The Mordan National Anthem (draft version)

Most countries have a national anthem, hence it would seems to be odd not to have a national anthem for Mordan. I have written a draft proposal for a Mordan national anthem, in this post two versions: the original draft in Dutch and a rough translation into English. Though we intend to choose a conlang as the official language of Mordan, this is conlang is not (yet) finished. Consequently, a Mordan version cannot be provided at this moment.

Mordan National Anthem (Dutch text)

1

De droom van gisteren

Is de hoop van vandaag

En de werkelijkheid van morgen.

2

Dat is waarvoor wij zullen strijden

Want immers:

De moed opgeven kan altijd nog!

Versta je dat?

De moed opgeven kan altijd nog!

3

Voor onze idealen

Vrijheid, gelijkheid en broederschap

Zullen wij strijden

Voor onze waarden

Wijsheid, Rechtvaardigheid, Moed en Matigheid

Zullen wij strijden.

4

Wij zullen strijden voor altijd

Want immers

De moed opgeven kan altijd nog!

Versta je dat?

De moed opgeven kan altijd nog!

5

Voor altijd zullen wij strijden

Voor het behoud van onze dromen

Voor het behoud van onze idealen

Voor het behoud van onze waarden

En voor onze Republiek die dit alles omvat!

6

Opdat wij mogen leven

Opdat wij mogen sterven

In de Republiek waar de zon nooit ondergaat.

7

De droom van gisteren

Is de hoop van vandaag

En de werkelijkheid van morgen.

8

Voor dit alles zullen wij blijven strijden.

9

Victoria Ave!

Mordan National Anthem (English text)

1

Yesterday’s dream

Is today’s hope

And tomorrow’s reality.

2

This is what we will fight for

Because

Giving up courage can always later!

Do you hear that?

Giving up courage can always later!

3

For for our ideals

Liberty, equality and fraternity

We will fight

For our values

Prudence, justice, courage and moderation

We will fight.

4

We will fight forever

Because

Giving up courage can always later!

Do you hear that?

Giving up courage can always later!

5

Forever we will fight

For the conservation of our dreams

For the conservation of our ideals

For the conservation of our values

And for our Republic which contains this all!

6

That we may life

That we may die

In the Republic on which the sun never sets.

7

Yesterday’s dream

Is today’s hope

And tomorrow’s reality.

8

For all of this we will continue to fight

9

Victoria Ave!

Oxytocin: the new doping?

Scientists have discovered that, at least in mice, oxytocin plays a crucial role in muscle maintenance and that the amount of oxytocin decreases with age. Older mice have less of this hormone, and hence it takes more time for them to repair their muscles. By giving older mice a daily injection of oxytocin, their muscle repair capability was strongly improved.

Though this function of oxytocin has not been demonstrated in humans, oxytocin has been approved for clinical use in humans. If these results also apply to humans, it will be useful for elderly people who will be able to live healthier at higher age.

But since oxytocin improves muscle repair capability, there is a possibility that sportsmen will use it as doping. Since sportsmen use their muscles in a very intense manner, their muscles have a higher risk at damages. This is especially problematic during multi-day sport events as the Tour de France or the Fifa World Championship. The faster a sportsman can have his muscles repaired, the better his overall performance will be.

At this moment oxytocin is legal, and could be obtained and used easily, even if the effects on human muscles is unclear. And as long oxytocin is not listed as doping and sportsmen are not tested at this hormone, which also occurs naturally in our body (to make stuff even more difficult); sportsmen will be tempted to use oxytocin.

In vitro meat articles

We have posted several post on in vitro meat on this site. Here an overview.

Space colonization and vegetarianism

Space colonization and in vitro meat

Could in vitro meat save the whales?

In vitro leather

In vitro blood?

A proposal for the animal friendly production of eggs

Google co-founder funds in vitro meat

Algae and in vitro meat

The Colbert Report on in vitro meat (Warning: Canadian visitors might not be able to watch the video in this post)

In vitro leather

We have discussed in vitro meat several times at this site, mainly as an animal-friendly and suitable supply of meat for space settlers. The idea of in vitro meat is simple: take some muscle cells from an animal and put that in lab culture.

Andras Forgacs has realized that you do the same thing with skin tissue, and hence culture leather in the lab without killing animals. In the video below, Forgacs explains that cultured leather has not only the same qualities as “natural” leather, but actually one would create leather of superior quality. This because one has more control on conditions in which the leather is grown.

Leather has a certain appeal, and though I don’t buy leather for ethical reasons, I like this material. So do many vegetarians and vegans, so they do much efforts to obtain accurate imitation leather (if I need to buy new shoes, I have to take a one-hour train trip to Amsterdam to buy shoes at a special vegan shoe shop).

Cultured leather would be great for those who like both animals and leather products. Further it would prevent the slightly dystopian future I described in this story I wrote two years ago about a world were cattle farming has been out phased to make room for growing energy crops.

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Bernal Spheres, Stanford tori and the return of the polis.

Some of our regular readers have great appreciation of how we rework concepts from classic antiquity to the modern world. For them we repost an older essay on city states.

Lagrangian Republican Association

This post was originally published on blogspot.com on April 23, 2012; updated June 13, 2014.

In this post I want to share some thoughts I have had for many years, concerning the ancient Greek city-state, or polis (plural poleis) and what we can learn from them.

Both O’Neill’s Island I and its main competitor the so-called Stanford torus are designed for some ten thousands of inhabitants, roughly the population of many small cities. And since space habitants of this kind can easily moved to any place within our (inner) Solar system, they can enjoy a great amount of isolation just by keeping distance from other space colonies. Furthermore the abundance of space resources makes economic self-sufficiency not only feasible but also very likely.

Here on Earth no country can turn to a policy of full autarky without paying a huge price. Effectively only very primitive societies can be autarkic without…

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O’Neill Cilinders

The first two videos are uploaded by CentripetalWorlds. Both feature O’Neill cylinders, video one appears to show, the construction of an O’Neill cylinder.

Two rotating O’Neill cylinders (warning: annoying sound, please mute volume).

A different but related design, the Kalpana One:

The Kalpana One is an interesting design, and quite suitable for the first generation of space settlements (O’Neill cylinders have been considered as a second generation space habitat since they were designed).

For a technical discussion of O’Neill cylinders, by no one less than O’Neill himself, see here.

Exterior view of a double cylinder colony

Positive discrimination

In employment positive discrimination is the policy that if in case of a job vacancy there are two or more equally qualified applicants, the job will be awarded to those applicant who belongs to a disadvantaged group (such as ethnic minorities or women). At first sight positive discrimination seems to be attractive, but positive discrimination, as well the related concept of quota, has several issues.

Positive discrimination necessarily also implied negative discrimination, of those who are not a member of a disadvantaged group. If an employer has a preference (whether or not as result of government policy) for underprivileged applicants, than applicants of more advantaged backgrounds will have a lesser chance of getting a job. Though positive discrimination and quotas might be a good temporary measure to correct past injustices, if such policies are, however, pursued to long it will backfire.

A second concern of these, well-intended, policies is that they might actually reinforce those social attitudes which caused negative discrimination of certain groups. When there is in case of (more or less) equal qualifications, a preference for (say) either women or ethnic minorities, some people might think that one has received his/her job only because of his/her background and not because of his or her qualifications. Such attitudes, however unjust they might be, could be disastrous for an employee of a disadvantaged group.

If neither positive discrimination nor quotas might have adverse consequences, are there alternatives? Instead of positive discrimination, we could use random selection (a.k.a. lottery) as a procedure of rewarding a job in case of multiple more or less equally qualified applicants. This method is fair, in that it gives all qualified applicants an equal chance to get the job regardless of their background.

Robots and prostitution

Earlier we discussed the problems associated with prostitution (e.g. human traffic among others) on this site. We also proposed a system to solve some of these problems. In this post another “solution”: robot prostitutes.

In his book Love & Sex With Robots David Levy explores “the evolution of human-robot relationships”, more precisely romantic human-robot relationships. With having to summarize Levy’s book, he presents an argument why it is inevitable that people will have sex with robots, and that some people will even go so far as that they will “marry” their sex robot.

Not surprisingly Levy went on to discuss why people (men and women) visit prostitutes. He notes the similarity between paying a prostitute and either purchasing or renting [by the hour or the day] a sex robot.

For robot prostitution no significant technological breakthroughs are required, after all there are currently highly realistic sex dolls. Further animatronics is also well-developed, as is seen in these videos:

The main benefit of sex robots is that they cannot suffer, and hence they can be programmed to “like” being a prostitute. Therefore exploitation of [robot] sex workers will not be an issue. Maybe it will be an idea to ban human prostitution all together, and keep only robot prostitution legal.

The Mordan Federation

It is our aim that the Humanist Republic of Mordan will be a federation of multiple space settlements. The larger settlements (such as O’Neill cylinders) will each constitute a state on their own, while the smaller settlements (Bernal spheres and Stanford tori) will be grouped together in one or more states. The states will be responsible for their internal affairs, while the Mordan federal government will be responsible for the inter-settlement and foreign affairs, and for national security.

This does not mean that there will be no space settlements outside the Mordan federation. Space settlers with other social and political preferences than we, might opt to establish their own federations or even to keep their settlements independent. The relation between Mordan and other space settlements will be based on peaceful coexistence and non-intervention.