Heinlein Readers Discussion Group Thursday 06/14/07 9:00 P.M. EST The Door Into Summer

Heinlein Readers Discussion Group
Thursday 06/14/07 9:00 P.M. EST
The Door Into Summer

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From: Tim Morgan
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 02:46:55 -0000
Subject: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

The Door Into Summer is one of Heinlein’s more popular books, but it doesn’t seem to have been discussed by the Readers Group previously. What prompted me to propose this as this month’s topic was a recent article I read: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1845294.ece

So perhaps one of the critical elements of this story may come true! If hibernation were to become a reality, would insurance companies be vying with each other to handle your money while you sleep?

This story is also one of RAH’s stories to involve time travel and looping: There are two Dans in the same time, and roughly the same place. Is this treatment of time travel and its potential paradoxes the same or different from that in other Heinlein stories?

When the book was written, was it realistic to set it in 1970? Or is 2070 more like it? When will we have robots with the same capabilities to clean house as those in the story? On the other hand, digital computers with modern graphics capabilities have gone far beyond the capabilities of a traditional drafting table. What other “predictions” in the book were on the mark, or far off?

Tim Morgan, for The Heinlein Society
From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 20:40:55 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
Tim Morgan wrote:

> HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

> The Door Into Summer is one of Heinlein’s more popular books, but it
> doesn’t seem to have been discussed by the Readers Group previously.
> What prompted me to propose this as this month’s topic was a recent
> article I read:

> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1845294.ece

> So perhaps one of the critical elements of this story may come true!
> If hibernation were to become a reality, would insurance companies be
> vying with each other to handle your money while you sleep?

> This story is also one of RAH’s stories to involve time travel and
> looping: There are two Dans in the same time, and roughly the same
> place. Is this treatment of time travel and its potential paradoxes
> the same or different from that in other Heinlein stories?

> When the book was written, was it realistic to set it in 1970? Or is
> 2070 more like it? When will we have robots with the same
> capabilities to clean house as those in the story? On the other hand,
> digital computers with modern graphics capabilities have gone far
> beyond the capabilities of a traditional drafting table. What other
> “predictions” in the book were on the mark, or far off?

> Tim Morgan, for The Heinlein Society

Nice topic, Tim!

I went back to Balticon Memorial Day weekend and, because the hotel reduced space available to programming about a month before the convention, space for panels was somewhat limited. But there were a few Heinlein-related panels. One scheduled was titled simply “Door Into Summer” which I attended to see what they came up with. The pros on the panel consisted of Yoji Kondo, who mostly said little, and two younger writers, nice ladies, trying their best, both confessing that they’d only reread DIS recently. A moderator started the panel off by reading that beautiful opening about Pete, in winter, dragging Daniel Boone Davis, from door to door throughout the snowbound cabin, convinced that if they just kept trying, they’d find a door into summer; and then turned it over to them for the obligatory plugging of their latest books, and discussion.

They were trying hard, so I kept quiet until the panel got off onto discussing the supposed roles and purposes of pets in SF and fantasy and was teetering off into popular fantasies with cats as witch’s familiars and so on. Now, I love a good witch and her cat and werewolf story as much as anyone else (Poul Anderson’s _Operation Chaos_ collection comes to mind), but had to, at that point, observe that Petronius Arbiter’s role in _Door Into Summer_ is a little more important than amusing the reader with a portrait of a typical or atypical pet, or to enable good old D.B. Davis to cast yet one more spell–or drive his broom, or invent another household robot.

Heinlein did what he did with Pete quite consciously, I think, because he did it several times in other books. Pete is a deliberate metaphor for Dan Davis’ character development. Heinlein did it in _Farmer in the Sky_ with Bill Leemer, as I pointed out a number of years ago here and elsewhere (including a world con panel in 2001) and he did it in _Starman Jones_ with Max Jones, as Herb Gililland pointed out in 2006 in a paper published in The Heinlein Journal.

Anyone care to tie together what these three Heinlein uses of that literary device shows and how they do it? Prize: a bonafide wooden nickel! And maybe I’ll buy you a drink in Kansas City this July, before I take Oz up on his kind offers.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 13:46:25 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> Now, I […] had to, at that point, observe that Petronius Arbiter’s
> role in _Door Into Summer_ is a little more important than amusing the
> reader with a portrait of a typical or atypical pet, or to enable good
> old D.B. Davis to cast yet one more spell–or drive his broom, or invent
> another household robot.

> Heinlein did what he did with Pete quite consciously, I think, because
> he did it several times in other books. Pete is a deliberate metaphor
> for Dan Davis’ character development. Heinlein did it in _Farmer in the
> Sky_ with Bill Leemer, as I pointed out a number of years ago here and
> elsewhere (including a world con panel in 2001) and he did it in
> _Starman Jones_ with Max Jones, as Herb Gililland pointed out in 2006 in
> a paper published in The Heinlein Journal.

> Anyone care to tie together what these three Heinlein uses of that
> literary device shows and how they do it?

Let me make it a little clearer so it’s easier to put together:

In _Farmer in the Sky_ Bill Leemer’s character has a certain obvious flaw–immaturity aside–it’s the rigidness of his temperament. [Anne’s died, and he’s a little boy trying to hold it all together the way it was: being Anne for his daddy, foolishly. He’s rigid about other things as well: also playing by the rules, regardless of whether they make any sense, etc.; and he’s heading for a mental breakdown if he doesn’t change quickly.]

What’s the metaphor for what Bill goes through before he rids himself of the flaw of rigidness in his character? Big hint: Bill’s rigid, and so’s the metaphor.

In _Starman Jones_ Max Jones’ character has a certain obvious flaw–immaturity aside–it’s his elastic morality. [He’s lied and cheated his way into space; and his lies and dishonesties are eventually going to catch up with him probably before he has a chance to make a choice among dubious futures.]

What’s the metaphor in the story–big hint: what are they always doing in the control room?–for what Max goes through before he rids himself of the flaw of dishonesty in his character?

Then look at Dan Davis. What are his flaws (immaturity, despite his calendar age, aside)?

I already suggested to you Petronius the Arbiter is the metaphor. How does Pete embody what Dan goes through to rid himself of those character flaws?

> Prize: a bonafide wooden
> nickel! And maybe I’ll buy you a drink in Kansas City this July, before
> I take Oz up on his kind offers.

Anyone ready to claim the nickel or the drink in KC?


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “Dr. Rufo”
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 22:25:37 GMT
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:

>>Now, I […] had to, at that point, observe that Petronius Arbiter’s
>>role in _Door Into Summer_ is a little more important than amusing the
>>reader with a portrait of a typical or atypical pet, or to enable good
>>old D.B. Davis to cast yet one more spell–or drive his broom, or invent
>>another household robot.

>>Heinlein did what he did with Pete quite consciously, I think, because
>>he did it several times in other books. Pete is a deliberate metaphor
>>for Dan Davis’ character development. Heinlein did it in _Farmer in the
>>Sky_ with Bill Leemer, as I pointed out a number of years ago here and
>>elsewhere (including a world con panel in 2001) and he did it in
>>_Starman Jones_ with Max Jones, as Herb Gililland pointed out in 2006 in
>>a paper published in The Heinlein Journal.

>>Anyone care to tie together what these three Heinlein uses of that
>>literary device shows and how they do it?

> Let me make it a little clearer so it’s easier to put together:

Thanks for your “help,” Dave.

> In _Farmer in the Sky_ Bill Leemer’s character has a certain obvious
> flaw–immaturity aside–it’s the rigidness of his temperament. [Anne’s
> died, and he’s a little boy trying to hold it all together the way it
> was: being Anne for his daddy, foolishly. He’s rigid about other things
> as well: also playing by the rules, regardless of whether they make any
> sense, etc.; and he’s heading for a mental breakdown if he doesn’t
> change quickly.]

A family goes through a major loss, the death of the Mother. The two remaining members each opt for a different future. George the Father opts to move ahead with his/their life. Bill the Son, the character with much less experience, opts to maintain what he made him comfortable despite the stress placed on him/them. In the construction of the story, RAH votes with George and demonstrates that inertia is counter-productive because going forward (bravely) despite uncertainty is the better choice.

> What’s the metaphor for what Bill goes through before he rids himself of
> the flaw of rigidness in his character? Big hint: Bill’s rigid, and so’s
> the metaphor.

If you’re not talking about the “stomach Steinway,” howzabout:
Solid rock farm becomes smaller farm area made up of boulders,
then smaller yet area of large rocks,
then smaller yet area of stones,
then smaller yet area of pebbles,
then smaller yet area of gravel,
then smaller yet area of dust/loam waiting for worms and compost to
make it live.

“Life is a process of being ground down into smaller and smaller areas of increasingly greater possibilities?”

> In _Starman Jones_ Max Jones’ character has a certain obvious
> flaw–immaturity aside–it’s his elastic morality. [He’s lied and
> cheated his way into space; and his lies and dishonesties are eventually
> going to catch up with him probably before he has a chance to make a
> choice among dubious futures.]

You characterize Max, the boy who agonizes over properly returning a borrowed library book, as possessed of “elastic morality”!

Yes, Max “lied etc. to get into space” but he was led into these by the elder companion he (foolishly) trusted after being traumatized by the trash that passed as his “family.”

Further, Max expected only one go-round in Space before being found out and permanently grounded by the Guilds. “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?”

> What’s the metaphor in the story–big hint: what are they always doing
> in the control room?–for what Max goes through before he rids himself
> of the flaw of dishonesty in his character?

All of the calculations in the control room, Max’s contribution, that is, were focused on finding the one-and-only “correct” answer to the need of the ship’s situation. This is hardly what one would expect from a bloke who demonstrates “laxity” in his evaluation of a situation. There ain’t no “spectrum” or “arc” of possible/probable choices — only ONE make-it-or-break-it choice. Mrs. Grundy with pages and pages of one-per-customer answers.

> Then look at Dan Davis. What are his flaws (immaturity, despite his
> calendar age, aside)?

Some males are never able to figure out how the mind of a female works. I suggest this is not “immaturity.”

Absent that “understanding,” substituting “Yes, dear.” usually works. And it’s easier than arguing.

> I already suggested to you Petronius the Arbiter is the metaphor. How
> does Pete embody what Dan goes through to rid himself of those character
> flaws?

Shucks, it’s another variation of “walking the Glory Road.”
Or, the *Eternal Yea* that Ole Buddy Boy is always rhapsodizing about.
Or, “a moving target is harder to hit.”
Or, “moss doesn’t grow on (a Family of) Rolling Stones”
Or, the Elephant’s Child Never Stopped Asking Questions.

Rufe From: lal_truckee
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 18:56:20 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

Dr. Rufo wrote:

> David M. Silver wrote:

>> In _Starman Jones_ Max Jones’ character has a certain obvious
>> flaw–immaturity aside–it’s his elastic morality. [He’s lied and
>> cheated his way into space; and his lies and dishonesties are
>> eventually going to catch up with him probably before he has a chance
>> to make a choice among dubious futures.]
> You characterize Max, the boy who agonizes over properly returning a
> borrowed library book, as possessed of “elastic morality”!
> Yes, Max “lied etc. to get into space” but he was led into these by
> the elder companion he (foolishly) trusted after being traumatized by
> the trash that passed as his “family.”
> Further, Max expected only one go-round in Space before being found
> out and permanently grounded by the Guilds.
> “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?”

Sam flim flamed Max aboard almost before Max’s immature mental processes could rally and examine the situation, but once aboard Max’s problem is he’s too honest. If he just quietly stewarded away he could have jumped ship a a convenient fresh planet (as Sam suggested) – he might even have made several voyages before being found out. But his honestly compels him to admit his abilities when they are noticed and assist the shorthanded ship, knowing full well he’ll be scrutinized, and giving up the chance to jump ship.

IMO any analysis of Max’s character has to focus on the period before he starts to move up the Control Room ranks, when he’s riding the whirlwind and his behavior is dictated by circumstance.
From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 19:28:15 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“Dr. Rufo” wrote:

> David M. Silver wrote:
> > In article ,
> > “David M. Silver” wrote:

> >>Now, I […] had to, at that point, observe that Petronius Arbiter’s
> >>role in _Door Into Summer_ is a little more important than amusing the
> >>reader with a portrait of a typical or atypical pet, or to enable good
> >>old D.B. Davis to cast yet one more spell–or drive his broom, or invent
> >>another household robot.

> >>Heinlein did what he did with Pete quite consciously, I think, because
> >>he did it several times in other books. Pete is a deliberate metaphor
> >>for Dan Davis’ character development. Heinlein did it in _Farmer in the
> >>Sky_ with Bill Leemer, as I pointed out a number of years ago here and
> >>elsewhere (including a world con panel in 2001) and he did it in
> >>_Starman Jones_ with Max Jones, as Herb Gililland pointed out in 2006 in
> >>a paper published in The Heinlein Journal.

> >>Anyone care to tie together what these three Heinlein uses of that
> >>literary device shows and how they do it?

> > Let me make it a little clearer so it’s easier to put together:
> Thanks for your “help,” Dave.

> > In _Farmer in the Sky_ Bill Leemer’s character has a certain obvious
> > flaw–immaturity aside–it’s the rigidness of his temperament. [Anne’s
> > died, and he’s a little boy trying to hold it all together the way it
> > was: being Anne for his daddy, foolishly. He’s rigid about other things
> > as well: also playing by the rules, regardless of whether they make any
> > sense, etc.; and he’s heading for a mental breakdown if he doesn’t
> > change quickly.]
> A family goes through a major loss, the death of the Mother. The
> two remaining members each opt for a different future. George the
> Father opts to move ahead with his/their life. Bill the Son, the
> character with much less experience, opts to maintain what he made
> him comfortable despite the stress placed on him/them.
> In the construction of the story, RAH votes with George and
> demonstrates that inertia is counter-productive because going
> forward (bravely) despite uncertainty is the better choice.

> > What’s the metaphor for what Bill goes through before he rids himself of
> > the flaw of rigidness in his character? Big hint: Bill’s rigid, and so’s
> > the metaphor.
> If you’re not talking about the “stomach Steinway,” howzabout:
> Solid rock farm becomes smaller farm area made up of boulders,
> then smaller yet area of large rocks,
> then smaller yet area of stones,
> then smaller yet area of pebbles,
> then smaller yet area of gravel,
> then smaller yet area of dust/loam waiting for worms and compost to
> make it live.
> “Life is a process of being ground down into smaller and smaller
> areas of increasingly greater possibilities?”

And then you add to the dust/loam bacteria, water, and garbage and turn your sterile compost into fertile soil, add seed, and step back before the stalk hits you in the eye, just as you add experience and knowledge to Bill’s now-flexible receptive to change mind. Bingo, there’s the overarching metaphor of _Farmer in the Sky_. 🙂 Nice job, Rufo.

> > In _Starman Jones_ Max Jones’ character has a certain obvious
> > flaw–immaturity aside–it’s his elastic morality. [He’s lied and
> > cheated his way into space; and his lies and dishonesties are eventually
> > going to catch up with him probably before he has a chance to make a
> > choice among dubious futures.]
> You characterize Max, the boy who agonizes over properly returning
> a borrowed library book, as possessed of “elastic morality”!
> Yes, Max “lied etc. to get into space” but he was led into these by
> the elder companion he (foolishly) trusted after being traumatized
> by the trash that passed as his “family.”
> Further, Max expected only one go-round in Space before being found
> out and permanently grounded by the Guilds.
> “Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all?”

But that one go-round turns his voyage into a not-anticipated swan song before the swan is more than an ugly duckling. Max is truly suited to space, he is a “Starman.” How ironic? Part of one voyage and it’s head back for the backwoods — where he came out of. This isn’t a “greater possibility,” but a mean trick by Heinlein the storyteller if it’s to be Max’s future.

> > What’s the metaphor in the story–big hint: what are they always doing
> > in the control room?–for what Max goes through before he rids himself
> > of the flaw of dishonesty in his character?
> All of the calculations in the control room, Max’s contribution,
> that is, were focused on finding the one-and-only “correct” answer
> to the need of the ship’s situation. This is hardly what one would
> expect from a bloke who demonstrates “laxity” in his evaluation of a
> situation. There ain’t no “spectrum” or “arc” of possible/probable
> choices — only ONE make-it-or-break-it choice. Mrs. Grundy with
> pages and pages of one-per-customer answers.

Ah, but how do they do it? Mindful now, I note it took Captain C. Herbert Gilliland, USNR, Ret’d to recognize the process immediately. Before they turned him into an English Professor at Annapolis, he had an active duty Navy career; and unlike most of us, but like Heinlein, he learned to “conn” a ship, and knows how they do it. In fact, later they let him command one, and its watch-standers holding the “conn” from him. I never would have seen the metaphor clearly without his article in The Heinlein Journal. Biggest thing I ever conn’d was an M48A2 medium tank, and my familiarization time never amounted to time enough to think about it–I had enough trouble keeping from running over posts on the side of the cobble-stoned roads in Germany. You “conn” a ship, he writes, by continually making observations to find how far off course you are and, based on those observations, make course corrections, tiny or large, over and over and over again, until you’re in the groove (or “straight and narrow” to the morally defective which includes Max) and then, thereafter, you keep putting it back into the groove as you deviate again and again and again.

The story ends with Max’s character developed, “in the groove,” honest and forthright about his situation, enjoying the earned result–one earned not only by that memory but by honesty about who he was and is, and we are led to expect him to continue to exercise a moral judgment and abide thereby. The entire process of the astrogation or navigation is foreshadowing of what Max must do with his moral compass. Nice metaphor, eh?

> > Then look at Dan Davis. What are his flaws (immaturity, despite his
> > calendar age, aside)?
> Some males are never able to figure out how the mind of a female
> works. I suggest this is not “immaturity.”
> Absent that “understanding,” substituting “Yes, dear.” usually
> works. And it’s easier than arguing.

Not that easy, Rufo. Try again. ;-P

> > I already suggested to you Petronius the Arbiter is the metaphor. How
> > does Pete embody what Dan goes through to rid himself of those character
> > flaws?
> Shucks, it’s another variation of “walking the Glory Road.”
> Or, the *Eternal Yea* that Ole Buddy Boy is always rhapsodizing about.
> Or, “a moving target is harder to hit.”
> Or, “moss doesn’t grow on (a Family of) Rolling Stones”
> Or, the Elephant’s Child Never Stopped Asking Questions.

Maybe. Maybe not. Prove it.

> Rufe


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Thu, 07 Jun 2007 00:30:40 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> > > Then look at Dan Davis. What are his flaws (immaturity, despite his
> > > calendar age, aside)?

> > Some males are never able to figure out how the mind of a female
> > works. I suggest this is not “immaturity.”
> > Absent that “understanding,” substituting “Yes, dear.” usually
> > works. And it’s easier than arguing.

> Not that easy, Rufo. Try again. ;-P

> > > I already suggested to you Petronius the Arbiter is the metaphor. How
> > > does Pete embody what Dan goes through to rid himself of those character
> > > flaws?
> > Shucks, it’s another variation of “walking the Glory Road.”
> > Or, the *Eternal Yea* that Ole Buddy Boy is always rhapsodizing about.
> > Or, “a moving target is harder to hit.”
> > Or, “moss doesn’t grow on (a Family of) Rolling Stones”
> > Or, the Elephant’s Child Never Stopped Asking Questions.

> Maybe. Maybe not. Prove it.

A little follow-up as I reread _The Door Into Summer_.

I always have a little laugh when I read the beginning of Chapter 2 of _The Door Into Summer_. It begins with Dan Davis picking his car up from the lot under Pershing Square. Parking in the place of a thousand suburbs in search of a city, as we in Los Angeles have been called, has always been a problem. Downtown parking is the worst. Back in 1956 or ’57 when this thing was written, every vacant piece of land in downtown was a parking lot; and there were several older buildings that had been vacated, pierced through, given ramps inside and out and converted into parking structures. Still it was tough to find downtown parking; and, in the spirit of a Bill Mauldlin cartoon I remember, the choice usually boiled down to this: you left your wallet on the seat when you packed for the traffic cop who gave parking tickets and the parking lot owner to fight over.

My first full-time summer job was a hot dog stand in the middle of a huge parking on Sixth Street, right across the street from Pershing Square, an overgrown bushy place in the summer of 1957, with a pigeon spattered statue of the General and a tribute to the ten or twenty of the 7th California who died far away when that militia regiment was called up to fight briefly in what would become the Philippine Insurrection of 1899, where skid row’s bums all slept in the bushes every warm Southern California 1950s summer night. Because nice folk came downtown to work their white collar jobs in the Pershing Square area during the days, every morning about 5:30 AM, when I arrived by bus to start my fifteen-year-old’s summer job flipping twenty-five cent burgers and selling coffee at five cents a cup and cokes for a dime, I would see Chief Parker’s finest surrounding the square with a few Black Morias, herding them to one corner of the square, and would then line them up, shake them down, throw the ones who were drunk, wanted or carrying weapons or showing otherwise “contempt of cop” into the paddy wagons for jail, and herd the rest off to skid row or the railyards where they could catch a freight out of town or to catch a meal and a bible service in the missions down on Main Street (and then catch that freight out of town, “if you know what’s good for you.”).

Heinlein’s prediction was right. By 1960, they cropped away the vegetation, went down four or five levels, and made Pershing Square into a subterranean parking structure; and then put a covering of grass and a few potted trees on top, and it wasn’t a place for bums to sleep for a few years–maybe still not a place to sleep even forty-six years later. A little prediction, but practical as cream and warm baths for hemorrhoids.

Year later when I worked in a law office at Sixth and Olive, I parked in that lot for several years.

Getting back to the point of Petronius the Arbiter and Dan Davis’ character development, Rufo, and others, perhaps it would be helpful to try to define what Davis’ character flaws are?

What I think, and I could be wrong, is Davis is what we called a “snook,” when I was a kid–someone who can overcome easily by “being snookered,” the use of guile–he’s too trusting and taken in by appearances; and, there’s one other thing: taken, he’s too likely in the words of the doctor who gives him a shot in the ass of B-12 “to run away from your troubles …” if given the choice, than “to stand up to them like a man.”

Try that for a defining character flaw, Rufo, if you wish, then tell me how Petronius the Arbiter is a metaphor for what Dan must do to overcome the flaw? Don’t forget to look at Pete’s name.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Sun, 10 Jun 2007 11:29:07 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> Getting back to the point of Petronius the Arbiter and Dan Davis’
> character development, Rufo, and others, perhaps it would be helpful to
> try to define what Davis’ character flaws are?

> What I think, and I could be wrong, is Davis is what we called a
> “snook,” when I was a kid–someone who can overcome easily by “being
> snookered,” the use of guile–he’s too trusting and taken in by
> appearances; and, there’s one other thing: taken, he’s too likely in the
> words of the doctor who gives him a shot in the ass of B-12 “to run away
> from your troubles …” if given the choice, than “to stand up to them
> like a man.”

> Try that for a defining character flaw, Rufo, if you wish, then tell me
> how Petronius the Arbiter is a metaphor for what Dan must do to overcome
> the flaw? Don’t forget to look at Pete’s name.

Scholars dispute details, but the account of antiquity that is most relied upon for who Petronius Arbiter was, and what he did with his life, and in his death, is from Tacitus: http://www.romansonline.com/Events.asp?EventID=1032

Annals by Tacitus
Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
Book XVI Chapter 18-19: Death of Petronius[AD 66]

“With regard to Gaius Petronius, I ought to dwell a little on his
antecedents. His days he passed in sleep, his nights in the business and
pleasures of life. Indolence had raised him to fame, as energy raises
others, and he was reckoned not a debauchee and spendthrift, like most
of those who squander their substance, but a man of refined luxury. And
indeed his talk and his doings, the freer they were and the more show of
carelessness they exhibited, were the better liked, for their look of
natural simplicity. Yet as proconsul of Bithynia and soon afterwards as
consul, he showed himself a man of vigour and equal to business. Then
falling back into vice or affecting vice, he was chosen by Nero to be
one of his few intimate associates, as a critic in matters of taste,
while the emperor thought nothing charming or elegant in luxury unless
Petronius had expressed to him his approval of it. Hence jealousy on the
part of Tigellinus, who looked on him as a rival and even his superior
in the science of pleasure. And so he worked on the prince’s cruelty,
which dominated every other passion, charging Petronius with having been
the friend of Scaevinus, bribing a slave to become informer, robbing him
of the means of defence, and hurrying into prison the greater part of
his domestics.”

“It happened at the time that the emperor was on his way to Campania
and that Petronius, after going as far as Cumae, was there detained. He
bore no longer the suspense of fear or of hope. Yet he did not fling
away life with precipitate haste, but having made an incision in his
veins and then, according to his humour, bound them up, he again opened
them, while he conversed with his friends, not in a serious strain or on
topics that might win for him the glory of courage. And he listened to
them as they repeated, not thoughts on the immortality of the soul or on
the theories of philosophers, but light poetry and playful verses. To
some of his slaves he gave liberal presents, a flogging to others. He
dined, indulged himself in sleep, that death, though forced on him,
might have a natural appearance. Even in his will he did not, as did
many in their last moments, flatter Nero or Tigellinus or any other of
the men in power. On the contrary, he described fully the prince’s
shameful excesses, with the names of his male and female companions and
their novelties in debauchery, and sent the account under seal to Nero.
Then he broke his signet-ring, that it might not be subsequently
available for imperilling others.”

The account by Tacitus is derived from Pliny the Elder’s history, a work that did not survive into our times.

Petronius is also a major character in Quo Vadis: A Narrative of the Time of Nero, commonly known as Quo Vadis, a historical novel written by Henryk Sienkiewicz. Sienkiewicz received the Nobel Prize for literature in 1905, and the 1895 novel contributed a large part to Sienkiewicz’s reputation in literature.

So, what does Heinlein’s use of the name for Pete imply?


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 11:51:59 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> > Try that for a defining character flaw, Rufo, if you wish, then tell me
> > how Petronius the Arbiter is a metaphor for what Dan must do to overcome
> > the flaw? Don’t forget to look at Pete’s name.

> Scholars dispute details, but the account of antiquity that is most
> relied upon for who Petronius Arbiter was, and what he did with his
> life, and in his death, is from Tacitus:

> http://www.romansonline.com/Events.asp?EventID=1032

> Annals by Tacitus
> Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
> Book XVI Chapter 18-19: Death of Petronius[AD 66]

> “With regard to Gaius Petronius, I ought to dwell a little on his
> antecedents. His days he passed in sleep, his nights in the business and
> pleasures of life. Indolence had raised him to fame, as energy raises
> others, and he was reckoned not a debauchee and spendthrift, like most
> of those who squander their substance, but a man of refined luxury. And
> indeed his talk and his doings, the freer they were and the more show of
> carelessness they exhibited, were the better liked, for their look of
> natural simplicity. Yet as proconsul of Bithynia and soon afterwards as
> consul, he showed himself a man of vigour and equal to business. Then
> falling back into vice or affecting vice, he was chosen by Nero to be
> one of his few intimate associates, as a critic in matters of taste,
> while the emperor thought nothing charming or elegant in luxury unless
> Petronius had expressed to him his approval of it.

Let’s talk about Pete, the cat, in terms of his Roman namesake. The first thing to know about cats, tomcats in particular, is something about their nature and natural (or unnatural) environments. What’s a domestic cat? Around ten thousand years ago, agrarian man began to notice this small, highly efficient predator of mice, birds, and other small mammals hanging around his barns and granaries, killing off pests who regularly made inroads on the stored grain, fruits that agrarian man depended upon for survival. The more cats, the less mice and birds to steal the stored crops. So man let the cat and his wives and kittens hang around. One good thing was the cat didn’t eat the crops he guarded himself–d*gs will, you know–d*gs eat anything. Typically, cats are rather social among themselves, forming groups when the food permits that, somewhat similar to the prides that exist among lions, with some differences. Typically, there’s a couple dominant toms in a group, who drive the other male cats off, or kill them, and a larger harem of females who produce offspring. The solitary tomcats we see today are atypical in areas where food is sufficient for communities to form, but are common in urban areas where there aren’t large storage barns or granaries to draw enough rodents to support a group.

A dominant tomcat in one of these ‘prides’ does pretty darn what a male lion does–sleeps during the day mostly, and, like Petronius the Roman, passes his nights in business (driving off other males) and the pleasures of life (accumulating offspring) available from the females of his harem. In more urban life–or anyway away from the farm, the solitary tomcat spends his days sleeping and his nights roaming about, again like Petronius the Roman, exercising himself in refined luxuries, unless interrupted by a dominant tom into whose territory he roams, in which case they fight to see who leaves and who stays around and gets to do the exercising with the aforesaid refined luxuries.

So, Pete the cat is pretty typical of a tomcat. Of course Pete has associated himself with a rather odd human–like Nero, brilliant, but also like Nero, potentially the object of quite a bit of pity.

Dan Davis has led the life of a loser when we meet him. Consider his history: the survivor of a nuclear war; orphaned when bombs destroyed his family and destroyed large parts of his country (“instant urban renewal”), including his little sister; betrayed and jilted by the love of his life in concert with his best friend; deprived of his property; and, indeed, deprived of the ability to follow his very well suited profession by the “yellow dog” clause that was slipped in among other papers that he signed; deprived of his manhood; and deprived of his sobriety and ambition–about to run away into cold sleep, instead of standing up like a man.

What would Pete do in such a situation? There are three examples in the story by Heinlein. What are they, and which one did Davis choose? There you’ll find the metaphor. Big hint: the last two don’t count.

Anyone up to try (again) for the wooden nickel?


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 19:40:28 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> One good thing was the cat didn’t eat the crops he guarded
> himself–d*gs will, you know–d*gs eat anything.

Let me amend that. Normal cats don’t eat fruits, vegetables, or grain. Ginny claimed Pixel liked cantaloupe–cut in small pieces and cold from the refrigerator. Tried that a couple times on Bob. Each time he looked at me as if I were nuts, and probably decided I was trying to make a fool of him. Thereafter he ignored me until I gave him a piece of chicken, or ham. Bob likes ham. Problem is: it would take about fifty cats, working hard, to bring down a ham, so I deduce that ham is not cat’s natural food. Chickens? I have a vision. Lots of squawks and a cloud of feathers. Chicken is cat’s natural food.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “Dave Adalian”
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 05:19:17 GMT
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

“David M. Silver” wrote in message
news:

> In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:

>Chicken is cat’s natural food.

Chickens maybe, but never a rooster.

— Dave

Read my latest astronomy column!
http://starry-starry-nights.blogspot.com/

From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 23:51:29 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“Dave Adalian” wrote:

> “David M. Silver” wrote in message
> news:
> > In article ,
> > “David M. Silver” wrote:
>
> >Chicken is cat’s natural food.

> Chickens maybe, but never a rooster.

“Depends on what size rooster you got,” sez Bob. [But Bob is a braggart. He once tried to convince us he’d wacked-out a dead opossum he found in the yard. Came in one morning bragging and dragged me outside to see the fresh meat. I pretended I believed him as I shoveled the carcass into a trash can for the pickup. Then I fed him some ham.] That was back in the days when he kept bringing his prey in to share with us, sometimes still alive-o. Birds, mice, a brown and white lab rat, and a small snake. Of course I think he ate (without sharing) the no doubt tasty hummingbird chick snacks he got about eighteen feet up a “Y-branched” tree we once had. Still miss those hummingbirds every April when they migrated up from Baja.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: Mike Cothran
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 00:57:01 -0500
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:

>> One good thing was the cat didn’t eat the crops he guarded
>> himself–d*gs will, you know–d*gs eat anything.

> Let me amend that. Normal cats don’t eat fruits, vegetables, or grain.
> Ginny claimed Pixel liked cantaloupe–cut in small pieces and cold from
> the refrigerator.

My father-in-law had a cat who loved chilled cantaloupe as well, name of Little Bit (misnomer since he weighed 24 lbs for most of his adult life –but they couldn’t know that when they named him as a kitten); he could tell the difference with Musk melons and disdained that fruit when offered.

The vet said it was exceedingly odd in that cats could not develop a sweet tooth in late life as LB did. Force of habit might cause a cat to exhibit this tendency from early training as a kitten when they had less abhorrence to sweet (mommy cats have a somewhat sweet seeming milk) but a sweeth tooth was bad for the adult teeth, not to mention upsetting the ketosis a cat needs to digest and utilize ‘normal’ cat foods and to stay healthy and fit.

Needless to say, the weight problem with this cat was a sure life shortener and was directly responsible for the cat’s death; lived to 15 yrs and was miserable walking, sleeping, or just moving in the last 5 yrs of his life, most of his teeth removed slowly one or two at a time over the second half of his life.


Mike C

From: “Dave Adalian”
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 20:22:20 GMT
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

“Mike Cothran”wrote in message

news:JGLbi.2972$

 

> The vet said it was exceedingly odd in that cats could not develop a
> sweet tooth in late life as LB did. Force of habit might cause a cat to
> exhibit this tendency from early training as a kitten when they had less
> abhorrence to sweet (mommy cats have a somewhat sweet seeming milk) but a
> sweeth tooth was bad for the adult teeth, not to mention upsetting the
> ketosis a cat needs to digest and utilize ‘normal’ cat foods and to stay
> healthy and fit.

I read recently (though I’ll be damned if I could site the source; it might have been New Scientist) that cats don’t have the receptors for tasting sweet things.

— Dave

Read my latest astronomy column!
http://starry-starry-nights.blogspot.com/

From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Tue, 12 Jun 2007 20:43:04 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> What would Pete do in such a situation? There are three examples in the
> story by Heinlein. What are they, and which one did Davis choose? There
> you’ll find the metaphor. Big hint: the last two don’t count.

What did Petronius Arbiter, the Roman, do, confronted with the final frustration?

One portrait that has some resonance is Sienkiewicz’s. Some say it won a Nobel Prize for him. See, Quo Vadis, Chapter LXXIII, on-line at

http://www.4literature.net/Henryk_Sienkiewicz/Quo_Vadis/203.html and following. And read the Epilogue.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “Dr. Rufo”
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 23:54:35 GMT
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:

>>>Try that for a defining character flaw, Rufo, if you wish, then tell me
>>>how Petronius the Arbiter is a metaphor for what Dan must do to overcome
>>>the flaw? Don’t forget to look at Pete’s name.

< snip >

> Let’s talk about Pete, the cat, in terms of his Roman namesake.
< snip >
> Of course Pete has
> associated himself with a rather odd human–like Nero, brilliant, but
> also like Nero, potentially the object of quite a bit of pity.

HOLD ON just a minute there !@@!

David, I realize you will stoop to almost any example of depraved reasoning to make a point but you CANNOT make a “of course” comment like this and expect NO ONE to call you on it!

Danny Boy “brilliant”? Okay, “undoubtedly gifted.” Able to puzzle out problems and good enough with his hands to jury-rig workable solutions in his garage/basement/workshop just like Benjamin Franklin, Young Inventor in the Disney version. Who is, IMNHO, a more accurate image of Danny Boy than that historical jerk, Nero. But then, there’s no historical basis for Ben’s prescient Mouse/Friend/accomplice/mentor except in the Disney archives. (See http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0045550/ to refresh your memory.)

Now then, regarding “like Nero, brilliant” — what are you smoking now, dude?

Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus was a momma’s boy who was adopted as Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus into the Julio-Claudian family in order to give his mother, Agrippina something to hold onto after she killed off Claudius. She was herself one of the notoriously drug-taking and incestuous sisters of crazy Cal Little Boots.

The following is a fair rendering of History’s Received Version of him:

“Nero was fair-haired, with weak blue eyes, a fat neck, a pot belly
and a body which smelt and was covered with spots. He usually
appeared in public in a sort of dressing gown without a belt, a
scarf around his neck and no shoes.
In character he was a strange mix of paradoxes; artistic, sporting,
brutal, weak, sensual, erratic, extravagant, sadistic, bisexual –
and later in life almost certainly deranged.”

His behavior was at first dominated by one of history’s most puckered recti (and absolutely most boring playwright), Lucius Annaeus Seneca. This changed after he finally managed to kill off Mommy-Dearest. Seneca took a hike and Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus moved in. This, of course, doesn’t cover his wretched conduct with Poppaea Sabina whose murder by kicking/jumping, if you recall, was mentioned in Mel Brook’s original film version of “The Producers.”

This is “brilliant”? Really, Dave . . . .

> Dan Davis has led the life of a loser when we meet him. Consider his
> history: the survivor of a nuclear war; orphaned when bombs destroyed
> his family and destroyed large parts of his country (“instant urban
> renewal”), including his little sister; betrayed and jilted by the love
> of his life in concert with his best friend; deprived of his property;
> and, indeed, deprived of the ability to follow his very well suited
> profession by the “yellow dog” clause that was slipped in among other
> papers that he signed; deprived of his manhood; and deprived of his
> sobriety and ambition–about to run away into cold sleep, instead of
> standing up like a man.

Soooooo.

The man is a “loser” because he trusts his fiancé? He SHOULD expect his fiancé to screw him over because that’s part of being engaged, innit?

The man is a “loser” because he trusts his friend? He SHOULD expect his best/only human friend to screw him over and bind him to a “yellow dog clause” because that’s part of “friendship,” innit?

Try that one again, please. I haven’t had enough to drink.

Rufe
From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 19:09:34 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“Dr. Rufo” wrote:

> Now then, regarding “like Nero, brilliant” — what are you smoking
> now, dude?
> Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus was a momma’s boy who was adopted as
> Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus into the Julio-Claudian family in
> order to give his mother, Agrippina something to hold onto after she
> killed off Claudius. She was herself one of the notoriously
> drug-taking and incestuous sisters of crazy Cal Little Boots.
> The following is a fair rendering of History’s Received Version of him:
> “Nero was fair-haired, with weak blue eyes, a fat neck, a pot belly
> and a body which smelt and was covered with spots. He usually
> appeared in public in a sort of dressing gown without a belt, a
> scarf around his neck and no shoes.
> In character he was a strange mix of paradoxes; artistic, sporting,
> brutal, weak, sensual, erratic, extravagant, sadistic, bisexual –
> and later in life almost certainly deranged.”

> His behavior was at first dominated by one of history’s most
> puckered recti (and absolutely most boring playwright), Lucius
> Annaeus Seneca. This changed after he finally managed to kill off
> Mommy-Dearest. Seneca took a hike and Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus moved
> in. This, of course, doesn’t cover his wretched conduct with Poppaea
> Sabina whose murder by kicking/jumping, if you recall, was mentioned
> in Mel Brook’s original film version of “The Producers.”
> This is “brilliant”? Really, Dave . . . .

Aw, com’on now, admit it: you’re a Christian. You buy into the dogma that Nero killed Peter and Paul; and you’re prejudiced against him on that account, just as the author of Quo Vadis was. In fact, nobody, including Christian historians, said that until the Fourth Century A.D. To the contrary, the earliest Christian writings claim that Paul went on after Rome and did not die there. Moreover, the earliest Christian writings say the Prefect Agrippa ordered Peter’s execution. Wanna know why? Peter told Agrippa’s four “concubines” to be chaste, i.e., cut him off sexually, and they did. He told other Roman women also to separate themselves from their “husbands.” And there was “great trouble in Rome” when they complained to the Prefect. Agrippa sent his wife to Peter to tell him to get out of town; but Peter who had been told, he said, by the Lord, to go to Rome to be crucified, stayed. So Agrippa accommodated him. Not Nero.

The historian Josephus, who you neglected to quote, while calling Nero a tyrant (you may recall that Josephus and the Jewish nation rose in rebellion against him), also said:

“But I omit any further discourse about these affairs; for there have
been a great many who have composed the history of Nero; some of which
have departed from the truth of facts out of favor, as having received
benefits from him; while others, out of hatred to him, and the great
ill-will which they bare him, have so impudently raved against him with
their lies, that they justly deserve to be condemned. Nor do I wonder at
such as have told lies of Nero, since they have not in their writings
preserved the truth of history as to those facts that were earlier than
his time, even when the actors could have no way incurred their hatred,
since those writers lived a long time after them.”
— Antiquities of the Jews XX.8.3

Most histories we have that have survived echo open hostility and propaganda against Nero, and their accuracy is questioned.

According to Tacitus, Nero’s death was welcomed by Senators, nobility and the upper-class. The lower-class, slaves, frequenters of the arena and the theater, and “those who were supported by the famous excesses of Nero”, on the other hand, were upset with the news. Members of the military were said to have mixed feelings, as they had allegiance to Nero, but were bribed to overthrow him.

— Histories 1.4 and 1.5

There was a reason why the Senators, nobility and upper-class welcomed his death. He limited their power in favor of the lower-class.

Nero worked to protect the rights of the lower class. Restrictions were put on the amount of bail and fines. Also, fees for lawyers were limited. There was a discussion in the Senate on the misconduct of the freedmen class, and a strong demand was made that patrons should have the right of revoking freedom. Nero supported the freedmen and ruled that patrons had no such right. The Senate tried to pass a law in which the crimes of one slave applied to all slaves within a household which Nero vetoed.

Limiting public corruption was a major part of Nero¹s rule. On accusations that high-ranking officers were collecting too much from the poor, Nero transferred collection authority to lower commissioners of competency. Nero banned any magistrate or procurator from exhibiting public entertainment for fear that the venue was being used as a method to extract bribes. Additionally, there were many impeachments and removals of government officials along with arrests for extortion and corruption.

Nero¹s actions attempted to the help the poor¹s economic situation. When further complaints arose that the poor were being overly taxed, Nero attempted to repeal all indirect taxes. The Senate convinced him this action would be too extreme. As a compromise, taxes were cut from 4.5% to 2.5%. Additionally, secret government tax records were ordered to become public. To lower the cost of food imports, merchant ships were declared tax-exempt.

The Parthian War and a lost shipment of grain threatened to increase the price of food in Rome. Nero reassigned management of public funds, urged fiscal responsibility and gave a private donation to the treasury. He then opted for a peace deal with the Parthians, for which he was praised throughout the Eastern portion of the Empire and that peace lasted fifty years. In 64 A.D., Rome burned. Nero enacted a public relief effort as well as reconstruction. The provinces, where wealthy land-owners lived, were heavily taxed following the fire.

A number of major construction projects occurred in Nero’s late reign. To prevent malaria, Nero had the marshes of Ostia filled with rubble from the fire. He erected the large Domus Aurea. In 67 A.D., Nero attempted to have a canal dug at the Isthmus of Corinth.

The aristocracy had good reason to be glad he was dead. Yeah, I think he was brilliant. He survived the greatest bunch of aristocratic butchers, including his own mother, for a reign of fourteen years, until the Senate who he was taxing to death invited Galba to take the throne and bribed his guard to betray him.

> > Dan Davis has led the life of a loser when we meet him. Consider his
> > history: the survivor of a nuclear war; orphaned when bombs destroyed
> > his family and destroyed large parts of his country (“instant urban
> > renewal”), including his little sister; betrayed and jilted by the love
> > of his life in concert with his best friend; deprived of his property;
> > and, indeed, deprived of the ability to follow his very well suited
> > profession by the “yellow dog” clause that was slipped in among other
> > papers that he signed; deprived of his manhood; and deprived of his
> > sobriety and ambition–about to run away into cold sleep, instead of
> > standing up like a man.
> Soooooo.
> The man is a “loser” because he trusts his fiancé? He SHOULD expect
> his fiancé to screw him over because that’s part of being engaged,
> innit?
> The man is a “loser” because he trusts his friend? He SHOULD expect
> his best/only human friend to screw him over and bind him to a
> “yellow dog clause” because that’s part of “friendship,” innit?

> Try that one again, please. I haven’t had enough to drink.

I very precisely said “Davis has led the life of a loser,” which is substantially different than being a loser, Rufo. Read the words, not what you wish they said.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “Dr. Rufo”
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 04:58:12 GMT
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article ,
> “Dr. Rufo” wrote:

>> Now then, regarding “like Nero, brilliant” — what are you smoking
>>now, dude?
>> Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus was a momma’s boy who was adopted as
>>Nero Claudius Drusus Germanicus into the Julio-Claudian family in
>>order to give his mother, Agrippina something to hold onto after she
>>killed off Claudius. She was herself one of the notoriously
>>drug-taking and incestuous sisters of crazy Cal Little Boots.
>> The following is a fair rendering of History’s Received Version of him:
>> “Nero was fair-haired, with weak blue eyes, a fat neck, a pot belly
>>and a body which smelt and was covered with spots. He usually
>>appeared in public in a sort of dressing gown without a belt, a
>>scarf around his neck and no shoes.
>>In character he was a strange mix of paradoxes; artistic, sporting,
>>brutal, weak, sensual, erratic, extravagant, sadistic, bisexual –
>>and later in life almost certainly deranged.”

>> His behavior was at first dominated by one of history’s most
>>puckered recti (and absolutely most boring playwright), Lucius
>>Annaeus Seneca. This changed after he finally managed to kill off
>>Mommy-Dearest. Seneca took a hike and Gaius Ofonius Tigellinus moved
>>in. This, of course, doesn’t cover his wretched conduct with Poppaea
>>Sabina whose murder by kicking/jumping, if you recall, was mentioned
>>in Mel Brook’s original film version of “The Producers.”
>> This is “brilliant”? Really, Dave . . . .

> Aw, com’on now, admit it: you’re a Christian. You buy into the dogma

If you wanna be “precise,” the proper word is NOT “dogma” but rather “story.” Nero was arguably the autocratic Head of State when those two were offed. The drachma stops there.

> that Nero killed Peter and Paul; and you’re prejudiced against him on
> that account, just as the author of Quo Vadis was.

You needn’t become offensive, I believe my grasp of history is at least the equal of M. Sienkiewicz. At least I would not presume to have an entertainer sing a song titled “Harmodius” while the Arbiter and his LADY-love were bleeding to death! Now if the Arbiter were dying while snuggling with his *eromenos* that would be different and such a love song might be appropriate.

> In fact, nobody,
> including Christian historians, said that until the Fourth Century A.D.
> To the contrary, the earliest Christian writings claim that Paul went on
> after Rome and did not die there. Moreover, the earliest Christian
> writings say the Prefect Agrippa ordered Peter’s execution. Wanna know
> why? Peter told Agrippa’s four “concubines” to be chaste, i.e., cut him
> off sexually, and they did. He told other Roman women also to separate
> themselves from their “husbands.” And there was “great trouble in Rome”
> when they complained to the Prefect. Agrippa sent his wife to Peter to
> tell him to get out of town; but Peter who had been told, he said, by
> the Lord, to go to Rome to be crucified, stayed. So Agrippa accommodated
> him. Not Nero.

Yes, well. Let’s not pretend you score “full marks” for a partial (in two senses of the word) story. What you are referring to is more properly named the “Petrine Privilege (a.k.a. “Favor of the Faith”).” What the Fisherman said was that in a marriage where one of the parties was a Christian and the other not at the time of the marriage. The Christian was capable of obtaining an annulment to an otherwise indissoluble union. Not to be confused with the Pauline Privilege (Privilegium Paulinum) which applies only when *both* parties were unbaptized at the time of the marriage.

> The historian Josephus, who you neglected to quote, while calling Nero a
> tyrant (you may recall that Josephus and the Jewish nation rose in
> rebellion against him), also said:

< snip >

> Most histories we have that have survived echo open hostility and
> propaganda against Nero, and their accuracy is questioned.

I yield. All history is prejudiced and partial — in the same two senses of the word as above. What are ya gonna do? Weigh the evidence and take your choice. We choose differently as will develop as we progress below.

> According to Tacitus, Nero’s death was welcomed by Senators, nobility
> and the upper-class. The lower-class, slaves, frequenters of the arena
> and the theater, and “those who were supported by the famous excesses of
> Nero”, on the other hand, were upset with the news. Members of the
> military were said to have mixed feelings, as they had allegiance to
> Nero, but were bribed to overthrow him.
> — Histories 1.4 and 1.5

> There was a reason why the Senators, nobility and upper-class welcomed
> his death. He limited their power in favor of the lower-class.

No, sir. He leaned more heavily on the rich because they had money he could acquire. He provided entertainments for the lower classes and they loved him for it. Yessir, you seem to reporting the results of an exit poll at the Circus Maximus after the free horse races. Sure, Nero’s a Great Guy! He paid for the afternoon’s fun, dinnt he?

> Nero worked to protect the rights of the lower class. Restrictions were
> put on the amount of bail and fines. Also, fees for lawyers were
> limited. There was a discussion in the Senate on the misconduct of the
> freedmen class, and a strong demand was made that patrons should have
> the right of revoking freedom. Nero supported the freedmen and ruled
> that patrons had no such right. The Senate tried to pass a law in which
> the crimes of one slave applied to all slaves within a household which
> Nero vetoed.

Sir, please speak to Googie in the matter of Lucius Pedanius Secundus. I present a representative account.

The case of Lucius Pedanius Secundus was debated in the Senate. It seems as if Pedanius was murdered by one of his slaves. Tacitus specifically mentions 400 slaves were owned by Pedanius. Roman law required that, if the master was murdered by a slave, that all slaves in the household were guilty and that all would be put to death. This was to prevent slave revolts. Gaius Cassius Longinus spoke in favor of the enforcement of the ancient law, saying that even the fact that Pedanius Secundus was City Prefect and that Pedanius had formerly held the consulship; this had not protected him. What was to protect other slave owners? The Senate agreed with Gaius Cassius Longinus. The people of Rome thought that some mercy should apply for the slave children of the household, who were obviously innocent. Great crowds ready with stones and torches prevented the execution from being carried out. Nero rebuked the population by edict and lined the whole execution route with troops, and so enforced the order of execution of the slaves.

> Limiting public corruption was a major part of Nero¹s rule.

“During the first five years of his rule, Nero allowed Seneca and Burrus to run things within the empire. This first five years of Nero’s reign were known as the “quinquennium Neronis” which became a legend within the provinces for sound administration and peaceful order.”

Correct me if I’m wrong but this snippet presents a case opposite to yours below. < I snipped two portions for which I must research before I can respond. >
> The Parthian War and a lost shipment of grain threatened to increase the
> price of food in Rome. Nero reassigned management of public funds, urged
> fiscal responsibility and gave a private donation to the treasury. He
> then opted for a peace deal with the Parthians, for which he was praised
> throughout the Eastern portion of the Empire and that peace lasted fifty
> years. In 64 A.D., Rome burned. Nero enacted a public relief effort as
> well as reconstruction. The provinces, where wealthy land-owners lived,
> were heavily taxed following the fire.

The Fire that Burned Rome has been variously attributed but in no way is it possible to negate that Nero was one of the greatest beneficiaries of it. He got clear ground for his selfish re-building projects by confiscating the land previous built on and owned by others. This was a grossly inappropriate use of eminent domain.

> A number of major construction projects occurred in Nero’s late reign.
> To prevent malaria, Nero had the marshes of Ostia filled with rubble
> from the fire. He erected the large Domus Aurea.

You want to call the Golden House that was never completed an achievement? Ooh, it was constructed of brick-faced concrete that was highly fire resistant. At least the bleeding builders learned that much from the ruins.

> In 67 A.D., Nero
> attempted to have a canal dug at the Isthmus of Corinth.

Oy yeah. Nero wanted to build a canal. Sure, Caesar Dictator was on record as having said it would be useful but he didn’t have the money. Nero did it to show off to the Greeks. Please read: from: http://tinyurl.com/2ejn2m

Other examples of ancient greed, bribes and scandals? In A.D. 67, [THE SAME YEAR HE WAS MUCKING AROUND WITH THE CANAL] Roman Emperor Nero paid one million “sesterces” to the council of judges overseeing the Olympic games, persuading them to hold Olympic games out of sequence and in a year not scheduled for the contests so he could compete and win. Nero received what would be the equivalent of six gold medals in today’s Olympics.

We must agree to disagree on the brilliance of this lout who theoretically died uttering the immortal words, “Oh, what a [great] poet the world is losing in me!”

>>>Dan Davis has led the life of a loser when we meet him. Consider his
>>>history: the survivor of a nuclear war; orphaned when bombs destroyed
>>>his family and destroyed large parts of his country (“instant urban
>>>renewal”), including his little sister; betrayed and jilted by the love
>>>of his life in concert with his best friend; deprived of his property;
>>>and, indeed, deprived of the ability to follow his very well suited
>>>profession by the “yellow dog” clause that was slipped in among other
>>>papers that he signed; deprived of his manhood; and deprived of his
>>>sobriety and ambition–about to run away into cold sleep, instead of
>>>standing up like a man.

>> Soooooo.
>> The man is a “loser” because he trusts his fiancé? He SHOULD expect
>>his fiancé to screw him over because that’s part of being engaged,
>>innit?
>> The man is a “loser” because he trusts his friend? He SHOULD expect
>>his best/only human friend to screw him over and bind him to a
>>”yellow dog clause” because that’s part of “friendship,” innit?

>> Try that one again, please. I haven’t had enough to drink.

> I very precisely said “Davis has led the life of a loser,” which is
> substantially different than being a loser, Rufo. Read the words, not
> what you wish they said.

Yes, you did. In my haste, I mis-read. I apologize.

Rufe
From: “Dr. Rufo”
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 22:48:34 GMT
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article ,
> “David M. Silver” wrote:

>>Getting back to the point of Petronius the Arbiter and Dan Davis’
>>character development, Rufo, and others, perhaps it would be helpful to
>>try to define what Davis’ character flaws are?

>>What I think, and I could be wrong, is Davis is what we called a
>>”snook,” when I was a kid–someone who can overcome easily by “being
>>snookered,” the use of guile–he’s too trusting and taken in by
>>appearances; and, there’s one other thing: taken, he’s too likely in the
>>words of the doctor who gives him a shot in the ass of B-12 “to run away
>>from your troubles …” if given the choice, than “to stand up to them
>>like a man.”

>>Try that for a defining character flaw, Rufo, if you wish, then tell me
>>how Petronius the Arbiter is a metaphor for what Dan must do to overcome
>>the flaw? Don’t forget to look at Pete’s name.

> Scholars dispute details, but the account of antiquity that is most
> relied upon for who Petronius Arbiter was, and what he did with his
> life, and in his death, is from Tacitus:

> http://www.romansonline.com/Events.asp?EventID=1032

> Annals by Tacitus
> Translated by Alfred John Church and William Jackson Brodribb
> Book XVI Chapter 18-19: Death of Petronius[AD 66]

> “With regard to Gaius Petronius,

< snip >

> So, what does Heinlein’s use of the name for Pete imply?

Dave — I can hardly compare my admittedly sheltered life-experience to your own more complex and involved accumulation.

That said, I admit that my reading of the probable/possible implications of naming Pete the Cat after the much more notorious Petronius Arbiter are more tame than yours.

I read the naming to illuminate Danny Boy’s “schnook-hood.” His choices were affirmed by the Cat as those of Lucius Domitius Ahenobarbus were by the Arbiter. Also, when Danny follows Pete’s suggestion he prospers. When he doesn’t; he doesn’t.

Item: The Cat doesn’t like Belle the Bitch. Danny ignores this and is ruined “six ways from Sunday.”

Also, and more important: (concerning Pete) “But he never gave up his search for the Door into Summer. On 3 December, 1970, I was looking for it too.”

Item: The Cat likes/trusts Ricky; Danny concurs and attains his Heart’s Desire.

Also: Danny Boy says of Pete: “to him I had been the one stable thing in a changing world ever since he was taken from his mother nine years earlier. . . I had even managed to keep him near me in the Army and that takes real wangling.”

I suggest that while Danny is speaking of Pete’s dependence on him; he is also very correctly, albeit unconsciously, speaking of his own dependence on Pete.

This is all in Chapter One!
Quod erat demonstrandum?

Rufe
From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Wed, 13 Jun 2007 19:12:12 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“Dr. Rufo” wrote:

> This is all in Chapter One!
> Quod erat demonstrandum?

I told you the second two didn’t count. You get the drink, or the wooden nickel. That beautiful opening is the metaphor. It demonstrates: keep trying. Eventually Dan finds his door into summer as Pete taught him there eventually would be.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “Dr. Rufo”
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 04:59:52 GMT
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article ,
> “Dr. Rufo” wrote:

>> This is all in Chapter One!
>> Quod erat demonstrandum?

> I told you the second two didn’t count. You get the drink, or the wooden
> nickel. That beautiful opening is the metaphor. It demonstrates: keep
> trying. Eventually Dan finds his door into summer as Pete taught him
> there eventually would be.

Okay, you buy the beers and I’ll buy the tapas?

Rufe
From: lal_truckee
Date: Tue, 05 Jun 2007 21:01:44 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

Tim Morgan wrote:

> http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1845294.ece

> So perhaps one of the critical elements of this story may come true!

If the techniques in the report can be practically applied it still doesn’t pause or even slow aging, merely passes the time in a convenient sleep state. Useful to get astronauts to Mars without them killing each other but other than that …
From: OJ
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 05:50:18 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

On Jun 5, 10:46 pm, Tim Morganwrote:

> HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

Serendipity. Just about the time you were posting this, I was in the local book shop making my first purchase towards reconstituting my Heinlein collection. It was The Door Into Summer, and was reread cover-to-cover yesterday afternoon (my one day off in a 6-day work week).

Lessee, gives me 8 days to reacquaint myself with AIM, and reread TDIS a couple of times keeping in mind what people have preliminarily posted here.

OJ
From: LN
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 16:40:49 -0500
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

Tim Morgan wrote:
> HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

> When the book was written, was it realistic to set it in 1970? Or is
> 2070 more like it? When will we have robots with the same
> capabilities to clean house as those in the story? On the other hand,
> digital computers with modern graphics capabilities have gone far
> beyond the capabilities of a traditional drafting table. What other
> “predictions” in the book were on the mark, or far off?

> Tim Morgan, for The Heinlein Society

Earlier, somebody else wrote:

a425couple wrote:

> Recently, in another ng, I (and probably others)
> saw this Heinlein quote.
> What book (and maybe even about where) is it from?
>
> “A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an
> invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write
> a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort
> the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone,
> solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure,
> program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently,
> die gallantly.
> Specialization is for insects.”
> Robert A. Heinlein

If Heinlein were still around and invited to this chat, could he figure out how to download, install and configure AIM? I can’t count the number of smart people among us today who’ve missed chats and meetings just for that very reason–reported by themselves. It’s not computer programming, either. Does that make them less a human being or would it make him less? The proliferation of personal computers might be the major thing the guy didn’t foresee, couldn’t incorporate into his writing and is one of the biggest reasons his relevance and popularity have waned.

In fact, looking at that laundry list of actualization up there, couldn’t it be pared down to two things: program a computer and die gallantly. Given the plot premises of TDIS, you could even take out the dying part, eh? Gallant or not.

More, later.

LNC
From: Chris Zakes
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 19:41:38 -0500
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

On Wed, 06 Jun 2007 02:46:55 -0000, an orbital mind-control laser
caused Tim Morgan to write:

>HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
>WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
>WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
>TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

>The Door Into Summer is one of Heinlein’s more popular books, but it
>doesn’t seem to have been discussed by the Readers Group previously.
>What prompted me to propose this as this month’s topic was a recent
>article I read:

>http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1845294.ece

>So perhaps one of the critical elements of this story may come true!

Interesting. Coincidentally, I caught something on one of the science channels the other day about a species of frog that could, essentially, be frozen and revived without ill effects. I wonder if this research is related?

To date, as I understand things, the biggest problem with trying to revive frozen humans is that the water in their cells turns to ice crystals–which expand and tear up the cell walls–thereby causing serious damage. It sounds like this doctor in Massachusetts may have figured out a way around that problem.

>If hibernation were to become a reality, would insurance companies be
>vying with each other to handle your money while you sleep?

Possibly, although it might take a while for the concept to lose its “crackpot” label.

>This story is also one of RAH’s stories to involve time travel and
>looping: There are two Dans in the same time, and roughly the same
>place. Is this treatment of time travel and its potential paradoxes
>the same or different from that in other Heinlein stories?

Very different. The Dans never meet, and except for Dan running into one person in Denver when he should have been in California. Thus there’s not a lot of paradox-juggling involved. It hardly compares to “By His Bootstraps” or “All You Zombies” in that regard.

>When the book was written, was it realistic to set it in 1970? Or is
>2070 more like it? When will we have robots with the same
>capabilities to clean house as those in the story?

The story was written in 1956. At the time, I think there was a lot more optimism (especially on Heinlein’s part) about how fast we would advance scientifically. On the other hand, we *do* have the Roomba, and I expect you could equip it with a robot arm to pick up “anything larger than a marble” fairly easily; the only question is how much more would it cost?

>On the other hand,
>digital computers with modern graphics capabilities have gone far
>beyond the capabilities of a traditional drafting table. What other
>”predictions” in the book were on the mark, or far off?

We haven’t reached an economic situation that requires us to destroy brand-new cars, we don’t have “The Ways” nor (as far as I know) the zombie drug Belle used. On the other paw, CAD programs resemble–to some degree–the Drafting Dan machine that Davis envisioned. Some folks have claimed that the “24-hour bank” Dan goes to to get cash from was some kind of ATM, but I don’t think so; I think it was just a bank with extended hours, like a 24-hour grocery or diner.

-Chris Zakes
Texas

We do not stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because
we stop playing.

-Origin unknown

From: bajasteve
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 22:00:45 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

On Jun 6, 5:41 pm, Chris Zakeswrote:

> On Wed, 06 Jun 2007 02:46:55 -0000, an orbital mind-control laser
> caused Tim Morgan to write:

> >HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> >WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> >WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> >TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

> >The Door Into Summer is one of Heinlein’s more popular books, but it
> >doesn’t seem to have been discussed by the Readers Group previously.
> >What prompted me to propose this as this month’s topic was a recent
> >article I read:

> >http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/science/article1845294.ece

> >So perhaps one of the critical elements of this story may come true!

> Interesting. Coincidentally, I caught something on one of the science
> channels the other day about a species of frog that could,
> essentially, be frozen and revived without ill effects. I wonder if
> this research is related?

> To date, as I understand things, the biggest problem with trying to
> revive frozen humans is that the water in their cells turns to ice
> crystals–which expand and tear up the cell walls–thereby causing
> serious damage. It sounds like this doctor in Massachusetts may have
> figured out a way around that problem.

> >If hibernation were to become a reality, would insurance companies be
> >vying with each other to handle your money while you sleep?

> Possibly, although it might take a while for the concept to lose its
> “crackpot” label.

> >This story is also one of RAH’s stories to involve time travel and
> >looping: There are two Dans in the same time, and roughly the same
> >place. Is this treatment of time travel and its potential paradoxes
> >the same or different from that in other Heinlein stories?

> Very different. The Dans never meet, and except for Dan running into
> one person in Denver when he should have been in California. Thus
> there’s not a lot of paradox-juggling involved. It hardly compares to
> “By His Bootstraps” or “All You Zombies” in that regard.

> >When the book was written, was it realistic to set it in 1970? Or is
> >2070 more like it? When will we have robots with the same
> >capabilities to clean house as those in the story?

> The story was written in 1956. At the time, I think there was a lot
> more optimism (especially on Heinlein’s part) about how fast we would
> advance scientifically. On the other hand, we *do* have the Roomba,
> and I expect you could equip it with a robot arm to pick up “anything
> larger than a marble” fairly easily; the only question is how much
> more would it cost?

In addition to the Roomba, I personally witnessed the operation of a robotic lawnmower capable of mowing a patch of grass with no humans in the vicinity. This was not recently; in fact, it was in the very early 70’s. Not precisely 1970, but shortly thereafter.

Steve
From: “David M. Silver”
Date: Wed, 06 Jun 2007 23:14:28 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article,

bajasteve wrote:
> On Jun 6, 5:41 pm, Chris Zakes wrote:
> > On Wed, 06 Jun 2007 02:46:55 -0000, an orbital mind-control laser
> > caused Tim Morgan to write:

> > >HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> > >WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> > >WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> > >TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

[ … ]

> > >When the book was written, was it realistic to set it in 1970? Or is
> > >2070 more like it? When will we have robots with the same
> > >capabilities to clean house as those in the story?

> > The story was written in 1956. At the time, I think there was a lot
> > more optimism (especially on Heinlein’s part) about how fast we would
> > advance scientifically. On the other hand, we *do* have the Roomba,
> > and I expect you could equip it with a robot arm to pick up “anything
> > larger than a marble” fairly easily; the only question is how much
> > more would it cost?

> In addition to the Roomba, I personally witnessed the operation of a
> robotic lawnmower capable of mowing a patch of grass with no humans in
> the vicinity. This was not recently; in fact, it was in the very early
> 70’s. Not precisely 1970, but shortly thereafter.

> Steve

> > >On the other hand,
> > >digital computers with modern graphics capabilities have gone far
> > >beyond the capabilities of a traditional drafting table. What other
> > >”predictions” in the book were on the mark, or far off?

> > We haven’t reached an economic situation that requires us to destroy
> > brand-new cars,

No, but instead of that which we already had in the 1950s when Heinlein wrote the book how do we know we don’t have more than merely “soil-banking” in agriculture. There were stories published about the government “buying” up excess crops (powering and freeze drying eggs and merely storing them; packaging, freezing and packing away in warehouses pounds and pounds of butter; dyeing beets blue and plowing them back into the ground, etc.) and destroying them to keep price levels up. And, how do we know, really, what Detroit does with its overruns that it doesn’t sell? Lets them sit in parking lots on federal property where we don’t see them? I see a couple hundred new but very dusty cars sitting in an out of sight lot on the VA facility in Westwood every time I go in for a blood thinner test, and wonder what they’re there for? Did the VA buy them? Or are they just being stored there, unused, bought on some other government agency budget? What is hidden in all the various budgets, and not reported? Would I see the same if I visited unused parts of military posts, somewhere? Bail outs of industry go on all the time, now together with what we now call “corporate welfare,” and I’d really want to look at the real bottom lines sometime to see whether what we think isn’t going on really is going on. Just because they’ve not reported directly that automobile excess productions are being destroyed (or otherwise disposed of), doesn’t prove they aren’t. How do we know that this isn’t being said, “Tell you what, GM, we’ll give you these incentives this year if you’ll destroy your excess production for this year, and continue to produce the same amount next year, when we’ll give you these further ‘incentives’ to continue on and on. Or, we’ll buy the cars and store them in out of the way governmental properties. Just have them delivered to where we tell you.”

> > we don’t have “The Ways” nor (as far as I know) the
> > zombie drug Belle used. On the other paw, CAD programs resemble–to
> > some degree–the Drafting Dan machine that Davis envisioned. Some
> > folks have claimed that the “24-hour bank” Dan goes to to get cash
> > from was some kind of ATM, but I don’t think so; I think it was just a
> > bank with extended hours, like a 24-hour grocery or diner.

I think Heinlein reasonably thought that advances would be faster than the slow increments we’ve had. In residential housing, for example, little more than the same ticky-tacky boxes has been offered in most housing developments. You can find small developments that offer more, but you’ve got to hunt them down.

On Roomba, it’s more than just a vacuuming robot now, good for anything up to medium pile carpets–they’re offering floor washers (Scooba) and pool (Verro) cleaners and workshop (Dirt Dog) clearers (obviously you pick through its debris chamber for small nuts, bolts, etc. when it gets done). And they’ve increased the versatility of the basic machine from its first model. See, especially the videos and how it works pages leading from, http://www.irobot.com/sp.cfm?pageid=95

I continue to be amazed at iRobot for not paying the thank you they owe Heinlein for the idea for their products.

But it’s all still small increments.

When are we going to get a review, by the way, Tim, on that device?


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David Wright Sr.”
Date: Thur, 14 Jun 2007 09:28:28
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

“David M. Silver” wrote in news:ag.plusone-
:

(snip)

> I very precisely said “Davis has led the life of a loser,” which is
> substantially different than being a loser, Rufo. Read the words, not
> what you wish they said.
>

Can you explain the differences between the two?

I personally don’t see that either sentence has much in the way of meaning. Life is a long series of ups and downs. Dan certainly had a lot of ups and downs some of which were based on being deceived, some based on historical circumstances, war etc. But many of his ups were real; Mile’s and Ricky’s friendship in the days before Belle, his creative and artistic satisfactions derived from his work and so on. Some were serious mistakes, such as letting his feelings about Belle overshadow his trust in Ricky and Pete and his failures in this could have turned him into someone who never could trust anyone and made him a ‘loser’. But it didn’t. I think he found his ‘Door into Summer’ when he realized that he had to accept believing in and trusting others, and as a result when he met John and Ginny he gave them full trust in *all* that he had.

David Wright Sr.

The map is not the territory.
A word is not the object that it refers to.
A. Korzybski, _Science & Sanity_ (1933)

From: “David M. Silver”Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 08:55:44 -0700 Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David Wright Sr.” wrote:

> “David M. Silver” wrote in news:ag.plusone-
> 791E9D.19093413062…@individual.net:

> (snip)

> > I very precisely said “Davis has led the life of a loser,” which is
> > substantially different than being a loser, Rufo. Read the words, not
> > what you wish they said.

> Can you explain the differences between the two?

Let me try, at least in the sense I see that perhaps Heinlein’s stories might. The tip-off is Heinlein’s best stories deal with character development.

> I personally don’t see that either sentence has much in the way of meaning.
> Life is a long series of ups and downs.

All of life certainly is a long series of ups and downs. The question in Heinlein is always whether the character “learns a lesson,” “gets the girl,” or is the “heroic tailor,” (or becomes a combination of two or all three) from the “ups and downs,” as we term them.

Having “led the life of a loser,” the lot of all of us who are subject to life’s obligatory ups and downs, is the fate we all — and all of Heinlein’s protagonists, including D.B. Davis — must encounter: the “slings and arrows of outrageous fortune.”

The important question is whether the protagonist develops a satisfactory answer—in terms of character development–to these ups and downs. The “losers” don’t. E.g., Bill in Cat Who Walks; Podkayne in the original ending, the one in which she dies in the atomic explosion after foolishly going back to save the infant ‘fairy’; Juan Rico had he not got past his “hump,” or Ted Hendricks, when he didn’t learn what he was being taught despite Zim’s best efforts. D.B. Davis, had he continued to drink the every bar he found dry, or not learned to pick up what chips remained, bind up his scratches, let time take care of Belle and Miles, and find a new table with rules changed the better to suit his talents and, when the same hand came up again, played it differently, but to win this time–finding the right down into summer this time.

> Dan certainly had a lot of ups and
> downs some of which were based on being deceived, some based on historical
> circumstances, war etc. But many of his ups were real; Mile’s and Ricky’s
> friendship in the days before Belle, his creative and artistic
> satisfactions derived from his work and so on. Some were serious mistakes,
> such as letting his feelings about Belle overshadow his trust in Ricky and
> Pete and his failures in this could have turned him into someone who never
> could trust anyone and made him a ‘loser’. But it didn’t. I think he found
> his ‘Door into Summer’ when he realized that he had to accept believing in
> and trusting others, and as a result when he met John and Ginny he gave
> them full trust in *all* that he had.

But the facts of the story show in the encounter he has with the later two he’s learned to observe some things he might not have originally. In Miles he had what he felt was a true friend, a life-partner in business, based on a not-too-well-spelled-out set of facts. Army relationships can be very close, but transitory. You’re loyal to your buddies because they’re your unit–you’re stuck there together and you better make the most of it–even if Dan’s unit of technicians didn’t some of those units go into combat together, and how loyal they are to each other makes a difference in how many come out alive. What he never realized he had in Miles was someone who was still striving to establish his own worth–Miles wants to prove his validity, his sense of manhood you might call it, in managing a large and important business. Dan doesn’t realize this critical factor is Miles’ prime motivation ever, until the two snakes bite. His blissful ignorance of Miles’ prime motivation leads him into living the “life of a loser.” Perhaps understandable in a pretty much oblivious twenty-nine-year-old–a “snook” as I’ve called him. But not for much longer, or the world is going to snap him up and skin, bone, cook and eat him. Significantly, with John, among the first things Dan observes (and the author carefully notes Dan making these observations for us) is John’s self-satisfaction in his own already earned achievements, and the evidences of it: that Jaguar Imperator; John’s dispassionate analysis of Dan’s own problems, legal and otherwise; John’s comfortable relationship within a supportive marriage to an exemplary wife; their own open and honest dialogue with each other (‘well, maybe I might want to go back to Southern California after all — there is the culture I’ve missed here in the wilds of Colorado’ or whatever it was that the wife said in reply to her husband’s disclosure that, oh! horrible! she bore the mark of Cain on her forehead, having come from LA-LA-land originally); even the nudity practiced by the two is evidence of symbolic openness and honesty.

All this comfort with his own achievements and situation makes John someone in whom trust may (perhaps) safely be reposed–unlike Miles, of whose background all we know from Dan’s recorded observations is he was an older Army buddy who got called back up, who had married a widow with a nifty young daughter, who reminded Dan of his little sister and got along with Pete the cat.

Two lawyers, but what a difference!

So Dan, having to trust someone back in 1970 to hold his winning hand, elects to take a chance again–but a reasoned chance based on at least some observed facts this time–and leaves his hand for John to play the next thirty years. He “learned a lesson,” at least in better picking a hand-holder to sit in at his spot at the table.

Rather than being a “loser,” he’s only what we all are, sometimes subject to “living the life of a loser.” That suit, David? At least I think that’s how Heinlein, if he recognized the same distinction I do, might explain it.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David M. Silver”Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 09:03:39 -0700 Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“David M. Silver” wrote:

> down into summer

“door” dammit, “door.”


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David Wright Sr.”Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 17:24:10 +0000 Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

“David M. Silver” wrote in news:ag.plusone-
043136.08554414062…@individual.net:

(snip)

> Rather than being a “loser,” he’s only what we all are, sometimes
> subject to “living the life of a loser.” That suit, David? At least I
> think that’s how Heinlein, if he recognized the same distinction I do,
> might explain it.

Thanks David. That is very well put. The only quibble I have is that I don’t think that Miles would have stabbed him in the back if it hadn’t been for Belle shooting him [Miles] up with the zombie drug and playing on that ambition. Remember in Belle’s discussion, he was unsure about the drug, and Belle said that Dan would do whatever she told him.

[Miles] “I don’t believe it.”
[Belle] “You don’t, eh?” She looked at him oddly. “You ought to.”
[Miles] “Huh? What do you mean?”
[Belle] “Skip it, skip it. This stuff works Chubby, But first we’ve got
to….”

That admission was to tell the reader that Miles was not a free agent in all of this. There was no point in telling Miles as I am sure that she told him when first doping him to forget anything about it. Without that I don’t think that Miles would have betrayed his friendship.

David Wright Sr.

There are different kinds of interpretations of history and different
schools of philosophy. All of them have contributed something to
human progress, but none of them has been able to give the world
a basic philosophy embracing the whole progress of science and
establishing the life of man upon the abiding foundation of Fact.
Alfred Korzybski, _Manhood of Humanity_(1921)

From: “Dr. Rufo”
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 15:08:10
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

David M. Silver wrote:
> In article ,
> “Dr. Rufo” wrote:
>
>
>> I yield. All history is prejudiced and partial — in the same two
>>senses of the word as above. What are ya gonna do? Weigh the
>>evidence and take your choice. We choose differently as will develop
>>as we progress below.
>
>
> Uh-huh. And if I give you parole, you pick up your sword and do what
> everyone always does in arguments over history: pick out your points
> from those who favor your POV, and argue them again.

Parole: the promise of a prisoner upon his faith and honor to fulfill stated conditions (so far not stated) in consideration of special privileges.

One who “breaks” his parole is a person lacking in faith and honor.

Given parole in THIS matter, I wouldn’t dream of contradicting your choices ever again.

Rufe
From: JaneE!
Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 14:13:51 -0700
Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

On Jun 14, 9:56 am, “David M. Silver”wrote:

> In article ,
> “Dr. Rufo” wrote:

> > David M. Silver wrote:

> > > In article ,
> > > “Dr. Rufo” wrote:

> > >> This is all in Chapter One!
> > >> Quod erat demonstrandum?

> > > I told you the second two didn’t count. You get the drink, or the wooden
> > > nickel. That beautiful opening is the metaphor. It demonstrates: keep
> > > trying. Eventually Dan finds his door into summer as Pete taught him
> > > there eventually would be.

> > Okay, you buy the beers and I’ll buy the tapas?

> > Rufe

> Sounds good. Friday?

> —
> David M. Silverhttp://www.heinleinsociety.org
> “The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
> Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
> Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

Okay, now that you’ve given ou the ‘nickel’ here’s a question? Ricki Tiki Tavi, applied to Fredrica, significance? I think I know the answer but would like to hear other opinions.

JaneE!
From: “David M. Silver” Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 14:17:37 -0700 Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article ,
“Dr. Rufo” wrote:
t –
> David M. Silver wrote:
> > In article ,
> > “Dr. Rufo” wrote:

> >> I yield. All history is prejudiced and partial — in the same two
> >>senses of the word as above. What are ya gonna do? Weigh the
> >>evidence and take your choice. We choose differently as will develop
> >>as we progress below.

> > Uh-huh. And if I give you parole, you pick up your sword and do what
> > everyone always does in arguments over history: pick out your points
> > from those who favor your POV, and argue them again.

> Parole: the promise of a prisoner upon his faith and honor to
> fulfill stated conditions (so far not stated) in consideration of
> special privileges.

> One who “breaks” his parole is a person lacking in faith and honor.

> Given parole in THIS matter, I wouldn’t dream of
> contradicting your choices ever again.

> Rufe

And you already know what the darker alternative is, Rufo. In the Hooker rendition: “And, as I end the refrain: thrust home! … .”

:oP~~~~~blerrt!


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

From: “David M. Silver”Date: Thu, 14 Jun 2007 15:05:51 -0700 Subject: Re: HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING 6/14

In article,

OJ wrote:
> On Jun 5, 10:46 pm, Tim Morgan wrote:

> > HEINLEIN READERS GROUP MEETING SCHEDULED
> > WHEN: June 14, 2007, 9:00 PM EDT
> > WHERE: The usual AIM chatroom
> > TOPIC: The Door Into Summer

> Serendipity. Just about the time you were posting this, I was in the
> local book shop making my first purchase towards reconstituting my
> Heinlein collection. It was The Door Into Summer, and was reread
> cover-to-cover yesterday afternoon (my one day off in a 6-day work
> week).

> Lessee, gives me 8 days to reacquaint myself with AIM, and reread TDIS
> a couple of times keeping in mind what people have preliminarily
> posted here.

> OJ

Just a reminder:

It’s tonight, OJ, 9 PM, your time back in the “Beltway,” and 6 PM, my time here in “LA-LA-Land.”

The “usual AIM chatroom” is “heinleinreadersgroup” using AIM chatware; and if you don’t know how to propel yourself into it, activate it, then go here http://www.heinleinsociety.org/readersgroup/index.html

and click the underlined blue link under the Heinlein Reader Group title that says:

“AIM Chat Room”

A link to the Heinlein Reading Group’s virtual meeting place.

If you’re on a Mac or something else other than a windozer, don’t use the red button to get the software. Instead, go to http://www.aim.com/download.adp

and pick appropriate software for something that works in what you use, e.g., AIM for Mac version 4.7, or AIM for Linux, or whatever you find that works as you scroll down the page.


David M. Silver
http://www.heinleinsociety.org
“The Lieutenant expects your names to shine!”
Robert Anson Heinlein, USNA ’29
Lt.(jg), USN, R’td

Go To Posting
You have just entered room “heinleinreadersgroup.”

LVPPakaAspie has entered the room.

AGplusone has entered the room.

AGplusone: Hi, David, Aspie.

DavidWrightSr: Greetings

LVPPakaAspie: hi

AGplusone: Going to be AFK, doing something until chat time in 28 minutes.

aggirlj has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Hi Jane

aggirlj: Hi there, thought I would sign on early.

DavidWrightSr: Always a good idea 😎

aggirlj: Finishing my vacuuming, seriously thinking about Roomba (dog, and two cats).

aggirlj: afk

AGplusone: How’ve you been, Don. Haven’t seen you in a while.

LVPPakaAspie: Yeah, I kind of lost interest in the NG and these meetings for a while.

AGplusone: That’s why we take vacations. Refreshment and revigoration.

JJ Brannon has entered the room.

AGplusone: evenin’ JJ.

JJ Brannon: Hi! This is strange, I’m in the wrong manifestation of this room.

JJ Brannon: I’m on AIM when I should be on AOL. Be back in a second.

JJ Brannon has left the room.

georule1861 has entered the room.

aggirlj: b, Hi Geo

georule1861: I’m not late am I?

Smn Jester has entered the room.

aggirlj: no, early

georule1861: Would you good folks like to be insanely jealous?

JJ Brannon has entered the room.

aggirlj: go for it

Smn Jester: Wow. I’m home and in front of the ‘puter for this for once!

JJ Brannon: I’m back!

georule1861: Deb found a five page outline written by RAH on the history of the Shipstone company today.

JJ Brannon: Wrong link.

georule1861: Buried 700 pages deep in a file called “Miscellaneous”

aggirlj: Always nice, especially where none have gone begfore.

aggirlj: before

JJ Brannon: Neat! At UCSC?

AGplusone: Gonna put that on-line July 7, Geo?

georule1861: Well, that’s up to Art.

JJ Brannon: Is there a topic this evening?

georule1861: She found several other story ideas in that file.

georule1861: But I think it might go online on the 7th, yes.

aggirlj: The Door Into Summer, JJ

Smn Jester: The Door Into Summer. First book I read EVER.

AGplusone: Fun example of how careful a prep for writing the story., and I always knew there was a bunch of story ideas. Ginny told me about them. Said she used to read them over when she got lonely–to remind her about RAH.

JJ Brannon: Okay, and appropriately with only a week to go.

AGplusone: She used to keep them in a drawer.

AGplusone: Been a while Smn. We had two for a while and I forget which one you were.

Smn Jester: Hmmm.. Well, for a long while, I was SimonJester in alt.fan.heinlein

georule1861: There are actually several story idea files, yes.

georule1861: This one just wasn’t marked that way.

georule1861: Doesn’t mean Ginny didn’t know it was there tho.

JJ Brannon: I was thinking of a line Damon Knight used in the Foreword to The Past Through Tomorrow

AGplusone: Yeah, that’s what I assumed. One from England I think, and one from (?) midwest or Canada> maybe)

JJ Brannon: Frank would be perfect.

aggirlj: Absolutely, Simon. I am thinking real seriously of getting a Frank (dog, 2cats)

georule1861: Even my grandma and an aunt has a Roomba

jilyd has left the room.

Randyjj55: By the way, I was going to try and make it to the earlierdiscussion about TEfL. I ended up on travel with no access. However, Iwas able to snag a pretty good copy of Caleb Caitlan’s America for lessthan $10.00

morganuci: Have you read it?

Randyjj55: JJ, I think you are right about DIS being a very accessiblenovel. In fact, it is a very good transition from the juveniles -whaich are really more sophisticated than that appellation suggests.

morganuci: Exactly! By coincidence, DiS was my first RAH.

Randyjj55: I’ve started it the book but haven’t finished it – need one moreplane flight. However it does take a bit of getting used to for thosethat are used to more “modern” writing.

AGplusone: Yes, I agree. One of four “adult” novels I call the “cadet novels” i.e., person who still has a lot to learn, although “adult”

AGplusone: Catlum, yeah. “American Tall Tale” takes getting back into.

AGplusone: Outrageous lies and satire often linked together.

DavidWrightSr: Double Star would probably be one, Which others, Glory Road? ?

AGplusone: And Farnham’s Freehold.

Randyjj55: That is the beauty of much of RAH’s writing. It is very layered,and as one gains experience and knowledge, re-reading his novels opensnew vista’s for consideration.

AGplusone: Even though Hugh is a lot older than the others.

AGplusone: Difference is Hugh thought he had it all figured out.

DavidWrightSr: So did Lorenzo, but not I think Oscar.

aggirlj: Usually when a little something gets thrown atcha’

morganuci: Re-reading: absolutely! I get so much more out of all the books now than I did when I first read them as a teen.

Randyjj55: Age does not equal adulthood. Knowledge + Experience = Wisdom,and experience can take many forms at many different chronological ages.

morganuci: Plus now I can read other people’s thoughts about them (on-line and in THJ) that I didn’t have access to back then—I was on my own.

AGplusone: Oscar doesn’t think he needs to grow. He can always sign up for the Marines like his old man if it doesn’t work out.

AGplusone: Speaking of which, where is OJ?

Toxdoc1947: SJ would qualify I thinkl

aggirlj: Do you know his buddy name?

DavidWrightSr: Randy. I’ve been reading RAH for 54 years now and have probably read everything twenty or more times and I am still amazed when I read David Silver’s analyses and Bill Patterson and some other papers I have read in the last few year

JJ Brannon: Double Star

JJ Brannon: That was a cadet novel. I wouldn’t include FF.

Randyjj55: Double Star may be an even more important work now than when itwas first written. Politics based on doing the right thing… What aconcept!

AGplusone: Yes. wadda unique thing …

georule1861: Hmm.

georule1861: Well, for JJ, I suppose.

Toxdoc1947: look at ronald reagan – the actor turned president

georule1861: For The Great Lorenzo? I’d say he did it for Love and Art.

georule1861: Or maybe Love of a woman and Love of great art. . .

Toxdoc1947: his presidency had some DS flavor – you know he had a bunch of slent supporters

Toxdoc1947: *silent

aggirlj: I have a question relating to the time travel in DiS. I was waiting for them to see each other somehwere in the future. It didn’t necessarily follow, since he came back earlier, that there would two of him.

Smn Jester: Yeah, but he knew the actions of his earlier self and avoided himself.

aggirlj: I suspend pretty well, but that was a detail that nigled at me.

Smn Jester: And with a dense population, the probability of running into any one particular person in such circumstances will be astronomical.

AGplusone: Wonder what it would be like: Looking behind the mirror in “They”?

Smn Jester: I doubt if you would recognize yourself.

DenvToday has entered the room.

DenvToday: Greetings all!

aggirlj: Howdy.

JJ Brannon: What about the Leonardo business? It appealed to me when I was thirteen, but itches now.

Smn Jester: In public, we look at the whole person. But in mirrors and photos, the human eye tends to focus on one particualr object at a time. Hence, seeing the whole, we woudl probably fail to see the totality.

morganuci: Yeah, it really impressed me at ~13. I had to go tell my mom about it 🙂

AGplusone: Hi, Ron.

Randyjj55: Time travel is a tricky thing. A lot of what you believe stems from your going in assumptions.

DenvToday: Good to see you! It’s been a while.

Randyjj55: Way to long. How are you doing these days?

AGplusone: Been a while for a lot of us: Aspie, Jester, Jost, you.

AGplusone: Good to see you all!

Randyjj55: I think I am going to take this keyboard and throw it against the wall.-l-l-l-l-l-l.

DenvToday: It’s tough being free on Thursday nights. I’m glad I could make it.

Randyjj55: How expensive are you usually on Thursdays?

AGplusone: Shame. Thursday is always great for me. Wife works late on Thursdays, always. Hair dresser.

Smn Jester: Oi… bad jokes! Dive, dive!

AGplusone: eeeew

Smn Jester: I used to be married to a hairdresser. They are all kind of batty.

DenvToday: I’m not in favor of dressing hair. They should stay naked.

Randyjj55: Yes, that “joke” was a bargain basement remainder.

Smn Jester: I just saw the ex last night for the first time in years. Seems she is dating a foreman I used to work under years ago. I wasn’t sure which one of them to warn about the other…

aggirlj: [sounds like great revenge]

AGplusone: Wife prefers vinegar and oil with little bits of cheese and salami

DenvToday: hehe…

Randyjj55: Well, since you were under both of them, only you can make that call.

BPRAL22169 has entered the room.

aggirlj: Hi Bill.

BPRAL22169: Howdy

AGplusone: Evenin’ Bill. Lots of ltnc’s tonight.

DenvToday: Hi Bill. Long time no talk.

georule1861: Hola, Bill

Smn Jester: Well, under, occasionally…

BPRAL22169: ltnc?

Smn Jester: But since she kinda just layed there, I was more an ‘on top’ sort…

aggirlj: long time no see

BPRAL22169: aha.

Smn Jester: And the foreman was really short too… *G*

Randyjj55: 🙂 So I guess that really makes you over them, in more ways than one.

AGplusone: Think we’re ready for another question, Tim?

Randyjj55: Yes!

BPRAL22169: Before we move on – did anyone get Ron Harrison in? I’ve got an e-mail in my queue, but I don’t see him online

aggirlj: Don’t see him either. New Buddy name?

AGplusone: dehede011?

aggirlj: That’s the one I have.

DavidWrightSr: I’ve got that name, but he isn’t here.

AGplusone: unless he’s changed it. Haven’t seen him.

DenvToday: I haven’t seen you all since I read Variable Star. I was a bit disappointed. Sorry if I’m changing the subject.

AGplusone: What did you find disappointing, Ron?

AGplusone: [while Tim is thinking up questions]

morganuci: After the detour to Variable Star:

morganuci: We started talking about the time travel aspects of the book. Besides the Leonardo line, there are a couple of places where there are two Dans at the same time, but they don’t meet.

DenvToday: Some of the plot didn’t make sense to me. And Robinson’s style is much different than RAH’s.

morganuci: As I remember, there’s some discussion about “what would have happened if?”

morganuci: But as was pointed out on AFH, this book doesn’t get into the paradoxes of time travel like BHB and Zombies do.

DenvToday: But that’s a discussion for another time.

aggirlj: Well, part of that is what I was going to comment on. That Pete went right to Dan outside after his brawl with Belle and . . whatisname

georule1861: Time travel is more furniture (as Bill has used the term) for this book

georule1861: At least compared to Zombie or BHB

JJ Brannon: I just caught the “Mutual Assurance” joke.

AGplusone: I forget, define “furniture.” Mere setting?

georule1861: Right.

georule1861: Like sf is “furniture” for SIASL

georule1861: Which is how Bill has actually used the term. . .

Randyjj55: I think that Geo is right – time travel is a facilitating aspectof the story line. What the person learned and then did with theknowledge gained is more central to the thrust of the story.

AGplusone: Okay, whereas in Zombies and the other one, it’s central. The essential gadget?

BPRAL22169: Yeah. a bit of business you can pick up and move around at convenience and rearrange for your own purpoes, rather than something that fundamentally determines the shape of the story.

georule1861: Right

AGplusone: Bootstraps = “other one”

AGplusone: What’s it is Time Enough … central gadget or furniture?

aggirlj: Okay, in FF he overlaps and in DiS

AGplusone: “is” should be “in”

georule1861: That’s an interesting question, David. Almost makes me want to do a list of all the Opus and catagorize.

AGplusone: That’s right. He sees himself coming to the door and doesn’t realize it’s himself.

AGplusone: But then, himself finds Barbara drives a stick. Slight “plot hole” as they call it, eh?

BPRAL22169: TEFL is big enough to have multiple views on that same device. It’s fairly fundamental for Da Capo, which is actually the size of a book in its own right.

morganuci: David: Who sees himself coming in the door?

AGplusone: Was thinking about TEFL and the ennui, and “They” today.

aggirlj: Franham

AGplusone: Farnham.

georule1861: If you look right at the beginning, with FUTL, it’s obvious he has a strong instinct to use the device to tell a story.

aggirlj: Farnham

georule1861: But that’s also part of what helped drag SF out of the ghetto.

georule1861: You have to tell a great story FIRST.

georule1861: And clearly Heinlein and Campbell knew that and bullied everyone else into it.

morganuci: A while back, Jane wrote “That Pete went right to Dan outside after his brawl with Belle and . . whatisname” but I didn’t see the rest?

AGplusone: Except the Akkerman tyoes who wanted “hard” gadgets.

aggirlj: Then there is the question. Why didn’t the Professor acknowledge him the second time back?

DavidWrightSr: FF has them coming back to a different time-line, whereas in Zombies, FF and BYB, there is only the single time-line simply seen from different viewpoints

aggirlj: My question anyway.

aggirlj: [Tim there wasn

Randyjj55: I think the emphasis should be on a GREAT story. Since there areonly a few basic stories, HOW you tell it matters a great deal. Howmany authors/stories do you go back and read again and again.

DenvToday: I’ve always thought they stole Dr. Twitchell for Back to the Future.

Smn Jester: Well, to Pete, Dan was Dan, just in another place. I doubt if a cat would understand that the one out of site for him could have moved fast enough to be in the other place.

aggirlj: wasn’t much else] Just a comment.

morganuci: No acknowldgement because he’s in a slightly different parallel universe/time-line??

AGplusone: Maybe there were more experiments than Twitchell admitted and one went back to a time when cold sleep existed and came to get Twitchy afterward.

BPRAL22169: I think the visit to the professor was “before” the time-travel occasion in the prof’s personal timeline, so he didn’t yet know Dan

aggirlj: Exactly Sion.

aggirlj: Simon (my keyboard is stiff)

AGplusone: But Dan wrote Twitchy and said he wanted to do the bio, but Twitchy didn’t reply.

Randyjj55: Well, if you are seeing with your nose and ears as much as your eyes, it all depends on what correlates to what you know.

AGplusone: After Dan returned to 2000 the second time … married Ricky, and then contacted T

Randyjj55: Cats are funny that way.

AGplusone: and got no reply.

morganuci: I think animals tend to accept things as they find them, not wonder how they got that way. My dog understands windows (that you see through) but not that they’re not natural.

georule1861: Dunno if Dan would smell the same in different fibers and different diet.

georule1861: But don’t know that he wouldn’t.

aggirlj: Thought that too, Geo. But he had been here long enough to change the smells.

AGplusone: Think Pete is in a different mode when he’s at war …

Randyjj55: But, I think he would probably sound the same, and cats have a much broader hearing range.

AGplusone: and didn’t recognize Dan until he cooled down.

AGplusone: Blind rage is what I see my cat in when he’s in that war mode.

Randyjj55: More data to process.

georule1861: I think I could make a bid for “funniest Heinlein ever” on the scene where Dan is frozen and has to see Pete at war.

BPRAL22169: Taking care of business.

DenvToday:

AGplusone: heh

georule1861: And, usually, Heinlein is funny but not necessarily Monty Python kind of funny.

georule1861: But that was hilarious.

AGplusone: My point.

Smn Jester: My cat, the Lady Minx, knows me quite well, no matter what I am wearing.

AGplusone: But would Lady Minx know you if she were defending her kittens from a dog?

Smn Jester: That scene with Dan frozen and Pete fighitng reminds me of Tom Sawyer and the cat with the tonic. Really made me laugh.

DenvToday: My favorite RAH title of all time is “Gentlemen, Be Seated!”

DenvToday: Funny to me, anyway.

Smn Jester: Minx is a rare beast. She trusts me implicately. Will even struggle minimally when she needs a bath.

Toxdoc1947: only because of the Nimot narration – right 😉

morganuci: The ending has a little of the “rushed into marriage” feel to it, though not nearly as much as in Time for the Stars.

morganuci: We now know that this is more or less taken from actual experience, but I remember thinking (reading TftS the first time, especially) that it seemed very unrealistic.

Randyjj55: Here’s an “issue”. It seems to me that Heinlein often has hischaracters struggle to get into “synch” . Sometimes philosophically,Jillian and Michael, here chronologically. Any other times/eamplesthat might bear on this story?

AGplusone: I was in hospital about four weeks. Hospital food, new clothes when I came home. Cat had no problem recognizing me. Was butting head and rubbing the minute I came in door. Don’t know about the different smells, etc.

DenvToday: How are those implants working for ya?

Toxdoc1947: GR – all the primary characters had to merge

georule1861: Good example, David. But I’ve also had a cat come back from the vet after a few days and get hissed at by the others.

aggirlj: Tim, he read about the marriage and, I presume, it was his name.

georule1861: Because they smelled weird.

AGplusone: The two veins from my leg. Well, as far as I know.

DenvToday: Glad to hear it!

Randyjj55: Well, fix their noses!

morganuci: Jane, that’s right, he did. That could certainly convince him that he should do it, if he trusts his future self (but it becomes circular, since his future self did it because he read it earlier).

georule1861: On the sync issue, By His Bootstraps? 🙂

DenvToday: I’ve always thought that John and Jenny were stand-ins for Bob and Ginny.

georule1861: The nudists?

aggirlj: Another device and to your intro. Wanted to fulfill or come close to the 100 pages?

DenvToday: Yep

Toxdoc1947: everybody – this has been hugely entertaining enlightening, but I’ve got to go – good night

DenvToday: Night doc

Toxdoc1947 has left the room.

georule1861: No, but probably folks they knew.

georule1861: From the same context.

georule1861: My guess, anyway.

AGplusone: So do I, John.

georule1861: Oh, btw, those pics will be going up on 7/7 too, I hope.

georule1861: 🙂

morganuci: Oh yeah!

georule1861: Might be a bit later. We’ll see.

georule1861: Pics got a lower priority.

Randyjj55: Lots of things to synch on – knowledge, age, experience, viewpoints, shared objectives, etc.

AGplusone: Ginny wouldn’t have let him take them if she wasn’t proud of it.

georule1861: Well, not just the Ginny ones!

AGplusone: But Pournelle is going to expload.

georule1861: Tho Ginny is quite dignified and sexy.

georule1861: Well, it’s what he does.

georule1861: Why deny him his pleasure?

aggirlj: 😀

AGplusone: You may be right.

georule1861: /me takes folks as he finds them.

Smn Jester: Wait, wait… Pics?

aggirlj: At this point I’ll let you guys talk abou thte pics, I’ve got to go. It was fun.

georule1861: nn, JanE

DenvToday: Night

AGplusone: nudist + amateur photography hobby = nude photos of guess who.

morganuci: Night—see you in KC?

aggirlj: bye for now.

aggirlj: Yep, with bells.

aggirlj has left the room.

DenvToday: Oh my!

georule1861: Oh, we had vapors at first too.

georule1861: “Art, you’re SURE?”

Smn Jester: Really!? Wow… Okay, spell it out for me; just who are the pics of?

georule1861: Art: ‘Yep;

morganuci: It’s not that surprising, given that he already had a hobby of photographing nudes.

AGplusone: Ticky

georule1861: No, it’s not surprising at all that he took them. Moderately surprising they ended up in the archives.

Smn Jester: You mean Ginny, the face that launch a thousand space ships?

DenvToday: Yeah, that Ernest Borgnine collection was darn provocative.

georule1861: But there they are, and as Art pointed out if they weren’t willing to have them there, they wouldn’t be there.

morganuci: How about wife #2? Or #1?? Any of them?

AGplusone: Besides Sunset Lee?

georule1861: I haven’t been thru them all.

AGplusone: Come to think on it, any more of Sunset Lee?

Randyjj55: Well it just goes to show you his fundamental integrity. Writewhat you know about. If you are going to do something, do it becauseyou want to and don’t be ashamed of what you have done.

AGplusone: That was a beautiful woman.

Smn Jester: *lost* There are nude pics of Sunset Lee?

xarophti has entered the room.

georule1861: There’s one on heinleinsociety.org isn’t there?

AGplusone: Heinlein hung one in his house.

AGplusone: Yes.

georule1861: Thought so.

DenvToday: Now, when you say ‘hung’…

BPRAL22169: Fair number of pics of Leslyn. No good ones of the first wife — just newspaper clippings.

AGplusone: From the Leslyn era.

AGplusone: Framed, matted etc.

DenvToday: Of course.

xarophti: evening, all.

DenvToday: Howdy

Randyjj55: Yes, your hair becomes matted with enough exercise….

BPRAL22169: I think that was his only “art photography” from the 40’s that survived.

AGplusone: evenin

LVPPakaAspie has left the room.

BPRAL22169: I keep hoping John Campbell’s photos turn up.

DenvToday: I went nude sunbathing once. People from Greenpeace kept trying to push me back into the sea.

AGplusone: Whatizname, Bruce something or the other, from LASFS hinted to me one time he had some of them that RAH gave him.

AGplusone: Pelz?

BPRAL22169: Elayne might know where they wound up — or Diane.

BPRAL22169: Actually, Larry Niven might know something about that (Bruce Pelz is “Elephant” in Niven Stories)

AGplusone: The ones Bruce claimed were the double (stereoscope) slides.

AGplusone: Looked like one too. He died a few years ago, didn’t he?

BPRAL22169: Yes — actually I thought he looked a bit like Prof. Challenger might look

AGplusone: Having trouble remembering who Challenger is/was character of.

BPRAL22169: Conan Doyle

DenvToday: The Lost World, I think.

BPRAL22169: Yes.

AGplusone: Not my genre. Except for Shirtlock Holmes and the White Company, don’t remember any Doyle.

Randyjj55: Speaking of that, did anyone ever do a Heinlein Concordance? I’ve heard rumors of such a thing, but haven’t seen one. Would be niceto have an electronic tool like that as my brain runs down.

AGplusone: By was reading “They” and noticed that violin playing and wondered whether that was a tip of the hat by RAH to Holmes, today.

AGplusone: On the website, Randy.

DavidWrightSr: There is one online at the Society’s website.

AGplusone: By = btw

Randyjj55: Just goes to show you how long it has been since on line. Dang!What a nice piece of work. I can see another time sink in my future.

georule1861: There ya go, Randy. Not complete, but I’m pretty pleased with it.

Randyjj55: You should be. Very nice and clean/

morganuci: Anyone have a new topic / question to discuss about DiS?

georule1861: That was a whole lot of pages to do.

AGplusone: I locked for a moment. May be AOL. Save log, David.

DavidWrightSr: Right

georule1861: Oh, DiS. . . .I thought Campbell was nuts, quite frankly.

JJ Brannon: Is Bill Gates a time traveler?

JJ Brannon: Using DiS as a guidebook?

georule1861: It seemed to me that when Dan went into the future that RAH was tossing off great context sf ideas left and right.

Randyjj55: I grabbed a copy of what has transpired since I joined.

DenvToday: I wish I could time travel back to 1981 and invest in Microsoft stock.

georule1861: And Campbell should have been happy to have it in Astounding as “good sf”

xarophti: oops..BRB

xarophti has left the room.

Randyjj55: JJ – I think the word you are looking for is Time WASTER not Time TRAVELER

AGplusone: I forget, who was it criticized DiS because of weak charactization: Blish?

georule1861: Instead of bitching about Pete and “Heinlein writing with one hand in his pocket” OWTTE

AGplusone: characterization

Smn Jester: Investing back then would change things. They would have had just a *touch* more money and they would have gotten cocky. Then they would have fallen flat on their faces and all the PCs in the world today would be running Linux.

AGplusone: I don’t know what Blish was talking about … what did he want?

Randyjj55: That’s why butterflies don’t invest in the weather channel

georule1861: Heinlein was always great about tossing off one liners that gave such great immediate context.

georule1861: When he talks about “the Eisenhower models” of the current cars, you get that immediately.

georule1861: etc

DenvToday: Pete is one of his finest characters. The man knew his cats.

AGplusone: Yes, but what’s weak or not drawn about a 29-year-old engineer with his head in the clouds?

Randyjj55: Geo, given that premise, can we describe each of Heinlein’sstories with one (reasonable length) sentence? What is the one linedescription of DiS?

georule1861: Yeah, a geek who got took by a cute woman who was after his money.

georule1861: Gosh, that’s never happened before.

AGplusone: snook is a pretty well-done portrayal of the “artist as a young man.” Is Stephen Hero done any better?

Randyjj55: Well, that leaves a bit of the story out, but it is a start. 🙂

georule1861: That was for David, not you, Randy.

georule1861: LOL

georule1861: Hmm.

AGplusone: Still it’s a pretty good one-liner.

georule1861: Feeling devilish, I almost wanted to say the one-liner for DiS is “Time Enough for Love”

georule1861: But that’s a bit too facile.

AGplusone: ” … who instead of getting his revenge, binds up his wounds and gets back to business, and does better.”

Randyjj55: Although I think bumper sticker philosophy leaves a lot to bedesired, there is something satisfying in trying to boil something downto the essential core.

DenvToday: I must be running. Good-night to one and all.

georule1861: ciao

AGplusone: Nite Ron

AGplusone: Come back

DenvToday: 🙂

AGplusone: soon

Randyjj55: See you later!

DenvToday: Will do!

DenvToday has left the room.

AGplusone: Five minute break Tim, then talk about next meeting?

georule1861: Heinlein said there were only a very limited number of story ideas. It’d be fun to characterize all of his by that early observation.

morganuci: Agreed—break time.

AGplusone: Back at 6 after?

Randyjj55: Here is another question, if we did boil the Heinlein storiesdown to one-liners, how many would we end up with. Geo, you read mymind.

Randyjj55: Usually a quick read.

AGplusone: Theme for next time: “Heinlein Horrors” reading “Puppet Master,” ‘They,’ Hoag, maybe Zombies, aspects of other stories. Fear and Dread.

morganuci: OK. Hoag’s pretty scary, to me anyway.

AGplusone: I’m starting to figure out who the Glaroom is.

morganuci: July 12th I’m already committed. How about 7/5?

Smn Jester: I think my ex wife is the Glaroom…

AGplusone: And who Hoag works for.

Smn Jester: Oh, did I say that out loud?

AGplusone: LOL

AGplusone: Naw. I’m already in KC.

morganuci: Oh, yeah, I forgot! Ok, how about 7/19?

AGplusone: Good to me.

morganuci: OK, let’s plan on that. Any closing comments?

Randyjj55: Another successful water ceremony comcluded? 🙂

Randyjj55: Thanks for the thoughts and well wishes. It’s greatly appreciated.

xarophti has entered the room.

morganuci: I think so. I appreciate all the attendance tonight!

georule1861: Glaroon, please.

georule1861: Glaroom, is his idiot cousin.

xarophti: I’ll have to wait to read the log. Missed most of it due to physical and computer difficulty!

georule1861: Somebody has the log, I gather?

DavidWrightSr: I’ve got it. I’ll send it to you.

georule1861: then ciao, nn, ta, cheers, etc.

georule1861 has left the room.

xarophti: g’nite

morganuci: Night all!

morganuci has left the room.

Smn Jester has left the room.

xarophti: see you next time.

xarophti has left the room.

AGplusone: You’re welcome Randy. Out best to your wife.

AGplusone: Our

BPRAL22169: Tim, how far along are you with the Lookout Mountain piece?

AGplusone: Tim gone

BPRAL22169: oh, he did disappear quickly, didn’t he?

Randyjj55: Thanks again. Hope to see you on the 19th, though I’ll be inSeattle, giving a keynote address at the International Test andEvaluation Association symposium.

AGplusone: Been busy at work. Probably tired.

AGplusone: Okay, randy, see you.

AGplusone: take care

BPRAL22169: Have a good one.

BPRAL22169 has left the room.

AGplusone: JJ, David, take care.

AGplusone: Nite.

DavidWrightSr: Night All.
End of Discussion

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