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The Sirens of Titan

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posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 12:14 PM
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The Sirens of Titan is one of the greatest books ever written and Kurt Vonnegut is a god among men, IMO.

Now, 46 years after its publishing, humanity has landed a probe on Saturn's biggest moon, Titan. In honor of this event, I thought I'd post a few of my favorite snippets from K.V's novel:

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CHRONO-SYNCLASTIC INFUNDIBULA - Just imagine that your Daddy is the smartest man who ever lived on Earth, and he knows everything there is to find out, and he is exactly right about everything, and he can prove he is right about everything. Now imagine another little child on some nice world a million light years away, and that little child's Daddy is the smartest man who ever lived on the nice world so far away. And he is just as smart and right as your daddy is. Both Daddies are smart, and both Daddies are right.

Only if they ever met each other they would get into a terrible argument, because they wouldn't agree on anything. Now you can say that your Daddy is right and the other little child's Daddy is wrong, but the Universe is an awfully big place. There is room enough for an awful lot of people to be right about things and still not agree.

The reason both Daddies can be right and still get into terrible fights is because there are so many different ways of being right. There are places in the Universe, though, where each Daddy could finally catch on to what the other Daddy was talking about. These places are where all the different kind s of truths fit together as nicely as the parts in your Daddy's solar watch. We call these places chrono-synclastic infundibula.

The Solar System seems to be full of chrono-synclastic infundibula. There is one great big one we are sure of which likes to stay between Earth and Mars. We know about that one because an Earth man and his Earth dog ran right into it.

You might think it would be nice to go into a chrono-synclastic infundibulum and see all the different ways to be absolutely right, but it is a very dangerous thing to do. The poor man and his poor dog are scattered far and wide, not just through space, but through time too.

Chrono (khro-no) means time. Synclastic (sin-classtick) means curved toward the same side in all directions, like the skin of an orange. Infundibulum (in-fun-dib-u-lum) is what the ancient Romans like Julius Caesar and Nero called a funnel. If you don't know what a funnel is, get Mommy to show you one.

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In the year Ten Million, according to Koradubian, there would be a tremendous house-cleaning. All records relating to the period between the death of Christ and the year One Million A.D. would be hauled to the dumps and burned. This would be done, said Koradubian, because museums and archives would be crowding the living right off the earth.

The million-year period to which the burned junk related would be summed up in history books in one sentence, according to Koradubian: Following the death of Jesus Christ, there was a period of readjustment that lasted for approximately one million years.

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And Noel Constant had an investment program. It was simplicity itself. The Bible would be his investment counselor.

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"That's the worst thing you can do, Unk -- remembering back," said Brackman. "That's what they put you in the hospital for in the first place -- on account of you remembered too much." He made cups of his stubby hands, held in them the heart-breaking problem Unk had been. "Holy smokes," he said, "you were remembering so much, Unk, you weren't worth a nickel as a soldier."

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The only controls available to those on board were two push-buttons on the center post of the cabin -- one labelled on and one labelled off. The on button simply started a flight from Mars. The off button was connected to nothing. It ws installed at the insistence of martian mental-health experts, who said that human beings were always happier with machinery they though they could turn off.

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A single, badly scorched man named Krishna Garu attacked all of India with a double-barreled shotgun. Though there was no one to radio-control him, he did not surrender until his gun blew up.

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"The worst thing that could possibly happen to anybody," she said, "would be to not be used for anything by anybody."





[All references copyright Kurt Vonnegut Jr. 1959 ...Mr V, I salute you!]

[edit on 14-1-2005 by smallpeeps]

[edit on 14-1-2005 by smallpeeps]

[edit on 14-1-2005 by smallpeeps]




posted on Jan, 14 2005 @ 12:39 PM
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Following the death of Jesus Christ, there was a period of readjustment that lasted for approximately one million years.



I love this guy. This was actually the first book by Kurt I had ever read, and it got me hooked on him. Way to go, I'm adding my Kudos to Mr. Vonnegut along with you. Think I'll have to watch Mother Night tonight...



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