Discourse in a Digital Age discussion

Version Control

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message 1: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
I’m really enjoying it so far. Really hits my X-ennial anxieties and experiences on the nose 20% in.

message 2: by Readridinghood (new)

Readridinghood | 62 comments I have the book downloaded. Will begin listening to it soon!

message 3: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments OMG, this book is, like, so-o-o relevant! (Excuse me for mimicking my millennial granddaughter).
I'm in the part about Becca's 'blackout period', her core group of girl BFFs, and their experiences with online dating -- very funny and reminiscent of the Aziz Ansari bk we read. Tho' this section is a little discordant with the preceding chapters on Philip & Rebecca's marriage, the lab and the 'causality violation device'.

message 4: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments Well, I'm on pg. 196, and it's starting to feel like I'll be reading this book forever. Not that I'm not (mostly) enjoying the many digressions and leaps around in time, but I keep having to quash the urge to yell "alright already -- get on with it!".
I do very much like Palmer's descriptions of Sean as a baby & growing child and Rebecca's & Philip's reactions to him.

message 5: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
I finished and there was a lot to like, but...yes, it could have been 100-200 pages shorter and gotten all its points across. Reminded me of the movie Sliding Doors—not with the philosophy and science (which I think he explores fairly well) but the “change one thing, change everything” situation.

message 6: by Readridinghood (new)

Readridinghood | 62 comments This book in audio form is 18 hours long! I am starting

message 7: by Readridinghood (new)

Readridinghood | 62 comments This book in audio form is 18 hours long. What a listening challenge!

message 8: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments All I have right now are gut reactions, mostly of horror at this "version" of the future our fascination/obsession with technology is driving us toward.
Rebecca's family's shared alcohol dependence is unpleasant to read about also, and I can't help but wonder how many personal issues the author is working out thru this story. And I'm getting lost in the physics/philosophical arguments on time travel ("DON'T call it that!").
Kenny, what were your feelings when you first read it?

message 9: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Hardcastle | 166 comments Mod

The link above is to my original review, the one where immediately shared it with many of you and said, "We are reading this book!" I was simply stunned by how eloquently and completely the author captured my generation and wove it into a compelling sci-fi premise.

I haven't yet picked it up again for a reread, which I admit is a bit of a daunting task. It boasts a lengthy and complex plot. The diatribes about physics are not exactly to my taste. There are so many details I must reacquaint myself with.

message 10: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments Excellent review! During my entire 35+ year career as a lib'n, I never developed the art of describing the essence of a book so that someone else would want to read it, or of capturing its salient points without ruining it for the reader.

message 11: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
I have two kids that need to be in two different places tomorrow and a husband out of town. I don’t think I can make this all work. Can anyone call Kenny on Skype or Gmail? I obviously don’t want him to miss the discussion of his book choice!

message 12: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments Anne, I just emailed Travis to ask if anyone on the lib. staff could/would be allowed to set us up on Skype on one of the lib. laptops. Failing that, or one of us being able to do it, is it out of the question to move this month's discuss'n to Thurs pm? If a rm at the lib isn't available then, we could carpool up to Panera or walk to some quiet-ish coffee place nearby?

message 13: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
I can’t do Thursday but can do next Wednesday 9/19.

message 14: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Hammond | 27 comments Are we using the regular library wifi for skype or sonething special that needs to be set up?

message 15: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
It’s just the library WiFi and you can use Skype or google.

message 16: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments Cheryl, Donna, Teresa -- so, since Ken is missing his play rehearsal Wed pm just to discuss Version Control, let's go ahead with it tomorrow nite. Can't find another date when all of us are available anyway, and postponing discussing it til Oct mtg won't help, as Teresa and Ken will miss that meeting.
I'm bringing treats, see you at 6:30 at the Library.

message 17: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 63 comments I will be there to talk about it. I finished it but it felt like I would never finish it. It was way to long. I think you could have had the same impressions in 100 pages less

message 18: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Hammond | 27 comments Ken,
Can you send me a skype invitation? My skype address is cheryl.c.hammond. Then I can connect to you at the book club meeting on my tablet.

message 19: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Hardcastle | 166 comments Mod
I will add you once I get home, Cheryl! Thanks for the lifeline.

message 20: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Hammond | 27 comments Thanks. Hope you are not in the path of the hurricane.

message 21: by Readridinghood (new)

Readridinghood | 62 comments As much as i am enjoying this book, I am constantly thrown off by the change in direction of the plot. Currently I am on chapter,”Gala Williams.” I’m not sure if Rebecca and her son are in the past, or future? And it now seems Rebecca is involved in the virtual world to? Look forward to seeing everyone.

message 22: by Cheryl (new)

Cheryl Hammond | 27 comments Looks like I will miss this meeting. My mother went to the emergency this afternoon and I am still here with her. If anyone has Ken‘s telephone number, the telephone can be used. If I can come, I will. But it looks doubtful.

message 23: by Anne (new)

Anne | 135 comments Mod
I hope she’s doing OK, Cheryl.

I hope the remainder at the meeting was OK! I liked a lot of the book, but, as most of us seemed to agree, it was too long. It’s an interesting concept—things changing around a certain event but I thought the “science” of it came through more weakly than the philosophy of it. The treatment of technology was most interesting. The examination of race was welcome but also not as deep.

Did any good questions or answers come up tonight?

message 24: by Teresa (new)

Teresa | 63 comments There were only 3 of us and unfortunately, we did not get to get skype with Kenny. We really wanted to have his outlook on the discussion. But we did have a nice one and had a couple of thinking moments. We all agreed that the book was to long and there was a lot that could have been left out without diminishing the book. It was a nice discussion.

message 25: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments I had lots of questions that a physics prof might've answered -- like whether the "conservation of mass" law is actual, whether the science of Rebecca's final trip to the past and her return with teeth enamel intact (I get that it's the only human body system that doesn't constantly regenerate, but why wouldn't it have remained in the orig'l Rebecca's corpse?) was accurate as far as can be currently known. Other than the physics of time travel stuff, I had everyone's complaint about the bk's unnecessary length - I would've omitted most of the Terence/Spivey talks, the Bricker chapter (save for the part on the commuter train that showed the extent that social media, gaming, and not-face to face communication had done away with the norms of polite public behavior

message 26: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments Also, the

message 27: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments Also the arguments over religion & science between Rebecca's dad and Philip. Major dissatisfaction with Rebecca -- why was she wasting her mind & talents working for a scummy operation like Lovability and not dealing with her obvious alcoholism (which pre-dated Sean's death) and lying to Philip about it.
Last comment, it is so WRONG that Alicia triumphed in every way in this story!

message 28: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Hardcastle | 166 comments Mod
Why does anybody stay trapped in bad life patterns? It's just so much easier to stay than it is to do anything about it. You don't need another glass of Prosecco, but you want one. You can quit any time. You may as well keep working at the current company - you're good at your job. And what point is there in changing yourself when the world is so wrong? Also, I got the feeling that most organizations in this potential future were scummy, so where else is there to go?

Ultimately, she did something to change these issues, though I suppose it's less than ideal that sacrificing herself is the outcome she went with.

I loved the Terence/Spivey stuff, as it enhanced the analysis of generational differences, though I concede it wasn't strictly necessary. The relationship between Carson and Spivey was one of the main ways the author introduced the discussion of race, brilliantly extended by Rebecca's virtual relationship with the woman whose name escapes me.

I enjoyed the unconventional sort of time travel. It made me look back at the decision points in my life and wonder what would be different, but it also kept me from dwelling on it.

message 29: by Kenneth (new)

Kenneth Hardcastle | 166 comments Mod
For as long as the book is, there is also a lot that is unsaid. I remember a lot of shifts and changes that made me think "That's not how it was a few pages ago." I think the scientists who worked with the CVD were changing their lives around and manipulating things without meaning to. That accounts for Rebecca's feeling that everything is wrong.

Maybe that's how Alicia always came out on top.

message 30: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments Hmmph! Tho' I'll graciously concede your point about the Terence/Spivey conversations and Spivey's treatment of Carson.

message 31: by Lucy (new)

Lucy (lucy47) | 149 comments I forgot to mention one point we discussed Wed pm -- the intensely thought-provoking explanation by the DAPPAS guy for the necessity of quashing the CVD and any public knowledge of its successful operation.

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