Thursday, 25 August 2016

The Captain Kirk "White Paper"

This week, the science guys have come up and got all pumped up about a planet that make be like the Earth and fairly near.....well.....near enough that we might be talking about a space trip out to this planet (unmanned very likely) in about twenty-five to thirty years. The big talk is.....it just be have life on it and we'd start to prove or disprove some things.

So, you have to pull out the Captain Kirk text-book and start some assumptions.

Any ship we send.....will be told to orbit far out....search for radio and TV signals and approach the planet with extreme caution.

The minute you learn that there is life.....how do you approach?  Or do you skip that step and simply retreat?

If you learn they have nukes and have used them in the past.....will you make any attempt to send a 'message'?

When your ship comes back to Earth, with all this data over life existing there.....intelligent life.....possibly threatening life.....then what?  Will you even allow the returning team to return to Earth and explain what they found?

Suppose you land there and find some primitive culture of man existing....in the midst a dinosaur era.  Will you go and help them wipe out the dinosaurs as part of the "good-Earth" agenda?

If you land and find the culture more or less in the technology era of 1912.....will you land and declare yourself as some friend to their culture?

My guess is that NASA has ten guys on the payroll....all PhD types.....and all thinking about how stuff like this can be handled.  It's probably not a very happy group.  They know that you are simply asking for trouble....no matter what folks you find.....even if these are cave-men or 6th century-thinking folks.  Do you give them penicillin?  Do you hand them a copy of Shakespeare?  Do you lecture them on poker and how to play it?  Do you demonstrate baseball?  Do you mention Hillary and her email woes?

What if the natives of the new planet see you as a "God" and worship you?  Does our Roger Ramjet astronaut guy then say that he'll come back in five years and bring other "Gods" with him?

If you do make the decision to kill off 300,000 dangerous dinosaurs on this new planet.....will it get you in trouble back on Earth?  Will some court lawyer drag you into some mess because of decision on a planet half-way across the universe?

If our astronaut guy strikes up a relationship with cave-gal Jane there and has some kids with her.....will it cause some trouble with NASA?

I'm guessing there is a 3,000 page paper sitting there at NASA with the countless number of scenarios and how each should be handled.  Frankly, it'd likely scare the crap out of most PhD guys to think at this level and worry about the impact of things down the line.


"Throwback" 2016

Back around 2010, I had this chance to try "Throwback" Mountain Dew.  It was the original recipe....made with real sugar.  For those who don't remember the original drink....at some point in the very late 1970s to early 80s....sugar became fairly expensive....so our drink folks decided to flip over to high fructose corn syrup, which was cheaper.  It was almost as good as the original drink (at least in my humble opinion).

I sat there on a Sunday afternoon and sipped the "Throwback" Mountain Dew in a large glass with crushed ice.  It was refreshing, and stimulating.  It was the way that Mountain Dew ought to taste.

This week, I came to this odd feeling with the 2016 Presidential election.....that Donald Trump is the "Throwback" candidate from the 1960s and 1970s.

To be honest, if you look at the whole primary....you had fifteen-odd characters who were modern-day Republicans and in some weird fashion....a majority of voters deemed them to be "fake" in conservative way.  Trump?  He was talking like some 1960s Republican (even before Reagan).

We've concluded the primary business and the convention, and what you see on a daily basis is a "Throwback" guy talking in some fashion that reminds people (at least those over the age of fifty) of some period of time when you didn't have all this fakeness in politics.  Oh I admit....Trump might be fake in the end.....but the whole system has gotten so screwed up.....that most everything is fake now.
CNN? Fake.  Washington Post?  Fake.  New York Times?  Fake.  Fox News?  Fake.

Things are so fake now, that we watch the Kardashians do fake stuff on TV and consider it to be authentic entertainment.  We watch the History Channel with fake Amish Mafia Show give us a couple of guys in beards who seem to be acting like Amish guys and we believe it.

Is this what the whole campaign year is about?  Simply "Throwback"?  Maybe.  But considering all the options.....it's probably something we can accept for a couple of years.