Date: September 04, 1997
Readers Encouraged to Lift Debate from Book into Cyberspace
Readers of The Ozymandias Principles, an unconventional novel by UVic geography professor Dr. Harold Foster, do not have to leave the debate in the fictional DeltaGlobe Assembly behind when they finish the book. They're encouraged to go on-line at http://webcom.net/~real/ozy/summary.htm to become members of the Assembly's political movement of their choice and be linked via email to other members to plan joint strategy, prepare speeches and debate the book's hotly-contested Bill C-39 and other pieces of futuristic legislation.
Set 100 years in the future, The Ozymandias Principles is both historical review and science fiction but is primarily a culmination of Foster's lifetime work on the study of resilience. Bill C-39 is a fail-safe list of 31 criteria to ensure the resilience of government policies. As DeltaGlobe representatives debate the bill, they recall the inventions, catastrophes, discoveries and movements of the past, real and imaginary, and why they persevered or failed.
The Great Dying of the 2030s is discussed along with American Civil War battle movements and the Exxon Valdez oil disaster. A portion of the book following the debate provides a glossary of 21st century terms and an at-a-glance chronology of the important social, environmental, technical and political events of 2001 to 2096. The core of the book offers an examination of Foster's 31 requirements for resilience, among them: compatibility with diverse value systems, capacity to satisfy several goals, reversibility and mobility.
"Everything I've ever worked on is in this book," says Foster, an expert in disaster planning, medical geography and resilience analysis. "Whether it's keeping the family together, compiling an investment portfolio or designing a nuclear power plant, everyone experiences similar difficulties in looking into the future and trying to develop a system that can accommodate the biggest range of change."
Foster began looking towards the future over 20 years ago when he first used his 31 dimensions of resilience to critique Canada's energy policy. He later went on to lecture at NATO advanced science workshops (on the resiliency of aircraft and nuclear power plant design) and write a White Paper for a NAFTA conference on disaster planning. Each time he expanded his resilience theory.
Foster wrote The Ozymandias Principles last summer (Ozymandias refers to the Pharaoh in Shelley's poem on Ramses II, whose empire is reduced to crumbled statuary in the desert) for what he hopes will be a wide audience. He says companies and organizations can use his resiliency criteria to improve their strategic and disaster plans. Readers interested in law, politics and history will also enjoy the references to famous speeches and events scattered throughout the DeltaGlobe Assembly debate and the Bill C-39 'White Paper.'
The Ozymandias Principles is published by Southdowne Press and distributed by UBC Press.
Dr. Harold Foster (Geography) at (250) 721-7331 or (250) 592-9345 and visit http://webcom.net/~real/ozy.html
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