Further Friday assorted links


3. Actually, I have a Hermes tie just about that color, which my wife really likes. (I don't like it that much, but since my main goal in life is to have girls think I look good, I wear it.) So it just shows, de gustibus non est disputandum.

So you want to look good for other women and your wife tells you that your disgustingly colored tie looks good? You know, I think there may be another explanation here.

I must agree. Many of my shirts and ties are about that color and I am quite fashionable.

I'm a green-eyed redhead, and this color works well for me. But I agree alone on a paint chip, it looks vile.

Your wife thinks it's extremely ugly. She urges you to wear it so you appear unfashionable to potential mistresses.

4. How should Mars be governed?

The problem is that people sitting in California talking about it are like eunuchs talking about sex at the doors of the harem. When it comes down to it, when there are people on Mars, then we will have to see.

Would Musk still agree with direct democracy if he had invested a trillion dollars in settlement and the locals wants to expropriate it all? Would most people still agree to self determination if they did so in order to keep Indian immigrating to Mars?

We should do it and then worry about the problems. The first step is a strong and determined recognition of property rights.

It would be better to partition Mars and allow private investors to rule and develop the place. The Portuguese Crown, fighting against a lack of resources, did it in Brazil and achieved great outcomes. It was a stroke of genius, exprts say Brazil would not be what it is today if not for this measure.

I'll volunteer to be God-Emperor of Mars. Tough beans, but someone's gotta do it.

In all seriousness, Musk is buying Mars, and gets the sole rights to write its first constitution. Given the cost of travel between the two planets and the high cost of initial setup, Martian colonists would then be able to (after they have a measure of self-sufficiency) set the rules to Musk.

I do like Musk's initial ideas. I think it's foolish nowadays that we vote on Representatives, not directly on policies.

God-Emperor of Mars? I want to be God-Emperor of Earth.

I used to say that when I mount my Throne of Skulls and drench this world with the blood of the innocent, you would not have to worry about voting for the lesser of two evils any more.

Unfortunately this election cycle, this is no longer funny.

Democracy, good and hard.

To 3, my answer would be no. That color reminds me of the thoughtful brown eyes of a beloved friend who passed away in 1978, it reminds me of the beautiful young complexion of another friend who, in 1993, taught me how to do that rhythymish thing where you put the two or three emphases in an important and long spoken sentence in the word before and then the word after where you might expect it (late night talks show monologuists have picked up on that skill and over employed it, but it is an interesting skill nonetheless), it reminds me of the color of the fur of the beloved loyal dog Patton would have been pleased to gambol with in an elderly way with if the elderly companion of the pair had been fortunate enough to live to 75 in our long gone 1950s. Then again, in Australia, I guess it just looks like badly colored kangaroo yak or scat. That being said, there really are no ugliest colors, everyone knows that, you can't be a conscious individual and believe there are ugly colors "qua" colors (I am quoting here from a friend who once dodgily said that, to a chemist, there "are no disgusting" smells). As Racine might have said, there are no secrets that Time does not reveal, but then it is important to remember that Racine, being fantastically better educated than most, bless his sad little old heart, had a better opinion of Time than most of his readers have had.

" taught me how to do that rhythymish thing where you put the two or three emphases in an important and long spoken sentence in the word before and then the word after where you might expect it"
I never heard of this.

Yeah, I can't quite recreate it in my mind as a "thing."

John Madden used to do it a couple times a game, Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez and Walt Frazier still do it every once in a while, typically when describing a player's personality - as a made up example "you'd think he would catch that toss with a little less look of not caring if he catches it or not" with either the word look or caring or both (the only two contextually unusual words in the sentence, from the point of view of a play-by-play announcer) almost audibly dropped from the sentence, or bracketed by an extra emphasis especially on the words immediately before and after "look" or "caring", or bracketed by a slightly longer pause right before and after "look" or "caring" or both (the psychological effect on people seems to be establishing a confident but plausible deniability that you meant what you said, without sounding passive-aggressive). (When I hear Chris Collingsworth do it, which he does once or twice a game, it sounds like he is imitating John Madden). If you want to hear an example, in "Guardians of the Galaxy Funniest Moments"on Youtube, from 35 seconds to 42 seconds, there is a long compound sentence/question, and in it the only uncommon phrase is "Giving Tree" and that phrase is bracketed more or less the way I called that rhythymish thing (although more subtly than someone would do if they were visibly trying to make someone else laugh). Maybe you won't hear it in that example - and the effect is completely gone in that example if you start listening at 38 or 39 seconds - but if you try to imagine ways the line could be read with different emphases (and which would make it less funny) you will hopefully see what I mean.

I am somewhat tone deaf when it comes to intonation, but I think I get what you mean. I had never noticed it before. Thanks.

Thanks for reading, I generally assume that most people who read what I post anonymously on the internet are not likely to try to understand what I am trying to say, and it is nice to find out different once in a while. Anyway, one more example, this time a Shakespearean one - "Patton 1970 Trailer Franklin J. Schaffner " -less than 2 minutes on Youtube - listen to the way George C. Scott says "anywhere" at the end of the trailer. None of us are naturally good at assessing intonations - it takes decades and decades for most of us - and G. C. Scott could not have done this role in his 30s or even his early 40s. The last few seconds of that trailer are very impressive. I could not have done it anywhere nearly as well.

I believe it is also at times reinforced by pulse modulated microwaves designed to influence the semantic understanding and memory storage process, in addition to the sort of more classical aspects you refer to, which could involve subliminal reinforcement of the change. Perhaps we're not talking about quite the same thing though ...

I am thoroughly unoffended by the color in #3. I was expecting a greenish or brownish, bodily fluid-esque color.

I scrolled down, waiting to see the color, thinking it couldn't be that bad.

When it came up I had to constrain my gag reflex.

You can already buy pears in the shape of a Buddha which are made by placing a mold around the growing pear. You can also buy a toaster which makes toast with the image of Hello Kitty on it. I was thinking of buying one and replacing the stencil with one that makes the Virgin Mary. Nothing like a miracle in the morning.

We have been down this road before:


#4 I am guessing this won't be an issue in the 21 st century yet. Antarctica is much more hospitable than Mars and it's much cheaper to get there. Still it has only a a few scientific bases. I don't believe there will be significant people on Mars, i.e probably < 10,000 by the end of this century.

Well its true that there are still very many places on earth that are basically empty and much easier to get to or survive in than Mars. But they are all close enough for Governments and other busy bodies to interfere if you offend their particular brand of morality. For instance if you wanted to try a new drug that they disapproved of or maybe you want to start a new kind of taxi service. Mars offers the opportunity to get away from these people. Myself I think this is the only way that Mars will get colonised, basically by offering something new politically.

I don't want to go to Antarctica. I want to go to Mars.

to do what there ? after three days, you'll be bored and dying to come back

#3 is actually a tobacco funded project which began when the hung over CEO of a tobacco company rolled into the board meeting and said he could do anything. The CFO said, "Alright smartass, I bet you can't make Pantone 448 C into a cool color all the kids want to wear." And he took the bet.

4. How should Mars be governed?

By a megacorporation possessing unlimited rights to mineral resources on the Martian surface and subsoil and enjoying freedom from all ethical constraints on weapons and demonic research in return for beaming down huge amounts of energy from mysterious sources to a desperate Earth in the midst of an energy crisis and ecological collapse.

Still probably a better solution than:

Musk would let people vote directly on most (if not all) issues before the government.

... on a planet where a small mistake can doom the entire colony.

By 2040, Musk expects to see a thriving Martian city and, three decades later, a red planet inhabited by at least 1 million people.


Right. Evil personified would be worse than letting people directly decide.

How about people just need to be educated enough to understand the consequences of their vote. Perhaps a direct democracy would require 19 years of age for the vote for the additional education required? Or, somewhat more communistic orientations in thinking, within a free market structure, could be promoted as a means of not making "too dumb" or "too self interested" votes. At the same time, it would not be desirable for the education system to achieve such an outcome to be too strict, in the sense that excessively formed automatons are not good at coming up with novel solutions to things.

Here's an idea for governance on an Elon Musk Mars settlement. Only people who pay taxes and have an IQ >120 can vote directly on any bill. Minimum 60% to pass the bill to the king, a minimum of 40% to pass a repeal to the king. All new laws and repeal (any change in the legal order) needs Royal assent from The House of Musk...

#5 - spy for a day - "Fisher and his partner, Jacob Cockcroft, who handles business development and client relations, have so far staged missions for 12 clients, charging $4,300-plus a day for up to two players " -

They have an role-playing outfit here in Athens that's similar: they will kidnap you at some random time, so you must be on your toes during the game. I doubt it's this expensive though.

No. 3. Isn't that the color used in the Cleveland Browns uniform?

4. How should Mars be governed?

By Arnold Schwarzenegger.

#4...Using a magic 8 ball.

Concerning Mars.

You might want to read the Mars trilogy by Kim Stanley Robinson. In the novels, Mars declares its independence and creates a new government.

Mars's population will be entirely upper class, highly intelligent, cooperative, peaceful people. Very little governing required in comparison with the earth.

As I recall, the aristocrats of Europe, or the world for that matter, do not have a very good record in being particularly cooperative or peaceful through most ages of history.

Have they not often been more inclined towards dehumanized use of their peasants (or equivalents) for highly non-peaceful non-cooperative games of seeking power and increasing their ability to extract rents from non-elites?

I think we're pretty far out of that situation in much of the world today, but don't forget history.

4. By a Congressional Republic, of course.

5) Sounds like a sort of excitement that most could do without. I'm not sure why any regular civilian would want to sign up for any such thing if it were up to them, considering that in so doing they might be assumed to un-civilianize themselves and hence lose a lot of the human rights protections afforded by the post-WWII laws in the act of making themselves come across as, say, a spy in training.

Don't we pay taxes so others can stay on top of these things? Or would it be naive to think that they will just do their jobs?

It's easy to smell the guys coming to kidnap you.... they all wear Old Spice.

4) Among other things, it seems as though maximizing the population of Mars would be a very poor allocation of resources if colonizing Mars is a first step to something else. To what else? That's obviously a matter of debate as well. In the meantime, it seems obvious that a) everyone on earth should be assumed to have a stake in such a debate and hence should have some manner of input on the matter (whether by contributing ideas/perspectives or as a democracy of some sort) and b) that a greater diversity of ideas is likely to contribute to better ideas than a lesser diversity of ideas.

4) Let's leave it to the military to decide which political structures will be needed on Mars. How long until they'd put it in whose court if it were made explicitly so? I really do think it would be instructive and extremely useful to have input from top brass of different militaries on such a question with a very explicit understanding that their views can be expected to be different for the fact of their different "cultural" situation.

How to balance between the needs for discipline and freedom? At present, the US military, for example, has a requirement of extremely high discipline, but that serves the purpose of protecting the freedom of others.

I believe that a United Nations forum would be the appropriate place for such discussions to occur. But, of course, extensive and very free civil society debates and inputs would be useful to inform any decision making that might arise from such a forum.

I would suggest that much suspicion is warranted of any who might like to jump the gun and make major secret moves to get ahead of the game on such things.

While I think Musk has some interesting idea here, I think this might be one of those sort of "how do we debate how to ask the question about how we start asking the sort of questions about how we debate the question of which questions to start asking". Which, I guess, this qz.com article sort of does.

The capitalist approach might not be a bad one, in terms of managing "taxes" on Mars (returns to investment) and other things. However, from the perspective of those on Earth, it might be necessary for a degree of universal distribution (not necessarily equal) to be ensured. What exactly Mars would be sending Earth of any use in trade doesn't really make sense to me though.

The main issue that comes to mind is this. In consideration of self selection, the people who go to Mars are not likely to be a good representation of existing cultural and political views, and this cross-section might be particularly unlikely to have a particularly warm calculation about the situation of those who may wish to think things through more carefully before we start to think about how to debate which questions to start debating as we move forward on such questions.

3) Looks like dark gold to me. And the second one seems rather like chocolate.

If I could give you a shot of anxiety every time the colour comes up though, dark gold and chocolate might start to seem like pretty undesirable colours. Is there a way to "give a shot of ugly" in association with a colour? Not nice to think about such things. Obviously it would not be desirable for any such technologies to be outside of firm social control to prevent their hypothetical abuse.

2) All things considered, I think airports would be safer in the long-run if they were 100% free of robots, not the other way around. There are too many potential vulnerabilities to having too much of a role for robots in an airport.

However, this idea of a robot to help with that specific aspect of the airport experience seems interesting. I would encourage extensive thoughtfullness about "how could anything ever go wrong from that", including extensive slippery slope analysis, before going too far in that direction.

How long until the robots run off with your bags because you fail to pass a robot interrogation which demands information that no human, let alone robot, really has any business knowing unless extensive due process has been followed?

Truly educational... looking forth to coming back

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I think he does it to be able to work with his friends, doing fun stuff in fun The money certainly doesn't hurt, of I might not be a big fan of a lot of his recent stuff, but I can't fault the man for wanting to keep doing what he

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