[LMB] Research Republic of Beta

Mark Atwood mra at pobox.com
14 Feb 2002 21:40:55 -0800


"Damien R. Sullivan" <phoenix at ugcs.caltech.edu> writes:
> 
> So if Beta knew how to make its citizens smarter, and how to organize
> them to get the most research and best information processing out of
> them, it'd be a Vingean Singularity process, albeit with a softer
> mechanism than a nanotech-AI building faster masses of computronium.
> It'd explain why Beta is ahead of everyone else, and suggest that Lois
> (or anyone) could't easily tell good stories on Beta.  People complain
> about Cordelia being too wise and insightful.  What if most Betans were
> like that?

And to make the analogy work even better, isn't Cordilia somewhat
crippled in insight, and on the edge of sanity, by Betan standards?

Vinge points out that some of the cheats for dealing with a
transendent character in a story is to either make them a child, make
them senile, have them be off-stage, or have them be insane *BY THE
STANDARDS OF THEIR PEERS*, not just by the standards of us slows.

The Blight was a combination of the above.  It was onstage only in
it's infancy/(re)birthing pain, the rest of the time it was (just
barely) offstage, and it was insane, both from the standards of the
Beyonders (who called it a Pervert), and by the standards of the
Trancendentals (who knew it to be a murderer).


-- 
Mark Atwood   | Well done is better than well said.
mra at pobox.com | 
http://www.pobox.com/~mra