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The Day We Were Raided By The Feds -

(I wrote this up to attach to the yard sign mentioned in previous toots with a QR code, and have something to pin to avoid telling the story over again.)

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Before following me, you should be aware that if you have a political ideology, I probably despise it, even if it's mine.


No, actually - especially if it's mine.

Played enough at this point to be convinced that Chunks are probably the greatest food innovation in the history of ever.

A fortress whose design is distilled from the standard and characteristic features of all fortresses, readily used to represent them all.

I shall call it… Eigengard.

Be right back, teaching a microcontroller to recognize common profanities and respond "You have been fined one credit for violation of the Verbal Morality Statute."

Alternatively, you could replicate Earth and go with entirely tree-based life support, which replaces "machines fail, everyone dies" as a failure mode with "colony develops druidic cult, offworlders and excess population sacrificed to Great Tree in wicker man-based rituals".

Although the latter is at least more interesting to the SF writer, or ought to be.

I am also wondering, now, if the "fragile space habitats" meme is a result of improper extrapolation from the sensitive, thoroughbred, handbuilt-specifically-to-task life support systems we've been using on space stations, etc., up to now.

'Cause Cydonia People's Air Plant #1 ain't gonna be like that in almost any particular, kinda like how a highly-tuned custom-built sports car engine is not a whole lot like a marine diesel power plant, or hell, a steam one.

It's a lot faster than the week-per-jump Xboat system, but it still means starship captains are impossible to micromanage and get to have their traditional autonomy, and as the sizes of Empires grow, it starts adding up fast - especially since stargates don't link every system to every other, so signals have to go around the "X-boat route way".

tl;dr Basically, people are drastically underestimating the number of fragile points in today's Earthly world which, if lightly tickled in the wrong way, could kill people in very, very large numbers.

And yet we go on.

(Forgive me for not posting details of what I have come across in the course of writing research, since I am, quite reasonably, not entirely sure every reader of this toot is sane, safe, and consensual.)

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And yet somehow Manhattan manages not to be a quasi-paramilitarized authoritarian dystopia.

(Well, okay, but insofar as it _is_ an authoritarian dystopia - although non-paramilitarized despite the NYPD's best efforts - that has approximately nothing to do with infrastructure protection.)

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Also, just to make explicit my hard-SFnal heresy on this point:

I do not believe that there is some inherent superfragility in space colonies that will require ZOMG FASCISM in order to keep everyone alive.

Manhattan has vital life-support infrastructure. We just don't *call* it life-support infrastructure. And if said infrastructure were to epic fail one day, you are almost certainly dramatically overestimating the number of Manhattanites likely to get out alive.

Your challenge, in short, is to upgrade them to require notarized Original Thought™, which as we all know is the correct collateral to demand before crediting someone with intelligence.

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If your midterms/finals/professional examinations can be passed by large language models, consider that the issue may not be that LLMs are SMRT, but rather than your examinations fail to measure SMRTness. Only regurgitation.

Although I like to think of myself as a “tech bro” in the same sense than Perrin Aybara is a “wolf bro”.

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Just saw a trailer for an Amazon thing called “How To Get Out Of Jury Duty”.

Yeah, I’ll have no trouble with that.

“Hi! I’m actually enthusiastic about serving, but I’m also a libertarian ex-software dev tech bro SF writer. Might as well go ahead and save every lawyer in the building a peremptory challenge right off.”

Are you ready for *Hyun-ae's new plushie body? The funding campaign is now live on Makeship's site!

In order to make it happen, she'll need 200 preorders. The plushie will only be available while the campaign is running, so it's very limited!

Bring her home:

As a side note to that last, this is where I also cite Equestria, from _My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic_, as basically an ideal libertarian society.

It doesn't need any vast coercive government apparatus to ensure no member of the herd falls behind or is left in need, because that society would never dream of letting that happen in the first place.

This is how squishy individualism is supposed to work, folks!

I mean, this is why you bother to have a civil society, rather than jackass autarky. It's the number of jackboots involved that determine how free it is, not how closely you can reproduce the dysfunction of Sparta without the authoritarianism of Sparta.

Somewhat hyperbolic tl;dr: You can only call yourself a civilized society when you have a UBI that no-one has to be forced to pay for.

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Randomly wondering what the very libertarian denizens of the would think of being accused of that old Earth standby, "rugged individualism".

Something, I think, along the lines of:

"Don't be silly. We prefer soft, squishy individualism, with lots of cushions and fancy coffee. Also puppies. Puppies are good."

I've started a Substack, called Unapocalyptic! It's about the intersection of science fiction and design, how to discern bogus dystopian futures, and how to craft an earned optimism. I'll be talking about writing, futurism, our society's "default narrative" of dystopia/apocalypse, and how realistic appraisals of the future provide good reasons to think history could go the other way. Join me; it's free!

A scifi universe building project

" a post-apocalyptic, post-capitalistic, interstellar setting where semi-realistic spacecraft coexist with unknowable alien ruins, paracausal creatures, open-source FTL devices and colourful, vibrant societies. "

#scifi #AtomicRockets #WorldBuilding

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a Schelling point for those who seek one