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Topic: ETERNITY and fundamental psycho-social issues

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 02/21/2007


Re-read EON, recently, and am into ETERNITY. Very definitely the Axis folk aren't really more psychologically advanced - as they have created very complicated, though still very aggressive, systems of arbitration within their society; given their compulsions for, and related to, Talsit; not to mention that they haven't curbed the primal urge to procreate, particularly in the midst of a shortage (though, given their abilities, what I think should be a reservoir) of resources. Even Olmy, introverted and analytic that he is, is not immune to these; particularly his sense of duty is centred on maintaining, rather than refashioning, his society. (Actually, he reminds me of my grandpa - who never really relaxed.) There is no fundamental balance in their psychology. One reason I tell you these things (as well as a large reason I read such fiction) is to relate these insights embedded in the literature.

Re: ETERNITY and fundamental psycho-social issues

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/26/2007

Trying to imagine a future being without these primal drives is difficult. We end up with Sir Arthur's Starchild--pretty, but pretty mysterious! Or angels...

Re: ETERNITY and fundamental psycho-social issues

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 02/26/2007

I'm thinking you mean the child from 2001. (Curiously, I've not read the first two, only starting the books with 2061...though I couldn't stay with 3001.) The only other I can guess would be CHILDHOOD'S END, which I haven't read, either.

I think you've done well in various cases (JUDGEMENT ENGINE, and BLOOD MUSIC, for example). I'm still trying to sort out the possibility that perhaps there is little that would happen in such an 'advanced' circumstance, little reason to tell a story without the drama inherent in the human psyche...and, yet, there could possibly be a realm of story where curiosity and experience, without that drama, is revealed. (Similar to things such as McDevitt's or Silverberg's fiction, where the universe is the main 'opponent' - although beyond this anthromorphism, even.) But would there be a market for it?!...outside of the New Age category?

Re: ETERNITY and fundamental psycho-social issues

From: Greg Bear
Date: 02/26/2007

All fundamental problems for "beyond the singularity" fiction. Stories are still written for relatively advanced human beings. The Greeks tended to make even their greatest gods quite human-like. Taking it beyond the human is one thing--beyond the biological, beyond the physical, elevates it to a much more difficult plane!

Re: ETERNITY and fundamental psycho-social issues

From: kurt wiley
Location: portland or
Date: 09/04/2008

ETERNITY made a huge impression on me (the book I have is very dog eared at this point). It's influence is such that I can't help think that the intense focus Gen Z has on instantaneous, continuous communication (via current cellphones, PS3, second life gamespaces, and other devices) will lead to a true electronic alternate reality via implant and link to a vast distributed computational network.
Is that a realistic assumption? Right now there are major religious and humanistic barriers to the concept of an alternate "person". But I wonder: Will the call of alternate existances will become strong enough to change that?

Re: ETERNITY and fundamental psycho-social issues

From: Greg Bear
Date: 09/05/2008

Difficult to know at this point. Ever since the 1980s, I've grown away from believing in silicon- or number-based computer worlds being able to simulate reality sufficiently to seduce people into living there full time. But if we can happily contemplate living in a large tin can on Mars, and if Vivendi can rake in a billion dollars a year on World of Warcraft, it's possible some people will poke in a feeding tube, hire a team of nurses, and live their entire lives in Second Life... Where at least you won't need to wear glasses! As for having a dupe carry out your chores: take a look at David Brin's excellent KILN PEOPLE.

Re: ETERNITY and fundamental psycho-social issues

From: patrick
Location:
Date: 09/05/2008

Jesus Christ, this is an old thread. Good thing you now have a search function, else I might not've found it. It might be helpful to somehow denote the thread being answered, or even better include a link to it when sending out copies of responses. Most blog/forums/etc do this. As well, you might need to turn this into a forum.

First off, I don't see such invasive life supports devices - especially decades or more from now. (re: kurt: The Matrix is just ridiculous.) I mean, come on, I'm surprised there's still stuff like catheters; surely in the near future there'll be some sort of psuedo-organic, or organic, kind of 'soft' interface more like a suction cup. Particularly with regard to neural connection, if not by remote, then surely something far more akin to Peter F. Hamilton's nanonics.

Second, as also postulated in Hamilton's Confederation universe, there'll be a slew of degrees of immersion. I bet most will likely be physically mobile with lots of extra 'layers of perception'.

Lastly, sure they will, Greg. Especially with the computing power required for such interface, it'll be easy to create such realms. Besides, right now, most don't want it to be real - they want it to be hyper-real, dream-like, but to their liking and regulated.

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