THE PAVILION ANNEX

General discussions of interest to readers and fans of Harlan Ellison.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:00 pm

Science Fiction warns us about the dangers of technology, while in our society, we basically see technology as our saviour. In the end Science Fiction shows us what is real, while our social constructors dupe us so that we cannot see that we are part of the Truman Show.

And, if people who vote don't realize they are in the Truman Show, how then can they make real decisions? They have to admit that the facade must be pulled apart before they can, but they buy the facade!

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Apr 27, 2012 3:43 pm

FrankChurch wrote:Science Fiction warns us about the dangers of technology, while in our society, we basically see technology as our saviour. In the end Science Fiction shows us what is real, while our social constructors dupe us so that we cannot see that we are part of the Truman Show.

And, if people who vote don't realize they are in the Truman Show, how then can they make real decisions? They have to admit that the facade must be pulled apart before they can, but they buy the facade!


A bit simplistic. I could just as easily say Religion warns of the dangers of sin while in our society sin is just a marketing ploy.

But it's the second part that I agree with---SF gives us a way to recognize the real. But it also shows us that change is both inevitable and not always destructive, that there is a future, and as long as there is, things can be made better. I found that a much more wholesome message than the standard issue christian "All is vanity and no matter what we do sin drags us down."

Never saw the Truman Show.

diane bartels
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby diane bartels » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:08 pm

I think, Mark and Frank, that you both right in part and both wrong. Science fiction taught me, especially HE, that technology is not our enemy we are. Any species capable of rational thought would have realized that controlled nuclear explosion as a means of harnassing energy was a piss poor idea. Dont know if you all read Adam's post re what is going on in Japan, but we are so screwed by that little scenario.
Then Mark, the Christianity you speak of is I realized Pauline Christianity. Sex is dirty, we are bad, nothing physical is good. Jesus himself never said all that. The sin Jesus talks about is our deliberate separation of ourselves, from ourselves, from each other, and ultimately from God. That is the hell, that we choose the separation. And as someone who has often felt like the most outside of outsiders, I can testify that that separation burns like the fire of hell. The good news is we can choose to return, to link ourselves again to ourselves, our God and each other. That is the hope of Christianity for. God doesn't send us to hell, we do that.

Mark Tiedemann
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Mark Tiedemann » Fri Apr 27, 2012 8:56 pm

Diane,

I appreciate the perspective. Two points: to obtain energy, and to have it where we want it, we burn things. We can burn them fast or we can burn them slow, but they burn. (Yes, there is hydropower, but you have to live where the water flows, it is not transportable, unless you want to dig canals, but with what? Back to burning. Solar is still burning---before you can harness the rays you have to make the collectors and that requires burning. Wind? To make the materials that make it viable...well, you get the point.) You can choose the dangers of the kind of burning you use, but there are dangers to them all. What a rational species would do is only use that which it fully understands and never stint on making sure it's under control. IN that, we have a lousy track record.

I very much appreciate the philosophy you attribute to Christianity, but it's not Jesus---he was clear (if you want to accept that his actual words were recorded) that he came to fulfill the Law and that no one was free from The Law, and by that he meant Jewish Law, Levitical Law, and all the nasty things that entailed. The Christianity you describe is Thomist, which is a late Medeival variant, and quite possibly would have been unrecognizable to Yeshua. Aquinas tried to make sense of theology, wrote 33,000 "summations" of what it meant, and stopped before his finished because, I suspect, he realized that it didn't make sense.

But that's not even what I meant---I find no hope in the supernatural, and no matter how it may be construed (some say supranatural, as if that makes a difference) it is still placing faith in unseen, untouchable, assumed powers that, if real, follow an agenda only occasionally congruent with our well-being, but likely not real at all. To me it is very much like telling a child that Santa Claus will bring presents on Christmas Eve. Well, we all know what really happens, and we expect the child to grow up and realize Santa is just a game adults play. I don't believe in Santa and, by extension, I don't believe in god. For me, hope is something we have to make ourselves, and science fiction represents the idolon of that promise before the fact. Hope is in the human imagination.

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Fri Apr 27, 2012 9:25 pm

I'm pretty much in Diane's sphere on sf. More often than not it's about humans and their USE of technology, not the warnings of technology in itself. "Least the sf I'm subjected to. From Wells to Clarke to Forbidden Planet to The Andromeda Strain, we see human arrogance, very much as identified by Edward Wilson, the focus of the text.

Christianity I ain't gettin into. Don't take the coach there, or we're right back where we started from!

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:40 am

SF deals with hypotheticals. We need hypotheticals so that we might be prepared for different eventualities (ugh, what a bad sentence! But it makes the point - I think).

Hypotheticals are the SF writer's specialty. Whatever tehir other weaknesses might be, they can see hypotheticals in ways that "normal" or "mainstreame" writers can't. It's one of the reasons I generally can't stand when "mainstreme" (oh those labels again!) writers attempt SF: their characterization may be stronger, but they often don't seem to fully understand the full implications of the scenerios they've created. (I'm thinkin' Ronald Moore, Russel T. Davies [televisual both] and Justin Cronin, off the top of my head. There are probably dozens of counter-examples, but the phenomina exists).

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Chuck Messer
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Chuck Messer » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:01 am

I like the way Ursula LeGuin put it: that a Science Fiction story is a thought experiment.

For example: It was Larry Niven, I think, who said the dinosaurs became extinct because they had no space program, thus they were unable to deflect the Chixulub asteroid. Of course, as far as we know, there were no dinos that intelligent.

But what if there were dinos -- intelligent, tool-using creatures who did have an advanced space program, etc. Would that really have saved them? A tool is only as good as its user. What if, through the misuse of that tool, they ended up causing thier own destruction?

A science fiction story is one that lets that scenario play out and perhaps shows the possible consequences for the intelligent mammals that replaced them.

Chuck
Some people are wedded to their ideology the way nuns are wed to God.

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:51 am

I can't help thinking many of these dinos would insist that Chixulub was a liberal myth.

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Apr 28, 2012 11:17 am

The dumbest people are intellectuals. Live with that!

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Steve Evil
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Steve Evil » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:12 pm

What makes you think that Frank?

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FrankChurch
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby FrankChurch » Sat Apr 28, 2012 12:17 pm

Did you see the Milton Friedman video?

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Lori Koonce
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby Lori Koonce » Sat Apr 28, 2012 2:09 pm

FrankChurch wrote:The dumbest people are intellectuals. Live with that!


Frank:

Before I argue that stupid statement, please let me know which of the following definitions you are using when you use the term dumb"

(courtesy of Merriam - Websters online Dictionary)

1: a : lacking the human power of speech <dumb animals>
b of a person often offensive : lacking the ability to speak

2: temporarily unable to speak (as from shock or astonishment) <struck dumb with fear>

3: not expressed in uttered words <dumb grief>

4: silent; also : taciturn

5: lacking some usual attribute or accompaniment; especially : having no means of self-propulsion <a dumb barge>

6: a : lacking intelligence : stupid
b : showing a lack of intelligence <asking dumb questions>
c : requiring no intelligence <dumb luck>

7: not having the capability to process data <a dumb terminal> — compare intelligent 3a

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Sat Apr 28, 2012 3:13 pm

I don't understand why some of you actually attempt a conversation with this entity, Frank. Don't you understand he talks without reading, without any intent to engage? You're being played for suckers. He's not interested in your info or your views, he tries to amuse himself by getting you in a tizzy!

reddragon70
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby reddragon70 » Sat Apr 28, 2012 5:41 pm

I actually rather like Frank. I dont agree with a lot of what he says, but he does say it in an entertaining way.

I also get the feeling that there is no harm intended by him, he just needs to vent off. Something I am guilty of myself.

And of course he has been nothing but kind and friendly towards me. I guess its just a case of "You get on with some folks, you wont with others"

Signed Frank's Mum.

Just kidding, Iain the Scottish train driver here ;)

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robochrist
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Re: THE PAVILION ANNEX

Postby robochrist » Sat Apr 28, 2012 6:11 pm

ReddyDragon,

To avoid a misunderstanding, there's no reason you can't "like" Frank. Ain't an issue of liking or disliking, just a fact that he does not genuinely engage anyone here. He's here to shoot off and, as in this last round, fling his John Thomas in those willing to fall victim. Frank is not interested in your views or your info, it's that simple. He has demonstrated this ceaselessly since he popped up here in the 1990's. But there's nothing wrong with "liking" him - as one might the cute, dirty vermin that just won't get out of your garden!


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