Monday, June 13, 2016 21:59
- Adams, Scott. The Religion War. Kansas City: Andrews McMeel, 2004 ISBN 978-0-7407-4788-5.
This a sequel to the author's 2001 novel
God's Debris. In that work,
which I considered profound and made my hair stand on
end on several occasions, a package delivery man happens to
encounter the smartest man in the world and finds his own
view of the universe and his place in it up-ended, and
his destiny to be something he'd never imagined. I believe
that it's only because Scott Adams is also the creator of
that he is not appreciated as one of the most original and
insightful thinkers of our time. His
blog has been consistently right
about the current political season in the U.S. while all of the
double-domed mainstream pundits have fallen on their faces.
Forty years have passed since the events in God's Debris.
The erstwhile delivery man has become the Avatar, thinking at a
higher level and perceiving patterns which elude his contemporaries.
These talents have made him one of the wealthiest people on Earth,
but he remains unknown, dresses shabbily, wearing a red plaid blanket
around his shoulders. The world has changed. A leader, al-Zee,
arising in the Palestinian territories, has achieved his goal of
eliminating Israel and consolidated the Islamic lands into a new
Great Caliphate. Sitting on a large fraction of the world's oil supply,
he funds “lone wolf”, modest scale terror attacks
always deniable and never so large as to invite reprisal. With the
advent of model airplanes and satellite guidance able to deliver
explosives to a target with precision over a long range,
nobody can feel immune from the reach of the Caliphate.
In 2040, General Horatio Cruz came to power as Secretary of War of
the Christian Alliance, with all of the forces of NATO at his command.
The political structures of the western nations remained in
place, but they had delegated their defence to Cruz, rendering
him effectively a dictator in the military sphere. Cruz was not a
man given to compromise. Faced with an opponent he evaluated as two
billion people willing to die in a final war of conquest, he viewed
the coming conflict not as one of preserving territory or self-defence,
but of extermination—of one side or the other. There were dark
rumours that al-Zee had in place his own plan of retaliation, with sleeper
cells and weapons of mass destruction ready should a
frontal assault begin.
The Avatar sees the patterns emerging, and sets out to avert the
approaching cataclysm. He knows that bad ideas can only be opposed
by better ones, but bad ideas first must be subverted by sowing doubt among
those in thrall to them. Using his preternatural powers of
persuasion, he gains access to the principals of the conflict and
begins his work. But that may not be enough.
There are two overwhelming forces in the world. One is chaos; the other is order. God—the original singular speck—is forming again. He's gathering together his bits—we call it gravity. And in the process he is becoming self-aware to defeat chaos, to defeat evil if you will, to battle the devil. But something has gone terribly wrong.Sometimes, when your computer is in a loop, the only thing you can do is reboot it: forcefully get it out of the destructive loop back to a starting point from which it can resume making progress. But how do you reboot a global technological civilisation on the brink of war? The Avatar must find the reboot button as time is running out. Thirty years later, a delivery man rings the door. An old man with a shabby blanket answers and invites him inside. There are eight questions to ponder at the end which expand upon the shiver-up-your-spine themes raised in the novel. Bear in mind, when pondering how prophetic this novel is of current and near-future events, that it was published twelve years ago.