Tuesday, December 18, 2007
I just finished Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card. It's a science fiction classic I've been meaning to get to for years, and I'm glad I finally did. Before you expect me to start speaking Klingon or talking about midicholorian counts, let me say I don't read a lot of sci-fi. I like it as a genre. I just usually wait for the movies to be made.
Like all really good sci-fi, Ender's Game deals more with characters and situations than lasers and force fields (although that stuff's pretty cool, too.) In fact, I was surprised to learn the Marine Corps University at Quantico has used Ender's Game as a textbook for leadership psychology.
Hang on, this all relates to advertising.
Without spoiling anything for those of you who might want to pick it up, Ender's Game is about a group of children who are incredibly brilliant tacticians, who are being trained to fight an alien race that's twice invaded Earth. Ender is a 6-year-old who's the most promising of them all, and is therefore specifically groomed to be a battle commander. The adults who are pulling the strings, rigging everything to mold him into the commander they want him to be keep isolating him. Not putting him in solitary confinement. They just transfer him from battle group to battle group to make sure he doesn't get too close to any of his classmates. The reason:
"Isolation is essential to creativity and innovation."
Do you think that's true? Why or why not? I've got my own take on it, but I'd love to hear your first thoughts. (Preferably not in Klingon.)