[LMB] SF for various generations

Gwynne Powell gwynnepowell at hotmail.com
Thu Dec 24 15:04:50 GMT 2015


> From: Matthew George matt.msg at gmail.com

> You want to see 1984?  Look at the Scandinavian countries - they're not
> overtly malevolent, but they have the self-imposed groupthink down pat.
>  (Orwell's biggest prognostic failure was in thinking that Big Brother had
> to be imposed from without, instead of something people would compete to
> impose on themselves.) 
> Matt G.

And yet those same countries tend to come out very well on standard of 
living and happiness.

Which leads back to something I'm trying to come to terms with, in the 
Vorkosiverse and beyond: the ethics of Jeevesing, and creating 
pre-programmed people.

Rish is Jeevesed, at least partly. She's very happy about it, and fulfilled. 
Her life has purpose and emotional rewards.

But she had no choice. 

So I struggle with the whole thing - is it ok to Jeeves people if it means
they'll have very happy and fulfilled lives? After all, parents try to 
guide their children into particular modes of thinking and behaving. We
not only accept that, we expect it. 

If someone paid a House on JW to create a squad of servants, who were
genetically programmed to be subservient, and to pass that on to their
children to create generations, a whole social class, of happy 
hardworking obedient workers... is that ok? They'll be happy, fulfilled, 
live comfortable lives, and produce children who'll follow the same path
without question.  

How important is free choice? Because no matter how happy and 
fulfilled Rish and the other Jewels are, I still feel a bit iffy about it all. 
Even though the Jewels seem happier, more secure, and more useful
than the even-sibs. 

Where's the line?

Gwynne (confused, up late, and it's CHRISTMAS!!!)

 		 	   		  


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