Thursday, 21 January 2016

Between Posts

The page view count always goes way down when I do not post for a while but I cannot maintain a steady pace all the time! This week, Monday was my daughter's 40th birthday and today is my son-in-law's ?th birthday. Earlier today, some of us had lunch in the Wolfhouse Gallery cafe (see first image) and all will share a family meal tonight. (An alternative lunch venue is the Leighton Moss Bird Reserve cafe - see second image.)

However, when there is more time for posting, these questions will be addressed:

are multiple worlds real?;
what does "existence" mean?;
is the Draka Final Society utopian or dystopian?;
what would persuade slave-owners that they are wrong?


  1. Kaor, Paul!

    First, my congratulations and good wishes for your daughter and Ketlan's birthdays.

    Your question asking whether multiple worlds or universes ar possible reminded me of how Poul Anderson discussed in one of his letters to me. I'll quote three paragraphs from his letter of September 6, 1978:

    The possibility of another universe
    coexistent with ours is, or was, a mathematical
    consequence of wave mechanics. Certain types of
    functions were associated with some kinds of
    particles, certain other types with other kinds
    (symmetric and antisymmetric functions,to be exact).
    There was no obvious logical reason why why these
    associations should not be reversed. In that case
    you would get a cosmos where the laws of nature
    differed from ours in a number of basic ways--so
    much so that no interaction between the two
    universes would be possible. Then they could
    occupy the same space and time.

    More recently, a physicist by the name of
    Hugh Everett has proposed an interpretation of
    wave mechanics which allows any number of such
    universes. Roughly speaking, in this scheme, if
    a certain state can produce any of several out-
    comes, then all of them are produced. It's sug-
    gestive of the "fan-shaped time" often mentioned
    in science fiction. The trouble is, again, that
    there is no way for us to interact with any of
    these other time lines. Thus we can't subject the
    idea to experimental test, a fact which would make
    many thinkers throw the whole idea out of court. It
    isn't very helpful for purposes of telling stories,
    either: unless, of course, you keep your entire
    story within one of these other universes.

    Myself, I've used a looser concept, in which
    it is possible under certain conditions to cross
    from one universe to another. This has no scientific
    basis that I know of, but then, neither do a lot of
    the ideas in science fiction as well as in pure
    fantasy. Conceivably someday physicists will dis-
    cover something of this general nature can indeed
    take place now and then--perhaps in the vicinity
    of a black hole?

    While I'm sure there has been changes and advances in speculations about alternate/multiple universes since 1978, these three paragraphs I quoted seem to answer your question. Esp. the third paragraph!

    My perhaps flippant reaction to your question about "existence" was very similar to that of Dr. Sam Johnson's reaction to the Anglican bishop who wondered if reality was real: kicking a stone proved things existed! I can't quite remember the Anglican bishop's name, however.

    The Final Society of the Draka which we see in DRAKON was certainly Utopian for them! But, not for anyone else. I think the most ghastly thing I saw was how a new breed of humanity was bred WILLING to be slaves.

    It's my belief that mere philosophy or abstract moral reasoning would never convince slave holders like the Draka of the wrongness of a slave based society. Only belief and faith in a God disapproving of slavery would shake such a deeply rooted conviction. Which, of course, explain the fear and hatred the Draka had for Christianity. The beliefs taught by Christianity would gradually undermine and erode away slavery.


  2. 'First, my congratulations and good wishes for your daughter and Ketlan's birthdays.'

    On Aileen's behalf, and mine, thank you Sean.

    1. Hi, Ketlan!

      And with many more to come for both of you, I hope!