, day-to-day, in Meth’s Children

AGplusone: Just as Justin Foote, whatever his number was, did later.

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AGplusone: n1yqh a: I think father Stone was the ex-mayor

OscagneTX: Do doubt that the system can house savants, who can for a time prop it up, but what of the system if it eventually gets overwhelmed anyway.

OscagneTX: Maybe it’s just my cynisism toward people in general.

LanaiHoward: There are others. I had the impression that the rejuvenators were civil servants. In reality, I know many fine civil servants — and many timeservers.

OscagneTX: In Heinlein’s non-fiction he comes off as optimistic about people… but in his fiction every time he congregates them some crisis happenes.

OscagneTX: Granted, you need a crisis for a novel to be worth writing…

DavidWrightSr: Tunnel in the Sky had a warm-body democracy which was working pretty well before they got rescued.

OscagneTX: But the crises(sp?) involve people getting together and screwing things up, more than likely in an unlimited democracy.

AGplusone: “Democracy is normally in perpetual crisis. It require the same constant, alert attention to keep it going to pot that an automobile does when driven.”

AGplusone: Page 8, TBYG

OscagneTX: But as soon as they had the opportunity to get out, they got out.

DavidWrightSr: But not for any reason having to do with their style of government.

OscagneTX: Heinlein made a point of showing the hypocrasy, didn’t he? Everyone saying they’d like to stay and continue thier lives, then Rod basically waking up alone?

LanaiHoward: Thinking of the multiverses…when someone says civil servants aren’t risk takers, how about Neil Armstrong?

OscagneTX: Or am I misremembering.

OscagneTX: ?

AGplusone: they didn’t walk away from the democracy, they walked off to get on with their lives, education, prospects

LanaiHoward: Rod waking up with the newsies of the time…RAH was prescient about those. Ricki Lake or Jenny Jones would have fit right in

n1yqh a: There’s a difference between taking physical risks – the entire military consists of civil servants in one regard – and taking “career” risks…

DavidWrightSr: They all realized that there was more benefit to going back, even Rod, after he had Deacon pointed it out to him

OscagneTX: The world they went back to was not any kind of democracy, though, was it? Witness the forced deportations through the gates.

AGplusone: And there’s no showing what general government was, except for the Emperor of Asia-Australia, on earth or anywhere else.

AGplusone: That was just one nation, sorry, Joe.

AGplusone: And the NY cops told the Mongolian one off.

DavidWrightSr: Personally, I think that when you get enough of a movement of yammerheads, then any government is going to go down. Doesn’t just apply to democracies.

LanaiHoward: David, what you attribute to the Deacon — fits very well, if you’ve read it, with Clancy’s Cardinal of the Kremlin…the CIA man and the Afghan major appreciating the value ot training

AGplusone: There’s no showing what, if any, world government on Earth was.

AGplusone: The be ready for the examination point, Howard. “Deal with the world as it is”?

LanaiHoward: David, remember the advice on computing a new ballistic in “Space Jockey”? Always has been a life lesson for me.

OscagneTX: pardon, while I look for more Shiner.

TRTPANGL: BRB, C! needs to get online!

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AGplusone: It’s funny that Heinlein, in the final chapter of TBYG, which even Pournelle says is a brilliant exhortation to political activitism, begins the chapter with a quote from A. Lincoln.

AGplusone: It’s the same quote he took the title of his first book from, ” . . . it is for us, the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work . . . ”

AGplusone: Democracy is always an unfinished work

OscagneTX: back

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AGplusone: and nobody does it for you, unless you do it yourself, seems to be his point

AGplusone: I think that’s fairly treating democracy, Joe. You get back what you put into it.

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pakgwei: thanks

OscagneTX: Fair enough.

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OscagneTX: Would anyone like to make a suggestion for the next chat? I was going to try to do one every two weeks, like the old days.

AGplusone: Even to the point of going underground, when necessary and only then, to restore it. That was the “If This Goes On–” story line.

AGplusone: Ask people to throw out topics, and vote on them.

AGplusone: Do it here.

OscagneTX: anyone?

OscagneTX: Howard? E!?

OscagneTX: Pix?

pixelmeow: I want to talk more about humor in Stranger.

OscagneTX: The nature of humor?

OscagneTX: or the jokes in the story?

pixelmeow: That was a great piece you wrote, David, but I still want to work it out.

pixelmeow: the nature of./

TRTPANGL: I like Pix’s idea…I’m still in thesis mode and my mind is blank

LanaiHoward: interesting, pix. Critical there…thinking of where else it’s signficant.

pixelmeow: whether it’s universal, or by perspective.

pixelmeow: it still bothers me. Merfilly27 has entered the room.

pixelmeow: hey you!

OscagneTX: Howdy, Steph! Merfilly27: Hello, one and all

pixelmeow: good to see you again!

: How about people from the news who are creating the kind of future Heinlein wrote about?

TRTPANGL: you mean funny once or funny all the time?

pixelmeow: yes!

AGplusone: How about D.D. Harriman and the role of private enterprize in space and/or any other advancement.

OscagneTX: That’s a good one.

TRTPANGL: Hi Steph!

OscagneTX: What’d you bet that the SS1 guys are too busy to do a chat with us…?

pakgwei: buy the future… good

AGplusone: Or Heinlein’s use of non SF conventions in his later works … why did he get away from SF stories?

OscagneTX: %^)

AGplusone: Why did/not how did he leave mainstream SF?

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AGplusone: Or we could discuss Magic Inc and Waldo?

AGplusone: We haven’t done that in a while.

: Haven’t read those in a long time.

TRTPANGL: I could maybe make some intelligent remarks on that one, David

AGplusone: Or “They” or any of the AiE books.

DavidWrightSr: AiE?

OscagneTX: Okay… would pix and blyddyn be willing to put down a couple of ideas for the posts?

AGplusone: Assignment in Eternity

AGplusone: stories, Dave

LanaiHoward: E, Waldo does deserve a new look within the non-magickal context of intelligent prosthetics, as well as cybersensors.

pixelmeow: sure, joe, I can do that

DavidWrightSr: Ah So.

OscagneTX: outstanding, Pix.

TRTPANGL: It sure des Howard, we have been making great strides in prosthetics,lately!

Reilloc: Well put.

TRTPANGL: no pun intended:-\

LanaiHoward: Remember that controversial commercial that showed Christopher Reeve walking? SFX then, but not out of the question

AGplusone: Heck, we could talk about ideal marriages: Star Beast, or raising pets for fun and diversion.

TRTPANGL: how about raising pets for food??? Have a couple I’m thinking about

AGplusone: And find out whether Betty can raise John Thomases as well as Lummox.

TRTPANGL: LOL!

OscagneTX: hehe

AGplusone: Or we could do vulgar humor in Heinlein … ?

AGplusone: Doesn’t have to be profound, can just be interesting …

Reilloc: How about we do “what Heinlein didn’t forsee happening.”

AGplusone: Yep.

OscagneTX: That’s good.

DavidWrightSr: Like the need for binary translation tables to program computers O:-)

OscagneTX: It’d fill an hour or two.

AGplusone: That could range a long way … both to list things, and then to see if maybe he did forsee it after all.

LanaiHoward: What, David, along the lines of Churchill and Attlee in the gents’ of the House of Commons?

AGplusone: Bog knows he did touch on a lot of things.

LanaiHoward: ahem…SOME of us remember computers that needed such!

TRTPANGL: I gotta go…have fun Saturday! Bye!

OscagneTX: ‘night

DavidWrightSr: Well, I actually did use to punch in octal numbers to bootstrap a PDP8

AGplusone: Heck, I remember needing to know how to punch 8 bit cards.

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TRTPANGL has left the room.

LanaiHoward: 0001010110111: first word of PDP-11 boot loader

AGplusone: I think That second TPTPANGL leaving was her shadow, or maybe angels have souls.

Reilloc: Somehow, 01 is the loneliest number… 010 can be as sad as 01, doesn’t have pop hit written all over it.

DavidWrightSr: 😎 Merfilly27 has left the room.

OscagneTX: hehe. There’s only 10 types of people in the world…

Reilloc: Two

AGplusone: One: the quick

Reilloc: The type who say there are only two types of people and they type who don’t.

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LanaiHoward: I prefer three. Those who can count well, and those who cannot

OscagneTX: those who understand binary, and those who don’t.

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AGplusone: The dead are already out of the world

OscagneTX: wb pix.

AGplusone: Pix, what would you like to talk about in Heinlein?

AGplusone: “little girls”?

pixelmeow: Can you hear me now…?

pixelmeow: whew!

AGplusone: see you

pakgwei: yup

pixelmeow: I kept typing, responding, and nothing came through

Reilloc: Heinlein Readers Group chat

Reilloc: The “in AOL” link.

pixelmeow: Thanks, but actually I’m in aim tonight

AGplusone: Lots of little girls in Heinlein …

pixelmeow: is that the problem?

AGplusone: sometimes it is …

pixelmeow: we can talk about little girls…

pixelmeow: seeing as how I have one…

AGplusone: I usta have one.

pixelmeow: yours is all grown up, eh?

Reilloc: Me, too, but she’s 13, 5’9″, and thinks everything’s dumb or gay now.

AGplusone: I’ve have to check. It varies.

pixelmeow: oh my.

pixelmeow: mine isn’t to that point yet…

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AGplusone: What would Holly have done the next year.

LanaiHoward: As in Gay Deceiver?:-P

AGplusone: After Menace from the Earth

pixelmeow: ROFL!

pixelmeow: I don’t understand Poddy at all.

OscagneTX: Either started a starship company, or broken her neck in that cave.

Reilloc: As in the post-post-modern-modern usage that doesn’t include any overt homosexual components.

pixelmeow: Not the story, the person.

AGplusone: We could do a chat on that.

pixelmeow: I tend to dislike the story, but am fascinated by it, also.

AGplusone: Funny thing: there aren’t really any really little boys, except Buster, who turned out to be a genius.

LanaiHoward: Clark?

AGplusone: Are there?

OscagneTX: Poddy’s little brother.

pixelmeow: what about the little brat who got lost on the moon?

OscagneTX: And young-Maurine’s little brother.

pixelmeow: his brother had to find him?

AGplusone: Clark is what? 1.8 x 9 =

Reilloc: Young Thorby.

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pixelmeow: ah, now that’s a story I’d love to talk about!

AGplusone: Yes, that one. Young Thorby too.

Reilloc: It took me decades to find that book.

pixelmeow: I did enjoy that one very very much!

AGplusone: Frightened little whipped boy

pixelmeow: did you enjoy it?

DavidWrightSr: Mentioning Thorby reminded me of something. I just got through reading it and I noticed that he used the term Hydrogen-fission. Shouldn’t that have been fusion?

LanaiHoward: his age may be the number of lashes times the infinity of tears

Reilloc: I liked it a lot.

AGplusone: yes, H

LanaiHoward: CoG cried for a sequel, and made pretty good noises for a prequel

OscagneTX: H-fission… it’d have to be breaking a proton into its sub-particles.

OscagneTX: Which goes well beyond my education.

pixelmeow: I loved that story.

AGplusone: It did. I know someone who wants to write the prequel

Reilloc: Lifestyles of the rich and famous who don’t find out until it’s too late to be spoiled.

AGplusone: Take Baslim the lounge lizard and turn him into a hero.

n1yqh a: If only we could do it, subnuclear fission (H into subatomic particles) would theoretically be even more energetic than nuclear fission – it’s just that it seems somewhat impossible at the moment.

AGplusone: strings?

AGplusone: I was reading Life-Line last night and wondering how it would be explained via string theory.

pixelmeow: Interesting!@

Reilloc: What’s string theory?

OscagneTX: man.. that WAS proto-string theory! %^)

pixelmeow: oh my, that’s a long story and I only understand a tiny bit of it

OscagneTX: “Just imagine your whole life is an huge pink worm…”

AGplusone: something I can’t explain until I reread Stephen again

Reilloc: My whole life is or as a huge pink worm?

OscagneTX: is

pixelmeow: imagine that.

OscagneTX: That was a bastardization of the point, though.

pixelmeow: the beginning of the worm is your birth

DavidWrightSr: All of mankind is a long branching set of worms.

pixelmeow: the end is your death\

pixelmeow: just like life line\

Reilloc: Oh, you mean the timeline of my life.

pixelmeow: yes.

OscagneTX: yeah

AGplusone: If every element of time is separate string, then, the x-section

Reilloc: Okay, so it’s wormy..

pixelmeow: the cross section at this moment is you, right now.

OscagneTX: and if/when you have kids, those are branches in your worm.

Reilloc: Oh, I’m a branchy worm…

OscagneTX: And your birth is like a grafting onto a previous worm.

Reilloc: I’ve never seen one.

pixelmeow: *snork*!

DavidWrightSr: Of course, the worms would have to come together before branching O:-)

Reilloc: More tendril than worm, eh?

AGplusone: raunchy worm later on ….

AGplusone: or several raunchy worms

pixelmeow: heehee!

OscagneTX: In the case of several RAH stories, it’d be a woven tapestry of worms…

Reilloc: It seems pretty constrained by only using three dimensions.

OscagneTX: exactly.

Reilloc: I’m a tesseracty worm?

pixelmeow: that’s the thing about string theory, it involves at least twelve dimensions, IIRC.

OscagneTX: sort of like the old bouncing ball BASIC programs, when you forgot to clear the screen between each iteration.

LanaiHoward: string theory may be the feline approach to cosmology

DavidWrightSr: Did Pinero only realize that the future was fixed when he tried to save the young couple?

pixelmeow: Howard, you crack me up.

OscagneTX: no, I dont’ think so, DaveW.

pixelmeow: I’m not sure about that one.

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LanaiHoward: *raises Hawkeye Pierce eyebrow to Pix*

DavidWrightSr: Why not?

pixelmeow: string…feline…cosmology…

OscagneTX: I can’t put my finger on it.

OscagneTX: It seemed like his attitude was a dutiful “I know this will fail, but I’ve got to try.” during that scene.

DavidWrightSr: His actions with them seemed to imply that he might be able to change things, but his actions at the end showed that he was resigned to it.

OscagneTX: It’s been to long since I’ve read it to have textual evidence.

LanaiHoward: can a feline resist a string? Vaguely reminded of the recent episode when Rhonda decided a dropped jalapeno was a mouse

pixelmeow: I got both from it.

pixelmeow: Oh NO!!!

DavidWrightSr: And what did he feel, when he realized that it was his meddling that actually may have caused their deaths?

LanaiHoward: it bit her back a few times, and then escaped under the refrigerator

Reilloc: Just out of curiosity, what happened to warm-bodied democracy?

pixelmeow: that’s what I got from it also, David

pixelmeow: LOL!

OscagneTX: Galileo recently thought hot-pork-rind crumbs were dry cat food.

pixelmeow: I had something to say about that, actually…

OscagneTX: He was surprised.

AGplusone: afk, going to get some cognac, brb

Reilloc: E, purr se moave?

pixelmeow: what I think is probably closely related to the yammerhead syndrome

OscagneTX: ga pix.

pixelmeow: when you have everyone gathered around demanding that they be heard

pixelmeow: you have a whole lot of voices who know nothing about most of the other peopel

pixelmeow: and don’t care, anyway, because they are worried about their own needs.

pixelmeow: I don’t believe people are naturally good to each other, in that they will always look out for number one.

OscagneTX: that sounds an awful lot like the late unpleasantness in the ng.

pixelmeow: which is not necessarily bad, but it is not also necessarily good: if the discussion is about some -insert whatever-

DavidWrightSr: Didn’t Heinlein comment on that in his Murrow speech?

pixelmeow: a few people may know what they are talking about.

OscagneTX: you mean “this i beleive”?

DavidWrightSr: Right?

DavidWrightSr: right!

pixelmeow: all the rest insist they know what’s right, or they don’t care, or whateve.r

pixelmeow: so you get this whole debate going, and nothing gets done.

pixelmeow: Make sense?

OscagneTX: absolutely.

LanaiHoward: actually, it’s often worse than number one — they have opinions on things that only affect others

pixelmeow: I mean, I believe we should all have some sort of say,

AGplusone: I believe in my fellow man . . .

pixelmeow: but like Howard says, that guy over there should not be able to tell me what I can’t do

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pixelmeow: any more than I should be able to tell him what he can’t do!

pixelmeow: so long as it doesn’t hurt anyone, that is

pixelmeow: but whose idea of hurting someone do we use?

DavidWrightSr: But I think that it is true. When some critical mass of yammerheads outweigh the sensible ones, disaster is in the offing.

AGplusone: for every criminal there are 10,000 honest, decent, kindly men.

pixelmeow: I tend to think we are in perpetual disaster like that.

pixelmeow: I agree, David, BUT.

OscagneTX: pix… I’d say people don’t really give a damn about each other 99% of the time. Then something traumatic happens, and suddenly everyone is everyone else’s sibling. I have no explanation.

pixelmeow: True.

AGplusone: If it were not so, no child would live to grow up. Business could not go on from day to day. Decency is not news.

pixelmeow: Agreed.

AGplusone: and that was 1950 or so

pixelmeow: But neither is how horrible we can be to each other.

OscagneTX: In my case I feel better about “people” than I do about many particular persons.

DavidWrightSr: Yeah, I think that the squeeky wheels get all the attention.

AGplusone: I believe in the unseen and unending fight against desperate odds that goes on quietly in almost every home in the land.

pixelmeow: yes, now that you write it out, I find that I do, too.

AGplusone: It’s the point he makes about democracy. It’s always unfinished, always needs watching, personal watching, otherwise it’s a car with a driver dead or dead drunk at the wheel.

DavidWrightSr: That makes me think about Heinlein’s use of headlines in several works.

DavidWrightSr: Our world is notoriously headline crazy. The good stuff doesn’t make it.

AGplusone: And I don’t know any other system that would let me do any of the watching, no matter how small my efforts are, without my having climbed to a point of vantage over bodies and barrels of blood.

DavidWrightSr: I doubt that Heinlein was particularly prescient about that. It was probably already happening.

OscagneTX: AFA crazy headlines… I’d imagine that’s been happening since there was communication.

AGplusone: It always happens. The year Washington retired someone was probably crying in his beer that “It’s all downhill now. We’ll have a King back here as soon as we turn our backs.”

pixelmeow: well guys, I’m up way past my bedtime

LanaiHoward: That may be cultural. I’ve changed to CNN’s international edition rather than the US, and it’s much more sane

OscagneTX: everything is crazy until it’s commonplace. Then something else is crazy, maybe even previously commonplace stuff.

OscagneTX: ‘night pix.

AGplusone: Sleep tight, T

LanaiHoward: night

DavidWrightSr: Was that after Washington turned down being King?

pixelmeow: goodnight all, here’s one more round for the house.

TRTPANGL: Good night Pix!

Reilloc: Night, Pixel.

pixelmeow: night, all!!!

DavidWrightSr: Night Pix.

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AGplusone: Somewhat more than twenty years after David

TRTPANGL: 😀

OscagneTX: brb, gotta referee the cats.

AGplusone: When Adams I took over.

AGplusone: I = one

has left the room.

TRTPANGL has left the room.

AGplusone: Maybe we could write the sequel to MiaHM, showing how a little slip here and a little slip there led to Cat Who Walks

AGplusone: Heck, Mannie had to take care of family, restore the farms and tunnels, and Rene Stuart LaJoie took over and made a few small changes ….

OscagneTX: b

AGplusone: Howard: when you were involved in R party politics did you find it was, indeed, as RAH says, better than bridge?

AGplusone: More exciting than TV? Etc.

AGplusone: The best high stakes game in town?

LanaiHoward: hmmmm…..well, I think I got involved in GOP after I stopped playing duplicate bridge, which was far more (literally) bloody and nasty than politics.

OscagneTX: nasty papercuts?

LanaiHoward: No, hitting one’s partner over the head with a board for misplaying

OscagneTX: yow

AGplusone: It’s all the blood when you have a cross ruff going to set.

LanaiHoward: board? shoe? Forget the term for the thing that carried the four hands.

LanaiHoward: I also discovered I did not enjoy spending the evening afterwards with people that remembered every card of ever trick of every deal

OscagneTX: rubber? hellifiknow.

AGplusone: Never played in a duplicate tournament.

AGplusone: Have you, LN?

Reilloc: Macs are cool, Dave, but find some way to play on the msn Zone and you’ll like the interface and the duplicate setting more.

Reilloc: I like duplicate more than rubber in a lot of ways.

Reilloc: Rubber’s more social, though.

bmaranta has entered the room.

OscagneTX: and online you don’t have to worry about assault 1.

OscagneTX: Brain… long time.

AGplusone: When I upgrade Vitual PC, maybe. I had to run it tho, because it has holes I don’t want because I actually run Windows with it.

LanaiHoward: that was one thing that rang oddly in FF…Hugh asking if Barbara used conventions I’ve seen only in duplicate

bmaranta: Greetings, all! 🙂

OscagneTX: How are the polar bears treating you?

AGplusone: had- hate

LanaiHoward: Hi Brian! Which continent are you on?

bmaranta: Shoot… I seem to have lost my custom AIM Icons…

bmaranta: North America… Canada specifically

bmaranta: 🙂

AGplusone: I’ve used all those conventions in rubber bridge, H. Always have.

AGplusone: Hi, Brian. LTnc.

OscagneTX: Brian’s a Captain (? is it?) in the Canadian army.

bmaranta: Captain… yes… for another 20 days 🙂

AGplusone: Signal Corps. On Major list.

AGplusone: 😀

LanaiHoward: thought you were off to UK staff college

bmaranta: As the US Army folks would say, Hooah

OscagneTX: Congrats!

bmaranta: Yah; I have 27 days left in my present job and 39 days left in this country 😀

AGplusone: do they frock you in Canada, or are you real from the minute they say put ’em on?

Reilloc: That’s a very personal question.

bmaranta: It’s only real when someone of authority presents your new rank to you

bmaranta: lol, reilloc

AGplusone: true

OscagneTX: in country? where are they sending you?

bmaranta: Shrivenham, UK, to attend RMC of S

OscagneTX: oooh.

bmaranta: Yah, it kinda sucks… NOT 😀

Reilloc: You’ll post pics of you in a kilt?

TheCOinOz: Congrats Brian.

bmaranta: Erm… haven’t worn a Kilt since my time in the Militia…

AGplusone: PCS, or do you have to leave family home?

OscagneTX:

OscagneTX: Oh, well… there’s always Mexico.

OscagneTX: %^)

bmaranta: Niner domestic and the rugrats get to come along also

TheCOinOz: How longs the posting 2years?

AGplusone: That’s better than a poke with a stick in the eye.

bmaranta: The course is one year long. Masters of Science in Defence Technology

TheCOinOz: Mmmm, nice.

TheCOinOz: What corp are you if yo don’t mind me asking?

bmaranta: Signals

TheCOinOz: Ah, figures.

TheCOinOz: I play a little with crypto and comms etc.

bmaranta: Cool

TheCOinOz: Nothing classified though.

TheCOinOz: Cadets

OscagneTX: So are we done?

OscagneTX: Anyone still there?

bmaranta: Done?

Reilloc: No.

Reilloc: Yes.

Reilloc: Maybe.

AGplusone: 2 hu=ours

AGplusone: Got log Dave Wright?

TheCOinOz: I’m here. It’s almost lunchtime though.

OscagneTX: Well lets go ahead and call the log closed.

DavidWrightSr: Got 2 copies.

bmaranta: shoot… did I miss it all?

OscagneTX: shoot . . .miss . . . Canadian… coincidence?

OscagneTX: %^)

DavidWrightSr: We’ll have another go on Saturday at 5:00 P.M. EDT

bmaranta: lol

AGplusone: sorta. What do you want to talk about in two weeks.

OscagneTX: I thought we could do Pix’s topic next.

OscagneTX: I’ll email her about it tomorrow.

AGplusone: What the hell do Canadian Majors wear? Diamonds?

OscagneTX: I want to try to get in touch with some x-prize candidates before we do private enterprise in space.

bmaranta: Nope. Our rank insignia is essentially the same as the navy. Major has two thick stripes and one thin, as per a LtCdr

AGplusone: Ah so. Don’t forget to come back and show them to us before you go.

bmaranta: hrm… I’ll see if I can post pics from the “frocking” ceremony 😀

TheCOinOz: Or a Squadron Leader

OscagneTX: hehe

DavidWrightSr: Get a picture to send to Pixelmeow to put on afh picure page.

LanaiHoward: Good night, all.

OscagneTX: frock you, canuck %^)

bmaranta: LOL, Osc

TheCOinOz: Goodnight Howard

AGplusone: Website post great. Night Brian, all.

bmaranta: ‘Nite Howard

Reilloc: Later all.

Reilloc has left the room.

OscagneTX: ‘night all.

DavidWrightSr: I’m closing off. See ya later.

LanaiHoward has left the room.

bmaranta: night, David

AGplusone: poof

AGplusone has left the room.

End of Discussion

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