Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group March 18, 2000 RAH’s first two Future History short stories “Life-Line” and “Let There Be Life”

Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group

March 18, 2000

RAH’s first two Future History short stories

“Life-Line” and “Let There Be Life”

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You have just entered room “AGplusone Chat86.”

siannon prime has entered the room.

AGplusone: Here we be!

siannon prime: You dragged me in here! Where’s the beer-pumps, where’s the cocktail shakers?

AGplusone: To continue … that’s for you to put in … rent’s cheap. I’ll give you a 99 year lease. Terms: one Remy in a burgundy glass nightly. And an occasionally sympathetic ear ….

J P Ogden has entered the room.

Gaeltachta has entered the room.

dwrighsr has entered the room.

J P Ogden: Hi Sean

AGplusone: We’ll rename the room, Jani’s Critic’s Lounge, Abandon Hope All Ye Who Enter ….

J P Ogden: siannon — is that u Jani?

Gaeltachta:Hi Jon. Nice to see you.

dwrighsr: Greetings all. Please excuse me if I seem a bit distracted at times, I am trying to install Win 2000 on my other computer while I am talking here

AGplusone: Gentlemen, I’m negotiating terms with the lady. Jani you know them all.

AGplusone: Hi, David, Jon, Sean … Jani’s considering whether she’s willing to open here.

Gaeltachta:How come Jon gets the comfy chair? *GRR*

J P Ogden: What time is it 4 you, Sean?

Gaeltachta:11 AM Sunday

AGplusone: Well, waddya think Jani?

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

J P Ogden: Sean, you are just gonna have to buy into the fact that I am older, if not wiser

geeairmoe2:Hi all.

Gaeltachta:Age before beauty — fair enuf!

J P Ogden: LOL

AGplusone: Hi, Will. You know Jani (siannon) and the rest.

Gaeltachta:Hi Will.

J P Ogden: Sean, hopefully no one will tell us to shudup or go private tonight [grin]

J P Ogden: hi will

Gaeltachta:What? And spoil our fun! We won’t let that happen! [G]

J P Ogden: David, I have heard win2k installs very nicely — how is it doing 4 u?

dwrighsr: win2k? slow, but due to the platform it’s on I believe. Will let you know.

AGplusone: Jane called me. She’s undergoing nausea, etc., morning sickness … and will have to pass tonight. Stephen called earlier in the week and is away tonight.

J P Ogden: too bad

Gaeltachta:I had Win2K, no problems at all. But I have a 13 y.o. who can’t play his cool games on it because it is based on NT. Reluctantly I went back to Win98.

dwrighsr: I have (will have), all 4. 95,98,3.1 and 2000. Also a novell network.

J P Ogden: the Novell connects the 4?

siannon prime has left the room.

J P Ogden: Jani left?

siannon prime has entered the room.

siannon prime: Hi! Am I here yet?

AGplusone: She was having nothing appear on the screen. Tried having her go out and come back in. Does it work now?

dwrighsr: Not necessarily. I use it to work on my Oracle.

AGplusone: I see you.

Gaeltachta:Hi Jani.

siannon prime: you see me?

AGplusone: Yep … everyone else see her typing?

J P Ogden: I see you Jani

dwrighsr: yes.

J P Ogden: and your words

siannon prime: Ignore those

geeairmoe2:I see.

J P Ogden: Mr Silver can you send invite to Steve?

AGplusone: Okay … back to negotiations … What do you think about the terms I offered, pretty good, huh!

J P Ogden: Prnzofthvs

AGplusone: doing it

J P Ogden: :O)

siannon prime: ok, as long as I don’t max the screen, I can communicate.

Hokay, sod’s law. Hi guys!

Gaeltachta:Jon, you stole my colour!

J P Ogden: sod’s law?

J P Ogden: Lol I did it by doing a copy — hang on

AGplusone: On the way!

Prnzofthvs has entered the room.

siannon prime: If it can go wrong, it will. Sod’s law. Sean, I don’t steal. Not even palindromes

Gaeltachta:Gidday Steve.

AGplusone: Anyone else see someone show up … let me know please.

Hi, Steve

J P Ogden: Hi Steve — you pinko commie liberal stalinist, you

Gaeltachta:I steal palindromes — if they are good ones! [G]

siannon prime: Hi Steve. Which Steve is it?

Prnzofthvs:not a pinko, a crypto commie

AGplusone: Even Jani liked Army Drill 13 …

J P Ogden: I loved it

AGplusone: God, he annoyed me.

Prnzofthvs:I guess a crypto commie is a communist code breaker?

Gaeltachta:Loved it, David!

siannon prime: You git. You said you weren’t invited. I’ll kill’im.

J P Ogden: My favorite was “I have let this fester long enough”

AGplusone: Yeah, right … I liked Bill’s reply to that …

Prnzofthvs:Jani, I was just this moment invited – I didn’t lie to you — never would, luv

siannon prime: Ho, ho, ho again

siannon prime: Men!

Prnzofthvs:I wonder what Marshall Dillon thought about the “fester” part?

J P Ogden: I got a kick out of you and Steve and Bill all letting loose simultaneously (from my POV)

Prnzofthvs:wait, that was festus, my mistake!

siannon prime: I’d like to know what Dr Ck says about festering. He knows all sorts of things about athletes foot

AGplusone: Now I know what happened. Left the “f” out of your name, Steve.

Prnzofthvs:Well, the guy was sort of a boil on the NG’s arse, wasn’

Prnzofthvs:wasn’t he?

J P Ogden: that he was

siannon prime: Jon is Mr Gaunt

siannon prime: of Needful Things

J P Ogden: I am?

Prnzofthvs:”left the “f” out reminds me of a joke

AGplusone: Founder of the House of Lancaster … John of Gaunt

siannon prime: Absolutely. Stirrer!

Prnzofthvs:skinny fellow, was he?

siannon prime: And claws

AGplusone: I was afraid to mention the missing ‘f’ for exactly that reason.

AGplusone: GA Steve … we’re ready. Grit!

Prnzofthvs:perhaps you’ve heard it — reference to the spelling of elephant

siannon prime: This is going to look awful on next week’s log -should we get to business?

J P Ogden: [chuckling]

AGplusone: ROFL

Prnzofthvs:pipe down, limey, who put you in charge?

AGplusone: She’s going to open up a tap here, Steve. I’d say that would.

siannon prime: I’ll just get my coat – David, how do I shut this down?

Prnzofthvs:don’t let the door hit ya on the way out, missy!

dwrighsr: I’m back. Really multi-tasking tonight. Had to walk the dog, look for 2 books to take to church tomorrow for my son, check on the win2k and catch back up on what you guys have saying

AGplusone: Lemme get my checkbook out … do you take American Express … one round, please.

Gaeltachta:Not missing much!

J P Ogden: I am sitting on your coat, Jani and I’m not getting up

Prnzofthvs:You wouldn’t leave us Jani, you wuv us too much!

Prnzofthvs:Actually, I do have to go; thanks for asking me in, though. See you all later

siannon prime: Jon, you are a gentleman, which is more than can be said for Steve and Sean.

AGplusone: Thank you Steve ….

Prnzofthvs:have an interesting discussion!

Prnzofthvs has left the room.

AGplusone: come back anytime, and thank you

dwrighsr: Did someone try to make Jani tend bar here too? See you Steve.

Gaeltachta:Sorry Jani? Did I say something?

siannon prime: Oh boy, Steve, I didn’t mean it.

dwrighsr: 🙂

J P Ogden has left the room.

AGplusone: You never know with Steve …

siannon prime: Nobody makes me tend bar, I just do it. No, wasn’t you,


AGplusone: Anyway … who wants to start … discussing Heinlein or anything else, that is.

J P Ogden has entered the room.

J P Ogden: whee that was fun

AGplusone: Tell me how you do that Jon …

siannon prime: Well, can I pass around the beer, get my coffee, and sit back while Zim zaps in and drags the meeting to order? Is that Ok with everyone (Jon, we don’t want to know what was fun…do we?)

AGplusone: simply invite yourself by putting the room number in the form or what?

J P Ogden: what disappear? I clicked on the wrong button — tried to shut down the ticker

Gaeltachta:I was interested in learning that Heinlein had written a number of pieces before “Life Line,” do we know much about them?

J P Ogden: nope, the window was still open on my screen so I just clicked on it once I’d signed back on

AGplusone: Not a lot … it’s mostly textual analysis … and interior analysis … seems he wrote several at about the same time.

dwrighsr: You know. I am kind of dense. It didn’t occur to me for a long time that Pinero had used his machine on himself and knew when to expect his death. I assumed that he was expecting his killers because of the trouble that he had caused the insurance industry.

AGplusone: And the story about the contest, while true, is a bit of a ‘myth’ ….

J P Ogden: how so, David?

dwrighsr: Myth? How so

Gaeltachta:But he must have not used it on himself until later in the story IMO.

AGplusone: The fatalism is an attractive part of the story, David.

AGplusone: There’s an article or two in the early issues of The Heinlein Journal that goes into the theory, giving some ‘educated’ guesses …

Gaeltachta:I thought Life Line reminded me of H.G. Wells form of writing.

Gaeltachta:Very structured and almost aloof.

AGplusone: not mine, so I cannot explain them too well without looking it up, but it appears he may have written the first five or so all in one period, and then decided on which one to send out first.

J P Ogden: Sean, you are right I think — only a few flashes of the Heinlein style in it, me thinks

AGplusone: And while it may be true that he wrote Life-Line in the period of hours the myth describes it may not necessarily be true that he wrote it without some intense preparation …. Or at the time of the contest.

AGplusone: It may have been ready well before.

AGplusone: On the back burner so to speak.

Gaeltachta:Are you agreeing with me Jon?

AGplusone: The myth is based incidentally on a similar thing that truly did happen with Edgar Allen Poe or someone like that. I’d have to look it up to be sure.

J P Ogden: fascinating

AGplusone: Someone submitted a story to a contest in exactly the same manner, and RAH may have ‘filed the serial numbers off’ for his own ‘myth’ again.

J P Ogden: Yes, Sean

J P Ogden: [grin]

AGplusone: I think RAH patterned himself on several writers early on … including Wells, and yes I agree, Sean and Jon

siannon prime: There is no copyright on ideas. This is something which has piffled off good writers, and made money for bad ones, for a long time

AGplusone: Everyone know what I meant by the ‘myth’ the story about the contest which supposedly inspired RAH to send in the Life Line story to Campbell?

AGplusone: There shouldn’t be a copyright … it’s how well you express the idea that matters and that converts or whatever it is you want it to do.

AGplusone: Shakespeare filed off more serial numbers than RAH ever dreamed of doing …

AGplusone: Notice: Did everyone read about Poul Anderson’s agreement to visit us?

Gaeltachta:RAH did not seem to mind others taking his ideas further or in other directions.

AGplusone: He’s agree to visit both AOL and us here on AIM.

Gaeltachta:No ….?

siannon prime: Was it Shakespeare who said there are only seven stories? I know there’s a King story (Bag of Bones) which deals quite nastily with the copyright problem.

J P Ogden: Actually he usually left ’em on

Gaeltachta:When David?

J P Ogden: No, I didn’t — if he shows up I will stammer and fall down

Gaeltachta:How is the gentleman these days?

dwrighsr: While reading the log of the AOL discussion, it occurred to me to write a story about someone who visited Pinero, found out that he was going to live a long time and then did all sorts of things based on that knowledge, like taking all kinds of chances during WWII and so, and then comes to the expected time and it doesn’t happen.

siannon prime: Oh, Jon, it’s only an author. Would you do that in front of any other senior technician or religious leader?

siannon prime: 🙂

AGplusone: It’s in the log … towards the end. I have to set it up. What I suggest we do is decide our date to read RAH’s Magic Inc. and then read also Poul’s Operation Chaos and Operation Luna, those two I referred you to, Jani, and then set it up. Elderly, Sean … but happy apparently.

J P Ogden: I am a senior tech, but Poul Anderson? Omigosh

dwrighsr: Magic, Inc and Operation Chaos. Neat idea ~

dwrighsr: Greg Bear. That was the son-in-law that people were asking about I believe

AGplusone: yes. I haven’t read Operation Luna yet, David, but it’s a continuation of the same characters … including Virginia

AGplusone: Thanks … that clears it up.

J P Ogden: there are only about 4 authors I have tried to buy everything they’ve written — we have talked about 3 of them tonight

dwrighsr: I’ll have to get hold OC. I’ve never read it

siannon prime: Oh, hell on wheels. That’s my baby, isn’t it, since I’m the Magic Inc fan. And now I have to face Poul as well.

AGplusone: Jani, the TOR copy of Chaos was also published in Canada if that helps.

AGplusone: Yep!

siannon prime: Thanks, David, you could have given me something easier. like Winnie-the-pooh

AGplusone: You may love them!

J P Ogden: Chaos is wonderful

J P Ogden: read it; finished it; and started it over

AGplusone: And there’s a big surprise in it for everyone who hasn’t read it before. A character is someone we all know ….

geeairmoe2:If we ever get back to tonight’s scheduled topic: What struck me is the lack of ‘government interference’ in both stories (and most of the ‘Future History’ stories). The “obstructionists” elements came from established businesses worried about their profit, not the Nanny State government.

siannon prime: I will, and I know I will, but now I have to be intelligent about them! I love Magic Inc., and I’ve avoided analysing it — and now I have to rip apart two more things which I know I’ll like.

AGplusone: That is odd, isn’t it, Will. The only government ‘interference’ is the Judge, and his ruling is beneficial and very fair.

AGplusone: And also, very legally correct. What did you think about it, Jan, others?

dwrighsr: Maybe that reflects more on Heinlein’s liberal thinking in those days.

geeairmoe2:I loved the Judge dressing down the insurance lawyer.

J P Ogden: Maybe the nanny state wasn’t as big a threat?

AGplusone: Best Judge RAH wrote until Alex in I Will Fear No Evil…

Gaeltachta:Does anyone offer another suggestion as to when Pinero found out about his own time of death? I think it must have been after the Hartleys died, but not before.

AGplusone: although the Judge in “Jerry Was a Man” doesn’t do too badly.

Gaeltachta:He was too interested in making money before that.

dwrighsr: Also Judge Warburton in Rolling Stones

J P Ogden: Really? I thought he always knew.

Gaeltachta:Why would he be interested in making money then?

Gaeltachta:He couldn’t take it with him?

AGplusone: I’d suggest he always knew … which may explain why the unorthodox approach he took to publicity and alienating the academics.

dwrighsr: It doesn’t seem in character that he knew too soon.

AGplusone: He may have ‘acted hastily’ because he knew he had to act hastily.

dwrighsr: No. I think that that was due to his personality.

J P Ogden: I may be projecting — I couldn’t have had the machine for a day without finding out

AGplusone: mas e mas, David

Gaeltachta:Just my opinion.

AGplusone: I’d have to test it on myself, I think.

dwrighsr: ‘mas e mas’. My languages are German and Russian. What’s that?

J P Ogden: exactly

AGplusone: Remember Jesse Ramsbottom, going through the gate with an old peacemaker and little sense, in Tunnel

AGplusone: way I’m using is: maybe so, maybe not

dwrighsr: Ok. Gotcha.

AGplusone: I’m ambivalent about it ….

dwrighsr: I can’t explain why, but Pinero reminds me of the Old Man in Puppet Masters.

J P Ogden: because he’s a fatalist?

siannon prime: I think Pinero was just a very clever charlatan, rather like Becky’s husband in SiaSL

AGplusone: I think Sean’s got a point though … could be Pinero always knew and it does explain the motivation he had … go public ASAP who cares what the scientists think …

Gaeltachta:If Pinero knew that he was going to die in a matter of months, why did he only pamper himself with a fine meal the day he died. I would have done lots of other things!

siannon prime: He was mature

AGplusone: There’s more than a hint that Simon wasn’t all charlatan … something he could do wasn’t fake anyway.

J P Ogden: But if you did them, they couldn’t have been written about in Kay Tarrant’s Astounding…

Gaeltachta:The Hartleys deaths made him look up his own demise. He was really affected by it.

AGplusone: It’s like someone pointed out in the AOL chat. Some people work hard to the very end trying to accomplish what they ordinarily might have spent longer doing.

Gaeltachta:Making money though?

AGplusone: Mozart, as portrayed in the movie, writing the score of the Requiem

Gaeltachta:He had already achieved what he wanted.

AGplusone: … although it’s unlikely that was true to his real life.

siannon prime: It’s not that difficult to do what P did, given a bit of insight and a lot of information. Of course, if he was clever enough to see his own death, he might have spent the preceding months living it up. But if he knew he was going to die, given what he’d done already as a “charlatan” I don’t think he’d still be at the level of big breakfasts and big broads.

AGplusone: Did anyone get a chuckle out of my ‘uncanonical’ stretch on Kettle Belly Hartley Baldwin?

dwrighsr: I wish I had voice input on this thing, By the time, I type out a response, someone has already beaten me to it.

siannon prime: Me too.

AGplusone: So recast it … I’ll shut up. You guys talk.

siannon prime: No, I’m slow! Go for it!


AGplusone: 🙂

dwrighsr: No way! Keep it up

AGplusone: The ‘obstructionist’ thing, Will, …

AGplusone: Do you think that Heinlein anticipated in ’39 how easy it would become for the government again to be used by big business to obstruct?

AGplusone: Or was it always the same, Jon. The coal thing you mentioned was interesting. I didn’t know that.

AGplusone: Was you, wasn’t it … ?

J P Ogden: nope

J P Ogden: I was just wondering if someone else had the same first name… [grin]

geeairmoe2:Sorry, I was just about to go on a metaphysical explanation of how Pinero’s machine could actually work.

Gaeltachta:Was RAH predicting? Or just commenting on the present/history?

siannon prime: OK?

AGplusone: ‘Twas a compliment to whomever did, anyway …. Someone pointed out that in the ‘teens the coal industry kept the Royal Navy from turning to oil quick enough … was that true?

AGplusone: GA, Will.

AGplusone: Be interesting to hear.

siannon prime: Bill, can we have the metaphysics? I’m interested

dwrighsr: Me too

J P Ogden: Something has been driving me crazy — another author, a very poetic one, wrote a story about a young couple who have the future told by a machine which tells him she will not love him tomorrow and her that he will lover her all her life…anyone recognize it?

AGplusone: (I found that discussion in the AOL log after I had to leave fascinating, btw …)

geeairmoe2:Okay. Point One. The assumption that God transcends time and sees our whole lives.

geeairmoe2:This suggests God has some kind of “process” to do this.

geeairmoe2:To interact with our physical world, even as an observer, requires some kind of physical laws.

geeairmoe2:Pinero simply discovered the “physics” of how God monitors us.

geeairmoe2:This would work for Time Travel, too.

AGplusone: I wondered about that “process” God might possess … maybe a form of “multi-universe sophilism [sp?]” … to cover all alternatives, all possible branches …

AGplusone: and how would it work for Time Travel, too?

AGplusone: Or would God’s machine “bend us back to the ways, try however we might …. “?

Gaeltachta:Where does fate Vs free-will come into this?

J P Ogden: Has God agreed to be bound by the rules he set up for us?

AGplusone: As Heinlein does with the traveler in “–All You Zombies–”

Gaeltachta:I would be disheartened, like Pinero if I thought I could not change my moment of death (esp. by accident).

AGplusone: What rules? God was nonexistent until Koshchei answered somebody’s grandmother’s plea and created him

Gaeltachta:He could not help the Hartleys.

geeairmoe2:Our choices dictate our paths. God already knows all the choices we’re going to make and our final paths.

geeairmoe2:So we DID exercise Free Will.

J P Ogden: So God know what will happen to Schroedinger’s Cat?

geeairmoe2:Yes. Because he can “travel” to that point and observe its condition.

geeairmoe2:Remember, Time did not exist until the Big Bang.

AGplusone: Okay … I’m following that (UCLA is leading by 16 points and playing superbly, my wife reports)

dwrighsr: You know. In all of the years I’ve read science fiction I don’t believe that I have ever seen a story in which time is actually treated as a dimension, That is to say, one in which we can go in any direction. Maybe all futures and all pasts coexist simultaneously!

geeairmoe2:If that is true, then the Causer of the Big Bang is not trapped by “time” like we are.

siannon prime: You’ve missed RAH, then

Gaeltachta:I think it’s the idea that our lives are already mapped out that slightly disturbs me.

J P Ogden: DW isn’t that how NOTB works?

AGplusone: That’s the pre-destination that I was blithering about in the AOL chat, Sean.

geeairmoe2:Mapped out, but still unknown to you,

dwrighsr: I’m not sure, you could be right, but it doesn’t ‘feel’ the same to me.

AGplusone: Mapped out in variables … or one single track that we’re forced back onto no matter what we do like Zombies?

siannon prime: They’re mapped out in terms of your social upbringing, yes. Ever tried transliterating into a Muslim marriage, rather than being a Southern hemisphere colonist?

geeairmoe2:The “multiple” universe theory may explain why God requires certain behavior. He’s seen all the alternatives and knows which one is best.

geeairmoe2:Unbound by Time, God could have “done his homework.”

AGplusone: Which gives us all those numbers of the beast ….

AGplusone: Which means Heinlein may have done his homework …

geeairmoe2:If all those previous Universes existed, its just a matter of duplicating the process God used to monitor them.

AGplusone: or that RAH meant it when he said, “Thou Art God … etc.”

siannon prime: Oh, come on, saying “God knows best” is giving free rein to every murdering Baptist, Catholic, Muslim or Pagan in your neighbourhood

Gaeltachta:I don’t buy it. The idea of “Fate” might give some people solace when something bad happens, but can also cause apathy.

AGplusone: No, it means that God knows everything, not that he approves of anything.

geeairmoe2:This came to me from when Adam and Eve were tossed out of the Garden, and God left some kind of barrier to their return.

J P Ogden: “God knows best” does not automatically mean that man know what God wants.

geeairmoe2:If the barrier is physical, it must have certain laws of physics. Maybe we could figure them out.

AGplusone: He may be mostly bemused by all the possibilities that he ‘knows’ ….

AGplusone: or singularly uninfluenced and really doesn’t care.

dwrighsr: Well Win2k finished, but I couldn’t get it to find my network. I’ll try later.

J P Ogden: Or be like the God in Job

Gaeltachta:Someone correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think RAH considered God as much of an influencer in his characters actions. He believed strongly in the ability of Man to survive, no matter what the odds, without help from above.

Randyjj55 has entered the room.

AGplusone: Jon, when Colonel Jost gets on board would you copy this chat and e mail it to him.

geeairmoe2:”God helps those who help themselves.”

Randyjj55: Good evening all!

J P Ogden: yessir Sgt

Gaeltachta:Hi Randy

AGplusone: he may need your domain, Randy

Randyjj55: Let’s not forget that I’m still a phone Colonel at the present time…

siannon prime: Bishop Randy, is that you?

geeairmoe2:I don’t mean to give RAH’s writings a metaphysical tilt, I was just trying to figure out how predicting the future might be possible.

AGplusone: We been haffen metaphysical fun, Randy, and I think you might like to quickly read this one …

Randyjj55: Yes, it is Dr, Bishop, LtCol, what’s his name, Randy. Hi!

J P Ogden: Randy what is it?

J P Ogden: your domain, I mean

Randyjj55: All the universe

AGplusone: siannon is Jani, Randy …

J P Ogden: LOL

siannon prime: Here’s your milkshake, sir…

AGplusone: e mail is ….

J P Ogden: Randyjj55@AlltheUniverse ?

Randyjj55: I suspected as much by her welcome, plus the siannon is somewhat of giveaway

dwrighsr: What’s this Bishop stuff?

Randyjj55: my real domain is zianet.com

AGplusone: Randy’s an LDS Bishop

siannon prime: It’s something between me and Randy

Randyjj55: email address is

geeairmoe2:A lot of stuff that was “magic” is now science. “Seeing” the future could become science, assuming the notion that an Omnipresent Creator sees the future means the future is somewhere to be seen.

siannon prime: Don’t worry about it

Randyjj55: Don’t worry my children, my philosophy is Get Happy!

J P Ogden: Randy — its on its way

AGplusone: <—-simple mind … can’t remember all those domains beyond “@aol.com” …. yessir, Bishop Digby!

Gaeltachta:If the future can be seen, whether by an Omnipresent creator or not, then can it not also be seen scientifically? I don’t know where god fits in here?

geeairmoe2:God fits in because He can do it now. We just need to figure out how He does it.

J P Ogden: If time is a dimension, it has to be possible to observe it somehow, doesn’t it?

siannon prime: The magic and science thing is almost taken as read, Bill. There is always something beyond *that* and that’s where the debate starts – when all the miracles are explained, people have to *think*.

AGplusone: [UCLA is now 30 points ahead of Maryland …. “Raindrops keep fallin’ on our heads … ” Wicks, Rowe, Bibby ….” Eleven banners up there…..]

J P Ogden: what game are they playing, David?

AGplusone: basketball …

J P Ogden: Chess?

J P Ogden: [veg]

geeairmoe2:”Wicks Rowe and Bibby”? You’re dating yourself. Where’s Steve Patterson?

geeairmoe2:Remember Sven Nater?

siannon prime: Don’t start. Wales lost today. Any more of this gratuitous sporting stuff, and I’ll get slightly angry and throw thunderbolts

AGplusone: That was the year I graduated. John Vallely was the shooting guard.

dwrighsr: I’m still struggling with this concept of time as a dimension. I’m looking out over the plane of all futures, presents and pasts. To get from any one point in the plane means that there are ‘choices’ or ‘events’ that you can take to make that transition. Blows my mind!

AGplusone: (((((shield from Thor))))))

Gaeltachta:Ok, but let’s not limit the possibilities here. Maybe we will never understand how “God” does it, so will have to look at other ways to predict the future, like Pinero obviously did. How does his invention stack up to scientific analysis?


AGplusone: ’70

geeairmoe2:Pre-Walton. Back when Jabbar was Alcindor.

AGplusone: The year between Alcindor and Walton.

J P Ogden: When Cousy retired I stopped watching

AGplusone: Bill said something about two competing theories, and that espoused by Einstein won out … I’m just a dumb English major, somebody ‘splain that for me please …

Gaeltachta:Who did Wales lose to Jani?

geeairmoe2:How God “does” it? Well, String Theory tells us there were more than the standard four dimensions of time and space at the Big Bang. What happened to those other dimensions? Why can’t we access anything beyond length, width, height and time?

dwrighsr: Sharks?

Gaeltachta:Good question. Why can’t we?

geeairmoe2:Because they aren’t necessary for our physical survival?

siannon prime: Just a thought — does anyone actually work out their timescales by dates? Don’t we all log it by someone’s birthday, the year Kennedy died, the “after the War” timescale? Do any of us work by the calendar? It’s always “after the kids were born,” “before we got married,” ” when I was doing finals”… Do we actually *have* a calandar*?

AGplusone: That’s the difference I understand between the macro and the micro … schools … but how might the theory that RAH followed when he had Pinero invent this ‘magic machine’ tie in … ?

J P Ogden: All I know is that time does not move at a steady rate. The years are much shorter now than when I was 8

AGplusone: I do … 1970 is the year of Wicks, Rowe and Bibby, 1971 is the first year Walton won, 1969 was Lew’s last year, etc., etc.

Gaeltachta:Yes Jon!

J P Ogden: Or I am not transversing the time dimension at a steady rate

geeairmoe2:My theory is that Pinero somehow “locked onto” the monitoring process a Transcendent Creator would use to watch over us.

[Editor’s Note: for the sake of “clarity,” the basic principle is that time is a _human’s_ way of experiencing part of its inherent geometry. Its life-course, or “worldline” is a “shape” in the geometry of higher dimensions, not a process, so God “monitors” time-bound creatures in the same way you perceive a shape — as a whole. Pinero’s theory is an analogy. If a worldline is a geometrical shape, he reasons, you ought to be able to measure its length by something like the process that is used to find breaks in a long cable — send a signal down the line and measure the “echo.”]

dwrighsr: Jani. You’ve got a point there. We ‘date’ things mostly by ‘events’ not actual dates

dwrighsr: at least I do.

Gaeltachta:Does your theory still hold if there is no Transcendent Creator? Or is it central for this theory to work?

J P Ogden: If Sean and I agree then it must be right [grin]

AGplusone: [talking about years UCLA won national championships in basketball, Sean and Jani]

J P Ogden: (UCLA is a little college out on the West coast somewhere, Sean and Jani)

geeairmoe2:The theory does require a Creator. What Pinero “locked into” was that Creator’s monitoring process.

Gaeltachta:What was the score Jani? I’m interested.

geeairmoe2:I don’t know how you would explain predicting the future if there isn’t an Observer capable of seeing that future.

geeairmoe2:Someone or something has to have access to the future for us to “look over His or Her” shoulder.

dwrighsr: No. Just requires a talent for seeing in that ‘direction.’

Gaeltachta:What if the physics existed, but was not currently observed by anyone/anything? Would it still work?

geeairmoe2:But we’re bound by time, unable to see in that direction on our own.

Randyjj55: Okay, I’ve scanned the background here, and you have several interesting threads going on here. Especially the one concerning Poul Anderson. I suppose that everyone realizes there are more parallels between RAH and PA than the “magic stories”?

AGplusone: Tell me more, Randy

dwrighsr: If I can just figure out how to do it. I can find an infinity of Heinlein books that I have never read!

AGplusone: We want to be really ready for him … at his age it’s very nice of him to agree to come!

J P Ogden: DW — what a wonderful thought

dwrighsr: I’ll be awake all night thinking on how to do it

Randyjj55: Well, of course Poul has his own future history series, he also has a what I consider a very good story that is along the lines of some of RAH’s thoughts concerning how people could be more than they are in the everyday sense….

Randyjj55: I’m looking up the reference on the side right now….

AGplusone: Could you e mail me a list of that Future History so I can post it, or post it on AFH … ?

AGplusone: Got more on metaphysics Will?

AGplusone: Sean … ?

Gaeltachta:I was waiting for Will to respond I think?

Randyjj55: Yes, I’m multiplexing as fast as I can, so I can throw a few thoughts in on the time and god thread ….

geeairmoe2:I’ll try to come up with an answer to any specific question.

J P Ogden: Randy, isn’t it usually referred to as the Polesotechnic League timeline?

dwrighsr: It seems to me that there is a lot of that ‘fatalism’ idea discussed with Anderson, especially in his time travel stories, (I’m thinking particularly of the traveler who was involved with Siegfried and that bunch)

geeairmoe2:Let me scan back here a moment.

AGplusone: So … anyway … I think Anderson might agree to three hours here as well as on AOL … do we wanna ask him to try that?

siannon prime: I always liked that “across the wall” story where the magic people brought up their kids on one side, and the science people brought up theirs on the other. I don’t think it’s Anderson, but it should be

J P Ogden: I know the one you mean, but it was so long ago that I read it…

dwrighsr: Poul Anderson. Here. By all means.

Gaeltachta:He published “Let There Be Light”?

siannon prime: Swans. Uncle something. Porgy was the horrible big brother … come on, Jon!

AGplusone: … with the caveat that if Anderson’s wife (who reading between the lines of what Ginny says, will be doing the typing and reading to him) decides he’s tired we all say good night and thank you very much.

siannon prime: I think we’d offer the same courtesy to any of us, wouldn’t we?

AGplusone: I’ve got a copy of those Time Corps stories, Dave. Do you have a complete list? Yes, we certainly would, Jani … but I want it up front with Anderson who is in his 80s …

Randyjj55: Okay, the PA “future history” refers to a series of stories that made up what was called the “Psychotechnic League” stories. I’ll send you a separate list of what makes up the story line. If you haven’t read them, I suspect you will find them interesting. Poul Anderson is another favorite author of mine.

dwrighsr: Mine too, although, I’ve mostly read his time travel stories.

AGplusone: Has been for me for years, too, but I haven’t read them all by any means … he just keeps pumping them out.

geeairmoe2:I’ve got the Time Corps stories. As my interest in the possibilities of time travel and knowing the future might suggest.

J P Ogden: I have always wanted to be Flandry

AGplusone: So we’ve got a lot of topics with Anderson …. Future History, Time Travel, Magic … and I happen to love his Hrolf Kraki!

AGplusone: Hamlet by another name.

dwrighsr: Hamlet By Kracki

AGplusone: Urk! ….. I think I’ll go have someone bind my wounds.

geeairmoe2:I’ve got “Saturn Game” somewhere, just haven’t gotten to it.

AGplusone: [Earl Watson just broke the UCLA record for assists, and is on his way to breaking the NCAA record, and my wife is sitting in the living room yelling “Who are these guys? Why didn’t they play like this during the regular games? 33 points ahead”]

dwrighsr: Doggone it. This switch box I use has frozen up the keyboard on my Win2k system. I’ll have to wait until I shut everything else down.

Gaeltachta:When will Mr Anderson be attending David?

AGplusone: I’ll set up our schedule tentatively, then call, then adjust and then make multi-gala announcements ….

AGplusone: Expect the next month or possible early May

Gaeltachta:Any chance of Mrs Heinlein attending here as well?

AGplusone: And if anyone wants to pick up an AOL disk and use the trial period to attend the Thursday, believe me there will be room.

dwrighsr: May’s great. Another birthday present for me along with Gifford’s book

AGplusone: Um …. It’s a secret Sean but I think someone named Astyanax will be in the audience …

siannon prime: I take your point, David. The impeccable politeness, pointed sarcasm and infinite affection of elderly British women is something which Miss D missed along the way — please tell Virginia that my great-aunt Ellen was the best of that kind, and that my daughter is set fair to imitate her. No-one in *my* family would offer rudeness to Mr. Anderson – not even the men.

Randyjj55: Sorry, I had to go to the phone — prime power problems out at the test site this evening.

AGplusone: … at least on AOL … we’re working on her lurking these meetings too … and don’t expect to see your question and my answer in the log I send out.

dwrighsr: Why don’t you guys quit that AOL stuff and concentrate on AIM

AGplusone: I certainly agree …

AGplusone: It’s a recruiting source … and we will someday be on both …

AGplusone: I think what eventually will happen is the rooms are made available to anyone …. I.e., AIM is AOL IM

Randyjj55: Also, if you want to read a very Heinleinesque story, look at “The Sensitive Man,” located in the collection The Psychotechnic League, part of his Future History.

AGplusone: but we are moving that way. Like educating babies.

dwrighsr: That would be nice

dwrighsr: Hey! We haven’t said anything about Life Line.

siannon prime: I don’t do on-topic [g] Shall I just get my coat?

AGplusone: Okay … or Let there be life … how about the Mary is a defective woman argument … lacks self-confidence, codependent, and all that … Jon, stay on her coat please!

Randyjj55: Hey, let’s throw Jani Life-line here….

J P Ogden: Nice coat. very comforting

dwrighsr: Frankly, IMHO, that is the silliest argument I’ve heard (No offense intended)

siannon prime: It’s nearly 3 am here, I have to go [BG]

AGplusone: Okay … gimme some more argument …. Aw, will you be with us, Madame, next time …. ???

J P Ogden: ten more minutes, please ?

siannon prime: You guys rambled off, it wasn’t my fault

geeairmoe2:What’s up for next time?

AGplusone: We need your stabilizing influence to keep us sane!

J P Ogden: we need you warmth, your wit, your charm, your grace…

AGplusone: Btw, Jane wanted me to apologize for her absence tonight. Morning sickness …. Nausea.

dwrighsr: And your Booze~

J P Ogden: and especially your booze

AGplusone: (and your Booze fer sure)

geeairmoe2:and your foot on our throats when we get out of line.

siannon prime: Sane? You were doing fine until I stuck my oar in! (You missed that, Bill, the drinks were on the house right at the start!)

AGplusone: Next time I think we’ll do the next two in The Man Who Sold The Moon ….

J P Ogden: Someone wake Sean up, I think he fell asleep

AGplusone: whatever two are listed chronologically in the table.

Gaeltachta:I’m here!!……… Sort of………[G]

dwrighsr: Perhaps in honor of our Brit friends, we ought to hold one of these conferences at some convenient time for them.

AGplusone: Anyone want to volunteer to co-host and lead discussion?

AGplusone: Ready willing and able to do that anytime!

geeairmoe2:The Roads Must Roll and Blow-ups Happen?

J P Ogden: Going through this book, is like being 12 again

AGplusone: This is late afternoon early evening for me … I can do it earlier easily. Yes. Roads and Blowups

AGplusone: How does that affect you Sean? Early on Sunday morning?

siannon prime: Why don’t we do one on Mars/Venus as in IWFNE [EG] No-one likes JE, same as no-one likes Pod.

Gaeltachta:I don’t mind what time really. As long as it’s on my weekend.

dwrighsr: Yeah, but this time, I know who that guy Lazarus Long is who is in the timeline. That worried me for years.

Randyjj55: Okay, caught up again. Actually JP, there is a Psychotechnic League set of stories, and a Polesotechnic History set of stories, as you point out, which incorporates the Nicholas Van Rijn stories, and the Flandry stories.

J P Ogden: Van Rijn is the greatest Falstaff since Falstaff

AGplusone: Great Idea … I’ll put it on the list that we’ll both groups be voting on …. Johann-Eunice, what’s wrong with that couple?

J P Ogden: I think IWFNE is great

dwrighsr: Folks. I have got to go. Enjoyed it. See you in two weeks and on afh whenever.

J P Ogden: By DW

AGplusone: Wanna sketch out a nomination speech for it, Jani? E mail me, and I’ll include it in the promo ….

J P Ogden: hope you get the network up

AGplusone: Bye Dave, glad you made it.

J P Ogden: tonight

siannon prime: Stephen likes it, so you should get a teenage perspective as well

Gaeltachta:Bye Dave

AGplusone: Fine ….

dwrighsr has left the room.

AGplusone: We’re coming down to the end of the 2d hour … if we close as scheduled anyone wants to stay may … me, I’d like to go laugh with my wife about the Bruins ….

Randyjj55: Yes, JP is the larger than life type, writ even larger.

Gaeltachta has left the room.

geeairmoe2:Got to be going, too. Adios.

siannon prime: Oh hell, I have trouble analysing it because it’s so naive and credible. Ok, I’ll try for a defensive target for others to shoot at – give me a week!

Randyjj55: missed a “he” in there after the JP, though JP may be larger than life also.

AGplusone: Night Sean, and Will

Randyjj55: And they drop like flies….

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

siannon prime: Goodnight, all! Sorry for dragging it all ways to the outside, David

J P Ogden: I am trying to lose weight [grin]

J P Ogden: gnite Jani {{{Jani}}}

AGplusone: Okay … that’s fine. Expect possibly an e mail from either Doc4kidz or from Patricia AM 555 who are handling the set up and ballot for me.

J P Ogden: here’s your coat

siannon prime: Taking coat [g] Night, all!

Randyjj55: Actually, I meant your on-line personality, not your physical attributes, not having met you in real time, real life.

AGplusone: Good nite, all …. thanks Jon, and everyone for showing up …. enjoyed it.

Gaeltachta has entered the room.

J P Ogden: gnite David

AGplusone: We’re just closing up, Sean, WB

Randyjj55: Well, Jani, good to see you contributing again, been missing you over in AFH-A

siannon prime: Nite Sean

J P Ogden: WB Sean — and gnite

J P Ogden: gnite Randy

Gaeltachta:Night Jani.

AGplusone: so have we all Jani!

J P Ogden: yes, jani — a lot


Gaeltachta:Sorry …. WB?

J P Ogden: welcome back

siannon prime: Oh *snelfrocky* do I have to come back?

J P Ogden: yes!!!!!!!!!!!


Gaeltachta:Oh thanks…….. Are we finished now?

Randyjj55: AFH-A = Alt Fan Heinlein – Argumentation.

siannon prime: Sorry about the swearing


J P Ogden: David LOL

siannon prime: OK OK OK


siannon prime: STOP

AGplusone: Night all ….

J P Ogden: Jani — you have to come back even Bill is getting mean with the trolls

AGplusone: 🙂 final score UCLA: 104, Maryland: 70.


“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”

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

Final End of Discussion Log

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