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 Artificial Condition, Martha Well’s soap opera loving rogue security AI remains cantankerous and awesome. Murderbot is an AI security robot with a busted autonomy regulator. So long as they can keep the regulator a secret, they can remain fully aware and independent. Mostly they want to watch soap operas. Soap operas and to be […]
Mr. Know-It-All: The Tarnished Wisdom of a Filth Elder, John Waters’ new book, sounds like a demented must-have: It “serves it up raw: how to fail upward in Hollywood; how to develop musical taste from Nervous Norvus to Maria Callas; how to build a home so ugly and trendy that no one but you would […]
Chamber’s second novel, A Closed and Common Orbit, in her Wayfarer series is so wonderful I cried several times. A Closed and Common Orbit picks up immediately after Chambers’ first story, Long Way to a Small and Angry Planet concludes but is barely an extension of that tale, beyond further expanding on Chambers’ wonderful universe. […]
Between all of our apps, streaming devices, Bluetooth speakers, and energy-sucking decorations, paying for utilities each month can be…brutal. In fact, the average household spends roughly $70 a month on the water bill alone. That number might not seem terribly significant, but when you add it up, that’s $840 a year — a pretty significant […]
Seems like no matter what kind of wireless earbud you buy, you’re sacrificing something: Sound for longevity, battery life for durability, the list goes on. Finally, it seems like the tech is starting to come together for the full package in a few newer models. Case in point: These PaMu Slide Bluetooth 5 In-Ear Headphones. […]
If you’re doing any kind of data work, chances are you’re working in Excel. This venerable platform has evolved beyond its roots as a workhorse spreadsheet creator into an essential tool for data analysts and other high-level number crunchers. Want to brush up on this year’s version of the software? There’s no quicker way than […]