06/22/22 – Big Universe Things

Spacetrawler, audio version For the blind or visually impaired, June 22, 2022.




It’s true, those things are indeed hard to measure in time.


  1. someone

    Well, there are birds that barely have wings. I mean, look at a kiwi bird, you’d be excused if you thought its only limbs were its two legs. Likewise, the wings of a penguin are better classified as flippers, as that bird swims instead of flying.

    Likewise, there are soft rocks, like talc.

    I guess this is why Chiphu is on a date and I’m not.

  2. Night-Gaunt

    Not for the first time that humans have confused Nature’s harshness with human cruelty. Hitler wanted humans to be as “cruel as nature” in some of his earlier writings and he became very cruel. He had cold and stern parents. So did a whole generation like him.

    Something happened to this generation of Strib different from their previous generation. Children raised without love and contact turn cold and hostile or die.

  3. Pete Rogan

    Oh, no. The Stribs are not the product of a single generation, or of three, as we have seen. They’ve made narcissistic selfishness not just a kind of life, but the structure of a moral underpinning that recognizes only immediate gain and pleasure as worthy pursuits, the costs of which will be borne by anybody stupid or caring enough to fall for their subterfuges. The Stribs are scorpions; put them on a frog’s back to get across a flooded stream and they cannot help but sting their savior to death. The Stribs take it one farther, getting the frog to pay for the privilege of carrying them AND then selling their legs to an appropriate restaurant.

    The Stribs are not dysfunctional. They are fully functional parasites (O that word!) feeding on every other species and civilization they encounter. You do the Galaxy and humanity a grave disservice to think you can reform them. They’ve spent generations honing their skills of deception and theft and they WORK. You’re not going to change them by treating their offspring nicely. What’s been bred in the bone will always be borne in the flesh. Face it, Night-Gaunt: You’ve just met evil and can’t believe it can live off you. Better believe it if you don’t want to wind up in a fricassee somewhere.

    Incidentally, Hitler wanted the world returned to the Paleolithic, without ‘nations’ or ‘states’ or ‘laws’, where tribe would battle tribe for land, for food, and eventually mastery of all they saw. At the end, in the bunker, he denounced the Germans for being weak, and stated to astonished onlookers that the Russians were the superior race, stronger, crueler, and obviously going to destroy the weaker Germans as they should. People mistake Hitler for a German nationalist; he was not. He wanted civilization smashed and people reduced to slavering beasts seeking flesh and the eradication of all others they encountered. And he was able to persuade a majority of Germans to follow him in his mad crusade against civilization in any form. His early writings only spoke the truth about his desires. The rest of his life he spent putting them into action. And, if you consider his assessment of the Russians correct, he came closer to achieving his goals than most are prepared to accept.

    You can’t always cure evil with niceness. You will find Ted Bundys and John Wayne Gacys all over the place. Try to cure them with ‘niceness’ and, all in all, you’re just another kid in the crawl.

    1. Jude

      Hear, hear! I couldn’t agree with you more, Pete. There are people whose purpose in life, stated or otherwise, is to destroy others they consider weaker and inferior to them.

      I’m re-reading Lord Jim as I last read it when still quite young. There’s a character near the end of the book, that when I read Conrad’s description of his morals put me in mind of Putin. I partially quote and paraphrase it here –

      “…an undisguised ruthlessness of purpose, a strange vengeful attitude and blind belief in the rightness of his will against mankind, … proud to call himself the Scourge of God.”

  4. Jude

    I’m sure they’re not just discussing “big universe things” but also “big universe” stuff. It’s impossible to discuss “things” without taking into account “stuff”.

    I tend to agree with the guy who says it’s not nurture but in their nature. Else how could they turn into such murderous fiends with no qualms about killing humans when they were cuddled and cared for by humans? I’m not sure I’d be ready to kill them willy-nilly though.

    1. Spanner

      The current Stribs that we’ve been following and hating all along were NOT raised by loving humans, though. The human-nanny project is a new and recent thing, that the current generation of Stribs came up with to get out of raising the next.

      We haven’t been told who raised the current generation, but it was probably the elder Stribs they pawned off on that other race – and judging by THEIR attitude, they probably raised the current generation with a hearty helping of contempt and resentment.

      And yet, in spite of all that, we somehow wound up with ONE decent-natured Strib (who, of course, wound up killed by the other Stribs), which is an argument against their bad attitude being an intrinsic part of their race’s nature – either that or she was some kind of freak mutant.

      In any case, we do not yet have an example of a Strib raised by loving parents, human, Strib, or otherwise, so it’s hard to tell how one would turn out. The “nature vs nurture” question has not yet been answered.

  5. Demarquis

    She brought along her own stick of butter. On a first date. She knows innuendo.

    As for the Stribs, even if they are congenitally parasitic, that’s no reason to kill the pups. Those things are harmless, provided of course that the GOB wins this fight, and takes them into custody.

  6. Pete Rogan

    The GOB taking the infant Stribs into their custody will only continue the pattern of deception and dependence the Stribs know how to turn to their advantage. Goonth may indeed be a behavioral outlier, but her companions and commander had no difficulty splubbing her when they found her out. No, in the larger case of the Stribs as Galactic threat, the best that can be done is to deprive them of advanced technology and leave them on their nursery planet. With, as I mentioned before, warning buoys to keep the careless or heedless away. Treating them as if they had a disease that care and ‘humanity’ could cure will only leave the GOB as the providers of their next round of stolen tech and a good many sophonts dead or reduced to slaves. Not a solution.

    You’re showing you’re vulnerable to the Stribs’s main weapon: Apparent cuteness and adorableness. We know from our studies of many types of animals, not all of them mammals, that short faces and limbs trigger an urge to protect or at least not attack what are obviously defenseless younglings, whether they are bears, wolves, tigers or eaglets. This trait is so bound up in living things that it comes close to being a universal reaction among all higher life-forms. That the Stribs possess this trait into adulthood should be your first clue that cuteness is their weapon, and it will be used against you in the most savage way imaginable.

    I don’t share the same rightful urge to genocide our gray-bearded compatriot does. I fully understand the urge and admit the logic of it, but wiping out an entire species is frightfully difficult whether they’re sentient (the Armenians of Turkey) or not (like Hawa’ii’s feral pigs) and it comes at a hideous moral cost. Which is more than just getting used to murder and viewing the unwanted as racial or speciesist ‘trash’ needing disposal. The very effort needed to conduct and conclude such a devastating undertaking is colossal beyond all imagining and it would warp all values around that one aim. You begin to believe the entire purpose of your race or species is this eradication, and that it’s no longer a choice of killing or not-killing, but living for killing or dying. Genocide becomes a religious compulsion, without which the species or race cannot proceed in any other direction — except maybe to find another enemy needing utter annihilation. Ultimately this compulsion ruins any concept of ‘morality’ and becomes purely the desire to destroy, for whatever reason, whoever deserves it.

    No one people on Earth has succumbed to such a hunger for death, though some have come close. And we’ve yet to see an entire people exterminated, though the Herrera, the Rohingyas and the Uyghurs are near to extinction. We should fear the hunger for such absolute ends. The hunger does not end with the victims. Sometimes it only grows stronger, and angrier.

    1. rws

      There are no moral aspects to wiping out introduced feral pigs anywhere. They are worse than humans when it comes to destroying the environment, if on a smaller scale.

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