Sometimes I like to revisit old friends. This book is an old, old, old friend and I had completely forgotten the plot, so it was like revisiting a new friend. It's Arthur C. Clarke's The Songs of Distant Earth. It takes place far into the future, after the sun has gone supernova and has destroyed the solar system, causing humankind to scatter to distant stars via hibernation ships. Quite an interesting story, and Clarke really shows his romantic side in this tale.
What really caught my eye, considering we are enduring the once-every-four-years American torture cycle -- also known as an election -- was his description of the leadership requirements in one human colony. First of all, there are no elections, but a random selection of all qualified adults. The pool of qualified adults include those who have been adequately educated (and all citizens of this world are educated to the fullest of their capacity -- what a great idea!), who are between the ages of 30 and 70, are not incurably ill, are mentally fit, and have not committed a grave crime. Oh -- and they are disqualified if they deliberately want to have the position of leadership.
Sounds like a great system, doesn't it?
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