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Author Topic: Starship Troopers  (Read 302 times)
creagmor
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« on: September 23, 2017, 09:19:37 am »

Hi, here's a real shot in the dark. Although I don't always agree with Robert A Heinlein's philosophies he is one of my favorite science fiction writers. Recently I was re-reading one of his earliest works entitled Starship Troopers. (Don't get me started on the mess the movie made of the story). Personally I think the society described therein seems pretty workable. I particularly liked the idea of the need to balance authority and responsibility. If you've read it what's your take on it?     
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Harley John
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« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2017, 02:58:16 pm »

I read it many, many years ago! As a piece of space opera I loved it, the description of the people in the first unit he joins and their skull ear-rings for each jump has stuck with me throughout my life and like you I think the film while a great bit of kitsch sci-fi bears little resemblance to the book that I remember.
I assume you are talking about the human society rather than the bug society and if you accept that it's a fight to the death then subsuming all to a totalitarian "state" to preserve humanity is one way of doing it - does make me ask the question "how does that make us any different from the bugs"?
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creagmor
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South Africa South Africa



« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2017, 08:36:44 am »

Thanks for your input. To each his own, but personally I didn't perceive it as a totalitarian society, considering the fact that everyone had the opportunity to become involved with the running of things, after completing the required government service of course - which was not limited to the military, and thus, theoretically at least, demonstrated the fact that one was willing to put the common good above their own. Also it seems that the balancing of power and responsibility would seem to mitigate against a totalitarian society, IMHO.         
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BonkPrismine
Swab

United States United States


« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2017, 01:27:22 am »

It was a mess of a movie, but I think it was enjoyable and felt kind of like a light hearted troll attempt at creating the real Starship Troopers.
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creagmor
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South Africa South Africa



« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 08:35:00 am »

For me the best part of the book was the description of the society and how it came about. Of course most likely this would have bogged down things a lot. If I had only seen the movie I probably would have enjoyed it more, except for one thing. If my memory is correct the only weapons the good guy had was rifles and huge explosive devices (bombs?), but nothing in between. Whats up with that?
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Cora Courcelle
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 04:17:22 pm »

I read the book many moons ago as an idealistic teenager and remember liking the premise that one could not stand for office unless one was willing to have done some sort of public service first.  As a considerably older, and far more cynical, person I doubt very much whether this concept would actually work.  It would still rely on moral integrity in those who had the power, when actually the reason some of the characters give for 'joining up' is that they want to become part of the elite power-holders, not to benefit the populace in general.  The movie picked up on this with some of the imagery but let's face it, it was really just an opportunity to show CGI monsters being blown to smithereens! 
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You have to tread a fine line between avant-garde surrealism and getting yourself sectioned...
Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #6 on: November 05, 2017, 08:02:13 am »

it was the first real reading that made me question my own role in society, and society structure in general. much more than anything in school or real world experience at that time (naïve high schooler with utter contempt for his low IQ teachers) reading it wasn't quite an epiphany but it did definitely effect me.

I thought the movie was scripted and produced by a gaggle of socially bankrupt morons who had utter disdain for what the book was trying to say, and took it upon themselves to completely corrupt its message.

even to this day i think the people responsible for that movie should be taped to Harvey weinstein's genitals until they beg to be shot...then shot.

the special effects were good though Grin
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2017, 08:20:58 am »

it was the first real reading that made me question my own role in society, and society structure in general. much more than anything in school or real world experience at that time (naïve high schooler with utter contempt for his low IQ teachers) reading it wasn't quite an epiphany but it did definitely effect me.

I thought the movie was scripted and produced by a gaggle of socially bankrupt morons who had utter disdain for what the book was trying to say, and took it upon themselves to completely corrupt its message.

even to this day i think the people responsible for that movie should be taped to Harvey weinstein's genitals until they beg to be shot...then shot.

the special effects were good though Grin

Not strong enough a punishment. Let them get house arrest with Kevin Spacey as a guest.
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Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2017, 01:36:05 pm »

I'm really torn over the whole kevin spacey deal, I mean I'm comfortably hetero but getting felt up by him would make my day, tbh. still it's wrong if what they're saying is true. sad

anyways,
the society described in the book reminded me of the roman empire at first, and of some of the other classical empires they lightly brushed over in school, at least in my day... I'm sure they get even less attention in schools today. tangentally, it made me look at the institution of slavery with a more open understanding and even made me re-consider what constitutes slavery in a society. I mean one could consider the working poor of the 1800's and early 1900's a slave class of sorts. indentured servitude, debtors prison, all sorts of names for slavery, and no name can make it right. like the tee shirts say "slavery gets shit done" but at what price?

and subtly, reading the book made me even more interested in "civilized" history in general and the American civil war specifically. more from a point of seeing the united states as two societies trying to co-exist, and eventually collapsing into war. yes slavery was a major focal point for many but it was more of a symptom of the struggle and just the tip of the iceberg that created the war. for me, seeing people boiling down the war to just the issue of slavery belittles the history of it and worries me that history will be forgotten or worse, completely rewritten by people with no compunction to get it right. latest events seem to bear my worries from 30 years ago to be valid, I hope clearer heads prevail and leave history written in stone, pretty or not, and not covered in cloth and left to crumble hidden away and to eventually be repeated out of ignorance

history can be a very complex and confusing thing to absorb, dumbing it down only makes it an abomination to look at, the only truth you will find is whatever truth you're allowed to glean (any truth trimmed down enough ends up being a lie) you want an example? look up Cherokee history (its actually a lot easier to get more of the facts these days compared to 20 years ago) its amazingly complex to see the interaction between the Cherokee and the white society. heck when I was a kid nobody even knew the Cherokee were eastern u.s. originally, all we knew was from watching cowboy shows on TV. all it ever showed were Indians getting their butts kicked for not following the white guys rules... well the Cherokee bought into the rules (embraced them actually) and it still got them the shaft. lets hope they at least got a couple of casinos out of the deal!
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #9 on: November 06, 2017, 12:26:03 am »

I'm really torn over the whole kevin spacey deal, I mean I'm comfortably hetero but getting felt up by him would make my day, tbh. still it's wrong if what they're saying is true. sad
I suspect that's why he and others got away with it for so long. No one dared to say anything. Still sexual orientation or gender orientation is no excuse for predatory behavior and much less against minors. Very sad. I think the entertainment industry was rife with it, and we can't pretend we didn't know at least regarding the entertainment industry. That's always been the elephant in the room no one was willing to talk about, and now we are acting all surprised when our favourite hero turns out to be be a horrible person.
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #10 on: November 06, 2017, 12:46:24 am »

the society described in the book reminded me of the roman empire at first, and of some of the other classical empires they lightly brushed over in school, at least in my day... I'm sure they get even less attention in schools today. tangentally, it made me look at the institution of slavery with a more open understanding and even made me re-consider what constitutes slavery in a society. I mean one could consider the working poor of the 1800's and early 1900's a slave class of sorts. indentured servitude, debtors prison, all sorts of names for slavery, and no name can make it right. like the tee shirts say "slavery gets shit done" but at what price?

and subtly, reading the book made me even more interested in "civilized" history in general and the American civil war specifically. more from a point of seeing the united states as two societies trying to co-exist, and eventually collapsing into war. yes slavery was a major focal point for many but it was more of a symptom of the struggle and just the tip of the iceberg that created the war. for me, seeing people boiling down the war to just the issue of slavery belittles the history of it and worries me that history will be forgotten or worse, completely rewritten by people with no compunction to get it right. latest events seem to bear my worries from 30 years ago to be valid, I hope clearer heads prevail and leave history written in stone, pretty or not, and not covered in cloth and left to crumble hidden away and to eventually be repeated out of ignorance

history can be a very complex and confusing thing to absorb, dumbing it down only makes it an abomination to look at, the only truth you will find is whatever truth you're allowed to glean (any truth trimmed down enough ends up being a lie) you want an example? look up Cherokee history (its actually a lot easier to get more of the facts these days compared to 20 years ago) its amazingly complex to see the interaction between the Cherokee and the white society. heck when I was a kid nobody even knew the Cherokee were eastern u.s. originally, all we knew was from watching cowboy shows on TV. all it ever showed were Indians getting their butts kicked for not following the white guys rules... well the Cherokee bought into the rules (embraced them actually) and it still got them the shaft. lets hope they at least got a couple of casinos out of the deal!



[mod hat] As a moderator I have to issue the stardard warning: no modern politics in discussions [/mod hat]

Having said that, I agree that history should not be erased. Just covering history with a tarp is not the solution. Case in point, what is going on in the United States right now is a tragedy but nothing new. A great deal of the population has been sold into a racist fantasy that promises to return the US to an assumed ideal of the 20th century, but at the expense of others. But it's been done before. If you read what newspapers wrote about Italian migrants in the late 1800s you'd laugh out loud. The complaints about migrants in 1900 are a verbatim copy of what is being said today about Latin migrants today. Back in the 1860s and 1870s German migrants in Texas were subject to racial persecution (yes, I wrote "racial" - the Anglo-saxons and Germans were two separate "races" of immigrants back then) when they didn't support the secession and war against the Union. The problem is to the greatest extent a lack of education, pure and simple.
« Last Edit: November 06, 2017, 12:51:38 am by J. Wilhelm » Logged
morozow
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Russian Federation Russian Federation



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« Reply #11 on: November 07, 2017, 04:48:17 pm »

No taxation without representation

Is it fair otherwise? No representation without taxes?

Service to the state, in the world of Heinlein, it's a tax. The tax paid by a part of your life. The tax is equalizing the poor and the rich. Time not buy.

I think it's fair.

But the question arises, why?
We want someone to restrict voting and decision-making? Who?
We want to get a lot of cheap labor for the state?
We want to motivate citizens for responsibility?

Why?
« Last Edit: November 07, 2017, 04:50:59 pm by morozow » Logged

Sorry for the errors, rudeness and stupidity. It's not me, this online translator. Really convenient?
Otto Von Pifka
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goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #12 on: November 10, 2017, 08:32:03 am »

yeah unfortunately there isn't a good idea that cant be corrupted or usurped if someone really wants to and others aren't willing to keep vigilant to prevent it.

I think that's where a lot of people sell the American constitution short. most people see it as a statement of lofty ideals and leave it at that.
to me its a statement of cynical caution and is designed specifically to thwart anyone or anything that tries to usurp the will and intent of the people. and I don't mean the people here today, it's the will and intent of the people who wrote it. it's the framework for a republic, not for a democracy. sadly a true democracy is about as secure as a flag in a hurricane. it's a republic founded on democratic principles and when it's sold as a democracy pure and simple, it leads to trouble when the loudest and most fervent don't get what they want by shouting over the protest of others. they don't realize it's designed to make sure they don't, no other way to describe it. sure you can tweak a few details but anything more than that is pretty much impossible, and it's that by design.

I think that was most of the point of the society put forward in the book, a society like you say, where you have to invest your time and sacrifice to have any say in the process, and even then, there are rules to live by that are immutable and anyone who tries to mess with that will pay a heavy price.

you want to make your head hurt, read up on the Spartans. the movie didn't mention the thousands of non-Spartan slaves who lived and died fighting for Sparta on those plains and who massively outnumbered the chosen few actual birthright citizens of Sparta. there were even different strata of slavery, it's mind boggling that Spartan society lasted and managed to even flourish at all, when you see how it doomed itself to extinction by it's own rules of existence. in the end it wasn't revolution that defeated Sparta, it was the complete lack of Spartans to justify it's existence any longer. it was a ghost by then.

Herr Wilhelm, If you feel the need to put on your moderator hat and flail my post, I promise not to get all butthurt. I stomped around good to make sure I didn't wander into the minefield, but for all I know I could be right in the middle Grin
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J. Wilhelm
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« Reply #13 on: November 11, 2017, 06:51:07 am »

yeah unfortunately there isn't a good idea that cant be corrupted or usurped if someone really wants to and others aren't willing to keep vigilant to prevent it.

I think that's where a lot of people sell the American constitution short. most people see it as a statement of lofty ideals and leave it at that.
to me its a statement of cynical caution and is designed specifically to thwart anyone or anything that tries to usurp the will and intent of the people. and I don't mean the people here today, it's the will and intent of the people who wrote it. it's the framework for a republic, not for a democracy. sadly a true democracy is about as secure as a flag in a hurricane. it's a republic founded on democratic principles and when it's sold as a democracy pure and simple, it leads to trouble when the loudest and most fervent don't get what they want by shouting over the protest of others. they don't realize it's designed to make sure they don't, no other way to describe it. sure you can tweak a few details but anything more than that is pretty much impossible, and it's that by design.

I think that was most of the point of the society put forward in the book, a society like you say, where you have to invest your time and sacrifice to have any say in the process, and even then, there are rules to live by that are immutable and anyone who tries to mess with that will pay a heavy price.

you want to make your head hurt, read up on the Spartans. the movie didn't mention the thousands of non-Spartan slaves who lived and died fighting for Sparta on those plains and who massively outnumbered the chosen few actual birthright citizens of Sparta. there were even different strata of slavery, it's mind boggling that Spartan society lasted and managed to even flourish at all, when you see how it doomed itself to extinction by it's own rules of existence. in the end it wasn't revolution that defeated Sparta, it was the complete lack of Spartans to justify it's existence any longer. it was a ghost by then.

Herr Wilhelm, If you feel the need to put on your moderator hat and flail my post, I promise not to get all butthurt. I stomped around good to make sure I didn't wander into the minefield, but for all I know I could be right in the middle Grin

Nah. You're cool. I'd things get out of hand I'll intervene and just re direct the thread to the picture of Nixon wrestling a sabre tooth tiger, at the hilarious pics thread.
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Otto Von Pifka
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United States United States


goggles? they're here somewhere.....


« Reply #14 on: November 13, 2017, 08:49:42 am »

haha, just saw the pictures! very funny but he's not as good at painting their likenesses as he needs to be...a couple you need to read the caption to tell who it's supposed to be....kudos to him though! Nixon was good, if just a little too skinny in the jowls.

now he needs to paint the Donald holding the head of Kathy Griffin. I mean someone needs to send her back to hell...she's way past her sell by date. she makes Andy Dick seem funny and that has to stop. either her or Melissa Rivers' head, she had her 15 minute of fame and that was 14 too many. if it's a choice between watching Melissa Rivers do something amazing ( I know, a physical impossibility) and staring at a Kardashian stretch mark for 4 hours, I'm voting stretch mark.

as far as starship troopers, I had to go back and re-read the book after I first saw the movie, just to make sure I didn't suffer some sort of brain damage and completely remember the book all wrong. it's mind boggling they even bothered to use the same name for the movie, they could have saved the money they spent on the movie rights and no judge would ever convict them of plagiarism.
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