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Author Topic: EP011: Herd Mentality  (Read 2173 times)
Russell Nash
« on: September 17, 2009, 02:15:50 AM »

EP011: Herd Mentality

By Jay Caselberg.
Read by Stephen Eley.

Einstein was getting old now. All of them. Not so old that he was past it, but you had to wonder. When our troops liberated the Spemann Lab complex in 1945, the Einsteins had been just five years old. The Government had done the humanitarian thing and brought them back home. Eventually, someone had leaked the information and slowly, slowly, public pressure and outrage had grown. The big hush-hush operation our government had mounted was shut down and the Einsteins were released – or rather, they were integrated into society in a humanitarian manner. That was the wording the government press releases used. Two hundred and fifty is a lot of Einsteins.

Rated G. Suitable for world-dominating clone armies of all ages.

Listen to this week’s Escape Pod!
Boggled Coriander
Posts: 545

« Reply #1 on: October 14, 2009, 11:25:59 PM »

I really liked this story.  It's probably my favorite of the early Escape Pods.  I liked the visual image of the gathering of Einsteins, and the fact that the author did not go the cliched route of making the Einsteins an obviously malevolent force bent on controlling the world.

Having the character of Bill in there was a nice touch, although I have my doubts that that's what he'd end up doing in that universe.  But hey, who am I to say differently?

"The meteor formed a crater, vampires crawling out of the crater." -  The Lyttle Lytton contest
Posts: 44

« Reply #2 on: October 15, 2009, 05:52:29 AM »

I couldn't remember which one this was at first but I do now.  It was a pretty good one, I liked the idea of all those Einsteins being cloned and not knowing what our Einstein did in our reality.  What would the world be like if we had a couple hundred Einsteins...?  Well maybe we would have a unified theory.  Does this story show one of the benefits of cloning? Perhaps

justice may only be obtained where there is a lack of injustice
Sir Postsalot
Posts: 7841

« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2010, 01:04:06 PM »

Arg!  I wrote up a post for this one but the hamster poltergeists who dwell in the spaces between nodes have eaten it!

Um, so a cliff notes version of what I think I'd written:
1.  I liked it overall!
2.  The idea would've been more original if I hadn't already listened to the many Marilyn Monroes story.
3.  I also liked that the Einsteins weren't clearly malevolent.
4.  I wish the protagonist had shown some growth.  He learns all this new stuff about the Einsteins, seems to be very upset about it, and considering telling the world.  And then at the end he says "Meh, I guess the Einsteins know what they're doing.  I won't worry my pretty little head about it."  Which seemed like he was pulling a 180 for no reason.

--David Steffen
The Submissions Grinder:  Fiction market listings, submissions tracker, always free, poetry and nonfiction markets coming soon!
Posts: 1

« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2015, 09:01:12 PM »

Good story, I liked it.  Made me wonder what would happen in reality if there were 250 Einsteins.
I don't believe they would all dress the same and have the same hair and mustache.  You sometimes see those weird identical twins who live together their whole lives and dress the same every day but it seems the exception rather than the rule.
I'm not sure what the latest is on nature vs nurture when it comes to intelligence, where is the balance point?  being genetically Einstein may not be enough, you might need the same education and upbringing and nutrition that he got too.  The life experiences might be even more important than the DNA, or it might be only a small factor.
Would Einstein's genius translate to other disciplines?  Perhaps, hard to say.  Certainly chemistry, engineering and maths would seem reasonable, but politics and social sciences?  I don't know about that.
The idea of age 50+ Einsteins ruling the world seems off to me.  Einstein wrote 5 papers in 1 year which was referred to as his "miracle year" when he was 25-26.  He came up with general relativity 11 years later and after that was pretty much a spent force, deemed a "relic" in the scientific world.
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