Posts tagged ‘Larry Niven’


Evil exists.

by wfgodbold

And it’s set up shop in China (Read the whole thing. I mean it.):

Thirty-six scheduled executions would translate into 72 kidneys and corneas divided among the regional hospitals. Every van contained surgeons who could work fast: 15-30 minutes to extract. Drive back to the hospital. Transplant within six hours. Nothing fancy or experimental; execution would probably ruin the heart.

With the acceleration of Chinese medical expertise over the last decade, organs once considered scraps no longer went to waste. It wasn’t public knowledge exactly, but Chinese medical schools taught that many otherwise wicked criminals volunteered their organs as a final penance.

Political prisoners, dissidents, even drug traffickers. It’s like someone high up in the party read Larry Niven’s Known Space stories 40 years ago and said, “Organlegging? Making minor crimes capital so that we can harvest fresh organs for transplant? We need to get in on the ground floor on that!”

I wonder if this is one of the “right solutions” Tom Friedman would authorize if we were China for a day

H/T: Instapundit


Ask me for anything…

by wfgodbold

Anything but In Time.*

It was an okay movie, though like Linoge said, they did take the easy way out regarding the plot.

Company towns, people scraping by one day at a time, evil rich men lording their wealth over everyone else… This movie hits every “steal from the undeserving rich” cliche out there.

The token antagonist, a ridiculously wealthy banker (of course!), says at one point that for a few to be immortal, many must die (as a justification for the time-as-currency system the world now operates under).

Cillian Murphy’s character mentions that we wouldn’t have anywhere to put them if everyone lived for ever.

If we did manage to switch off aging, and people lived until they were killed, I think we’d either focus more on space exploration and colonization (to relieve overpopulation here), or we would bring back the code duello, have more wars, and institute capital punishment for increasingly less serious crimes (a la Larry Niven’s Known Space). Maybe even some combination of the above.

If you’re hoping for more than a thinly veiled class war piece, don’t see In Time. If you can look past that, it’s an okay dystopian SF flick, but nothing special.

*Apologies to the tyrant.


Science fiction? Or Science fact?

by wfgodbold

Looks like we may be headed towards a Fallen Angels (free at the Baen library) future; the lack of sunspots may indicate that we’re entering another Maunder Minimum and may herald the start of a mini ice age.

Minus the crashed astronauts, of course; we don’t do spaaaaaaaaaaaaaaace any more.

I know the idea that the sun is the major force behind the earth’s climate is a wild one, but I think it’s got merit.


Maybe it’s just cause I recently finished Lucifer’s Hammer

by wfgodbold

But all I could think about when I watched the video below was (H/T Instapundit), “I’m glad that hit the sun and not the earth, or else that’d be all she wrote.”

A comet strike would be the very definition of a mass extinction event.

It’s not a question of if, but of when; if we want to be “safe” from comet/asteroid strikes, we’ve got to get off this ball of dirt and expand, first in-system, and eventually beyond.

In the long run, we might all be dead, but there’s no reason not to put that off as long as possible.


So they found an “earth-like” extra-solar planet

by wfgodbold

Which of course prompts even more speculation that we’re not alone in the universe.  After all, if there are planets like this relatively close, it’s likely that there are even more like this farther away that we can’t see yet.

And thanks to that asshole Drake and his stupid equation, speculation on the likelihood of intelligent alien life is sure to follow, with most people probably concluding that aliens are out there.

There’s only one reasonable response to this news; we must immediately begin preparations to deal with the inevitable alien threat to humanity.

Some people suggest that aliens will be peaceful; I doubt it.  I think it’s far more likely that they’ll be agressive.  An aggressive species would be more likely to develop the tech needed to get into space, and would need to expand (either for more territory, or to hedge against other factions) into space eventually; I don’t know that a peaceful species would have any reason to leave their home planet.  What are they going to do, seek out new planets to be nice to everyone on them?  An aggressive species would want more resources and more territory, and if we’re going to defend ourselves against evil resource and land hungry aliens, we had better get our shit together.

I don’t much relish the idea of future humans being enslaved by a race of galactic overlords; if anyone is going to be top dog (and someone has to be; a galactic UN seems incredibly unlikely, especially given how ineffective the strictly human UN is), I’d rather it be humanity and not the lizard men from the Horsehead Nebula.

And if politicians insist on nuclear disarmament (not that there’s anything left of our nukes after the aliens took them out (see?  We need to hit them before they hit us (no, I don’t really think aliens have been deactivating our nukes)!)), we could end up facing a hostile alien race with nothing but our drive (and communications!) system for a weapon.

Disclaimer: No, I don’t think we’re in danger of imminent subjugation by evil aliens (or even by benevolent aliens), but we should be prepared at all times!

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