atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,

#7524: I'm really lucky she's no Holdo

So this is a fun look at how Palpatine (Star Wars emperor) ends up in an eternity of being scolded by Holdo, the one-shot character from "The Last Jedi" played by Laura Dern who was stupid and a terrible commander and decidedly not a people person.

And there's this paragraph, which really hit home with me:
Ghost Palpatine almost asked how [Ghost Holdo] could sign up for the navy and instantly be given command of one of the most powerful dreadnaughts in the galaxy, despite having no experience and not even the slightest understanding of space combat. That's utterly insane and would never have happened in the Imperial Navy, or any navy because no remotely rational organization would ever do such a thing.
Emphasis in original.

You see, in Apocalyptic Visions, something much like that happens. Although there are a ton of viewpoint characters in the story, the guy who is more or less the main one appoints the Chief Financial Officer of his corporation to act as the Grand Admiral of the navy he just formed by executive fiat, himself having been appointed to the executive office of the colony where his corporation's "in case of emergency" redoubt is.

...and she's a woman, she's got zero military experience, and knows nothing about space combat. *sigh*

In my favor is the fact that her position was meant to be ceremonial; the ships she nominally commands actually belong to Earth's Navy and are on loan to the colony, and her being there provides political cover for the guy who actually has final responsibility for the fleet "her" ships are from. Further, when she actually experiences combat, she leaves the actual fighting to the people who know what they're doing--she is very intelligent and knows to leave jobs to the people who actually know how to do them--but doesn't handle the stress of being in combat at all well. When she's suddenly left with command of the ship she's aboard, she's a stammering, sobbing wreck.

When she starts out in this position, she treats it as a lark, even to designing and wearing a dress uniform that is reminiscent of colonial-era naval officer uniforms. There is some pushback from the real navy people on that point, but that first battle she takes part in really pushes home the fact that she's not in the boardroom and has to take all this stuff seriously. And for a little while at least, she has a lot of trouble with doing that. see, that's one reason (out of a great many) why this book will never see real print publication, at least not in this country. Because this woman does not immediately take over the command of these ships and run them with the brilliance of the best admiral ever.

This doesn't happen in my stuff:

I did, in fact, just finish my cold read of AV on Friday night. The last 100 pages or so, I couldn't put the thing down, even though I knew what happens in the story, and I ended up going to bed a lot later than I'd originally intended to.

One of the people I've friended on Faztbutts announced that he wanted to start a side gig doing editing and proofreading, and I asked him what he'd charge for my 475,000 word monstrosity. I know I need an editor; my instincts are pretty good but I'm too close to the work. It's got to be split, probably into three novels, and I think I need some direction from an outside source on where and how.

I'm getting ever-closer to pulling the trigger on self-publication, just biting the bullet and tossing everything up on Amazon for people to buy and enjoy. It will never be much money, but at least it will be out there for folks to read.

So I think my first real attempt at this--dipping my toes in the water--will be to finally scrape Hypnogogia into some semblance of shape and putting it up there. See how it goes, see what I can do, and so forth; and I can collect all the short fiction I've generated over the past couple decades which has absolutely nowhere else to go, in one spot, and maybe get a shekel or two out of that.

* * *

Ironically enough, the essay I linked to above also touches on one of the core themes of that SF universe:
Alas, this nightmare would not end. Ghost Palpatine knew all too well that he would be trapped in this hellish existence for billions of years until the heat death of the universe. He feverishly hoped that Force Ghosts aren’t able to exist after the universe ends and this wouldn't be an eternal punishment.

He spent his whole life obsessing with the secret to immortality, but now he just wanted to die, and he wanted it more than anything else in the universe.
There's a race of beings who managed to make themselves immortal, and then realized shortly thereafter what a colossal mistake that had been. One thing I did not do was to consider whether they can survive the end of the universe; I suppose I ought to.

* * *

An inner-city leftist ties herself in knots trying to understand basic human decency. To my surprise, that sums up the whole thing neatly. I'm usually not that good at summarizing, particularly not in one sentence, but that is a very nice, concise distillation of the whole tangled mess.

Someone who she hates (because they don't agree with her) did something nice for her, and she's utterly confounded by it. She can't comprehend why, because she would never do something nice for one of them...and so she invents a crazy conspiritorial reason that her neighbor helped her out.

The longer all this nonsense goes on the more I realize that the left accuses the right wing of all the perfidy because the left itself is doing it, or wants to do it. Putting kids in cages? They did it. Stamping out free speech? In work. Opressing minorities? They've never done anything but. I could go on; there is a myriad of examples and I'm shocked that I didn't realize this sooner. I mean, people on our side talk about "leftist projection" but somehow I missed the memo and didn't understand what that meant.

You see, this woman is accusing her right-wing neighbor of doing exactly the thing she herself wants to do: doing a favor for her in order to get her on his side of the aisle. If she accepts the favor, then she's being co-opted, and she'll have to follow Trump!

...when I read things like this, I am amazed that we find ourselves in the position we're in, you know? These people are fucking lunatics.

* * *

Not discussed: what is done with the waste product. Which is to say, the comments are full of ideas, but the article itself doesn't discuss the fact that this hydrogen-bearing paste is not wholly consumed, so after it's given up all the hydrogen that can be reasonably expected to come out, there's still this goo left behind.

Also not mentioned: how far does a typical vehicle go on a given volume of a "700 bar tank" of hydrogen? How much greater is the hydrogen storage capacity of this paste? Hydrogen is an extremely clean energy storage medium but it's not a fuel in the sense that you can go drill a hydrogen well, or mine the stuff like you can coal. You have to liberate hydrogen from somewhere, and that always-always requires an energy input, making it a storage medium and not a source.

Oh well.

* * *

Today it's clear and cold. 6° outside and I just took out the trash; I can verify that it's cold out there--yet I went out in shirtsleeves and didn't really get any serious exposure to it, so it seemed unremarkable.

Despite the temps being in the upper thirties last week the snow did not melt off very much, and we've had little bits and flurries of the stuff since, so it still looks pretty deep out there. More snow expected over the next few days.

In general, once we get a good layer of snow on the ground--more than a few inches--it stays. This alters the albedo and keeps temperatures from going up, and it doesn't melt unless we get a good south wind bringing warm air into the area.

The highest temperatures expected over the next few days are 20-21°, and of course those peaks are accompanied with snow, because really cold air is--around here--too dry to contain much moisture. (There is no such thing as "too cold to snow" except on a limited regional basis, else Antarctica would be bare rock.)

For the 15th, they're predicting 5 inches of snow. That's a bit more than a week away so I'm taking that with a grain of salt. Mrs. Fungus wants us to take that day off and I'm leaning in favor of doing so; if that forecast firms up I definitely will.

* * *

That's really all I've got for today, I guess. Staying away from politics (mostly) seems to have helped my blood pressure, so that today I turned in my lowest diastolic in two weeks, 79, and without any Xanax. Sundays seem to feature the lowest blood pressures, though, because I've not been at work or dealing with stupidity. Today's BP was 148/79, which is pre-hypertensive but tolerable--my unmedicated BP was around there for years and my doctor didn't think intervention necessary--and if I could just keep it there, I wouldn't need to go see the doc again to get the meds changed, or anything.

* * *

That's really all I've got for today, I guess.

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