“The Snowball Effect,” Katherin MacLean, 1952 – A university president under pressure from budget cuts demands that a sociologist prove his work has value. The sociologist proposes applying a growth model (using the symbols of human interaction) on a sewing circle. Six months later the sewing circle is a political party, and the two realize that it will one day take over the world.
Comments: Theme of the pressure put on the Humanities to prove its “usefulness.” Themes: academia, group behavior, economics, politics. Read in The Diploids.
Author: Wikipedia: “Katherine Anne MacLean (born January 22, 1925) is an American science fiction author best known for her short fiction of the 1950s which examined the impact of technological advances on individuals and society.” MacLean recieved a B.A. in economics from Barnard College, studied psychology at the post-graduate level, and taught literature at the University of Maine and creative writing at the Free University of Portland. “It was while she worked as a laboratory technician in 1947 that she began writing science fiction. Strongly influenced by Ludwig von Bertalanffy‘s General Systems Theory, her fiction has often demonstrated a remarkable foresight in scientific advancements.”