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March 26th, 2019

Tolkien would have hated cell phones

His essay on osanwe-kenta says it's not limited by range, just familiarity, like Mind Touch in the Blue Rose RPG. While we see some telepathy in LotR, one doesn't really get a sense of long range communications. Ditto for the Noldor in Beleriand, I don't recall a sense of either using palantiri (supposedly invented by Feanor!) or telepathic cell phones between intimates.

One of the Middle-Earth palantiri was put up in Elostirion and could only look west, back to the Master-Stone in Avallone. This tells me Elrond could have been chatting with his (biological) parents for the past 3000 years. Raise your hand if you ever thought that was implied by the texts...

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Tolkien and industrialization

Lord of the Rings was written between 1937 and 1949, though Return of the King's 1956 publication was delayed due to him revising the ending.

The Great Smog, killing 4,000 Londoners and sickening 100,000 more, happened in 1952. While it seems a bit late to have had a direct impact on the novel, it's kind of indicative of the times. The fact that the British peppered moth evolved from light to dark in order to blend in with polluted surfaces also seems relevant.

The industry most of us have known is *much cleaner* than that Tolkien grew up with and wrote under, thanks to various Clean Air Laws. (Also, exporting to poorer countries.)

(And those laws, of course, aren't saving us from global warming.)

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