0635: "Locke and Demosthenes"

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby BlueNight » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:50 pm UTC

I think I just got this comic.

We, no matter our backgrounds, can be just as influential. We can potentially have as much impact as Peter, or Thomas Jefferson, or Thomas Paine. We just need to find (or create) the right "forum" for discussion.

And obviously, Wordpress isn't it.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby FitzNighteyes » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:50 pm UTC

the_eye wrote:what I've never gotten: How/why is Enders Game somehow a nerd/geek-essential?
Out of all the books Card has written, it's the entertaining one ... because of the battle room sequences. The psuedo-political stuff referenced in the comic are okay as well.

The rest of his works are dull and unexciting, including the remainder of this series. They also contain many references to his personal political and religious "lunatic" views embedded in them.

I recommend Ender's Game to sci-fi loving nerds if they are young adults, but loan them my own very old copy, tell them never to spend money on anything by Card (and tell them exactly why), and warn them that the rest of his books are garbage anyway.

It will be a cold day in hell before I give any of my reading-money to that rabid foaming-at-the-mouth homophobe warmonger named Orson Scott Card. Guy's a complete lunatic.
You forgot "religious fanatic".

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby halloweenjack » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:51 pm UTC

the_eye wrote:what I've never gotten: How/why is Enders Game somehow a nerd/geek-essential?


What prithee http://echochamber.me/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=45045&start=40#p1776435said; as I'd put it, young nerds rule (besides Locke and Demosthenes, Ender becomes a military genius). Also, the central premise, which has been reused many times in other stories--
Spoiler:
maybe the game that I'm playing on this here computer is real, maaaaaaaan
--is nerd catnip. It's certainly not because it's a particularly good book; you could be forgiven for wondering if Card had ever known any children at all, or even remembered his own childhood with any detail, after reading how he portrays children in the book, and of course the wish fulfillment that prithee and Randall have alluded to is also pretty egregious. But it's irresistible to precocious kids that feel that they should be at Xavier's School or Hogwarts instead of being stuck in study hall with the Muggles/mundanes.

the_eye wrote:It will be a cold day in hell before I give any of my reading-money to that rabid foaming-at-the-mouth homophobe warmonger named Orson Scott Card. Guy's a complete lunatic.


Then check it out from the library. I wouldn't spend cash money on any of Card's stuff now, and I wasn't sufficiently enchanted by the first book to pursue any of the sequels, but it's worth taking a look at if for no other reason than to see what all the fuss is about.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Rashkavar » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:54 pm UTC

A couple of things that make the political sway idea more valid (still questionable, but I guess a sufficiently skilled genius could pull it off)
1 - This is a society with very controlled nets - recall that Peter and Valentine had to get their father's access to start, cause kids couldn't post in mainstream political fora
2 - Note the term mainstream political fora. They actually have mainstream political discussions online. I got the impression most journalism was also online, while today's most influential media tend to be papers, tv, magazines, etc.
3 - They look like adults. Since they're using their father's access, they'll automatically be labeled as adults (also, perhaps, his age, but that wasn't specified)
4 - They consistently got their facts right. Budding political commentators are doomed by small mistakes, cause people will just label them an idiot. As I recall, the first thing Demosthenes posted was Peter's analysis of Russian train schedules which used unexplained gaps to track secret troop-transport trains for some alarming results (easily verified by sattelite surveilance, and can fairly easily be rederived). (In the scientific community, I think Einstein's relativity theories got this treatment, since a lot of his results seemed preposterous given mainstream scientific belief.)
5 - They were very careful with their writing and did research with throwaway identities to improve their writing ability significantly (thus appearing less childish as well).

Give a person smart enough that good a base point and they can work wonders. Also, as has been previously mentioned, "Locke" was called on to negotiate an end to the war with the Russians, and he had to do a lot of manouvering to get the Hegemon seat. Then, he had to do a lot more to make the Hegemon seat more effective than the League of Nations (and arguably the UN)

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Fri Sep 11, 2009 2:55 pm UTC

They would have used Drupal.

In any case, at least Card got the anonymous part right. You can become a minor celebrity on the internet without revealing your real identity.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby markfiend » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:14 pm UTC

IMO this essay is required reading about OSC / Ender's Game.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Some 'Splainin' to Do » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:16 pm UTC

I could, in theory, seek out a pirated ebook version and read that in order to judge the book without regard to the man who wrote it, but any legal way of me reading the book moves money out of my pocket towards him.


I guess that I really am living in the future when people have forgotten about the existence of public libraries.

In any case, yes, Card definitely does hold some some fairly noxious views, especially when it comes to the subject of gay rights, and, sadly, there was a point in time when those views started to creep into his work. Ender's Game, however, was an early enough work that it wasn't contaminated by that.

It's a good book. Seriously. It's a fun adventure story and it pulls off one of the most cliched twists in the genre with such an amazing amount of elan that it actually works. The book deserved the awards it got (the next one... not so much, IMO).

So, you could do worse than to check a copy out from the library. You won't be funding Scott's descent into political madness and the story is a fun one that you'll probably like.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Jugulum » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:30 pm UTC

IMO this essay is required reading about OSC / Ender's Game.

Disclaimer: This is a cursory, first-glance response to the introduction. Not a considered reply to the essay as a whole.

In setting up his thesis, the author says this:
Spoiler:
We are given to believe that the destruction Ender causes is not a result of his intentions; only the sacrifice he makes for others is. In this Card argues that the morality of an act is based solely on the intentions of the person acting.

Meh. That sounds like he's ignoring "awareness". It's not just that Ender didn't intend to kill the Formics. He wasn't aware that he was killing the Formics. (Though the situation with the two bullies he killed is different.) He wasn't aware that the game was real--or at least, that's part of the question.

So: (1) That's an important distinction to make, and (2) if the author doesn't pay attention to it in the rest of his essay, then the thesis is flawed from the start. At least, poorly argued. If he does pay attention to it, and argues the point--well, that'll be one of the central parts to examine.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Tokechan » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:34 pm UTC

I come to this thread excited to say the squirrel was a nice touch, only to find that a lengthy squirrel-related discourse has already passed. Should have expected no less from the xkcd board. :p

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby AdamW » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:40 pm UTC

While Randall's right about the problems Locke might have, Demosthenes would probably have had it better. Could've become a high-powered pundit on Fox News...

Actually, it'd be cool to mock up Demosthenes' foxnews.com page in xkcd-style :)

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Fledermen64 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:42 pm UTC

nickheart wrote:Yeah, how come the squirrel is alive?

But seriously, maybe it was because the first time I read the book was in 2000, but how would anyone be able to acquire any acclaim posting on newsgroups. I believed it then, but now...


Its not really. Its an evolution of the internet. Where debate is truly public. As long as you view it as a slightly more electronic version of our current process. People still debate, and campaign in a way. Its not like posting ideas in 4chan. He slowly built up people by speaking in a public forum which would only give time to recognized speakers. I wouldn't say it could happen at this time. The internet is still a bit of a novelty. But in time I don't see it as being to inconceivable. Politicians are already starting to see the power of the internets. Who knows where it will lead.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Joneleth » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:42 pm UTC

I wanted to make a few comments on the believability of Ender's Game:

OSC's books are well known for having characters who are far too competent and intelligent to be entirely believable. But this is actually justified in Ender's Game, where Peter and Valentine not only two of the smartest people in the world (Graff mentions to Valentine there are only 1000 or so people that match her intellectually), but are the result of a fairly intensive eugenics program with the aim of breeding the ability to understand, control, and manipulate people. It's safe to say Peter isn't your average blogger, or even your highly intelligent, well thought out blogger. He's a mix of Thomas Jefferson, Alexander the Great, and Richard Nixon, though even that's a poor description.

Obviously, Card foresaw internet discussion forums as being far more prestigious and intellectually intense then they actually are, with world leaders and politicians regularly debating via the internet. People are laughing at this because of the present state of the internet, but maybe that's because the internet is too *new* for that to be the case. Our leaders, for the most part, are too old to have grown up with the internet, and most of them don't understand the potential it has. Imagine the world in 30 years, when the kids born in the 80s and 90s (myself included) rule the world. Maybe we'll see something like an a White House discussion forum where the most prestigious, well respected posters regularly debate politics with the president? Or congressmen regularly posting about bills and asking advice of constituents? I say it's still a plausible future, and gives a lot of potential for direct democracy and meritocracy that we haven't yet seen.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby endolith » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:46 pm UTC

prithee wrote: It directly targets and somewhat panders to socially disenfranchised smart kids. Geeks are not immune to gravitating towards being told what they want to hear, that they're intellectually superior and that should mean something to their social status.


*cough cough Internet Libertarianism cough*

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby blueorblack » Fri Sep 11, 2009 3:51 pm UTC

Wow, crazy coincidence here. I just started reading Ender's Game for the first time on Wednesday.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Chipersoft » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:05 pm UTC

I always interpreted "on the nets" to mean usenet, or some equivalent discussion forum.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Srina » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:06 pm UTC

Woah. I am rereading "Xenocide" for the billionth time, and now THERE IS THIS COMIC.

i feel so epic.

also, the squirrel is there because

*ENDER'S GAME SPOILER ALERT*



they specifically talk about peter torturing squirrels in the book. as i recall, he skinned them while they were still alive and staked them so they laid out in the sun, half-skinned, till they died. and he specifically did it to squirrels. hence the squirrel in the comic. randall is very accurate in his references to the ender's game series, at least in my judgment.



*END SPOILERS*



also, i'm so happy this was just posted. hilarious and relevant to my life. SO AWESOME.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Jorpho » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:33 pm UTC

Remember that bit in Shadow of the Hegemon, where Bean says, "We should be careful! What if someone's collecting every single E-mail message that people send?"

And that was written after the current Internet was well established, too!

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:34 pm UTC

markfiend wrote:IMO this essay is required reading about OSC / Ender's Game.

I remember reading that essay a few years ago, and thinking it was utter bullcrap back then. I don't remember exactly what was in it though, or why I thought this, so I'd have to reread it to give intelligent reply. Maybe I'll get around to that during the weekend.

I'm not obvlious to the many erros in his books. Children of the Mind and Xenocide were pretty aweful. The Bean series is much better, but it too contains some annoying parts (as well as some very unrealistic ones). But I've never detected anything like homophobia in his books. I don't know if OSC is a homophobe (I don't know anything about him), but if he is it does not show in the Ender series. His religious views do creep through, but they seem to be quite mild. I've read much more annoyingly religious books. The religious character portrayed most sympathetically in the books is sister Charlotta. So I think we can assume that his true views are similar to hers. But she is quite enlightened. She explicitely states that she believes unbelievers can go to heaven, and she seems to ignore most church dogma.

I don't recognize the criticism.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Diadem » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:41 pm UTC

Joneleth wrote:Obviously, Card foresaw internet discussion forums as being far more prestigious and intellectually intense then they actually are, with world leaders and politicians regularly debating via the internet. People are laughing at this because of the present state of the internet, but maybe that's because the internet is too *new* for that to be the case. Our leaders, for the most part, are too old to have grown up with the internet, and most of them don't understand the potential it has. Imagine the world in 30 years, when the kids born in the 80s and 90s (myself included) rule the world. Maybe we'll see something like an a White House discussion forum where the most prestigious, well respected posters regularly debate politics with the president? Or congressmen regularly posting about bills and asking advice of constituents? I say it's still a plausible future, and gives a lot of potential for direct democracy and meritocracy that we haven't yet seen.

Senators, congressman, even presidents, regularly do write in discussion fora. They regularly post columns or open letters. They just do that the traditional media: Offline newspapers and television. The world OSC writes about is one where the internet has completely replaced the former, and probably the latter as well (there's never any mention about tv anywhere in the books). It's not strange to imagine serious online newspapers being read by tens of millions of people (offline newspapers are now) and being used as politicians using them for serious debate (offline newspapers as well as television is used for that today).

Thinking of Peter as a blogger is just wrong. He's a columnist, a commentor. Think of him as Émile Zola.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Iridos » Fri Sep 11, 2009 4:54 pm UTC

Hm, perhaps I don't get it - but I'd have found the comic funnier if it had just consisted of the 1st two panels....
perhaps (again) with the alt-text "ur a genios! how is babby formed?"

Also, the squirrel ain't dead in panel 2 - I can see it move! Perhaps it's retching up what it was fed in panel 1 though...
Yeah, IIRC, he skins it alive in the book and leaves it for his sister to find...

While the 1st book (Enders game) is somewhat original, the following ones basically are little more than space opera.

The other really funny misconception is, that Ender and his sister live for hundreds of years due to relativistic effects and humankind possesses some magical over-lightspeed instant communication method, but still there is virtually no technological progress in all that time...
If you consider the amount of changes we've seen in the last 100 years, it's clear that this is really unrealistic. Scott could have gotten around that by annihilating earth and therefore severely hindering scientific and technological progress...

Well - only shows it's really hard to write good/interesting science fiction, as it essentially deals with things we cannot know.

Joneleth wrote:Obviously, Card foresaw internet discussion forums as being far more prestigious and intellectually intense then they actually are, with world leaders and politicians regularly debating via the internet. People are laughing at this because of the present state of the internet, but maybe that's because the internet is too *new* for that to be the case.


No, the mistake is just in misjudging how anonymousness reduces the value of comments

Diadem wrote:Senators, congressman, even presidents, regularly do write in discussion fora.

And that's different because they're not anonymous.

Oh - yes and I remember being a bit annoyed of the religious undertones - the idea of converting an alien race to a human religion is also ridiculous - but the piggies are just humans with porky faces and a weird reproduction cycle anyway.... there we go again with the space opera like qualities, where klingons are men with thick black beards.

Fledermen64 wrote:But in time I don't see it as being to inconceivable. Politicians are already starting to see the power of the internets. Who knows where it will lead.

Well here are some hints regarding that:
http://xkcd.com/258/
http://xkcd.com/386/
http://xkcd.com/481/

markfiend wrote:IMO this essay is required reading about OSC / Ender's Game.

He's got a point there... Hiroshima and Nagasaki also come to mind in that regard - bombings that were seen as unnecessary by some historians.


I.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby riksweeney » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:35 pm UTC

See, this is why I don't blog. All my wisdom would just go unread...

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby zenter » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:53 pm UTC

Iridos wrote:The other really funny misconception is, that Ender and his sister live for hundreds of years due to relativistic effects and humankind possesses some magical over-lightspeed instant communication method, but still there is virtually no technological progress in all that time...
If you consider the amount of changes we've seen in the last 100 years, it's clear that this is really unrealistic. Scott could have gotten around that by annihilating earth and therefore severely hindering scientific and technological progress...

Well - only shows it's really hard to write good/interesting science fiction, as it essentially deals with things we cannot know.

I registered just to comment to this...

Your conception of future technology related to communication and travel, I think, is wrong. It's looking increasingly likely that instant communication across vast distances WILL be possible, and travel across said distances is still a mystery. And I'm talking about within 100 years. This is a result of quantum entanglement. When an entangled particle experiences any changes (say, it's orientation), it's pair will experience such changes instantly, regardless of the limitations of c. This would, technically, be "information teleportation". If I understand correctly, this is because the universal speed limit applies to the 4 dimensions we perceive, and these particles have a relationship outside of these dimensions. This effect was already observed in the 30s, a theoretical explanation existed by the 80s, and this has since been proven to be true.

So, give every ship a router with an entangled particle at its core, with its pair staying on earth, and you have instant communication across light-years. People are ALREADY talking about using this type of quantum router for financial institutions, to overcome the communication lag experienced thanks to c. Meanwhile, it will probably take several hundred (or thousand) years to get over the physical speed limit. OSC got this one right.

As for people gaining fame on the net, I refer everyone to Daily Kos and Wonkette... Or XKCD... Either way, Randall's right. The likelihood of Peter and Valentine gaining notoriety is remote, at best.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Jorpho » Fri Sep 11, 2009 5:59 pm UTC

zenter wrote:This effect was already observed in the 30s, a theoretical explanation existed by the 80s, and this has since been proven to be true.

So, give every ship a router with an entangled particle at its core, with its pair staying on earth, and you have instant communication across light-years. People are ALREADY talking about using this type of quantum router for financial institutions, to overcome the communication lag experienced thanks to c.
Oh, people might be talking, but you'll find no shortage of scientists (as opposed to 'futurists') who dispute vociferously the exact nature and mechanism of this 'effect'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby icenine » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:07 pm UTC

markfiend wrote:IMO this essay is required reading about OSC / Ender's Game.

Semi-relevant thread.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby zenter » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:08 pm UTC

Jorpho wrote:Oh, people might be talking, but you'll find no shortage of scientists (as opposed to 'futurists') who dispute vociferously the exact nature and mechanism of this 'effect'.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantum_entanglement

Fair point.

I should say that this effect has been replicated in laboratory settings, and people (scientists and otherwise) are discussing applications. This makes quantum teleportation as a means of communication is far more likely (in my mind) than any FTL travel.

Also, just because we don't know the exact nature or mechanism of something doesn't mean we don't find a way to exploit it. See Volta and battery. Or humans and asprin.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Iridos » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:22 pm UTC

[ Edit: identical double-post removed - I had edited/added to the one below, so I'm squashing this one
How did that double-post anyway?!
]
Last edited by Iridos on Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:18 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby endolith » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:24 pm UTC

zenter wrote:It's looking increasingly likely that instant communication across vast distances WILL be possible, and travel across said distances is still a mystery. And I'm talking about within 100 years. This is a result of quantum entanglement.


Increasingly likely? According to whom? Everything I've read says the opposite.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Iridos » Fri Sep 11, 2009 6:28 pm UTC

Iridos wrote:
zenter wrote:
Your conception of future technology related to communication and travel, I think, is wrong. It's looking increasingly likely that instant communication across vast distances WILL be possible, and travel across said distances is still a mystery. And I'm talking about within 100 years. This is a result of quantum entanglement. When an entangled particle experiences any changes (say, it's orientation), it's pair will experience such changes instantly, regardless of the limitations of c. This would, technically, be "information teleportation".

Oh, but I'm not criticizing that - just saying it's "magical" - mostly referring to the fact that they get it from the buggers as a "black box", they can use and build it, but after several hundred years of using it they still haven't got the slightest idea how it works.

The same goes for all other technology - several hundred years pass - and while there will not be much progress on a space vessel that goes through space for 200 years, all kinds of new and fancy technology would come from earth via the over-lightspeed link... and could be built on the colonies perhaps 10 years later. If there was no zero-time communication, it wouldn't be so surprising if technology on the colonies is still not a lot more advanced than when Ender left earth some thousand years ago... but they do have it and so it's ridiculous that there have not been lots and extreme developments.

Also, IIRC, quantum entanglement could never be used to transmit information. While the state changes from undetermined to determined "instantly" when measured on one end, you cannot ascertain which state it is. So in when all's said and done, no information is transferred.

Ah, from the wikipedia article:
the current state of belief is that no useful information can be transmitted in this way, meaning that causality cannot be violated through entanglement.


True, that doesn't mean that there will be no way to do so some time in the future and it would indeed not immediately give a hint on how to travel faster than light. Yet, as said - a thousand years are a LONG time for technological development if you've reached a certain level of technology...

zenter wrote:As for people gaining fame on the net, I refer everyone to Daily Kos and Wonkette... Or XKCD... Either way, Randall's right. The likelihood of Peter and Valentine gaining notoriety is remote, at best.

I think "absurd" is the word :)
Else the comic wouldn't be funny.

Well, lets say what he describes is not impossible, there are people who write blogs or some other daily comments who get read a lot and gain some influence over time - but the way it's described in the book really seems... quaint... seen from todays perspective.


I.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Jorpho » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:33 pm UTC

There's an idea! Locke and Demosthenes rise to prominence through creating amusing web comics that subvert and redefine the long-stagnant field of editorial cartooning!

Locke's hook is that all his characters are amusing talking squirrels, sketched with an uncanny attention to detail.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Demosthenes2009 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:39 pm UTC

Well, well, well. I'd been wondering why I'd been getting so many hits for "demosthenes blog" over the last few days.

Though, for the record, when I started my site back in 2002, it wasn't as an attempt to emulate Peter and Valentine. They were sockpuppeting, after all. I've just always been a support of pseudonymity as a tradition in online debate. The biggest change in blogging has been that it's moved from pseudonymous citizen-based discussion to another venue for established journalists. And since journalists HATE pseudonyms...
Last edited by Demosthenes2009 on Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:50 pm UTC, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby zenter » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:46 pm UTC

endolith wrote:Increasingly likely? According to whom? Everything I've read says the opposite.

I'm saying that we are closer to instant communication than we are to FTL travel. There are serious people actually discussing how to make it happen, whether or not we understand how entanglement works. Put differently, FTL travel is not being discussed in terms of practical application (yet), but quantum teleportation is.

I'm ALSO not saying either one is easy, but what I've read (and heard on NPR) is that quantum entanglement is seen (by at least a couple scientists) as a promising avenue for such instant communication. The wikipedia article gives conflicting information, saying that a purely-entangled communication system is probably not possible, but a mixed-method is. It also is woefully lacking in source materials.

Observations pertaining to entangled states appear to conflict with the property of relativity that information cannot be transferred faster than the speed of light. Although two entangled systems appear to interact across large spatial separations, the current state of belief is that no useful information can be transmitted in this way, meaning that causality cannot be violated through entanglement. This is the statement of the no-communication theorem.

Even if information cannot be transmitted through entanglement alone, it is believed that it is possible to transmit information using a set of entangled states used in conjunction with a classical information channel. This process is known as quantum teleportation. Despite its name, quantum teleportation may still not permit information to be transmitted faster than light, because a classical information channel is required to complete the process.

In addition experiments are underway to see if entanglement is the result of retrocausality.


Assuming the article is correct, then we are somewhere down the road of trying to execute quantum teleportation. I don't think FTL travel has reach this level of experimentation... Has it?
Last edited by zenter on Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:48 pm UTC, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:47 pm UTC

Demosthenes2009 wrote:Well, well, well. I'd been wondering why I'd been getting so many hits for "demosthenes blog" over the last few days.


Well this went live at midnight .... so anything previous was just quantum readers.

There's an idea! Locke and Demosthenes rise to prominence through creating amusing web comics that subvert and redefine the long-stagnant field of editorial cartooning!

Locke's hook is that all his characters are amusing talking squirrels, sketched with an uncanny attention to detail.


That would work, but you'd need to have something like obscene nudity to get people fired from their jobs so that they would have enough free time to follow Locke.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby SpringLoaded12 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:50 pm UTC

glasnt wrote:@OP: you need the rest of the mouse-over text, dude.

In addition: SQUIRREL! I wonder if that's the same squirrel that Marigold just acquired.

Hi joee.

(I don't understand this comic, but I understand cute and fluffy forest animals.)


It's a reference to Ender's Game. By the way, I don't think you'll be so happy about Peter (Locke) feeding that squirrel if you ever read the book.

I think that marks the 3rd or 4th reference to the series, counting these two: http://xkcd.com/241/ http://xkcd.com/304/

So folks, cue discussion about the series. Your mileage may vary, but I hated Speaker for the Dead, and when I read some of Xenocide and it seemed like it was going to be similar, I refused to keep reading. Ender's Game, however, I thought was great.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Demosthenes2009 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:51 pm UTC

neoliminal wrote:
Demosthenes2009 wrote:Well, well, well. I'd been wondering why I'd been getting so many hits for "demosthenes blog" over the last few days.


Well this went live at midnight .... so anything previous was just quantum readers.
Ansible glitch, no doubt.

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Joneleth » Fri Sep 11, 2009 8:59 pm UTC

markfiend wrote:IMO this essay is required reading about OSC / Ender's Game.


Read it a few years ago, and just re-read it.

I think the main flaw in the argument is that OSC's goal throughout the book is to generate sympathy for Ender. I don't know about you guys, but I identified far more with Peter than I ever did Ender. From my reading, the book is about training the perfect soldier. Graff and his cronies force Ender into situations where he has to utterly defeat his enemy over and over, eventually ending in Ender's defeat of the buggers. They aren't doing this to make you sympathize with him, they're doing it to make him a soldier capable of beating their enemy. And it works. The fact you experience it from Ender's point of view allows you to see all the reasoning and emotion and humanity behind the face of the "cold blooded killer", but I don't think that means Card is approving of murder. He's just showing the process of creating a truly effective soldier. (too soft and he'd never be able to kill, too brutal and he'd never be able to empathize with his enemies before killing, thus taking away his brilliance. They had balance it pretty delicately)

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby phillipsjk » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:04 pm UTC

zenter wrote:
I should say that this effect has been replicated in laboratory settings, and people (scientists and otherwise) are discussing applications. This makes quantum teleportation as a means of communication is far more likely (in my mind) than any FTL travel.


If going faster than 0.50001C is possible, FTL is possible. It is just a matter of defining your points of reference.

Imagine two ships moving away from Earth at 0.51C in opposite directions. Relative to each other, they are traveling at 1.02C. They can still communicate with each other if Earth acts as a relay: blue-shifting the message. Or am I neglecting relativistic effects? (light always travels at the speed of light, regardless of frame of reference for some reason)
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby neoliminal » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:05 pm UTC

Demosthenes2009 wrote:
neoliminal wrote:
Demosthenes2009 wrote:Well, well, well. I'd been wondering why I'd been getting so many hits for "demosthenes blog" over the last few days.


Well this went live at midnight .... so anything previous was just quantum readers. Ansible glitch, no doubt.
Ansible glitch, no doubt.


Yep. Exactly.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby novax6 » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:07 pm UTC

This comic is weird timing for me, as i'm currently reading through Ender's Game right now and only just read the chapter about Peter and Valentine and their plan not two days ago. Three days ago, i wouldn't have understood this, but I get it now. Interesting timing, that's all.....

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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Andioje » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:10 pm UTC

This comic is very epicly timed...my copy of Children of the Mind just arrived today.
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Re: "Locke and Demosthenes" Discussion

Postby Heron » Fri Sep 11, 2009 9:11 pm UTC

Regarding the comments on OSC's religion seeping into his books... some of his books, certainly, contain bucketloads of his religious beliefs. Ender's Game, however, is not one of them (He's Mormon, and I'm Mormon... so I know what I'm talking about).

Someone commented that perhaps Sister Carlotta, from the Ender's Shadow books, reflected OSC's beliefs. Perhaps, in some ways, she did, at least as far as she thought nonbelievers could get to heaven; however, she was still a believing Catholic, and it's worth noting that Catholics and Mormons have relatively few beliefs in common.

I think the most visible place to find OSC's beliefs come through in the Ender books is where Ender's mom is concerned. She is described as a Mormon who, apparently, doesn't really practice her religion actively, although she believes it (or most of it). She prays, and disagrees with her husband (a Catholic) about baptism, but that's about it. The thing she feels strongest about is having a large family, but that's hardly unique to Mormons (in fact it's common among Catholics as well).

I say "most visible" but nowhere does OSC, through the books, claim that Mormonism is correct, any more than he claims Catholicism is correct. If OSC had allowed his religious beliefs to seep through his writing, the LDS Church would have had a much more prominent place in the world of Ender's Game, rather than being relegated to the position of an obscure sect. In that way, one could claim that OSC takes care to prevent his religious beliefs from "infecting" his writing.

Anyway, I think Ender's Game is quite successful at this; however, as I mentioned, some of OSC's other series are quite obviously based on LDS scripture (the Homecoming series) or the life of Joseph Smith (the Alvin Maker series), and that's ignoring the books he's written based on the women of the Bible.


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