Maxims, rules of thumb and other observations on human cognition and sociocultural affectations

This will be added to on an irregular basis...
  • What is said to humans directly is received with skepticism and considered with dubiousness while that which is heard in passing, especially that which most conforms to their mentality or prejudices, is readily believed.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive latency between exposure to new information or experiences and the ability to think dispassionately and intellectually about it.
  • Humans have a certain cognitive spectrum starting with the moment of exposure to new information or experiences and ending with some point at which the thing is effectively "in the past" for them.
  • This cognitive spectrum is linked to the emotional process often referred to as shock, anger, denial and acceptance.
  • The more and faster information or experiences are presented to people and the closer the quarters and the lesser the distance between people, the more their early reactions in the passionate emotional stage are reflected back to them in the manner of responses to those reactions from others in light of those responses.
  • The more outrages which are suffered without sufficient time to allow emotional bleed-off, the farther the bar for subsequent reaction and outrage are pushed, and the more further events must progress before reaction and outrage.
  • It is possible for serious detriments to eventually sit below this threshold for long enough for their damaging effects to build and multiply until their entire society undergoes some reactive convulsion.
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Friday, July 17, 2009

Charles Krauthammer Reminds Us of the Moon and a Future We Abandoned

Charles Krauthammer : The Moon We Forgot - Townhall.com

After countless millennia of gazing and dreaming, we finally got off the ground at Kitty Hawk in 1903. Within 66 years, a nanosecond in human history, we'd landed on the moon. Then five more landings, 10 more moonwalkers, and, in the decades since, nothing.

To be more precise: almost 40 years spent in low Earth orbit studying, well, zero-G nausea and sundry cosmic mysteries. We've done it with the most beautiful, intricate, complicated -- and ultimately, hopelessly impractical -- machine ever built by man: the space shuttle. We turned this magnificent bird into a truck for hauling goods and people to a tinkertoy we call the International Space Station, itself created in a fit of post-Cold War internationalist absentmindedness as a place where people of differing nationality can sing "Kumbaya" while weightless.

Krauthammer’s usual style of massively understated and nearly emotionless devastation of his target of rebuke comes through again.

We turned away from the future we watched on Star Trek and turned inward to letting the political class run this nation and world into the ground by comparison. In the name of solving poverty we made it worse. In the name of solving racism we made it worse. In the name of saving the environment we made it worse. We are now in the USA under the boot heels of people whose idea of how to save the planet is not to get humanity off of it into space where we can make environments from scratch that we are compatible with but instead to cull the herd as it were and cut the numbers of humans down to whatever in their arrogance is viewed as “sustainable”.

Remember when you were told you’d one day cruise space on some sort of liner to the moon? To Mars?

We’re moving father and farther from your great grandkids ever doing that never mind you.

ADDENDUM:

Voice of America Reminds Us of Apollo 11
VOA News - US Remembers 40-Year Anniversary of Moon Landing

PC World Misses the Point and Engages in Leg Tingling over the Internet
Apollo's 40th Anniversary Shows True Wonder of the Internet

It's one of the few times I can truly say that what I'm watching online is absolutely incredible. It's the difference between fluff and real emotion. This is a weekend where watching the unfolding recreations and simulcast coverage is not to be missed. Even as I'm writing this right now on my modern desktop PC, which has far more computing power in its single AMD Athlon chip than was available to mission controllers for Apollo 11 back in 1969 on their complex mission computers, I'm listening in the background to the audio tracks of the mission being replayed in real time. Absolutely amazing.

By now he should be writing that article on the moon from his room at the Sea of Tranquility Hilton.

Astronomy Picture of the Day