Heinlein Readers Discussion Group – Are You A Coward?

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group

Are You A Coward?


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In addition to the usual message posts and log, we have a bit of housekeeping this time. Since the Oprah group leadership wanted to impose restrictions on the group that would not be to our benefit, Dave (AGPlusOne) has decided to move the group to the Barnes & Noble space, which should be more congenial in the long run. As part of the move, Dave got an opportunity to refurbish our welcoming messages, so I’m putting them here.

Welcome 1

Subject: Are you a Coward?

Date: 3/13/00 8:27 AM Pacific Standard Time

From: BookGroups


This message was written by , the leader for this book group.


…with apologies to Robert A. Heinlein’s Glory Road and to Oscar, Aster, and Rufo:


This is not for you. We badly need brave men and women. You must be 18 years of age or older (or of sufficient maturity to satisfy us we won’t hear from your irate parents when they find you are discussing Heinlein’s subjects and thoughts with us), in acceptable mental health, more than simply conversant with the works of Robert Anson Heinlein, and willing to have your silly opinions about them politely slapped down as easily as you would slap down the silly opinions of others. Fluent English would be an advantage. but if you wish you may expose your opinions to us by using any understandable level of writing. Proficiency with the weapons of logical analysis, but not necessarily “literary criticism,” might help. Robert’s views expressed in Expanded Universe about literary critics and the techniques of “criticism” followed by English professors who cannot themselves write or comprehend English will be heeded. Some knowledge of society and history essential. You must be willing to meet in on-line chats, prepare, post and discuss your views before such meetings and read and discuss those of others. To the extent you are willing and able you may enjoy participation in group projects we undertake aside from the chats and posts. A real (non-cyber) life, family and emotional ties are optional. Permanent challenge, no pay whatever, glorious aggravation, perhaps great but certainly a modicum of satisfaction. You must apply in person, 17, rue Dante, Nice, 2me รฉtage, appt. D; or should you find it tiring awaiting Maureen to drop by in the next unscheduled Burroughs irrelevancy bus, you may respond by posting below as a reply or, for further questions, e-mail stating you are willing to consider joining this challenging reading group of the themes, characters, and works of Robert Anson Heinlein to .

— Dum vivimus, vivamus!

(And see the following posts in this thread.)

Welcome 2

Subject: Re: Are you a Coward?

Date: 3/13/00 8:29 AM Pacific Standard Time

From: BookGroups


This book group was requested by AgPlusOne. If you’re interested in joining this group, please sign up in this folder. Once we get 3-5 interested members, we’ll set up the group and get you started. ๐Ÿ™‚



Online Book Groups


Subj:Re: Reading Group’s at BN


If you’ve ever read Robert A. Heinlein, then you know where ARE YOU A COWARD? came from. If not, then be prepared for a delightful reading experience.

Group Name: The Robert A. Heinlein Reading Group

Leader: AgPlusOne; assistant Leaders: Major oz, BPRAL22169

Time: 9 pm to midnight, ET on Thursdays

Meeting every Second and Fourth Thursday

Group description:

This is an existing group joining the forum that reads the science, or “speculative” as he preferred to call it, fiction of Robert Anson Heinlein (1907-88), USNA ’29, who published over fifty novels and short story collections (not including his non-fiction) from 1939 until 1987. During his lifetime Mr. Heinlein’s novels were voted by readers an unprecedented four Hugo awards for best science-fiction novel of the year. He also received from his peers the first Nebula Grandmaster Award ever given for lifetime achievement and wrote the first two science fiction novels to ever appear on the New York Times bestseller list.

Every two weeks the group meets for three hours (you may attend all or just part of the meeting) and discusses a different work or theme in Robert Heinlein’s works. This month we will begin a series of monthly meetings on the second Thursday discussing his “Future History” series of short stories, novela, and novels. On the fourth Thursday, we’ll take up other topics we vote upon … Join us every two weeks for a range of discussion encompassing politics, religion, sex, self-responsibiliy, family, education, child-raising, ethics, morality, patriotism, revolution against oppression, science, general semantics, inventions, the pioneer spirit, democracy, esoteric organizations, citizenship, and virtually every other conceivable subject brought under the scrutiny of this author’s pen … You ask yourself: “Where’s the bug-eyed monsters?” He simply didn’t spend much time writing about them! He wrote about humanity–our problems and our institutions; and aliens only appear to highlight what we face every day. He, more than any other writer, brought the genre out of the newstand pulp-magazine, waste-your-time-pleasantly-with- exotic-reveries classification and into enjoyable and worthwhile general reading for adults and juveniles alike!

Reading List…

March 15, 2000 (second Thursday meeting) …

The short stories “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'” from the collection The Man Who Sold The Moon (1950, reprinted March, 2000) bn.com – The Man Who Sold the Moon

bn.com Price: $4.79

Retail Price: $5.99

You Save: $1.20 (20%) รก

In-Stock: Ships within 24 hoursรก

Format: Mass Market Paperback,รก295pp.

ISBN: 0671578634

Publisher: Baen Books

Pub. Date: Marchรก 2000

Both short stories are also available in the out-of-print collection The Past Through Tomorrow (1967) which you may already own, obtain by special order, or find in a library; and “Life-Line” may also be found in the still in print collection Expanded Universe–The New World of Robert A. Heinlein (1980).

March 29, 2000 (fourth Thursday meeting) presently open … there’ll be a vote on that date or before on a series of topics for discussion in addition to the Future History series. See (and add to) the list as soon as our message board goes up, and vote. Watch this space for URL addresses to our webpage and archives.


, aka “Zim”

“I expect your names to shine!”

Welcome 3

Subject: On Posting Your Thoughts …

Date: 3/15/00 1:35 AM Pacific Standard Time

From: AGplusone


About posting: the leader of this group is named “Zim.” Zim finds he needs only three rules for posting and chats: be polite to each other, be patient with new readers especially young ones, and post! The more posts we have, the better our chats and our group.

I believe I’ll depend upon my favorite author to conjure up “Zim” for you, from his Hugo-award winning novel, the real Starship Troopers, not that twaddle of a movie, just as he did to Johnnie Rico, a millennium or so in our future, as Rico lines up with the others in ragged ranks on that first day for setting-up exercises just as the Sun looks over the eastern horizon.

” … Facing us was a big broad-shouldered, mean-looking man, dressed just as we were–except that while I looked and felt like a poor job of embalming, his chin was shaved blue, his trousers were sharply creased, you could have used his shoes for mirrors, and his manner was alert, wide-awake, relaxed, and rested. You got the impression that he never needed to sleep — just ten-thousand-mile checkups and dust him off occasionally. He bellowed, “C’pnee! Atten … shut! I am Career Ship’s Sergeant Zim, your company commander. When you speak to me, you will salute and say, ‘Sir’–you will salute and ‘sir’ anyone who carries an instructor’s baton–” He was carrying a swagger cane and now made a quick reverse moulinet with it to show what he meant by an instructor’s baton; I had noticed men carrying them when we arrived the night before and had intended to get one myself–they looked smart. Now I changed my mind….”

Zim is the leader of this group. He’s also the only one whose opinion matters about things such as how dumb a post is, and he insists he is the only one allowed to be able to say so. Zim stays in his tent most of the time. My experience with him is that tent is the best place to keep him.

What he does is appoint an acting voice, just like in any basic training company, who wears acting stripes that can be taken away at any time. That’s me: AgPlusOne. Those stripes I’m wearing are just as temporay as can be and can be taken away and–it’s just a matter of time–can be given to someone else, for instance: you, at any moment. Major oz helps me out. BPRAL22169 helps me out. Others still in this group have done the same in the past. Some of you may find yourself asked to do so in the future. Those of us who are Heinlein readers know the meaning of TANSTAAFL! The rest will learn. We all work to make this group enjoyable for all. In real life, I’m retired, a former lawyer, who was once a soldier who later went to UCLA and then on to law school in the early and middle 1970s on something called the “GI Bill,” have been married for thirty-mumble years to a rather patient lady. We have an adult daughter and live in Southern California. where I grow roses and tomatoes like my maternal grandfather from Sunny Italy, drink a nightly glass of wine like both grandfathers, dabble in writing, watch girls on the beach and have been reading Robert Anson Heinlein (1907-1988), USNA ’29, the greatest modern science fiction writer, since a day when I was eleven and a librarian who could tell I was getting very tired of books intended for my age handed me a copy of one of his works.

Stop by any Thursday evening … and meet Sergeant Zim, whom you may discover, as any trained private can tell you, has no mother, and reproduces by fission, “like all bacteria.” There is a drawing on our website that I’ll have up in a day or two that depicts one of his ancestors, a fellow named “Zimbrowski,” or “Zimmerman,” or “Zimerelli” (I forget which) who made steel in a place called Pittsburgh but found himself touring my grandfather’s Sunny Italy during one of the many unimportant wars of the Twentieth Century (old Gregorian style date).

So … post, there are no dumb questions and there are no dumb posts!



“I expect your names to shine!”

Welcome Transition:

Subject: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: 3/14/00 11:01 AM Pacific Standard Time

From: AGplusone

I thought I’d put up some posts concerning this meeting that have already been made elsewhere … We’ll be holding our first meeting March 16, from 9 PM to midnight, ET, in (click here—>Barnes III)

SPOILER WARNING (We usually discuss the plot, themes and characters more or less comprehensively before the meeting. Don’t worry. The stories still stand up and always afford a great chat discussion topic even after that treatment.) Here’s an initial lead-off post from the chat co-host that already appeared elsewhere. I’ll post some follow-ups; but please use “reply” to comment if you wish. Hope we see many new faces two days from now. ๐Ÿ™‚


1.Lead-off post

Subject: 3/16/2000 Topic: “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'”

Date: Sat, Mar 4, 2000 12:29 PM

From: BPRAL22169

AOL Heinlein Readers Group Chat on March 16, 2000

Topic: “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light,” Early Future History Stories Recommended Reading: The two short stories can be found in the collection The Man Who Sold the Moon, recently re-issued by Baen Publishing Co. Co-Host: BPRAL22169 (Bill Patterson)

Story Summaries

“Life-Line.” Heinlein’s first short story. Originally published in Astounding Science-Fiction in August 1939. Collected in The Man Who Sold the Moon (1950) The Past Through Tomorrow (1967) and Expanded Universe (1980)

Hugo Pinero invents a machine that measures how long you are going to live. The Academy of Sciences won’t believe him, and Bidwell, a ruthless insurance magnate whose business will be ruined, wants to crush him. Pinero wins his case in court and forces the Academy to test his claims. Bidwell arranges to have Pinero assassinated. Pinero knows he cannot change his own death. He accepts it with calm dignity. His machine is destroyed. The Academy burns Pinero’s remaining predictions, afraid of the knowledge.

“‘Let There Be Light'” Short story originally published in Super Science Stories in May 1940 under the pseudonym of Lyle Monroe. Collected in The Man Who Sold the Moon (1950)

Archie Douglas, top-flight physicist-engineer, and Mary Beth Martin, top-flight biologist-chemist, team up to develop Martin’s cold-light chemical discovery. Along the way they discover a cheap and efficient way to convert sunlight into heat or electricity — the Douglas Martin Sun Power Screen. A utility monopoly threatens them and Douglas’ family business. They counter the threats by going public with their discovery, essentially giving it away.

About the Stories

“Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light” are the two “earliest” of the Future History stories and also among the first stories Heinlein ever wrote, in the spring of 1939. “Life-Line” sold at once and appeared in the August 1939 issue of Astounding Science-Fiction, Heinlein’s first published story.

“‘Let There Be Light'” did not sell immediately, but it appeared in the May 1940 Super Science Stories, then edited by a very young Fred Pohl, under the pen name of “Lyle Monroe,” which Heinlein reserved for stories he considered second-rate. The name is a combination of two branches of his mother’s family. The pen name was exposed when John Campbell published Heinlein’s chart of the Future History in the May 1941 issue of Astounding, and showed “‘Let There Be Light'” as one of the Future History stories. Different versions of the chart have been published, as end papers in the three original Future History collections (The Green Hills of Earth, The Man Who Sold the Moon, and Revolt in 2100) and in the 1967 omnibus collection The Past Through Tomorrow. For reasons not clear, “‘Let There Be Light'” was left out of The Past Through Tomorrow and removed from the chart, though the Douglas-Martin Sun Power Screen is mentioned in several works as being an important source of energy-delivery

Heinlein apparently considered both “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'” to be “contemporary” stories. The magazine appearance of “Life-Line” has a notarial signature dated April 2, 1939, which critic James Gifford [by private e-mail I am chastised: Gifford will allow that he is a “commentator,” but “critic” is much too nasty a term for the likes of him] thinks is probably the actual date on which Heinlein typed the story before sending it off to Campbell. When the stories were collected in 1950, he moved the date forward to April 2, 1951, so the early part of the Future History takes place “now” as “now” moves forward in time. He also made minor revisions again in “‘Let There Be Light'” for a paperback edition of The Man Who Sold the Moon in the early 1960s, changing Dr. Martin’s resemblance from “Sally Rand” to “Betty Grable” after WWII, then to “Marilyn Monroe.” No one could have imagined, however, that the books would continue to sell steadily for more than 50 years. As the Future History grew irreparably out of sync with our actual history, Heinlein have up trying to keep these stories current. (Curiously, he made a similar revision in the supposed fantasy story “Elsewhen” when it was collected into Assignment in Eternity (1953), moving the date of Prof. Frost’s appearance in his timeline from 1937 to 1958, to keep the story contemporary. In light of the merging of timelines into the World as Myth books after 1980, Heinlein may have always intended all these stories to be read together as a portrait of a great cultural change affecting many timelines at about the same time.)

Once Pinero dies and his machine is destroyed, history closes over him without a ripple. Only the reminiscence of Lazarus Long in Methuselah’s Children of a visit to “Pinero the Charlatan” links “Life-Line” into the body of the Future History (Pinero thought his machine was broken when he tried to read Lazarus Long’s life-line, so he refunded his money). This is probably just as Heinlein intended it — mentions of characters and situations from one story showing up briefly in others, following the lead of other prominent story-systems: Sinclair Lewis’s Winnemac novels and stories, Cabell’s Biography of the Life of Manuel, and Balzac’s Comรฉdie humaine. The conception of the Future History must have been rather thoroughly worked out before Heinlein began writing, since many of his earliest stories are set in the Future History.

“‘Let There Be Light,'” is well integrated into the Future History. Mentions of the Douglas-Martin Sun Power screens appear in a number of other stories, including, for example, “The Roads Must Roll.” The crucial innovation of a power-source not dependent on utility monopolies is necessary to set the diaspora of humanity into space in motion, and when Heinlein needs to talk about another space traveling timeline, he invents a new power-source, the Shipstone batteries that first appear in Friday. Power to the people!

“Life-Line” seems to be written in a relatively straightforward manner. It is a miniature tragedy in the classical mould, with Pinero’s downfall brought about because of his own “tragic flaw,” which we see in operation in the first scene of the story — he chooses to anger the Academy of Sciences (which is later shown to be Bidwell’s creature) rather than explain the workings of his process, even though he is cordial, if non-technical, to the reporters he sees next. Heinlein later said (see the 1941 correspondence with John Campbell in Grumbles From the Grave) that his forte was to bring the big themes, particularly “the regular use of tragedy,” to pulp science fiction. For this purpose, Heinlein’s could not use the magazine fiction of his day for models, and we often do not see conventional “plots” in his early stories. Here, there are three story lines woven together: Pinero and the Academy of Science (which forms the backbone of the story); Pinero’s exploration of fate; and Bidwell’s attempts to stop Pinero. Each story line is fully developed with maximum economy. Heinlein presents important material usually in two forms: the first time, he tells us the information we need; the second time, it is illustrated in action. The most important of these duple presentations is in the first and last scene: Pinero tells the men of the Academy that they are small and afraid of truth; and in the last scene they destroy his predictions of their deaths because they are afraid to know the truth.

Despite its technical strengths, “Life-Line” is a little too thirties-conventional for modern tastes. Although it is probably true, as Alexei Panshin says in Heinlein in Dimension, that if “Life-Line” were the only story Heinlein published, he would not be worth discussing, it is nevertheless a remarkable first story for anyone to produce.

“‘Let There Be Light'” has consistently been considered second-rate (or worse), perhaps because it is poorly written, with a “static” quality that comes about because all of the “action” of the story happens offstage. The personal relationship between Martin and Douglas has to carry the story forward, but it is not what the story is “about” — the difficulties Martin and Douglas encounter in commercializing their scientific discovery. Marxist critic H. Bruce Franklin sees in the insurance monopoly of “Life-Line” and the utility monopoly of “‘Let There Be Light'” a personal protest of Heinlein against the International Harvester monopoly that had destroyed his family’s farm implement business, but these stories are broader critiques of the “monopoly capitalism” practices that were conventionally thought in liberal circles to have brought about The Great Depression. Heinlein, remember, had just emerged from a four-year stint as a political manager and candidate for Upton Sinclair’s socialist political plan for California’s unemployed, EPIC (“End Poverty in California”). These issues were of concern to him as a liberal reform politician, and he carried them over into his first suite of science fiction stories.

The relationship between Martin and Douglas is a conventional comedy of errors; at the start they mistake each other for a showgirl (honey blonde with a dumb pan) or a gangster; at the end, Archie Douglas drags her kicking and screaming (literally — but not too hard) to the Marriage License Bureau, and they are in the natural end of a comedy: a marriage.

Mary Lou Martin is one of the most interesting of all Heinlein’s characters, for she is psychologically damaged. Today we would say she has “self-image problems.” An accomplished bioscientist with both field and laboratory expertise, she nevertheless takes on the traditional feminine “support” roles without discussion. After trying to get her into bed by conventional “wolf” techniques, Archie comes to love her – and she, him – but they cannot seem to get beyond the highly mannered “ape” and “mama” superficial relationship at which they started. Archie seems to have no difficulty articulating his needs and desires, but Mary Lou cannot act on her feelings: her defenses are so highly polished she has become trapped behind them. While these factors make a fascinating portrait, they do the story no good, for the lack of obvious progress in the personal relationship adds to the story’s “static” quality, and the capitulation at the end comes as a collapse with overtones of ambivalence, rather than as a natural development. She cannot even claim her just share of the credit for the discovery: she credits Archie (saying, You’ll be a public benefactor), even as Archie is saying “We’ll do it” to her suggestion.

The theory of co-dependency had not been articulated in 1939, so the portrait of M.L. Martin is somewhat remarkable. Heinlein was to explore some of the same territory in 1982 in Friday.

A Word About the Future History

The main body of the Future History seems to be preoccupied with the expansion of humankind throughout the solar system and to the stars in the immediate future, but it has more than one important “subtext” built into the development.

The most obvious subtext is drawn from Alfred Korzybski’s Science and Sanity (1933). Heinlein was something of an expert in Korzybski ‘s General Semantics, and he considered writing a beginner’s text for General Semantics if and when he gave up writing for the science fiction pulps. Korzybski talks about the “aristotelian” childhood of humanity and remarks in more than one place that, now that General Semantics has arrived on the scene, humanity will go through a transition into first adolescence and then full “non-aristotelian” adulthood. Heinlein portrays the Covenant as the “first scientific political document” and characterizes the Covenant society as the First Human Civilization, made possible by a “science of social relations based upon . . . semantics.”

There are, however, other subtexts, and each reader must decide for himself how important they are. In his earliest stories, Heinlein shows a great familiarity with a number of “esoteric” traditions. There are several subtle and not-so-subtle references to The Theosophical Society in “Lost Legacy,” and Masonic references in a number of stories, from “Elsewhen” to “If This Goes On –” Freemasonry is a hermetic tradition, greatly simplified in the 17th and 18th century so it could become a “mass” movement and participate in the liberal revolutions at the end of the 18th century. But “mainstream” hermeticism also appears in Heinlein’s work, particularly in “The Unpleasant Profession of Jonathan Hoag,” which may also contain references to James Branch Cabell’s romantic theory of the “demiurge.”

One of the great debates taking place among a number of esoteric traditions early in this century was that a new age had begun — the age of Aquarius referenced in the 1969 musical Hair!, according to one tradition; the age of Horus, the Magical Child in the hermetic tradition of the Golden Dawn and the later O.T.O., the age of the Archai Michael in Steiner’s Anthroposophical cosmology. There was great disagreement as to the precise year in which the new age had begun, though most estimates clustered around the years between 1880 and 1890. It is possible that, as well as the “exoteric” pattern of Korzybskian evolution, there is at least one (and possibly more) pattern of “esoteric” evolution expressed in the Future History, with, for example, Lazarus Long’s lifetime up to “Da Capo” expressing an entire cycle to the beginning of the next age.

There are no “smoking guns” that declare the esoteric interpretation to be “true,” in the way that Korzyski’s semantic concerns are written into the “sociological” descriptions of the chart. So readers are free to ignore the possibility of an esoteric layer of interpretation. Heinlein despised Positivist Materialism, and his continuing reiteration of intellectual, moral, and spiritual values may be philosophical in origin, rather than “religious-alternative.” In this case, Heinlein is most closely allied with the American neo-Platonic philosophy of Transcendentalism.

Incidentally, the Future History does not “diverge” from our timeline starting with the two stories we are looking at now. The earliest divergence I have been able to spot is the death of Ira Howard, given as taking place in 1876 (coincidentally pretty close to the esoteric starts of the new age). By the time of “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'” the Howard Foundation is well established; Woodrow Wilson Smith is a third-generation sport of the project.

I think that’s enough to get started on, don’t you?

W (Bill Patterson)

AGPlusOne comments: Bill likes to be comprehensive, doesn’t he? I’d be very proud to write something like that: but I think there’s a lot to comment on, ever perhaps dispute, don’t you? PLUNGE on in! We all do.

David aka “Zim”


“I expect your names to shine!”

This was cross-posted to alt.fan.heinlein, where it generated some independent discussion:


afh Subject: Martin of Douglas-Martin

From: (Nollaig MacKenzie)

Date: 3/4/00 3:43 PM Pacific Standard Time

On 04 Mar 2000 20:42:00 GMT, the estimable BPRAL22169 wrote:

[Archie Douglas, top-flight physicist-engineer, and Mary Beth Martin, top-flight biologist- chemist, team up to develop Martin’s cold-light chemical discovery.]

Oh, please tell me it’s “Mary Lou”, not “Mary Beth”…. If it’s “Mary Beth” I’ll be devastated: how could I forget the first RAH woman I fell in love with?

Hopefully, N.

Nollaig MacKenzie :: :: http://www.amhuinnsuidhe.cx/rahfan/


afh:Subject: Re: Martin of Douglas-Martin

From: (BPRAL22169)

Date: 3/4/00 6:25 PM Pacific Standard Time

I abase myself in your general direction, Nolaig, for I had a brain fart. It is, of course, Mary Lou Martin, Ph.D., et-multiply-cetera.


2.Subject: Re: 3/16/2000 Topic: “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'”

Date: Mon, Mar 6, 2000 5:47 PM

From: Pf2144

BPRAL22169 writes:

[Recommended Reading: The two short stories can be found in the collection The Man Who Sold the Moon, recently re-issued by Baen Publishing Co.]

This works out rather well since it just so happens that I am currently in the process of reading that very collection for the first time and have only a portion of “Blowups Happen” remaining to be completed before I move on to another book. BTW, I would highly recommend the collection to any of you who may not have read it, but more for the title story, “The Man Who Sold the Moon”, and the followup “Requiem” then the two stories we’re reviewing (although I did enjoy these two).

“Life-Line.” Heinlein’s first short story.

I liked this story, not necessarily for any of the characters or any real complex plot points, but rather for the simple fact that it gave me something to think about and didn’t drag out “getting to the point” unnecessarily. The three primary questions it evoked are:

1)Is this an all-too accurate depiction of what happens when technology that works against the interests of corporate and scientific elites is discovered?

2)Is such an invention theoretically possible?

3)Would such a technology be beneficial to mankind? Would you use it?

What do you guys think?

“‘Let There Be Light'”

I thought this story was alright, but by and large it’s the worse story of the ones included in the collection I’m reading. I think one of the problems is that the fact that we have now have had solar power for a long time, which has basically been a bust in terms of efficiency, tends to make the process of its “invention” a bit less awe-inspiring than it might otherwise be. We also don’t have any shortages of electric power, so the concept of cheap power for everyone doesn’t really excite me as a reader too much. This is just one of the few stories that the passage of time has made “obsolete”, for want of a better term.

Now, having said all that, I find it kind of strange that I really enjoyed “The Man Who Sold the Moon” since some similar criticisms could be applied to it. Oh well, maybe I’m just partial to space travel. Or maybe that was just written better, with better defined characters (I’m not much of a literary critic).



“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes” -Erasmus


Currently Reading: “The Man Who Sold the Moon” by Robert A. Heinlein


afh: Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: ddavitt

Date: Sun, Mar 5, 2000 11:12 AM

My initial thought on these two stories is that they both have as a theme the discovery of a society changing invention by an individual inventor. This is something that Heinlein also dealt with in Friday (Shipstones), NOTB (continua device) and MC (Libby’s star drive) On a lesser scale there is Dan from Door into Summer, Cas and Pol invented a frost proof rebreather valve and Elsewhen gives us a time track changer similar to the continua device in many ways. The theme of small independent inventor coming up with something that threatens the status quo and getting attacked by the big companies is an attractive one when the small person wins, as Shipstone, Douglas and Martin do. Pinero however loses everything and his invention dies with him. Was Heinlein saying that there are some things man is not meant to know and the date of your death is one of them? We all know that we’re going to die…eventually, sometime soon, not for a while yet. The uncertainty makes living possible. Pinero’s device could well have destroyed society IMO. Remember, Lazarus’s first reaction to the continua device is that he wants to smash it up because it’s made interstellar war possible?

The cheap energy OTOH can only be beneficial in the long run, though in the short term it would have been very disruptive I suppose. Archie and Mary Lou use the same tactic that Phil attempts in Lost Legacy; full disclosure to the press. It works for them and saves their lives and their invention. Whether in real life they would have got into print is another matter but it makes a good end to the story.



afh:Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: ddavitt

Date: Mon, Mar 6, 2000 8:33 AM

One point about Lifeline that’s always bothered me is the young couple who visit Pinero. He tests them both (though the result in the woman’s case is doubtful as she is pregnant and this affects his tests) and discovers that they are about to die. He has sufficient accuracy to predict his own death in terms of minutes so I imagine he knows exactly when they are to die, yet he says nothing. He keeps them talking for 40 minutes, then reluctantly lets them leave and watches them both get run over in front of his building. The irony of course is that it was his own attempts to save them which resulted in their deaths; if he had let them leave when they wanted to, they would not have been at that particular spot, in the path of the oncoming car. Why didn’t he tell them? They would have been shocked, disbelieving, maybe they wouldn’t have listened but he should have given them the information and let them decide what to do with it. That’s what they came for after all. What are the implications here? Pinero wouldn’t have known the cause of their deaths; he couldn’t have avoided it by calling them a taxi for instance but the possibility of them both dying whilst sitting in his office would have been very remote. He knew he was safe from death for a while longer; if he had kept them with him then it lessened the risk that the building would burn, or be hit by an earthquake or something. I’m probably not explaining this well but it seems to me that he could have done something to see if death could be avoided once known about….setting up a paradox maybe but what of it? If they had left straight away would they have still died, just in another place at another time? Would splitting them up have improved their chances? Just what is the use of knowing when you will die if you can’t try to avoid it! [g] It’s odd that Heinlein’s first published story had death as a theme; it was continued in so many of his stories. There are other elements in the story which would be echoed and refined; the trial scenes in particular, the use of newspaper headlines and snippets of commentary inserted into the main body of the story as a quick way of bringing the reader up to date without long explanations….

Pinero himself is a strange character. He is not described as being particularly pleasant at first; “Bland, faintly insolent face”, “a smile that was in some way an open insult”, “fat white hands”, “irritating smile”. Then he leaves the meeting and this attitude drops away from him. When he’s talking to the reporters he doesn’t seem “foreign’ or bombastic; he tells them he was a reporter too and it’s almost as if he is a charlatan, running some kind of scam. Remember his university education is possibly fake; one cannot altogether blame the people who doubt him because he won’t provide details. Of course, they are at fault for not agreeing to a controlled experiment but he doesn’t present himself as reliable. Why? It’s a good story but it leaves a lot of questions unanswered.



afh:Subject: Re: AOL Chat: “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: Gaeltach

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 6:18 AM

ddavitt wrote:


…Then he leaves the meeting and this attitude drops away from him. When he’s talking to the reporters he doesn’t seem “foreign’ or bombastic; he tells them he was a reporter too and it’s almost as if he is a charlatan, running some kind of scam. . .

Pinero does indeed go out of his way to make the news hounds happy. My take is that he knew he would get nowhere with the Academy. I don’t think he really wanted to though (he clearly worked outside the typical scientific institutions and had dubious credentials), his main objective was in fact to get publicity. As someone said “I don’t know what his racket is, but you can bet that he has figured out some way to use us for advertising for his schemes.” As far as I can see, he did as much as possible to keep the reporters on side, including free booze and cigars. His manner to them was the direct opposite to the members of the Academy of Science. His motive at this stage is fairly obvious – publicity so that he can generate money. This also leads to a question I see as being unanswered – When did Pinero first know the time of his own death? I would assume that he would have known this from the start, however that would not explain his partly greed driven motivation. For example, if he knew he was going to die sometime in the near future, why would money motivate him? He couldn’t take it with him where he was going! Although this is just conjecture, perhaps an explanation would be that he had not in fact calculated his own time of death until sometime after the deaths of Ed and Betty Hartley. Why, I’m not sure. Perhaps a feeling of guilt over their deaths, or learning that death could not be cheated, led him to at last calculate his own expiration.

Just a mention on Pinero’s time of death – 1.13 pm, or 13.13 on a 24 hour clock – doubly unlucky for him it would appear!

Another question unanswered – It appears that Pinero’s murderers had no qualms about witnesses. Unless they also disposed of the elderly maidservant “Angela” who let them in. Perhaps someone can tell me the origin of the phrase “… get his thirty”, which was used by one of the reporters – “When does Luke get his thirty?”



…. and now for something completely different:

I madam, I made radio! So I dared. Am I mad? Am I?


afh: Subject: Re: AOL Chat: “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: (BPRAL22169)

Date: 3/7/00 7:41 AM Pacific Standard Time

“-30-” is oldtime newspaper jargon for the end of the article (and, contrariwise “no 30” means “more to come”). So “when does Luke get his thirty?” means “when does Luke die?”



afh: Subject: Re: AOL Chat: “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: Gaeltach

Date: 3/7/00 1:36 PM Pacific Standard Time

Thanks Bill.


afh: Subject: Re: AOL Chat: “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: James Gifford

Date: 3/7/00 8:01 AM Pacific Standard Time

Gaeltach wrote:

…Just a mention on Pinero’s time of death – 1.13 pm, or 13.13 on a 24 hour clock – doubly unlucky for him it would appear!…

Heh. That’s a good one.

|James Gifford-Nitrosyncretic |



|See http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for details & the Heinlein



afh: Subject: Re: AOL Chat: “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: Libertarian Bill

Date: 3/7/00 5:00 PM Pacific Standard Time

At the end of every story, reporters used to write ” – 30 – “. This was a signal to the typesetter that the end of the story had been reached. “Get his thirty,” means that Luke’s story has come to an end. These days, of course, reporters use computers and their electronic text is set to type electronically, through a pagination program such as Quark XPress or sometimes Adobe PageMaker. At the tender age of 36, I am old enough to remember the old process. I typed “30” to the end of many stories. Typesetters were still in use as little as 10 years ago, although it was a photo offset process. I would be surprised if typesetting were still being used ANYWHERE because even a bargain-basement computer and laser printer can duplicate the results for less money than one years worth of the special paper used for photo offset printing. I am not old enough to remember hot type, thank God.


afh: Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: ddavitt

Date: Mon, Mar 6, 2000 7:17 PM

PF2144 said:

…I really enjoyed “The Man Who Sold the Moon”…

OK; just found a “duh” moment; it’s only just sunk in that “Requiem” came _before_ “Man Who Sold.” It got mentioned here a few days ago and I meant to comment but I got side tracked. It would never have occurred to me that Requiem could have been written so well and Harriman be such a complete character without the background of “Man Who Sold”.

I suppose it’s because I read them in chronological order, rather than order of publication. I still think in a way that that’s the best way to read them; makes it more poignant. I wonder why Heinlein chose to go back, a decade later and write the prequel. Or why he continued the Lazarus Long story years and years after writing MC.



3.Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: Mon, Mar 6, 2000 5:55 PM

From: Pf2144

I just noticed the “chat” notation in the posting by last posting was typed in reply to. I hope that discussion of future chat subjects is acceptable on the message board. If not, I apologize.

I do prefer discussing things on message boards in general, though, since they generally give posters more of chance to type at length. Too often in chat rooms you have to break up paragraphs, and even sentences, into small chunks, and then a screen scrolls past while you’re trying to continue on the same tangent — the result being that people lose track of what’s being said or you have to shorten the length of your comments to such an extent that meaningful conversation is difficult for those of us who tend to be rather verbose….



“When I get a little money I buy books; and if any is left I buy food and clothes” -Erasmus


Currently Reading: “The Man Who Sold the Moon” by Robert A. Heinlein


4.Subject: Re: 3/16/2000 Topic: “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'”

Date: Mon, Mar 6, 2000 9:54 PM

From: AGplusone

Pf2144 notes and inquires:

…I just noticed the “chat” notation in the posting by last posting was typed in reply to. I hope that discussion of future chat subjects is acceptable on the message board. If not, I apologize….

Anything on-topic to Heinlein is always acceptable, particularly discussion of future chat subjects. Since you did mention it, one of the group’s co-leaders, Major oz, has been looking for nominations on future chat topics, in this latest thread (click here—> Discussion Topics); and I’m absolutely positive that if you nominate something he’ll be happy to add it to his list that we’ll be voting on shortly. Uh, I should tell you we have a little custom … we gratefully allow the nominator to co-host the meeting for his topic when we have it. Really, it’s no big deal. All the co-host need do is have a few questions to start the discussion and keep it going; and our discussions always develop a life of their own you’ll find. Oz and others will give you a hand and there is, of course, always Zim looking over my shoulder all the time.

Happy to have you ask … see you at the next meeting and on these message boards.



“I expect your names to shine!”


afh: Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: “Marga”

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 8:41 AM

ddavitt wrote

[snip] …It would never have occurred to me that Requiem could have been written so well and Harriman be such a complete character without the background of “Man Who Sold”….

I agree that reading them in *chronological order* does make them more poignant. I have found, however, a large number of the authors I’ve enjoyed, do not *throw-away* either a good scenario or good character if later they can be used to explore another facet of either. The easy answer, of course, is why waste all that work when it’s successful?[VBG] But when it’s done well, I’ve found that it also provides the reader with a far more thought provoking experience. The milieu or plot situation or character does not require the same exposition to develop which leaves the author with the ability to *explore* the new *facet* more thoroughly.



5.Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: 3/7/00 12:27 PM Pacific Standard Time

From: AGplusone

Here’s a “brief note” from a typically-long winded character whose notes you will either grow to be amused at or detest:

I have a little note on “Life-Line” which may amuse some of you. Problem is: it takes a few extra words to tell it in the anecdotal form I prefer. Bear with me please:

Bill wrote:

…”Life-Line” seems to be written in a relatively straightforward manner. It is a miniature tragedy in the classical mould, with Pinero’s downfall brought about because of his own “tragic flaw,” which we see in operation in the first scene of the story–he chooses to anger the Academy of Sciences (which is later shown to be Bidwell’s creature) rather than explain the workings of his process, even though he is cordial, if non-technical, to the reporters he sees next. … Here, there are three story lines woven together: Pinero and the Academy of Science (which forms the backbone of the story); Pinero’s exploration of fate; and Bidwell’s attempts to stop Pinero. Each story line is fully developed with maximum economy. Heinlein presents important material usually in two forms: the first time, he tells us the information we need; the second time, it is illustrated in action. The most important of these duple presentations is in the first and last scene: Pinero tells the men of the Academy that they are small and afraid of truth; and in the last scene they destroy his predictions of their deaths because they are afraid to know the truth. …

There’s something I find peculiarly Heinlein-ish that I like to point out about this story because, when I had it pointed out to me, it started allowing me to see some of the subtleties in Heinlein’s writing. It’s very simple really. One of the characters is a vicious parody of a very real person. I found this rather young. When I was about sixteen, 1958 or so, growing up in Los Angeles, I’d been reading and enjoying Heinlein already for five or six years, so of course I’d read “Life-Line” ‘long ago’ (three or four years was so much longer ago then to a sixteen-year-old than it is today); but never considered the story a favorite. Then I made an interesting discovery: the parents of one of my friends were avid readers and always willing to talk with his friends about their own readings. These people weren’t the typical “lower middle-class” folk among whom I had been exposed at that age. There was ‘old money’ there, although they kept it well hidden; and they were highly educated and cultured. Both had graduated before World War II from Stanford University, which also made them a bit older than the parents of most of my contemporaries. If there was any university in the Western United States then which had Ivy League or Oxenbridge pretensions, it was and continues to be Stanford. Chelsea Clinton didn’t choose that school just to get away from Washington, D.C. and the East Coast newspapers. They were very interesting folk, active in many things. Then one I discovered they not only read “science-fiction” which was so unusual as to be what I thought was remarkable in the 1950s for people their age; but their favorite writer was Heinlein; and they claimed a brief acquaintance with him before the War although they never got into exactly how they had met him.

One night they sat me down with their son and, while teaching me how to play bridge, one asked me whether I’d read “Life-Line,” and what I thought of it. I had and told them I thought it one of his less-appealing stories, although imaginative in its notion of Pinero’s machine. They asked me what I thought about the academics, particularly about Doctor VanRheinSmitt,the fatuous lightweight dispatched tellingly by Heinlein’s description of him as “America’s handsomest University President.” Let me fill you in about a few things about Southern California, besides the smog and show biz reputation you already know: Until the 1930s, it was justly considered the rural, unsophisticated part of the State. No culture, no decent schools, not much business, and no pretensions that anyone in the rest of the country was willing to recognize. About the only thing going for it, before smog and urban sprawl, was its booming and profitable agriculture favored by the clement climate–that *was* idyllic most of the time, blue skies, sunny days, etc. which is why the film industry located here in the first place. And some oil. And it was ‘bidnes’ as usually in the oil industry. It was also very reactionary, bigoted, and defensive about it. It is a true story that the LAPD were dispatched to the Arizona State line to prevent and intimidate “Okies” and “Arkies” from entering Southern California during the heights of the depression. The politicians were crooked, the cops corrupt, notoriously so, and there are few exaggerations in the portrait of the ironically named “City of Angels” by Chandler and the other noir writers. Southern California also had a reputation of attracting the real crazies. When the Doheny types were not being acquitted of offering oil briberies that Secretary Fall types had been convicted of accepting, we had the likes of Aimee Semple McPherson and her lot making us notorious as the “Land of Fruits and Nuts.”

There was one university of any size: that was the University of Southern California, a private school for rich kids, located a few miles south of City Hall, next to where, not too coincidentally, the Coliseum was built for the ’32 Olympics. And USC, as it is called, had a lock on the business and political community. Its graduates were the judges and politicians, the business owners, etc. But it had no sterling reputation for academics; rather, its claim to fame was its very powerful football team, the best team that money could buy, some said, perhaps unfairly. When a big kid, the son of a failed druggist from Glendale, turned out to be a pretty decent offensive tackle, there was no question that Marion Morrison, the kid, was going to be offered a scholarship to attend a college he otherwise didn’t have any great chance of entering in exchange for blocking for Howard Jones’ “Thundering Herd” when it played Knute Rockne’s famed Notre Dame squad. And Marion, whose nickname was “Duke,” could work summers as a propman for one of the studios and make enough money to carry him though the year. The USC connections, including one of his older teammates named Ward Bond, got him that swell first job. Boosterism was basically USC’s attraction. If you went to USC you’d find a job after you left, even without a degree, because fellows like you all over Southern California had gone there as well and were willing to help you out. And they liked it that way. It kept things, including money, within the family, so to speak. There was this little teacher’s college, run by the state, called Los Angeles Normal; however no one paid it much attention. That changed in the 1920s when the State decided to turn it into “Southern Branch” of the University of California and build it a big campus in a place way out of town called “Westwood.” By 1937 or so, when Robert Heinlein left the hospital in Denver at his own expense and came out to Los Angeles to get ‘cured’ of his tuberculosis, old L.A. Normal was now know as U.C.L.A. and booming over there in Westwood. Its faculty had far superior academic qualifications and worse: it was even challenging USC in athletics. It readily admitted Negroes as students; and somebody named Jackie Robinson (who also ran track, played basketball and, oh, yes, a little baseball too) from that ghetto over in Pasadena who could run a football faster, throw it further, and hit you coming through the line harder than most others (and whose older brother had run second to Jesse Owens in the ’36 Olympics in Berlin) was about to enroll. This couldn’t happen to proud USC, home of the Thundering Herd! The reaction of the boosters from USC was to let no opportunity pass to denigrate U.C.L.A. When there was a ‘red scare’ during the 1920s or early 1930s, U.C.L.A. was openly referred to as “the Little Red Schoolhouse in Westwood.” The place was full of communists, obviously and, certainly sexual deviates and drug addicts abounded as well. No red-blooded American would send his son or daughter to that place. Why, the campus was full of Negroes! Imagine that. One of them might even ask your daughter for a date! Was it really safe for her way out there in the quiet nights? The best, or–from the standpoint of U.C.L.A. students and faculty–worst of these boosters was a very handsome fellow, with a flair for making news and getting his photo in the papers and on newsreels. The reporters loved him. He was always very well tailored, spoke wonderfully well, had beautiful flowing locks of white hair, spoke to all the men’s fraternities (which of course he joined) and all the woman’s clubs. They loved him. He was very effective. He was originally the Chancellor; and I think, but am not sure, became President of the University later. He served on their board of directors until he died, and there are facilities at the campus that bear his name. His name: Rufus VonKleinSmidt. His statements in the late 1930s must have terribly irked a certain young graduate student in engineering sciences at U.C.L.A. named Robert Heinlein. I smile every time I read the portrayal. Of course, you should know that I am U.C.L.A. class of 1970, so perhaps I’m a bit biased. My friend’s parents told me some of this; but once they mentioned that Robert had studied at U.C.L.A. they really didn’t need to fill in many blanks. Even in the 1950s the vitriol existed at full strength. [Don’t you think it’s a shame Bibby’s team which started the season so well dropped two important basketball games to Stanford and Berkeley last week? Maybe they’ll be asked to play in the N.I.T. [VEG]



“I expect your names to shine!”


afh: Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: ddavitt

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 3:23 PM

…One of the characters is a vicious parody of a very real person. [snip]

…His name: Rufus VonKleinSmidt. His statements in the late 1930s must have terribly irked a certain young graduate student in engineering sciences at U.C.L.A. named Robert Heinlein…

Obviously that reference has lost its impact as the years go by but I find it interesting that Heinlein had the audacity to include it in his first published story ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonder if many readers at the time picked up on this?



afh: Subject: Re: AOL Chat: “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 4:28 PM


…Obviously that reference has lost its impact as the years go by but I find it interesting that Heinlein had the audacity to include it in his first published story ๐Ÿ™‚ I wonder if many readers at the time picked up on this?….

All I can attest to is there were at least two formerly young Stanford graduates cackling over it nearly twenty years later when they recounted what they viewed as the facts.

Dr. VonKleinSmidt’s politics were such that he also would have violently opposed the goals of E.P.I.C. as well. As he was deeply enmeshed in the local power infrastructure for years.



“I expect your names to shine!”


6.Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 4:48 PM

From: Dehede011

Thank you David, I had heard little teasers of that story earlier. Thanks for filling in the blank spots.

Ron Harrison


7.Subject: Re: 3/16/2000 Topic: “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'”

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 6:19 PM

From: Dehede011

Hey David

This reply is really to you. Upon reflection, if Life line and Podayne both had characters named after real people we have to wonder how many other examples of using people from real life there are in RAH’s novels. These two examples were unlikeable; is this the rule or are there examples of likeable characters taken from real life as well. It sounds we are on to a subject for investigation.

Ron H.


8.Subject: Re: 3/16/2000 Topic: “Life-Line” and “‘Let There Be Light'”

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 10:26 PM

From: AGplusone


…These two examples were unlikeable; is this the rule or are there examples of likeable characters taken from real life as well….

I think many writers use examplars from their own lives to create characters. William Faulkner for one was notorious in his home town for doing it. I think one of the likeable characters Mr. Heinlein frequently may have used was a lady named Virginia. [g]


“I expect your names to shine!”


9.Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: Wed, Mar 8, 2000 5:53 AM

From: Dehede011

…I think one of the likeable characters Mr. Heinlein frequently may have used was a lady named Virginia. [g]….

Yes David,

I once was challenged to name the heroine of RAH’s that was based on his wife Virginia Heinlein. “My answer: all of them.” Of course that may not be strictly true but he did seem to use her a lot. The strangest thing to me is my sense that he was often writing about women like her long before he met her.

Ron H.


10. Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: Tue, Mar 7, 2000 6:43 PM

From: Doc4Kidz

…When a big kid, the son of a failed druggist from Glendale, turned out to be a pretty decent offensive tackle, there was no question that Marion Morrison, the kid, was going to be offered a scholarship to attend a college he otherwise didn’t have any great chance of entering …And Marion, whose nickname was “Duke,” could work summers as a propman for one of the studios and make enough money to carry him though the year…

Great post, David, you always have interesting inside information. (For those new to our group, or who just haven’t heard it before, search this board for David’s earlier Charles Manson post. That one’ll give you chills!) The only thing you left out, which is obvious to some, but might be news to others (especially with the age range of our members), is the name by which the world knows the Mr. Morrison you mentioned above. Of course, you were talking about “THE Duke”, JOHN WAYNE.


“You can observe a lot by watching” – Lawrence P. Berra


11. Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” >and “Let There Be Light”

Date: Mon, Mar 13, 2000 8:39 AM

From: AGplusone

. . . It readily admitted Negroes as students; and somebody named Jackie Robinson (who also ran track, played basketball and, oh, yes, a little baseball too) from that ghetto over in Pasadena who could run a football faster, throw it further, and hit you coming through the line harder than most others (and whose older brother had run second to Jesse Owens in the ’36 Olympics in Berlin) was about to enroll…


A week ago, discussing Heinlein’s caricature of a university president in “Life-Line” I referred to Jackie Robinson and his older brother in passing in the above note. Today, March 13, 2000, in the Los Angeles Times’ Sports section, page D-1, the following note of another passing appeared:

“Olympian Mack Robinson Dead at 88

Obituary: Silver medalist in 1936, and brother of

Jackie Robinson, succumbs after lengthy illness.


Matthew “Mack” Robinson, silver medalist in the 1936 Olympic 200 meters in Berlin and older brother of baseball Hall of Famer Jackie Robinson, died Saturday at St. Luke’s Medical Center in Pasadena after a lengthy illness.

Robinson, 88, suffered a stroke on Christmas Day 1990, underwent quintuple bypass surgery in June 1991 and has been disabled and in and out of hospitals ever since. His death was attributed to diabetes complications, kidney failure and pneumonia. A graduate of Muir Technical High and Pasadena Junior (now City) College, Robinson also attended the University of Oregon for one year. He won the 100-yard dash in the state high school meet to lead Muir Tech to the championship in 1934. While a student at Pasadena, he earned a spot on the Olympic team by finishing second to Jesse Owens in the final trials.

At Berlin, after equaling the Olympic record in his heat, Robinson finished a close second to Owens in the finals.

He returned to Pasadena and set national junior college records of 9.6 seconds in the 100, 20.9 in the 220 and 25 feet 5 – 1/2 inches in the long jump. At Oregon, in 1938, he won the NCAA 220 and AAU 200 meters.

Robinson worked for the city of Pasadena in a variety of capacities for many years, and also was activity involved in volunteer work with youth groups, particularly in the troubled northwest part of Pasadena where he lived from the time his mother brought her family West from Cairo, Georgia, when Mack was six. “Mack worked at a lot of menial jobs, but he never lost the smile on his face,” said Delano Robinson, his fifth wife. “He always had time for kids, his and everyone else’s.”

Mack and Delano would have celebrated their 45th anniversary in September. Robinson also worked for years to get Pasadena to erect a monument to his brother Jackie for being the first black player in organized baseball. The Pasadena Robinson Memorial, which honors both brothers, was dedicated two years ago and is located in Centennial Plaza, across the street from City Hall. …

[The article goes on to note Robinson is survived by his widow, four sons and four daughters, 25 grandchildren, and eight great grandchildren, and will be buried Saturday, at 10 a.m., at Scott United Methodist Church, in Pasadena. Donations may be sent to the Pasadena Robinson Memorial, P.O. Box 70407, Pasadena, CA 91117. Executive Director, Diane Scott: (626) 584-6648.]”

A personal observation: After three years of college education in 1938, the best hometown hero and Olympic medalist Matthew Robinson, a Negro, was able to aspire was to being hired by his hometown as a janitor, a position he worked in for most of his life. Overt prejudice against Negroes was then endemic in the United States and continued. His brother, Jackie, a few years later, commissioned a Cavalry officer in the US Army during World War II, was refused a combat assignment, transferred out of his overseas-bound but segregated anti-tank battalion, and permitted to resign his commission after being acquitted from charges of failure to obey a lawful order and conduct unbecoming an officer before a court-martial for essentially the specific act of refusing a civilian driver’s order to sit in the back of a military-operated bus to which Negroes were “restricted.” Yet, despite the passage of time and supposed change in attitude, it took “Mack” Robinson 62 years to persuade city fathers to erect a memorial to his more famous younger brother who in 1947 shattered the color line in professional baseball. Matthew Robinson devoted his life to volunteer work among Negro youth in Pasadena’s still-existing black ghetto.

I suppose it’s only right that the memorial was finally erected to both, the famous and the near-forgotten brothers.


“I expect your names to shine!”


12. Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: Tue March 14, 2000

From: AGPlusOne

Sean wrote:

…Just a mention on Pinero’s time of death – 1.13 pm, or 13.13 on a 24 hour clock – doubly unlucky for him it would appear!

Just a tip for new readers of Robert Heinlein. The author is tricky. Watch out for dates, times, and names he assigns characters and things. His date of birth for example was 7/7/’07 (July 7, 1907); the date of birth of his major character, Lazarus Long, is 11/11/11 (November 11, 1911) and the names “Lazarus” and “Long” obviously have connotations you’ll find when you read the stories involving that character. You’ll have a lot fun, and grief, trying to figure out what the author was hinting when he does this!



“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”

–Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(j.g.)

USN, Retired, 1907-1988


13. Subject: Re: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

Date: 3/15/00 9:52 PM Pacific Standard Time

From: AGplusone

Pf2144 commented, referring to “Life-Line” specifically, but I suppose equally applicable to “‘Let There Be Light'”:

….1) Is this an all-too accurate depiction of what happens when technology that works against the interests of corporate and scientific elites is discovered?….

Listening to an interview a couple days ago on ABC’s morning show with Bill Joy, the co-founder of Sun Microsystems, in which he discussed his own recent writings warning about the dangers of genetic engineering, nanotech, and robotics, I wondered myself what might be motivating Joy. I would hesitate to suggest anything other than concern that such new inventions might run wild, if unrestrained development occurs; nevertheless there is and always has been a certain school of thought that often bewails technological development and whose effect on the public and media is to stir up fear, unrealistic anti-science fear.

I think we should seriously consider your questions, all of which are thoughtful and to the point, in our chat tomorrow, and also seek to discover the source of other contributors to the school of thought I’ve suggested exists. Cui bono? Or, “follow the money” seems to be the track we might look at. Are there other tracks?

What do you think by the way, Pf, about the recent discovery that the patent office has granted patents on certain biological elements that offer researchers a way to defeat AIDS, yet the corporations taking the patents out had no clue that the life-organism they patented would have this capability or of the ongoing research involving it–they simply broadly guessed it might be useful in various medically related fields of research?

Now, unless researchers obtain a license to use the life-organism, they’ll be violating the patent, and will be sued, sez the corporation’s officers, for their activities. Is that going to slow the search for a cure. Will like patents, if granted, delay the search for other biological cures for the afflictions of mankind? Very interesting, eh? What would Heinlein have written on this subject?



“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”

–Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29, Lt.(j.g.) USN, Retired, 1907-1988


Subject: Re: AOL Chat: “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light”

From: (AGplusone)

Date: 3/13/00 4:07 PM Pacific Standard Time

Once again, the AOL newsreader robot has a brain-fart and posted the following:

….Yet, despite the passage of time and supposed change in attitude, it took “Mack” Robinson 62 years to persuade city fathers to erect a memorial to his more famous younger brother who in 1947 shattered the color line in professional baseball. Matthew Robinson devoted his life to volunteer was finally erected to both, the famous and the near-forgotten brothers…..

What I posted was this:

…Yet, despite the passage of time and supposed change in attitude, it took “Mack” Robinson 62 years to persuade city fathers to erect a memorial to his more famous younger brother who in 1947 shattered the color line in professional baseball. Matthew Robinson devoted his life to volunteer work among Negro youth in Pasadena’s still-existing black ghetto.

I suppose it’s only right that the memorial was finally erected to both, the famous and the near-forgotten brothers….

David M. Silver

“I expect your names to shine!”


The Robert A. Heinlein Reading Group

Chat log of meeting of March 16, 2000

Topic: RAH’s first two Future History short stories “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Life”

chat co-host: BPRAL22169

BPRAL22169: Log R Us

HOST BN Zim: Just started mine too …

HOST BN Zim: we’ll chat about five minutes, then start if it’s all right with everyone

BPRAL22169: Did everybody get the link to the new salon?

HOST BN Zim: Some who haven’t read the mail may not … I see Astyanax who did get the link but may need a little help …

Doc4Kidz: by all means…

HOST BN Zim: Hi, Astyanax, welcome!

HOST BN Zim: There are a couple others on line … chat and I’ll IM them.

Astyanax12: Than you, Good evening

BPRAL22169: We’re a talkative bunch this evening.

Doc4Kidz: Welcome back to “Camp Currie II”!!!

HOST BN Zim: Evening, Fldax

HOST BN Zim: Hi, Candy …

CandyLC: Hiya, nice digs

HOST BN Zim: Yes, the new improved modern Camp Currie.

Astyanax12: Hello Laurie

HOST BN Zim: I’ve got all the regulars I see on line, so welcome to you all. VERY nice to see you!

HOST BN Zim: We all know who we are … any questions before Bill starts the chat?

HOST BN Zim: Nope … then tonight we’re doing the beginning of the future history, Life Line and Let There Be Light. Hi, Pol, Bill it’s all yours.

Polgaratex: Hello

CandyLC: Hi Judy

HOST BN Zim: Just started Pol

BPRAL22169: Yo one, yo all.

Polgaratex: (smile)

BPRAL22169: I thought we might start out the session by talking a bit about the Future History before plunging into the stories. Show of hands, please — who has read any of the message board posts?

HOST BN Zim: evenin’, Roger … hand = !

Polgaratex: Hello Roger

Polgaratex: (hanging head in shame)

Doc4Kidz: I have

Doc4Kidz: (don”t quiz me, please!)

HOST BN Zim: nice to see you, Roger … Bill just started … asked who had read boards … ungraded quiz …

BPRAL22169: Ok, that’s 3 out of 9 — just trying to get a feel for how much prep would be needed right now.

ROGER7363: HI all, stopped by for a few minutes, but running late on everything tonight

ROGER7363: sorry, not the board for this group

BPRAL22169: I started out with a remark that the Future History owed a lot to Korzybski — the coming “maturity” of mankind as humanity gives up its aristotelian childhood. But also it may (or may not) reflect the debate about how we are now in a New Age. Comments anyone?

BPRAL22169: The Future History chart covers the next 150 years, approximately. Humankind spreads through the solar system, then to the stars.

Doc4Kidz: taking a little longer than he expected

BPRAL22169: He was very optimistic — when he wrote the stories for the Saturday Evening Post he projected we’d be out as far as Pluto by now. (But he hit the date of the Lunar Landing almost on the head) My opinion: the way things actually worked out is so surprising no one could have predicted it.

Polgaratex: since our space program is stagnating we may never make it

BPRAL22169: Robotic probes, maybe.

Astyanax12: He was always overly optimistic about space flight

Polgaratex: I think a lot of Americans were at one point

BPRAL22169: I think he saw such rapid progress from 1930-1945 it was easy to assume it would continue to pick up speed.

Polgaratex: Hey Lucy

Lucylou98: Hi, Polgara

TAWN3: Hi all!

Lucylou98: Evening everyone

HOST BN Zim: maybe he was right … maybe the way to go is private enterprise … Hi, Tawn, Lucy

Polgaratex: Hi Tawn

BPRAL22169: willkommen, bienvenue welcome.

TAWN3: Hi.

BPRAL22169: A lot of people inside the space movement are coming to the same conclusion. After a long detour.

Lucylou98: Hi Tawn

ROGER7363: space program died with national pride in cold war race

Polgaratex: I had high hopes when they started really talking about a joint space station…

TAWN3: Not really.

ROGER7363: the public equates it with higher taxes, just like every other government program and has no interest in anything that cost taxes

Polgaratex: short sighted

TAWN3: I just read in Popular Mechanics where they are building a ——- drive. I’ll go get the article. But first I have to go sign off for ten minutes. Something came up I overlooked

BPRAL22169: Nasa has a website now for discussions of alternative propulsion systems.

ROGER7363: Sorry Pol, by the time they were talking a joint space station, world economy was already too much in ruin for anyone but us to put the money in

Polgaratex: I know Roger but it sounded hopeful!

TAWN3: A birthday. Must go call. Just got nasty e-mail! See you all soon!

ROGER7363: and of course, everything cost more every day

HOST BN Zim: Everything (almost) he predicted was possible, Bill. One question I have was why did he seem to predict one thing in Life Line that wasn’t? Where did he get the idea about the worm? And what did it mean?

ROGER7363: bye Tawn

CandyLC: Maybe competition between private companies will be more impetus than competition between governments.

ROGER7363: private companies will only get involved once public exploration identifies an opportunity for profit, shareholders won’t allow anything else

BPRAL22169: The Pink Worms in “Life-Line”? I guess we can move on to the stories, okay. There are a couple of places he might have gotten something like that from — but I think he just made that analogy up.

Doc4Kidz: Wasn’t that just a metaphor that Pinero used to explain things?

HOST BN Zim: Or was it simply an analogy way to explain … ?

Lucylou98: isn’t that something to do with everything that happens traveling forward thru space.

BPRAL22169: Yes — the pink worms, connecting back to a bush that represents the entire human race.

Doc4Kidz: prime directive: write entertaining stories

BPRAL22169: If you visualize time as a spatial dimension.

ROGER7363: I thought was just effect of the viewing of temporal travel of the lifeforce.

HOST BN Zim: Ah … okay … it was an entertaining way to explain it. Hi, Ky, just starting on Pinero’s Life Line …

BPRAL22169: It especially helps if you’re trying to sell your first story, to be entertaining.

KWhitebsi: Hi there…just “listening”

HOST BN Zim: It was striking, and evidently got Campbell’s attention.

BPRAL22169: Again, it’s Korzybski, too — according to K there are no “things” and “duration,” just space-time events

HOST BN Zim: Sounds a little like quantum physics …

BPRAL22169: But this whole bit about time as a fourth dimension of space was an ongoing debate in physics at the time — Ultimately Einstein’s viewpoint won out, but there were others at the time.

Lucylou98: Who is this Korzybski?

HOST BN Zim: Okay, then, what about the impact of that discovery? Pf asked a question about it …

BPRAL22169: Korzybski is a Polish mathematician who applied mathematical logic to linguistics in the 1930s and came up with “General Semantics.” Heinlein was very impressed with Korzybski.

Lucylou98: I’ll have to look into that.

ROGER7363: as in symbolic logic?

Lucylou98: Thanx

ROGER7363: if P then Q

ROGER7363: etc

HOST BN Zim: WB Pol …

Polgaratex: Sorry got booted

BPRAL22169: Russell, Whitehead, Wittgenstein — that crowd.

Polgaratex: NOT supposed to happen with TCP/IP connection is it?

HOST BN Zim: Trying hard to make communication between humans a science, not the mish-mash it sometimes is.

Lucylou98: added to my list for tonight

BPRAL22169: Dave, before we get too far from it — you asked above about Heinlein predicting something that “wasn’t” lin Life-Line, and I was interested in what you meant.

HOST BN Zim: I wondered why he had a ‘magic machine’ as the vehicle … everything else seemed possible in science, or at least close, in the future history, except maybe Libby’s drive, much later. And even that may be theoretically possible.

BPRAL22169: He seems to have had some thought or hope that the geometrical physics speculations would be applied to real-world physics. Didn’t work out that way — but you couldn’t tell that at the time.

HOST BN Zim: The whole thing seems really close to ‘determinism’ to me, which is a religious concept in some branches of Christainity.

BPRAL22169: No, let’s be precise: determinism is physics; predestination is religion.

HOST BN Zim: You’re right. Predestination.

KWhitebsi: I thought it interesting that Libby was called ‘Slipstick.’ I doubt many today even know what a slipstick is much less how to use one

BPRAL22169: It is ironic, isn’t it.

Doc4Kidz: I still have one somewhere. Might still recall how to use it, too

KWhitebsi: Today you just use it for a straight edge!

Lucylou98: is it the same as a slide rule?

Doc4Kidz: yes

KWhitebsi: Yes it is!!!!

Lucylou98: I want one of those!

Doc4Kidz: My HS had a HUGE one at the front of each classroom

ROGER7363: [G] got a slipstick, and the book for two different ones

KWhitebsi: try an antique store

ROGER7363: can’t find my 6″ one, only my 12″

BPRAL22169: I see-a collector of antiques!

HOST BN Zim: I’ll send you one … actually there’s a website from which you can download a piece of software which will let you see exactly how it worked.

Doc4Kidz: last year at “HOMECOMING” one auctioned for over $1000

Polgaratex: I had my dads at one time…

Lucylou98: KWh, that’s what I was thinking

Lucylou98: Bill, people going into Engineering now…well… nevermind

Doc4Kidz: they were about 6′ long

BPRAL22169: you could only read 2-3 significant places with a 6 incher.

KWhitebsi: mine was a foot with about 9 different scales for squares, cubes, logs etc.

ROGER7363: Doc, they made 6 and 12 inch ones, had

BPRAL22169: Lucy, be glad you have pocket calculators!

ROGER7363: both, still got the 12, with leather case

Lucylou98: Scientific and graphing calculators.

ROGER7363: and a belt loop on it

KWhitebsi: it was gov’t issue, too!

Doc4Kidz: no, I meant the classroom one was 6 FEET long

ROGER7363: oh ok, sorry

BPRAL22169: Oh — I had forgotten about those.

Lucylou98: We compare calculators.

ROGER7363: this is a Picket

BPRAL22169: One in my chemistry lab.

Doc4Kidz: hung from the ceiling at the front of the classroom

ROGER7363: oops: Pickett

BPRAL22169: So many antiquarians here!

KWhitebsi: Pickett was the elite model

Doc4Kidz: Brooklyn Tech, BTW

Polgaratex: LOL or just antiques?

KWhitebsi: doc we had one in our chemistry class.

HOST BN Zim: Go to the south end of UCLA in the 60s and you could tell the engineering students … they …

Lucylou98: what did they look like?

KWhitebsi: Someone wrote “Snider Sucks” on the slide, and when Mr. Snider moved the slide and saw that the room erupted and he exploded. Most fun we ever had in HS Chemistry

Doc4Kidz: yep, it’s a lost art

HOST BN Zim: … all wore those holsters.

ROGER7363: right Zim, at our high school about Thanksgiving, you see the seniors taking Physics start sorting them about

Lucylou98: Engineering students are always in the math lab. Timeless probably

HOST BN Zim: Mr. Snider would be safe from that today …

KWhitebsi: Yep he would. No sense of humor.

BPRAL22169: This kind of technological obsolescence is an issue in another Heinlein story (lots of technological obsolescence, but one in particular concerns me): Starman Jones. The whole bit about binary programming and readouts in lights is going to be quite incomprehensible to kids in another 10 years.

HOST BN Zim: No, I think it simply gives it a period flair … kids know there were other ways … they simply substitute in their minds, pocket calculators for sliderules and read on … the smart ones.

Lucylou98: lol.

BPRAL22169: Going back to Pinero’s machine — does it strike anybody else how strange it is the chronovitameter was never rediscovered in the future of the Future history? It was so — final.

Doc4Kidz: no, “been there – done that”

BPRAL22169: Heinlein wanted to write a tragedy, and that was it.

HOST BN Zim: It’s probably the most chilling kind of invention… would you really like to know?

Lucylou98: Good point. it was never mentioned again, was it?

Doc4Kidz: I did like the comment by Lazarus that Pinero gave him his $$ back

BPRAL22169: Just briefly — Lazarus Long remembered consulting Pinero in Methuselah’s Children

HOST BN Zim: I thought Jane was right … in her post … it would have one heck of a depressing effect.

Doc4Kidz: got a chuckle out of that one

TAWN3: Hi. Know I missed a lot but I hope it is not too much!

Lucylou98: I would not choose to know date of my demise.

HOST BN Zim: If it reached wide-scale use. Remember what the Aussies do in ON THE BEACH?

Doc4Kidz: no we were talking about sliderules

HOST BN Zim: They go essentially mad … all become suicidal.

HOST BN Zim: Because they know their days are numbered and have been found wanting …

BPRAL22169: That kind of thing has happened before, historically, usually after some big trauma.

TAWN3: Knowing the time and means of your death has popped up in literature a couple of times. Always looked at in a negative light.

BPRAL22169: Like the Black Death of 1349-66

Polgaratex: Lemmings

Lucylou98: mass hysteria, Polgara?

Polgaratex: exactly

Lucylou98: follow the crowd to our deaths?

HOST BN Zim: Be one heck of a burst of inflation. Everyone would go, eat drink and be merry … exactly a year from the date of their death or so …

BPRAL22169: Not those who had a long time to live.

HOST BN Zim: They’d sell luxury items … I suppose.

Lucylou98: You know what would happen these days tho.

BPRAL22169: The thing is, you can take it either way: eat, drink, etc. or buckle down and make every minute count.

TAWN3: Jerry Lewis made a film where he thought he was about to die and ran up credit card debt.

Lucylou98: Looting, rioting

HOST BN Zim: My father had three kids and a wife to support. He buckled down until he couldn’t buckle anymore so maybe you’re right Bill.

TAWN3: And then there was the TV show “Run for Your Life”, where Ben Gazzara tried to fit as much living as possible into 6 months.

BPRAL22169: Buckled down until he buckled under.

HOST BN Zim: But he did get drunk a bit more than he used to …

BPRAL22169: I never bought the idea that hedonism is the way to “enjoy life.” The road of excess leads to the palace of barfing up a lot.

TAWN3: So, in movies and literature it can go either way, as ohstzim suggested.

HOST BN Zim: The psychologists would have a tough time, I’d think. What would you think, Doc?

TAWN3: Vomitorium.

ROGER7363: ok, been interesting and fun visiting, will try to stop back more often, but chores call before bed

Lucylou98: Night Roger

HOST BN Zim: see ya, Rog. Thank you for stopping by.

TAWN3: night.

Doc4Kidz: I think, too bad my sister can’t join us. That’s HER department

Polgaratex: Later Roger

BPRAL22169: What, the vomitorium? [g]

HOST BN Zim: Yes … be interesting what she’d think. Think they’d pass laws saying you had to be 18 and above to have a reading on Pinero’s machine?

Doc4Kidz: no, psychology (LOL)

Lucylou98: praising ralph

Doc4Kidz: who would obey such laws?

HOST BN Zim: Didn’t say anything about that … but I imagine there’d be pressure from somewhere …

TAWN3: Interesting topic for a book. Pinero’s machine was made available and its impact on society. I think it would be good after the bad passed.

BPRAL22169: Goodness — prenatal readings and abort foetuses that had a short life expectancy.

Doc4Kidz: To me the best thing about the story (and I liked all of it) was the ending…

HOST BN Zim: But what about Pf’s questions: do we think that such an invention would be suppressed?

TAWN3: Can’t.

BPRAL22169: Think about Heinlein’s Martians in Stranger — they knew and chose the moment of their discorporation.

Doc4Kidz: Pinero had such faith in himself and his creation, that he calmly faces his fate.

TAWN3: Someone else will invent it.

HOST BN Zim: If it were possible …

TAWN3: When a things time has arrived…..

BPRAL22169: These two threads are interlinked: Pinero can invent the machine because he faces facts squarely.

Doc4Kidz: yes, but most people would get in their car and get out of town

Doc4Kidz: pronto!

TAWN3: Oedipus!!!!!

BPRAL22169: Maybe that particular combination of facts never came up again…

HOST BN Zim: Possibly because Pinero has full confidence in the science he invented.

TAWN3: By trying to defeat the fates, the fate was fulfilled.

BPRAL22169: He did test it. That’s why I can’t see running, Barry — what’s the point?

HOST BN Zim: A ‘true believer’ in the scientific method … he’s observed it and knows it works.

BPRAL22169: Your fate is going to find you where you are.

Doc4Kidz: Yes, that’s what I mean. He has absolute confidence in his ability

BPRAL22169: That’s another interesting point — “fate” and “scientific method” converge. Nice, plangent image there.

Doc4Kidz: he spends the last hours enjoying as much as he can

HOST BN Zim: And he tests it with the parents of Kettle Belly … [VEG]

CandyLC: Thanks and good night all…

Lucylou98: Pinero’s machine, in some ways, is like AIDS testing…

TAWN3: Bye.

Doc4Kidz: wait a minute??? KETTLE BELLY???

HOST BN Zim: Hi, Indiana LTNC … good to see you here.

Indiana48: hihi :o)

Indiana48: thanks

Lucylou98: Hey, Indy!

HOST BN Zim: Their name is Hartley, isn’t it. Nobody said the fetus aborted …

Polgaratex: Hi Indy

Indiana48: hi Lucy

Indiana48: hihi Pol

HOST BN Zim: j/k, Doc … but it is about the right time.

Doc4Kidz: Was that the name of the couple killed by the truck?

HOST BN Zim: I think so …

Doc4Kidz: I didn’t notice that! Interesting

BPRAL22169: I think Dave is pulling our legs. The couple were Ed and Betty Hartley.

Doc4Kidz: He was Hartley BALDWIN!

BPRAL22169: And Kettle Belly is Hartley Baldwin. Friday, remember, is, for that reason, Marjorie Baldwin

HOST BN Zim: They were capable of taking a viable fetus from the womb … KB had to be adopted Bill …

BPRAL22169: Thanks, Doc.

HOST BN Zim: maybe he took the name of his adopters …

BPRAL22169: That’s an interesting suggestion but, shall we say “uncanonical”?

Doc4Kidz: time to give our legs back, Dave

Indiana48: what we talkin bout????????

HOST BN Zim: j/k … thought I’d run that one by.

HOST BN Zim: We’re discussing Heinlein’s first story, Life Line, in The Future History

BPRAL22169: We’re talking about the invention in “Life-Line” that can tell the length of your life.

Lucylou98: You read “Life Line” and “Let There Be Light,” Indy?

HOST BN Zim: From The Man Who Sold The Moon, or The Past Through Tomorrow collection.

BPRAL22169: “Life-Line” is in both; “‘Let There be Light” is only in The Man Who Sold The Moon.

HOST BN Zim: Bill put a real good synopsis on the lead off post … here … I’ll get you a link: Mar 16th pre-mtng–“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Light” (Keyword to: aol://5863:126/mB:438830:4) type that string of letters and numbers in your browser window and it’ll take you right there.

BPRAL22169: It’s something of a mystery why it got eliminated from The Past Through Tomorrow.

Doc4Kidz: Yes, Bill It was the very last RAH story in my collection

TAWN3: The internet always reminds me of Let there be light. Makes info available for free to the masses. Take a look at MP3 and the Napster site now, which the recording industry is trying to suppress.

Doc4Kidz: I had always thought I had all of them

and didn’t need to repeat by buying “The Man…”

Lucylou98: Doc, I know the feeling

Lucylou98: Like the lyrics page, Tawn?

BPRAL22169: We seem to have shifted over to talking about “Let There be Light,” which is fine.

TAWN3: ?

BPRAL22169: That kind of suppression is the subject of a lot of “urban legends.” Like the supposed super-carburetor.

TAWN3: Haven’t looked at that. Is it on Winamp or Napster?

TAWN3: No, they are being sued big time. On the news everywhere.

HOST BN Zim: But what about factors that might make research into certain areas illegal? People are talking about that in cloning, genetics, etc …

TAWN3: Same with the Human Genome Project, which now will go public despite the corporations. Reminds me of the plot of Sir Kalvan of otherwhen (or some such). Prevent “guilds” which control all the info, like in Starman Jones. Harry Harrison addressed that topic also.

BPRAL22169: Doesn’t ring bells, Tawn — what book?

TAWN3: So, Heinlein, talking about Corporations and “special interests”, trying to protect their interests by suppressing info, isn’t new. It is all throughout our history.

HOST BN Zim: Hi, Patricia … welcome!

TAWN3: H. Beam Piper.

PatriciaAM555:::waves:: hullo!

BPRAL22169: No — I know that one; I meant, which Harrison book.

TAWN3: Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen if I remember

the title correctly.

HOST BN Zim: We’re taking about the likelihood of suppression of inventions, or the outlawing of research into certain areas, Patricia.

BPRAL22169: Lord Kalvan is Piper; which Harrison book were you referring to?

TAWN3: Can’t recall. It may be one of the 3 Deathworld books. I think it may be the second Deathworld. But I remember reading it. He finds himself on a world where the guilds control their specialized knowledge, to the detriment of others and the society at large.

PatriciaAM555: well, don’t know if you’ve discussed this point yet or not, but I remember hearing numerous times that oil companies were suppressing research into solar energy.

HOST BN Zim: Did anyone notice the reference I made to the granting of patents currently?

TAWN3: No.

Lucylou98: I was going to bring that up Zim!

HOST BN Zim: And there’s a long report last night about drug companies buying out companies manufacturing generics.

TAWN3: Hey, real world! Riley, Ace of Spies. Sidney (Rosenthal?) by birth. The brit navy wanted to upgrade to an oil fueled navy like the Germans were doing. The Brit coal lobby stopped it, to the nation’s detriment.

HOST BN Zim: Bring it up!

Lucylou98: ok, explain how patents usually work?

HOST BN Zim: What impact does the grant of patents have? you have to buy a license from the patent holder to use the thing …

Lucylou98: do they usually get patents on possible uses?

HOST BN Zim: that costs money … sometimes more than a bit … They’re granting patents now on enzymes as if they were machines. If you buy x company’s machine, you have to pay for it. If you use its machine to make widgets, you have to pay them for the use.

TAWN3: Bill Gates?

HOST BN Zim: How can you do research without the machine?

BPRAL22169: The purpose of patents is to spread knowledge around. That’s why nobody ever re-invented Pinero’s device: he didn’t patent it.

PatriciaAM555: you know, I can’t help wondering what the oil producing nations will do for money once it’s gone

Lucylou98: Did you see on the news about the reservoir of oil in earth’s core? That’s what this discussion of oil reservoir is about

BPRAL22169: If they were smart they’d invest in information technologies. They are never going away.

Lucylou98: When well runs dry…it would just re-fill.

BPRAL22169: I think somebody owes us our legs back.

BPRAL22169: That quote of “breakages, ltd.” is supposed to be from Shaw, btw, but it’s not where I thought it was.

TAWN3: oil producing nations will do for money once it’ Turn to an information based economy like everyone else.

Lucylou98: I have to go. Have a good night

BPRAL22169: Have fun.

HOST BN Zim: Nite Lisa.

Doc4Kidz: ‘night

Polgaratex: nite Lucy, and I must go as well, nite all

TAWN3: Bye Lucy! I see you too little on the net these days!

PatriciaAM555: ::waves::

HOST BN Zim: Thanks for coming…

Dehede011: Good evening everyone

PatriciaAM555: hello!

HOST BN Zim: Hi, Ron.

BPRAL22169: You just missed Lucylou

BPRAL22169: Anybody else feel let down by the “invention of solar power” — I think one of the afh posters said that.

PatriciaAM555: I’m disappointed with how numerous technological things have just kind of…faded away.

Dehede011: Let down in what way

HOST BN Zim: speak of the poster here he is. Hi, Pf

PatriciaAM555: Solar power, space flight…

BPRAL22169: Indeed — I didn’t see you come in.

HOST BN Zim: Bill just mentioned feeling let down by the invention of solar power …

BPRAL22169: I’m more impressed by faded-out discoveries like Renshaw’s. biofeedback, etc.

Pf2144: hi Zim

Dehede011: I have always wanted to know more about Renshaw also.

PatriciaAM555: I don’t understand how an entire nation, even world, can be totally wrapped up in something, then, poof! nothing.

HOST BN Zim: They are still out there. Someone will see an application to the knowledge eventually

BPRAL22169: This kind of thing has happened before, though — there was a thriving solar passive technology in the early part of the century that withered away when oil was subsidized.

HOST BN Zim: The space race … then, it faded …

BPRAL22169: Its ramping up again — photons from space are dragging us into orbit.

HOST BN Zim: Oil was discovered a long time ago … how long did it take to develop all the plastic bags and containers we make from it now … the artificial rubber balls … etc.

BPRAL22169: It was regarded as a medicinal nuisance for 2000 years.

TAWN3: Microwave ovens. Came out in the fifties. No demand. Faded. Twenty years later a “hot” product. Like I said before, when a things time has arrived historically……

BPRAL22169: That’s a Fortean notion.

HOST BN Zim: As Patricia says … when the oil really runs out … solar energy is there.

TAWN3: Fortean?

BPRAL22169: The whole idea of “steamboating time” was introduced by Charles Fort

Dehede011: Was it Herman Kahn who said that Earth is a space ship that hasn’t switched over to its main power supply yet.

TAWN3: Sounds like an interesting guy. I’ll have to look him up.

Dehede011: That said that Earth

TAWN3: However, Bertrand Russell says the same thing as relates to politics, and society.

Doc4Kidz: as in “when it’s steamboat time, you steamboat”???

Lylanthwol: Greeting David

BPRAL22169: right.

TAWN3: ZEN in action ๐Ÿ™‚

Lylanthwol: just wanted to stop in a wish you good luck at BN

BPRAL22169: The idea is also used as a criticism of the “great man” theory of history.

BPRAL22169: Thanks for dropping in.

TAWN3: Exactly!!!!! Bertrand Russell. The right man will arrive at the precise right time,

HOST BN Zim: Hi, John. I’m back Doc, thanks.

BPRAL22169: Right. it’s not so much that Fulton was a transcendent genius — just that it was steamboat time.

Lylanthwol: you’re welcome BP great to see you

BPRAL22169: Actually, it seems to me there’s a bit of both in operation all the time — neither theory is strictly true or false.

Doc4Kidz: ok

TAWN3: And Russell shows you why. I had this concept for twenty years and couldn’t find support or a well stated theory/explanation of it. Then I read Russell’s essay.

BPRAL22169: A pleasure, Lyanthwol

BPRAL22169: Which essay?

Dehede011: Then what about the neat ideas that somehow never catch on

Lylanthwol: well, needs to get things moving along w/ our groups… see y’all soon. poof

TAWN3: Very Yin-Yang (like me). Says it is both (1.) The individual great person and (2.) the historical inevitability theory. But how shows you how they work in tandem to produce the “great Man” (or woman). I couldn’t agree with him more.

BPRAL22169: Actually, we have lots of counter-examples. Railroads were force-grown in this country and caused tremendous economic problems in the last half of the century.

Doc4Kidz: (wow how does he do that “poof” thing??? – LOL)

PatriciaAM555: [g] magic, yanno

Lylanthwol: dragged back in by the Sarge…

Doc4Kidz: (he’s very persuasive!)

Lylanthwol: that he is Doc

PatriciaAM555: dangerously so! [g]

Lylanthwol: he usually steers our conversations to the Lakers for some reason

Pf2144: Ly- I’ll bet he doesn’t want to talk about them tonight — they just lost to the lowly Washington Wizards

Lylanthwol: LOL Pf.. probably not

BPRAL22169: That’s an interesting tool to work with. So apply it to the story; were Martin and Douglas great *Men* or historical forces? And what does that say about the mechanisms of the Future History?

TAWN3: BPRAL22169: Which essay? Just so

happens I keep this book nearby ๐Ÿ™‚

BPRAL22169: That’s frightening…

Lylanthwol: very

TAWN3: “The Forms of Power” is the name of the essay.

BPRAL22169: Thanks. Aside from the Principia and the Autobiography, the only of his

essays I’ve read “Why I am not a Christian.”

TAWN3: BP, I looked for twenty years to find a coherent statement about the picture in my mind and then there it was. I highly recommend it. Unfortunately, now I can’t take credit for the theory!

BPRAL22169: Too bad – -I’m sure Alfred Lord Russell will step out of the way for you!

TAWN3: I thought Principia was Galileo. Mathematica is Newton,…..

BPRAL22169: Principia Mathematica, Russell and Whitehead, 1917-24. Then it kind of petered out. (They discovered a flaw in their logic)

TAWN3: No, Newton. Newton.

TAWN3: I suppose there are a lot of Principias!


BPRAL22169: Well, we could go to the Tractatus Philosophico-logicus. No, there can logically be only one!

BPRAL22169: (sorry, got carried away.)

HOST BN Zim: We could get sorta esoteric after that!


BPRAL22169: After? AFTER?

TAWN3: Principia Esoterica?

Lylanthwol: Esoterica in here? never! [G]

TAWN3: ๐Ÿ™‚

BPRAL22169: Never. So mote it be.

HOST BN Zim: Why don’t we take a little break … I have a few things to mention.

TAWN3: Sounds kinda witchy to me! ๐Ÿ™‚

BPRAL22169: Fine by me,

TAWN3: ok

HOST BN Zim: And everyone can visit the coffee pot while I type them up.

BPRAL22169: Or, if they visited the coffee pot earlier, there are other rooms in the house…

PatriciaAM555: [g]

HOST BN Zim: Recently Major oz informed me that a member of his family is seriously ill …

PatriciaAM555: ::frown::

HOST BN Zim: He’s going to be afk for about 2 months he thinks.

BPRAL22169: Sorry to hear that. He’s had a tough time this past year.

PatriciaAM555: definitely

HOST BN Zim: Need a couple volunteers that don’t owe me no money fer a little routine patrol … VEG

TAWN3: I don’t really know him but sorry to hear it. Seen him on the boards a few times.

HOST BN Zim: … to fill Oz’s shoes while he’s gone.

PatriciaAM555: ::steps back 2 steps:: [g]

HOST BN Zim: {about face!}

BPRAL22169: (See, you should freeze in your tracks)

HOST BN Zim: Thank you Patricia … we did this before, didn’t we, once upon a time in a universe far away.

PatriciaAM555: ::chuckle:: ::nod:: you trapped me then, too!

HOST BN Zim: I need one more … don’t want to overburden the corporals. Oz was setting up the vote on new topics we have to have in the next two weeks. I’ll help out.

HOST BN Zim: Okay, everyone think about it, and if you think you might have a little time, let me know by e mail.

Pf2144: This is a little off the beaten path, but I’m told there is a connection between Robert Heinlein and Philip Jose Farmer. Anyone know what the nature of it is? Are Farmer’s books worth reading?

Dehede011: PC I don’t know but they are fun

HOST BN Zim: Some people like them, PC … they’re a bit fantastic … some of them, but he has his readers.

Lylanthwol: Night Heinleiners. Hopefully we’ll have my group moved in time for Ringworld… and you’re welcome to join us

PatriciaAM555: ::waves:: see ya!

Lylanthwol: poof

HOST BN Zim: Lyl is Great Sci Fi and is moving his group too.

PatriciaAM555: Gotta love that magic… [G]

HOST BN Zim: Any one have any questions about the move that they’d like to bring up?

HOST BN Zim: If you do or want any further info, let me know by e mail and I’ll answer you.

BPRAL22169: So far it seems to be going very smoothly.

HOST BN Zim: … or we’ll meet and discuss any concern you have by IM or in a private chat room. One thing I’d like to bring up: The Oprah Forum’s manager is demanding I copy her a mailing with all your names. I do not intend to release anyone’s name unless you specifically want …

BPRAL22169: I don’t see why you should — it’s not an asset they generated.

Doc4Kidz: Official request NOT to have my mane included!

HOST BN Zim: … me too. and I agree with Bill. I frankly cannot see one member their forum brought into this group.

Doc4Kidz: or My Name, for that matter

PatriciaAM555: what reason do they give for wanting the names?

PatriciaAM555: aww, doc, no hair included? [g]

HOST BN Zim: They think it’s their property. They are about to be disabused of that notion.

BPRAL22169: It’s not as if the members here would particularly welcome the kind of material Oprah’s books represent. There was some discussion of that at the time, IIRC

Doc4Kidz: they gave us a temporary home, for which we are grateful, but they were poor hosts!

PatriciaAM555: and what is it they think to do with those names?

Doc4Kidz: If you saw my head, you’d forget the “mane” comment

PatriciaAM555: ::laugh::

HOST BN Zim: And gave us a lot of promises they never kept … no publicity, etc., and basically a hard time.

Doc4Kidz: (:-}

HOST BN Zim: They seem to think they can continue a “heinlein group” … at least that’s what they are asserting. They also think you’re Oprah Forum members! I don’t.

PatriciaAM555: So they don’t realize yet we won’t do it without you? [G]

TAWN3: Not my name!

Doc4Kidz: tell them that for privacy matters we have all refused to allow our names to be released

Dehede011: Ditto

PatriciaAM555: ::agrees with doc::

HOST BN Zim: I think we, emphasize WE, have built a very fine thing here.

Doc4Kidz: NO WAY. we are RAH group members!

TAWN3: Rah Rah RAH!

HOST BN Zim: And the forum we were in did nothing. I’m not saying Oprah Winfrey isn’t a fine person for giving us a temporary home, simply that she’s got a few silly people down at the lower level.

BPRAL22169: Hmmm. I earlier recommended a two-letter response to the Oprah group — you might copy this segment of the chat lot and attach it to the two letters.

BPRAL22169: Incidentally, Tawn, you now owe Spider Robinson for use of his copyrighted material! [g]

HOST BN Zim: Okay … anyone have a private opinion on all that. Please let me know. E mail. IM, grab me by the stacking swivel and talk to me.

Doc4Kidz: Bill can you repeat the two letters? In public? TOS and al that

BPRAL22169: N and O

Doc4Kidz: gotcha!!!

HOST BN Zim: Everyone got fresh coffee … Bill … ready?

HOST BN Zim: That’s what I’m going to say …

BPRAL22169: (another two occurred to me, also, but those are TOS-able)

TAWN3: ๐Ÿ™‚

BPRAL22169: We seem to be all here — Doc, this seems as good a time as any.

HOST BN Zim: You’re all free to join the Oprah Forum or anything else you wish, and we all know that.

Doc4Kidz: that’s what I was thinking, but then again, I’m from Brooklyn!

PatriciaAM555: Folks, I’m gettin’ tired. G’night!

HOST BN Zim: Okay, back in two minutes …

BPRAL22169: Did you want to talk about something before we get going again?

Doc4Kidz: Zim, Bill was referring to a private chat we had in which I brought up Blood Drive II. Is it too early to bring this up now?

HOST BN Zim: Never too early to start mentioning it …

BPRAL22169: I don’t know the details, but you could consider this a preliminary mention and follow up in message boards.

HOST BN Zim: Let me get some coffee now …. and you go on …

BPRAL22169: Barry, you have the gurney.

Doc4Kidz: I think I’ll do just that. Consider that a preliminary mention, and I’ll follow up on boards. Watch the boards for followup

Doc4Kidz: nice touch, Bill

BPRAL22169: heheh.

BPRAL22169: Actually, we have a couple of people here who weren’t around for the first one — why don’t you give a little explanation.

Doc4Kidz: OK, briefly, last year we organized a blood drive over the internet as a “pay it forward” thing to commemorate RAH’s birthday July 7th. We accounted for about 65 or so units of blood plus time donations from those who were medically unable to donate. We included the other science fiction groups (like

Lyanthwol’s) and even Joe Haldeman who had joined us in our earlier guest author chat, joined in with a donation. I’ll post the details on our board soon.

BPRAL22169: (Speaking of which — remind me to ask Zim about future guest author chats when he gets back).

Doc4Kidz: please e-mail me with any questions

HOST BN Zim: Let’s talk about that now.

Doc4Kidz: consider yourself reminded

Doc4Kidz: I yield the floor

HOST BN Zim: Talking about being booted … at an opportune time.

BPRAL22169: Ah — you’re back.

HOST BN Zim: Mrs. Heinlein was kind enough to contact Poul Anderson, and he’s agreed to come.

BPRAL22169: Bravo. he’s a very nice guy.

HOST BN Zim: I thought we might ask him, in addition to asking about RAH,about his two books following RAH’s Magic, Inc. Operation Chaos and Operation Luna.

Doc4Kidz: (wow, but let’s not invite that other guy again, OK?) NOT Joe. He was great

HOST BN Zim: Actually, considering Mrs. Heinlein’s influence I think the other guy might come back and give us a really good chat.

Doc4Kidz: well, it could happen, I guess

BPRAL22169: Such enthusiasm!

HOST BN Zim: HutsonOp is getting in contact with Joe, and Connie Willis … and Mrs. Heinlein has also got Spyder to agree to come if we can hook him up.

Doc4Kidz: this sounds great!!!

HOST BN Zim: Hi, Bolli … Robert Heinlein group … we’re discussing prospective guests.

TAWN3: wOw!

Doc4Kidz: It helps to have friends in high places

BPRAL22169: Or high friends in places, too.

HOST BN Zim: WB Lucy and we’re talking about upcoming guest visits. It helps to have Ginny as a friend.

Lucylou98: Thought I’d come back Who is this upcoming guest??

HOST BN Zim: Anyway, if you folks wish, I can find out when Poul Anderson is available and schedule that Magic Inc chat around his schedule but I’d really like a commitment to read Operation Chaos an and maybe Operation Luna so we can ask him about his own work too.

Doc4Kidz: we wish! we wish!

Lucylou98: I’m lost now

Doc4Kidz: of course. don’t want to be “nyekultoorny” do we?

HOST BN Zim: Mrs. Heinlein has asked Poul Anderson to visit us. He wrote a continuation, sorta, to RAH’s novella Magic, Inc.

BPRAL22169: Some very good additions, too — Bolyai and Lobachevsky.

HOST BN Zim: Four short stories called together Operation Chaos … and a recently issued one called Operation Luna, which continues, that I haven’t read yet myself.

BPRAL22169: It’s out in hardback from Tor since last April — no Paperback yet that I know.

Doc4Kidz: (Zim have you read your IM’s?)

HOST BN Zim: So we could have Mr. Anderson discuss Mr. Heinlein and how he came to write the two and also enjoy asking him about his books.

BPRAL22169: He has written some of the most classic sf of all time.

HOST BN Zim: Yes … I’ve read him for years … enjoy him very much …

Lucylou98: The Avatar was good

BPRAL22169: And he was a personal friend of the Heinleins

HOST BN Zim: And there’s a little surprise for you in Operation Chaos … but I’m not going to tell you what it is.

HOST BN Zim: Yet.

Lucylou98: suspense

TAWN3: Name some of his classics please.

Doc4Kidz: was the Time Patrol his?

BPRAL22169: My nominations: Brain Wave, Three Hearts & Three Lions, The High Crusade, Tau Zero.

HOST BN Zim: He write King David’s Spaceship?

Dehede011: Was it the David Falkan series he wrote?

HOST BN Zim: It’s been a long time for me …

BPRAL22169: No, that’s Jerry Pournelle — that other guy. Falkan, yes — the Polesotechnic stories.

HOST BN Zim: He wrote the Flandry series …

Doc4Kidz: yes, Bill the “other guy”

HOST BN Zim: He’s also written some Time Corps stories …

Doc4Kidz: Time CORPS, that’s it (not Patrol)

HOST BN Zim: And I’m particularly fond of something off genre he wrote called the Hrolf Kraki …

BPRAL22169: He was really the second major writer to do a future history series —

Dehede011: I thought the Polesotechnic stories were great in their time

BPRAL22169: Asimov turned his Galactic Empire stories into one, but later.

HOST BN Zim: He must have over 100 titles out over the years.

BPRAL22169: Been writing since 1947

HOST BN Zim: Hrolf Kraki is a disguised Hamlet … but I’m weird.

BPRAL22169: It’s a retelling of an Icelandic saga.

TAWN3: Piper did a future history. I was reading a list of future histories a ways back and was surprised at how many folks had done so.

HOST BN Zim: Like Crighton’s Eaters of the Dead is a retelling of Beowulf …

HOST BN Zim: Probably the one on which Hamlet was originally based … before Will got his hands on it

Doc4Kidz: “filing off the serial numbers”

BPRAL22169: The one where he’s “Wignerus” instead of Hamlet?

HOST BN Zim: In other words this fellow is heavyweight … and he’s about the age you’d expect … really nice of him to come. I can dig it out. Got it around somewhere Bill … IM you later.

BPRAL22169: OK fine. Are we ready to take up with the two stories again?

Doc4Kidz: Isn’t he another writer’s father in law? Is it Spider? I can’t recall

HOST BN Zim: I dunno … might be …

BPRAL22169: I can’t remember who Astrid married.

HOST BN Zim: and he did know RAH.

TAWN3: ok, back to topic

HOST BN Zim: Right:>

Doc4Kidz: It’ll come back to me, and I’ll post it (Or someone will ask Mrs. Heinlein)

BPRAL22169: Ok — before we go back to the stories themselves, the earliest divergence of the Future History from our common history I could find was 1876 with the death of Ira Howard. Anyone have any thoughts about that?

TAWN3: Hey Doc, are you a pediatrician?

Doc4Kidz: yes doc for kids

Lucylou98: always good to have a doctor in the house:)

BPRAL22169: Is Ira Howard a familiar name to everyone?

Lucylou98: In case of any emergencies

BPRAL22169: We get the basic info in Methuselah’s Children.

TAWN3: Yes. But please refresh, is he the original guy in a kilt in the story Methuselah’s Children

BPRAL22169: No – that’s Lazarus Long.

Doc4Kidz: BTW, in Staten Island Howard Ave intersects with Foote Av

TAWN3: Ira is from the Howard family, no?

Doc4Kidz: I always thought that was great!

BPRAL22169: Ira Howard died at 50-something in 1876. His will gives his money to prolong life. His trustees set up a breeding program for long-lifers. Three Generations later, Lazarus Long …

TAWN3: Ahh

BPRAL22169: … is born — a sport — and the Howard Families eventually take over the bequest.

HOST BN Zim: And so we get Maureen and all the rest …

BPRAL22169: I think Foote in the FH is for Edwin Foote the 19th century contraception doctor. Father and son doctor team, actually. Ran afoul of the blue laws.

HOST BN Zim: One of the families among the long-lived are named Foote …

Doc4Kidz: Justin Foote historian

TAWN3: Why do they have Blue laws in a Red Light district?

BPRAL22169: To go with the purple deeds.

Doc4Kidz: There’s also a Justin Ave nearby

HOST BN Zim: Anyway … next item.

BPRAL22169: The story appeared in the July-September 1941 ASF; he had been back east to NY and Chicago the year before.

Doc4Kidz: And slightly OT, a Trantor Place!!!

BPRAL22169: (Maybe that’s where Asimov got his planet name!)

HOST BN Zim: When do we get to argue about Mary Lou Martin? [g]

Doc4Kidz: I always thought so.

Doc4Kidz: OK, sorry, NOW

BPRAL22169: Oh, let’s argue about Mary Lou right now. Who wants to take a controversial position? No shrinking violets (to go with the blue laws and red light districts)

HOST BN Zim: Okay … Bill, Ron and I think she’s typical of the pre-liberation woman … she doesn’t really have a disability … she follows the culture. Rubs blue mud in her belly button. 1939

BPRAL22169: I don’t think that washes — she isn’t even honest with herself about her feelings for Archie

HOST BN Zim: She really acts like I saw all sorts of women act …

BPRAL22169: Has to be dragged out of her.

Pf2144: I’m really tired for some reason, so I’m going to log off and get some sleep…

TAWN3: Bye Pf

HOST BN Zim: Okay … see you back, Pf?

Pf2144: Zim- Definitely….

BPRAL22169: I mean — yes, she rubs blue mud in her belly button, true. But I think there’s something more there.

Pf2144: I’ll actually say something occasionally next time, too! :>)

HOST BN Zim: Okay! Great. We’ll try to add more to your posts too. Look for a letter about topics …

Dehede011: Don’t really know if she is a “pre-liberation” woman. There is a successful group of women that were slick enough to step outside of society’s little games.

HOST BN Zim: The sorts that produce Great Men, Ron? Or other sorts?

Dehede011: No, not producers of great men. They knew what they wanted and they went for it.

HOST BN Zim: Bear in mind there were a lot of things not available in ’39 … we didn’t get a washing machine until the 50s

Dehede011: I am familiar with Iroquois clan mothers and I see her more along that line

Lucylou98: I think Mary Lou only let him take the credit because…

Dehede011: A very powerful woman. In the thirties she was working independently in the South American (?) jungles.

HOST BN Zim: … he needed it to bolster his own inadequate ego, Lisa?

Dehede011: She had a question and found out who could help her. She enlisted his help with no nonsense

Lucylou98: well yes…I was decided against saying that, though

TAWN3: African Queen? ๐Ÿ™‚

TAWN3: I think nothing has changed since ’39, or even earlier.

Dehede011: But I don’t see evidence of his inadequate ego. Does anyone else?

BPRAL22169: But Archie’s ego is not inadequate — he says “we” while she’s saying “you.” He’s apportioning credit where credit is due.

HOST BN Zim: That cave man style is something that teenagers experiment with … and drop.

TAWN3: I point to old movies as a reflection of the culture of the time. Looks the same to me.

HOST BN Zim: I agree … he acts like Clarke Gable … The young, very young Gable, not in later movies.

BPRAL22169: What, Tawn?

TAWN3: With the exception of a short period after WW II called “the Fifties”.

Dehede011: The idea of the “new” woman goes back to the nineteenth century

HOST BN Zim: But he doesn’t have the smoothness … he’s ‘acting’ the way he thinks he should.

TAWN3: What what, Bpral?

Dehede011: I wanted to say, if you consider him a case of arrested social development, I agree

Lucylou98: She did it because it was easier for a man to introduce this, and stroke his ego in the process.

BPRAL22169: Your comment “Looks the same to me.” There were so many crossing threads I don’t know what was being referred to.

HOST BN Zim: referring to Archie acting like the male lead in the light 30s comedy movies…?

TAWN3: Oh, Women and their personality and interpersonal relations with men.

Dehede011: In the beginning of the story he is a tool she has picked up to use

TAWN3: … as well as their role in society.

BPRAL22169: Oh, I see. yes — that is very persistent.

Lucylou98: I didn’t see it quite that way, Ron.

BPRAL22169: In fact, it’s still around today.

TAWN3: Look at “Sons of the Desert” by Laurel and Hardy.

Dehede011: Look at it again. She researched the literature to find out who could help her and then recruited him despite his juvenile social habits

TAWN3: Nevermind.

Lucylou98: I don’t think she thought of him as a tool.

TAWN3: He said, she said.

Lucylou98: More like a research partner…combined knowledge and all.

HOST BN Zim: Are we talking perhaps about Star and the young Oscar too here?

Dehede011: LL I will agree she didn’t see him as “just a tool.”

BPRAL22169: You mean the movie of that name?

HOST BN Zim: … with Rufo bolstering his ego … and Star using “My Lord” when she addresses him? In Glory Road

HOST BN Zim: Oscar’s pretty immature if you think about it. At the beginning …

Dehede011: LL and others. Can you remember anytime she input technical knowledge after the research began

HOST BN Zim: … just like perhaps we all were at 21 …

BPRAL22169: He’s also in a “waiting” period of personal uncertainty at the start of Glory Road.

HOST BN Zim: How old is Archie?

TAWN3: Not really. He is a young man in the prime of his life. If you call that immature…. Typical female statement! ๐Ÿ™‚

Lucylou98: I think she did Ron

TAWN3: All us men are immature in some womens minds!

BPRAL22169: Ron – she had done the lab work; she came to Archie to have it developed into a commercial process — wouldn’t be expected.

Dehede011: Living above his fathers factory, doing personal research at his fathers expense

HOST BN Zim: Ah, but he needs the My Lord out of Star, and the bolstering of his confidence by Rufo …

BPRAL22169: Are we talking about Scar or about Archie?

HOST BN Zim: Maybe both?

Lucylou98: She had the idea about how to cut the crystal didn’t she????

BPRAL22169: So, Lucy — it continues to be an intellectual partnership.

HOST BN Zim: Suppose the following: today’s lady research genius gets mistaken for a dumb blonde …

Doc4Kidz: hit on in a bar

HOST BN Zim: she hands Archie his head. And then she skins him and salts him down …

BPRAL22169: You’re leaving something out — Archie had unique knowledge she needed to access.

Dehede011: That is about it, Zim,

Doc4Kidz: Archie’s technique left a lot to be desired

Lucylou98: Bill, he did, I agree

HOST BN Zim: But does it ever get that far … she doesn’t know that when they meet.

Dehede011: yep, she needed a soldier to carry out an assignment

BPRAL22169: But Archie didn’t do anything exceptionally crude when they first met — tried to pick her up in a bar, that’s all.

Doc4Kidz: not very smoothly

HOST BN Zim: Okay … then she needs it … does she encourage him … ? Bill, my friend you’ve never met a hotshot young lady lawyer. (But maybe scientists are different, sorry.)

Doc4Kidz: I thought she was being unnecessarily kind in her refusal

BPRAL22169: Look, a single woman in a bar in 1939?

Dehede011: Do you notice the parallel with the interrelationships in PUPPET MASTER.

Doc4Kidz: That DID occur to me too, Bill

TAWN3: Why not?

Lucylou98: She handled his remarks well, imo

BPRAL22169: In 1939 the only single women in bars were hookers.

TAWN3: Look at the films again.

HOST BN Zim: Women didn’t smoke in public … my mother didn’t smoke on the street until the late 50s

TAWN3: No, they were like the women of today. They like sex and men. If you, or the society at the time calls that a whore, well, …

BPRAL22169: This is not the part of the relationship that disturbs me — it’s the “mama” and “ape” bit later.

TAWN3: That’s on the society then. Again, look at the films. Stanwyck, others.

HOST BN Zim: sorry “ladies” didn’t smoke in public …

Dehede011: Bill, I think you will find that was 30s slang.

Lucylou98: Bill, that was weird

BPRAL22169: The films portrayed those things — Dietrich smoking, etc — because they were daring.

HOST BN Zim: Evil Barbara smoked in public whenever she was getting ready to kill her husband.

TAWN3: Ah, then working women, like Stanwyck and Hepburn etc are not “Ladies” ?

HOST BN Zim: They were shockers!

BPRAL22169: Parenthetically, this is part of the “sexiness” of his writing at the time that is now “invisible” to us.

Dehede011: Right

TAWN3: Yes, but so was Susan B. Anthony, daring that is.

HOST BN Zim: Women didn’t work … they stayed home like Maureen and raised their kids.

Lucylou98: I think that’s how he wanted women to be

BPRAL22169: That’s why a woman making her way in the world was “dramatic.’

HOST BN Zim: And saved money by buying wisely … etc., etc.

Dehede011: It is like the fast trains in Sherlock Holmes. We don’t realise it was to show how modern Sherlock was

BPRAL22169: Married women didn’t work — Leslyn quit her career when she married RAH.

TAWN3: Exactly.

HOST BN Zim: Okay … I have to attend a class begins at midnight ET, so I can monitor our boards in the new forum. Can you take over Bill … ? gotta change names and all that and get there 5 minutes early.

BPRAL22169: Delighted.

TAWN3: Married women didn’t work. And what are the issues today? Child care, flex time, parental, etc. Just another form of “married women don’t work”. If I can be so bold and political.

BPRAL22169: We’ve got about 15 minutes — shall we continue with this topic or introduce another?

HOST BN Zim: Thank you all for coming. Expect an e mail … consider doing the next two in MWSTM next.

TAWN3: Hmmmmm.

HOST BN Zim: Bye … to give us time to vote …

TAWN3: Bye !

BPRAL22169: Mrs. Heinlein pointed out how working married women were resented as taking jobs away from family men.

BPRAL22169: It was a very different world back then — a very different set of assumptions.

Lucylou98: I’ve heard that statement before, Bill.

TAWN3: It was though.

Lucylou98: So foreign to me.

TAWN3: Hey, look at Oprah today. All those shows. They get women on calling any man who doesn’t work a bum who the woman should get rid of! Some things never change.

Lucylou98: Most women are Expected to work these days.

BPRAL22169: That’s just since the 60’s. I would say it stopped being “liberation” then and started being “obligation.”

BPRAL22169: And after about 1970 the two-job family became well-nigh obligatory.

Lucylou98: Yes

TAWN3: Yes, bpral, I agree.

BPRAL22169: Economics again. Big input to these things.

Lucylou98: and now women are expected to raise the children, work, go to school, keep the house..etc..

BPRAL22169: The conventional liberal view of the Depression of the 1930’s was — business has overproduced more than people can buy.

TAWN3: But, it always was a two working family. The work just used to be different.

Lucylou98: single income family can’t make it anymore.

Doc4Kidz: “the president has created thousands of new jobs…

BPRAL22169: So they saw the economic contraction as the economy shrinking to fit the number of jobs — buying power. Exactly, doc — a paradigm that is 70 years out of date.

Doc4Kidz: between my wife and I we have three of them”!!!

TAWN3: The pioneers. Mom cooked, fed pigs, plucked chickens etc. Pa plowed field. Both WORKED.

BPRAL22169: Selfish!

TAWN3: Division of labor, a valid economic truth.

BPRAL22169: Yes – but cash income became essential when the US became urbanized. Circa 1920 I guess.

Dehede011: Thanx Tawn

Doc4Kidz: The joke is many families need THREE jobs to make ends meet

BPRAL22169: Sad joke.

TAWN3: Thanks for what dehe?

Dehede011: Pointing out that historically women did work

Dehede011: BTW, I like De just fine

TAWN3: Or do you need three jobs to meet your raising expectations? ๐Ÿ™‚


BPRAL22169: Historically, women have always provided 80% of the caloric consumption.

Lucylou98: They did work, just no cash for their labor.

Lucylou98: what Bill???

Doc4Kidz: not me. We do OK on my one. I meant the “average” American Family

Dehede011: Yes but they put food on the table just like today

TAWN3: Of course they worked. That is why I am so anti-feminist. I think women are GOOD!

BPRAL22169: Over the 2 million year history of the species. Hunter-gatherers derive 70-80% of their calories from women gathering.

Lucylou98: LOL I thought you were making a crack about women being fat!

Lucylou98: LOL sorry

TAWN3: So do/did the men. They just got no credit for it.

BPRAL22169: This is me not going anywhere near that.

BPRAL22169: Ten foot pole time.

TAWN3: He doesn’t help with the dishes, wahhhhh. Wellll,

BPRAL22169: Backing away quietly.

Lucylou98: I see any reference to calories or weight and ….freeze.

Lucylou98: lol

TAWN3: did you help rebuild the carburetor or patch the roof?

BPRAL22169: Okay–we’ve got about 5 minutes left (though we don’t have to vacate the room at 9:00). Any other high points we should hit?

Lucylou98: Actually, I helped prep and paint many a automobile.

BPRAL22169: Problem is, feminism got “captured” 20 years ago.

Doc4Kidz: [—hands in pockets, looking up to the sky and whistling idly

TAWN3: Ahh, a REAL woman!

BPRAL22169: Oh, my

TAWN3: Doc, ๐Ÿ™‚

Lucylou98: Of course a real woman…I do what needs to be done for my family.

TAWN3: Yes Lucy, I would expect that from you. Too bad there aren’t more women like you!

BPRAL22169: That’s a real *person* in RAH terms.

Doc4Kidz: my wife spent the day removing wallpaper from daughter’s room


Doc4Kidz: so I can paint it this weekend

TAWN3: I was just going to say that!

Dehede011: EXACTLY

Lucylou98: Doc, your wife is a brave, brave woman

TAWN3: I’m a Heinleinist in world view, you know.

Lucylou98: Tawn, good way to be!

Dehede011: Bill, was it really you from which I got the male female roles as being similar to a general? and the front line troops?

TAWN3: Why thank you Lucy. I always have been. ๐Ÿ™‚ Unfortunately,

BPRAL22169: Doesn’t sound familiar.

TAWN3: It doesn’t fit in with most of society as we become more and more socialist in nature and interdependent. The net will change that though.

Doc4Kidz: I purely HATE when that happens!

Dehede011: I think it was about the time of The Heinlein Journal, vol. 1 or 2.

[NOTE from Zim, ed.: Bill Patterson is the publisher of The Heinlein Journal, a literary critical discussion of the writings of Robert A. Heinlein, issued semi-annually. Many of the group’s members, on AOL, and on the internet are contributors of letters, essays, forum discussions, and articles included in it.]

BPRAL22169: I can’t quite see the analogy. Chain of command would get in the way.

TAWN3: ?

TAWN3: I’m lost on that thread.

BPRAL22169: We are in for a major change upcoming — heigh ho for the singularity.

Dehede011: What is that Bill?

BPRAL22169: Ron asked if I had made an analogy of a general and line troops for male-female relationship

Dehede011: Or reported it in The Heinlein Journal.

TAWN3: Oh, the male is the General and the females are the troops?

Dehede011: No just the opposite Tawn

BPRAL22169: Vernor Vinge I believe called it that — the change brought about by nanotech and Artificial Intelligence.

TAWN3: In other words, men as leaders?

Dehede011: No, men as followers

TAWN3: Oh.

TAWN3: I’m lost.

BPRAL22169: I don’t know — doesn’t sound to me like something I’d say.

Dehede011: That the woman was better at taking the Eagle view

TAWN3: Ohhhhh

TAWN3: In society? But of course. Rah says the same thing!

BPRAL22169: That’s not inconsistent with RAH — and hermetic “The intellect is the female principle of the soul.”

Dehede011: And my memory is that Bill had credited RAH with that view

TAWN3: Yin is mostly Yang and Yang is mostly yin.

Dehede011: Maybe it was in that long article on the Hermetic tradition.

TAWN3: Together they form a whole.

BPRAL22169: That subject comes up often — but I don’t recall that analogy.

TAWN3: Cosmology. Ancient Chinese system. Good and accurate!

BPRAL22169: Well, we are at 9:03 by my chronovitameter. Shall we hang it up?

Dehede011: Also consistent that in a lot of nature the male is the more dispensable of the two sexes

Doc4Kidz: motion to adjourn

TAWN3: no

TAWN3: I’ll stay.

TAWN3: Or I’ll go.

Dehede011: me too

TAWN3: Let’s decide.

BPRAL22169: Ok.

BPRAL22169: We dont’ have to leave.

Lucylou98: are we being kicked out?

Doc4Kidz: well, I do

BPRAL22169: I noticed on afh when the subject of the male being more dispensable came up, nobody “got” it.

TAWN3: Sorry Doc.

Doc4Kidz: after midnite on the right coast

TAWN3: It was nice having you here though!

BPRAL22169: Barry, it’s been a pleasure.

Doc4Kidz: have a goodnight everyone!

BPRAL22169: Don’t forget to follow up on the message boards — and bring it up at every meeting break, too!

TAWN3: Bye Doc!

Lucylou98: Bye Doc

Dehede011: Bye doc

BPRAL22169: Tawn, where are you physically located? De is in the Chicago area – Lucy is — Texas?

Lucylou98: I’m in Alabama, Bill

BPRAL22169: Sorry, Luc. I forgot.

Dehede011: Did the stars fall last night, LL?

Lucylou98: easily forgotten it seems.

BPRAL22169: This is me Not Going There.

Dehede011: Interesting name, Not Going There

Dehede011: Indian?

Lucylou98: Rained cats and dogs last night for sure.

BPRAL22169: I think I’ll have a screen name that way.


Dehede011: Had a pretty day in Chicago

Dehede011: Kind of chilly though

TAWN3: I am in Minneapolis/ St. Paul. Currently in St. Paul but say I am from Minneapolis.

BPRAL22169: Nice here, too.

BPRAL22169: Great place to be from HHOK.

Lucylou98: Did I say something that made you say “not going there”, Bill?

Lucylou98: Surely didn’t mean to.


BPRAL22169: The implications of “easily forgotten” could be — tricky.

BPRAL22169: HHOK is fanspeak: Ha, Ha, only Kidding.

Lucylou98: please explain?

TAWN3: oh, thanks.

BPRAL22169: pre-emoticon days.

BPRAL22169: Er — that’s what “not going there” is for.

Dehede011: I wonder if the words in common use today started hundreds of years ago as acronyms?

BPRAL22169: Some of them did — tip, for example.


Lucylou98: :?P

BPRAL22169: I have no idea what you just said, Luce.

Lucylou98: That’s my scrunched up face. LOL

BPRAL22169: Ah.

BPRAL22169: I see you are in a cubist painting — your nose is sideways.

Lucylou98: oh it is isn’t it?!

TAWN3: BP ๐Ÿ™‚

TAWN3: Cubism.

Lucylou98: it’s all bent out of shape

BPRAL22169: Yo.


Lucylou98: ha

BPRAL22169: Reminds me — saw an offering for DISTORTIONS on EBay.

TAWN3: Are they the original “squares”? Cubists that is.

BPRAL22169: Surrealist photos from the 20’s.

TAWN3: ALL my photos are surreal!

BPRAL22169: Anyway TIP from To Insure Promptness is supposed to go back to the 16th century. But I’ve also seen it called a fake etymology, and the word is from the tip meaning to drop something into the hand.

BPRAL22169: British usage.

Lucylou98: Lisa

BPRAL22169: Ron, are you still there?

BPRAL22169: Hmm — the handle’s there but there’s nobody home.

TAWN3: 4 folks here. U, me, Lucy and De

Lucylou98: Don’t call Ron on me!

Dehede011: Yep, but starting to go to sleep.

BPRAL22169: Ron seems to have wandered away

Lucylou98: lol I’m joking.

TAWN3: The name of my next song.

BPRAL22169: -oops. Sorry. if you aren’t interested in that topic, I’m not going to say anything more about it.

Dehede011: Yes, there is someone home

Dehede011: Although my tea glass is getting low

BPRAL22169: I just refilled my rootbeer.

BPRAL22169: Now my secret is out.

Lucylou98: Water for me

Lucylou98: always water, water, water.

Dehede011: Noticed you were being affected by something. LOL

Lucylou98: drowning in water. yuck

Dehede011: Iced tea here

Lucylou98: Water is not what’s making me this way, Ron.

Dehede011: Did I send everyone the consulting quiz?

TAWN3: It’s what they put in the water!

TAWN3: No. Not me.

Lucylou98: I missed every single one of them

TAWN3: What is the consulting quiz?

Dehede011: Let me see if I can locate it.

BPRAL22169: I vaguely remember commenting on it.

Lucylou98: How can you put a giraffe in the refrigerator?

Lucylou98: that was one of the questions I think?

BPRAL22169: Ask him to bend his head real low.

Lucylou98: lol Bill…I thought about chopping him up….

Lucylou98: I’m teasing again

TAWN3: chop him up into pieces?

BPRAL22169: (so did I)

Dehede011: Tawn look in your in box.

TAWN3: ok.

Dehede011: anyone else?

Lucylou98: Bill, I’m glad I wasn’t the only gruesome one!

BPRAL22169: It’s not what we think, Luce — It’s what we say about it!

Dehede011: I was about to forget that TAWN hasn’t had time to read it yet

BPRAL22169: BTW, Ron, Ginny mentioned you said your characters are starting to live for you – how goes the writing?

TAWN3: That’s good.

TAWN3: The quiz I mean.

Dehede011: Very well, I have 103 or what I think will become about 300 pages

Lucylou98: Writing is going very well isn’t it Ron?

BPRAL22169: You are definitely past the hump.

Dehede011: Yes, it got flat for about 15 pages but I can fix that

Lucylou98: Tawn, how did you answer the question?

TAWN3: De, who are you?

Dehede011: Is that your experience Bill

BPRAL22169: Yeah — once you’ve got it going, you can keep it going.

Dehede011: Ron Harrison, this is my first attempt at writing

BPRAL22169: (except that I’ve got a doorstop novel stalled in mid-emergency)

Dehede011: Mrs H heard me mention wanting to write once too often

Lucylou98: BTW, I have this assignment and was wondering if I could gather info from you guys?

Dehede011: GA

TAWN3: Wait.

Dehede011: BRB

Lucylou98: Nevermind, too hard to explain.

Dehede011: back

Lucylou98: I’m searching for info

TAWN3: back

TAWN3: I said cut up the giraffe into pieces.

Lucylou98: lol you too!

BPRAL22169: We have three gory people here.

TAWN3: ๐Ÿ™‚

Lucylou98: signs of warped minds?

BPRAL22169: Or a warped giraffe.

TAWN3: Seemed obvious to me! If you bend it’s neck it still won’t fit in!

TAWN3: So Anderson Consulting is wrong!

Lucylou98: they say the answer is to: open door, stick him in, close door

BPRAL22169: Depends on how big the refrigerator is — and how small the giraffe is.

Lucylou98: so, we all know that’s not workable

BPRAL22169: You could also ask it to step into this here black hole. That would solve your problems.

BPRAL22169: Alternatively, he could go into Rufo’s box and the box could go in the refrigerator.

TAWN3: In a singularity kind of way.

BPRAL22169: There are many solutions.

Dehede011: May I share a story about my attempt at a novel

Lucylou98: chopping him up is the easiest

TAWN3: Lucy, what info did you want to collect?

TAWN3: IF you have a knife Lucy ๐Ÿ™‚

TAWN3: Please do De.

Lucylou98: it was about freemasons, Gorge Washington, and the Washington monument.

Dehede011: I spent a long time developing this theory that the smartest 5% of the race would get together and start their own society

TAWN3: And….

TAWN3: Both Lucy and De

Lucylou98: why Monument was constructed like the Egyptian Obelisk

Dehede011: The I read THE BELL CURVE and found out it has been going on for the last 100 years

Lucylou98: I think i have some answers now. GA Ron, I’ll be quiet.

TAWN3: Free Masons founded the country. Probably lots of links to Rosicrucians.

TAWN3: What has been going on for a 100 years?

Dehede011: No, that was it. I worked on a supposition for five years and found out it wasn’t SF at all. That for the last 100 yrs the top 5% of the race have slowly been congregating

BPRAL22169: Heinlein called that “prediction of things that have already happened.”

Dehede011: Yeah, but it didn’t spoil my story any

TAWN3: The two African explorers, Stanley and Livingston. When they asked the one who was going to find the Dr how many of his aids/assistants/load bearers could continue to lead the expedition if he died, he instantly said, “1 in 20”. This is a number which I see pop up all the time in history. Applies to Communist Party members, leaders of all sorts. Seems to be a constant.

BPRAL22169: I think that’s the third Standard Deviation. The second Standard Deviation — 17% — also shows up a lot.

Dehede011: Sure, like the 12 disciples of Christ. There is a constant that says a group needs eight to sustain itself.

BPRAL22169: Lots of population statistics follow the Gaussian curve.

TAWN3: 5%. Leaders of Samurai Japan. 5%. Wealth in US. 5%. See it all the time.

BPRAL22169: Unless you’re Jewish, then it’s 10

TAWN3: What is the Gaussian curve?

BPRAL22169: Or live in Poictesme.

Lucylou98: That the same as Gaussian Matrix?

BPRAL22169: That’s the math/statistics name for the bell curve.

TAWN3: oh.

Dehede011: Oh yes

BPRAL22169: Described by Gauss.

Dehede011: That damn thing has been ringing a bell and I couldn’t place the name. Of course I studied statistics forty years ago

BPRAL22169: It’s like the black body radiation pattern; shows up all over.

TAWN3: A Gauss is as good as a guess to a blind horse.

BPRAL22169: urk.

BPRAL22169: I’ll go quietly now.

Dehede011: Hey who was the guy that stated the Uncertainty Principle

Lucylou98: what is this, bill?

BPRAL22169: No — that was Heisenberg.

TAWN3: Heisenberg.

BPRAL22169: What is this what?

Lucylou98: black body radiation pattern?

Dehede011: Right, has anyone noticed the Heisenberg Uncertainty Principle, and Deming Statistical Process Control work all in the same breath

BPRAL22169: oh – if you graph the frequencies emitted by a non-luminous solid at different temperatures, you get a distinctive pattern.

TAWN3: Please elaborate De.

BPRAL22169: What does “in the same breath” mean in this context?

Dehede011: It isn’t exactly the same thing but Dr Shewhart, Deming’s Teacher, first developed the Control Charts.

Lucylou98: called black body pattern….have to see this pattern

BPRAL22169: The black body graph is widely distributed — you shouldn’t have any trouble finding it.

Dehede011: Similar to Heisenberg it was believed to be an inherent error in all processes.

Dehede011: This error was untraceable

BPRAL22169: If you do, go to a college bookstore and find a text on thermodynamics.

Dehede011: Then Deming stood that whole idea on its head

BPRAL22169: Sorry — what do you mean by “the error” of the Control Charts?

Lucylou98: One day soon, I’ll be forced to buy a text book on that.

Dehede011: The Control Chart tracks the inherient plus or minus three deviations of a process

BPRAL22169: right

Dehede011: The original assumption was that inside that 3 sigma limit the errors were natural

BPRAL22169: Oh — the deviation from the predicted instantaneous values of the process?

Dehede011: Then Deming’s work shows that the errors are “findable” and can be gradually eliminated.

Dehede011: Okay?

BPRAL22169: I bet it works by finding positive feedback control loops.

Dehede011: There doesn’t seem to be any limit to our ability to eliminate variation in a process.

BPRAL22169: … in the logic, I mean.

Dehede011: I don’t know Bill.

BPRAL22169: That would be an interesting problem to apply complexity theory to. Cellular Automata

BPRAL22169: Well, y’all getting on for midnight there.

Dehede011: My question has always been this: Were Heisenberg and Shewhart really talking about the same thing

Lucylou98: I’m on my way out also

Lucylou98: have a good night!

BPRAL22169: I don’t know but I kinda doubt it.

Dehede011: Sorry to put you to sleep. LOL

BPRAL22169: They might be using the same math, though.

Dehede011: Night all.

BPRAL22169: Have a good one.

BPRAL22169: Tawn, are you ready to declare this chat officially over?

TAWN3: Night. Well BP, should we call it quits?

TAWN3: Yes.

TAWN3: Was fun though!

BPRAL22169: Let’s. It’s Over.

BPRAL22169: Ciao.

TAWN3: bye.

BPRAL22169: Thanks for coming.

Editor’s note: Notice how nicely the mice play when the cat’s away.



Final End of Discussion Log

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