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Nornagest comments on Traditional Capitalist Values - Less Wrong

38 Post author: Eliezer_Yudkowsky 17 October 2008 01:07AM

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Comment author: Nornagest 01 December 2010 06:23:22PM 3 points [-]

What story was that?

In any case, that's rather remarkably bizarre. I'm trying to think of a real-life condition for which it'd work as an allegory, and coming up with absolutely nothing -- at least without involving some of the more extreme forms of genital mutilation, and I doubt Card's trying to defend those.

Comment author: Alicorn 01 December 2010 06:29:16PM 3 points [-]

That was "Songmaster".

Comment author: TheOtherDave 01 December 2010 07:28:12PM 2 points [-]

(blink)

The idea that part of a guardian's responsibility is to prepare their charge for the painfulness and unpleasantness of sex on their wedding night was relatively pervasive in the social media I grew up around, and I can imagine what Alicorn describes being an allegory for this (though I read "Songmaster" too many years and too many perspective-changes ago to remember it usefully, so I have no idea whether Card had anything like this in mind).

Comment author: Nornagest 02 December 2010 01:26:38AM *  0 points [-]

I suppose that makes a twisted kind of sense. I'd been exposed to the idea before (though I wouldn't have called it pervasive in the cultural milieu I grew up in), but didn't make the connection -- possibly because Card's setup doesn't seem to work if sex/loss of virginity is ordinarily painful or unpleasant.

It's odd to write an allegory which implicitly rejects the real-life idea it's supposed to point to (ETA: as opposed to tactfully ignoring it). I suppose Card might be trying to write for an audience that he assumes to have already rejected it, but now I feel like I'm making too many speculative leaps to be confident of my predictions.