Generation Ships & morality

Aug. 20th, 2017 02:43 pm
juliet: (waveform tree)
[personal profile] juliet

Mirrored from Juliet Kemp.

I went to a panel at Worldcon on the morality of generation ships, and have been thinking about it since.

(I’m also going to take this opportunity to recommend this Jo Walton story set on a generation ship, which is great and has something to say about choice and decisions.)

So, the question under discussion at the panel was: is it morally acceptable to board a generation ship (i.e. a ship that people will live on for multiple generations on their way to another planet), given that you are not just making a decision for yourself, but for your future children, grandchildren, etc etc. The two main categories of moral problem that the panel identified were:

  • the risk of the voyage itself;
  • the lack of choice for every generation after the one that gets on the ship in the first place.

The ‘risk’ issue seems reasonably strong. It’s very unlikely that anyone would have a really clear idea of what the planet was like that they were going to. If you’re using a generation ship at all, then you probably don’t have any other form of fast travel, so any information that exists about the planet will be scanty, very out of date, or most likely both. (See Kim Stanley Robinson’s Aurora, which is also great.) So it’s not at all a reliable bet that your descendants will truly be able to settle where they’re headed to, even if it looks good from here.

There are also the risks of the voyage itself, including but not limited to radiation issues, the possibility of running into something else, and the likelihood that the ship will genuinely be able to maintain a workable ecological system. We don’t have good on-Earth comparisons for small closed systems; what experiments have been conducted have been very short-term and not terribly promising. What about the social dynamics? What are the risks of, say, a totalitarian system arising? If the risks on Earth are very high, or humans on Earth are facing imminent disaster, then this might be an acceptable trade-off, but how high is ‘very high’ and how disastrous does a disaster have to be? Does it need to be Earth-wide? If your current home is, for example, sinking under rising waters, and you know that any alternative will mean becoming a refugee in poor circumstances — how much risk is ‘reasonable’ to accept then?

Which brings us on to the issue of ‘choice’. One could argue that a kid living in a refugee camp without enough food or warm clothes has, notionally, some future ‘choice’ or ‘opportunity’ to escape that. A child on a generation ship is stuck there.

But why is “can’t leave generation ship” morally different from “can’t leave Earth”? Which is of course a situation into which all children are currently born and which we do not consider morally problematic. And how realistic is the ‘choice’ that the average Earth-born child has? This was where I thought that the Worldcon panel fell down a bit. They threw the word “choice” around a lot but didn’t at all interrogate what realistic “choice” is available to which children in which situation on Earth. There are many kids born without very many realistic ‘choices’; children who are unlikely to go more than a few miles beyond where they were born, children whose projected lifespan is short, children whose lives are likely to be very difficult. How different is that, in reality, from a generation ship? In fact, if the generation ship does work, it might be a better life than on Earth: guaranteed food, shelter, and useful work (making the ship run).

The panel talked about limiting the choices of children born on the moon, because they might not be able to go back and live on Earth — but why is Earth necessarily better than the moon, or Mars, or the asteroid belt? Why isn’t it immoral of us to have children who are stuck down here in the gravity well?

More generally: we’re constantly making choices for our children, and through them for generations beyond; we’re constantly giving them some chances and removing other options, every decision we make. Is that immoral? It’s not avoidable, however much privilege you have, although most certainly more privilege generally means more options.

Would I get on a generation ship? Well. Not without a really good perusal of the specs. But I’m not convinced that it’s immoral to do so.

(no subject)

Aug. 20th, 2017 08:19 pm
copracat: Karen Gillan as Jean Shrimpton knitting (Jean knitting)
[personal profile] copracat
I may be a bit sweary behind the cut.

Teen Wolf 06x13 )

Just saying.

The Blood is the Life for 20-08-2017

Aug. 20th, 2017 11:00 am
miss_s_b: (Default)
[personal profile] miss_s_b
rydra_wong: The display board of a train reads "this train is fucked". (this train is fucked)
[personal profile] rydra_wong
https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/19/boston-protest-free-speech-rally

Donald Trump described anti-fascist and anti-racist demonstrators who converged on Boston as “anti-police agitators” on Saturday, in a tweet that seemed destined to revive the still simmering controversy over his remarks equating the far right and anti-Nazis in Charlottesville last weekend.

“Looks like many anti-police agitators in Boston,” Trump tweeted. “Police are looking tough and smart! Thank you.”

But he later seemed to back the right to demonstrate, posting: “Our great country has been divided for decades. Sometimes you need protest in order to heal, & we will heal, & be stronger than ever before!”

He added: “I want to applaud the many protestors in Boston who are speaking out against bigotry and hate. Our country will soon come together as one!”
marahmarie: my initials (MM) (Default)
[personal profile] marahmarie

So, the LastPass blank dropdown menu and blank search results panel is very annoying. The dev hasn't updated the add-on since June and is responding to exactly zero complaints about this and other issues on his Firefox review page, though there might easily be dozens.

Which came to bite me, too, when Firefox finally let me have their latest multiprocess (e10s), 64-bit compatible version earlier this week (e10s is still automatically disabled if you install any add-on that isn't yet e10s capable); ever since I've had both LastPass problems, and saw others are having them, too [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3].

To fix these issues, just switch back to Firefox 32-bit. It's not even necessary to remove Fx 64-bit. It's actually better if you don't, so Firefox can just poke around in your profile folder and recreate the Firefox you've got in the 32-bit version you're about to get (just be sure to create a shortcut or a target that you can easily tell apart from the 64-bit icon).

32-bit Firefox runs LastPass perfectly, fixes the blank dropdown list of log-ins for each site and fixes search result panels showing up blank.

For everyone leaving bitter reviews [Example 1, Example 2, Example 3] and sharing the version number that allegedly works better [Version 4.1.62a]: I tried it in 64-bit Firefox, but it gave me all the same blank dropdowns as before.

My guess is the problems are not confined to any particular version. After I installed the May 31st version and saw the same issues it became clear the latest version is not at fault - it's 64-bit Firefox - and I'll gander that's no matter which version of LastPass going back to the earliest 56*-capable version you pick.

So if you've got 64-bit Firefox, try going back to 32-bit (here are the 32-bit installers. If you have automatic updates turned off, keep checking the directory for the latest). Run Firefox 32-bit with whatever version of LastPass you have and see if that fixes the problems.

Long day

Aug. 19th, 2017 11:31 pm
apollymi: Faraday counting his kills on this fingers, animated gif, no text (Mag7**Faraday: Counting kills)
[personal profile] apollymi
For as little as I did today, it felt both long and exhausting. I mean, honestly, I woke up with a screaming headache, saw [personal profile] katsuko off to work. I putzed around on my phone until I got the text that she had arrived safely at work, and then I went back to bed. Boo hung out on the bed with me, though she did bail when Luci showed up. I slept until around 10:30 or 11:00, got up and fed the cats, and putzed around on the computer. Some of what I did was editing, but mostly it was reading Jurassic World fanfic...

...because every time I try to rewatch the movie, it's usually so late at night that I fall asleep somewhere in the vicinity of the Raptor Motorcycle Gang and wake back up in time for the closing credits. Which, whoops, defeats the purpose of trying to rewatch a movie.

I'm also trying to find my copy of Ocean's Eleven, because I want to give it a rewatch soon too. In part, this is because I'm giving thought to finally giving the fanfic "Chisolm's Seven" a try again. And in part, it's because I love watching Brad Pitt and George Clooney's characters banter and play off each other. It's sort of cute and sweet and just so on point... and I wish I could emulate it in my writing. I try, sometimes, but I think I fall short.

Also, I forgot to say, but as of last Thursday, I've written more than 365,000 words this year. How much of it will ever be seen is something I don't know. I'm enjoying the things I'm writing, but I freely admit that the stuff I'm writing breaks up the fandom OTPs... and I don't even care.

We did the fancy dinner out that we've been wanting to do for months, and it was every bit as good as we were hoping. We got most of the grocery shopping done. And yeah, that's about all I've got to report. I've napped so much today that, while I'm exhausted, I'm not sleepy, so I'm not in bed. I'm tempted to go make a video of [personal profile] katsuko though, since she's snoring away. (Yes, snoring.)

Either way, though, it's time to end this entry. Later, all.

The Defenders - through 1x03

Aug. 20th, 2017 12:48 am
alchemise: Stargate: season 1 Daniel (Default)
[personal profile] alchemise
THIS IS SO MUCH FUN )

I WANT TO WATCH MORE BUT IT'S REALLY LATE DAMMIT.
twistedchick: General Leia in The Force Awakens (Default)
[personal profile] twistedchick
Here's the thing. The point of the white supremacists' march in Charlottesville was to make us feel afraid and helpless. You know this and I know this. But there's a psychological bit in there that a friend on Facebook pointed out that I had missed.

It's this: the symbolism of them carrying torches. Something about that apparently goes back to a primordial bit of the brain that keeps the fear going. Maybe it's the shared ancestral memory of towns and cities burning centuries ago -- every one of us has, somewhere in our history, some ancient family member who was burned out of a home in some war or other. (I can tell you that my own ancestral fear of being burned out goes back two generations, to when my grandfather's blacksmith's shop went up in flames in midwinter, and it was a hard fight by the local fire brigade to keep the house nearby from going up as well. If both hadn't been next to the river, the family would have been homeless.) But the point is that something nearly primordial in us sees campfires as friendly (we cook over them) and torches as hostile, unfriendly and dangerous. And when it's a mob with torches? Especially dangerous and frightening.

And those of us who post and repost news items are spreading images of torches. We're doing the frightening for them and keeping it going. Think about what happened when we kept seeing the Twin Towers collapsing in the weeks after 9/11, when the horror and the fear just did not go away because those images kept feeding it.

So this is what I am asking you to do:

1. If, anywhere on any social media, you have posted a picture from Charlottesville with torches in it, please delete it. Or edit it so it's a bunch of ugly white men without torches. We already know what happened there -- everyone knows. We don't have to see that picture any more. We don't have to spread their message of hate for them. That's not our job.

2. Take extra care to keep your own mind free from that image, and from the fear that it and other images of the Charlottesville riot can foster. Make sure to spend time with loving pets, or out in nature, or with people you love or doing things you care about. Make sure to put joy in your life on purpose, not by accident, in whatever way pleases you. Take time to appreciate good things around you. Joy and appreciation are powerful weapons against fear; they set the ground for generosity, caring and peace.

Thank you.

Tired covers it

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:28 pm
julian: Picture of Julian Street. (Default)
[personal profile] julian
In the spirit of solidarity with Charlottesville, I went off to laugh at neo-Nazis with 20,000-40,000 of my closest friends, and get labeled an anti-police agitator by our Very Own President, today.

The general idea, as transmitted in one of the orientation sessions I went to, was to show up, stand tall, and nnnnnot let ourselves get drawn into confrontations by the white supremacists, who would be trying their darndest to make this happen.

So I got decked out in my "I stand by my Muslim neighbors" t-shirt and wandered down to Roxbury Crossing, found fairly organized Socialists a-plenty, and got the best poster off them ever. Picture with a new friend from much later in the march, slight content warning for concentration camp imagery:

One cuts pictures. )

They also had lynching ones, but basically I'm squicked by blood and gore, whereas the concentration camp one might well be triggering to some, but it also had people pausing to look at it, nodding to me soberly, and moving on. (I also got several high-fives for the shirt.)

Anyway, I eventually found the actual Black Lives Matter march leaders, plus Tito Jackson (candidate for mayor) doing his best preachin', and then we got started late. (Because, it is a march and it is required.) Soon enough, I stumbled onto my brother and his wife, or more accurately he stumbled across me while admiring my poster, and had marching partners. (I was going to hook up with Dedham Unitarians, but I couldn't find them.)

Since we started late, and because 20,000 marchers move slowly, we missed the so-called "Free Speech Rally" entirely, since they got shuffled off at 1:30 or so, and I wasn't even to the Common by that point, I think.

I did encounter some AntiFa-plus-BLM activists around 3:30 or so down by Park Street T stop, who had found some of the white supremacists who (for agitation reasons) had stuck around. One of them got pizza thrown at him (which almost hit me as I ducked into the convenience store), and then another one was rather literally surrounded by people *entirely* willing to argue with him until the cows came home, so I figured that was pretty much covered and bailed. As it turns out, there was a little bit of violence after that, but not much at all.

About 25 arrests for minor things, and a white supremacist arrested for carrying a gun without a permit or something similar. There were also some people throwing rocks (and bottles filled with piss, wtf?) at the police, sigh. Overall, the police were incredibly helpful during the march, and then got somewhat violent as the day progressed, but they were only slightly more pissy than I expected. Overall, worth thanking.

Link smatterings: Scale of the so-called "Free Speech Rally", as compared to counter-protestors. Roxbury Crossing area, around when things started, some Globe photos.

Iron Fist - season 1

Aug. 19th, 2017 09:10 pm
alchemise: Stargate: season 1 Daniel (Default)
[personal profile] alchemise
I realized I never actually finished the season and The Defenders is out, oops!

I still think it's by far the weakest of the shows but in the end I didn't hate it.

spoilers for it all and a fair bit of criticism )

Time for the Defenders!

Poem: "The Bamboo That Bends"

Aug. 19th, 2017 06:05 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Damask smiling over their shoulder (polychrome)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This poem is from the August 1, 2017 Poetry Fishbowl. It was inspired by prompts from [personal profile] siliconshaman and [personal profile] librarygeek. It also fills the "family portraits" square in my 7-1-16 card for the Winter Fest in July Bingo. This poem has been sponsored by Anthony & Shirley Barrette. It belongs to the Officer Pink thread of the Polychrome Heroics series.

Read more... )

[fic fic and more fic]

Aug. 19th, 2017 08:46 pm
tellitslant: (tos - uhura - smiiile!)
[personal profile] tellitslant
For the first time in a very long time I am writing fic outside of the constraints of a ficathon. In fact, I've written nearly ten thousand words in the last two weeks (which is a fair bit for me, and I think more than I wrote all of last year put together). So, hey! If any of you are also watching Grace and Frankie on Netflix, check out my ongoing run of pre-series ruminations, The Past Forty Years. It includes four stories thus far: The Undertow (Grace and Frankie early on, and the weight of all the things they don't know how to see about each other); The Difference (does it feel strange when Frankie looks at her, or is Grace imagining it?); The Space Between (how to reach out and touch someone, or, as the case may be, fail to connect); The Mark (Grace and the relationships she never quite expected to be so changed by).

And if you're not watching Grace and Frankie but you would like to know why I am, well. I'm more than happy to share. :)

Saturday Yardening

Aug. 19th, 2017 04:50 pm
ysabetwordsmith: Cartoon of me in Wordsmith persona (Default)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
Today is mostly sunny and hot.  :P  We picked up three piles of grass, and I filled the trolley with sticks to dump in the firepit.

Lots of butterflies out, though, and bees.  Yay bumblebees, boo sweat bees. 

Yes, she's alive and well

Aug. 19th, 2017 04:11 pm
hollymac_79: (Default)
[personal profile] hollymac_79
Boy, I've forgotten that I've had a dreamwidth account. Time to dust it off. Summer has been keeping me busy. If I wasn't working summer school in June through mid July I was spending time with my dogs and my family and catching up on some reading and tv shows. Just a quick update for now. Going to try to poke in a bit more often.

watching The Defenders this weekend

Aug. 19th, 2017 01:25 pm
kore: (Jessica Jones - fucking bubbles)
[personal profile] kore
On ep 2 and the scene where DANNY CANNOT EVEN MAKE A DENT IN LUKE IS AWESOME I ALREADY REWOUND IT TWICE. (and booed when his fist got all glowy)

MISTY AND JESSICA <333

Further spoilers )

Krysten Ritter and Mike Colter are the total MVPs. And they have such great chemistry! Charlie Cox is all right. Finn Jones is terrible, tho.

WHY IS DANNY NOT PLAYED BY LEWIS TAN. ARGH.

Fandom, if I don't see a whole lot of white-hot femslash between Alexandra and Elektra, I'm going to be VERY disappointed.


ETA LOL, I am once more out of step with fandom because I enjoyed it. Everyone else seems to think it sucks. T says he liked the individual series with more character depth better, that this kind of bounced around with all of them, but says he also enjoyed it. I liked all the bits where Danny was useless (carried like a sack of spuds...repeatedly! tied to a chair....repeatedly! he was like Dawn being the Key in S5 Buffy!). Matthew, you are such a COMPLETE FAILBOAT. I want fic of all the support system people in that police station saferoom complaining about the idiots in their lives, and the lousy coffee. Also more Colleen/Claire please. I want Trish to sidle up to Karen and start networking about reporting. Black Sky!Elektra is totally Bucky, except Matt is a failboat. I liked Élodie Yung so much better in this than in DD S2. There were some nice character moments -- Colleen and Claire, Elektra in Matt's bed, Danny and Luke ("Trust me, I'd rather face a dragon than Jessica Jones any day") -- but not really enough.


T: You know, I had forgotten so much of that second season of Daredevil....

MOI: And it's all coming back to you now?*

T: Yeah, kind of flooding in, actually. The ninjas and the hospital attack and how they weren't really alive and all that.

MOI: This is one case where my shit memory is a blessing.


*yes of course I'm referencing the song

Poem: "As Couples as Possible"

Aug. 19th, 2017 03:12 pm
ysabetwordsmith: (Fly Free)
[personal profile] ysabetwordsmith
This is the freebie for the August [community profile] crowdfunding Creative Jam, inspired by a prompt from [personal profile] alexseanchai. It also fills the "hobbies" square in my 7-31-17 card for the Cottoncandy Bingo fest.


"As Couples As Possible"


A dancer fell in love
with a mathematician,

their affection stymied by
his love of all things body,
her love of all things brain,

until they discovered
square dancing.

* * *

Notes:

"As couples as possible" -- Work as a couple whenever possible. Re-evaluate the formation after each part of the call.
-- Square Dance Dictionary

Dance is a popular form of artistic exercise.  Geometry is the mathematics of shape.  Put them together and you get the math of square dance.

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