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Date: Sat, 9 Feb 2002 14:24:30 -0800
From: Michael Andre-Driussi 
Subject: (urth)  "Hour of Trust"  and evolution

Hartshorn wrote:
>Oh dear, this is my fault.  My background thinking is steeped in
>Evolutionary psychology.
>I didn't mean "evolve" as in "get better".    That is not an idea much
>countenenced today.  It is simply a new winning group competitive strategy.

I must also be at fault: I thought I was using "evolve" as "change from one
state to another state."  I then qualified it as being good or bad with
regard to human institutions such as War and Slavery (which change for good
and bad; which can be replaced with new institutions that are better or old
institutions that are worse).

Your use seems to be shorthand for "to the victor goes the spoils," which
is very "ends" oriented but with no clear parameters on what constitutes
victory, or time frame, or scale.  My examples from history were addressing
these angles: military short term, genetic long term (since you brought up
the whole reproductive issue), cultural long term (i.e., a given
civilization, as distinct from general human civilization).

A broken bottle as a weapon can win a bar-room brawl, after all, but seems
ineffective at larger scale/longer term struggles of will involving more
than mere bloodshed.

>Their suicide is a political statement directed at the government troops

Yes.  Then again, a willingness to die on command is not a guarantee of
victory. The medieval assassins would die on command and were getting along
pretty well controlling the Islamic world in a behind the scenes sort of
way, until those Mongols came along with overwhelming force and pretty much
wiped them out.

But back to the story. Right, and after the warriors (a minority of most
populations) have fought the fight out of their system, the vast majority
of the population will get on with their lives under whatever regime is on

Probably including members of the old empire.  The fatcats just "convert,"
saying something like "There is no ken but ken and groovy is the ken of
ken," and whambang, they get all the real "reproductive" nookie they want.

These kamikaze huggers are the pawns, match-heads used by the rebels for
the political statement you say.  Personally they are all saying something
different (which has nothing to do with the rebel cause), but it is being
channeled and manipulated by the leaders, the leaders  who are not and
never will Flame On.

Or is this, in fact, your larger point?  That my sticking point of the
story, my sense that it makes no sense for Clio to kamikaze when she is
worth more alive and in place--are you telling me that Clio is a leader and
yes, she is ready, willing, and finally able to kill even one corporate
stooge with a suicide bomb?
That this, finally, is the point of transcendent evolution I have not yet


Sirius Fiction
booklets on Gene Wolfe, John Crowley


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