Discussion:
Starting Stephenson's SEVENEVES and....
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Kevrob
2017-06-29 00:14:19 UTC
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....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.

Dinah MacQuarie would not receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, not as long as Penn stays in the Ivy League, and the Ivies
don't change their longstanding rule against giving free rides based on
athletic prowess.

[quote]

Yet, underlying the agreement, there is a departure from the normal. There
is a statement signed by noted educational institutions, representing some
of the finest minds in the country, and secondly, there is an affirmation
that athletes will not be made privileged students on the campus. Thus the
Ivy Group states: "The members of the Group reaffirm their prohibition of
athletic scholarships. Athletes shall be admitted as students and
awarded financial aid only on the basis of the same academic standards
and economic need as are applied to all other students."

[/quote] - Harvard Crimson


Ivy League: Formalizing the Fact
Contests for Today Mark New Conference Opening
By Bernard M. Gwertzman, October 13, 1956


http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1956/10/13/ivy-league-formalizing-the-fact-pthe/

quoted at:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_league#History_of_the_athletic_league

I'm reading a first printing borrowed from the library.
Here's hoping they fix it in the ebook and paperback.

Jen Brehl was the editor, the acknowledgments say.
She used to edit Asimov! And Pratchett!

http://www.hws.edu/alumni/pssurvey/fall09/asimov.aspx

William Smith is an NCAA Division III school. None of those
give athletic scholarships, either. The Ivies play in Division I,
and compete in non-league games against schools that do give
such scholarships.

Being an athletic prospect might move your application to the
"accept" pile, AOTBE, just as being talented in music, art, drama
or some other extracurricular activity might.

What other howlers am in in for?

Kevin R
h***@gmail.com
2017-06-29 01:25:30 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Dinah MacQuarie would not receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, not as long as Penn stays in the Ivy League, and the Ivies
don't change their longstanding rule against giving free rides based on
athletic prowess.
It's set in the future, the rules may have changed..
Kevrob
2017-06-29 01:54:09 UTC
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Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Dinah MacQuarie would not receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, not as long as Penn stays in the Ivy League, and the Ivies
don't change their longstanding rule against giving free rides based on
athletic prowess.
It's set in the future, the rules may have changed..
If an explanation for such a change pops up later in the novel,
then fine. Right now its like confusing Aussie Rules football
with Rugby Union. It grates.

Kevin R
-dsr-
2017-06-29 14:49:14 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Yes, the moon explodes for no reason except the author wanted to destroy
the world with a deadline for getting some people out into space.

Oh, you meant besides that?

Here's my advice: skip ahead to roughly 2/3 through the book, where
it says "FIVE THOUSAND YEARS LATER".

If at any point you feel that you need to go back and read the first
part of the book to understand what's going on, read two more pages
before giving in.

My prediction: you won't read the first 2/3 of the book at all.

This says something about my opinion of the book.

I liked Zodiac, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, Anathem
and REAMDE. I was ok with the first book of the Trilogy That Does Not
End, but couldn't finish the other two. And I skipped over the Mongoliad
stuff entirely. I have mixed hopes about Stephenson's new collaboration.

-dsr-
Richard Hershberger
2017-06-29 20:28:19 UTC
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Post by -dsr-
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Yes, the moon explodes for no reason except the author wanted to destroy
the world with a deadline for getting some people out into space.
Oh, you meant besides that?
Here's my advice: skip ahead to roughly 2/3 through the book, where
it says "FIVE THOUSAND YEARS LATER".
If at any point you feel that you need to go back and read the first
part of the book to understand what's going on, read two more pages
before giving in.
My prediction: you won't read the first 2/3 of the book at all.
This says something about my opinion of the book.
I liked Zodiac, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, Anathem
and REAMDE. I was ok with the first book of the Trilogy That Does Not
End, but couldn't finish the other two. And I skipped over the Mongoliad
stuff entirely. I have mixed hopes about Stephenson's new collaboration.
I read the first book of the Mongoliad, responding with "meh." It's not terrible, but it didn't make me want to get the second one. Anathem is a masterpiece. The Baroque Cycle is a mess, but a glorious mess. Reamde was an OK action novel. I got a third of the way through Seveneves and put the book down--not in disgust, but because something came up. That was a year or two back. Maybe I'll take your suggestion of skipping ahead. In the meantime, the new one is with his Mongoliad collaborator. This does not bode well. The signs point to Anathem being peak Stephenson, and we are now in the long twilight.

Richard R. Hershberger
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-06-29 20:38:33 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by -dsr-
On Wednesday, June 28, 2017 at 9:25:35 PM UTC-4,
On Thursday, June 29, 2017 at 10:14:27 AM UTC+10, Kevrob
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts
the veris
imilitude.
Post by -dsr-
Yes, the moon explodes for no reason except the author wanted
to destroy the world with a deadline for getting some people
out into space.
Oh, you meant besides that?
Here's my advice: skip ahead to roughly 2/3 through the book,
where it says "FIVE THOUSAND YEARS LATER".
If at any point you feel that you need to go back and read the
first part of the book to understand what's going on, read two
more pages before giving in.
My prediction: you won't read the first 2/3 of the book at all.
This says something about my opinion of the book.
I liked Zodiac, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon,
Anathem and REAMDE. I was ok with the first book of the Trilogy
That Does Not End, but couldn't finish the other two. And I
skipped over the Mongoliad stuff entirely. I have mixed hopes
about Stephenson's new collaboration.
I read the first book of the Mongoliad, responding with "meh."
It's not terrible, but it didn't make me want to get the second
one. Anathem is a masterpiece. The Baroque Cycle is a mess,
but a glorious mess. Reamde was an OK action novel. I got a
third of the way through Seveneves and put the book down--not in
disgust, but because something came up. That was a year or two
back. Maybe I'll take your suggestion of skipping ahead. In
the meantime, the new one is with his Mongoliad collaborator.
This does not bode well. The signs point to Anathem being peak
Stephenson, and we are now in the long twilight.
Richard R. Hershberger
I started Snow Crash once. Didn't get too far in before I got bored
and went to something else, anything else, more interesting (like
the back of a toothpaste tube). I have absolutely no memory of any
part of it except that the word pizza was used. And that may be a
false memory.

I did read Cryptonomicon all the way through. I vagely recall that
it invovled cyptograhphy, and that the author seemed to have a
serious fascination with masturbation. Other than that, it appears
to be quite unmemorable to me.

Needless to say, I've never read anything else by Stephenson.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Juho Julkunen
2017-06-30 01:11:35 UTC
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Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
I started Snow Crash once. Didn't get too far in before I got bored
and went to something else, anything else, more interesting (like
the back of a toothpaste tube). I have absolutely no memory of any
part of it except that the word pizza was used. And that may be a
false memory.
I'm pretty sure I would have loved _Snow Crash_ if I'd read it as a
teen, when it first came out. When I tried reading it last year I
didn't exactly find it compelling. I got as far as the part where the
operation of the titular Snow Crash was being explained; it was so
silly I had to put the book down. I have not picked it up since.
--
Juho Julkunen
Carl Fink
2017-06-30 01:22:29 UTC
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Post by Juho Julkunen
I'm pretty sure I would have loved _Snow Crash_ if I'd read it as a
teen, when it first came out. When I tried reading it last year I
didn't exactly find it compelling. I got as far as the part where the
operation of the titular Snow Crash was being explained; it was so
silly I had to put the book down. I have not picked it up since.
When I said that, I was told that it was supposed to be funny. I didn't find
it amusing either.

To me, *Snow Crash* reads like exactly what it is: a vastly bloated
novelization of the treatment for a bad video game that was never made.
--
Carl Fink ***@nitpicking.com

Read my blog at blog.nitpicking.com. Reviews! Observations!
Stupid mistakes you can correct!
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-06-30 04:59:05 UTC
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Post by Carl Fink
Post by Juho Julkunen
I'm pretty sure I would have loved _Snow Crash_ if I'd read it
as a teen, when it first came out. When I tried reading it last
year I didn't exactly find it compelling. I got as far as the
part where the operation of the titular Snow Crash was being
explained; it was so silly I had to put the book down. I have
not picked it up since.
When I said that, I was told that it was supposed to be funny. I
didn't find it amusing either.
It tries to hard to be weird and funny. A common failure.
Post by Carl Fink
To me, *Snow Crash* reads like exactly what it is: a vastly
bloated novelization of the treatment for a bad video game that
was never made.
So sort of the exact opposite of The Expanse, which is a(n excellent)
TV series based on a series of novels that were based on the
treatment of a video game that was never made?
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Juho Julkunen
2017-06-30 12:42:24 UTC
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In article <***@panix2.panix.com>, ***@panix.com
says...
Post by Carl Fink
Post by Juho Julkunen
I'm pretty sure I would have loved _Snow Crash_ if I'd read it as a
teen, when it first came out. When I tried reading it last year I
didn't exactly find it compelling. I got as far as the part where the
operation of the titular Snow Crash was being explained; it was so
silly I had to put the book down. I have not picked it up since.
When I said that, I was told that it was supposed to be funny. I didn't find
it amusing either.
To start off it reads like a satire, but it's just not very funny, and
then it tries to do serious drama and suspense. It just doesn't work
for me at all. It's a little like Harry Harrison or Douglas Adams on an
off day.
--
Juho Julkunen
Titus G
2017-06-30 02:00:16 UTC
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Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
I started Snow Crash once. Didn't get too far in before I got bored
and went to something else, anything else, more interesting (like
the back of a toothpaste tube). I have absolutely no memory of any
part of it except that the word pizza was used. And that may be a
false memory.
I'm pretty sure I would have loved _Snow Crash_ if I'd read it as a
teen, when it first came out. When I tried reading it last year I
didn't exactly find it compelling. I got as far as the part where the
operation of the titular Snow Crash was being explained; it was so
silly I had to put the book down. I have not picked it up since.
I don't remember the detail but wasn't he relating the flickering white
snow of a disconnected black and white tv to a computer program crash
where text scrolled through the screen too quickly to be read and that
the brain was based on a similar system as a computer where language was
code so a brain could be influenced or corrupted or programmed as could
a computer?
I also don't remember much of the philosophy or themes apart from the
extreme privatisation, (corporate anarchy?), but did enjoy it for the
fast paced action and simply the novelty creating a sense of wonder
which I have also experienced with China Mieville, though the latter is
somewhat weirder.
Titus G
2017-06-30 02:13:19 UTC
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Post by Titus G
the brain was based on a similar system as a computer where language was
code so a brain could be
hacked?
Post by Titus G
influenced or corrupted or programmed as could
a computer?
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-06-30 05:00:40 UTC
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Spoiler alert.
Post by Titus G
Post by Titus G
the brain was based on a similar system as a computer where
language was code so a brain could be
hacked?
Post by Titus G
influenced or corrupted or programmed as could
a computer?
According to Wikipedia, more or less, yes. The programming language
in question being ancient Summerian.

The stupid. It burns.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Robert Carnegie
2017-06-30 09:51:32 UTC
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Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Spoiler alert.
Post by Titus G
Post by Titus G
the brain was based on a similar system as a computer where
language was code so a brain could be
hacked?
Post by Titus G
influenced or corrupted or programmed as could
a computer?
According to Wikipedia, more or less, yes. The programming language
in question being ancient Summerian.
I don't remember if the "Tower of Babel" myth
was explicitly referred to in the story -
Wikipedia mentions it, but the book itself
involves non-Judaeo-Christian gods, in the myth.
I also don't remember how literal that is in
the story; literal enough, perhaps, but I don't
recall the gods getting involved directly in
the present-day (near-ish future) action.

The technological meaning given of "snow crash"
is of graphical data, pictures and such, getting
overwritten with other, incompatible or random
data, and displayed as a mess of random colours,
generally looking grey-white in aggregate.
I also don't quite recall if that's how a failed
virtual person looks in the setting; the word may
have transferred to technology superseding its
original context, like the verb "to dial" did
(I think) when telephones started to have
a key-pad of number figures instead of a wheel
to be turned, to initiate a phone call.
Is there another word to "dial" a number?
To "type"? To "input"? To "key"?
What about systems such as alarms and door locks
that require a code number, but aren't telephonic?
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-06-30 15:05:12 UTC
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On Friday, 30 June 2017 06:00:39 UTC+1, Gutless Umbrella
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Spoiler alert.
Post by Titus G
Post by Titus G
the brain was based on a similar system as a computer where
language was code so a brain could be
hacked?
Post by Titus G
influenced or corrupted or programmed as could
a computer?
According to Wikipedia, more or less, yes. The programming
language in question being ancient Summerian.
I don't remember if the "Tower of Babel" myth
was explicitly referred to in the story -
Wikipedia mentions it, but the book itself
involves non-Judaeo-Christian gods, in the myth.
I also don't remember how literal that is in
the story; literal enough, perhaps, but I don't
recall the gods getting involved directly in
the present-day (near-ish future) action.
There's also mention of a DNA overwriting actual virus. I dunno. It
sounded so stupid I wasn't paying that close of attention.
The technological meaning given of "snow crash"
is of graphical data, pictures and such, getting
overwritten with other, incompatible or random
data, and displayed as a mess of random colours,
generally looking grey-white in aggregate.
The very first version of the game Civilization (a DOS game) had
some serious memory management problems. If you got the score up
too high, the portion of memory devoted to tracking your score
would overwrite the portion devoted to the map, and you'd start
getting jungles in the artic (which acted, in every way, like any
other jungle). It was too easy to do this. In fact, after a while,
the only challenge left was to see how big you could get the Artic
Amazon by the end of the game.
I also don't quite recall if that's how a failed
virtual person looks in the setting; the word may
have transferred to technology superseding its
original context, like the verb "to dial" did
(I think) when telephones started to have
a key-pad of number figures instead of a wheel
to be turned, to initiate a phone call.
Is there another word to "dial" a number?
One generally "calls" a number these days.
To "type"? To "input"? To "key"?
What about systems such as alarms and door locks
that require a code number, but aren't telephonic?
"Disarm" for either, or "open" or "unlock" for doors. I've never
heard anything else used regularly for either.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Greg Goss
2017-07-01 05:44:08 UTC
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Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Robert Carnegie
I also don't quite recall if that's how a failed
virtual person looks in the setting; the word may
have transferred to technology superseding its
original context, like the verb "to dial" did
(I think) when telephones started to have
a key-pad of number figures instead of a wheel
to be turned, to initiate a phone call.
Is there another word to "dial" a number?
One generally "calls" a number these days.
You haven't abstracted far enough. One generally calls a person or a
company. The number is only used to set up the contact list. Or for
one-off calls. But you're still calling Pizza Hut. You're just using
the number from the web (or on the phone, just long-pressing the
number from their web site) to set up the call
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Post by Robert Carnegie
To "type"? To "input"? To "key"?
What about systems such as alarms and door locks
that require a code number, but aren't telephonic?
"Disarm" for either, or "open" or "unlock" for doors. I've never
heard anything else used regularly for either.
A suitable level of abstraction again.
--
We are geeks. Resistance is voltage over current.
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-06-30 04:57:31 UTC
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Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
I started Snow Crash once. Didn't get too far in before I got
bored and went to something else, anything else, more
interesting (like the back of a toothpaste tube). I have
absolutely no memory of any part of it except that the word
pizza was used. And that may be a false memory.
I'm pretty sure I would have loved _Snow Crash_ if I'd read it
as a teen, when it first came out.
I doubt I would have liked it as a teenager, either. My reading
preferences have always been pretty sophisticated[1], largely
because the most convenient library to raid was my sister's, who is
six years older than me. And she was a very precocious reader from
a young age.
Post by Juho Julkunen
When I tried reading it last
year I didn't exactly find it compelling. I got as far as the
part where the operation of the titular Snow Crash was being
explained; it was so silly I had to put the book down. I have
not picked it up since.
OK, I just read the Wikipedia plot summary. I expected to struggle
to finish it out of boredom, but that wasn't the case. The plot is
so stupid it's like watching a train wreck. But not stupid enough
to be worth the effort. It's like The Ass Goblins of Auschwitz
(real book): you can't be so bad you're good if you're trying to do
it on purpose.

Is the "virtual virus" thingie like virtual reality? I've never see
a virtual reality book that wasn't stupid, because they *always*
include the idiotic "if you die in the VR world, you die in the
real world" crap. Which suggests that a) The designers of VR
equipment are either criminally incompetely, or fully aware they
are serial killers, and that's their goal, b) the government is
part of the conspiracy, in allowing such dangerous equipment to be
sold, and c) every single person who uses such equipment is
literally too stupid to live (which invokes The Eight Deadly Words
faster, for me, than *anything* else).[2]



[1]I was told in 6th grade that I was reading at a college junior
level, and that I could sit in on any science class the high school
had to offer and get more out of it than the seniors. I'm pretty
sure this was becauwse I read a *lot*, and most of it was science
fiction.

[2]The VR story I want to see is one where the virtual warrior
knows, with absolute certainty, that he's perfectly safe, and so
are his loved one, inside their bunker, because the equipment
wasn't designed by serial killers, but if he fails, the Something
Bad happens to the rest of the world, like a nuclear war. I'm sure
someone will post a link to such a story. But it will still
probably be too stupid to catch my interest.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Juho Julkunen
2017-06-30 12:35:29 UTC
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Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Is the "virtual virus" thingie like virtual reality? I've never see
a virtual reality book that wasn't stupid, because they *always*
include the idiotic "if you die in the VR world, you die in the
real world" crap. Which suggests that a) The designers of VR
_Snow Crash_ actually has one of the most likely virtual worlds I
remember seeing (from back in the day), being essentially Second Life.
Hacker extraordinaire Hiro Protagonist slices people left and right
with his mighty katana, and they just get dumped out. (That might have
been a feature specifically programmed in. Possibly by Hiro.) Snow
Crash is such a big deal precisely because it can affect hackers in the
real world through the matrix (whatever it was called in this case).

By hacking the brain with ancient Sumerian.

If I'd read _Snow Crash_ when I was younger and dumber, it might have
fallen on a different side of cool/stupid divide.
--
Juho Julkunen
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-06-30 15:06:39 UTC
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Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Is the "virtual virus" thingie like virtual reality? I've never
see a virtual reality book that wasn't stupid, because they
*always* include the idiotic "if you die in the VR world, you
die in the real world" crap. Which suggests that a) The
designers of VR
_Snow Crash_ actually has one of the most likely virtual worlds
I remember seeing (from back in the day), being essentially
Second Life. Hacker extraordinaire Hiro Protagonist slices
people left and right with his mighty katana, and they just get
dumped out. (That might have been a feature specifically
programmed in. Possibly by Hiro.) Snow Crash is such a big deal
precisely because it can affect hackers in the real world
through the matrix (whatever it was called in this case).
Which confirms that I have zero interest in ever finishing it.
Post by Juho Julkunen
By hacking the brain with ancient Sumerian.
The stupid. It burns.
Post by Juho Julkunen
If I'd read _Snow Crash_ when I was younger and dumber, it might
have fallen on a different side of cool/stupid divide.
I really don't think I would have. I stopped watching Saturday
morning cartoons before middle school. Well before.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Robert Carnegie
2017-07-01 16:34:29 UTC
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Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Is the "virtual virus" thingie like virtual reality? I've never see
a virtual reality book that wasn't stupid, because they *always*
include the idiotic "if you die in the VR world, you die in the
real world" crap. Which suggests that a) The designers of VR
_Snow Crash_ actually has one of the most likely virtual worlds I
remember seeing (from back in the day), being essentially Second Life.
Hacker extraordinaire Hiro Protagonist slices people left and right
with his mighty katana, and they just get dumped out. (That might have
been a feature specifically programmed in. Possibly by Hiro.) Snow
Crash is such a big deal precisely because it can affect hackers in the
real world through the matrix (whatever it was called in this case).
By hacking the brain with ancient Sumerian.
If I'd read _Snow Crash_ when I was younger and dumber, it might have
fallen on a different side of cool/stupid divide.
Are other forms of "universal mind control"
more acceptable in science fiction than
"magic words"? The Euphio machine, for instance.
Telepaths a la Star Trek franchise.
Ultrasound (_Tool of the Trade_). David Langford's
"basilisk" - but, no, that refers around in
Wikipedia to _Snow Crash_ again. In Doctor Who's
adventure "The Christmas Invasion", the alien mind
control is called "blood work" and affects humans
with a particular blood type, of which the aliens
have a sample. Ther, you see? Scientific!
Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
2017-07-01 19:10:29 UTC
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Post by Robert Carnegie
Post by Juho Julkunen
Post by Gutless Umbrella Carrying Sissy
Is the "virtual virus" thingie like virtual reality? I've
never see a virtual reality book that wasn't stupid, because
they *always* include the idiotic "if you die in the VR
world, you die in the real world" crap. Which suggests that
a) The designers of VR
_Snow Crash_ actually has one of the most likely virtual worlds
I remember seeing (from back in the day), being essentially
Second Life. Hacker extraordinaire Hiro Protagonist slices
people left and right with his mighty katana, and they just get
dumped out. (That might have been a feature specifically
programmed in. Possibly by Hiro.) Snow Crash is such a big deal
precisely because it can affect hackers in the real world
through the matrix (whatever it was called in this case).
By hacking the brain with ancient Sumerian.
If I'd read _Snow Crash_ when I was younger and dumber, it
might have fallen on a different side of cool/stupid divide.
Are other forms of "universal mind control"
more acceptable in science fiction than
"magic words"?
Not within my WSOD, no. Even if it were realistic, it wouldn't be
entertaining to read.
--
Terry Austin

Vacation photos from Iceland:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/QaXQkB

"Terry Austin: like the polio vaccine, only with more asshole."
-- David Bilek

Jesus forgives sinners, not criminals.
Dimensional Traveler
2017-06-29 22:52:03 UTC
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Post by Richard Hershberger
Post by -dsr-
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Yes, the moon explodes for no reason except the author wanted to destroy
the world with a deadline for getting some people out into space.
Oh, you meant besides that?
Here's my advice: skip ahead to roughly 2/3 through the book, where
it says "FIVE THOUSAND YEARS LATER".
If at any point you feel that you need to go back and read the first
part of the book to understand what's going on, read two more pages
before giving in.
My prediction: you won't read the first 2/3 of the book at all.
This says something about my opinion of the book.
I liked Zodiac, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, Anathem
and REAMDE. I was ok with the first book of the Trilogy That Does Not
End, but couldn't finish the other two. And I skipped over the Mongoliad
stuff entirely. I have mixed hopes about Stephenson's new collaboration.
I read the first book of the Mongoliad, responding with "meh." It's not terrible, but it didn't make me want to get the second one. Anathem is a masterpiece. The Baroque Cycle is a mess, but a glorious mess. Reamde was an OK action novel. I got a third of the way through Seveneves and put the book down--not in disgust, but because something came up. That was a year or two back. Maybe I'll take your suggestion of skipping ahead. In the meantime, the new one is with his Mongoliad collaborator. This does not bode well. The signs point to Anathem being peak Stephenson, and we are now in the long twilight.
Age of the Brain Nibbler? :)
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
David DeLaney
2017-07-01 10:16:30 UTC
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Yes, the moon explodes for no [adequately explored] reason
Fixed that for you.

Dave, gotta keep the trops in working order or they start to fragment
--
\/David DeLaney posting thru EarthLink - "It's not the pot that grows the flower
It's not the clock that slows the hour The definition's plain for anyone to see
Love is all it takes to make a family" - R&P. VISUALIZE HAPPYNET VRbeable<BLINK>
gatekeeper.vic.com/~dbd - net.legends FAQ & Magic / I WUV you in all CAPS! --K.
David Mitchell
2017-07-05 06:32:50 UTC
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Post by -dsr-
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Yes, the moon explodes for no reason except the author wanted to destroy
the world with a deadline for getting some people out into space.
Oh, you meant besides that?
Here's my advice: skip ahead to roughly 2/3 through the book, where
it says "FIVE THOUSAND YEARS LATER".
If at any point you feel that you need to go back and read the first
part of the book to understand what's going on, read two more pages
before giving in.
My prediction: you won't read the first 2/3 of the book at all.
This says something about my opinion of the book.
I liked Zodiac, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, Anathem
and REAMDE. I was ok with the first book of the Trilogy That Does Not
End, but couldn't finish the other two. And I skipped over the Mongoliad
stuff entirely. I have mixed hopes about Stephenson's new collaboration.
Just finished the audiobook of _The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O_, and it annoyed me
so much I messaged Stephenson to tell him so *even though I know he won't read
the message*, because I had to get it off my chest.

There are *pages and pages* of tedious, pointless, conversation, online messages
with headers lovingly detailed for what seems like hours; and, at the end, when
you've ploughed through all that for hours of your life, it ends.

Stops.

Terminates.

Mid-fucking-plot.

Okay, there's a sub-plot, which gets resolved, and some of the journey is quite
good, but: no. Not enough.

I think I'm done with Stephenson.
David Mitchell
2017-07-05 06:38:31 UTC
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Post by David Mitchell
Post by -dsr-
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Yes, the moon explodes for no reason except the author wanted to destroy
the world with a deadline for getting some people out into space.
Oh, you meant besides that?
Here's my advice: skip ahead to roughly 2/3 through the book, where
it says "FIVE THOUSAND YEARS LATER".
If at any point you feel that you need to go back and read the first
part of the book to understand what's going on, read two more pages
before giving in.
My prediction: you won't read the first 2/3 of the book at all.
This says something about my opinion of the book.
I liked Zodiac, Snow Crash, The Diamond Age, Cryptonomicon, Anathem
and REAMDE. I was ok with the first book of the Trilogy That Does Not
End, but couldn't finish the other two. And I skipped over the Mongoliad
stuff entirely. I have mixed hopes about Stephenson's new collaboration.
Just finished the audiobook of _The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O_, and it annoyed me
so much I messaged Stephenson to tell him so *even though I know he won't read
the message*, because I had to get it off my chest.
There are *pages and pages* of tedious, pointless, conversation, online messages
with headers lovingly detailed for what seems like hours; and, at the end, when
you've ploughed through all that for hours of your life, it ends.
Stops.
Terminates.
Mid-fucking-plot.
Okay, there's a sub-plot, which gets resolved, and some of the journey is quite
good, but: no. Not enough.
I think I'm done with Stephenson.
Oh, and the protagonists are so massively, insanely, implausibly stoopid, for
plot reasons, that it's embarassing,


BIG SPOILERS




I'M NOT KIDDING.




They have a secret project, which has developed a super seekrit mind control
cabinet.

They allow the head of the project, and his liason with the Gummint, to enter
it, *accompanied by the person who can use it*, for an hour, unobserved; and
never once question their actions thereafter.
Moriarty
2017-07-05 22:30:45 UTC
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<snip>
Post by David Mitchell
Post by David Mitchell
Just finished the audiobook of _The Rise and Fall of D.O.D.O_, and it annoyed me
so much I messaged Stephenson to tell him so *even though I know he won't read
the message*, because I had to get it off my chest.
There are *pages and pages* of tedious, pointless, conversation, online messages
with headers lovingly detailed for what seems like hours; and, at the end, when
you've ploughed through all that for hours of your life, it ends.
Stops.
Terminates.
Mid-fucking-plot.
Okay, there's a sub-plot, which gets resolved, and some of the journey is quite
good, but: no. Not enough.
I think I'm done with Stephenson.
Oh, and the protagonists are so massively, insanely, implausibly stoopid, for
plot reasons, that it's embarassing,
BIG SPOILERS
I'M NOT KIDDING.
They have a secret project, which has developed a super seekrit mind control
cabinet.
They allow the head of the project, and his liason with the Gummint, to enter
it, *accompanied by the person who can use it*, for an hour, unobserved; and
never once question their actions thereafter.
Ouch! I'm not reading that one.

-Moriarty
Kevrob
2017-07-02 02:39:39 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Dinah MacQuarie would not receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, not as long as Penn stays in the Ivy League, and the Ivies
don't change their longstanding rule against giving free rides based on
athletic prowess.
It's set in the future, the rules may have changed..
If an explanation for such a change pops up later in the novel,
then fine. Right now its like confusing Aussie Rules football
with Rugby Union. It grates.
I ran across an egregious Britishism. NS has a character said to be
raised in Alaska (Dinah) use the expression "get shirty."

USAians are unlikely to say that.

Kevin R
Kevrob
2017-07-02 02:51:41 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
Post by Kevrob
Post by h***@gmail.com
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Dinah MacQuarie would not receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, not as long as Penn stays in the Ivy League, and the Ivies
don't change their longstanding rule against giving free rides based on
athletic prowess.
It's set in the future, the rules may have changed..
If an explanation for such a change pops up later in the novel,
then fine. Right now its like confusing Aussie Rules football
with Rugby Union. It grates.
I ran across an egregious Britishism. NS has a character said to be
raised in Alaska (Dinah) use the expression "get shirty."
USAians are unlikely to say that.
Forgot to add this one. He has the POTUS tell someone that she has
the power to commute death sentences of prisoners in Texas. If they
are held under a Federal conviction, she would, but not if convicted
under Texas law. In TX, that's a power of, in a limited way, the governor,
but more broadly it is vested in the Texas Board Of Pardons And Paroles.
This became widely known in the 2000 Presidential race, when critics of
George W Bush wanted him to pardon particular prisoners.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Governorship_of_George_W._Bush#Capital_punishment_policy

NS falling down on his USA research, again.

Kevin R
Don Bruder
2017-07-07 00:48:29 UTC
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Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the
verisimilitude.
Dinah MacQuarie would not receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, not as long as Penn stays in the Ivy League, and the Ivies
don't change their longstanding rule against giving free rides based on
athletic prowess.
[quote]
Yet, underlying the agreement, there is a departure from the normal. There
is a statement signed by noted educational institutions, representing some
of the finest minds in the country, and secondly, there is an affirmation
that athletes will not be made privileged students on the campus. Thus the
Ivy Group states: "The members of the Group reaffirm their prohibition of
athletic scholarships. Athletes shall be admitted as students and
awarded financial aid only on the basis of the same academic standards
and economic need as are applied to all other students."
[/quote] - Harvard Crimson
Ivy League: Formalizing the Fact
Contests for Today Mark New Conference Opening
By Bernard M. Gwertzman, October 13, 1956
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1956/10/13/ivy-league-formalizing-the-fact-p
the/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_league#History_of_the_athletic_league
I'm reading a first printing borrowed from the library.
Here's hoping they fix it in the ebook and paperback.
Jen Brehl was the editor, the acknowledgments say.
She used to edit Asimov! And Pratchett!
http://www.hws.edu/alumni/pssurvey/fall09/asimov.aspx
William Smith is an NCAA Division III school. None of those
give athletic scholarships, either. The Ivies play in Division I,
and compete in non-league games against schools that do give
such scholarships.
Being an athletic prospect might move your application to the
"accept" pile, AOTBE, just as being talented in music, art, drama
or some other extracurricular activity might.
What other howlers am in in for?
Kevin R
*LOTS* of howlers in that particular steaming pile.

I'll refrain from spoiler-ing it for you with details, but you need to
be prepared for the fact that WSOD is regularly set upon by every
possible method of attack you're ever likely to encounter. In a few
places, WSOD is not only attacked, but gets chased down by a mob,
tripped, bundled in several hundred feet of duct tape, beaten severely
about the head and shoulders by the mob before being dragged into a dark
corner and beaten into a coma with sand-filled rubber hoses for anywhere
from a paragraph to several pages.

In one place, that happens to it, then it's shot in the head repeatedly
using a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with slugs.

(If you're reading the group, Mr. S, I'm sorry, but Seveneves is the
worst thing you've ever put on paper. Everything else of yours I've read
I've at least liked. Some of it I outright love. Seveneves is the
exception, and good gawd is it ever a stinking, god-awful pile of drek!
You should be ashamed of yourself for allowing such an abortion to see
the light of day.)
--
If the door is baroque don't be Haydn. Come around Bach and jiggle the Handel.
Dimensional Traveler
2017-07-07 01:21:43 UTC
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Post by Don Bruder
Post by Kevrob
....right out of the box, there's sommething that disrupts the verisimilitude.
Dinah MacQuarie would not receive an athletic scholarship to the University
of Pennsylvania, not as long as Penn stays in the Ivy League, and the Ivies
don't change their longstanding rule against giving free rides based on
athletic prowess.
[quote]
Yet, underlying the agreement, there is a departure from the normal. There
is a statement signed by noted educational institutions, representing some
of the finest minds in the country, and secondly, there is an affirmation
that athletes will not be made privileged students on the campus. Thus the
Ivy Group states: "The members of the Group reaffirm their prohibition of
athletic scholarships. Athletes shall be admitted as students and
awarded financial aid only on the basis of the same academic standards
and economic need as are applied to all other students."
[/quote] - Harvard Crimson
Ivy League: Formalizing the Fact
Contests for Today Mark New Conference Opening
By Bernard M. Gwertzman, October 13, 1956
http://www.thecrimson.com/article/1956/10/13/ivy-league-formalizing-the-fact-p
the/
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ivy_league#History_of_the_athletic_league
I'm reading a first printing borrowed from the library.
Here's hoping they fix it in the ebook and paperback.
Jen Brehl was the editor, the acknowledgments say.
She used to edit Asimov! And Pratchett!
http://www.hws.edu/alumni/pssurvey/fall09/asimov.aspx
William Smith is an NCAA Division III school. None of those
give athletic scholarships, either. The Ivies play in Division I,
and compete in non-league games against schools that do give
such scholarships.
Being an athletic prospect might move your application to the
"accept" pile, AOTBE, just as being talented in music, art, drama
or some other extracurricular activity might.
What other howlers am in in for?
Kevin R
*LOTS* of howlers in that particular steaming pile.
I'll refrain from spoiler-ing it for you with details, but you need to
be prepared for the fact that WSOD is regularly set upon by every
possible method of attack you're ever likely to encounter. In a few
places, WSOD is not only attacked, but gets chased down by a mob,
tripped, bundled in several hundred feet of duct tape, beaten severely
about the head and shoulders by the mob before being dragged into a dark
corner and beaten into a coma with sand-filled rubber hoses for anywhere
from a paragraph to several pages.
In one place, that happens to it, then it's shot in the head repeatedly
using a 12 gauge shotgun loaded with slugs.
(If you're reading the group, Mr. S, I'm sorry, but Seveneves is the
worst thing you've ever put on paper. Everything else of yours I've read
I've at least liked. Some of it I outright love. Seveneves is the
exception, and good gawd is it ever a stinking, god-awful pile of drek!
You should be ashamed of yourself for allowing such an abortion to see
the light of day.)
Don't hold back, tell us what you really think! :D
--
Inquiring minds want to know while minds with a self-preservation
instinct are running screaming.
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