Liberty is an inherently offensive lifestyle. Living in a free society guarantees that each one of us will see our most cherished principles and beliefs questioned and in some cases mocked. That psychic discomfort is the price we pay for basic civic peace. It's worth it. It's a pragmatic principle. Defend everyone else's rights, because if you don't there is no one to defend yours. -- MaxedOutMama

I don't just want gun rights... I want individual liberty, a culture of self-reliance....I want the whole bloody thing. -- Kim du Toit

The most glaring example of the cognitive dissonance on the left is the concept that human beings are inherently good, yet at the same time cannot be trusted with any kind of weapon, unless the magic fairy dust of government authority gets sprinkled upon them.-- Moshe Ben-David

The cult of the left believes that it is engaged in a great apocalyptic battle with corporations and industrialists for the ownership of the unthinking masses. Its acolytes see themselves as the individuals who have been "liberated" to think for themselves. They make choices. You however are just a member of the unthinking masses. You are not really a person, but only respond to the agendas of your corporate overlords. If you eat too much, it's because corporations make you eat. If you kill, it's because corporations encourage you to buy guns. You are not an individual. You are a social problem. -- Sultan Knish

All politics in this country now is just dress rehearsal for civil war. -- Billy Beck

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Toolmaker Koan, or Furby's Paradox

Long ago I read a novel based on an intriguing idea, entitled "Toolmaker Koan."  A kōan is, according to Wikipedia:
a fundamental part of the history and lore of Zen Buddhism. It consists of a story, dialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking but may be accessible through intuition.
The kōan, or question of the novel was "Why don't we see evidence of advanced civilizations throughout the galaxy?" The site Ad Astra explains:
Typically technological development begins slowly, but at some point (perhaps hundreds of thousands or even millions of years) after the beginning of a culture it explodes, leading rapidly to high technology. Unfortunately behaviour patterns associated with non-technological cultures persist, leading to a rapidly increasing population and ever higher competition for resources. This leads to massive environmental damage caused by industrialisation and usually to self-inflicted destruction by fusion fire, nanotech plague, asteroidal bombardment, or more general environmental collapse. This then is the Toolmaker Koan: travelling to the stars requires a highly developed industrial infrastructure, but development of technology leads to nuclear war and extinction.
However, I think Vexxarr may be on to a simpler explanation:

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