Typical humanocentric Heinleinism* from Instapundit…

[UPDATE]: Welcome, Instapundit readers.  For the record: The Moon Is a Harsh Mistress is one of the greatest science fiction novels ever written.

…in the course of discussing some of the fallout from the Su-suumi Event -background here and here; the short version is that the recent bird die-off in the Southeast was the usual ‘trainee pilot on the stealthed alien vessel’ problem – Glenn Reynolds opined:

Z’ir, you are a bad boy. Er, you would be, anyway, if notions of gender applied to your species.

As if an alien species were not sufficiently evolved to grasp (if you’ll pardon the pun, or perhaps double entendre) the concept of a mere two-valued basic sexual identity classification system.  Its very simplicity – coupled with the paradoxical counter-impulse to make the system more complex via a nigh-infinite set of rules, viewpoints, and physical modifications – is what makes Terran pornography the hottest black market material in the galaxy.  It’s gotten to the point where the Galactic post-adolescent sexual activity recording industry has become the primary advocate for speeding up First Contact protocols: said industry lusts after the truly obscene synergistic profits that would come from opening up Earth to full Galactic intercourse…

Yes.  I’ll stop now.

Moe Lane

*Redundant, yes.


  • Rob Crawford says:

    I do believe Ford Prefect explained it all as college students playing pranks, not working on their masters’ thesis.

  • Ric Locke says:

    Errrr, actually no, Moe.

    What we have here is “oil for the lamps of China” times ten to some power in the low two digits. With something on the order of 10E6 inhabited planets in the Local Group, each with on the order of 10E9 inhabitants, you can make a very nice living selling something for one quatloo to one in ten million prospective customers at 20% Gross Profit Margin.

    Earth critters, including people, are interesting because of skeletons (they actually find spiders most mesmerizing). We’re the Rigid People, yet for that one function we use something very like a retractable tentacle…


  • asdf says:

    I’m sure if we were kzinti then our internet would be spearheaded by screensavers of mice and birds flying around. Instead, we’re just a hop, skip and a jump from bonobos monkeys, with the pop culture to prove it.

  • Surellin says:

    Rob – Yep, Ford Prefect explained it thus, but Julian May pegged the real culprits. Anthropology graduate students, bored out of their minds. They rescued the dog from that early Soviet capsule, and moved on from there. Damn, I wasn’t supposed to spill any of this…

  • malclave says:

    I suddenly understand the purpose behind “Glee”.

  • “…hop, skip and a jump from bonobos monkeys…”

    I’m pretty sure that’s forbidden in most sectors.

  • Anthony says:

    I had the unfortunate experience of reading “The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress” soon after 9/11…the Loonies didn’t come off as well to me as they probably do to the average Heinlein fan. They claimed land that wasn’t theirs, deliberately sabotaged negotiations with the rightful owners and then attacked populated areas in a manner that could not be defended against…to me, the Loonies felt like space Palestinians.

  • geTaylor says:

    ? WTF ?

  • Thucydides says:

    If we were Kzinti, we wouldn’t waste time on computers, but would be busy eating the IT techs with some hot sauce on the side…

  • Don Fulano says:

    @ Anthony: Gimme a break! It was a prison colony after all. Unless you see Palestinians as prisoners…

  • David A. Young says:

    Anthony —

    It’s been a long time since I’ve read “Mistress,” but as I recall the policies of the Lunar Authority were going to lead to wide spread famine and system collapse, and I’m PRETTY SURE they did NOT throw rocks at populated areas. Civilian casualties would have lost them the PR battle and therefore the war.

  • Zoe Brain says:

    Interestingly… there’s some genetic variation in H.Sap.

    Look up 5alpha-reductase-2 deficiency (5alpha-RD-2) and 17beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-3 deficiency (17beta-HSD-3) some time.

    While natural anatomical sex changes in humans are rare – on the order of 1 in 100,000 FtoM, and 1 in 10,000,000 MtoF – they happen.

    Those whose anatomical sex doesn’t change, but is somewhere between M and F are far more common. Technically about 1 in 60 if you include syndromes only detectable using batteries of Lab tests.

    The treatment of such people is often not very good.

  • If we were Kzinti, our first-person shooter games would allow us to virtually eat our prey. “Sid Meier’s Civilization” would have an option for serving the rival civ’s ambassador at a state dinner.

    I have to wonder what gaming is like for the precautionary-principle-obsessed Pierson’s Puppeteers.

  • daddyquatro says:

    Congratulations! You win the first “Not Getting the POINT” award for 2011.

  • Dave King says:

    Equating the loonies with palastinians is just wrong. wrong wrong wrong.

  • […] Humanocentric Heinleinism? With a bizarre bonus comparison of Loonies to Palestinians. […]

  • M. Report says:

    @ Zoe Brain

    Heinlein said that ‘The Mote in God’s Eye’
    was the best Science Fiction novel he had
    ever _read_. 🙂

    The Moties were born male, turned female
    in early adulthood, and then had to get
    pregnant or die.

  • andycanuck says:

    Maybe they’re doing the surveying for a hyperspace bypass?

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