A few years ago I found myself engaged in conversation with a mid-level film producer whilst waiting for a train. As we stood on the platform, he enquired, possibly simply out of politeness, whether I had any good ideas for films (though the fact he waited so long to broach such an obvious topic would seem to indicate genuine interest spurred by some element in our conversation prior to that point which had enabled him to identify me as a formidable creative force.)
I will admit, shipmates, that I have often struggled to embrace the concept of the Culture, as presented in several of Iain M. Banks’ novels.
As you may already know, I am heavily influenced by my socio-political belief system, which brings together mysticism and libertarianism (at last), and in which self-reliance and strong clan-ties play a central role. Without digressing further, I am basically a survivalist magickian.
Therefore, the concept of a galactic civilisation in which the welfare state has become total fills me with horror.