Re: Daedalus: (was Re: Think of a name and win $100!)

Anders Sandberg (
24 Nov 1997 10:37:57 +0100

Keith Elis <> writes:

> What do you mean? Daedalus escaped quite handily, it was Icarus who
> died, and that was payback for Daedalus' earlier
> transgressions. Daedalus killed his nephew (an apprentice more
> skilled than he) out of jealousy. That's why he was in Minos' palace
> to begin with (exile or something).

No, that is not entirely true. Daedalus did (according to the story)
kill his nephew, and was forced to flee from his home city to Rhodos
where Minos greeted him and allowed him a place at the court where he
began to build the Labyrinth. But the king's wife had got a thing
about the holy bull in the temple, and asked Daedalus to help her get
its attention. So he fashioned a hollow cow-model for her, and she
went to the temple. Nine months later Minos got very upset by her
child (as a rule, *never* have intercourse with something from the
greek pantheon without contraceptives! :-), and imprisoned it, the
Minotaur, and Daedalus (plus Icaros, I suppose) in the Labyrinth.

The moral seems to be: think a bit about the consequences before you
invent something (and do explain the operational parameters to the

I really like the Daedalus character, with all his flaws. I have been
thinking writing up a small dialogue/micro drama with Daedalus,
Icaros, the Minotaur and Minos as characters. Daedalus is dynamic
optimism ("Let's find a way to get out of here!"), Icaros is passive
optimism ("Everything will be all right if dad says so"), the Minotaur
is the passive pessimist ("I'm an ugly monster and I deserve to be
locked in") and Minos the active pessimist ("The whole bunch is
dangerous to mankind, let's lock them in").

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y