The Jovian Sayings

  • onOctober 24, 2014
  • Vol.24 Summer 2014
  • byBok Geo-il
The Jovian Sayings
Tr. Bok Geo-il


To a politician, nothing is more important than choosing one’s foe well. If one chooses a man too strong for oneself as one’s foe, one will be in mortal danger. If one chooses a small man as one’s foe, one will become small oneself. If one’s attention is fixed to a false foe, one won’t be ready when a real foe appears. When one destroys all visible foes, there will arise an invisible foe within one’s bosom.


- Miriam Hahn


On coming to power, Timothy Goldstein (2773-2895), president of East Ganymede, began to persecute Chris Hermann, who had competed with him in the presidential election. In a long article titled ‘One Good Foe is Worth Ten Friends’ in the Jovian Gazette, Miriam Hahn urged Goldstein to desist from such attitude and instead regard Hermann as a proper ‘foe.’ She pointed out that a political leader should choose a good ‘foe’ and supported her argument with examples from the history of East Ganymede.

“Our history after the division clearly shows this point. President Mistral Chao regarded the Crystal Group that split off from her Democratic Party as the most menacing foe. So, she did not clearly recognize the threat posed by the ambitious military in an economically distressed society and was ousted from presidency only two years after her election by the 7/17 Military Coup.”

“President Julian Peletier, a no-nonsense professional soldier, did not brook any opposition. To him, all opponents were people who opposed for opposition’s sake and who were no more than objects for political engineering. Unfortunately, without any foe outside, there appeared a foe within. At the apogee of his political career, Peletier was assassinated by his intelligence chief whom he had trusted with political engineering.”

Miriam Hahn (2821- ) is a historian and has taught at the Galileo University. Renowned for her knowledge and insight in the history of Ganymede, she wrote many celebrated books, including The Adventurous (2878), The Political History of Ganymede (2879) and The Cultural Landscape of a Frontier Society (2885).


pp. 12-13 




The gravest problem humanity faces is evolutionary crisis. Humans succeeded in subverting the traditional evolutionary process but so far failed in devising an alternative evolutionary strategy.


- RUFOX 1224 Raynard


Rufox 1224 has a knack of presenting an issue people would rather not think about in a palatable way. The quoted passage is from Our Tomorrow.

“The gravest problem humanity faces is evolutionary crisis. Humans succeeded in subverting the traditional evolutionary process but so far failed in devising an alternative evolutionary strategy. I cannot think of a crisis more serious than this one.”

“The fundamental entity of all the species originated from the Old Earth is genes, not organisms like human individuals. The survival and propagation of genes is the ultimate purpose of all living creatures and organisms are in essence gene-carriers. The sieve of natural selection ensures that individuals are optimized to the propagation of genes. For instance, germ cells that participate in reproduction have great privileges not granted to somatic cells. And individuals are designed to be fittest during the time of reproduction. Once the period of reproduction is over, the individuals’ bodies rapidly lose vitality. So there is no divergence of genetic interests between individuals and species.”

“In the case of homo sapiens, the emergence of high intelligence and the rise of civilization had fundamentally changed the situation. Thanks their high intelligence, humans became self-conscious and invented the concept of self. Unsurprisingly, they came to devote more and more resources to the welfare of their selves. And the prosperous civilization provided them with means to do so. So there arose a conflict of interests between the individuals’ self-indulgence and the species’ genetic prerogative. And the individual is winning, as always.” 


pp. 54-55

Author's Profile

Bok Geo-il is widely considered to be a writer who has ushered in a new epoch in the Korean SF genre. Having made a spectacular debut withe the novel In Search of an Epitaph, Bok has continued to expand the horizons of Korean SF by making use of distinctive literary devices such as time reversal or the revers of history.