Mar 2, ArticlesEssential Reading comments I want to start this article by doing a little thought experiment. Imagine for a moment that you are in a group of twenty people. In that twenty people there is a defined leader and that leader is responsible for motivating you, teaching you, and otherwise organizing group activities.
If you are an ultra-rich oil baron for whom petroleum is the basis of all your wealth and poweryou are going to fight the solar power industry like you were a cornered wolverine. Just try to find a CEOs of telephone-directories, newspaper, encyclopedia, and magazine publishers who has anything nice to say about the advent of the internet.
All of those publishers are rapidly going bankrupt. Such powerful people want the status quo antethank you very much. Not for deep-seated psychological reasons, it is just about the money. They will use every tool at their disposal. Everything from buying all the rights to the tech and supressing it, to forcing their bribed politicians to pass laws outlawing the disruptive technology.
Remember all those urban legends about the guy who invented an automobile that would run on water, and how they mysteriously vanished never to be seen again?
They are more or less at war with the status quo group. Let alone any corporation who have made their profits skyrocket by utilizing this new thing called "the internet.
On a cynical note, Heinlein made a time-line to place all his stories and characters on. In the story the two protagonists Douglas and Martin prevail over the Power Syndicate. On the time-line I noticed that Douglas and Martin died on the same day.
I suspect that they were assasinated in revenge by the Power Syndicate. He mounts it on a submarine and has instant starship. Then he and the submarine depart for parts unknown. This makes the totalitarian government very unhappy.
They want to use this technology, they do not want citizens getting their hands on it. Makes it far to easy to escape the totalitarian state. Then they find out that Gilpin has mailed blueprints of the gadget to quite a few people.
A scifi Maguffin that destroys a corrupt government and frees the oppressed people is a very libertarian idea. Just keep in mind the drawbacks of libertarianism. Ignorance, disease, poverty and fear had virtually ceased to exist.
The memory of war was fading into the past as a nightmare vanishes with the dawn; soon it would lie outside the experience of all living men. With the energies of mankind directed into constructive channels, the face of the world had been remade.
It was, almost literally, a new world. The cities that had been good enough for earlier generations had been rebuilt-or deserted and left as museum specimens when they had ceased to serve any useful purpose.
Many cities had already been abandoned in this manner, for the whole pattern of industry and commerce had changed completely. Production had become largely automatic; the robot factories poured forth consumer goods in such unending streams that all the ordinary necessities of life were virtually free.
Men worked for the sake of the luxuries they desired; or they did not work at all. It was One World.
The old names of the old countries were still used, but they were no more than convenient postal divisions.
There was no one on earth who could not speak English, who could not read, who was not within range of a television set, who could not visit the other side of the planet within twenty-four hours.
Crime had practically vanished. It had become both unnecessary and impossible. When no one lacks anything, there is no point in stealing. Moreover, all potential criminals knew that there could be no escape from the surveillance of the Overlords. In the early days of their rule, they had intervened so effectively on behalf of law and order that the lesson had never been forgotten.
Crimes of passion, though not quite extinct, were almost unheard of. Now that so many of its psychological problems had been removed, humanity was far saner and less irrational.
And what earlier ages would have called vice was now no more than eccentricity—or, at the worst, bad manners. One of the most noticeable changes had been a slowing-down of the mad tempo that had so characterized the twentieth century. Life was more leisurely than it had been for generations.Our condolences to Shelly and the Yambert family.
Jay was an outstanding physician.
Thinking of all of you. Jeff and I enjoyed many weekends of camping, during our teen years, at Lake Sara. I'm sorry to learn of Jeff's passing, with the best for the family, and know that he's in a wonderful place.
The more consistently one attempts to adhere to an ideology, the more one's sanity becomes a series of unprincipled exceptions. — graaaaaagh (@graaaaaagh) February 5, Meeting with a large group of effective altruists can be a philosophically disconcerting experience, and my recent meetup with Stanford Effective Altruist Club .
The point is, if you the science fiction writer postulate lots of technological advances in your novels, you must at least pay lip service to the sad fact that it will make a sizable segment of your society very angry.
Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Port Manteaux churns out silly new words when you feed it an idea or two. Enter a word (or two) above and you'll get back a bunch of portmanteaux created by jamming together words that are conceptually related to your inputs..
For example, enter "giraffe" and you'll get back words like "gazellephant" and "gorilldebeest".