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Friday, January 1, 2010

So here is my thoughts for our blog in 2010

How about a book club?

We will each submit one book.



Thai said...

For comments

Thai said...

I am testing a new avatar

Fractal Rabbit ;-)

Dink said...

Fractal Rabbit ;-)

I don't see a picture; maybe I unintentionally made some default setting where I don't see avatars? Gotta link?

Book club

I've been meaning to ask your opinion on Cryptonomicon, etc.(if it wasn't your cup of tea there are no hard feelings).

I've been on a Vernor Vinge binge. I reread A Fire Upon The Deep, read some early stuff (The Peace War & Marooned In Real Time), and am now in Rainbows End. Its exciting mind candy.

TPW and MIRT have time-defying spheres called "bobbles". In MIRT, people bobble themselves forward in time for a variety of reasons (counting on future medical breakthroughs, compound interest, curiosity, etc.). Rude surprise, after 2300 AD there are no more people and they can't figure out why (singularity, 2nd coming, alien attack?). But regardless, they have to find eachother in time and try to keep the human race alive.

All the books have cyber enhanced cognition as a given for the future. Perfectly timed, CNN's main article today had a prototype.

Which kind of relates to you to conversing on whether we're pre-wired or not. We've evolved to receive and process very specific data in very specific ranges (sight, smell, touch). So if we develop machines which can get data outside these ranges will we be limited to essentially viewing them on a monitor or can we be trained to "feel" them (i.e. can sensing infrared be piggybacked onto our current visual system)? And the same for outgoing messages, if we have jet-packs will we start to "feel" it when we boost. Stimulus is stimulus so as long as our neural pathways can adapt...

So what are y'all reading?

Debra said...

Dinky, your comment sent me frantically scrambling for my copy of all six book of Herbert's Dune series...
I am a fervent adept of the... Butler Jihad.
I like Herbert's vision of our future very much.
I DO NOT like wiring, or cyber cognition, or anything along those lines.
Because... my first rule and credo is... I AM AN ANIMAL (not a machine...).
I am rather... RABID about this, as a matter of fact.
I don't really do enough reading to do a book club. And I am not reading enough books in English anyway these days...
Remember... I am spending about two hours on my piano every day. This entails some radical choices on my part.

Dink said...


I do seem to recall your claim that you'd never buy another book since you had so many purchased but still left unread so far. So actually rereading Dune came to mind ;)

You already have it, in English (I assume), and it has aspects that intrigue us all.

Regarding animal vs. machine, well, I have a lot of preliminary thoughts on the matter but many are polar opposite to each other so I guess I'll have to keep thinking about it. When does the servant become the master, etc. But for the first few phases it would essentially just be a more convenient tool to replace tools we already have (books, computers, phones, etc.).

And furthermore, people already use influence to influence their "animal" (alcohol, music).

And further on music, I know that when I'm in a specific mood or "cadence" I can't stand to listen to music that doesn't match it (i.e. a slow song when I'm feeling anxious). I often wonder how singers feel in concert when performing a song they wrote while in the throws of passion for someone.....who they have since broken up with. Do you have trouble playing dramatic piano music when you're in a light mood or does the music lead the animal to match it?

Thai said...

Re: Quicksilver/Cryptonomicon

I read the first 100 pages of Quicksilver and couldn't get into it so I put it down. I keep meaning to pick it up again but forget.

When I do I'll let you know as I haven't given up on it yet. It is very different than An Instance of the Fingerpost which it kind of reminded me of initially.

And I guess we have a winner for the first choice in our book club then- Dune. It has been a very long time since I read the book so it would be fine to read again; I never read beyond the first book in the series.

And brain computer interfaces would be pretty cool. I saw Avatar the other night and as far as I am concerned, bring it on! ;-)

Dink said...

Cryptonomicon may be the better introduction to Stephenson if/when the mood strikes. That Fingerpost book looks interesting.... curious Deb?

I'll find my Dune copy this week after I finish Rainbows End. The mysterious mastermind (who uses a rabbit avatar...hmmm)is starting to upset the governments who hired him to break into the network and facilities of a biotech. There's suspicion that he may be AI. Squeal!!! Back in the day, your self-aware AI such as Skynet just bluntly launched nukes. But to actually have a personality and the sense to use subversion is pure geek intoxication.

"I saw Avatar the other night and as far as I am concerned, bring it on! ;-)"

Sweet! The 3D version is still selling out here. I'm dying to see it.

Thai said...

Picked it up again last night and was pretty good. I'll keep you aprised.

PS- An Instance of the Fingerpost is Amazing

PPS- I saw the 3D version, it is worth holding out for

Thai said...

And Dink, as we are talking about Quicksilver (that is my hint), have you noticed today when you go to Google, there is an apple falling from a tree? ;-)

The Most Fabulous Objects In The World

  • Hitchhiker's Guide To The Universe trilogy
  • Lord of the Rings trilogy
  • Flight of the Conchords
  • Time Bandits