Re: A good short honest FAQ but very bad PR

Anders Sandberg (
06 Jul 1998 22:24:33 +0200 writes:

> This kind of discussion reminds me of one of my favorite SF series; Michael
> Moorcock's "Dancers at the end of time". The stories have a lot in common
> with Banks' "Culture" in that they're basically about a bunch of transhumans
> who have lots of power and lots of free time, but seen from a sixties or
> seventies perspective. Although the stories aren't terribly well-written,
> I think that much of their behaviour -- for example indifference to
> 'lesser' beings (e.g. human time-travellers are put in zoos and traded
> like pets) -- seems quite true to life; they don't care much about humans,
> because in general they're not really regarded as 'people'.

Seems rather different from Bank's Culture, where the Culture treats the lesser civilizations with respect - they might be laughing behind their backs at their silly ideas, but they don't interfere directly. I would say his point is that with power you can also afford to be nice.

This seems to be borne out with how our societies are moving right now: we are wealthy enough to care that our meat comes from animals living under "good" circumstances and that we do not destroy our environment even when it has little economical influence on us. If you are poor, then Brecht's observation holds much more strongly: "Erst das Fressen, dann die Moral" (first the grub, then the moral).

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
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