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Heinlein Reader's Discussion Group

Thursday September 14, 2000 9:00 PM EDT

"Methuselah's Children"

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Here Begin The A.F.H. postings


***Notice: A number of Off-Topic postings from this thread have been omitted ****

Subject: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/06/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

The Robert A. Heinlein Reading Group Notice of Meetings

Date: Thursday, September 14, 9 PM to midnight, EDT, and Saturday, September 16, 2000, 5 to 8 PM, EDT.

Topic: The Future History novela: _Methuselah's Children_ (in the collection _The Past Through Tomorrow_, currently out of print in paperback, but available as a hardbound book club edition--so I'm informed, or in the collection _Revolt in 2100 and Methuselah's Children [Baen paperback, 1999].

EARLY WARNING: In the logs of our last meeting, you'll find we announced the readings scheduled for these next two upcoming meetings [see, the 8-31-00 and 9-2-00 meeting logs at http://www.alltel.net/~dwrighsr/heinlein.html]; BUT you should also know that, about four weeks off, we intend to read and discuss the remaining two novellas that are also set in the Future History, namely "Universe" and "Common Sense" which were published together under the name _Orphans of the Sky_ (1963), but are *out-of-print* although available with a little effort.

If you have difficulty obtaining a copy; or conversly, if you know where a copy may be obtained by others, please post in this thread for suggestions.

Turning to _Methuselah's Children_, some regard this as the finale of the Future History series, although another viewpoint would suggest the "DaCapo" chapter of _Time Enough For Love_ might qualify. Regardless, it introduces a character born under the name of Woodrow Wilson Smith. But there is more ...

Written originally in 1941, and published in ASF in the June, July and August issues, there was a rewrite and expansion before it was issued for book publication in 1957. In August 1941, the war in Europe was two years old. All of western Europe, save Portugal, was in Axis hands, or the hands of its Allies. In Eastern Europe, Germany had invaded Russia, captured Minsk, Smolensk, Tallinn, Kiev, Orel, Odessa, and Kahrkov; and the Soviet Union had evacuated its government except Stalin himself it is said from Moscow, as the German Army was closing upon its capital. Coventry had been bombed. By 1940, more than one-half million refugees from Europe had entered the United States; and the first nine months of 1941 saw many more arrive.

What would you say about the theory that Heinlein had a pretty good idea what was going on in certain 'camps' established in Germany and further camps in the conquered countries of eastern Europe? Do you think it possible? How does that influence your viewpoint of _Methuselah's Children_?

At the same time, of the two remaining major nations maintaining the war against Hitler, the one most active was Soviet Russia. Why, therefore, in light of the clear writing on the wall was there a section devoted to the fate of Mary Risling (renamed "Sperling" in the 1957 rewrite)?

Finally, there is quite a bit about genetic manipulation--by breeding programs, by altering genes, and by mutation. What's going on here? What, if anything, can be shown to have been the relationship between this novella, and one closely following in 1942, _Beyond This Horizon_ (which may have been largely 'mined' from the never-published ca. 1937 novel "For Us The Living")?

What other points would you have raised about _Methuselah's Children_?

Please remember, the more thoughtful posts we have, the better our discussions a week from next Thursday and Saturday.

See you there.

--

David M. Silver

agplusone@aol.com

"I expect your names to shine!"

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/06/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

>All of western Europe, save Portugal, was in Axis hands, or the hands of its

>Allies.

D'oh! Sweden, Erie and Switzerland were also declared 'neutrals' and Iceland--it's hard to think of Iceland as Europe--was free as well, perhaps thanks to a 'few good men' in a couple regiments of Marines.

--

David M. Silver

agplusone@aol.com

"I expect your names to shine!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Skipped a number of off-topic messages.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/06/2000

Author:Stephanie Vickers

>What would you say about the theory that Heinlein had a pretty good idea what

>was going on in certain 'camps' established in Germany and further camps in

>the conquered countries of eastern Europe? Do you think it possible? How does

>that influence your viewpoint of _Methuselah's Children_?

There was vast speculation as to what was happening in the camps, I believe. My studies into that era, unfortunately, are quite spotty. I can't see all the world intel, even for that era, being completely blind, or that very intel being held so tight that 'rumors' and 'thoughts on the matter' weren't turning up the true stories. And, I think the story played off of it.

Filly

http://hometown.aol.com/merfilly8/myhomepage

"Make it a rule of life never to regret and never look back. We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour; in other words, we are the hero of our own story."

--Mary McCarthy

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/07/2000

Author: ddavitt

AGplusone wrote:

> What would you say about the theory that Heinlein had a pretty good idea what

> was going on in certain 'camps' established in Germany and further camps in the

> conquered countries of eastern Europe? Do you think it possible? How does that

> influence your viewpoint of _Methuselah's Children_?

>

> At the same time, of the two remaining major nations maintaining the war

> against Hitler, the one most active was Soviet Russia. Why, therefore, in light

> of the clear writing on the wall was there a section devoted to the fate of

> Mary Risling (renamed "Sperling" in the 1957 rewrite)?

>

> Finally, there is quite a bit about genetic manipulation--by breeding programs,

> by altering genes, and by mutation. What's going on here? What, if anything,

> can be shown to have been the relationship between this novella, and one

> closely following in 1942, _Beyond This Horizon_ (which may have been largely

> 'mined' from the never-published ca. 1937 novel "For Us The Living")?

>

MC seems to differentiate between what the Howards do - purposely marry those known to come from long lived families - and the genetic manipulation that results in Marion Schmidt. One is acceptable, the other not. I'm not sure how much of a parallel we can draw with the current events at the time of writing because I've never read the original story. Heinlein rewrote and expanded it in 1957, long after the Nazi experiments and breeding programmes became public knowledge so I don't know how much hindsight was involved.

I suppose the main difference is that the Howards remain outwardly human, whereas Marion is so altered as to be unrecognisable. Yet that shouldn't stop her being human surely? As Jubal points out, shape, the container, isn't relevant. Why then do we find it hard not to share the relief that she stays behind rather than returning to Earth? Why do we understand that the Howards choose not to incorporate any such improvements after seeing her? Not logical.... Of course, it's unfair to compare the Howards with Nazis as what they did was voluntary. As we see in TSBTS, nothing is stopping Maureen marrying a short lifer if she wants to. It's presented as a more attractive option for her to continue with the programme but there is no real coercion. It would be interesting to see if that continued in later years or if more pressure was brought to bear to conserve the genes of the long lifers.

I am also amused by the hypocrisy of those who persecute the Families for what they see as abysmal selfishness in not sharing the "secret" of long life; Bork Vanning's admission that it wouldn't be available to all due to population pressure indicates that the secret would remain secret as far as most of the public were concerned. With this in mind it seems strange that there is such massive publicity a short time later; all the populace soon become aware of who the Howards are and why they are deemed to be outside the Covenant due to their actions. If there had been a secret I wonder how long the public would have accepted that "essential personnel" got it and they didn't? Not long I imagine....

It's also instructive to see how quickly the Covenant crumbles; I always said it wasn't going to last long for the simple reason that it was against human nature. We're just not that nice and no piece of paper is going to subdue the natural instincts, at least not in less than a century. 2075 to 2136 isn't that long is it?

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/09/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

Jane Davitt addressed the 'genetic manipulation' aspect of my earlier post very nicely, but I still wonder whether Heinlein's point about Mary Sperling's fate, submerged as she was into a 'collective' wasn't deliberately directed by RAH against the communist government of the USSR, notwithstanding its subjects' gallant fight against Operation Barbarossa (sp?) on the Eastern Front, then ongoing. What, if anything, would lead RAH in 1940 to make that point despite the apparent knowledge that, sooner or later, Soviet Russia was going to be an ally against Hitler's Axis?

--

David M. Silver

agplusone@aol.com

"I expect your names to shine!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

Sometimes I grumble a little about not having "co-hosts" for many of our chat sessions. To explain a bit, a co-host is someone who nominates a work, theme, or what-have-you as topic to explore in our chats, and then takes responsibility to keep the balls rolling during pre-meeting posts and during the chats [We've had a few volunteers recently and more will have the opportunity shortly]. It makes the chats work better and be more enjoyable because we get different viewpoints expressed, as different as the number of co-hosts we may have who agree to 'volunteer.' It's sort of a version of TANSTAAFL.

But I derive a personal benefit when there is no co-host: I have to read RAH's works analytically myself to be prepared to do that which another host for the meetings might do so the chats will work. I've been reading RAH since I was eleven, many times for most works; but I've never 'analyzed' the stories before I started getting together with others to 'chat' about them. Perhaps analysis is unnecessary, but I find it helpful, anyway.

I've been reading _Methuselah's Children_ this last week with a view to analyze what RAH is doing, how he does it, and perhaps, why. Some things I've noted about this story:

1) The first thing that struck my eye in reading it this time is this: There's more than one simple discrimination between social groups present here. The "Howards" are the designated scapegoats of the story; but under the Covenant as here revealed, not all the other pigs are created equal either. Bork Vanning, for example, is early on described as a "plus" citizen--although there's little explanation of what exactly that means. Does it mean that he enjoys more privilege or is expected to contribute more under this society? Or is it simply a shorthand way of saying he's a good catch for Mary Sperling to consider for matrimony? I think the former is intended. In one other work, Heinlein discussed a privileged 'elite.' That was the novel, written in 1959, _Starship Troopers_, in which those who had 'served' their enlistment in Federal Service were the only privileged with the franchise. JIm Gifford has pointed out that in one of Mark Twain's short pieces, "The Curious Republic of Gondour," that theme is also explored. Heinlein was certainly familiar with this piece, as he referred to it in material following "Who Are the Heirs of Patrick Henry?" in _Expanded Universe_, but my questions is: what exactly does he mean here in _Methuselah's Children_ when he raises the issue? Maybe nothing, but why then use the term?

I raise this point because we had an unresolved question in our last pair of chats concerning society under the "Covenant" created following the end of "'If This Goes On ...'" concerning whether that the government of that society would allow those who declined to subscribe to the Covenant to continue to live outside Coventry, essentially as second-class citizens. In my opinion any such government would be foolish to do so, because, historically, it's the second-class citizens to whom demagogues direct their appeals to rise and rebel, to strike down and destroy. See, e.g., the long history of strife between Plebeian and Patrician classes under the Roman Republic, even up to the time of C. Julius Caesar, who, most feel, used that strife to finally end the Republic. YMMV.

To underscore that, consider this passage, from the voice of psychometrician Ralph Schultz:

"The Negro hated and envied the white man as long as the white man enjoyed privileged forbidden the Negro by reason of color. This is a sane normal reaction. When discrimination was removed, the problem solved itself and cultural assimilation took place. ... "

Maybe so. But then Schultz also observes, not much later, because that assimilation is presumed to have occurred, people believed other assimilation necessarily and easily would also: "We were led astray by our hopes."

What would you conclude about RAH's belief that a "Covenant" under which all swore to not physically or economically harm one another would necessarily create a Utopia?

2) You might also consider the ironies of the society Heinlein has created inherent in this story include the fact that the citizenry apparently has become largely brainwashed into believing its government truly respects the so-called "customs" under the Covenant (including "privacy," "frank honesty and fair dealing," and others) evidence to the contrary notwithstanding. For example, early on, we are told that every time you enter one of the controlways a photograph is automatically taken of your vehicle's license. One wonders what exactly went on during the period of "Reconstruction" following the Second American Revolution. Maybe the "bright young men" went ahead with their readjustments despite the Novak doctrine, but surreptitiously?

3) Mary Sperling and others have a lot to say about how safe they feel under these customs, but Eve Barstow voices that assurance to the furthest extreme: mankind is "inherently good and gentle and kind," she says; and she simply cannot accept that her neighbors mean her harm. Aside what Heinlein may have expressed on that theory in his discussion of the education of children in _Starship Troopers_, are there other hints in this work that Barstow is led astray but her experience and education? What about (here it comes, Jane, I'm sure you've been waiting for it) Lazarus's habits of wearing his two "best friends" under his kilt despite the "present gentle custom against personal weapons"? Today, I've found to my irritation that I cannot board an airplane or enter a public building without leaving behind a small pocket knife that attaches to my keychain that I've carried for thirty years. The knife's largest blade is one-and-one-quarter inch long. Essentially it's a finger nail cleaning utensil. I could kill you quicker and certainly more surely with the ball point pen I carry, or my hands. I think Heinlein would laugh or cry at some of our present "gentle customs."

4) Yet even Lazarus is 'led astray' by his experience: he says, at one point, to Mary, that he's found that "these things pass." The so-called long view of life. I quoted elsewhere a tag-line an instructor once pointed out to me that was inscribed at the end of each annual entry in one version of the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle: "All things pass -- so too will this." The problem with that long view was William the Bastard was coming; and while some versions of the A-S Chronicle continued past 1066 for a time, the Anglo-Saxon kingdom didn't, nor did that particular version. Sorta like the "hundreds and hundreds of times I did it and didn't get pregnant" saying that we see in _To Sail Beyond The Sunset_. What lesson here for Lazarus?

5) I wouldn't mention these things above, if I didn't feel from reading MC that RAH took a good deal of care to foreshadow what was coming. And also what he may have felt was coming in Europe in 1940 when this story was written originally. Consider the common expression used between citizens under the Covenant: "Service" That's pretty innocuous, isn't it? Try a translation of "zu befel" won't you. Very common expression in certain parts of Europe in 1940, wasn't it? It pretty much means the same thing as "service." Robert spoke a pretty good brand of colloquial German from childhood I'm told, he had former professional associates who traveled a good deal including to ports of call such as Hamburg and Bremen, and paid a lot of attention to current events. 1940 was a very dark year, and what exactly was going on in Europe was not unknown, despite our governments' refusals to involve themselves with the "internal" activities of other nations--and in connection with that, it's only fair to note that no country really feels itself 'ready' for war over the internal policies of another nation. "Stephen Wise" might be a good topic to research on this issue--on and off the net--if you've any real doubt about the extent of knowledge of what was going on in the 'camps.'

There's a lot more to be picked up and possibly discussed from this story. What I've mentioned only comes from Part 1 and the beginning of Part 2. Does anyone care to comment on these points, or others?

--

David M. Silver

agplusone@aol.com

"I expect your names to shine!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

Jane [wrote]:

>Why do we understand that the Howards choose not to incorporate

>any such improvements after seeing her? Not logical....

Not logical, but too, too human. In 1940 and 1957 far smaller differences led to discrimination.

>Of course, it's unfair to compare the Howards with Nazis as what they did was voluntary

But what device, do you suppose, was used by the Howards' geneticists to ensure that 'defectives' such as the telepaths who had to be 'cared for' didn't pass on their crippling genes? We really don't know, of course ... and the genetic surgery shown in _Friday_ and _Time Enough For Love_ are in his future writings; but assuming the relevant passage was in the 1940 version, what do you suppose most readers felt was the device? Isolation? Spaying? Gelding? What was reasonably available at the time?

--

David M. Silver

agplusone@aol.com

"I expect your names to shine!"

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: Nuclear Waste

"AGplusone" <agplusone@aol.com> wrote in message news:20000909200724.17329.00000843@ng-md1.aol.com...

>Jane [wrote]:

>

>>Why do we understand that the Howards choose not to incorporate

>>any such improvements after seeing her? Not logical....

>

>Not logical, but too, too human. In 1940 and 1957 far smaller differences led to discrimination.

>

>>Of course, it's unfair to compare the Howards with Nazis as what they did was voluntary

>

>But what device, do you suppose, was used by the Howards' geneticists to ensure

>that 'defectives' such as the telepaths who had to be 'cared for' didn't pass

>on their crippling genes? We really don't know, of course ... and the genetic

>surgery shown in _Friday_ and _Time Enough For Love_ are in his future

>writings; but assuming the relevant passage was in the 1940 version, what do

> you suppose most readers felt was the device? Isolation? Spaying? Gelding? What

> was reasonably available at the time?

Common practice at the time was sterilization.

NW

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/11/2000

Author: William Dennis <williamdennis@flink.com>

Nuclear Waste wrote:

>

> "AGplusone" <agplusone@aol.com> wrote in message news:20000909200724.17329.00000843@ng-md1.aol.com...

>> Jane [wrote]:

>>

>>>Why do we understand that the Howards choose not to incorporate

>>>any such improvements after seeing her? Not logical....

>>

>> Not logical, but too, too human. In 1940 and 1957 far smaller differences led

>> to discrimination.

>>

>> >Of course, it's unfair to compare the Howards with Nazis as what they did was

>> >voluntary

>>

>> But what device, do you suppose, was used by the Howards' geneticists to ensure

>> that 'defectives' such as the telepaths who had to be 'cared for' didn't pass

>> on their crippling genes? We really don't know, of course ... and the genetic

>> surgery shown in _Friday_ and _Time Enough For Love_ are in his future

>> writings; but assuming the relevant passage was in the 1940 version, what

>>do you suppose most readers felt was the device? Isolation? Spaying? Gelding?

>>What was reasonably available at the time?

>

>Common practice at the time was sterilization.

>

>NW

I was under the assumption that the Howard Foundation promoted good genetics only by financially rewarding long-lived people who reproduced with each other. Where is it mentioned in any novel that so-called defectives were sterilized?

--

William Dennis II

http://www.ournet.md/~libertarian

http://www.ournet.md/~libertarian/heinlein.html

---------------------------------------------------------------------

"I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me.

If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them;

if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.

I am free because I know that

I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."

--- Professor Bernardo de la Paz

Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/11/2000

Author: Stephanie Vickers

Here's another point. By the Howards escaping Earth, the desire for longevity pushed scientists into finding "the secret" and opened up longlife to others. In the meanwhile, Libby had perfected a ship drive system that opened up the stars to mankind. My question is this: do you think Lazarus's comments in later books (TEFL?) are true, concerning the idea that these two things killed the Earth? Do you think that colonizing the stars would take all the best genes away from Earth, leaving it to rot?

Filly

http://hometown.aol.com/merfilly8/myhomepage

"Make it a rule of life never to regret and never look back. We all live in suspense, from day to day, from hour to hour;

in other words, we are the hero of our own story."

--Mary McCarthy

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/11/2000

Author: William Dennis

Stephanie Vickers wrote:

>

> Here's another point. By the Howards escaping Earth, the desire for longevity

> pushed scientists into finding "the secret" and opened up longlife to others.

> In the meanwhile, Libby had perfected a ship drive system that opened up the

> stars to mankind. My question is this: do you think Lazarus's comments in

> later books (TEFL?) are true, concerning the idea that these two things killed

> the Earth? Do you think that colonizing the stars would take all the best

> genes away from Earth, leaving it to rot?

>

> Filly

Oh, absolutely. Look what happened to Europe. (VEG) --

William Dennis II

http://www.ournet.md/~libertarian

http://www.ournet.md/~libertarian/heinlein.html

---------------------------------------------------------------------

"I will accept any rules that you feel necessary to your freedom.

I am free, no matter what rules surround me.

If I find them tolerable, I tolerate them;

if I find them too obnoxious, I break them.

I am free because I know that

I alone am morally responsible for everything I do."

--- Professor Bernardo de la Paz

Robert A. Heinlein's The Moon Is A Harsh Mistress

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/11/2000

Author: ddavitt

AGplusone wrote:

>

> 1) The first thing that struck my eye in reading it this time is this: There's

> more than one simple discrimination between social groups present here. The

> "Howards" are the designated scapegoats of the story; but under the Covenant as

> here revealed, not all the other pigs are created equal either. snip

>

>

>

> What would you conclude about RAH's belief that a "Covenant" under which all

> swore to not physically or economically harm one another would necessarily

> create a Utopia?

>

> 2) You might also consider the ironies of the society Heinlein has created

> inherent in this story include the fact that the citizenry apparently has

> become largely brainwashed into believing its government truly respects the

> so-called "customs" under the Covenant (including "privacy," "frank honesty and

> fair dealing," and others) evidence to the contrary notwithstanding.

>snip

>

> What about (here it comes, Jane, I'm

> sure you've been waiting for it) Lazarus's habits of wearing his two "best

> friends" under his kilt despite the "present gentle custom against personal

> weapons"?

I think that the Covenant was an artificially imposed freedom that was actually a tighter regime than the one the Prophet had imposed. It was bound to crumble at the first crisis and I'm surprised it was implemented so quickly and lasted so long. As you say, there are plus citizens; no society is _ever_ going to be composed of equals; cream rises and so perhaps do less savoury items.

In continuing to wear his weapons Lazarus was perhaps showing his contempt for the Covenant; notice that he's been away for a long time; he wouldn't have lasted long without someone deciding that he was a ' case of anti-social atavism' and trying to pack him off to Coventry or the mind adjusters. If the crisis hadn't forced him to help the Families, against his better judgement, he would have been on his way after a few chapters. This should tell us all we need to know about life under the Covenant.

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/11/2000

Author: ddavitt

AGplusone wrote:

> Jane Davitt addressed the 'genetic manipulation' aspect of my earlier post very

> nicely, but I still wonder whether Heinlein's point about Mary Sperling's fate,

> submerged as she was into a 'collective' wasn't deliberately directed by RAH

> against the communist government of the USSR,

I never picked up on the political parallels of Mary's decision before joining this group but it was obvious that it shocked Lazarus to the core. Interesting that he equated his feelings of loss to those felt when Maureen died ( back then he would have been convinced of her death of course). "His heart leapt across the span of centuries to the night his mother had died. He covered his face with his hands and wept the inconsolable grief of a child."

This is very poetic and strangely unlike Lazarus; he seems to keep his emotions under control usually and after all he hadn't known Mary that long. Perhaps he felt that what she had done was worse than dying?

To my mind, her choice was logical; she had a deep fear of dying and the end for a Howard seems to be particularly nasty, almost a penalty for the extra years they enjoyed. She knew that the end was close for her and she side stepped it for a type of immortality. I can't see that she lost anything by it myself.

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/12/2000

Author: Major oz

>Here's another point. By the Howards escaping Earth, the desire for

>longevity

>pushed scientists into finding "the secret" and opened up longlife to others.

>

>In the meanwhile, Libby had perfected a ship drive system that opened up the

>stars to mankind. My question is this: do you think Lazarus's comments in

>later books (TEFL?) are true, concerning the idea that these two things

>killed

>the Earth? Do you think that colonizing the stars would take all the best

>genes away from Earth, leaving it to rot?

>

>

>Filly

You bet.

The WA / OR folks, in the mid 19th century, were genetically superior: "the timid never left, and the weak died on the way"

cheers

oz

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/11/2000

Author: ddavitt

Stephanie Vickers wrote:

> Here's another point. By the Howards escaping Earth, the desire for longevity

> pushed scientists into finding "the secret" and opened up longlife to others.

> In the meanwhile, Libby had perfected a ship drive system that opened up the

> stars to mankind. My question is this: do you think Lazarus's comments in

> later books (TEFL?) are true, concerning the idea that these two things killed

> the Earth? Do you think that colonizing the stars would take all the best

> genes away from Earth, leaving it to rot?

>

Could be; but in so doing they saved humanity. It's a bit like being sad that a house burned down and not being glad that the inhabitants escaped. Earth may be our cradle but sooner or later we have to remove the bars that keep us safe and take our first tottering steps into the unknown.

Jane

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/12/2000

Author: Ward Griffiths <wdg3rd@home.com>

In article <39BD775C.42776AA7@netcom.ca>,

ddavitt <ddavitt@netcom.ca> wrote:

> This is very poetic and strangely unlike Lazarus; he seems to keep his

> emotions under control usually and after all he hadn't known Mary that

> long. Perhaps he felt that what she had done was worse than dying?

To an individualist, yes, it's worse than dying.

> To my mind, her choice was logical; she had a deep fear of dying and the

> end for a Howard seems to be particularly nasty, almost a penalty for

> the extra years they enjoyed. She knew that the end was close for her

> and she side stepped it for a type of immortality. I can't see that she

> lost anything by it myself.

From the text in _MC_, the Howards had an easy situation compared to us "normals". The progress of senescense seems to be a matter of weeks to months, rather than the usual situation of years to decades for us short-lifers courtesy of the specialized medical expertize on hand. If this is "particularly nasty", let me at it! The Howards merely have longer to dwell upon it before it happens, and Mary Sperling had longer to dwell upon it than any living Howard of the time aside from Lazarus, who didn't waste a lot of time dwelling upon it.

--

Ward Griffiths

wdg3rd@home.com

http://members.home.net/wdg3rd/

When the man said alcohol, tobacco and firearms, I just naturally assumed he was making a delivery. (.sig stolen from a guy in rec.nude)

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/11/2000

Author: James Gifford <jgifford@rcsis.com>

Major oz wrote:

>> Do you think that colonizing the stars would take all the best

>> genes away from Earth, leaving it to rot?

> You bet.

>

> The WA / OR folks, in the mid 19th century, were genetically superior:

> "the timid never left, and the weak died on the way"

Yeah, but look what's happened to them since. *Starbucks*, fer gossakes. *Grunge*. Widmer Hefeweizen... wait a minute. Maybe you have a point.

--

| James Gifford - Nitrosyncretic Press - jgifford@rcsis.com ________|

|___________"NitroPress" on AIM - See you at ChiCon 2000!___________|

|___See http://www.nitrosyncretic.com for the Heinlein FAQ & more___|

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/12/2000

Author: ddavitt

Ward Griffiths wrote:

>

>From the text in _MC_, the Howards had an easy situation compared to us

>"normals". The progress of senescense seems to be a matter of weeks to

>months, rather than the usual situation of years to decades for us

>short-lifers courtesy of the specialized medical expertize on hand. If

>this is "particularly nasty", let me at it! The Howards merely have

>longer to dwell upon it before it happens, and Mary Sperling had longer to

>dwell upon it than any living Howard of the time aside from Lazarus, who

>didn't waste a lot of time dwelling upon it.

>

I don't know; is a gradual fading of the faculties worse than going from being in your prime to being senile and dying in three months? Seems to me the Howard way is more of a shock. It's all very subjective though. I think the real horror is that once the symptoms manifest you _know_ you only have 90 days; with us death is always something that is waiting but not knowing the precise time ( usually) allows us to push it to the back of our minds, or hope for a cure if we have a particular illness.

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

Appropo of nothing at all, I've been reading with fascination the figures and such in Parts V and VI of _Methuselah's Children_ relating to the exodus of the Howard Family from the "Little Coventry" into which they are placed to the starship "New Frontiers" orbiting at 106 degrees West (i.e., above roughly Denver or Colorado Springs, Colorado).

It's fascinating, and a bit entertaining for me, to think about the sizes necessary to accomplish what Lazarus Long is called upon to do.

There are 100,000 Howards to lift to the starship, and Lazarus buys the old freighter "City of Chillicothe" ("Chili") because it has enough 'deck space' (it being fitted out for general merchandize in an future age, but before we in our own age developed containerization. So let's assume eight feet of headroom on the cargo decks--it could be less or more, but in that ballpark. Unless each Howard was packed into a coffin and stacked, they'd need about 12 square feet of deck space each to lay down in before liftoff. Eight times that for the assumed head space gives you 72 cubic feet (very inefficient, the slavers running the middle passage could teach lessons that Lazarus would probably ignore) per person. That's 7.2 million cubic feet in volume for displacement of the Chili.

Okay, so how big does the Chili have to be, assuming no space whatever for propulsion, fuel, shielding, control rooms and all that?

Well, the Saturn V rocket, largest thing we've ever had around to blast off, was 365 feet high, 33 feet in diameter for its first two stages, and tapered to 22 feet in diameter for the last stage that contained the lunar lander, etc. and a few astronauts we sent to the moon. If we speculated that the tapering was unnecessary and it was 33 feet throughout in diameter, that would give us (forgive me, I'm just a dumb liberal arts major) using V equals altitude times radius squared times pi (if that's the correct one) around 313,000 cubic feet. (365 x 15.5 ^2 x 3.14159 ... = 312,612.0 ft ^3)

7.2 million cubic feet is about 24 times 3.13 x 10 ^5 cubic feet. Assuming therefore about the same proportions, the Chili, on the launchpad stands around 8,660 feet high, and around 792 feet in diameter. More than a mile and one-half high and, I could be wrong, covering an area of at least six or so American sized football fields.

Interesting sized ship ... .

--

David M. Silver

<agplusone@aol.com>

"I expect your names to shine!"

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

>Eight times that for the

>assumed head space gives you 72 cubic feet

Oooops! 8 x 72 = 96 last time I checked. Let's go with six feet of headspace, instead. That way I don't have to again 'show off' my need to take off my shoes for numbers above ten.

:)

--

David M. Silver

<agplusone@aol.com>

"I expect your names to shine!"

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/12/2000

Author: ddavitt <ddavitt@netcom.ca

AGplusone wrote:

>

> 7.2 million cubic feet is about 24 times 3.13 x 10 ^5 cubic feet. Assuming

> therefore about the same proportions, the Chili, on the launchpad stands around

> 8,660 feet high, and around 792 feet in diameter. More than a mile and one-half

> high and, I could be wrong, covering an area of at least six or so American

> sized football fields.

>

> Interesting sized ship ... .

>

>

Whew! I don't feel up to checking your maths but if you are correct then that certainly is a bit of a plot hole. The town I live in has a population of 100,000 so I have a vague idea of how many people it involved...I'm surprised ( now you've made me think about it) that they got loaded so fast as well....it doesn't give a time but it's certainly measured in hours and I have a feeling that a whole day would be none too long. Ah well, when the plot needs it physical laws take second place and guns hold unlimited numbers of bullets

:-)

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/12/2000

Author: Robert A. Woodward <robertaw@halcyon.com

In article <20000912163421.23383.00002155@ng-fi1.aol.com>, agplusone@aol.com (AGplusone) wrote:

> Appropo of nothing at all, I've been reading with fascination the figures and

> such in Parts V and VI of _Methuselah's Children_ relating to the exodus of

> the Howard Family from the "Little Coventry" into which they are placed to the

> starship "New Frontiers" orbiting at 106 degrees West (i.e., above roughly

> Denver or Colorado Springs, Colorado).

>

> It's fascinating, and a bit entertaining for me, to think about the sizes

> necessary to accomplish what Lazarus Long is called upon to do.

>

<snip of calculation for freighter, it is wrong>

100K people - assume 10^3 per person alotment (a generous one incidentally), that results in 100 million cubic feet. This is a rectangular solid that is 314 feet by 314 feet by 1000 feet. (square root of 100000 is 314.xxxx)

>7.2 million cubic feet is about 24 times 3.13 x 10 ^5 cubic feet. Assuming

>therefore about the same proportions, the Chili, on the launchpad stands

>around 8,660 feet high, and around 792 feet in diameter. More than a mile and

>one-half high and, I could be wrong, covering an area of at least six or so

>American sized football fields.

You don't multiply all 3 dimensions by 24.

--

rawoodward@aol.com

robertaw@halcyon.com

http://www.halcyon.com/robertaw/

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

Robert Woodward:

>You don't multiply all 3 dimensions by 24.

Whew! That sounds much better to me. Still a rectangular cube 1000 x 314 x 314 feet is a monstrous vehicle. Glad someone out there understands what Jane calls maths. That still would be something around the size of what King Kong climbs up upon and swats biplanes down from, wouldn't it?

Instead of running them up the elevators for nearly two miles, it's only about 100 stories. Hope they had quite a few of those elevators ready, for the 1,000 guides to herd them up. Wonder how far away on the Oklahome plain Eleanor Johnson was that she could no longer see the "Chili?"

Thanks again, Robert.

--

David M. Silver

<agplusone@aol.com>

"I expect your names to shine!"

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/13/2000

Author: Major oz <majoroz@aol.com

I don't buy the stipulation that each passenger needs 72 cubic feet. Given that LL says it "...has adequate deck space...", I am put in mind of a Japanese coffin hotel, or the berths on the spacecraft in the Bruce Willis movie that saves the universe. (name escapes me) -- more like 24 cubic feet.

24 times 100K is 2.4 mil or 2.4 x 10^3

Assuming a cube for cargo space, we need cube root of 2.4 times 100 on edge.

.....or (don't have my calculator) about 134 feet on edge -- no big deal.

Actually quite small for a freighter.

cheers

oz

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

William Dennis wrote:

>I was under the assumption that the Howard Foundation promoted good

>genetics only by financially rewarding long-lived people who reproduced

>with each other. Where is it mentioned in any novel that so-called

>defectives were sterilized?

It isn't, at least not so far as I can recall, either in MC (or in TEFL); but certainly that hard choice is implied to a 1941, or even a 1957 reader. As NW observed, common practice at the time was sterilization -- a very hard choice, applied particularly IIRC to adult mental patients. We're never really told in all the various Kennedy biographies, for example, what may have happened along those lines to Kathleen, the sister whom Joe, Senior, had lobotomized; but that hard choice may have at least been considered. Whether it was or not, unpalatable choices seem to be a major concern in the novella _Methselah's Children_ and the unwritten answer to what the Howards did to cull out the bad strains their reinforced breeding program created is relevant to the tone set in the novella.

Consider the time of the original writing of this story: on one side of the ocean belt girdling America, Germany was playing, successfully thus far, "A Little Bit," you know how the song went: "A Little Bit of Poland; A Little Bit of France; A Little Bit of England (the Channel Islands); now a Little Bit of Russia ... and if I get a chance ... ." [Tomorrow the World]. But it was still a question in some minds whether the United States would again get involved in Europe's wars. A hard choice considering the number of American sons who would probably die.

In the discussion between Zaccur Barstow and Slayton Ford, held when Ford breaks into the Family's 'secure communications' the entire exchange is about the 'harsh choices' Ford is faced with. Ford is a decent man, a statesman as it is sometimes called, in a situation where the public has fixed its "attention on one issue to the exclusion of others, the situation is ripe for scalawags, demagogues, ambitious men on horseback" much as the worldwide depression of the thirties had fixed the world's attention on that issue, permitting fascist leaders and national zealots to rise to power in several countries around the world. The men on horseback were riding. Here Ford stands alone, teetering on a paper thin parliamentary majority, trying, perhaps like Von Hindenberg did, or should have, to choose for his course of action a moral one.

A crisis in "public morals," the corrupting effect of mass insanity caused by psychic depression, demands a "final solution" in Ford's world. (It would be interesting to compare the 1941 version of MC with the 1957 one to see if this particular phrase first appeared as originally written or was added later.)

In the United States in 1941, before December 7, the question of whether a "permanent and effective quarantine [from the wars in Europe and Asia] was impossible" was still open. The mood for isolationism was never stronger in many circles. Oxford oaths were being signed on many college campuses, as the author of the report on Roger Young that Freebootrr pointed out to us recently notes in his biography. Senators lambasted Roosevelt for Lend-Lease. Newspapers did what that media has always done, raised spectres of alarm, portents of doom, and argued pundit against pundit.

Ford for his world and Heinlein in our own consider quarantine as a solution. Ancient Japan tried it, the novella tells us; it finally failed; and when the foreign did come into contact, "the hardier displaced the weaker" just as Japan, dragged kicking and screaming into the world by Perry's ships, was proceeding to displace a weak and fragmented Chinese government and tired colonial powers in Shanghai and elsewhere throughout Asia. The Fourth Marines packed up and moved out from Shanghai to the Philippines only three months after the final episode of MC issued. The Seyforth Highlanders had already left. The French Foreign Legion's allegiance was to the Japanese invaders in Shanghai. It had already turned Indochina over to Japan. Vichy France and Japan were allies.

But for one thing, Ford would have gone through with it ("You people are a fraction of one-tenth of one percent of all the people.") and the only real 'choice' was whether liquidation or (full circle back to our old friend) sterilization would be more humane to the Howards. Maybe they'd have let the Howards work for the benefit of 'all the people' in camps in "Little Coventry" while they were considering which final solution to employ. "Work will make you free!"

That one thing was Lazarus's stopgap, named prophetically: Exodus. New Frontiers.

I don't know if you agree, Bill, but it seems to me most of the first four or five books of MC are aimed at this gradual increase on increase of tension towards a hard choice of involvement to be made; and if you see Heinlein writing with a consciousness of his community, his country, and his 'western society,' as I do, then you see this as essentially the same argument glossed over at the beginning of Sixth Column (also written in 1941, and also published under the name "The Day After Tomorrow"), that concerning making the hard choice of involvement or non-isolationism.

Lazarus next has a hard choice to confront of his own, but I'll leave that to another post or person to comment upon.

Regards,

--

David M. Silver

<agplusone@aol.com>

"I expect your names to shine!"

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/13/2000

Author: Chris Croughton

In article <20000912163421.23383.00002155@ng-fi1.aol.com>, agplusone@aol.com (AGplusone) wrote:

> There are 100,000 Howards to lift to the starship, and Lazarus buys

> the old freighter "City of Chillicothe" ("Chili") because it has

> enough 'deck space' (it being fitted out for general merchandize in

> an future age, but before we in our own age developed

> containerization. So let's assume eight feet of headroom on the

> cargo decks--it could be less or more, but in that ballpark. Unless

> each Howard was packed into a coffin and stacked, they'd need about

> 12 square feet of deck space each to lay down in before liftoff.

Why do you assume no containerisation? I don't see that they need 8ft headspace on cargo floors, that would be a liability (more chance for merchandise to shift if the stacks are higher). Anyway, assuming that (they didn't have time to install proper 'coffin' type berths, which would give a factor of 4 better packing density):

> Eight times that for the assumed head space gives you 72 cubic feet

> (very inefficient, the slavers running the middle passage could

> teach lessons that Lazarus would probably ignore) per person. That's

> 7.2 million cubic feet in volume for displacement of the Chili.

OK so far.

> Okay, so how big does the Chili have to be, assuming no space

> whatever for propulsion, fuel, shielding, control rooms and all

> that?

>

> Well, the Saturn V rocket, largest thing we've ever had around to

> blast off, was 365 feet high, 33 feet in diameter for its first two

> stages, and tapered to 22 feet in diameter for the last stage that

> contained the lunar lander, etc. and a few astronauts we sent to

> the moon.

And was not very big, really[1], as well as being long and thin which makes for more wastage. If you think more of the cone used in "The Man Who Sold the Moon" it would be better.

[1] Any modern oil tanker is far bigger, and that's the sort of size you need to be thinking for commercial space flight carrying frieght...

> If we speculated that the tapering was unnecessary and it was 33

> feet throughout in diameter, that would give us (forgive me, I'm

> just a dumb liberal arts major) using V equals altitude times radius

> squared times pi (if that's the correct one) around 313,000 cubic

> feet. (365 x 15.5 ^2 x 3.14159 ... = 312,612.0 ft ^3)

My calculator makes that 275 490 ft^3 - OK, not a massive amount out but still...

> 7.2 million cubic feet is about 24 times 3.13 x 10 ^5 cubic feet.

> Assuming therefore about the same proportions, the Chili, on the

> launchpad stands around 8,660 feet high, and around 792 feet in

> diameter. More than a mile and one-half high and, I could be wrong,

> covering an area of at least six or so American sized football

> fields.

Nope. You forgot the cube aspect, multiply each dimension by the cube root of 24 or 2.88, giving 1052 ft high and 95 ft diameter. Or a more likely size something like 600 ft high and 150 ft diameter at the base, allowing for tapering towards the top. Big, yes, but not unmanagebly so (say another 400 ft or so of height for engines, reaction mass and controls to bring it to a nice 1000 ft height).

(I assume that by then they are using the nuclear fuels developed in "Blowups Happen", hence high exhaust velocities.)

Chris C

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/14/2000

Author: dwrighsr <dwrighsr@alltel.net>

In preparation for tonight's discussion, I have been re-reading MC, (in German as I haven't a copy in English).

In some respects, I am a little sad that I have succumbed to being a participant in discussions analysing RAH's works. It is a little shocking to find that everyone doesn't share the same uncritical view of RAH that I have held for so many years and have pointed out things that I would never have thought of and in some cases have blunted somewhat my appreciation of his works. (All of this is said with a great portion of my tongue in my cheek, and I don't really mean it seriously). I am only now coming to the firm emotional realization that RAH really did write in a fashion that lets people 'fill in the blanks' themselves and make their own conclusions about a lot of things. What is surprising to me, is that other people would actually come to 'different' conclusions than I did. :) :) :)

However, joining in the spirit of analysis :) , an idea occurred to me during this last reading. Considering the times in which this was written, is it possible that RAH was writing an allegory? What I mean is. He was writing, essentially, about 3 societies in which the Families found themselves. 1) a somewhat idealized version of our present society, 2) that of the Jockaira and their 'Gods' and 3) that of the little people.

The allegorical aspects of this would be that the Jockaira represented Nazism with it's heavy emphasis on the 'Leader' principle and the 'Little people' represented communism, (actually strictly committed to the same 'Leader' principle), but in theory, based on the concept of the submerging of the individual to the welfare of the state.

I'm really not sure whether or not RAH had any such consideration in mind, but I thought that I would throw it in to the pot for discussion. See everyone tonight at 9:00 EDT on AIM.

David Wright

dwrighsr@alltel.net

See my page at http://www.alltel.net/~dwrighsr/heinlein.html for postings of previous discussion logs and more information about installing the AIM program and joining our discussion.

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/14/2000

Author: ddavitt

dwrighsr@alltel.net wrote:

> In preparation for tonight's discussion, I have been re-reading MC, (in

> German as I haven't a copy in English).

>

>

>

> However, joining in the spirit of analysis :) , an idea occurred to me

> during this last reading. Considering the times in which this was

> written, is it possible that RAH was writing an allegory? What I mean

> is. He was writing, essentially, about 3 societies in which the Families

> found themselves. 1) a somewhat idealized version of our present

> society, 2) that of the Jockaira and their 'Gods' and 3) that of the

> little people.

>

> The allegorical aspects of this would be that the Jockaira represented

> Nazism with it's heavy emphasis on the 'Leader' principle and the

> 'Little people' represented communism, (actually strictly committed to

> the same 'Leader' principle), but in theory, based on the concept of the

> submerging of the individual to the welfare of the state.

>

> I'm really not sure whether or not RAH had any such consideratin in

> mind, but I thought that I would throw it in to the pot for discussion.

>

>

I'm both impressed that you have the linguistic skills to be able to read MC in German and surprised that you don't own MC in English. I wonder if the translation changed it a lot? If you ever get the English one I'd be interested in your opinion on this point.

I think you could have a point but again it comes back to the changes that were made between the original magazine article and the later book ( and I don't know what they were). I wonder if, in early 1941, general knowledge about the two political systems was sufficient to make such an allegory likely? I'm probably not saying this well but I got the impression that a lot of the details about the Nazi regime were ignored or disbelieved in the 1930's and early part of the war...people just couldn't realise or accept what was going on. Similarly with Communism; had it reached the level of Cold War repression at this time?

Still, if we concentrate on the book, written in 1958 then it's more likely that Heinlein was taking a swipe at two systems which would have embodied much that he disliked. The interesting thing is that he doesn't really give us an acceptable alternative, other than the need to colonise; Earth seems as bad as the two planets they stop at.

Jane

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/14/2000

Author: dwrighsr <dwrighsr@alltel.net>

In article <39C0EE14.C4F30AFC@netcom.ca>, ddavitt <ddavitt@netcom.ca> wrote:

>dwrighsr@alltel.net wrote:

>

(snip)

>

>I'm both impressed that you have the linguistic skills to be able to read MC

>in German and surprised that you don't own MC in English. I wonder if the

>translation changed it a lot? If you ever get the English one I'd be

>interested in your opinion on this point.

>

Actually, no great feat. My undergraduate major was German, but the main thing is that I have read all of RAH so many times, that I have little difficult in reading it since I know what the English was, (for the most part). There appear to be very little difference in this particular translation that I have picked up on.

Also, I had a copy in English, but it has disappeared somewhere and I haven't had a chance to pick up another.

>I think you could have a point but again it comes back to the changes that

>were made between the original magazine article and the later book (and I

>don't know what they were). I wonder if, in early 1941, general knowledge

>about the two political systems was sufficient to make such an allegory

>likely? I'm probably not saying this well but I got the impression that a

>lot of the details about the Nazi regime were ignored or disbelieved in the

>1930's and early part of the war...people just couldn't realise or accept

>what was going on. Similarly with Communism; had it reached the level of

>Cold War repression at this time?

>Still, if we concentrate on the book, written in 1958 then it's more likely

>that Heinlein was taking a swipe at two systems which would have embodied

>much that he disliked.

General knowledge? I'm not sure, but I strongly suspect that a former naval officer would have been considerably more informed than the general public. But, you are right, it would be interesting to compare the two different versions.

>The interesting thing is that he doesn't really give

>us an acceptable alternative, other than the need to colonise; Earth seems

>as bad as the two planets they stop at.

>

>Jane

>

He certainly seemed to be saying that, not only here, but in later works.

David

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Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children

Date: 09/10/2000

Author: AGplusone <agplusone@aol.com>

David Wright replied to Jane, who wrote:

>> I think you could have a point but again it comes back to the changes that

>> were made between the original magazine article and the later book (and I

>> don't know what they were). I wonder if, in early 1941, general knowledge

>> about the two political systems was sufficient to make such an allegory

>> likely? I'm probably not saying this well but I got the impression that a

>> lot of the details about the Nazi regime were ignored or disbelieved in the

>> 1930's and early part of the war...people just couldn't realise or accept

>> what was going on. Similarly with Communism; had it reached the level of

>> Cold War repression at this time?

>> Still, if we concentrate on the book, written in 1958 then it's more likely

>> that Heinlein was taking a swipe at two systems which would have embodied

>> much that he disliked.

I think you'd find quite a bit of informed debate about differences between the two systems from the 1920s onward: after all, the Nazi version of fascism was promoted as a prevention and a reaction to fears that Germany would go communist after its defeat in World War I.

>

>General knowledge? I'm not sure, but I strongly suspect that a former

>naval officer would have been considerably more informed than the

>general public. But, you are right, it would be interesting to compare

>the two different versions.

>

"General knowledge" usually comes close to general ignorance of everything. There was an overwhelming sense of "crying in their beer" about the agonies of the First World War in Europe and elsewhere (in the United States it was 'crying in their watered-down bootlegged beer') that Oscar notes in _Glory Road_. The "Lost Generation" didn't want to ever again go into war. If that meant turning a blind eye to Hitler's moving into the Rohr, then ever onward, for "Peace in Our Times" then that is what was done. If that mean "officially" ignoring the reports of Stephen Wise's organization (as Roosevelt did when Morganthal, his Secretary of the Treasury tried to bring them up) or "disbelieving" them (as Justice Felix Frankfurther did) then that was what was done.

>>The interesting thing is that he doesn't really give

>> us an acceptable alternative, other than the need to colonise; Earth seems

>> as bad as the two planets they stop at.

>>

>> Jane

>>

>

>He certainly seemed to be saying that, not only here, but in later works.

I think the point might be that Heinlein's preferred alternative is build your strength after taking a retreat to preserve yourself, if necessary, as the Howards do, then return to confront what you've left behind. But we can discuss that tonight.

--

David M. Silver

<agplusone@aol.com>

"I expect your names to shine!"

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Subject: Re: RAH-AIM Mtng Notice: 9/14 & 16/00, Methuselah's Children Date: 09/14/2000 Author: FREEMAN <adamcfreeman@hotmail.com

Friend Jane postulated:

> I don't know; is a gradual fading of the faculties worse than going from being

> in your prime to being senile and dying in three months? Seems to me the

> Howard way is more of a shock. It's all very subjective though. I think the

> real horror is that once the symptoms manifest you _know_ you only have 90

> days; with us death is always something that is waiting but not knowing the

> precise time ( usually) allows us to push it to the back of our minds, or hope

> for a cure if we have a particular illness.

<snip>

This gradual fading is much worse if it allows you into a state of gradual unawareness of your condition rather than a dignified end.

If the time that my body is capable of holding up its end of our bargain is indeed finite, I would rather spend my last few years alert and able with the knowledge that when senility hit that I would have 3 months to 'settle up accouts' than the way that I see many of the older generation of my family suffering.

I realize that this brings up all sorts of issues with the base question of 'How much mental disabilty is too much', but here it is...

Adam (way too young to be making these kinds of proclamations) Freeman

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dwrighsr: David Wright

markjmills: Ooops -- To be lousy with names is one thing, but in chat rooms it's murder!

markjmills: Isn't there another "D" name who is actually Jane?

dwrighsr: I know what you mean. I have a great deal of trouble remembering especially then they are obscure.

dwrighsr: ddavit

Doc4Kidz has entered the room.

markjmills: Oh, thanks. At least nobody can mistake who I am; my friends think I'm crazy to use my real name, but sheesh -- I sometimes have trouble remembering even that!

dwrighsr: Hi. Doc.

markjmills: Hi, Doc.

SAcademic has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi Ginny. Welcome.

markjmills: I've quite forgotten what the topic for this evening is -- could you remind me?

RMLWJ1 has entered the room.

Doc4Kidz: Hello (one of my young patients asking me a question on IM)

RMLWJ1: good evening.

Doc4Kidz: who's "leading" for tonight?

dwrighsr: Methusaleh's Children. As soon as we have a good crowd, I'll post a URL to all of the AFH pre-discussions that have been posted.

SAcademic: Thank you David. Good evening all.

Doc4Kidz: Hello SA

markjmills: Hi, SA.

dwrighsr: I hope David or Bill P. will show up shortly.

Doc4Kidz: I meant to post a minor thread about chicken hearts and Lindbergh, but I didn't get the chance

dwrighsr: Pre-Discussion posts

ddavitt has entered the room.

dwrighsr: I can recall hearing about those chicken hearts, but can't remember where or when

SAcademic: It's been literally years since I read Methuselah.

dwrighsr: Hi Jane.

SAcademic: Hello, Jane

ddavitt: Hi everyone.

markjmills: Evening, Jane.

Doc4Kidz: I will be glad to expand on the subject...

CHASGRAFT has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi. A newcomer. Welcome Chas

RMLWJ1: Hello.

SAcademic: Please do expand.

CHASGRAFT: Howdy. Charlie Graft here; I can't usually make it because of my work schedule.

ddavitt: Glad you could make it tonight then.

dwrighsr: We're glad you could make it. We have another discussion Sat at 5:00

ddavitt: What are chicken hearts realted to?!

ddavitt: related I mean

CHASGRAFT: Thank you. I am active in the Heinlein Forum (sff.net)

ddavitt: I recognise you but I lurk there mostly.

CHASGRAFT: I'm <Big Charlie> on that group.

dwrighsr: I recognize you now!

markjmills: Hello, Charlie -- I was the "newcomer" last time, so tonight the honor's all yours.

dwrighsr: Mrs. Hawkins' the many pounds of chicken liver that they had growing on the 'New Frontiers'

Doc4Kidz: chicken embryo heart, actually. Really exists (ed)

CHASGRAFT: I have been here before. It's just been a while.

dwrighsr: Where, oh Where, is our fearless leaders?

ddavitt: Oh yes; and that bit about carp not dying..is that true too?

SAcademic: Asleep probably

RMLWJ1: carp will eventually die, but are quite long-lived for a fairly small fish.

Doc4Kidz: don't know, but a ahile back I was reading Berg's bio of Lindbergh and the whole Mrs "Awkins" story was right there...

ddavitt: Killed, eaten, starve or get disease...but don't die it says

dwrighsr: I recall fancy stories when I was a kid about carp growing to the size of a small car. I never believed it, of course O:-)

Doc4Kidz: Dr Alexis Carrel at the Rockefeller Institute was doing exactly the same thing Mary Sperling is doing in the story. Just around the time Lindbergh's baby is kidnapped, someone introduces him to Carrell.

ddavitt: Koi carp can grow big can't they? Isn't it limited by space of pool and available food?

RMLWJ1: Pretty much. I've caught carp up to five pounds, IIRC the Va record is about twenty or so.

dwrighsr: Wasn'

dwrighsr: Wasn't there a 'Shaugnessy' mentioned also?

dwrighsr: In MC, I mean?

SAcademic: Trout can grow very large, too, if they're not caught.

ddavitt: Yes there was

Doc4Kidz: Carrel shows Lindy the perfusion pump he';s using and he looks at the poorly designed and built pump and offers to rebuild it, which he does. He proceeds to assist in Carrel's research at the Institute. Heinlein discussed the Carrel-Lindbergh-O'Shaug technique in the next paragraph

dwrighsr: O'Shaugh. Right

Doc4Kidz: I never thought the Lindbergh he mentions was THE Lindbergh, but he was.

SAcademic: That was well-known at the time the experiments were going.

SAcademic: Is that heart still alive?

Doc4Kidz: It was a whole new approach reading the same thing (the tissue culture of "Mrs.'Awkins") described by Lindy's biographer.

ddavitt: leaping to the end, what about the 'secret' that they discover back on Earth; longevity thru replacing old blood with new?

Doc4Kidz: I don't know. Interseting to find out.

LearethGFS has entered the room.

ddavitt: And the ability to 'grow' blood as opposed to requiring donors.

ddavitt: Would that work?

ddavitt: Hi Leareth

SAcademic: The Japanese have been trying to make "artificial " blood for a long time.

Doc4Kidz: recombinant DNA technology can now genetically engineer organisms to make human erythropioetin...the hormone that stimulates the marrow into making red blood cells. Next setp in the process.

ddavitt: Really? But no success i assume?

AGplusone has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Jane, you were saved just in time. I was about to nominate you for host.

ddavitt: eek!

ddavitt: Hi david

dwrighsr: Here's David !!!!!

Reilloc has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi Reil...

Reilloc: Hi, dw

AGplusone has left the room.

dwrighsr: We've been talking about Mrs. 'Awkins.

SAcademic: Did we scare him off?

Reilloc: Who cares what she thinks.

dwrighsr: Oh.Oh. Looks like David is having troubles again.

ddavitt: Seems that way....

dwrighsr: Not Mrs. Grundy. Mrs 'Awkins. the many pounds of chicken liver they had growing on the New Frontiers.

Doc4Kidz: heart

Reilloc: I thought you meant Sadie.

dwrighsr: Chicken Heart, sorry

ddavitt: David, there is a copy of MC up for grabs on the book swap site if you want it...

dwrighsr: I saw it, but haven't had a chance to do anything about it yet.

ddavitt: I just checked.

ddavitt: Been there for a while I think

dwrighsr: I'll check it out tomorrow and see if I can't get it.

ddavitt: Don't see why not.

ddavitt: If that doesn't work, I'll keep my eye open

dwrighsr: Thanks. I still haven't finished it yet, I am just getting to the planet of the Little People.

ddavitt: OK, do we want to kick off and hope David gets back at some point?

Doc4Kidz: great! a volunteer!

dwrighsr: David's on-line, but hasn't responded to my invite. Why don't we go ahead. Lead off. fearless one.

Doc4Kidz: I tried too

ddavitt: How about your post today re the allegory of the planets they visit equalling fasciam and communism?

ddavitt: I have to admit theat passed me by entirely when i read it first.

ddavitt: And later reads too....

ddavitt: Certainly Lazarus's reaction to mary's decsion is very extreme.

dwrighsr: There's not much I can add to that. It just occurred to me that MC had some allegorical aspects in that the Jockaira and their gods might represent the Nazis and the Little People, the communists. Just a wild though. Don't really know if there is anything to it.

AGplusone has entered the room.

ddavitt: Seems to me she was just grabbing at the only chance she had for life...sad to think that she might have had a chance if she could've hung on till they got back to earth...

dwrighsr: Frankly, This must be the 20th or so time that I have read it and that had never occurred to me. Don't know why it did now, for that matter.

ddavitt: Wasn't she still around when LL goes back to visit? Mentioned in TEFL I think

AGplusone has left the room.

Doc4Kidz: yes, he goes back to consult her about something

ddavitt: Laz and Lor refer to him liberating the Jocks and killing the gods

dwrighsr: She was 'present' as part of the gestalt mind, same as she was when he left.

ddavitt: Never expanded on; very frustrating! :-)

ddavitt: Not that i ever expected LL to see the gods and go mad like Ford did; way too self confident! <g>

markjmills: Frustrating -- there's far too much Heinlein yet ot be written.

ddavitt: I think the communist bit is more obviuos than the fascism one; what did you see as fascist about the Jockaira?

CHASGRAFT: Ford was a major executive/politician/statesman; not a lightweight. Something that would drive him insane woule be something to be scared of.

dwrighsr: I've been able to get ahead this week and have already posted the relevant AFH postings on my web site. Here is the link if you want to see them. I'll add this log to the site as soon as I get it edited after we close. Here it is

dwrighsr: Well, the fact that they were absolutely under the thumb of 'Leaders' who dominated their every life, if I have read it correctly.

ddavitt: Unseen leaders....

ddavitt: But they were individuals still and technologically advanced

dwrighsr: Of course, there was more than one, which wouldn't have suited Hitler, I don't believe.

Doc4Kidz: only "unseen" by the humans in the story

Reilloc: Chasfraft's observation, I've forgotten how the manifestation's of Ford's madness were described. Anyone?

ddavitt: Plus they didn't kill the earth people; just flipped them over to be someone elses problem

ddavitt: He was crying, incoherent,

Dehede011 has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi Ron.

CHASGRAFT: Ford was practically catatonic; but he recovered without memory of the event later.

Doc4Kidz: amnestic to the events

SAcademic: Hello Ron

Reilloc: So, was it fright or joy or what?

AGplusone has entered the room.

markjmills: Becaus eof what he didn't understand, or what he understood all too well?

ddavitt: Extreme psychosis, cured by cold sleep

Dehede011: Good evening, Dave will be happy to notice that I finally learned to get in here on my own.

Doc4Kidz: I vote for fright

AGplusone: Me too.

Dehede011: Hi, everybody.

dwrighsr: Lazarus was afraid that he wouldn't go mad !

Reilloc: LL's ego's monumental.

AGplusone: Ooh, what a nice full room!

ddavitt: LL compared it to a coyote he caught and tried to tame

ddavitt: Didn't work; animal reacted same way Ford did; in totally unfamiliar situation, total shutdown

Doc4Kidz: Hi David. We've already discussed chicken hearts, and fascists.

CHASGRAFT: Lazarus would rather havw gone mad than accept a situation where he would approve his own slavery.

AGplusone: I still want to know if there's a chicken heart out there that really exists!

ddavitt: I think so

dwrighsr: I think that that describes it perfectly, (about slavery, I mean)

ddavitt: Though he was a slave on occasion...

AGplusone: [besides Bill Cosby's one "that ate up New York City"]

dwrighsr: Yeah, but he certainly didn't approve of it.

ddavitt: didn't despair, just escaped and probably killed his master

CHASGRAFT: He had been a slave--but only long enough to escape.

Reilloc: Seeing being part of a larger consciousness could only be conceived of as slavery to LL.

ddavitt: mary you mean?

Dehede011 has left the room.

CHASGRAFT: Being "mind altered" to approve of the situation was what (I feel) scared him.

ddavitt: I still think he reacted atypically

dwrighsr: One irrelevant question. Wasn't Eleanor Johnson's son named Hubert in the English Version. It's Herbert in German. Or am I just mis-remembering?

ddavitt: She was alive; if she hadn't crossed over, she would be dead..

CHASGRAFT: Nor is there any evidence he had been a slave at that time.

ddavitt: Hubert in English

dwrighsr: But, she was no longer an individual, what's the point in that kind of life?

dwrighsr: I thought so. Strange these translators, sometimes.

ddavitt: She didn;'t jpoin the group; they all became her I thought. Subtle difference

Reilloc: What is the difference?

ddavitt: LL talks to one Little person who tells him it is mary

ddavitt: Well, she hasn't submerged herself into an alien group; they have all become human 9 sort of)

ddavitt: Wonder what happened to her actual body over time?

dwrighsr: I can't see the difference myself.

CHASGRAFT: They did not become what most people would recognize as human.

ddavitt: Would that still die but it would be irelevant as all her memeories were saved?

ddavitt: Well, put it this way, are the LP just blank videos? Was mary recorded over them or were they pre recorded and she wiped them off?

Reilloc: I don't get that.

Reilloc: There was a merger.

ddavitt: Umm....did they all have a personality to start with?

Reilloc: Physical form is irrelevant

CHASGRAFT: I don't see how that applies to a multi-body shared mind.

dwrighsr: My impression was that she became just one of many 'sets' of individuals, somehow mixed up together.

ddavitt: Yes but where do the minds come from? A whole group of people became mary pakgwei has entered the room.

ddavitt: Who chooses what the group becomes? Are some people wiped out?

Reilloc: It's a semantic distinction without a difference.

CHASGRAFT: Where does our "mind" reside? There is a distinction between mind and brain.

ddavitt: Or is a group made up of lots of individuals who collectively form a new personality?

Reilloc: I think that's not right.

Reilloc: That's what LL hated.

Reilloc: No personality

Doc4Kidz: the word "collective" is the giveaway there

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

CHASGRAFT: (Recalling James Smitz's "he's disminded himself")

dwrighsr: Hi Will

CHASGRAFT: That's "Schmitz"

AGplusone: Hi, Will. Discussing 'collectives' ... and reluctance to join anything involvuntarily by Laz

geeairmoe2: Hello, all.

Doc4Kidz: bona sera

ddavitt: OK, I've just read the bit about it in the book; individually they're morins, only in joining forces do they achieve genius

Reilloc: The necessity of separate personalities is eliminated if there's only one whole organism. It doesn't have any real social intercourse with itself.

ddavitt: Little or no personality until they join a group so the ones who joined mary had nothing to lose

dwrighsr: Reminds me a bit of the 'judge' in Have Spacesuit, will travel'

CHASGRAFT: Hmmmm.. Considering the IQ of most committees................ :'(

AGplusone: That was the big question in Troopers ... were the 'bugs' really 'bugs' or just one brain bug per tribe.

ddavitt: If that is so though mary lost nothing and became immortal

Reilloc: She did.

ddavitt: She didn't give up anything, just duplicated herself in a way

dwrighsr: That was a more definite tie-in with communism, so maybe my idea wasn't so far off.

Reilloc: And Minerva gave up immortality at LL's behest, later.

ddavitt: What did she lose?

AGplusone: Noted that RAH never resolved that question after Zim captured one ... the war just went on ...

Doc4Kidz: or lost everything that made her "Mary" and became ... what?

markjmills: But didn't her personality become so amorphous that she was no longer Mary?

Reilloc: Just another grand old name.

ddavitt: How could she lose what made her mary if the group took on her memories?

Reilloc: Whether she lost anything is a matter of opinion.

markjmills: Because "Mary" was drowned, as it were, in millions of others?

Doc4Kidz: her individuality is what made her Mary

ddavitt: It does say that she became other worldly

ddavitt: But I think the group was smaller than that

Reilloc: Clearly, she became nonhuman

ddavitt: But were minerva and Athene human?

dwrighsr: Without a human response to the world, I don't see how just having her memories would do the job.

Doc4Kidz: she became the group mind which hapopened to have her memories. Her personality was gone, and that's why Lazarus grieves the loss of his friend

ddavitt: What makes a human response?

Reilloc: Eventually, by all external appearance and definitions, they were human

AGplusone: Why would she bother, as a group, replaying her memories. Once the group 'grokked' them, why go on playing them? Time for something 'new' ... memory would be something not too essential if there is no individuality. #321,102 to community: That Sperling unit is wasting time again!

dwrighsr: My point, Minerva and Athene became human when their memories were made into a form which could have human response to the world

markjmills: When they could laugh...and cry.

ddavitt: I think not enough detail is given for us to decide...the fact that centuries later a being existed who remembered LL and thought of itself as mary is better than her dying of senility on the planet of the Little People

Dehede011 has entered the room.

AGplusone: #10806 to community: Tell her to spend more time thinking the plants into growing fruit with Big Mac flavors!

ddavitt: :-) That sounded a nice idea...very Oz like

ddavitt: Doesn't Dorothy find a tree that grows lunchboxes?

Reilloc: Two all beef patties, spatial sauce...

dwrighsr: Do y'all recall Van Vogt's dealing with the concepts of memories in the Null-A books?

Doc4Kidz: "spatial"??? (LOL!)

AGplusone: Not me, been too many years since I've read VV. Tell us, Dave.

Dehede011: Having to remember locations to nine decimal places??

ddavitt: Puns! No....just finished Callahnan's Key and I'm punned out!

dwrighsr: I believe that his thesis primarily dealt with the notion that the individual is his memories and that's why he could have his character continually dying and then being born in a new body, because the memories passed from one to the other.

ddavitt: Like those aliens in DS9?

dwrighsr: Now you've got me. Which ones?

ddavitt: Uh, don't watch it much...ones with dots on their faces...

AGplusone: Sorta like a rewritten ending to I Will Fear No Evil ... except the last sentence would read something like: "Well, well, so I'm back again! Let's see if I can focus my eyes yet."

ddavitt: One was a pretty young girl Tring?

Reilloc: Oh, the teenage ones.

Doc4Kidz: "spatial acne"???

ddavitt: In love with julian?

ddavitt: They moved onto new bodies I think

ddavitt: But adult ones not babies

AGplusone: [or what was the movie with Willis' voice, Travolta, etc.?]

ddavitt: Look Who's talking

Reilloc: Look, who's talking

dwrighsr: That was a symbiont situtation as I recall with a new host being chosen as the old one died. And the new combination was a 'new' mixed individual.

AGplusone: I think the notion that 'identity' is us, and our memories, and the bubble-ending thingy to Twain's Mysterious Stranger, is all tied up in this thing.

ddavitt: Well, I'm me...and no one else can be. So there!:-)

AGplusone: <---- not terrifically profund today.

Reilloc: I think LL/RAH's aversion to the notion that there's nothing that beats rugged individuality is all tied up in this thing.

ddavitt: Certainly.

Reilloc: Absolute refusal to consider any alternative...

Reilloc: even if it means immortality

AGplusone: But Mary's sinking her identity into collective is really a kind of submission to rape to LL/RAH ... agreed Reilloc.

Reilloc: Not agree, AG

Reilloc: Where's the rape?

AGplusone: To gang rape that goes on and on and on and on ....

ddavitt: Interesting how he thought of her as his mother in a way...

ddavitt: Or at least the loss he felt is compared to his grief at maureen's death

AGplusone: to the extent that it doesn't matter anymore to Mary.

dwrighsr: I don't think that he thought of her as his mother, just that her loss was as great as had been that of his mother.

Reilloc: First, there was consent. Next, there's not physical component necessary

ddavitt: I mean, what made him try to save Maureen after so many centuries?

Doc4Kidz: says he didn't cry like that since his mother died, but I don't get any other connection

Doc4Kidz: (fast typers)

AGplusone: Analogy is difficult, but that's what I'm drawing ... how do you reverse the status if you're Mary. You cannot.

ddavitt: Well, he was never her lover and they hadn't known each other that long; couple of years?

Doc4Kidz: no, by then it's 17 years.

AGplusone: As a matter of fact, I don't think volition exists for Mary any more.

ddavitt: He must have been used to people dying so why did it bother him so much?

dwrighsr: Oh no. It had been at least 15-20 years.

ddavitt: Really? that long...hmmm

ddavitt: Still not much for a Howard though

Dehede011: What was Mary's name in the earlier version?

AGplusone: Risling

dwrighsr: Well. Remember that 'Herbert' had grown from a baby to a young man.

Doc4Kidz: I don't know my wife that long

ddavitt: true...

Dehede011: Thankx

ddavitt: slaps wrist

Dehede011: I meant thanx

AGplusone: I still need to drag up an OED type dictionary. I believe a 'risling' is a stallion that you let mature before you gelded it.

ddavitt: Jim just says the change could be because of Rhsling

Reilloc: It's a e-less Rhine wine

ddavitt: Too similar a name

AGplusone: As distinguished from a "gelding" proper, which you geld as a colt.

dwrighsr: He also had a character name 'Rhysling' already too.

Doc4Kidz: ouch either way

Dehede011: Did he want to get away from the similarity to Quisling.

ddavitt: I don't see how that can relate to mary ( a mare)

AGplusone: Quisling in Norway became famous when ... by 40?

Dehede011: About that.

ddavitt: He was a traitor; isn't that a harsh judgement of mary?

Dehede011: No, I thought maybe he just wanted to avoid the similarity in sound.

dwrighsr: He may have changed it just because Quisling was a quisling and he didn't want to associate her with that.

ddavitt: Could be...maybe we're reading too much into it?

Doc4Kidz: I doubt Quisling had anything to do with Rhysling or Risling.

AGplusone: Worse than a traitor ... he went along and helped provide a semblance of legality to it all. He 'joined' just like Henlein in Austria.

markjmills: "Heinlein in Austria?"

AGplusone: [or "Heinlen" I forget which way that Austrian minister spelled his name]

Dehede011: Henlein

Reilloc: Was LL too cowardly to do what Mary did?

AGplusone: There was a quisling in Austria named Henlein, Mark.

ddavitt: Well, he didn't need to; he wasn't on the verge of dying

ddavitt: It was her last chance at....something

Reilloc: And he never does

dwrighsr: Depends on your viewpoint. To me, hers was the cowardly way, if anything.

ddavitt: Why?

dwrighsr: Because :-)

ddavitt: Dying would have benefited no one

AGplusone: Somebody told me it was brought up in the campaign RAH ran for Hollywood assembly and it embarassed him during the campaign.

Reilloc: Mary (and maybe RAH) don't share your lack of fear of whatever the hereafter is.

ddavitt: What she did hurt no one

Dehede011: Maybe it was like watching a friend commit suicide, emotionally.

markjmills: How many here would turn down immortality if offered the opportunity?

Doc4Kidz: but at what cost, Mark?

ddavitt: Well, it hurt LL but that can't be a factor; it was her decision, she made it freely, her business

Reilloc: How many belive that by dying they're getting immortality?

AGplusone: What if the 'immortality' was being a part of a tree?

AGplusone: "David the knothole" Thanks, I might pass.

ddavitt: She took a different path; that's brave in a way

ddavitt: She was a pioneer

Reilloc: Okay, if not cowardice, how about jealousy?

dwrighsr: Well, personally, I do, but even if I didn't, I could certainly imagine a time when I would just be ready to hang it all up

markjmills: I agree, Jane -- it was a leap into the unknown.

dwrighsr: Like Lazarus in the beginning of TEFL.

Doc4Kidz: yes, but bravery is facing your fear and doing the right thing even though it scares you. Merely facing an unknown isn't necessarily bravery.

Reilloc: Mary died.

Reilloc: To LL, she is dead.

AGplusone: Like going above the speed of light that Libby and Ruthless discuss ... how do you do that with baggage on board?

ddavitt: Would we be so upset if she had her memories put into a computer?

Doc4Kidz: althought I agree it could be in some cases

Reilloc: What Mary was isn't anymore.

ddavitt: minerva in reverse?

ddavitt: Then howcome he goes back to visit her?

markjmills: Mary seemed to lose, not memory, not physicality -- but passion.

Doc4Kidz: whatever Minerva was as a computer, she was still an individual

Reilloc: LL never have to make that decision because he couldn't and was envious of people who could.

ddavitt: Don't know about that... pakgwei: is very hard for a group to have passion

Lucylou98 has entered the room.

Reilloc: Tell that to the baptists.

dwrighsr: And I suspect that if you could do the reverse, you would still be an individual.

Dehede011: Evening LL

ddavitt: i think he was initially repelled but he had matured a lot by the time he went back and pron=baly was more tolerant of her decsion

Lucylou98: Hello folks:-)

AGplusone: LL hated Mary's decision because it was the 'ultimate rejection' to him. I'm remarrying into another Family! One totally alien to you that I know you could never join.

ddavitt: Hi lucy

Reilloc: I like that

Dehede011: Very good Dave.

Reilloc: One that wouldn't take you.

markjmills: IIRC, aren't her memories of the individual Mary somewhat diffuse and removed? No longer the vital individual she seemed to be in MC?

Reilloc: You'd mess it up with your insistence on a distinct personality

Doc4Kidz: I never thought about it that way, David.

ddavitt: I'd have to go and check...too lazy to walk to the library :-)

AGplusone: Yes, he would.

dwrighsr: No, I think that his response would have been the same even if she had actually died. No proof, just a feeling.

AGplusone: A 'wife' or 'friend' dies. That's one thing, but "total, utter rejection" that's another.

ddavitt: OK, moving off Mary, what about marion, the gentically altered baby?

ddavitt: She is repulsive too....intentionally so but it's not such a bad idea

Dehede011: Marion came before Mary's going over didn't it?

Reilloc: soundcheck

ddavitt: It's as if playing with some aspects of humanity ( lifespan) is fine but changing appearnce is not

dwrighsr: About the same time, I believe.

AGplusone: I felt she'd been abandoned. What made her any different than one of the sensitives? Why couldn't they keep and cherish her to themselves.

Dehede011: I am seeing a cresendo of horror for LL

ddavitt: Little people did it

Reilloc: Why not horror at LL?

ddavitt: I think Mary and marion at once fuelled his homesickness

Dehede011: Marion, then Mary.

AGplusone: If the Jock looked 'human' to Laz, why wouldn't Marion.

dwrighsr: They did keep her. They remained behind with her when the rest left.

ddavitt: No, he sees Mary then is shown the baby

Dehede011: Okay.

AGplusone: "They" the Little People kept her.

dwrighsr: Her parents stayed with her.

ddavitt: Her parents stayed too

AGplusone: Maybe 'they' were bigger people than the Howards.

AGplusone: Lots of ambiguity there ....

ddavitt: She was their baby; they wanted to stay with her but knew on earth she would be a freak

ddavitt: I can understand that.

dwrighsr: I have no reason to believe that had the parents gone with them and taken them, they, the howards, would have taken as good of care of her, (if she needed it), thatn the other defectives.

AGplusone: So were the 'sensitives' ... what's the difference?

dwrighsr: would not have .....

ddavitt: Exactly; physical appearnce is given a lot of weight

Doc4Kidz: The parents chose to stay and keep Marion with them.

ddavitt: Yet Jubal says the outside isn't what makes man; maybe he's mature enough to think that way.

AGplusone: I agree with Dave, yet there's a sense of relief when they stay ... isn't RAH playing with our minds here, toggling our prejudices?

ddavitt: But in MC LL is still very young in a way

ddavitt: It's as if his personality and mind know he's got a long way to go

ddavitt: He is so different than the LL of TEFL and later books

AGplusone: Particularly when we read later in TEFL that when he returned he found no trace of humanity on the planet of the Little People?

ddavitt: Sure he is; reading the description of her is quite yuckky...but that's a reaction to be ashamed of

dwrighsr: I think that LL's reaction was really more in anger at the LP for 'messing' with them rather than the actual appearance of the baby. It just made it more emphatic.

Dehede011: But then RAH himself was still fairly young.

ddavitt: True.

ddavitt: But they asked the LP to do it

ddavitt: Careful what you wish for...

dwrighsr: Huh? How? What do you mean?

AGplusone: Again, it's a greater sense of rape ... who asked the LP to physically alter homo sap?

ddavitt: One would have thought they would have asked for more detila before saying to go ahead mind you

dwrighsr: I'm not following you. Who said Go ahead?

Doc4Kidz: I don't recall the LP being asked. I checked again whr I re-read fir this meeting.

ddavitt: LL is told not to blame the LP, the family asked for it; a few improvements

AGplusone: page?

Doc4Kidz: yes, but NOT with people. Plants

AGplusone: Their own plants, native to the Little People's planet.

ddavitt: 153 in my pb

ddavitt: Not entirely clear but i got the impression that the parents agreed

ddavitt: Wouldn't you want your child to be born with advantages? they thought they were getting a Friday probably

ddavitt: She's described as a super human

ddavitt: An improved model

Doc4Kidz: "Don't blame them too quickly. We let ourselves in for it. The original idea was simply a few improvements"

ddavitt: That's the bit

AGplusone: Btw, (OT) has anyone noticed the promos for the TV series the producer of Titanic is making?

ddavitt: No? pakgwei: dark angel?

Doc4Kidz: looks like Friday doesn't it?

Lucylou98: never see TV

AGplusone: Ah ... okay, I can find it ...

dwrighsr: it does say, 'we are guilty ourselves, the idea was a few improvements' (rough translation from the German), but it is certainly not clear who, if anybody, actually asked for it.

markjmills: But "super-human" by LP standards? The unanswered question is, what about her mind, and how it would have developed?

ddavitt: But it wasn't the LP off their own bat

AGplusone: Concept of Dark Angel sounds a lot like Friday.

ddavitt: Oh..I'll look out for that

Doc4Kidz: my first thought, David

AGplusone: "file off the serial numbers" .... again.

ddavitt: Well the mind would have had the benefit of a superior body, more data to process

markjmills: But would it have been qualitatively different as well?

ddavitt: Second set of eyes in the fingers..

AGplusone: Wouldn't need Waldos or microscope, would it.

ddavitt: Who knows?

Dehede011 has left the room.

markjmills: I could use two more of everything, thank you!

ddavitt: Well, i saw my baby on a scan today and she looks normal...even thought I could see hair.

AGplusone: I don't think so, really.

Doc4Kidz: genetically engineered pediatricians need at LEAST two more hands!

Lucylou98: dd, how far along are you?

ddavitt: I don't think i'd want her to be like marion

AGplusone: Except in unaided perception, Mark.

ddavitt: I have 7 weeks to go

Lucylou98: very good!

ddavitt: Getting very impatient now!

markjmills: Is this your first?

AGplusone: And a basket hanging from your bellybutton if you do OB/GYN too,

Doc.

ddavitt: No, i have a five year oold daughter too

Doc4Kidz: to catch the babies, eh?

ddavitt: So i should have more sense than to be impateint..should enjoy the peace:-)

Lucylou98: I'd like another little one

Lucylou98: sometimes...

Doc4Kidz: when I attend deliveries I use the football hold (running back style)

ddavitt: How many children do you have LL?

Lucylou98: Just my son

markjmills: HIKE!

ddavitt: this will be my last

Lucylou98: and he's 6

Dehede011 has entered the room.

AGplusone: Or one much bigger hand ... like used for catching Hoyt Wilhelm.

ddavitt: Nice!

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

ddavitt: I'm curious as to how deliveries will differ from the Uk where i had Eleanor

ddavitt: Oops...sorry, going OT here :-)

markjmills: Too bad we don't have anti-grav to help deliveries yet.

AGplusone: Remember the "kobolds" mentioned in Friday? Not the APs but the what was it they were called?

Lucylou98: let me know the differences, dd?

ddavitt: Yes...that sounded interesting in TEFL!

ddavitt: Sure LL

ddavitt: The ones who would be pilots David?

markjmills: The biomass engineered to perform tasks?

AGplusone: The 'pilots' they were thinking about making? Would Marion have felt like them, given the wrong upbringing?

ddavitt: Resentful and jealous?

ddavitt: Probably; she had no peers, no possibility of a partner...

markjmills: Or perhaps superior to homo sap?

ddavitt: I fely very cross with her parents when i read it

AGplusone: "You're not human. Your mommy was a testube, your daddy was a knife, and worse, you cannot even pass!"

AGplusone: " ... like Friday over there."

ddavitt: They didn't think it through

Reilloc has left the room.

SAcademic: Nite all.

CHASGRAFT: I've always had my doubts about those "pilots". Reaction time is not what makes a pilot (or RR engineer) -- experience and judgement are.

SAcademic has left the room.

Doc4Kidz: goodnight

ddavitt: Night

AGplusone: Nite, Duchess ...

Doc4Kidz: Duchess?

ddavitt: I think I will go too; bending over the keyboard is killing me in the tummy area :-)

AGplusone: New name ... last meeting.

markjmills: Dutchess? Thank G-d you didn;t say Rangy Lil!

Lucylou98: nite dd

AGplusone: LOL!

Doc4Kidz: Night Jane

ddavitt: I meant to say; I will never thing of SA as Mrs thatcher! dire insult IMO

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

Dehede011: Nite Jane

AGplusone: There are good duchesses and bad ones ...

ddavitt has left the room.

AGplusone: I liked your analysis of the 'three societies' Dave.

dwrighsr: Thanks. As I mentioned while you were spinning in and out, I must have read this book 20 or more times, and it never occurred to me before.

AGplusone: And I also agreed with Jane that the society under the Covenant was really quite a disguised tolatarian one.

markjmills: I was interested about the archived comment re: the camps. Heinlein couldn't have known of the death camps then -- the first, Chelmno, didn't start "operating" until c. November of 1941, after the story was writeen.

AGplusone: The fact that they were putting them in, however, was writing as clear as "Mene, mene, tenkel, upsharsin" (if I haven't bothched that too badly) though.

dwrighsr: I don't believe that I mentioned anything about death camps, only that the Jockaira society might be considered following the 'Leader' concept.

dwrighsr: Such as that of Hitler's Germany.

CHASGRAFT: I disagree. I see far more freedom in "Coventry's" society than in ours.

AGplusone: Why, Charles ... ?

Dehede011 has left the room.

AGplusone: I'd resent reprogramming my mind a little, wouldn't you?

dwrighsr: I agree with you. That was one of the things that I was talking about when I realized that others came to different conclusions that I did :-)

AGplusone: All of us cannot go to Coventry ... got kids, responsibilities ...

CHASGRAFT: You could (for a couple of quick and dirty examples) walk down the street naked or use whatever drugs you wanted so long as you did not directly harm someone else doing it.

AGplusone: why should they suffer no doctors because society thinks I cannot get my shit together

markjmills: Depending on who/what defined "harm" of course.

CHASGRAFT: But your kids could go out without any reasonable expectation of harm.

AGplusone: trade-off time ...

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

CHASGRAFT: Harm. Physical or direct economic. (theft, for example).

AGplusone: Where did it say "direct" economic?

CHASGRAFT: The gets into definition. Is inventing the automobile harm to buggy whip manufacturers?

Lucylou98: seeing naked neighbors would be harmful...and the drugs..

AGplusone: A strike (a peaceful assembly to exercise the right to appeal grievances) as we've been reading on the AFH boards might keep you from getting to work.

AGplusone: Nothin' about mental anguish in the Covenant, Luc.

markjmills: Depends on your neighbors, Lucy!

CHASGRAFT: I agree it is implied rather than stated. But it is necessary to keep Rev. whoosis to keep from being harmed by seeing scantly clad women and forcking his views on her.

markjmills: No forcking!

AGplusone: I think it could be. Inventing the Shipstone drove the electic company nuts!

CHASGRAFT: that's forcing.

markjmills: LOL!

markjmills: But could he forck?

Lucylou98: my neighbors would be harmful to look at

AGplusone: I wouldn't read the implication: anything not forbidden is allowed!

CHASGRAFT: That's "economic harm" or "emotional harm" are too open ended to be a rational society.

AGplusone: It says physical ... <g> ... and economic.

AGplusone: 'economic' must me what the pyschometricians say it means

AGplusone: Wonder what they'd say about inventing Shipstones ... all them people out of work!

AGplusone: me=mean

CHASGRAFT: But a prostitute could claim economic harm if a younger and prettier prostitute started working her street.

AGplusone: yep ...

markjmills: Exactly -- economic harm to one is a boon to another.

AGplusone: why we killed all them lawyers one day in our society!

AGplusone: ;-)

markjmills: But not we lawyers who aren't practicing, right? I hope?

Doc4Kidz: (what's with this group and prostitutes!!??)

AGplusone: Right!

CHASGRAFT: So if you defined invention or copyright as economicall harming someone else, you woule have a static society.

AGplusone: I'm like Friday. I kin 'pass' ...

AGplusone: I think I agree Charles

AGplusone: and I thought about that a bit whilst reading these last three stories ...

markjmills: How about greatest good for greatest numbers? Walmart may hurt the hardware store owner and family, but overall provide a great benefit to many, many people.

LearethGFS has left the room.

CHASGRAFT: So I have had to (in my own mind at least) define Coventry's economic harm a bit more narrowly.

AGplusone: majority tyranny!

Lucylou98: so do many monopolies

CHASGRAFT: Markmills--exactly my point. You have to define it somewhere.

markjmills: But some definition is necessary -- now whose ox gets gored?

AGplusone: Greatest good might be the gubmit hires everyone to lean on shovels.

CHASGRAFT: Nobody says you have to go to walmart.

AGplusone: And prints money and gives us corn and circuses.

markjmills: Yay!!

markjmills: ...and lots'n'lots of TV shows!

CHASGRAFT: There is a hardware store 45 years out of step with the times in my neighborhood. It is supported by customers who like to talk to knowledgable clerks in a store that has what you need.

AGplusone: It is absolutely great fun to see how RAH never stops thinking when he rights. Musta been a lot of fun, or a PITA, to argue anything with.

AGplusone: writes ....

markjmills: And that's the tradeoff -- perhaps paying more, but getting knowledge as part of the price.

CHASGRAFT: He was very polite about it, I'm told.

AGplusone: [I could claim my voice software made a mistake, but you all know better ... taking my shoes off in case anyone wants to do "maths"]

dwrighsr: As I said, he lets us 'fill in the blanks' and it is absolutely amazing, to me at least, how many different solutions there are to the 'blanks'.

markjmills: YOU HAVE VOICEWARE FOR CHAT!?!?!???

CHASGRAFT: RAH not only thought, he makes the reader think. That is even more important.

AGplusone: No, not ready for Macs yet.

markjmills: :-(

AGplusone: Besides I think we'll need OS X for it to work properly.

markjmills: RAH is like a litmus test -- if one reads and enjoys his work, chances are that person is more than a bit intelligent.

CHASGRAFT: True.

AGplusone: Reading a RAH is like sitting on the end of a log with him ... forever and again. Every time something new to think about.

markjmills: OTOH, those who bleat about his "fascism"have obviously not read him well at all.

AGplusone: Or read much of anything well at all.

markjmills: Yes.

CHASGRAFT: Maybe they object to being required to think (in order to enjoy his writing)?

markjmills: Ain't agonna make ME think, nosireebob.

AGplusone: Which incidentally is why I'm able to converse intelligently with people like you and others, Charley, who think, even if I think differently ... a whole lot.

AGplusone: So long as we're talking (more or less) about RAH.

CHASGRAFT: My mind is made up. Don't confuse me with the facts! And don't make me think!

AGplusone: Never dream of it!

markjmills: Well, the ambiguities in which we construct our differing theories are what makes life fascinating.

CHASGRAFT: I learn more from people who disagree with me than I do from those who don't.

markjmills: If all the facts and interpretations were certain, we'd have to go back to talking about sex.

AGplusone: the ambivalence ... I'd never thought hard about Marion, for example, until Jane kept nagging earlier, is what makes it great.

markjmills: I know what you mean -- and I feel somewhat ashamed for having glossed over Marion.

AGplusone: He had this facility of saying something that at first read reads perfectly acceptible, then on second reading you begin to think ... oh-oh, there's a trap here.

markjmills: Proves I wasn't thinking about everything there was....

AGplusone: [ ... and then, you think, "Robert, you dirty bastard ... you slipped that one by me again."]

AGplusone: Which was my reaction when I read the ending of I Will Fear No Evil, which I, incidentally, love!

markjmills: That's the value of tis group -- a group mind for we rugged individuals!

markjmills: What reaction?

Lucylou98: I'm so tired and going to sign off. nite everyone

CHASGRAFT: that (I wil Fear No Evil) is also one of my favorites.

AGplusone: A very flexible broad and tricky group mind.

markjmills: G'night.

Lucylou98 has left the room.

CHASGRAFT: G'Nite

AGplusone: Robert made me very mad with that ending ... and I had to go back and look hard at what I'd missed in the book. Still looking in it, finding a new thingy or two every time I read it.

Doc4Kidz: what? I turn my back for a second and we're talking about a "flexible broad"???

markjmills: See? SEX!

AGplusone: Thanks Doc!

markjmills: That describes Mary, I think!

CHASGRAFT: finding a new thingy or two every time I read it -- True of most of his writing.

markjmills: Hmmm, I should have mentioned Mentor of Arisia when we were discussing group minds.

AGplusone: Now that we're back On Topic ... wit' booze an' broads an' football ... I haven't been allowed by Spousal Overlord Unit to go to Hooters yet. Anyone have an idea how I convince her it would be worthwhile next Monday night?

AGplusone: Jane Davitt loves E E Smith.

markjmills: Say your TV is broken and you NEED to see the MNF game?

CHASGRAFT: Hooter's is not topless -- food is better than average but a bit pricey.

AGplusone: That could work ... uh-huh, OTOH I could tell her I'd scheduled a meeting of the local RAH group here in Santa Monica, and had to attend. Interested, Mark? New Hooters in Santa Monica.

CHASGRAFT: Break you TV? As in Theodore Sturgeon's "And now the News"? (Idea attributed to RAH.)

markjmills: LOL! Too bad I'm sojourning in Florida for now...

AGplusone: Btw, RMLWJ ... I'm David. Who art thou.

AGplusone: We'll have to schedule later in the season then, Mark.

markjmills: But what if she later asked what was the score of the game and you couldn't tell her?

AGplusone: Okay, got one hour to go ... how 'bout a "five minute break" and be back at 10 past the hour, to water cats, et al.?

CHASGRAFT: Hooter's has TV's. He'd be able to tell her. (If he looked, that is.)

CHASGRAFT: No problem.

markjmills: Break it is.

AGplusone: I only would go into Hooters to look at the TV, like I read Playboy for Hef's Philosophy in the 60s.

AGplusone: afk

CHASGRAFT: Of course if she asked the sore and he told her "38-24-36" he could be in trouble......;-)

AGplusone: At my age, in a few years, I may be saying that seriously, lessen Bob Dole is right about that magic pill.

AGplusone: Or at best, my interest might be totally academic ...

CHASGRAFT: Watch the coverage and not the cleavage.

AGplusone: "Well, they're doubling the free safety over the middle ... and setting up a draw ... " pakgwei has left the room.

AGplusone: I also enjoy Dennis Miller, actually.

AGplusone: A little off-kilter never hurt anyone.

dwrighsr: ...Of course if she asked the sore and he told her "38-24-36" he could be in trouble...... he sore would!

Doc4Kidz: I think Dennis detracts from the football, don't you?

AGplusone: Naw ... every once in while he's perceptive ... and keeps the thing in perspective.

AGplusone: It's just a game ... not everyone needs to know about fifty-seventh reads by the quarterback ...

AGplusone: although I like Fouts too

Doc4Kidz: don't get me wrong I like DM. I just think "where the heck did THAT come from?", too much

AGplusone: Now if they could get rid of Al Michaels ...

AGplusone: Okay, getting back to RAH ... what do we want to do further about MC and Coventry et al?

AGplusone: (that's what I like about Miller, Barry)

Doc4Kidz: yeah, me too. But it's TOO much sometimes.

AGplusone: I already know (knew when I was fourteen) how to read the pulling guards ... and the quarterback's eyes

markjmills: Well, baseball's always been considered far more analogous to sex, anyway...

markjmills: He's rounding third and heading for HOME!

AGplusone: brief bursts of activity interrupted by long dry periods of nothing ...

markjmills: LOL!

Doc4Kidz: Phil Rizzuto, Mark

Doc4Kidz: and Meatloaf

CHASGRAFT: Think of the implications of defining "economic damage" and if anyone can find a good definition, I am interested.

Major oz has entered the room.

Major oz: hi, folks

AGplusone: Hi, Oz ... you know Mark and Charles?

CHASGRAFT: Howdy. Charlie Graft <ig Charlie> here.

Major oz: good evening Mark and Charles (no -- we haven't met)

markjmills: Well, how about the damage has to include bad (read: illegal) acts and motivation?

CHASGRAFT: That's <Big Charlie>

dwrighsr: Hi Oz!

markjmills: I remember Oz from a fortnight ago.

AGplusone: Charlie was an Army brat ... and Mark teaches genetics and such at Oxy.

Major oz: yes, the new baby, yes?

Major oz: nooooo

Major oz: wrong person

Doc4Kidz: There WERE no illegalities, just "damage"

Major oz: sorry

markjmills: ME? I'm an unemployed lawyer -- useless as it gets.

CHASGRAFT: When you are defining "legal" as that which does not cause economic harm, the definition becomes circular.

AGplusone: Ooops. Wrong Mark. The other is Bedelloguy

AGplusone: Time to take off my shoes again.

markjmills: Yes -- but what first pops into mind is fraud and such.

CHASGRAFT: Theft is obviously direct econimic damage. How about patent infringement?

markjmills: Theft...robbery...

AGplusone: You'd have to define illegalities ... what about Sherman 1 and 2.

markjmills: Theft if the economic use of an idea assigned exclusively to an entity? I'd think so.

AGplusone: Or Clayton ...

CHASGRAFT: True. and anything based on politically motivated selective enforcement (Sherman) is suspect in my view.

AGplusone: Once upon a time unions were criminal conspiracies in restrain of trade ...

markjmills: But were the anti-trust acts directed toward activities that are malum in se, or simply politically unpopular activities?

AGplusone: To enforce Sherman Justice would have to forget about the war on drugs entirely and that would gore too many establishment oxen.

Major oz: did I stumble into Legal Ethics 101 (talk about an oxymoron) or what

Doc4Kidz: you guys wanna talk English or do I have to go to "medspeak" or worse...Brooklynese!

CHASGRAFT: The problem with unions today (and management 100 years ago) was government's approval of their use of violence.

markjmills: What's wid dis fibula, eh? (Throwing in some Canadian as well)

AGplusone: Very rarely see a violent picket line that's not immediately enjoined today, Charles.

CHASGRAFT: Be careful. I'll turn my ex-NYC cab driver from Brooklyn loose on you!

Major oz: sto eta ??

markjmills: On YOUSE, you mean!

CHASGRAFT: Enjoined, yes. But if the violence continbues, no one ever seems to pay the penalty.

AGplusone: Some do. They get arrested and thrown in jail.

AGplusone: And the problem is proving that the violence caused injury.

markjmills: Haven't the unions, though, been essentially eviscerated (Hi,

Doc!) in the post-Reagan years?

AGplusone: Compare that to the 'sit-down' strikes of the 30s.

Major oz: I assume you have answeered all the unknowns in MC

AGplusone: Or Kohler in the 40s.

CHASGRAFT: They are certainly not the power they used to be.

Major oz: Actually in the post 14b years

Major oz: .....actuated under Truman

AGplusone: We're actually fooling around with the concept of 'ecomonic harm' under the Covenant. What is dat?

Major oz: Whatever the alleged harmed say it is.

CHASGRAFT: But I personally have been threatened with violence while trying to do my job (at the time) of repairing WP equipment.

markjmills: Undefined -- so we could discuss it till the cows came home, with no closer knowledge of Heinlein's intent for all that.

AGplusone: Yes, they have. I worked NLRB during early Reagan years. It's quite different now, and even pre-Reagan the unions were complaining.

AGplusone: About being eviscerated ...

AGplusone: I can only say that you're employer could have gotten an injunction. Fact is: post strike, management often agrees not to prosecute unless there's blood flowing somewhere.

AGplusone: your

AGplusone: I really wouldn't want to have to cross a picket line anywhere.

markjmills: "Whatever the alleged harmed say it is.:?? So I could claim economic harm against all of you for being so interesting that I'm not out making money right now?

AGplusone: I think RAH would have had direct economic and tortious injury in mind.

Major oz: In the mid sixties, I want to Safeway to buy grapes to throw at the pickets for grape pickers.

AGplusone: He'd have boggled over some of the claims we could think up, but I wonder what the psychometricians would define as economic harm.

AGplusone: You're a trouble maker Oz.

Major oz: .....correct, Mark -- the essense of the "offensive' suits in vogue today.

AGplusone: Lucky they didn't bring along their homeboys.

CHASGRAFT: The definition is the key.

markjmills: What about the economic well-being of MC-era people? I got the impression that everyone was pretty well off -- was this some kind of psychometric socialism?

Major oz: .....they didn't know what that meant then.

dwrighsr: I think that RAH had a fairly simplistic notion behind his 'harm' concept. I don't think that he would leave it up to an elite group of 'psychometricians' or 'lawyers' to define it, but would rely on good common sense.

CHASGRAFT: (BTW-- in the picket line I mentioned earlier I got a pass from the union office.)

AGplusone: But then we do have to remember that RAH had a populist streak and may have had an axe to grind against some activities of unbridled capitalism.

CHASGRAFT: Ther is no reason everyone should not be well off in terms of material goods as automation makes them plentiful.

AGplusone: The business in Friday is underlaid with that.

Major oz: psychometirc socialism?......yes. If you were unhappy, could be "readjusted", so that your economic status was a non sequitor.

CHASGRAFT: Unbridled capitalism can't be worse than unbridled government.

AGplusone: Like the 'soma' by another name in "Logic of Empire" ... agreed, C

Major oz: ....ahhhh, but RAH would NEVER make something rely on "good common sense". I seem to recal that he had something negative to say about just that concept.

AGplusone: The pyschometric socialism is the aspect, the hidden trap, in Coventry ...

markjmills: So a government that acts only when necessary -- when enough people get ticked about something, it's time to rein it in?

AGplusone: and when he write "Gulf" I think he rejects that

Doc4Kidz: "sense is rarely common" one of my favorite quotes by him

CHASGRAFT: I like the Ayn Rand approach -- one of the purposes of government is to set the rules and have a court system to judge contract issues.

AGplusone: What about torts?

CHASGRAFT: For example?

Major oz: need to be reformed !!!!!!!

markjmills: Yum! Strawberry torts!

Major oz: with whipped cream.....

AGplusone: An unfavorable mutation circa 1500 or so on contract law, assumpsit on the case, eh, Mark.

markjmills: Torts are by definition non-contractual -- so recourse to the so-called social contract is necessary.

Major oz: social contract ?????

markjmills: R U a lawyer too?

AGplusone: Torts actually evolved out of contract law, Charles, by a legal fiction. Retired.

Major oz: who ? me ?

Doc4Kidz: were lousy wit 'em

markjmills: Nobody else has even heard of assumpsit!

Major oz: that's what I do when deer hunting

Major oz: .....sit on a sump.....

markjmills: Lawyer hunting? Too easy....

dwrighsr: I can't believe that LAWYERS would like RAH, considering what he wrote about them :-)

Major oz: only repentant ones

Major oz: .....like David

AGplusone: I wanted to stand, as naked owner, in the middle of Blackacre, waiving my usefruct, but my spouse said that would be wrong.

Major oz: He has confessed his sins.

markjmills: I'll be quiet about my opinion of many of my "bretheren"....

CHASGRAFT: A manufacturer should be liable for defective products and/or for concealing flaws. Not for mis-use of product. Or user's stupidity. Nor "open and obvious".

AGplusone: LOL

Major oz: If you wave your usefruct, I willl call in the Moral Majority.

Major oz: Q: was SA here tonight?

markjmills: Chas -- see Restatement (2d) of Torts 422A on warning labels...that's how we get so many ridiculous suits.

AGplusone: Agreed, Charles ... but then we've got the notion that law is a way to remedy social wrong ... and lawyers willing to sell anything to juries who are willing to buy theories because they see how powerless most are.

Doc4Kidz: Yes, Stayed rather late for her.

AGplusone: Yes, about an hour, Oz.

dwrighsr: But very quiet tonight.

Major oz: thanx

CHASGRAFT: And when we try to define "wrong" we really open a nasty can of worms.

dwrighsr: "open and obvious". That's more like what I meant by 'common sense'

dwrighsr: If that means what I think it means :-)

CHASGRAFT: That is what it used to mean in liability suits.

AGplusone: We shouldda made 'em all cowboys!

CHASGRAFT: Now "deep pockets" is the operative phrase.

markjmills: But legislators LIKE mandating bread and circuses -- it's what keeps getting them elected. So wrongs will multiply like proverbial bunnies.

dwrighsr: I think that 'harm' which is 'obvious' is what RAH meant in the Covenant.

Major oz: Isn't that when Lucy looks at the clouds and sees Patrick Henry adressing the House of Burgesses and Charlie Brown sees a bunny ? ("open and obvious")

markjmills: David is seeing Hooters Girls in the clouds.....

AGplusone: Example: check cashing legislation in California today ... lobbyists keep it from being passed.

AGplusone: "Follow the money ... "

Bleys1959 has entered the room.

Major oz: Or selling Jack Daniels in the county in which it is made.

AGplusone: Hooters is neat ... name of the state Bobby Knight just got fired from.

markjmills: Only because legislative powers have expanded beyond all reason, consideriing that we're supposed to have a constitutionally limited government.

Major oz: The best thing that has happened to sport in 30 years.

markjmills: Headline -- Bobby Knight goes to work for Hooters!

Doc4Kidz: hooters vs hoosiers ??

markjmills: Wearing his Manssiere.

CHASGRAFT: 'obvious' is what RAH meant in the Covenant. I don't consider that obvious at all. Did he go in to WalMart replacing you locally owned stores?

Major oz: He will be the FOURTH man in the ABC booth on Monday night.

markjmills: Oz -- OUCH!

Doc4Kidz: take him one quarter to punch out Miller

Major oz: The only good he will ever do

CHASGRAFT: Anything that get Knight out of Indiana helps us, anyway. (Indiana resident who attended Purdue.)

Bleys1959 has left the room.

Major oz: What was the question, re: wal-mart ?

markjmills: The only other thing I can think of re: MC is -- what a wonderful name is Bork Vanning! Almost Randian in its visceral distastefullness!

CHASGRAFT: If WalMart causes small retailers to go out of business, is that economic harm in "Coventry"?

markjmills: It's harm to some, and benefit to others -- and now we're in court, weighing the competing interests.

Major oz: In _Coventry_ the concept of Wal-Mart would never arise. The level of ambition has been bred out ot the populace.

dwrighsr: Well, to me it is obvious. Wal-Mart is *not* the direct cause of harm to the small retailer. The direct cause is due to customers who choose to go to Wal-mart not to them.

Major oz: Like asking for one in Riga, Latvia.

markjmills: Thank you! Well put.

CHASGRAFT: If you have a society wher it's illegal to do a better job, then you have problems.

dwrighsr: Much as I personally regret the loss.

AGplusone: And the *direct solution* is a community-inspired boycott.

dwrighsr: Just watched 'You've got mail' which dealt with that very subject.

AGplusone: Which gets you back to people with picket signs and leaflets standing around on parking lots yelling at others crossing their line.

markjmills: In our society, the boycott organizers could potentialy be liable for harming Walmart.

AGplusone: Tree Fruits doctrine needs tweaking ...

AGplusone: And strike suits should be prohibited and found criminal.

Major oz: It evens out..........I use the mom and pop stores when I can (and it isn't too much of a financial penalty to do so). I also use the local gas station, even though the gas is higher than in town. He will come if I need him. the discounter in town won't.

markjmills: So a clainm for harm which is predicated on many individual decisions to buy or not but from a particualr retailer shouldn't fly in Coventry society.

dwrighsr: Are you 'harming' the big discount dealer by not dealing with him. Not!

AGplusone: Unfortunately, "we" didn't teach that to "our" children.

Major oz: .....you hve gathered, by now, that I live in the boonies.

Doc4Kidz: same thing for the small drug stores. most of my former classmates work for chains now, The prices are great, but there's no personal service or professional advice.

AGplusone: Don't get me started on HMOs

Major oz: Harm does not proceed from consumer to service provider. The OTHER way.

Doc4Kidz: yes, Dave that's a whole other story!

CHASGRAFT: not necessairly.

CHASGRAFT: Harm can flow both ways. That is the etire purpose of a Boycott.

AGplusone: Exactly ... economic warfare ...

markjmills: So if Walmart takes advantage of the now lack of competition (because the mom and pops have tanked) by raising prices to mear extortionate levels, there might be an action against Walmart for direct economic harm?

Major oz: corret.....but failure to patronize is not "harm"

AGplusone: Not unless you've got a real sympathetic hometown judge.

Major oz: As in the distinction between "don't like" and "disslike"

markjmills: How'd we get here from MC? Sheesh!

Doc4Kidz: we sidestepped to Coventry

AGplusone: 'economic' harm

Major oz: I came to late for the MC.

CHASGRAFT: That's the rub -- (hypethetically) so you try to start a small low priced store, and they lower their prices in your area only until you are broke. Then they jack them up even higher to make back their loss.

Major oz: I was catching trout and eating Chili releno with Dos Eqquis

AGplusone: That's called monopoly

AGplusone: Problem is Sherman is enforced only by government by and large.

Major oz: ....and actionable.

Doc4Kidz: no, cerveza

CHASGRAFT: True. How is this handled in "Coventry"?

Major oz: si

markjmills: Oz, I'm jealous -- I had a Hungry Man pot pie.

AGplusone: Doesn't appear.

AGplusone: They ran lawyers out of the courtrooms. As I said, I wonder what the psychometricians think about it?

dwrighsr: I have the pre-discussion posts already done and on my website. Click Here I should be able to have this log up in the morning first them at the same URL.

CHASGRAFT: That's why I say the definition of "Economid Harm" in "Conentry" is wide open.

Major oz: Wal-Mart moved in here only a few years ago. they had to kill the blue laws first, or they would not come.

dwrighsr: ...first thing...

AGplusone: Sure ... we've come full circle on this one, haven't we?

Major oz: You couldn't buy milk on sunday here in 1990

Major oz: !!!!!!!!

AGplusone: Kin yah buy shine?

AGplusone: Or is your country dry?

markjmills: Were the psychometricians a 4th co-equal branch of government? Or did they really rule the roost?

Major oz: Leave a fiver on the stump by the lane.............

AGplusone: I think they ruled the roost ... just like the lawyers would.

AGplusone: "Who watches the guardians?"

markjmills: Well, lawyers, of course, SHOULD rule, right? :-)

AGplusone: :-X

markjmills: BTW, I've got this bridge to sell....

Major oz: Are the pm's like the "counseler"s in Star Dreck TNG

Major oz: ?

CHASGRAFT: It seems there is a quote and judges and being balanced. When Davis is befoe the Judge inside of coventry.

AGplusone: Visualizing them as like Troy is quite possible.

markjmills: Never saw TNG -- is it really awful?

CHASGRAFT: who is not phychometrically adjusted or some such phrase.

Major oz: paychobabble and FEEEEEEEEEEEEelings

AGplusone: Inside Coventry the lawyers still control. Ya takes yer pick.

markjmills: Was the initial sentencing judge in "Coventry" a PM too?

AGplusone: Or yah kin move up to the mountains and let the priests tell you what to do. Yes, he was a PM.

Major oz: .....the priests ?

AGplusone: The Prophets

markjmills: Been a long time since I read that -- so I missed it.

markjmills: Best job on Earth -- better than being a lawyer, can you imagine?

AGplusone: Unreconstructed pre-If This Goes On ... a Coventry within Coventry for them.

markjmills: Just say you have a direct hotline to G-d and you're set.

AGplusone: I always did, but he tells me that my religion is the only true one and there's a housing shortage up there, so I haven't told anyone about him.

Major oz: I got a bus, a tent, a generator, and a bible. I can be either an itinerant preacher or a novelist.

AGplusone: Or a hippie

Major oz: already am

markjmills: Or a Unabomber...

CHASGRAFT: I've got to get going. I'm going to be driving tomorroe and have a lot of packing to do.

Major oz: My pony tail looks like Ted"s

AGplusone: Bedelloguy e mail you about the Library, Oz. You've been there Charlie, haven't you?

AGplusone: In Butler?

CHASGRAFT: Where?

CHASGRAFT: Yes.

Major oz: Yes, I got the mail and responded. He told me what he wanted.

AGplusone: The RAH annex. We're looking for Heinlein's ancestry

Major oz: I am going to Butler in the next few months.

CHASGRAFT: Twice, with the HF group.

AGplusone: I heard there's a copy there ...

CHASGRAFT: Later, people---

Major oz: Anyone want anything E-MAIL me

CHASGRAFT has left the room.

AGplusone: See ya, Charles!

Major oz: this name at aol.com

AGplusone: It be that time ....

Doc4Kidz: I'm going to call it quits too. It's already tomorrow here

Major oz: whasssssup for next time

Major oz: ?

markjmills: My cat is stalking me for his midnight snack -- time to go, I think....

Doc4Kidz: are you pulling the plug, David?

Major oz: adios all you folks.

Doc4Kidz: hasta la proxima

markjmills: So What's the next Thursday eve discussion about?

AGplusone: Closing log: Thursday, September 14, 2000, at 9:03:53 PM, PDT. Orphans is next Oz

Major oz: Orphans..........one of my favs.

Major oz: hokay

Major oz: -luego

Major oz has left the room.

AGplusone: Mark ... Orphans is the two novella that got 'left out'

markjmills: G'night, all...Happy Trails to you, until we meet again.

AGplusone: You too Howdy

AGplusone: Or was that Gene?

markjmills: Universe and Common Sense -- again, haven't read in ages.

dwrighsr: Gene

Doc4Kidz: good eating!

AGplusone: Yep, them ones. Good Eating!

markjmills: Gee, we get to talk about cannibalism!

Doc4Kidz: wasn't it Roy?

dwrighsr: You right, it was Roy.

AGplusone: Naw, Roy just kissed Trigger.

markjmills: A tasty syubject that some are too tender for.

AGplusone: Did he and Dale sing it?

Doc4Kidz: yep

AGplusone: " ... until we meet again!"

Doc4Kidz: Leonard Sly and wife

markjmills: Hasta la pasta!

AGplusone: maćna

dwrighsr: Do Svidanije

Doc4Kidz: you betcha!

markjmills: G'night, all -- thanks for another enjoyable evening.

AGplusone: Thanks for coming

markjmills has left the room.

AGplusone: Okay, see you Saturday.

Doc4Kidz: good night

Doc4Kidz has left the room.

AGplusone: Just remember WWRAHD?

dwrighsr: Please !!

AGplusone: :-D

dwrighsr: I'm cutting out. So long

AGplusone: s'long

Final End Of Discussion Log

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