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Unready to Wear (The Galaxy Project)
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Unready to Wear > Unready to Wear - November's read for chat on 6th Dec

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message 1: by Kc (last edited Nov 01, 2014 03:50PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kc | 126 comments Mod
November's read is the short story "Unready to Wear" by Kurt Vonnegut.

It can be found in the 'Welcome to the Monkey House' collection of short stories (well worth a read!).

I could only find this link online http://joelfinley.tripod.com/vonnegut...

Twitter chat will be Saturday 6th December 21:30 UK time, using hashtag #edcmchat

K


Chris | 24 comments Mod
Oh whoops, I just read the story at the above link but two pages are missing! I had a quick search but couldn't find another online copy. Off to the library for me.

The bits I read were hilariously absurd and profoundly thought provoking in equal measure - just as you'd expect from KV!


message 3: by Kc (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kc | 126 comments Mod
I could't find the whole thing online. I have a copy in 'Welcome to the Monkey House'. Well worth getting anyway!


message 4: by Anne (new)

Anne Robertson | 14 comments I got a copy from Amazon as an ebook - only $3


Asta | 18 comments Mod
I found this story closely related to #edcmooc topic on "redefining the human", or transhumanism/posthumanism.

Here are the passages I highlighted:
"He was and still is the sweetest person you'd ever want to know, but, back when he was stuck with that body, nobody got close enough to find out."
"As a matter of fact, it's a respectful thing to say that somebody is childish in certain ways, because it's people like that who seem to get all the big ideas."
"He was what we used to call absent-minded. Looking back now, of course, we say he was starting to be amphibious."
"Konigswasser was a mathematician, and he did all his living with his mind. The body he had to haul around with that wonderful mind was about as much use to him as a flatcar of scarp-iron."
"The mind is the only thing about human beings that's worth anything."
" "Trouble with the world", said Konigswasser, "isn't too many people - it's too many bodies." "
"He just thought bodies were a lot more trouble than they were worth."
"There got to be millions and finally more than a billion of us - invisible, insubstantial, indestructible, and, by golly, true to ourselves, no trouble to anybody, and not afraid of anything."
"Nobody but a saint could be really sympathetic or intelligent for more than a few minutes at a time in a body - or happy, either, except in short spurts."
"Or they'll talk about fear, which we used to call politics - job politics, social politics, government politics."
"That's the best part of being amphibious, next to not being afraid - people forgive you for whatever fool thing you might have done in a body."


Asta | 18 comments Mod
Some questions and suggestions for our twitter chat:

- "The mind is the only thing about human beings that's worth anything." Do you agree? Why?

- What would you miss most if you did not have a body? (became "amphibian")

- Are virtual worlds "amphibious"? e.g., in this twitter chat we communicate without bodies, simply exchange ideas produced by our minds
Are virtual worlds a step towards posthumanism?

- Do virtual worlds reduce/eliminate fear in a similar way that being amphibious does? For example, people usually have more courage online, they find it easy to start conversations with strangers, share their intimate thoughts, etc.

- Why did Vonnegut use the term "amphibious"?
What term would you suggest?
My ideas: ghost, souls, minds...

- Would love/family/friends have a place in an "amphibious" world?


message 7: by Kc (new) - rated it 5 stars

Kc | 126 comments Mod
Great questions!


message 8: by Stephane (last edited Dec 06, 2014 06:14AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Stephane (st2phane) | 28 comments Mod
Thank you for your questions, Asta. I particularly like the ones concerning the comparison with the virtual world.
I'm curious to know what could be the occupation of the amphibians. Any idea ?
I'm not so convince about the fact that people are getting "cheerful and interesting" once they're outside of the body. Is the loss of the weight of the body the only reason ?
The question of fear seems to be related with the one of power. But isn't it still existent even in the virtual world independently from physical matters ?


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