Re: [gundam] More Turn-A Info in May Newtype

Chien Ting Chin (
Wed, 14 Apr 1999 18:40:47 -0400 (EDT)

On Wed, 14 Apr 1999, Prabal Nandy wrote:
> > rejected based on how it benefits the few (the capitalists and the army
> > generals) but on how it benefits the many. I am not articulating this
> In the modern world this doesn't happen simply because the capitalists
> _own_ the means of production... but who knows, by the Turn-A era it's

Very true!

> possible that the world is automated enough that this might be possible.

Very false! History so far shows that the more automation you add into
the manufactory, the more concentrated power becomes. Whether you look
into good old fascism or bad new communism, there's an uncanny
co-incidence between concentrated power and concentrated industry.
Democractization of technology, if possible, will have to be a result of
political decision, not a product of technology itself.

> But if that's true, we'd expect to see people living at a fairly
> high-technology level of development, with fancy TVs, butt-massaging
> Lazyboy chairs, heated toilet seats and potato-chip IVs.

that's why Tomino said [some] technology kills the human spirit (from an
old interview). I guess Turn-A's ambition is to somehow reconcile
technology with the human spirit.

> > perhaps he has some neo-humanist philosophy up his sleeves that he will
> > pull out at the end of Turn-A. Technology then is just the wasabi to the
> I think Tomino did _not_ have this philosophy during MSG, but he has
> gradually come to terms with it as time has gone on. Hence Turn-A.

But do you agree that Tomino saw some kind of conflicts between mechas and
the human spirit even back in OYW? If nothing else, all the important
human characters Amuro, Char, Bright, Sarah survive, but all the
mechanical 'characters' Gundam, Guncannons, Jiong, White Base were
sacrificed without even a drop of tear. It's a stretch, but a kind of
concluding statment could be: people are important, technology is not.

Perhpas he's developed an answer over the two decade and so now can claim
to bring a satisfying conclusion to the whole Gundam saga.

> > can easily justify a pastoral utopia keeping an army of fighting monks,
> I think it's a neat idea, but I don't think it's what's actually
> happening with Turn-A simply because there doesn't seem to be ANY
> offensive tech on Earth anymore. They're back to Biplanes, cannons, and
> cars! In a way this makes sense. They've simply
> ignored/forgotten/suppressed all the military-arts and technologies and
> are gradually re-learning them.

Ah, but you (very legitimately) are the one who doubted the possibilty of
a pastoral utopia. Obviously, any race or nation that suppress military
tech in the presence of violent conflicts must be short-lived. So the
backwardness of their military arts CANNOT be a result of any suppression,
but must be a result of a prolonged lack of threats.

Any piece of technology (pyramid-building, moon-landing, typewriter-
making) no matter how important and glorious at the time, will be
forgotten if it's not needed for a period of time. If the Earthlins get
rid of violent conflicts then it won't make much sense to build mass
killing machines right?

The fun (and the anime) starts one day the Martian (oops) Lunar invaders
shows up, so the Earthlins must figure something out, blah blah blah, at
the end you get the fighting monks.

> Personally I don't see how a culture that
> can hardly build a flyable aircraft can support and maintain a Mobile Suit
> but well....

yeah. that does defy logic. But then, if Turn-A shows some good eye-candy
like Laputa, I will eat it up too.

> Hey, I believe that technology will in a few more decades, solve every
> problem that has ever plagued mankind and create a future world of
> ildyllic peace and prosperity... the Golden Age of Robotics!


CHIN, Chien Ting
Dept of Medical Biophysics, Sunnybrook Health Science Centre
... o O *
Man is a bubble

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