Why do people listen to Alex Jones, and not to me? how come, when you give people what they say they want, they don’t like it? and some musings on the surprising ineffectiveness of trying to make democracy work by picking the right people to participate in it. Also, two new films : one in French from France, and one in Russian from the USSR. Up soon will be one in Italian from Germany! (Live transmission started a minute or two late, unfortunately, but I think I made the best of the remaining time.)
As a reminder, if you want stickers which you can slap over stickers or graffiti promoting other, lesser cranks, just send a self–addressed envelope (I’ll even cover the postage!) to “Man and Atom”, Post Office Box 1035, Fort Worth, Texas 76101, with some kind of note to indicate what you expect to receive in return, and I will happily send them to you. I’ll be even happier if you send money, but it’s not required.
Report from the Westercon, and what I’m planning for the Worldcon (1―5 September, Chicago), including stickers, badges, and the Man and Atom Briefing Book. (This is the button machine that was recommended to me.) Also, the situation in France ― when will the Europeans learn that Germany is a source of bad ideas? You’d think the lesson would have sunk in by now! And I try to remind myself to be for rather than against, despite the excessively negative tone of last week’s show.
Live broadcast from Westercon 74. Not an especially tight show, for that reason, and also because of the Klondike Bar I was eating part of the time ― another blessing of the high energy society! The theme, such as it is, appears to be “our true enemies are habits of thought”. If you want to see pictures of the art I exhibited (although so far I have no pictures of the exhibit itself), you can find the Kelly Freas posters here, and the Interatom art prints here and here.
Westercon 74, here I come! Also, as you have come to expect from me, I state a Moral Imperative. And I have some commentary on current events, but it essentially dovetails with things I was planning to talk about anyway.
Have we built a society which is not oriented toward our needs as humans? This is a key question of our times, and I do little more than ask it, although in the process I get nauseated by a Starbucks corporate communication. Also “Back to Atomic Power!” in Germany ; antinuclearism on the rise in France despite all facts, logic, and common sense ; idiocy from Elon Musk and the Biden Administration ; the new Federal holiday ; and how LambdaAI is like the Impossible Burger, even though Bill Gates is probably not killing cows in Kansas. Also, I finally got around to finishing and uploading the pre–recorded shows for 23 October of last year and 4 June of this year, as part of the SDF 35th anniversary celebration.
Rant, glorious rant! Mostly I roundly curse every politician since 1973 who has not seen it as imperative to diminish the use of fossil fuels, which inspires me to mention the long–planned but never–implemented use of heat from Pickering to replace oil and gas heating fuel in central Toronto. I also mention the abortive attempt of some of the major oil companies to get into nuclear energy (and, by implication, out of fossil fuels) in the 1970s and early ’80s. And in the last minute or so I explain that Elon Musk, no matter what else you can say about him (and there’s plenty to be said), is not enriching himself at the expense of NASA.
In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the United States Atomic Energy Commission released at least six records : three volumes entitled Let’s Talk About the Atom, one entitled Let’s Talk About Energy, one entitled Atomic Year 25, and one entitled Century of the Atom. The last–named was given away to visitors to the US display at the 1971 Geneva “Atoms for Development” conference. The other five were intended for broadcast on radio stations as public–affairs programming.
Atomic Year 25 is a single half–hour program, commemorating the anniversary of the first controlled fission chain reaction (2 December 1942), whereas the Let’s Talk… records are 3–LP sets, each with two 10–minute programs per side. The general format of the Let’s Talk… programs is that an announcer (credited on this release as John Flynn) introduces Ed Ronne of Argonne National Laboratory, who then interviews an eminent scientist employed by the USAEC about his specialty.
I have been making an attempt to acquire these records (and whatever similar ones may exist), as I have with atomic energy public information films, and printed materials of similar character. As I acquire and transcribe them, I will have them available for use as “fillers” in my aNONradio shows.
Continue reading “Let’s Talk About Energy”
Western converts to Buddhism are somehow in my line of ire? Honestly, it’s more about writers who begin statements consisting of bare assertion with the phrase “we know that…” This show is notable for long quotations from people I whose positions I feel the need to assail. As Levar Burton always said on Reading Rainbow, “don’t take my word for it!” Also I use backyard swimming pools as an extended metaphor, or something.
Speech! It is at the heart of what we do and how we experience the world, as humans, and yet it is inherently limited by distance and ephemerality. That is, it was limited until the second half of the 19th century, when the telephone and the phonograph utterly changed that key aspect of human existence. Was this the “real” Singularity? What kinds of technologies might come in the future which could have any such effect on the human condition?
Doomsayers and death–cultists receive a stinging rebuke, as I explain why ― even if you are chary of trusting me with a billion dollars ― you ought at least to vouchsafe me a hundred million to rehabilitate the NS Savannah. Also, what is my beef with solar power, anyway?