Scattercat wrote:One thing that slushing/editing will do for you is rapidly kill any enjoyment you derive from common tropes in and of themselves.
Be grateful you're not a gynaecologist (I hope that's not too sexist). Having never been a great reader of speculative fiction, I wasn't even aware that doppelganger variations are a common theme - I stumbled upon the Drabblecast having discovered that the podosphere is a wonderful source of stimulation to ease the boredom of my mundane job - my reading is pretty omniverous with a bent towards historical fiction and mystery/crime. I digress...
Strawman, you are a very, very bad man - every time I think I have adjusted to the humdrum, and I make the mistake of entering this forum I read some post or other of yours that leads me to have thoughts which I judge to be philosophical, and therefore dangerous.
Although the technical (medical) term for suicide in German is "Suizid", the most common word used to describe it is "Selbstmord", literally self-murder, with the accompanying moral undertone - killing yourself is essentially cowardly and something which you have no right to do. However, when a famous or heroic figure (examples here in Germany might be the WWII General Manfred Rommel or the football star Robert Enke) takes their own life, the term used is "Freitod" (roughly translated freely chosen death), which obviously carries with it a completely different moral judgement. Given that there have suddenly become two of me, is it desirable that both of me should continue living? Seen from a societal point of view, definitely not - what if everybody did it?
suddenly there would not be enough wealth, food, shelter and so on to go round. Nevertheless, it was not my choice to subdivide, so who has the right to make the decision to kill me? obviously nobody but me, and it would be morally right for me to get rid of one of me. Which one? as I am identical to myself it doesn't really matter, although the problem is that neither of me wants to die (unless I am severely depressed, in which case both of me want to end it all, but, being mentally ill, I probably should be restrained from taking this drastic action). One of me killing the other would certainly come under the "Selbstmord" banner, it would be murder, sure enough, and of myself, to boot. But the death of me would also free me from a personally intractable and socially unacceptable problem, and is thus a desirable "freely chosen death", except that I haven't chosen freely to die, just to kill me.
This is probably old hat to slush readers (I understand that is also your fate, man of straw), but to laymen such as myself, it can result in many hours of innocent diversion, assuming that harbouring thoughts of killing and death can be judged innocent.