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
This beautiful collection of all twenty paintings, and eight drawings, assigned to Hieronymus Bosch, may be replacing the Codex Seraphinianus on my coffee table for a bit. These surreal masterpieces by Netherlandish artist Jheronimus van Aken, better known as Hieronymus Bosch, are reproduced beautifully, on lovely paper, and are thoughtfully arranged. Some pieces, such as […]
Is “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” actually about psychedelic drugs, British colonialism, or penis envy? Depends who you ask. At the BBC, Hephzibah Anderson surveys 150 years of weird readings of Lewis Carroll’s classic book. From Anderson’s essay: Re-examining the text, critics found plenty of gynaecological imagery, from the rabbit hole itself to the curtain that […]
If you are anything like me, at all, you frequently wonder what happened next to Jack Burton and the rest of the Big Trouble in Little China gang? John Carpenter, Eric Powell, and Brian Churilla’s Big Trouble in Little China graphic novels tell the tale! I’ve just started reading these BTiLC graphic novels, they pick […]
Experienced shutterbugs with DSLR cameras have boatloads of lens options for capturing the moment. Unfortunately, smartphone photographers often get stuck with their one crummy lens, which means limited zoom and focus for their final image.Step up your smartphone’s photographic power with the Acesori 5-Piece Smartphone Camera Lens Kit, now just $9.99 in the Boing Boing Store.Magnetic rings easily […]
Some truths are universal. For one, your phone will always run out of power when you most need it. For another, the charging cords that come packaged with your Apple device will fray, split, and rip faster than Usain Bolt in a game of tag.Instead, pick up a charging cord that anyone would have a tough […]
Some people say magic tricks are nerdy and best left to your 12-year-old asthmatic cousin. But others see value in perfecting the slight of hand and showmanship associated with a perfectly executed routine. We’re firmly in the latter camp. And now, we’re giving you the ability to put a few parlor tricks up your sleeve with the Penguin […]