Latest By
Category:


Armor
Artificial Intelligence
Biology
Clothing
Communication
Computers
Culture
Data Storage
Displays
Engineering
Entertainment
Food
Input Devices
Lifestyle
Living Space
Manufacturing
Material
Media
Medical
Miscellaneous
Robotics
Security
Space Tech
Spacecraft
Surveillance
Transportation
Travel
Vehicle
Virtual Person
Warfare
Weapon
Work

"A good science fiction story should be able to predict not the automobile but the traffic jam."
- Frederik Pohl

Group Ego  
  A group mind; a single entity that shares a number of bodies.  

In the travels of the New Frontiers in the novel, the colonists run across a very tidy little planet inhabited by The Little People.

One thing he did learn, and its implications opened up whole new fields of thought: the Little People had, in one sense, conquered death.

Since each of their egos was shared among many bodies, the death of one body involved no death for the ego. All memory experiences of that body remained intact, the personality associated with it was not lost, and the physical loss could be made up by letting a young native "marry" into the group. But a group ego, one of the personalities which spoke to the Earthmen, could not die, save possibly by the destruotion of every body it lived in. They simply went on, apparently forever.

Their young, up to the time of "marriage" or group assimilation, seemed to have little personality and only rudimentary or possibly instinctive mental processes. Their elders expected no more of them in the way of intelligent behavior than a human expects of a child still in the womb. There were always many such uncompleted persons attached to any ego group; they were cared for like dearly beloved pets or helpless babies, although they were often as large and as apparently mature to Earth eyes as were their elders.

From Methuselah's Children, by Robert Heinlein.
Published by Astounding Science-Fiction in 1941
Additional resources -

In the novel, it is also possible for people to join these groups. One of the Howard Families, Mary Sperling, does so:

Mary Sperling, moved by conviction of her own impending death, saw in the deathless group egos a way out. Faced with the eternal problem of life and death, she had escaped the problem by choosing neither . . . selflessness. She had found a group willing to receive her, she had crossed over.

The idea of a group mind can be found as early as 1930 in Olaf Stapledon's Last and First Men.

Comment/Join this discussion ( 2 ) | RSS/XML | Blog This |

Additional resources:
  More Ideas and Technology from Methuselah's Children
  More Ideas and Technology by Robert Heinlein
  Tech news articles related to Methuselah's Children
  Tech news articles related to works by Robert Heinlein

Articles related to Culture
Save Your Brain's Connectome, Upload Yourself Elsewhere
TMS Decreases Belief In God, Increases Belief In Immigrants
Blockchain Used To Verify Election Results
We Could Downgrade Puerto Rico - And Thereby Save It

Want to Contribute an Item? It's easy:
Get the name of the item, a quote, the book's name and the author's name, and Add it here.

<Previous
Next>

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

 

 

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

More News

Swarm Of Mindless Robots Works Together
'Very tiny pseudo insects that... can unite to form a superordinate system.'

SpotMini Robot Dog, Autonomous And On Sale In 2019
Great, an autonomous slamhound. It is cute, though.

RoboFly Is Laser-Powered, Adorable
Don't swat this fly!

MSG Sphere Las Vegas, ala Star Wars
'The smoky globe, hung in the vault, was shot with colored light...'

Tetraplegics Dominate Avatar Races
Well, just speaking brain-to-computer...

MIT Ampli Blocks Build Biomedical Devices
Damn it Spock, I'm a doctor not an engineer!

UberAIR Asks For Skytaxi Landing Prototypes
You know you want to ride in one.

Boring Tunnel Almost Ready
Your underground future is calling!

Handheld Human Skin Printer
It outputs a thin wad of uniflesh.

Healthy Fast Food Courtesy Of Robot Chefs
'The electric cook was stirring empty nothing in a pan, with a zeal worthy a dozen eggs.'

More SF in the News

More Beyond Technovelgy

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.