Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen

The stupid may burn, but it should burn swiftly.

This is one of the reasons I don't do very well with the "over-the-top ridiculous dystopian satire" sub-genre. Actually it's a host of the reasons. Because:

1) Whatever satirical reductio ad absurdam you've come up with, someone else will have proposed it as a real thing. We have hit the critical number of monkeys and availability of communication to make this happen.

2) "Other People are So Dumb" is not actually a very interesting premise for a book. Sure, someone has to point out the stupidity when it comes up in public forums. But elaborating on it at book length? So that Our Proud Heroes can at least be smarter than Those People? Meh. If the premise of your dystopia is one my 4-year-old goddaughter can pick apart in ten minutes, try again. I mean, she's almost 5. So she's getting pretty good at this picking apart of the big monkeys' nonsense. But still.

3) How We Got There From Here is actually fairly interesting to me. Sometimes humanity actually does adopt a phenomenally dumb idea locally, for values of "locally" that can include entire empires. This doesn't just happen out of ignorance. Sometimes we know better and do the dumb thing anyway. How? Why? The thing is: satirical dystopia writers do not much seem to care. The story linked above looks phenomenally unlikely to be enacted, from here. What would it take to get there? Sighing and saying, "People, man...they're so dumb sometimes..." is not enough. It's not enough to make me buy your worldbuilding, and it's not enough to figure out things we can do to stop the stupid in the real world.

And so I tend not to care so much.

In other news: still sick, but on the mend, I think.
Tags: full of theories, social fail, the art of the possible

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