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Writing Nameless Things: An Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin - Los Angeles Review of Books
"How do you feel about ebooks these days?

When I started writing about ebooks and print books, a lot of people were shouting, “The book is dead, the book is dead, it’s all going to be electronic.” I got tired of it. What I was trying to say is that now we have two ways of publishing, and we’re going to use them both. We had one, now we have two. How can that be bad? Creatures live longer if they can do things in different ways. I think I’ve been fairly consistent on that. But the tone of my voice might have changed. I was going against a trendy notion. There’s this joke I heard. You know what Gutenberg’s second book was, after the Bible? It was a book about how the book was dead."

"You once clarified your political stance by saying, “I am not a progressive. I think the idea of progress an invidious and generally harmful mistake. I am interested in change, which is an entirely different matter.” Why is the idea of progress harmful? Surely in the great sweep of time, there has been progress on social issues because people have an idea or even an ideal of it.

I didn’t say progress was harmful, I said the idea of progress was generally harmful. I was thinking more as a Darwinist than in terms of social issues. I was thinking about the idea of evolution as an ascending staircase with amoebas at the bottom and Man at the top or near the top, maybe with some angels above him. And I was thinking of the idea of history as ascending infallibly to the better — which, it seems to me, is how the 19th and 20th centuries tended to use the word “progress.” We leave behind us the Dark Ages of ignorance, the primitive ages without steam engines, without airplanes/nuclear power/computers/whatever is next. Progress discards the old, leads ever to the new, the better, the faster, the bigger, et cetera. You see my problem with it? It just isn’t true.

How does evolution fit in?

Evolution is a wonderful process of change — of differentiation and diversification and complication, endless and splendid; but I can’t say that any one of its products is “better than” or “superior to” any other in general terms. Only in specific ways. Rats are more intelligent and more adaptable than koala bears, and those two superiorities will keep rats going while the koalas die out. On the other hand, if there were nothing around to eat but eucalyptus, the rats would be gone in no time and the koalas would thrive. Humans can do all kinds of stuff bacteria can’t do, but if I had to bet on really long-term global survival, my money would go to the bacteria."
usulaleguin  2017  evolution  progress  change  diversity  differentiation  diversification  complication  difference  ebooks  publishing  writing  sciencefiction  scifi 
23 hours ago by robertogreco
I leave the car running, lean against the doorframe. Waiting for Mary.
Nice night. Zombies coming, but still a perfect Springsteen moment.
sciencefiction  favorites  twitter 
3 days ago by jonellnapper
China’s Race to Find Aliens First - The Atlantic
As America has turned away from searching for extraterrestrial intelligence, China has built the world’s largest radio dish for precisely that purpose.
scienceFiction  astronomy  storyResearch 
9 days ago by basemaly
Artú told Finn why they had come to the region: to seek Cenn Obi, the wild man. Their lands and people were being destroyed
sciencefiction  favorites  poetry  twitter 
11 days ago by jonellnapper
Alone in an aging cosmos, a traveller’s pilgrimage comes to an end.
videozdat  video  vimeo  sciencefiction 
11 days ago by josephaleo
Mulder: Life seems to be bereft of meaning & the hell dimension keeps on widening.
Scully: I know, Mulder. I know.
sciencefiction  politics  poetry  twitter 
12 days ago by jonellnapper

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