Re: virus: BNW

Eric Boyd (
Fri, 12 Mar 1999 15:37:52 -0500


Reed Konsler <> writes: <<
I'm suggesting that it doesn't have to be that way. You can change your mind. I was exactly where you are now, and Richard just pushed me a little. What he asked me was, in essense, "What's with this intellectual crap, what are you trying to prove?"

Well, I happen to enjoy the "intellectual crap"; I do it for the knowledge, the esctasy of understanding. Not too many people in RL even know that I have these vast interests outside of engineering -- I simply have no reason or motivation to tell them.

As to changing my mind (presumably on the issue of my "outcastness"), I guess I'll need to further explain. (thus stepping out of my e-character for a few moments) My outcastness exists only in my knowledge base -- which is to say, I fit in well enough around people when I choose to, it's just that I rarely do. As my pysch. profile says, I have absolutly no understanding of what makes either small talk or "flirting" enjoyable, little grasp of social rituals, and no patience for irrationality. I have often attempted to participate in the usual social gatherings -- e.g. parties, bars, dances, etc -- but have found most of them to be rather empty of content (shallow), and not particulaly enjoyable. Fun the first few times, maybe, but the novelty quickly wears off. I guess I've got a need for high levels of stimulation. I do enjoy a quite pub outing with close friends; talking about whatever fancies us.

As to alienation, I guess I've never been to worried about that. My small and close group of friends (and I've always had one) have always been enough for me. The one thing I would like is a girl friend, although I'm not ready just yet...

Introverted iNtuitive Thinking Judging ity/profiles/intj

Stepping back into character...


>>So what if we give up a little of our false sense of individuality?

>So what if we forfeit our uniqueness? So what if we merge
> and become BORG? So what if we blow ourselves to shreads?

You know those aren't the same thing. Why engage in that kind of rhetorical doubletalk? What are you afraid of? I'm not asking you to forget your NAME I'm asking you to see yourself as one among many.

I am already one-among-many, but that doesn't mean I'm not an individual as well. Is it benefitial to merge-and-lose yourself in the crowd? I thought that was exactly what Brodie and you preached against!

(BTW, I replied in a rhetorical way becuase I had hoped yours was rhetorical. Guess not)

>Actually, I said that we live on the island in my other post[1]. I
>think our intrepretations of the book are very similar, you just
>misread my post.

Then why would you find it interesting to read about it if you know you're living it?

Becuase Huxley is a good writer, and becuase I suspect that numerous changes would have to occur if our society was instead the "malcontents" of a much larger BNW. For one thing, most members of that island are going to have to *support* the existence of the BNW (agree with Mond), and yet themselves not live there. That kind of tension will have profound psychological effects, I think -- imagine a sequel to BNW in which Benard's introduction and acclimation to the island is detailed. Would that story itself not be incredibly interesting? (in fact, is that not the story you are trying to sell me right now?). In our society, we have the essence of the island without it's *exile* nature (in fact, western society is notorious for behaving in the opposite manner).

I chew pig iron and spit out nails.

That's a great line, Reed!

Instead of "Deltas" imagine computers. Do you feel bad about "enslaving" computers to do the dirty work of delivering this mail? In BNW people are manufactured just like tools, on purpose and for purpose. If a tool is a little they send them off to the needle? No...they put them on idylic island sanitariums and give them everything they ask for. BNW is tolerant, indeed in BNW toleration is more important than truth.

Do you seriously think that one can reduce[1] humans to (current) computers simply by raising them in chemical/psychological tyranny? Even if that *is* possible, can you feel morally comfortable doing so? What is the purpose of the BNW if all of it's citizens are raised as tools?

I was under the impression that the alpha class was the purpose; that BNW was designed to ensure the happiness of it's most human members. This implies a teleological valuation of happiness -- that the meaning (and purpose) of a society is related of the happiness of it's members. I'm don't disagree, but I do think that there should be other purposes to a society, not the least of which include knowledge acquisition, population of new frontiers, and the personal purposes of individuals. The founders and controllers of BNW choose to forfeit the latter three to ensure happiness, which I think is horrendously short sighted.


[1] i.e. permanently lower their potental.