Heinlein Readers Discussion Group Saturday 10-25-2003 5:00 P.M. EDT Time Travel vs. Free Will; is there really a conflict?

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group

Saturday 10-25-2003 5:00 P.M. EDT

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

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

OscagneTX has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Howdy, David.

Kultsi KN has entered the room.

Kultsi KN: Hi, guys!

OscagneTX: howdy

OscagneTX: brb

OscagneTX: b

OscagneTX: Sorry, my contact lens keeps popping out.

Kultsi KN: brb – giving a backrub to a lady…

OscagneTX: nice

DavidWrightSr: Hi Guys. Just got back from supper.

OscagneTX: howdy

has entered the room.

: Hello, everyone! I see that some of us have come early!

: (Oh … Oscagne, could you please send me your home phone number? I have some questions as we plan for next month’s chat.)

OscagneTX: howdy, Kate

OscagneTX: okay.

: Do we typically wait for the exact hour-and-minute before we start, or just begin when we have a reasonable number of people?

Kultsi KN: back! Hi, Kate!

OscagneTX: We generally wait for on topic stuff, but shoot the bull before hand.

: Hyvää huomenta, Kultsi!

: Thanks, Oscagne.

OscagneTX: no problem

Kultsi KN: Well, well! There’s a first in everything. Thx, Kate; warms the heart.

: Thanks, Kultsi (or should I say “Kiitoksia”?) – though that exhausts my knowledge of Finnish.

: Do we know whether anyone else plans to show up tonight?

OscagneTX: no

OscagneTX: It’s always a suprise.

DavidWrightSr: We never know.

: Okay – thanks for the information.

OscagneTX: So, it’s time. Y’all think we should wait? See if more people show?

: Let’s wait 5 minutes and start then if no one else shows up before.

OscagneTX: Okay

DenvToday has entered the room.

OscagneTX: There are seveal folks online, but not entering. Do you think they’re having trouble getting in? Like Thursday?

DenvToday: Greetings all.

OscagneTX: Ah, there’s one. Howdy.

DenvToday: Howdy howdy

OscagneTX: Did you have any trouble getting into the chatroom, Ron?

: I wish I knew … Why, hello, “denvtoday”! Oscagne, how can we help any stranded people get on?

OscagneTX: I’ll invite.

Kultsi KN: Hi, Ron!

Kultsi KN: You can invite them, Kate.

: Okay … how do I invite folks into the chat-room? Just type “I hereby invite you in”? Or what?

DenvToday: Hiya Kult. Good to see you.

Aurorax13 has entered the room.

OscagneTX: I’m doing it, Kate.

OscagneTX: Howdy!

DavidWrightSr: You have to have them in your buddy list first

: Okay – so how do I put people’s names into my buddy-list?

OscagneTX: I don’t know if you can on iChat.

Aurorax13: Hi all won’t be participating for a few minutes

: And hello, “aurorax13”!

: … ooops … :-[

DavidWrightSr: brb

Aurorax13: because of the 2 midgets trying to drown each other in the bathroom

: Next time, tell the “midgets” what my mother told me – “Sometimes the toilet forgets to not flush when people fight in it.”

Kultsi KN: I’ve picked all my buddy list from participants to these chats

OscagneTX: Okay, I invited Nuke and Jackie, but it won’t let me invite LV because he’s signed on through AOL and not AIM.

: Aargh. ptooie – I want to see LV! If you tell me how to get a person (such as LV) into my buddy-list, I’ll do so and then see if inviting him works. So please tell me how …

OscagneTX: Just at a guess, I’d highlight the desired buddies name or icon (whatever iChat has) and then look for an option somewhere that’s something to the affect of “add to buddy list”. But that’s just a guess.

OscagneTX: highlight=click on

: I’ll see what I can do … this may take a few minutes … yes, I knew about clicking on something to highlight it, but thanks!

: Aargh … it seems I can’t “add a buddy” without quitting a chat in progress … and I *don’t* want to do that!

OscagneTX: Have you folks noticed how circular so many of RAH’s concepts are? Most stories are linear, but we often make the full circle with Heinlein. Any significance?

: Hmmm … it seems that I *can* “add a buddy” BUT /a/ I need to know if he has AIM or Mac.com, and /b/ in any case I still have to quit the chat to do it. I give up on adding LV, for the moment!

Kultsi KN: The AIM agent for PC seems to be much easier to use. Where’s AG when we need him…

: I suspect that RAH did not think linearly with only-one-cause-producing-only-one-effect.

: Remember what his high-school yearbook said about him: “He thinks in the fifth dimension, never stopping at the fourth.”

: If “AG” refers to David Silver, I think I “saw” him on the newsgroup earlier today – so he might stop by.

Kultsi KN: AG is indeed a reference to David Silver; he isn’t online.

: Aargh … well, I did send him some e-mails today, a few hours ago, mostly about Heinlein Society business, so possibly he’s logged off to read these.

Kultsi KN: Heh! I hope e-mail over there works better than my ISP’s: I sent some test messages to myself on Oct 9 — they arrived today…

: Well, I have had some problems with e-mail myself – I originally had sent those messages to Dave somewhat earlier, but they apparently did not arrive so I re-sent them.

OscagneTX: hehe, Kultsi.

Kultsi KN: They have admitted they have a problem — and they are about the biggest provider in Finland, so this really affects many people and businesses.

: Hey, Kultsi, perhaps your messages fell into a time-warp? I think RAH could have gotten some really good time-travel stories out of e-mail delays (imagine a re-written “By His Bootstraps” with e-mails from the future … )

OscagneTX: But, the circle or cycle seems a predominant theme with Heinlein. I sthis a philosophy, or an ideosyncracy?

OscagneTX: Kate, I’d be more inclined to agree if Kultsi had received the messages before he sent them. %^)

: “Is this philosophy or idiosyncrasy?” – with RAH (or anyone, how could we tell? 😉

: Yes – and e-mails received-before-sent would make a great (and potentially very Heinleinian) time-travel story …

OscagneTX: Well, can we tell if its just habitual? Or is this the best concept for the stories?

Kultsi KN: brb

: Well, I can’t imagine a non-circular BOOTSTRAPS or ZOMBIES “working” as a story.

: Did RAH invent circularity in time-travel tales as he invented so much else?

OscagneTX: Doesn’t RAH say somewhere that HG Wells invented all the plots RAH used?

DavidWrightSr: I doubt it, but Zombies is certainly considered by many to be the ‘top’.

: Well, I can’t recall any Wells plots involving cloning or incest or sentient computers …

: but parts of Wells’ STAR-BEGOTTEN do come very close to RAH’s “Homo novus” notions.

OscagneTX: I never was really impressed with Well’s stories, but that’s probably because I’ve been spoiled by RAH.

: I like Wells, but I can see a lot of the things that RAH *did* *not* pick up from Wells (RAH/Wells would make an evening or two in itself.)

Kultsi KN: Like we are not impressed by the old phones, when we use mobile ones with all the bells and whistles.

Kultsi KN: The same story, told better.

OscagneTX: Exacly, K.

: But I don’t think that anyone will outdo the way that Heinlein told many of his tales – including many, perhaps all, of the time-travel ones.

: I think I’ll log off for a few minutes and see if I can get LV on …

OscagneTX: Well, he’s the only one that comes to my mind, who didn’t fall into the paradox trap.

has left the room.

Kultsi KN: Only time will tell that. None, this far, but maybe next week.

has entered the room.

Kultsi KN: wb, Kate

OscagneTX: Well, if you go with reincarnation, we shouldn’t expect any newly written Heinlein stories until … what?… 2013? Ten more years? %^)

OscagneTX: wb, kate.

: Hello again!

MrBillDennis2nd has entered the room.

: I still couldn’t find out how to invite LV on – and it looks as if I missed a bit about reincarnation (a subject I regret missing).

OscagneTX: Howdy, Bill.

Kultsi KN: Hi, Bill!

MrBillDennis2nd: Hey.

: Hello, Bill Dennis II!

: … and if Heinlein did indeed reincarnate (as he seems to have believed), we’ll probably have to wait AT LEAST till 2013 for new stuff …

MrBillDennis2nd: Has the chat started already? What time was it scheduled to begin?

OscagneTX: Not really, Kate, I was just replying to K, when he suggested that we might get a better time travel story next week.

: … assuming he goes into writing this time around …

OscagneTX: 47 min ago, Bill.

OscagneTX: ish. sorta.

: I missed Kultsi’s remark about “getting a better time-travel story next week” – please explain the context (as it must have happened during my brief absence.)

MrBillDennis2nd: I’d like to write a short story set in the P.J. Farmer’s Riverworld Universe where a reincarnated RAH search the Riverbanks for Ginny…

: Yes, do it!!!!!!

: By the way, some weeks ago I stumbled on a Net-site by some woman in California who claims to channel Robert Heinlein … does the Heinlein estate need to know about this? If so, I can probably track down the site again.

Kultsi KN: I just invited LV…

OscagneTX: The only line you missed, Kate, was Kultsi KN: Only time will tell that. None, this far, but maybe next week.

MrBillDennis2nd: It would probably turn out to be just fan fiction … and I hate to write without getting paid ….

: Thanks, K!, and THANKS, Oscagne, for confirming that I missed little …

MrBillDennis2nd: That would be an interesting case, Kate.

: Hmmm … re fan-fic: “getting paid” can include more than getting money. What if the Heinlein Society accepted-and-printed good-quality RAH fanfic, with profits going to the Society?

: Well, I’ll try to track down the channeler of Heinlein – after we quit for the night, since this may take some time.

MrBillDennis2nd: I would imagine that using any Heinlein characters would be a copyright violation …

Kultsi KN has left the room.

MrBillDennis2nd: As would setting a story in Mr. Farmer’s Riverworld universe.

: Goodbye, Kultsi …

MrBillDennis2nd: Later Kultsi …

MrBillDennis2nd: oops. Gone.

: What if you could get permission (if you asked) to use RAH/Ginny and Riverworld for some good purpose (such as raising money for a Good Cause?) Asking couldn’t hurt …

LV Poker Player has entered the room.

MrBillDennis2nd: True. Lots of hassle. I’ve never written fiction before ….

MrBillDennis2nd: Howdy LV!

LV Poker Player: Hi

: Welcome, LV! I assume that this week’s moderator can fill you in …

LV Poker Player: still time travel and free will, right?

OscagneTX: Howdy, LV.

: … though let me remark that we’ve gone a bit off-topic and have drifted into the notion of writing fanfic to raise money for the Heinlein Society …

OscagneTX: yup

OscagneTX: We’ve tangented a bit, though.

Kultsi KN has entered the room.

LV Poker Player: Should I tell them about RFAFP, Kate?

MrBillDennis2nd: This group always goes off topic, though.

: Ostensibly, still time-travel and free-will (we got onto fanfic because someone had the great idea of writing a RAH-in-search-of-Ginny story set in Farmer’s Riverworld.

OscagneTX: wb K.

Kultsi KN: thx. connection acting up.

: Yes, LV – I think you should.

LV Poker Player: I have written a blatant ripoff…err…I mean…remake of Requiem

LV Poker Player: Kate gave it a favorable review

Kultsi KN: If you filed off the serial numbers real good…

: Oh, LV did an excellent job with the “serial numbers” – ask him nicely to send you his story, and I think you’ll agree.

MrBillDennis2nd: Here’s my thing … in my Riverworld story, Heinlein encounters A. Panshin and ends up beating the crap out of him in some embarassing fashion ….

LV Poker Player: Amanda Scarnell, first and only woman to be elected president of the U. S., puts through a proposal to set up a lunar colony similar to my proposal that I have posted on afh a few times

LV Poker Player: I do use the name Luna City, but I think I will change that just to be safe

Kultsi KN: Purty pleeeez, LV! The addy’s

OscagneTX: You have webspace to put it on, LV? Or do you even want to post it?

: I like both Bill Dennis’ and LV’s ideas, and want to see both in print (could we wangle it if we asked Spectrum/Eleanor Wood to approve for content & donate all profits to the Society/the Heinlein estate?

: Re the lady in California who claims to channel RAH – this sort of thing has happened before. …

MrBillDennis2nd: Oh man … just what I need, another project …. 😉

Kultsi KN: Ehhh… the guys might want to get some of the dough, too…

: … early in the 20th century, a spiritualist claimed to channel Twain – she produced (& had published) a new novel “by Twain” & got royally sued by Twain’s estate.

OscagneTX: hehe. Good for Twain’s estate.

: OK, then, what about profit-splitting (the authors get a percentage, with the rest going to the Heinlein Society/Heinlein estate) – I’ve also proposed today (to David Silver) a similar notion …

LV Poker Player: On the way. I have sent it to Dee, for her commnents No answer yet. Right now my inclination is to put it on Pixels Writers Block, and post it on afh, and hope for the best on copyright, after changing Luna City to Moonbase, maybe

: … we should put out a collection of Heinlein filk with profits split between the authors and the Heinlein Society. …

: … for this (to which I want to contribute), I have in mind either of two titles: BLASTS FROM THE BRASS CANNON or …

: … GO FILK YOURSELF (suggested to me, in another context, by L. N. Collier. I wonder how he’ll like seeing his phrase taken seriously!)

OscagneTX: LV, if you put it on Pixel’s page be sure to put a pointer on afh because that page doesn’t get much traffic anymore.

OscagneTX: Last post was 9/15 (which is a real shame).

: I look forward to seeing LV’s work on Pixel’s page and/or elsewhere. Hmmm … if we get the needed permissions (for LV’s work, Bill Dennis’s Riverworld/RAH/Panshin ramble, or my Heinlein-filkbook notion) …

MrBillDennis2nd: Kate; Have you contributed to the AFH pictures to faces page yet?

: … we could even put the text on the Society page itself, with PayPal for download …

: No … how do I contribute to the AFH pictures-to-faces page? I’ll do it ASAP if you let me know …

MrBillDennis2nd: “Ramble”, huh? Hrmph! I like *that*!

MrBillDennis2nd: Oh shoot, not I have to find the link …

KeithWCunningham has entered the room.

OscagneTX: howdy.

Kultsi KN: Send the stuff to , Kate.

KeithWCunningham: howdy

Kultsi KN: Hi, Keith

: Thanks for the e-mail address for sending my picture to the AFH names/faces page – I plan to do so tonight.

KeithWCunningham: can’t stay

KeithWCunningham: entertaining my nephew

: Oh, goodbye, then

MrBillDennis2nd: Here is the page. http://afhpics.mnsdesigns.com/ Just e-mail your pic to the webmaster.

KeithWCunningham: have a good night, all

: Good night.

MrBillDennis2nd: Oh, great minds …

KeithWCunningham has left the room.

Copycat669 has entered the room.

: Hello, “copycat669”!

OscagneTX: howdy

Copycat669: hi guys! My computer froze last night so i got bumped!

: Oh, *disgusting* … you have a sentient model, I presume?

: 😉

OscagneTX: How long to thaw?

Kultsi KN: Perhaps you should close the windows O:-)

OscagneTX: You shouldn’t keep your puter in the freezer.%^)

Copycat669: LOL! So what’s the topic?

MrBillDennis2nd: fan fic

Copycat669: WINDOWS! OMG you guys should be on TV!

OscagneTX: irrelevant at this point%^)

fgherman has entered the room.

Copycat669: What’s fan fic?

OscagneTX: howdy.

fgherman: Hello all

Kultsi KN: Hi, Felicia!

: Ostensibly, “time travel and free will” – but we’ve drifted onto the possibility of publishing Heinlein fanfic – fiction written by fans with Heinlein characters – and HELLO, Felicia! …

MrBillDennis2nd: fan fiction. The subject of writing fiction contain Heinlein characters or RAH himself came up

Copycat669: Ohhh…

MrBillDennis2nd: Hello!

Copycat669: I never liked that. I LOVE Star Wars and Star Trek and I hate anything that isn’t written by Roddenbury or Lucas

: … specifically, the possibility of writing such fanfic with an “official seal of approval” (from the Heinlein estate) and then selling it through PayPal or whatever to make $$$ for the Heinlein Society/Heinlein estate.

fgherman: Not likely to happen, given the nature of copyright laws.

: “Fanfic” in this context might include filk (my notion) and also prose (as chat-members LVPokerPlayer and Bill Dennis suggest …

Copycat669: If I was an author, the characters would be alive inside me. Allowingsomeone else to write my characters would be….well, literary rape…

OscagneTX: The estate has the copyright. If they OK’ed it, it could happen. I don’t think they’ll do that.

: Well, I suspect that IF we interested their lawyer in the idea (by showing him some Stunningly Good Stuff) he might find a way to persuade the estate to OK it in the light of its Super-Stunning Goodness. …

fgherman: Even if they thought it might be a good idea, Eleanor wouldn’t allow it.

: I’ve seen what LV has written so far – I think it’ll impress even Eleanor.

fgherman: If it’s good enough, write their own stuff.

: … and what LV wrote does not *explicitly* use the name of RAH – it just draws on RAH material for inspiration, to about the same extent that Spider Robinson often draws on RAH stuff …

: … and I don’t think that Eleanor has thrown Spider out of business, or that she intends to.

fgherman: As is Joel’s stuff

LV Poker Player: Well, I think it is a little more derivative than Spider’s work

: “Filing off the serial numbers,” and all that …

fgherman: Hell, she represent Spider & Joel

Copycat669: There’s nothing wrong with Being Inspired but there’s just something WRONG with living in someone else’s life.

LV Poker Player: I mean, by some odd coincidence, the plot does resemble the plot of Requiem in quite a few ways

fgherman: Exactly

: Eleanor’s representing Spider and Joel (and probably others who owe and acknowledge a debt to Heinlein) MIGHT help.

LV Poker Player: The only actual direct use of anything was the name Luna City though, which I will probably change to Moonbase

Copycat669: That’s not really fair to her, though. It only stands to reason thatsomeone in her shoes would pursue similar types of authors.

: And LV’s work did not strike me as “living in RAH’s life” even given the obvious similarities to REQUIEM.

fgherman: If the stuff is good, and the serial #’s are filed off, it will eventually se..

fgherman: sell

: For that matter, LV’s work very explicitly ties its main character in with Monica Lewinsky (though without using her name, he manages to get across that Monica may have grown up into his heroine) … would the Clintons sue?

LV Poker Player: I doubt if my work has any commercial value. I don’t think the demand for remakes of science fiction stories is as high as the demand for remakes of movies

: Or would Monica sue?

fgherman: No, but Monica might.

OscagneTX: I don’t think they COULD sue. (the clintons)

fgherman: Don’t kid yourself

OscagneTX: well… sue & win… you can sue anything.

fgherman: Heinlein himself said that there are only 3 basic plots.

LV Poker Player: Actually, I intended the late Dave Scarnell to resemble Bill Clinton, somewhat

: I think that LV’s work would not look out of place in commercial-SF venues such as ANALOG. But what do I know? I don’t yet even know if ANALOG has bought my first story or not (I sent it in a couple of weeks ago) …

fgherman: Prepare to wait awhile

: … yes, with a big self-addressed-and-stamped envelope in the likely case that they don’t want it.

MrBillDennis2nd: Oops. Bye folks. Gotta go.

fgherman: Bye

OscagneTX: ‘night

Copycat669: Ok, sorry….i have to go to the store for Gravy. I’ll be back though, k?

Kultsi KN: Bye, Bill!

: I certainly do expect to wait – and I certainly don’t expect good news. ‘Bye, Bill and CopyCat!

MrBillDennis2nd has left the room.

LV Poker Player: Kate, I sent you email about Without a License. Did you read it yet?

OscagneTX: see ya

: By the way, the story I sent in does not draw on RAH’s plot or characters … at least, I don’t think it does … but LV has seen it by this time (I think) and he can tell you “yes” or “no.”

Kultsi KN: Anyway, if you want to sell a story, it must not have appeared on other fora before.

LV Poker Player: I really didn’t see anything that tied into RAH, other than any science fiction pretty much has to do so

: No, LV, I haven’t yet seen your e-mail re my for-ANALOG story “Without A License” – whatever you wrote, feel free to share that (though of course, LV, as K points out you canNOT share the actual story.)

: If I send the story privately to someone (as I’ve sent it to LV), does that count as “showing it in other fora”? I hope not – because if any of my friends asks to see it then I would certainly want to show it to him/her *privately*.

LV Poker Player: If I discuss it, I will give away a serious spoiler, is that ok?

fgherman: certainly not

LV Poker Player: I dooubt it. Trees, sounds, no one there, that sort of thing.

: Right – LV, I see why you couldn’t discuss it without spoiling it – so I understand & accept that you don’t wish to discuss it.

fgherman: The certainly not was for the showing the story privately

: “Fgherman,” does that mean I can “certainly not” show the story privately? Just let me know …

LV Poker Player: Actually, I don’t care, I wondered what you and others thought though? I think you should be the one to decide.

: I’ve decided to show the story *privately* to those who ask to see it and who promise not to show it to others and NOT to give away any spoiler(s). I hope that those who see it will comment …

fgherman: As long as the story hasn’t been published before,you can sell it. Showing it to friends, your writing group or s/o is certainlyallowable

LV Poker Player: What I meant was that Analog or whoever probably would not even know that you had sent it to people privately.

: … PRIVATELY comment, of course!

: Well, not unless they have someone in this chat-group (I don’t know if anyone here works for an SF-magazine or other publisher.)

fgherman: I feel like the copyright / fair use queen here.

: If you want to see the story, send me an e-mail titled “please send story WITHOUT A LICENSE” to

: That depends on what you (fgherman) mean by “queen” in this context. 😉

fgherman: I prefer god-empress myself, but…

DavidWrightSr: Kate, Felicia (fgherman) is the wife of writer Joel Rosenberg.

: God-empress? Sounds like a DUNE spinoff … THANKS, David, for introducing me to Felicia! I hope that I said nothing to offend you, ma’am …

fgherman: And my professional credentials include being a librarian

fgherman: No offense taken, and glad to meet you too

: Then we’ve something in common – I have an MLS from Long Island University (1989) though I used it only briefly (a long story) …

fgherman: (When did I get old enough to be called ‘ma’am’)

: … perhaps I’ll tell you sometime …

: Well, I know that queens get called “ma’am” – I assume the same holds true for God-Empresses.

: I meant that as a joke, Felicia!

fgherman: BTW, Joel & I will have been married 25 years as of tomorrow.

: Happy anniversary! And may you live long enough to celebrate a future anniversary off Terra!

OscagneTX: Dancing Rodents, Felicia!

LV Poker Player: For that matter, anyone who wants to read Requiem For a Former President can send me email asking for it. Any resemblance between Bill Clinton and the late Dave Scarnell is purely coincidental, and not all that strong anyway

fgherman: from your mouth to G_d’s ear.

Kultsi KN: Wheee! All the best & conga rats!

: Hmmm … one day, we should probably do a chat on “Jews & Judaism in RAH’s works.”

LV Poker Player: It took me a while to figure out that the “pariahs” in IF This Goes On were jews

: Yes, an effective story-telling technique: show people feeling a certain way about some person/event before you reveal …

LV Poker Player: Any resemblance between the plot ofRequiem by RAH and the plot of Requiem For a Former President is not much of a coincidence though

: … or before they discover, the true nature of what you got them to love/hate/fear.

fgherman: LIke Keyser Soze

: If the two REQUIEMs come too close for coincidence, add a sub-plot or two and file off a few more serial-numbers.

: “Keyser Soze”?

fgherman: From the movie “The Usual Suspects”

: Also, you don’t necessarily have to call the new story REQUIEM. How about GLAD DID I LIVE (referring to a public-domain R. L. Stevenson quote that RAH used in REQUIEM)?

LV Poker Player: Actually, I think I did a fair job of doing that

LV Poker Player: That might be a good idea

Aurorax13: Okay so I have no idea what’s going on but midgets are done drowning each other

: I never saw THE USUAL SUSPECTS – tell me about Keyser Soze and how this relates to playing those authorial cards close to the vest.

Kultsi KN: Did they succeed?

Aurorax13: no

Aurorax13: thankfully

fgherman: Go rent the movie ( which is gorgeously written and acted) and then we’ll discuss it

: Next time (as I mentioned in your absence) tell them what my mom told me: “Sometimes, when people fight in the toilet, it forgets not to flush.”

Aurorax13: LOL

: I don’t have a working VCR or DVD player (yet) – as I watch little TV and few movies (I’ve too much else to do, Saving The World From Bad Handwriting and all).

OscagneTX: OT: I just ran an Amazon search on “Joel Rosenberg” and got 3245 hits.

: Oh, WOW!!!!!

OscagneTX: Anybody ready for a break?

: I could use a break for a few minutes!

LV Poker Player: I’

Aurorax13: I just got here!

Aurorax13: this is my break

LV Poker Player: I’ll send you some more email, Kate, can you check it during a break?

Kultsi KN: Taking a break usually means shooting bull.

Aurorax13: ahhhh

OscagneTX: How long are you on break Au?

Aurorax13: sry

OscagneTX: and from what?

Aurorax13: ’til I feel like not being on break

OscagneTX: Ah. Okay.

Aurorax13: two midgets

Aurorax13: one left the other is watching Nick

: I have to go check that e-mail …

OscagneTX: Lets break until 6:50 Eastern US.

OscagneTX: Ten minutes.

: Roger Wilco!

fgherman: ok

Aurorax13: okey dokey

Aurorax13: now I have a headache

Aurorax13: too much phone today

Kultsi KN: Kate, have you got a non-USian keyboard, as people don’t usually have the umlaut characters?

Aurorax13: reconnecting w/people after 15 yrs.

: I only have a standard Mac keyboard – which does, indeed, permit umlauting.

: Now I really have to go get my mail!

Aurorax13: can’t you umlaut w/the alt key?

Kultsi KN: Yes, if you know how.

Aurorax13: not on aol apparently

Aurorax13: it seems to think I’m giving it commands

Kultsi KN: Try

Aurorax13: nope

Aurorax13: doesn’t like that either

Aurorax13: I know if I was in a word processing mode that those key produce other things but aol doesn’t like that

Kultsi KN: There is a reason why I call it AOHell…

Aurorax13: yeah, well it was free w/the computer

Aurorax13: I know anything free is worth what you pay for it

Kultsi KN: My only interaction with them is the AIM client program and the use of their servers when AIMing.

OscagneTX: yup

Aurorax13: I actually like aol it is very very easy to use

Aurorax13: I can just jump into stuff w/out knowing really what I’m doing

Aurorax13: 😀

Kultsi KN: Why does this remind me of the spammers being infected with the Swen worm virus…

Aurorax13: ?

fgherman has left the room.

OscagneTX: Ready to start back up?

Kultsi KN: They apparently don’t know what they are doing.

Kultsi KN: 😎

Aurorax13: since I don’t know what was going on, sure

OscagneTX: not much.

DenvToday: Sorry all, I must go.

DenvToday: Great seeing you all.

Aurorax13: sorry to have missed you

DenvToday: Bye for now

Kultsi KN: See ya!

DenvToday has left the room.

Aurorax13: by

OscagneTX: laters

Aurorax13: I am now involved in a heated argument w/a 5 yr old over whose computer this is

Aurorax13: He seems to think it’s his

OscagneTX: %^)

LV Poker Player: Oh my…I remember arguments over the TV set when I was a kid

Aurorax13: now he’s eating my finger

Aurorax13: w/ your parents?

LV Poker Player: Parents who won’t compromise and a child with Asperger’s Syndrome who does not even know how to suggest a compromise is not an ideal combination

: I guess we can start up. Ask your five-year-old “How do you know it belongs to you?” and see how he answers! (I’d love to hear his answer!)

Aurorax13: well see there’s a prolem there

: LV, have you any practical suggestions for teaching the child in question “how to suggest a compromise”?

LV Poker Player: not really

: Well, “hope springs eternal” …

Aurorax13: he’s deaf and there for delayed conceptually and w/language and he doesn’t understand what why means

Aurorax13: or how or most of the question words

LV Poker Player: It’s kind of like saying open flames and standing in a puddle of gasoline is not an ideal combination

: Oh … which question-words does he understand? (I want to find a way to raise the question to him, if at all possible) – if I may ask, of course …

LV Poker Player: I think we have some people here who do not read alt.fan.heinlein regularly?

Copycat669: I”MBACk!

Kultsi KN: wb

: … what would get across the notion “What causes you to think that this belongs to you?”

OscagneTX: wb

Aurorax13: he understands where

Aurorax13: sometimes what but not usually

: “copycat,” the above won’t make sense without some ‘splaining from aurorax13 … ask her after the chat if not during it.

Aurorax13: he’s more into the imperitive statements

Copycat669: dealing with a learning impaired child is actually one of my life experiences…

: Well, then, aurorax13, with your five-year-old you might try “What makes this computer yours?” or (better?) “where does this computer show it belongs to you?”

Aurorax13: that’s my fault and can aswear now for him

: … if all else fails, how about “get off MY computer”?

Aurorax13: I made the mistake of giving him his own screen name and desktop

Aurorax13: whoops

: Can you unmake the mistake? Tell him he no longer has those things?

Aurorax13: I just changed the passwords

: Changing the passwords should work …

LV Poker Player: If you were dealing with Asperger’s or another autism spectrum disorder, I might have some suggestions. Not in this case though

Aurorax13: now he can’t log onto the computer

: Well, what does he think of *that*?

Aurorax13: he hasn’t discovered it yet

: Well, tell us what happens when he *does* discover it …

Aurorax13: he’ll turn it off or get me or daddy if daddy’s here

: … by the way, all this talk of children and what they think makes me wonder whether any parents here can answer a question which long has puzzled me …

: at what age does a child not only have thoughts, but know/think about having thoughts – “know that s/he is thinking,” in some sense?

Copycat669: I think from around 3-9, then they no longer think (thus “I don’t know…”becomes the answer to every question) That particular skill returns aroundwhatever age they become parents.

: Well, if he turns it off – fine … if he gets you or Daddy, just say/sign “no” (or so I would assume) – perhaps with “it’s not your computer any more”

Aurorax13: you could probably answear that yourself just think back to when you realized it

Aurorax13: that’s the only way to really answear it

: I don’t ever remember NOT realizing it – and I have memories going back to at latest age one (the age I discovered that I could shift my weight to “creep” my high-chair across the floor with me in it …

Aurorax13: Have you ever read the callahan’s books

OscagneTX: Pretty much all of them, myself.

: … which really freaked out my mom, when she left the room, came back 10 minutes later, and saw me at the other end!

Aurorax13: LOL

Kultsi KN: I don’t know about thinking about thinking, but children have pretty sharp thoughts a young age.

: I’ve read ALL the Callahan books, and most of Spider’s other writing.

Copycat669: It’s an interesting question, though….when does one think about thinking

: To “know about thinking about thinking” – surely an infinite regress …

Aurorax13: when one has it brought to one’s attention

Copycat669: Read a book called The Grid. it’s about a computer that becomes self aware.

Aurorax13: well I was thinking of Solace

: I remember thinking “Does my dog Lady know she’s thinking?” at about age four, when she sniffed at a toy in my hand and Mom told me “She thinks it could be something to eat.”

: I know about Solace, but not (yet) about GRID.

Aurorax13: GRID?

: Somebody mentioned a sentient “grid” computer a minute or two ago – one in SF, I mean, not a real one.

Copycat669: yeah, it’s a great book. I LOVED it!

: Hey, let’s talk a little at least about time-travel – who else here has read BY HIS BOOTSTRAPS and realized that RAH’s “save-the-future list” in that story included Sun Tzu’s THE ART OF WAR …

: … about four or five decades before that book became well-known and “cool”?

Aurorax13: 😛

OscagneTX: I don’t know about “cool” but it was probably something he encountered in the Naval Academy.

: THANKS, Aurorax13! Hmmm … do any other time-travel-related passages of RAH include one or more of his many, many “survival kit lists”?

: Yes, I presume that the Naval Academy accounts for THE ART OF WAR.

Aurorax13: or just his seemingly insatiable thirst for knowledge

: Re “survival lists” in time-travel fiction of RAH – of course, TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE has a “pack a wagon train for survival” list, but that doesn’t occur within a passage dealing with time-travel …

Copycat669: it would still be applicable in my opinion, however

: … or within a part of the story that involves time-travel other than in the usual cradle-to-Grave direction …

: What would “still be applicable”? The survival-list in TIME ENOUGH?

Copycat669: yes. it wasn’t in a pasage dealing with time travel, but would still be a great reference

: If so, what other time-travel yarns of his also include survival-lists? I can think of FARNHAM’S FREEHOLD – any others?

Aurorax13: the one w/star and oscar

: And, yes, I agree that ALL Heinlein’s lists make great references! Hmmm … perhaps the Heinlein Society should print and sell “The ListBook of Robert A. Heinlein” – as a learn-from this work, similar to the NOTEBOOKS OF LL …

: Where does GLORY ROAD (Star and Oscar) have a list? I fail to recall at the moment …

Aurorax13: well not time travel precisely but travel

Kultsi KN: In The Door Into Summer Dan takes the most essential thing for survival with him — valuta in the form of gold.

Copycat669: Doesn’t someone insist that the most important item to take is a TOWEL?

Copycat669: Number of the BEast, I believe?

Pixelmeow has entered the room.

OscagneTX: Howdy, Pix!

Pixelmeow: whew!

: Yes – gold – but I had in mind “lists” of more than one item: lists long enough that you can’t remember them, but you have to look them up. HELLO, Pix!

Kultsi KN: Hi, Pixel!

Aurorax13: yes

Pixelmeow: hey, all

Aurorax13: brb

Copycat669: hiya pix

Pixelmeow: what are we discussing, I’ve had a week from hell

: The towel comes from HITCHHIKER’S GUIDE, not from any RAH work as far as I know …

Copycat669: *sigh*. Mental meltdown. That’s what comes from being a literary glutton

OscagneTX: Hey Pix. Official Topic is Time Travel and Free Will, but right now we’re talking about Heinlein’s time/travel – survival rules.

: … though DOOR INTO SUMMER did have Ricky pack a towel and swimsuit for her trip from the Scout-camp “to Grandma’s hotel” …

: … much more than that would have aroused suspicion at the camp …

Pixelmeow: ah.

: I suggested that the Heinlein Estate should publish a “ListBook of RAH” (all the lists of useful stuff, from all his books, put together in one volume) …

DavidWrightSr: John Lyle had to bring a towel when spelunking IIRC

: … as a companion to the NOTEBOOKS, – oh, yeah, John did need a towel in REVOLT 2100 …

Copycat669: True, true…tahnks for the save, Dave

Pixelmeow: I thought it very interesting the list made when Laz and Dora went over the hills

: … because, like the girl in SUMMER, he’d go swimming …

Pixelmeow: but that wasn’t time travel.

Pixelmeow: hm

: I LOVE the Laz/Dora “wagon-train for survival” list! …

Pixelmeow: I LOVE that story. 🙂

OscagneTX: That’s one of my favorites.

OscagneTX: She was HARDY.

: … anyway, often I want to look up those lists – just the lists – and to learn from them WITHOUT having to go through a whole story or novel to find the one I need.

: Among “lists”, of course I’d include lists of skills and knowledge-areas, not just book-lists and other “stuff lists” …

Kultsi KN: Scan them.

: … yes, I should scan them … but I’d like them in a nice, handsome book for reference, like the NOTEBOOKS … and selling this might bring in $$$

: … after all, the NOTEBOOKS brought in unexpected money as I recall.

OscagneTX: Would there be enough to make a book?

: Yes, DEFINITELY enough to make a book at least as long as the NOTEBOOKS when NOTEBOOKS OF LL appeared as a separate book & sold so well!

: By the way, one passage would appear in BOTH “Notebooks” and “The ListBook” – the famous “A human being should know how to … ” quote from TIME ENOUGH.

LV Poker Player: Been afk but back now

Copycat669: LV, i am not here consistently enough, I’m sure, but have many others read your fan fic?

Aurorax13: sry back

: Sure, I could scan all RAH’s “survival lists” and such & put them all into one notebook for my own personal use …

: what does “afk” mean?

Copycat669: away from keyboard

: … but if I want to do this (as I do indeed plan to do when I can), then so, probably do others …

: THANKS for “afk”!

Pixelmeow: someone is working on a searchable RAH works, arent’ they?

Pixelmeow: I forget who.

: … and, if others want it, then why can’t the Society/estate sell it to them?

LV Poker Player: Only a few. I am waiting for an answer from Dee, I hope to get her opinion on whether I need to go to the hassle of getting permission from Spectrum. My inclination now is to just post it on afh and Pixel’s Writer’s Block, (cont)

LV Poker Player: (cont) and hope for the best in terms of copyright, unless Dee recommends otherwise

LV Poker Player: I’ll send it to anyone who asks, including you

LV Poker Player: afk = away from keyboard

Copycat669: I’d love to see it. I’m a freelance editor by trade, and yet I never tire of reading new material.

LV Poker Player: what email address?

: If people shelled out so much for NOTEBOOKS despite already having TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE, …


Copycat669: if that’s not big enough, I’ll send you my other address via that email.

: I think they’d shell out as much or more for a book of all of Heinlein’s lists (since this,too, combines utility with pleasure). I think A LOT of people read Heinlein solely/largely/partly just to *learn* *stuff*.

Kultsi KN: It’s plenty big.

LV Poker Player: Just sent it

: THANKS to all who informed me on “afk”!

Copycat669: eh, I don’t know if I agree with that, Kate, but I do think that thereare enough of us “collectors” who’d buy it just to own it, if not to poreover it and use it in chats and arguments! hehehe

Pixelmeow: I’d buy it…

Copycat669: me too

: Yes, and collectors pay fair amounts of money! I’d probably buy two: one for daily use, and one to keep in the lead-lined rooms on my property against dire need …

Copycat669: then again, there’s just something about doing the research on your own. it’s like bible study.

: (No joke about lead-lined rooms – the office-wing of my house began life as a dentist’s office, and no reason existed to take the lead out of the X-ray-and-torture rooms when the former owner sold us the place.)

OscagneTX: General announcement: Could everybody here who is not on the AFH AIM screennames website (http://www.cis.ohio-state.edu/~bohn/AFHnames.html) . . .

OscagneTX: Please email me with your screenname and “familiar” name and I’ll see you get added.


Kultsi KN: I’d like to have RAH books on CD — would make searching _so_ much easier.

: I agree with the benefits of research-on-one’s-own; however, other benefits exist to having the “good stuff” excerpted. …

Pixelmeow: Email me also, i keep a list on http://pixelmeow.com

: … to use the “Bible study” analogy, a place exists for books of topical Bible quotes as well as for the “hard stuff”.

OscagneTX: I’ll relay to you, Pix.

: Please remind me of your e-mail address, Pixel – others here might also need to know it.

: Oh, okay, Oscagne – and THANKS!

Copycat669: gotta see what my handle is…

Copycat669: oh yeah…


: How do I find out my own screen-name? Can someone here let me know how I show up on others’ screens?

Pixelmeow: you show up as an email address.


: And THANKS, Pixel, for the e-mail address!

OscagneTX: You’re showing up as “UnsupportedSN1” to me.

Pixelmeow: “

Pixelmeow: Heh.

Copycat669: you show up as to me.

: OK – do I ID myself for Oscagne’s list as the e-mail address (which I seldom use – I prefer another) or that robotic-sounding “UnsupportedSN1” thing?

OscagneTX: We’ll put them both on there.

: Good idea!

: Also please put my REAL e-mail address: – if you can.

OscagneTX: Okay.

: Hmmm … Oscagne, since you now have all 3 of my handles, can I dispense with e-mailing them to you? “Minimizing therbligs” (TIME ENOUGH/Notebooks) and all that, you know.

Kultsi KN: No, don’t. Putting real e-mail addys on web sites is the surest way to spam.

Copycat669: hey, good point…

: OK, don’t use my real e-mail address but do use the other two handles

OscagneTX: That’s fine, Kate. But you should consider K’s advice.

OscagneTX: Ok.

: Noted and logged! (see above)

Kultsi KN: I got 88 spam this morning…

: Question apropos of nothing: how many of you use RAH allusions/expressions in your daily talk (off cyberspace) with friends/family who also know/love Heinlein?

Pixelmeow: I use them often but I don’t know anyone personally who loves RAH

Aurorax13: I just use them and get funny looks from the ‘normals’

Copycat669: Should I admit this? I don’t have any friends/family who Know/love Heinlein.

Pixelmeow: as in, flesh people.

OscagneTX: It happens often enough that I spend a good amount of time explaining myself.

OscagneTX: brb


: E.g., Andrew and I sometimes use the “E.F./F.F.” code which RAH quotes in TIME ENOUGH FOR LOVE (a Lazarus/Dora scene) although he certainly did not originate this …

: … at least, it occurs in a Navy joke well pre-dating TIME ENOUGH.

Copycat669: It helps that hte pay it forward concept was made into a great book and a good movie.

MrBillDennis2nd has entered the room.

Copycat669: That at least i don’t have to explain hwen I do nice things for people.

MrBillDennis2nd: Howdy folks

Pixelmeow: hey there!

Kultsi KN: Neither did he invent TANSTAAFL

Kultsi KN: wb, Bill.

MrBillDennis2nd: dinner was delicious ….

: Yes – but we should DO SOMETHING – Hi, Bill! – to get people associating PAY IT FORWARD and TANSTAAFL specifically with Heinlein …

: … who originated the wording of /1/ and who helped popularize /2/.

: do you think the Heinlein Soc. page could have an area specifically devoted to “concepts RAH brought onto society’s radar-screen” whether he invented them or “only” popularized them?

: “Concepts” might mean anything from a word or phrase (such as “grok” or “pay it forward”) to larger notions.

Kultsi KN: There is a site for that already, but putting them on the Society page might not be a bad idea.

MrBillDennis2nd: I would think a link would suffice.

: THANKS for the support, Kultsi – I wonder what any Soc. board-members here might think.

: Yes, a link would do fine.

Kultsi KN: The site _is_ somewhat dry and to the point.

Aurorax13: 😀

MrBillDennis2nd: Well, an ordinary fan Website is an individualistic thing. It relfevcts the taste’s of oen person …

: True – though much less “dry” than a few months ago (thanks to diligent work by the Society’s Board). I presume they have further improvements to come.

Aurorax13: sry 5 yr old invasion w/the smiley face

MrBillDennis2nd: a site owned by the 200 plus society members would have to be a but staid …

MrBillDennis2nd: reflects


Aurorax13: that’s quite close

: Maryland, Eastern Standard Time (not Daylight Time still?) – possibly “bad mommy,” but I won’t commit myself (having no children)

Aurorax13: I’m on the phone to Hawaii

Pixelmeow: Lower part, 30 miles north of Salisbury MD

Pixelmeow: Still dst.

MrBillDennis2nd: Oh, yes, we gain an hour sleep this weekend! Yea!

Aurorax13: Baltimore

: I live in Albany. To forestall queries, we DID try – hard and with much help – for children: no dice.

Pixelmeow: Wow!

LV Poker Player: Time for me to take off

Aurorax13: foster care is a wonderful thing

Pixelmeow: do youcome on to the NG?

LV Poker Player has left the room.


Pixelmeow: that was fast!

Aurorax13: ?

Pixelmeow: the newsgroup?

: Someone should talk about childrearing/foster-care/education/etc. in RAH – a lot of gold there to mine!

Aurorax13: no too much going on in there

Aurorax13: I get lost

Pixelmeow: ah.

Pixelmeow: understandable.

Aurorax13: tried and was ignored

Pixelmeow: !

Aurorax13: really

: So, when do we log off for the night?

Pixelmeow: Next time, let me know who you are!

Pixelmeow: I won’t ignore you!

MrBillDennis2nd: it keeps going until only one person left ….

Aurorax13: is me

: Oh … kind of like HIGHLANDER … (I half-slept through the movie, but noted that it does have some themes RAH also played with … )

Pixelmeow: Well, I haven’t done much lately because this has been the week from hell.

Aurorax13: posted a response on a thread and never was even aknowledged

Copycat669: I have to say that I’m not really keen on his parenting in To Sail

Pixelmeow: yeah, that happens.

Kultsi KN: Feeling any better, Pix?

: WHAT a concept for SF – could “the week from Hell” have a literal meaning if some of our time gets issued to us from other continua?

Pixelmeow: no, it was pretty much finalized tonight.

Pixelmeow: No hope for it.

Copycat669: Aururax, it’s tough in this place. A comment can get sandwiched in between two others and be lost for eternity.

OscagneTX: b

Kultsi KN: Oh.. {{{Pixel}}}

MrBillDennis2nd: The immortal marrying the ephemeral? Yeah, I noticed that on second viewing of the movie. After I had read TEFL

Pixelmeow: thanks, K.

Pixelmeow: I *need* that.

: Which parenting in TO SAIL bothered you more? the parenting Maureen got? or the parenting that Maureen’s step-kids had gotten from a REALLY poor excuse for a mom?

: (Not “step-kids” – I can’t remember the teens’ precise relationship to Maureen at the moment).

Copycat669: oh, my, i think that all of it bugged me a bit. But not enough notto enjoy the book. I have to say that there’s something a bit stimulatingabout the innocent sexuality of the whole thing.

Pixelmeow: Maureen was their mother

Aurorax13: now the midget has taken up residence under the desk

: I wonder how it felt, though, for Maureen to grow up with such a puritan mom and a dad who shows her porno-books.

Aurorax13: the better to torture me I suppose

: She does say something about how that felt – but I have a feeling that she didn’t say all of HER feelings on the subject …

Aurorax13: I just reread TOSBTS

MrBillDennis2nd: they were her kids … raised by Brian and his secodn wife

Copycat669: It makes me wonder what kind of parenting that RAH actually endorsed(Wecanall assumethat I’m not insinuating that actions by a character are representativeof the authors)(i left a chat email group over that whole thing recently!!)

Aurorax13: they were Maureen’s kids and the step-mom was also their sis in law

Aurorax13: being richard brian’s wife

: … so not raised by Maureen, which explains how they turned out so messed-up. I can’t imagine that any kid of Maureen’s, raised by her, would have gotten VD.

Aurorax13: Or by Nelson and Betty Lou who had some of her kids for a while

: Re parenting that RAH endorsed – BEYOND THIS HORIZON describes a fair amount about how kids get raised in that society, doesn’t it? (at least, if we take Theobald’s early-childhood education as fairly typical in some ways. …

: … e.g., RAH specifically states that Phyllis followed certain “development center” policies in deciding what Theobald would experience in his home-life and education. These included, as I recall …

: reading introduced at age three, and also (from the start) making sure that Theo never, ever sees/hears the name of anything unless his environment/adults can provide concrete, perceivable examples of that thing.

Copycat669: ACK! that’s BAD BAD BAD

OscagneTX: It looks like we’re mostly done. If you’d like we can end what formality we’ve got left and just chat randomly for a while.

MrBillDennis2nd: God, what a textbook way to raise an unimaginative child!

OscagneTX: Oops

OscagneTX: Please disregard.

MrBillDennis2nd: Formallity? What formality?

: What makes it so “bad bad bad,” Copycat? RAH points out that “providing concrete examples” to look at can include …

OscagneTX: The window got scrolled up, and I thought nobody was talking.

OscagneTX: Nevermind.

MrBillDennis2nd: No easter bunny? No santa? No fairy tales?

: … e.g., drawing things, showing pictures of them, etc. (CopyCat, unicorns don’t exist but you can STILL draw one, to show a child what the word “unicorn” refers to … )

Copycat669: In my opinion, that’s what’s wrong with today’s kids. Nothing is left to their imaginations and so their innocence is lost.

Copycat669: I had to imagine a penis in my mind.

Copycat669: BOY was I surprised!

: Not “no Santa” – since brand-names in BEYOND include “Father Christmas Sweets – Not a tummyache in a tankful!”

MrBillDennis2nd: So, were you disappointed?

MrBillDennis2nd: pleasently surprised, i hope…

Copycat669: Well…..(I’m so embarassed…WHY OH WHY did I bring it up? hehehe) I envisioned a garden hose.

: Forgive my ignorance, but when a child learns a word I think it makes sense for him/her to learn what the word refers to as well. If you ask a kid to repeat “I pledge allegiance to the flag,” better have a flag to show him/her …

Copycat669: After toileting, I envisioned curling it up (because my father wasSO INSISTENT on that with the hose…) and putting it away in that nice littleflap I saw in men’s underpants.

Copycat669: My first intimate boy-friend (who is thankfully now my husband) gota HUGE laugh when I asked if it would spray all over the place if he didn’thold it while peeing.

OscagneTX: As I understand it, there are some cases where coiling could be appropriate, or even possible. In certain circumstance. Just not me.

MrBillDennis2nd: My parents toilet trained me by sending me in to see how my dad peed standing up. I never had any problems after that.

MrBillDennis2nd: Perhaps I shouldn’t have shared THAT

OscagneTX: hehe

Pixelmeow: 😀

OscagneTX: I was told “just stand”. Then had to be told I didn’t need to drop my pants to my ankles.

: Good example of what I think RAH meant in BEYOND: if you use a word around a kid, and if you want him/her learning the word, give the word MEANING in some realistic way.

MrBillDennis2nd: “Boy the water sure is cold in this stream.” “Yeah. Deep too.”

Pixelmeow: ROFL!!!

Copycat669: that’s still a BAD BAD THING!

Copycat669: let the child DISCOVER meaning

OscagneTX: You’ve never heard that before, Pix? That’s an OLD one.

Copycat669: Meaning may be different to different people.

Pixelmeow: No, I was laughing anew.

Pixelmeow: 😉

Copycat669: tthere’s value in imagining and researching.

: What do you mean by “letting the child discover meaning” – The fact that we can and do mean/imagine/research different things, IMHO, …

MrBillDennis2nd: “At least the fish aren’t biting.”

Pixelmeow: LOL!

: … only UNDERLINES the importance of making sure to tie in abstractions (words or other symbols) with those real meanings.

OscagneTX: Hm. I don’t know, CC. I don’t think RAH was advocating it, I think he was using it as a plot device.

Kultsi KN: I learned a very great part of my English from context, not of actual examples.

Copycat669: me too, Oscagne….we’re only arguing the point from our own perspectives.

: “Water” wouldn’t have made sense to Helen Keller until she got to touch and use the THING it stood for, as part of learning the word.

OscagneTX: There’s no way they could determine Theo was telepathic unless they KNEW he had no experience with the thing he described.

MrBillDennis2nd: True. Consider the passage in context.

Copycat669: And yet, Helen Keller HAD to learn to fill in the blanks with her imaginationfor other things because there was no way for her to experience absstractconcepts.

Copycat669: She practiced that same self discovery that I’m advocating by default.

MrBillDennis2nd: Also consider how Heinlein portrayed young, smart boys as nearly sociopathic at times.

Copycat669: Boys are sociopathic, aren’t htey?

MrBillDennis2nd: Clark Fries? Theo in HORIZON. Even young W.W. Smith ….

OscagneTX: Even the sociopathic kids were well-behaved, though.

Aurorax13: explaining abstract concepts to someone w/no speech is difficult

OscagneTX: No thrashing about or temper tantrums.

Copycat669: The only thing I insist on defining for my children are theologicaland moral issues. As for the rest, the world is a GREAT educator.

MrBillDennis2nd: That’s not the definition of sociopathic.

: Keller example – what you call “self-discovery,” I call what Heinlein had in mind (in BEYOND and in a VERY long Ira/Maureen talk in TO SAIL) …

OscagneTX: What I’m saying is that, off the top of my head, I can’t think of any protagonistic kids that behaved badly.

OscagneTX: Even the one’s who were sociopathic and/or “drove their parents nuts”.

Aurorax13: ww smith

OscagneTX: perhaps.

: “abstractions” (to HKeller or anyone else) ,,,

Aurorax13: no actual descriptions but definately required regular spankings

OscagneTX: Did he throw tantrums, or just massage the rules. “He SAID he’d take me to Electric Park” etc.

MrBillDennis2nd: Woody was a handful, not a spoiled brat by any means.

Aurorax13: spoiled brats are correctable

: … words about things, words about words about things, etc. (abstractions) don’t make sense until-and-unless …

OscagneTX: exactly

Copycat669: that’s not true, Kate…

Copycat669: words can paint images. I had NO idea what a penis was AT ALL

: until/unless the long chain of words links to something you can know non-verbally: a non-word event/object/fact.

MrBillDennis2nd: Heinlein often didn’t describe things and people … let the reader “fill in the blanks” …

: Yes – words “paint images” because, and ONLY because, you can link the word to something you already know about.

Aurorax13: It’s hard to explain why to a child w/no ‘verbal’ skills

Aurorax13: believe me

Copycat669: the word penis had NOTHING to do with anything in my previous knowledge.

: Yes, I agree that you can’t explain “why” unless you have first explained/demonstrated other things …

Aurorax13: Sign lang. is highly inadequate at my level of non-expertise

Copycat669: I derived my concept of it from the spelling.

Aurorax13: LOL

Kultsi KN: Folks — it’s getting late, and I need my beauty sleep. Nice “seeing” y’all, and g’night!

Copycat669: Night!

Pixelmeow: night K

Aurorax13: night

OscagneTX: ‘night K.

: “penis” – good example! Copycat, if you had no idea what a “penis” looked like (you just made up your notion from a verbal symbol you didn’t grok) –

MrBillDennis2nd: night …

Copycat669: I think I’m outta here, too. Just finished dinner and I feel some snuggle time coming on….

Copycat669: exactly. and it served me well.

Aurorax13: I usually have that problem still w/pronunciation

Pixelmeow: and I’ve got other stuff I need to get to

: . then it doesn’t help you understandsome other new word if I just say “a ‘snarkle’ looks like a penis.

Copycat669: my imagination worked overtime.

OscagneTX: ‘night, Pix.

Pixelmeow has left the room.

Kultsi KN has left the room.

MrBillDennis2nd: I don’t worry that kids don’t immediately understand every concept right off the bat …

: I really don’t get what Aurorax has said, and would like to follow this up by phone, if someone will tell her so.

MrBillDennis2nd: You present the idea, let them mull it over …

Copycat669: But you use an entirely differnt skill set when you try to imagine a snarkle with no other info.

Aurorax13: okay

Aurorax13: I’m her

Aurorax13: I’m here too

Aurorax13: duh

: Yes – a different (and usually ineffective) skill-set: my point exactly. Aurorax, let’s discuss this further by phone – e-mail me and I’ll reply with my phone-number somewhere in the message.

Copycat669: but if you told me it was similar to a penis…well, now I”m interested…

Copycat669: and on an entirely imagination-less level…hehehe

Aurorax13: please re-supply your e-mail

: It would only “interest” you because you already have some real-world-based notion of “penis.” Otherwise, I might as well have said “a snarkle looks like a glorp.”


Copycat669: that’s what I’m saying! If you said it looked like a penis, my interest wouldn’t be an imaginative one.

Copycat669: Do you know how many hours I spent meditating sex as a child? My parentsdidn’t allow ANY information on the subject to come in my life. lucky forme, the dictionary was my friend…

: Lots of kids, I think, hear and have to use certain words and phrases (such as “God,” “sorry,” “I pledge allegiance,” etc.) long before they have any concrete experiences that can “fill in” meanings to those words

OscagneTX: hehe… “It’s like an elephant’s trunk, but a bit smaller.” %^)

Copycat669: HAHAHAHA! Osc, you devil,you

MrBillDennis2nd: It’s like a hooded one-eyed wonder cobra ….

OscagneTX: hehehe

Aurorax13: lol

MrBillDennis2nd: … a bpitting cobra if you’re not careful.

MrBillDennis2nd: spitting

MrBillDennis2nd: duh

: Putting words ahead of meanings (to me) seems like a backwards way of handling things.

: “A penis is like a spitting, size-changing cobra”

Copycat669: It’s what’s wrong with kids today. No imagination.

: makes no sense until/unless you have mental referents for “spit,” “size,” “change,” and “cobra.”

OscagneTX: I always put meanings ahead of words, in school, in sport, whatever. And it ALWAYS got me crossed up somehow.

Copycat669: My children don’t read NEAR as well as I did as a kid because they are so obsessed with meanings.

: What do you mean by “no imagination”?

OscagneTX: I kept running into problems that other people had because I wasn’t using the right jargon.

MrBillDennis2nd: It’s unavoidable, Kate. Parents and educators need to talk to children, whether they have a a picture book handy or not. It just seems a fanciful yet impractical educational notion. One of many.

Copycat669: anyway…gotta run. let’s chat about this another time. I’ll tryto come out here on my own this week off and on to see if you can maybe catchme…

Copycat669 has left the room.

: What “obsession with meanings” do you see, Copycat, in kids? I don’t see it – so I don’t understand you. Oscagne & copycat, I’d also like to talk off-line with you, too, about this – please e-mail me, okay?

: Aurorax, do you remain on-line? I still see your icon …

: Oscagne, I’d like to know more about why “caring about meanings” got you into trouble.

Aurorax13: yeah I’m here just keep dashing into the kitchen

: I wish Copycat hadn’t left – I wanted her e-mail address and phone-number.

OscagneTX: Because I’d use the wrong words.

OscagneTX: The wrong jargon.

: Can you please give an example, Oscagne?

OscagneTX: Let me think a bit…

MrBillDennis2nd: … and it doesn’t matter what words you use with a teenager, because they just invent their own to use amongst themselves, anyway.

: Or should I have understood that with no examples, the way I think Aurora and/or Copycat want people to?

MrBillDennis2nd: … anyone here ever hear of “Zap numbers”?

OscagneTX: Okay… “How many numbers betweeen 1 and 10 are divisible by 2?”

OscagneTX: “8”

: do you mean only integers? 😉

OscagneTX: “There are more numbers than just the 8.”

OscagneTX: “No, that’s how many they are. Do you want to know which ones?”\

: four numbers – 2, 4, 6, 8. I think Oscagne has in mind a confusioon of levels

OscagneTX: “Yes, but there’s ten of them.”

MrBillDennis2nd: New fad. You write the name of a boy/girl along with a time and if that person is talking to you nearby at the time, you have to date them.

OscagneTX: “No, you said between 1 and 10, so those don’t count.”

MrBillDennis2nd: It’s the rage in junior high school

: … “8” can label a number, or it can label a number-of-numbers.

OscagneTX: “Okay so tell me which ones.”

OscagneTX: “All of them from 2 to 9.”

OscagneTX: “No, only the even ones.”

OscagneTX: “No, all of them.”

: “The number 2 divides evenly the numbers 2, 4, 6, and 8 but no other integers between 1 and 10.”

OscagneTX: “Okay, what’s five devided by two?”

: … unless, of course, “between” means “inclusive-between” …

OscagneTX: “two and a half”

OscagneTX: “Stop being a smart-alec.”

OscagneTX: etc.

: I specified that I meant integers – earlier, I asked if you meant integers.

OscagneTX: I was doing the whole coversation.

MrBillDennis2nd: I am outa here folks. Have fun.

OscagneTX: Not withstanding your comments, Kate.

OscagneTX: ‘night.

MrBillDennis2nd has left the room.

: Oscagne, you’d love Ed MacNeal’s book MATHSEMANTICS – it would vindicate you, and show the serious conceptual errors that your teacher (not you) made!

OscagneTX: You bet. But it made me an “attitude problem” at the time.

: Ed’s book touches VERY closely on these notions of meaning and how we convey it – which (I think) also play a part in at least some of what RAH said.

: Your teacher, not you, needed help in ”

: “how to think” – just the same as if she’d required you to memorize “7+2=3” instead of a real fact with real math to reflect it.

DavidWrightSr: You guys still going, I see

OscagneTX: yup

: (I actually have run into a teacher who taught the third-graders to memorize-and-repeat seven-times-eight-is-fifty-TWO … and FORBADE their checking it out against the real, non-word universe …

: because, quoth she, “only little babies need to count real objects: we are big boys and girls now, so we do things the …

: ‘grownup way’ which is to learn the words FIRST so we don’t NEED the things!” (Fairly direct quote)

OscagneTX: pfft

: Your teacher, Oscagne, fell into much the same trap.

: I’d comment more harshly than “pfft” but that might burn out my monitor.

OscagneTX: yeah… but everyone else understood she meant “How many integers from 1 to 10, inclusive, can be evenly divided by two?” I didn’t get it.

OscagneTX: I missed what she meant, because I listened to what she said. Translate that to “lack of common sense”.

: Yes, David Wright, we remain “at it” – Oscagne, the other kids’ “getting it” relates to their carefully cultivated tolerance of imprecision. “In the Country of the Blind, the one-eyed man is crazy” – HGWells story.

: I wouldn’t call it “lack of common sense” but “lack of common word-usages” – you used your words (your thinking-tools) differently from …

: … and BETTER than … the way that the teacher and her other students had learned to use theirs. Your ability to sense the facts that the words referred to had EVERYTHING to do with it!

: I think that RAH wanted your uncommon level of sense to become, eventually, common.

OscagneTX: *shrug* I cope. It usually means confirming the meanings people use.

: Aurora – if you remain here, I DO NOT think that RAH *ever* dissed imagination – how could he, of all people, do so, given the imaginative notions he came up with and communicated effectively by making them so real?

Aurorax13: I am here and should be for at least 2 minutes

OscagneTX: leaving in 2?

Aurorax13: no just being silly

Aurorax13: i keep darting in and out of the room

OscagneTX: not resorting to the bung-hole methond of child-rearing, are you?

Aurorax13: I think that RAH valued imagination and hard work

: What do you think? I DO NOT think that making things vivid to a kid (and not mere words) – which RAH advocated in BEYOND – would stunt anyone’s imagination: do you think so?

Aurorax13: not yet

: No – I regard “words-before-things,” in fact, as a subset of “the bunghole method”

Aurorax13: Just because a particular thing is used in a book does not mean that is what RAH believed

OscagneTX: I wonder about his child-rearing ideas, anyway, considering he never had any.

: I suspect, from its occurrence twice in the mouths of “good guys,” that RAH *very* *much* believed that you have to understand a reality before you can use the words for it.

OscagneTX: I haven’t either. And probably won’t.

: However, probably someone here (David W.) knows MUCH more about Heinlein, semantics, etc., than I would venture ever to claim I knew. David?

OscagneTX: But I do have opinions… critisisms sometimes… about child-rearing I see and hear about, you know?

Aurorax13: of course

OscagneTX: And considering his topics, he HAD to include it sometimes.

Aurorax13: Many of my opinions changed dramatically when faced w/the reality of the child though

OscagneTX: But unless he researched with parents, or even got them to experirment for him, there’s no way he could predict the results of any particular technique.

: Yes – e.g., I think that you hurt kids when you penalize them for understanding the difference between “represents” and “is” (relates to a true story I told a few days ago on alt.fan.heinlein) …

: … but I have not seen any actual experiments that would PROVE that (e.g.) kids get messed up if you tell them that “this map of New Jersey IS New Jersey” and punish them for noticing otherwise. (True incident).

Aurorax13: I think that kids often get hurt by reality and penalized for things not their fault but that is a learning experience

: I *suspect* (though David probably knows more) that RAH had this kind of thing in mind when he wanted people not to prioritize words over events.

Aurorax13: harsh as it sounds

: What did the kid “learn” from getting beaten up for differentiating the map from the territory?

Aurorax13: ?

OscagneTX: That life sucks sometimes…

OscagneTX: And that people in authority don’t necessarily know what they’re talking about.

: I think that RAH wanted life/authority to “suck” as little as possible …

: Even if the mom had conveyed the false lesson with the greatest of kindness and loving care, that would not (I think) …

: … have made the lesson worth learning. (If I teach with great kindness that “2 + 1 = 2,” that does not make my math-lesson a good one to learn.)

OscagneTX: That’s another aspect of “don’t fight the weather” though. He recognized that it WOULD suck sometimes.

: Yes – and he recognized that humans can/should care enough to stop it: something that JOB: COMEDY’s Yahweh & Satan didn’t have the capacity to care about …

: … but Satan, at least, admired humans’ capacity to care about it.

OscagneTX: Oh, absolutely. We should model ourselves and as much of our world as we can NOT to suck.

Aurorax13: and our kids nieces nephews neiborhood etc

: Yes, think and act well, so that things won’t suck more than they have to.

OscagneTX: But RAH also said that you can’t insulate kids from the world’s suckiness. Or that if you do, it’s like raising the rats in the virus-free environment.

OscagneTX: As soon as you expose them to the world, they die.

: Yes – don’t wrap the kids in cotton-wool, but make sure they have sharp, working tools for the cold cruel world BEFORE they have to use those tools …

OscagneTX: yup

: … just because the Grand Canyon exists, doesn’t mean you “teach” by pushing a person down it: give them rappelling lessons first! – GOOD ones, I hope!

: Back to Aurora’s H.Keller analogy – Helen’s teacher gave her the best tools she could …

Aurorax13: not my analogy

Aurorax13: My son is deaf

: … just because folks misuse words doesn’t mean that HKEller’s teacher should have misidentified water as “milk”

Aurorax13: that is the only way I KNOW

: OK, but the analogy of *someone* here, earlier.

: Misidentifying “water” as “milk”?

: :-S

: What did the abstraction “that” in your sentence refer to, Aurora? Point me back to the word it covers.

: (in hopes that the word will point, ultimately, to some comprehensible THING.)

Aurorax13: continuation of former fragments

: “continuation of former fragments is the only way I know because my son is deaf”?

: I don’t understand … David or Oscagne, can you unsnarl us?

Aurorax13: My son is deaf that is the only way i KNOW

OscagneTX: I think A is saying that it’s not an anaolgy for her because she’s experiencing it first hand. ??

: I have some trouble parsing and thereby understanding your sentence, Aurora. Please provide a concrete example of what you meant to convey by it.

DavidWrightSr: I’m sorry. I haven’t been following the conversation.

Aurorax13: close enough

: I think communication has broken down, and I don’t know why.

OscagneTX: But Kate is trying to figure out who origninally introduced the concept/analogy.

: From your “close enough,” Aurora, I gather that you agree after all on this matter of needing to have a thing for the word to tie into …

: … from what you said earlier in this chat, you seemed to find such a notion “bad bad bad,” and I still can’t figure out why …

: … at the moment, this bothers me much more than “who brought up Helen Keller in the chat”

: Since you recognize as I do the importance of not leaving words empty for the child, I still don’t understand why you called it “bad bad bad” when the folks in BEYOND THIS HORIZON …

: … took such pains to “fill in” every word with a real experience of the referent (the thing/event/action that we use the word to denote).

Aurorax13: everything was literal no room for interpretation

: RAH (and some of his characters) called it “extensionalizing” in that book and elsewhere, and probably David can tell you more about the source of that term.

Aurorax13: not that I said bad bad bad

: What makes you think that, in BEYOND, “everything was literal [with no room for interpretation] – RAH specifically mentions Father Christmas in the story (a candy named after him), and as I recall they had fiction and games, too …

: how did you get “no imagination” (and other things you said earlier) out of BEYOND’s discussion of the schooling provided to …

: … to Theobald and presumably to other children in that culture?

: I still don’t get it – and would like to … can you give some concrete examples proving that Theobald didn’t (or that they believed he oughtn’t) have any imagination?

Aurorax13: I can’t but have you seen the ad compaign for more not less arts in schools

Aurorax13: that is the general thought process

: Yes, and I approve. I don’t see how you connect this with BEYOND, though.

: What do you mean by “that is the general thought process”? As I see it, thought starts with the non-verbal – words come later and describe the non-word realities, not live unconnected therewith …

: … and it seems to me that the BEYOND folks recognized this and dealt accordingly.

: Does anything in BEYOND say that they didn’t have art? I seem to recall one scene set at an opera – or doesn’t musical performance, acting, etc., count as “art”?

: Didn’t the BEYOND people have sculpture, including sculpture of mythical figures? (Romulus & Remus with the wolf in the “Hall of the Wolf”)

Aurorax13: the culture has art and imagination but the argument is that Theo was not overly exposed to these facets of the culture

: To me, that does not sound as if their education banned fairy-tales and imaginative literature (as you seem to think it must have)

Aurorax13: no real world referant

OscagneTX: You folks ready to call it a night?

DavidWrightSr: I’m shot myself. It’s been a long day. Sorry I couldn’t contribute much this evening.

: if I hear the word UNICORN, I deserve to get a real-world referent so I can imagine the meaning – a picture, if nothing else.

OscagneTX: Let’s go ahead and close the official log, then.

OscagneTX: Objections?

: OK, good night … I don’t object to closing.

Aurorax13: It’s a night

DavidWrightSr: Log officially closed at 9:13 P.M. EDT

: Good night.
Final End of Discussion Lo

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