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Heinlein Readers Discussion Group

Saturday 1/20/2001 5:00 P.M. EST

The Claustrophobic Tragedies

"They", "All You Zombies" and "By His Bootstraps"

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Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room "Heinlein Readers Group chat."

ddavitt has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi dave

SAcademy has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi SA

SAcademy: Good afternoon.

ddavitt: Looks like Dave is not here in body; just spirit

SAcademy: How are you, Jane? Ready for the onslaught?

ddavitt: :-)

ddavitt: Yes; hosting isn't too bad, it sort of takes off and you can sit back and relax

SAcademy: I take it that means "Yes"

ddavitt: Those stories are very complex; do you understand them?

SAcademy: I brought two apples along to eat--I'm sure I'll be hungry before 9PM

SAcademy: 8PM

ddavitt: Dave has plotted out Zombies on a graph but it's still dizzying.

ddavitt: Yes, I will have to leave to eat at some point. 5 to 8 goes through supper and bedtime for the girls

SAcademy: That is what Robert intended.

ddavitt: Cruel and mean!:-):-)

SAcademy: Yet you send smiles?

ddavitt: I think it bothers us that we can't work it out but there may not be a solution; it's fiction not rl after all

ddavitt: Maybe I like being challenged.

ddavitt: They are entertaining and thought provoking; that makes up for being frustrating

ddavitt: No one said life was fair.

SAcademy: I thought the most frustrating thing he ever did was the problem in Space Cadet.

ddavitt: with the levers and things?

ddavitt: that confused me a lot the first time round

SAcademy: I can't remember most of it. But it was before he went to the Academy

ddavitt: Matt was very clever to work it out and not just start pressing buttons in a panic

ddavitt: Of course, that was the point of it; a sneaky test

SAcademy: Yes. It can be done by algebra.

ddavitt: I had similar problems with the sorites in NOTB

ddavitt: I checked out a book and studied it in the end

ddavitt: Had bits of paper everywhere...

SAcademy: Does it really matter? It's fiction.

ddavitt: Heh, maybe, maybe not.

ddavitt: It's no different to a crossword puzzle

Major oz has entered the room.

ddavitt: I

Gaeltachta has entered the room.

ddavitt: I've spent days working on those with mt aunt

SAcademy: Oh, well, it's fun anyway

ddavitt: Yes it is.

ddavitt: Hi all

Major oz: hi, all

SAcademy: Hello, Sean.

Gaeltachta: Good morning each and every. Hi SA.

SAcademy: Hello, Major.

Major oz: Hello, SA

SAcademy: Someone leave?

Major oz: It's about 0600 21Jan there, isn't it Sean

ddavitt: Not sure where Dave is or if this is just his log running

Gaeltachta: About 8AM actually.......

ddavitt: Don't think so SA

SAcademy: I heard a door slam.

ddavitt: Did you all see the revised chart of Zombies that Dave has done?

Major oz: Where are you in Australia?

Gaeltachta: Yes....... very good work.

ddavitt: Could be someone on your buddy list who isn't on ours

Gaeltachta: Gold Coast......... near Brisbane......

Major oz: chart ? where ?

ddavitt: Good! It was 8.00 am; I've only just recovered from the headache I got:-)

Major oz: hokay, Sean

ddavitt: There is a link in the log and on an afh post Oz

Gaeltachta: The chart is at

ddavitt: fast work Sean!

Gaeltachta: I'm "with it" this morning......... so far :-)

Gaeltachta: Now where is my second cup of coffee?.....

ddavitt: Well, we can start if you're all ready?

Gaeltachta: David Wright's diagram is well done. It shows the beginning as the birth of the baby, which is as good a starting point as any, but can be argued chicken and egg fashion as not the *real* starting point.This is where I think it begins as a circle with a line extending out of it.

ddavitt: Sean, as you missed most of Thursday do you have any thoughts?

ddavitt: I think you have to start somewhere...

ddavitt: but the finished drawing may not have a start...or finish

Gaeltachta: Try this on for size. Think of David Wright's diagram.... Now think into the future.... the bartender dies of and is reincarnated as .... the baby Jane! Now we have a *definite* closed loop or circle.

ddavitt: Ooh! Now that would be something!

ddavitt: I wonder what would

Gaeltachta: But I guess the same could be said of anyone who was reincarnated as themself.

ddavitt: ve happened if he sent the baby back further

ddavitt: So she couldn't grow up to be the same Jane

ddavitt: Would that create a new loop? Or break it

Gaeltachta: But he didn't........ that's the point I think......... he couldn't.

ddavitt: What could stop him?

Major oz: If I were to describe a moving carosel, I would just jump on and move around. The story appears to be just that -- an arbitrary starting point.

ddavitt: Unless he was scared he'd disappear

ddavitt: Good image Oz

Gaeltachta: He says something like......... what has happened, has always happened........

ddavitt: Could Dave's drawing be simplified to a circle?

ddavitt: His first version looked like a snake, which seemed appropriate

Gaeltachta: Don't think so.......... the bartender is still living into the future.........

ddavitt: Future is just another point on the circle?

Gaeltachta: Zombies does not have a definite beginning point (chicken and egg stuff),but does exit the loop or circle (with the bartender), and presumably will come to a definite end at some time in the future.

Gaeltachta: Just MHO.

ddavitt: Once the recruiting has been done you mean?

ddavitt: How many times does it happen? Just once?

Gaeltachta: Yes....... then we don't know what will happen........

ddavitt: The baby is left on those steps once and once only and when it's played out they can move on?

Gaeltachta: I think the circular life-line part ends when the baby is born...........

Gaeltachta: There has been some discussion about the structure of these 3 stories.If we see a normal life from birth to death as a straight line(with a definite beginning and end), then we all know that these stories portray a very different structure.

ddavitt: It's like a tangled knot in a skein of wool; a single strand leading into and out of the snarled bit

Major oz: The time corps guy can step off the carosel anytime he wishes.

ddavitt: It's all a matter of perception

ddavitt: Plus, notice how the machine itself is left very vague

Gaeltachta: Bootstraps has a definite beginning followed by a series of loops. Presumably Bob Wilson (Diktor) will have a definite ending at some stage as well.........

ddavitt: In Bootstraps and Zombies...and Elsewhen come to think of it

Gaeltachta: "They" is a bit different. If the protagonist is indeed immortal then his life-line would possibly be infinite. Just happens that at the time of the story he is trapped in an elaborate charade.

DavidWrightSr: Hi everyone. I'm back from supper.

ddavitt: The machine is important; without it, none of jane's story could have happened

ddavitt: Hi Dave

ddavitt: So, when it was invented, who knew enough to go back and start the loop/recruitng?

ddavitt: How did the bartender work out what had happened to him?

Gaeltachta: Yes... but needed to be simple to capture other people and take them as well.........

ddavitt: The Unmarried mother didn't know, when the story begins

Gaeltachta: Not stated........ but he had plenty of time to work it out.......

ddavitt: Who told the bartender? or did he work it out when he was recruited?

Gaeltachta: Or someone told him........

ddavitt: How did they know?

Gaeltachta: Not stated......... we have to guess.......

ddavitt: bartender seems to be a small cog, yet what hapened to him is unique

Major oz: When he joined the TC, he had it all explained.

ddavitt: I repeat; how did anyone know?

Major oz: ....or teased it out on his own.

Major oz: observation.........!!

ddavitt: No witnesses to the seduction

Gaeltachta: But when he did put the pattern of events into practice, it only took him a couple of hours (?) to do it all........

ddavitt: yes..

Major oz: My assumption is that he had seen it all a number of times.

Major oz: as an observer

Gaeltachta: So, he must have planned it like an operation , military style almost....

Major oz: Then he _chose_ to get involved.

ddavitt: Sen it all with other people Oz?

Major oz: And (probably) regretted having done so.

Major oz: I see that as the reason for the tag line

Major oz: .....his regret

ddavitt: He had recruited 40 people remember

Gaeltachta: The bartender, had his own prior memories........ he could have worked it all out......

ddavitt: Maybe..

Gaeltachta: I like this quote - "Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else."

ddavitt: Funny!

Gaeltachta: I made the comment on AFH :"The general pattern of events and places they visited together would have made him realisewho he was with well before being picked up by the bartender IMO. Heinlein may have seen this as a weak point in the story, and did not draw much attention to it." What do others think?

Major oz: Reminds me of the "uniforms of the nonconformists" in San Francisco in the 60's.

DavidWrightSr: To me it is evident that the UM figured out everything after he was picked up and brought to the Rockies Base. So he knew that someday he would become the bartender and go through the loops.

Gaeltachta: Yes David.

ddavitt: Why doesn't it matter how much money they spend in the past?

Major oz: Expand that idea,

ddavitt: Fair enough david; and he was chosen because he didn't fit in

ddavitt: The money?

Major oz: No, I meant for Sean to expand on the "weak point"

DavidWrightSr: Jane said. "The general pattern of events and places they visited together would have made him realisewho he was with well before being picked up by the bartender IMO" True, but I doubt that he had figured out all of the rest by that time.

Gaeltachta: I can't believe that the UM could go through the same experiences as girl Jane....... and not realise what was happening.

Major oz: I agree, David.

Major oz: The UM had to have memories of being a female.

Major oz: beyond that, nothing........

ddavitt: it all happened so fast and from a different perspective; plus he was very drunk

DavidWrightSr: As the BT told him, "he found that he couldn't resist seducing himself". Makes it clear to me the he knew who she was and who he was at that point.

Gaeltachta: No........ he had days...... plenty of time........

ddavitt: He was shoved outside and told to look for a man; ended up meeting a girl and seducing her. Now that's a bit strange; he got deflected from his purpose

DavidWrightSr: Right. he arrived on 4/3/63 and was picked up 4/24/63 If I remember correctly

ddavitt: So he met her, forgot about the man and coutered her for three weeks without clicking on

Gaeltachta: So, he probably *knew* who she was (himself)......... but couldn't change anything..........\

ddavitt: But the text makes it clear he DIDN"T know

DavidWrightSr: The dates remind me: there are still 2 errors in my chart and I have found a possible error in the work itself.

ddavitt: Shocked when the bartender picks him up and tells him

Gaeltachta: Ah......... but *does* it..........????

ddavitt: I read it that do you see it then Sean?

Gaeltachta: I read it again........ and it doesn't really say about him not knowing the girl.......

ddavitt: Says he's badly shaken

DavidWrightSr: I think 'Shocked" about figuring out the rest of it not just what had happened at that point

Gaeltachta: Just the bartender......... and himself as the mongrel.

ddavitt: looking at it, it could be that he had worked it out and he's just shocked at seeing the bartender I suppose...

ddavitt: He was intending to stick around and break the chain maybe, then realisAIM_01-18-2001(CT)ed he wouldn't be allowed to

Gaeltachta: It doesn't say....... "Now you know who *she* is......."

ddavitt: true..

DavidWrightSr: Just like in Bootstraps. When the time came, he found that he "couldn't" change things.

ddavitt: He perhaps still hadn't gone through it all to the logical conclusion that the baby was him. And her. And the other him :-)

DavidWrightSr: Yeah. That's why I think he was shocked.

ddavitt: When he tries to recite the nursery rhythm you mean?

Gaeltachta: Yes Jane...... That part he still had to work out.

ddavitt: That bothered me; why couldn't he? What force was operating to stop him?

ddavitt: Does that resolve the weakness in the story then Sean?

Gaeltachta: Which nursery rhyme? Yes........ I believe that it does.

DavidWrightSr: As I said in my 'Musings', you have time travel in either of two versions. where you can't change the past and one where you can. If you can't change it, as in this story, you simply can't change it. No force needed.

ddavitt: In Bootstraps, instead of saying what he knew he had said, he tries to recite a rhythm instaed

Gaeltachta: We don't actually see the courtship....... so we must assume that Bob Wilson-like, he could not change events (even if he wanted to)

DavidWrightSr: Precisely

ddavitt: Hw can you not say words though?

ddavitt: Or just move to a different part of the room or...anything.

DavidWrightSr: Because whatever happened to distract you distracted you from doing it.

Gaeltachta: Who are the Zombies? The title of the story is "-All You Zombies-". As Jim Gifford tells us in RAH-ARC, Heinlein went through several titles before this one, and most of them reflect the "chicken and egg" scenario of the main character.

Gaeltachta: Why would the title spotlight everyone else in the world as the "zombies", and not the previous versions of himself? They were the main point of the story after all. We get a headache untangling that web of lives........ and so does he.

DavidWrightSr: I think the problem most people have with this is the basic notion of 'fixed' events. So it looks like there is no free will. Right?

ddavitt: could be.

Major oz: ....agree, David -- the forces that acted to procuce an action in one time module acted to produce the same action in the next one.

ddavitt: that's logical i suppose.

Major oz: procuce = produce

ddavitt: But Bob was aware of what was going on, as his earlier self had not been...

ddavitt: I suppose it's like rewinding a video; always going to be the same

Major oz: but the forces were there......

DavidWrightSr: Precisely.

Gaeltachta: If it happened.......... it happened....... and can't be changed.......

DavidWrightSr: I actually have more problems with the other kind of story, changing the past.

ddavitt: Why is that dave? Because it would set up parrallel universes?

ddavitt: Or affect so many people in a domino effect?

Major oz: yes (sorry, Dave) and the one that has the loop in it would look the same

Berllan5UD has entered the room.

ddavitt: Hi there.

DavidWrightSr: Well, the paralell universes version, I could accept, but without them implies something which I just can't get hold of logically.

Gaeltachta: Sometimes parallel universes........ sometimes the end of one, and the creation of a new one - How does that happen?

Major oz: When you change something, the parallel jumps into existence. But the loop still exists in the first universe.

ddavitt: we're good but we're not that good Sean!

Gaeltachta: :-)

ddavitt: That's a hard question.

Eeyore3061 has entered the room.

ddavitt: hello

Gaeltachta: Anyone want a go at my question on who the "zombies" are?

Eeyore3061: Hi all, I dispised that last AIM upgrade.

ddavitt: Could argue both ways I think sean

Eeyore3061: The AIM programers?

Major oz: Helloooooo, eeeeyooooore

ddavitt: I always read it as the other versions of him I must admit

DavidWrightSr: That actually gives us 3 versions. 1. where the original time line is changed, 2 where the change actually occurs in a parallel universe and 3 where a forking universe is created.

Eeyore3061: Sorry, last upgrade ate my list.

ddavitt: Do you know what we're discussing or do you need a summary?

ddavitt: Being hostly here :-)

ddavitt: I lost my list once; wasn't even upgrading, just vanished

Gaeltachta: And doing a great job Jane.

SAcademy has left the room.

ddavitt: So sweet:-)

DavidWrightSr: Go girl!

ddavitt: You want me to leave? well...Ok


Gaeltachta: David....... are you going to diagram Bootstraps as well?

Eeyore3061: Hiya Oz!

Major oz: ....ignore that man behind the curtain.....

ddavitt: We seem to be concentrating on the time travel but I'm intrigued by the history hints in Zombies

Eeyore3061: I have no idea at the moment...

ddavitt: Bit like The Year They hung The lawyers in NOTB

Gaeltachta: Which ones?

DavidWrightSr: I don't have a copy of it, but when I get one, I'll do so.

Gaeltachta: The Mistake of 72?

ddavitt: The mistake of 1972, fizzle war of 63...

ddavitt: why does an order dated 92 take precedence?

DavidWrightSr: A typical Heinlein throwaway. Part of what makes his works so real to me.

ddavitt: all good stuff

Gaeltachta: Yes....... I think typical Heinlein hints...... which are left open for interpretation.

ddavitt: i agree

DavidWrightSr: GMTA

ddavitt: And we're all great minds here

Gaeltachta: :-)

DavidWrightSr: Of course :-)

SAcademy has entered the room.

ddavitt: Is Old Underwear real btw?

ddavitt: whiskey maybe?

DavidWrightSr: Don't know for a fact, but wouldn't be suprised if it was.

Major oz: Only as real as my favorite: Old Stumpblower

DavidWrightSr: Typical of whiskey names, at least here in the south

ddavitt: sounds dangerous

ddavitt: I know one called Sheepdip

ddavitt: Welsh

Gaeltachta: I would never drink anything labelled as someone's used underclothing.

ddavitt: Which explains a lot

ddavitt: A man of taste and refiniment

DavidWrightSr: Nah, just no gumption :-)

Major oz: OS came from a column called The Lower Fourty, by Corey Ford, in Outdoor Life magazine MANY years ago.

Berllan5UD has left the room.

ddavitt: What about Elsewhen? That seems to fit in with these stories but there there is no loop; lots of straight lines

Gaeltachta: If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you.

DavidWrightSr: Elsewhen reminds me more of 'World as Myth' more than it does these.

Major oz: Refresh me on Elsewhen

ddavitt: came out the month before Bootstraps

Gaeltachta: The students go missing in time?

ddavitt: Professor with six students who all go onto different tracks in time

Major oz: hokay

ddavitt: They experience what they think they will, according to their beliefs

ddavitt: Yes Lot like W as m because there are only so many tracks

Gaeltachta: Only the professor comes back,....... then disappears "in time"...... a little pun.

ddavitt: yes. strange story

Major oz: And my favorite: ...Crooked Houses

ddavitt: One month befoe bootstraps...yet totally different take on it

Major oz: House (no s)

ddavitt: love that one!

ddavitt: Especially when they think they're on another planet; and it's California

Gaeltachta: The Hermit of Laurel Canyon joke.......... very good.

You have just entered room "Heinlein Readers Group chat."

Gaeltachta: I think George Clooney lives on that street now........ and I saw that a firm of architexts is there as well.

Major oz: I soldered one

ddavitt: failed, just like when I tried to build a radar corner like the twins in Rolling Stones

Gaeltachta: On the same road........ Not the same street number.

Major oz: ....but knowing it was just a three-dimensional shadow.

ddavitt: I did a Moebius strip OK; that was fun. I was about 12 I think

Major oz: with the two cuts ?

Gaeltachta: Bit like trying to build an Escher drawing........

ddavitt: ?

Major oz: the cuts ?

ddavitt: These stories are a lot like escher

ddavitt: yes

DavidWrightSr: That reminded me. When I was catching up on what y'all had said before I got back, I saw that you mentioned the logic puzzle in Space Cadet. I have never been able to figure that one out in spite of my logic training. kudos to you if you did.

Major oz: After you make the strip, cut it down the middle ah-ha

ddavitt: It was years ago, can't remember if I did it or gave up

Gaeltachta: Two cuts gives you 1 strip. One cut gives you 2?

Gaeltachta: Something like that?

Major oz: Then cut it again -- REALLY ah-ha

ddavitt: Oh, I see; yes, I've done that!

ddavitt: Only once though

ddavitt: I will have a go at it Dave

Major oz: Talk about endless loops...........

ddavitt: If matt can do it so can i!

DavidWrightSr: Bootstraps and Zombies are indeed Moebius strips.

ddavitt: So plot them on one!

ddavitt: can't do it on the screen but you could try in rl

DavidWrightSr: 4 dimensional Moebius Strips :-)

Major oz: define

ddavitt: The extra dimension might be tricky to write on:-)

ddavitt: Time...

ddavitt: "He felt the intellectual desperation of any honest philosopher" sums it all up really...

Gaeltachta: What about "Solipsism"? Heinlein had a suggested title for Zombies of "The Solipsist" 1.The theory that the self is the only thing that can be known and verified. 2.The theory or view that the self is the only reality. / This is more appropriate to "They" I think........

ddavitt: Yes, we touched on this on thursday

ddavitt: But we see the people in they when he is not there; so they must exist

ddavitt: Mustn't they?

ddavitt: Tree in the forest kind of thing

DavidWrightSr: By that title I suspected that Zombies was really more of a solipsist story than I had suspected, whereas They isn't.

Major oz: no, Jane

ddavitt: He tells the attendant that if he doesn't go the movies won't run..

Major oz: we see them, but they are not people

ddavitt: I can accept that he's the only pateint but I don't think they're figments of his imagination

Gaeltachta: He is very alone.........

ddavitt: What are they then?

Major oz: constructs

ddavitt: Constructed by who?

Major oz: from the "great power of the universe"

Major oz: ....or whatever overlooks us all......

ddavitt: But are they evil? or neutral?

Major oz: nuetral

ddavitt: Why are they tormenting the man?

Major oz: they aren't\

Major oz: he is tormenting himself

ddavitt: He thinks they are

Gaeltachta: It's in their own interests........

Major oz: They are benign

Gaeltachta: The will be enslaved........ or something.

Major oz: They build things for him.......

ddavitt: I don't think so Oz; I would've agreed but for the end when it's clear they have an agenda

Major oz: Make him think the other constructs are real.

SAcademy has left the room.

ddavitt: He is like a rat in a maze

ddavitt: they are observing him

Gaeltachta: If he is a "god", they are probably in fear of him....

Major oz: Like if you had someone in a cell the size of Wyoming, there exists no one else, you make imitation companions for him

ddavitt: His 'wife' is getting sympathetic; give him taj mahal

ddavitt: She is becoming 'assimilated"

Major oz: you try to make him happy

ddavitt: Scary phrase

DavidWrightSr: Based on the three excerpts, I posted on Thursday's log, I am beginning to suspect that 'they' are doing what 'he' set them up to do and 'he' has to try to figure it all out as part of the game.

Gaeltachta: A cosmic chess game perhaps...... just for fun?

DavidWrightSr: That's what it seems possibly.

ddavitt: Like writing a murder musyery then getting amnesia so you can read it as a reader, not the author?

Gaeltachta: He thinks..... just wait till Glaroon finds out he knows!

ddavitt: Is he the Glaroon?!

Gaeltachta: But he doesn't seem bitter at that point.

Major oz: nah

Major oz: that's to matephysical.....

ddavitt: He has a happy place; and they take him out of it by disturbing him

Major oz: meta....

DavidWrightSr: Sounds like the Glaroon is somebody he made a bet with to see how he could handle the situation

ddavitt: Heinlein hated being woken up remember..

Major oz: HIs happy place was a SUCCESSFUL construct.

Gaeltachta: I need to get another coffee......brb

Major oz: only when he figures out the first clue, is he "insane"

ddavitt: Do we want to take the usual break?

DavidWrightSr: A break sounds good to me

Major oz: Thought we did it a 90 minutes

Major oz: but whatever suits......

ddavitt: we can do it whenever we need; don't want you dropping with hunger or dehydrating :-)

ddavitt: I am having a curry cooked for me

SAcademy has entered the room.

Major oz: I just made one also!!!!!!

ddavitt: It smells very soicy so i'm yelling at david to cool it down

ddavitt: spicy

ddavitt: What is yours?

DavidWrightSr: 'soicy' needs to be a real word =-O

ddavitt: We're having chicken bhoona

ddavitt: and bombay potatoes

ddavitt: What will it mean?

Major oz: Black beans, hard brown rice, lentils, celery, barely, shrimp, and many spices, primarily curry and celery seed.

ddavitt: OK, i will go and get a drink. back in a sec

ddavitt: Sounds good!

Major oz: bubbled all through the parade.

Major oz: It is now "clotting"

Major oz: barely = barley

Major oz: duh

DavidWrightSr: 'soicy'. Don't know. just sounds neat

Major oz: yeah, I thought that was on purpose, also

ddavitt: back..David asked what barely was :-)

Major oz: If I didn't know better, I'd think Jane was from New Jersey

ddavitt: Says it sounds very veggie

ddavitt: Joisey you mean?

Major oz: mine

Major oz: ?

ddavitt: yes

ddavitt: Potteries accent is quite strong

Major oz: Sometimes only veggies.

ddavitt: I was a veggie

Major oz: Usually shrimp or chopped chicken

ddavitt: Now i just eat chicken and fish; no red meat

Major oz: Fish varieties in season

Major oz: low cholesterol and almost no fat.

ddavitt: We need to nail down the next topics too while i think about it...

ddavitt: We came up with some on thursday

Major oz: can you run them by us ?

ddavitt: Is it villains next, followed by / then NOTB books?

ddavitt: / means i don't know

DavidWrightSr: Has everyone seen my latest version of the chart for Zombies? it is labeled Version 3 1/20/2001. The first two had serious errors. This last one still has 2 minor errors, but it is far better than the first ones.

Major oz: same site ?

ddavitt: I've only seen 1 and 2

DavidWrightSr: Take a look at 3, it should make things even clearer.

ddavitt: If you know there are errors and can't fix them that sounds ominous

Major oz: maybe paradoxes, rather than errors ?

ddavitt: Will it confuse me even more dave/ i want reassurances that All

Will Be made Clear or I'm not looking!

DavidWrightSr: No. just lazy. Haven't had time to fix them after I found them. I'm pretty sure that they are all that there are.

ddavitt: OK

Major oz: Dead ends on a loop ?

ddavitt: we were going to do tramp but not everyone has it

ddavitt: I'm looking at it now; brb

DavidWrightSr: No. I won't keep you guessing. any vertical line through the chart represents a fixed point in time. the lines for the pickup of the UM should be right next to the seduction, but is shifted to after the baby's birth. The other error is actually coverred in the text, but is not shown clearly on the chart. It's insignificant

ddavitt: I was going to ask the significance of the shape of it

DavidWrightSr: The error I think RAH made is in the length of the

pregnancy, based on the times given.

ddavitt: maybe if I print it and draw in and label the lines of dates?

ddavitt: takes nine months; believe me :-)

DavidWrightSr: Might make it clearer. In fact, I think I'll do that for version 4.

DavidWrightSr: As close as I can figure. it took 11 months for Jane

DavidWrightSr: Doe, that is , not ddavit

Major oz: re: topics -- How has The Happy Days Ahead worked out and what would He say in supplement today ?

ddavitt: !:-)

ddavitt: Sounds good.

ddavitt: Unless it gets onto politics!

DavidWrightSr: He would probably say, 'It doesn't pay a prophet to be too specific'. :-)

ddavitt: Or maybe do what the Journal did and look at the predictions?

ddavitt: I think all his dire warnings have proved true about education and the like

Major oz: right.....didn't he have something to say about Pandorra: "....she didn't get anywhere near the kicking around she deserved ...?"

ddavitt: cassandra

Major oz: duh

ddavitt: Was that LL?

Major oz: right

Major oz: think so.....maybe in the notebooks

ddavitt: But villains next; I'll do the kick off post soon of that's OK with everyone

Major oz: ga

DavidWrightSr: right on.

ddavitt: lots of juicy villains to chew on :-)

Major oz: I have never read that one with the nasty witch-women in it -- one of the juvies.

Major oz: womAn

DavidWrightSr: ??

ddavitt: ? which one (no pun)

Major oz: Spacesuit, or Starbeast

Major oz: ?

ddavitt: Don't remember that one

Major oz: I'm not sure

ddavitt: No.

SAcademy has left the room.

Major oz: witch was a misspeak....just a nasty woman

ddavitt: Star Beast it's Joh's mum who is nasty

Major oz: Haven't read either one of them

ddavitt: that could be it; but she's not evil, just possessive and manipulative out of fear of losing him

ddavitt: Haven't read Space Suit!!!!!!!

ddavitt: You poor thing!

ddavitt: Or incredibly lucky person...

Gaeltachta: Back...... teenagers wanted breakfast.

Major oz: ::small voice:: no.....

ddavitt: Oh it's a great one; first one I ever picked up.

Major oz: been looking for a long time

DavidWrightSr: You have Heinlein's that you haven't read. Lucky Guy.

ddavitt: Kip and Peewee are wonderful

Gaeltachta: ........ and Oscar

ddavitt: It's around i know; seen it in the library in pb

Major oz: But I am expecting a care package of duplicates from Dave Silver -- perhaps it's in there

ddavitt: Oscar is nice :-)

ddavitt: Have you tried the book exchange?

Major oz: never on line

ddavitt: Don hasn't posted much but it's still running

Major oz: and the nearest book store (real book store, not wal-mart) is 70 miles away

DavidWrightSr: I had forgotten about the book exchange, I'll need to take a look

Major oz: is that a web site?

ddavitt: Oh...that is a long way.

ddavitt: Yes; the afh book swap

ddavitt: I can get you the link

Major oz: got a URL

Major oz: hokay

DavidWrightSr: Do you recall the URL offhand?


DavidWrightSr: spasibo

ddavitt: About 42 matches so far. that's how i met Sean wasn't it? You were after EU.

Major oz: sp bolshoi

Gaeltachta: Yep.......

ddavitt: If you have a wants list Oz, email me; i go round charity shops lots book shopping

Gaeltachta: Couldn't get it here....... Thanks Jane.

Major oz: hokay, Jane, thanx

ddavitt: No problem; i love getting books for people

Gaeltachta: That's all I buy for people at christmas..........

ddavitt: But do you read them first?

Gaeltachta: No....... but I borrow some later

ddavitt: i can if they're for my mum; we have an agreement

Major oz: By the way folks, I collect the phrase "thank you" in as many languages as I can. Don't do it here, but if you get time sometime, e-mail me all you know. I'm on AOL by this name.

Gaeltachta: I try to suit the book to the person....... and sometimes I'm not that interested in what they are.

ddavitt: Good way of buying; lots of people can't do that; just buy what they'd like

ddavitt: Thank you; why that phrase?

DavidWrightSr: There is that list of thank yous in 'Podkayne'. Did you read that one?

ddavitt: podkayne had a list didn't she?

ddavitt: GMTA again!

DavidWrightSr: Of course ;-)

Major oz: I started it by backpacking around E. Europe and the USSR / Russia area, knowing that "thank you" and "where is the toilet" can get you really far in any country.

Major oz: ....I did this in my early 50's -- great fun.

ddavitt: Yep; my stock phrases are' a room with a bath and a large beer please

DavidWrightSr: Wouldn't water be better to bathe in? :-)

Major oz: ....never paid to stay -- bought lots of gifts, though

ddavitt: OK; better be we want to go back to the stories?

Gaeltachta: I have to take a couple of teenagers to a rock concert. Unfortunately this means I must finish up here very soon.

ddavitt: ha ha!

Major oz: family to family, etc

ddavitt: What group?

Major oz: alone

Gaeltachta: Lots of groups.......

ddavitt: rock group :-)

Gaeltachta: It's called the "The Big Day out".........

ddavitt: who's headlining?

Gaeltachta: Mainly Aussie bands.......

Gaeltachta: Killing Heidi...... Powderfinger......

DavidWrightSr: I can't really think of much more to say about the stories. I wish that I could have re-read Bootstraps, but from what I remember, that wouldn't add much.

ddavitt: Only know AC/DC sorry

ddavitt: Getting old and past it :-(

Gaeltachta: Same here :-)

ddavitt: Midnight Oil maybe

Major oz: I like to speculate on what Diktor #2 will do now -- grow old with babes in attendance?

Major oz: Or go back to Medicare?

ddavitt: Repoulate the world?

DavidWrightSr: I think that that was about the height of his ambition as I recall

ddavitt: can he go back?

ddavitt: I suppose he could if he wanted

ddavitt: I reas it as him being trapped

Gaeltachta: I always wondered why he didn't use the time gate more often?

Major oz: My fantasies are always to go back and buy Microsoft and Yahoo, then sell in Jan 00.

Gaeltachta: He could have gone almost anywhere.

DavidWrightSr: I suspect that even after having gone through the loops, he still felt that somehow it would change things for the worse if he did it again.

Gaeltachta: But if he was in control....... he could plan it right.

ddavitt: Yes; he could have nipped back and forth whenver he got bored

Gaeltachta: But he stayed....... maybe those babes again?

ddavitt: Or tried to stop the aliens from coming

DavidWrightSr: Why. his plans never worked out before at least the way he

expected them to

Major oz: I think he didn't want to risk it, as being on the "origin" side, the gate could be moved away from you -- never to be found again.

ddavitt: That never really got explained

ddavitt: Yes; the gate did move once didn't it?

Major oz: Yeah, out of the alley

ddavitt: He remembered it would be in his apartment but it had vanished

Major oz: .....close call

ddavitt: It had to go, so it could be there but it must have been a shock

ddavitt: Not really!

ddavitt: Not if it's a loop[

Major oz: But he wasn't sure at that time

ddavitt: He HAD to remember and catch up with it

DavidWrightSr: Otherwise, the rest of the events wouldn't take place.

Major oz: He didn't see himself as # 3 at that time

ddavitt: Didn't matter; like we were saying, can't change it even if you're aware or not aware

Gaeltachta: Wish I could stay....... but loud piercing music awaits. Bye all .......

Major oz: .....only after

ddavitt: You all convinced me of that an hour ago!

ddavitt: Bye Sean

Major oz: take your earplugs, Sean -- c ya

DavidWrightSr: Morning Sean

Gaeltachta: :-)

Gaeltachta has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Eeyore. You are awfully quiet. Any thing to comment?

ddavitt: Why are the humans of the future so dopey?

Major oz: ...cause they is us.....

ddavitt: we're not like that..

DavidWrightSr: Dopey. ??

ddavitt: If he has children will his new blood reinvigorate them?

ddavitt: lethargic, no spark of competition

Major oz: probably, if he studies Macheiveilli (whew?)

DavidWrightSr: I remember, sort of like the Eloi in Well's book.

ddavitt: had intelligence and arts but no ambition

Major oz: yes

ddavitt: yes

ddavitt: Heinlein liked wells didn't he?

Major oz: That pretty well describes the USSR

ddavitt: maybe wanted to explore a Wellsian future

Major oz: Intelligence and art but no ambition

ddavitt: In 1941 would that have been a worry to Heinlein?

Major oz: you bet

DavidWrightSr: Probably a comment by RAH about the end result of socialism/communism

ddavitt: Possibly.

ddavitt: But they are happy and ontent

ddavitt: Wouldn't he have shown a less idyllic existence?

Major oz: A society (common in literature) that accepts "security" by giving up a virgin or two.

ddavitt: Or is the evry lack of will power enough to make it hell?

ddavitt: But they have no agressor, no adversary

DavidWrightSr: I think that he thought that Lotus eating was the very worst condition for man

Major oz: who

Major oz: Diktor's people?

ddavitt: It is if we want to get naywhere.

ddavitt: I have to go and eat now.

Major oz: The society degenerates and kills the white squirrels

ddavitt: back soon, if you're all still here.

Major oz: I'm about to hit my 120 minute mark, soon.

Major oz: So, Villains is next?

DavidWrightSr: Looks like we might have a short night. With Eeyore keeping silent and Jane gone, that just leaves the two of us. I think that villains was the consensus

Major oz: hokay.

Pnther5o5 has entered the room.

Major oz: I'm gonna go, as I have about ten minutes left and something I must do on line before being kicked of.

Major oz: see ya, all

stephenveiss has entered the room.

Major oz has left the room.

stephenveiss: hiya all ..

DavidWrightSr: Hi Pnth. Stephen. Small group here tonight. Oz will probably be back and Jane is taking a break. We have been discussing Zombies, They and By His Bootstraps.

stephenveiss: I may be in and out.. I'm (gasp) working on the picture page :-)

DavidWrightSr: and Eeyore is keeping silent :-)

DavidWrightSr: Have you read the log from Thursday's chat?

Pnther5o5: And I'll probably be in and out. I've been out the whole day and the wife is not being understanding...:-D

stephenveiss: I havent seen the log, no.. where is it?

DavidWrightSr: Hang on. I'll get the URL for you

stephenveiss: thanks..

DavidWrightSr: Stephen: aren't you on my mailing list to receive notices of the logs?

stephenveiss: I changed email addresses recently..

DavidWrightSr: I'll check and see what I have down for you. Thanks

stephenveiss: ok..

Eeyore3061 has left the room.

Pnther5o5: So what is the topic _this_ week? ;-)

DavidWrightSr: Zombies, They and By His Bootstraps.

Pnther5o5: Oh. I thought that was last week. Sorry. Clueless. Not even a dime to buy one.

stephenveiss: all of which I haven't read for about a year.. :-(

DavidWrightSr: The so called 'Claustrophobic Tragedies'. Bill Patterson's title for them.

DavidWrightSr: I was able to read Zombies and They, but don't have a copy of Bootstraps and it has been a fairly long time since I read it.

ddavitt: hi, i'm back, one handed, feeding baby

ddavitt: stephen, i have some photos for the page; where should i send them?


DavidWrightSr: We are having a lull, everyone has left, but Stephen and Pnther have come on board

ddavitt: kay

ddavitt: hi all

ddavitt: anyone have any suggestions about future chats?

ddavitt: don

ddavitt: all speak at once !

ddavitt: darn, this is hard to type

stephenveiss: not me, sorry.. its been so long since I've been involved in them ..

ddavitt: curry was way too hot; mouth is on fire

ddavitt: i miss uk curries stephen

ddavitt: especially baltis

stephenveiss: hehe..

stephenveiss: mm... balti :-)

DavidWrightSr: too 'soicy'?

ddavitt: definitely

ddavitt: david likes vindaloo; i like korma. nuff said

ddavitt: we have a scanner now stephen; i think it sends jpegs; is that ok?

stephenveiss: ya, thats fine..

ddavitt: how are the exams>

DavidWrightSr: Do you have text recognition software Jane?

stephenveiss: they dont start until Feb :-)

ddavitt: ?

ddavitt: dunno

ddavitt: might have,,,i'm not techie remember:-)

ddavitt: a's are they?

DavidWrightSr: Software that can scan a page of text and turn it into a document. Probably not, they normally have to be purchased separately, although some scanners might provide simple ones.

stephenveiss: nope.. thats my GCSE mocks..

ddavitt: david says no we don't

ddavitt: good luck

stephenveiss: thanks :-)

DavidWrightSr: that's how I was able to get those three excerpts done so quickly.

ddavitt: so what do you two thonk of time travel then?

ddavitt: to change or not to change...

stephenveiss: if we had it, I dont think people would be responsible enough with it..

ddavitt: couldn't agree more..but would we know about it?

ddavitt: it sounds scary; monkey's paw like

DavidWrightSr: The essence of Zombies and Bootstraps is that you really can't change anything.

ddavitt: shouldn't meddle, will only make things worse

ddavitt: but sail lookst it differently

ddavitt: they change all over the place

DavidWrightSr: That was the theme with the Circle or Ouroboros and why they wanted Mycroft Homes.

ddavitt: but their memories fade gradually, not a sudden shift

ddavitt: that's a new idea isn't it?

stephenveiss: I'm sure it mentioned somewhere that if you changed, it didn't really change, but split that timeline.. one line without the change, one with..

DavidWrightSr: Having any memory of a time change bothers me. I prefer Hogan's approach in 'Thrice in Time'

ddavitt: colin slowly forgets he was a cannibal

ddavitt: ? wg=hat's that dave?

DavidWrightSr: the 'reset' model has *everything* changing so that no-one has any notion that there has been a change. The only way they figured out that it was happening was that they got messages from the future which showed things that never subsequently happened. Neat book. Compatriot of yours, Hogan

ddavitt: james hogan?

DavidWrightSr: Right

ddavitt: Know the name

DavidWrightSr: Almost as good as Heinlein. Different in style, but who isn't

ddavitt: how could they get the messgaes/

ddavitt: paradox

DavidWrightSr: They devised a machine that could send back messages, so when the people got the messages, they found that some of them turned out correctly, but others apparently didn't. So they figured that the message was actually causing the entire future to be 'reset' so that it never got sent in that revised future.

ddavitt: interesting

ddavitt: so many different speculations...

ddavitt: wonder if we

ddavitt: ll ever have it

DavidWrightSr: Well, I don't care much for changing anyway, but this makes more sense than people having 'memories' of something that didn't happen.

ddavitt: agreed

stephenveiss: okay.. I'm off.. gonna work on the webpage for a bit then go

and get some sleep :-)

DavidWrightSr: The other approach I prefer to 'changing the past' is the switch to an alternate time track where you become part of the events of that one, but not the one you left.

mjriley78 has entered the room.

stephenveiss has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Hi welcome

ddavitt: too late..night stephen

ddavitt: Hello mjriley

mjriley78: Mike Riley here

ddavitt: welcome to the chat room

ddavitt: talking about time travel

ddavitt: And 3 heinlein stories

mjriley78: I saw some of the posts in AFH. Talking about "All you Zombies" etc.

ddavitt: saves me writing it all out!

ddavitt: Any thoughts on it/

ddavitt: have you read the stories?

DavidWrightSr: Link to Thursday's log if you haven't seen it.

mjriley78: Well I haven't read it in a long while. But it was a sort of tighter version of "By his bootstraps"

mjriley78: Thanks

ddavitt: zombies? yes but more complex imo

DavidWrightSr: That's like saying an air rifle is like a bazooka :-)

mjriley78: AYZ certainly gave one a lot more to think about.

mjriley78: I've read that AYZ is consistently rated as one of the top SF short stories.

ddavitt: I think so; very well known time travel story; one of the classics

ddavitt: So is Bootsraps though; amazing when you think it was quite early in H's career

ddavitt: He was good at short stories; seems a shame they didn't pay enough for him to keep up with them

mjriley78: Did it appear in Astounding first? Because if it did, I can't think of any other story published there about unwed mothers

ddavitt: Though a novel gives you more space

ddavitt: Magazine of fantasy and Science fiction

DavidWrightSr: I think Zombies was in S & SF wasn't it?

ddavitt: mrach 1959 9 from grumbles)

DavidWrightSr: S & SF = F & SF (GMTA)

ddavitt: as ever:-)

mjriley78: Ah. Then it was after his break with Campbell.

ddavitt: That was after WW2 wasn't it?

ddavitt: Ok, back to two fingers so I can type faster :-)

ddavitt: Do you post on afh Mike?

mjriley78: Not so far.

mjriley78: I'm more of a lurker.

ddavitt: fair enough.

DavidWrightSr: I think learning to touch type in High School was the most practical course I ever took

ddavitt: I am pretty fast with 2 fingers...

DavidWrightSr: Both of my sons do it that way, and I can't see that they have been handicapped in any way :-)

ddavitt: but not accurate. i proof read on afh but no time here on the chat

mjriley78: I touch type. But am not accurate.

ddavitt: I predict better typers, worse writers in the next generation

mjriley78: Since my handwriting is even worse, I plow on this way.

DavidWrightSr: Nah, it'll all be replace by voice recognition :-)

mjriley78: I can actually type faster than I can write.

ddavitt: Mine has degenerated since having the computer.

ddavitt: i made notes for something and couldn't reads them

mjriley78: "The PC is doomed"

mjriley78: Thank god

DavidWrightSr: My handwriting has *always* been lousy. A result of having

been a leftie forced to be a rightie in grammar school, I think

ddavitt: Do they still do that?

DavidWrightSr: I don't know. This was 55 years ago :-)

ddavitt: Ok:-)

mjriley78: My excuse is that my fine muscle control is poor. Can't play an instrument very well either.

ddavitt: Well, it's getting to bedtime for the girls ( still sounds weird in the plural!)

DavidWrightSr: Are you using PC to mean all personal computers, or just those which aren't Macs etc?

mjriley78: No. All desktop thingies are doomed.

ddavitt: I will have to go; I've enjoyed the two chats and I look forward to seeing version 4 of yor Zombie chart Dave

mjriley78: good night ddavitt

DavidWrightSr: ?? I'm working on it as we speak. Should be up by the time I get this log up

DavidWrightSr: Good Night

ddavitt: see you in 2 weeks for "Villains in heinlein' or whatever catchy title I can come up with

ddavitt has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Mike Are you on my mailing list for receiving notices of the logs?

mjriley78: I first read AYZ in "Adventures in time and space" Edited by Healy and McComas

mjriley78: No.

DavidWrightSr: If not, do you want to and if so what is your e-mail address?

DavidWrightSr: Thanks. I'll add your name before I mail out the notification for this log. Should be up late tonight or at the latest by tomorrow night. Actually, you can check any time by using the URL I posted a few minutes ago and changing the date to 1-20- instead of 1-18

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

mjriley78: OK. Thanks

AGplusone has entered the room.

DavidWrightSr: Will. Welcome. We are about to close up shop, but anything you want to say, please feel free to do so. Not many people here now. Actually been light all evening

DavidWrightSr: Hi Dave. Welcome to you too. Missed you Thursday and tonight

AGplusone: Just found a few minutes ...

geeairmoe2: Tried to get here sooner.

geeairmoe2: Computer's been bulky lately.

DavidWrightSr: Sorry, you couldn't. I think that we had some pretty good discussions even with light crowds.

AGplusone: Hi, John, Will, "MJ"

Pnther5o5: Hey guys. I'm just lurking, sorry.

mjriley78: Mike friends call me Doc

DavidWrightSr: an MD type doc or another kind?

AGplusone: Good. Wondered if you were related to the One-Ball of famed song ... :-)

mjriley78: No. Just my name.... Riley, M. D. I'm just a lowly EE

AGplusone: One of the songs Laz sings in TEFL

DavidWrightSr: Ah so. nothing lowly about EE's unless they didn't go to GA Tech :-)

AGplusone: Between the ever famous "pawn shop" and the everlasting "Two Whores Came Down From Canada" ...

mjriley78: :-[ University of Maryland and Catholic University

DavidWrightSr: I'm just prejudiced. Don't mind me :-)

AGplusone: Good schools, all.

mjriley78: Go terps!

DavidWrightSr: I originally intended to be an EE myself, but couldn't make the grade, so wound up as a linguist turned programmer turned network engineer.

AGplusone: I take it, it was slow in Maryland and DC today ... no riots got out of hand.

DavidWrightSr: I only saw a few excerpts.

mjriley78: :-)The rain and cold damped everything..including potential demonstrators.

Pnther5o5: And now I must run.

AGplusone: What did we decide about the catastropic time fantasies, Davied?

AGplusone: Nite John

Pnther5o5: Later all.

Pnther5o5 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Caustrophobic ?

AGplusone: both

DavidWrightSr: :-)

DavidWrightSr: I'm not sure why Bill named them that. I never got the impression of claustrophobia out of them. Did you see the log for Thursday? AGplusone: Anyone ease into Cat ? as an extension of them?

AGplusone: Yes

DavidWrightSr: Not much as I recall.

DavidWrightSr: Discussion tonight was pretty much the same as Thursday. I don't recall anything really new

AGplusone: Think Richard Ames-Colin Campbell is much like the protags of the other three.

AGplusone: paronoid ... confused ... not knowing really where he's going/what he's doing ... in the beginning, anyway.

DavidWrightSr: The basic difference I saw was that in Bootstraps as well as Zombies, they could not change they past whereas in Cat, time could be changed and was.

AGplusone: a resolution so to speak?

mjriley78: Advanced solipsism

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: I guess so

AGplusone: as in "we gotta ged outta this place, if it's the last thing we ever dooooo!"

AGplusone: if that's advanced

mjriley78: :-)

mjriley78: retro rock as opposed to retro rockets

DavidWrightSr: I think solipsism might have been important in Zombies, but not in Bootstraps.

AGplusone: Even if you have to kill The Black Hat ... to do it.

mjriley78: That's the progression

DavidWrightSr: I didn't think that solipsism had anything to do with either until I saw Heinlein's original titles and then I thought maybe yes

mjriley78: Was Heinlein a solipsist?

DavidWrightSr: Who know. He certainly made a lot with the concept mjriley78: All over. And more of it as time went by

AGplusone: what did he have the tournement in 'pantheistic solipsism'?

mjriley78: The number of the beast ...I believe

AGplusone: Better than going into the Critic's Lounge there.

mjriley78: Those who cant' do teach. Those who can't teach..teach teachers.

Those who can't do that become critics.

AGplusone: And tear each other apart like Kilkenny Cats!

AGplusone: or 'dopey joes' . . .

AGplusone: What are the Kilkenny Cats, Michael?

mjriley78: I'm afraid the reference escapes me.. though I've heard the term

AGplusone: I know it's Irish, by my dear sainted mother only got as far as

telling me about the national fruit ... the potato.

AGplusone: by=but

DavidWrightSr: Heinlein referred to it a couple of times, but I've never known the source.

mjriley78: checking

mjriley78: me wife is a librarian..she knows everything

AGplusone: Yea!

AGplusone: Thursday did seem a very fruitful chat, David.

DavidWrightSr: I enjoyed it, but then time travel is one of my favorite themes, along with alternate histories

mjriley78: I'll have to post the answer to AFH.

AGplusone: Okily Dokily!

mjriley78: D'oooh

AGplusone: Can you imagine what Moll would do to her decendant?

DavidWrightSr: ??

AGplusone: Moll Flanders (Defore's character)

DavidWrightSr: Know the name, but have never read it. I'm sadly lacking in literary background.

AGplusone: That was a great PBS special with Alexis playing her a few years back.

AGplusone: Moll was an adventuress right up there with the Highwayman.

DavidWrightSr: That's why you and Bill and Jane impress me so much with your knowledge :-)

AGplusone: pbsssst!

AGplusone: "Okily dokily, indeed, you little varlet!"

AGplusone: Nice meeting you, Michael ...

mjriley78: Take care everyone

DavidWrightSr: Same here. Please come back.

DavidWrightSr: I guess that's about it for now. Anything you want to add David?

AGplusone: naw, just glad you all are continuing them

AGplusone: :-)

mjriley78 has left the room.

AGplusone: g'nite, David

DavidWrightSr: Well, we miss your guidance, but I can understand your situation. Good Night

DavidWrightSr: Log Officially Closed at 8:00 P.M. EST

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