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Joined: August 11, 2005  (email not validated)
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October 11? No one is going to read this. But I'll post anyway.

This expression is prevalent in "The Right Stuff", by Tom Wolfe (sp?). It means to screw up an exercise (usuallly a costly one)---it is something no test pilot or astronaut wants to do. It's like "makin' a jerk outta..." somebody in charge.

In one scene in the factitious story, an astronaut is accused of "screwing the pooch" for opening a hatch too early, or something to that effect. This happened to be a purely factual event, and just a few years ago the capsule that sunk (ostensibly because of the astronaut's error) was discovered and the astronaut (don't remember his name, offhand) was proven to have been right about a defect in the hatch and it was therefore proven that he hadn't "screwed the pooch" at all. An engineer f***ed up the design on the emergency hatch.

Tina August 13, 2005, 11:38pm

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Sorry I can't address your question directly, but it reminded me of that awful phase in the early nineties when so many women were talking about wanting to love their boyfriends "unconditionally".

Pointing out the fact that they wanted to have this love specifically for a boyfriend and not for everyone else on the planet meant that their love was conditional didn't put a dent in their (transient) beliefs that they SHOULD love their boyfriends "unconditionally".

Is "zero conditional" a term in philosophy, physics, game theory? It sounds like "futility" or an absolute nothingness, or something that only happens when there is a zero present.

Tina August 11, 2005, 3:23am

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