Sunday, 24 July 2016
With admirable technical expertise, Stirling's characters, "Cofflin's Council" (p. 45), discuss food production, machine engineering and other practical necessities for survival. Having always been entirely theoretical and impractical, I would be unable to contribute to such a discussion. However, I would not have to be coerced to contribute unskilled manual labor and would try to learn something useful. My ideal would be the restoration of a society in which it is possible to study something other than practical skills. I would prefer to visit Europe to study Bronze Age culture than as a deck hand - although we cannot always choose our economic status! And we can rarely influence the economic level of the society that we are living in.
An even higher ideal would be a civilization in which everyone has both practical and academic abilities, everyone enjoying the benefits of technology but also able to cope with a sudden loss of technology, everyone wealthy but also wise enough not to take their wealth for granted, everyone combining all the best qualities and none of the worst qualities of former aristocrats and laborers. That is what humanity is capable of (I think).