Tuesday, January 29, 2008

THE Dinkum Thinkum

Mike presents an intriguing character as he functions both as an interesting experiment as the sole live computer mind and as a plot conceit to even begin to allow the type of revolution that occurred. First as a person (for person he is despite not being human), Mike shows tremendous growth as in the beginning, Mannie is often reminding him that the revolution is not a joke and must be taken seriously while towards the end it is Mike who is taking care of Mannie and who is putting more thought into the rebellion. (It is mentioned in the beginning that he has a love of intrigue for intrigues sake and towards he end, although he still loves the intrigue, he has a better concrete and emotional understanding of what his friends might go through.)

At one moment I was struck that he was calculating the probability
of the success of the rebellion, however, what does a successful rebellion consist of? One might say that it just the overthrow of the Authority, an extension he made was the immediate stability and acknowledgment of the rebellion. However, that the colony would have a useless government seemed to be what Prof wanted, however that was not necessarily what Whyo wanted. Ergo what did Mike truly calculate for? Or another way of putting it, when did Mike consider the revolution to be done? As much as I love the plot and intrigue of the story, the fluctuating probabilities and the reliance on these probabilities I feel take away from the sciency side of the story.

Unusual in science fiction stories was how there was only one computer who was alive, this presented a very ethical side to the issue. If a less honest man, someone with a large grudge, or simply someone with a criminal mind, had made friends with the only live computer then the results would have been worse and bad for society. With one live computer what should be done with it? Also the issue of what was to happen to Mike and how he would continue to shape society with the simple expedience of shutting him down and killing him.

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