Not In Fact An Optimal Situation
Friday Ephemera

In Space No-One Can Hear You Scream

“Decolonizing” the search for extra-terrestrial intelligence (SETI) could boost its chances of success, says science historian Rebecca Charbonneau.

From Scientific American, obviously.

You see,

Increasingly, SETI scientists are grappling with the disquieting notion that, much like their intellectual forebears, their search may somehow be undermined by biases they only dimly perceive—biases that could, for instance, be related to the misunderstanding and mistreatment of Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups…

But of course. Some editorial trajectories are, I guess, inevitable. As one might imagine, the author of the article, Camilo Garzón, is keen to signal his own modish sensitivities, and so the interview with Ms Charbonneau begins as it means to go on: 

“Decolonisation” seems to be a problematic term,

This prompts much rhetorical nodding, along with the news that space exploration is “a stand-in for encounters with Indigenous peoples.” Sadly, before this claim can be explored or tested in any way, we shift sideways in search of a point. Says Ms Charbonneau:

Space exploration is also an extension of our imperial and colonial histories. We know that space infrastructure, including SETI infrastructure, exists in remote locations, with places that often have colonial histories or vulnerable populations, particularly Indigenous peoples. 

Yes, telescopes tend to be built in locations optimal for the purposes of astronomy, which are often remote, away from city lights and electronic interference. Apparently, this too is problematic.

SETI in particular carries a lot of intellectual, colonial baggage as well, especially in its use of abstract concepts like “civilisation” and “intelligence,” 

Inevitably, these things - “concepts like ‘civilisation’ and ‘intelligence’” - are also deemed frown-inducing, and causes of “real, physical harm,” unlike their opposites, presumably. Though I’m not sure they’re entirely abstract. I mean, without the realities to which they refer, one tends not to arrive at things like telescopes, maps of the early universe, or probes on other planets. And one might, for instance, contrast the insights of aboriginal astronomy, a wildly inflated term, with those of – dare I say it - more civilised cultures at the same points in history

Despite the list of problematic things and much furrowing of brows, it remains unclear what the “decolonisation” of SETI, and of astronomy in general, might realistically entail. “Listening to marginalised and historically excluded perspectives” is mentioned as imperative, though the specific benefits of doing so, and any consequent enhancements of twenty-first century science, are left mysterious and intriguing. Whether those “Indigenous peoples and other marginalised groups” – these keepers of hidden knowledge beyond the ken of white devils - might have “biases” of their own, or any shortcomings at all, is not explored.

After some pre-emptive disapproval of the “colonial” violation of hypothetical microbes, whose autonomy and wellbeing would apparently be desecrated by human curiosity, we’re told that “making SETI more diverse” – i.e., giving influence and authority, and a salary, to people with no relevant skills – is a matter of great importance. “There’s really no downside,” says Ms Charbonneau. The upside, however – i.e., the premise of the whole 2,300-word article – is, to say the least, a tad vague. Apparently, hiring Iroquois or Pawnee people, or Australian Aboriginals, or whoever is deemed sufficiently brown and therefore magical, would result in “the expansion of our pool of what civilisations might look like.” “It just makes sense,” says she. 

Readers unschooled in intersectional woo may be puzzled as to why those chosen as suitably indigenous and put-upon would have much to add to the doing of modern astronomy and space exploration. A pivotal role in any success seems unlikely. Readers may also wonder why those who can construct orbital telescopes and land robots on distant planets should defer in matters of science to those who can’t. And in terms of any discovery of beings elsewhere, I suspect that a century or so of science fiction would be a more expansive resource for anticipating how things might turn out and what not to do. Scenarios of that kind are, after all, a staple of the genre.

We are, however, told that we must begin “prioritising the sovereignty of Indigenous cultures and respecting their wishes regarding settled scientific infrastructure.” Which I assume means dismantling the aforementioned telescopes and moving them to less problematic locations, where they will be less effective. Thereby advancing our knowledge in leaps and bounds.

And this is a theme throughout. We get the usual, wearying references to “racism, genocide and imperialism,” albeit with little obvious relevance, and lots of tutting about notions of civilisation and intelligence – the latter deployed in scare quotes and denounced as “dangerous.” Likewise, we’re told, emphatically, that “including Indigenous voices is so critical,” but the supposedly enormous practical advantages for space exploration – those boosted chances of success - remain shrouded in mystery. “It’s… important to think very critically,” says our fretful academic, while offering a near-total lack of substance, just endless rhetorical faffing.

Indeed, what might be gained, scientifically or otherwise, from a deference to Ms Charbonneau’s rather narrow and monomaniacal worldview is hard to fathom. Beyond, that is, a salary for Ms Charbonneau and those similarly determined to find things problematic.

A button, you say? I wonder what it does. 

Comments

pst314

None of those fuckers ever lived on the top of the fucking mountain where those observatories were built.

But are you sure none of their ancestors ever trekked up a mountain to throw a human sacrifice into the caldera?

pst314

Yeah, I'm not at all sure where that bicycle thing came from, I don't even have one any more, not at all practical where I live.

I haven't ridden mine for 20 years, for that very reason. Plus the fact that you can't carry many groceries while cycling. On the one hand, I have noticed that the streets were not planned with any thought for cyclists--we are separated from the neighboring suburb by an interstate highway and the only crossings are arterial streets without sidewalks or bicycle lanes. On the other hand, I have noticed that cyclists prefer to use major, high-traffic streets even when quiet parallel streets are available--and this includes both the fitness cyclists and the Mexicans who bicycle merely to get to work.

sonny wayz

I ran across this a while back:

https://www.fightingcancertogether.ca/the-partnership/

Bruce Nuclear provides the medical isotopes, and the Saugeen provide ???

What's aboriginal for 'jizya'?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...are you sure none of their ancestors ever trekked up a mountain to throw a human sacrifice into the caldera?

Mauna Kea has been dormant since before anyone arrived on the islands, so unless they later had a rocket powered trebuchet to launch someone the 25-30 miles into Kilauea, pretty sure it never happened...

Meanwhile, the slippery slope is just a right wing argument.

pst314

Mauna Kea has been dormant since before anyone arrived on the islands

Yes, of course, dormant for thousands of years. But I had in mind the migratory history of the Polynesians, and furthermore could not resist making a cruel joke at the expense of these wankers.

ccscientist

"Gay guy starts wanting sex with girls": So the woman divorces and wants to be a lesbian. Ok. I've known cases like that. Pretty traumatic for the husband. She wants to pretend she is a guy? eh. Pretend she is a gay guy? And then marry a woman? That doesn't even make sense. These twits have completely lost the plot.

Bikes: I biked for years when I was young. However, to have kids we moved to the suburbs where biking is strictly recreational. I carried my laundry to get washed on my back and got groceries but oh boy what a pain in the ass. I'm old now too. Way too hard. These people always want to tell the rest of us how to live. I feel oppressed.

WTP

Meanwhile, the slippery slope is just a right wing argument.

OMG...starting at 35 seconds to skip over the useless prologue...the look on that poor dog's face. Wife and I laughed. Hard. And thus we are the ones who truly should be ashamed. Surely. That poor bitch.

Adam

Thinking very critically about the search for intelligent life raises these questions:

Chief Period Dignity Officer: Are there Assistant Period Dignity Officers?

Do they carry badges and sidearms?

What exactly is the table of organization of the Office of Period Dignity?

What are the hiring criteria for such positions?

David

[ Schedules tomorrow’s Ephemera, slumps in chair, ponders dinner options. ]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...ponders dinner options...

In honor or the the Hawaii discussion, Spam musubi, poke, and poi.

anon a mouse

Do they carry badges and sidearms?"

"Badges?
We ain't got no badges....
I don't have to show you no stinking badges..."

Oh, c'mon. I'm not the only one who hears this every time someone says "badges". Or "badgers"...

ccscientist

All this stuff about ancestors and colonialism: humans have been taking land from each other for a million years (and I'm not being rhetorical). Native peoples had not developed technologies or cultures so they lost. In places where they had like India and China, they did not totally lose to Europeans. So some people lost, just like even the Romans lost to the German barbarians. Too bad. Now, however, anyone has opportunity. If you stay on a reservation, it is your own fault that you are poor. I've met plenty of Indians in the US who do not live on one. No one is legally kept there anymore. For the most part, indians blend in with the population and do not experience discrimination. People could claim hardship because they are the children of alcoholics but the better course is to just toughen up and get on with life.

pst314

In honor or the the Hawaii discussion, Spam musubi, poke, and poi.

So "spam sushi" was not the correct name!

WTP

Oh, c'mon. I'm not the only one who hears this every time someone says "badges". Or "badgers"...

Absolutely not. And I thank you for addressing my OCD. Always nice to know I'm not alone.

pst314

Oh, c'mon. I'm not the only one who hears this every time someone says "badges". Or "badgers"...

"This is the city. Los Angeles, California. Sometimes someone gets the urge to pet a small furry animal. That's my job. My name's Friday. I carry a badger."
--seen years ago on a greeting card

Darleen

"Gay guy starts wanting sex with girls": So the woman divorces and wants to be a lesbian.

Male divorces his husband, wants to have sex with girls, decides he's really a girl himself, finds a lesbian who doesn't fetishize his female penis - love! marriage! media coverage! Why it's Leave it to Beaver all over again!

You there, yes, you. Stop that snickering.

ccscientist

Darleen: thanks for figuring out that the divorce person was male. It was too incoherent for me. Oh, and if a gay guy decides he wants sex with women, that makes him hetero or maybe bisexual, not a lesbian. It happens but they act like it is something new in the world. Like they are going to take advice from a normie.

John

On the other hand, I have noticed that cyclists prefer to use major, high-traffic streets even when quiet parallel streets are available--and this includes both the fitness cyclists and the Mexicans who bicycle merely to get to work.

Here in the UK they prefer to cycle on the pavement and exercise their inalienable right as superior beings to shout at any mere pedestrians who fail to make way.

pst314

Here in the UK they prefer to cycle on the pavement and exercise their inalienable right as superior beings to shout at any mere pedestrians who fail to make way.

I see that here in the USA, too. Some sidewalk cyclists are very considerate and both warn pedestrians and steer around them. Others (especially children) give no warning and zoom past. Actual shouting is rare, probably because I'm in the boring suburbs.

pst314

Don't say breastfeeding is natural.

David

Here in the UK they prefer to cycle on the pavement and exercise their inalienable right as superior beings to shout at any mere pedestrians who fail to make way.

[ Rummages in archives. ]

I’ll just leave this here.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Don't say breastfeeding is natural.

Don't tell me you have never seen a cat or dog deliver a litter and then go out and gather berries, nuts, insects, small rodents and birds, then fashion little tiny bottles out of wattle and daub in order to make formula for the kittens and puppies.

WTP

I’ll just leave this here.

What I said there regarding Critical Mass…and my conservative…”conservative” friends. Times two…times three…

Fr1day

If one works w/in the framework of the wokist in-group, Charbonneau has no place speaking or writing on matters concerning indigenous peoples or military culture. This is to say, she (?) is clearly not in the military, and does not appear to be 1st Nations -at least a tribal affiliation is not clear in her I-love-me web page. The latter I may have missed, the former is fact. Given this, she should, in the woke mindset, be silent.

Fred the Fourth

Oh, god. Scientific American.
I, literally, read every issue published since the first. My local community college had them all in huge bound volumes, and my parents subscribed and saved every issue from about 1958 on.
I first noticed the symptoms of decline (fever only 37.1C) when Kosta Tsipas got published, articles on nuclear disarmament. Not a poor topic, but leading inevitably (given the author) in a political direction. Around 1972, iirc.
It's been pretty much a straight line downward ever since. What a waste.

Rafi

And so, weird political woo is inserted into yet another sphere of life.

Talk about colonisation.

That.

pst314

[ Rummages in archives. ]
I’ll just leave this here.

"As the repair man rummaged around in my gas oven, I tried to explain something to him about cyclists."

I can't help wondering how she came to be "explaining" cyclists to an appliance repair man. It's not the sort of topic that is likely to come up naturally in such a setting. (But of course by "wondering" I mean "not wondering at all" because this is the Guardian.)

David

I can’t help wondering how she came to be “explaining” cyclists to an appliance repair man.

I suppose it’s possible the chap may have seen the bike in a hallway or something and passed comment. Though the people I know who cycle do seem to mention it more than would seem necessary. As if one should be interested.

Uma Thurmond's Feet

I can thank Scientific American for starting me on the road to becoming a Trumpian conservative patriot.

Sometime around 2000, they banned Bjorn Lomborg for his views on global warming. Memory tells me it wasn't from the pages of the magazine so much as its forums.

"Hold on," I says to myself. "That isn't very scientific. What does Lomborg says about AGW that made him a pariah."

So I looked through his books and learned a) global warming exists and b) there's not much we can do about it.

So, rather than engage with him, they full-on banned him. This was also about the time of the East Anglia email leak. I paged through some of the document, and found a thread regarding an attempt to synthesize the temperature records.

On and on I read the programmers increasingly desperate pleas for guidance and advice. The records were in such shit state, he concluded that it couldn't be done. There were too many gaps and consistencies to make the job possible.

Everything that followed has demonstrated (to me, anyway) that the rebranded "climate change" is a farce. A depressive, expensive farce.

Daniel Ream

I doubt our intersectional grifters would be happy to stop at SETI

I suppose some of it is that in Canada they've long since infiltrated and taken over things much more important, like an entire housing development.

anon a mouse

Schedules tomorrow’s Ephemera, slumps in chair, ponders dinner options...

What, no followup on the Drake equation?

asiaseen

ponders dinner options...

In hono[u]r of the Hawaii discussion

Pineapple on the pizza?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Pineapple on the pizza?

That would get you the rocket powered trebuchet launch into Kīlauea.

pst314

So, rather than engage with him [Bjorn Lomborg], they [Scientific American] full-on banned him.

I'd like a hacker to put Lysenko on their home page.

pst314

Pineapple on the pizza?
That would get you the rocket powered trebuchet launch into Kīlauea.

[ Contemplates the California Pizza Kitchen Hawaiian pizza: pineapple and ham. ]

pst314

[ Contemplates the California Pizza Kitchen Hawaiian pizza: pineapple and ham. ]

[ Verifies that there are no California Pizza Kitchens in Hawaii. Wonders if those who attempted one were eaten or thrown into a volcano. ]

pst314

That would get you the rocket powered trebuchet launch into Kīlauea.

I've eaten at California Pizza Kitchen. All their pizzas are tasty.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I've eaten at California Pizza Kitchen.

California is to pizza as Manhattan is to barbeque or Tuscaloosa is to kreplach.

pst314

Eppur si muove.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Eppur si muove.

After the "pizza" yes, but cipro and imodium generally takes care of that.

Baceseras

California is to pizza as Manhattan is to barbeque or Tuscaloosa is to kreplach

[googles "relocating to Tuscaloosa"]

Steve E

Pineapple on the pizza?

Another deeply embarrassing thing the world didn't know about us hosers. Sorry.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Another deeply embarrassing thing the world didn't know about us hosers.

...Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who expressed support for it by tweeting: “I have a pineapple. I have a pizza. And I stand behind this delicious Southwestern Ontario creation.

That pretty much settles the case and nothing more ever needs to be said about this abomination.

pst314

Another deeply embarrassing thing the world didn't know about us hosers. Sorry.

Pineapple, ham, cheese, and tomato sauce: That is strange. Reminds me, in a mild way, of the foods eaten only by drunks in Terry Pratchett's novels. But the California Pizza Kitchen variety is made only with pineapple, ham, and scallions on a pizza crust--no cheese and no tomato sauce. It really is tasty (as are their other varieties) albeit not what I usually think of when I crave pizza.

pst314

Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who expressed support for it

So? Fidel Castro liked lobster dinners.

Cease this detestable heretic-hunting or I shall be forced to nail 95 Theses to your front door...and 97 recipes to your garage door.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...albeit not what I usually think of when I crave pizza.

Indeed, because it is not, it is an open face toasted pineapple, ham, and scallion sandwich, which again shows the California Pizza Kitchen knows as much about pizza as as the Iowa Lobster Roll Kitchen does about lobster.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...and 97 recipes to your garage door.

I eagerly look forward to "Falafel avec Grape Jelly a la PST..."

Darleen

California Pizza Kitchen knows as much about pizza as as the Iowa Lobster Roll Kitchen does about lobster.

Oooo! Pizza wars!

[retires to the sidelines to order a custom Pieology pizza - starting with Pesto rather than marinara]

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...starting with Pesto rather than marinara...

Neither go on pizza...

ccscientist

Pizza: frescos uncovered at Pompeii reveal that they made a sort of pizza. Of course no melty cheese (just a sort of feta) or tomato sauce. More like a foccacia but with a variety of stuff on top.

pst314

I eagerly look forward to "Falafel avec Grape Jelly a la PST..."

Sounds like something Ricewind would eat.

pst314

Neither go on pizza...

Since I am not subject to Italian pizza law and the power-mad control freaks who wrote it, I am happy to recognize and enjoy all sorts of variations on the original Italian recipes.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I am happy to recognize and enjoy all sorts of variations on the original Italian recipes.

Sure put Heinz ketchup on lo mein and call it German/Chinese Fusion spaghetti.

Me, I don't want to anger the ghost of Frank's Italian Mom by having any truck with ersatz, new age, fusion, or other crap that that veers from The One True Recipes. She damn near killed us just for going in her kitchen while she was cooking lest we inadvertently corrupt or adulterate anything, what she can do From The Beyond is too terrible to comprehend.

pst314

Sure put Heinz ketchup on lo mein and call it German/Chinese Fusion spaghetti.

That reminds me of the old Spanish wish, "may no new thing arise", which if fulfilled would make the world a much poorer place.

Hier stehe ich, ich kann nicht anders.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

That reminds me of the old Spanish wish, "may no new thing arise", which if fulfilled would make the world a much poorer place.

OTOH;

Грех терпеть мерзости. Толстой
Daniel Ream

Canada's prime minister, Justin Trudeau, who expressed support for it

So? Fidel Castro liked lobster dinners.

I see what you did there.

Daniel Ream

Now that's odd, because I checked and the HTML was right.

Daniel Ream

Wait, it's Muldoon what up-buggered things.

asiaseen


I'm amazed that a simple dinner suggestion can launch such an avalanche of words

asiaseen

A credit note will do for the de-up-buggering

David

[ Wipes film of grease from sign. ]

[ Taps it. ]

WTP

Eppur si muove

Heh. I first encountered pineapple on pizza back in the early 90's in Tokyo. I presumed it was a Japanese thing . A number of my coworkers from Cincinnati (yeah, I know) were a bit enthusiastic about it. I tried it, thought it was interesting and ok but not the sort of thing to waste one's pizza calories on. Years later at a team lunch one of my coworkers, an exceptionally enthusiastic ex-Soviet military officer (though specifically a computer programmer with a skydiving fetish), insisted we order lobster pizza. To my surprise it was excellent. Though they used recognizable chunks of lobster unlike other places where I tried it later.

pst314

one of my coworkers...insisted we order lobster pizza. To my surprise it was excellent.

I once knew a couple whose favorite pizza was crabmeat: tomato sauce, mozzarella, and shredded crabmeat. I never tried it (the idea of seafood combined with cheese and tomato sauce sounded unappealingly strange) but the unconventional California Pizza Kitchen offerings led me to realize that seafood could work well, in the absence of cheese and tomato sauce and the presence of the right herbs.

pst314

But if someone in England starts selling a baked beans pizza, I will be forced to unleash the Spanish Inquisition.

WTP

In many things beyond cuisine I have had that moment where I thought, "no, that will never work" only to be surprised, and sometimes no even pleasantly, that it does work. Similar to the saying, "the fight is not always to the strong, nor the race to the swift, but that's the way to bet"

David

But if someone in England starts selling a baked beans pizza,

They’re quite exclusive, apparently.

Daniel Ream

I will be forced to unleash the Spanish Inquisition

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition.

pst314

I didn't expect the Spanish Inquisition.

I shall instruct Cardinal Fang to poke them with soft croissants.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

But if someone in England starts selling a baked beans pizza, I will be forced to unleash the Spanish Inquisition.

James May goes full abomination.

pst314

James May goes full abomination.

Harkening back to the Top Gear episode in which they drove through Alabama with such provocative slogans on their cars as "NASCAR sucks" and "Country and Western is rubbish".

David

In other beans-related news.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

In other beans-related news.

That actually might be good.

However, in other bean related news, see if this doesn't make your bosom swell with pride and make you want to run up the Union Jack and play "Rule Britannia", another British invasion down here in Dixie.

Steve E

in other bean related news

Heinz has been the dominant baked bean brand here in the Great White North since the Libby's brand (Nestle) was purchased by Heinz in 1996 and there are at least 8 varieties regularly on the shelves. Bush's started making an appearance recently, but doesn't have near the marketshare of Heinz.

We like our beans, but we still don't eat them for breakfast.

pst314

They’re quite exclusive, apparently.
James May goes full abomination.
In other beans-related news...

Am tempted to rewrite Kipling's "White Man's Burden" as a call for all Nations of Good Cuisine to invade England and educate its degraded aborigines to eat better food.

WTP

They’re quite exclusive, apparently.

As long as they are Heinz Baked Beans and a cut goes back to the 'Burgh, no objections here. 'Nostalgic' they say? Hmmm....

WTP

another British invasion down here in Dixie.

As I was strolling 'round the square in Marietta, GA, back when it was a stroll and not so much of a game of traffic dodge, I discovered a small store there dedicated to all foods British. Which of course included Heinz light-blue label baked beans in addition to the better quality chocolate that I brought home to the in-laws. I know they used to have those beans in our local Publix as well. Need to do a comparison taste test sometime.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

I know they used to have those beans in our local Publix as well.

Ours, for our frostback friends, also has Tim Horton's coffee, so we got that going for us, which is nice.

Steve E

Ours, for our frostback friends, also has Tim Horton's coffee, so we got that going for us, which is nice.

Here's way more than you've ever wanted to know about Tim Horton's coffee.

I'm not a coffee drinker anymore (20 years sober) but I drank enough prior to that to be able to relate. Tim's used to have their coffee roasted and blended by a company called Mother Parker's. Through all the years that people raved about the coffee, this relationship was in place. Tim's decided to roast and blend their own coffee and severed the relationship with Mother Parker's. Around this time, McDonalds contracted with Mother Parker's to roast and blend their coffee. So, two things, one, people claim that McDonalds bought the old Tim's recipe from Tim's. Not true, they took over their former supply chain, which may have inadvertently ended up in the same thing. Two, Tim's changed their coffee recipe. Not true, they took over the process themselves which may have resulted in the same thing. They have made some tweaks to the coffee along the way but the roasting/blending process is supposed to be almost the same. Still, people sort of turned off Tim's when it was no longer Canadian controlled, which may explain why people complain about the coffee not being "as good". The consensus seens to be that McDonalds coffee is consistently good and Tim's is hit-and-miss.

h/t Daniel Ream

Now that I've put you to sleep. I'll re-tell how my uncle was offered a very large franchise region with Tim Hortons when they had a dozen locations. (He knew Tim Horton personally through a boyhood relationship with Pat Quinn (former Leaf and respected NHL coach.) My uncle knew better and invested in a donut shop slash fried chicken franchise called The Millionaire. We all know how that ended. My uncle never became a millionaire.

In typical Canadian fashion--sorry

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Tim's, not Micky D's, Not Starbucks, not anyone else, Tim's.

Steve E

Tim's.

2007, back when Tim's still refused to accept debit card payments. They only accepted cash, MasterCard or a Tim's card loaded with cash. This was when even mom and pop Variety stores accepted debit. But seriously, 2007 may have been the height of the brand. Franchisees were hugely active in whatever community they served--from Kandahar to Dildo, the Hammer (Hamilton, home of the first Tim's) to North Battleford (Alberta and Saskatchewan) to Coquitlam. They never turned down a sponsorship or community event. Then they went ultra-corporate and the corporation started squeezing the franchisees and the franchisees couldn't afford to be as generous any more. They stopped scratch baking their donuts in the local stores, they brought coffee making in-house, etc etc

I see as many cars in the drive-through at FiveBucks (Starbucks) as I do at Tim's on any given day. Ironically, the brand has probably never been bigger in the US, but Canadians don't feel the same way about the company as they once did. Canadian bases have always been very popular among other country's military. My brother worked at a Canex (our equivalent to PX) in Baden Soellingen (early 80s) and on any given weekend the majority of the customers were either American or French.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...on any given weekend the majority of the customers were either American or French.

For reasons that are not important in the Before Times I had the task of finding a some kids toys, not finding anything worth a damn at either a PX or BX a friend told me to hit CFB Lahr, it was a veritable wonderland, I left with enough stuff for nieces, nephews, and random kids for ages..

Daniel Ream

back when Tim's still refused to accept debit card payments

FWIW, I work in the banking industry now and the reason was that the flat per-transaction fee for Interac at the time was so huge (compared to the percentage that credit cards charge) that it would have put every transaction in the red. The majority of their transactions were for sub-$5, coffee and a donut.

There are still some mom and pop food or convenience stores in Burlington that will tack on a $2 surcharge if you pay with Interac.

pst314

FWIW, I work in the banking industry now and the reason was that the flat per-transaction fee for Interac at the time was so huge (compared to the percentage that credit cards charge) that it would have put every transaction in the red.

I remember that at one time the percent-based transaction fee charged by credit card companies was so high that many small businesses either refused to accept credit cards, or accepted them only for large transactions.

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