Thursday, 13 November 2014

A Little Knowledge

Polesotechnic League agents shoot anyone who sells space technology to war-like cultures. Despite this, we know for sure that such cultures do get spaceships and nuclear weapons later in Poul Anderson's History of Technic Civilization.

In "A Little Knowledge," Nicholas van Rijn is an off-stage public figure. One character quotes something he said in a telescreen interview. We also encounter Anderson's extensive vocabulary again: "...coloratura..." (David Falkayn: Star Trader, p. 607).

The punishment for the three Terrans who hijacked a Trillian spaceship does not sound so bad: spending years in the pleasant environment of Trillia, sharing their technical knowledge. But they will not see it that way.

Witweet tells them that, by inferring that Trillians were cowardly, they made the logical fallacy of the does-not-follow. in Latin, this is non sequitur.

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