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In both Ender's Game and Ender's Shadow, were you trying to portray Ender and Bean as how powerful and how intelligent the human race can be? And if so, then were you and are you trying to send a message to today's youth?

-- Submitted by Kaseem Bristow

OSC REPLIES: - April 26, 2000

Human beings are, by nature, intelligent. What they often are not is rigorous enough with their own thinking and dispassionate enough in their choices to really bring their intelligence to bear on anything that matters. What matters about Bean and Ender is not that they are so bright, but how they use their abilities and how their intelligence affects their character and how their character affects their intelligence.

Thus I was not sending a message to "today's youth," I was demonstrating my own beliefs about how intelligence can be but rarely is used by human beings in general, of any age, in any time. And I think I was also working out the problem that intelligence is not, in itself, a virtue -- only the uses of intelligence can be virtuous or the opposite.

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