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91
Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by Wilshire on April 14, 2020, 02:13:11 pm »
I like Leckie. Well, kind of lol. I read Ancillary Justice and thought it was pretty good. Ideas were interesting, the prose was pretty unique, and the execution of al it fit nicely together. Shes an interesting author, but not someone I can read a lot of. I think Raven Tower will make it onto my list though - it should be interesting to see what she does with a fantasy setting.
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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by The P on April 14, 2020, 01:57:06 pm »
The Raven Tower by Ann Leckie

This was a good one.  Ann Leckie dips into fantasy and continues to play with unusual narrative framing, in this case the story told in second person to one of the characters.  It was immersive and worked out well.  She also plays around with gender, but again manages to do it without being preachy or agenda-driven (I mention this mostly because I recently read Kameron Hurley's The Mirror Empire).  With Leckie's books, it is just part of the character/world/story, whereas Hurley seems to constantly be shouting, "Look how woke I am!"

In any case, I certainly recommend this and any other Leckie (with less emphasis on Provenance).  I hope she writes more fantasy in the future.
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Does Time Really Flow? New Clues Come From a Century-Old Approach to Math

Natalie Wolchover


Quote
However, she said, “if somebody is called on to reflect a bit more deeply about what the block universe means, they start to question and waver on the implications.”

Physicists who think carefully about time point to troubles posed by quantum mechanics, the laws describing the probabilistic behavior of particles. At the quantum scale, irreversible changes occur that distinguish the past from the future: A particle maintains simultaneous quantum states until you measure it, at which point the particle adopts one of the states. Mysteriously, individual measurement outcomes are random and unpredictable, even as particle behavior collectively follows statistical patterns. This apparent inconsistency between the nature of time in quantum mechanics and the way it functions in
relativity has created uncertainty and confusion.

Over the past year, the Swiss physicist Nicolas Gisin has published four papers that attempt to dispel the fog surrounding time in physics. As Gisin sees it, the problem all along has been mathematical. Gisin argues that time in general and the time we call the present are easily expressed in a century-old mathematical language called intuitionist mathematics, which rejects the existence of numbers with infinitely many digits. When intuitionist math is used to describe the evolution of physical systems, it makes clear, according to Gisin, that “time really passes and new information is created.” Moreover, with this formalism, the strict determinism implied by Einstein’s equations gives way to a quantum-like unpredictability. If numbers are finite and limited in their precision, then nature itself is inherently imprecise, and thus unpredictable.
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by TaoHorror on April 10, 2020, 12:49:30 pm »
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood

So, head and shoulders better than that piece of shit The Hateful Eight, but that's a really low bar to clear. I guess I'll put this in Spoiler, but you don't have to waste your time watching this. A mishmash of excellent directing with poor writing. Tarantino's evolution has been bizarre, guess that's fitting given how he comes across in public. His directing skills appears to be as good as they've ever been, but his writing has gone into the toilet. Another alternate history with ( I think ) a beautiful capture of what it was really like in late 60's Hollywood with real and fictional characters mixed in fictional events/endings. So the "history" of this is very good with tiny textures that tickle like seeing people's dirty feet up on theater seats, but that's what it was like back then, there was a lot of bare-footing going on and while now the sight of that is ugly, back then it was normal ( I grew up in the 70's, we weren't so dainty, even many of the rich weren't ). The big problem is the movie is just boring. Too much of it is historical texture, not enough gas. A story/production is as good as it's weakest component, so this was a long slog watching this thing. He weaves the story with apparently unrelated events/unconnected characters, but he simply did so much better with Pulp Fiction than he's doing now.

(click to show/hide)
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Philosophy & Science / Re: The secret life of plants
« Last post by TaoHorror on April 08, 2020, 10:16:09 pm »
Plant experimentation is fascinating stuff. Hard to explain it without putting your toe in consciousness.
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Philosophy & Science / The secret life of plants
« Last post by sciborg2 on April 08, 2020, 09:20:16 pm »
The secret life of plants: how they memorise, communicate, problem solve and socialise

Amy Fleming

Quote
Mancuso and his colleagues have become experts in training plants, just like neuroscientists train lab rats. If you let a drop of water fall on a Mimosa pudica, its kneejerk response is to recoil its leaves, but, if you continue doing so, the plant will quickly cotton on that the water is harmless and stop reacting. The plants can hold on to this knowledge for weeks, even when their living conditions, such as lighting, are changed. “That was unexpected because we were thinking about very short memories, in the range of one or two days – the average memory of insects,” says Mancuso. “To find that plants were able to memorise for two months was a surprise.” Not least because they don’t have brains.

Quote
One of the most controversial aspects of Mancuso’s work is the idea of plant consciousness. As we learn more about animal and plant intelligence, not to mention human intelligence, the always-contentious term consciousness has become the subject of ever more heated scientific and philosophical debate. “Let’s use another term,” Mancuso suggests. “Consciousness is a little bit tricky in both our languages. Let’s talk about awareness. Plants are perfectly aware of themselves.” A simple example is when one plant overshadows another – the shaded plant will grow faster to reach the light. But when you look into the crown of a tree, all the shoots are heavily shaded. They do not grow fast because they know that they are shaded by part of themselves. “So they have a perfect image of themselves and of the outside,” says Mancuso.

Quote
Another misconception is that plants are the definition of a vegetative state – incommunicative and insensitive to what is around them. But Mancuso says plants are far more sensitive than animals. “And this is not an opinion. This is based on thousands of pieces of evidence. We know that a single root apex is able to detect at least 20 different chemical and physical parameters, many of which we are blind to.” There could be a tonne of cobalt or nickel under our feet, and we would have no idea, whereas “plants can sense a few milligrams in a huge amount of soil”, he says.
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by TaoHorror on April 08, 2020, 01:27:14 pm »
War of the Worlds

On episode 4, and man, this is some evil shit  ;D ;D ;D
Yeah, we went ahead and just watched the whole thing, all 8 episodes.  Pretty good show, although I don't speak French, so after some dedgy subtitles, I probably missed a bit on few parts, but likely not much.  I hope they do go ahead and make a second season.

Ok, I finished it. This show has legs, pretty fucking good.

(click to show/hide)
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by mostly.harmless on April 07, 2020, 08:26:14 pm »
War of the Worlds

On episode 4, and man, this is some evil shit  ;D ;D ;D
Yeah, we went ahead and just watched the whole thing, all 8 episodes.  Pretty good show, although I don't speak French, so after some dedgy subtitles, I probably missed a bit on few parts, but likely not much.  I hope they do go ahead and make a second season.
Is that this one?

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk

That doesn't look like it. It's this here, compare the actors to be sure, but I don't think what you listed above here is the show I'm talking about, released just end of 2019/beginning of 2020 doesn't appear to have any characters named George or Amy.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9686194/
Thanks, Ill have a look!

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk

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Literature / Re: Yearly Reading Targets 2020
« Last post by BeardFisher-King on April 07, 2020, 03:14:50 pm »
I think i can quote myself in this instance, from 2018 when I read Lord Foul's Bane. It is, I have to say, one of the worst fantasy books I've ever read.

To me, what Donaldson appears to have done is taken wholesale some (now) worn out Tolkien tropes. He doesn't so much re-purpose them as recycle. From the Ring, to the names, quasi sentient horses... the entire thing reads like all the fantasy I've read from that era - unimaginative derivations of Tolkien.

You can follow the link to the rest of the discussion. BFK does quite like it, and I tried to figure out why... But I don't recall ever coming to an understanding.

I really liked Donaldson's Gap Into Conflict, but read the second book and it seemed to somehow be following the same path as Lord Foul's Bane. He's just not the author for me.

I remember trying to persuade Wilshire to give the Chronicles of Thomas Covenant another chance. He essentially responded, "Too many books, not enough time." The link presents my case for Donaldson, so no need to repeat it. Hey, at least Wilshire thought Donaldson was better than Brooks! And I seem to have persuaded MSJ to give Donaldson a try.

The quote that The P mentions by itself lifts "Lord Foul's Bane" into the precincts of literature.

ADD: This goes back two years! Tempus fugit ...
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General Misc. / Re: What are you watching?
« Last post by TaoHorror on April 07, 2020, 12:57:01 pm »
War of the Worlds

On episode 4, and man, this is some evil shit  ;D ;D ;D
Yeah, we went ahead and just watched the whole thing, all 8 episodes.  Pretty good show, although I don't speak French, so after some dedgy subtitles, I probably missed a bit on few parts, but likely not much.  I hope they do go ahead and make a second season.
Is that this one?

Sent from my LYA-L09 using Tapatalk

That doesn't look like it. It's this here, compare the actors to be sure, but I don't think what you listed above here is the show I'm talking about, released just end of 2019/beginning of 2020 doesn't appear to have any characters named George or Amy.

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt9686194/
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