March 13, 2003
Quiet Afternoon

I left work early for Zoe's Parent-Teacher Conference. As expected, Zoe's doing great and Michele and I were all smiles.

I played with the girls a bit and checked work email from home. I think America's productivity would be greatly enhanced if one day a week, no business email was allowed. Work Wednesday - Get your work done instead of answering email!

I forgot to mention that I finished my latest book, The Dispossessed by Ursula Le Guin, on the flight to Austin. The book is from 1974 and reflects some of the thinking on un-capitalist societies.

The story revolves around a world with an anarchtic, non-authoritarian communist society. There are no laws or government, but there is also no concept of property or ownership. Everything is shared, everything is voluntary. A member of this society visits a pure capitalist world and contrasts the two systems.

I read this at the behest of my friend Len during a night of drinking a political discussion.

While some of the concepts are interesting, the basic idea that people can conquer jealous and need to create such a society, is difficult for me to believe. I think these things are hardwired into our brains. On the other hand, there are several notable concepts such as people be willing to sacrifice more when they are not forced to sacrifice.

I see why it's in the Sci-Fi canon of important books and won the Hugo and Nebula awards. It's quite a social commentary wrapped into a science fiction story. The vantage point is about as opposite as you can get from Heinlein's libertarian vision of the future as you can get.

It's worth the read if you get a chance. At 400 pages, it will keep you occupied for a bit.

Posted by michael at March 13, 2003 05:42 PM