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From: "Joel T. Sieh" <jsieh@cs.umass.edu>
Subject: (whorl) My take on The Secret
Date: Mon, 23 Apr 2001 16:25:39 

Hello All,
	I just recently got on the list, and have been reading the ideas
posted on the secret of the inhumi.  Well, I'm pretty sure an idea akin to
mine has been posted on here already.  However, in the case one hasn't,
I'm posting my idea.  I don't think the spirit-travel (I don't like to
call it astral travel for some reason) really had anything to do with
it.  At least not as far as Krait was concerned.  I think the main idea
behind the secret was that the inhumi need humans to be sentient.  In my
opinion, this fits with the "weapon too big to wield" description, because
in order to really change the inhumi, humanity as it existed on Blue and
Green would need to do one of two things:

1.  Fundamentally change.  I think this has interesting ramifications,
because this change could mean physically, by genetic alteration, or
psychologically/spiritually.  If humans were changed genetically so that
their blood or DNA somehow became undigestable, poisonous, or incompatible
with their biological systems, the inhumi would be reduced to mere
animals.  If the humans on the two planets were to change on a spiritual
or ethical basis, becoming more altruistic, kind, selfless, etc., it's
possible the inhumi would change in similar ways.  However, its easy to 
see that both of these alternatives are pretty hard "weapons to
wield".  For the first one, the technology level isn't high
enough (and to Silk or other whorlers, such a thing might be
considered magic).  For the second one, you can't really change
humanity.  Traits such as greed, selfishness, lust, etc., are inescapable 
for humans, but the inhumi don't necessarily know that. 
Personally, I like the second idea better.  It seems to fit more with the
general feeling of the series.  I think the second idea is also more
interesting, because it means the inhumi's fear is imaginary.
	Oh, and if you're wondering why the inhumi would fear becoming
better people....  Well, that question isn't easy for me to answer.  It
would create a greater emotional conflict for each inhumi to pursue his
own survival and that of his species.  However, this might not be a good
enough reason, and it's debatable whether increased morality would be able
to overrule survival and reproductive instincts.

2.  Leave, like the Neighbors did.  This is an easy one.  If the humans
inhabiting the two whorls left, or died, or some combination of the
two (and no inhumi could sneak along with them), the inhumi would again
lose their source for sentience.  This one might also be a difficult
"weapon to wield", because the settlers would have to round everyone up
and either kill them or put them on ships, and weed out the inhumi in the
process of getting people ready to transport.

Anyway, that's basically all I had to say.  I'm not particularly fond of
the ideas that dealt with physically wiping out the inhumi or using 
the weapon in an active sense.  They just didn't seem to fit the style and
feeling of the series.  Just some thoughts.  I apologize if I'm
accidentally reiterating ideas that have already been posted.  The
archives are daunting and I'm too lazy for my own good.  :)


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