Letters Column for December

Posted on January 3, 2005 by Jenna

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Thank you for your kind words,



How long do you plan to do this, anyways, if I may ask?
— Adanedhel

Until it is done, and perhaps a little longer. ^_^


Did you have to go consult the original while writing this, or did the text spring fully written from your forehead?
— S

This entry is in fact closely modeled on the proper Part II, Chapter IV, Question I of The Hammer of Witches. I try to reward google searches, though I don’t demand them. ^_^


Stuff stuff stuff!
— People

I’m going to summarize my replies to a whole lot of comments:

Boiling down Dr. Lancor’s philosophy, it comes down to “bad things usually work by taking advantage of people’s basic goodness.”

It’s important to understand that he doesn’t mean immediately. It’s more “good people put the energy in the system that the corrupt people take out when they do bad things.”

For example, to keep people enslaved, it’s better if the slaves themselves are good people. Then you can threaten one to constrain the others’ behavior. This is a force multiplier and makes slavery much more economically viable. Similarly, it’s easier to keep slaves controlled if they abhor violence and adhere to altruistic values. Keeping sociopathic slaves is harder. It is flatly easier to enslave Gandhi than Dr. Lecter, because you don’t have to worry about Gandhi eating your brain.

I don’t know if I actually agree with the premise. I suspect that if someone held a dialogue with my mental model of Dr. Lancor, we’d eventually find the point where his argument becomes circular. But we’ll never know. ‘Cause you didn’t ever get the story of Dr. Lancor’s philosophy, the case for, and the case against. You got Unto Those on the Left Hand, about how Frankenstein’s love monster discovers the wonders of pragmatism. It’s a much better story. ^_^


Have you ever read the Dream of the Red Chamber? I feel it applies.
— splendidquetzl




I think I may have tried to find it and read it online, but I’m not sure if I ever succeeded!


I’m rather surprised that some as excellent at lateral thinking as Bernard did not arrive at the solution of wooing not one of the stones in the wall, but rather the locking mechanism used to restrain him. But I suppose there’s no arguing when it comes to matters of the heart.
— Pierre

Bernard actually did woo the lock later, producing a creature half man, half locking mechanism—all Matlock!

Matlock studied law and proved his father innocent in court. That’s his secret origin! I thought everybody knew.


(The unidentifiable animal is) a gingerbread Emeril?
— tem2

Woe! My most devastating secret—revealed!

Now he has to send his Emeril ninjas after my head. :(

That’s all for now! Thanks for reading, thanks for donating, thanks for commenting—even if you didn’t get thanked for a compliment or picked for a specific response—and see you again this coming year!