Friday, August 13, 2010

Bonus Midday Quote: Effing the Ineffable

"It was to our great advantage during the cold war that the commies were always terrible at dealing with the supernatural.

For starters, having an ideology that explicitly denies the existence of an invisible sky daddy is a bit of a handicap when it comes to assimilating the idea of nightmarish immortal aliens from elsewhere in the multiverse, given that the NIAs in question have historically been identified as gods (subtype: elder). For seconds, blame Trofim Lysenko for corrupting their science faculty's ability to cope with new findings that contradicted received political doctrine. For thirds, blame the Politburo, which, in the 1950s, looked at the embryonic IT industry, though "tools of capitalistic profit-mongers," and denounced computer science as un-Communist.

Proximate results: they got into orbit using hand calculators, but completely dropped the ball on anything that required complexity theory, automated theorem proving, or sacrificial goats."
- Charles Stross, The Fuller Memorandum, pp.91-92

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