Dan Goodman's prediction and politics journal.

Wednesday, April 14, 2004

Letters of Comment

2004-03-21 00:35
I'm a big Frazer fan; I have all or almost all of that Sister Frevisse series. Didn't know that "Margaret Frazer" was originally a collaboration. Any other recollections of things she soft-pedals in her books for fear readers will scoff?

2004-03-21 19:15 (from, via
Sorry for a bit of unclarity. At least currently, she doesn't soft-pedal any of the reality of Medieval Britain.

Dan Goodman (dsgood) wrote,
@ 2004-04-12 00:44:00

"Living in Space Walter Jon Williams, Jordin Kare, Bill Higgins, Lois Bujold [M]any of Williams' stories take place in truly space-based societies featuring people who are born, live their lives and die without ever setting foot on a planet. This panel will discuss the ramifications of living in space and how such a future might affect the basic precepts of society and self."

I think this could profitably have been divided into at least two panels: One on the physiological effects, the other on social effects.

Among other interesting information: a study showed that a submarine crew should include at least one sociopath.

2004-04-12 00:06
I'll bite -- what needs of a submarine does a sociopath serve? (All straight lines declined for the moment.)

2004-04-14 16:22
Keep in mind that this is my memory of what was said. And that the panelist saying it was probably also working from memory, and the study might have been superseded. (And the term "psychopath" is no longer used professionally; I think it's now called "antisocial personality.")

Roughly: For proper functioning, the submarine crew needs to include someone who will set up the illegal still, run the gambling, etc.

I'm skeptical about that needing to be done by a sociopath. There are millions of sane, well-adjusted people who've grown up in communities where such things were the norm.

But I could suspend my disbelief long enough to read and enjoy a story about the spaceship's official sociopath. The "every spaceship needs a clown" notion has been done enough. And "every spaceship needs a prostitute" didn't convince me when I read a deservedly obscure story titled "The Lady is a Tramp". (My memory says it was by Harlan Ellison, back when he was writing standard sf.)

2004-04-12 13:14
Marty said that the rider on the black horse was obviously the Lone Ranger.

But--but--the Lone Ranger rode a white horse, named Silver!

2004-04-14 16:01
I've corrected that! That was my mistake.


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