Jay

Jay

  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Very possible, especially if the future's centers of power evolve from corporations....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Nobody says humans must be equal. Humans are individuals. Human Rights say that all humans should be treated as equal, ie. no human is better than another. Exactly. My entire point was that this is a particular construction of our...
  • Commented on Ask the Author
    The new Star Wars trailer: any comments? My comments: Diversity is fine, and clones are fine, but when clones are diverse I have questions. Also, that lightsaber seems designed for chopping off your own hand....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    As far as skin color goes, IIRC it's usually related not to latitude exclusively, but to UV light in the ancestral environment. So, for example, Tibetans are darker than their native latitude suggests, but their native elevation is such that...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    is someone trying to avoid confronting their own stereotypes and biases by claiming that any research that might disagree with what them is unreliable. Radical skepticism isn't really a bias. I don't know, and I don't believe people who...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Tying it back to the original point of the thread: When we look at a foreign or future culture, the thing we're most likely to see is the absence of our own specific cultural preoccupations, one of which is equality....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I don't remember anything about "shrimp and algae". "Genetic diversity" came in through a quote from hetermeles, and it was in response to a statement that relates better to phenotypic diversity. Yes, phenotypic diversity is a much better term. I...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    That was referring to an earlier post that discussed "a random sample of 100 Bantu males". So the odds of getting an albino are pretty low (admittedly not zero). Also, Bantus are a southern African ethnicity, and are considerably darker...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Four points: 1) We don't really care about genes, per se. We care about traits, many of which are influenced or near-totally determined by genes. 2) I chose skin color in the prior example because it's obvious and non-controversial, but...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    There's generally more genetic diversity within human groups than between human groups. Id depends on what variable you're looking at. Consider a random sample of 100 Swedish males and compare that to a random sample of 100 Bantu males. If...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Three points: 1) Trying to examine the influence of genetics on culture flies in the face of our cultural presumptions so much that it's a career killer. We simply don't know, and we (as a society) don't want to find...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Like millions of Americans, I'm being treated for depression, so your experience and mine may differ significantly there. Also, people's mood tends to vary dramatically by age (I'm in my early 40s, which is about the worst of it). Still,...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    They're fictional, so you can imagine them any way you want. In humans, though, the "most common feelings" are identical to the "lowest common denominator". Plus, I can totally imagine Patrick Stewart intoning "This is Locutus of Borg. Show your...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I expect they'd behave like a YouTube comments channel with photon torpedoes. So pretty much as portrayed....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Well, yes. Nobody ever accused Trek of subtlety, especially TNG, and Trek is usually more interested in social commentary than technological extrapolation. The Borg were written to be Space Conquistadors, nothing more....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    You seem to have missed the not terribly subtle parallels with other historical events where technologically superior pale people came from beyond the known universe, killed a bunch of people, assimilated the rest into the lowest rungs of their society,...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    In the very long term (tens of generations, at least), we can expect some level of natural selection for reproductive efficiency; and in our present circumstances that probably means selecting for people who avoid birth control (for whatever reason, but...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I think that a lot of disagreements have been latent in society, because liberal capitalism had been working well enough that a workable consensus for continuing it always prevailed. I think now there's a growing push for change, but no...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Historically, American SF developed as an amplification of the Western (Star Trek was originally pitched as a "wagon train to the stars"). It was about the hope for a new frontier to replace the West, which was pretty much over...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    I mean the stuff in #s 451 and 452 isn't all bad. I'm not in favor of internet hate mobs or whatever was going on in that earlier post....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    It's not all bad. When I discovered anime about 20 years ago, it seemed liberating precisely because it was from a culture where entertainments weren't expected to be relentlessly on-message in regards to gender politics, racial politics, and half a...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Ditto Japanese SF. And, seriously, if you think American SF is bad about portrayals of women, watch a few episodes of Tenchi Muyo and revel in your newfound sense of perspective....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    The Age of Faith is winding down Not around here, it's not. The past is still around, it's just not evenly distributed....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Here in the American South, churches form the backbone of community life. Pretty much everything that doesn't directly involve money happens through churches, and one of the first questions locals ask each other is about their "church home". Since I'm...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    What would be an example of something that would to lead to cultural estrangement without said change being a restriction of a commonly accepted freedom? Imagine a Talib asking if future societies will be different, without that difference being a...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    How about the rise of some sort of caste system? Europe's certainly had them before, and the line between "slave" and "associate" is thinning on this side of the pond....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    studies seem to show that small farmers are actually more efficient per unit area than are big agribusiness. I expect that's true, but mainly because productivity per unit area isn't the metric that agribusiness is trying to maximize. For instance,...
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    So any time you hear a technology is going to increase your leisure time, run away from it. That's something many groups, including the Amish, have figured out over the centuries. You don't want to be someone who does nothing....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    What does end-state Western (European) culture look like anyway? There is no end state*. The culture will (probably) just keep changing. * Except "radioactive craterscape", but we're hoping to avoid that one....
  • Commented on On the lack of cultural estrangement in SF
    Better yet, just replicate me a couple of Trois. Be sure to set self-esteem to minimum, daddy issues to maximum, and program in congenital heart failure with onset in two hours....
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