Does dystopian fiction translate to all cultures? A thoughtful essay by Mark Lawrence.


It is interesting that the golden rule common to all major religions is that you should treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.

Yet, fundamentally, the vast majority of "evil" in the world stems from a view that some people are worth less than others (or even more bluntly just worthless) on the basis of their gender, race, sexuality or (some usually twisted interpretation of) religion.

Another great fuel for "evil" is the desire for revenge or retribution, based on imperfect or incomplete communication.

People may hear a balanced argument but will predominantly "hear" the points that favour the side of the argument they initially favoured and so conclude that Person A was wrong, or person B is simply a spy for country C.

No-one can be omniscient and there will always be people who - by claiming to know some part of an argument that you did not - will assert you are wrong and they are right. So it is disappointingly rare to see people genuinely convinced by an argument.

Throw in the potential for a bit of deliberate misinformation and yu can sadly create situations where, as in the tragic story of the rae in india, a perpetrator of a vile deed can argue with utter sincerity that a black crow was white and what he did was right.

Genuine communication can be so rare, and time and time again the rules of logical argument seem to be twisted so that people can claim they have reasonably argued their right to believe the unbelievable and therefore to do whatever the hell they damn well please.

The power of communication which (along with opposable thumbs) is really the only thing that sets aside from the rest of the animals and meant there was an evolutionary advantage to be had in a large brain.

It is one of the tragedies of the human race that this power to communicate is so easily subverted, and I guess the internet itself is a perfect of the that concept. Infinite comunication and perfect confusion go hand in hand.

Anyway I really should stop rambling and go and do something productive!

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