from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License
- v. Present participle of brainwipe.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
"Excessive altruism" has been classified a mental disorder, "brainwiping" has become a widely accepted behavior for everything from criminal behavior to recalcitrant teens, and the local kindergarten is run by an insufferably patient AI who is modeled on Mister Rogers, but who -- before growing into a sympathetic character in his own right -- too often sounds like HAL the computer.
Set in a precarious near-future in which environmental storms make shelter even more of a necessity, where altruism is considered a mental disease and "brainwiping" a desirable cure for antisocial behavior, the latest novel by the author of Flying in Place and The Necessary Beggar tackles the problematic issue of human interconnectedness with sensitivity and insight.
I tried to establish throughout the book that there are some good outcomes with brainwiping, and that only a minority of patients do really badly.
Of course Roberta sees brainwiping patients at their worst because she gets them at the beginning -- but the ethical question the concern of CALM and Holly and such is less "does this ever work" than "even if it did work, would it be an acceptable thing to do to people?"
In the end, Shelter is as much ghost story as SF -- Preston initially introduces himself as a ghost in the machine, and we later learn that the survivors of brainwiping are sometimes called ghosts.