Archive for the ‘Technology’ Category

Neat Suggestion For Net Neutrality

August 15, 2016

Under Obama, the US spy networks were given full power. Paying no, or little taxes, with the full resources of the USA behind them, they were mandated, as modern-day corsairs, to seize the world. They did (in spite of the Snowden scare; Snowden revealed the entanglement between the imperial machinery of the USA and the US Internet companies).

This Internet coup is a Obama’s great achievement, proving how great and just the brown president has been for the powers that be, over the powers that don’t deserve to be.

Here is the market capitalization of the forty largest French companies (the “CAC 40”), versus that of GAFA (Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon):

Thanks Oh Great, Wise, Respected Obama, For Having Made The USA Mightier Than Ever With Your Mighty Espionage Agents

Thanks Oh Great, Wise, Respected Obama, For Having Made The USA Mightier Than Ever With Your Mighty Espionage Agents

[Was the satanic Bush a smaller devil? One shudders at the question. Just asking…]

As you can see, GAFA, those four companies, Google-Apple-Facebook-Amazon, under the presidency of Barack Obama, became everything, while the French Republic stagnated between being and nothingness. This is a general pattern, with all countries. It has to do with GAFA being above all and any local laws. And there are no global laws to speak of. (The Chinese joke that GAFA is the new world empire; well, new, not really.) In particular GAFA eschews most taxes, so stand above all and any companies and firms, worldwide.

Donald Trump, hated by GAFA, has said that he would make GAFA pay taxes. Said Trump, speaking of GAFA, and, in particular, Amazon:”Oh, God, would they have problems if I became president”. But what of the rest of the world? How can the world get out of this pickle?

First GAFA should pay taxes (France wants Google to pay billions in overdue taxes, Great Britain, though, asks for only a tenth of what the French Treasury is asking. Why? Because Great Britain is onto the plot, and understands that GAFA is one way for its overlord, the USA, to seize world control, and will be rewarded for getting on the program!)

To force GAFA to pay taxes, they should be threatened with exclusion. Now, of course, that would require guts. First, suffering of being accused of “anti-Americanism” by the soon to disappear in the oubliettes of history, Barack Obama, the great enabler of GAFA. (The US already makes war against the French economy, so it may as well come up to the surface!)

Unfortunately for, say, the French, GAFA uses massively treacherous countries without much industry such as Great Britain (full of subordinate tax havens, more than a dozen treasure isles which charge no income or wealth tax), and Ireland (top corporate tax rate, 12.5% in contrast with France 33% and the USA’s 35%!)

So going to war against GAFA means that the French would have to go to war with Ireland and the British Virgin Islands (hence the UK!) If the traditional parties don’t have this sort of guts, maybe Marine le Pen will… (She will be accused of dreadful “populism”, just as the Donald is, for doing something against the multibillionaire plutocrats of GAFA, and their demonic little helpers…)

Could we try something less bloody? Well, GAFA spy on people, and then tweak what they see on the Internet, accordingly. GAFA, and its ilk know you have a health problem, so they suggest businesses associated to treatment or relief from that condition. I have noticed search engines such as Google manipulate searches according to what they think i should see. Worse: Microsoft’s Bing censors completely some of my essays. For example “Violence In The Holy Qur’an” cannot be found on Bing (even looked directly by title and author) This sort of censorship is deliberate: the essay consists essentially of 10,000 words from quoting entire verses of the Qur’an. (The English paper, The Guardian, accused me to be someone who “blogged” the Qur’an, to justify censoring me!)

If these Internet manipulations were completely unlawful, all the time, the business model of GAFA and their ilk would collapse. Of course, one does not want to be that cruel (what would Obama do?)

But here is an idea nevertheless. Why are not GAFA (and its ilk) required, by LAW, to present a neutral web if asked to do so by someone using the Internet? As I said, one does not want to be too cruel with the corsairs of modern communications: after all, they have some public utility, as they (vaguely) innovate.

So, say, every time one turns on one of the GAFA, or other Internet manipulators, one should be offered, manually, the option of a neutral web.

Simple. Drastic.

The right to neutral information is basic to enable democracy. Without it, there is no democracy. The present rule of GAFA, and their present manners, is a complete denial of democracy. Time to fight. When the philosopher Demosthenes called the Greeks to fight the (gold mines propelled) the Macedonian plutocrats, who were quickly increasing in power, he was not listened to. It sounded alarmist to go fight the rich and nasty. When it turned out Demosthenes was finally observed to be right, it was too late. Democracy was destroyed in Greece, for the next 23 centuries. And it all originated from a philosophical debate where Aristotle was prominent.

We are what we know. And we are nought if we know not. The neutral Internet is not obsolete, it’s a human right. Are those obsolete? Hmm… Wait…

Patrice Ayme’

 

Of Nukes, Dogs, North Korea, & Necessary Evil

May 28, 2016

KIM, THE HEREDITARY KING OF NORTH KOREA, MAKES A NEW NUCLEAR H BOMB EVERY SIX WEEKS. His engineers are trying to build reliable intercontinental missiles. The fear of a heat wave in Los Angeles will take a whole new meaning soon. (And what did the president do about this security problem? Less than Bill Clinton. Oops.)

Kim Jong Un killed entire “groups” of people in his own family, including his uncle, who was instrumental to get him to power: “the discovery and purge of the Jang group… made our party and revolutionary ranks purer…”[117 In 2015, the defence minister was executed by anti-aircraft fire, for “talking back”.

Certainly the uncle was arrested, humiliated, and executed. “Despicable human scum…worse than a dog” is how North Korean state media described the once-powerful uncle of leader Kim Jong-un. It was claimed that Jang Song Thaek admitted trying to “overthrow the state”.

Kim & Wife: Expensive Dior Purse. Feeding People To Dogs. Not Yet Personally On The Menu.

Kim & Wife: Expensive Dior Purse. Feeding People To Dogs. Not Yet Personally On The Menu.

Speaking of dogs, four star general Jan Song Thaek, once thought to be the most powerful leader in North Korea, was stripped naked, with five colleagues, thrown into a cage, and eaten alive by a pack of ravenous dogs… according to a newspaper close to China’s Communist Party. The dogs had not eaten for five days, and the execution lasted an hour. In the end, the dogs cleaned the plate. (Others said that he was executed by machine gun.)

Whatever the rumors, higher-ups in North Korea, and their families, have been executed in large numbers. Differently from Stalin, Kim does not even bother with the appearances of fake trials. Yesterday’s horrors have become quaint.

Kim has gone to the furthest, darkest side. Supremely educated in Switzerland, the North Korean dictator knows all too well that any reason too removed from the law of the jungle, would be his demise. The North Korean leaders have long made Switzerland their central access point (say to the French Riviera and French medical treatments).

With North Korea, the world is confronted with the Hitler problem, not just an uneducated immigrant loser, of the most modest origin, but with someone who is immensely rich, a proven killer, close, personal, whimsical, well-educated and in command of weapons Hitler could not even dream of.

If Kim has the choice between being eaten alive by dogs and threatening, or starting, a nuclear war, he will, of course, chose the latter. Indeed, people who brought him up have explained he was definitively a brat, even as an eight year old (see the Washington Post report of May 27, 2016).

Unfortunately, the only reasonable prospect, then, is for democracies to prepare for what Kim is, namely, the worst: very clever, and very nasty. And that reasoning with him will not help. This is clearly a case where the strongest, darkest means are required.

We have to dial back to 1935, and ponder another crazed, demonic dictator, Hitler (who had just consolidated power with an accord with the German army making him Chancellor and President).

What should have been done with Hitler? What should the democracies have done? Now we know, with today’s mentality and morality: going all out against him.

(But the sordid truth is that it was in the best national interest of the USA to proceed with Nazism and the Second World War… just as it was to have Jefferson and Jackson massacre the Indians, steal their lands, and quintuple the area of the US… Agreed, the USA has changed: the collaboration of the US with Hitler could happen, and did happen, because of the mentality reigning then).

So let’s reconsider Hitler 1935 with today’s mentality: let’s do as if we wanted to avoid World War Two, the death of 5% of humanity, and serious fears, threats, hardships and problems for much of the rest.

Before I come to what to do, we have to remember that this time the stakes are much higher: Kim intents to use nuclear blackmail, with intercontinental missiles aimed at the largest cities of the West. Kim’s government said as much last year, he will do it again, and, this time, with power to back him up.

North Korea, right now is the Nazi Reich, in a potentially even worse version, but this time, we know the program ahead of its attempted implementation, through vast annihilation of uncountable multitudes. Insane? Sure. That’s the entire point, and that is why Obama could not handle it. Obama, fed on a steady diet of Financial Times and University of Chicago, believe people are rationally greedy. But of course, there is much more to humanity than that: the Will to Extermination, for example. The Will to Extermination is a gift: like playing tennis, it can be developed to a fine art, through enough practiced. Kim had plenty of practice (just as Hitler did).

So what to do? Forget the sanctions against North Korea as a plausible long-term solution: that would be about reason. Kim is not about reason (and he can leverage China, as his family long did). Get ready for war. Nuclear war. Or then target Kim and do away with him. There is a precedent for the latter.

In 1938, Hitler’s generals approached British and American diplomats and authorities, asking their governments to declare that they would stand with France in irremediable opposition to Nazi Germany. Then, they explained they would make a coup against the Nazis, arguing that Germany was in danger. Something similar done against Kim is what should be done now.

In 1938, the British and American governments not only did not do what the German generals had asked them to do, but they warned Hitler of the plot against him. (However, Germany had been a democracy just prior, and, even under the Kaiser, was a softer sort of fascism).

Let’s learn from history; let’s not repeat history. Time for a dark and dirty vaccination. To prevent incomparably worse.

The nuclear poker of Truman on August 6, 1945, worked: Japan capitulated within 6 days. The nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki were moral sacrifices. However, what Kim prepares for us all, until he dies, is worldwide nuclear blackmail. Kim is only 33. And North Korean geology is very wealthy. Is that how we can live? (Kim already threatened to nuke Los Angeles and New York).)

Kim’s threats with nukes call for the darkest side… to remedy the situation. Morality comes from sustainability (that’s shown both by etymology and logic). Is a world where a few rendered insane by cruelty, fear and rage are armed with nuclear weapons sustainable? No.

Obama, and countless pacifists in the last 71 years have said they wanted to get rid of weapons of mass destruction. However, we need first to get rid of those who want to mass destroy, and that means destroying the mentalities conducive to this sort of concentration of power.

Meanwhile, the only sane, let alone moral, thing to do is to acquire military technological superiority.  Eight years ago, Obama said that Pakistani nukes were his number one worry. Rogue Pakistani Muslim supremacy and greed supreme scientists helped North Korean nukes. As president, Obama undermined the safety of the world, because he actually helped the North Korean dictatorship, and is still actively doing so.

How? By demolishing the US high-tech innovation system by fostering tech private tech monopolies. The latest example is his latest change in the laws directing the US Patent and Trademark Office. New laws guarantee that people and corporations who gave Obama big money will be favored. So what will suffer? Real innovation. And what will make democracy sustainable? Real innovation.

Hitler happened in a worldwide mental ecological system. So does Kim, and Islamism, and global plutocracy, of course. These are all examples of the rule of demonicity (plutocracy).

Ultimately, anything which favors plutocracy here,  favors plutocracy there. Such as all the colossal, blatant advantages given to those who financed Clintons, Obama and Bushes (from the Koch brothers, to the Spy Network booking your face). The North Korean dictatorship, Putin, the Islamists, and all the powerful rotten ones around the planet feel this, know this, see this, and play it like a violin.

Those “leaders” grabbing all the levers of power are not demented, they are not crazy, they are not sick, they are opportunists. And the opportunity of power, not to say power itself, has transformed them, neurohormonally, and perhaps even epigenetically (we know this happens in fishes, so why not in humans: are we not more sophisticated than fishes?) What they call reason, sustainability calls insanity: a nuclear strike on Los Angeles, successful or attempted, would make North Korea into a radioactive desert. The “leaders”, all over, have more power than ever, are more corrupt, therefore, than ever, and have become, more than ever, monsters made to rule, by all and any ways they can access.

It is for a new moral code invented by We The People to bar this sort of access to evil. “Equality” in “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”, is not just a matter of the pursuit of happiness, but of the pursuit of survival. Of humanity as a species.

Patrice Ayme

Phobias: Trump, France, Islam, Electric Hydrogen

May 17, 2016

PC Thoughtlessly Sinking In Seas Of Protest:

The heckling and howling of do-gooders, Politically Correct critters, pseudo-leftists, false liberals, corrupt economists, government fed plutocrats, and would-be thinkers go on against Soon-To-Be-Elect President Trump, is part of much more general phenomenon. Before I get into that, let me finish with Hillary Clinton. Her latest hare brained plan is to have Bill, her husband, named special economic adviser. Bill is the guy who destroyed Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s Banking Act of 1933, and brought back the reign of Wall Street and other conspiring financiers of the worst type. I am sure the hilarious one will gather even more moss form Wall Street’s great sharks.

Thankfully perhaps, she will not be elected: the, just as hare brained plan of her corrupt supporters is to have the hilarious one win the states where she defeats Bernie Sanders. Which states are those? The “conservative” states. The so-called “Red States”, the states where… Republicans generally win. You know, states like Georgia, where Trump is already 4% ahead of Clinton in the polls…

Forget Electric, Bring In Fuel Cell Hydrogen. In Paris, Only Hyundai Is Cooperative, So Far.

Forget Electric, Bring In Fuel Cell Hydrogen. In Paris, Only Hyundai Is Cooperative, So Far.

What’s the connection between corrupt politicians and hydrogen cars? Well, corruption, precisely.

The brutal switch of the Obama administration out of hydrogen fuel cells (a genuinely American technology), as I said at the time, can only be attributed to corruption.

Clinton, the hysteria against President Trump (I am training to say the two words together, it’s hard) are animated, just as Brexit is, by some of the planet’s worst operatives, the brokers, hedge fund managers, one could even the say the head funds managers, as they manage the heads of politicians.

Not everybody is fooled by the Brexit madness: normal banks view Brexit as a much bigger crisis than anything they have seen before, and it is. Boris Johnson, the fat clown who wants to be British PM, just like his ex-classmate, David Cameron, now claims he wants to turn Britain into “Britzerland”. An interesting statement, demonstrating the self-mortification of Brexiters, as Switzerland is little more than a puppet state whose strings are pulled in Brussels. But never mind.

People can be fooled only that long. And the same holds in France, the USA’s sister republic, stuck on the old, incontinent continent.

Ever thought of why the Obama administration decided to deploy electric cars? Well, corruption, obviously. I am not saying Obama was personally corrupt. The poor little one had so many things to think about, moving the huge ship of state with a scooter’s engine. But some of his advisers, clearly were.

What is the advantage of electric cars? No pollution when operating, eerily completely silent from inside, powerful acceleration. However, as recently as last Sunday, coming out of an impressive mountain run (I self-impress), I left the dirt to get on a steep country road. Running down at an amazing speed, I suddenly heard a huge din behind me, ever louder. Car! Car coming, general alert! I squeezed to the left side, ready to jump back in the bush, and finally, after long seconds of aurally positioning the heavy, noisy vehicle, let pass a majestic Tesla Model S. Not the most discreet car, that Tesla Model S. I drive a Blue Tech Diesel, five person car with an 800 kilometer, 500 miles range. It’s bigger inside than the Tesla Model S, smaller outside (from experience and official measurements).

Electric cars are very heavy because of their batteries. And it turns out that this weight creates a lot of pollution. A study by the University of Edinburgh shows this.

So what is the solution? HYDROGEN! There is no solution of the GreenHouse Gas (GHG) crisis without creating a massive hydrogen economy.

Hydrogen will allow to store renewable energy.

As far as cars, planes, trains are concerned, compressed hydrogen has an energy density of 142 MJ/kg. Lithium ion batteries have an energy density of 0.6 MJ/kg. That’s 236 times as much energy per kg for hydrogen. Hydrogen cars refuel in 3 minutes to full. They cost less to make. Hydrogen cars mass is far less mass than that of electric vehicles (no more than 10% above the gasoline case).

The Politically Correct has long gone half insane. Not to say some of the madness is not fruitful. But the worst, in Europe, has long been Islamophilia. According to the Islamophiles, Islamophobia is racism. Thus, the more Islam, the better, no?

The National Front blocked Black M, a rapper, to sing in Verdun. The singer was outraged: didn’t his grandfather fight in World War One? Yes, little one. However, that little one, called France a country of “Kouffars” (= Kuffars, Kafirs), a country of “miscreants”. In Islam, “miscreants” are sub-citizens (to put it mildly). They don’t have all the rights, they have to pay a special tax. If they have intercourse with a Muslim woman, get caught, they die, etc..From recent Wahhabist behavior, being a “miscreant” is worth of the death penalty.

The ignorant Black M wanted to celebrate Verdun, by augmenting the hatred against French secularism, and thus, the French in general. Black  M is a mental dwarf, he needed to be taught, And he was taught, by the National Front. The National Front intervened with dignity. Finally the mayor of Verdun rescinded the invitation, and a hefty compensation of 47,000 Euros, for the insulter of civilization to sing in front of Merkel and the French president.

Good.

650,000 soldiers died in Verdun, in combat, over a few months, including 350,000 French soldiers who successfully defended the Republic against the fascist, ignorant, robotized, emotionally deprived, monstrously deluded horde of genuine, sophisticated, literate, and literal, barbarians.

Merkel, Chancellor of the German Republic, sister to the French Republic, is going to Verdun to celebrate the victory of the Republic, it’s not to hear a hater of civilization vomit on it, on a stage.

All of this knowledge completely eludes an idiot “socialist” woman who is minister of culture (supposedly, it’s a crime to insult a minister of the French Republic; however, it’s a duty to insult those who destroy civilization, like this idiot did). She called the controversy “nauseabonde” (sickening), bringing immediately millions more votes to the National Front… What’s sickening is that the Pope can come and attack laicity (secularism) in France, and the government does not react to this implicit alliance with the fanatics. The gov should have recalled the ambassador to the Vatican (which was created as a state by Charlemagne, no less)…

As the mess builds up, more and more voters can see that strong solutions are needed. True, Islam has lots of followers. So did Bolshevism. Here is the Nobel Prize in literature, 1950:

“Among religions, Bolshevism is to be reckoned with Mohammedanism rather than with Christianity and Buddhism. Christianity and Buddhism are primarily personal religions, with mystical doctrines and a love of contemplation. Mohammedanism and Bolshevism are practical, social, unspiritual, concerned to win the empire of this world. Their founders would not have resisted the third of the temptations in the wilderness. What Mohammedanism did for the Arabs, Bolshevism may do for the Russians. As Ali went down before the politicians who only rallied to the Prophet after his success, so the genuine Communists may go down before those who are now rallying to the ranks of the Bolsheviks.” – Bertrand Russell in “The Practice and Theory of Bolshevism.” (1920)

Well, that was prophetic. Bolshevism brought only the reign of “Stalin”, the man of steel who started as a Christian professional (as Heidegger did, or as the guy who gave his ideas to Mahomet), and professional gangster. Stalin then made an alliance with the Nazis, against the French Republic, which later backfired.

Awareness is a complicated matter.

Patrice Ayme’

Higher Civilization: Ideas Rule

May 3, 2016

Gandhi was asked once what he thought about Western Civilization. He quipped:”It would be a good idea.” Hilarious. However, what Western civilization was became a rather uncivilized debate in 1914. What the engine of civilization is a better question. It is an idea easier to pin down. I propose:

What’s the ultimate idea generating the most civilization? That ideas should rule more than the rest.

The crazy Frenchman, Franky Zapata has now perfected the “Flyboard Air” (losing fingers in the process, as the turbines develop together 1,000 horsepower).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sAy9A3LLu4I

Some will sneer that flying has little to do with the advancement of thinking, but that would be erroneous. Such a flying machine requires great advances in energy density, miniaturization, and electronic control.

Franky Zapata's Preceding Invention

Franky Zapata’s Preceding Invention

Ideas are technology dependent, and that development, in turn, is economically dependent. Telescopes were initially developed in the Netherlands to scrutinize ships from further afield (with all sorts of military and economic consequences). Then Galileo got the idea to turn one towards the Moon, or Jupiter. It is unlikely that Galileo was the first to do so, but he was the first to describe it “scientifically” what he saw. Galileo was a university professor, so he had to talk about what he saw, and was taken seriously. But that does not mean he was the true originator.

One often hears that the US invented everything, but that’s only true when one forgets that others invented the same things earlier. Thus, actually, Alzheimer helps for becoming a great inventor, in one’s mind. (Claiming the superiority of some famous Anglo-Saxon thinkers is actually part of an exploitative mood, started with the “West Country Men”, Locke, Hume, etc.)

Inventions such as the first plane, transistor, and CPU happened in France of all places, not the USA (but they are attributed to the USA, just as Poincare’s ideas are attributed to Einstein). As the case of HIV (a virus discovered in Marseilles), when there are huge economic and political advantages at stake, the US president is given a Nobel Prize: prizes and power follow where the money is, and, ultimately, that’s where fracking works… The research leader of the HIV discovery never got the Nobel Prize (although a student of his did).

Franky Zapata has already invented these crazy water jet machines on which people stand and make acrobatics above water. More than 3,000 have been sold, worldwide. He  The French military and various security and rescue services have expressed interest.

Ideas are technology dependent, and that, in turn, is economically dependent. The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) just turned on again. LHC rests in winter, because electricity is too expensive then. Starting now, days are long in France (which is at the latitude of southern Canada), and French nuclear plants churn out cheap electricity. The LHC’s mighty radiation festers 100 meters below the French countryside, and nobody has complained yet that the worms were getting irradiated. Naively, physicist expressed their hope to find Dark Matter in the present run. There is five times more Dark Matter, at least, than Standard Model Matter.

For more French craziness one can consult: Highliners Versus Flysuit. Modern wingsuits were developed in France (the initial modern inventor died skydiving in Hawai’i; a century ago, a wingflier launched himself from the Eiffel Tower. He succumbed from a heart attack).

We are experiencing the richest times, ever, the mind has ever known. An example is the fighting which is developing with NASA’s future space telescope, WFIRST. WFIRST is a modernized Kepler telescope. Since the rough outline of the mission was launched, with a cost of 2.3 billion dollars, more than 5,000 planets were found. Not just that, but a flurry of questions. It is tempting to have those questions answered.

And moods are developing: first, why don’t we look if some of these planets are similar to Earth, complete with oceans and dinosaurs? Well, it turns out that now WFIRST could not block the main star light as well as it could have. Could we fix that? Yes, by floating a specially designed screen which would float far from the telescope, and whose artful geometry would prevent light to go around it (that can be done, with sharp petals interfering with light just so).

So should WFIRST be completed by a Star Shade? That’s another billion or so.

Poets of the trashy kind will say: enough of your planets, go live there if you can! Let’s go back to our landfills, help the poor, and worship the enemies of civilization! However, another mood is rising, deep down, and secretive: what if studying Earth-like planets would reveal new dangers ready to ambush Earth’s civilization? What if exo-paleontology could be a lifesaver?

Indeed. New ideas and new moods bring new, higher morality. Those who see in the Moon a message direct from god will find much easier to find a message direct from god to justify killing those they perceive as their enemies. Don’t laugh: Islamist authorities determine when the new moon happens (and of course they differ, an interesting conflict based on the refutation of the science of astronomy!)

In related news, the French Republic is threatening to withdraw from the TTIP (Trans Atlantic Infamous Plutocratic) negotiations:”Europe gives a lot, and receives very little in exchange”. French president Hollande observes: “We will never accept questioning essential principles for our agriculture, our culture and for the reciprocity of access to public [procurement] markets… At this stage [of talks] France says ‘No.’”

When ideas rule, and new ideas are born, so does craziness. At least from the point of view of the old logic. Once shown a new theory to explain Quantum Mechanics, what I call a Sub Quantum Physics, Niels Bohr sneered:”It’s not crazy enough!”

New ideas come with their own logic. Even when they are born from the old logic, it’s only if the help of much craziness. So we should welcome innovative craziness. Nearly all great discoveries started as fun and games.

Much of the stalling between what the future was imagined to be, eighty years ago (flying cars, etc.) has to do with the lack of innovation in miniaturized, ultra-efficient energy. So welcome to the Flyboard Air!

Patrice Ayme’

Solar Roads

October 15, 2015

Solar Roads Versus Objection Mars:

Long ago, when the sun had not set yet on the will of the West to progress, a poet was visiting my home. He read some of his poetry. Humanity had just reached the Moon. The poet loftily declared that we did not need the Moon, we needed to fight hunger.

Later, the malaria parasite mutated, becoming resistant to standard treatment. Now it kills more than 1.2 million people a year. A typical objection to colonizing the Solar System is this:

“as I see it – Scott’s movie (even if I’m a sci-fi fan and I love some movies of him as well: Blade Runner is definitely a masterpiece) is a mere conservative propaganda aiming for people to agree that these extremely expensive missions to Mars are more important than saving African children from ebola, helping Syrian refugees, letting Europe be democratic yet or supporting laws against free guns in the US … Save the “american” astronaut, guys!” The answer is crushing, it holds in one picture:

French Truck On Solar Photo-Voltaic Road: the Future Has Arrived

French Truck On Solar Photo-Voltaic Road: the Future Has Arrived

There is nothing “conservative” about missions to Mars. Quite the opposite: such missions are fully progressive. They force humanity to progress.

Disease in Africa has to do with lack of governance. Lack of hospital has to do with lack of governance. In the Ebola epidemic, the countries that were struck were struck from lack of organized health care.

Senegal got one, just one, imported Ebola case. The patient got cured, and that was it. Even Mali, with better governance, in spite of a Jihadist invasion, was able to contain a few imported cases. Meanwhile, several countries next door, which are intrinsically much richer (Sierra Leone, Guinea. Liberia) saw thousands of deaths, and containment came from the efforts of NGOs, France and the USA (mostly).

When France pulled out of Africa, some particularly smart critic told a senior French government minister that the argument of “freeing” Africa from alleged colonialism made no humanitarian sense: there was no “colonialism” to speak of, and who was going to pay for one hospital every 100 kilometers in the world’s second largest continent? The minister smiled, and said: “this is precisely the point, we will not incur that expense anymore.”

Two capabilities save children in general: a) good governance. b) science.

When considering a Mars mission in this connection, one has to answer if the Mars mission will improve governance and science. Governance itself is a science. A mission to Mars is “expensive”. How much? 100 million dollars? 200 millions? How much would a Mars colonization program cost to launch? Two trillion dollars?

According to the International Monetary Fund, subsidies for fossil fuels are more than 5.5 trillion dollars a year. Enough to set-up a village on Mars, with existing technology.

Now going to Mars would force drastic progress in, say, fuel cells. The technology of fuel cells was invented for the Moon mission. After Obama became president, the research funding on this field was yanked out (probably to send money to businessmen such as Elon Musk).

Mars colonization would force enormously innovative research in energy technology, for example fuel cells, and nuclear energy (both fission and fusion).

Nothing else will.

Syrian refugees? Mars will not save Syrians? Nothing is more removed from the truth. Mars, the god of war, is what is needed in Syria, fighting for Goodness, instead of having Mars fight in the name of the devil Assad, as was mostly done so far.

The 300,000 dead in Syria, the eleven million refugees, have been caused by the rule of a single, cornered man, Assad, son of Assad, and the clique surrounding him. To solve the Syrian refugees crisis, Assad’s rule ought to be terminated, so that he could be replaced by generals open to enough democracy to keep Syrians in Syria.

Unfortunately the Franco-American decapitation strike against Assad was called off by Obama, for reasons so far unexplained. So the massacre keeps on going, with forces under the orders of Assad killing at least ten times as much what the Islamist State kills.

Fossil fuels consumption, should it go on for a few more decades, will bring the global temperature up five degrees Celsius, and massacre the biosphere. It has to stop, but can be stopped only with plentiful, cheap, new energy sources.

That, or massive war (killing billions).

How? Science to the rescue. Without evoking the spectrum of nuclear energy (fission and fusion), Solar Photo-Voltaic (SPV) is here. Normal solar panels were developed for space missions. Without space colonization, they would not have been developed. Yet, solar panels are fragile. Or, more exactly, were fragile until now.

A giant French construction company (Bouygues) deposed patents to cover-up solar cells with various materials to make them tough. Glass can be made as hard as steel. Then Bouygues engineers drove more than a million vehicles above the toughened-up panels in a few test cities (Chambery, Grenoble). Now the first solar road is under construction. Four meters of said road can satisfy a house’s needs. 100 square meters (twenty meters of the linear road depicted) are enough to drive 100,000 kilometers with an electric vehicle. If 25% of French roads were covered, 100% of French electric needs would be covered.

The future, the good future, is here: it’s enough to let science roll. But science needs challenges. Such as Mars colonization. If (very serious) scientists and mathematicians need bananas, such as the Fields Medal and the Nobel Prize, certainly humanity needs bigger motivation, and bigger prizes than that!

You want morality? More morality? Then you need a bigger science. And the way to get a better science is by setting higher objectives, greater passions, more exacting thoughts. Progress, the Will to Progress, is a mood. It cannot be confined to moral progress, because the universe juggles with evil. Moral progress means technological progress.  Mars colonization is no moral objection. Objective Mars is a moral imperative.

Patrice Ayme’

Science, Mars, Or Moral Bust

October 14, 2015

In the first democratic debate, Hillary Clinton said she was “a progressive who likes to get things done.” Let’s hope they will be less plutocratic than the “things” done by her husband. Meanwhile the question came up from others that going to Mars, or similar colossal techno-scientific progress had no humanitarian value. Before a more organized rebuttal, here goes my poetical opinion:

***

Science, Mars, Or Moral Bust

Many are the passions

Many are the tragedies

Against tragedies goodness,

All too often contend in vain.

Lest emotions move men and fate

Out of complacency, indifference,

Careers, self-admiring seriousness,

And obey the call of love for mind, sentience..

Yet, even when passions move us,

Towards the noblest goals, with the best intentions

All too often we find there is nothing

We can do at all, against pain and suffering:

When our magic, our science, come short..

To feel right and think right,

Does not mean we can do right.

For enabling goodness we need the powers,

The very powers which feed from,

By, and with, the Dark Side.

Power itself is dark.

Yet noble, and fundamentally us.

So yes, by any means,

Go to Mars.

It will nurture new emotions,

Wealth of transcendent emotions,

Not just lofty and intricate thoughts,

Humanity define.

We have always gone to Mars,

Ever since we left leafy trees.

We will stop,

Only when our fundamental lust,

What defines us,

Progress,

Dies with us.

 

How Neanderthals, Dinosaurs Disappeared?

June 23, 2015

IS THE SAME FUNDAMENTAL MECHANISM AT PLAY?

Dinosaurs are still around: they are called birds. Birds are those dinosaurs which enjoyed high metabolism. In difficult circumstances, those who acted quick could stay warm, and make the slow, or their eggs, into lunch. Mammals, too, and probably even more, exerted deadly pressure on dinosaur reproduction.

Dinosaurs were big (the smallest, like Velociraptors, were feather covered, and turkey sized). To create the same number of average individuals dinosaurs may have required a thousand times more energy as for the average bird: obvioulsy after a disaster, their population would not rebound as fast.

The Past Is Printed With DNA, & We Can Read It.

The Past Is Printed With DNA, & We Can Read It.

[As we can read DNA like a printed book, Paleontology is becoming history, complete with written documents! Represented above: the 40,000 years old Homo Sapiens jaw which was sequenced, and found to be a Sapiens Sapiens- Sapiens Neanderthal hybrid.]

Much spectacular progress is made in paleontology, every month. In the latest, some dinosaur protein would have been isolated. Sequencing and making a Jurassic Park, someday, is not science fiction anymore. Such was the truth, in June 2015. (In the preceding month, that would have sounded like science-fiction.)

Now we have a new fact supporting the theory I hold that Neanderthal’s traits were outbred. Here is yesterday’s recap from Nature:

http://www.nature.com/news/europe-s-first-humans-what-scientists-do-and-don-t-know-1.17815

Neanderthals are also still around. Or more exactly Neanderthal genome: 1% to 3% (although some claim up to 9% of combined Neanderthal and Denisovan ancestry!). And more so in East Asia and among Native Americans. Some find strange that Neanderthal genome disappeared more in Europe, where Neanderthal reigned so long.

But it just means that genetic competition between Sapiens Neanderthal and Sapiens Sapiens traits was more in favor of the later there… Perhaps simply because winters are milder in Europe.

Neanderthals had evolved from Archaic Homo Sapiens, and ruled Europe for 300,000 years. Most of the time, the continent was in the grip of glaciation. Neanderthals evolved genetic adaptations to these Arctic conditions, such as a larger body mass, and a more compact, more muscular, powerful body.

However technological advances such as clothing, burning coal (!), the propeller (to launch javelins further), and the bow made those Neanderthal genetic modifications obsolete, moot, duplicative. A prime defect was higher mass. Reproducing the same number of Neanderthals required more energy than the same number of more gracile forms of Homo Sapiens.

When in competition, the reproductive advantage of the more gracile traits grow exponentially in time:
https://patriceayme.wordpress.com/2013/03/14/why-did-neanderthals-disappear/

It is not about Homo Sapiens Sapiens enjoying superior traits relative to Neanderthals.

The disappearance of Neanderthals is about most Sapiens Neanderthal traits having become excess evolutionary baggage. So the traits got out-selected. One should expect that the heavy, Arctic genetic traits were weeded out, and only superior traits (the 3%) were kept. As observed. And more so in Europe, as winters are milder there than in the rest of the Eurasian land mass (South Asia excluded). As observed. In other words, after an Arctic excursion, Neanderthals transmutated back into what they came from, keeping some useful mutations (many having to do with skin).

The tree of evolution is rather a network (with a non-trivial topology).

A case in point is Homo itself. The first prototypes (so to speak) may have separated from chimpanzee like ancestors, ten million years ago. But the official theory has it, at this point, that there was some interbreeding with chimpanzees, around six million years ago again.

BTW, it is not true that no Neanderthal DNA is found in sub-Saharan Africa. That’s so yesteryear, 2014. Neanderthal DNA has been found all the way down to South Africa’s tip (2015 discovery), and the migration route traced.

Patrice Ayme’

Tech, Science, Thinking, Stalled By Plutocracy

May 26, 2015

TECH STALLED BECAUSE SO IS SCIENCE, & THINKING, AS OUR MASTERS DESIRE

Technology, Energy, Science, Economy all entangled, & Stalled:

Some have observed tech is bringing up more hype than progress: we did not get flying cars, but 140 characters. Productivity is stagnating. The Internet hype led a devolution of thinking, for all to see. Some sites seem popular, mostly because they induce a parody of thinking (even on “academic” sites).

Against the will to stupidity, genius roars in vain.

So much of the “high Tech” is not truly high tech, or at least new tech. It’s no big deal, indeed. The “high tech” monopolies, with their “big data” will allow to make with robots what our ancestors used to have with domesticated animals (an ass, horse, or an ox are clever, and respond to voice commands, like the day after tomorrow’s robots).

There is not enough financing of the possible avenues of futuristic research. Here is one:

Real high tech would mean progress in energy production: this is the core of what defines our species. An obvious possibility, indeed, is thermonuclear fusion. H-Bombs work splendidly, and are very small. Making a thermonuclear engine has been difficult, but propulsion in space could turn around a lot of the difficulty we presently have.

Krugman noticed some of this in “The Big Meh” [I sent wise comments, therefore all censored by the New York Times; the Times later sent me kindly an unsolicited letter to justify its censorship; there is no excuse: the New York Times should not censor serious and cogent comments, this is a misuse of technology].

Krugman: “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy”… began with some technology snark, dismissing Earth as a planet whose life-forms “are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”… Since then we’ve moved on to much more significant things, so much so that the big technology idea of 2015, so far, is a digital watch…

O.K., I’m snarking, too. But there is a real question here. Everyone knows that we live in an era of incredibly rapid technological change, which is changing everything. But what if what everyone knows is wrong? And I’m not being wildly contrarian here. A growing number of economists, looking at the data on productivity and incomes, are wondering if the technological revolution has been greatly overhyped — and some technologists share their concern.”

We evolved as a technological species: weapon and tool usage precedes the apparition of Homo:

Technology preceded the apparition of Homo Erectus, two million years ago. So we can only conclude that technology, and its attached science, and scientific method, created the ecological niche in which Homo, even homo Erectus, evolved.

The fundamental evolutionary niche our very distant ancestors, pre-Homo Erectus, chose was to improve the quantity and quality of energy at our disposal. They went to explore, far from trees and cliffs, armed with stone tools and weapons, with a bias towards a much more carnivorous diet.

Technology and science are us. This is as human as we get. That does not mean anything goes. Just, that’s how humanity gets going.

Thus, our very evolution is entangled with our mastery of energy. Neanderthals used coal (lignite!) already 80,000 years ago. When our ancestors learned to domesticate animals and then invented agriculture, we improved our mastery of energy considerably. In the last 2,000 years, wood was progressively replaced by fossil fuels.

However, fossil fuels have become unsustainable. It is not just that they have put so much CO2 in the lower atmosphere, warming it, melting the ice, rising the seas, and into the ocean, making it acid.

The Return On Investment (ROI) of fossil fuels is now terrible. Major oil companies do not make much profits on new fields: they cost too much to find and exploit. Fracking makes money, but only because the states, and others, pay the price. Remember: 5.3 trillion dollars of fossil fuel subsidies out there.

However progress in economic matters is all about ROI in energy. Without energy we have no food, no shelter, we die.

We don’t have flying cars because we did not improve our mastery of energy as much as that would require (the very first plane, part of a French military program, did not fly very far: it used a heavy steam plant; shortly after, the internal combustion engine allowed to take-off more clearly; right now Airbus sells an electric plane, and intents to develop that technology much further).

Fundamental progress in energy technology has been stalled by lack of advances in fission, fusion, and batteries. Only solar photovoltaics is making really spectacular progress.

This stalling of major technological progress where it counts, in energy management is why society, and the planet, are threatened. This stalling is directly related to a dearth of fundamental research funding, itself related to the rise of a non-tax paying plutocracy. We are in whirlpool of disaster, and the greed of an oligarchy is its nature.

Patrice Ayme’

P/S: Latest News: Amazon Inc. just announced it would stop hiding its European profits in Luxembourg, and would set-up tax paying subsidiaries in various countries: it was threatened by incoming British and French laws. However, skepticism is widespread about the fine print in Amazon’s proposal…

The future was not stalled in the past: Contrarily to what happened around the era from, say, 1900 to 1970, when many futuristic technologies were researched; the USA operated nuclear rocket engines, France flew a “statoreacteur” (“ramjet”) plane, etc.; the inception of motorized flight, from the French steam plane, all the way to jet engines, took around 50 years!

 

American Energy Conspiracies

December 12, 2014

Science is about what we know, for sure. Philosophy is about what we can guess.

History has been fruitful to the USA, so it should be repeated. Again and again, and again. Historians are viewed with suspicion, as soon as they don’t stick to the official, fruitful version of history. Indeed, not repeating history is viewed as counterproductive, in highly successful empires.

Conspiracies is what the most impactful part of history is made of. The USA started as a conspiracy, mostly conducted in Paris. It was so conspiratorial that the King of France had the budget for the war of liberation of America written in secret ledgers.

Many A Conspiracy Explain This Weird Oil Price Graph

Many A Conspiracy Explain This Weird Oil Price Graph

No wonder that the concept of “conspiracy theorist”, is a well-known demeaning expression, in the USA, among those who, in the best universities, aspire to make a career from supporting the established order. The fox hides its trail, with its tail.

Conspiracy is in the genes of the American institutional psyche.

To understand human evolution, especially in the last ten million years, one has to understand energy. Our distant ancestors decided to venture in the Savannah to grab the food, that is, the energy, there. They were immigrants in search of a better world.

The rise of European civilization in the Middle Ages was caused by the outlawing of slavery in 655 CE by the Merovingian Frankish Empire: it forced society to develop mechanical and animal advantage. That turned out to produce a lot of energy. By the year 1000 CE, Europeans commanded more energy, per person, than anybody else, leaving behind China.

In 1939, the dictator-president, Kanzler Adolf Hitler, wanted Poland absolutely, one reason being that Poland had oil (whereas the oil Hitler was getting was from the Americans, or a synthetic oil process, also a, secret, courtesy of American plutocrats). Ironically, Hitler’s ally Stalin got to Polish oil first, thanks to his conspiracy with the Nazi dictator.

Before World War Two, the British and the French controlled the Middle East (which they had freed from the Turks). In particular, Britain controlled Iraq directly (wrestled from Germany in WWI), and Saudi Arabia, indirectly. Thus European democracies had their own oil supply.

After WWII, the USA took control of the Middle East. That was done with an irresistible cocktail of implicit military force (against France and Britain, which culminated when the USA allied itself with Soviet Russia during the Hungary-Suez Canal week of 1956), and debt (when Britain and France were under threat of invasion by the Nazis, the USA exchanged military equipment for debt, or cash).

In the Orient, the USA was not keen to see European influence re-establishing itself. So the USA allied itself with the Vietnamese Communists against the French (and even, for a while, de facto, with Mao). The USA provided the Vietminh with weapons to fight the French, and would not rest until the French got kicked out of North Africa.

Thus the worldwide empire of the USA grew. (No, the Ukrainian situation is not the same, contrarily to what Putin propaganda has been claiming.)

The end result? The Chinese and Arabian plutocracies are doing great. Thanks to the Big Brother plutocracy based in the USA.

The USA give the feudal oil regimes the military backbone they need to stay in place. The USA gave China the capital, technology and companies to establish itself as the number one factory in the world. This has been excellent for American plutocrats. If built in the USA, Apple’s iphone would cost three times more (that is $2,000! For the cheapest model.) Mostly due to higher labor cost. Fortunately Apple’s management has been able to cut out all these greedy American workers (who can now wait on the tables of Apple executives, or clean their luxury electric cars). Geeks and wealthy teenagers are forever in the debt of American plutocrats.

But let’s go back to energy.

Jesus has obviously been conspiring with the USA by providing it with vast quantities of oil, all over, from Pennsylvania to California, and Texas to North Dakota. Without oil, the USA may just have been a larger version of Argentina (Argentine has some oil, but not as much, and not as easy to get; in places in the USA, such as Los Angeles, oil literally makes lakes on the surface).

American plutocrats then conspired with their servant, Adolf Hitler, to provide those-who-wanted-to-kill a lot of people, the Nazis, with all the oil they needed to invade countries, starting with Spain (when their oil got cut-off, the Nazis found their war toys could not be used; but, by then, Nazis were not useful to American plutocrats).

The price of oil stagnated around twenty dollars a barrel for the longest time. The USA was the world’s main producer of oil, but then its production peaked at around ten million barrels a day, and went down. It was the end of cheap oil, at least in the USA.

The world’s main producers, real and potential, became the feudal regimes of the Middle East: Arabia, Iraq, Iran. Iran, in a plot helped by Iraq and France, rebelled from under the American lordship, and went its own way: it got punished. Iraq thought it could be independent from Washington: a series of plots, wars and embargoes, subdued it.

Iraq had the greatest, or second greatest, reserves of oil. The subjugation of Iraq took it out of the oil market. Hence the price of oil took off, helped by financial futures market conspirators.

But sometimes there is too much of a good thing: oil became so expensive that many Americans walked off their mortgages (housing is mostly borrowed from banks in the USA, not properly owned). That was something the whizz kids in American banking had not expected, and the whole, highly leveraged house of cards collapsed.

Thus so did demand for anything, the economy collapsed, and the price of oil went from $140 down to $40.

However, even with that hiccup, the price of oil, thanks from the Washington conspiracy to take out of the oil market both Iran and Iraq, stayed high.

Thus the USA was able to develop TIGHT OIL.

The USA was past CONVENTIONAL, CHEAP OIL, but a new technology was able to get at the oil tightly embedded in rock by fracturing said rock. Actually the technology was not new, but to deploy it massively, using wells which bent and went horizontal, was new.

This technique, called FRACKING, is expensive. Not just expensive on the environment, and deleterious for water supplies. It is intrinsically expensive: instead of just digging a hole and having oil gushing out, one needs to dig deep and massage the rock hundreds of times with water laden with corrosive chemicals and sand. Then one needs to go make another hole close by and start all over again, after having thrown away the humongously disgusting water, now laden with all sorts of poisons, toxic minerals, and, often, radioactivity, somewhere discrete.

Fracking needs an oil price around $60 a barrel to be profitable.

The oil price just broke below $60 on December 11, 2014.

Why?

The short of it is that Saudi Arabia is producing massively, and has announced it decided to target $60 a barrel for the price of oil. It is like an official conspiracy.

How come? Well, Vlad the Invader, having ravaged his country’s economic prospects, like Hitler, is reduced to oppress other nationalities, and minorities (Tatars), to imprint on his followers that he is worth following blindly, being a great chief.

The total fossil fuel (oil and gas) production of Russia is 22 million barrels a day, and was just equaled this year by the USA, making these two empires the largest fossil fuel producers in the world. Russia makes all its money that way.

To squeeze Russia, squeeze the oil price. To squeeze oil, just ask the Saudis, and make oil futures guys understand that it is in the national interest that the oil price go down.

Here we are.

Is that a problem for fracking? Not really. Not only has fracking a lot of inertia, but several of the aims of the fracking movement, such as the repatriation of the chemical industry, or the lowering of the price of energy in the USA, and energy independence thereof, have been achieved (never mind that the poles are melting).

One of the problems with Europe, is that it cannot generate plots at this scale: European national governments and administrations are all too independent. A strength of the USA is that it can conspire on a gigantic national, and worldwide basis. Top American leaders come from very few elite schools, the plutocratic universities. Where they are taught exactly what to know, what to not know, and how to listen.

Then they implement.

Patrice Ayme’

Stuck On Earth, Earth Stuck With Us

June 24, 2014

Two Pluto sized planets have been found beyond Pluto, Eris and Sedna (Note 1). They have highly eccentric orbits. That means they don’t go around in circles. Now, in the fullness of time, one expects all orbits to become round (See Note 2).

Thus if said orbits are not round, it’s that something disturbs them. And it’s not Neptune, because Pluto, which is disturbed by Neptune, and closer to it, is disturbed less.

Conclusion: there is apparently at least one large planet out there, beyond the known Solar System. Morality? Little do we know.

Even More Was Found In That Zoo Out There Since 2012

Even More Was Found In That Zoo Out There Since 2012

All human beings going to Earth orbit are awed in the same way. As a twice Space Shuttle commander Rominger puts it: “The most incredible thing I’ve ever seen is the color looking out into space—and that color is black—a black so dark, so stark, so vast, I’d never seen anything like it before,” he recalls.

“And then it dawned on me, well, it is not the color, it is not the black that is so captivating. What I was really appreciating was the vastness of space. Without the atmosphere, I could tell I was looking trillions and trillions of miles into the depths of space, and it really struck me.”

That’s one important fact: there is absolutely nothing out there. Another, more prosaic fact: The last human space launch—Expedition 40 to the ISS—used the same Baikonur launch complex that sent Yuri Gagarin on the first human spaceflight on April 12, 1961. And it was basically the same rocket, of which the Russians have launched around 2,000, using the same old technology.

Morality? We did not progress much in propulsion technology in 70 years, ever since the Nazis invented reliable fuel powered rockets. We are not using a Space Elevator, the civilized way to go to space. In fact we are going to space just as the first human who tried to use rockets to fly. This bold Chinese inventor, nine centuries ago, fixed lots of chemical rockets to a large kite, and became the first flier to go with a bang.

Speaking of bang, for a bigger bang, we have to go nuclear:

Nerva Nuclear Engine: The Future Was In The 1950s

Nerva Nuclear Engine: The Future Was In The 1950s

[Larger Nuclear Engines were made, and are, by far the most powerful engines ever made, except now for French made (Thales) lasers; the largest nuclear engine was deliberately exploded, to see if that was a problem! Answer: no!]

ISS expedition 40, launched an American, a Russian and a German from that same Gagarin pad in Kazakhstan for the International Space Station. So, clearly, space exploration is a factor of peace: Kazakhstan, USA, Germany and Russia united. Maxim Suraev, Alexander Gerst and Reid Wiseman reached the ISS 6 hours later. At about an altitude of 400 kilometers, the ISS is zooming around the planet. Periodically a Russian or European Space Agency spaceship pushes the ISS back up, because it orbits so low, that the atmosphere dissipates, through friction, its potential energy, and it loses altitude, while gaining speed. Basically the ISS streaks through the very high atmosphere.

400 kms up is as deep into space as humans have ventured (except for visiting thrice the Hubble Space Telescope,) ever since Apollo 17 returned from the Moon on Dec. 14, 1972.

There is no nice oasis to go to out there in space. It’s not the Sahara. It’s a hard vacuum, whatever pointed head physicists believe Quantum Field Theory is telling them, in their colossal naivety. The ISS is refining our collective skill at operating in vacuum, in zero gravity. Zero gravity presents problems: bones and muscles lose substance, the heart thickens, and shrinks. The world’s space agencies do not agree on what we should do next. The Europeans, long determined explorers, have given up. The Americans have preferred to spend 6 trillion dollars enriching their plutocrats under the pretext of war in Iraq and Afghanistan. While spending only 8 billion a year on human space exploration (so basically the USA spent 100 times a year on bombing Iraq than gaining space expertise).

So we still use Nazi technology.

Mars, is as far as humankind can practicably expect to go. That’s too bad: there are bodies, such as Enceladus, and various satellites of Jupiter, with considerable quantities of water.

“Based on limitations to human physiology, based on reasonable technical limitations to the ability to shield humans during long voyages in interplanetary space, the horizon goal for human space exploration is Mars,” says Jonathan Lunine, a top planetary scientist at Cornell University, who co-chaired the recent U.S. National Research Council (NRC) human-spaceflight study. “Now, horizon in this case essentially means the farthest goal. It is not the only goal.”

A problem is radiation. Space is full of radiation. Some, the solar wind, consists of protons zooming by at 400kms/second. So fast they are, that they rob planets of their atmosphere’s water. This happened to Venus and Mars.

Earth is protected by her magnetic shield (the energy of which, I claim is nuclear fission generated).

Another type of radiation is of the cosmic type, galactic or not. Some of these rays have much higher energy, by many orders of magnitude, than the Large Hadron Collider in France-Switzerland. That’s why smart cookies such as yours truly, knew that the LHC was not going to create Black Holes that would swallow the Earth (as some lunatics thought, in their chaotic misunderstanding).

When astronauts are in orbit, they see stars. With their eyes closed, deep inside their spaceships. Why? Because there, even protected by the Earth Magnetic Shield, cosmic rays scream through astronauts’ brains like tiny meteors.

Earth, we have a problem. Our brains are streaked with fireworks.

Going to Mars, with foreseeable technology, will not be cheap. Ultimately, the NRC panel said, a human reconnaissance to Mars will take “decades” of work, and cost “hundreds of billions” of dollars.

No one has a motivation to spend that kind of money, considering there is no dramatic reason to go to Mars. Or so many in the Commons believe, erroneously.

“I would not want to indulge in specious precision to say whether it was $300 billion or $500 billion, but it is a lot of money,” says John C. Sommerer, a retired Applied Physics Laboratory engineer who headed the subcommittee that drafted the technical portion of the NRC report. “Given that we currently spend on the order of $8 billion [annually in the U.S.] on human spaceflight, you immediately understand why it is a long-term program.”

NASA administrator Charles Bolden says it will take only “a modest increase” in funding to land humans on Mars in 20 years or so, since the Obama administration ordered a different course five years ago.

Ironically, that has since been amended to funding “consistent with economic growth.” But Bolden—who commanded the shuttle mission that put the Hubble Space Telescope in orbit says Congress will not give the space program 4% of the federal budget, as it did for the race to the Moon.

What did that bring, aside from Moon rocks? Well, magnificent pictures of humanity’s loneliness, and Earth as the most object in the universe. A warning from heavens.

That warning, by itself, was worth it. The race to the Moon also brought a tremendous technological push. Not just Teflon. Not just personal computer power. Even Velcro (Vel(ours) Cro(chet)) was helped, as it got free advertising from NASA.

Earlier on the race to develop rockets was military. The Mongols got it started, and the weapon became ubiquitous, as its efficiency was spectacular. The next step up was during World War Two as the Panzerfaust, and all sorts of Nazi rocket tech (some ballistic, some cruise, some anti-aircraft) played a spectacular role. (It was not a decisive role, as it happened a tad too late!)

But now we have a tremendous civilian fall-out: weather satellites, GPS, etc. Even greater was the indirect fall-out of the technologies that had to be developed to make rocketry work.

To make space into an affordable new habitat, we need completely new technologies. For LEO, right away, only air breathing rockets will do, to make launches economical enough.

Further on, only space elevators will allow to go to space cheaply. The great fall-out of a space elevator, before it allows us to conquer the Solar System, though, will be the technology itself. It will allow to produce materials ten times lighter than steel, and stronger.

To ferry people and large loads between spatial real estate, only nuclear energy will do. Either fission, or fusion.  Developing those, in turn, will have tremendous fall-out (no pun intended). Why? Nuclear energy has a million times, per mass, more energy than any other energy that we can tap (although I proposed a vacuum energy machine, on this site, that’s still in the sci-fi future.)

The requirement of developing completely new technology is actually, at this point, not an impediment, but the best argument for going to space.

Indeed, only drastically new tech will save the biosphere as we know it.

Patrice Aymé

Note1: I call planet anything that’s big enough to become round under its own gravity.  That has the merit of clarity. Pluto is round, has five satellites and an atmosphere, so it’s a (“dwarf“) planet.

Note 2: Now, in the fullness of time, one expects all orbits to become round. Why? Because when a planet goes far from a sun, it’s climbing, converting kinetic energy into potential energy. Under a gravitational perturbation, it’s easier to lose the latter, because at that point speeds are lower, so the influence has more time to be felt (who said we need equations all the time?)