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

sH2

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.

That.

Rafi

“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.

Call me unconvinced. #Grifter

David

#Grifter

See also this.

David

Re the ‘grifter’ link, above, I see the embedded video is now private, which is a pity. The comments, however, should convey a flavour of the contents. Specifically, the ludicrous contortions and endless evasions of the featured, very woke, panellists. These Beings Of Great Status.

Ben

I remember when Scientific American was a serious magazine.

Lancastrian Oik

21st century Scientific American prefers that rather risible scene in The Right Stuff where the fictional Gordo Cooper converses with Aborigines at Woomera whilst John Glenn orbits in Friendship 7 to the rather more convincing scenario (otherwise known as "reality") as documented in Contact which featured in last Friday's ephemera.

Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear.

David

I remember when Scientific American was a serious magazine.

The rapid, ongoing decline of that once-imposing publication has been noted here before.

Marce

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.

From the link:

While Galileo Galilei was calculating the heights of lunar mountains and discovering the moons of Jupiter, our aboriginal “astronomers” had little to say on the subject. And while Angelo Secchi was pioneering astronomical spectroscopy – and proving that the blinding disc in the midday sky must be the same kind of object as those twinkling specks seen at night, only much, much closer – and pondering what follows from that realisation - our aboriginal “astronomers” were still banging on about sky emus.

That.

Tip jar hit.

David

Tip jar hit.

Bless you, madam. Should pigeons perch on the guttering directly above your newly cleaned windows, may their sphincters remain tight, thereby sparing you a task worthy of Hercules.

decnine

Beings Of Great Status ... but Nobody to Know What the H*ll They Are Talking About.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...colonial histories or vulnerable populations, particularly Indigenous peoples.

Not just here, but this perpetual banging on from these types about "vulnerable, marginalized, indigenous, etc" reminds me Kipling needs some updating.

Take up the Woke person's burden --

Send forth the least ye breed --

Go bind your sons, or daughters of any gender to exile

To serve your neurotic need;

To toil in emotional labor

On "vulnerable" folk and wild --

Your new-caught, indigenous peoples,

You treat as if half child.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Should pigeons perch on the guttering directly above your newly cleaned windows, may their sphincters remain tight, thereby sparing you a task worthy of Hercules.

Bravo, sir, bravo. If there was an award for blessings, that would be a top contender.

Joan

So people who are really good at astronomy should shut up and listen to people who *aren't* any good at astronomy?

David

If there was an award for blessings, that would be a top contender.

It was quite a bowel movement. It looked like the bloody creature had exploded.

David

So people who are really good at astronomy should shut up and listen to people who *aren’t* any good at astronomy?

Um, well, sort of. That would seem to be the gist of it. Presumably, on grounds that “Indigenous and marginalised” is a magical state of being and bestows some profound but unspecified knowledge unavailable to the competent. You know, the ones who can actually build and operate orbital telescopes and send reconnaissance devices to distant planets.

It’s the intersectional way.

pst314

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.

But only those pathetically inferior white people need telescopes: Ancient Africans roamed the heavens using only their minds--or so black "intellectuals" have claimed, and we know that they never lie.

pst314

Indeed, what might be gained, scientifically or otherwise, from a deference to Ms Charbonneau’s rather narrow and monomaniacal worldview is hard to fathom.

It's a jobs program for humanities professors who can't add two plus two and who flunked "physics for poets"--not to mention "persons of color" who are so stupid and ignorant that they only degree programs they could complete were "grievance studies for dummies". Social justice demands that all these unqualified fools and poseurs get their fair share of that sweet, sweet science money.

Furthermore, implicit in this demand is that said people will be given authority over projects and scientists, which means the opportunity for these parasites and bully the actual scientists whose competence they resent. See Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union for historical examples of that phenomenon.

anon a mouse

the insights of aboriginal astronomy

"with you, everything is gas"

ccscientist

In Hawaii, the telescopes on top of the mountain are now declared to be on historic indigenous land and therefore native hawaiians must be on the board and decide what to do about them. yikes. In Australia, it is declared for universities that aboriginal creation stories are equally as valid as astronomy. Oh, and if the aboriginies say they have always been there, you cannot say they arrived 60,000 (or whatever) years ago. Yikes again.
The only sort of primitive white people are the Ainu of japan. They get no sympathy at all. These "decolonizers" would love to turn over the whole world to native people, except they would keep their Tesla and iphone of course.
In South Africa, there were no black africans when Europeans arrived, just bushmen. Black africans were kept out by sleeping sickness which killed their cattle. They have been moving in from the north for the past 200 yrs. Who is the colonist?

ccscientist

They can only dismantle, never build. Hippies tried to build communes (I visited several back in the day) and they all failed. Such people try to keep primitive people primitive, for their own good of course. They are busy trying to prevent Africa from getting electricity.

David

In Australia, it is declared for universities that aboriginal creation stories are equally as valid as astronomy.

Very much related. The mental convolutions of wokeness, the endless pretending, must be exhausting.

WTP

The rapid, ongoing decline of that once-imposing publication has been noted here before.

My comments there. Wash, rinse, repeat, etc. etc. etc.

WTP

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

So if the people behind the search for extra-terrestrial "intelligence" are not comfortable with the abstract concept of "intelligence", how would they possibly recognize it if they were to stumble upon it? They obviously have trouble finding such a thing in their own offices.

This is the thing with these non-thinking neo-intellectuals. They get all juicy-juiced stepping outside the standard frame of reference yet seem completely incapable of even conceiving that there could be other frames of reference. Again, smart people..."smaaaart".

asiaseen

For someone who is still a student Ms Carbonwater has a long CV of trivialities.
https://www.hps.cam.ac.uk/directory/charbonneau

LW

Quoth (formerly) Scientific American:

But it’s also important to think very critically about why we search for intelligence. Is there something special about intelligence?

Perhaps the ability to broadcast its existence to other solar systems?

Does intelligence deserve more respect than whatever we might perceive to be nonintelligence? We might perceive microbes as nonintelligent life, for example.

I'm pretty sure that is more than mere perception.

Does that life have a right to exist without us bothering it? Or is it just germs—just bugs that we are going to just bring back and study and pick apart?

Mars probes are very thoroughly decontaminated because we don't want to bother any indigenous life on Mars. If there is any. I don't actually see any issue with studying and picking apart a few of the trillions and trillions of microbes that might exist somewhere out there. It's not like they won't be replaced within minutes. That's the nature of microbes.

Min

rhetorical faffing

LOL

pst314

Does that life have a right to exist without us bothering it? Or is it just germs—just bugs that we are going to just bring back and study and pick apart?

Don't forget the Smart People who want us to agonize over the human rights of extraterrestrial rocks: It would be deeply immoral for us to just go in and extract useful minerals on the Moon, Mars, the asteroids, and so on.

WTP

We tolerate these people and take them seriously as grownups at our own peril. This idiocy needed to be stopped 30-40 years ago before it became malignant. I'm beginning to think that the RA of my former college dorm life who was so bloody persistent about sniffing out every single marijuana user might have had a point.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

...a salary for Ms Charbonneau and those similarly determined to find things problematic.

Both related and unrelated, between 33,153 and 36, 126 imperial dollars a year for a what?

Darleen

George Orwell, call your office.

pst314

The rapid, ongoing decline of that once-imposing publication has been noted here before.

"Behold the glory and academic rigor of 'Rehumanizing Mathematics'" which turns out to mean "Center Black and Indigenous people, esp.womxn, queer folx, and other oppressed identities"

It seems that "2+2=4" oppresses "Black and Indigenous people". Given the continuing underachievement of "Black and Indigenous people" in the STEM fields, this complaint is food for thought--especially in light of the latest demands to destroy the concept of objective knowledge and merit-based hiring and promotion.

[+]

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.

LOL. That.

Fred the Fourth

moving them to less problematic locations.

No, no. That cannot be allowed. Because then the nice rice bowl / sinecure is gone.

These folk, if they are smart, will have learned the lesson of Puerto Rico and the US Naval gunnery practice range at Vieques. That range closed in 2001 at the insistence of local activists, worried about ecological damage. These activists were then dismayed to find that the Naval base at Roosevelt Roads, a mainstay of the economy, was deemed no longer necessary and was closed in 2004.

The Hawaiians have done the clever thing - inserting themselves on the governing boards, where they can influence the flow of money and property rights, without actually having to accomplish anything related to the observatory's ostensible mission. Keeping the observatory there is essential.

David

LOL. That.

And we mustn’t forget this gem from the world of woke medicine.

David

I remember when Scientific American was a serious magazine.

I haven’t had a chance to watch this, but it may be relevant.

ccscientist

Recentering math: Our mexican contractors were not so good at math, and our deck shows the results.
Aussie aboriginies: the aboriginies in that very big continent were NOT a single culture. They had not transport except walking. There were many creation stories. Which one takes precedence to be used in a lecture? This falls into the category of "the magic negro" as seen in The Green Mile and other movies--by virtue of being oppressed, these people have magical, special powers/properties. It is the ultimate condescension.

pst314

Recentering math: Our mexican contractors were not so good at math, and our deck shows the results.

I was recently warned that many contractors will hire unqualified and inexperienced people for a day or a week. He gave as an example a masonry building where some some of the lintels have proper weep holes and others do not: Some of the laborers knew nothing more than the bare minimum of how to lay bricks while others were more experienced.

pst314

The Hawaiians have done the clever thing - inserting themselves on the governing boards...

Because few of them are clever enough to get STEM degrees and actually do something useful.

ccscientist

In the 1500s, spanish explorers began compiling books of native plants and medicines from the Americas. Many plants were brought back to Europe and planted in botanical/herbal gardens. They EXPERIMENTED to see which ones worked. We have become dumber than they were back then.

Steve E

I was recently warned that many contractors will hire unqualified and inexperienced people for a day or a week.

My wife and I rented a a villa in the Turks and Caicos from a couple who had moved to the island full time. They were contractors and had started to buy oceanfront properties and were building small two to four unit vacation villas. The biggest challenge they faced was finding skilled labour capable of doing the detail work--finished carpentry, cabinet work, doors, windows, tiling etc. He said the locals only wanted to slap up the concrete walls and foundations that make up most of the construction down there. As a result, they had no idea how long it would take to complete a project. They started to train their own people, but because of the shortage of skills, workers would leave, often without having completed a proper apprenticeship.

Baceseras

The Hawaiians are perfectly right to want seats on the governing boards wherever Big Government Science snuggles into their home ground. Localism is a good and necessary thing. And the so-called "cultural issues" -- all that comes under the purview of the Humanities -- can't be swept aside. No one wants to wake up one morning to the impact of "cultural change" at the scale our technology can impose in one blow.

The science apparat itself is to blame for the infection of "woo." There's no inherent need for them to ever have deferred to myth and magic on any question pertinent to scientific inquiry or technological practice. The mythic and the scientific could very well work side by side, without grabbing each other's tools or getting in each other's space.

Steve across the Pond

First I read about Scotland's "right" to free period products and how an adult human biological male was appointed as a period dignity officer. Now this?

WHAT?!

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Not unrelated, Sod off, Biggles..

Darleen

They are even going to include a "land acknowledgement".

[head desk]

pst314

The Hawaiians are perfectly right to want seats on the governing boards wherever Big Government Science snuggles into their home ground. Localism is a good and necessary thing...

Parasitism masquerading as localism?

ccscientist

"localism & Hawaii": could not tell if this was sarcasm, but who gets to decide if a "native" claim is valid, if the native is really a native, and what should be done about it?

Genetic studies of ancient bones (e.g., in Europe) have shown that people historically moved around constantly (by conquest, by infiltration, by replacing people killed off by famine or plague). No one has a permanent claim to a piece of land. England was invaded dozens of times by different peoples. England moreover was ruled for the last 1000 years by royals who considered themselves French (maybe our brit members here have more details) and who spoke french. So england was "colonized".

Fred the Fourth

Math & local labor...
My parents' house driveway is 17 feet wide by 80 feet long. One day, after the hired crew (in California, the usual: a young second generation Mexican immigrant boss, who hired a bunch of family and friends) finished, Dad goes out to look it over. It was concrete poured in two parallel strips of squares, with dividers. Dad noticed that the long center line divider does not hit the garage in the middle; it appears to be a bit to the left. So he asks the young boss about it, who goes over to the crew and chats in Spanish with an older guy. Boss comes back with an odd look on his face. He says, "My father ( the older guy) says your Driveway is 17 feet wide. And 17 cannot be divided in two."
The driveway was 9 feet wide on one side, and 8 feet on the other.
Dad, who's lived in Ca 50 years, just shrugs.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

No one has a permanent claim to a piece of land.

Exactly, regarding "Hawaii" as we know it, it was just a bunch of separately ruled islands until Kamehameha I in the late 1700s with the help of some cannons and muskets (thanks to a British sailor) managed to take over Oahu after having taken over Maui and Molokai earlier. The battles on Oahu included an epic battle in which he drove Oahu warriors off a 1000 foot cliff which is now a scenic overlook locally known as the Pali, which means "cliff", oddly enough.

Those peaceful and gentle island ways, you know.

asiaseen

rhetorical faffing

Rap group name

Jen

A pivotal role in any success seems unlikely.

But the grift is what matters. :-)

David

But the grift is what matters. :-)

Well, indeed. Which may explain why, so far as I can see, Ms Charbonneau and Mr Garzón have yet to engage with any of their critics, beyond retweeting a single comment about attractiveness. And note the word “hate,” rather than, say, justified ridicule.

This is the contribution of Scientific American’s editor-in-chief:

This is the mindset. Evasion and self-flattery. The inevitable double-down.

I’m still processing the conceit that the reason SETI has yet to find chatty aliens elsewhere in the galaxy is because those involved have some unspecified but implicitly racial “bias” and have failed to spend lots of time listening to Iroquois or Pawnee people, or Australian Aboriginals, whose deep and cosmic wisdom, and its bearing on the SETI project, and on astronomy in general, is never disclosed in the article. Lest we laugh, presumably.

And then we get the waffle about the “colonial” ill-treatment of hypothetical microbes.

Baceseras

cc, I wasn't being sarcastic. I have never supposed the Hawaiians, or anyone else on earth, sprang chthonically, in some ancestral long-ago, from the spot on which they dwell. I can remember when the oldest known human fossil was a footprint preserved in dry river mud. Though it's surely been superseded for antiquity many times over, that footprint stays with me as a poetic crystallization of a certain truth about us. We do move around a lot.

We also settle in and make a home, and sometimes love that home in ways a flat statement can't convey. The present-day Hawaiians deserve their seat on the governing boards of such Big Science projects as move in on them -- not because of who their ancestors were, or where they came from or when, but because these Hawaiians are living there now, and have a perfect right to go on doing so, and to protect their way of life.

My taking this stance is meant to resist the overwhelming extension of Eminent Domain doctrine, which government and academe in concert are tempted to practice in the name of science. There is no perfect defense. I'm all too aware that governance positions are a magnet for grifters, who certainly exist among the Hawaiians as they do among all other sorts and conditions of men. Why, even government and academic circles have their grifters! I don't know why we let them in; it must be obvious to everyone that grifters will turn up wherever large amounts of money are sloshed around.

We can thank Francis Bacon for planting the seed that grew into Big Science as we know it today. Less clear is who gets our other-than-thanks for the corruption that weeded up with it. No one person, I guess; a little here, a little there. In Adam's fall / We sinn-ed all. No reason to scapegoat the Hawaiians.

Nikw211

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

Makes a 'ping' noise apparently ...

David

Makes a ‘ping’ noise apparently...

Bless you, sir. May you know which kinds of bread freeze well, and which do not.

Stephanie Richer

[A]n adult human biological male was appointed as a period dignity officer.

Ye cannae make this shite up.

Alice

And note the word “hate,” rather than, say, justified ridicule.

"Vanity is a powerful drug." As our esteemed barkeep would say.

David

“Vanity is a powerful drug.” As our esteemed barkeep would say.

See also Ms Helmuth, the magazine’s editor-in-chief, formerly of Slate, who seems proudly impervious to readers’ criticisms, and who evidently sees no problem with a series of begged questions and emphatic but entirely unsupported claims. Because science.

Or perhaps more accurately, because diversity. Which is apparently much more important.

Lancastrian Oik

Sod off, Biggles.

I look forward to reading about the adventures of Bi-Iggles, Al Ghi and co. in the very near future.

'Bi-Iggles shouted from the cockpit towards the chaps at the rear of the Auster's fuselage: "Fixed that problem, Bertie?"

"Ginger Beer spotted it, skipper. I'm not so good at the delicate stuff what with my visual impairment, but he got it sorted. Elevators were causing too much drag".

"That's not a problem, Bertie, as you know. No such thing as 'too much drag'. I'm imposing an officers' mess fine on you for hate speech".

(to be continued)'

Captain W.E. Janes, "Bi-Iggles Avoids Unnecessary Conflict By Conforming To Approved Modes Of Communication" (pub. 2032)

John D

This is the contribution of Scientific American’s editor-in-chief

With someone like that in charge there's no way SciAm will stop going downhill

David

With someone like that in charge there’s no way SciAm will stop going downhill

Well, when not imitating the tone of Teen Vogue and publishing obnoxious, doctrinaire claptrap about “whiteness,” Ms Helmuth seems quite happy to dismiss and insult her own readers. As if concerns about quality and relentless question-begging were merely proof of the readers’ political inferiority. Which may help explain the magazine’s current trajectory.

sonny wayz

DEIJ?

David

DEIJ?

“Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, And Justice.”

Nikw211

Bless you, sir.

You're most welcome.

...grappling with the disquieting notion that, much like their intellectual forebears, their search may somehow be undermined by biases they only dimly perceive ...

It's almost painful to watch her nervous system try so hard to put before her what she's evidently unable to register with her conscious mind.

ccscientist

Aboriginal medicine: I will believe that these grifters really believe in the wonderfulness of aboriginal medicine when they use it to cure their cancer or broken leg. Waiting....waiting...

Bacaserus: the problem with native claims is that there is no process to adjudicate if the spokesperson/claimant actually speaks for his "people" (however defined) and what the claim is. For example, native american activists in the US have virtually stopped all efforts to study ancient or modern human DNA of native americans. It is science censorship. Do these activists really speak for all native americans? What is the representation process, the deliberative process? Are we to give back all the land to <1% of the population based on "they were here first"? It quickly leads to farce.

David

It’s almost painful to watch her nervous system try so hard to put before her what she’s evidently unable to register with her conscious mind.

It is rather dense with unwitting irony, to which Ms Charbonneau and her interviewer appear, even now, to remain oblivious. And it’s quite strange, watching these eerily uniform, mentally narrow people projecting their own shortcomings onto others, seemingly based on nothing. But this is the thing - wokeness requires unrealism and chronic pretence. It’s quite literally stupefying. And so, we get an article about a supposed “problem in science,” as Ms Helmuth puts it, that doesn’t even establish that its own premise, a bald conceit, is actually a problem at all. Apparently, we must take it on trust regardless, we must believe, and defer.

Nikw211

[T]his is where Indigenous Studies scholars, such as those who contributed to the special SETI issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal, can make great contributions. They have a unique perspective on the impact of contact, and how concepts like “intelligence” can be weaponized.

I assume this must be the the Special Issue of the American Indian Culture and Research Journal she's referring to.

One of the editors of the issue is Professor Kim TallBear who, after her (white) father walked out on the family, grew up in "a politically active environment" in which "her mother in particular helped to shape her understanding of research and academic thought as being a part of a colonial project".

And because of course:

    In her later work, TallBear is focused on sexuality, specifically on decolonizing the valourization of monogamy that she characterizes as emblematic of "settler sexualities".She pursued this topic of study through a blog written under an alter ego, "The Critical Polyamorist".TallBear was part of a panel discussing decolonizing institutions such as relationships, at the National Women's Studies Association meeting in 2016.

Not entirely sure that I would consider that a "unique perspective on the impact of contact."

ccscientist

TallBear is worried about "contact" with alien races? It is almost impossible but if it did happen it would not be the aliens who would suffer colonization or trauma. Those who worry that we would "colonize" moon rocks, in some sort of unjust manner...right.
Oh, and white people did not invent marriage.

WTP

And so, we get an article about a supposed “problem in science,”

Here's what response gets under my skin about this crap. There is, quite obviously now going back before the Damnpanic, the Skokal, the reproduceability crisis, the glowball warming bs, as far back as the diet fear-mongering about fats, a problem with science and this article IMNSHO is an attempt to co-opt the language around the real problems and thus divert attention away from them. This is happening on a very broad scale beyond science especially, expectedly/obviously in the political realm. Yet everyone pretends.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

On the topic of bogus science, Healthline warns us lesbians can indeed get pregnant, and offers suggestions on how to deal with ladydique. NSFW or sanity.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Ginger Beer spotted it, skipper. I'm not so good at the delicate stuff what with my visual impairment...

Meanwhile in the world of DIEJ, life imitates a cartoon character.

WTP

Healthline, and everyone who reads it incredulously, and especially everyone who pays for its production and publication, are idiots. This is simply a scientific fact that I established very scientifically by decolonizing my ancestral Celtic/Gothic/Visigothic ways of knowing to scientifically scientific the science space into #TreuScience. Disagree if you must, but you're racist either way.

David

In other, somewhat random, news... Hereabouts, we had a Biblical downpour last night. A real humdinger. Driving home, we encountered what appeared at first glance to be an enormous asphalt ant hill in the middle of the road, almost two metres wide and maybe two feet high. I’m guessing a drain had flooded and burst, blasting up a manhole cover and taking much of the road surface with it. The manhole cover was still attached to the road surface, more or less, but the road surface was no longer attached to the road.

Quite a thing.

ComputerLabRat

Hereabouts, we had a Biblical downpour last night.

But wait I thought Europe and the UK were burning up and climate change and all, and the UK is running out of water and there's hosepipe bans because there's no water and the planet is on fire.

Sounds like there is having similar problems as here - while the Powers That Be are banging on about DIE and DIEJ and transwomen are women and the planet is burning up and we're all gonna die so ban all the nonelectric cars, and throwing gobs of money at all that shite, the actual infrastructure is crumbling and rotting away.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

More Science!™, children may know they are "transgender" from the womb, which is odd, because I thought the same Science!™ said at that stage they were just a parasitical clump of cells.

You can see the video via this link.

ccscientist

Combine envy with sloth, and you get the current Left. People want money without working or building a business, praise without accomplishment, expression without struggle and study (ie gibberish posing as erudition), virtue without sacrifice, admiration while being sloppy and fat.

Peachy rex

The "indigenous" activists have bullied the weak-willed scientists into stopping DNA testing of remains *because* the testing frequently showed that the tribes in possession of the land when the Europeans showed up were newcomers themselves.

Darleen

Welcome to "UnLeading" (yes, the capitalization is deliberate)

Who is paying for this nonsense?

WTP

Who is paying for this nonsense?

Who is leading this nonsense. I mean it literally is non-sense.

Steve E

Healthline warns us lesbians can indeed get pregnant

Muldoon, how long have you known you were a lesbian? It's all in the em-PHA-sis.

WTP

Muldoon, how long have you known you were a lesbian? It's all in the em-PHA-sis.

He's a lesbian trapped in a man's body. I know. I used to tell people that I was the same back when I was in college. They would laugh and laugh and laugh. No one took me seriously either. My sympathies, Mr. Muldoon.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

No one took me seriously either.

Clearly we are a marginalized minority undergoing systematic erasure and genocide.

We need a support group and flag.

CJ Nerd

"Who is paying for this nonsense?"

*Sympathetic face*

Darleen... please... come and sit down here.

*Long pause*

Are you a UK taxpayer?

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Are you a UK taxpayer?

I believe she is in California, so probably.

sonny wayz

DEIJ?

“Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, And Justice.”

Thankee, barkeep. So what's the over/under on when more letters get added and form another random string?

pst314

I can think of some police tactics that would put put the fear of God into these young criminals, but liberals would be horrified.

pst314

Too bizarre to be true, or sufficiently bizarre to be true?

Darleen

Are you a UK taxpayer?

I'm currently in the People's Republic of Californication.

Of course my question is rhetorical whether it is the UK or US. What is unfortunate is that so much of this [insert profanity of choice] is unknown to the people tapped to pay the tab. By design.

And if one dares bring it to the attention of the bill payers, one is a engaging in "stochastic terrorism" <--- newest term of shutuppery whenever WrongThinkers engage in revealing the Woke in their own terms & practices.

wakl

Clearly we are a marginalized minority undergoing systematic erasure and genocide.

This is a kind of this.

One way of putting it is that in the Netherlands, normal people use bicycles, so that bicyclists aren't the rootless cranks they are elsewhere. But instead we get this minoritarian schema according to which (1) cyclists are a stereotype, a category of your deluded mind rather than a category of reality, (2) ok, the aggressive excesses of cyclists might be real, but they're a defense against your bigoted and violent stereotyping of cyclists - minorities aren't real until they're minoritized by the majority, (3) I shouldn't have to enact the emotional labor of having to be the spokesperson for the aggressive excesses of quote-unquote cyclists just because I'm some guy who happens to ride a bike. The last from a guy who runs an urbanism/transport policy Youtube channel about how North American urban life needs to be turned inside out to cater to cyclists, and actually in his other videos does a very good job of presenting cycling as something that a normal majority person might do if the infrastructure was available. And then at the end of the video, as if the minoritarian schema hasn't been clunkingly obvious all along, we're presented with the epiphany that being a cyclist has made him aware for the first time as a cis white man what it's like to be violently minoritized.

WTP

At my poker game tonight the subject of lesbians came up and I explained how two lesbians, and only two lesbians, can have sex and one of them can get pregnant. That while people might not think that such a thing was even remotely possible, such disbelief was a myth. Everyone looked at me like I was an idiot. I blame you, Muldoon. And your bicycle.

Darleen

I explained how two lesbians, and only two lesbians, can have sex and one of them can get pregnant.

WTP .. now here's a fun one: gay guy starts wanting sex with girls, but hey, none of that colonized cisgendered heteronormativity for him!

Pooklord

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…

As is usual with filler pieces like this, hypotheticals in the form of "may" and "could" are doing some heavy lifting here.

Daniel Ream

Who is paying for this nonsense?

I am. Those are my taxes supporting that drivel.

I don't have an opinion on the SETI-vs-native-grifters thing because SETI itself is just a make-work program for otherwise unemployable postgrads who watched too much Star Trek as children. It's a "can't they both lose" situation.

David

As is usual with filler pieces like this, hypotheticals in the form of “may” and “could” are doing some heavy lifting here.

The whole thing is pretty much a bag of air. Specifics are all but absent, which is a little odd, given the claims of action being imperative, and the nearest we get to particulars are hackneyed and quite silly. The “colonial” violation of the autonomy and wellbeing of hypothetical microbes, for instance.

Again,

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.

To say the piece is meandering and gaseous would be an understatement. It's piss-poor stuff, even by the standards of woke grifting. But hey, behold the new and improved, and much more progressive, Scientific American.

Richard Cranium
We also settle in and make a home, and sometimes love that home in ways a flat statement can't convey. The present-day Hawaiians deserve their seat on the governing boards of such Big Science projects as move in on them -- not because of who their ancestors were, or where they came from or when, but because these Hawaiians are living there now, and have a perfect right to go on doing so, and to protect their way of life.

None of those fuckers ever lived on the top of the fucking mountain where those observatories were built. None of them live there now, for that matter.

David

I don’t have an opinion on the SETI-vs-native-grifters thing because SETI itself is just a make-work program for otherwise unemployable postgrads who watched too much Star Trek as children.

I doubt our intersectional grifters would be happy to stop at SETI. I suspect it’s merely a soft target, an inroad. And so, weird political woo is inserted into yet another sphere of life.

Talk about colonisation.

WTP

What is so tiresome about this "they were there first" argument for land ownership for perpetuity is that these same people will lose their minds at the mere suggestion, not one that I personally agree with, that since the US landed on the moon and planted a flag there, the entire heavenly body belongs to the United States. But then none of this is relevant to the concepts of logic and consistency. How silly of me.

Rosco

Wypipo and their tiresome insistancing. I was passing through final gate security at Schipol a few years ago, but rather than stand in line, I sat in a nearby seat waiting and watching for the long line to dissipate. When the final weary passenger was cleared into the land of eternal suspicion, I strolled over for my turn, upon which the security Stasi demanded to know why I was last in line. “Because, sir, that is the nature of these lines. There is a beginning and there is an end. Through a conscious choice to not WAIT in line, I became the default end of this line, and that is why I am last in line.”

No deference to my indigenous knowledge, no acknowledgment of my other ways of knowing. No attempt to retreat from the dreary colonizing of the other. Wypipo.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

Everyone looked at me like I was an idiot.

If so, they are the idiots who need to educate themselves and do better.

None of them live there now, for that matter.

Exactly, and the Mauna Kea observatories have been there since the '60s so why this is an issue now is malarkey.

Not just Hawaii but most places where this "indigenous heritage" stuff crops up is often just a grift and frequently solved by green poultices, but a classic case is that of the H-3 highway on Oahu, approved in '60s, completed in the '90s, a tale of mystery and intrigue involving NIMBY haole kama'aina who had bought up huge tracts of land, a suddenly discovered petroglyph, ancient curses, and other excitement.

At least in the UK if you are digging and uncover a mosaic floor it is probably really is a Roman ruin, a single random ulna uncovered in some prime island or oil real estate - probably not a sacred burial ground so much as where someone dropped dead or was killed.

...here's a fun one: gay guy starts wanting sex with girls...

The headline at the link gave me dysphoria, and I am terminally confused, but since it is unclear which naught bits are in play, is the opposite of ladydique, "manclam"?

My coat is already in the alley on fire, thank you very many.

pst314

I blame you, Muldoon. And your bicycle.

A lesbian without a penis is like a blog without a bicycle. Or something.

Farnsworth M Muldoon

And your bicycle.

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.

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