Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Random thoughts on He, She and It

There were a couple things that struck me in the novel. First I was reading Prof’s blog and I have to agree. The juxtaposition of Joseph and Yod create an uneasy dichotomy between “technology” and “magic.” While both beings are created for the use of protection each is created through the force of sheer human will. While the rabbi uses mystical forces Avram uses equally mystical tools. Thus she forces the reader to examine these entities on a different plane. We have to look at them as expressions of human intent, rather than as beings onto themselves. Yet Yod seems to have far more agency than the golem. Yod, created through technological means gets far closer to humanity than the magical golem. Thus we’re brought back to where we started. Yod is different because he was created through technology and not magic. He’s far more of a real being than the golem. So maybe sufficiently advanced tech isn’t magic after all.

Second I think the author does a nice job of examining a world after catastrophic global warming. The destruction of the environment has created a new cyberpunk corporate feudalism, with a few free towns and a primordial slum to be used as a reserve army of labor. This is the wet dream of the Cato institute, a world without government intervention of any kind. Well, I guess the multi are governments, but don’t tell the Cato folks that.

1 comment:

Juggle Monkey said...

I think it's also easier to see the humanity in Yod because what he is made of. When Shira first meets Yod, Avram distinguishes the difference between a robot and a cyborg, being that Yod is made of biological and machine components. Meanwhile, Joseph is only made of clay thanks to religious incantations. To me, Yod seemed more like a human because the biology was put into him, whereas Joseph was made with a frame of a human.