Ask Old Jules: Space travel, Wounded Knee, Memory of Universe, Development of America

Harper, TX 2010 123

Old Jules, suppose you had your own private spacecraft capable of interstellar flight.  So you travel to a distant world that you suspect is populated.
You see cities and towns, and  there groups at war.  In other areas there is nothing but plant life. You want to explore, so where would you land?

I’d try to find a safe place to land on each of the warring sides, try to establish communications, and explain to them they need to quit fighting because there’s a race of human beings back where I came from. Explain that once I get back and report they’re here, likely or not there’ll be human beings who aren’t much good at anything but killing, who’ll be coming along ecstatic to know there’s something new they can kill.

I’d pass on all the human weapons, defense,  and strategy I was privy to so’s to give them half a chance. Let them know they need to batten down the hatches, quit fighting, get together and figure out what kind of weaponry they’re going to need to fight off a species of lunatic savages.

 Old Jules, why did historians refer to Wounded Knee as a “battle” and what does this say about the ways in which we should evaluate historical accounts?

Calling it a battle was a means of legitimatizing what happened, a way to imply it wasn’t what it was. It says we should take a careful critical, unbiased and analytical look at all historical events. Particularly watching for nuance, implications, propagandizing and what goes unsaid.

Old Jules, has the universe any kind of memory?

Yes. The universe has both a long-term memory and a short-term memory.

The long-term memory is used to keep track of how the expansion is coming along, doing the occasional reality check, etc.

The short-term memory is used to track specific projects, such as Sol (our star) reversing magnetic poles every eleven years, that sort of thing.

Old Jules, how long did it take America to develop after its independence?

Development in the US lasted until after WWII, when the Marshall Plan began the gradual decline by rebuilding industry in Japan and Germany, creating the beginnings of US industry being unable to compete.

The slide downhill gained speed when US industrialists began selling technology and outsourcing for products produced in the Third World as a means of lowering prices through cheap labor.

Today development inside the US has pretty well halted except within a few narrow areas. Almost everything a US citizen uses in daily life is manufactured or produced outside US boundaries except for some food.

Old Jules, what is worth knowing and what would you rather not know?

It’s worth knowing that we don’t actually know anything. Then it’s worth knowing that again every time we think we know something.

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