May 14th, 2005

King Mob

Down With Utopia!!! ;)


In his unparalleled "Childe Cycle,"* the late, great Gordon R. Dickson argues that exclusivist cultures** serve an evolutionary purpose: extract some necessary human quality from the race, focus it, then return an improvement to humanity as a whole. He also argues that such "splinter cultures" will always be lacking the perspective only available to a rounded human: however well-polished a human "part" they represent, it's still only a part -- with a tendency to miss the bigger picture, to be absolutely certain its own (limited) perspective is the only one that matters. After a pause to be amazed that such a standard 1960s type SF writer ended up completely scooping everyone else in predicting the future (have I mentioned how his "Final Encyclopedia," three or four decades ago, prefigured the Internet?***), let's move to a few instructive (and scary) parallels. Collapse )