Heinlein Readers Discussion Group Thursday 10-23-2003 9:00 P.M. EDT Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group

Thursday 10-23-2003 9:00 P.M. EDT

Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?

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From: Oscagne

Subject: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting–“Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?” — Oct. 23, 25.

Date: Sunday, September 21, 2003 10:24 PM

The next RAH-AIM Readers Group chat will be “Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?”, scheduled for October 23 and 25, 8pm and 4pm U.S. Central Time (respectively). Anyone wishing to join us for the first time can find out how by visiting http://heinleinsociety.org/Archives/ReadersGrp/index.html#Info .

Dr. Rufo has put together an excellent lead-off for us this time:

——————-

The protagonists in the stories and novels of RAH are almost invariably of the “can-do” variety. They are imposed upon, maligned, or, at the very least, somehow threatened in the maintenance of their personal status quo. In response to these “interesting situations,” his characters are notoriously able to overcome their oppressors. Sometimes to the extent of “changing the(ir) world,” or even, moving to another world or worlds! Clearly RAH’s sympathies extend to demonstrations that “[no one can] enslave a free man; the very most you can do is kill him! ”

Yet there seems to exist an interesting contradiction within some of RAH’s works, that is, in the stories which involve time travel. At least, in those stories which involve time travel into the *past* rather than into the *future*. It appears that when a RAH character slips into his own (or his timeline’s) past there are limitations placed that preclude the otherwise successful Heinlein outcome. In these stories, nothing the protagonist attempts makes any effective change in his situation. There appear to be clear demonstrations of the character’s “free will” yet, no matter the choices made or un-made, the resolution is inevitably the situation as originally stated.

In “By His Bootstraps,” the central character is literally “all” of the important characters in the story. Bob is Bob is Bob is Bob is Diktor is Bob is Diktor. The same is true of “All You Zombies. . .” The Unwed Mother is Jane is her Seducer who is later recruited to the Time Corps is the Bartender who recruits him is the Thief who steals the infant born is the infant born and stolen and placed as “Jane” is the much-experienced Time Agent. The “twist of the wrist” of these stories is the reader’s discovery of this situation. But is there also a statement made that the past is immutable?

In “Farnham’s Freehold,” Hugh is offered the opportunity to re-enter the time-stream into his own past. Interestingly, his alternative to this acceptance is the probable execution of his second family. He returns to the past and knocks on his own door so that he (re-)creates the earlier-described situation where he is on *both* sides of the door. The change is that the second time he is aware of this. The most notable alteration is not of his own creation: Barbara’s car now has a manual transmission which is more suitable for driving “into the mountains” than the automatic transmission she had in the first go-round.

This small change (a “machina ex deus?”) assists Hugh in getting his new family safely into hiding from the Grand Slam that moves the story into the future at the start of the novel. Granted, the end of the novel can be read as a real “flag-waver” but is it *clear* that substantive change is/will be made?

Does the existence of Farnham’s Freehold at the ending of the novel suggest that the world of Ponse is eradicated or is it that the Farnham’s of the second go-round will likely be the “wild” critters who Ponse poaches and brings in to “improve the blood-lines” of his slaves?

There is a part of the Heinlein reader(ship) that screams that Ponse is gone. There are others who suggest the inevitability of the second-stated possibility. Can one hold both opinions? What was RAH’s intent?

Well, what do you think? I have laid it out in a fairly straightforward way but I think there are sufficient “loopholes”/gaping wounds for a discussion to get going. Please let me know your opinion(s) at your earliest convenience.

Pax,

Dr. Rufo

—————————

So let’s all take a look at Bootstraps, Zombies, Freehold, and anything else that strikes our fancies and talk it out for a while. Then I’ll see you Oct. 23 and 25 for the chats.

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

From: LV Poker Player

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting–“Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?” — Oct. 23, 25.

Date: Sunday, September 21, 2003 11:22 PM

>From: “Oscagne”

> Does the existence of Farnham’s Freehold at the ending of the novel
>suggest that the world of Ponse is eradicated or is it that the
>Farnham’s of the second go-round will likely be the “wild” critters who
>Ponse poaches and brings in to “improve the blood-lines” of his slaves?
> There is a part of the Heinlein reader(ship) that screams that Ponse
>is gone. There are others who suggest the inevitability of the
>second-stated possibility. Can one hold both opinions? What was RAH’s
>intent?

It has always been my opinion that the timeline split, with the Ponse universe still existing plus the new one created by Hugh and Barbara.


Ferengi rule of acquisition #192: Never cheat a Klingon…unless you’re sure
you can get away with it.From: David Wright
Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting–“Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?” — Oct. 23, 25.

Date: Sunday, September 21, 2003 11:43 PM

LV Poker Playerwrote in message news:

>>From: “Oscagne”
>
>> Does the existence of Farnham’s Freehold at the ending of the novel
>>suggest that the world of Ponse is eradicated or is it that the
>>Farnham’s of the second go-round will likely be the “wild” critters who
>>Ponse poaches and brings in to “improve the blood-lines” of his slaves?
>> There is a part of the Heinlein reader(ship) that screams that Ponse
>>is gone. There are others who suggest the inevitability of the
>>second-stated possibility. Can one hold both opinions? What was RAH’s
>>intent?
>
>It has always been my opinion that the timeline split, with the Ponse universe
>still existing plus the new one created by Hugh and Barbara.
>

I don’t quite agree with you. Yes, I think that Ponse’s timeline still existed, but the world in which Barbara and Hugh returned to already changes in it and evolved differently from what they had experienced, implying that it already existed prior to their return.

— David Wright

From: baybusDON’T WANTNOSPAMcoming back, perhaps.”

Hugh’s response in this conversation is:

“Well, it is some different. You wouldn’t forget that about your own
car. And I do remember putting Grace to bed early; Duke and I had a talk
afterwards. So, it’s different.” Suddenly he grinned. “It could be
importantly different. [my added emphasis here>>] If the future can
change the past, or whatever, maybe the past can change the future, too.
Maybe the United States won’t be wholly destroyed. Maybe neither side
will be so suicidal as to use plague bombs. Maybe — Hell, maybe Ponse
will never get a chance to have teen-age girls for dinner!” He added,
“I’m damn’ well going to make a try! To see that he doesn’t.” [end my
emphasis]

What do you think?

Pax,

Rufe

From: baybusDON’T WANTNOSPAM

Date: Monday, September 22, 2003 1:06 AM

>From: “baybus

>>> Does the existence of Farnham’s Freehold at the ending of the novel
>>>suggest that the world of Ponse is eradicated or is it that the
>>>Farnham’s of the second go-round will likely be the “wild” critters who
>>>Ponse poaches and brings in to “improve the blood-lines” of his slaves?
>>> There is a part of the Heinlein reader(ship) that screams that Ponse
>>>is gone. There are others who suggest the inevitability of the
>>>second-stated possibility. Can one hold both opinions? What was RAH’s
>>>intent?
>>
>>
>>It has always been my opinion that the timeline split, with the Ponse universe
>>still existing plus the new one created by Hugh and Barbara.
>>
>
> This is obviously a valid observation/opinion when “reading-back” from
>our current vantage with our ability to see Freehold in the light of the
>works that have come after. Please remember, it was published in, IIRC,
>1963-64 and the availability of the “split in timelines” was not an
>option. In other words, of the two choices I present, which do you favor
>and why? Or, perhaps, there’s another alternative I’ve overlooked. . .

Saying that Ponse is gone leads to your classic time travel paradox: Ponse would not have sent them back, therefore he still exists in order to send them back, and around we go.

That only leaves the idea that Hugh and Barbara’s descendants became the wild ones. I think this works without a paradox, but I just don’t like it.

Are you sure that alternate timelines were unknown in science fiction back then? They at least had the concept of quantum mechanics, I think that was developed in the thirties and forties.


Ferengi rule of acquisition #192: Never cheat a Klingon…unless you’re sure
you can get away with it.

From: “David Wright”

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting–“Time Travel vs. Free Will;

Date: Monday, September 22, 2003 6:05 AM

LV Poker Playerwrote in message news:

>>From: “baybus

(snip)

>
>Are you sure that alternate timelines were unknown in science fiction back
>then? They at least had the concept of quantum mechanics, I think that was
>developed in the thirties and forties.
>

Everett’s dissertation on ‘The Many Worlds’ interpretation of quantum physics was written in 1957.

David Wright

From: “David Wright”

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Readers Group chat meeting–“Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?” — Oct. 23, 25.

Date: Monday, September 22, 2003 8:48 AM

“Oscagne”wrote in message news:bklmib$34o6m$

>The next RAH-AIM Readers Group chat will be “Time Travel vs. Free Will; is
>there really a conflict?”, scheduled for October 23 and 25, 8pm and 4pm U.S.
>Central Time (respectively). Anyone wishing to join us for the first time
>can find out how by visiting

(snip)

> In “By His Bootstraps,” the central character is literally “all”
>of the important characters in the story. Bob is Bob is Bob is Bob is
>Diktor is Bob is Diktor. The same is true of “All You Zombies. . .” The
>Unwed Mother is Jane is her Seducer who is later recruited to the Time
>Corps is the Bartender who recruits him is the Thief who steals the
>infant born is the infant born and stolen and placed as “Jane” is the
>much-experienced Time Agent. The “twist of the wrist” of these stories
>is the reader’s discovery of this situation. But is there also a
>statement made that the past is immutable?

It is clear in the text of BYB, that Bob does exactly the same thing each time through the cycle. He tries to vary things, but each time, circumstances combine so that he makes the identical ‘choices’ that he has/will observe(d) in the actions of the other ‘Bobs’. Does this mean he has no ‘free will’. My take on it is yes, he has ‘free will’, but that ‘free will’ inevitably leads him to make only those choices that have/will occur(red).

This is the way that I phrased it in my article in The Heinlein Journal:

“The first of these is the predestination versus free will question. I don’t really see
this as a logic problem except that logically one viewpoint would seem to exclude the other.
The only answer I see to this is what is demonstrated by the choices that Bob Wilson makes
in “Bootstraps”. From the outside of the system looking in, these choices would appear to be
predestined, but from the inside, from Bob’s viewpoint at every point in the loops, he is
free to make any choice he wants. But because of all of the conditions, his own mindset, the
actions of the other Bobs and everything else he chooses the same course which he had seen
himself make on previous loops.

BTW, I have timelines for both BYB and AYZ at http://dwrighsr.tripod.com/heinlein/TimeLines.htm

David Wright

Here Begins the Discussion Log
You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group Chat.”

OscagneTX: So its best to break your messages up a litle bit.

DavidWrightSr: Made it that time

OscagneTX: That worked.

: Fine – but I can’t tell who’s said what (Oscagne & David show up as the same icon – a little yellow man.

OscagneTX: I still don’t know WTF “OnlineHost” is. I’ve never seen it before.

: I don’t know, either.

OscagneTX: Kate, what client are you using? AIM, or are you on AOL, or that new chat thingy that can chat on all the networks?

DavidWrightSr: I don’t see ‘Online etc’

: I use “iChat.”

OscagneTX: Ok. That may be why you’re listed as “UnsupportedSN1” to me.

: How horribly techie – what do I do about it?

OscagneTX: You don’t see nicknames in front of the comments?

OscagneTX: Oh… you’re on a mac?

: No, just icons; a window off to the side shows names of chatters, but not paired with comments. Yes, I have a Mac.

Dehede011 has entered the room.

: Hello, Ron!

Dehede011: how goes the dawn.

OscagneTX: I have no experience with Mac chat proggies, except for IRC (Internet Relay Chat).

OscagneTX: Howdy.

: Whoever wrote “how goes the dawn” – how did you make your talk-balloon blue?

OscagneTX: Last time I saw Dawn she was working in a Chinese take-out joint.

DavidWrightSr: Kate. We don’t see any balloons on AIM, just the name

EBATNM has entered the room.

: Meet SUE, SHE works in a Japanese place. 😉

OscagneTX: howdy.

Dehede011: I always wanted to take out a Chinese but she always said no.

EBATNM: Hi David, It’s Elaine, not Andy. and I’m on another IM. Andy may get on later.

EBATNM has left the room.

: Hello, “ebatnm”!

NuclearWasteUSN has entered the room.

NuclearWasteUSN: Good evening all

: I don’t know how to see names in front of people’s comments – I only see icons, and all the same icon at that. Hello, “nuclearwasteusn”!

jilyd has entered the room.

: Hello, “jilyd”!

NuclearWasteUSN: I would be Jim, Kate. 🙂

NuclearWasteUSN: I have a macabre sense of humor, thus the moniker

OscagneTX: howdy guys.

: Hello, then, Jim. But everyone “looks” alike – no names, only identical little-yellow-guy icons. HELP!

NuclearWasteUSN: Hello Dee. LTNS

OscagneTX: Anybody have any experience with ichat for Mac?

: “LTNS” = “Long Time No See”?

DavidWrightSr: David Silver is the only one I know with a MAC

NuclearWasteUSN: Just a sec, I have teachers in the family, let me see if one is on.

: Please, please …

NuclearWasteUSN: Yes, sorry Kate.

Dehede011: brb, getting sandwich and and tea.

: No apology needed.

NuclearWasteUSN: I sometimes speak in shorthand on here.

: I don’t mind shorthand when I understand/can learn/can guess it. “brb” – “be right back”?

NuclearWasteUSN: Then again, it was a bad habit I learned while TAD to comsublant, so it isn’t my fault.

: I don’t know “TAD” – please expand.

jilyd: Kate, I am Dee. Hi!

NuclearWasteUSN:Navy acronym

NuclearWasteUSN: Temporarily assigne duty

: Hello, Dee. Thanks for explaining “TAD.”

jilyd: Jim, I thought you got the memo prohibiting the TLAs. 🙂

: What does “TLA” refer to, please?

NuclearWasteUSN: I am still laghing over my little brother’s “WWWDWA”

OscagneTX: They’re yanking your chain, I think, Kate.

: “WWWDWA”?

jilyd: Three Letter Acronyms.

OscagneTX: NMAYIB

NuclearWasteUSN: My little brother wrote a missive the other night detailing 87 reasons why he would not reenlist in the Navy

: OK, thanks for “TLA”-translation (though I don’t mind TLAs ) – “NMAYIB”?

OscagneTX: No More Acronyms You Insensitive Bastards.

OscagneTX: %^)

NuclearWasteUSN: Number 53 or so was WWWDWA or What Would We Do Without Acronyms

: Gaaarrrrggghhhh …

: OK, thanks for “WWWDWA”!

jilyd: That’s bastard and bitch, thank you very much! 😀 Reedman1956 has entered the room.

NuclearWasteUSN: I guess you had to read the letter

: All right, all right …

: Hello, “reedman1956”! Reedman1956 has left the room.

: Good grief, I made him mad!

Copycat669 has entered the room.

Copycat669: hiya all

NuclearWasteUSN: So, David, how are you this fine cool evening?

: Hello, “copycat669” – how did you make your talk-balloon purple?

OscagneTX: howdy.

NuclearWasteUSN: Hello copycat

jilyd: He may have been looking for some other group. Had some squatters a few weeks back.

OscagneTX: Kate, most folks are using the AIM program, not Ichat. We don’t see talk-balloons, just text.

Copycat669: Purple? Holy CATS! didn’t do it on purpose! not sure

NuclearWasteUSN: Oscagne, sorry, that is a negative on the Mac staff. If you tell me what you need I can see what I get from them tomorrow

: I cold never get AIM to work – we did try (quite hard).

DavidWrightSr: There should be an option somewhere, Kate, that you can modify to show names.

: I just need a way to see people’s names instead of just icons – I can’t find the needed option.

NuclearWasteUSN: Kate, if you get any AOL product to work correctly you will be doing better than the designers.

: OK, I’ve found & activated the “show names and pictures” options! YAY!

OscagneTX: NW, Kate is using Ichat, and it signed her in as “UnsupportedSN1”, it won’t show her who is saying which comment, and I think it signed on something called “OnlineHost” because I’ve never seen that before she joined.

OscagneTX: Tadaa! Dancing Rodents.

NuclearWasteUSN: A whole line of ’em

: Well, I got it to show me who has said each comment, so I have only the other two problems now. Where do I see these dancing rodents?

OscagneTX: Conga Rats.

DavidWrightSr: Conga Rats!

DavidWrightSr: GMTA

: Oh … now I feel SO stupid …

: “GMTA”?

DavidWrightSr: Great Minds Think Alike

NuclearWasteUSN: I fix hardware problems on Macs, and I do minor OS surgery only. Other than that I do a reinstall.

: … leaving me out of the ranks of the Great …

NuclearWasteUSN: Great minds think alike

Merfilly27 has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Nah. You’ll fit right in

: Hello, “merfilly27”!

NuclearWasteUSN: Heya Mer.

jilyd: Hi, steph.

Merfilly27: hello one and all

OscagneTX: Dont’ worry about it, Kate. I’ve been chatting online for 5 or 6 years, actually met my wife that way, and I don’t know all the appropriate acronyms yet.

NuclearWasteUSN: Kate, if you can ignore me tweaking your nose on the group, you are doing just fine 🙂

OscagneTX: Howdy, Merf. How’s the offsprings doing?

Merfilly27: brb…kids to bed down

: OK, fine. I can live with nose-tweaks.

Merfilly27 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: BRB (Be Right Back)

Dehede011: Hi Steph

: Thanks, David – but I grokked “be right back” the first time I saw it, a few minutes ago. But THANKS!

NuclearWasteUSN: Although, if I had known you were a Maccy and a liberal I would have tweaked harder. 😉

: Maccy, yes. As to “liberal” – I’ve voted Republican and Libertarian, but seldom if ever Democrat or any socialist party.

OscagneTX: A liberal? Does that mean “spread on thickly”?

Dehede011: Classical Liberal or this new fangled group

Copycat669: what’s a maccy?

NuclearWasteUSN: User of Apple products

: Or did you use “liberal” in the Shakespearean sense of “bawdy” – “What liberal shepherds give a grosser name / But our cold maids do ‘dead men’s fingers’ call it” – somewhere in HAMLET, don’t ask me where at the moment.

Copycat669: Do you have to be a WILLING user of Apple products?

NuclearWasteUSN: Geeze, Kate, even I have voted for Democrats I respected.

: I, too, on occasion – on rare occasion.

NuclearWasteUSN: Cal Dooley springs to mind, but don’t tell David I said so.

: OK, I won

NuclearWasteUSN: And I never use the English meaning for anything.

: OK, I won’t (EEEEEEEE for last comment)

NuclearWasteUSN: Which last comment?

: I typed – or tried to “OK, I won’t”, but it came out “OK, I won” because I hit ENTER too soon.

NuclearWasteUSN: Not a problem.

pjscott100 has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Howdy.

NuclearWasteUSN: In chat you learn to read what people mean, and not what they type.

: And I gues you know that …….. in Morse means “erase that last error.

pjscott100:80% of communication is non-verbal…

OscagneTX: ?

pjscott100: … the tone of voice could have had a great deal to do with it

DavidWrightSr: except on chats and newsgroups O:-)

: How about “Mr. & Mrs. Lyle made you with other thoughts on their mind.”?

OscagneTX: kate, that’s a perfect example. Unless you mean *I* might get hurt saying them.

LV Poker Player: In today’s society, it shouldn’t get much of a response. As David pointed out, this was a world of sexual suppression, so just referring to sex might have done it

OscagneTX: If someone walked up to me in public and said “You’re a Nazi child-abuser.” I would probably laugh.

OscagneTX: If I walked up to a person and said the same thing, and they got offended; they’re giving me power by reacting to my stupid statement.

: If the accusation came from your employer, would you laugh it off?

Merfilly27: How ’bout an adoptee finding out becaue his supposed sister blurts it out in the middle of an argument?

OscagneTX: At that point, though, it’s not the words that are important, it’s the accusation.

Merfilly27:

Merfilly27: but it is still words, and worse, the truth

OscagneTX: He could just as well say, ‘You follow a National Socialist policy and have aberrent sex with underage persons.” and it would cause me just as much trouble.

DavidWrightSr: What hurts the most is when it is the truth. A truth that we don’t want to hear.

LV Poker Player: I didn’t mean to start a major off topic digression

: If someone on a newsgroup calls you many abusive nicknames, even if others don’t believe these apply to you then they will affect others’ beliefs about you.

Merfilly27: sorry man…I was biting my tongue, proverbially, becasue I saw something in FF that is also off topic

OscagneTX: Yup. Words from my wife could hurt. Words from my Dad or Mom could hurt. But it really wouldn’t be the words, it would be they’re thoughts about me and the fact I care what they think.

OscagneTX: crap

OscagneTX: they’re/their

Merfilly27: I can’t spell ‘because’

: You care what they think, or you could suffer from what they think. Most of us care, or can suffer from, the words/thoughts of at least one other human.

OscagneTX: Steph, what did you see in FF?

Merfilly27: I looked at the publication date…then it clicked why RAH made such a point of race in it, and racial stereotypes

Merfilly27: 1964….Civil rights movement

Merfilly27: yes/no?

OscagneTX: I care what they think. That means I’m letting them affect me.

Merfilly27: am I off base?

OscagneTX: absolutely, Merf.

OscagneTX: I was amazed he could sell a book with that theme then.

Merfilly27: it specifically caught my eye that Joe was in school

: Yes – and Joseph the butler compares fairly closely with the Joseph of Genesis (a low-status person achieving high status in a different society by fitting in with the regime.)

Merfilly27:

Merfilly27: I see that Kate

OscagneTX: I feel that lack on a regular basis. I miss all his biblical references because I only read enough of it to turn me off to it.

DavidWrightSr: I never considered FF to be about race, but about power.

: And Grace might symbolize the USA (once a go-getter, now lazy & unwilling to prepare for disaster.)

: Read that Bible even if it hurts – “it does contain practical advice for most situations” (Jubal Harshaw) and RAH had it quite high up on his “Desert Island” list of ten books to take with you from a shipwreck.

Merfilly27: Barbara is the blank slate

LV Poker Player: If you meet a witch, don’t suffer him/her to live?

: Yes – and her name means “female barbarian” in Latin, doesn’t it? She explicitly gets called that – “She’s a savage; she can’t talk very well.”

Merfilly27: exactly

: And no, I DON’T agree with the advice on witches! Some of the Bible’s sneaky stratagems work well, though.

LV Poker Player: Yeah, I’ve never really tried to count which ones make sense versus not. I just make my own decisions and don’t worry about it

OscagneTX: brb

: Yes, but you can get some great ideas from the Book … whether you reject them, after thought, or not.

Merfilly27: Hugh = heart,mind,spirit in my name book

: Yes, and “Duke” tries to lord it over others (though not succeeding except with his mother)

Merfilly27: Hubert is those plus bright or famous

: Does “Farnham” mean anything? (in a name-book or a book of place-name/surname origins)?

Merfilly27: Karen is pure, unsullied

: Hmmm … Waldo FARNsworth and Hugo FARNham both had “Freeholds” – a connection?

Merfilly27: I’m not sure…my surnames book went missing and I can’t afford a new one

: Well, Karen Farnham sure didn’t ACT pure (by her mom’s standards – though, as Hugh points out, “those standards no longer apply” – things have changed.)

Merfilly27: But she is the “sacrifice”

: What about “Ponse”? It means “pimp” to the Brits, yes?

LV Poker Player: You know, I think the character I most identify with, and sympathize the most with, is Grace

pjscott100: spelling is Ponce in that case

: What do you like about Grace?

DavidWrightSr: Kate. Not Farnsworth-Jones, but Farthingwaite-Jones.

pjscott100: well, but doesn’t mean “pimp” though… means fairy, poofter, etc

LV Poker Player: Not exactly like. She obviously was insane. She lost touch with reality. She was not in control of herself, and was not being bitchy out of selfish reasons or anything. She truly though Hugh could have called a doctor

OscagneTX: b

LV Poker Player: And that he should have

: Yes – I have actually known allegedly “sane” people like that (gainfully employed & the rest of it, but they think they’ll find electric outlets under trees in the backwoods)

: OK, so “ponce” means “homosexual” anyway.

LV Poker Player: I think we both have a pretty good idea what it is like to percieve the world differently from neurotypicals, and the problems that can cause

Merfilly27: It has often been pointed out to me that Grace was a look at Leslyn…But I lack data

: Yes – do you regard Grace as neurotypical, or as other-than-neurotypical?

LV Poker Player: If I remember right, those guys were just naive and gullible. They did not actually see those outlets.

: Well, Grace and Leslyn both drank, apparently in both cases to relieve personal troubles.

pjscott100: I thought that about Grace & Leslyn too, but when I brought it up to Doc James he said he’d asked Ginny about it and she said No

: No, the lost hikers with the cellphone did not SEE outlets, but they actually (before the hike & sometime into the hike) had thought they would.

OscagneTX: Leslyn had some other distasteful habits too, no?

: What other distasteful habits did Leslyn have?

Merfilly27: Iwas thinking it referred to her change…25 years earlier to then

OscagneTX: Didn’t Asimov say that during dinner (even formal) she would chain-smoke and stubb out the cigarettes on the edge of her plate?

: Ooh, YUCK!!!!!

Merfilly27: ooh a peeve of mine!

LV Poker Player: She was neurotypical (NT) for the first part of her life. By the time she was demanding that Hugh call a doctor, something had slipped. Maybe too many fried brain cells from drinking, maybe too much stress from the new situation,

LV Poker Player: maybe too much stress from an unhappy marriage, probably some comibination

: Or perhaps Grace just decided (unconsciously) to “edit out” anything she didn’t want to perceive.

OscagneTX: I think she just slipped her gears. It happens, people can’t cope, they don’t decide anything, they just stop being in touch with reality.

LV Poker Player: Like I said the hikers were naive and gullible, maybe to the point of not being NT, but that is a different scale from Grace’s lack of touch with reality

OscagneTX: I mean… as far as they know they’re the sole survivors of a nuclear blast, and she wants Hugh to call a doctor with a telephone. And can’t understand why he won’t.

OscagneTX: I thought the hikers were just really stupid.

OscagneTX: “Mother Nature’s only capitol crime”

Merfilly27: Iwent hiking wit a city girl once

Merfilly27: she did not know how to relieve herself out in nature

: I have KNOWN people who Just Didn’t Understand (during a blackout or whatever) that they COULD NOT get a light, a TV show, a computer-connection, etc.

LV Poker Player: I agree with oscagne

OscagneTX: Of course you do. “The true test of a person’s intelligence is how much they agree with you.”

OscagneTX: Anyway. I’ve always been fascinated with Heinlein’s solution to the grandfather problem. Does it bother anyone that that solution effectively eliminates free will (at least retroactively)?

: Yes, I think everyone SHOULD learn how to deal without toilet-paper when s/he has to. Have you ever camped with someone who WOULD NOT bury refuse (human-excreted or other) because “that’s not civilized”?

LV Poker Player: Haven

OscagneTX: I never have CAMP camped. Mostly car camped. But, when you gotta go, you gotta go.

Merfilly27: I was in the army…yes!

: Gandhi said (and I think he might have had a verse of Leviticus in mind, just possibly), “India would solve 90 percent of its hygiene problem if everyone just had a little shovel and used it.”

DavidWrightSr: Hazel and the twins in Rolling Stones made some comments about ‘free will’ and the ‘matrix of fixed events’ Don.t recall it exactly.

LV Poker Player: Oops, try this. Haven’t been camping since my army days. Try relieving yourself (number 2) in a blizzard. Not any fun. The joys of driving a tank…

: I don’t see “free will” and the “matrix of fixed events” as contradictory.

: The matrix contains paths – you choose which path to follow, but the choices already exist as possibilities: you just decide which paths to explore, which not to (as in the RAH short story “Assignment in Eternity”)

DavidWrightSr: They spoke of both ‘free will’ and ‘predestination’ being shaky theories. IIRC.

: Yes – probably neither “free will” nor “predestination/matrix” accurately describes all of the reality.

OscagneTX: Me either. I have to keep going back to bootstraps. At each cusp the character made his own free choices. It’s only from the end of the story we see that everything was choreographed.

DavidWrightSr: Elsewhen was RAH’s first tentative steps into WAM.

: Yes – he chose freely & inevitably: I think something of the same sort gets mentioned in STRANGER.

OscagneTX: Remind me of that plot, please, David?

DavidWrightSr: Professor Frost taught his students how to find and explore alternate types of time. He himself had gone back in time and changed how his history developed.

OscagneTX: Ah, yes.

pjscott100: I have a soft spot for that one

OscagneTX: Me too.

OscagneTX: I like the map with hills analogy to space/time.

: I love “Assignment,” too – I wonder: if you could go back and change part of RAH’s life, what would you change & why?

OscagneTX: You’re thinking of Niven’s Proxmire meets Heinlein story?

DavidWrightSr: Did you read the story about Proxmire’s sending someone back to Heinlein with a shot of penicillin so that he wouldn’t become such a prominent writer and supporter of the space program?

LV Poker Player: Deny him all access to stone masonry supplies and equipment, so that he would have to spend more time writing. 🙂

: Yes, Niven’s story – but what other and different changes might one make? Could some conceivable change or set of changes could one make?

Merfilly27: I read that one

OscagneTX: David, he goes back himself. Arrives back in the scientist’s house dripping from sea spray.

DavidWrightSr: So he became a prominent Admiral and supporter of the space program.

: Stopping the stonework might not have helped – since he used that to get into shape after writing, which might have prolonged his life.

OscagneTX: I LIKE that story. You know… if RAH could have stayed in and been an admiral (like his brother?) you just KNOW he’d give up all the writing to do it.

pjscott100: gotta go… dinner calls

OscagneTX: ‘night

: He might not have given up ALL the writing … what if he’d written Naval Academy textbooks? I’d have loved to read those …

Merfilly27: good night

pjscott100: actually it’s the wife doing the calling, which makes it the more important…

pjscott100: night all

pjscott100 has left the room.

Merfilly27: Until I read Heinlein’s W-A-M, I always preferred the ripple effect of time travel theory

Merfilly27: FF could be that

: What if Heinlein could have gone back & made his family not poor, or not Fundamentalists? Would he have gone back, given the chance, & erased his marriage to Leslyn?

: Would he have gone back and made sure his former self never worked for “End Poverty in California”?

OscagneTX: I dunno. He valued that experience, didn’t he? Or he wouldn’t have written Take Back.

LV Poker Player: Not to mention A House Of Her Own

: I suppose so – but he could have persuaded his former self to work for some right-wing or libertarian organization instead, and written TAKE BACK out of that (and A HOUSE OF HER OWN with a different slant).

OscagneTX: oo oo oo. I caught a nit. A Bathroom of Her Own.

LV Poker Player: I have no direct evidence that the story was based on his political career, but it seems likely

: Yes, right, “bathroom.”

LV Poker Player: err…oops

: Political tricks in “Bathroom of Her Own” match/resemble many in TAKE BACK.

OscagneTX: Do y’all want to take a break? 5 minutes?

: Good idea!

OscagneTX: or do we usually take 14, I can’t remember.

Merfilly27: I’m listening to my betters

OscagneTX: er 15

DavidWrightSr: 10

OscagneTX: Okay… ten minute break. Be back… 22:25 Eastern.

LV Poker Player: In the intro to Expanded Universe, he states that he hopes his non writing activities had been forgotten, or at least the the statute of limitations had run out

: OK, 10 minutes, then!

OscagneTX: I’m going to try one more time, Stephanie… How are the kids? Specifically the new one?

OscagneTX: If you anwered me before I missed it.

OscagneTX: %^)

Merfilly27: Oh…they’re good…probably I missed it in the blinks of aol

OscagneTX: getting any sleep?

Merfilly27: Little Bit is fussing his socks off

Merfilly27: some nights great, some poor, but I sleep well on catnaps

OscagneTX: He’ll be the only male in the house as he grows up?

OscagneTX: You and two sisters, right?

Merfilly27: Well, there’s the dad, but he works alot

Merfilly27: brb

OscagneTX: ok

Merfilly27: Sorry it was Dad’s turn to feed him, but I had to make a bottle for that

Merfilly27: The girls are both tomboys

OscagneTX: That’ll make things easier, then. %^)

Merfilly27: thankfully

: Have you ever wondered if Ira Johnson would “uninvent” the telephone (given a chance) so he could keep making house-calls for REAL needs?

Merfilly27: No, because he would see the flip side of the coin presented there

: Yes, I suppose so!

Merfilly27: much as I keep the ringer off, it does serve to enhance life

OscagneTX: I don’t think so. Even if he stopped Bell, someone else would have put it together.

OscagneTX: He’d have had to spend his whole life putting out fires, and then no time for patients.

Merfilly27: I htink it, as much as the car, allowed for families to spread out from one another

LV Poker Player: He might be tempted, but then he would think about the number of lives saved because an ambulance could be called

: Yes – hmmm, I suspect that, given the chance, Ira J. WOULD have wanted to go ‘WAY back in time and make sure that religion never got started …

Merfilly27: lol

Merfilly27: never could happen

Merfilly27: even in states dedicated to rational thought…salon era France, there is religion

Merfilly27: whether it is to a God, Goddess, or to an Idea, or Science

: Supreme irony – he goes back in time to teach the cave-dwellers rational Huxleian atheism … and, after he leaves, they make him the human race’s first-ever God …

Merfilly27: there is always a crutch

: So what “crutch” did Ira use?

Merfilly27: His was belief in his own intellect

Merfilly27: I’m not running it down, or making mockeries

Merfilly27: I think that such belief is one of the better ones to hold

OscagneTX: Can you really crutch yourself?

: What would have happened if Ira had died and gone to the heaven/hell we see in JOB: A COMEDY, with all its layers of deities/angels/whatever?

OscagneTX: A crutch is definitively a foreign thing, no?

: Would he have believed *then* – or would he have written it all off as the one last big hallucination of a dying, oxygen-starved brain?

Merfilly27: maybe crutch is the wrong word then

Merfilly27: I got the feeling that most of the Main Characters (even Ira Johnson) did believe in some form of Accounting

OscagneTX: No. That is totally foreign to his personality, Kate.

LV Poker Player: It’s hard to say. For one thing, where did non believers such as Ira and myself go in that universe? Remember, Marga ended up in Valhalla due to her belief in Norse mythology

Merfilly27: they just held suh things as personal and subject to revisment when the event happened

OscagneTX: That’s the whole “I may be in a wet pack in a hospital, but there’s no profit in assuming that, I have to go by my senses.”

Merfilly27: Jacob Burroughs

Merfilly27: 🙂

OscagneTX: LV, you’d have gone to hell. Not such a bad thing, really.

DavidWrightSr: I used to really dislike the concept of changeable time-lines. Then as I was writing my article, I remembered Dr. Jefferson’s comment in Between Planets about worlds which had different physical laws and suddenly the whole thing …

LV Poker Player: Apparently Yahweh was not the only deity in his creation, although he wanted people to think that

DavidWrightSr: came into focus. Why not worlds which allowed changeable time lines and worlds which didn’t .

Merfilly27: good thought David

LV Poker Player: Not a bad thing as written, but why would I necessarily end up in the Christian hell? Why not Niffleheim, the Norse equivalent?

Merfilly27: And, LV, I’m not sure I’m ready to put my heart up to the feather on the scales

OscagneTX: Yeah, but Marga was specifically imported. Everyone indigenous to Yahweh’s reality was subject to the Heaven/Hell dichotomy.

OscagneTX: Didn’t they even say that it was fair because something like 7% were able to make the cut.

OscagneTX: That puts you, me, Ira and the other 93% in Hell.

Merfilly27: If you read the Book closely, you see where translators did not eliminate all traces of the other tribal deities of the early Hebrews

: I’ll accept that Ira’d have decided “OK, I goofed – God does exist, but I’d no way of knowing for sure.” As to “what hereafter do atheists experience?” – Prof. Frost answered that one ‘way back in “Assignment in Eternity” …

Merfilly27: I figure they do die, never to experience a thing again

DDENT has entered the room.

AGplusone has entered the room.

Merfilly27: howdy

OscagneTX: Well, and Hail, you two.

: … Prof. Frost pointed out that a human nervous system, having known throughout its existence no other state BUT existence, cannot imagine or experience “non-existence” – HI, ddent, and Dave Silver! …

OscagneTX: I think that was right.

DDENT: Hi everyone

BPRAL22169 has entered the room.

AGplusone: 🙂

Merfilly27: hey there

OscagneTX: howdy.

BPRAL22169: Howdy.

OscagneTX: There ferry must have let out, everyone got here at once.

BPRAL22169: I was in a meeting with Rita Bottoms. Just got out.

BPRAL22169: David, check your e-mail

: … so, says Prof. Frost [HI, Bill!], your nervous system will come up with SOMETHING to experience even if not a classical/”standard” hereafter. WOW, what great fonts and balloon-colors the new arrivals have!

AGplusone: Just saw it, Bill.

OscagneTX: Rita Bottoms. 2nd and 3rd names? 1st name Marga?

BPRAL22169: No, so far as I know, that’s it.

BPRAL22169: Recently retired Head of Special Collections at the University Library

Merfilly27: brb

Merfilly27 has left the room.

OscagneTX: Yeah, but if you’ve been getting to Margarita Bottoms all night, you wouldn’t be sure about much, would you? %^)

OscagneTX: Hrm. I’m pretty convinced that when my nervous system shuts down I’m probably not going to be experiencing anything at all.

OscagneTX: Kate, you mentioned my stories in the ng… you’ve read “Goddess”?

LV Poker Player: I expect it to be somewhat similar to the way things were before I was born

: Yes, Oscagne, but will you *know* that you experience nothing? Probably not … I don’t recall reading “Goddess,” but then I haven’t yet read all your stories, Oscagne – please re-tell “Goddess” briefly here, if at all possible.

OscagneTX: I so completely ripped that concept off from RAH that I’m using it as proof of the absence of afterlife. If there were an afterlife, RAH would have come back to haunt me for stealing his story. %^)

OscagneTX: Um… lady gets a tumor and gets cryogenically preserved before she dies.

LV Poker Player: which one did you ripoff?

: Well, can you please send here (or via e-mail) a link to “Goddess” and I’ll read it tonight before I go to sleep?

OscagneTX: She has nightmares for 5 billion years until the earth gets melted by the sun.

OscagneTX: Then she meets God.

: Tumor/cryo doesn’t ring any RAH-ripoff bells for me …

: Nightmares for five billion yrs? Still no bells of recognition …

OscagneTX: The reason RAH turned down cryo was “What if it interferes with reincarnation?”

DDENT has left the room.

LV Poker Player: oh, ok

: Oh, I get it … hmmm, when I read “then she meets God” I thought of a scene in I WILL FEAR NO EVIL (something Eunice tells Johann)

LV Poker Player: Except that I think Ginny denied that he said it seriously, or believed it a possibility?

OscagneTX: I left out the really important details so the story won’t be spoiled for anyone, but those are recognisable details.

OscagneTX: Oh, yeah, he wasn’t serious. And that sure po ed some cryo fans. *giggle* But it gets the point across.

Merfilly27 has entered the room.

OscagneTX: If she lived forever because of cryogenics, it would keep her from whatever afterlife would happen.

DavidWrightSr: LL said that in TEFL also.

DavidWrightSr: When Minerva was looking for something new for him.

OscagneTX: Yeah, but it’s a more immediate problem for LL. I mean… we don’t KNOW that he’s going to die at all.

Merfilly27: afraid of missing the whole rool call event

Merfilly27: roll

LV Poker Player: It wasn’t reincarnation, he just worried that if there really was any kind of judgment day, he might miss it if still frozen and therefore not really dead

: Well, “The Happy Days Ahead” & his notes thereto DO show that he believed in reincarnation, and he says something about why ….

OscagneTX has left the room.

: … and the 2nd half of BEYOND THIS HORIZON makes reincarnation key to the plot (as absolute proof that, e.g., Theobald knows more than he could have learned in *this* lifetime – he knows what palm-trees look like, etc.)

OscagneTX has entered the room.

OscagneTX: crud. Well, at lease I saved recently.

LV Poker Player: It does? I don’t remember that in The Happy Days Ahead. Which part? I have it right here

OscagneTX: Anyway… just going from Job… if there’s a Rapture (capital R) then cryo folks have no worries as long as theyr’e saved before they freeze.

AGplusone: Let me know from where you saved to where you returned Osc, and I’ll send you the gap.

: Probably the other one, then – the EXPANDED essay from the viewpoint of a 21st-century man looking back over the horrible 20th – I forget the name, but it says “And of course we now have proved reincarnation.”

OscagneTX: They don’t have to be dead to ascend, they can be “bodily lifted to heaven” or some such.

Merfilly27 has left the room.

Merfilly27 has entered the room.

OscagneTX: No problem, Dave. I’ll email you after. LadyS122 has entered the room.

Merfilly27: Hey Helen

: … notes to that other essay (not HAPPY DAYS, but similar in theme & also printed in EXPANDED) state that RAH believes reincarnation because of hypno-regression experiments. LadyS122: hi

OscagneTX: Howdy, y’all.

: Hello, “ladys122”!

OscagneTX: Is that a Spider’s Lady Sally reference, LadyS? LadyS122: I wish…. It’s an allusion to my old BBS handle, Lady Scarlet. 🙂

OscagneTX: shoot. %^) LadyS122: but I’m just plain old Helen.

: Well, it can still refer to Lady Sally if you decide that it refers to Lady Sally as well as to Lady Scarlet … LadyS122: I should probably start saying it is though… 🙂

OscagneTX: I was hoping you could direct me to Lady Sally’s. They seem to have a bunch of fun there.

LV Poker Player: The Third Millennium Opens, he predicted that by 2001 we would have proof of survival after death. LadyS122: if I ever find it, I’ll let you know.

AGplusone: She’s referring to the essay “The Third Millenium Opens” beginning at Pg. 310 in the new edition.

: After all, Harry Truman’s full middle name consisted of the letter S (no period, as it didn’t stand for a name, just for itself) because his family couldn’t agree which S-surnamed grandparent to honor.

: Yes, right – “The Third Millennium Opens” I really, uh, generate a vacuum with regard to names and abstract phrases.

DavidWrightSr: You could still abbreviate it S. couldn’t youO:-)

Merfilly27: I hate remembering names, but not the faces that go with it

OscagneTX: brb

LV Poker Player: Heinlein placed a lot of importance on the Bridey Murphy case, but everything I have read seems to thoroughly debunk it and all other attempts to remember previous lives. I think RAH goofed on this one

: Most of the reincarnation-regressions I have read do not convince me. However, some seem to me (in my current state of ignorance) somewhat convincing … and I’ve had odd personal experiences which I won’t discuss here.

Merfilly27: email me Kate, if you want to discuss…had some of my own

AGplusone: “It is hard to believe that it was only in 1952 that Morey Bernstein, using hypnotic regression, established the personal survival of Bridget Murphy–and thereby turned the western world to a research that Asia and Africa had …

AGplusone: always taken for granted.[2]”

: Re name/face memory: the Mega Memory Course people gave up on me, after mucho effort from my end and from theirs. I could only improve strong areas of my memory, not weak ones – not quite what I’d hoped for.

: And, yes, merfilly, I will e-mail you if time permits (dubious this week).

Merfilly27: anytime…gets boring being full time mom

AGplusone: The footnote goes on to say , in 1980, he’s aware that many feel the Murphy case disproven, but he’s still not too sure about it.

LV Poker Player: I wonder if this has anything to do with Asperger’s, Kate? I have not read about this particular trait, but I am terrible at putting names to faces, even though I have good memory otherwise

: Question – if reincarnation exists & time-travel also exists, what happens if you go back in time and meet yourself-in-some-former-life?

Merfilly27: it always seemed to cause the Doctor some distress 🙂

Merfilly27: oh wait…that’s regeneration

: Neurologists tell me that my specific memory-problems (largely name-to-face) do very likely result from Asperger’s. However, means of improvement that allegedly work for such cases have not worked, so far, for me as concerns memory.

Merfilly27: if, eventually, you come to remember what you did all along, you could really shape yourself up that way by influencing early lives

OscagneTX: b

Merfilly27: …and a silence falls on the room

Merfilly27: 🙂 LadyS122: how about the possibilty that what people remember isn’t so much, past lives that their soul has lived, but simply them tapping into the Cosmic thought and accidently recalling memories from that. (assuming there is such a thing.) LadyS122: 🙂

: Lady Sally, that sounds likely to me. But – assuming reincarnation plus time-travel to clean up your former lives … WHAT IF …

OscagneTX: Last time I tapped into something shared with the rest of humanity I got a fine for illegal drilling.

OscagneTX: %^) LadyS122:

Merfilly27: lol

DavidWrightSr: That would fit into the concept that all times coexist ‘simultaneously’ in some sense.

Merfilly27: Moebius Strip? LadyS122: Kate: My problem with that, is if you influence your past life, and affect the time of death, it will therefore, change the path of your soul. LadyS122: paradox

OscagneTX: I like the “balled up silk hanky” theory better.

DavidWrightSr: a 6 dimensional one.

AGplusone: Be scary if we wound up with a flatworm’s memory, every one of them ….

Merfilly27: I don’t want to tap into most of humanity’s experiences

: Hmmm … what if “changing the path of your soul” angers the Great Karmic Accountant Up There? (whoever runs the system) …

AGplusone: including the modern day tapeworms.

AGplusone: that undoubtedly evolved from them as our ancestors did.

Merfilly27: It might just make that Accountant give you It’s job

OscagneTX: If the Almighty is so insecure that anything I could possibly do would discomfit It, It ain’t the Almighty.

: I like Merfilly’s and Oscagne’s notions.

Merfilly27: You know, that’s why I have a problem with the first five commandments

AGplusone: Didn’t think you’d like mine, Kate.

: But – what if God does the Accounting? Then I doubt I’d get God’s job for changing things?

AGplusone: Although it would give you a chance, as we used to say, “to reach out and touch everybody.”

Merfilly27: Seen Bruce Almighty?

: Getting the Accountant’s job strikes me as better than getting a zillion lifetimes as something low and nasty because of having the temerity to Change Things that the Accountant Didn’t WANT Changed.

: I LOVED “Bruce Almighty”!

LV Poker Player: Maybe we can’t interfere, and that is the one Impossiblility that makes everything else possible?

OscagneTX: Me too.

LV Poker Player: Gold star to the first one to identify where I lifted that

Merfilly27: Or, your interference was planned for ahead of time?

: I don’t know that we can’t Interfere – but, what if we can but we get zapped for it?

starfall2 has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy

Merfilly27: oops, no underline intended

starfall2: hi

: Hello, “starfall2”!

AGplusone: Hullo Jackie

starfall2: hi kate

Merfilly27: hey Jackie

OscagneTX: LTNS

starfall2: i’m jackie

: Did the “it makes everything else possible” bit” come from JONATHON HOAG? Oh, then – Hello, Jackie! :-!

LV Poker Player: Not that I remember, but it’s possible, not one of the ones I have memorized. I definitely have something else in mind

AGplusone: But getting back to Heinlein … and time travel … I read something today, Joe. Michael Main’s website on which Main sez Gifford said the original Number of the Beast involved “time-travel” …. anything to it, Bill?

: I don’t know Main or Gifford – please tell me more.

OscagneTX: the “original” NotB?

AGplusone: Probably more directly than what the current NOTB does with its three axis set up.

Merfilly27: the one he wrote before illness, then chopped for the new one

OscagneTX: I suppose the published version does, too, even if you don’t count WAM. It has Dora.

Merfilly27: ?

: I wish I could see the before-“chopping” NUMBER OF THE BEAST.

AGplusone: The orginal was the one he wrote when he was suffering from the transient brain disease he described in Spin Off, that when he finished, everyone said wasn’t publishable. So he put it aside.

OscagneTX: Does it resemble the published version at all?

: I suspect that RAH could write better works under the influence of a transient ischemic attack & its aftermath than most other best-selling authors manage in a lifetime.

BPRAL22169: I don’t think time travel specifically — all continuum travel is time travel, but not like specific.

AGplusone: Manuscript still exists so they say at UC Santa Cruz, and I think Bill said he glanced over it …. hence my question to Bill …

BPRAL22169: It was an early sketch of the 1980 version

Merfilly27: I feel I must go…Kevin has not had the use of our computer tonight and it nears his bedtime

Merfilly27: good night mes amis

: Good night, then!

starfall2: goodnight!

Merfilly27 has left the room.

BPRAL22169: It had themhooking up with Dr. Lafe Hubert, but not with the Tellus Tertius family

AGplusone: I was sorta hoping for a preview of Maureen’s trip into 1930s Japan.

: Yes – I would have loved to see that! And to see her double, of course!

AGplusone: “Lafe Hubert” is one of Laz’ many alias.

BPRAL22169: About 40% of the book was on Barsoom, about 50% with Lensman Ted Smith.

: Wow!

LV Poker Player: All right, my “One Impossibility that permits all else to be possible” is from a novel, not a story. That was direct quote this time.

BPRAL22169: And the Black hats — Panki — were all the vermin there were.

AGplusone: He the one who was unfrocked because of the argument over eugenics in TEFL? Before the plague?

OscagneTX: She was her double. At least I thought that was the allusion.

BPRAL22169: Yes — the bit about finding a place with advanced medical facilities for the births occupied a much more prominent place. They ultimately

: The quote rings a Heinleinian bell … but I can’t remember WHICH bell! And, yes, “Dr. Lafe Hubert” lost his license over statements re eugenics (has this chat-group ever discussed that subject, by the way?)

BPRAL22169: decide not to stay in the Lensman universe because the War on Drugs was going on.

OscagneTX: eugenics?

OscagneTX: Not specifically that I know of.

OscagneTX: Would you be interested in preparing that topic for a chat?

OscagneTX: (See David, I learn)

DavidWrightSr: Actually, not eugenics, I believe. He recommended sterilization of the unfit IIRC.

AGplusone: A long time back, yes, but even Dave doesn’t have the log on that. No reason not to do it once more.

BPRAL22169: How very last century.

DavidWrightSr: Even to those who had no other stigma except that they couldn’t support themselves.

BPRAL22169: I should get out “The Mismeasure of Man” again.

LV Poker Player: I wonder if they like Heinlein over in Archangel, Russia?

AGplusone: [I see, Joe. :-)]

OscagneTX: Eugenics actually seems like a pretty reasonable idea… until you get to “who decides”.

DavidWrightSr: But he came to his senses, and realized that nature would take care of them, “Stupidity is the only capital crime”.

: How does one prepare a topic for a chat? I have limited time this fall/winter – and most descriptions/definitions of “eugenics” include, as one form thereof, “sterilization of the unfit.” …

: … Since I cannot produce viable offspring, perhaps someone else would do a better job than I of preparing for the subject. I shudder to think what a gene-scan of me would show …

OscagneTX: Um… have you seen the introduction post for this chat? All you really have to do is prepare the intro post, and then follow up by replying to the folks who reply to your intro.

LV Poker Player: It really does seem strange that no one can figure out my little puzzler. If I had posted it, I’m sure it would have been a matter of minutes before someone got it

OscagneTX: Rufo doesn’t have time for the actual chat, but he has good topic ideas and good preparation technique. I wish he could be here.

AGplusone: One goes through the RAH works, picks out a few touches on the subject and writes an essay for a lead-off post, and asks a lot of “what do you think” about the points RAH seemingly makes.

AGplusone: Then Oscagne uses it to post the lead off and we go on from there.

: OK, I can do that. When/how do we set a date for a subject?

DavidWrightSr: And tries to keep the discussion on topic. O:-)

OscagneTX: Basically, you’d be a Stimulator as described in . . . TEFL? Sail?

OscagneTX: one of those.

AGplusone: To keep it on topic ….

: Well, I’ll TRY! And I’ve LOVE to Stimulate as TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE describes it.

OscagneTX: I usually space them out about a month. Maybe a little more. The way that works is, I look for a Thursday and Saturday that don’t conflict with someone’s holidays.

AGplusone: So you usually sandbag a few points to keep it or direct it back to the topic.

LV Poker Player: Must be a chatroom and a virtual bar are different lands when it comes to trivia questions

OscagneTX: Then I say, “Okay, lets do it xxxember the xxth and xxth.”

OscagneTX: Then you get the essay to me sometime in the next week or whenever you get the time.

: OK – I have most of my Thursdays and Sundays free. And, yes, people on chatrooms probably don’t take time to pull out their Heinleins and look things up.

AGplusone: We’re proving that more than two weeks lets the drift go too off course.

OscagneTX: yup. I’m going to cut down the lead time.

: I “get the essay to Oscagne” – uh, what essay? My “Stimulation” questions, I presume?

OscagneTX: Yes.

OscagneTX: And generally you shape the topic a bit by citing text, etc.

AGplusone: Good idea is to try to schedule two or three in advance so you can go from one to the other with the chat “co-hosts” or stimulators knowing when they’ll be ready to go ….

OscagneTX: Basically a pretty short school essay.

: That sounds simple enough – we set a date, I cite text & write a few questions, then send them to Oscagne who presumably posts them …

LV Poker Player: All right you guys, SIASL, Archangel Foster tells Archangel Digby that he can’t interfere

: Oh … yeah, right – the Heaven-scenes in STRANGER: I hadn’t thought of them in this context!

OscagneTX: I think we have one in the pipe, Rufo was working on one, I know. Would you like to tentatively schedule for Decemberish, Kate?

LV Poker Player: I was really expecting the references to strange and lands to jog someone’s memory

AGplusone: Might toss a little of the genetics from BTH into the mix, but up to you. If you don’t, someone else will …

AGplusone: It did, LV.

OscagneTX: Oooh, yeah. They have full-blown eugenics in that one, don’t they.

: Sometime in December would work well for me . And I very likely WILL touch on the genetics-stuff from HORIZON – how could I leave that out, since half the plot revolves around it?

OscagneTX: Okay. You have my email?

: METHU’S CHILDREN and GULF also touch on the matter.

OscagneTX: and/or

starfall2 has left the room. LadyS122: Isn’t the licensing in I Will Fear No Evil based on genetics? since some people can get licenses, and others cannot?

: Well, Oscagne, send me an e-mail just to make sure – reminding me what to do first, what second, etc.

AGplusone: Heh. Remember about the plan to keep generating the topic back on topic. Lot’s to bring up. thing is to keep the first post to reasonable bounds, so there’s something to talk about afterwards for the next two weeks.

: Thanks for the e-mail – and I don’t think FEAR NO says what they based the licensing on …

starfall2 has entered the room. LadyS122: my book is in my daughter’s room.. don’t want to wake her uup to find it.

starfall2: i hate the campus network…

starfall2: what book?

OscagneTX: Kate… I’ve got your email from the log here. When You signed on it said: LadyS122: I Will Fear No Evil.

OscagneTX: OnlineHost: is chatting as UnsupportedSN1

starfall2: umm… i might have it here

: I’ll do my best – would you consider sending me a brief outline of what to do when as discussion-leader?

OscagneTX: If you would like your email edited out for the archive we can do that.

starfall2: what were you looking for in IWFNE? LadyS122: talking about whether they mention what they base the licenses to have children on. Since we know it wasn’t as simple as one child per adult… LadyS122: but they only mention it a couple of times, so it may not be worth the effort.

AGplusone: Licenses are in Podkayne too, of course.

: serves my iChat account, but for my normal e-mail I use – you don’t have to edit either of these addresses out of the chat, but thanks for asking.

OscagneTX: okay

starfall2: i don’t see any mention of what they base it on

AGplusone: Marlins win game 5, 6-4.

: Yes – and in TIME FOR THE STARS we also see licensing (the twins’ dad had fights with the government over this – I think they based the licensing on “too many people,” though [there & in FEAR NO], not on genes.)

OscagneTX: Well, we can make inferences, Jackie, because Eunice was so “desireable” she got a three-child license.

starfall2: yes

AGplusone: And the Fries were allowed 5.

DavidWrightSr: What about LL’s ‘killing a monster’ if necessary in TEFL with the Twins who Weren’t?

OscagneTX: And… during the trial they mention “This body” was licensed for 3. So maybe only women need licenses.

: If “desirable” in Eunice’s case had to do with genes, this supports my theory that she belonged to the Howards and had good-health genes that turned up on somebody’s scan (even though the Masquerade had not yet broken).

AGplusone: There you go … lots of citations for you essay next month, Kate. LadyS122: no.. because what’s his name… the Artist, wasn’t licensed to have any, so she couldn’t have any with him. LadyS122: I think.. LadyS122: it’s late and my brain is fuzzy LadyS122: and it’s been about a year since I read it.

: “Killing a monster” versus saving the mother could represent normal medicine (choice between mom and mutant kid – “too busy saving the mother to spank a monster” into life, given the choice.

AGplusone: Had a break yet, Joe? Maybe we could break then come back and finish the last hour.

LV Poker Player: I don’t know if this is ever mentioned, but if I were setting up such a system I would allow people to buy licenses, legally and aboveboard. The ability to make money is a survival trait

OscagneTX: yeah, but we save our “mutant” kids. Kids with birth defects are saved and every effort is made to give them normal lives. Would it be better to “space ’em”?

: Re Eunice & Joe the artist – I suspect that licenses applied to pairings: if Eunice has a license for three, and Joe has a license for none, the smaller number controls.

OscagneTX: That idea squicks me.

OscagneTX: We had a break, but we probably need another one.

OscagneTX: Objections?

AGplusone: I’ll hold the conn while you’re gone … ’cause I want to ask Bill about something.

DavidWrightSr: Well, it’s only 25 minutes before normal closing.

OscagneTX: It is moved! Resume at 11:45 Eastern.

BPRAL22169: .ga

: I don’t mind another break, but will post a message when we all return.

starfall2: k LadyS122: I’m gonna go to bed… been sick and need rest.

OscagneTX: Have a good night. LadyS122: night

starfall2: goodnight

: Good night, Lady Sally.

OscagneTX: Stop being sick!

OscagneTX: Now!

OscagneTX: %^)

AGplusone: Bill: about the photo portraits that are being produced? Is it a fund raiser for Santa Cruz?

DavidWrightSr: s’ pokoijnij nochi.

: Good Night to all who feel sick and need it – I need a break myself. LadyS122: Yes Sir! (it is sir, isn’t it? It’s been a while since I’ve been in here, or read the group) LadyS122: 🙂

OscagneTX: At the moment, yes.

OscagneTX: %^)

BPRAL22169: No, it’s a special project Rita has wanted to do for several years; now that he’s retired, she’s taking it up. LadyS122: Oscagne: My kids made me sick, it wasn’t my choice. Steph’s siblings have a lot to answer for, let me tell you. 🙂

AGplusone: Okay, are the prices low enough you think we could offer them as fundraisers ourselves?

OscagneTX: That’s what kids are for, right? LadyS122: yeah… if you say so. 🙂 LadyS122: night folks.

AGplusone: Taking into account shipping and mailing prices? LadyS122 has left the room.

BPRAL22169: Yes, the idea was that the few secondary distributors she selects will be able to use them to raise funds for themselves.. I thought of the tables at conventions and blood drives.

: Tell me about these photo-fundraisers, please …

: Note re eugenics & next month: “Killing the unfit at birth” (as in ORPHANS OF THE SKY where “mutants” born to crew go into the Converter) would have meant … no Waldo.

BPRAL22169: Rita some years ago had a high-resolution capture of the picture of Robert and Ginny on the set of Destination Moon

AGplusone: We’d want to take only a couple to Cons and take orders I suppose? then mail them out?

BPRAL22169: I don’t know — these are about the size of sheets of paper — no particular reason we couldn’t ship a supply

BPRAL22169: Take care of fulfillment on an impulse basis.

AGplusone: Second row down on the left.

starfall2: i’ve got to go… i’ve got homework to do and an 8 am class

starfall2: and i’m starting to fall asleep at my desk

starfall2: bye

: Goodbye, then!

starfall2 has left the room.

AGplusone: I’m having trouble getting the link into the room.

AGplusone: http://www.heinleinsociety.org/

OscagneTX: I just took a quick google and didn’t find anything; are there any good sf cons near Houston?

: What does that mean, “getting the link into the room”? I also didn’t get the “second row down on the left” reference.

DavidWrightSr: I had trouble too David. my old link on my desktop wouldn’t work and I had to have Os invite me in. Then I created a new shortcut.

OscagneTX: “the room” your link just worked for me. took me to the HS home page.

OscagneTX: My shortcut worked. And Kate found her way in without help.

: Well, my husband actually set it up for me. I don’t understand a lot of things about computer-programs.

AGplusone: Look under conventions, and look for ConJose, the visit to the Museum page, second down on the left.

BPRAL22169: I told rita once she had the basic information, she you and I should have a phone conference or online to swap information.

: I assume you referred to “finding my way into” this chat-room – I did find my way into the newsgroup and some other places by myself.

DavidWrightSr: Mine was an old aim:GoChat?RoomName=Heinlein+Readers+Group+chat

: I presume that the break has ended … what more remains about time-travel?

AGplusone: I can’t see the link going into the page in my roomscreen.

AGplusone: Another AIM “improvement”!

: What does “roomscreen” mean, please?

AGplusone: you’re in a chat room, Kate. It has a screen

AGplusone: the above just appeared in the screen

: OK, I didn’t know whether “roomscreen” referred to that or to something else that I still had to learn about.

OscagneTX: She’s using iChat, David, on a Mac. So it looks very different from AIM

AGplusone: I know. I have it.

: Yes, it almost doesn’t look “screen-like” at all.

AGplusone: It still has a screen and a buffer

AGplusone: the buffer is where she types. the screen is where it appears.

: OK, got it now!

OscagneTX: Okay… do you know why, when she joins, it lists her as “UnsupportedSN1”? And when she joins a ghost named “OnlineHost” also joins?

: I have no idea, but I’d like to stop it.

AGplusone: why I don’t use iChat

DavidWrightSr: Do you still see it Os?

OscagneTX: yes.

: I would have used AIM, but I could never, EVER get it working … we did try …

DavidWrightSr: That’s strange. I don’t and haven’t seen it.

LV Poker Player: I don’t see what os is seeing

DavidWrightSr: Stupid question. You did get the MAC version and not the PC version I hope.

OscagneTX: Well…. if you’re really interested I could screenshot this and post it to a URL.

AGplusone: You have the log, Dave?

OscagneTX: *shrug*

DavidWrightSr: Got it.

AGplusone: I’m going to sign off and see if I see it in iChat

AGplusone: bye

: Let me know what happens in iChat, David.

AGplusone has left the room.

: When does a session typically end? On the hour, or on the half-hour?

OscagneTX: We’re mostly doing admin stuff now, I think our chain of though vis a vis time travel has broken. We can adjourn the formal chat and deal with this unless someone has something else to say?

: That seems to me best.

OscagneTX: Anyone? Bueller? Bueller? Anyone?

: Good-bye and good night to you all.

LV Poker Player: I don’t have anything new

AGplusone has entered the room.

AGplusone: Is this for the room?

LV Poker Player has left the room.

AGplusone: I’m here.

DavidWrightSr: You look normal to me.

OscagneTX: Okay. We are adjourned.

has left the room.

OscagneTX: You look normal to me too, David.

OscagneTX: And now she’s gone, but “OnlineHost” is still there.

BPRAL22169: Yeah. no difference I can tell.

AGplusone: I don’t see on-line host.

BPRAL22169: Do you need me to hang around?

AGplusone: who’s that?

AGplusone: Don’t have a name appended to it.

DavidWrightSr: I’m ready to call it a night. It’s been a long unproductive day.

OscagneTX: Not that I know of, Bill.

OscagneTX: You need to go?

BPRAL22169: Interesting. this is Bill

AGplusone: Must have been Bill. Yes, it is. No icon.

BPRAL22169: Not “need” but …

AGplusone: Although I see you in the room list.

BPRAL22169: Curious.

OscagneTX: want? desire? yawning uncontrollably despite our blindingly interesting conversation?

OscagneTX: %^)

AGplusone: curiouser. and why I don’t use iChat because of the differences.

OscagneTX: She had the same problem, David.

AGplusone: I show up as a custom icon.

OscagneTX: She found some setting that fixed it.

AGplusone: Not a name.

BPRAL22169: I’m going to e-mail something to David in pdf that will take some time to upload. (thepdfs of the MC noets)

AGplusone: Take care, Bill.

OscagneTX: Okay.

OscagneTX: Have a good night, Bill.

DavidWrightSr: There was an option like ‘Show names’ or something like that

AGplusone: My icon is a crest. Anyone see it?

OscagneTX: I don’t see any icons.

BPRAL22169: No, I’m getting the name printout, no icon.

BPRAL22169: ciao

BPRAL22169 has left the room.

AGplusone: Ah, okay. Take care all ….

DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 11:57 P.M. EDT

OscagneTX: Okay… I joined the room at about 7 pm local. I was all by myself, nobody else. Shen she joined, I got a message, an IM I think, that said “OnlineHost: is chatting as UnsupportedSN1”

DavidWrightSr: Night David

AGplusone: Be interesting to read the log before I arrived …. Kate talks a bit doesn’t she?

OscagneTX: ‘night David.

OscagneTX: yup

DavidWrightSr: I didn’t get that part. That was before I joined

AGplusone: That’s because she probably didn’t register for AIM.

AGplusone: Or registered differently.

AGplusone: My guess

OscagneTX: But then, Online Host never went away. And when I got knocked off and got back on it was still there.

OscagneTX: Nobody else sees it?

DavidWrightSr: Nope.

AGplusone: Nope.

OscagneTX:

OscagneTX: After all you guys leave, I’ll sign off and back on and see if its there.

DavidWrightSr: Ok

DavidWrightSr: c ya later

OscagneTX: ‘night.

AGplusone: Maybe it’s a guise to intimidate Unsupported SNs.
Final End of Discussion Log

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