the wheel-chair guy

I’m kind of a fan of books that take a slice at a particular year and title it after that year.  Take the Fred Kaplan book 1959.  The subtitle could fit just about any book like this: “The Year Everything Changed”.  It is supposed to be provocative a theme — how could any year in the 1950s “Change Everything?” — but every year changes everything and changes nothing.

Note that customers who bought the book “1959: The Year Everything Changed” also bought the book “1969: The Year Everything Changed”.  When I look up the phrase the only other book that pops up involves 1939 — I will not read this book, because it didn’t title itself the year.  But it does resemble a pattern.  Apparently everything changes in years that end with “9”.  Let me know when someone gets to writing the “1925: The Year Everything Changed” — though, Elizabeth Stevenson already blew the lid off of that one.
With a title like that, the chapter should have been a series of blank pages.

All that aside…

A relevant chapter for the day’s news in Kaplan’s look at 1959.  Chapter 17 and the origins of “SETI”, an astronomer’s “Project Ozma”, a project with modest government funding in clandestine operation so as not to alert the bean-counters that tax payer dollars (however few of them)  were going for looking for “Little Green Men”.  Then Nature Magazine ran an article which made the idea of humans looking for signs of life scientifically acceptable, and the clandestine operation moved above-ground.

Sometimes I wonder about Steven Hawkings.

“We only have to look at ourselves to see how intelligent life might develop into something we wouldn’t want to meet. I imagine they might exist in massive ships, having used up all the resources from their home planet. Such advanced aliens would perhaps become nomads, looking to conquer and colonize whatever planets they can reach,” he said. “If aliens ever visit us, I think the outcome would be much as when Christopher Columbus first landed in America, which didn’t turn out very well for the Native Americans.”

Naturally I had to turn into “Coast to Coast” with that dullard that replaced Art Bell — George Noory– and sure enough, he broached some lines around here with his guest.  So, certainly, Steven Hawkings has been tipped off from government sources about the Aliens and is sending smoke signals to the public to throw us off the track.  Roll to commercial for Emergency Seeds to grow when the Destruction comes, or whatever is sponsoring the show these days.
Wait.  That’s Glenn Beck’s sponsor.  My mistake!

Well, better shut down SETI then.

Steven Hawkings creates an interesting situation in waiting.  Imagine the Aliens come.  Roll up their flying saucer, walk out their landing strip, do that whole “Take me to your Leader” thing.  They meet with a committee consisiting of everyone who might be considered a “World Leader”.  Discuss their civilization.  After some back and force, a testy subject is broached by one of the World’s Generals.  The aliens respond that that they have long time ago given up on any weapon systems and war, and concentrated their science on purely peaceful and productive uses.  Frankly, we’re a little scared to have landed here, uncertain about levels of hostility, we’d have to do a quick crash-course to get back on track — wouldn’t want to do so, and may be able to outstrip you in that department if we had to — we have mastered some technologies you haven’t even if it’s been moved into different avenues — mastered intergallactic space flight, after all.


World leaders look around.  Aliens depart.  Everyone huddles together.  “How do we respond?”  “Do we trust these guys?”

And then:  “Remember what Steven Hawkings said?”

So what do we do?  Wipe out the alien species.
Heed the lesson of Christopher Columbus, right?

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