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From: Michael Andre-Driussi <mantis@sirius.com>
Subject: Re: (urth) A walk on the wild side
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 14:53:12 

Jim Russell wrote:
>This is completely irrelevant to the current field of
>discussion, but I'm writing up my piece for the symposium
>at the moment, and have just realised that there is a
>question that I would be interested to hear anyone's
>opinion on. Its fairly straightforward, so...
>In Sword Cyriaca tells the story of the lost archive, and
>states that at some point in the distant past the
>starfaring dudes left their wild half behind, which was
>then sold to the thinking machines who incorporated it into
>their designs for cities etc, etc. Im sure you are all
>fairly familiar with the passage. What interests me is:
>What do you interpret this to mean? - or more precisely -
>what do you think actually happened for these forms of
>behaviour to be seperated?

Well =I= always took it to mean that the people had become rather like
"Star Trek" <tm> Vulcans <tm>; favoring "logic" in their culture and
erasing "non-logic" (including emotions, grim fairy tales, folk dancing,
fiction) from their culture.  So they were like the Ascians in that sense
(although not necessarily molded by "Correct Thought") of being
machine-like.  My sense of that story is that the wild stuff was the stuff
that had actually brought humanity out of the jungle in the first place.
Which makes it a form of technology, in a way; and antiquated technologies
are discarded every day (buggy whips, telegraph relay stations).

So the starfaring people thought that they would improve themselves by
getting rid of this old stuff that tied them to the nasty, brutish past.
But according to the story this was a case of throwing the baby out with
the bathwater (it all turns out okay, though, when the baby crawls back in
through the doggie door).

As to what happened to cause this separation between logic and non-logic,
it seems to me to be the same sort of scientific triumphs that we have seen
in the 20th century: real miracles, real terrors, real predictions
validated through experimentation (and any "failure" just points the way to
later success--nothing invalidates Science itself), and so forth.

I think the story is about the need for a balance of things: a golden rule
of nothing to excess (where the singleminded pursuit of logic is an


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