Idealistic Snippet

(I’ve got the allergies today, so am reworking some of my notes and doing light editing. But here, have this wee snippet I ran across in the process:)

“Sure, you could theoretically weaponize a nucleonic device, but what would be the point? Everyone knows they’d have no imaginable practical use in warfare. What possible use is there for a bomb that completely obliterates the economic value of whatever you’re fighting over?”

– Alys Amanyr

(Who was later disappointed, despite being fundamentally correct where planet-based warfare was concerned.)

2 thoughts on “Idealistic Snippet

  1. His mistake being, a mistake shared by everyone who thinks entirely in medium term economic terms, that economics is what people fight for.

    If the eldrae have a generic weakness, it is an inability to properly model how other beings think. Their other advantages seem to usually compensate for this blindness. (This is a polite way of saying the author is on their side.)

    It would be interesting to consider situations where this blindness can bite them in the ass.

    • Well, she lived in a much calmer and more pleasantly naive age.

      But, she could just as easily have deleted “economic” from her statement; in value terms, a bomb that kills everyone and levels everything has the fundamental disadvantage that it doesn’t even let you prove the correctness of your position to the other side, seeing as they’re all dead, belike.

      As for that weakness: well, yes. At least in terms other than the highly academic intersection of memetics, iatropsychics, and sophontology, anyway. But what I may not have captured adequately is the degree to which those advantages and that weakness arise from exactly the same root: talcoríëf and coválír in particular are wonderful qualities in the generalized get-shit-done-like-reasonable-rational-actors area, but play merry hell with generating other-models.

      (And it does bite them on the ass from time to time: the Liirians, for example, are a seething mass of bitterness and resentment after the Liir Conflict and very few on the Imperial side really quite grasp why, and the containment policy towards the Theomachy of Galia has its roots in “they’re completely insane; the only thing you can do with completely insane people is keep them locked up so they can’t do any more harm”, which is probably not the most productive approach ever.

      Indeed, much of the breathtaking cynicism of the Empire’s [modern] emergent foreign policy in general springs directly from this problem: attempting to do good in the Galaxy is something left up to a minority of idealists, because the majority has concluded post-historical-experience that trying to fix “madmen and savages that want to be madmen and savages” is a losing game and since they’ll be damned if they’re going to deal with them on their terms, settles for skimming off the exceptions to the general rule…

      I’ll see if I can show some of that historical experience on-screen.)

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