Sep 11, 2013

Technophobes of the Year 9000

Morgana crawled into the parental bed, wedged herself between her mom and dads, and the first question tumbled out of her mouth.

"Daddies," she asked, "what is a barbarian?"
"Someone who doesn't get enough sleep," said one.
"Eats little children," said dad number three.
"Then I am one," said Morgana.

Barbarian
by Diego Hernandez

I wanted to write a prompt about slugs today, but that didn't pan out.

During mating season, slugs produce several "love darts," i.e., chitinous, stabby penises. Darts are fired as a contact shot when two slugs maintain sexual congress.* As no specialized organ exists to receive the darts, intercourse is violent and painful.**

Anyway. Humans have always engaged in behaviors that now seem unorthodox, some still do — take group marriage, for instance — and things that we find perfectly normal nowadays could be frowned upon in the future. Values evolve. "[A new study] suggests that more intelligent people are more likely than less intelligent people to adopt evolutionarily novel preferences and values, but intelligence does not correlate with preferences and values that are old enough to have been shaped by evolution over millions of years." (Phys.org, February 24, 2010; retrieved Sep. 11, 2013.)

Can you guess what this is?
via Wikipedia

Little Morgana is the first child in a group marriage off in some distant planet, living in a walled city ruled by oligarchs, of whom the Archmaster Brain, a centuries-old cyborg, is the wisest, most capable, far-seeing and benevolent.. The city is a prodigy of embedded technologies: the walls can dispense food, the beds fold into nano-sized spaces during the day, that sort of thing.

The downside is, nobody's free. The walls literally have ears; so does anything you touch. Outside the walls, Barbarian Luddites hold rallies and shout at the humanoid sentries, hoping that nasty words will wash away the extreme convenience of technology. Those are the "barbarians" that "eat little children."

City 1
by Di_Man

If you want to add a twist to that story, imagine that the Luddites have been programmed by the city's Archmaster Brain to reject — at least on a surface level — the blandishments of technology, and that the comparative discomfort they live in serves as an efficient trope & smoke screen for the Archmaster's propaganda.

A song for Luddites and Rivetheads


*I've always wanted to employ the phrase "sexual congress." Achievement unlocked!
** May I suggest that you also read about apophallation? Preferably before dinner. 

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