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Ср, 4 янв, 2017, 17:49
Книги: декабрь

Rebert Heinlein, «Stranger in a Strange Land»

Эту книгу я проглотил первый раз очень давно, когда запоем читал всю фантастику, что попадалась в руки. Попадались, к счастью, и хорошие книги. Конечно, вся полнота осталась негрокнутой: думаю, раньше я просто засыпал на пространных рассуждениях о моральных ценностях. Тем не менее, отдельные моменты запомнились вполне ярко, и когда коллега по работе упомянул эту книгу, захотелось перечитать.

Книга хоть и хорошая, но не бесспорная (а зачем лишать себя удовольствия поспорить с автором?). Вот появляется некий Человек-с-Марса, воспитанный существами из мира, где freedom doesn’t exist и everything is planned, и начинает судить о происходящем на Земле. Тут он grok goodness, а вот тут — grok wrongness. И все ему верят! Как могло получиться, что он разбирается в нашей жизни лучше нас самих?

А дело, оказывается, в марсианском языке:

The concepts can’t be thought about without the language, and the discipline that results in this horn-of-plenty of benefits — from how to live without fighting to how to please your wife — all derive from conceptual logic ... understanding who you are, why you’re here, how you tick — and behaving accordingly. Happiness is functioning the way a being is organized to function ... but the words in English are a tuatology, empty. In Martian they are a complete set of working instructions.


The essence of the discipline is, first, self-awareness, and then, self control.

То есть якобы все ценности, весь goodness логически выводятся прямиком из биологического устройства человека (на что в книге есть и другие указания). Но мне ближе позиция Пирсига о том, что общественные и интеллектуальные ценности выводимы из биологии не больше, чем софт выводим из устройства железа.

Хайнлайн, к слову, противоречит самому себе. Вот слова Джубала, которым я как раз верю (а он авторитет даже для Майка):

The only religious opinion I feel sure of is this: self-awareness is not just a bunch of amino acids bumping together!

* * *

Дальше цитаты на память.

Интересно про язык:

Do you grok radio? Or stereovision? Or electronic computers?

Me? No.

Nor I. But I could if I took the time and sweat to learn the language of electronics; it’s not miraculous — just complex. Teleportation is simple, once you learn the language — it’s the language that is difficult.

Чудесно про астрологов:

Alexandra Vesant differed from some astrologers in that she did attempt to calculate the «influences» of heavenly bodies, using a paper-backed book titled The Arcane Science of Judicial Astrology and Key to Solomon’s Stone which had belonged to her late husband, Professor Simon Magus, mentalist, stage hypnotist and illusionist, and student of the Arcanum.

She trusted the book as she had trusted him; there was no one who could cast a horoscope like Simon, when he was sober — half the time he had not needed the book. She knew that she would never have that degree of skill; she always used both almanac and manual. Her calculations were sometimes fuzzy; Becky Vesey (as she had been known) had never really mastered multiplication tables and was inclined to confuse sevens with nines.


But, after two hours of painful arithmetic, although she had completed findings for Mr. and Mrs. Douglas, she had nothing for Smith. The trouble was simple — and insuperable. Smith had not been born on Earth.

Her astrological bible did not include such an idea; its anonymous author had died before the first rocket to the Moon. She had tried to find a way out of the dilemma, on the assumption that principles were unchanged and that she must correct for displacement. But she grew lost in a maze of unfamiliar relationships; she was not sure the signs of the Zodiac were the same from Mars ... and what could one do without signs of the Zodiac?

She could as easily have extracted a cube root, that being the hurdle that had caused her to quit school.

She got out a tonic she kept for difficult occasions. She took one dose quickly, poured another, and thought about what Simon would have done. Presently she could hear his steady tones: «Confidence, kiddo! Have confidence and the yokels will have confidence in you. You owe to them.»

She felt much better and started writing the horoscopes for the Douglas’s. It then turned out to be easy to write one for Smith; she found, as always, that words on paper proved themselves — they were so beautifully true!

Прекрасно про церковь (в книге намного больше):

The Shepherd suddenly looked stern and camera zoomed in until his head filled the tank. «After our last Bon Voyage, the sexton found an empty pint bottle in one of the Happiness rooms — of a brand distilled by sinners. That’s past and done; the brother who slipped confessed and paid penance sevenfold, even refusing the usual cash discount — I’m sure he won’t backslide. But stop and think, My Children — Is it worth risking eternal happiness to save a few pennies on an article of worldly merchandise? Always look for that happy, holy seal-of-approval with Bishop Digby’s smiling face on it. Don’t let a sinner palm off on you something «just as good». Our sponsors support us; they deserve your support.

The faith I was reared in didn’t require anybody to know anything. Just confess and be saved, and there you were, safe in the arms of Jesus. A man might be too stupid to count sheep ... yet conclusively presumed to be one of God’s elect, guaranteed an eternity of bliss, because he had been «converted». He might not even be a Bible student and certainly didn’t have to know anything else.

A confidence man knows he’s lying; that limits his scope. But a successful shaman believes what he says — and belief is contagious; there is no limit to his scope.

Про писателей:

«Read it?» Good God! It's bad enough to write such a thing.

You have to give an editor something to change, or he gets frustrated. After he pees in it, he likes the flavor better, so he buys it.

Про политиков:

Presently Douglas concluded, having said nothing and said it very well.

In the Tennessee legislature a bill was introduced to make pi equal to three; it was reported out by the committee on public education and morals, passed without objection by the lower house and died in the upper house.

Про жизнь:

Goddam noisy box (телевизор).

Since I have no interest in money other that to spend it, it is impossible for me to get rich.

There is no safety this side of the grave.

This is ... a home ... and, as such, it combines anarchy and tyranny without a trace of democracy, as in any well-run family, i. e., they are on their own except where I give orders, which orders are not subject to debate.

For a long, long time he had been getting through that black period between waking and the first cup of coffee by telling himself that tomorrow might be a little easier.

Ср, 4 янв, 2017 15:34 (UTC)

Ты ещё Роберта Рождественского для комплекта почитай ;-)

Ср, 4 янв, 2017 16:46 (UTC)

Мало ли на свете Робертов...

Ср, 4 янв, 2017 17:14 (UTC)