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Heinlein Reader's Discussion Group

Thursday Sept 13, 2001 9:00 P.M. EDT

Pioneering in Heinlein - The Final Frontier

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Here Begin The A.F.H. postings


We were due to chat about the convention but I have been asked to postpone that as not everyone is around who went.

At very short notice and to avoid missing another scheduled meeting, I've thrown together a quick topic; colonisation of planets and a comparison with that and the covered wagon history of America.

We may have done something similar before...but what the heck....<g>

Heinlein was never a pioneer in the strict Little House type way. His family may have been but he was born too late. Instead he recreated their adventures and set them on different planets. The obvious book with this theme is Farmer in the Sky but there are others; the Adopted Daughter segment of TEFL, the short part at the end of Starman Jones, Red Planet, still a very new colony in many ways...

Can we see any differences in the old style pioneers and those who go to the new planets? Is the selection of suitable individuals in Farmer different from the natural selection that took place in the US? Why? Are the dangers different? What was easiest; the journey to Ganymede or to California? Which was the more dangerous, Mars or the prairie? What qualities are shown as being necessary to make a good pioneer? How do those who slipped by the selection board get weeded out?

Is Heinlein correct in his vision of a colony composed of families with youngsters; would that happen or would it be more likely to be done by scientists and the armed forces with frequent change of personnel?

And finally, Heinlein saw the need to get off planet as vital, something to be achieved as soon as possible. It hasn't happened and it doesn't look like it will. is this just due to the lack of liveable real estate out there? Or something deeper?

Jane

--
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote in message news:3B9A3A3E.E97F4FDD@home.com...

>We were due to chat about the convention but I have been asked to
>postpone that as not everyone is around who went.
>At very short notice and to avoid missing another scheduled meeting,
>I've thrown together a quick topic; colonisation of planets and a
>comparison with that and the covered wagon history of America.
>
Jane. PBS has been doing a series called 'Frontier House'. Information on it is located at

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/topstories/topstory.html

I haven't been following this, but I intend to check it our further and see what insight it might give to the topic.

David Wright


In article <389A3A3E.E97F4FDD@home.com>,

Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote:

>
>Heinlein was never a pioneer in the strict Little House type way. His
>family may have been but he was born too late. 
Heh. Everyone knows about how the LH stories got edited before publication? The Engles were dependent on charity a number of times, the father not being really suitable material for the life he had picked (There's an extended hunting scene left in, where he is too kind hearted to kill food the family desperately needs) but Laura Engles' daughter was a gung ho supporter of the whole everyone stands on their own feet, only second-handers use charity idea and she cut all the references or most of them, anyway, to the Engles needing help, for ideological reasons.

Anyway, RAH was one year older than Jack WIlliamson and JW moved to Arizona, I think, in a covered wagon with his parents. Still a little bit of a frontier left even then.

snip

>And finally, Heinlein saw the need to get off planet as vital, something
>to be achieved as soon as possible. It hasn't happened and it doesn't
>look like it will. is this just due to the lack of liveable real estate
>out there? Or something deeper?
Well, three things, I think: it turned out the planets are far more hostile to us than we expected, it turned out space travel is a hell of a lot more expensive than was expected and it's only about half a century since we started lobbing things into space. If we're lucky, the analogous situation is 1492, and how long it took things to really get rolling in the new world but it might well be we just saw the space colonization version of Leif Erikson or Robert Falcon Scott, where the available tool kit was not quite up to the job.

[James Nicoll]


James Nicoll wrote:
	
>In article <389A3A3E.E97F4FDD@home.com>,
>Jane Davitt  <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote:
>>
>>Heinlein was never a pioneer in the strict Little House type way. His
>>family may have been but he was born too late.
>
>         Heh. Everyone knows about how the LH stories got edited
>before publication? The Engles were dependent on charity a number
>of times, the father not being really suitable material for the
>life he had picked (There's an extended hunting scene left in,
>where he is too kind hearted to kill food the family desperately
>needs) but Laura Engles' daughter was a gung ho supporter of the
>whole everyone stands on their own feet, only second-handers use
>charity idea and she cut all the references or most of them, anyway,
>to the Engles needing help, for ideological reasons.
>
>
I've read a fair few of the books about the LH, as well as the books themselves (practically know them off by heart) and I've got extras, like 'West From Home'. Laura's letters home to Mannie when she's visiting Rose in San Francisco.

I was a bit disconcerted when I found out that, in some ways, the LH books are fiction, not fact. Extra details, like the young brother who died as a baby were sad.

All in all though, the books themselves are perfect examples of children's classics; enjoyable at any age and timeless in their appeal.

I have heard that Rose, a published author herself, edited the books and had a bit of an agenda when she did so. I can't say that I ever noticed this when I read the books.

It's 'Ingalls' btw not Engles....or is that a Significant Slip? <g>.

Jane

--
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

In article <389A666A.C357E16C@home.com>,

Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote:

>James Nicoll wrote:
>
>>In article <389A3A3E.E97F4FDD@home.com>,
>>Jane Davitt  <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote:
>>>
>>>Heinlein was never a pioneer in the strict Little House type way. His
>>>family may have been but he was born too late.
>>
>>         Heh. Everyone knows about how the LH stories got edited
>>before publication? The Engles were dependent on charity a number
>>of times, the father not being really suitable material for the
>>life he had picked (There's an extended hunting scene left in,
>>where he is too kind hearted to kill food the family desperately
>>needs) but Laura Engles' daughter was a gung ho supporter of the
>>whole everyone stands on their own feet, only second-handers use
>>charity idea and she cut all the references or most of them, anyway,
>>to the Engles needing help, for ideological reasons.
>>
>>
>
>I've read a fair few of the books about the LH, as well as the books
>themselves (practically know them off by heart) and I've got extras, like
>'West From Home'. Laura's letters home to Mannie when she's visiting Rose in
>San Francisco.
>I was a bit disconcerted when I found out that, in some ways, the LH books
>are fiction, not fact. Extra details, like the young brother who died as a
>baby were sad.
I think it was Orwell in an essay on how views had changed commented on finding a tombstone which put 'about' before the estimate of the number of kids the woman had had. His explanation was that people expected some kids to die and didn't keep close count back then, although I can think of other explanations.

I am trying to remember which 1800-era novel had the little sister playing too close to fire and dying when her dress caught fire. Old timey cookbooks used to have sections on burn treaments because it was fairly easy on a wood stove to get burned, esp in the restictive clothes women wore back then.

Or heck, you could just have a flue fire. My older brother was a caretaker for a farm an old Mennonite fellow had run until he died and the the half of the house the old guy used had hand pumped water woodstove heat (The half was rented to a Modern Young Thing who had a mirror over her bed. Must have made for interesting neighbors, those two). I guess he used wood with a lot of creosote and never cleaned the flue because one day the crap on the inside of the pipes caught fire and there was much running around with wet towels to stop the heat from the stove pipe from igniting the house. V exciting although I think I spent more time as a sixteen year old thinking about those mirrors.

The great thing about growing up in Mennonite country is you get to see, even experience, the stuff children's books romanticize. After you deal with an outhouse whose pit is full, flush toilets look pretty damn good.

>All in all though, the books themselves are perfect examples of children's
>classics; enjoyable at any age and timeless in their appeal.
>
>I have heard that Rose, a published author herself, edited the books and had
>a bit of an agenda when she did so. I can't say that I ever noticed this when
>I read the books.
>
>It's 'Ingalls' btw not Engles....or is that a Significant Slip? <g>.
>
Nope, just a goof.

If you want a grim surprise, compare and contrast Anne of Green Gables with the life of the woman who wrote about her, Lucy Maude Montgomery.

[James Nicoll]


James Nicoll wrote:

>
>         If you want a grim surprise, compare and contrast Anne of
>Green Gables with the life of the woman who wrote about her, Lucy
>Maude Montgomery.
Oh yes! I have read all of her Journals and letters ( which are fascinating in that not a lot happens exactly but you can't stop reading about it.). Her life was tragic in many ways...as far removed from the happy endings of Emily, Jane, Pat and Valancy as you can imagine.

Again, I know all her books in great detail; when I find an author I like, I stick with them. I live not that far from one of her homes in Ontario. And, although I didn't get married there, as so many Japanese tourists do, I insisted on going to PEI as part of our Canadian honeymoon ( I lived in the UK back then). It was not quite as I'd imagined it.....but then, few things are. I don't think I'll go back; the tourist hype ruined it for me. LMM would hate it. And it's Maud...unlike Anne, there is no 'e' :-)

Jane
--
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

In article <389A7276.7C1F6E97@home.com>, Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote: >James Nicoll wrote:
>>
>>         If you want a grim surprise, compare and contrast Anne of
>>Green Gables with the life of the woman who wrote about her, Lucy
>>Maude Montgomery.
I am afraid I have slightly reformated your lines to be less than 70 char long because on my screen the lines were doing odd things.

>Oh yes! I have read all of her Journals and letters ( which are
>fascinating in that not a lot happens exactly but you can't stop
>reading about it.). Her life was tragic in many ways...as far removed
>from the happy endings of Emily, Jane, Pat and Valancy as you can
>imagine.
Well, that's one reason to write, eh? End the stories the way they should have ended rather than the way that they did.

There's an unrelenting grim stage play about her, which I saw as part of a season pass to a theatre in TO. Not knowing anything about her except that she was the author of AoGG, I went to see it on the assumption that since the two plays before it had been light comedy, this one would be too. About a minute into the play, it is clear it could not go in happy directions. Even when she is successful and there are no material barriers to happiness, the character in the play is simply incapable of enjoying herself.

>Again, I know all her books in great detail; when I find an author I
>like, I stick with them. I live not that far from one of her homes in
>Ontario.
Huh. We can't be all that far away from each other, then.

James Nicoll


On 8 Sep 2001 13:14:18 -0400, James Nicoll

<jdnicoll@panix.com> wrote:

>In article <389A3A3E.E97F4FDD@home.com>,

>Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote:

>>

>>And finally, Heinlein saw the need to get off planet as vital, something

>>to be achieved as soon as possible. It hasn't happened and it doesn't

>>look like it will. is this just due to the lack of liveable real estate

>>out there? Or something deeper?

>

> Well, three things, I think: it turned out the planets are

>far more hostile to us than we expected, it turned out space travel

>is a hell of a lot more expensive than was expected and it's only

>about half a century since we started lobbing things into space. If

>we're lucky, the analogous situation is 1492, and how long it took

>things to really get rolling in the new world but it might well be

>we just saw the space colonization version of Leif Erikson or Robert

>Falcon Scott, where the available tool kit was not quite up to the

>job.

Plus the political angle. RAH saw the future of space flight being commercial (possibly with a bit of political hindrance, as in the people who try to stop the first flights, but nothing very serious). He didn't forsee that it would be taken over totally by governments who forbid private enterprise to operate spacecraft and then try to satisfy the voters.

Would any of Heinlein's corporate space enterprises have permitted the Mars lander foulups or the Challenger mess without firing the people responsible? Or abandoned the moon just because it wasn't getting enough media attention? Heck, would they still be using 'computers' designed 30+ years ago which no-one now remembers how to maintain?

(And as for the European space programme, it hasn't advanced much since the 50s. But RAH nuked Europe in so many timelines anyway...)

Chris C


One thought about the weeding out process; especially in Tunnel. It doesn't work.

Look at it; the students had to be at a school that offered it ( or travel to that school). They had to study hard enough that their teacher would let them go. They had to survive the rigors of the planet long enough to reach the comparative haven of the settled, stobor aware village.....and with all that, Bruce and Theo are still alive and kicking.

Is this saying that true survivors aren't always the nice ones ( Grant for instance) or was it Heinlein being aware that idyllic villages sell fewer copies? Note how short the space of time is that we see that village; Heinlein skips us ahead over a year, and a few pages later there's a fight and then the rescue.

Every pioneer planet has its misfits in Heinlein, even Farmer with that strict but not fool proof testing system. Maybe they're the yeast.....or the mould but they're always there. Too any and they bring it all down in ruins, too few and there's no one to look down on so trouble begins...

Jane
--
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote in message

news:3B9C0672.EC10167B@home.com...

>Every pioneer planet has its misfits in Heinlein, even Farmer with that strict
>but not fool proof testing system. Maybe they're the yeast.....or the mould
>but they're always there. Too any and they bring it all down in ruins, too few
>and there's no one to look down on so trouble begins...
In FitS it is noted that many slip by due to political influence. Lermer's father paid for him to be there. No weeding system is perfect*. I think Heinlein pointed this out in most of the books. Artificial methods of weeding will have artificial ways to bypass them, and will not be perfect, as they are designed and implemented by humans. Natural methods are still subjects to statistical factors. IOW blind luck plays a part.

NW

*No system other than working for Kettle Belly Baldwin. Survivors are the ones who come back.


Jane Davitt <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote in message

news:3B9A3A3E.E97F4FDD@home.com...

>The obvious book
>with this theme is Farmer in the Sky but there are others; the Adopted
>Daughter segment of TEFL, the short part at the end of Starman Jones,
>Red Planet, still a very new colony in many ways...
Jane, did you leave out Tunnel on purpose? That's another where the whole point is the natural selection that happens after the colonist have left. IIRC the whole point of that "class" was to help them become colonist survivors?

--

Oscagne, High Priest of Skeptics and Cynics
To bypass the Atans guarding my mailbox change FornMin.tam.gov to ev1.net

Oscagne wrote:

>>Jane, did you leave out Tunnel on purpose? That's another where the whole

>point is the natural selection that happens after the colonist have left.

>IIRC the whole point of that "class" was to help them become colonist

>survivors?

>

>

Oops..not on purpose no :-) Ahem, that is to say, it was a test to see if you were all paying attention....full marks that boy! <g>

Jane
--
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

James Nicoll wrote:

>Jane Davitt  <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote:
>>
>>Heinlein was never a pioneer in the strict Little House type way. His
>>family may have been but he was born too late. 
>
> Heh. Everyone knows about how the LH stories got edited
>before publication? The Engles were dependent on charity a number
>of times, the father not being really suitable material for the
>life he had picked (There's an extended hunting scene left in,
>where he is too kind hearted to kill food the family desperately
>needs) but Laura Engles' daughter was a gung ho supporter of the
>whole everyone stands on their own feet, only second-handers use
>charity idea and she cut all the references or most of them, anyway,
>to the Engles needing help, for ideological reasons.
>
> Anyway, RAH was one year older than Jack WIlliamson and
>JW moved to Arizona, I think, in a covered wagon with his parents.
>Still a little bit of a frontier left even then.
>
> snip
>
>>And finally, Heinlein saw the need to get off planet as vital, something
>>to be achieved as soon as possible. It hasn't happened and it doesn't
>>look like it will. is this just due to the lack of liveable real estate
>>out there? Or something deeper?
>
> Well, three things, I think: it turned out the planets are
>far more hostile to us than we expected, it turned out space travel
>is a hell of a lot more expensive than was expected and it's only
>about half a century since we started lobbing things into space. If
>we're lucky, the analogous situation is 1492, and how long it took 
>things to really get rolling in the new world but it might well be
>we just saw the space colonization version of Leif Erikson or Robert
>Falcon Scott, where the available tool kit was not quite up to the 
>job. 
I think someone mentions, James, further on in this thread that the Ingalls stories are classic children's novels. It's been so many years since I've read those stories that I'm not entirely sure I did, although if they included the blizzard winter where the mother and children subsisted somehow on straw they ground with something else (some grain, I vaguely recall) in a coffee grinder, and cooked, when the father was gone off somewhere, I did. But the point why those were ideally suited as children's novels came home to roost during the panel I was on in MilPhilCon this way:

The panel was structured around an actual class taught by a teacher in West Texas assigned to a class of 'special' children. I don't know what weeding system is used in Texas in the district where he taught to determine who is 'special' as the euphemism goes -- but his explanation of the class technique he used along with Farmer in the Sky made me infer that perhaps for some, if not most, a lack of self achievement, or familial achievement, perhaps even mere poverty, more than anything else in particular resulted in or at least influenced kids being placed in this class. A patch of hard Texas dirt was assigned the 'special' class, incidentally, to keep the kids occupied. Previous efforts to till this Garden of Eden had resulted in hard Texas dirt with stunty little dried up plants, if anything ever broke the surface.

Reading Farmer in the Sky to them, and emphasizing the cultivation of fertile soil from native rock, he induced the class to try what was called 'organic gardening' by one of the panelists. [Perhaps that is what you call it. I wouldn't know. I'm a city boy whose grandfather had a back lot of an acre or so full of tomatoes and anything else he took it in his mind to grow after he came off his shift bolting Nash automobiles together (a garden just like Marlon Brando in The Godfather); and they never bought canned vegetables they couldn't grow -- they put the produce up in Mason jars for about two weeks every summer. Most of my uncles do the same -- at least growing fresh vegetables, even in places like Cicero, Illinois; and you can even find me looking for some nice tobacco-mosiac virus resistant plants every early spring to grow in pots where my lot gets decent sun.] In any event, this teacher was a real go getter, and hit the local merchants and other community support groups for good seed, compost, fertilizer, etc., and whatever else he got; and the kids pitched in well. The kids were very enthusiastic about the story, and the garden succeeded with a great deal of local publicity and recognition for them, which encouraged their development.

The teacher's point was the story hit the kids' imagination right where a hit was needed, it inspired them with something they could understand perfectly. Metaphorically, my point would be the kids recognized something in themselves akin to growing fertile soil from sterile rock -- but I'm too academic, perhaps.

A seemingly off-topic question came from the audience, as questions will: what makes Heinlein think that this form of agriculture will occur in planetary pioneering or agricultural production rather than others? The quick and dirty answer I gave, of course, was simple: Heinlein didn't make an exclusive choice -- one book of Heinlein does not a Heinlein prediction make (see, e.g., I Will Fear No Evil for corporate agriculture, "Logic of Empire" or Podkayne of Mars for slave or 'indentured-servant' plantations, the two Universe stories for hydroponic gardening, etc.). My second answer to the question, however, was this: this 'organic' gardening -- to use the phrase in the sense it was being used in the panel (I always thought 'organic' was without pesticides) -- was what children who read juveniles are most likely to understand, because it is the simplest form of agriculture they are likely to recognize, either from the backyard gardens they've seen their own parents or neighbors grow (even today in large metropolitan areas, at least they've likely seen someone trying to grow pots of tomatoes on balconies or rooftops), or read about in stories like the Ingalls stories of pioneering, the truck garden mother grew to sustain the family, whether the wheatfields brought home a profit or the cattle or sheep survived transportation to a market.

Farmer in the Sky comes before *most* of the adult novels dealing with pioneering of space, the generation ship of Orphans excepted, of course--that older one is an unique setting; perhaps the answer is as simple as that. Perhaps not.

As to the point of "getting off the planet" as being vital: I think it's not exclusively the getting off the planet that is vital, it's the invigoration of spirit, the removal from an overly structured society and its strictures that Heinlein saw as vital to human development of vital freedoms, and he found it most easily to portray on a physical frontier off in space such as his own ancestors enjoyed. If that could be done in a badlands, a "Coventry," it would work as well, wouldn't you say?

He relates with pleasure and pride in one of his writings the story of an ancestor over 100 years of age dying trying to harvest a buck stranded on ice. Horrors! Grandpa Simpson would never be allowed to do that! Any family that left Grandpa Simpson out where he could even see a buck on ice when he wasn't numbed down by his medication would be prosecuted for elder abuse today, don't you think? Good riddance, too! Homer and Marge belong in jail anyway. Letting their children watch television instead of making them read. Imagine that? ;-)

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
  "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
  --Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29, (1907-88)
    Lt.(jg) USN R'td

In article <slrn9pn253.73t.chris@ccserver.keris.net>,

Chris Croughton <chris@keristor.org> wrote:

>
>Plus the political angle.  RAH saw the future of space flight being
>commercial (possibly with a bit of political hindrance, as in the people
>who try to stop the first flights, but nothing very serious).  He didn't
>forsee that it would be taken over totally by governments who forbid
>private enterprise to operate spacecraft and then try to satisfy the
>voters.
>
>Would any of Heinlein's corporate space enterprises have permitted the
>Mars lander foulups or the Challenger mess without firing the people
>responsible?  Or abandoned the moon just because it wasn't getting
>enough media attention?  Heck, would they still be using 'computers'
>designed 30+ years ago which no-one now remembers how to maintain?
Rememeber the comment about how exploration is often the discovery of new ways to die? In fact if I remember my RAH correctly he comments that a number of the first colonies in California starved. When one is engaged in exploring a new realm, whether physical or just engineering, expensive miscalculations due to insufficient understanding will get made: look at the Comet, for example.

The advantage of older computers is that they are space-rated, whereas a shuttle running NT might get the Blue Screen of Death 98 seconds into boost phase. Again, the historical example of tech so new it is counter-productive is the Franklin Expedition (Which drove a lot of exploration of the north as the British looked for the bodies) and its lead-sealed tins of food. Unfortunately they did not know at the time the lead solder should not be in contact with the food, not until after Franklin and his crew breathed their last.

>(And as for the European space programme, it hasn't advanced much since
>the 50s.  But RAH nuked Europe in so many timelines anyway...)
Pft. The Ariane is a decent series of launch vehicles, nicely supplying a viable niche to the tune of *two thirds* of the international launch market. The space-related activities which can actually make money are subject to vigourous competition. It's just in the 1940s and 1950s it was not clear to the writers what activities those would be. Well, Clarke got it right in his acticle on comsats but saw the comsats as manned.

RAH wrote off Europe for reasons similar to the way Nevil Shute writes off emigres in _In the Wet_, only mirror-imaged. Two authors each picking a model which puts their kind of people at the top of heap quality-wise, what a surprise.

James Nicoll


On Mon, 10 Sep 2001 10:46:49 -0400, "David Wright" <maikosht@alltel.net> keyed:
>
>"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote in message
>news:3B9A3A3E.E97F4FDD@home.com...
>>We were due to chat about the convention but I have been asked to
>>postpone that as not everyone is around who went.
>>At very short notice and to avoid missing another scheduled meeting,
>>I've thrown together a quick topic; colonisation of planets and a
>>comparison with that and the covered wagon history of America.
>>
>
>Jane. PBS has been doing a series called 'Frontier House'. Information on it
>is located at
>
>http://www.pbs.org/wnet/frontierhouse/topstories/topstory.html
>
>I haven't been following this, but I intend to check it our further and see
>what insight it might give to the topic.
>
>David Wright
>
How does one get in on this chat? My grandparents grew up in virtual frontier culture, i.e. woodburning stove, farming, horse-and-buggy style living. I've absorbed as much of it as I could.

--

 lazarus

Keep America Beautiful..Have Your Republican Spayed or Neutered

"...I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one
 fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all
 the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours."
                                                    Stephen F. Roberts

http://www.petitiononline.com/ddc12/petition.html

"lazarus" <lazarus33pjf@msn.com> wrote in message

news:okmpptsn7jbt263cmirnb8heearpt4lt5s@4ax.com...

>On Mon, 10 Sep 2001 10:46:49 -0400, "David Wright"

><maikosht@alltel.net> keyed:
>

(snip)

>
>How does one get in on this chat?  My grandparents grew up in virtual
>frontier culture, i.e. woodburning stove, farming, horse-and-buggy
>style living.  I've absorbed as much of it as I could.
>
>
Instructions for downloading the AIM program and joining the chat are located at

http://www.alltel.net/~dwrighsr/heinlein_1.html

If there are any problems, don't hesitate to get in touch with me at:

dwrighsr@alltel.net rather than the address given in the header.

David Wright


lazarus33pjf@msn.com wrote:

>How does one get in on this chat?  My grandparents grew up in virtual
>frontier culture, i.e. woodburning stove, farming, horse-and-buggy
>style living.  I've absorbed as much of it as I could.
See,

http://www.readinggroupsonline.com/groups/heinlein.htm

and

http://www.alltel.net/~dwrighsr/heinlein_1.html

for instructions.

You need to download the freeware, then use one of the methods to get into the room, described on Dave Wright's page. E mail Oz, or Dave Wright, or Jane Davitt and ask them to add you to the e mail notice lists, if you wish. Thanks for asking.

-- 
David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
  "The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!"
  --Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA '29, (1907-88)
    Lt.(jg) USN R'td

[Editor's Note:] These posts came after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
I will open the room as usual at 9.00 pm for the scheduled chat on pioneering in Heinlein. I will understand if people don't feel up to chatting tonight but I will be there for those that do.

I ask one thing; if the chat does inevitably turn to recent events and there are violent differences of opinion, that the discussion stops and returns to topic. This is not intended to stifle discussion but to keep the same friendly and courteous atmosphere that we are used to in the chat room.

Thank you.

Jane
--
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote in message news:3BA0AC39.A2BE80A3@home.com...

Thank you Jane. I will welcome thoughts and talk of more mundane matters.

Jim


"Nuclear Waste" <babybear@2z.net> wrote in message news:9nqc1p$93jda$1@ID-97148.news.dfncis.de...
>
>"Jane Davitt" <jdavitt01@home.com> wrote in message
>news:3BA0AC39.A2BE80A3@home.com...
>
>Thank you Jane.  I will welcome thoughts and talk of more mundane matters.
>
I'm not sure that I can think or talk about more mundane matters, but I very much respect the right of others to do so.

[Joel Rosenberg]


Joel Rosenberg wrote:
>>
>I'm not sure that I can think or talk about more mundane matters, but I very
>much respect the right of others to do so.
It is difficult to move on, even a little, after something this traumatic. My six year old daughter here in Canada was sent home from school with a letter giving advice on how to counsel her about the attacks; it hasn't really touched her as I have not watched the TV when she's been around. Her grandparents fly out in 2 weeks and I don't want her wondering if they too will crash. I'm worrying but she doesn't have to.

The children may be mercifully oblivious but it's certainly had a major effect on the adults in our community. All flags are at half mast and we are trying, like you Americans, to get to grips with the enormity of it all and what will follow.

However, getting back to normal is a positive step and I don't intend to cancel the chat. Changing our way of life is the intended goal of the terrorists; we shouldn't do their work for them. I would like the chance to be together with my online friends in this sad time. If the topic gets sidelined, then that is not a problem at all. I just don't want the tensions of the moment to make natural differences of opinion escalate into an argument rather than a discussion. This doesn't seem the time for it somehow.

Jane
--
http://www.heinleinsociety.org

On 10 Sep 2001 11:16:03 -0400, James Nicoll

<jdnicoll@panix.com> wrote:

>Rememeber the comment about how exploration is often the
>discovery of new ways to die? In fact if I remember my RAH correctly
>he comments that a number of the first colonies in California starved.
>When one is engaged in exploring a new realm, whether physical or just
>engineering, expensive miscalculations due to insufficient understanding
>will get made: look at the Comet, for example. 
Yes, indeed, but would they have allowed the coverups? (Ah, yes, the Comet, still going after 50 years, the Nimrod is still the old Comet airframe. It's beaten by the "Gooney Bird", I hear there are still some of those in service in the Far East, but not much else in aviation.)

>The advantage of older computers is that they are space-rated,
>whereas a shuttle running NT might get the Blue Screen of Death 98 seconds
>into boost phase.
You don't have to run crappy M$ software. There's plenty of embedded systems running on more modern hardware than the Shuttles' in aerospace, and a lot of it is rated for combat conditions.

>Again, the historical example of tech so new it is
>counter-productive is the Franklin Expedition (Which drove a lot of
>exploration of the north as the British looked for the bodies) and
>its lead-sealed tins of food. Unfortunately they did not know at the 
>time the lead solder should not be in contact with the food, not until
>after Franklin and his crew breathed their last.
Or Arthur Clarke's story ("Superiority"?). Yes, putting in the "newest" stuff is often a costly mistake, but using obsolete technology can be equally costly (an example is the London Tube system, where every escalator is different and repairs have to be hand-tooled, resulting in massive costs and delays. The bean-counters won't authorise the extra cost to get them all modernised, though, because that's "cost now" as opposed to "cost next year"...).

>>(And as for the European space programme, it hasn't advanced much since
>>the 50s.  But RAH nuked Europe in so many timelines anyway...)
>
> Pft. The Ariane is a decent series of launch vehicles, nicely
>supplying a viable niche to the tune of *two thirds* of the international 
>launch market.
It works. But it's not much advanced in 50 years (and that which has been changed has had a series of bad quality checking).

>The space-related activities which can actually make money
>are subject to vigourous competition. It's just in the 1940s and 1950s
>it was not clear to the writers what activities those would be. Well,
>Clarke got it right in his acticle on comsats but saw the comsats as
>manned.
Of course he did, he didn't foresee the transistor and its successors. If it's not manned, who is going to change the vacuum tubes when they burn out? The idea that a solid-state device might be running un-maintained for decades was, at the time, just not on the cards, the early transistors were far more fragile than valves.

>RAH wrote off Europe for reasons similar to the way Nevil
>Shute writes off emigres in _In the Wet_, only mirror-imaged. Two
>authors each picking a model which puts their kind of people at the
>top of heap quality-wise, what a surprise.
It's something most authors have to do to some extent, unless they limit themselves to the Real World(tm).

Chris C


Go To Postings

Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room "Heinlein Readers Group chat."

maikoshT has entered the room.

ddavitt has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi david

DavidWrightSr: Hi Jane.

ddavitt: Wonder if anyone will show up?

ddavitt: Besides us that is

DavidWrightSr: As you said, I suspect that no one is in any mood for literary? chats. I know I'm not

DavidWrightSr: but felt a duty to be here

ddavitt: Well, yes, blitz spirit

ddavitt: We didn't let hitler stop us doing normal things

ddavitt: That's giving in to them

DavidWrightSr: You are too young to remember the blitz :-)

ddavitt: I know..but it's kind of a tradition:-)

DavidWrightSr: I know what you mean.

SeanGaeltach has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi Sean, nice to see you

DavidWrightSr: Hi Sean.

SeanGaeltach: Thanks Jane. Hello all.

DavidWrightSr: Just Jane and me and my alter ego

SeanGaeltach: OK... I wasn't sure of the time.

DavidWrightSr: You are right on the button, but we are not sure that anyone else is going to show

SeanGaeltach: I'm at work and needed to register AIM here.

ddavitt: Is this a different name then?

SeanGaeltach: 11AM here (Friday)

DavidWrightSr: I had my AIM at work cut off somehow.

SeanGaeltach: Yes..... sorta

ddavitt: Jus had an email from my brother

SeanGaeltach: I wanted to register as SKennedy

SeanGaeltach: But that was already taken

ddavitt: He is in cairns again after sailing from Cooktown to port Douglas

ddavitt: Is that right at the top Sean?

SeanGaeltach: Clinton just left Cairns.......

SeanGaeltach: Yes...

ddavitt: Syas it is monsoon time in the jungle

DavidWrightSr: Navy, Merchant Marine, Vacation?

ddavitt: Just bumming around having fun as he has for the last decade in Oz:-)

SeanGaeltach: They really have a big "wet" and "dry" season up there.

DavidWrightSr: Younger brother?

ddavitt: Yes, but still 35

ddavitt: He shows no signs of settling

SeanGaeltach: Doesn't he work?? (jealous!)

ddavitt: But..he is enjoying himself and seeing the world

ddavitt: Yes, this and that, enough to get by

DavidWrightSr: My son will be 34 in November

SeanGaeltach: I just got back from Ireland on the weekend.

ddavitt: Building work, fishing boats

SeanGaeltach: I turned 40 in July!

ddavitt: Yes, how was it? Never been there

ddavitt: Traumatic birthday!

DavidWrightSr: What 40 or Ireland :-)

SeanGaeltach: It was fantastic!....... You should visit someday!

ddavitt: Both!

SeanGaeltach: Hehehe........ It wasn't so bad!

ddavitt: I love Scotland; it is similar scenery but lusher I beleive

ddavitt: Ireland is greener I mean

SeanGaeltach: Waiting for it to come was the worst...

DavidWrightSr: that's because of the Scotch that the Scots drink, Lusher I mean

ddavitt: Scotland is rockier, more windswpt

ddavitt: Funny!

ddavitt: It is such a long journey though

SeanGaeltach: Some parts of Ireland are very much like that. Connemara for example.

ddavitt: Took philip a week when he came home once

SeanGaeltach: I left Ireland at 4pm Thursday and got home here 6.30AM Saturday

SeanGaeltach: But went through several time zones of course.

ddavitt: It is a weird feling isn't it?

SeanGaeltach: Being on the planes so recently gave me such a chill on Tuesday.

ddavitt: Yes; my husband flies American Airlines from Boston quite often

SeanGaeltach: My son woke me at 11pm on Monday night here........ I didn't end up getting any sleep at all....

ddavitt: In fact, his colleague flew into Boston on Monday and is still stranded there

ddavitt: My parents fly over 2 weeks today

SeanGaeltach: It was such a strange feeling seeing everything as it happened.

ddavitt: I will be so worried...

SeanGaeltach: Things will be ok by then Jane.

ddavitt: Yes; my friend rang me; I don't watch TV in the day so i was oblivious

ddavitt: I hope so.

ddavitt: I keep thinking there will be more violence; I hope it is all over.

SeanGaeltach: There will be consequences........ It's not over

ddavitt: It has been an amazing reaction world wide

ddavitt: No but I hope the terrorists have finsihed

SeanGaeltach: I believe we need to be careful that the reaction does not create a worse problem than we have now.

SeanGaeltach: Otherwise this will be a regular cycle of events......

ddavitt: Yes; people are not in reasonable moods at the moment

ddavitt: Just hope Mr Bush is

DavidWrightSr: Right on! I want these guys punished, but I don't want us to become like them

ddavitt: Exactly.

ddavitt: And you still don't know it was bin Laden

ddavitt: I saw an interview last night with a v experienced soldier who had doubts

ddavitt: What could you do to him if it was him?

DavidWrightSr: Whether or not he was responsible for this one, I think there is sufficient

ddavitt: Can he be brought for trial in US?

DavidWrightSr: reason to take him out if we can find him.

ddavitt: We had so many problems with the Lockerbie bombers

ddavitt: True but I would think you would want to _know_ who did this beyond a shadow of doubt

DavidWrightSr: I am in agreement with those who want to use force, I just don't want it to be indiscriminate

ddavitt: Sure, Laden is guilty of aother things but he can only die once.

DavidWrightSr: killing of innocent people.

NuclearWasteUSN has entered the room.

ddavitt: If there is a possibility that the real organiser is still out there that is too awful to think of

SeanGaeltach: The evidence being collected now should prove who the guilty party/s are. There should be

ddavitt: Hi Jim

DavidWrightSr: Hi Jim

NuclearWasteUSN: Hello Jane.

NuclearWasteUSN: Hey David.

SeanGaeltach: no reason for killing innocents. Nor do I really think Bush or the US want that.

SeanGaeltach: Hi Jim

NuclearWasteUSN: Sean :-)

ddavitt: Now we have a group, anyone up to the topic?

ddavitt: I undersatnd if you don't feel like it

SeanGaeltach: The topic is ...?

NuclearWasteUSN: I am for it.

ddavitt: Pioneering in heinlein

SeanGaeltach: Ah yes......

ddavitt: farmer and such

SeanGaeltach: The Tale of the Adopted Daughter

ddavitt: Jim, you said something on afh that i meant to call you on

ddavitt: George bought Bill a ticket?

DenvToday has entered the room.

ddavitt: I don't remember that

ddavitt: Hi there

DavidWrightSr: Most of the juvies dealing with other planets had a lot of pioneering, it seems to me

ddavitt: I thought Bill passed all the tests

DenvToday: Good evening one and all.

DavidWrightSr: George submitted the application while Bill was on a trip to Antarctica

ddavitt: Otheres, like the tarbuttle's might have cheated

NuclearWasteUSN: No, I was talking about the guy who they bought Buck from

ddavitt: Or the idiot who Bill threatens with a spade

NuclearWasteUSN: Tale of the Adopted Daughter

ddavitt: Oh; LEAMER

ddavitt: Not Lermer

ddavitt: All clear now!:-)

NuclearWasteUSN: Sorry, was not thinking LOL

ddavitt: Very close names

ddavitt: We are looking at pioneering Denv

DavidWrightSr: Montgomery seems to have been a pet name for bad guys

ddavitt: I know why Lermer too; it was the surname of the person the book was dedicated to

DenvToday: Thanks Jane

ddavitt: Tim Morgan and I have tracked down all but one or two of the dedications

ddavitt: A list to rival L'Envoi:-)

DavidWrightSr: Who is Tim? I don't recall having seen him around.

SeanGaeltach: Good work Jane. Will it be THJ material?

ddavitt: We will be printing it in the Journal, then it will go on jim G's page

ddavitt: Tim will do an article based on it for the Journal

ddavitt: No, he is not a poster

ddavitt: He wanted to do something and came up with this great idea

SeanGaeltach: Who haven't you tracked?

ddavitt: I have been bothering lots of famous people and got some fascinating data

ddavitt: Unless Tim has got it..Chris from cat

ddavitt: She or he was an editor Ginny tells me.

ddavitt: Gimnny was great; we waited till we were well and truly stuck

ddavitt: Then she filled in the gaps

ddavitt: Wait till you find out about the Glory Road one:-)

ddavitt: Sorry; wandering off topic alreadsy:-)

ddavitt: Going back to Monty; yes wasn't max's new step father that name? Biff Montgomery?

ddavitt: maybe Heinlein knew someone with that name and didn't like them

DavidWrightSr: That and the ones in 'Adopted Daughter' are what I was thinking of

ddavitt: Whcih makes me think..who was Ace Quiggle?

ddavitt: Them too...

ddavitt: Let me check Starman Jones

DavidWrightSr: You mean who was he based on?

DavidWrightSr: or what book was he in?

ddavitt: based on

DenvToday: My favorite character name of all time is "Stinky" Stahnke. lol

ddavitt: Yes, Montgomery in starman too

DavidWrightSr: I thought I said that :-)

ddavitt: Most odd for him to use the same baddy name so often

ddavitt: Bear with me:-)

DavidWrightSr: Some 'stinkys' are good some bad.

ddavitt: Stinky in SIASL

ddavitt: Though that makes me uncomfy

DavidWrightSr: How so?

ddavitt: Seems a racist name..

ddavitt: Supposedly because Arabs don't like water I read in one critical book

ddavitt: Slusser's I think

SeanGaeltach: "Stinky" doesn't seem racist to me ....... just rude.

ddavitt: Always wondered if Slusser was right or had an agenda there

DenvToday: Same here. Not racist.

SeanGaeltach: Ok if you were a good friend though.

ddavitt: It is rude, yes

ddavitt: Well; men might, we women are rather more polite to our friends :-)

SeanGaeltach: I had a boss once that we called "stinky" (sometimes to his face) heheh

DenvToday: "Stinky" was a popular nickname in America during the 30's and 40's.

ddavitt: Women don't use nicknames like that at all

DenvToday: No racist overtones that I'm aware of.

ddavitt: Well, if it is based on the water thing then it is based on his race

ddavitt: It's not a personal nickname I mean

ddavitt: But as I said, this was Slusser's interpretation

ddavitt: He didn't like Washington in Double Star either

SeanGaeltach: Haven't read MNS yet.

DavidWrightSr: Well, I doubt that 'Stinky' Burke, or the unnamed 'Stinky' in Man too lazy

ddavitt: Called him a 'step n' fetch it" character

DavidWrightSr: was based on any racial things

ddavitt: We did have a racism chat lined up but Andy and Bill were supposed to do it and it got sidelined

DenvToday: I agree, David. It was the sort of nickname that boys gave to each other--an affectionate one.

ddavitt: It would be touchy maybe but interesting

DavidWrightSr: Just one occurrence of getting too 'whiff' and you could be stuck with for life

SeanGaeltach: I think the topic would be a good one Jane...... touchy or otherwise.

ddavitt: You men are so cruel!

ddavitt: It would if we approached it correctly

ddavitt: Looking at the time of writing in particular and the society around Heinlein

SeanGaeltach: Discussion is better than no discussion IMO.

DavidWrightSr: Yeah, I want to discuss Sam Beaux's race sometime ;-)

ddavitt: Yes. I don't think H was racist but it would be good to see the developement of his treatment of non

ddavitt: WASP types

ddavitt: Heh..that is a perrenial one David

DenvToday: RAH was a groundbreaker in treating blacks and Asians in non-racial terms. For instance, in Space...

SeanGaeltach: BRB

ddavitt: cadet?

DenvToday: ...Cadet. The Lieutenant at the academy.

ddavitt: Black teacher

ddavitt: and black, Hindu students

DenvToday: Just another guy. His name happend to be.......I forget. lol Asian.

DavidWrightSr: Lt. Wong?

DenvToday: Yes, I think so.

ddavitt: Yes...subtle no emphasis, very effective

DenvToday: No mention was made of his being Asian. Just another officer, completely American.

DavidWrightSr: I have said a number of times here and on the ngs that Robert was very ...

DavidWrightSr: influential in getting me over my racial biases

ddavitt: One teacher is black though; Tex comments when oscar tells him off for being racist about the

ddavitt: Venerian little people

ddavitt: I can't imagine you having any david

ddavitt: Again, being British, I have a differetn POV of it all

DavidWrightSr: Ma'am I grew up in the South.

ddavitt: Not that we don't have racial problems but not to the same degree

DavidWrightSr: Mine was the last family to move from a neighborhood that went from all-white to all-black

ddavitt: Yes; I have read lots of books about the situation there but it is hard to comprehend to an outsider

ddavitt: We have inner city areas that are all Asian

DenvToday: I've been to London, Jane. I'd say the racial problem is as great there as it is here. It's just...

DenvToday: ...a bit newer.

ddavitt: It can be disconcerting sometimes

DenvToday: Paki-bashing....

DavidWrightSr: Looking back, I find that my family was not as racist as many I knew, however.

ddavitt: I lived in smaller towns; less of a problem

ddavitt: And I wasn't brought up that way

DenvToday: There are very few minorities in smaller communites.

DenvToday: In the U.K., I mean.

ddavitt: We didn't have many non whites in my school but those that were were just...there. No big deal.

ddavitt: They were Englsih, same as i was.

DenvToday: David, I'm impressed. Most people die with the prejudices they gained when they were young. To...

DenvToday: ...change is a remarkable thing.

ddavitt: Yes it is.

ddavitt: You credit Heinlein but I think you underrate yourself

DavidWrightSr: Thanks, but as I said, without Heinlein, I doubt that I would have ever overcome

DavidWrightSr: them

ddavitt: H is good at making you take that uneasy step or two into unfamilar territory

DenvToday: I still remember being shocked to learn that Unlce Tom as black.

DenvToday: was

ddavitt: Heck, I even seriuosly tried to think of cannibalsim as OK after reading SIASL as a youngster:-)

ddavitt: In poddy?

DenvToday: Jane, it's a good way to be rid of pesky younger brothers and sisters.

DenvToday: Yes, in Podkayne.

ddavitt: LOL

ddavitt: Yes, he was maori

ddavitt: Is that black to you?

DenvToday: I should have said Maori.

DenvToday: But his skin was black.

ddavitt: Just interested, not being sarky

ddavitt: And Poddy blonde

DenvToday: No, we wold make the distinciton here between being of African heritage or being Maori...

ddavitt: Tom was her Graet uncle on father's side

DenvToday: ...or being Aborigine.

DavidWrightSr: Well, Friday's family thought They were OK, but definitely not the same for Tongans

ddavitt: Oh them!

ddavitt: Nasty bunch

ddavitt: Cat killers too...

ddavitt: Mr Underfoot's fate always upsets me

ddavitt: We are doing the racism chat instead of pioneering!

DavidWrightSr: I believe that RAH did that on purpose to show just how really nasty they were

ddavitt: Yes; the ultimate sin they committed

DavidWrightSr: I am just rambling, for the most part. Can't think of much to say about Pioneering

ddavitt: Doesn't matter

ddavitt: We are having a nice chat about Heinlein

DenvToday: As I'm sure you said before I got here, the best pioneering interludes RAH wrote were in TEFL.

DenvToday: My favorites, anyway.

ddavitt: Well, yes, but farmer was more of a futuristic pioneering; LL did it the old fashioned way

DavidWrightSr: Has anyone looked at the 'Learning channel' continuing piece on 'Frontier House'

DenvToday: Farmer in the Sky was wonderful...but I just have a special place in my heart for TEFL.

ddavitt: That is interesting; all the tech and yet L had to go in with a wago and mules

DavidWrightSr: I mentioned it, but forgot all about it in the ensuing mess.

DenvToday: No David, I've never seen it.

ddavitt: And on Ganymede, stilla lot of physical back breaking work involved

ddavitt: Oh yes; I have seen something similar here in canada

ddavitt: Pioeering Village or something

DavidWrightSr: PBS not Learning Channel

DavidWrightSr: I think

ddavitt: I don't like reality TV much tho

DenvToday: Jane, did you see the series on the family that moves into the Victorian house and lives in the same..

DavidWrightSr: They did '1890 House' earlier.

DenvToday: ...way as the Victorians?

ddavitt: They lived a year as pioneers

DenvToday: rofl yes

SeanGaeltach has left the room.

ddavitt: Again, heard of it not watched

DavidWrightSr: Thats why I brought it up. I recall how difficult they found it to actually live

SeanGaeltach has entered the room.

DenvToday: It was a wonderful way to live--provided you had a complete staff of servants.

ddavitt: I watch little TV; just waiting for Buffy and Angel to return :-)

DavidWrightSr: that way. And that made me think what would it have been like for LL

ddavitt: Well, not so much fun for the servants

DenvToday: Exactly.

ddavitt: HE had done it lots of times

DenvToday: 90 percent of the population toiled for the comfort of 10 percent.

ddavitt: Dora was the one who was the novice

ddavitt: And she did a good job

DavidWrightSr: But she wasn't as used to 'modern' stuff as LL must have been

ddavitt: No, born in a small village

ddavitt: How convincing is his explanation of why they had to go in alone?

ddavitt: I still think they could have dropped off stuff from the mother ship to help them out

DavidWrightSr: No. as he said the only thing that they had to be able to land had the..

DenvToday: Perhaps it was just one of LL's many dodges. Perhaps he wanted to be a pioneer again. Just that...

DenvToday: ...simple.

DavidWrightSr: cargo capacity of a stamp.

ddavitt: It brought down people tho

ddavitt: The old people who earth was going to kill

DavidWrightSr: Only at a place with beacons I believe

DenvToday: If you have a thousand lifetimes to live, you want variety.

ddavitt: Hmm..have to go there to get there you mean?

DavidWrightSr: Two different vehicles. One was the Captain's gig and the other was the cargo boat.

ddavitt: OK.

DavidWrightSr: and it had to have something to guide it in IIRC

ddavitt: So..who here would like to do it in rl?

ddavitt: Not for a TV but for ever

ddavitt: Who would have stayed on tangoroa with Rod?

DavidWrightSr: Not me. I have computer withdrawal symptoms when the power goes off for an hour

ddavitt: Well, yes, i am offically addicted to the net too:-)

ddavitt: And I can't live without books

DenvToday: Jane, that's a darned good question.

ddavitt: Thank you ,g>

DenvToday: The kids did a wonderful job. If they had not been rescued, they would have made a go of it.

ddavitt: I hated it when they all went home and left him

ddavitt: The first time I read it I was so on his side

DenvToday: But...to be able to see your families again, and say no?

ddavitt: I know...

ddavitt: But they wimped out and left him..

DenvToday: To turn down a life of luxury and learning for the life of a pioneer?

ddavitt: He had to go back

DavidWrightSr: But until Helen and Deacon showed up, he probably thought that he really had no family to see

ddavitt: He had to do it right

ddavitt: Yes; once they came and told him his parenst were back, he had no choice

ddavitt: And he couldn't have stayed alone

ddavitt: He was like a cpatain not wanting to abandon ship

ddavitt: But it trivialised all they had done

DavidWrightSr: He also finally realized that staying was a dead-end.

DenvToday: I love the image of him at the very end. I see him as Clint Eastwood, loaded for bear. lol

ddavitt: Like kids playing and then mom calls them in for bed time

ddavitt: Yes; I want a sequel!

DavidWrightSr: 'The Adventures of Captain Walker- Star Explorer'

DenvToday: lol Yes.

ddavitt: Anyone reads the grown up version of Tunnel? Niven and Pournelle's legacy of heorot?

DavidWrightSr: No.

ddavitt: So similar...great book which has to have Clint playing Cadmann

DenvToday: To be honest, if you have the incredible technology to have planet-transfer gates...

DavidWrightSr: I read Pournelle a lot, but not that one

ddavitt: I recoomend it david. the sequle not so good but it is a great book

DenvToday: ..then I find it difficult to believe that oxen would be your best choice in taming a frontier.

ddavitt: Sturdy, strong?

DavidWrightSr: Not that I have anything against, just don't have a copy :-)

ddavitt: Try it, let me know if you think it is similar.

DenvToday: Yes, but they would have technology available to be better. Hover craft...something.

DavidWrightSr: I'll look for it

ddavitt: Very exciting story. Their stobor are mean...

ddavitt: Hover craft need fuel and can't be eaten in a famine

DenvToday: RAH never mentioned that it's robots spelled backwards, did he?

ddavitt: And can't breed more

DavidWrightSr: To paraphrase Bill Lermer, "oxen can reproduce more oxen and that's a trick that hovercraft...

DavidWrightSr: haven't learned"

ddavitt: No; we all saw it but I read he didn't know he'd done it

ddavitt: Yes, i was about to say that LL said that, couldn't recall it

DavidWrightSr: I have always had a feeling that 'stobor' was a gentle joke against Asimov. No proof, just a feeling

ddavitt: It's a funny word to come up with tho

ddavitt: We need Ginny

ddavitt: She would know

DenvToday: David, true. But it's like Star Trek. They have "beaming" technology. They can transform molecules

DenvToday: to do whatever they wish.

DenvToday: Yet they still crawl through tunnels on their knees. Huh?

DavidWrightSr: Who has such technology?

DenvToday: Doesn't make sense.

DavidWrightSr: In Tunnel?

DenvToday: No, I was talking about Star Trek. I was pointing out the inconsistency.

ddavitt: Those tunnels...always need them in the plot

DenvToday: lol yes. Exactly.

ddavitt: Jim, you are quiet? Any thoughts on this? I am being a bad host

DenvToday: In FITS, if they have the technology for the gates, that same level of technology would spread to

DenvToday: every part of their lives.

ddavitt: Tunnel you mean?

DenvToday: But RAH *wanted* oxen.

ddavitt: Wonder why onlt Tunnel has gates

DenvToday: No, Farmer in the Sky.

ddavitt: No gates in farmer, just ships

DenvToday: Aaack Tunnel

DenvToday: Yes. lol

ddavitt: I know what you mean even when you don't :-)

DenvToday: Sorry, I meant Tunnel.

DenvToday: lol

ddavitt: I like the gates.

ddavitt: They are interesting

ddavitt: No need for ships...

DenvToday: It doesn't make sense that they wouldn't have tremendous technology that would make pioneering...

ddavitt: and not that hazardous on the whole

DenvToday: ...very easy. But then that would ruin it for RAH if it was easy.

ddavitt: BUT what happens when they run out of uranium?

DavidWrightSr: Not necessarily, gate technology might not have all that much application other than simply transport

ddavitt: Or are we to assume the new planets will have an infinite supply

DenvToday: The prime attraction of pioneering for RAH was the "culling" aspect. The weak and the dull...

ddavitt: V expensive to keep them open

DenvToday: ...and the cowards were all culled from the herd.

ddavitt: But some of the Chines who go are just surplus to requirements

DavidWrightSr: Message is too long or too complex

ddavitt: That is a brutal scene at the beginning

DavidWrightSr: I think it safe to say that some gates would open onto worlds with heavy metals

DavidWrightSr: such as uranium for mining

ddavitt: The Australian desert that blooms like the rose..then becomes a slum

DenvToday: David, let's leave Van Halen out of this.

ddavitt:

DenvToday: mea culpa

DavidWrightSr: Pardon? Oh you mean Heavy Metal Rock Groups. Not for me youngster

DavidWrightSr: :0

DavidWrightSr: :-)

DenvToday: Sorry, it was a terrible pun. So sorry.

ddavitt: I once did a post on the square dancing theme that always crops up in the pioneering ( and other0 boo

ddavitt: books

DavidWrightSr: Sounds like another article Jane O:-)

ddavitt: H seemed to focus a lot on the 'rituals' that held the communities together

ddavitt: A mini one maybe :-)

ddavitt: Who here has read the Little House books?

DavidWrightSr: rituals are important in all of his works I'd say for that reason. They give

DavidWrightSr: structure.

SeanGaeltach: Back...... (work commitments)

DenvToday: I did when I was very young.

ddavitt: They have a lot of that sense of coming together to cope with the lonliness

DavidWrightSr: They hadn't been written when I was young. 8-)

ddavitt: I love them...David Silver mentioned the Long Winter one

ddavitt: I can't beleive that!

ddavitt: Came out in the 1950's?

DenvToday: While I admire the pioneering spirit, I would not like to be a pioneer. At least not in the 19th

DenvToday: century style.

DavidWrightSr: Pournelle made a lot out of military ritual in the Falkenberg books as did RAH in Space Cadet

ddavitt: They almost died because no food came through for months and the snows didn't stop

ddavitt: All forms of bonding disparate individuals into a team

DenvToday: I'm like David. If the power goes off for an hour, I start getting very edgy. lol

ddavitt: Like Starship troopers too

ddavitt: Yes; the millenium bug scare was scary as I have no skills at all. i can't make soap for instance

DenvToday: We all like to admire the pioneers, but I doubt any of us would have enjoyed the experience.

ddavitt: Or do a lot on LL's list

ddavitt: They were a tougher bunch

DavidWrightSr: You mean like 'butcher a hog'?

ddavitt: Still; mu mum used to wash and use a mangle...

DenvToday: Mind-numbing, back-breaking work, most of it drudgery. Freezing in winter, dying of horrible, wet...

ddavitt: Definitely that one!

DenvToday: diseases in summer.

ddavitt: We housewives have it so easy...read an old Mrs Beeton about hosework. Phew!

DenvToday: We always read of the successful pioneers. But consider going through all that work, all that...

ddavitt: The work they had to do...

DenvToday: ...pain...and being one of the ones who die young, having accomplished nothing.

ddavitt: Or plant a crop and the grasshoppers get it

ddavitt: Or a hail storm comes..

ddavitt: Heart breaking

DenvToday: Suicide rates were alarmingly high for pioneer women. Little-known, but true.

DavidWrightSr: or as someone said, 'not investing too much love in a child, because so many died'

DenvToday: Yes, exactly David. I cannot even being to imagine how horrible that would be.

ddavitt: Don't blame them; the emptiness of their lives..

DenvToday: begin

ddavitt: Infant mortality is only recently becoming not the norm

ddavitt: We are so lucky

DenvToday: It's a bit like tribes in New Guinea. We all approve of them leading pristine tribal lives, untouched

ddavitt: We expect our children to live

DenvToday: by Western corruption. But none of us would like to be one of them.

ddavitt: Nope.

ddavitt: And yet...why should we?

DavidWrightSr: Our so-called longer lives is due a great deal to the lowering of infant mortailty

DenvToday: And anti-biotics.

ddavitt: It's like feeling guolty because we have food and others starve

ddavitt: The point isn't for us to starve too; it's for them to be at our level

ddavitt: Nothing wrong with where we are

ddavitt: Just need to reach down and help people up to join us

SeanGaeltach: Pioneer = One who ventures into unknown or unclaimed territory to settle.

ddavitt: Final frontier

SeanGaeltach: Is it easier to pioneer space...... or 19th C Earth?

ddavitt: That was my first thought; will we colonise the planets as H imagined?

DenvToday: Sean, I'd be happy to be a pioneer. As long as they have air conditioning, good plumbing and Cheetohs

ddavitt: Or is it too far off to even imagine

DavidWrightSr: I hope so. I fervently hope so.

SeanGaeltach: I don't know. I wish it was as easy as he predicted.

ddavitt: Mars could be livable, certainly the moon

SeanGaeltach: Was it easy?

SeanGaeltach: Seemed to me that it was. Even with some tragedies.

ddavitt: Not life as we are used to...but the children of the pioneers will be at home

ddavitt: Peggy's death was very sad in farmer

DenvToday: Being a space pioneer would be easy, by comparison. Your life would be relatively comfortable--if

DenvToday: you live.

SeanGaeltach: H made it seem so real and possible. It just *seemed* easy I guess.

ddavitt: We won't get to go though

ddavitt: Ou children won't either :-(

DenvToday: I wouldn't be so sure about our children.

SeanGaeltach: I would rather be a pioneer in space. We may go, somehow.......

ddavitt: I hope so

SeanGaeltach: Seen Contact?

DenvToday: Yes, I did.

ddavitt: I want to see the earth from space before I die

ddavitt: No, is it good?

DenvToday: It was a bit new-agey for my tastes.

SeanGaeltach: I liked it. Highly recommended Jane (from me at least). The Sagan book was good too.

ddavitt: I will try it/them

DavidWrightSr: I read the book and saw the movie. What surprised me about the book

SeanGaeltach: I mentioned Contact because it shows how something (incredible) could happen.......

DavidWrightSr: and was not in the movie, was a strong belief in God. Seemed strange for Sagan

SeanGaeltach: His co-author may have been responsible for that....

DavidWrightSr: Of course, I could have misread it :-)

SeanGaeltach: I thought he balance God and science pretty well...... both were strong.

SeanGaeltach: If Sagan could write about certain possibilities - I will hold out hope for us....... one day, maybe.

SeanGaeltach: :-)

ddavitt: I have to go now; lauren is crying and I'm pretty tired

SeanGaeltach: Then we can pioneer to our hearts content.

ddavitt: Thank you for coming tonight and chatting

DenvToday: Sean, I admire your optimism. Good for you.

DenvToday: Bye Jane.

SeanGaeltach: G'night Jane.

DavidWrightSr: Night Jane,

ddavitt: I know it can't have been easy for some of you

DenvToday: I must be going soon too. I have to be up at 4 AM

ddavitt: Before I go; a moment's silence as we did for Poul maybe?

DenvToday: Yes, it's been a horrible couple of days.

DenvToday: Yes, good idea.

DavidWrightSr: Amen to that

ddavitt: Thanks again. Good night friends. I'm glad you are all safe.

DenvToday: Thanks Jane.

ddavitt has left the room.

DenvToday: I must be off too. See you all on Saturday.

DavidWrightSr: So long Denv

DenvToday: Thanks for the great discussion.

DenvToday: Night :-)

DenvToday has left the room.

SeanGaeltach: OK.... seems like it's a wrap. I better do some work now.

DavidWrightSr: You mean like a 'job' ?

SeanGaeltach: Yep.

SeanGaeltach: Gotta pay for my trips to Ireland etc. etc.

DavidWrightSr: :-) Ok I'm going to close out the log. See y'all Saturday maybe

SeanGaeltach: Bye....... I'm off . Take care.

DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 10:26 P.M. EDT

SeanGaeltach has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Night Jim, Sean.


Final End Of Discussion Log

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