[FoRK] Douglas Adams: Is there an Artificial God?

Justin Mason <jm at jmason.org> on Fri Jul 13 09:38:27 PDT 2007

Jeff Bone writes:
> On that level, the most prescient sci-fi author of the 20th century  
> may well have been Frank Herbert.  Dune is a fantastic discourse on  
> the relationships between religion, power, and society --- and  
> particularly the thorny problems and threats of Islamo-fascism,  
> terrorism, monopoly, and resource-constraint economics.

fwiw, but Tim O'Reilly wrote a book about Frank Herbert, and it's now
online:

  http://tim.oreilly.com/herbert/index.html

Herbert himself had an interesting angle, mentioned in there:

  Like most science fiction, Dune is built on the question "what if... ?"
  What if there really were a man, godlike in knowledge and wisdom, who
  could grasp that ungraspable universe and bring it to heel? The Dune
  trilogy is Herbert's answer to that question. He says:

      I had this theory that superheroes were disastrous for humans, that
      even if you postulated an infallible hero, the things this hero set
      in motion fell eventually into the hands of fallible mortals. What
      better way to destroy a civilization, society or a race than to set
      people into the wild oscillations which follow their turning over
      their judgment and decision-making faculties to a superhero? 


--j.

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