Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group Saturday September 16, 2000 5:00 PM EDT “Methuselah’s Children”

Heinlein Reader’s Discussion Group

Saturday September 16, 2000 5:00 PM EDT

“Methuselah’s Children”


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Here Begin The A.F.H. postings

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

Date: 09/15/2000

Author: PrinceOfBaja

[Editor’s note: This posting was in response to the last posting prior to the meeting on Thursday. See Thursday’s log at the above link]

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

You may be “way too young,” but you are exactly on the mark, IMO. I would rather leave quickly than suffer through what my sister did before she passed over.



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

Date: 09/16/2000

Author: Chris Croughton On 15 Sep 2000 04:50:36 GMT, PrinceOfBaja wrote:

>You may be “way too young,” but you are exactly on the mark, IMO. I would

>rather leave quickly than suffer through what my sister did before she passed


I agree on that, and so would my grandmother have done (at the end, she retained enough intellect in her more lucid moments to realise how bad she was, and it really hurt). Hopefully I’m still many years away from it, but I’d rather go quickly than linger.

Chris C


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

Date: 09/16/2000

Author: Nuclear Waste <>

“William Dennis” wrote in message

> > 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?

I was not speaking of the novel. I was speaking of the US of A at the time the novel was written.



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

AGplusone has entered the room.

AGplusone: Dave, hi!@

dwrighsr: Greetings. Just got in. Have you figured out what was causing you so much trouble last time?

AGplusone: Basically, I was impatient … had opened a link and was waiting for it, when I decided to accept yours. Confused the software.

SAcademy has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi SA. Welcome

SAcademy: Good evening David.

AGplusone: Hi, Ginny. (from both of us?) <g>

dwrighsr: Hopefully, most people know how to get into the room now without an invite, so I’ll hold off issuing invites unless they appear to not be coming in.

SAcademy: Sorry to be so early, but I found that I had a few minutes to spend and thought I’d come here.

dwrighsr: I get very impatient with computers some times when they don’t appear to be working as fast as I think they should.

dwrighsr: We are always glad to have you. Any comments on Thursday’s discussion?

SAcademy: Is yours slow? This one is very fast–it’s me that’s slow.

SAcademy: Haven’t had time to read it yet. I was so sleepy when it happened that I can’t say anything.

SAcademy: I’ve been finding more and more pirating. So I print those out and send them to Art.

dwrighsr: Bummer!

SAcademy: Yes. there are half a dozen firms doing it, and I am darned tired of it.

dwrighsr: Saw that Baen had a bunch of new releases out in the bookstore the other night.

SAcademy: So I told Art that I wanted to close them all down.

SAcademy: Yes, but his are legal ones.

dwrighsr: Oh, I know. I was just happy to see new ones on the shelf. They had been scarce recently where I go.

dwrighsr: These illegals. They are all internet sites?

SAcademy: The pirates are: (if you’re interested) Amereon, Buccaneer, Ul;tramarine, can’t think of the others right now.

dwrighsr: David. The Heinlein Society needs to figure out someway to help Ginny on this.

SAcademy: Oh, yes, Econo-clad, Turtleback. They seem to take paperbacks and rebind them.

SAcademy: There’s one more, but I’ve lost it right now.

dwrighsr: They would have a hard time rebinding my paperbacks. They are all falling apart from so much reading πŸ™‚

AGplusone: I think we oughta figure out something to help … if nothing else a notification procedure to Ms. Woods.

SAcademy: Art and I are taking care of it all. But it takes time.

SAcademy: I shut down two sites myself–earlier this year.

SAcademy: Both of those had posted the entire book of LL’s Notebooks.

SAcademy: I now have to keep an eye on them

dwrighsr: Well. I wish that you didn’t have to spend so much of your time with them.

SAcademy: Oh, yes, Art shut down all the binaries sites that were posting entire novels. For free.

BPRAL22169 has entered the room.

BPRAL22169: Hello, all.

SAcademy: Hello, Bill.

AGplusone: Hi, Bill. Good to ‘see you’!

dwrighsr: Hi Bill.

Eeyore3061 has entered the room.

AGplusone: G’day, Eeyore!

BPRAL22169: I’m going to have to ask you all to excuse me today — I’m still down with the creeping never-get-overs from New Mexico,

Eeyore3061: Hi Everyone

markjmills has entered the room.

AGplusone: Hi, Mark

dwrighsr: Hi mark

markjmills: Hi, all — I couldn’t resist coming back here.

Eeyore3061: And I have a Batchler party to attend in … eep! an hour and a half.

Berllan5UD has entered the room.

markjmills: Are you the groom?

AGplusone: It’s addicitive, isn’t it?

Eeyore3061: Nope

dwrighsr: Why would anyone have to resist? This is the best place in the world to be πŸ™‚

AGplusone: Hi, David Tibbetts.

Eeyore3061: But I’m one of the designated drivers

Berllan5UD: evenin’ all

markjmills: So you’ll be sober when the dancer pops out of the cake!

Lenjazz has entered the room.

Eeyore3061: *grins*

Eeyore3061: her dress

BPRAL22169: my goodness

dwrighsr: Welcome Len~

AGplusone: Hi, Len!

Eeyore3061: The plan is to drag (yeah right) him off to a … um … club after dinner at Hooters.

markjmills: If the Hooters is in Santa Monica, I’m sure David will be right over!

AGplusone: ‘fer sure’

Lenjazz has left the room.

BPRAL22169: If you/re dining at Hooters, isn’t that “club” enough?

AGplusone: Len’s having the same sort of trouble I had Thursday, he’s rebooting, Dave Wright, and on a clone.

BPRAL22169: I’m afraid my attention span just gave out. Sei gut, alles.

BPRAL22169 has left the room.

Eeyore3061: Sorry, wrong coast

dwrighsr: We have to call Maintenance about that vacuum sucking people out of the room through the revolving door

Eeyore3061: NC not CA

AGplusone: See you, Bill. We’re going to try setting up a meeting in Santa Monica …

AGplusone: discussing “Heinlein” of course …

Berllan5UD: free booze and grub. where do i sign up?

markjmills: Reminds me of the lawyer in COTG — Garsh, was it? — munching his sandwich and watching the pretty girls….

AGplusone: (what we’ll do is look for a waitress who looks a lot like Maureen would have … green emeralds an all) … reminds me of something … referring to the Jocks …

AGplusone: In that section that refers to the Jocks, there’s a theme that other sci-fi writers have picked up on. David Brin, for example: the “uplift” theme.

AGplusone: RAH took it up, early, in a short story, “Jerry Was a Man” … anyone know it?

markjmills: Know the story, but not folowing your line of thinking….

dwrighsr: That threw me. I thought you were talking about all of them being picked and sent to the ship.

AGplusone: Okay … there’s something Dave Wright mentioned, the “leader” aspect to the planet of the Jocks …

AGplusone: a fascist society in which everything is decided for the ‘peepul’ …

dwrighsr: I don’t see the connection to ‘Jerry’

AGplusone: Brin seem to think that if humans ‘uplifted’ other species to sentience … it would be a beneficial thing …

labert8 has entered the room.

AGplusone: RAH suggested that the only reason, initially, would be to create better slaves.

AGplusone: Hi, Bert ….

labert8: howdy

SageMerlin has entered the room.

AGplusone: someone to do what “Kobalds” do … the hard, dangerous, expendible sort of task

AGplusone: So I’m thinking … what would be the real effect of having the Jocks

markjmills: Ummm…Simak did that very early on, in “City” — with dogs, who ultimately inherited the mantle of civilisation.

AGplusone: God show up … beneficient, or enslaving … or if we, for example, could make chimps or dolphins or dogs more sentient ??

Eeyore3061: First, you would need someone to do the work. Then you would have to deal with their morals or lack there of.

Berllan5UD: sounds like Planet of the Apes

AGplusone: If we were the Gods of the Jocks, WWRAHD?

Eeyore3061: That would be a major turning point.

dwrighsr: Well. RAH never seemed to be comfortable with our relationship with dogs.

AGplusone: <veg>

AGplusone: No, except for the scouting story in Kondo’s Requiem

Eeyore3061: He would teach us huberus, if we were lucky

AGplusone: what I would call ‘hubris’?

Eeyore3061: Sorry, very lousy speller

AGplusone: <g> … so’m I

dwrighsr: (Cer)berus had a dog’s head didn’t he πŸ™‚

labert8: ok, I guess my weekend brain isn’t up to speed, AG: WWRAHD?

Eeyore3061: What Would RAH Do

dwrighsr: Play on the Phrase ‘What Would Jesus Do’

dwrighsr: WWJD

AGplusone: The thing that always intrigued me in MC was the planet of the Jocks … imagine that … another species shows up and take over as Gods. [an evil joke, Bert!]

labert8: ah. so obvious now <g>

markjmills: Hubris never seemed to occur to LL — and the response to the near-G-d-like galactic civilisation of HSSWT was, IIRC, “We’ll build our own sun — then go hunt them down!”

dwrighsr: In passing Thursday, I mentioned that the ‘judge’ in HSSWT was similar to the ‘group mind’ of the Little People.

dwrighsr: Or so it seemed to me.

AGplusone: Well, in “Jerry Was A Man” which is one of my favorite shorts, he does a little something that is quite hubristic … he forces humanity to accept that if you meddle, you pay the consequences.

Eeyore3061: If you are *thunked* down on stage, you go with what you can do. Faking it has worked before.

AGplusone: You have to accept them as citizens and equals, not use them as slaves.

markjmills: Did it with inamimate computers too — once they achieved sentient consciousness, they WERE human, with all that entailed.

SageMerlin: People is as people does

AGplusone: You’re right, Dave … the ‘group mind’ is like the Little People … and for that reason, Mother Things’ patrol may not be sufficient.

labert8: And isn’t that the interesting thing about the Jocks. The families were living amongst them believing them to be equals, and intending to treat them that way. What’s curious is that they ran, rather than trying to help. Like an early version of the “prime directive.”

AGplusone: The decision in “Jerry Was A Man” is the Dred Scott decision reversed …

Berllan5UD: so how did RAH determine what a ‘sentient computer’ was?

AGplusone: It thinks?

AGplusone: Independently, like Mike, in Moon?

labert8: That’s always seemed an easy question to me. If a species appears that it may be sentient, one *must* behave as if it is.

Eeyore3061: Dianne Duanne did that in the third Wiziards book, it was the turning/growing up point for the main chariter. She created a race of sentient computers and then all …. broke lose.

Berllan5UD: that’s a question that fascinates me in sci-fi generally

labert8: Just as with Jerry. ONe of my favorite characters, btw.

Berllan5UD: why would humanity give a machine equal status?

dwrighsr: Have you read Hogan’s book

dwrighsr: ‘Two Faces of Tomorrow’. It deals with the same subject

Eeyore3061: yep

AGplusone: “Ian Douglas” does that in the foreground of that trilogy I keep bringing up … and the sentient computers keep killing off every organic species that makes it into space … to keep them from being a threat to the computers.

labert8: Why shouldn’t anything sentient have equal status, as long as it isn’t varelse, to use Card’s term, too alien ever to be understood.

Berllan5UD: it would be like turkeys voting for Christmas (or Thanksgiving for you over there)

AGplusone: Right! We gotta take out the humans this year, or we’ll all die!

dwrighsr: In it. Hogan posited that the computer would not even be aware that we existed except as annoyances and that once it realized that we were sentient. it stops all its ‘mosquito killing’

Eeyore3061: Monkey and Lizard fears

markjmills: How would you then define sentience? How far “down” the chain, as it were?

labert8: What else do we value about life in general, if it isn’t sentience, or to use the older term, souls.

labert8: I’m reminded of the CC in Varley’s Steel Beach. He’s Mike gone over the top.

markjmills: Assuming, of course, that we are at the top of our planetary hierarchy!

labert8: A big assumption, given our behavior, mark <g>

AGplusone: In a way, it’s how the ‘psychometricians’ in Coventry work … anyone standing up too high, gets hammered down.

Eeyore3061: Steel Beach? CC was in O’Donalds Mayflies

Berllan5UD: I don’t define sentience. Suppose that gets me off the emotional hook and allows me freedom to destroy anything

SageMerlin: But the psychometricians were not in Coventry, they merely populated the joint.

labert8: CC as in Central Computer. What do you mean, “up to high,” AG, they dealt with the socially deviant, yes?

AGplusone: They sent anyone who stood too high into Coventry to get hammered down …

AGplusone: Anyone who disagreed with their Utopian way of thinking …

labert8: I don;t like the coventry system, but it was less than evil.

AGplusone: Should we be allowed to punch someone in the nose?

AGplusone: For insult?

dwrighsr: ‘speak and build fires’ to paraphrase another author or ‘speak and use tools’ If I recall ‘Star Beast’ correctly.

SageMerlin: Actually, Dave, it wasn’t disagreement that triggered their reactions, it was behavior. You can think whatever you want, but you can only do what is socially acceptable.

Eeyore3061: and there goes my free time. Later all.

Eeyore3061: :Poof:

dwrighsr: I always saw ‘Coventry’ as being far freer than what we have now.

labert8: of course not, but that wasn’t the only problem they dealt with. Hmm, what was their criteria?

AGplusone: Keep manners correct … faster than calling a Procter … who might say, “Well, you’re cooled down now, so it didn’t matter all that much”

labert8: physical and economic damage?

AGplusone: Emotional didn’t count, did it?

markjmills: Enjoy the party, Eeyore!

Berllan5UD: this ‘Coventry’ sounds interesting

labert8: I don’t think so. RAH might have seen that differently today, given what we now know.

dwrighsr: It had to be damage that could be clearly and objectively identified. Emotional damage is too subjective.

Eeyore3061: Will try, at least we are not going to go as far as Kelly’s Batchler Party.

AGplusone: What do you think RAH would have done if someone walked up to him while he was smoking one of his Luckies and snatched it out of his face and ground it under heel?

labert8: There’s a major flaw there. At times it can be objectively identified.

markjmills: Popped him a la Hamilton Felix? πŸ™‚

Eeyore3061: Sicked a lawer on him?

dwrighsr: Well. we know what Gwen thought would happen to Lazarus in a place where things were ‘balanced’.

labert8: I wish I knew. I’d hope he’d have not lowered himself to smacking the jerk.

AGplusone: Or challenged him to a duel … using that .45 relic?

markjmills: A well-oiled .45, to be sure.

labert8: True, if he’d followed Lazarus, at least the younger Lazarus, he’d have ended in coventry.

Berllan5UD: Hey, I just noticed Baroness Thatcher’s here. I really will have to pay more attention

markjmills: That’s always a question, though — the appropriate civilised esponse to deliberate rudeness.

AGplusone: The alternative, of course, apart from suffering it, is to find out what this person does, and how you can destroy him for bad manners ….

labert8: Beulahland is another justice system I’m not prepared to cope with.

Eeyore3061: Now, now. Everyone knows there is nothing like a *good* sniper rifle…

AGplusone: Not picking up after yourself in the gas station restroom.

Eeyore3061: A .45 i svery up close and leaves lots of witnesses.

markjmills: WWRAHD – make a GREAT bumpersticker!

dwrighsr: You know. the contrast between Coventry and Beulahland might be an interest discussion topic. (No. I am not volunteering to moderate it) πŸ™‚

labert8: Who has time to take revenge for all the wrongs in the world? Most fools should be suffered, even if they did crush out my cigarette. We can only take care of our own piece of society, and raise our kids well.

AGplusone: LOL! What makes you think Zim pays attention to whether “you” volunteer?

Eeyore3061: Zim pays attention to everything. It’s how he lived so long.

labert8: I almost started that thread on AFH a year and a half ago, and quit for lack of time. I knew it’d get deep. <g>

dwrighsr: Seriously, I just get these occasional flashes. Anything more in depth leaves me out of the running.

markjmills: Well we could resort to personal justice for rudeness — but isn’t that what got McKinnon in trouble, that he slugged the jerk?

labert8: Why must personal justice mean slugging?

AGplusone: Speaking of which, we are about to exhaust the Future History series, and we really do need ‘volunteers’ so-styled, to get on to new themes for our next meetings. Please think on it. Otherwise Zim *may* have to “come looking for you.”

Eeyore3061: It’s letting on what he paid attention to that was his secret.

labert8: Sir, yes sir!

AGplusone: Yes, in Coventry …

Eeyore3061: ahhh, you people are making it to intresting…

Berllan5UD: is this where I leave quietly?

Eeyore3061: and that’s SIR, YES SIR!!

Eeyore3061: πŸ™‚

markjmills: Why quietly? “Do not go gentle into that good night….”

AGplusone: I was thinking yesterday about “Precinct justice” Lemme tell you a story ….

Eeyore3061: :poof:

Eeyore3061: ahhhh

Eeyore3061 has left the room.

Berllan5UD: Eeyore’s a bit of a poof. πŸ˜‰

markjmills: So where’s the story? πŸ™‚

AGplusone: About 90 years ago … there was this teacher. He thought discipline was something you imposed with a cane. He had a class of eighth grade boys. One of them was a polio victim …

AGplusone: He’d managed to impose his brand of discipline on every boy in his class except the polio victim … he’d canned everyone of them.

AGplusone: Finally, he got the polio victim, on crutches to do something … and he announced he would cane the boy.

AGplusone: So he started for the cane which he had hung by the window. They were on the second floor of a building. Another boy in the class got there first, grabbed the cane, and announced that he, the teacher, wasn’t going to cane the boy …

AGplusone: “either the cane or the teacher was going out the window” …

AGplusone: The teacher struggled for the cane with the boy, so the boy put the teacher out the window.

AGplusone: What do you do with the boy?

SAcademy: Give him a gold star

AGplusone: Today? Back in 1919? In Coventry? In Belauland?

Berllan5UD: sign up him up to the CIA

labert8: His is not the proper solution, but neither is the boy’s. the thing to do would have been to find a way to alter the situation before it got to that point. Yet in the old days such wouldn’

markjmills: Tough questions.

labert8: have been likely

labert8: Nether i the teacher’s, I meant.

AGplusone: Reason I asked, is, it’s a true story, and why my father never finished eighth grade and was apprenticed to a plumber the next day … after the cops worked out a compromise.

labert8: hmn. brain finger interface malfunction. warning!

AGplusone: What would our schools do with him today?

markjmills: Had the boy tossed the cane, nothing would have restrained the teacher from using alternatives, including his own body, as a weapon.

labert8: It could never have gotten that far today.

Berllan5UD: get him counselling from the trauma

dwrighsr: It would never happen today because the teacher would never be allowed to cane in the first place. In fact, in many places, he couldn’t do *any* disciplining and the students would be more likely to be caning the teacher.

labert8: Protecting a fellow student from unreasonable punishment. Sounds like not much punishment is necessary, though some crisis resolution skills might prevent further flying teachers.

markjmills: In 1919, the culture (and law) was such that the teacher had a virtually unlimited right to use physical means to impose discipline, however the teacher defined that.

AGplusone: It was.

labert8: Teachers shouldn’t need to discipline. That’s a parents job.

Berllan5UD: Cane is banned in EU countries

dwrighsr: Tell that to the teachers who get those students

AGplusone: That didn’t stop the men of the local community from making sure the teacher didn’t come back to the school after his brief stay in the hospital.

markjmills: But in the law, “defense of others” did not include using deadly force to counter a non-deadly threat.

AGplusone: He was bruised and sprained his legs landing.

labert8: I feel for them. But their stop gap measures come to late any way. Best solution is to get those studeeetns out of school, and into some other situation in which they can be controlled.

AGplusone: What students?

SAcademy: Thunderstorm coming. Have to leave

SAcademy has left the room.

AGplusone: Those that would defend a cripple from being caned?

labert8: discipline problem students, not like your father. his action, i situ, seems to have been quite admirable.

labert8: in situ

markjmills: In Coventry, the teacher’s behavior would not have been tolerated, so the situation, I think, could not have arisen.

AGplusone: What about in Bellauland?

dwrighsr: My point. We don’t allow caning here either, at least in most places, but it has swung so far to the other extreme that keeping any kind of order in classrooms is extremely difficult. In many cases, you *have* to put up with whatever is going on because the administrations will *not* back you in any way. I speak from personal knowledge here.

AGplusone: I agree.

AGplusone: My old man had gotten caned by this character. He did nothing because he felt it was deserved.

labert8: Right, DAvid’s, but giving teachers canes is no good either.

Berllan5UD: there has been a case here in UK over summer where a head teacher got 3 months for physical assault of a pupil

AGplusone: I’ve often wondered about that. When I went to school, they gave swats for some offenses …

dwrighsr: We know what RAH wrote about that. Starship Troopers.

Berllan5UD: she won on appeal. turns out the child she restrained is hyperactive

AGplusone: and they required a principal to approve issuance of them … and not from the offended teacher

AGplusone: The offense would usually be something that otherwise would require a suspension …

labert8: If the students are bad enuf that canes are necesary, the parents have been negligent, or the child is insane. Either way, making the the teachers “high middle and low” will not improve those students, except through fear and brutality. I don’t like that avenue.

AGplusone: The reason I bring this up is, it’s a bit like the change in manners we see objected to …

dwrighsr: In the case, I’m talking about, the principal wouldn’t even let the teacher send the offenders out of the classroom. Was afraid of a law suit. In the same school, one of the kids was banned from riding the school bus because of problems. His mother found out and went out and beat up the bus driver!

markjmills: But “Change in manners” does not have to mean a decline in manners, merely a difference, no?

AGplusone: people don’t clean up after themselves … children disobey with impunity … in life under the Convenant … unless there’s physical or economic harm … Proctors are going to do anything … neither do teachers ….

labert8: Now that’s a problem. But again, it seems to be a problem with parents, who would sue a school for demanding reasonable behavior from students.

dwrighsr: Lots of people

AGplusone: It’s as if we were waiting for the Jocks’ Gods to decide everything.

markjmills: Describing the breakdown in the consensus of what’s expected FROM people, as opposed to what RIGHTS we have.

labert8: AG, you’re talking about problems under the Covenant? Where did you see these kinds of complaints? In the story? Methuselah’s?

dwrighsr: As you said, if kids are unreasonable, it is because the parents are probably unreasonable too.

labert8: That’s cuz we haven’t yet realized, or at least most of us, that “all that groks is god.”

markjmills: In my house, if the teacher swatted me, usually my parents would swat me too.

AGplusone: I’m just observing that the government under the Covenant leaves everything that isn’t ‘economic’ or ‘physical’ harm open to self-help.

AGplusone: And how do you ‘self-help’ in those circumstances?

AGplusone: Annonymously puncture their car tires?

AGplusone: Or slip crazy glue in their garage locks?

AGplusone: Or forget it?

markjmills: Hmmm…well, one way out is not to define schoolchildren as citizens — reserving citizenship for adults — and then imposing a benevolent dictatorship on the children to rear them appropriately.

labert8: Yes, that’s the flaw of the covenant, it leaves too much up to people; things that can’t be punished by the government,

AGplusone: Which is what happens in Troopers … but for adults as well.

labert8: Forgetting it is usually the best option. Or attempting to change the offenders attitudes. A likely solution, ay?

markjmills: True — but ST is the better solution, as it doesn’t confer benefits based merely upon age.

AGplusone: Right! If you let your dogs run free, I’m not going to leave poisoned munchies out for them … I’m going to patiently pick up and bury their crap … for years and years and years.

labert8: This is what RAH seems to have been constantly going at. People won’t govern themselves, and no good system covers all the factors to do it well for them. I don’t think he thought there were clear answers there.

AGplusone: And wonder whether they’ll bite my three year old.

labert8: build a fence. it’s not a great solution, but whats the alternative?

AGplusone: Walk over to you and say: “Keep your dogs penned up or I’ll put my fist in your nose.”

dwrighsr: We have several of these ‘societies’. ST, Coventry, Beyond this Horizon. Interesting contrasts between them, (and others)

markjmills: But that’s the IWFNE solution — armed camps surrounded by anarchy; not a recipe for the good life, IMO.

Berllan5UD: i’m going to disappear for a while. if you’re unlucky, i may be back

AGplusone: Okay, we’ll hope, David.

Berllan5UD has left the room.

AGplusone: Is there a general consensus on what constitutes good behavior … was there ever?

markjmills: I thin there was, back through the fifties.

labert8: Ag, you really want to live in that society? You think that’s better than coventry? Physical threats for disputes between neighbors?

dwrighsr: No. But that’s the point. ‘Physical’ and ‘economic’ (theft etc) can be pointed out directly. (other economic harm is not so easy)

AGplusone: In Methuselah’s Children, there’s all this prattle about kindness and gentility and privacy respecting traditions …

AGplusone: which all go out the window the moment an overwhelming stress occurs …

labert8: a ” thin veneer of civilization”, as ERB liked to put it.

markjmills: Requiring a great deal of tolerance for petty annoyances, even ones that cause minor harms or risks of harms — such as the posibility that your 3-year-old might be bitten.

AGplusone: Right! So Tarzan reverts to survival of the fittest, really quickly … there’s a passage in Tunnel in the Sky like that …

dwrighsr: A society such as under the ‘Covenant’ that worked absolutely perfectly, would make an awful dull story. πŸ™‚

AGplusone: talking about Rod.

AGplusone: 3-years-olds get killed by dogs every year.

markjmills: But TITS seemed to be saying that social solutions are even more necessary in the jungle — witness what happened to Johann.

labert8: This is RAH helped build my rationalist belief system. We’re animals, and only regognizing that fact allows us to attempt the necessary self control to rise above that. That theme is constant.

AGplusone: Aubrey’s Killer Ape

dwrighsr: And their punishment for ‘bad behavior’ was to be banned from the group.

labert8: This is *why*, I should have written.

AGplusone: Or, as in Cat, being killed for bad manners, or for cutting in Line, as in Number

labert8: When we think we’re “God’s chosen,” we can rationalize any old crime as acceptable.

AGplusone: If not us, then ‘who’ … if not now, then ‘when’?

labert8: I think Lazarus recognizes this when he says all acts are essentially motivated by self interest.

AGplusone: πŸ˜€

AGplusone: Which gets us back to why Lazarus, after he escapes from the Families hide-out, gets back into the fray, instead of just blasting off for the asteroids? Why does RAH have him do that in MC?

dwrighsr: Because he has to live with himself

labert8: Because his self interest is served by helping the families. In the long run.

markjmills: Because the Howard’s are, for better or worse, HIS family?

dwrighsr: Besides he was bored πŸ™‚

labert8: And because, he’s a sentimental old fool, even at only 240. <g>

labert8: Animals are often irrational. πŸ™‚

AGplusone: It turns out that way … self-interest served … but I think it’s a “I want to be cherished” by somebody … a no man is an island thingy.

AGplusone: Which in RAH … is to be reserved, but seems frequently to be called upon … Johnnie Dalquist, the hobo, Sam Anderson, Rhysling …

labert8 has left the room.

AGplusone: the baboons on guard out there on the perimeter …

labert8 has entered the room.

AGplusone: WB … taking about the young baboons who act against their self-interest, but in the interest of the herd, Bert.

labert8: That sentimentality I mentioned is what might lead to the desire for “cherishing.” but its deeply buried in Lazrus, or he’d have taken the gavel when he arrived.

AGplusone: He’s been burnt. In 2012.

labert8: true.

AGplusone: And Woody really never loved anyone except his mommie, anyway.

AGplusone: And Gramps, who’s dead.

labert8: self interest does seem to be balanced against other instincts, eg the need to protect those one cherishes

AGplusone: Died in the blitz.

Lenjazz has entered the room.

AGplusone: Hi, Len … glad you made it, finally.

labert8: no he didn’t, saw him on tertius the other day. Thank goodness. πŸ™‚

AGplusone: <g>

markjmills: Mere sentimentality? Don’t you think it was informed by LL’s desire to see his own survive and flourish? The ultimate in genetic survival?

Lenjazz: Thanks, David. I think found the problem. Tell you about it later.

AGplusone: But Laz sez he’d been doing okay all them years … and he had.

AGplusone: Why give up his security, personally, for the Families … ?

AGplusone: It’s like getting a deferment from the draft. An easy deal under our system.

labert8: Yes, but wjat about his offspring. That’s a self interest point, and we kno Laz values his kids, even if he goes hands-off once they’re adult.

AGplusone: Yeah, academically … the guy who lends him a kilt when he comes in swimming.

markjmills: Part of the ethic of finding something greater, outside of oneself…the hierarchy of values as discussed in ST, for example.

AGplusone: But he’s more attracted to Libby and Mary …

labert8: Besides, he’s a friggin’ nut who often doesn’t know why he’s doing things. Witness his conversation with his genitals after meeting Maureen. πŸ™‚

AGplusone: LOL

markjmills: I assumed we all do that! πŸ™‚

AGplusone: Laz is basically an egomaniac. Witness TEFL. They interest him in resuming life only by creating clones of himself. Really an island, except now there’s a cluster of three of them.

labert8: We may be trying to reconcile RAH’s implied attitudes about why people do things in general, with why his characters do things. What if the characters don’t fit the mold?

AGplusone: Don’t they?

labert8: I’m certainly not sure that they *always* do.

AGplusone: Older I get, the less likely, intellectually, I want to get involved in the affairs of anyone outside my immediate family and friends, and I ain’t sure I wanna count you guys as among them … <g>

markjmills: ??? My impression was that LL regained his interest in life as soon as he agreed to talk about it, rather than pulling the swiitch, which he had done a number of times beofre.

markjmills: So the twins were not strictly necessary…

labert8: geez, what’d we do? <g> I don’t think it was because they were clones, it was because they were Different.

Lenjazz has left the room.

markjmills: …but a nice touch withal.

labert8: Doesn’t he continue pulling the switch after he’s begun talking, at least for a while?

AGplusone: Is the same thing, talking, analagous to his ‘thinking’ about what he’s going to do after he escapes via the whatever the name of it was Tunnel.

AGplusone: Yes, he does.

AGplusone: But … he’s talking … and thinking …

labert8: there’s that damned sentience again.

markjmills: Out, out, damned sentience….

labert8: he’d almost lost that, with his overloaded brain, but when it begins to clear. . .

AGplusone: Hard to sit there and think alone by yourself … you’d get bored or grow insane listening to yourself after a while.

labert8: But he has Minerva. Ah, Minerva!

markjmills: I’d rather “connect my thalamus to my gonads” — where’s Doc when you need him?

AGplusone: Or, become a sopholist and create your own diversions … ?

AGplusone: sp?

markjmills: Solipsist?

AGplusone: that one

markjmills: LOL

AGplusone: We really all are Mark Twains Mysterious Strangers, you know …

labert8: Yep, thou art god, and Satan.

AGplusone: So, what’s RAH urging with Laz’s getting involved?

labert8: oh, you want an actual answer, hmn. Nitpicker.

AGplusone: … must be one out there …

markjmills: I never questioned his motivation, as it’s what I think I would have done — good question.

labert8: he’s human, he has silly ideas about justice and equity, though he might deny it.

AGplusone: What I’d think I’d have done too … but, what if I got lazy and decided to take a “2-S.” Lots did back then, you know.

labert8: but did they do it out of laziness? I assume yopu mean draft evaders?

AGplusone: Laziness or something else …

labert8: Principles?

AGplusone: Principled did what Ali did.

labert8: True.

labert8: Yay, Pittsburgh beat the hated Blue Machine!

labert8: sorry, got carried away.

dwrighsr: He was going according to his ‘theory of morality’, His survival–>his family’s survival–>his race’s survival, (as someone hinted out earlier). Obviously, he could save himself by bugging out. But he knew that if he did, then the Howards would probably all be killed or worse and that in turn would have had devastating effects on the rest of humanity, (in the long run).

labert8: I’m not sure all evaders were less principled than Ali. Some, sure.

AGplusone: [fourth quarter … holding my breath … UCLA’s 3 points down but driving]

ddavitt has entered the room.

dwrighsr: Hi Jane.

labert8: Hi Jane.

markjmills: Hi Jane.

ddavitt: Hi everyone. Sorry I’m late; just got back from the shops

AGplusone: Hi Jane. Talking about why Laz did what he did when he didn’t have to do it.

markjmills: Now, all in chorus — “HI, JANE!”

ddavitt: Where are we up to?

ddavitt: In particular?

ddavitt: Rescue the Families?

labert8: Why didn;t he pull a lamb over lion, and run when the families were gathered up?

AGplusone: When he abandoned Capt. Aaron Sheffield and started to rescue the families

labert8: Come on Jane, you have a lll the answers. <g>

ddavitt: Well he nearly abandoned them didn’t he?

labert8: Almost.

AGplusone: [comes Foster … at the Michigan 22]

ddavitt: It was slightly atypical of him to be a hero; Woodie wouldn’t have done it πŸ™‚

labert8: Which Woodie?

ddavitt: 4 year old Woodie

ddavitt: He was mean πŸ™‚

AGplusone: [Lewis down to the 12]

labert8: [keep holding that breath, David]

ddavitt: Are you watching incorrectlt named football David? <g>

labert8: But he’d have gone snarling if someone had attacked Gramps, don’t you think?

AGplusone: [Foster down to the 3]

markjmills: Football — that’s a spectator enent used as a sex substitute on your planet, no?

ddavitt: Gramps and his mum maybe; otherwise self interest was all for him.

markjmills: Ooops, I mean, ummm, OUR planet, yeah, that’s it….

ddavitt: But by the time of MC I think he could be altruistic

labert8: no, aggresion substitute to keep David from punching people in the nose.

dwrighsr: Well, He had grown up a little from when he was 5 or 6

AGplusone: Pass to Stansbury Touchdown!

AGplusone: ‘xactly, Bert!

ddavitt: I got the impression that he remained self interested for quite a while

markjmills: {and the crowd goes wild}

markjmills: But can mere self-interest carry one past the first century? I’d like to find out for myself.

ddavitt: Lazarus was bored and at a loose end when he decided to take over the rescue

AGplusone: [P.S. I have to leave to drive my wife to the airport in 20 minutes. Can you take the conn, Dave?]

ddavitt: It was occupational therapy

markjmills: Mow the lawn today or rescue the Howards? πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Plus, if the Families were all massacred ( as seemed likely) who would he have to talk to?

dwrighsr: Which Dave. Oops. You and I are the only two left now, aren’t we?

AGplusone: I did too, Jane, from 2012 onward … a long time …

labert8: I think Laz was big on claiming that he acted only in self interest, but was actually “canalized” young as well, into those goofy American attitudes: defending the downtrodden, etc. He couldn’t help himself.

AGplusone: why does he show back up at the Meeting?

ddavitt: Curiosity?

dwrighsr: Jane and I said it. He was bored.

ddavitt: I think he was fooling himself too; he wanted to touch base

ddavitt: But as he says, the longevity means that the Families don’t stay close

AGplusone: Just as he volunteers for the Army in TEFL … although that’s after he shows back up …

ddavitt: No point being friendly with empherals, they aren’t around for long enough.

labert8: All the same factor though. He can’t resist the rge to “do the right thing,” even if the odds look long.

labert8: urge

dwrighsr: As you said, that ‘cherished’ need. He hinted at needing that from Mary after she saw him ‘making like a proctor’

ddavitt: Though I got the impression that, apart from LL, they had only doubled the life expectancy at that time; not so much extra that you couldn’t marry a short lifer

AGplusone: Except Dora … Laz spends a lot of time fooling, or “b.s.-ing” himself.

ddavitt: Sure he does…

labert8: rememberm Dora’s a thousand years after the exodus.

ddavitt: He changes a lot in between books

AGplusone: Yes, my point.

SageMerlin has left the room.

labert8: ah, yes

AGplusone: I don’t think so … still trying to sell himself the same self-interested b.s.

markjmills: The outer shell of self-interest covering his inner core of altruism — which merely disguised his innermost self-interest? Where will this stop?

AGplusone: He knows better, but does it anyway …

labert8: and still defending truth justice. . .

AGplusone: canalized as was said

ddavitt: If he had let the Families die it would not really have been in his best interests; I really think that without them around he wouldn’t have lasted 23 centuries

labert8: RAH highly valued those beliefs Laz gives into.

labert8: in to.

ddavitt: It’s implied that he still needs to be rejuvenated; he isn’t immortal on his own

ddavitt: And he would have been very lonely if he was the only one left.

markjmills: Yes — he was in “rough shape” when discovered at the beginning of TEFL.

ddavitt: He was dying he says; wonder if he would have?

markjmills: You mean, other than by his own hand?

labert8: he needs a society to belong to. typical human frailty

dwrighsr: Maybe that has something to do with his getting back in touch. He had been out of touch for the most part for many years. Maybe he was not only bored, but lonely.

markjmills: Is that frailty, or one of our strengths?

ddavitt: Well he _is_ human….giving him a family is what saves him in TEFL

AGplusone: [Michigan just shanked the tieing field goal]

ddavitt: A strength

markjmills: I think so.

ddavitt: Speak English!:-)

labert8: don’t know, mark, but my comment was sarcastic, you’re right.

markjmills: Ingrish?

markjmills: Jane, are you not up on football-speak? πŸ™‚

Berllan5UD has entered the room.

dwrighsr: WB Dave

ddavitt: I’m English dammit; we’re the only ones who play football properly! πŸ™‚

labert8: its just something we evolved into. that doesn’t make it a strenth or weakness. just a fact. tigers get by without it.

markjmills: LOL

AGplusone: One reason I think that he’s soooo bitter when Mary joins the Little People is he’s reversed all those years of refusal to commit himself. Juliette didn’t take the poison … didn’t use the dagger.

Berllan5UD: David, please. Dave is so common

ddavitt: But he and mary were never lovers were they? Just friends

dwrighsr: I (haughtily) go by Dave and I am far from common O:-)

markjmills: But isn’t Mary’s commottment even bigger?

AGplusone: Libby’s nice to talk to … tell each other war stories … but Mary’s the attraction.

labert8: they were casual lovers, i thought

AGplusone: Unrealized …

ddavitt: Because she reminds him of his mother I still think

dwrighsr: From what was said in TEFL, I would say they were. It just wasn’t brought out in MC

AGplusone: I always thought they were too … thought he and she got together the night before Bork showed up.

ddavitt: It’s never spelled out

Berllan5UD: casual lovers? have i got back just in time? πŸ˜€

markjmills: Or at least his sole equal in age and experience….

ddavitt: No; they slept apart that night

ddavitt: She pecks him on the cheek and goes off alone

dwrighsr: Just like Maureen and snuck into his room later πŸ™‚

AGplusone: mebbe so … then of course, he didn’t write in the “* * * * *” did he?

ddavitt: Could be but doubt it

dwrighsr: Remember This was 1941 (1957)

ddavitt: She gets up quietly so as not to wake him…

ddavitt: But the previuos scene ended with them in separate rooms

AGplusone: Why else would she invite him over … ?

ddavitt: No; hang on

Berllan5UD: you’ve got a filthy mind

markjmills: To play Parcheesi?

AGplusone: In 1941, Ozzie and Harriet would have had separate rooms, not merely separate beds.

dwrighsr: Now, David, men and women can be just friends πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Lazarus goes to his own rrom, falls instantly asleep, then wakes up when he hears voices. No hank panky πŸ™‚

Berllan5UD: don’t I know that too well πŸ™

ddavitt: TEFL mentions that he wasn’t as celibate as we might think in MC time

ddavitt: Remember he turns down Eleanor?

ddavitt: He’s very different from later Lazarus’s; almost shy and awkward around women

AGplusone: I think Laz spent more time than we think in the sack with the women … I don’t think he turned down Eleanor … I think he’d ‘had’ Eleanor earlier while her girlfriend had been sleeping.

ddavitt: No; she says he turned her down cos they were related

AGplusone: Sounds like a well thought out lie.

ddavitt: Though he turns down marriage; doesn’t mean they didn’t have sex I suppose

dwrighsr: He said he wouldn’t marry her because they were related, but we know what he thought about sex with relatives, don’t we?

ddavitt: She’s his granddaughter 4x removed

Berllan5UD: I’m too young for all this

AGplusone: After so many generations … what difference does it make.

ddavitt: Eleanor JOHNSON remember

dwrighsr: That’s what her friend said, but Lazarus said he had old-fashioned ideas.

ddavitt: Well, that’s what Eleanor and Nacy say; but LL is old fashioned about it

AGplusone: Coming up on time to go for me … Ready, Dave?

AGplusone: Suggest a ‘5 minute break’ back at 10 past the hour?

dwrighsr: We’ll muddle through somehow

ddavitt: OK Bye david

labert8: i’ll try, can’t promise

AGplusone: Thanks …

AGplusone: [back to holding my breath again]

labert8: drive carefully

Berllan5UD: he slipping out for a crafty fag?

ddavitt: Taking wife to airport

dwrighsr: Break time. Back in 10 ? He’s taking his wife to the airport.

Berllan5UD: ah. gothcha

dwrighsr: Uh. fag has a slightly different meaning on this side of the pond.

ddavitt: I understood it…

dwrighsr: I did too, but only because I read Dorothy Sayers πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Are you British then Berllan?

markjmills: So using some of “your” time for a break? πŸ™‚

labert8: so did us mur’cans, after the double take <g>

ddavitt: Probably called them ‘gaspers” in Sayers

Berllan5UD: Yes. Rule Britannia, Britannia rules, etc

labert8 has left the room.

dwrighsr: No. fags. ‘he thought his scout was bagging half of his fags’

ddavitt: I moved to Canada from portsmouth 3 years ago; born in the Potteries

ddavitt: Gaspers is another word for cigarettes

Berllan5UD: I went t’other way. born in Canada

dwrighsr: I believe that ‘gaspers’ was common here in the 20’s. Could be wrong

AGplusone: [UCLA just intercepted and took it back to the Michigan 39 … ]

ddavitt: How is the fuel crisis? My husband flies out to the UK on Monday; will he have to walk from Heathrow to Oxford?

Berllan5UD: was in Portsmouth in May. nice place

dwrighsr: Can you see it on the highway David?

ddavitt: Yes, I miss the sea; long way from it here in Ontario

AGplusone: Wife is still stuffing junk in suitcases

ddavitt: Though the lakes are a similar size πŸ™‚

Berllan5UD: Of course, fag also means a junior boy at school

AGplusone: [actually, she’s a UCLA fan too]

ddavitt: Hey AG, I read the Thursday log; how dare you say I nagged?! πŸ™‚

Berllan5UD: Fuel is flowing again. protest over

AGplusone: πŸ™‚ simple compliment!

ddavitt: I never nag; just remind people of things they need to know or do <g>

ddavitt: Good..I was a bit worried

AGplusone: He calls Minerva his ‘nag’ too, doesn’t he?

ddavitt: Little nag, yes

ddavitt: I keep telling David, if he did what I asked first time I wouldn’t HAVE to nag!

ddavitt: Men….

dwrighsr: Women…

ddavitt: πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Did people see that post about Dr Dorosin on afh?

dwrighsr: ‘I sometimes wonder if they are the same species….”

Berllan5UD has left the room.

AGplusone: “Over Blue Pacific’s golden waters // Loyally we stand her sons and daughters // Hail the emblem of our Alma Mater // Mighty Bruin Bears! // rah-Rah-RAH!”

ddavitt: Does that mean your team won david?

AGplusone: Think they’ll rate Michigan and Alabama higher this week, Dave?

Berllan5UD has entered the room.

Berllan5UD: bloody computer

AGplusone: Yep, another ambush.

markjmills: My college didn’t even have a football team — I’m jealous of all that I missed.

dwrighsr: Watch your language. Computers are sensitive to profanity.

ddavitt: And cat hair…

AGplusone: [by for real now … Thanks everyone! ]

dwrighsr: See you later.

markjmills: See ya.

ddavitt: Bye

Berllan5UD: nos da

dwrighsr: It’s 10 after. Anybody want to start off with a comment?

ddavitt: Libby’s star drive

ddavitt: How likely was that?

ddavitt: Few bits and pieces and it just has to touch the ship?

dwrighsr: Which one. the one that they escaped with or the one that he developed with the LP?

markjmills: Serendipity is always just as likely as unlikely.

ddavitt: Escaped with

Berllan5UD has left the room.

ddavitt: Small enough to be in a satchel

ddavitt: looks like something a high school kid whipped up

ddavitt: Attaches one lead to any part of the ship and ‘whoosh”. Similar to the continus device

dwrighsr: Who can say. I could never have imagined in 1968 that I would have in my pocket a computer several hundred times more powerful than the ones I was working on then

ddavitt: Just seems a bit….unlikely

ddavitt: And he discovered it so fast

dwrighsr: Necessary plot devices. Otherwise the trip of the ‘New Frontiers’ would have been a looooong drawn out affair.

ddavitt: Plot necessity I guess

ddavitt: Great minds..

ddavitt: I liked the bit where nacy asks him what year it is back on earth…and he can’t answer

ddavitt: His frustration at not being able to say is tempered by his enjoyment of the challenge

dwrighsr: Frankly, one of my greatest fears is that we won’t be able to develop reasonable star travel. That it really is impossible to get around the light barrier.

ddavitt: He’s sort of weird but nice

ddavitt: Not going to be a problem for us at this rate πŸ™

ddavitt: We’ll be lucky if we see a lunar base in our lifetimes

dwrighsr: It’s a problem for me. I want it *now*.

ddavitt: Libby talks of the classic Michelson-Morley experiments that disproved “ether” ( sorry Doc Smith!) are they real people?

dwrighsr: Hey what’s happened to everyone? Just noticed there are only 3 of us here.

markjmills: Yes they were — but their experiment did no such thing.

markjmills: Ether has been reintroduced into theory.

ddavitt: What did it do then?

ddavitt: And what is ether?

dwrighsr: Michelson-Morley basically proved the invariance of the speed of light

dwrighsr: in vacuum. 1886 I believe

markjmills: Their experiment made unwarranted assumptions about the nature of ether — that it would “carry” light faster in one “direction” than in another.

markjmills: A simple water analogy.

ddavitt: Why would they think it would do that?

markjmills: ??? Why was the world flat?

ddavitt: Oh…upstream, downstream sort of thing?

markjmills: Until a few years ago, that is!

markjmills: Exactly.

dwrighsr: Right Jane

ddavitt: But Doc Smith wrote about ether all the time and he was after those experiments?

markjmills: Hmmm..AGDavid mentioned you are a BIG Doc fan — as am I.

ddavitt: IIRC he seemed to think it was an invisible substance that filled space and allowed radio transmissions or something…

markjmills: QX?

ddavitt: I have all his books yes

ddavitt: Even the ones that weren’t really him like the Family d’Alembert

ddavitt: Good stuff!

markjmills: Big brawny heroes and heroines — yeah!

ddavitt: And the girls weren’t wimps either

ddavitt: Jill samms, Clarissa

ddavitt: All pretty tough ( or pretty and tough)

markjmills: I know — brainy, too, which is my particular brand of catnip.

ddavitt: I liked the bit in EU about him

markjmills: That’s why the RAH heroines are so yummy.

ddavitt: THough I still don’t see why no woman could have a lens

ddavitt: Before the Red Lensman that is

markjmills: Mac did.

markjmills: I know — that sex-based differentiation always bothered me.

labert8 has entered the room.

ddavitt: Yes; Jill says that there will be Only One and she probably won’t be a real woman at all…way off there!

markjmills: Don’t forget the girls, too.

ddavitt: Maybe Doc didn’t like the idea of putting women on the front lines

markjmills: They made their own, remember?

ddavitt: Yes but they were special; they were the whole point of it all

ddavitt: And as you say, they made their own, weren’t given them

markjmills: I always left myself preparedfor contact — ya never know!

ddavitt: Lensmen got tortured, killed on a regular basis <g.; not suitable job for a woman…

SAcademy has entered the room.

markjmills: Nope — women were put here on earth for we men to torture you! πŸ™‚

ddavitt: Hi SA, just talking about the Lensman books…

dwrighsr: Or the other way round?

markjmills: I’ve been well trained — I KNOW that women are the superior species! πŸ™‚

labert8: was there any doubt?

labert8: <g>

ddavitt: In all seriousness, i don’t like that idea….

dwrighsr: Mark and Jane are big Doc Smith fans. Ginny. They have been talking about his books.

markjmills: Then go argue with my exes!

ddavitt: I firmly believe in the different but equal theory

ddavitt: We are complementary different species πŸ™‚

markjmills: With separate evolutionary chains, obviously… πŸ™‚

ddavitt: But I don’t feel superior or inferior; i have my strenghts and weaknesses as does my husband; we balance out

markjmills: Hmmm…I never really thought about Doc’s possible influences on RAH.

dwrighsr: Like in ‘Beulahland’ πŸ™‚

dwrighsr: They were very good friends, I believe.

markjmills: Both had strong female characters at a time when women were there primarily for decoration.

markjmills: Were they?

ddavitt: From the article in EU they were good friends

markjmills: Both had stron scientific bents….

ddavitt: Lensman crop up in NOTB too

ddavitt: Which is a good sign

markjmills: Real science, not whizzbang types like Chester Q. Fordyce.

ddavitt: Doc Smith was a chemist I believ

dwrighsr: I loved that description of Doc driving the car which RAH was thinking of buying.

labert8: Does Smith read like other old sf serials, or is it a cut above? I need to know if it’s worth precious reading time.

ddavitt: Yes; with his head tilted over so he couldn’t see the road!

dwrighsr: Using his ‘lens’ of course

ddavitt: They are pulp, space opera on a grand scale

ddavitt: But they have an originality and freshness about them

markjmills: Very grand — but the vision is so huge….

ddavitt: And some freat characters

ddavitt: Great

ddavitt: Only caveat is his sublime willingness to exte4minate whole galaxies in an instant

dwrighsr: As I understand it, they were the originals. Everyone else just copied his themes.

ddavitt: Yep

labert8: I’ve been considering reading him for a long time, but I don’t see it often in used bookstores. Might have to order online.

ddavitt: But if you added up the deaths…whew!

DenvToday has entered the room.

ddavitt: He plays pool with plantes

DenvToday: Hi everybody!

ddavitt: Hi there!

DenvToday: I apologize for not being able to be here earlier.

dwrighsr: Hi Denv. Welcome. Proper topic is Methusaleh’s Children, but discussion at present is about Doc Smith.

DenvToday: Thanks dw.

dwrighsr: What about Doc’s influence on RAH? any ideas anyone?

dwrighsr: His literary influence, I mean

ddavitt: Well, no connection with your arrival but I have to go and put Eleanor to bed ; you can go back to MC without my disrupting influence :-):-)

ddavitt: See you all soon.

dwrighsr: I can’t say anything myself, I read one book of Smith’s in about 1955 and have never re-read them.

ddavitt has left the room.

DenvToday: Take care!

Merfilly8 has entered the room.

dwrighsr: That put’s you on the spot Mark.

labert8: welcome filly

Merfilly8: hi don’t mind me, I’m lurking today

DenvToday: Hello filly.

dwrighsr: For you latecomers, David Silver is away taking his wife to the airport, so I’m sort of temporary host.

dwrighsr: Don’t lurk, we need all the input we can get.

markjmills: Well, I think they were writing from different bases (aside from grocery purchases). RAH’s characters were always sublimely human, while Doc’s were much more archetypical.

Merfilly8: Comparing Smith to Heinlein?

markjmills: Yes.

dwrighsr: Not so much of a comparison, but trying to see what influences their might be

Merfilly8: Smith seemed to favor the Greco-Roman heroic qualities

dwrighsr: Actually, to be a proper host, I should try to get the discussion back to MC. Any takers there. Oh Heck, talk about what you want to. You will anyway. πŸ™‚

Merfilly8: Heroes as much larger than life

DenvToday: lol dw

markjmills: Ok — Lazarus as being human with weaknesses and frailties, inconsistencies, if you will — noy a typical space hero of muscled bronze.

Merfilly8: Heinlein’s characters all have some defining human “weakness” for lack of a better word….

DenvToday: If we had to pick one character that sums up the work of RAH, wouldn’t it be Lazarus Long?

markjmills: I think more of Thorby, or Sam — eating what was placed before them.

Merfilly8: I don’t know there…I lean toward his curmudgeon characters like KettleBelly and Jubal

dwrighsr: Which Lazarus Long, In MC, in TEFL, in NOTB ?

Merfilly8: I could see the MC one as the epitome maybe

markjmills: LOL — I think we may all have different ideas here.

dwrighsr: and TCWWTW

Merfilly8: no two read the same way

labert8: I agree that don’t read the same, but the case could be made that that’s because of development over time and circumstance.

markjmills: The curmudgeons are fun — don’t know if I’d care to live with them, though.

markjmills: Good — but distant — neighbors.

DenvToday: Lazarus evolved, as we all know. Did RAH use Lazarus as the main expression of his own point of view?

dwrighsr: That’s one of the things that I’ve always liked about RAH. He would present one character or idea in one work so convincingly that I couldn’t imagine it any other way and then turn around in another work and do it just the opposite.

Merfilly8: look at the time stretches between the appearances of Lazarus

DenvToday: Good point, dw.

dwrighsr: And his characters were always so *real* to me. Much more than anyone else I’ve ever read.

markjmills: Character driven fiction, impelled, but not motivated, by technology.

dwrighsr: I know a lot of people think just the opposite, that his characters are not real, I mean.

SAcademy has left the room.

Merfilly8: They’re not? πŸ™‚

markjmills: I know — their comments leave me scratching my head.

DenvToday: I disagree. The characters drive the fiction.

SAcademy has entered the room.

markjmills: Absolutely — I’m still madly in love with the feamles in his work, from the juveniles all the way forward. Now, where can I find that sexy red-headed genius? πŸ™‚

dwrighsr: I’m not sure what you are disagreeing with Denv. Could you explain

markjmills: Or the FEMALES! OooopS

Merfilly8: The females are the ones the take the worst flak for being unrealistic.

Merfilly8: A certain female author has intimated that it was Heinlein’s women that drove her to write

DenvToday: dw, you said that a lot of people think RAH’s character’s are not realy. I disagreed with that. His great characters, such as Jubal and Lazarus are intensely real.

markjmills: I think many of my female friends qualify as Heinlein heroines — just my personal experience, so I think they’re pretty realistic.

markjmills: Was that LeGuin?

Merfilly8: No, McCaffrey

dwrighsr: Well, sadly, there are people who think that. Of course, some of them have other unfortunate characters also. πŸ™‚

dwrighsr: characteristics….

markjmills: Oh, I haven’t read her. Is she worth reading, IYO?

Merfilly8: She can be a fun read, but she takes a sampling to find the right series for your tastes

markjmills: Thannks.

dwrighsr: My family and I read them when my kids were in high school, but I never really cared that much for her.

dwrighsr: I read them aloud …

dwrighsr: They loved her, especially my wife.

Merfilly8: She’s good for fluff, with some notable exceptions.

Merfilly8: And she does have the Kipling fixation

SAcademy: When I met her, she complained to me about Robert’s women characters.

dwrighsr: From what I’ve read and heard about RAH. His characters are real, because they *are* real. That is, most of them are based, at least in part, on real people that he knew.

DenvToday: The women characters are among the most memorable. Friday, Wyo, Podkayne…

markjmills: Compained? As in thought they were unrealistic, or flat, or….?

Merfilly8: I hold his ladies to be an ideal to strive for

labert8: That was rather impertinent of her <g> What was her problem?

markjmills: I feel as though I know most of RAH’s characters in real life — all, that is, EXCEPT for Lazarus.

SAcademy: She said that no one ever behaved in those ways==no female that she knew.

Merfilly8: No, I’ve known a few men, all veterans that embodied much of Lazarus’s spirit

dwrighsr: Maybe she had limited experience with the right kind of women πŸ™‚

Merfilly8: And I knew both a Hazel and A Hilda, to degrees

markjmills: What one word best describes LL in MC? How about TEFL?

SAcademy: Can’t read the blue on the gray–not enough contrast.

Merfilly8: Laz in MC was survivor

markjmills: Is that how it appears on your screen? Then let me mess about here and change it.

DenvToday: mark, the one word I would pick: survivor (And NOT the tv series) lol

Merfilly8: lol

Merfilly8: TEFL was tired

dwrighsr: Marks’ question was “What one word best describes LL in MC? How about TEFL?

markjmills: I was thinking — Gallant.

markjmills: Is this contrast better? Should the text also be another color?

Merfilly8: Bold Black works best

SAcademy: es, thank you..

SAcademy: Yes

markjmills: I have your problem too, Ginny — too low contrast and I can’t read.

markjmills: Bold black — I’ll try that.

labert8: SA, did you have a response for McCaffrey’s comment? Or were you polite? <g>

SAcademy: No, Ralph came to my rescue–she tackled me on introduction!

SAcademy: Ralph Vicinanza–the foreign agent.

Merfilly8: She’s very blunt. Pop met her, escorted her, said she could be charming but not always

dwrighsr: I would have required ‘psychiatric readjustment’ after that comment I believe.

markjmills: So had you grabbed her in a Judo hold, she might have changed her mind! πŸ™‚

SAcademy: Well, Ralph jumped down her throat before I could say anything.

labert8: She must be blunt to say the least, to have said that on introduction. RAH’s women wouldn’t behave that way. At least, not for the first few minutes. . . . Well, maybe Hilda, if she was annoyed.

DenvToday: Good for him!

labert8: πŸ™‚

SAcademy: It was somewhat startling to have her do that at the first moment of meeting her.

SAcademy: I encountered a friend of hers down in South America, and got the same thing.

SAcademy: So there’s more than one around.

dwrighsr: I am reminded of the meeting between RAH and Halderman(sp). Everyone thought that RAH would tear into him. The actual event was quite different. Mentioned in EU

SAcademy: Is it? Don’t remember.

Merfilly8: Well, my friends, I must depart. Domestic chores and such…

Merfilly8: evening all

Merfilly8 has left the room.

dwrighsr: Apparently he walked up to him and congratulated him on writing one of the best books that he had every written about the military and war.

DenvToday: Really dw? I wasn’t aware of that.

labert8: who congratulated who? Rah did? On Forever War, yes?

dwrighsr: RAH contratulated him on Forever War.

DenvToday: Starship Troopers is one of the finest works I’ve read on the military ethic.

SAcademy: Robert always regretted that he never had any experience of actual warfare.

dwrighsr: Sorry, Not EU, but in Grumbles, I believe. In Spider Robinson’s tribute.

dwrighsr: He was, if I recall correctly, refuting the notion that some people were spreading that RAH couldn’t stand for anyone to disagree with him.

SAcademy: I just don’t remember.

SAcademy: Over the course of a long life, I’ve read a lot of words, one time and another.

SAcademy: Can’t remember them all.

markjmills: Forever War had some great ideas, nicely developed — but there, I thought his JH’s characters were somewhat uninteresting. I’m not surprised that RAH would have enjoyed reading it.

markjmills: There were always ideas — sheer intelligence — in RAH’s work.

dwrighsr: Sorry, again. Not Grumbles, but the Requiem tribute.

SAcademy: Robert liked reading Science fiction, but there wasn’t that myuc good sf around.

SAcademy: much

SAcademy: but I had to twist his arm to get him to read The Caine Mutiny!

markjmills: Hmmmm…I’ll keep my opinion on some of the majors — e.g., Asimov, later Bradbury — to myself then.

dwrighsr: I can’t find the reference page. My copy is in a million pieces and all jumbled up. I’ll try to find it and post it in the log tonight.

[Editor’s Note:] This reference is found in ‘Robert A. Heinlein..Requiem and Tribute to the Grand Master’, published by TOR books. The reference occurs in Spider Robinson’s second article abut RAH called ‘Robert’. The actual quote from RAH was ‘..that may be the best future war story I’ve ever read’.]

DenvToday: It was obvious from his work that RAH was a student of many disciplines. To be so knowledgeable about so many subjects…so impressive.

SAcademy: Which one is all in pieces?

SAcademy: If it’s Grumbles, I have an extra copy around.

markjmills: Old style knowledge, too, it seemed — not the modern variant of “I don’t know it — but I could look it up.”

dwrighsr: I imagine the premise behind the Caine might have troubled him. I know, my brother-in-law was a naval officer and had to do something much like what happened in the book and he was tremendously troubled by it.

DenvToday: I can understand that, dw.

SAcademy: No, he thought it was wonderful–we even saw the play.

dwrighsr: Not Grumbles, I’ve got that one in hardbound. My ‘Requiem and Tributes…’ is the one that is in tatters. I just finished reading it and it was a case of finding out where are the next pages.

SAcademy: Sorry, I don’t have an extra–yes, I have a quqality paperback–want it?

dwrighsr: I’d love it, but you’ve already done enough for me. Thank you.

SAcademy: Okay, if you don’t want it.

dwrighsr: No. I want it !!!!

SAcademy: Please email me your home address

dwrighsr: My southern upbringing was getting the better of me πŸ™‚

dwrighsr: Will do . after the meeting.

SAcademy: Nothing wrong with that.

dwrighsr: That’s the trouble with this typing. you couldn’t hear that tone in my voice which said ‘yes yes yes’ when I was typing ‘no thank you’

DenvToday: lol dw

SAcademy: LOL

dwrighsr: Well, folks, If there aren’t any more comments by anyone, I’m going to call it a night. Any thing else?

DenvToday: It was a pleasure as always. Thanks for filling in dw. Great job.

labert8: That’ll do, I suppose. Thanks, David, and all.

dwrighsr: Thank you all for coming. Hope you enjoyed it.

SAcademy: Nite all

DenvToday: Good night!

dwrighsr: Good Night and thank you again.

SAcademy has left the room.

DenvToday: Take care everybody!

DenvToday has left the room.

labert8 has left the room.

markjmills: G’night!

markjmills has left the room.

dwrighsr: Log officially closed at 8:20 P.M. EDT.

dwrighsr: good night.

Final End Of Discussion Log

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