Drabblecast 064 - Thus Spake Bleerbo

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adam
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Post by adam » Mon May 19, 2008 9:35 pm

AynSavoy wrote:
adam wrote: my only other complaint was an odd overuse of the word "takionic."
I believe you mean "tachyonic." :P
blast, this is not the first time i've been called out on my spelling in these forums. :oops: for all the perks of podcasts and audiobooks, one edge printed stories will always have is the ability to sharpen ones spelling. and mine needz al teh help it kan gett.

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Post by AynSavoy » Mon May 19, 2008 9:37 pm

adam wrote: and mine needz al teh help it kan gett.
Well, with that sentence you are winning the lolcat spelling bee!
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Post by Chivalrybean » Tue May 20, 2008 7:12 am

AynSavoy wrote:
I want to point out that I don't have an issue, off the bat, with stories that are "depressing" or that want to make a point about something wrong in the world. But there are better ways to make such points than by making the reader feel like she's being lectured at. We all hear you, ahmedakhan, but like bolddeceiver said, Bleerbo sees plenty of terrible things in his previous travels. What makes these things we already know about Earth so much worse?
Yeah, I totally agree with that. I admit is was funny, but it is pretty arrogant to think of being horrible, we are the best at it {:0p

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Post by strawman » Tue May 20, 2008 6:12 pm

Yes, it is definitely important that humans exercise humility concerning their massive horribility.

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Post by bolddeceiver » Wed May 21, 2008 5:40 am

strawman wrote:Yes, it is definitely important that humans exercise humility concerning their massive horribility.
But seriously, I think it is. Because at some point, "The human race is just so rotten" turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's a cop-out, and it's internalized racism (even if the "race" in question is, in world as we know it, all-of-the-above). And it's not limited to science fiction; many (if not most) philosophical or political arguments from human nature assume the very worst.
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Post by tastycakes » Wed May 21, 2008 6:28 am

Hooray for proxy servers that can surmount the Great FireWall! I'm new here, and I have to say that this has to be one of the geekiest and intellectual forums I've ever read, and I read comic book forums! Looking forward to more chatter in the future.

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Post by strawman » Wed May 21, 2008 11:51 am

bolddeceiver wrote:
strawman wrote:Yes, it is definitely important that humans exercise humility concerning their massive horribility.
But seriously, I think it is. Because at some point, "The human race is just so rotten" turns into a self-fulfilling prophecy. It's a cop-out, and it's internalized racism (even if the "race" in question is, in world as we know it, all-of-the-above). And it's not limited to science fiction; many (if not most) philosophical or political arguments from human nature assume the very worst.
My observation was as of a tongue peering through a cheek.
But seriously, Science Fiction generally consists of elements of reality (human beings) in plots and environments and moral frameworks that are purely speculative. It is speculation that extraterrestrial life exists, or that extrahuman evil exists. Is it arrogant that the human species is the only organism deemed capable of moral choices?

When I look at my cat's favorite activity, slowly dismembering a bug or lizard, my cat gets no judgement. The boy next door doing the same thing I suspect will one day be a psychopathic killer. Science fiction asks my cat what she thinks about that.

At least, that's how I see Bleerbo. It think the story would have been more interesting if Bleerbo had witheld judgement. I mean, suppose he had come upon a world in which cats always torture little lizards, and been appalled by the injustice of that. Wouldn't the idea be more interesting if, in an attempt to understand evil, Bleerbo had tried it and experienced its pointlessness? Or if Bleerbo experienced the temptation of Genesis, and experienced the Fall from Innocence?

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Post by Chivalrybean » Wed May 21, 2008 12:49 pm

It seems that either humans are horrible and are not allowed to enter space until we act up or humanity will be blow up by some aliens until, oh wait, that guy was nice, we'll spare everyone, or the galaxy is threatened by some ultimate evil (berserker, borg) that is nothing but evil totally and completely. Those tend to be the extremes is sci fi. What is more common, the extreme, or the fact that if aliens do exists, unless they have escaped the fall (ala C.S. Lewis' Perilandra), wont they have a similar desire to screw over the other guy? According to Forbidden Planet, this is true (just saw that for the first time last night) Perhaps we write about races who are basically perfect because we hope to reach a point where everyone plays nice? If that is so, we can't be that bad, right? We hope there will be better days. All we need is love. Corny, but, it is pretty true, isn't it? What would Earth be like if everyone respected everyone else, and focused on others and not self? We are capable of total niceness if we try, so Bleerbo can go Oh Bloody Hell someone else and thanks pal for not offering some advice to help us all see a better way. Now whose the bad guy?

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Post by strawman » Wed May 21, 2008 3:42 pm

One thing that makes innocence innocent is that it is incapable of judgement, because it is ignorant of evil. ET is not capable of understanding the meaning of, "O bloody hell".

Does "good" and "evil" then possibly become, in a technological environment, "what works" and "what fails to work"?

If so, is it possible to migrate from an altruistic/virtues based morality to a completely utilitarian one? What causes it to change?

These are the types of questions that the best stories address, (and what Lewis and Tolkein's objective was), IMO.

There's an article in the Times this morning by a geneticist about a question in Britain concerning joining human cell nuclei with animal ova to create hybrids. They say they will destroy the organisms before they divide more than a certain number of times. But the author sees no moral objection to this.

I see no reason, from a purely practical standpoint, to endure starvation while mankind disposes of millions of tons of perfectly nutricious protein by burying it in landfills (which we call graves). Who knows, the byproducts would probably produce ethanol! Wouldn't that be sweet justice?

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Post by Goldenrat » Wed May 21, 2008 3:43 pm

Chivalrybean wrote: What would Earth be like if everyone respected everyone else, and focused on others and not self? We are capable of total niceness if we try, so Bleerbo can go Oh Bloody Hell someone else and thanks pal for not offering some advice to help us all see a better way. Now whose the bad guy?
Man, it would be awesome. If everyone got along we could work together and have a kick-ass space program and make all kinds of awesome scientific advancements. But I guess Bleerbo has a point- you saw humans dancing in the streets when the NYC buildings collapsed killing thousands of fellow humans. Hatred runs deep amongst some. Oh, Bloody Hell!!

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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Wed May 21, 2008 4:06 pm

strawman wrote:Does "good" and "evil" then possibly become, in a technological environment, "what works" and "what fails to work"?

If so, is it possible to migrate from an altruistic/virtues based morality to a completely utilitarian one? What causes it to change?
Morality is not so much concerned with what works or what fails to work. Morality is concerned with what goals are being worked towards. If you chuck altruism and virtue, then what sort of goals are you going to end up pursuing? Utilitarianism comes in after morality. We cannot decide the best way to go about achieving good things until we first decide what things are good.

The problems on Earth that so vexed Bleedrbo are moral problems: They are caused by bad people being effective in their badness, not by good people being ineffective in their goodness. Maybe that's why Bleedrbo threw up his hands in despair, because he realized there was nothing he could do for people who actively create their own problems. :(
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Post by Kevin Anderson » Wed May 21, 2008 4:10 pm

The story says Bleerbo examined individual skirmishes, and even individual words, language and reactions. He only looked at people in groups. It makes me wonder if the story would be different if he examined individuals, arriving in say the times of Gandhi, Martin Luther King or even Christ.
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Post by Chivalrybean » Wed May 21, 2008 4:32 pm

Goldenrat wrote:
Chivalrybean wrote: What would Earth be like if everyone respected everyone else, and focused on others and not self? We are capable of total niceness if we try, so Bleerbo can go Oh Bloody Hell someone else and thanks pal for not offering some advice to help us all see a better way. Now whose the bad guy?
Man, it would be awesome. If everyone got along we could work together and have a kick-ass space program and make all kinds of awesome scientific advancements. But I guess Bleerbo has a point- you saw humans dancing in the streets when the NYC buildings collapsed killing thousands of fellow humans. Hatred runs deep amongst some. Oh, Bloody Hell!!
I rarely make rude gestures at a TV screen, but that dancing got a double dose of avian anger, far from my normal way of response to actions and people.

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Post by strawman » Wed May 21, 2008 5:11 pm

Is it possible that the revulsion caused by that dancing is in any way related to 100,000 additional deaths in Iraq and Afghanistan?

What do Christians say about the meaning of Christ's command to love, and turn the other cheek?

What would Bleerbo say?

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Post by normsherman » Wed May 21, 2008 5:58 pm

Bleerbo's best quality was being able to fix things without having to say anything- actions speaking louder than words etc.

In fact, the only times he ever spoke he either caused disaster from it or pronounced frustration and resignation at the situation- neither good things. I know people who are the same way (leaving Christianity out of it- although I'm sure it applies).
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Post by aalangley6 » Thu May 22, 2008 8:22 pm

Being a high schooler at the moment and having nothing but redundant drama about redundant things go on around me, I wish that people would all follow Bleerbo's example. :?
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That rain was chubby, not hard

Post by deadjon » Fri May 23, 2008 3:02 am

Didn't any body else think of the movie Bowfinger when they heard the drabble in this episode? The movie they made in it was about aliens hiding in raindrops and was called "Chubby Rain".

Chubby Rain pic: http://theclubabove.files.wordpress.com ... y-rain.jpg (not sure what's up with the subtitle)

IMDB: http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0131325/

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Post by Dr. Sax » Mon May 26, 2008 2:50 am

Sad day. I loved the story and the ending...but especially the bardle.

Coming from the perspective of truth that would have to be taken in the story (A universe with no God), there is no hope for the earth if you ask me. We are vile beings through and through only capable to doing things out of selfishness. Even when we think we are being selfless, in the end we're still doing it because it makes us feel good about ourselves. The only way to love others is to love the part of ourselves that connects us to others, the part of us that is universal...The idea is worth some thought. So without a god, I think that "Oh bloody hell" was perfectly appropriate. But deep matters aside, I did chuckle after that line.
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Post by strawman » Mon May 26, 2008 12:48 pm

Today in the US is Memorial Day, when we honor those who sacrificed everything to resist the forces of evil which evoked Bleerbo's "O bloody hell".
The memorial is often qualified by the fact that some conflicts are more worthy of that sacrifice than others, and even considerations of whether any war can be just.
But I think today's memorial is intended to be devoted to gratitude for the nobility of those who suffered and sacrificed everything for a purpose greater than themselves.

Perhaps a less cynical eye would have been able to see in these sacrifices some measure of redemption in the case for or against the goodness of mankind.

If any redemption could be made for our own contribution to the case against mankind, it might be found in the last words of Capt. Miller to James Ryan at the end of Saving Private Ryan: "James, earn this. Earn it."
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Post by Mr. Tweedy » Mon May 26, 2008 8:53 pm

Word.

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