Gaia is the word for "unity-of-life-processes". The experiment here is to unify the various threads of voice and sense of self together into an undivided unity. Spirituality, economics, politics, science and ordinary life interleaved.

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

John C Wright - more Homeric tropes

This is the passage of John C Wright that inspired me just now to download Homer's Illiad and read it. Gods and men, this is a great piece of writing. I speculate about the combination, now a traditional trope in Sci-Fi, of Victorian manners with Homeric themes and rhetoric. Perhaps this harks back to the nearest last time our Western Civilisation had a mode of manner that could approach heroic, but also the flat artifice of Victorian English manners is dry and creates a good sense of humor. Here in this marvellous passage our hero is at Neptune, out of the reach of the inner system internet, when he receives a call from the summation of computational power that runs the inner system:

"Suddenly, silently warm green light shone from every communication mirror. Here were images of forests, flowers, grainfields, gardens, covered bridges, rustic chemurgy arbors, golden brown with age.

"Midmost was an image of a queenly shape, garbed in green and gold, throned between two tall cornucopiae hollowed from the elephantine tusks, and, above her throne, a canopy of flowers of the type bred to recite prothalamia and nuptial eclogues. This was the image, when she appeared to the Silver-Gray, assumed by the Earthmind. This was neither an avatar nor a synnoesis, but the Earthmind herself, the concentration of all the computational and intellectual power of an entire civilisation, the sum of all the contributions of ever-operating systems throughout the Golden Oecumene.
And the Earthmind spoke, saying, "Phaethon, hear me. I am come to describe how to murder a Sophotech.""

Wow. As a clarifying note, the Silver-Gray school are those humans who imitate Victorian English manners, prothalamia are marriage poems, eclogues are farming poems, and I have no idea what "rustic chemurgy arbors" might be!


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