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
In University of Pennsylvania psychiatrist Jody Foster’s new book The Schmuck in My Office: How to Deal Effectively with Difficult People at Work, she shares sound advice on dealing with narcissistic co-workers. From an excerpt at Quartz: On a day-to-day basis, appealing to this person’s egocentricity can be very effective. The occasional recognition of the […]
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 […]
Even though credit cards now feature an EMV chip for securing transactions, they still have to include the magnetic strip for compatibility with older point of sale systems. Because of this, there’s no way for the chip’s new security capabilities to protect against card skimmers in the wild.How do you protect yourself from legacy-technology-induced fraud? […]
As the old saying goes, “You should sit in meditation for 30 minutes every day. Unless you are too busy, in which case you should meditate for an hour.” Since most of us have an endless list of things to do and people to see, carving out quiet time can feel impossible, especially when most […]
The Bragi Dash Truly Wireless Smart Earphones are far more than your run of the mill Bluetooth earbuds. While the earpiece design makes these earbuds ideal for exercise and activity, and passive noise cancelling is conducive to a more serene listening experience, these buds go well beyond just playing music.First of all, they can actually […]