Tuesday, 25 April 2017

A Few Details

John C. Wright, The Golden Age (New York, 2003), Chapter 13, section 2.

"'...every part of reality is logically connected to every other part.'" (p. 215)

Not logically. Logic is consistency between propositions about reality whereas, e.g., the empirically discerned spatial and gravitational relationships between planets in the Solar System are not logically necessary.

On p. 216, two propositions -

(i) "'...logic is not paramount in human affairs.'"
(ii) "'Logic is paramount in all things.'"

- are presented as if contradictory. (i) means, I think, that human affairs are not primarily conducted with respect for consistency whereas (ii) means that it is an objective fact that any set of propositions is either consistent or inconsistent. Thus, (i) and (ii) are not contradictory.

We suddenly learn that, despite all the high tech, including even active nanotech:

"'This is a cruel and callous society in which we live. Those who cannot pay their housing bills are thrown into the street. Recorded minds of any type who cannot pay the rentals on their computer brain space are deleted.'" (p. 217)

But this is unnecessary. Surely there is the productive capacity to house everyone? Why is a landlord class or a bureaucracy allowed to control access to housing? And why does everyone not own their own computers?


David Birr said...

"Why is a landlord class or a bureaucracy allowed to control access to housing?"
Power over others is the ultimate currency, the ultimate way of flaunting one's importance. As long as humans are human, some WILL seek to have ways of exerting or at least displaying such power. What good is being wealthy, to the minds of these people, if no one envies them or fears them?

S.M. Stirling said...

Furthermore, power is a positional good and therefore unlike, say, food, cannot be genuinely abundant.

Sean M. Brooks said...


Therefore, if the envious Smiths not only try to "keep up" with the Jones, but makes a point of having a more ostentatious lifestyle, then the Jones may try to surpass the Smiths.