Vexen Crabtree (vexen) wrote,
Vexen Crabtree

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Updates and stuff

I remember when LJ was the place to socialize; some long-term relationships started here - or, at least - developed into fruition with a constant stream of LJ conversation feeding the growth. But alas, things have moved on and Facebook, the social media behemoth, has killed so many previously-entrancing social tools. LJ is still great for saying anything that is longer than a paragraph, and for having the ability to write HTML updates, link to things in the way YOU want, without all kinds of automated processes fiddling with your text as you type it.

Anyway, some recent updates:

  • Alien Life and Planet Earth page relaunch: I've added a new section on interstellar travel, concentrating on the physics of engines and fuel consumption and on the problems of shielding very fast moving ships from electrically charged particles, and the problems of shielding the Earth (and the destination!) against the output of uber-powerful engines. And some notes on promulgation: if you send a signal off from one planet, it is highly likely to travel the entire span of the known Universe without encountering anything solid. The chances of detecting aliens through radio waves is very small. Much of the new content comes from the work of Robert Sheaffer, Edward Purcell, Robert Carroll and Sebastion von. Hoerner.

  • New page: Opt-Out Organ Donation Schemes. Opt-In Donor Card schemes (presumption objection) mean that by default, lives are lost if people do not carry. Whereas Not-a-Donor-Card schemes (presumed consent) mean that many more lives are saved, and most organs are not wasted except by those with religious or moral problems. 26 European countries run such schemes.

  • Approaching Death: Some Instincts of the Human Animal: There are human and animal instincts towards death and dead bodies that evolved so that species would avoid dangerous sources of disease, which dead bodies certainly are. As decomposing bodies also represent a pollution risk for drinking water, more advanced (land-based) species' instincts are often to find a secluded spot where both socialisation and drinking are unknown. In social species such as ours, this had led to specific religious prohibitions, social taboos and social customs all to do with sanctifying burial grounds. ... I've updated a few bits on this page, including adding the intro paragraph above.

Tags: alien life, death, eti, organ donation, seti, space travel, ufos
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