8FOLD: Nonfiction # 3, "The New War"

Andrew Perron pwerdna at gmail.com
Mon Jun 23 14:53:55 PDT 2014

On 6/23/2014 5:33 PM, Tom Russell wrote:
> On Sunday, June 22, 2014 1:25:47 PM UTC-4, Andrew Perron wrote:
>> ...JEEZ. How the heck do they cooperate long enough to be a giant star empire
>> if they're so *touchy*?
>> (Note to self: Expand on this in the Roundup.)
 > Well-- as is mentioned later and you pick up on below, it might be less
 > that they're touchy or tetchy and more that they wanted an excuse.

Oh yes. Here, I'm illustrating my immediate emotional reaction, with logical 
fiddlings to follow.

>>>      "The public doesn't really get an opinion on this," says Burton
>>> with an air of academic bemusement. "This isn't a neighboring country
>>> that we can make peace with."
>> Ah, yes, the ol' "we have to suspend all forms of government, because clearly,
>> my way is the right way, and nobody should be allowed to argue with it".
 > I get what you're saying-- and that's an attitude that certainly pops up
 > in, and is unhealthy for, political discourse and self-governance. But
 > that's not really the attitude I was trying to convey here. It's less of a
 > "there's no room for debate on how to fight against this threat of
 > planet-wide extinction, so we have to do it this way" and more "there's no
 > room for debate on whether or not we have to fight against this threat of
 > planet-wide extinction, because the alternate is that extinction".
 > In real world conflicts (nation-vs.-nation), one side or the other can, and
 > usually should, sue for peace. Public opinion-- anti-war or otherwise-- can
 > and should effect policy changes in a democratic society. What the guy is
 > saying is that in this kind of conflict, where it's not about redrawing
 > borders, payment of restitution, etc., there's nothing to "give" to the
 > other side. You can't sue for peace, and so anti-war protests can't really
 > effect any kind of change. Isolationism, pacifism, they're not options in
 > this case. (Or, I guess, they are options, but the end result is death, so
 > they're not really viable.)

Okay, but: Says who?

The Pulse Collective are clearly intelligent beings who *can* be reasoned 
with, and who do *want* something. Hell, they're (nominally) going to war over 
an insult - a breach of protocol - and demanding reparations in the form of a 
planet. If anything, this is a way better time for diplomatic negotiations 
than most nation-vs-nation wars.

Furthermore, even if diplomacy isn't on the table - and, to be fair, the Pulse 
Collective seem to be really hard to be diplomatic with - in no way does that 
mean that "the public doesn't get an opinion". First, the public's going to 
have an opinion no matter what. Second, the opinion of the generals that only 
an aggressive attack on the Pulse Collective themselves can win this? Not 
actually the only reasonable opinion to have! Might actually be flat-out 
wrong! And, most importantly, smacks of a highly traditional approach that 
other opinions - such as, y'know, those found in that vague entity being 
called the public" - might be useful in providing new viewpoints on.

That's not to say that war, or even aggressive war, *isn't* necessarily the 
right choice here. But that doesn't change that this guy's "air of academic 
bemusement" communicates "I want desperately to cut off opinions other than 
mine". Apologies if you didn't intend that, and kudos if you did.

>>>      And the cosmic godflood is still cascading towards us, ever-nearer,
>>> a threat not only to all life on Earth, but to all life in the
>>> universe itself.
>> ...did I miss this?
> Nope. :-)
 > You have to bear in mind that the vast majority of what I've written for
 > Eightfold, at least in terms of verbiage, takes place in 2005-2008. So
 > there are some things that are happening in 2014 that I haven't fully
 > developed yet, with yet being the operative word. The godflood is one of
 > those, and when we do see it play out, it shall be "An Epic For Our Times",
 > and it will feature Cosmic Battle Antlers. So this is just a little tease.

Ahhhh, very good. Just making sure - I still haven't caught up on most of the 
pre-2008 Eightfold. [Editor's Note: I miss Jamie Rosen.]

 > Another thing we haven't seen *yet* is the Gorgon-Hotspur Team, though of
 > course we've seen the Gorgon twice now (JOURNEY INTO #3, JOLT CITY # 21)
 > and mentioned a handful of other times. Hotspur has shown up once before,
 > and bonus points if you can name it without googling it... (Honor system,
 > gents and ladles!)

Hmmmmm. Was Hotspur, perhaps... one of the escapees in Jolt City #20?

Andrew "NO .SIG MAN" "Juan" Perron, p-perhaps?

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