Yearly Targets 2018

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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #75 on: July 03, 2018, 02:09:17 am »
I'm kinda joining in halfway through, because I feel the need to talk about Blindsight. People here recommended it so much, in Quorum and elsewhere, that I had no choice but to read it. I'm gonna state upfront that it was absolutely enjoyable, and now being in the loop I totally support the recommendations. Seriously, if you haven't read it yet, then give it a try, it's very unlikely to disappoint.

The only thing is, for a book dealing largely with the same themes and concepts as TSA (mainly consciousness and p-zombies as a lead-in to it or a tool of examining it), I expected - how should I put it - more thought...? Blindsight goes like this: here's a concept developed by the scientific community and around it some years ago. The concept is well-known, and you've probably heard about it and understand what it is, but all the same, here's a clinical, encyclopedicly correct explanation of it. A-a-and... we're done. Move on to another concept, which is going to be likewise explained in detail, as though you're browsing Wikipedia.

There is no creative spin on it, no thought imparted by the work itself. It's all just reiterations of certain scientific/philosophical concepts and arguments wrapped in an enjoyable sci-fi narrative. This is in stark contrast to TSA, where nothing is explained, because you should already know about it, and if you don't, then you're a loser and understand nothing, ha-ha! But let's say you've actually done your homework and are aware of the matters that TSA deals with. Then it offers you a perspective. A new, original way to understand things, if not outright a step in the direction of some answers. TSA doesn't explain, it thinks. In that regard, Blindsight falls short.

Still, a very good book, and I absolutely recommend it to anyone, even though I found its core arguments lacking internal logic. But that may be because the problem is in the mirror.

Now please excuse me, I'm off to read Echopraxia.
« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 02:14:43 am by SmilerLoki »

Wilshire

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« Reply #76 on: July 03, 2018, 03:34:04 pm »
I'm not sure I really understand your criticism. To me its just like any other complex subject. There's only so much you can do without going deep into the jargon. At some point you're either just consuming fiction, or you're doing scientific research. For a sci-fi book, its about as science-y as you're to get, just like TSA or any of Bakker's other books.

I liken it to the difference between say Crash Space and Three Pound Brain. Or, getting a college degree in Physics (BS, MS, PhD, etc.) or watching a documentary on a science channel on TV. There's just only so much you can do to break this stuff down and make it entertaining while still providing actual information. You either have to start doing the math yourself or be content that you've gone as far as you can.

« Last Edit: July 03, 2018, 03:36:24 pm by Wilshire »
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SmilerLoki

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« Reply #77 on: July 03, 2018, 11:18:52 pm »
At some point you're either just consuming fiction, or you're doing scientific research.
Pretty much this. TSA is straddling the line, while Blindsight is firmly in the realm of fiction. And I'm not sure the line should exist. Why censor ourselves?

TLEILAXU

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« Reply #78 on: July 04, 2018, 02:04:27 pm »
At some point you're either just consuming fiction, or you're doing scientific research.
Pretty much this. TSA is straddling the line, while Blindsight is firmly in the realm of fiction. And I'm not sure the line should exist. Why censor ourselves?
Wut.
Also, even though they overlap thematically, they're still quite different series. Bakker is all about crash space, what happens when anthropogenic subroutines crash, while Blindsight asks "what if consciousness is a dead end?".
« Last Edit: July 04, 2018, 02:20:59 pm by TLEILAXU »

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #79 on: July 05, 2018, 12:15:03 am »
Also, even though they overlap thematically, they're still quite different series. Bakker is all about crash space, what happens when anthropogenic subroutines crash, while Blindsight asks "what if consciousness is a dead end?".
I would say the p-zombie and Chinese Room thought experiments ask that (among other things), not Blindsight. Blindsight only reiterates the question through a more conventional narrative.

Wilshire

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« Reply #80 on: July 06, 2018, 02:52:39 am »
Poppy War by R. F Kuang (22)

This was a pretty interesting book. Started a bit slow but it ended up really being a good read. I definitely look forward to future books from her.
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BeardFisher-King

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« Reply #81 on: July 06, 2018, 05:35:56 pm »
Bakker is all about crash space, what happens when anthropogenic subroutines crash, while Blindsight asks "what if consciousness is a dead end?".

OK, I think that I might be getting this: "Crash space" is a metaphor from computer slang, and an "anthropogenic subroutine"  is a metaphor from computer science. The metaphors align human consciousness with computer programming.

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TLEILAXU

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« Reply #82 on: July 07, 2018, 12:18:09 am »
Bakker is all about crash space, what happens when anthropogenic subroutines crash, while Blindsight asks "what if consciousness is a dead end?".

OK, I think that I might be getting this: "Crash space" is a metaphor from computer slang, and an "anthropogenic subroutine"  is a metaphor from computer science. The metaphors align human consciousness with computer programming.

Am I warm?
I have no idea where Bakker got these terms from (I think anthropogenic subroutine was said by him in a stuff to blow your mind interview, but I might be misremembering his exact term). I think the best example Bakker gave was how human light sources cause moths to flicker into them because they crash their lunar navigational system or something.

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #83 on: July 08, 2018, 02:48:14 pm »
Now Echopraxia is more what I'm talking about, though it becomes apparent only at the very end. It's narratively less conventional than Blindsight, though.

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« Reply #84 on: July 10, 2018, 08:06:15 pm »
So, I actually managed to finish Persepolis Rising.  It was OK, just another installment in the series really...
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

Wilshire

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« Reply #85 on: July 11, 2018, 12:33:48 pm »
So, I actually managed to finish Persepolis Rising.  It was OK, just another installment in the series really...

That's ... kinda sad. Caliban's War just moved down on my to-read list lol.
Currently reading Illium by Dan Simmons. Honestly, after Hyperion, I'm pretty disappointed with how its starting out.
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« Reply #86 on: July 11, 2018, 01:28:39 pm »
That's ... kinda sad. Caliban's War just moved down on my to-read list lol.
Currently reading Illium by Dan Simmons. Honestly, after Hyperion, I'm pretty disappointed with how its starting out.

Well, it probably is/was better than the one before it that I can't remember the name of because I am old.  It's just that it is the same general formula, written out a different way.

Also, I recall reading a fair bit of evidence that Dan Simmons lost his mind at some point after Hyperion, some time around 9/11.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #87 on: July 11, 2018, 01:31:51 pm »
Also, I recall reading a fair bit of evidence that Dan Simmons lost his mind at some point after Hyperion, some time around 9/11.
Wasn't that Orson Scott Card? Or is it both?

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« Reply #88 on: July 11, 2018, 02:12:34 pm »
Also, I recall reading a fair bit of evidence that Dan Simmons lost his mind at some point after Hyperion, some time around 9/11.
Wasn't that Orson Scott Card? Or is it both?

Both.  Definitely both.
“I am a warrior of ages, Anasūrimbor . . . ages. I have dipped my nimil in a thousand hearts. I have ridden both against and for the No-God in the great wars that authored this wilderness. I have scaled the ramparts of great Golgotterath, watched the hearts of High Kings break for fury.” -Cet’ingira

SmilerLoki

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« Reply #89 on: July 11, 2018, 02:32:43 pm »
Both.  Definitely both.
Well, that's unfortunate.