Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ypsilon moins, semi avorton

The two billion inhabitants of the World State are rigidly divided into five classes or castes. Alphas and their subordinates, Betas, control society. Below them, in descending order of intelligence and physique, are Gammas, Deltas, and Epsilons. Each caste is further subdivided into Plus and Minus (save for Epsilons, which are regular or semi-moron), and are distinguished by colour-coded work clothes. Epsilons are dressed in black, Deltas in khaki, Gammas in leaf green, Betas in mulberry, and Alphas in grey. At the very pinnacle of society sit Alpha Double-Plus, who serve as the future scientists and top administrators of the world. People in different castes are conditioned to be happy in their own way – they do not feel resentment towards other castes, but rather feel a slight contempt for people not members of their own caste. At the same time, however, all members of society are repeatedly taught that everyone is equally important to society. Consequently, every individual receives the same treatment and conditions, regardless of caste.

From : Brave New World  by Aldous Huxley ( Wikipedia )

My dad read Brave new world and quoted extensively from it when I was young. We still use some of the expressions of the book in the family, especially the "intelligence - labels". On one side of the intelligence scale you have Alpha double + but on the other side of the range there was the: Ypsilon minus - semi – moron ( Ypsilon moins, semi avorton ). There seem to be quiet a lot of them around : )