Prometheus

Newsletter of the Libertarian Futurist Society

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Volume 1, Number 1, December 1982

News Notes, Science Monitor

Big Prizes!

CONTEST! The LFS needs an introductory brochure, and other literature. We're looking for a brief, inspiring, introduction to the basic concepts of libertarianism and its relationship to futurism. We're also looking for outreach brochures on space industrialization, science fiction, telecommunications and freedom of speech using technology to escape government controls, and any other topic that suits the fancy of the LFS Advisory Board. Winners will get a free one-year's membership at the Advisory level-worth $50!

Moon Shots. One of the few artists to successfully handle video as an aesthetic medium, the Korean Nam June Paik, is being honored by a major travelling retrospective of his work. The exhibit premiered at New York's Whitney Museum of American Art: where more than 75,000 people witnessed “the largest exhibition ever devoted to a single video artist.” It has since moved to the Chicago Museum of Contemporary Art, where it will stay until october 24. Paik uses video to create environments full of glowing TV monitors, often making pungent comments about the relationship between the televised image and the real thing. One of the works on display is called “Moon is the oldest TV” and features 12 TV sets each resting on a high column, their silent screens showing a different phase of the moon. According to Videography's Victor Ancona, the atmosphere created in the dark room by the celestial display inspired romantic urges in more than one couple. “You can touch each other, but don't touch the monitors,” whispered a guard to one couple” Ancona reported.

LFS MEMBER Joseph Martino has an article on futurism in the November issue of Reason magazine. The article, “Inheriting the Earth,” shows why state coercion isn't needed to protect the interests of future generations. The December issue of Reason will have an article by Michael Grossberg discussing and reviewing several classic and current libertarian science fiction novels. Bill Howell, another charter member of LFS appeared on a Texas radio station to discuss libertarianism and futurism recently.

Frontlines Cheers

Frontlines, the monthly newsletter published by Reason, has been generous in its coverage of LFS activities. its July issue announced the formation of LFS and its October issue gave front-page coverage to the Prometheus Award. The latter article stirred up some controversy when it reported that LFS panelists at the Worldcon “disagreed on whether libertarians should choose government-funded space exploration if that is the only route open to the exploration of space.” This prompted an emphatic response from LFS founder Michael Grossberg, who asserted in an October 13 letter to the editor, “government-funded space development is not a matter of debate within the LFS. We take the only consistent libertarian stand on that issue: opposition to any government subsidies or controls on space development.”

Update Jeers

Update, the other libertarian movement newsletter, cast a sneer in the direction of LFS an its August issue. Its editors, who privately refer to futurists as “space cadets” couldn't resist extracting the one line from the LFS news release about the Prometheus awards most likely to make the organization look frivolous: “The LFS is a new group of futurists who want to live in a peaceful, prosperous solar system where the rights of all sentient beings are fully respected.” The author of that rather vague line, Michael Grossberg, admitted that he had set himself up, but noted that his choice of language was motivated by an attempt to confront the thorny ethical question of whether the concept of individual rights should be limited to homo sapiens or extended to extraterrestrial life forms when or if they are discovered. With the movie E.T. fresh on his mind, Grossberg attempted to state the libertarian commitment to individual rights in a non “ethno-centric” manner. Shame on him. Update, incidentally has far more important things on its mend. The news item following the one on LFS, for example, was a report on the Crane Machine's softball team. Which leads us to wonder which is “kookier” references to the solar system and sentient beings or a bunch of grown men chasing little white balls with a stick.

Launching a New Cold War?

THE PENTAGON AND THE NEW YORK TIMES know that there's nothing kooky about space. In the october 3rd New York Times Magazine Robert Jastrow, a founder of the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, used the 25th anniversary of Sputnik to warn Americans that “the Soviet Union is once again gaining the lead in what may well turn out to be the most critical area of space activity: its utilization for military purposes.” Those of us who had hoped to keep nation-states and their problems out of space beware: the groundwork for the Digitalization of space is now being laid. The next issue of Prometheus will feature an article on this subject.

Hall of Fame

LFS members voted recently to start an LFS “Hall of Fame” to honor the best libertarian fiction of the past. Starting is 1983, one to three works of fiction will be chosen by Basic and Advisory members for inclusion, and an honorary certificate issued to the author (or, if the author is dead, the publisher). Prometheus award nominees will not be eligible for Hall of Fame nominations for at least five years. Basic and Advisory members can nominate a novel by sending in the name, author, publisher aad publication date. The Hall of Fame is intended to honor outstanding libertarian fiction published before the commencement of the Prometheus award. Eventually, the list of books will be included in LFS outreach literature and brochures as a recommended reading list.

1981-1982 Prometheus Award Nominees

Nominations for the next Prometheus award are already underway. Eleven novels have been nominated; they are: Pride of Chanur, by C.J. Cherryh; The Divine Invasion, by the late Philip Dick; The Morphodites by M.A. Foster; Friday, by Robert A. Heinlein; Voyage From Yesteryear, by James P. Hogan; First Channel by Jacqueline Lichtenberg and Jean Lorrah; The Many Colored Land, by Julian May; Oath of Fealty by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle; War of Omission, by Kevin O'Donnell, Jr; The Venus Belt by L. Neil Smith; and Mask of the Illuminati, by Robert Anton Wilson. The nominations are still open; the tentative deadline is February of 1983.

Reviews of classic libertarian science fiction are needed by Prometheus. If you want to write a 750 word review of a sci-fi classic contact the editors or classics reviews editor Victoria Varga, 25 Culver Road, Rochester, NY 14620.

Science Monitor

Recent Developments of Long Term Significance As Selected By The Editors of Perimeters: A Libertarian Science Newsletter.

by Jane Talisman and Eric Geislinger

“Aluminum-Removing Drug May Arrest Alzheimer's Disease” Medical World News, January 18, 1982.

Dr. Donald McLachlan and co-researchers at the University of Toronto have found additional evidence linking aluminum to Alzheimer's disease. Six patients were treated with the chelating agent deferoxamine (Desferol Ciba) via two intramuscular injections for 21 consecutive days each month for as long as 23 months. When compared with 11 controls, the test subjects' intelligence, memory and EEG findings stabilized, while the controls continued to debilitate.

“Calcium Blockers Given After CPR May Save Brains Denied Blood Up to an Hour”

Medical World News, January 18, 1982

Dr. Blaine White, associate chief of emergency medicine at Detroit Receiving Hospitals has been having amazing success at averting neurological loss in persons “clinically dead” up to an hour before successful cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Dr. White says, “My residents are starting to think they can waken anyone they can resuscltate” More than two dozen victims have received calcium blockers after CPR, and of the 60% who survived their primary disease or injury: only one came through neurologically damaged. This patient was over three hours without blood flow and even he woke up briefly and looked around. A 21 year old gang leader was in an unknown length of time after being “stabbed to death.” No pulse, no blood pressure. He was resuscitated 50 minutes after arrival and given high-dose steroids and magnesium sulfate, a weak calcium blocker. It took him two reeks to wake up (half of the survivors who get calcium blockers wake up within three hours) but his only neurological deficit was a weakness in his left hand, which physical therapy returned to normal strength. Dr. White says that the calcium blockers seem to reverse an influx of calcium ions into cerebral arteries that begins about 10 minutes after blood flow stops. The calcium causes arterial-wall membranes to “seize-up” blocking blood flow despite resuscitation and good blood pressure. Dr. White states, “Neurons have proved to be much longer-lived than previously believed.” (Dosage: 3 g of magnesium sulphate IV in a l00 my water drip, plus 100 mg of dexamethasone IV push, immediately after circulation is restored.)

“Transplants for the Aging Brain” Science News, March 27, 1982.

Don Marshall Cash of the University of Rochester has successfully transplanted brain cells into aged rats. The new tissue integrated itself into the recipient brain and developed its own blood supply. Similar earlier experiments were done with very young rats because it was believed that aged brains would not accept transplants. This recent success takes on added significance when coupled with recent work by Peter Whitebouse of Johns Hopkins. Whitehorse has found degeneration of a specific group of neurons in the basal forebrain of patients suffering from Alzhelmer's disease.

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