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Yet another weird SF fan
 

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Geometry and Tyranny

The Hebrew word for Egypt “Mitzraim” means “narrow land,” no doubt because the populated parts of Egypt are limited to a narrow strip of land near the Nile. Could this have produced its totalitarian government? In Egypt, it was possible to set up a few watchposts that could keep potential rebels from going from place to place unobserved. This is more difficult in a two-dimensional system.

What would be the effects of going from two to three dimensions? For example, on the ground, two competing transportation systems will run into each other and might need government regulations. In a space colony, there's no need for two competing transportation systems to run into each other at all.

3 Comments:

Anonymous Dave said...

In "A World Out Of Time", Larry Niven used Egypt as an example of stable tyrany where the water supply was controlled by the State. According to him, that kind of State is never overthrown from within.

I've wondered if a topopolis would house a very stable type of country, since the total ground area could be virtually infinite, but with only about six miles or so of frontage.

1:49 AM  
Blogger prof said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:07 PM  
Anonymous TJIC said...

> In "A World Out Of Time", Larry Niven used Egypt as an example of stable tyrany where the water supply was controlled by the State.

I believe the term he used was "hydraulic tyranny".

11:55 AM  

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