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A READER'S JOURNAL
ARJ2 Chapter: Reading for Enjoyment
Published by BookLocker.com/FL in 2014
A Book Review by Bobby Matherne ©2014
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The 1956 movie, Friendly Persuasion, argues whether it's ever right for a Christian to engage in violence. Expanding this theme to an intergalactic scale, Dan Turner poses the question of whether it's right for an earthling to engage in violence against an intergalactic species. We meet the zini people populating our solar system's asteroid belt for countless millennia again in this sequel to Twillinger's Voyage.Turner’s earlier novel about the zini left us wondering if Jerry Twillinger would keep trying to escape captivity by the zini or work towards becoming a citizen of the asteroid-based civilization of Z4.
Several new species are introduced in this novel, such as the widrin who are used as an intelligent lie-detector by the zini to screen humans wanting to travel to one of the counter-planets, as they call the asteroid belt colonies of Z4 and Z6. Z4, with no propulsion of its own, is destined to orbit Earth hopefully, and Z6 is built with propulsion to take it to other star systems. Uspa, new name for the USA in the 25th Century, decides to arrange a nuclear attack on Z6 or Z4 made to look like an accident in order to spur a revolt by workers from Earth and encourage the alien species to leave the solar system.
Early in the novel Jack McQuaid trumps his co-pilot Ken Roberts by deciding to launch a nuclear missile against Z4. Ken, surmising Jack's intent, pulled his emergency ejection trigger which caused the missile to be deflected, and, while it hit Z4 and killed several people, the counter-planet survived the attack. The zini captured Jack and isolated him in a prison-like park on Z4 and hospitalized Ken who suffered radiation exposure from the blast.
Jack had to survive on his own in a wilderness-like area, digging mussels, clams, and worms from the mucky bottomland of the counter-planet for nourishment, a task which took up nearly all his waking time and provided marginal nourishment. Imagine doing this with heinous criminals in prisons around the world, saving a lot of money on housing, AC, TV's, food, and guards.
To evade the widrin screening, Uspa's intelligence agency had decided to recruit people with multiple personality disorders (MPD) to evade being detected as secret agents. Zulei was clued into the possible infiltration attempts by Nubie and studied up on MPD from a zini medical reference work:
[page 95] Multiple personality syndrome. A rare adaptation to extreme childhood stress or abuse, observed during the classical era on the zini planet. The condition begins when a child's personality withdraws from stressful situation that recur often enough for recursive neuronal structuring to develop. Typically a complex of dream actors will appear, their initial emergences spread out over an individual's development years. Each will specialize in some aspect of a comprehensive response to the evolving relational situation — both external and internal.
After decades of studying MPD in such books as When Rabbit Howls, Through Divided Minds, Nobody Nowhere, Multiple Man, and others, this novel brought it to my attention again, this time with the benefit of my decades of research into the science of doyletics. Clearly, it seems to me now, that MPD comes from the flooding of the child's hippocampus by glutocorticoids during stress which blocks any transmission of cognitive (declarative) memory to the cortex. In a normal child, full operation of the hippocampus begins about five years old, but the partial operation during the earlier years are enough to establish a unified identity for the child in the cortex. Traumatic incidents which block transmission to the cortex act to create new identities because access to the original identity is unavailable. Each new identity will be associated with the doyles (bodily states) stored in doylic or procedural memory(1). This will result in the new identity having a unique body posture, vocal pattern, and feeling states. One identity might be angry, another super-passive, another carefree. One might smoke or drink and another abstain. To the casual observer, each identity is a different person, but they all reside in one body.
This Multiple Personality Disorder is not limited to children, but also occurs in adults who experiences intense traumatic events and in such adults it is called Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. The adult will encounter some event or feeling which trigger a so-called flash-back and they become another person for a time. The flash-back is better called a flash-forward as it brings the past forward into the present time and causes the victim to relive the past as if it were happening now. In adults as in children the new personality details are stored during a time when the hippocampus is disabled and the doylic or procedural memory is stored. Such doylic memory uses portions of the root brain which is the startup memory for humans during the pre-five stage of early hippocampus development and also operates as a backup storage area during adult periods of hippocampus unavailability (during traumatic events).
"Coming to terms with his feelings", as Turner says below, means in doyletics terms simply converting doylic memory into cognitive memory via a fast and efficient Speed Trace. The primary refers to the primary personality of an MPD.
[page 97, citing zini reference work, italics added] Various psychological difficulties attend most MP cases: unexplained gaps in the continuum of ordinary experience, disturbing involuntary daydreams, anxiety, depression, suicidal tendencies, etc. Before resolution of such difficulties can occur, the primary needs to come to terms with his feelings about the people who abused him as a child, and also needs to connect with his alters [RJM: other personalities], and the pieces of their mutual past that they remember but he does not. As with PTSD, this broad spectrum "letting go," while coming to terms with what was dissociated from earlier, can be catalyzed by drugs administered by a therapist. It may also occur spontaneously in untreated cases.
The zini are clearly an enlightened race, benefitting fictionally from the insights of the author, Dan Turner. The alters (other personalities from the primary) contain a stash of doylic memories, which if subjected to a Speed Trace will be converted into ordinary memory (cognitive or declarative memory). This is one way that an alter's stash of hidden memory can be revealed to the primary without the use of drugs. From decades of experience with doing doyle traces, going back to 1975 before the Speed Trace was available, we know that some spontaneous conversion of doylic memory into cognitive memory occurs due to an unconscious Speed Trace. Here is an example of such a spontaneous conversion which most people can relate to: Did you have some food that you disliked as a child, but which you now eat as an adult? If so, somewhere along the way to adulthood, you did a Speed Trace out of your awareness. For me, that food was macaroni and cheese. I hated it as a child, and as I grew into my twenties, I wondered often about why that might be so, that wondering sending me back on a Speed Trace in effect, until I finally lost my dislike. I attributed the change to my discovering there were other kinds of cheese than American cheese which I learned to enjoy eating, and there were other dishes with macaroni in them which I likewise enjoyed. The almost universal presence of childhood food dislikes, most of which follow us into adulthood, makes a food dislike a convenient target for one's first Speed Trace. The success of a food dislike trace is easy to confirm as one only needs to eat or imagine eating the formerly disliked food and the change will be obvious.
The design of the counterplanet is hard to imagine but the diagrams on the inside covers of Twillinger's Voyage are useful for reference. To create gravity using rotational inertia the living spaces need to be wrapped in a spiral form.
[page 112] "I think all counterplanets use the same basic design," said Orrana. "The biosphere is reserved for its role as a park, with natural gravity and real weather. Clouds and rain in the park make a big counterplanet like this one seem like a real planet."
"Rain . . . really?"
Orrana's big green eyes twinkled. "There's plenty of unnatural plumbing, pumps and related features helping 'nature' out."
In most science fiction, such difficulties as simulating gravity and communicating over long distances are glossed over, assuming some new scientific devices which can create artificial gravity without using rotational inertia and which can overcome the hard limit of the speed of light. Turner assumes no such new devices, and, recognizing the speed of light limit, has a zini explain to an earthling the difficulty of interactive computing over interplanetary distances. The need for hand-shaking protocols makes interactive computing with ten-minute-long time delays as time-consuming as trying to have a simple two-way conversation.
[page 135] ". . . we're a hundred million kilometers away. There'll be a transmission delay of at least ten minutes. It would probably take hours or days for you to do the simplest thing interactively."
It's not a friendly thing to pick on an author for a typographical error, but this one appears right after a reminder by Henry to Jack McQuaid not to forget the secret code phrase, "Silver Marble", for the project of sabotaging of Z4 with a small nuclear weapon to get the zini to leave our Solar System.
[page 142] "OK," growled McQuaid, "a big tin sphere with a shiny albedo out there in space . . . how about operation Silver Marble?"
"Perfect," said Henry. "Don't forget what you just said."
Jack looked at him askance. "What?"
"Operation Sliver Marble (sic). Nobody but you and me know. Keep it that way, Jack."
One other technie thing: one needs to write all 1's, then all 0's a couple of times to ensure data is not recoverable later by increasing the sensitivity of the read head to traces of magnetic fields left after writing all 0's. Usually writing all zeroes will suffice to clear a file. Just deleting a file, however, only writes a code in the header of the file to make the file disappear from the file system, but the file will contain all the rest of the data appearing in it. Thus, when Ken deleted the system log on Lauren's notebook after he had written all 0's in all the other files, the system log file would still be easily recoverable if it Ken had merely deleted it; it needed all 0's written in it as well to be secure from probing technicians.
Jerry Twillinger makes a few cameo appearances in this novel, such as this one when we discover that the zini, while they are star travelers for thousands of years, are afraid of the nuclear weapon technology of Earth.
[page 185] Jerry spoke up. "Obilunk is a friend from when I was living in the park on Z4. The very first time I met him, he told me widrins are not integrated in the zini caste system. He had an outsiders' perspective, just like I did. One of the most interesting things he said is the zini are afraid of Earth's nuclear weapons. He also told me they consider it inevitable that some kind of confrontation with humans will occur.
A confrontation such as the one Jack McQuaid was determined to make happen. Seems that the earthlings in the counterplanets' work crews had begun feeling as if they were slaves, etc. Jerry explained:
[page 186] "There's a cultural background to these perceptions: when science fiction movies have aliens in them, the aliens are generally looking to dominate the Earth. I saw a movie where aliens hunt us for sport; in another they wanted us for meat; just about the only movies where the aliens are predictably friendly are for kids."
The point is that most human adults assume anyone who imagines aliens to be friendly is as naive as a child. This makes humans very dangerous to zini, especially when armed with nuclear weapons. McQuaid's attitude is an example of an angry and unfriendly response. [Uspa is an expanded version of the USA in the future.]
[page 205] McQuaid gave the Captain a hard look. "State Department people have applied to visit Z6 on at least four different occasions. Arrogant bastards don't even recognize Uspa as a country."
The zini wished to deal with the Earth as a unitary body, but large countries such as the Uspa objected to any approach which might go against its own self-interest. As yet, the Earth had not developed a planetary-wide self-interest, and clearly that would require a quantum leap in thought from the customary localized self-interest. A leap as difficult as it was for the forming of the first United Nations which while covering most of the globe, still has difficulty with the self-interest concerns of large countries in the nascent twenty-first century of our time.
High-ranking Uspa Presidential advisor DuBieux spoke of Uspa's self-interest in face of long-term zini colonization of our solar system.
[page 215] "Congress is going to be unhappy, Mr. President, if we let that happen. The space apes are looking to turn Uspa into a second-rate power. Look how clever they've been with the ice trade. I think we all know where this is going."
Ken was aboard the ship when McQuaid attempted to nuke Z4 and decided to risk his own life to save the life of Lauren who was aboard Z4 so far as he knew. Ken's only chance was to eject himself in the hope that the ejection blast would steer the nuclear missile off its target. He had to wait until McQuaid had launched the deadly missile.
[page 224] When Ken had pulled it, an inertial shock rocked the plane as his ejection seat blasted out into space. The explosive charge had plenty of kick, being designed to throw him high enough to allow a parachute to open in a takeoff or landing disaster. A split second later, with navigational gyros precessing from the ejection, the final, killer missile punched away and sped off toward the counterplanet.
The deadly missile was no longer a pig in a poke, the cat was definitely out of the bag, and the missile was heading to destroy or permanently disable V4. After the blast from the indirect hit, Dr. Desqi came to Lauren to let her know that as soon as the cloud of radiating particles dispersed, they would be looking for another human out in space, presumably Ken.
[page 231] "The counterplanet's defenses had nothing to do with our survival."
"What do you mean?"
"For some reason the missile missed." Dr. Desqi moved his ears and eyes in a zini style smile. "It's hard to understand since we're such a giant target!"
Lauren shuddered to think that it might be Ken who is lost in space. Later she was able to interview the man who was captured while still in the attacking plane. Soon enough it became obvious that it was Ken who had aborted the attack and was still missing, while this was McQuaid who launched the missile.
Eventually Tinsli appeared before the Security Council and gave this account of how some thousands of years earlier the zini had in fact abducted earthlings along with other animals now living in their counterplanets, culminating with the arrival and contributions of Jerry Twillinger.
[page 246] "The early humans," Tinsli raised a hand and stretched it out, "whom we studied when we first arrived . . . seemed destined for a higher fate than to breed and evolve in the parks of our counterplanets. So we switched to a policy of returning them to Earth so they could achieve that higher fate on their own. On subsequent scientific expeditions, we examined them again and again. But we also returned them, being reasonably confident that humans would someday reach the threshold for entry into our galactic community without any help from us.
"Ten years ago, our policy of wait and see finally matured. An individual from Earth independently discovered our counterplanet Z4 and forced his way aboard. We turned him loose in the park there, where he soon learned our Zini language. Within a couple of years, purely on his own initiative, he acquired enough education to win admission to our Third Caste. He moved from the park to the city and soon did well in commerce. Eventually he became the key negotiator initiating and structuring the ice trade with the Moon. Things have moved quickly from that point, and the result is the first human counterplanet. Z6."
Jack McQuaid was released into the restricted area of the park to fend for himself. He was provided no food, shelter, or clothing. He had to discover how to find food in nature and eat it without being able to cook it. His early diet consisted of clams and mussels he had to dig from the muck in the bottom of the park. Catching fish and animals evaded his skill level for a long time. All of his energy in the average day was spent on finding and consuming food to stay alive. He had little time for exploring unless he was trying to find some food source for nourishment.
One day a paranar, a parrot-like creature, approached Jack to talk. He was there to deal with Jack and explains that the paranari came here with the zini. Jacks asked why the zini were here.
[page 325, 326] "Why are the zini here?"
Amrit shifted from one foot to another. "Zini initiate space-faring in this galaxy. Inevitably, civilization spread out."
"Nature populates every ledge; every suitable tree . . . everywhere new nests, new life."
"Well, this solar system is occupied."
"Makes our visit more interesting." The bird regarded Jack with evident curiosity. "Especially since humans on cusp of civilization."
"What does civilization have to do with it?" growled Jack, annoyed at the notion of being on the cusp.
"Universal principle of civilization: be courteous and friendly to your neighbor, just as you want him to be to you."
"And you think you're being friendly?"
"I do. And zini friendly, too."
The Golden Rule: hard to find a better guiding principle for civilization. Jack wanted nothing of that, considering it do-gooder hogwash, but his view of right and wrong was challenged by having to survive day-by-day on starvation rations he had to locate, dig up, and consume raw. One day Amrit explained what it means to be a verbal communicator like Jack.
[page 346] "As a verbal animal, your survival strategy depends on conducting cooperative relationships with your peers. Talking to them means exchanging synthetic dream strings. Words are beads on those strings. They are little dream capsules of meaning pulled from non-locality. Those capsules open quickly and briefly, so you are able to focus on conversation without getting bogged down in the words themselves. That way you remained glued to the present and alert to your immediate external situation."
If words are indeed dream capsules, then the phrase dream capsule is a metaphor for a metaphor. All this talk about dreams operating across the cusp between locality and non-locality caused Jack to ponder how we communicate. He came up with a four-dimensional record of his life, something resembling the Akashi Record which is deemed by visionaries to contain a four-dimensional record of all the events in the world, a record which can be read by someone who is properly trained. What if communication between people formed capsules of pieces of the Akashi Record into words to communicate, all without realizing it?
[page 350] Jack thought about this. He could see how the dream-bird's theory might explain how people cope with variations caused by foreign or regional accents, or by emotive intonations. Suddenly it occurred to him that perhaps this virtual alien was communication with him by locating words in the four dimensional record of his own life, and using them to talk to him by stimulating them indirectly onto his auditory cortex. The four-dimension record of his own life . . . ? That was a troubling thought. Jack bit his lip, feeling oddly vulnerable.
[page 352] Jack had always believed memory was some sort of biological analog of computer memory.
This seems backwards to me. Computer operations and computer memory in particular is an analog of human capabilities and memory. Words are broken into on-off switches known as bits and stored in a computer to be retrieved later. We don't know how human memories are stored but they can certainly be stored and retrieved similar to computer data.
[page 353] "Your daytime dream does that, too. When it wants to resurrect a past experience, or simply summon up a visual impression of someone, it paints segments of relevant past experiences back onto much the same cerebral topography where they appeared originally."
In other words, you remember something by re-creating the original experience in the present time, not only as some visual representation but as a full body experience. Anyone who has a phobia knows this to be true. Removing a phobia involves re-creating the original experience from a dissociated perspective and the full body experience does not re-appear. This re-creating of the full body experience can result from just hearing a single word, such as "duck".
[page 361 "On subsequent occasions when you hear 'duck' said, meaning reflects back from non-locality commensurate with the qualities of 'duck' that you were exposed to on that first occasion, as well as any ducks you may have seen on more recent occasions — or heard quack, or smelled, or chased around the barnyard."
It is in this sense that Ralph Waldo Emerson said, "Every word was once a metaphor." The word 'duck' once stood for the complex of interactions of yourself with the feathery animal. Every word in our language has this nature and that we can unreel them out in rapid strings of sentences is an amazing human feat.
The final chapters are packed with drama as negotiations between Earth and the zini come to a head. Clearly if there is to be a battle, it will come from Earth, as Zulei explained.
[page 377] We galactics simply are not inclined to engage in destructive hostilities against a planet that has obvious potential to develop a spacefaring culture of its own. We would never do that, not even in response to this latest barbaric atrocity. As Tinsli explained, our response is to leave.
Jerry Twillinger explained the options available to Earth. The countries of Earth must unanimously agree to allow the counterplanet Z6 to swing into near Earth orbit for humans to utilize it. They must also agree to allow Z4 to also swing past Earth unmolested and continue on into interstellar space.
[page 377] After a long moment Jerry got up. "As the original human galactic citizen, I'm not giving up on Z6 being what it was intended to be. For that to happen, it has to be moved to an orbit near Earth. So I'm in favor of any strategy that will get us there. If Z4 helps us, it will have to swing around the planet itself. While it's doing that there's no way it can protect itself from a massive nuclear salvo. This 'salvo' tactic is something that evidently has classified top secret by the military because I had never heard of it until a couple of days ago.
Ken and Lauren were invited to spend a couple of days in the White House with Amrit and they concocted a James Bond-like scheme to extract DuBieux's handwritten diary from a safe in his White House office without alerting the security force. How to get this information to the President in time to create approval of the safe passage for Z4 and the acquisition of Z6 as a counterplanet of the galactic community? The game is afoot and makes for great reading.
Compare this novel to the movie "The Day the Earth Stood Still" in which the alien race had overwhelming power to change the strategy of Earth. The zini want to help the Earth become members of the galactic community and need a guarantee of safe passage before Earth can do so. If there were ever to be a friendly invasion from outer space, this would be it.
---------------------------- Footnotes -----------------------------------------
Footnote 1.The use of declarative memory and procedure memory appears in When The Past Is Always Present by Ronald A. Ruden, MD, PhD. (Thanks to Gary Travis for pointing this book out to me. January 21, 2015) This is another way of naming what I designate as cognitive and doylic memory in the science of doyletics.~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Return to text directly before Footnote 1.
Any questions about this review, Contact: Bobby Matherne
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