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What can we learn from history?. That we don’t learn from history. Why is this a science fiction classic?. Humanity can survive the worst catastrophe, rebuild, and endlessly repeat the same mistakes It asks questions of its reader that are not easy or comfortable to think about

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What can we learn from history?


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what can we learn from history

What can we learn from history?

That we don’t learn from history.

why is this a science fiction classic
Why is this a science fiction classic?
  • Humanity can survive the worst catastrophe, rebuild, and endlessly repeat the same mistakes
  • It asks questions of its reader that are not easy or comfortable to think about
  • What is the dark side of technology?
  • That there is no guarantee that knowledge will be well used, even if preserved by good men
part i is there hope for humanity
Part I:Is there hope for humanity?
  • Yes, when the first book ends, the monks are dedicated to preserving knowledge in the hopes that it will someday benefit someone
  • They faced constant danger in doing so. Why?
  • Tension between those who would preserve knowledge and those who would destroy it
part i societal structure
Part I: Societal Structure
  • Nomadic existence for society in Texarcana
  • New Rome (somewhere in the western US)
  • The Monastery is in the middle of the desert
  • The Pope’s Children, bands of genetically disfigured humans, roam the desert
part ii hope turns to triumph
Part II: Hope Turns to Triumph
  • Tension between those who preserve knowledge and those who would use it
  • In the end, the abbey is recognized as the true source of ancient knowledge
  • The scientist, Thon Taddeo, gains knowledge from this source
  • But it is a pyrrhic victory
part ii societal structure
Part II: Societal Structure
  • Mayor Hannigan of Texarcana tries to unite all of N. America
  • No moral consideration for various factions
  • Only the desire to play one power off of another
part iii increased tensions
Part III: Increased Tensions
  • The monks have remained consistent throughout the work as a kind of moral compass
  • But the invention of nuclear weapons causes mass destruction
  • Will the new colony near Alpha Centuri repeat the mistakes again?
part iii societal structure
Part III: Societal Structure
  • The history of superpowers repeats itself
  • US faces off against another world superpower
  • Devastation occurs
what did the scientist say to the monk
What did the scientist say to the monk?
  • “How can a great and wise civilization have destroyed itself so completely?
  • “Perhaps” says the monk, “by being materially great and materially wise and nothing else.”
but is there another hope
But is there another hope?
  • Yes, if you look closely at the book’s message
  • There are people in the book who do not simply restrict themselves to the search for money and power
  • If you put things in proper perspective, then all will be well
the end
The End
  • Who is Rachel?
  • Why does she resist baptism?
  • We don’t know if she represents human salvation
summary
Summary
  • What has not changed in the future?
  • There is still racism, poverty, illness, etc.
  • What is the price of civilization?
  • War is one of the consequences