Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Larry Niven is prescient!

Or omniscient or omnipotent or something.

Perhaps Sci-Fi author Larry Niven simply has a time machine in his basement.

He wrote a short story--in 1972!--that so accurately depicts what has happened in every single occupy camp across the world over the last two months that that is the only possible explanation. That or he is a god.

(Of course, Niven's Law* precludes the possibility that he has a time machine, therefore....)

The story is called "Cloak of Anarchy" and you can read it here and judge for yourself.

The sad thing is that IF (and it's a big one) any of the loonies participating in the OWS movement had even a small knowledge of human nature and behavior--or Larry Niven's writings--they could have avoided the whole idiotic, destructive, calamitous, doomed and, for some, fatal happening. With the number of sociology and X-studies participants one would have somehow expected more.

Niven's Law
If the universe of discourse permits the possibility of time travel and of changing the past, then no time machine will be invented in that universe.

Hans Moravec glosses this version of Niven's Law as follows:

There is a spookier possibility. Suppose it is easy to send messages to the past, but that forward causality also holds (i.e. past events determine the future). In one way of reasoning about it, a message sent to the past will "alter" the entire history following its receipt, including the event that sent it, and thus the message itself. Thus altered, the message will change the past in a different way, and so on, until some "equilibrium" is reached--the simplest being the situation where no message at all is sent. Time travel may thus act to erase itself (an idea Larry Niven fans will recognize as "Niven's Law").
(From Wikipedia)

(I saw a reference to this story by Niven on the sidebar at Ace of Spades HQ earlier today. It has since moved into the Netherworld.)

1 comment:

Rev. Paul said...

The OWS-ers will never admit that anything like that would happen to them, in spite of the fact that it just did. They'd insist that it didn't work only because "the right people" weren't in charge.

And they'll continue to insist - with their final breaths - that THEY are the right people. Trash, rapes, murder, assaults, drug overdoses, and all.