Discussion:
Suddenly, we are governed by virologists
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Thomas Koenig
2020-03-25 18:55:48 UTC
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This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.

What other rulers does SF have to offer? There is the
archeologist-dictator from "Revelation Space", for example.

Others?
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-25 19:09:14 UTC
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Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
What other rulers does SF have to offer? There is the
archeologist-dictator from "Revelation Space", for example.
Others?
One particular low-level bureaucrat, Vance "Dodkin's Job"
--
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
David Johnston
2020-03-26 07:41:54 UTC
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Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
What other rulers does SF have to offer? There is the
archeologist-dictator from "Revelation Space", for example.
Others?
The Postman had the university professors who were pretending their AI
still worked so they could pass on it's advice oracle-style to the
surrounding community.

Children of the Stars had Platonic philosopher/scientist) king/theocrats
who were selected for membership in the ruling class by their
willingness to dispute the theocratic system of government.

The Merchants of Venus beat cyberpunk to the punch with their corporate
state.

Catseye had rule by a collective artificial intelligence consisting of
uploaded human minds.

Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.

I can't remember the title but they had one fantasy monarchy where kings
were drafted and forced to serve until the control of a spell that
forced them to make all their decisions in the interest of what they
imagined to be the good of the realm's people.

Asimov was fond of rule by mathematicians and/or computers.

In Gatchaman Crowds this transgender person created a social media game
that they use to control the entire Japanese population just by awarding
points to people who did useful things for society.
Leif Roar Moldskred
2020-03-26 09:23:14 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
I can't remember the title but they had one fantasy monarchy where kings
were drafted and forced to serve until the control of a spell that
forced them to make all their decisions in the interest of what they
imagined to be the good of the realm's people.
If I recall correctly, in Jon Bing's "En gammel romfarers beretninger"
("The memoirs of an old spacefarer"), one alien culture had a system
where a group of random citizens were selected to rule for a set
period of time (one or two years?) During the time they were in
power, they had their memories of who they were suppressed and it was
punishable by death for them or anyone else to try to identify them
or reveal anything about their identity to them.

The theory was that not knowing who they were and what place in society
they would be thrust back into once their term of service was up, they
had to work towards improving the _whole_ of society for _everyone_.

And of course, Douglas Adams had the universe ruled by the Man in the
Shack and his Lord.
--
Leif Roar Moldskred
Kevrob
2020-03-26 11:50:13 UTC
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Post by Leif Roar Moldskred
Post by David Johnston
I can't remember the title but they had one fantasy monarchy where kings
were drafted and forced to serve until the control of a spell that
forced them to make all their decisions in the interest of what they
imagined to be the good of the realm's people.
If I recall correctly, in Jon Bing's "En gammel romfarers beretninger"
("The memoirs of an old spacefarer"), one alien culture had a system
where a group of random citizens were selected to rule for a set
period of time (one or two years?) During the time they were in
power, they had their memories of who they were suppressed and it was
punishable by death for them or anyone else to try to identify them
or reveal anything about their identity to them.
Sounds like John Rawls' "veil of ignorance."
Post by Leif Roar Moldskred
The theory was that not knowing who they were and what place in society
they would be thrust back into once their term of service was up, they
had to work towards improving the _whole_ of society for _everyone_.
In Terran history, choosing officeholders by lot is
not unknown.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sortition
Post by Leif Roar Moldskred
And of course, Douglas Adams had the universe ruled by the Man
in the Shack and his Lord.
In DC Comics "Tales of the Legion of Super-Heroes," one
way Tenzil (Matter-Eater Lad) Kem was gotten off-stage
was by having him drafted into the Senate of his home
planet, Bismoll. Yes, Nismoll. That was clever in 1962,
when I was about to turn 6.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Matter-Eater_Lad#Pre%E2%80%93Zero_Hour

{Yeah, this was a character with limited uses, but with a CMOA.
If introduced at all, he really should have been a Legion
Reservist or member of the Subs.}

Long Live the Legion!

Kevin R
Kevrob
2020-03-26 17:28:13 UTC
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....his home planet, Bismoll. Yes, Nismoll.
Pro tip: When repeating for emphasis, spell the word
correctly, both times. :)

Bismoll. Yes, Bismoll.
Long Live the Legion!
Kevin R
p***@hotmail.com
2020-03-26 17:03:45 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
What other rulers does SF have to offer? There is the
archeologist-dictator from "Revelation Space", for example.
Others?
The Postman had the university professors who were pretending their AI
still worked so they could pass on it's advice oracle-style to the
surrounding community.
Children of the Stars had Platonic philosopher/scientist) king/theocrats
who were selected for membership in the ruling class by their
willingness to dispute the theocratic system of government.
The Merchants of Venus beat cyberpunk to the punch with their corporate
state.
Catseye had rule by a collective artificial intelligence consisting of
uploaded human minds.
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
I can't remember the title but they had one fantasy monarchy where kings
were drafted and forced to serve until the control of a spell that
forced them to make all their decisions in the interest of what they
imagined to be the good of the realm's people.
Asimov was fond of rule by mathematicians and/or computers.
In Gatchaman Crowds this transgender person created a social media game
that they use to control the entire Japanese population just by awarding
points to people who did useful things for society.
In Lyon Sprague de Camp's _The Goblin Tower_, in the Kingdom of Xylar, the
king serves a five year term. At the end of the term the king is publicly
beheaded, and his severed head is thrown to the crowd like a bride's
bouquet at a wedding. Whoever succeeds in catching it is proclaimed the
new king. There is no shortage of people eager to serve even under these
conditions, and foreigners are allowed and encouraged to attend the event.

In the story, Jorian of Kortoli happens to be in town and knows nothing
about the custom. When the head comes flying at him he catches it without
thinking and thus becomes king. Hijinks ensue.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
Dan Tilque
2020-03-27 17:56:24 UTC
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Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
--
Dan Tilque
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-03-27 18:42:00 UTC
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Post by Dan Tilque
Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
And wasn't there something by van Vogt where they did something
similar?
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
p***@hotmail.com
2020-03-27 20:24:14 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
And wasn't there something by van Vogt where they did something
similar?
I think this may have been _The World of Null-A_. At the beginning of
the story Gilbert Gosseyn had just arrived to participate in the annual
games, the rankings from which were critical to people's career paths.

Peter Wezeman
anti-social Darwinist
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-27 20:44:31 UTC
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Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
And wasn't there something by van Vogt where they did something
similar?
I think this may have been _The World of Null-A_. At the beginning of
the story Gilbert Gosseyn had just arrived to participate in the annual
games, the rankings from which were critical to people's career paths.
I think Anthony used games to pick the ruling class in one of his series.

Laumer's "Placement Test" used all the people who failed the test to be
the ruling class..

Vance's "The New Prime" also has a rigorous series of tests that aren't
exactly what they seem.
--
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
David Johnston
2020-03-27 20:57:05 UTC
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Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
And wasn't there something by van Vogt where they did something
similar?
I think this may have been _The World of Null-A_. At the beginning of
the story Gilbert Gosseyn had just arrived to participate in the annual
games, the rankings from which were critical to people's career paths.
I think Anthony used games to pick the ruling class in one of his series.
That was the aforementioned Phaze Doubt.
Post by Ted Nolan <tednolan>
Laumer's "Placement Test" used all the people who failed the test to be
the ruling class..
Vance's "The New Prime" also has a rigorous series of tests that aren't
exactly what they seem.
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-03-27 20:57:52 UTC
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Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
And wasn't there something by van Vogt where they did something
similar?
I think this may have been _The World of Null-A_. At the beginning of
the story Gilbert Gosseyn had just arrived to participate in the annual
games, the rankings from which were critical to people's career paths.
I think you're right. It's been decades since I read that.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-03-27 21:01:34 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
And wasn't there something by van Vogt where they did something
similar?
I think this may have been _The World of Null-A_. At the beginning of
the story Gilbert Gosseyn had just arrived to participate in the annual
games, the rankings from which were critical to people's career paths.
I think you're right. It's been decades since I read that.
And I just remembered M'Intosh's _World Out of Mind,_ in which
everybody rises in society by Taking Tests. Been even longer
since I read that.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2020-03-27 21:33:32 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by p***@hotmail.com
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Dan Tilque
Post by David Johnston
Phaze Doubt had rule by an oligarchy of people who were really good at
playing games.
Ditto for _Player of Games_ by Iain M Banks. OK, there's an emperor
who's the best player, but the top officials are all runners-up in the
big tournament. That makes it an oligarchy.
And wasn't there something by van Vogt where they did something
similar?
I think this may have been _The World of Null-A_. At the beginning of
the story Gilbert Gosseyn had just arrived to participate in the annual
games, the rankings from which were critical to people's career paths.
I think you're right. It's been decades since I read that.
Available ehre:

http://www.prosperosisle.org/spip.php?article262

In what I believe to be the pre-Knight text, which you may not have read.

". . .THE OCCUPANTS of each floor of the hotel must as usual
during the games form their own protective groups. . . "
--
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-03-26 14:06:06 UTC
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Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
Heck. I wish we *were* governed by virologists; we would be
better off than the way we are.
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Quadibloc
2020-03-27 23:17:54 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
Heck. I wish we *were* governed by virologists; we would be
better off than the way we are.
And the memory hole is about to be opened:

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/donald-trump-coronavirus-response-us-advertisement

John Savard
Dorothy J Heydt
2020-03-28 01:21:47 UTC
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Post by Quadibloc
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
Heck. I wish we *were* governed by virologists; we would be
better off than the way we are.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/donald-trump-coronavirus-response-us-advertisement
Oh, cool. I had heard about this ad, but not seen it before. (I
don't own a television.)
--
Dorothy J. Heydt
Vallejo, California
djheydt at gmail dot com
www.kithrup.com/~djheydt/
Paul S Person
2020-03-28 17:48:01 UTC
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Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Quadibloc
Post by Dorothy J Heydt
Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
Heck. I wish we *were* governed by virologists; we would be
better off than the way we are.
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/27/donald-trump-coronavirus-response-us-advertisement
Oh, cool. I had heard about this ad, but not seen it before. (I
don't own a television.)
But ... but ... but ...

the Republicans were /all for/ this sort of thing when it was used to
bash Planned Parenthood!
--
"I begin to envy Petronius."
"I have envied him long since."
a***@msn.com
2020-03-27 19:13:51 UTC
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Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
What other rulers does SF have to offer? There is the
archeologist-dictator from "Revelation Space", for example.
Others?
In Asimov's "Franchise," all decisions are made by a citizen selected for his representativeness (his detailed responses to a series of questions are used to modify the results taken from pre-election polls, as I recall).
a***@msn.com
2020-03-27 19:23:04 UTC
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In Asimov's "Franchise," all decisions are made by a citizen selected for his >representativeness (his detailed responses to a series of questions are used to >modify the results taken from pre-election polls, as I recall).
In John Barnes' "Thousand Cultures" series, there are a wide variety of governmental systems. In one, a King and Queen are chosen (based apparently on social status among the young, dashing, and good-looking) to serve for a year or two. In another, Pastor-economists rule a fundamentalist Christian/fundamentalist Friedmannian society (the market is God and must be manipulated to produce the right result). In a third, society is on hold, waiting for the arising of a school of poets who will become the rightwise rulers. Of course, in all cases, this "works" because most of the work in society is done by AIs, and almost any system can be kept from failing.
David Johnston
2020-03-27 20:58:37 UTC
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Post by a***@msn.com
In Asimov's "Franchise," all decisions are made by a citizen selected for his >representativeness (his detailed responses to a series of questions are used to >modify the results taken from pre-election polls, as I recall).
In John Barnes' "Thousand Cultures" series, there are a wide variety of governmental systems. In one, a King and Queen are chosen (based apparently on social status among the young, dashing, and good-looking) to serve for a year or two.
That reminds me of my joke about Padme Amidala being the Prom Queen of
Naboo.
Lynn McGuire
2020-03-28 00:23:11 UTC
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Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
What other rulers does SF have to offer? There is the
archeologist-dictator from "Revelation Space", for example.
Others?
OK, the learned scientists are all over the place on the number of dead
from SARS 2, COVID-19, in the USA.
1. Three weeks ago, it was one million dead
2. Two weeks ago, it was ten million dead
3. Last week it was back to one million dead
4. Now it is predicted that 80,000 will die

https://gulfnews.com/world/americas/coronavirus-us-covid-19-deaths-may-top-80000-despite-confinement-study-1.1585242429831
5. I wonder what next weeks prediction will be ? 5,000 ? 10,000 ?

The number of dead in the USA due to SARS 2 is now 1,559.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/

Lynn
h***@gmail.com
2020-03-28 08:18:23 UTC
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Post by Lynn McGuire
Post by Thomas Koenig
This is a headline from "Der Spiegel", a German news magazine.
What other rulers does SF have to offer? There is the
archeologist-dictator from "Revelation Space", for example.
Others?
OK, the learned scientists are all over the place on the number of dead
from SARS 2, COVID-19, in the USA.
1. Three weeks ago, it was one million dead
2. Two weeks ago, it was ten million dead
what scientists have actually predicted that for US deaths?
Because that looks like somebody's multiplied the US population by something close to 0.034 (the rough death rate estimate)
Post by Lynn McGuire
3. Last week it was back to one million dead
4. Now it is predicted that 80,000 will die
https://gulfnews.com/world/americas/coronavirus-us-covid-19-deaths-may-top-80000-despite-confinement-study-1.1585242429831
5. I wonder what next weeks prediction will be ? 5,000 ? 10,000 ?
How surprising that predictions will change based upon actions.
Post by Lynn McGuire
The number of dead in the USA due to SARS 2 is now 1,559.
https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
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