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Date: Tue, 21 Jan 2003 08:52:32 -0600
Subject: Re: (urth) DOORS: Tina
From: Adam Stephanides 

on 1/20/03 1:50 AM, Roy C. Lackey at rclackey@stic.net wrote:

> However, when Green rediscovered Tina in our world, everything changed. Tina
> claimed to have been "born" (i.e., first activated) on Christmas day. (251)
> She mentions Christmas presents and a pretty tree. She also refers to Green
> as her "god" and compares him to "a jealous god, like the one they talk
> about". That's an obvious Old Testament reference. So, both books of the
> Bible are known in the Otherworld. Yet the Goddess is a living reality and
> the society is matriarchal. I don't see how two such antithetical traditions
> could co-exist.

Both these things may not represent traditions indigenous to Otherworld, but
bits of our culture that have "leaked" across.  Otherworld could have
adopted Christmas as a purely secular, gift-giving holiday, as Japan has.
Similarly, they might know of Yahweh without believing in Him (though why
Tina should have been programmed with that bit of knowledge I don't know).

But in general, I doubt that Wolfe's set-up can be made to work
consistently.  Roy's point about Tina is one example:

> Such a life-like doll as Tina was beyond the technical
> ability of our world fifteen years ago, yet in every other way the
> Otherworld seems decades behind ours in technology.

It's beyond our abilities now; it's even beyond our abilities to build a
robot with a much larger "brain" than Tina's which can function like a human
as well as Tina, if I'm not mistaken.  And Wolfe's bit about how a
woman-dominated culture would worry more about children being lonely doesn't
explain anything.  For one thing, a major impetus for the development of
computing technology has been war, which there's supposedly less of in
Otherworld.  For another, while our government and universities may not put
much effort into relieving children's loneliness, they have put a great deal
of effort into artificial intelligence.  How much would the Defense
Department give for artificial soldiers which can function as well, and be
produced as inexpensively, as Tina?

> Orgasm seems to be fatal. How
> many would die from having a wet dream?

We seem compelled to conclude that males in Otherworld don't have wet
dreams, regardless of the stimulus.



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