Re: if a black physicist invents time travel

From: Lee Corbin (
Date: Sat May 19 2001 - 22:59:05 MDT

Damien Broderick wrote

>In part. It's the empathic pleasure of seeing some feat
>generally held to be impossible achieved by a member of
>any despised, excluded and restricted underclass.

I figured as much. There is in so many people an admirable
(and enormous) sympathy for the underdog. But I tell myself
that I'd be most pleased if the guy who's the next Einstein
was a Jewish kid from New York, or a Chinese. (There are so
many of them, and they're very bright.) And I did mean "guy",
because I've tried to incorporate an explanation of men's
and women's differences into my understanding. I'm usually
(selfishly) hoping that my world-view is already accurate,
and that I understand the reasons for things, simply because
it takes so much work to revise it. What if all the great
physicists of the next 30 years were Australian Aborigines,
or Hopi Amerinds, or good ol' boys from down south? As
interesting as it would be, my world view would be severely
shaken. (If people like me---who think that they've got
everything figured out---being shaken up a little adds to
your enjoyment, that's not a bad thing. At least someone
derives benefit.)

>As for Lee's question about `Empire writers' (Clarke, Egan, me, etc): I
>think in part this is a heightened awareness of the miseries our culture
>has inflicted on the peoples it ran roughshod over; oddly enough, this
>recognition has been made easier by the fact that by and large none of us
>ever lived surrounded by a tenth of the population literally regarded as
>worth less than dogs.

I'm not following this. Okay, so you were raised in white suburbs
in Australia and didn't see much of the "darker" peoples? So the
idea is that if you had been raised surrounded by them that you
would have learned the same racism that those who were usually had?
So that there was a heightening of awareness, and it obtained from
being a little removed from the forest (so that the trees didn't
block the view)?

Still sounds strange. The only thing that I can relate this to is
the way that environmentalists and nature worshippers aren't the
people who've actually grown up in natural surroundings. The
bonafide rural population tends to take nature for granted, and
be rather uninterested in eco-thought.

Lee Corbin

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