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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

Darkstream: Trump and the revival of heroism

Tonight at 7 PM Eastern I'll be doing a Darkstream in which we'll be discussing the heroics of the God-Emperor and how his actions fly in the face of modern anti-heroism. To find it once it goes live, search for #darkstream. I'm kind of excited about this one, since I received my new Rode microphone today. I hope it will improve the audio.

My thoughts on the topic were inspired by a recent post at the Castalia House blog, How Star Wars Stole Pulp, which you might like to read first.
What really happened is this: The audience didn’t abandon F&SF. F&SF abandoned its audience. Its appeal became more selective.

Post-WWII was the era of the Campbellian Silver Age, the era of “Men with Screwdrivers” SF. Action and adventure were childish and frankly embarrassing, as were purple prose and laser swords. Barsoom? Silly. Buck Rogers? Childish. Northwest Smith? A gunslinger, not a scientist. And this was the age of SCIENCE.

Science was the focus, technology the touchstone. Stories had to be cerebral, intellectual. They had to be REALISTIC. Real science, none of this fuzzy-headed soft science stuff. SF had to shake off the wooly-headed thinking of Fantasy, the embarrassing antics of Space Opera, the adolescent focus on Adventure and Action. SF was serious business. Real Literature. It was time to grow up.
UPDATE: The replay is available here.

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55 Comments:

Blogger Orville February 01, 2017 4:08 PM  

Yes, faggoty science nerds on the Big Bang Theory are analogs for faggoty cuckservative policy nerds. Both freaking worthless and not entertaining like our ass-kicking GE who has put the fun back in politics.

Blogger Brian Niemeier February 01, 2017 4:24 PM  

"Big men with screwdrivers" is catching on as a byword for Campbellian SF. I couldn't be more proud.

Blogger Gaiseric February 01, 2017 4:24 PM  

Speaking of which; did the oppomedia Darkstream ever get a replay link? The post is missing one.

Anonymous Eduardo February 01, 2017 4:31 PM  

"People loved Star Wars because of its puppiness"

I knew there was a secret to Vox's resounding success

Blogger PoseidonAwoke February 01, 2017 4:38 PM  

War is the Father of Science. War is the most empirical science, with the most skin in the game, therefore the most requisite of truth: truthful testimony (the subjective perception of the world) and contractualism (oathkeepking). War (and it's corollary: Law) is the science of Aristocracy.

Aristocratic mythology deals with Sovereignty and Heroism. Western man first chose sovereignty, when he decided that Nature was composed of rules which were knowable and as a result of knowledge, could be commanded. With the choice of sovereignty, Western man found that he could master Nature if he could master himself. Our Kings found that if they limited their actions to those which were acceptable to their peers that they could construct sovereign orders.

Because sovereign orders are the most expensive to construct, they require open entry into the order of peers by all who will take and keep the oath of the brotherhood (meritocracy). Through deeds which show self-mastery (emotional control / reason), mastery of war and contractualism (oathkeeping) a man may buy a share in the Sovereign Brotherhood of Peers: We call these displays/acts by the name Heroism.

This is the nature of Heroism in Mythology of Western Man, beginning with Achilles.

The movement of SF from aristocratic narratives to those of "Men with Screwdrivers" is the movement of control to the Merchants/Bourgeoisie. If you know Three Estates of the Realm: Oratores (church), Laboratores (bourgeoisie), Bellatores (Aristocracy), then you'll see that since the Renaissance control of our societies has moved from the Aristocracy to the Merchants. We now live in a world controlled by finance more than war. Men with Screwdrivers is Middle Class SF, heroic SF is aristocratic (bellatores).

Anonymous Precious February 01, 2017 4:42 PM  

Your advocacy of Trump during the Republican primaries meant that I always took him seriously as a candidate and I was cautiously hopeful. But it was Trump's reaction to the pussy grab bombshell and the GOPe stab in the back that convinced me to support him fully. Trump fought back even harder and refused to give up. It was one of the most courageous acts I have ever witnessed in my lifetime, and made me want to fight alongside him.

Blogger maniacprovost February 01, 2017 4:54 PM  

Men with screwdrivers is delta, and men indiscriminately firing laser pistols is alpha?

Nah, I don't believe that. I can see some validity to criticism of Campbellian scifi throwing out heroism and romance in favor of screwdriver based puzzles and the inevitable, inexplicable hookup with no prior chemistry. But I don't think men with screwdrivers is inherently a bad plot or devoid of heroism, epic deeds and self sacrifice.

Take "The Cold Equations." It's basically the opposite of an ERB story. But it achieved literary greatness.

Blogger David Power February 01, 2017 5:02 PM  

Talking of advocating for President Trump, check out Nigel Farage's sterling performance in the European Parliament today as he calls out the EU for their "rank anti-Trump, anti-democratic hypocrisy".

Check out the ridiculous Labour MEP reduced to holding up his silly sign.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=FHK3Hx7yLxE

If you looked closely, you would have noticed that Nigel was actually wearing a TRUMP lapel badge. LOL.

Anonymous Instasetting February 01, 2017 5:07 PM  

Had a very bright friend of mine shred The Cold Equations with math. The problem was solvable.

When someone says its only business as they're about to kill you, they lie. its always personal.
TCE is quality destructiveness, and should be Oop.

Blogger Aquila Aquilonis Fulminata February 01, 2017 5:11 PM  

Tech Question: What device do you use for The Darkstream? Android phone? Tablet?

Blogger SouthRon February 01, 2017 5:18 PM  

Bitch and moan all you like about the Star Wars franchise, I do, but Rogue One did a not too bad job on the heroism front.

I had no more intent of seeing it than any of the other post-Jedi banta fodder. Then I heard friends talking about it. So, I took the risk. Sure it's got its share of silliness and stupidity. It wouldn't be Star Wars without it.

*minor spoilerage*
But, it also has one of the closest things I've seen in recent history to self-sacrifice, standing your ground against overwhelming odds or charging a pill-box knowing there is no getting out of it alive.

For our current society being where it is, it's got more balls than a flock of Millennials and has some hope of showing them a glimmer of what it means to have some.

There's also a few nods that seem to point toward Trump and the awakening of the Alt-Right. Sparse though they may be.

Don't believe the trailers. They are lies. Fortunately much of them are just grrl-power marketing BS that doesn't make it into the movie.

Yes the main character is female, but this is no Fury Road, Angolina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson movie. For the most part, the men do the fighting and dying and other than the main characters look like they were plucked from the battlefield.

Anonymous Nathan February 01, 2017 5:23 PM  

@7,

The problem with Campbell is that he only allowed men with screwdrivers. And then many of his writers went full poz and cut the heroism out of men with screwdrivers, leaving only men with social screwdrivers. The 1940s had their own Scalzis, Haydens, and Puppetettes trying to wag the dog of fandom.

As for the Cold Equations, that story was completely artificial, as the writer kept coming up with ideas to save the girl. It also pretty much put the stake into the Campbelline Revolution.

Anonymous Bird on a Wing February 01, 2017 5:25 PM  

How interesting. I read an article yesterday that argued Trump won by being the ultimate postmodern anti-hero. I will have to catch this periscope of yours tomorrow.

Donald Trump Is The First President To Turn Postmodernism Against Itself

Blogger Dave February 01, 2017 5:29 PM  

All that's needed is web access. The link is periscope.tv/voxday

This link gives the option of viewing past Darkstreams or the live shows as the happen.

If you prefer the app on iOS or Android, you'll need a Twitter account.

Blogger SirHamster February 01, 2017 5:32 PM  

Gaiseric wrote:Speaking of which; did the oppomedia Darkstream ever get a replay link? The post is missing one.

Currently all the Darkstreams are being left available by our generous host. A replay becomes available once the live stream is finished.

You can view the list of replays at the Darkstream link on this blog. The latest Darkstream is at the top of the list.

Blogger Durandel Almiras February 01, 2017 5:39 PM  

@2 - Your comment at the link is so very true. I'm experiencing the same thing as I go through Appendix N:

"Brian Niemeier says:
January 31, 2017 at 8:48 am
“(Not so) oddly, most of these were influenced by Marxists…”

Every time someone goes digging into the decline of a once thriving aspect of Western culture, the first shovelful always turns up Commies.

A close friend who’s reading Appendix N remarked how he’s getting angrier every day. I asked if it’s because they stole the pulps from us.

“No,” he said. “It’s because they stole EVERYTHING.”"


Commie delenda est per omne tempus!

Blogger Jed Mask February 01, 2017 5:42 PM  

Go Trump, Trump, Trump!

Blogger Ivaneus February 01, 2017 5:53 PM  

@11.

I am glad you found enjoyment in the movie bt I must respectfully disagree with your assessment. Rogue One is like watching a 900 page fan fiction turned into a 2 hour film, but the writers were unable to divorce their "fleshed out" fan fic from what actually appeared in the movie, leaving a hollow and disjointed mess.

There's no character development, there's no emotion, the only thing that is there is a near constant ramming of forced nostalgia down the audience's throat with a hand so heavy it must be wearing a lead gauntlet.

I'm sure there was bitter fighting and many tears shed by the loser of the four scriptwriters who didn't get to have their heroic speech for the Strong Female Protagonist (SFP) make the final cut. But they never bothered to justify why anyone would give a rat's ass about anything the SFP had to say to anyone or about anything.


It was a terrible film that tried to "Avatar" it's way past the bad writing with a 45 minute action sequence with flashy images at the end of the movie. But at least Avatar had actual characters.

And as far as heroism goes, the only person in the whole film that came closest to it was the robot. Because it was the only character in the whole film that even came close to being human. Everyone else was fatalistically resigned to their fate and could only react to events around them with a single emotion: dull surprise.

Blogger Bogey February 01, 2017 6:10 PM  

The first time I read The Devil's Planet by David Wright O'Brien, I thought there is no way George Lucas didn't read this story. I also remember my first Doc Savage novel and being blown away how much it reads like an Indiana Jones story.

Blogger Bogey February 01, 2017 6:13 PM  

"There's no character development, there's no emotion, the only thing that is there is a near constant ramming of forced nostalgia down the audience's throat with a hand so heavy it must be wearing a lead gauntlet."

I thought there was about two too many characters in Rogue One. The Robot, K-2SO was the best character.

Blogger maniacprovost February 01, 2017 6:14 PM  

"This doesn't make sense in terms of a entry maneuver, a fact which was a source of confusion in the usenet discussion. However John Schilling pointed out that, if one takes the story at face value, the scenario is that the EDS is injected into the target system at high velocity with respect to the system. The rationale is that the cruiser can emerge from hyperspace at any chosen point but cannot alter its relative velocity without expending fuel (conservation of momentum.) The deceleration is required to bring the EDS to rest with respect to the target system. The fuel requirements for entry and landing are relatively minor."

Pretty OK summary of TCE criticism:http://www.richardhartersworld.com/cri_d/cri/1999/coldeq.html

This debate can only be settled by the creation of a new literary subgenre, detailing the adventures of the Men with Screwdrivers (and Ladies' Auxiliary).

Anonymous Nathan February 01, 2017 6:35 PM  

"John told me he had three times! sent "Cold Equations" back to Godwin, before he got the version he wanted. In the first two re-writes, Godwin kept coming up with ingenious ways to save the girl!"

"Our Five Days with John w. Campbell", http://www.challzine.net/23/23fivedays.html

I'll go with Word of Editor that the situation in The Cold Equations was contrived for a specific point.

If you like Men with Screwdrivers, feel free to write your own.

Anonymous BBGKB February 01, 2017 6:39 PM  

Next executive order leaked. http://www.shtfplan.com/headline-news/trumps-next-executive-order-leaked-eliminate-the-welfare-magnet-driving-illegal-immigration_02012017

also Mexico Vows $50 Million Legal Fund to Fight U.S. Deportations

men indiscriminately firing laser pistols is alpha?

Is this guy an alpha? https://www.quora.com/What-ever-happened-to-the-law-enforcement-officer-who-accidentally-discharged-his-weapon-in-a-classroom-full-of-children

Speaking of which; did the oppomedia Darkstream

Out of the 230 gatekeepers VD mentioned yesterday how many don't work for Carlos Slims & 5 Jews media?

Blogger Ivaneus February 01, 2017 6:40 PM  

@22. Now I want to know what those previous versions were and how he managed to save the girl.

I'm probably going to waste hours thinking about this . . .


But even from the first time I ever read TCE it was painfully obvious how shortsighted their fuel allotment plan was. I'll chalk that up to trans pacific flights being normal for me pretty much since birth.

Blogger lowercaseb February 01, 2017 7:02 PM  

I'm looking forward to this. Pulp action and the God Emperor in one setting.

The only thing to make this 'cast better is if you filmed it in B&W.

Blogger Front toward enemy February 01, 2017 7:03 PM  

Yes to the Rode, don't let the technology diminish you.

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Deplorable Cents February 01, 2017 7:06 PM  

Do Heinlein's juveniles count as part of the Campbell Silver Age?
Men and boys with screwdrivers; and slave ships in space, knives, swords, nukes. Reminds me, I still haven't made time to read Rod Walker's fiction.

Van Vogt's Weapon Shops of Isher, are they are of that era or not?
Some pretty complicated screwdrivers in those stories.

"Who goes there?" by some guy or other is probably too early at 1938 to qualify as Campbellian Silver Age, but is it just about men with screwdrivers?

For sure the New Wave pushed a lot of flotsam and jetsam up onto the beach in the late 60's through the early 80's, I see a bunch of that stuff gathering dust in used bookstores. Different screwdrivers, for sure.

"I Have No Screwdriver, And I Must Tinker" would be a title for a short story. Don't tell Harlan, though.

Anonymous Nathan February 01, 2017 7:22 PM  

@28,

It's telling that the Futurians of the 1940s and 1950s and their modern day SJW equivalents try to excise van Vogt and Heinlein from the "good" Campbells. And, in the case of vam Vogt, his career got practically buried by Knight. And it's these Campbellian SJWs who became the editors of the 1940s, the critics of the 1950s, the institution builders of the 1960s, and the teachers of the 1970s. Sad Puppies bought into a false narrative by thinking that the history of SF was libertarian, and not socialist and SJW.

Blogger SirHamster February 01, 2017 7:27 PM  

Ivaneus wrote:Everyone else was fatalistically resigned to their fate and could only react to events around them with a single emotion: dull surprise.

Good point about that ... the rebel spy who ruthlessly killed an agent at the start of the movie just wouldn't pull the trigger on the chick's scientist dad because unspecified reasons.

Would have been more interesting if he assassinated him as ordered, and *then* needed her cooperation to steal the death star plans after the fact ...

Blogger Avalanche February 01, 2017 7:33 PM  

May need to bump up the mic a bit; it was a bit too quiet.

The idea of pushing the heroism of Trump is great! It personalizes him: giving up his empire and (perceived) "easy" life for service and 24/7 attacks. Humanizes him -- and makes him heroic. (Makes his heroism visible, obviously he IS!)

Blogger Tom Terrific February 01, 2017 7:43 PM  

@maniacprovost:

People need to get it out of their head that alpha has any moral content whatsoever. Alpha is an amoral term. At it's simplest it denotes the man women are most likely to find sexually desirable. And for all they care it could be Hitler, Sean Connery, Karl Marx, or the Marx Brothers.

Also, it is much more likely that a delta will sacrifice himself than an alpha. Self-sacrifice is the ultimate white knightery! A delta is willing to destroy himself in hopes of achieving in death the greatness, not to say sexual reward, he could never win in life.

"How can you refuse to have sex with me? I DIED for you, you Bitch!"

King David was the Ultimate Bible Alpha. Yes, he killed Goliath with a slingshot and won his King's throne and his daughter. Yet he also committed adultery and arranged the murder of the woman's husband! Hardly what you would call "self-sacrificing".

A beta or delta can still win in love. A man only needs to be seen as Alpha by ONE woman. The woman he marries.

Blogger Avalanche February 01, 2017 7:45 PM  

@13 " I read an article yesterday that argued Trump won by being the ultimate postmodern anti-hero."

Isn't that just a double negative? A "post-modern" (1) "anti (2)-hero.... So, he's a HERO!

Blogger Were-Puppy February 01, 2017 7:49 PM  

Trump is like Kull.

He has seized the bloody crown from a crypt ghoul hillary liche, and battles shape shifting lizards daily!

Anonymous A Paradigm Is More Than Twenty Deplorable Cents February 01, 2017 7:58 PM  

Speaking of assassins at the start of a story, the other month I ran across a well worn copy of a book called Star Bridge by Jack Williamson and James Gunn. Williamson is justly famous for The Humanoids, Gunn appears to be all but forgotten. Maybe like Van Vogt?

Well, I'm half way through it, and it is a good read that would make one heck of a movie now that CGI is up to speed. Plus it's rather red pill, shockingly so by modern standards.

The story so far:
The effete, decadently corrupt aristocrats of Eron are desperate to put down revolt by the common people across known space, including on their home, metal-covered, planet. A revolt that was triggered by assassination of their top leader during a ceremony on the ruins of Earth, committed by a mercenary named Horn who was hired by an unknown, in the dark.

There is one man who can unite the factions of revolution named Peter Sair but he can't be found and may even be dead; plus the mercenary Horn has just been loaded onto a prison ship bound for a planet no one returns from.

There are no strong, independent women rescuing helpless, fat, gammas. None. There are no sexually ambiguous pudgeblobs getting in touch with their feelings. None. There's a shapeshifter, maybe, an aged Chinese man with a very strange parrot, but not a wereseal or other modern nonsense.

Men with guns fighting back against a corrupt, perverted, decadent regime that has become too oppressive to be endured. Planet by planet, building by building, room by room. Pretty good stuff.

Yet another book no one has heard of. I see even more clearly what the SJW's have been burying in their stinky catbox of "relevance" all these years.

Blogger Dave February 01, 2017 8:16 PM  

I didn't detect any improvement in sound levels; it is barely adequate at max volume on my laptop and Android phone. I'm switching to external speakers and/or headphones.

Actually I'm not sure it's even on your end because last week you were picking up somebody's coughing. I don't know if they were in the immediate room or elsewhere in the house but it was the same as if you were coughing. That would seem to indicate it isn't a microphone pickup problem. At least the directional microphone should eliminate the ambient noise.

Anyway keep up the good work and hope everyone is over the coughs.

Blogger Avalanche February 01, 2017 8:46 PM  

"I didn't detect any improvement in sound levels; it is barely adequate at max volume on my laptop and Android phone. I'm switching to external speakers and/or headphones."

Nah, I use headphones (good ones) on a PC... the vol. on his new mic is not sufficient. I actually wondered last night if he'd gotten a new mic, cause the sound was better. Then tonight it was very quiet...

Blogger F.D. Stephens February 01, 2017 8:58 PM  

These are getting better and better. This one was inspirational.

Anonymous Mr. Rational February 01, 2017 9:05 PM  

Instasetting wrote:Had a very bright friend of mine shred The Cold Equations with math. The problem was solvable.
If you understood this shredding I'd be interested in going over it.  From my years of working with the rocket equation and recent study of orbital mechanics, I'm highly skeptical but would go for any enlightenment there is to be had.

BTW, the story was re-done in Analog with a plot twist described above.

SouthRon wrote:Rogue One did a not too bad job on the heroism front.
Point.  I cashed in a free pass to see it.  My views on the franchise are considerably more jaded now than they were then (and I was no great fan then) but aside from the apparently causeless reversal of the protagonist it was a credit to the original.

Blogger Cataline Sergius February 01, 2017 9:20 PM  

President Trump has worryingly turned into the Irreplaceable Man.

Pence is a solid enough guy but he just can't fill in for him something happens.

Blogger Mark February 01, 2017 9:22 PM  

President Trump is heroic in the sense that he knows there are only two ultimate positions - one being winning, the other. . . losing. All great and true heroes realize this instinctively and are not deceived by the false option of compromise. Compromise with evil is losing.

Blogger Lazarus February 01, 2017 9:42 PM  

Cataline Sergius wrote:President Trump has worryingly turned into the Irreplaceable Man.

Pence is a solid enough guy but he just can't fill in for him something happens.


I can't think of ANY VP that could fill in for a President adequately. Willing to learn from history, however.

Blogger James Dixon February 01, 2017 10:14 PM  

> Take "The Cold Equations."

Well, except for the fact that given the premises of the story, by the time they found the stowaway it would have already been too late.

> The problem was solvable.

Of course. But you can't let reality stand int the way of creating a "good" story, can you?

> also Mexico Vows $50 Million Legal Fund to Fight U.S. Deportations

See, they're already paying for the wall.

> But even from the first time I ever read TCE it was painfully obvious how shortsighted their fuel allotment plan was.

No responsible engineer would ever agree to the design.

> A man only needs to be seen as Alpha by ONE woman. The woman he marries.

Shh. Don't tell them. We like to keep that a secret. :)

Anonymous map February 01, 2017 10:26 PM  

VD,

Is this take, the resurrection of the pulp novel with SW, really correct? What about Star Trek, Lost in Space, and shows like Bewitched and I Dream of Jeannie, for the fantasy element? These were very popular in the sixties. Bewitched was the number two show on tv.

Also. I thought Joseph Campbell was big on the myth and legend aspect of sci-fi and not the "men with screwdrivers" aspect?

Anonymous JI February 01, 2017 10:28 PM  

I agree in the case of Star Wars. In the case of the recent movies in the Star Wars series, though, the heroes are SJW's.

Anonymous map February 01, 2017 10:29 PM  

Also, there seem to be a lot of very good shows on the SyFy channel that push some really good material:

The Expanse
Dark Matter
Killjoys
Incorporated

USA has Colony.

I remember reading Larry Correia's "Hard Magic" and thinking what a fantastic TV series it would make.

Anonymous Eduardo February 01, 2017 10:34 PM  

Hey Vox, maybe your audio settings is not so good, maybe not enough bit depth or bit rate. People could have a bad codec because I am listening to you just fine

My comments on this DarkStream

Overall 10/10 Vox, you are a Natural! if you wasn't so "evil" you might have been a great Youtuber!

Blogger Archella February 01, 2017 10:43 PM  

This comment has been removed by the author.

Anonymous Nathan February 01, 2017 11:00 PM  

@43,

John W. Campbell is the editor who took science fiction onto the men with screwdrivers tack in 1937. Joseph Campbell is the monomyth guy.

As for Trek and everything, the 1950s and 1960s writers still knew the pulps and wrote them, as Farmer, Zelazney, and Delaney show in their influences and bibliography. However, critics like Knight and Blish were also beating on the prestige of the pulps like a pinyata. It wasn't until the 1970s when book editors like Hatrwell and Doherty started replacing the magazine editors that knowledge of the pulps and short fiction vanished entirely. But if you also take New Wave into consideration, it's clear that while pulp stories were still alive, they were very much out of favor.

Anonymous Eduardo February 01, 2017 11:09 PM  

so yeah, the Link's audio was all broken and jumpy, my bad!

Here The Better version of my comments

Anonymous Mr. Rational February 01, 2017 11:48 PM  

James Dixon wrote:except for the fact that given the premises of the story, by the time they found the stowaway it would have already been too late.
Yes, the "little detail" that not braking hard enough early in the trajectory means arriving too soon with far too much speed is one of the issues of physics that needs to be resolved.

you can't let reality stand int the way of creating a "good" story, can you?
Define "good".  Driving home the lesson that mistakes, even innocent mistakes, can be fatal is part of teaching reality.  It's real.  It happens.

A technological society needs these lessons in its training fables, like Hansel and Gretel.  It needs them more than it needs silly songs like "Never set the cat on fire".

Anonymous RabidRatel February 02, 2017 12:54 AM  

Mr. Rational wrote:Define "good".  Driving home the lesson that mistakes, even innocent mistakes, can be fatal is part of teaching reality.  It's real.  It happens.

People are not allowed to fail anymore. Thus "snowflakes", immature children in adults bodies.

Back when I was working in a workshop, we purposely caused the apprentices to fail. It was the quickest way to teach them i proper maintenance technique - otherwise they want to follow pre-packaged solutions, whether or not it is applicable to the current situation.

The heroes and fables have been taken from us because it is not compatible with the future TPTB wants to impose on us all.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit February 02, 2017 1:50 AM  

map wrote:Also. I thought Joseph Campbell was big on the myth and legend aspect of sci-fi and not the "men with screwdrivers" aspect?

Campbell was part of the The Esalen Institute, one of the early offshoots of the Frankfurt school. His whole "hero's journey" theory is based in the universality of mankind by dragging us all back to our most primitive roots and assuming that is what still drives us all despite millennia of subsequent evolution and civilization for some of us.

[Aside: Of course, if you are clever enough to see the rest of mankind as "primitives" you also see how their primitiveness needs management by superior academics such as yourself; therefore marxism (with the managerial class being paid handsomely for their glorious self-sacrifice that no one for and nobody wants.)]

Campbell probably sees even a screwdriver as an awful tool providing one man his agency that will eventually upset his idea of a Utopian Eden where we all just sat around in the dirt, occasionally shagging.

Anonymous Shut up rabbit February 02, 2017 5:54 AM  

..Annnddd I complete missed my point; *clears throat: starts again*

Campbellian refers to John Wood Campbell, Jr., not Joseph Campbell
[from Infogalatic entry]
"(June 8, 1910 – July 11, 1971) was an American science fiction writer and editor. As editor of Astounding Science Fiction (later called Analog Science Fiction and Fact) from late 1937 until his death, he is generally credited with shaping the Golden Age of Science Fiction."

Joseph Campbell was a "mythographer" (i.e. a primativist, crypto-marxist who thought mankind [apart from himself and his fellow academic elites, of course] had never been happier than when sitting in the dirt or going off to find some fire so the rest of the collective could continue to sit in the dirt.)

Anonymous map February 02, 2017 7:47 AM  

Ahhhh...

Two Campbells.

Blogger James Dixon February 02, 2017 5:01 PM  

> Define "good".

The point was that there are two definitions involved. The one of the story itself and the one the publisher wanted made.

A "good" story in the story itself would have involved some creative solution to the problem, or at least the acknowledgement that the problem was insoluble given the premises.

But the editor wanted to make a point about the nature of reality, regardless of whether it reflected any likely circumstances or not. Yes, the laws of physics are absolute. But you can never know all of the variables involved in any endeavor, so given the defined parameters a failure was not only inevitable, but would probably have occurred fairly frequently.

That's why no responsible engineer would have approved the design. You *always* allow a safety margin.

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