Friday, 15 June 2012
Changes In Human Nature
"I've been stupid." (1)
In Brain Wave, this major change is initially felt only on the intellectual level. Everyone can think more quickly, clearly and efficiently and this can be difficult to adjust to, especially since motivations, beliefs and superstitions are as yet unchanged. Someone now thinks more effectively about how to impose his beliefs on others, for example.
However, a second, more gradual, change is latent. Human history has been a struggle between instinct and intelligence but now intelligence has won so human beings can:
consciously select their desires;
adjust their personalities to intellectually conceived requirements;
end psychosomatic diseases;
control organic illnesses at will;
learn enough medicine to make doctors redundant;
In The Night Face, the entire population of a colonised planet is peaceful and harmonious without any governmental or legal coercion but extra-planetary visitors learn that all the colonials become insane for a few days every year, afterwards remembering only that they have had an indescribable experience. During that time, ritual dance and chanting channel otherwise destructive and homicidal energy.
It may be more imaginative to conceive of these inner psychological transformations than to anticipate outer technological advances.
(1) Niven, Larry, Protector, London, 1974, p. 213.