Tuesday, 10 July 2018

Information And Interests

Poul Anderson's Trygve Yamamura is a private detective, Anderson's Dominic Flandry is a spy and Stieg Larsson's Mikael Blomkvist, whom I mention for comparison because I am rereading Larsson's Millennium Trilogy, is an investigative reporter. Thus, all three characters seek to uncover hidden information. However, they serve different interests. Blomkvist usually publishes what he learns whereas Flandry reports to his superiors who, he knows, use the media to mislead the public.

Here and now, I would feel at home helping a magazine like Blomkvist's Millennium but not helping British Intelligence! It is reported that intelligence services use torture and it is real life equivalents of Blomkvist that do the reporting. Blomkvist investigates a serial murderer and a clandestine branch of Swedish Security so there is a distinct overlap between the three levels of inquiry but I prefer someone who reports to us, the public, not to our political lords and masters. 

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

I have to partially disagree. That is, it is my view that in a world marked by contending states and powers, it would not always be wise to publish information on political, military, financial matters, etc., that would enable the enemies of one's country to gain an advantage over it. So, it would be right to assist the British Intelligence services in all legitimate ways. Or, for that matter, the Imperial Naval Intelligence Corps of Dominic Flandry's time.

Like it or not, some nations are better than others. I far prefer the UK, say, to the cruel totalitarian regime ruling China, for example.

In my "An Unexpected Contradiction" note I discussed how a prima facie contradiction between two of Anderson's stories--"Honorable Enemies" and THE DAY OF THEIR RETURN--could be rationalized as the Naval Intelligence Corps going a bit too far in a legitimate desire to protect extremely valuable information.

Would you really rather have the Empire publish the information that Aycharaych was a universal telepath? No, better to use that data as part of an attempt to undermine the Merseian Intelligence Service.