Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Richard Hoagland's 70th birthday numerology

        It was Richard Hoagland's seventieth birthday last Saturday, and the occasion was marked publicly by yet another two-hour radio interview. Not on Coast to Coast AM, as I'm sure he would have preferred, but on a two-bit internet podcast associated with that madman David Icke. The interviewer was not Icke, but a bloke with a comedy Irish accent by name of Richie Allen.

        We got into numerology immediately, as Allen asked Hoagland how it felt to be 70, and Hoagland replied that, as 70 = 10 x 7, and seven is an important number in hyperdimensional physics (Eh??? Important how??), that must mean that great things are about to happen in the field he's been researching for 35 years. Oh yes, Great Things About To Happen. Where have we heard that before?

        Then it turned into a name-droppathon, as he reviewed his brilliant career. Walter Cronkite, Arthur C. Clarke, Carl Sagan, Isaac Azimov, Margaret Mead and Jules Bergman all got their name-checks. We heard again how he was responsible for naming the first Space Shuttle Enterprise (except he wasn't -- the letter-writing campaign was organized by Betty Trimble) and how he unearthed the Brookings Report and its cautionary message to NASA (except he didn't --  Don Ecker and Lee Clinton did.) Well, I suppose you can't really blame an old man for reminiscing about the far-off days when he actually had a job and was doing something useful.

About the Brookings Report,note 1 his wrap-up was as follows:
42:55 "For the next 50 years -- from the time of its inception in 58 -- NASA has steadfastly denied any and all evidence that they've ever detected anything that would even hint at the possibility of living organisms anywhere in the solar system."
        This is to ignore the hundreds of  scientific papers published by NASA scientists on Martian water, organics, and methane. I know it's fashionable to denigrate Wikipedia (often for good reasons, it must be said), but the wiki-article on Life on Mars is pretty good. It includes the sentence "The search for evidence of habitability, taphonomy (related to fossils), and organic carbon on the planet Mars is now a primary NASA objective." Hoagland is simply wrong.

"I'm a data-driven guy. I don't make claims -- regardless of what  my acerbic and over-the-top critics say all the time, because it's disinformation. I try to stick to facts -- I try to stick to things which you can independently verify. I try to stick to official sources, and official data. What I don't do is to pay a lot of attention to leaks."
        That was Hoagland, at 1:29:20 into the interview. Oh, how we acerbic critics wish it were true. But at 1:42:00 we got this astounding piece of flim-flam: Absolutely classic Hoagland.
"What's the one thing that would change everything on this planet? If we were to go to the Moon and bring back high technology. Absolutely tons of stuff are preserved underground. Don't look at the cratered surface -- think 200ft, 1000ft, a mile down, two miles down. There's obviously (emph. added) a ton of stuff in perfect preservation, particularly if it's been exposed to a vacuum. You bring that stuff back, you back-engineer it, you create electronics, you create power supplies, you create medicines, you create solutions for all kinds of intractable diseases, like cancer for instance -- that have already been worked on and perfected by the guys who went before us, who are part of the human family. We're not talking about aliens, we're talking about the human race, just a lot older and a lot more incredible than we've been allowed to believe up until just yesterday. And you do all that in the private sector. Not only would Musk make billions and billions and billions more, but he changes the direction of the planet for the better. And that's why Elon Musk must succeed, and all the other private guys must succeed--because they ... are the keys to the kingdom, the keys to the future of the human race, and the keys to the transformation of this planet from the hell it is for most people to the Garden of Eden it could be again if this information was made freely and publicly available."
        Not at all a bad speech, especially as it was totally off-the-cuff. However, it's pure fantasy, of course. I wish I had Hoagland's eloquence, but I'm glad I don't have his self-delusion.

Many happy returns, Richard.

[1] If any readers don't know what "The Brookings Report" refers to, here's a briefing.


Dee said...

Happy Birthday, Dick!

There's some strong religious connection with the number seven and if hyperdimensional physics would be code for Just Another Religion (JAR) then this is perhaps close enough.

Otherwise it just might point to the seven multidimensional sins: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, and pride...

That speech is heartfelt I suppose, considering life might indeed look sometimes like hell and the lack of cures and technological solutions would bother him even more than it bothers the average bloke considering his age and the illness of his life partner.

Apart from his inconsistent position on certainty and "obviousness", another problem I have with his speculation is that it's not addressing any wider scope or implications which any serious thinker would address. It's one thing to believe humans or predecessors to Homo Sapiens once ruled the solar system but obviously their technology didn't save them. It seems that it couldn't prevent decline, war or even intentional destruction of planets! According to RCH of course. So it might be a good idea to go easy on the reintroduction of ancient technology in a society not exactly breaming with maturity. Unless perhaps the Hall of Records would contain some proper philosophical works for our education and initiation sake.

Of course this might all serve to justify the very cover-up RCH is trying to expose. I do remember in the later 90's inserting this with a bit more argumentation on his forum and got even some regulars to briefly support the idea that cover-up might be actually a good thing if the speculations on ancient technology were all true. But then again, I've always preferred subtle subversion to dinky debunking :-)


Binaryspellbook said...

The host as usual let's Hoagland away with anything. I wonder if any of his 75 followers are outraged. I doubt it.

Oh my how the mighty have fallen. There was a time Hoagland demanded a certain audience number before he would appear as a guest on any show.

expat said...

Actually Richie the comedy-Irishman had a valiant attempt to stop Hoagland from talking over him -- a regular Hoagland trick. He just ket on going, and this drew a rebuke from Hoagland. "You're talking over your guest --something you shouldn't do."


Binaryspellbook said...

Just listened to all of it Expat. You are correct. A valiant attempt indeed.

Did Hoagland actually say that Pluto was demoted to dwarf planet status so that people wouldn't be interested in it and won't be paying attention when the messages our type II ancestors have left there are discovered by New Horizons. Holy mother of fuck.

Chris Lopes said...

When you think of all the things happening in real space science today, it's kind of sad that all Hoagie can do is bring up his several decades old pulp sci-fi ideas. The once highly imaginative master of woo is reduced to repeating work that he did at the dawn of the Internet. Loser doesn't even begin to describe what he's become. He's so boring, not even some of his critics can stay awake during his speeches.

THE Orbs Whiperer said...

As long as people are thinking about this stuff, it makes no difference what the facts are, if in fact Hoagland is right about the public being desensitized (drip, drip, drip) to disclosure. It's like the Little Boy Who Cried Wolf. Brookings through NASA scares the Oligarchy into making people blasé towards ETs, just in case they should ever show up. In this way, Hoagland, ExPat, and all us commentators, serve the same agenda.

Anonymous said...

Just found this blog. Brilliant! Hoagland's an entertaining listen, if nothing else. Wait, I mean an entertaining listen, AND nothing else.

My two favorite things Hoagland always does:

1) Inserts himself Forest Gump-styl;e into history (I'd love an examination of this joker's actual interactions. I wonder if his "friend" and "professional colleague" Neil DeGrasse Tyson is even aware he exists).

2) Arrogantly dismisses OTHER crazy theorists at whackado loons.

Hadn't heard of that podcast you linked to, but I put it on in the background while working. I had a great belly laugh when he was mocking the moon hoaxers because they "look at the NASA information gaps" and assume that means we didn't go to the moon, then goes on to say they're missing the obvious truth that NASA is hiding stunning ancient ruins. In other news, those dopes who think the earth is flat are missing the obvious fact that it's a cube.

Thanks for the laughs, Dick.

expat said...

Anon: Two very good points, thanks.

His stories about Carl Sagan and Arthur Clarke have enough flesh on them to be credible, but his relationships with other scientists (including, yes, NdeGT) are highly questionable.

jourget said...

Yes indeed. Beyond the usual name drops from the glory days of the 60s and 70s, he's got to stretch things beyond measure to come up with any modern connections.

On several occasions late last year (including his 2014-12-17 Coast appearance) he peppered his Rosetta lunacy with inside information gleaned from his "friend" Emily Lakdawalla of the Planetary Society. Unfortunately for RCH, all the inside info he mentioned was freely available from Emily's excellent Twitter coverage of Philae's landing.

I dropped him an email and asked him if that made Emily my friend as well, since I was also reading her Twitter feed. No response. Guess not.

So yeah, he's so marginalized at this point that he has to claim people whose Twitter feeds he's read as personal friends. What a sad fraud.

expat said...

I wouldn't mind having Emily for a friend. I'm a total fan of skinny redheads.