RE: virus: Saint PKD

Gifford, Nate F (
Mon, 8 Dec 1997 16:17:31 -0500

From: Robin Faichney[]
>> From: Gifford, Nate
>> How about the Polynesians who built Easter Island?
>You mean the ones who died out due to their abuse
>of their environment? Hmm, maybe that is quite

Precisely, they could be the patron saints of the object lesson.

>BTW, Nate, I've given up on our recent debate, as I
>don't think think the issue is defined, or maybe even
>definable, and I don't have the time to spare for
>waffling, fun though it sometimes can be.

Ok ... I had a hidden agenda ... which I guess is may be tied to
Brodie's level 3. I found your position of "No Saints In this Church" to be
a bit dogmatic. I think idolatry provides a useful means for propagating
memetic infection. I would agree that none of the people I'd give up my
last kidney for are famous ... that is if my death could bring Jesus Christ,
Mohammed, Buddha, and Bruce Lee back to life, and it was up to me, they'd
all stay dead. On the other hand, when Mother Theresa and Princess Di died
so close together I couldn't help but think there was a deity somewhere with
a really warped sense of humor. It seemed to me that whenever we had a slow
news week over the past two years Mother Theresa's health was good for a
minor headline. Then she had the bad taste to die in the middle of the
years biggest media grief fest. Given their druther's I'm sure the media
would have spent big bucks to keep her hooked up on life support until the
whole Di thing had died down.

I like this quote from PKD:

It's not what you look like, or what planet you were born on. It's
kind you are. The quality of kindness, to me, distinguishes us from
rocks and sticks and metal, and will forever, whatever shape we
wherever we go, whatever we become.

Sorry I don't have the citation details to hand.

His astral projection just told me that he used to say stuff like
that to get the marks in the tent ... or was that Kilgore Trout playing
games again ... never trust the spirit world.

PKD's stories are great for helping nerds <like me> think out of the
box ... unlike Star Trek, Robert Heinlein, Jerry Pournelle, Larry Niven etc.
who are great for getting nerds to think in the box.

When nominating saints I think we need both kinds ... those that
keep us happy in the box and those that show us that we are the box.
Sometimes <like with Tim Leary> I suspect the saint has two faces ... but we
can only see one at a time like those perception tricks. Couldn't you
change the above quote to read "evil" instead of kind and wouldn't it be
just as true ... just look in any post-modern story and the villain will
tell you how boring the plot would be without them.