twoness

midas world by frederik pohl (another book recommendation plucked from the fork archives) claims to be a novel, but is really a set of short stories that trace the history of the world after fusion power is invented and energy becomes plentiful. all of them are delightful and thought-provoking, but none more so than the first. with plentiful and cheap energy, the economics of the world have become inverted and it is only the rich who have time to work and be truly idle. the poor are consigned to unending consumption, fulfilling the rations they are assigned by eating beyond the point of enjoyment, living in gargantuan homes, and never really accumulating belongings. it is an inversion that seems completely absurd, until you remember the strong correlation between poverty and obesity in the united states. the idea that society is racing against itself in order to consume what it produces is an interesting way to look at the world.

robots, even seperated by decades from midas world, actually hits on a similar theme with its story of robots resisting an evil corporation that is eliminating the supply of spare parts so that they can sell shiny upgrades and consign old robots to the scrap heap. between this film and ice age, i think blue sky studios has established itself as a fairly close second-place to pixar in feature-length computer animation. like in pixar’s films, there is a strong story to complement the visual design and trickery. they’ve certainly proven themselves to not be a one-trick pony.

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