Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Moron Report #13: Larry Niven's Racism

As hard as this is to imagine, our federal government, at our expense, is eliciting the opinions of science fiction writers, to better understand how to protect the US. Yes, because when you need advisement on how to protect the US from another terrorist attack, who better to go to than people who make things up?

In this vein, meet Larry Niven, a sci-fi writer who has made his living off his family's millions (meaning he has never had to work a real job) and a couple of escapist books that otherwise weak-minded people who cannot face reality enjoy reading. What makes Larry worth paying attention to in this blog, or anywhere, is that he is not your typical court jester. No, Larry has a plan for how to save costs for hospitals--lie and scare off sick Latinos (and see if they die).


Science Fiction Mavens Offer Far Out Homeland Security Advice

Now a fixture at Department of Homeland Security science and technology conferences, SIGMA is a loosely affiliated group of science fiction writers who are offering pro bono advice to anyone in government who want their thoughts on how to protect the nation.

The group has the ear of Department of Homeland Security Undersecretary Jay Cohen, head of the science and technology directorate, who has said he likes their unconventional thinking. Members of the group recently offered a rambling, sometimes strident string of ideas at a panel discussion promoting the group at the DHS science and technology conference.

Among the group’s approximately 24 members is Larry Niven, the bestselling and award-winning author of such books as “Ringworld” and “Lucifer’s Hammer,” which he co-wrote with SIGMA member Jerry Pournelle.

Niven said a good way to help hospitals stem financial losses is to spread rumors in Spanish within the Latino community that emergency rooms are killing patients in order to harvest their organs for transplants.

“The problem [of hospitals going broke] is hugely exaggerated by illegal aliens who aren’t going to pay for anything anyway,” Niven said.

“Do you know how politically incorrect you are?” Pournelle asked.

“I know it may not be possible to use this solution, but it does work,” Niven replied.

“I cannot guarantee I’m going to be a great help to Homeland Security,” Niven said earlier.

Pournelle said that once mobile phone technology and the devices tacked on them to take pictures and record video become more ubiquitous, then ordinary citizens will be empowered to take security into their own hands — a prediction some have said already has come to pass.

“My guess is we won’t need quite so many paid agents of the state to do that for us, which means maybe we can try being a republic instead of an incompetent empire,” he said, then railed against the Transportation Security Administration for treating passengers like “subjects” rather than “citizens.”

The 45-minute panel discussion quickly deteriorated as federal, local and state homeland security officials, and at least one congressional aid, attempted to ask questions, which were largely ignored.

Instead the writers used their time to pontificate on a variety of tangentially related topics, including their past roles advising the government, predictions in their stories that have come to pass, the demise of the paperback book market, and low-cost launch into space.

David Brin, keeping on the topic of empowering citizens with mobile phone technology, delivered a self-described “rant” on the lack of funds being spent to support citizen reservists to back up the military, homeland security officials and first responders in times of crisis.

“It is impossible for you to succeed without us!” he shouted at the assembled officials, while banging his fist on the table and at one point jumping off his chair to wave a mobile phone in their faces.

SIGMA is the brainchild of Arlan Andrews Sr., who noted that many of the writers have advanced degrees, have jobs with the government or have been hired to advise the government in the past.

“If you like the ideas these people have, and you’re from the government, feel free to come talk to them,” Andrews said.

I suppose the apple does not fall too far from the tree. Niven's family blood is tainted by generations of unconvicted felons-oil tycoons, including his great-grandfather who, when not buying White House cabinet members, and causing the Teapot Dome scandal, took to breaking unions and raking in millions off the backs of others. This is a group I would certainly be looking for advice from, in hell.

Welcome to my hall of shame, Larry. Right where you belong, next to the spouse-killers, idiot criminals, pathologically homophobic politicians, and fools of the day. It is well earned. Here is to hoping your fans and readers wake up and realize what you really are, and reenter a world you have never been forced to live in, reality.


Anonymous said...

OK, I loathe Niven as a human being, but I strongly, nay, emphatically disagree with your stance on science fiction. Not only do I feel it fails to addto your point to label sci-fi fans as "weak-minded and escapist", it in fact detracts from it by making you look like a raving curmudgeon.

Unless, of course, you are a raving curmudgeon, in which case, don't let me stop you.

TA said...

Well, call it curmudgeonly then. I live in reality. I do not mind reading the occasional piece of literature, but there are too many people in this society hooked to sci fi, like sports and video games, to the point that it consumes them. They know more about these useless avoidances than they do about the people running our government or the forces subsidizing their campaigns. Not that I can entirely judge. I used to be a sports fan.

Anonymous said...

I might well respond by saying that sci fi (good sci fi, at least) is not a useless avoidance. Like a lot of good literature, it can confront reality in its own way, or at the very least provide mental and emotional experiences that elevate the reader, thus allowing them to form an enriched understanding of whatever aspects of reality they do face. The same cannot be said of sports or (the vast majority of) video games.

Besides, we don't have the same governments, not that I'm not keenly interested in your government at the moment, like most people ;)

TA said...

Well, this is the crazy thing about realists. I choose to confront reality with reality, not by making things up. I suppose as a form entertainment, it is no worse than other activities, but I am to the point in my life I have no time for make believe. It is a dull life, to be sure, but I know more about the corruption of my actual government than the workings of the intergalactic Klingon-Romulan alliance. To each his/her own.

Chris mankey said...

nd a couple of escapist book"s that otherwise weak-minded people who cannot face reality enjoy reading."

I like fictional stories, therefore I can't "face reality" . Suck a dick! A real one!

TA said...

Reading fiction obsessively to the point that you know more about the klingon language than the number of Senators who want to disintegrate the First Amendment by allowing the POTUS to have the power to individually and electively shut down the internet and censor it of all political content, or using past pieces of fictional writing to score a very real conference committee so to suggest how best to kill sick Latinos, is hardly my idea of merely liking science fiction, but you're more than welcome to your kindly stated sentiments. And btw, grandes oral love to you too. said...

Please pass the crackpipe!! Chill out dude

TA said...

I'll think of that the next time a famous author advocates killing you and laughs about it.