Fight Club – Splinter Cell

After 7 years of unrelenting non-fiction, several brave pugilists have rebelled and created a Splinter Cell where we can finally read and discuss fiction without being heckled about some subjective, and rather limited, definition of “truth” or “reality.”
This weekend Dave hosted Fight Club at his family’s cabin in northern Wisconsin, and while the nominal Fight Club selection was “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall, the main attraction was “Caves of Steel” by Isaac Asimov. And, while the discussion of “Born to Run” degenerated into actually throwing the book (Matt) and spilling a glass of perfectly good Irish whiskey, the discussion of “Caves of Steel” was a civilized discussion of science fiction (particularly in the 1950s), the role of technology and automation in our lives, gender roles in the 1950s, and the dystopian nature of science fiction today.
As if to underscore how great “Caves of Steel” and Isaac Asimov are for Fight Club, rather Fight Club – Splinter Cell, Dan found this great interview with Asimov and Bill Moyers. In one part of the interview Asimov articulates what could be the manifesto for Fight Club, rather Fight Club – Splinter Cell:
MOYERS: Learning really excites you, doesn’t it?

ASIMOV: Just yesterday I read about the invention of hay in Freeman Dyson’s new book. The thought that occurred to me was, “Why is it I never thought of this? How is it I never knew about this? What made me think that hay existed from the first day of creation?”

MOYERS: What is exciting about that?

ASIMOV: I think it’s the actual process of broadening yourself, of knowing there’s now a little extra facet of the universe you know about and can think about and can understand. It seems to me that when it’s time to die, there would be a certain pleasure in thinking that you had utilized your life well, learned as much as you could, gathered in as much as possible of the universe, and enjoyed it. There’s only this one universe and only this one lifetime to try to grasp it. And while it is inconceivable that anyone can grasp more than a tiny portion of it, at least you can do that much. What a tragedy just to pass through and get nothing out of it.

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