Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group Saturday 02-03-2001 5:00 P.M. EST Heinlein’s Villains

Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group

Saturday 02-03-2001 5:00 P.M. EST

Heinlein’s Villains

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Here Begins The Discussion Log

You have just entered room “Heinlein Readers Group chat.”

SAcademy: Greetings. Glad to see someone.

BPRAL22169: Hello, Ginny — surprising we are the only ones here.

BPRAL22169: (I got a phone call while I was rebooting)

SAcademy: It certainly is.

BPRAL22169: knock at my door — brb

SAcademy: Someone I know?

SAcademy: Is there a football game or something going on?

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

SAcademy: I was experimenting and clicked on the “less button at lower right hand corner, and the hot chats disappeared.

BPRAL22169: Hi will

geeairmoe2: Hello.

BPRAL22169: A nieghbor returns a cup of sugar. She came down to borrow it at 10;40 last night. *sigh*

SAcademy: Hello

SAcademy: Well, that’s the trouble with neighbors.

BPRAL22169: One of the many troubles with neighbors.

SAcademy: Oh, yyou have other troubles with them?

BPRAL22169: These particular neighbors make an unusual amount of noise.

SAcademy: You mean the stolen orchid plant?

geeairmoe2: You need to work on the “weird neighbor” persona. Shouting at nothing in the front yard works well.

BPRAL22169: They cause my windows to rattle two or three times a day.

BPRAL22169: possibly the stolen orchid, as well.

BPRAL22169: Will, I hate to break it to you, but that wouldn’t even be noticed in Hollywood.

SAcademy: Do you mean that they actually use firearms in your neighborhood?

BPRAL22169: No — they do not walk upstairs; they bounce from place to place

BPRAL22169: That rattles the windows.

geeairmoe2: Try a “Buchanan for President” sign.

BPRAL22169: One of the general problems with this particular building is that none of the people here seems in the least conscious of other human beings in the universe.

SAcademy: LOL

BPRAL22169: Now THAT would do it.

SAcademy: My neighbors are nice and quiet–sometimes I wonder whether thay are alive.

BPRAL22169: Tony had a sign up for the mayoral race in Las Vegas. It ook them several months to notice.

BPRAL22169: Hmmm. That could be a problem where you are.

BPRAL22169: I’m sure Snowy would volunteer to go investigate for you.

SAcademy: I agree.

SAcademy: I’m sure he would –he’s still trying to get outside all the time.

BPRAL22169: Maybe he thinks it’s warmer outside than it is in the garage.

SAcademy: No, the top of the kitchen cabinets is as warm as it gets.

BPRAL22169: (Your rain made the national news a couple of days ago, by the way)

SAcademy: Well, your electric situation is top of the news all the time. Hear there will be a crisis next week.

BPRAL22169: How nice that we know about each other’s woes!

BPRAL22169: Will, do I remember correctly you are in Texas?

SAcademy: The rain wasn’t a woe–it was needed.

geeairmoe2: Heart of Texas.

SAcademy: Where is that?

BPRAL22169: You may snicker at both of us.

SAcademy: Deep?

geeairmoe2: Copperas Cove, bout half way between Dallas and San Antonio.

SAcademy: On the Gulf?

geeairmoe2: In the middle of the state — Hill Country, its called.

SAcademy: Or is my geography screwed up?

BPRAL22169: Ok — I give: how does one have a “cove” not on a body of water?

SAcademy: Sounds nice.

geeairmoe2: Always wondered about Copperas Cove. No coves, no copper.

geeairmoe2: We’re a military town, next to Ft. Hood.

BPRAL22169: I see.

SAcademy: Great recommendation.

geeairmoe2: The guy kicked off Survivor last week is from here.

BPRAL22169: I see.

SAcademy: Do you know him?

geeairmoe2: Nope.

SAcademy: Oh, well. I live in a retirement community–but I’m not retired.

BPRAL22169: I guess it’ s not that small a world, after all.

SAcademy: Are you a native?

geeairmoe2: Military brat. Born France. Lived here since 1973.

SAcademy: Yo must like it there.

geeairmoe2: Summer’s are killers sometimes, but winter’s nice. Haven’t had snow to speak for several winters.

SAcademy: I stayed in Texas for a while, and my husband said that I picked up a Texas accent.

geeairmoe2: Its hard not to.

SAcademy: I suppose.

SAcademy: Where are the others?

BPRAL22169: Very good question.

geeairmoe2: I was wondering if I was early.

BPRAL22169: No — they’re late.

geeairmoe2: First free Saturday in months.

SAcademy: Bill, I went back to try to find that list, but it will take more time.

BPRAL22169: I was going to suggest to them we didn’t need hosts, but perhaps we do.

BPRAL22169: Not a problem.

SAcademy: Haven’t I seen you here before this?

BPRAL22169: Usually Dave Wright is here to log the thing, at least.

BPRAL22169: Will was here on Thursday.

SAcademy: Do you want me to start a log? I think they go all the way back

BPRAL22169: They do. But I don’t think we’ve said anything worth preserving for posterity.

SAcademy: I see

SAcademy: Jane has her parents visiting her.

SAcademy: Didn’t she start this villains, thing?

BPRAL22169: I’m a bit concerned about David W, though — even if he can’t attend, he usually sets his avatar maikosht, to logging the event.

SAcademy: Maybe it is.

BPRAL22169: Yes, she did — but she disavows all knowledge.

BPRAL22169: No — he has to be in the room, and it would show up on the list.

SAcademy: All knowledge of what? Of starting it?

BPRAL22169: Just “all knowledge.”

BPRAL22169: No, I meant she wouldn’t host, even though it was her idea.

BPRAL22169: She did host Thursday, though.

SAcademy: She totaled up a number of villains though

BPRAL22169: I found it amusing that there was a lot of discussion about what exactly constitutes a villain.

SAcademy: Do yyu both have that little “less

SAcademy: in the corner of your screens?

BPRAL22169: I keep it minimized. If you click it, it turns into a “more” button.

BPRAL22169: Mine is right over the “Send” button.

SAcademy: If you will click on it, you’ ll get rid of the hot chats.

SAcademy: Mine is under it?

BPRAL22169: I have an advertisement for AOL’s “All new 5.0”

BPRAL22169: I guess I haven’t updated this software in awhile.

SAcademy: I’m on 6.0–and I don’t like it particularly.

SAcademy: But they keep fixing up the glitches.

BPRAL22169: The last several upgrades haven’t been improvements, particularly.

SAcademy: Had several downloads yesterday.

BPRAL22169: I’m waiting for the CDs to come out.

SAcademy: They fixed some of the problems. The print button was covered by the edge of the screen.

geeairmoe2: I received a “please come back to us” AOL 6.0 disk the other day.

SAcademy: And you hadn’t gone away at all?

geeairmoe2: I went away about 3 years ago.

SAcademy: Oh. And you’re still gone?

geeairmoe2: Still gone. Can’t miss what you don’t need.

SAcademy: Do you get email?

DavidWrightSr has entered the room.

BPRAL22169: I don’t use 99% of what is on AOL, but I don’t want to change my e-mail address.

BPRAL22169: H’lo, David.

SAcademy: Hello, David.

DavidWrightSr: Hi Folks. Sorry I’m Late.

geeairmoe2: Have a local ISP. Get email through SFF Net.

SAcademy: Only just us chickens here.

BPRAL22169: brekekekex-koax-koax — no, that was Frogs, wasn’t it?

SAcademy: Does that stand for Science fiction and fantasy?

SAcademy: Yes, it was.

geeairmoe2: Yes. http://www.sff.net/

BPRAL22169: Have you ever heard Don Imus’ “One Sacred Chicken To Go!” bit?

geeairmoe2: Good place, run by nice Texas folk.

BPRAL22169: I like their newsgroup’s software.

SAcademy: Thank you.

geeairmoe2: Got email, a web page I neglect, and a news group I’m not sure still works.

BPRAL22169: Whenever I am on a machine with netscape, I always look in.

geeairmoe2: The latest Netscapes have been below par. I keep going back to 4-point-something or other.

DavidWrightSr: I load 6 but I’m sticking with 4.76

DavidWrightSr: load=loaded

SAcademy: That’s interesting.

geeairmoe2: I’ve got 4.75. Old and comfortable.

BPRAL22169: Gentles, I propose we stick around for not more than another 15 minutes and then pack it in if no one else shows up.

geeairmoe2: Suits me.

SAcademy: Okay.

BPRAL22169: Are these Saturday chats all that useful?

BPRAL22169: I know we can get Europeans we can’t in the middle of the week.

DavidWrightSr: Ok by me. This will be a first. I thought a couple of times that it was [not] going to work out , but then all of a sudden a bunch arrived and it worked out, but maybe not tonight

geeairmoe2: Don’t know. This is the first one I’ve been able (or remembered) to make in a long time.

SAcademy: Well, sometimes our foreign friends come to them.

BPRAL22169: It’s nice to have the option.

SAcademy: Kultsi might show up, or Sean.

BPRAL22169: OTOH, the midweek ones are hard to get to on time for us right-coasters.

SAcademy: Or Jani/

BPRAL22169: Haven’t seen anything from Jani in awhile.

DavidWrightSr: I’ve got 4.75 not 4.76 will.

geeairmoe2: Meets my needs.

BPRAL22169: I think this is late evening for Europe and early morning for Australia.

DavidWrightSr: BillP. maybe you can give us a short dissertation on the differences between ‘hero’s and ‘protagonists’, if there is any. You spoke of heros and villains in romances. What distinguishes a romance from others and how did RAH’s works fit into the scheme?

SAcademy: About right, I think

geeairmoe2: Sean once mentioned it was Sunday morning.

SAcademy: I recall that.

BPRAL22169: “Hero” is more specific. A protagonist is the focal character of the work — the word breaks down into “first” or “prime” and “suffer.” So almost every work of fiction will have a protagonist, while not all have heroes.

BPRAL22169: The definition of a hero differs from genre to genre. In myths, a hero is a mortal chosen and helped by a god (if thehero is also a child of a god and a mortal, he is a demi-god)

SAcademy: The protagonist is the writer’s viewpoint character.

BPRAL22169: In romance, the hero is a noble figure who carries out the undertaking of the work.

BPRAL22169: Romance is the genre that looks at human affairs through the doings of, most conventionally, the king and court.

BPRAL22169: That’s the chivalric romance, which started the whole thing. 19th century romances posed a “special hero” instead of a necessary nobility, and that is the kind that became science fiction.

BPRAL22169: When people talk about the “campbellian” hero, they are really talking about a conventionof romance fiction, not something specifically identified with Campbell or Astounding.

BPRAL22169: Does that cover it?

SAcademy: In Stranger, the hero is Mike, a\but the viewpoint character is Jubal (the writer’s viewpoint character).

DavidWrightSr: So I would presume that much of Heinlein’s works, at least the juveniles, would fall into the romance category?

BPRAL22169: Almost all sf is romance until about 1975

DavidWrightSr: That’s about the time I stopped liking most of it. Must mean, I’m romantic πŸ™‚

BPRAL22169: That’s very true, Ginny — the story is shaped by Jubal’s agnosticism and ends when he is coverted.

DavidWrightSr: A ‘covert’ operation πŸ™‚

geeairmoe2: During last Thursday’s chat it seemed “antagonist” and “villain” were being used interchangably. Someone stopping the protagonist from achieving a goal. Not all antagonists are villains, are they?

BPRAL22169: RAH very often used observers for his viewpoint characters.

DavidWrightSr: Following Bill’s definition, I would say that ‘antagonist’ would go with ‘protagonist’ in most fictions whereas ‘villain’ would go with ‘hero’ only in romances ??

BPRAL22169: The antagonist opposed the protagonist in his task, but “villain” is a term of low romance fiction — a nobility of evil. That’s the way i see it.

BPRAL22169: A villain can be an antagonist.

DavidWrightSr: But a villains doesn’t necessarily have to be ‘evil’ does he?

geeairmoe2: I’ve always thought as a villain as an antaognist with purposeful sinister intentions.

BPRAL22169: Part of the reason there was such a diversity of discussion here is that people were identifying any unpleasant person as a villain.

DavidWrightSr: I think that we were swapping back and forth between definitions, and it got really confusing.

BPRAL22169: I think a villain does have to be evil to some degree to perform his literary function.

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

BPRAL22169: I mean, think of the classic example — I want to say “Snidely Whiplash,” but that’s a cartoon character.

BPRAL22169: The banker in Uncle Tom’s Cabin.

BPRAL22169: Or am I misremembering tht? It’ sbeen decades since I read it.

geeairmoe2 has entered the room.

geeairmoe2: Am I back?

BPRAL22169: You are

DavidWrightSr: My problem is that I only ever studied German literature and I faked my way through most of that and what I did learn, I’ve forgotten

geeairmoe2: Wanted to say that I’ve thought as villains as antagonists with especially sinister intentions.

BPRAL22169: Ah, well — you got Goethe, then.

DavidWrightSr: I can still quote Faust’s opening line to Margrethe, but I can’t recall anything about the ‘deeper’ literary aspects of any of it.

BPRAL22169: I think that would hold up as a good rule of thumb for villains, Will

BPRAL22169: And in that sense, RAH didn’t write many villains.

geeairmoe2: A hero would be concerned if it reaching his goal harmed others. A villain wouldn’t care who was harmed.

BPRAL22169: The antagonists of “Lost Legacy.” Mrs. Keithley. Mrs. Grew. Belle Darkin. The Nazis in RSG.

BPRAL22169: The lines have been blurring a bit in the 20th century. We have ambiguous heroes and anti-heroes.

OakMan7111 has entered the room.

BPRAL22169: WelcomeOakMan

OakMan7111: Hello Folks – It’s jon ogden

OakMan7111: Hi Bill

DavidWrightSr: Say hi to Jon Ogden everyone.

BPRAL22169: I didn’t know. Welcome

geeairmoe2: Welcome.

OakMan7111: thanks

BPRAL22169: Is that Oak man as in druidical? Or as in furniture?

DavidWrightSr: Jon, if your are using a PC and not one of them Mac things, you can create a shortcut and put it on your desktop. Click File and Create Shortcut.

SAcademy: Or did AOL just christen you with it?

OakMan7111: my grandfather claims we were druids way back – at any rate Ogden means oakman or oak dweller to be accurate

SAcademy: Aol gifted me with this name.

DavidWrightSr: Then you don’t have to wait for one of us to invite. You can barge in any time you want. especially, if you get bumped for any reason.

OakMan7111: Done, David

BPRAL22169: DWS, I take it you are logging?

OakMan7111: SA- do I know you under another name?

BPRAL22169: We were free chatting before you came in so the rest of us don’t need to log.

SAcademy: Yes, probably.

DavidWrightSr: I am, but of course, I missed what went on before I got here. If you want, e-mail me that part and I’ll put it on.

BPRAL22169: We were just idly chatting. See, you show up and things start to happen!

DavidWrightSr: I’ll start with my arrival then. Makes it easy.

DavidWrightSr: I’m a trouble maker

BPRAL22169: Next time you are late, feel guilty!


DavidWrightSr: I saw a bunch of others, but they all declined the invite.

BPRAL22169: SAcademy — is the smaller type DSW and OM are using okay for you to read?

SAcademy: No, I can’t read it.

DavidWrightSr: Hang on. I’ll up mine and make it bold

BPRAL22169: I think the font and size options are in the View menu, Edit Chat Preferences

DavidWrightSr: I can bold it, but I don’t think I can change the size without restarting.

SAcademy: Thank you.

OakMan7111: I’m bolded is this better?

SAcademy: Well, yes, but I don’t need that much–just plain bold.

BPRAL22169: I think you’re right about size and font changes DWS

geeairmoe2: Now we have to make certain everything we type is worth reading. Oh, the pressure!

DavidWrightSr: Bill. you are coming into me as regular, did you bold yours?

BPRAL22169: Ok — we are talking about Heinlein’s villains. Any thoughts or provocative questions, Jon?

OakMan7111: okay this is just Arial Bold

SAcademy: That is great–thank you all.

BPRAL22169: Or provocative thoughts?

OakMan7111: Me? provocative?

OakMan7111: I was rereading Solution Unsatisfactory

OakMan7111: Is Manning a hero or a Villian?

DavidWrightSr: Well, I think that we had unanimous(sp) consent that Mrs. Keithley, and Mrs Grew were definitely villains. There was some dispute about Belle IIRC

geeairmoe2: Belle? Memory refresher, please.

BPRAL22169: Manning might have been a tragic hero — the hero you can hate and get tragic katharsis out of.

OakMan7111: Ex-wife of the hero of Door Into Summer?

BPRAL22169: Not ex-wife; ex girl-friend. She married his erstwhile partner.

OakMan7111: See what happens when you get divorced? All evil women become ex wives

geeairmoe2: I remebered just as it flashed up.


DavidWrightSr: Fiance, they never got married. Bill.

BPRAL22169: Right

DavidWrightSr: Sorry, Jon

OakMan7111: S’okay, I’m doing fine, now – even had a date this week

BPRAL22169: Manning “Did what was necessary” and became a scapegoat, so he’s a hero — but hated because society couldn’t take it.

OakMan7111: But wouldn’t he have hated himself, too?

DavidWrightSr: Probably, but you don’t let that stop you, when its necessary, (not if you are a hero)

BPRAL22169: Posibly — it’s one of the interesting features of the character of extremely duty-oriented psychologies.

BPRAL22169: Makes a good story.

OakMan7111: Ultimately he’s decided that in order to preserve America, he had to destroy it

OakMan7111: Yes, it does!

BPRAL22169: But in destroying the old America he created a kind of World-America.

DavidWrightSr: That fits in line with the discussion you and I had, Jon, on AFH. Did everyone see that in the log?

OakMan7111: And at that time in RAH’s career, he had hopes for world government

SAcademy: You are all talking as if Robert’s stories had the standard set of characters and situations–they didn’t. They’re sui generis.

BPRAL22169: Manning is writ on a very large scale. Compare to Johnny Dahlquist — same kind of problems, but ona much more intimate scale; so there is no ambiguity.

OakMan7111: I never meant to imply that

BPRAL22169: Could you amplilfy that remark, SA?

BPRAL22169: I know, each character was uniquely in his unique situation.

SAcademy: Robert’s stories didn’t have the standard outlines–he marched to a different drummer.

DavidWrightSr: I agree, Ginny. Although, I see a lot of similarities carried through most of the work, but each is really unique and each character is unique, even though he may share similar characteristics.

DavidWrightSr: But, in real life, there are a lot of similarities between people and events.

SAcademy: True. But standard analysis isn’t called for here.

DavidWrightSr: he may share=they may share

OakMan7111: I always thought that in many ways, RAH was his own drummer – and like Sam with poker, if he didn’t like the music, he changed the beat.

SAcademy: Yes.

BPRAL22169: The stories had to be “interesting” enough for him to write — and that meant “not the standard.”

SAcademy: Right, Bill.

BPRAL22169: Variety is the spouse of life — or of fiction, at any rate.

geeairmoe2: I think its been remarked before about in these chats how readers can have different reactions to the same story.

SAcademy: He thought that if a story interested him, it might also interest other people.

SAcademy: Not everyone, of course, but enough to make them worth writing.

DavidWrightSr: Again, not really knowing what I’m talking about, it seems to me that most ‘of standard literary analysis’, is an effort to really look at the ‘similarities’ and not the ‘differences’, since only the ‘similarities’ can show ‘pattern’.

OakMan7111: I am fascinated by the different reactions we see in afh – except for the idiotic ones

BPRAL22169: Very good point, DWS.

BPRAL22169: Oneof the points Northrop Frye makes is that literary criticism has as its second task the discovery of what other works of literature a piece is related to — what patterns it uses, what conventions of expression.

geeairmoe2: I’ve always wondered the thought process of a writer, or artist, or photographer: what so interests the creator that he essentially says to others “Hey, come look at this.”

DavidWrightSr: Maybe I haven’t forgotten it all, after all O:-)

BPRAL22169: If it doesn’t have the patterns it’s not recognizable as literature; and if it doesn’t have the uniqueness it’s not interesting enough to write about — or read about, at any rate.

geeairmoe2: What so catches the writer’s attention that it creates the need to share it with others?

DavidWrightSr: Well, there’s always money πŸ™‚


geeairmoe2: Then why does the writer think that subject will make money?

BPRAL22169: I think that is going to be different for every artist at every minute.

SAcademy: Ahm yes. Pot boilers.

DavidWrightSr: I doubt that he know exactly, but a good writer is enough of a judge of human nature to be able to make a good guess.

OakMan7111: There is a kind of existential courage in any act of creation

SAcademy: As R. put it, “formula as before”

BPRAL22169: I always find it fascinating what RAH thought constituted hackwork — some of his most inventive stuff.

SAcademy: A lot of that stuff sells–and is published.

BPRAL22169: I don’t think he ever changed his opinion about “By His Bootstraps.”

BPRAL22169: (I guess that’s why God made editors)

DavidWrightSr: Despite what he said, I think that he was incapable of writing ‘hack’, at least not by my standards.

SAcademy: Very likely not.

geeairmoe2: God IS an editor.

BPRAL22169: No – God is a writer. RAH said so himself!

SAcademy: However, he DID get beyond that.

OakMan7111: and when He gets out the red pencil – watch out

BPRAL22169: Or possibly an art critic. he said that too.

SAcademy: All they finally edited was commas in the middle of words.


OakMan7111: πŸ™‚

DavidWrightSr: Isn’t that wh,ere they go?

BPRAL22169: I ran across that anecdote recently.

SAcademy: You’ve heard the story about Hemingway?

BPRAL22169: Yes.

DavidWrightSr: No.

OakMan7111: I haven’t

geeairmoe2: No.

BPRAL22169: /ga

DavidWrightSr: You are outvoted bill

geeairmoe2: Wait, the ballot confused me.

BPRAL22169: Please tell it, SA

SAcademy: Okay, he went abroad and left a novel with Scribner’s. Then they cabled him and asked t make some changes. He cabled back–not even a comma in the middle of a word.

BPRAL22169: (Me, too: I didn’t know we were voting)

BPRAL22169: The version I heard, he refused any changes at all — “not even a comman,” and the copyeditor cabled back “not even in the middle of a word?”

SAcademy: Take your choice.

BPRAL22169: The end result is the same.

SAcademy: Yes.

SAcademy: Actually I think it makes better sense to have him say it.

geeairmoe2: With the trend of re-releasing “unabridged” versions, one wonders about the usefulness of some editors.

SAcademy: Amen.

DavidWrightSr: In high school, an English teacher once asked a young lady. ‘Did God tell you to put that comma there, Miss XX.?” and she replied, “No, I just had to take a breath”.

SAcademy: LOL

OakMan7111: From the dedications I’ve read on occasion, some authors are lucky enough to have editors who are supportive. It’s a shame that RAH never did.

BPRAL22169: Oh, he did.

BPRAL22169: But we hear more about the other kind.

ddavitt has entered the room.

OakMan7111: really? I have heard so much about his troubles

BPRAL22169: (They make better stories)

BPRAL22169: Yo, Jane.

DavidWrightSr: Wecome Jane.

ddavitt: Hi; sorry i’m late, been out with my parents.

SAcademy: Hello Jane

ddavitt: What are we discussing?

BPRAL22169: Villains.

BPRAL22169: Editors.,

BPRAL22169: Same subject.

ddavitt: Natch.

DavidWrightSr: You mean you put loyalty to your family ahead of ours ? 😎

ddavitt: Editors..hmm..yes, i have trouble with them too :-):-)

BPRAL22169: Thank you so much, Jane, dear.

ddavitt: Well, they go back to the Uk on Wednesday, who know when I will see them again? πŸ™

DavidWrightSr: Oh, Gasp, that’s right Bill is an ‘editor’.

geeairmoe2: Present company excepted, then.

BPRAL22169: I am specifically, Jane’s editor.

ddavitt: Only teasing!

ddavitt: Yep, you’re the one and only editor of my work.

BPRAL22169: *crack of whip*

DavidWrightSr: I tried to get him to be mine, but I’ve got a lot further to go before I make the grade. πŸ™‚

BPRAL22169: “I love the smell of power in the morning!”

ddavitt: I’d like to see an article by you David.

OakMan7111: But Bill, you are so gentle and easy-going in AFH, how could you be an editor?


SAcademy: That isn’t how they do it. They write with their typewriters dipped in venom, and say, “Do you really expect me to publish this?

BPRAL22169: Who (innocent) me?

OakMan7111: πŸ™‚

BPRAL22169: Sheesh! A guy makes an innocent remark about playground supervisors, and suddenly he’s got a *rep*

ddavitt: Who did you mean btw?

BPRAL22169: To whom was that addressed, Jane?

ddavitt: If you mean me trying to calm things down, I was only trying to help. ( Famous last words):-)


ddavitt: Playground supes

OakMan7111: LV told Bill to play nice

BPRAL22169: No — I forget the guy’s name. He took me to task for not being nice-nice.

ddavitt: LV, yes.

ddavitt: The one who says afh has a bad rep.

BPRAL22169: Yes, that’s right.

ddavitt: As if!!

BPRAL22169: Look — hard to blame someone for not wanting another Odius erruption!

ddavitt: Any concensus on a true villain of either definition yet?

OakMan7111: Speaking of Villains

ddavitt: Or unfounded allegations based on personal hang ups…

OakMan7111: Weren’t you the one who said a villain was someone who knew the difference between good and evil – and chose evil?

DavidWrightSr: Shameful adv. An Analysis of ‘Rational Anarchy’ and Musings on Time Travel

ddavitt: Can’t remember…if not, I still agree with it.

ddavitt: Will look at those david

Major oz has entered the room.

geeairmoe2: I go back to the notion that a villain is someone unconcerned for the others who suffer from his attempt to achieve his personal goals.

Major oz: I’m late, but I’m here

OakMan7111: Just bookmarked them, David, thanks

ddavitt: Maybe we could sneak up on it by listing villanous qualities and seeing if there’s a match.

BPRAL22169: G’day Oz

DavidWrightSr: That’s saying things the same way, I think.

ddavitt: Hi Oz

ddavitt: Selfishness, insensitivity, greed, lust for power, conceit

DavidWrightSr: ‘doing harm to others’ knowingly is ‘evil’

ddavitt: Agreed

Major oz: I’m all those, Jane

ddavitt: Just as love is where the other person’s hapiness is more important than your own

ddavitt: Nonsense!

OakMan7111: I agree, David, except that Willam’s definition could be stretched to fit someone who did good and didn’t care if evil men were harmed thereby

BPRAL22169: I think the love definition is “essential to your own,” not “more important.”

Major oz: agree, as that brings your own

ddavitt: OK…perhaps the other is a bit too humble for Heinlein fans

geeairmoe2: amend “who let innocents suffer …”

Major oz: Was Winnie villainous for Coventry?

OakMan7111: I’ll buy that – though it means that I could suffer and it wouldn’t be villainous to have caused it

ddavitt: Sec McClure maybe? Rememeber his reaction to the proposed deaths on a project?

geeairmoe2: If you don’t really threaten my attempt to get my way, and I still allow you to suffer, that’s villainy.

ddavitt: Upset until he was told it was an ‘estimate’ then dropped it.

ddavitt: Winnie?

DavidWrightSr: Coventry?

Major oz: Churchill

ddavitt: Oh! Thought you meant the Heinlein story!!

DavidWrightSr: Oh, thought you were referring to a RAH character.

OakMan7111: Good question Oz

ddavitt: He didn’t drop the bombs tho

Major oz: He knew Coventry was to be bombed, but didn”t defend it, as it would give away the fact that he had broken the code.

OakMan7111: He’s another one like Manning, perhaps?

ddavitt: Interesting that that was in both To Sail and Connie Willis’s story

geeairmoe2: The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.

Major oz: …..or the one

OakMan7111: Knows what is needful and does it even if it is villainous

Major oz: How ’bout Dresden?

OakMan7111: That, I am afraid, bothers me far more than Hiroshima ever could

Major oz: what….Dresden?

OakMan7111: Yes

Major oz: Hiroshima and Nagasaki do not bother me a whit.

ddavitt: Sorry; have to go again. Night all.

ddavitt has left the room.

Major oz: nite, Jane

BPRAL22169: Ciao.

OakMan7111: innocents suffered, so there was some evil in the act

BPRAL22169: There are lots of those hard choices in war — the only moral argument is over whether it was a reasonable strategy to take.

OakMan7111: <<< has image of baby crying in Jane’s house

Major oz: perhaps……but it doesn’t bother me at all………It would have bothered me mightely, had HST not done it.

BPRAL22169: It’s like Truman’s decision to bomb Japan — he weighed the relative costs of the conventional continuation of the war against the possible savings of lives in a quick end and made a decision.

OakMan7111: I agree – honest – but it does not mean that what happened was a joyous or joy-bringing act, yes?

BPRAL22169: But you’ve wandered quite far from your definition of villain. “joy bringing” isn’t quite in the same category.

geeairmoe2: Then could we say a villain is someone who doesn’t feel he has to justify letting innocents suffer.

Major oz: ….neither is spanking a child……

SAcademy has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: Of course not, but that was what I was saying on AFH. There are indeed times when you have to make such sacrifices

OakMan7111: Nope – I was using William’s — innocents who are allowed to suffer

BPRAL22169: But the point is, thatparticular definition doesn’t wash.

OakMan7111: In War, the choice is often which evil to embrace

BPRAL22169: And in the rest of life, too.

Major oz: Is it useful to distinguish between: 1) innocents are MADE to suffer and 2) innocents are ALLOWED to suffer ?

OakMan7111: Yes, unfortunately

BPRAL22169: I mean, not always, but it’s a normal life situation as well as a wartime situation.

OakMan7111: That’s the old divide the second law of robotics up, isn’t it?

Major oz: ….don’t understand

geeairmoe2: You you like having the innocent suffer, that’s sadism. If you don’t care that innocents suffer — I’m not sure what you would call that.

BPRAL22169: sociopathy

Major oz: ….not paying attention

OakMan7111: will pay attention, there’ll be a test later!

OakMan7111: πŸ™‚

Major oz: caring is a copout — it takes no effort and accomplished nothing. doing is what counts.

SAcademy has entered the room.

OakMan7111: Amen, Oz

BPRAL22169: It makes an interesting and sympathetic character

OakMan7111: Welcome back, Mrs. H

SAcademy: Thank you. Had to wait on downloads from AOL.

OakMan7111: Interesting…by talking about Churchill, and Hiroshima, I have a much better handle on Manning

SAcademy: Don’t you feel sorry for him?

BPRAL22169: Of course, that story was written 4 years before the bombing.

BPRAL22169: They’re just getting back to radioactive dusts.

DavidWrightSr: But I’m sure that similar choices have had to be made many times in history.

SAcademy: EVen worse than a bomb.

OakMan7111: Most of the time, we are proivileged to know what RAH’s protagonists are thinking. But Manning’s story is told by someone who part of the story, but not a major one.

OakMan7111: Yes, I do feel sorry for him.

SAcademy: An awful dilemma.

DavidWrightSr: Interesting, Jon, seems to me that there are others that do that, but can’t recall any off hand.

OakMan7111: I’d guess that using the first person point of view, but not using the protagonist to tell the story is a choice made to distance us.

Major oz: Do you mean, David, make the decision to send others to almost certain death?

BPRAL22169: Philllip Owenby and I are having a parallel discussion, but I cannot copy his remarks into this field.

DavidWrightSr: The necessity of doing such when it was the only way to achieve something more critical.

Major oz: Hasn’t virtually every wartime commander had to do such?

SAcademy: Quite a jazzy font, Bill.

[Editor’s Note: AIM uses HTML formatting so that colors, size, font selection and links etc can be used during the discussion, and that is what all of the mentions of fonts, etc is about. None of the formatting from the discussion itself is carried over into this log]

OakMan7111: Rivera was prepared for that, as you pointed out

DavidWrightSr: Precisely, maybe not on the same scale as Churchill and Truman, but yes, indeed

BPRAL22169: But is it readable?

SAcademy: Not very.

BPRAL22169: Aren’t these all types of the decision of Solomon?

Major oz: not quite

Major oz: …..if we are speaking of two half-babies

OakMan7111: πŸ™‚

BPRAL22169: Yes, that’s the one I meant.

DavidWrightSr: Not quite, the decision maker is more often not the one who directly suffers from the loss of those being sacrificed.

SAcademy: That’s worese.

Major oz: But he is the responsible party

OakMan7111: Mrs H. is right, Bill. It’s not readable


DavidWrightSr: What are y’all talking about, I don’t see anything.

Major oz: me neither

OakMan7111: I didn’t when Mrs. H was talking about it and suddenly it showed up

OakMan7111: Maybe there’s some sort of refresh that goes on between client and server?

SAcademy: Refresh doesn’t work very well.

BPRAL22169: I tried to change fonts awhile ago, but it didn’t “take” until I minimized the chat room.

SAcademy: That’s somewhat better.

BPRAL22169: We had had a discussion about it earlier

DavidWrightSr: Ok. now I’m with you. I see you in bold now.

OakMan7111: Don’t we, in wartime, encourage the separation between decision-maker, and decision-carry-outer?

SAcademy: What was that font? Old English?

Major oz: always, Oak (are you Jon?)

BPRAL22169: Which one? I tried two. The one with the curlyques was “Harrington.”

DavidWrightSr: I said “Not quite, the decision maker is more often not the one who directly suffers from the loss of those being sacrificed.” I meant not a personal loss, but of course, he would suffer I’m sure.

OakMan7111: and do everything we can to keep the makers from feeling any guilt for what they do?

Major oz: Those who have had to make the decision suffer more than anyone other than the ones sacrificed.

DavidWrightSr: They may not feel guilt, but I’m sure they feel pain.

OakMan7111: Oz – yes, I’m not really a tree, but I play one on AOL

Major oz: hokay

BPRAL22169: Your map is not your territory? I’m shocked.

Major oz: Isn’t Indiana pink?

BPRAL22169: (And how did Korzybski sneak in here, anyway?)

OakMan7111: David, I remember thinking, at one point, during our discussion in AFH, that I might be able to allow my wife and child to be sacrificed for the greater good – but that I could not live wfor long with that knowledge.

SAcademy: Can’t you find a decent font?

OakMan7111: ROFL Bill

BPRAL22169: I thought this was a decent font.

SAcademy: Not really. It’s also difficult to read.

DavidWrightSr: Jon, I agree. And Gospodi pomiluii, I’ll never have to make that decision.

OakMan7111: I’m seeing it as straight Serif – Times Roman, I suspect

DavidWrightSr: Me, too, must be differences in the underlying os.

Major oz: You can allow someone else to make the decision for your family.

Major oz: …..not me

Major oz: I make it or nobody does.

geeairmoe2: I have to be heading out out soon. Permission to go slightly off-topic for a moment?

Major oz: ga

BPRAL22169: /GA

OakMan7111: ok

DavidWrightSr: I didn’t say that. I said I meant that I hope never to have to be in such a situation.

Major oz: no, I was addressing Jon’s statement

DavidWrightSr: Sorry.

geeairmoe2: A few months back checking the iWon quote of the day, there was this: Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young. by A.W. Pinero. The name reminded of “Life-Line”. Connection?

geeairmoe2: Pinero wrote plays in the late 1800’s, mostly farces.

Major oz: none that I can think of

DavidWrightSr: Reminds me of ‘live as long as you love and love as long as you live’

OakMan7111: Pinero was a playwright alive around the time of RAH’s youth

geeairmoe2: He dies in 1934.

SAcademy: No idea.

OakMan7111: “Arthur Wing”

DavidWrightSr: That was only 5 years before ‘Life-line’

Major oz: The question might be: “did the playright influence the nameing of the character in Lifeline ?

PhillipOwe has entered the room.

BPRAL22169: I just invited Phillip Owenby in.

BPRAL22169: Excellent. It worked.

Major oz: Welcome Phillip Owenby

PhillipOwe: Hello, folks.

SAcademy: Hello Phil.

PhillipOwe: Hi, Ginny.

SAcademy: Nice to see yyou here.

geeairmoe2: Pinero wanted to write tragedies, but the public preferred his comedies.

OakMan7111: There’s also Hato Pinero in Venezuela

DavidWrightSr: Hi Phil. If you are on a PC and not one of them Mac thingies, you can create a shortcut to the group by clicking on ‘file’ then ‘create shortcut’. saves having to wait for one of us obnoxious characters to see you and invite you in.

PhillipOwe: Alas, I’m on a Mac.

BPRAL22169: We’re breaking momentarily for an OT

DavidWrightSr: Sorrrrry. πŸ™‚

PhillipOwe: I’ll post some comments I made to Bill earlier in our private IM–if you don’t mind.

BPRAL22169: Are we finished for the moment with Pinero? I was abot to suggest you do that, Phil.

DavidWrightSr: Please do.

Major oz: You can also just go to http://readinggroupsonline.com/group/robertaheinlein.html and click on “chat”

PhillipOwe: I said, ” I think Heinlein’s villains were antagonists–there as “push plates” to provide impetus for development, but also to personify qualities he disapproved of.”

PhillipOwe: “The lackeys of the wormfaces in HSSWT were villains in that sense, as was the black cabal in Lost Legacy.”

OakMan7111: I said something like that in AFH – but you said it far more cogently

BPRAL22169: And Mrs. Keithly falls into that category.

PhillipOwe: “Simes His villainy was selfishness–no group ethic (SST), no professional ethic (Space Cadet). Heinlein said in Gulf that evil was essentially stupid because of that very quality of selfishness–an epistemological blindfold.”

BPRAL22169: We have unequivocal agreement on Mrs. Keithly, Mrs. Grew, and I think Belle Darkin as villains.

Major oz: How can a hero be heroic without a bad guy?

OakMan7111: Greeks thought it was okay to fight other people, natural forces, or yourself, Oz

OakMan7111: any of those three could make you heroic

BPRAL22169: Not all heroism is in “fight” and “conflict.”

Major oz: …..so do I — but it doesn’t make you a hero

BPRAL22169: Think of ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, for example.

OakMan7111: yes, thats why I said “could”

Major oz: It may not be in fight, but it must be in conflict.

Major oz: …..if only with oneself

BPRAL22169: Ok — but conflict doesn’t require a “bad guy.”

BPRAL22169: And, after all, the primal conflict is the overcoming of the self.

Major oz: then what is the conflict with?

OakMan7111: The Greeks also wanted to see personal growth because of the conflict

Major oz: the bad guy that you become in your “off moments”

BPRAL22169: I think RAH said something like that about personal growth out of crisis.

PhillipOwe: But good guys can be antagonists in the sense that they oppose.

BPRAL22169: Not necessarily “off moments.” The impulse to conform and do the easy thing versus the need to do the right thing.

Major oz: Ok, we can count angels, but RAH was writing stories, not introspective texts.

OakMan7111: Hotspur opposes Prince Hal, but is definitely not a villain

Major oz: …..and those heros cannot be heroic without villains.

OakMan7111: On the other hand, MacBeth is a villain who is given heroic stature

BPRAL22169: Or CASTAWAY that’s palying now.

PhillipOwe: But we called the great explorers heroes.

DavidWrightSr: Yeah. where is Oscar Gordon after all the conflict is over? What does he do?

Major oz: and MacBeth is an introspective text…..

OakMan7111: They were in conflict with their environment

BPRAL22169: MacBeth is a classic tragic hero — led into evil by a bad woman.

BPRAL22169: Someone else’s ambition.

Major oz: Oscar hires out to kill dragons, while Star runs the universe

Major oz: Have Sword, Will Travel

PhillipOwe: Is Faust a hero?

BPRAL22169: Glory Road may not be a good example — it was specifically about the Hero and Heroism and the romance of the Glory Road.

OakMan7111: Many of my favorite characters in RAH would reject quickly the title of Hero – though Oscar obviously didn’t

DavidWrightSr: Like John Sterling, he has to keep on keeping on, doing what he does best

Major oz: Seriously, we don’t care what Oscar does; the story is over.

DavidWrightSr: You may not care. I do!

Major oz: …..within the context of the story……don’t care — next story

OakMan7111: I’m interested, but I don’t care as in have a pssionate desire to find out “what happens next???”

BPRAL22169: “mixture as before.”

DavidWrightSr: Ok, I’ll go with that one. Where is the next story πŸ™‚

Major oz: …..whatever is on top of the TBR pile

PhillipOwe: What are we defining as a villain?

OakMan7111: NotB is the next story for all of them, isn’t it?

DavidWrightSr: “mixture as before.” Is that what Ginny was saying with ‘formula as before’?

Major oz: we never have, Phil

BPRAL22169: yes, I believe RAH used both expressions.

Major oz: I don’t think it is definable.

OakMan7111: Bill – define them for me, please?

DavidWrightSr: I’m not sure I know exactly what it means.

OakMan7111: How did he mean them to be understood?

Major oz: the villains, in general, Jon ?

BPRAL22169: As Oz said, we haven’t agreed on a definition. But I pointed out we are doing a lot of wheel spinning (in the posts and in the first chat) by confusing a literary device for a moral quality.

OakMan7111: no the two phrases ending in “as before”

BPRAL22169: And as to “what he meant by villain,” I think he meant somethign different each time, because he didn’t write the same story over and over.

Major oz:

DavidWrightSr: Is that along the lines of what I was saying, each story unique, but with similarities?

BPRAL22169: In literary terms, a “hero” is a special human (in myth he is favored bya god; in romance he is a member of the high nobility; in SF he has special talents or abilities) who carries out a difficult task.

BPRAL22169: There is also the “protagonist” of the story, who is the author’s viewpoint character and who may or may not be the same as the hero. As Jubal is the protagonist of Stranger, but VMS is the hero.

OakMan7111: Carries out = succeeds, or simply attempts?

BPRAL22169: “Villain” is a specialized term of low-romance formula and is the inverse of the hero — a specially-endowed evil.

geeairmoe2: Therefore a villain is someone who stands in the way of the hero’s successful completion of that task?

BPRAL22169: Jon, I think you’ve pointed out one possible variation of the romance formula: the hero can succeed or he can fail — but he is a hero still.

BPRAL22169: No, Will, a villain is evil by formula function; an antagonist stands in the way of the hero’s … etc.

BPRAL22169: That’s the best I can do on short notice.

Major oz: All villaing are antagonists, but not all antagonists are villains.

BPRAL22169: Heinlein used a lot of antagonists; a few villains.

geeairmoe2: The antagonist can be, or not be, a villain.

BPRAL22169: I think on Thursday we talked about the Hroshii of Star Beast — certainly not villains, but certainly inconvenient.

OakMan7111: So you are saying that in a sense, there is something that is villainous, because otherwise RAH doesn’t get to tell the story he want to?

geeairmoe2: But if you make the antagonist a villain, your hero has overcome something greater, and is more heroic.

BPRAL22169: Not all the stories RAH was interested in telling required a personificationof evil.

SAcademy has left the room.

OakMan7111: Yes, that’s what I have noticed for a long time

BPRAL22169: On the other hand, some of them did.

OakMan7111: And now I understand that you didn’t mean what I took you to mean

OakMan7111: Other than the 3 we’ve agreed about?

DavidWrightSr: A lot of the obstacles that an Heinlein antagonist had to overcome were simply due to human cussedness, it seems to me

Major oz: I’m sure glad you all cleared that up.

Major oz: πŸ™‚

PhillipOwe: I don’t think Heinlein thought that evil people were very interesting.

geeairmoe2: The problem with a villain/antagonist is you could get into caricature — Galactic Overlord.

OakMan7111: The phrase “banality of evil” comes to mine when you say that, Phillip

OakMan7111: come to mind, even

Major oz: Could it be, Phil, that He thought they weren’t bothering with — don’t bother to see whether or not they are interesting?

Major oz: werent WORTH bothereing……..

SAcademy has entered the room.

PhillipOwe: I think he portrayed jerks and villains in the juvies because he wanted readers to know they would encounter them in life, but they weren’t to get bent out of shape over them.

Major oz: good idea

Major oz: !!

OakMan7111: Yes, Stinkey Burke is doomed to fail

BPRAL22169: Second that double exclamation point.

Major oz: OK, now I got all your effete fonts coming through.

OakMan7111: LOL

PhillipOwe: But Heinlein was always interested in the moral aspects of his stories and their characters. His special concern was to provide his juviw readers with ethical, competent examples.

Major oz: ……and realistic examples of the “crabgrass” people.

PhillipOwe: Yes

OakMan7111: His juvies taught me the difference between morality and moralizing

Major oz: And it is only with the “adult” books (in the journals) that he talks about a bad guy never being so in his own eyes.

DavidWrightSr: It sometimes took his ‘heros’ a while to catch on though. I’m thinking of Rod, Matt, Juan off the top of my head. Seems they were always a lot innocent at the beginning

DavidWrightSr: but, of course, they had to be in order to ‘grow’ I guess

DavidWrightSr: naive may be a bette word.

Major oz: They were innocent in the sense that they couldn’t fathom a nasty person, as their surroundings had never given them examples.

PhillipOwe: A bad guy lives in a half-world limited by the epistemology of selfishness.

Major oz: ……didn’t Rand write a book by that title πŸ™‚

DavidWrightSr: Say what?

OakMan7111: They don’t come more innocent than John Lyle

OakMan7111: and naive, too

Major oz: ::Quick Cato, my omphaloskepsis shield::

DavidWrightSr: or that guy in ‘logic of empire’ or in ‘coventry’ for that matter

BPRAL22169: I think RAH had a special fondness for the character who sees evil and knows it — perhaps is wounded by it — but doesn’t give in to it.

BPRAL22169: But the innocent who can learn better makes a better story vehicle.

PhillipOwe: But I meant the epistemology of everyman for himself. That kind of outlook generates a smaller field of consciousness than does, say, the soldier ethic of Starship Trooper.

DavidWrightSr: Does it truly, or is it just ignoring the larger field? and not caring about it?

geeairmoe2: The “bad guys” always had a streak of narcissism. As if RAH was warning: look what happens when you get too full of yourself.

PhillipOwe: One’s field of consciousness if that which you habitually attend to–any difference that makes no difference is no difference.

geeairmoe2: There is a thin line between cocky and self-confidence.

Major oz: yeah….but so did some of the good guys — LL for example

PhillipOwe: is

OakMan7111: Some of the heros start out with that same streak – but it gets knocked out of them

PhillipOwe: The man who learned better–“Coventry.”

Major oz: like Oscar

DavidWrightSr: Phil, I think we are meaning the same thing, I’m just not able t express it as I would like to.

OakMan7111: Laz is very special. As Mrs H. pointed out all of them are sui generis – but he is an amazing tour-de-force

Major oz: AJ Libby is the only “good guy” who never has to fight any inner demons, is REALLY NICE for a very long time, and lives happily ever after.

DavidWrightSr: Lazarus always ‘talked’ that way, but when it came to the crunch, he always came trhough

Major oz: He didn’t have to overcome many obstacles, either.

PhillipOwe: Heinlein’s juvie characters often get educated out of self-absorption–Farmer in the Sky.

Major oz: …..other than his roots.

Major oz: or Clar,

Major oz: Clark

OakMan7111: And he’s not written to be very compelling, is he? (AJ Libby)

Major oz: No

DavidWrightSr: I disagree OZ. I think that he was full of them in ‘Misfit’. He was nice, but had a lot of baggage to overcome.

Major oz: He is just always there, doing what he does.

Major oz: I don’t see any need to “overcome” anything in Misfit.

Major oz: Just to be recognized

DavidWrightSr: Loneliness, lack of education,

geeairmoe2: Lack of self-esteem.

DavidWrightSr: Being the butt of jokes, etc

Major oz: nooooo

OakMan7111: I think that’s part of Laz’s charm (I use the word loosely, πŸ™‚ ) he emphatically insists that he is an anti-hero, and then is a hero whenever it counts.

Major oz: lonliness is universal

DavidWrightSr: Being weird, in other words.

PhillipOwe: The moral man is the man who learns to enlarge his field of consciousness. Heinlein’s heroes are moral men and women.

Major oz: ]lack of ed was a non sequitor

Major oz: self-esteem — ibid

OakMan7111: I like that Phillip!!!

Major oz: The immoral man is any man who says: “The moral man is………”

PhillipOwe: Are their any characters in Heinlein who know the good and refuse to do it?

BPRAL22169: Now, now, Oz…

PhillipOwe: there

OakMan7111: Now you sound like Lazarus

OakMan7111: We came up with three:

PhillipOwe: I hate it when I spell there as their.

DavidWrightSr: I think that I must have a slightly different meaning for ‘consciousness’ than you are using. To me ‘consciousness’ would be a necessary, but not sufficient thing to rise above pure self-interest.

PhillipOwe: Awareness precedes action.

PhillipOwe: Action creates awareness.

Major oz: …except for hot stoves

BPRAL22169: (A point Korzybski makes in his first book)

DavidWrightSr: but awareness alone doesn’t produce action. there has to be something more, IMO

geeairmoe2: Would you prefer “comprehension” over consciousness? To be conscious of something does not require comprehending it.

PhillipOwe: Heinlein said in Gulf that a man who learns to think correctly will act correctly. That sounds like Plato, doesn’t it? Hmmh

OakMan7111: Or Hubbard

PhillipOwe: Please!

OakMan7111: Sorry, but it’s true πŸ™‚

PhillipOwe: Or did you mean Elbert Hubbard?

BPRAL22169: I don’t think Dianetics theory got that far.

BPRAL22169: No — his concern with the removal of engrams is at a much lower level than “think correctly.”

Major oz: I (and probably all of us) like to think I think “correctly”. But I just love to “mess(my brother uses a stronger term) with the dummies. Is that villainous?

geeairmoe2: Sadist.

PhillipOwe: What’s the purpose behind the action?

BPRAL22169: Ah, but the best way to mess with the dummies is to let the consequences of their acts fall itno their hands.

BPRAL22169: “benign inaction.”

Major oz: I don’t mean those who have physical or psychological illnesses. Just those who watch WWF and Jerry Springer.

PhillipOwe: I don’t have the right to deny you the consequences of your own actions.

OakMan7111: Interesting, I am terribly aware, after the fact, of how often I allowed my biochemistry to influence my thinking and make it incorrect

BPRAL22169: Oh, the real villains!

BPRAL22169: Any legal secretary finds out fairly soon that the way to really screw over the lawyer they work for is to do exactly what they are told to do — and nothing else.

PhillipOwe: Someone once said that the moral deed was the most constructive deed.

OakMan7111: Also works for programmers

OakMan7111: “work to the specs”

BPRAL22169: I don’t recognize that quotation.

Major oz: Sorry folks, I gotta go.

Major oz: See you next time

PhillipOwe: I think a dead German philosopher said it.

Major oz has left the room.

BPRAL22169: My goodness, we are behind schedule.

BPRAL22169: Ah. I have one of his books by my bedside, then.

PhillipOwe: Yes

DavidWrightSr: Well. we got off to a slow start, but it did, indeed, get very interesting.

BPRAL22169: I agree, quite.

PhillipOwe: Thanks for the invite, Bill–I enjoyed it.

BPRAL22169: It was a real pleasure. let’s do it again in 2 weeks.Darn, I forgot to ask

DavidWrightSr: It would seem that the subject is one that is hard to get a real handle on because people think of it in very different ways.

BPRAL22169: Jane what was the next topic. David, do you recall?

DavidWrightSr: Sorry. Don’t recall

BPRAL22169: Yes, David. I was a little frustrated Thursday because people were just coming up with examples of unpleasant people, and I kept wondering what that had to do with Heinlein’s villains.

DavidWrightSr: I’ll look it up in the logs and post it along with the notice for this log.

BPRAL22169: At any rate, Leute, there will be another chat in two weeks (Thursday then Saturday). I propose we have an author chat a month from now if we can arrange it.

OakMan7111: I’m glad I got here tonight. It’s been too long

DavidWrightSr: Glad you could make it. You too, Phil

BPRAL22169: David, did Dave Silver give you the list of authors he was working with?

PhillipOwe: Thanks, David.

BPRAL22169: I heard a rumor to that effect.

BPRAL22169: Yes, Phil — you were a welcomed philosophical buzz-saw.

PhillipOwe: Huh?

BPRAL22169: Cutting through the deadwood of the Gordian knot of our thoughts!

geeairmoe2: Good chat. See you all next time.

OakMan7111: Good night, Mrs. H. Good night all.

OakMan7111 has left the room.

DavidWrightSr: I seem to recall seeing it, but I don’t remember precisely. I’ll see what I can come up with. I think that Ginny was talking to one or two, if I recall correctly.

geeairmoe2 has left the room.

PhillipOwe: Goodnight… and may flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.

BPRAL22169: OK — let’s get together, you, Jane, Oz, and I, with Ginny this week and talk about an author chat in a month.

BPRAL22169: Shakespeare!

DavidWrightSr: Phil. When is your book Coming out?

BPRAL22169: (Of course, I’ve also got a volume of Nietzsche by my bedside!)

PhillipOwe: Don’t know–I need to ask Jim Gifford.

DavidWrightSr: I’m looking forward to it, I expect it to be my birthday present this year like Jim’s was last year.

PhillipOwe: Well, thanks, I hope it’s out in time.

DavidWrightSr: My wife endulges me on that one.

PhillipOwe has left the room.

BPRAL22169: Well, I guess we’re done. Turned out a good chat.

SAcademy: Good night, all.

DavidWrightSr: Yes, indeed. I haven’t seen it fail yet. Good Night Ginny.

BPRAL22169: Closing Log 5:25 p.m.PST

Final End Of Discussion Log

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