Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Uncharacteristically short blog post because Phil Plait said something uncharacteristically dumb.

Phil Plait, who signs himself "Bad Astronomer" over at Slate, and lives in my part of the planet, is usually a marvel of rational, sane entertainment and good science writing. But even Homer nods, and this particular Slate post is freaking silly.

I tried three times to post this comment, but alas, Slate is playing its "an error occurred, try again," game. An error occurred, mistakes were made, unfortunate events have happened recently, the passive voice was used, blame was avoided.

Anyway, I didn't want that particular comment to go off to bit heaven unread, so after you come back from reading Plait's piece, please also read:

 The passionate desire to have our grandparents solve our problems is a perpetual theme in human history. No doubt some German historian picking through rubble to find coal for his furnace in the winter of 1945-46 was thinking, "Why didn't we make a permanent, generous peace with France in 1872, when we had a chance?" While we're at it, why didn't we maintain a full on military occupation of the American South till 1910 with black troops, bust up all the old plantations into small farms for the freedmen, impose free integrated public schooling, and redraw state lines to create four black majority and two white-Whig states on the bones of the old Confederacy, and force as much of the old Confederate upper class to emigrate as possible? The Radical Republicans wanted to do all of that, and it might have been doable in 1866.

So, in 2085, what will we all be blamed for?  
Hint: does it seem a bit warm in here? 
Hint: what might weaponized robots do? 
Hint: ever notice how little of Earth's water is fresh?