Why does it take humankind 11,000 years to rid itself of the crutch of computers and AI?
Was AI a relatively new development that pushed the situation to a crisis?
Or were there other factors in it?
What do you think?
SandChigger wrote:So you both think that stagnation was also one of the factors behind the Butlerian Jihad?
I also think that stagnation was what principally led to the BJ, just as it did for Muad'dib's jihad.
Dune wrote:He remained silent, thinking like the seed he was, thinking with the race
consciousness he had first experienced as terrible purpose. He found that he no
longer could hate the Bene Gesserit or the Emperor or even the Harkonnens. They
were all caught up in the need of their race to renew its scattered inheritance,
to cross and mingle and infuse their bloodlines in a great new pooling of genes.
And the race knew only one sure way for this--the ancient way, the tried and
certain way that rolled over everything in its path: jihad.
This, to me, is an almost direct allusion to the BJ being the last instance of a jihad caused by the race consciousness recognized by the BG and then by Paul (and probably by some others). This race consciousness is simply the revolt of the human spirit against stagnation and in systemization controlling life. The reason why I take the BJ to be the
jihad being referred to as "tried and certain" is because so far any jihad or crusade we've seen on Earth cannot possibly be classified as "tried and certain" in terms of the success of its results. And if there had been a monumental jihad between now and the BJ then Frank obviously didn't deem it worth mentioning. I conclude that this passage refers to the BJ specifically.
The answer to why it took 11,000 years for mankind to decide to crusade against machines must be that that's exactly how long it took before all the expansion and novelty came to a close and things settled. Whether things in the Old Empire settled into a real unmoving stagnation, or whether things continued to change but in completely predictable patterns, probably wouldn't have mattered much to Frank in terms of effective difference. Don't forget that it wasn't the existence of machines that would cause a revolt, it was the stagnation that finally came that did it. Thousands of years of having computers, star charting, etc, wouldn't have given rise to any desire as a species to revolt - thus there was no 'slowness' in finally getting around to destroying machines. But once man realized his entire life was being run in machine-like regularity, organized in an unchanging schedule, and that there were no surprises anymore, the 'machine-thinking' that this entails would lead man to concretize his slavishness into the machines themselves being responsible. But in reality the problem was man, who wanted
life to become more and more convenient and simplified. By revolting against the physical machines man also revolted against machine-thinking, systemization, and to giving the thinking mind over to any other force that would think for it. I see all too often today people 'losing their brains' in their Ipads, and it is emotionally tempting for me to blame the Ipads for it and wish they'd all go out the window. But at the same time I must recognize that it is the user's choice that allows the Ipad to dominate one's attention, as evidenced by the fact that I don't have one.
If I was going to mount a crusade against "flushing your brain down the toilet" I might well start by banning Ipads, even though they are a symptom and not the cause.
Dune Messiah wrote:But his mood had changed. "You can't build politics on love," he said.
"People aren't concerned with love; it's too disordered. They prefer despotism.
Too much freedom breeds chaos. We can't have that, can we? And how do you make
"You're not a despot!" she protested, tying her scarf. "Your laws are just."
"Ahh, laws," he said. He crossed to the window, pulled back the draperies as
though he could look out. "What's law? Control? Law filters chaos and what drips
through? Serenity? Law -- our highest ideal and our basest nature. Don't look
too closely at the law. Do, and you'll find the rationalized interpretations,
the legal casuistry, the precedents of convenience. You'll find the serenity,
which is just another word for death."
PS - No offence intended to any of you who have been taken over by Ipads...