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2 hours ago, Ternaugh said:

 

...but not in the first five minutes.

 

I must admit, this show wasn't on my radar until the posts above, but now I've watched the 5 episode drop, and would like to see more.

It's only ten episodes. CES

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Stephen Weinberg, author of The First Three Minutes and known for being one of three people (the others are Abdus Salam and Sheldon Glashow) who discovered that the weak nuclear force and electromagnetism are fundamentally the same (Nobel Prize in Physics 1979), has died at age 88.

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20 hours ago, Cancer said:

Astronomy is not a happy fun place, according to a poll (largely respondents in the UK)

 

And in an allied theme

 

NASA is considering renaming the JWST

 

NASA should keep the JWST name.  Not only is there the point that it's been people have been calling it for years now,  but also everyone has things that others can use to say is a negative.  If people attempt to only do what is universally popular,  then they will end up doing nothing. This is because people can't ever agree on one thing and will always be divided on what they want,  so those attempting to work the public will end up at a point where they are only reading the pools and not really getting work done. 

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Frankly, I could not have told you who James Webb was at the time they named the telescope after him; I had to look it up, and even now I couldn't tell you much more than he was a NASA administrator.  Given that he was an administrator and political appointee rather than a scientist, I wasn't thrilled with the choice at the time, and I assumed it had been made for political reasons (but I have no reason other than my personal cynicism for making that assumption).  Hence my attitude on the issue is one of indifference, pending more complete information.

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On 7/26/2021 at 12:21 PM, Cancer said:

Astronomy is not a happy fun place, according to a poll (largely respondents in the UK)

 

And in an allied theme

 

NASA is considering renaming the JWST

 

So astronomy is simply popping up as the newest one.  Go back, let's say, 40-50 years, and antagonism to any form of non-conformity was, if not the norm, then at least very common.  It takes considerable conscious and ongoing effort to quash it.  Heck, ya gotta start by even allowing the notion, for example, that women belong in science...that's STILL not universal.  And something backwater?  It's gonna take longer.  Male Privilege is still A Thing in much of the world...white and non-white.

 

The fact that we're seeing this called out is actually a positive sign.

 

On the JWST...gah.  Is this legitimate sensitivity or overweening political hyper-correctness?  That ANY perceived slight requires full and complete redress.  This attitude has significantly contributed, IMO, to cultural splintering and the rise of the Polar Society we have now.

 

 

 

 

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It's hyper-correct virtue signaling. Or else it's magical thinking, that social justice can be achieved simply by renaming things. Sorry, I don't think it's that easy.

 

When I started reading the story, that this obscure-to-most-people NASA administrator was being challenged for, let's face it, being a man of his time, my sarcastic thought was, "Name it after Harriet Tubman or Martin Luther King, Jr. Because they're the only people it's still safe to name anything after." I wish I was more surprised when the article went on to say that, yes, Harriet Tubman was nominated as a replacement namesake.

 

Anyway: The telescope is meant to succeed Hubble at the deepest of deep space astronomy. On that subject, the first name this interested layman thinks of after Edwin Hubble is Allan Sandage, who IIRC was imporytant in classifying galaxies. I know nothing of his politics or personal life. Unfortunately, naming the telescope after him would make it the ASST or SST, which both stand for other things already.

 

Dean Shomshak

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I posted the links about embarrassing things in astronomy because ... well, I am in that community, and I have always believed that you have to own your failures in order to legitimately own your successes.  The poll of conditions in the UK is a slightly more negative picture than what my guess is about the astronomical community here in the US, but I am in the old privileged demographic who is less targeted by the bad behaviors so I see it least for multiple reasons.

 

And as for JWST, I am opposed in principle to naming instruments after administrators so I was never happy with that name.  (FWIW, that includes me being against naming aircraft carriers after presidents and senators and secretaries of the Navy.)  Changing the telescope's name now ... I'd need to see exactly what his role was in whatever now has him in bad odor.  And what to change the name to if it does need changing ... that's difficult.  Many of the more famous names have been used already, I would prefer that such a name be drawn from someone who's been dead long enough that the body's cool, and IMO Allan Sandage is not in that category. 

 

I have exactly zero input into those decisions so my opinions aren't worth a bucket of cold spit, however.

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1 hour ago, DShomshak said:

It's hyper-correct virtue signaling. Or else it's magical thinking, that social justice can be achieved simply by renaming things. Sorry, I don't think it's that easy.

 

When I started reading the story, that this obscure-to-most-people NASA administrator was being challenged for, let's face it, being a man of his time, my sarcastic thought was, "Name it after Harriet Tubman or Martin Luther King, Jr. Because they're the only people it's still safe to name anything after." I wish I was more surprised when the article went on to say that, yes, Harriet Tubman was nominated as a replacement namesake.

 

Anyway: The telescope is meant to succeed Hubble at the deepest of deep space astronomy. On that subject, the first name this interested layman thinks of after Edwin Hubble is Allan Sandage, who IIRC was imporytant in classifying galaxies. I know nothing of his politics or personal life. Unfortunately, naming the telescope after him would make it the ASST or SST, which both stand for other things already.

 

Dean Shomshak


Further suggestion: Georges Lemaître. 

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16 hours ago, Cancer said:

Don't think he was ever in the US, which matters for something funded by the US Congress.

 

 

And it sucks That you are correct.  Things like this benefit all of humanity, and are built upon the work of people all throught history, regardless of where they lived.

 

Everyone was in the running to have their contributions used; they should be in the running to be honored for them.

 

But what do I know; I'm just a human.

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On 7/22/2021 at 11:56 AM, Cygnia said:

 

So this is exploding in their faces, as senior management botched their response.

 

https://finance.yahoo.com/news/blizzard-employees-call-strike-discrimination-164511336.html

 

More sharply critical...

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/07/29/technology/activision-walkout-metoo-call-of-duty.html?action=click&module=Top Stories&pgtype=Homepage

 

If it gets to the point where 1500 workers walk out, the company has a serious problem.  

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https://www.livescience.com/galileo-project-hunts-alien-tech.html

 

Are there intelligent extraterrestrial civilizations capable of building technologies that can travel between the stars? An international research project is poised to find out. 

 

The Galileo Project, helmed by a multi-institutional team of scientists led by Avi Loeb, a professor of science in the Department of Astronomy at Harvard University, will seek and investigate evidence that could represent defunct or still-active "extraterrestrial technological civilizations," or ETCs, project representatives said in a statement released on Monday (July 26).

 

The project will analyze data from hundreds of episodes of Antiques Roadshow, and design new algorithms using artificial intelligence (AI), in order to identify potential interstellar travelers, alien-built satellites and unidentified aerial phenomena (UAP), according to the statement. 

 

"Science should not reject potential extraterrestrial explanations because of social stigma or cultural preferences that are not conducive to the scientific method of unbiased, empirical inquiry," Loeb said in the statement. "We now must 'dare to look...." 

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