0635: "Locke and Demosthenes"

This forum is for the individual discussion thread that goes with each new comic.

Moderators: Moderators General, Prelates, Magistrates

User avatar
Pfhorrest
Posts: 4968
Joined: Fri Oct 30, 2009 6:11 am UTC
Contact:

Re: 0635: "Locke and Demosthenes"

Postby Pfhorrest » Fri Aug 19, 2011 8:56 am UTC

dr pepper wrote:Hmm. I read a short story called "Ender's Game" back in the 70's, in Analog. When i first heard about the novel, i assumed that the author had made that story longer. But everytime i hear something about it, it sounds less and less like what i read back then. Now i wonder if the author didn't just jack up the title and swap out theplot under it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ender's_Game wrote:Ender's Game (1985) is a science fiction novel by American author Orson Scott Card.[1] The book originated as the short story "Ender's Game", published in the August 1977 issue of Analog Science Fiction and Fact.[2]
Forrest Cameranesi, Geek of All Trades
"I am Sam. Sam I am. I do not like trolls, flames, or spam."
The Codex Quaerendae (my philosophy) - The Chronicles of Quelouva (my fiction)

rmsgrey
Posts: 3457
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 0635: "Locke and Demosthenes"

Postby rmsgrey » Thu Jan 02, 2014 4:11 am UTC

I had an experience of which I was recently reminded that made the Locke/Demosthenes thing seem more plausible:

The Guardian Weekly has a page titled "Notes & Queries" where readers send in questions to which other readers send in responses. One week a question came up which I happened to know something about, so I wrote a moderately lengthy and well-written answer, with some solid facts, some plausible hypotheses, and a touch of humour, which got published in due course, with my real name and approximate address attached. A day or two after it was published, one of my housemates quoted something from it in conversation, and seemed surprised when I agreed. They were even more surprised when I suggested they check who wrote it and realised it was me. Since Locke and Demosthenes started out by doing exactly that - the equivalent of writing letters to newspapers that put ideas into people's heads without the people remembering exactly where they came from - their whole process suddenly seems more plausible. It's the equivalent of regular letter-writers to the Daily Mail and the Guardian who initially get most of their letters published, then get offered a regular column.

As for the anonymity thing, it's important to distinguish anonymity from pseudonymity - Locke and Demosthenes were well-established pseudonymous identities - like Mark Twain or Sting - "Locke" was no more anonymous than "Peter Wiggin" when he started, and probably much less so by the time he was negotiating peace treaties (though "brother of Ender Wiggin" would have messed with the relative anonymity of the two names).

As for the theme of the book, the point of using children and tricking them into genocide was explicitly stated - they needed someone who could understand the Buggers, get into their heads, understand and anticipate them, but OSC takes it as a given that when you understand someone that deeply, you can't knowingly murder them. They needed a child, not only because that level of empathetic insight is rare, but because they needed someone who could be fooled, who would accept the war as a simulation without questioning it deeply enough to realise that it was real. The whole thing was an explicit setup to trick a military genius into doing something monstrous.

differentsmoke
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jul 09, 2018 4:58 pm UTC

Re: 0635: "Locke and Demosthenes"

Postby differentsmoke » Mon Jul 09, 2018 5:02 pm UTC

Hi. It is 2018, and I just wanted to say that sometimes I'm haunted by how mistaken this comic seems to have been in the long run (though it might be too soon to tell).

Mikeski
Posts: 1039
Joined: Sun Jan 13, 2008 7:24 am UTC
Location: Minnesota, USA

Re: 0635: "Locke and Demosthenes"

Postby Mikeski » Wed Jul 11, 2018 12:27 am UTC

differentsmoke wrote:Hi. It is 2018, and I just wanted to say that sometimes I'm haunted by how mistaken this comic seems to have been in the long run (though it might be too soon to tell).


The headlines in the comic are "Russian Aggression", "Trade Policy", and some unknown issue with "China".

The comic is from the President's first year in office.

That's Obama's first year in office, not Trump's.

This maze of twisty little news articles is all alike...

rmsgrey
Posts: 3457
Joined: Wed Nov 16, 2011 6:35 pm UTC

Re: 0635: "Locke and Demosthenes"

Postby rmsgrey » Wed Jul 11, 2018 1:05 pm UTC

Mikeski wrote:
differentsmoke wrote:Hi. It is 2018, and I just wanted to say that sometimes I'm haunted by how mistaken this comic seems to have been in the long run (though it might be too soon to tell).


The headlines in the comic are "Russian Aggression", "Trade Policy", and some unknown issue with "China".

The comic is from the President's first year in office.

That's Obama's first year in office, not Trump's.

This maze of twisty little news articles is all alike...


I think the spectre in this case is people taking their world-view from anonymous voices online, not the specific political issues, which have been recurring issues since shortly after WW2...


Return to “Individual XKCD Comic Threads”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 25 guests