Sunday, 7 December 2014

Social Developments In The Technic History

"...in the Psychotechnic History stories we see early examples of Anderson speculating that drastic and radical advances in technology created so much wealth that even persons who lost their jobs due to technological changes were able to live reasonably well ("citizen's relief"). But the problem arose of how to solve the problem of many, many people feeling useless because the new, technologically advanced society had no place for them. As we saw, the anger, frustration, and despair this caused led to disasters like the Humanist Revolt (see also "Quixote and the Windmill").

"It's my belief that what became Technic Civilization avoided suffering a similar fate due to the invention of a FTL drive in the 2100's. The opening up of vast new frontiers acted as a safety valve for Earth, giving those who felt helpless and powerless an outlet. And, on many of the new colonial worlds the most modern technology simply wouldn't be practical for many years for a variety of reasons. Which means the technologically displaced could still do useful and necessary work. AND giving time for most humans in Technic Civilization to adapt to technological changes.

"And, yes, even so, we still see mention of regions inhabited by people who, for one reason or another, still failed. Such as the "sub-Lucifer" Aaron Snelund escaped from on Venus or the "Underground" mentioned by Admiral Fenross."

- copied from a comment by Sean M Brooks on the post "Underground on Terra." See here.

Let us back up Sean's point about life on extrasolar colonies in the Technic History with examples from Hermes, Aeneas and Dennitza.

"...a backwoods colony on Hermes...temporarily primitive because shipping space was taken by items more urgent than modern agro-machines."
-Poul Anderson, The Van Rin Method (New York, 2009), p. 96. 

"'To maintain humans, let alone research establishment, on planet as skimpy as this, you need huge land areas efficiently managed. Hence rise of Landfolk: squires, yeomen, tenants.'"
-Poul Anderson, Captain Flandry: Defender Of The Terran Empire (New York, 2010), p. 96.

The pioneers led to Denniza by Yovan Matavuly:

"'..weren't many, nor had the means to buy much equipment...
"'...did, for generations, have to put aside sophisticated technology. They lacked the capital...
"'The young Dennitzan industries needed labor.'"
-Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), pp. 399-400.

Thus, Anderson's History of Technic Civilization is complex yet coherent enough to be analyzed as if it were real history.

1 comment:

  1. Hi, Paul!

    Very nice and flattering of you to extensively quote me! AND then to back up what I said with examples from the Technic History stories. Examples I should have looked up and quoted myself. (Smiles)

    Thanks! Sean

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