Sunday, 9 October 2016
Various Goals, Conservative Or Transformative
(i) The Time Patrol conserves the Danellian timeline.
(ii) Gratillonius conserves the Roman Empire, then the remnants of civilization.
(iii) Nicholas van Rijn strives to hold together the Polesotechnic League for as long as possible.
(iv) Dominic Flandry strives to hold together the Terran Empire for as long as possible.
(v) Roan Tom strives to survive.
(vi) Anson Guthrie preserves human freedom against control by AI's. Wealth generated within the Solar System is solely invested in interstellar transportation and extrasolar colonization.
(i) In Brain Wave, intelligence increases and reason wins its long struggle against instinct.
(ii) The Psychotechnic Institute tries to guide or manipulate humanity towards individual and collective sanity. A laudable goal but questionable means.
(iii) Daven Laure explores the Cloud Universe, increases scientific knowledge and tries to show an economic return. In fact, the wealth generated will be vast enough to qualitatively transform civilization.
(v) In Genesis, inorganic intelligences explore the universe and increase knowledge.
What a collection! As ever in Poul Anderson's works, a simple comparison between two or three characters generates a longer and more substantial list. This list has got to be so long that we are no longer comparing like with like. There are four examples from the Technic History alone. I prefer those who improve a situation as against those who merely conserve it. I would like to be an immortal intelligence appreciating virtual realities while exploring the universe.