Thursday, June 29, 2017

Heinlein's Women and Their Pricks.



If the universe has any purpose more important than topping the woman you love and making a baby with her hearty help, I’ve never heard of it. - Lazarus Long - Time Enough For Love, Robert A. Heinlein 1973.
Lazarus Long was a prick.  A prick with an uncommon respect for and admiration of competent women for his time, but as Galahad noted "...he has remained canalized by the primitive culture he was brought up in." Not surprising as Heinlein was canalized by the same primitive culture.  Woodie Smith 1912, Heinlein 7/7/7 (1907.)  In Christian America where men were men and women were baby breeders. Feminism was on the not to distant horizon, with some closet feminists trying to break the Kinder, Küche, Kirche track for women.  But until the mid-20th century and reliable contraception a working mother was of necessity rather than choice and "proper" mothers were expected to stay at home until the youngest child was in Kindergarten which effectively eliminated a career in a well paid profession. The options were volunteer work, teaching and service occupations.  

The early feminists tacitly accepted this culture, and advocated non-breeding for professional women.  At worst, a long delayed first and generally only child long after becoming established in a career.  Women who chose to breed in their 20s and still fight the misogyny of most professions were viewed by feminists as outlyers and not "real feminists."  The men who supported their choice of career and parent, were occasionally labled "enablers" of a dysfunctional choice for their wives.  Never mind that they too payed the price of parenting in their careers, less than women due to privilege but nevertheless choices had to be made that limited career opportunities.  But this mind set still lingers in the feminists who despise Heinlein for writing about women who intend to be mothers among other things.  



The problem feminists have with Heinlein women seems to be that all those intelligent, competent women were interested in propagating  their genotype and realized that an intelligent, competent man was a necessary adjunct in that endeavor.  Since Heinlein men are basically pricks one must appeal to the prick to get the genes. 

Make no mistake.  According to the prevailing misogynic social ethos of Heinlein's formative years, especially the military ethos, all his male characters are pricks.  See The Number of Beast where the pricks are going to go gallivanting around the multiverse while the ladies stay in Safe Harbor to have babies. Even late in his career his basic canalization was that men were gallant protectors of their women, but in general he was able to overcome this and substitute support and partnership for gallantry and most of the families had at least equally competent and frequently more competent women at the head.  
 
Heinlein was raised and socialized in a society where sex meant having babies.  (Disclaimer: I was raised in the same social ethos by feminists whose mantra was make damn sure you have sex only with a carefully chosen women who will be a partner in a good family. Recreational sex was not an option.) The difference in his later books was that recreational sex was an option, and the women knew they could manipulate pricks by effective use of recreational sex.  But in accord with Heinlein's early socialization he created few male characters that were immune to such manipulation.  I can only think of one male protagonist that was comfortable with non-manipulative recreational sex as the line marriage structure depended on it.

 https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2017/07/31/robert-a-heinlein-the-man-who-loved-women/

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The City in the Suburbs.

  As suburbs evolve eventually one becomes a city built around a government center, an airport, or other regional amenity. The surrounding suburbs while enjoying the suburban life style use the city amenities intensively creating the bulk of the traffic near the city amenities but resist the city's efforts to deal with traffic and other city issues with the greater density.  Valley Fair/Santana Row is fed by the whole sububan south bay.

 With regard to the SCAG development one vocal opponent cites traffic on Stevens Creel that prevents her from getting to her city amenity of a Safeway and other stores in the once suburban shopping center that SCAG wants to turn into an urban village.

  Santa Clara objects to our listing a bike route on Pruneridge that they created by modifying traffic lanes on that once important East West thoroughfare further contributing to congestion on Stevens Creek. But no way, no how can we build the density to pay for our own urban bike corridor.    

 Cupertino wants a hotel to support their suburban businesses as long as it won't cast a shadow in someone's back yard.    They like their city amenities and use them intensively, but don't want to give up even a daylight plane to get them.

A vocal group rants about school impact of development but Lynbrook, Miller, and Dilworth in District 1 are considering redistricting due to declining enrollments.  Lynbrook canceled AP Music Theory this year, a cricical pre-requisite for top colleges.

  This suburban thinking is the very antithesis of regional planning. We would be happy to add our neighbors to our planning groups and did so.  Their NO WAY, NO HOW interminable rants disrupted our planning meetings and made reasonable planning impossible.


Thursday, June 22, 2017

A Self-aware Internet of Thiings.

A self-aware internet of things. Read all about it at The The Moon is a Harsh Mistress, Robert A. Heinlein

Call the internet Mike.

Am not going to argue whether a machine can "really be self-aware....A cat? Almost certainly. A human? I don't know about you, tovarisheh, but I am. Somewhere along evolutionary chain from macromolecule to human brain self-awareness crept in. Psychologists assert it happens automatically whenever a brain acquires certain very high number of associational paths. Can't see it matters whether paths are protein or Platinum.

So didn't hesitate to tell him to get "ill."  Mike had thought up a dandy; his 'illness" was wild oscillations in conditioning Warden's residence.

Conditioning a single residence should not go through a master computer!
Be afraid.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Tribes, Monkeyspheres, Governments and Cults


 Tribes are the normal social systems for humans. Once tribes get beyond the Monkeysphere* which describes most modern tribes the possibility of becoming cults is an ever present danger. 

  Seeing through the crap is the first step in apostasy. Being identified as a radical is the first step in excommunication. You can't change them. Save them the trouble. Find a support group elsewhere and Fuck 'em.

 
 Where large organizations break down into Monkeysphere tribes, cults are usually avoided. Most companies, even large companies until the '60s were generally collections of tribes. So were most churches. 

 One of the advantages of small senior communities and Gated Communities and city villages is they preserve the tribal community for better or worse. Tribes tend to be homogeneous in culture and ethnicity. When they get too big for the Monkeysphere the homogeneity can become the basis for a cult.

 I think it is no accident that the village or parish is the basic unit of human society. Our monkeysphere is about 150-200 people whose behavior we can affect with the subtle social cues (the raised eyebrow, frown, or quick smile ) to say that behavior is or is not in accordance with the morals of the society. That is, what our common moral tendencies tell us is right. The morality of the village is pretty well solidified by Fulghum's Kindergarten.
   
 Where these groups are local, isolated and stable almost anything can be moral, witch burning, infanticide, child sacrifice, killing everybody in the next village. Whoops, almost forgot, except the virgins.  Blue Roads 4/26/08

 I suspect that as the twitterspheres and facebookspheres sort themselves out they will become either tribes or cults.  I have some friends on Facebook that I have to block their cult posts.  Not really an issue if they have other redeeming values they can still be in my facebook tribe which is well below my monkeysphere in size.


 There are very few of us who can find what we need for personal fulfillment if we become "Stickers" for the sake of sticking and building and maintaining a community. The school to meet our aspirations may be across the country or around the world. The job we have prepared for may not be in the same community as the school where we learned our trade. Then we grow in our trade and outgrow the job that started our career, or our significant other may have outgrown the community we live in and another community change is in order.

  Friends and associates in our monkeysphere also scatter so even if we would like to be stickers, the rest of the community isn't and we are stuck with a bunch of new neighbors, new industries, and even a bunch of new people in our church. that may change it beyond our comfort level.

  There may still be a few communities where sticking is a possibility, but they are rare and the vibrant cutting edge industry that is a necessity for such a community, works against the stickers maintaining a stable community.

  Where are we to find our roots? Is it possible that soil and bricks are no longer necessary for rootedness, but that the nascent communities on the internet will become the new roots for the boomers (old definition)? Is facebook our new village green or post office where we get our daily social strokes? Are blogs the coffee houses where we share our profound ideas with like minded profound thinkers? Is our little piece of the net the new community where the boomers are rooted? I think so. There will still be meet ups and face time but they will be increasingly mediated on the net, and with few exceptions community roots in jobs, churches, and neighborhoods will be non-existent. 
Blue Roads, 7/7/09

 I have been thinking a lot recently about that responsibility for the other "We's." I know where it begins. It begins with those closest to me, and extends at least to the monkeysphere. Probably also to those anonymous readers of this blog and the letters I write to newspapers etc, It certainly extends to the audiences I perform for. But does it extend to the bigots who are trying to change my laws, or only those who will be affected by those laws. Am I responsible for the Shiites and the Sunnis, or should I be content to let them bomb themselves out of existence with perhaps a little help from the Israelis and Wahabis.

 Or Haiti? Or New Orleans. If they do not have the resources through their own mismanagement/misgovernment to rebuild or even succor the injured do I have any responsibility to help? I'm thinking the answer is no. Humans are evolving, and in evolution the winners don't help the losers. They are too busy helping themselves. I have limited resources, and even if I didn't, the buck at Radio Shack for Haiti will be used for much more worthwhile causes. Blue Roads 2/12/10



 *There is a much more scholarly version of the Monkeysphere out there but as usual Cracked explains more. http://www.cracked.c om/article_14990_what-monkeysphere.html