The View from Entropy Hall (Online Archive) - From Ed Meskys - RR2 Box 63 - 322 Whitter Hwy - Center Harbor NH 03226
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Issue #6

The View From Entropy Hall #6 for APA-Q 400, 19 Oct 1996, from Ed Meskys, RR #2 Box 63, Center Harbor NH 03226-9708, [email protected], 603-253-6207.


SPACE CON, part 2

I said in VFEH #4 that I would finish my comments on the space con.

One whole session was devoted to the X-33. A rep from NASA explained the purpose of the project, and a representative from each of the three bidders described his company's proposal.

According to the NASA rep, the X-33 will eventually lead to the successor to the space shuttle. The shuttle was supposed to be a truck to carry loads to the space station or for launch into higher orbit or deep space. Because it is serving as a re-useable space station for missions of up to about two weeks, it is not being used to full efficiency. Also it is far too expensive to operate. For instance, to replace one heat-shield square takes 120 man hours of work. Since the space station WILL be there the follow-on will NOT serve as a temporary space station but will dump its cargo and passengers, take on whatever is coming back, and return immediately. It will be a single-stage-to-orbit vehicle, and will have a quick, cheap turnaround once it lands back on earth. It is supposed to be able to land in rain or fog. On the other hand, NASA will not have the money to buy or operate the new fleet! (If I understood correctly, they are in the process of turning the operation of the current shuttle over to United Space Alliance, a private contractor.) The X-33 will be an undersized vehicle designed to demonstrate principles. With the technology under its belt, NASA hopes that the company will undertake to build as its own project a full sized shuttle and sell it to an operator who would fly it on contract to NASA, private industry, and foreign entities. It would be like Boeing building the 747 and selling it to United Air Lines, which then makes money carrying passangers and cargo, and leasing or chartering complete flights. If the X-33 does not bring this about, then NASA would contract for the development of an even more advanced demo spacecraft.

Reps from the three bidders explained the designs they were working on, and said that even if they lost the bid they would continue development.

Rockwell, which built the shuttle, would have a design which looks something like the shuttle itself. Lockheed would use a lifting body design with an aerospike engine. I gather the engine has no conventional thrust chamber but the expansion pushes against a spike in the middle of the flow. Douglas-McDonald would continue advances on the DCS "Delta Clipper" films of which were shown at Confrancisco. (Jerry Pournelle quipped that it lands on its tail, like God and Heinlein meant a spaceship to do. There are real advantages to doing so, not just aesthetic ones. The spaceship would not need flaps, landing gear, or a runway to land. )

The DCX has been inproved to the DCXA. Lighter materials were used for the fuel and oxygen tanks, shaving off a ton. The modified DCXA flew successfully several times but then was damaged in an accident.

Three months later I attended a panel on space projects at Coppercon in Scottsdale AZ. Speakers there were devasted by the fact that Lockheed won the X33 contract. Lockheed's plan is to eventually build only three vehicles which would be totally occupied with official missions and there is no hope for eventual commercial use by common citizens. McDonald Douglas would have built more and tried to market them to other users. There is still a little hope that the DCS might continue as a military project. Meanwhile, McDonald Douglas and rockwell have gone back on their brave talk and there is no economical hope that they could continue their projects on their own. Since Lockheed would have all the official missions there isn't enough potential other business for either of the other companies to go ahead with their projects. (This reminds me of when I was working at the Livermore Radiation Lab 1962-65. They had an almost obsolete computer called the Univac Lark of which only two had been build [the other was at the Weather Buro]. When Univac had finished the development under government contract they investigated the potential market for large computers and decided they could sell no more than ten world wide, so they abandoned the project. Can we dare hope that the same error has been made by the aerospace industry?) I asked about the Boeing sea-launch initiative. The speakers said it will be successful for a few years, but when the X33 is ready it will operate so much more economically that Boeing will be priced out of the market. Now, I don't understand, for unlike the NASA rep in New York the speakers here implied that the S33 itself was the successor to the shuttle and not a pre-development prototype. Coppercon had a lousy program flyer and didn't list the speakers so the only one I remember by name was G. Harry Stine (who used to write SF as Lee Corey, and will have his first new story in ten years, co-written with his daughter.)

Aside from the X33, there were a few passing references to the X34 and I didn't get a clear idea of what that was. They spoke of the X34 doing Mach 8 and the X33 as doing Mach 15. I gather the X34 was another developmental prototype, that a company had gotten a contract to develop it, but backed out of the job after a short time. Was this the so-called "orient express," a hypersonic passenger plane? What IS happening with it? Will a new company get a contract to develop the X-34?

One speaker gave an interisting scenario for a manned trip to Mars for less than a tenth of the cost of the NASA proposal, and suggested it might even be privately financed. He drew analogy to last century's quest for the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic to the Pacific oceans. There were a number of well financed government expeditions, especially by the British, using large crews on large ships, with great quantities of canned meat and other supplies. All these failed. It was a small Norwegian fishing boat with a crew of six which finally succeeded. They went simple, carried no food, but guns and lots of ammo. They shot their meat and lived off the land and ice.

Same way, a Mars expedition could "live off the land." They wouldn't find food, but they could save a large fraction of their mass by finding fuel for the return trip. During one window an unmanned ship would soft-land on Mars and carry a chemical factory which would make fuel from local materials and refill its empty tanks. When the manned ship arrived next window it would use the fuel for local travel and operations and for the return trip. The speaker gave the needed chemical reactions but I didn't take notes.

There was also much talk of private financing for tourism in orbit and a moon base. The ideas for the physical equipment were interesting but I feel the financing would get no further than the Artimas Project pushed at SF cons a few years ago.

The space con featured quite a bit of discussion of what could follow the initial space station. The station itself will have lifting-body craft for emergency use as "life boats" in case of catastrophic failure. As the station became more useful and occupied a number of independent canisters would accumulate in its viscinity. The model was of an Army fort in the "wild west" with a village growing up around it. Perhaps it would be more like a "strip mall." Standard parts would be used to build these extra modules. The initial modules being built are 15 ft diameter aluminum cylinders. The contractor in Huntsville has been asked about the cost of building an extra one after finishing the NASA contract, and the question threw the executives into a panic, not knowing how to respond. The presenters spoke of dorm, later hotel, like facilities. These would first be rented to industrial employees up to do work in the station. Later they would be prettied up and rented to tourists. Today wealthy tourists pay up to $50,000 for spectacular trips like climbing Mt. Everest and these yuppies would be a market for the space facility. Double occupancy rooms with privacy would be needed to market the experience of zero-gravity sex. Follow-on living quarters would be made from 30 ft diameter empty fuel tanks which would hold 36 tourists or workers in relative comfort.

Some of the ideas tossed about to help finance these private ventures reminded me of Heinlein's "The Man Who Sold the Moon." They spoke of selling raffle tickets for a chance at an orbital vacation 15 years in the future, using the facility as a set for making a commercial movie, zero-gravity sports competition with TV rights, etc.

There was considerable concern about property rights and liability in space. The US had not signed the "Moon Treaty" making everything in space the "common heritage of mankind" with no property rights. (I remember the major campaign of the L-5 Society to stop the US about 15 years ago.) Anyhow, if there is no right of ownership in space, there will be less incentive for business to go there. One speaker said that last century in the west cattle were worth money because they were owned, but buffalo were worthless because they were not owned. I thought they were exterminated to deprive the Indians of their use in order to make them give up their nomad ways and settle on reservations. Anyhow, another concern was that of liability in case of accident.



I am starting this on July 23. Right after I mailed off ENTROPY #5 I got all of the last disty read to me. I was surprised that there was no ENTROPY #4 in the disty. )Wups, no Entropy in the July disty either! When I phoned, John says #4 and #5 never arrived. I sent new copies which did make the August disty.)

BLACKMANGE: I liked your comments to John on the militias and the Montana freemen.

In Q399 you noted the absense of Braille in the Hilton and asked how the NFB got around during our con. Before our convention members of the local chapter put Braille room numbers on all sleeping rooms with dymotape. The elevators were Brailled. The major problem was the meeting rooms on the third floor which had city names and no systematic order to them. Most of our committee and division meetings were on this floor and it was always a pain to find the right room. You had no clue whether you were near or far from your destination since there were no sequential room numbers.

HOW TOO: I am glad to hear that they finally started construction of BART to SFO. When I was in the Barea for Confrancisco I stayed for a week with Jim & Joyce Quigg, borderline fen who worked at Livermore when I was there in the early 60s. (They had gone to college in Florida with Dave van Arnam, the Rolfes, and other fen, and were active in the Little Men in the 60s, but now, I believe, only interact occassionally with fen from their time like Felice Maxim.) While I have an interest in rapid transit Jim is a universal railfan. Anyhow, he told me then that Bart had almost finished a one-station extension past Daly City, and was again talking about the on again and off again extension to the airport. They owned some old railroad right of way almost to the airport but couldn't agree on how to finish the connection. I also rode by bus alongside the Livermore extension then under construction, something that really surprised me. I don't think that that was part of the original plan.

After 30+ years my memory is getting hazy but the bond issues were voted in while I was there. As I remember it, each county voted separately. Peninsula and East Bay lines were supposed to meet in San Jose, but San Mateo county voted not to participate in BART. Then later they voted to set up their own bus transit district with the understanding that if it ever built a rail line it would be compatable with BART. Does that district still exist? If so, which is actually building the airport extension? I thought that Santa Clara county voted for BART so I don't understand why the East Bay line ended near the Dumbarton Bridge (Freemont?) rather than going on to San Jose.

The original plan called for BART to use a Golden Gate Bridge second deck to go through Marin County into Napa & Sonoma. If I remember correctely, Marin voted against BART so while Napa & Sonoma were for it they were isolated and lost out. Later I read that engineering studies indicated that the bridge couldn't handle the heavy concentrations that the trains would represent.

In 1993 the branch past Pleasant Hill, where I was staying, had just been extended by one station. Are there any other extensions under serious consideration?

Quite a while ago I read in HEADLIGHTS, an electric railroad fanzine that the San Francisco Municipal Railway was talking of building additional city subway lines to branch off of the Market St. trolly subway. What ever happened to these? Obviously it was never done. How did the idea die?

I just read in the latest HEaDLIGHTS that Muni has created a totally new trolly line on the surface of Market Street, then along the Embarcadero to Fisherman's Warf. It strikes me as redundant to run a surface trolly line with all the delays caused by interferance with auto traffic when the subway is right there. HEADLIGHTS has a trolly-fan bias and gave the impression that the Market St. surface line was built just to satisfy the trolly fen, but I find that hard to take. Hmm, come to think of it, there are TWO subway lines under 42 St. in New York City, and they are talking about building a surface trolly line to replace the surface bus line. Also the trolly line would go all the way from the UN at First Ave to the Hudson River at 11th Ave., while the subways only have stations between 4th Ave. and 8th Ave. I would love to hear more about this new "F Line" and its justification.

DAGON (John Boardman) When you reviewed the two Holt books I brought back from England you carried the news that the American publisher has dropped the line. In August Ace books re-issued EXPECTING SOMEONE TALLER, so perhaps there is hope that new titles will be published here. (Was it originally Ace or another publisher that Americanized Holt?)

I just finished a book I think you would find interesting and useful in your writing. It is WHEN TIME SHALL BE NO MORE, Paul Boyer, Belknap Press of Harvard University, 1992, 468pp. It is an excellent summary of the funnymentalist rantings about the end of the world and rapture, concentrating on the "dispensational premilliniumists" from the period of 1945 to 1991 but covering the whole history of Apocolypses from the books of Ezekiel, Daniel, Matthew, and John, as well as minor Apocolypses, and their interpretations through the ages. He examines their secular influences on US foreign policy, especially during the years of Reagan warmongoring madness. He also presents marvelous quotes and examples down through the ages. He mentions the oft repeated statement by scholars that Daniel was written in the second century BC with a claim to have been a recently discovered older manuscript, making predictions with hindsight to increase its authority. Was Matthew compiled after the Roman destruction of Jerusalem?

Brian, my reader, commented when narrating your reviews of the Marvyn Kay anthologies of Sherlockian pastiches and parodies that "Sherlock Holmes never made it to a MacDonalds Happy Meal but Micky Mouse has, so the rhodent IS better known."

I found your article on Mars and life excellent and if I ever get NIEKAS out again before it is obsolete I want to use it as your column. Your discussion of "the red dying sum" is typeset in #45 and reviews of several satirical books are typeset for #46, so it will be some time before I can make use of it.

When I told you that Jack Chalker still had a few copies of Jack Williamson's book about H.G. Wells based on his PhD thesis you mentioned you would be interested in buying one. I made contact with Jack and got details. He has some copies of the second printing which he will ship postpaid for $10. His address is 629 Jasontown Rd., Westminster MD 21158.

Could you please send me a email address? I presume you don't have one yourself but I can send messages c/o Perdita. Right now I can only send and receive letters without attached files, but I am getting some lessons on Oct 17 and hope to be able to up and down load files. In the meantime, would it be practical to send me DAGON on an ASCII disk? It would simplify my reading it. I am sending a print and disk copy of this ENTROPY in case my ribbon is weak again and you have to run it off anew. If so, maybe you could catch some of my worst spelling goofs?

I liked your comparison of the costs of the Pluto Express with the various US military extravagansas.

Speaking of "G" varying with time, around 1960 George Gamow had a sequence of three excellent papers examining various consequences of such variation on observable phenonema in the universe and in each case demonstrating that the physical evidence does not support the theory. It was over 35 years since I read the papers and my memory is vague, but I think one was on effects on the geology of the earth, and another on the brightness of the sun, and perhaps on the sizes of the planetary orbits.

Speaking of the gunnies, I was really croggled when I visited Arizona in September. I got into a conversation with a cab driver new to the state and he said that you needed no licence if you carried a pistol in an outside holster. A few blocks from the hotel I stayed in in Scottsdale there was a sign outside of a gun shop and shooting range which had a Teddy Bear holding a Uzi. Sandy said the bear was seated with its legs out, and the gun was across its chest in its arms. The expression on its face was one like, "What am I doing here?" I don't remember the name of the shop/range but it was on Scottsdale Rd. a few blocks south of Indian School Rd.

INNER FIRE, Mordechai Housman. I found your discussions of the bible very interesting. Of course I am coming at things from a Catholic viewpoint but books I have read including Vawter's A PATH THROUGH GENESIS and Asimov's GUIDE TO THE BIBLE indicate that when the Pentatuch was assembled the general belief was that the earth was flat with a dome over it. Outside the dome, or firmament, was endless water which in the creation story was separated from the waters under the dome. During Noah's flood gates in this dome were opened to allow in some of this water to cause the flood. Heaven was a palace on top of this dome. I have read the bible three times, but the last time was some 15 years ago. Of course you have the advantage of reading it in the original Hebrew and do not have to worry about inaccurate translations. Also, you, as a Talmudic student, have read it many more times and studied it in great detail, which I never did. I read the "Jerusalem Translation" of the Catholic church. Anyhow, in one of the Psalms, I do not remember which one, heaven was referred to as being on top of this dome. Unlike that of funnymentalist Christians, the Catholic view is that YHVH did not dictate the bible word for word but inspired the human authors with His concepts and they wrote it down in their own words using contemporary images and world view, and sometimes adapting pre-existing works.

As to Christians and Yeshua in Hell, the way I understand it hell has two meanings...the place of eternal torment for unrepentant sinners, and any supernatural location where God is not present. This would include purgatory and limbo. I like C.S. Lewis' explanation of Purgatory as a place for people who feel unclean and unworthy to make themselves presentable. I do not remember whether this has any scriptural backing. Limbo is a medieval Christian invention and purely speculation as a place of non-supernatural happiness, but without God, for those who lead good lives but were not baptised. It was one of at least two possible solutions to the problem of what a just God would do with infants and other innocents who died before they could be baptised. The "hell" Yeshua was supposed to go to was the place where good souls from before his time were waiting for him to open the doors of heaven and let them in. While mentioning the other, eternal, hell, I really liked Asimov's comments in his memoirs, I, ASIMOV. He said that he is an atheist, but if there WERE a just god who rewarded and punished human beings in an afterlife, Asimov could not picture such a just god dealing out eternal, hence infinite, punishment for finite transgressions.

As for multiple gods in the Bible, in the early books after Mosha's death and the entry into Palastine, there were the conflicts with the worshipers of other gods. My translation reads as if there ARE other gods, but YHVH is better and stronger than they are. The descendants of Jacob had only one god, but there were others.

As to Soviet imperialism. John Boardman will totally disagree with me, and I do not know how he will respond to your questions about the attempted conquest of Afghanistan. The original soviet Union was nothing other than the Russian Empire under a new name. As Kipling wrote in KIM, the Russian Empire had been attempting to expand into southern Asia back at the end of the last century.

When did Communist Russia adopt the name "Soviet UNION?" I had assumed it was right after the third Russian revolution when Lenin became dictator. However something I recently read implied that the actual creation of the USSR as a federation of states like Khazakstan, Byelorussia, Ukraine, etc., was an invention of Stalin. I wish I knew more history. But in WWII the Soviet Empire succeeded in reconquering and amalgamating the Baltic states, conquered Romania, Bulgaria, Poland, Hungary, and many other central European states, but did not officially amalgamate them into the USSR. Does anyone know the reason for this? And they failed to re-conquer Finland which escaped from the Russian Empire at the end of WWI. Another confirmation of Soviet imperialism was its military suppression of deviationism in Hungary, Czeckoslovakia, Poland, and East Germany. Even today why are these former satellite states so anxious to get into NATO? Why are afraid of the weakened Russian Federation? I go along with John in saying that the Soviet Empire did not have any expectation of conquering and making a satellite or state of the US. However unlike John I believe that it did vie with the US for hegenomy over the rest of the world. Both sides developed extreme paranoia over the ambitions of the other, and statements by fanatics on both sides fueled the paranoia in the other. Both were afraid of nuclear destruction by the other. They gingerly avoided direct confrontation except for the Cuban missle crisis, the construction of the Berlin wall, and perhaps a few other incidents. Conflicts were limited to surrogate wars in Africa (like Angola), the middle-east, and east Asia (Korea and Indochina), where unfortunately the US took a direct hand. Also too often the US supported real nasties as long as these nasties opposed the Soviet Empire. Now, for instance, we have come to regret our support of the Muslim funnymentalist fanatics who have taken over Afghanistan.

I speculated a lot on some aspects of this in Bumbejimas in a recent NIEKAS and if you send me your address I will send you a copy of that issue. Since then I read Jack London's novel THE IRON HEEL, written in 1905 right after the failed first Russian Revolution, and published in 1906. This book has given me a much better understanding of the labor and socialist movements of early in this century. London saw the world made up of the poor class of common industrial workers, a middle class made up of people from small store owners through university professors and owners of middle- sized companies, mines, and factories, and finally the ultra-rich who controlled the giant trusts. London said that the trusts with their size and efficiency were the way of the future and said that eventually all industry would be amalgamated into giant trust-like entities, but rather than being run by tycoons for their enrichment at the cost of enslavement of the workers, they would be owned and run by the workers. He compared Teddy Roosevelt and the "trust busters" to Luddites fighting against progress, and gave a direct comparison to the displaced home weavers who tried to smash the more efficient mills. London only sympathized with the lowest factory, domestic, and farm workers, and looked at the skilled craftsmen and their crafts unions with loathing, and pictured them in the novel as siding with the tycoons but predicting that they and the others in the middle classes eventually would also be empoverished and enslaved by the trusts. In the novel London predicted an American revolution of the masses which, like Lenin's first failed revolution of 1905, would be brutally suppressed. The novel was retrospective, supposedly compiled far in the future with notes of that time added to the recently discovered diary of the widow of the failed revolution leader. The novel saw a 300 year tyranny of the tycoons followed by a workers' utopia which had by now survived for 400 years.

He noted the struggles of the workers of his own time for fair wages and working conditions, and their brutal suppression by the private Pinkerton Guards, the national guard, and the US army. He saw the workers finally rising in frustration in a massive civil war, but being defeated by the army. We have all read in history and elsewhere about heroic strikes being brutally suppressed by gunfire, like that at the Pullman factory. In MONOCHROME, the Readercon Anthology published by Broken Mirrors Press in 1990, "Strike" by David Alexander Smith is an outstanding portrayal of the 1919 Boston policemen's strike and its brutal suppression. In London's time common workers were despised and had no rights whatsoever. London just couldn't imagine the slow success of the labor movement to the point where some of the unions themselves became tyrannical.

That's all the comments for now. I've read through about a third of the DAGON in APAQ #399 including everything before that, and have no more comments. I am wrapping this up Friday 11 Oct so I can get it into the mail tomorrow.

Closing note: I am reprinting the following letter from issue #201 of TITHTBEAM, the letterzine of the National Fantasy Fan Federation. I had not seen the issue or two before this one so I am coming in in the middle of a conversation. I was struck by the application to Mordechai's use of G*d. I will also append my reply to the next TIGHTBEAM.

P. Antone Ogzewalla

12127-E Sycamore Terr.

Cincinnati, OH 45212

Penina Keen Spinka: I caught your response to Sarah Glasgow, about why you leave the 'o' out of G- d. Interesting. I applaud your dedication to your beliefs, however, let me play devil's advocate for a few moments.

The first thing that struck me when I read this was that when you write G-d I think god. So what's the big difference whether you say it or you cause me to think it?

Secondly, my dictionary describes vain in terms of being fruitless, foolish, without success, to no avail . . . Thus my belief has always been that when you're engaged in a serious discussion, it's okay. You're not speaking in vain, but with purpose and reason.

Thirdly, god sin't the name of the christian or jewish deity. Even when you capitalize it, it isn't a name any more than Mom or Dad is. It's simply a title, indicating the role or position of deity, not the particular deity's identity. According to what I've read, the most common literal name used in the Old Testament for the deity of Israel is elohim, which is the plural of the ancient Semitic word for a deity. Thus it is simply a title too. (I won't get into the discussion of the significance of it being the plural form.) Only the capital G makes it at all exclusive.

There is, however, a word in the Hebrew Bible that allows no ambiguity: it is THE personal name of the deity of Israel. That word is commonly represented by the letters Yahweh.

The power of the divine name was thought to be great when used in prayers, curses, and blessings (in conformity to the universal belief that the essential nature of anything was concentrated in its name). Divine help was requested by invocation, literally by "calling forth," using the name of the deity. The concept of the divine name was so important to the Deuteronomic writers that they referred to the Temple in Jerusalem as the dwelling of Yahweh's "name", making the name virtually identical with the deity.

The original Hebrew writing system did not provide letters to represent vowel sounds, so Yahweh's "true" name was written in Hebrew with four consonants: yhwh. (Hence it is called the Tetragrammaton.) As strange as it may seem, there was no difficulty reading a language written without vowels so long as the language was in everyday use.

When the ancient faith was reformed into what could now be called "Judaism," the divine name became taboo. Strict rules were set down to prevent its use under any circumstances. (There is no evidence that the name was originally taboo. In fact, its use in the Old Testament is extremely common--appearing some 6,800 times.) Early Bible readers were, of course, in something of a dilemma as to how to read this name. The standard solution was to substitute a neutral title--adonai, "my lord"--whenever yhwh occured. Although non-Jewish readers have no reason to observe this strict taboo, nearly all modern translations follow the precedent of the Septuagint and the Vulgate, which used kurios and dominus--respectively, the Greek and Latin words for "lord." In an English text, every instance of "Lord" (note the capital L) has yhwh behind it.

This situation is unfortunately complicated by the persistence, in English, of a wholly incorrect word, "Jehovah." In medieval times a system of vowel points was added to the Biblical texts. These were small dots and dashes placed in and around the Hebrew consonants to indicate which vowel sounds were intended. However, since yhwh was not intended to be pronounced, instead of assigning the proper vowel points, the vowel sounds for "adonai" were used instead. In Hebrew, these vowel points would stand out and remind the reader to say "adonai."

The danger of saying God's real name was surely more imaginary than real, however. Considering the natural transformation that languages undergo over time, how could anyone know how to pronounce a word that they had never heard?


My response:

I received TB201 on floppy a little while ago and just finished reading the file loc1.txt which I believe had all the letters. Only one letter prompted me to comment, that of P. Antone Ogzewalla. I think I missed reading 200, or if I did I no longer remember it. I was very interested in the details of the mis-transliteration of Jehovah. I knew it was an error but didn't know it came from the vowel marks from another word. I do know that it was first done in German where "j" is pronounced as "y" in English and "w" as "v." Hence, I thought that in English it should be written "Yahveh," not "Jahweh."

I didn't know that JHVH had appeared so many times. While I am Catholic I too am interested in many aspects of all religions and read the "JBI Voice" published on cassette by the Jewish Braille Institute." A number of years ago I was listening to a story from the Old Testament where someone is quoted as referring to JHVH by name, and the narrator had actually used the name. That made me think that the prohibition against uttering that name except once a year in the inner sanctuary of the temple postdated that particular book of the bible. I know it was in effect when John the Baptist's father was the high priest for the year. I remember getting into a discussion with Fred Lerner about the late origin of the prohibition and he just couldn't see my argument that if the bible quoted someone as using it, it must have been in use at the time.

In the August distribution of APA-Q (OE John Boardman, 234 E 19 St., Brooklyn NY 11226) Mordechai Housman had some very interisting comments on the plurality of gods, whether or not the earth was pictured as flat in the Pentatuch, and other items. Since I found this TIGHTBEAM letter relevant and interesting I quoted it in my THE VIEW FROM ENTROPY HALL in the October disty, together with this letter. I will send a copy of my APAzine to Antone.

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