I'm a devoted listener of StarShipSofa's Aural Delights science fiction podcast. The most recent episode (No. 37) has a short story by Ted Chiang called "What’s Expected Of Us," and I think it's comparable to the work of Jorge Luis Borges.
"What’s Expected Of Us" is about what happens after the introduction of a little toy called The Predictor. It looks like a car-door remote. It has one button and one LED. It does one thing, and one thing only: without fail, its LED flashes precisely one second before you push the button.
Chiang's exploration of the consequences of such a gadget packs the same kind of philosophical wallop that makes The Mind's I (Hofstadter and Dennett) one of the most mind-altering books I've ever read.
Cory gave me a copy of Chiang's Stories of Your Life and Others, a thought-provoking collection of short fiction.
Starship Sofa Aural Delights
Kory Stamper, author of the new book Word by Word: The Secret Life of Dictionaries describes three criteria Merriam-Webster uses for inclusion of words like truther, binge-watch, photobomb and the 1,000 other words that make the cut in a typical year.
I read pretty much every Disneyland history and fact book I find. Chris Strodder’s The Disneyland Encyclopedia: The Unofficial, Unauthorized, and Unprecedented History of Every Land, Attraction, Restaurant, Shop, and Major Event in the Original Magic Kingdom lives up to its massive title. A simple alphabetical listing of just about every First through Fifth order-of-interest […]
Abuses in my youth have left me in a lot of pain. Robin McKenzie’s Treat Your Own Back helped me more than any doctor. I was desperately searching for an option other than letting doctors I do not trust operate on my spine. In response, a friend sent me a copy of this book. Spine, […]
Bamboo has lots of uses beyond just being panda food. Things like bikes, roads, scaffolding, and musical instruments are made from the fast-growing grass. But unless you are participating in a tropical-themed LARP, you probably wouldn’t want a shirt made from bamboo stalks. So why do bamboo bed sheets make any sense? Because yarn extracted from […]
If you want to work in tech, but don’t have any desire to code web apps to help businesses sell things to other business, you might want to consider a career in cybersecurity. Judging from the apparent complete infiltration of Russian hackers in American cyberspace, it seems fair to speculate that there’s a major shortage of […]
All moms are different. But all moms like getting flowers on Mother’s Day, and that’s a fact (not, however a fact we can document in any fashion.) Instead of getting chewed out for forgetting to call her on the second Sunday of May, you can take care of it ahead of time with Teleflora’s flower […]