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"Let them march all they want, as long as they pay their taxes."  --Alexander Haig

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Author Topic: Robert A. Heinlein  (Read 2802 times)

Sam A. Robrin

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #15 on: April 07, 2010, 09:23 AM NHFT »

For those who haven't seen it, I ran across this while looking for pieces to include with Mail-to-Jail:

http://www.angelfire.com/or/sociologyshop/lazlong.html
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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #16 on: April 09, 2010, 11:48 AM NHFT »

Government! Three fourths parasitic and the other fourth stupid fumbling — oh, he conceded that man, a social animal, could not avoid having government, any more than an individual man could escape his lifelong bondage to his bowels. But Harshaw did not have to like it. Simply because an evil was inescapable was no reason to term it a "good." He wished that government would wander off and get lost!

— Robert A. Heinlen, Stranger in a Strange Land [1961]
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sandm000

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #17 on: April 09, 2010, 02:58 PM NHFT »

Am I the only person in the universe who finds the idea of Lazarus Long schtupping his mother bizarre? Not offensive, just... weird.
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Tom Sawyer

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #18 on: April 09, 2010, 03:31 PM NHFT »

Am I the only person in the universe who finds the idea of Lazarus Long schtupping his mother bizarre? Not offensive, just... weird.

Thanks for handling that with such tact.  :)

We wouldn't want to anger the 'motherfuckers and those who support their rights' faction...  ;D
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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #19 on: April 09, 2010, 03:32 PM NHFT »

Am I the only person in the universe who finds the idea of Lazarus Long schtupping his mother bizarre? Not offensive, just... weird.
Absolutely not.

Have you read "To Sail Beyond the Sunset"?  Where the parents have an orgy... with their own kids?  And the main character is lusting after her own father throughout the book?  I love me my Heinlein, but he was kind of twisted.
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toowm

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #20 on: April 09, 2010, 03:36 PM NHFT »

His focus seems to be separating scientific issues around sexuality from social mores. I don't think it was some closet incest kink. Don't forget Woody also did his "sisters" made from doubling his X chromosome. It's all very focused on individual adults making rational decisions. What was Long, about age 1500, while Maureen was 120 the first time?

Science fiction can clearly imagine a world with 0% risk of pregnancy, 0% risk of disease, and 100% rejuvenation to early adulthood. I actually think not enough SF writers have explored the ramifications of this.

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #21 on: April 09, 2010, 03:48 PM NHFT »

His focus seems to be separating scientific issues around sexuality from social mores. I don't think it was some closet incest kink. Don't forget Woody also did his "sisters" made from doubling his X chromosome. It's all very focused on individual adults making rational decisions. What was Long, about age 1500, while Maureen was 120 the first time?

Science fiction can clearly imagine a world with 0% risk of pregnancy, 0% risk of disease, and 100% rejuvenation to early adulthood. I actually think not enough SF writers have explored the ramifications of this.
True, and perhaps it's limited of me to think it's icky to want to boff your own family members.  But that ick factor is more than just a social more.  I recall learning in physical anthropology in college that incest taboos are almost universal, probably because there are valid biological reasons to not, um, attempt to reproduce with your own siblings/children.   Personally, this is one taboo I feel perfectly comfortable clinging to (and I suspect my father and brother agree with me 100%).   :P

And in TSBTS, Maureen and Brian were normal Mom and Dad age, getting it on with their own teenagers.
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MaineShark

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #22 on: April 09, 2010, 04:00 PM NHFT »

True, and perhaps it's limited of me to think it's icky to want to boff your own family members.  But that ick factor is more than just a social more.  I recall learning in physical anthropology in college that incest taboos are almost universal, probably because there are valid biological reasons to not, um, attempt to reproduce with your own siblings/children.

Siblings have limited risk.  Not really much more than the risk between unrelated adults.  Linear pairings (parent/grandparent and child) are riskier, since there's a much higher certainty of genetic overlap.  Even so, the actual genetic risk is nowhere near what the general public believe it to be.  The risk only goes up to meaningful levels when you have multiple generations of inbreeding, allowing harmful recessives to be reinforced strongly.

On the flip side, as Heinlein notes on several occasions in his books (and has also been noted by Niven and a few others), if you are ruthlessly driven to improve a species, and don't give a hoot for individual suffering, intentional line breeding is one of the best ways to do it.   Because it forces harmful recessives to express themselves, one can cull (either kill, sterilize, or otherwise prevent from breeding) the offspring who show them, slowly eliminating such genes from the species' genome.  This method is used extensively in livestock like cattle and horses.  The "fine specimens" of today only exist because of uncounted suffering over the centuries.  The "animal rights" crowd doesn't like to acknowledge that bit...

But, back on topic, inbreeding by humans is only a real risk when it is kept up for several generations.  Long notes in Time Enough for Love that, the Howard Families being a small group, they have a high rate of close breeding (even if it's just cousins), and being insular, the breeding kept up over the generations, so "everywhere the Howards live, there are sanctuaries for defectives" (close quote, even if not exact).

Joe
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Sam A. Robrin

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #23 on: April 09, 2010, 04:54 PM NHFT »

It was Heinlein's colleague Theodore Sturgeon who asked If all men were brothers, would you want one to marry your sister?
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gibson042

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #24 on: April 09, 2010, 08:45 PM NHFT »

Have you read "To Sail Beyond the Sunset"?  Where the parents have an orgy... with their own kids?  And the main character is lusting after her own father throughout the book?  I love me my Heinlein, but he was kind of twisted.
I've got a name for that act...




In all seriousness though, Heinlein's best take on the theme was probably —All You Zombies—, because it was so stripped down to essentials.
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dalebert

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #25 on: April 09, 2010, 09:36 PM NHFT »

There does seem to be a powerful ick factor about being with close relatives.  FWIW, it's completely associated with growing up in close proximity to them.  If they grew up apart and don't know they're related, siblings are almost always powerfully attracted to each other.
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sandm000

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #26 on: April 12, 2010, 11:35 AM NHFT »

His focus seems to be separating scientific issues around sexuality from social mores. I don't think it was some closet incest kink. Don't forget Woody also did his "sisters" made from doubling his X chromosome. It's all very focused on individual adults making rational decisions. What was Long, about age 1500, while Maureen was 120 the first time?

Science fiction can clearly imagine a world with 0% risk of pregnancy, 0% risk of disease, and 100% rejuvenation to early adulthood. I actually think not enough SF writers have explored the ramifications of this.

Ok, there are nearly 7 billion people on the planet right now. With 0% chance of unwanted pregnancy, 0% chance of disease, and an unlimited lifespan, when would get so bored with sexual adventurism, that you would want to settle down and have sex at home, with your parents? And why in the hell would they want to get it on with you?
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dalebert

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Re: Robert A. Heinlein
« Reply #27 on: April 12, 2010, 12:23 PM NHFT »

If they grew up apart and don't know they're related, siblings are almost always powerfully attracted to each other.

Actually, I think I'm mistaken about that.  If I recall correctly, I don't think it mattered if they knew they were related at that point.  They still get hot for each other.
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