Log in

No account? Create an account
entries friends calendar profile My Website Previous Previous Next Next
Mark Atwood

That sucks.

I now make some predictions.

Within a day, debris will be for sale on eBay. eBay will close the auctions, which is ok, since the vast majority of the items for sale will be fake.

There are going to be tens of thousands LJ posts talking about it, all with nothing to say. Most of them full of angst. There will be reams of bad poetry. And maybe, here and there, a jewel worth reading.

There are going to be hundreds of hours of TV programming about it, full of TV personalities with blowdried hair, interviewing former astronauts, former NASA people, interviews with uninvolved equally ignorant self appointed experts prattling on, endless repeats of the videos, and all with nothing useful to say.

There are going to be tens of thousands of USENET posts, spawning hundreds of threads, most of them flames, especially in rec.arts.sf.*, sci.space, alt.atheism, and soc.culture.jewish. All talking about it, all with nothing useful to say.

People are going to be pissed at Bush for not taking his attention or focus off the upcoming invasion of Iraq because of this, even tho as POTUS and CinC, there is nothing he can do to help NASA and the families other than allow them to do their jobs. Think about it people, what can he do? Other than express national regrets, trust in the people who's job it is to research this disaster, and then go back to doing his job.

People across the Islamist world, and especially in Palestine, are going to be saying "Good, another dead Jew". I will not be surprised in the slightest if the surfaces more video and newspaper articles of their celebrating this event. The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to make their situation worse.

There are going to be a thousand conspiracy theories, most of them idiotic, about "what really happened", pulling in the threads and threats of the current geopolitical realities of wars, rumors of wars, terrorism, Islamism, anti-Israelism, anti-Americanism. And the odd bit of UFOs.

And elfs contributed this one. Within 2 years, dozens of people are going to file suit against NASA for lung damage for the dust released by the explosions.

Are you going to do your part to prove me right? Or maybe I'm wrong, and these forums and this world is populated by calm, wise, rational beings. Yeah, right.

Current Mood: sad sad

6 comments or Leave a comment
beowabbit From: beowabbit Date: February 1st, 2003 06:41 pm (UTC) (Link)

The Palestinians never miss an opportunity to make their situation worse.

How's that look when you reread it?

(If you wrote "the Palestinian Authority", or "Fatah", I wouldn't have bothered responding, but "the Palestinians" are an awful lot of people to be quite as unanimously inept and malicious as you paint them.)
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: February 1st, 2003 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
By "The Palestinians" I meant the people who were caught on camera dancing in the streets for joy at the sight of the WTC towers, full of dying people, collapsing. Anyone who would do that counts as "inept and malicious", in my estimation.

And that was not a false news report either. The "debunking" of that event has been well and fully debunked.

I've been following some of the aftermath news, and the attitude "Good, another dead Jew" has already been reported and filmed coming from that self-inflicted hell-hole. So it looks I called that prediction dead on right.
beowabbit From: beowabbit Date: February 1st, 2003 08:04 pm (UTC) (Link)
Conflict makes the news, so sure, you're likely to see extremist positions well-represented on the news. But taking them as representative of entire cultures makes as much sense as taking the people you see on Geraldo as representative. (I'm assuming; to be honest I haven't seen much if any Geraldo.)

Have you ever seen a white person, or a man, or an English speaker do something completely stupid and offensive on TV? Would you like to be judged on that? Do you think the people who get identified as "Mormon" on television and who abuse little girls give the viewer a reasonable basis for judging an entire religion (that doesn't want to have anything to do with them)? The Bhopal disaster was the fault of a US company and made the news; is that a good basis on which to judge all US companies? Off the top of my head I can think of two particular bombing incidents in the war in Afghanistan - one in which the US bombed some Canadians, and one in which we bombed a wedding party. Those two events made the news and stuck in my mind - are they typical?
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: February 1st, 2003 08:23 pm (UTC) (Link)
Conflict may make the news, but allow me to quote from snopes.com here:


However, this issue does emphasize a point that appears to have been overlooked in the debate over whether video was re-used from a previous year or not: that images themselves are not the whole story. A news report can be accompanied by stock footage and still be fair and accurate, but a news report accompanied by current footage is not necessarily either fair or accurate. A simple news clip doesn't always provide us with enough context to discern what the people depicted in it are reacting to, why they're reacting the way they are, or whether their actions are representative of a large group of people or a very small one, as an Italian journalist in Beirut reported:

Trying to find our bearings, my husband and I went into an American-style cafe in the Hamra district, near Rue Verdun, rated as one of the most expensive shopping streets in the world. Here the cognitive dissonance was immediate, and direct. The café's sophisticated clientele was celebrating, laughing, cheering and making jokes, as waiters served hamburgers and Diet Pepsi. Nobody looked shocked, or moved. They were excited, very excited.

An hour later, at a little market near the U.S. Embassy, on the outskirts of Beirut, a thrilled shop assistant showed us, using his hands, how the plane had crashed into the twin towers. He, too, was laughing.

Once back at the house where we were staying, we started scanning the international channels. Soon came reports of Palestinians celebrating. The BBC reporter in Jerusalem said it was only a tiny minority. Astonished, we asked some moderate Arabs if that was the case. "Nonsense," said one, speaking for many. "Ninety percent of the Arab world believes that Americans got what they deserved."

An exaggeration? Rather an understatement. A couple of days later, we headed north to Tripoli, near the Syrian border. On the way, we read that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who donated blood in front of the cameras, was rejecting any suggestion that his people were rejoicing over the terrorist attack. "It was less than 10 children in Jerusalem," he said.

beowabbit From: beowabbit Date: February 1st, 2003 09:48 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm not going to play duelling anecdotes, but I find it pretty ironic for a libertarian (if I'm remembering your politics correctly) to be arguing collective guilt.

WRT the Bhopal thing, you're sort of making my point about drawing sweeping generalizations based on what you see in the media. I confess I've never heard of Real Change and Eat the State; what I know about the Bhopal disaster I learned from Reuters, CNN, the BBC, and AP, and if your posting is accurate in content and in emphasis, then what I learned from Reuters, CNN, and AP was not enough for me to judge Union Carbide, much less American companies.
fallenpegasus From: fallenpegasus Date: February 1st, 2003 08:34 pm (UTC) (Link)

And about Bhopal

And about Bhopal. Calling it the fault of a US corporation is either willful malice (which I know you well enough to not believe you possess), or some specific ignorance, which is not a crime and which I will now attempt to illuminate and correct.

Here's a USENET article I wrote about 2 years ago about Bhopal.


No, a piece of stupid shortsighted government intervention brought us Bhopal.

One of the things that happened at Bhopal was that the plant operators were not sufficiently trained. Why not? Because Union Carbide was not allowed to bring in enough North American staff to operate the plant while at the same time training the locals.

They had *thought* they were going to be able to use expat USians to run the place for a few years, while they trained up local staff. But after the plant got built and started up, the local national state "amended" the agreement that got the plant built in the first place,
and insisted that Union Carbide send most of the expat US staff home, and fill the most of the slots in Management, in Maintenance, and in Operations, with locals.

Now, the locals were not stupid. They were smart, hardworking, and learning fast. But they were still *insufficiently trained*, and chemical engineering's dirty little secret is that running a big plant efficiently and safely is more a black art than it is a science.

Union Carbide was desperately trying to get them trained up as fast as possible. The training program at that plant was an order of magnitude bigger than at any other live Union Carbide plant.

But it wasn't enough.

Another 5/10 years of careful training, and a more controlled handoff to locally grown and trained staff, and Bhopal would not be an internationally known swear word, and would instead be a crown jewel in a local wealthy vibrant society.

But because a bunch of local idiot and probably racist politicians wanted a short term fix to a local short term unemployment problem, and suspected that the Americans were hogging the better paying to themselves out of greed (a rather *stupid* POV, transnationals do NOT
like having large expat line operations and maintenance staff, they are EXPENSIVE), they tried to grab the golden egg early, and ended up killing tens of thousands of people.

You think Union Carbide, who alongside DuPont, by long sad and bitter experience, WROTE THE BOOK on counting the costs of and *avoiding* chemical engineering disasters? They are *expensive*. A lot of money and effort is spent preventing them, not mainly by govt decree, but because those plants cost upwards of 10 digits, and the stockholders are unhappy with holes get blown in them.

You accuse the "free market" of killing those people? You think that Union Carbide was running something like the Belgian Congo? You think that the excutives who negotiated and approved the construction of that plant, many of whom who were formerly Indian nationals *themselves* , went to the US to get degrees, stayed to get jobs, got promoted up the company, and then thought they
were doing good by bringing wealth back to their parent's country, figured "they're only a bunch of wogs, who cares?"?

I trust and hope that you will refrain from in the future using Bhopal as an example of a bad acting US corporation until you research what actaully happened a little bit more, and not just trust the kinds of articles that get writtne for newspapers like "Real Change" and "Eat The State".
6 comments or Leave a comment