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Sunday, October 9th, 2005
1:30 am - Secrecy [IC, unlocked]
Quite often I've wondered about human nature.

I'm no sociologist, and I don't study culture or language or any of those things, but this thought is often spurred by the very nature of my work: that of secrecy. That which the entirety of Stargate Command is dedicated to. We all signed standard Non-Disclosure Agreements when we signed onto this endeavour, we all came to the realisation that whatever discoveries we made, or any events that were to happen to us since, would be locked away in our minds forever more, or at least until released as such. But did we really?

It is within my nature, as a scientist and as a human, to share whatever knowledge I acquire. The truth, as some have so eloquently put it, desires to be known, and will make efforts to this goal, as if the truth is some sentient being desiring freedom from whatever cage it just happens to be locked into. Same with knowledge; it is as if the two go hand in hand in hand in regards to the desire to be shared and spread. It is, in fact, quite a task to make sure they don't. So how does one reconcile the fact that, especially as a scientist, one cannot share the information one gathers? One absorbs?

The truth of that matter is, I still haven't figured that one out yet. It's been one of those issues that, as far as I'm concerned, I really shouldn't think too much about. I reassure myself with the thought that someday, perhaps, the possibility will arise in which the truth and knowledge of the Stargate, and all things related thus, can be shared and shared alike within the entirety of planet Earth. That the Stargate can be shared, not only with other Americans, but with the people of other nations and cultures as well. That the Stargate itself can help lend credence to the idea of cooperation between those of different origins and beliefs.

Of course, there has usually been one barrier to that: trust, or the lack thereof. In most, if not all, the other worlds that I have had the opportunity of visiting, the Stargate has been public knowledge. Most people on the planet had been, at least at some point, aware of the existance of the Stargate on their planet, or Chaapa'ai, or whatever their peoples called it. Earth has been unique in being the only world that has not made the existance of the Stargate public, or even semi-public, knowledge. Save for those employed at Stargate Command, as well as the American government, and a few other governments and stragglers...nobody is aware of the existance of the Stargate, and the power it uses to translate people from one planet or galaxy to another. Nobody is aware that other planets are regularly travelled to, that new discoveries such as minerals and lifeforms are being discovered all the time, that, essentially, we are not alone in the universe.

The best conclusion that I have been able to come to is that this basic mistrust of the human race in regards to each other is based in fear. The great fear that maybe if this extraordinary knowledge about interplanetary and intergalactic travel is shared, that perhaps only war and chaos will emerge and nothing more. That the sharing of the knowledge gained thus will only lead to our destruction, to cause that latent desire to cause violence to emerge out of all of us and lead to the ruination of humankind, at least on our little blue speck of a planet. It is a valid fear. We have had much cause to fear each other over the years, enough to make a list that could probably stretch to the Andromeda galaxy and back.

That being said, I have always liked to lean to the optimistic side of thinking when it comes to this train of thought. That perhaps any violence and chaos caused would be worth it. Worth the chance to expand our horizons as a collective race of humans, not as merely a little group representing another little group, but as true representatives of the only real nation on Earth: the human nation. I know that this is wholly unrealistic, and maybe a idealistic as well. But who knows? Maybe it will not be disaster but knowledge that will one day fall upon humans of Earth, and unites us instead of destroying us.

current mood: contemplative

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Monday, September 26th, 2005
12:28 pm - Dear Mom [IC, locked]
Dear Mom,

I love you.

I don't suppose I have anything specific to say in this letter. Things have settled back into a normal routine. (What's normal?) But inevitably something new will pop up, and quite possibly even threaten the world. I hesitate to say that that's normal too, and maybe it isn't, but it has almost become routine. Sad, isn't it?

My entire life has become normal and routine. I'm doing the most amazing thing that humanity has ever done, and here I am wondering when my life will change. Maybe that's my problem lately - I've been taking everything for granted. Save one thing - I should have taken it for granted that Delta Base would not work out. I really should have. Of course it would end up getting destroyed. The Goa'uld always have to choose the worst times to attack and destroy. (But what time ever is good with a Goa'uld?)

And there I am preoccupying myself with it. Life never goes as planned, shouldn't I have figured that out by now? Hopes and dreams are nothing more than that - hopes and dreams. I suppose I'm not as cynical as General O'Neill is, and has been the entire time I've known him, but I hesitate to say that I am getting there (if I said 'in my old age' would that be complaining too much?) The mere fact that I slipped up and went into the project unguarded should have been a sign.

How did life get normal for me, Mom? This isn't right, it isn't fair. Dad was right, when I hallucinated him on the Prometheus - I'm content. I'm happy with Pete, for sure, but I'm not happy with my job. I've settled for it. How do I fix this? How do I make my job 'new' again? It's not enough, now, that I save the world on a regular basis. It's not enough, now, that I make new scientific discoveries on a regular basis. There's that saying that when you love your work it's no longer a job. And I love my work, but clearly not enough.

There has to be something I can do about this.


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Tuesday, September 20th, 2005
7:34 pm - InterOffice E-mail [OOC, to Col. Paul Davis]
To: Col. Paul Davis, USAF
From: Lt. Col. Samantha Carter, USAF
Re: Photoshop

Did you hear about the new Photoshop upgrades?

They're so...shiny.

- Sam

-Integrity - Service - Excellence-

current mood: silly

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Monday, September 12th, 2005
9:49 am - Choices [IC, unlocked]
Quite often, the field commander's skill lies not in saying 'will this mission succeed if I make this choice?' or 'will so-and-so become a casualty if I make this choice?' but in that grey area in between. If the weight of the mission is worth more than the lives assigned to carry it out, than yes, that choice will definitely lean to the former. And quite often (perhaps even more than we would like to think), it does. This is not necessarily a bad thing - if the field commanders of WW2 had quit when the numbers of casualties had started rolling in, than the consequences would probably be immeasurable.

That being said, if the field commander knows that the mission assigned is one of folly, or one that does not have the required ingredients for success - which in itself is quite an assessment - than more often then not the field commander will either know to deny the mission on account of these factors, or carry on, but with the emphasis not on the mission but on those assigned to it. This is not an easy choice - errors will always be made when one chooses to concern one's self with those who one is assigned to command rather than the objectives specified. Some have lost their entire career to making this choice.

Where, then, does the balance lie? It's hard to say. Those commanders favoured by the troops are often those that focus more on the human side of things than the objective one. Are they better than the ones who choose to purely focus on the mission? Not entirely. While it is easy to say that those who focus on the lives, rather than the mission assigned to them, are the better ones, it is not often easy to see where the line has been drawn. Perhaps those who choose to focus on the mission are not cold to those assigned under them, but merely knowing of where to lay their worry. It is hard to lose someone on a mission that you have commanded. To know that maybe if 'I had done this instead of that' than that would be one less letter to send home.

Perhaps the balance lies somewhere in between. There is no easy recipe for success on the battlefield. To know when to make the crucial choice and when not to often separates the skilled commander from the one who isn't. One can get all the best training in the world, and the best men, and even a sympathetic command structure, but what it all comes down to is that split second in the battlefield, the decision made to do 'this' or 'that', and the consequences thereof. Maybe the balance lies not in what choice is made, then, but how one deals with it afterwards; which is something to always think about.

current mood: contemplative

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Wednesday, September 7th, 2005
12:04 am - The Fastest Neutron Star Ever Observed
Kicked out of the Milky Way, unceremoniously, neutron star B1508+55 is now moving at a calculated 670 miles-per-second, or 1,100 kilometers a second. Propelled by a massive star that went supernova in the region of space known as the constellation Cygnus, B1508+55 is now 52 degrees latitude and about 7,700 light-years from Earth, well out of the galactic plane. It has also been suggested that the cause of B1508+55's movements could be the slingshot effect caused by one star of a binary system going supernova, thus severing the gravity band that kept them together, although this effect seems less likely from a binary disruption.

The distance that B1508+55 has travelled can be roughtly equated to about a third of the night sky, as observed from the northern hemisphere.

Isn't that really cool?

current mood: calm

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Sunday, August 28th, 2005
1:15 am - Knowledge and Profundity
I think it was Einstein who said that humanity, as a whole, knows less than one percent about anything. And I'm inclined to agree.

That being said, if I can help that one percent along even by a fraction than I'll have done something right in my life.

So feel free to question and comment, and suggest weird permutations of Jello, and I'll make a reply as I see fit.

(Though blue is the best Jello by far.)

(I don't know how often I'll leave an entry in here, life can get crazy at times. But I'll certainly try my best.)

(Was that profound enough for a first entry in one of these? Heaven knows I've typed enough reports to know what I'm doing in front of a computer screen, but when it comes to impromptu things like this, it does tend to throw me off a bit.)

current mood: calm

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