Relevance?

Inigo Montoya 03-01-2006 08:38 AM
George Santayano, noted German philosopher and poet, once said, "A society without memory is a society of madmen."

How does this relate to Paradigm City of Big O? How is it relevant to Paradigm City and today's modern world views? How does Paradigm City differ from this statement, how is the quote not relevant? Is there some special context we should take Paradigm City into, and if so, what is it?

Explain your answers.

Wow... I really need to get out more. Big Grin
A Clockwork Tomato 03-01-2006 10:23 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Hyper Metal
George Santayana, noted German philosopher and poet, once said, "A society without memory is a society of madmen."


What do you suppose he mean by this? How can a "society" have memories? Memories are an attribute of the human mind.
Inigo Montoya 03-01-2006 10:27 AM
I believe he means the collective memory of the society in general, the recollection of what has transpired. (For further relevant information on this subject, please read Brave New World by Aldous Huxley)

And perhaps he also implies the potential havoc that could occur if one morning, all people were to awaken with no memories of who they were, who their families were, and their past. It is perhaps unclear, which may be the strongest point of his statement.

After all, memories are often unclear.
Jstar136 03-01-2006 05:43 PM
Perhaps "memories" refers to a collective historical knowledge. Without it, we'd all suffer the same mistakes as our past. Thus, we'd recreate the horrors that we now have promised never to again commit.
Inigo Montoya 03-01-2006 05:48 PM
So, then, under that assumption, what relevance, then, if any, does Santayano's statement have toward Paradigm City? Is there any relation between the quote and today's world? If so, what are they?
Jstar136 03-01-2006 06:00 PM
I guess in relevance:

If we go under the theory of a repeating 40 years, then the atrocities commited each time will continue to be commited.

But then, Roger Smith broke that chain by not pertaining his memories and being the hero. Then again, Roger Smith is not=society.

And the real world:
We of course, must look at our pasts and not do dumb stuff like the Holocaust and yada yada yada. Basically, "Don't repeat the past"
Randolph 03-01-2006 06:10 PM
Human advancement relies almost entirely on memories.
If we do not remember what we did before, we cannot progress,
as we have nothing to build on.

In a cycle such as Paradigm City, if everyone loses their memories,
they must rebuild their society from nothing save what physical
evidence remains of their past.

I can imagine such a condition leading to madness in people.
Knowing nothing of yourself or your surroundings and being plunged
into a strange and unstable environment, without any form of guidance
or direction, the mind would likely be unable to cope for long
without some kind of prop. This prop would likely come from
fellowship, as each individual meets up with others in order to find
solace, to ease the sense of solitude and to remedy the panicked
racings of the mind.

One can see a number of disturbed individuals in the Big O series.
People such as Eugene, Giseng and Schwarzwald, whose minds
have waned under the stress of not knowing their past.
Each of them copes in different ways unique to themselves as people.
But none of them have decided to seek relief in the company
of others. What reasoning does this lead to?

Wow. Not eating really works for the brain!
Inigo Montoya 03-01-2006 09:50 PM
A true and evocative point, Randolph. It seems even in the land of Paradigm City Santayano's words ring true. We do indeed see examples of the "society of madmen," especially in such powerfully singular examples like the mad seeker of truth himself, Schwarzwald.

Are there any other connections? What is it that separates the situation of Big O from the potential of such a situation possibly happening in reality?
piccorotto 03-02-2006 12:34 AM
Very sound theories so far IMO. Let me just throw this onto the table and see if it's applicable in any way. ;o

He says, "A society without memories is a society of madmen." Reading it the natural way, one would assume he means that the madmen are a result of the lack of memories, and there's nothinig wrong with that. But what if you were to read it the other way around, saying a "society of madmen" could be the cause for a "society without memories." (since the phrase is simple and doesn't specifically imply either interpretation.

Looking at it this way, you could say that it implies that the society that is foolish enough to purposely erase any evidence or memory of its past (probably a bad part of its past) is truly one composed of madmen. After all, it doesn't help anything at all if you simply act like those unwanted points in history simply didn't happen (tying into what Randolph said, basically). You're better off learning from them and moving forward.

How does this tie in with Big O? Well, if we were to say the Big O was in any way based off this quote, could it be that humanity was truly the one responsible for the devastating events of 40 years ago (i.e. the images of the Megadei and Bigs destroying everything) and, as a result of this, caused the global amnesia on its own to put this mistake out of its mind forever? And if that's the case, what could humanity have been trying to do that went so terribly wrong that, in the minds of those responsible, needed to be erased from the memory of all of mankind?
Zopwx2 03-02-2006 01:36 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Hyper Metal
George Santayana, noted German philosopher and poet, once said, "A society without memory is a society of madmen."

How does this relate to Paradigm City of Big O? How is it relevant to Paradigm City and today's modern world views? How does Paradigm City differ from this statement, how is the quote not relevant? Is there some special context we should take Paradigm City into, and if so, what is it?

Explain your answers.

Wow... I really need to get out more. Big Grin


Sounds like a bad essay prompt. And seriously, the last thing I want to see right now is another essay prompt.
Inigo Montoya 03-02-2006 10:36 AM
I want six...ty pages by next Tuesday. Don't forget a thesis, supporting body and conclusion. Heh heh.

This is 118% of your total grade.

Back to the subject here... Intriguing idea, Piccorotto! I hadn't thought of that, but you have a valid point! You have added to my thoughts on the meaning of the statement, and have shown that Santayano's statement is given to many interpretations, each one relevant to Paradigm City in some manner, and each one with its own separate yet equally valid arguments and thoughts.

Does anyone else have any thoughts on this? I would truly appreciate it.
SEELE 08 03-02-2006 11:29 AM
quote:
Originally posted by Hyper Metal
A true and evocative point, Randolph. It seems even in the land of Paradigm City Santayano's words ring true. We do indeed see examples of the "society of madmen," especially in such powerfully singular examples like the mad seeker of truth himself, Schwarzwald.

Are there any other connections? What is it that separates the situation of Big O from the potential of such a situation possibly happening in reality?


Could one see Schwarzwald as a malevolent version of "Brave New World's" protaganist? When he goes to see the people who have rejected the anti-aging measures and see's the older women and is shocked....I am also reminded of Schwarzwals through his own shocking transformation. Does knowing the truth of our reality change us? Plato says in his cave parable that those who are enlightened and know the truth of their reality are seen as different now, and are then considered heretics and are ostracized by the rest of society- Schwarzvald's transformation and hermatic behaviour could be the manifestation of this ostracisation.
But to the original question about a society without memories....a society without memories is as society that doesn't know itself. It has no relevance and no ties to its heritage. It knows nothing of its own character or past and cannot make accurate judgements or perceptions of itself or any possible neighboring societies (the Union). Without this knowledge of itself or its own history it is doomed to make poor judgements and repeat errors and tragedies that could have been avoided with the prior knowledge of itself and basic cause and effect comprehension.
Inigo Montoya 03-02-2006 11:58 AM
Of COURSE! What an amazing connection between Schwarzwald's (perceived) insane antics and the actions of John from Brave New World. Their actions, though similarily perceived as insane, are both releases from their confinement in the strange societies in which they find themselves. John's actions are a bit different however, as he has memories of art and religion prior to the World Controllers and their fordships. He remembers Shakespeare and christ, whilst Schwarzwald knows of no such things, but instead does the seemingly irrational in his quest for truth. Misguided? Perhaps. But isn't there something to be said for the quest to know oneself and one's greater role?
Mugiwara Luffy 03-02-2006 04:08 PM
Damn, this thread rocks.

I have nothing to add at the moment, but this discussion is very intriguing. I'm munching popcorn while I read! Big Grin
SEELE 08 03-02-2006 05:44 PM
Another literary work to look into would be "God Bless You Mr. Rosewater" which in a rather humorous way seems to have played into the creation of both Gordon and Alex's roles. Its a rather short Kurt Vonnegut book, hell I read it in less than a day. I'd highly suggest it. And the story is set just south of were I live. Its funny and satirecal and pokes fun at well....everything in classic Vonnegut style.
Inigo Montoya 03-02-2006 05:53 PM
Thank you, I'll look it up. I am most intrigued by these ideas, and I truly want to hear more. Fallen Phoenix has told me that he'd like, at some point, to post his thoughts, so let's just try to keep it alive at least till then.

Back to topic.... I believe all of these have strong ties and relevant leads into the world of Big O that is Paradigm City. And the point brought up about the Union is an interesting one. I really must say I'm surprised noone ever found this quote and linked it back to Big O. What are there, around several hundred people on this board?
SEELE 08 03-02-2006 06:00 PM
It's been so long since I've read Brave New World that I totally forgot some of this stuff. I don't have my copy here in the lousiest dorm on earth, because of the limited space issue. I'm pretty much confined to a few favorite classics, some manga, and lots and lots of textbooks.
The controller character in the book whose name escapes me right now I beleive is described as a large man with black hair- not unlike one of my personal fandoms Alex Rosewater, who of course is the controller if you will of Paradigm City (at least he thinks he is). The controller is semi-benevolent (at least compared to O'Brien in Orwell's 1984) but can turn nasty but never in the way Alex does.
So sue me I'm a weird fangirl check my profile for the gory details.
Inigo Montoya 03-02-2006 07:15 PM
Sometimes I regret my reading ability and ability to comprehend complex ideas rapidly. The first time through reading Brave New World, I fully understood it, and I read it start to finish without stopping in less than two hours.
Spoderman 03-03-2006 09:33 PM
Brave New World wasn't a society of madmen, or a society without memory. Vestiges of the old world were still preserved in the savage lands (which weren't really all that savage). Brave New World merely depicted a world which had undergone a massive paradigm shift from one set of values to another, and the results of those values came to define the society. Brave New World shows what happens when the worst of Real World Society is glorified and dominates a utopian, yet, relativistically misguided fictional world.
Inigo Montoya 03-04-2006 12:04 AM
They were a society without memory. You forget, the savage lands were not part of society. They were indeed a society of madmen as well, as evidenced at the end of the book when they screamed "Orgy-Porgy" as they beat one another to death.