July 29th, 2005

[BRIEF NOTE] We're safe, people

Jonathan Edelstein is right when he says that Equatorial Guinea's PPP-adjusted GDP per capita is not in the same range as Atlantic Canada. Equatorial Guinea, for those of you who don't know, is a country resulting from Spain's last efforts at imperialism (PDF format) and is the only Hispanophone country in Africa (PDF format), ruled after its decolonization by Francisco Mací­as Nguema, a man whose dictatorship killed or exiled one-third of the population in an auto-genocide rather more complete than that achieved by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia and all the more impressive because of the lack of any coherent ideology, Macias being overthrown in a 1979 coup by his nephew Teodoro Obiang Nguema and executed by Moroccan soldiers, Equatorial Guinea's second ruler then going on to maintain a repressive kleptocracy (PDF format) ruling an atomized society and impoverished economy, said kleptocracy being enormously strengthened (like kleptocracies elsewhere) by massively profitable oil exports.

It is true that Atlantic Canada has been surpassed by post-Communist countries, post-war countries, and post-war countries. We have not also been surpassed by a post/quasi-genocidal kleptocracies. Why, at Equatorial Guinea's current double-digit rate of economic growth, it will take at least another decade for it to surpass Atlantic Canada!
  • Current Mood
    nostalgic is a virus that can be lethal

[BRIEF NOTE] More Century 22 PBEM

Fortunately, the world didn't collapse into general war over the question of who should make contact with the aliens at Beta Coma Berenices. There was the brief Brazil-Netherlands War, known to contemporaries as "The Two Shot War," but that war was fortunately minor. As if to compensate humans for an unfortunate shortfall in trauma, the aliens sent us their first communications.

Galaxy will be complex place from many forms, certain of there will be unaided people. Millennia ago were many forms of those switch oned in the trade, expansion, interaction and war. There were many multi-star governments. Some 12,000 of your years ago MRSITG appeared, however, and rapidly beginnings pacifying or excluding form interfere with them. MRSITG is fully rational and it is fully charged to their survival its own form. As with length in proportion to your form do not present threat to them they you will leave solitaire. If you have something, that they want, they will ask to obtain it in the cheapest method, it is evaluated above morals and it is fully rational. They have no ethics and if genocide, that smallest of version will have none compunction about to make it. Difficulty to cause MRSITG could want or because they think in terms of century and millenium. Safest thing, are which necessary to make it must be assured they not it notes you.

You must possibly be more thorough hide of the position of entire from your stars and planets. Intercoursers will not be your enemies, of course, but there will be many enemies in the galaxy. In return for your gift, however, make it possible us to give to you the interesting bit of the knowledge:

Bonner Durchmusterung (BD) +0 e'29 is domestic to the form preliminary proto-sapiens. MRSITG are checked these forms from one time to the next, to evaluate their future potential. Under any circumstances colonize this peace, or even any end of the peace, possibly as closely as 20 LY. If MRSITG acquires from the potential future development of this form outweighs an increase from the human colonization of region, that they will not have any ethics against destroying people in the region. They are rational and will endow 10% of one sentient form for that in order to preserve future 100% of others without any emotion.

Does anyone have any information on the star named? It's located beyond Gamma Serpentis; fans of 2300AD can draw their own conclusions about this, perhaps.
  • Current Mood
    looking at the sky

[MEME] "You drift into the strangest dreams/Of youthful follies and changing teams"

Francis Strand asks: "When did you first know?"

11:55 PM, on the 4th of February, 2002. I was stuck writing my Honours English thesis, and bored, I was browsing the soc.history.what-if archives. I came across one posting by lifein2x3 wherein he mentioned that it would be nice to have a boyfriend. I agreed, and then paged down the thread for another half-minute before I realized what I had just thought.

"Oh, I'm bi."

And then, ten seconds later:

"Oh. I'm bi."

And then, ten seconds later:

"Oh, no. I'm bi."

Before that point, there wasn't any conscious repression. If you asked me--and one person did ask me--I would have said no, and wondered at your motivations for asking. After I came to this belated conclusion, things made much more sense.

Anyone who wants to can take up this meme. I'd like to propose, for those who are so interested, an interesting tweak: When did you first realize that you were straight?
  • Current Mood
    nostalgic nostalgic

[BRIEF NOTE] Jovian Terraforming

The idea of terraforming the Galilean moons--Jupiter's planet-size moons of Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto--is less popular than terraforming Mars, but it nonetheless has a sizable contingent of supporters. Myself, I'm curious as to why Ganymede is the favourite moon of the four--Cowboy Bepop, Clarke's 2061, and Heinlein's Farmer in the Sky all pick Ganymede as the future Jovian mini-Earth. I would have thought that Callisto would be a better choice, given its distance from Jupiter's lethal radiation belts.
  • Current Mood
    curious curious

[BRIEF NOTE] Why Northern Ireland and not Atlantic Canada?

The decision of the Irish Republican Army to lay down its arms is a good decision, though I only wish that it had been made at a rather earlier date. The conflict seems to have sapped far too many energies from the region, distracting all of Northern Ireland's inhabitants from the broader problems of economic decline and social dysfunction. Fear not, Eurostat confirms that Northern Ireland is still richer than Atlantic Canada (PDF format).

Earlier this month, I argued that New Brunswick, divided between a relatively well-off Anglo majority and a discontented Acadian minority making up one-third of the province's total population, came close to being a Canadian version of Northern Ireland. A more interesting question, though, is why Atlantic Canada as a whole didn't come to resemble Northern Ireland. Northern Ireland was a major source of immigrants to Atlantic Canada--for that matter, the whole of the United Kingdom's religiously divided ethnic fringe constituted a major sending area, perhaps the major sending area. There certainly was enough suspicion between the region's two religious groups: As late as the 1960s, the president of PEI's Protestant Prince of Wales College felt able to protest his institution's merger with the Catholic St. Dunstan's University to form the secular University of Prince Edward Island by claiming that there was a Catholic conspiracy at work. There certainly was enough economic decline.

And yet, Northern Ireland went one way, Atlantic Canada another. Was the dislocating effect of migration on traditional hatreds the causal factor at work, or was there something more (something else)?