Hugo & Nebula Awards: Best Novels discussion

Blindsight (Firefall, #1)
This topic is about Blindsight
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Monthly Reading: Discussion > Blindsight-spoilers allowed

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message 1: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 1 star

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
Speak here about Blindsight with spoilers allowed


message 2: by Sarah (new) - added it

Sarah Tate | 338 comments Hard sci-fi meets vampires? Interesting...


message 3: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3759 comments Mod
Sarah wrote: "Hard sci-fi meets vampires? Interesting..."

And what it means to be human sapient


message 4: by *Tau* (new) - added it

*Tau* | 106 comments Oleksandr wrote: "And what it means to be human sapient"

Lol
@Allan: You see that we're all thinking about you 😋


message 5: by TomK2 (last edited Oct 04, 2020 06:37PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments When I was reading this book I initially thought that Watts had borrowed an idea. Intelligence without "consciousness" defined the species called Obin in John Scalzi's "Ghost Brigades. " However, Ghost Brigades was published the same year as Blindsight. In Ghost Brigades the Obin were trying to figure out the significance of self consciousness and ego, and why it was omitted when they were given intelligence by another species.

In Blindsight, an intelligent species reacts to the alien (from their viewpoint) concept of ego, individuality, and consciousness as a drastic threat and sends an apparent attack. Then you have the resurrected Vampire species thrown in as well, a species that is extremely intelligent but also lacks and ego.

I am about 10 % into the Cixin Liu's Dark Forest, and the concept of Human individuality and the inablility of others (including the aliens) to see your true thoughts is viewed as an incredible threat to the Tri-solaris aliens that have evolved with that ability, so much so that deception, deceit, and lying are incomprehensible to them. Which then reminds me about that Twilight Zone "Hocus-Pokus and Frisby" where aliens with no concept of lying believe everything a tall tale artist says.

The concept of alien races that humans can not understand BECAUSE they are alien is well established. However, I see a trend of not only aliens that can not understand Humans, but aliens that see Human intelligence and sapience as an actual threat. These exercises can poke and prod at just what Human sapience and existence actually is in unique ways that are beyond the traditional commentary on human greed, short sightedness, and self destructive capacity.


message 6: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 699 comments I was initially very interested in this book because I heard it dealt with the idea of intelligence without consciousness. A very interesting idea.

I quickly got upset with this book for introducing so many ideas that seemed unrelated, such as vampires, and the operation that Siri had, and the technology Siri's girlfriend used to modify brains, and the character with multiple personalities, and the character Susan Bates who could control some drones, and characters being uploaded into Heaven, etc. It was just TOO MUCH for one story.

Later I realized all those things relate to the idea of various types of consciousness, so it does all fit together.

Still, all that was introduced too quickly and was too confusing to follow. So, in the end, I'm not a fan.


TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments I also think I glazed over during the start of this book on my first attempt. I didnt pay too much attention to some of the characters, I hope my 2nd read allows me to better appreciate them. I did pay attention to the protagonist, the Vampire, and the Scramblers. I chuckled at the Scramblers being starfish like in some ways, considering Peter Watts Rifter series. I had no foreknowledge of the book, so when they were revealed as intelligent pre-made critters with no need for air, water, or nutrients because they were made pre-packaged with everything they needed for their entire lifespan, I was truly impressed with their "alien" nature. Then add in their abilities to observe their captors and communicate without detection, I thought they were astounding hard sci fi aliens.


message 8: by TomK2 (last edited Oct 08, 2020 06:27PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Then I appreciated a hard sci fi way to incorporate Vampires without them being modified or infected humans. While the Vampire captain was modified, his behavior is explained in the context of "normal" vampire behavior and thinking. An extinct but resurrected species (like Jurassic park?) , intolerance to euclidean geometry in structures as an explanation for fear and repulsion by the right angles of a cross? What a unique way to keep that vampire foible without religion. More intelligent, faster, and stronger than humans, with the ability to go dormant, waiting for the local food supply (people) to forget about them. What a way to address the immortal undead aspect of traditional vampires. But alas, humans built structures containing right angles not present in nature, forcing them into the night to avoid seizures, only to become extinct. Amazing imagination and twist, even without them being without an ego or conciousness.

So I hope my 2nd read will allow me to get more out of vampires and scramblers, but also to think more about the other characters I didnt think too much about.


TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Ed wrote: "I was initially very interested in this book because I heard it dealt with the idea of intelligence without consciousness. A very interesting idea.

I quickly got upset with this book for introduci..."


I don't blame you Ed. The author himself realized the problem. From his introduction:

"I suspect Blindsight was a tough haul for both of us: shitloads of essential theory threatened to overwhelm the story, not to mention the problem of generating reader investment in a cast of characters who were less cuddlesome than usual. I still don't know the extent to which I succeeded or failed...."

I am beginning my re-read today. I am curious if I will feel the same way as you since I already know the end, or if I will find more nuance and things I liked but that I sped over the first time.


Warner (warnerb) | 4 comments If you are having trouble visualizing the scramblers and the alien ship, well, check this out.
https://www.rifters.com/crawl/?p=9489...


TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments That was pretty cool. BTW: I am more than a third of the way into my re-read, and Still love this book. A few new appreciations and revelations from my first read, but I just plain like it. Why? Perhaps my marine biology and medical education combined with an interest in following astronomy and physics over my life makes me just susceptible to this book.

The linked video had the scramblers resembling Brittle Sea Stars
https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...

instead of the classical shape of the Asteroideas type of sea stars

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedi...

Which just tickled me silly when I realized it never occurred to me. Sorry for nerding out


Warner (warnerb) | 4 comments TomK2: Never be sorry for nerding out. That's a great insight.


message 13: by Ed (new) - rated it 3 stars

Ed Erwin | 699 comments Yay for bringing up brittle stars! I've been reading a book about the evolution of eyes and one of many surprising things in it is that brittle stars have tiny eyes all over their body! Well, maybe they shouldn't really be called eyes, but they have light-sensitive organs all over and those have lenses. The lenses are even shaped in such a way as to reduce chromatic aberration, though why they need to care about that is a mystery.

I think the scramblers in this book were said to have visual sense all over their bodies as well.

The variety of types of eyes in sea creatures is truly stunning. Box jellies have large eyes with another small eye attached. Lobsters have eyes using mirrors instead of lenses, and thus cannot see vampires. (NASA borrowed this trick for an x-ray "lobster" telescope.) Mantis shrimp eyes have upper and lower zones that can focus on the same place at the same time, thus allowing stereo vision from a single eye. Flying fish have pyramidal eyes with two triangular parts used for vision underwater and the third part used for vision when flying. I could go on....


TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments I am sure that Brittle Sea Star eyes and Scrambler eyes is not a coincidence, considering Peter Watts' education. I am almost to the point in the book where the Scramblers show up, so I will be paying attention.


message 15: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Oct 14, 2020 08:21AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Reading this book I felt as if it took it way too long time to find itself. The plotlines and character development was all over the place in the beginning, between grasping the ideas behind technologies the reader had to focus on childhood memories, ex-girlfriends, first contact, interpersonal relationships and a ton of science.

Once the plot intensifies upon the crew entering the alien station everything turns for the better. The side plots become relevant and start actually adding to the story.

Tom, can't blame you for nerding out over the book, besides the scientific disciplines you mentioned there's also linguistics, which is my personal "fetish".

My main problem with the book is that it took it way too long to weed out all the extra boring bits and the failure of tying it all together in a meaningful manner just added to the frustration. The investment of reading about the protagonist's family dynamics and his love interests, to me, just did not match the little it added to the story.

The part towards the end of the book where his ex calls him was pretty memorable though. In a way I can relate to the character and his strengths and weaknesses, but I'm not going to go into details.


message 16: by Antti (last edited Oct 14, 2020 01:57PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Antti Värtö (andekn) | 802 comments Mod
It's interesting- one of the things I really loved about this book seems to be the main complaint for many of you: there are a lot of ideas, front-loaded.

For me, the abundance of different SFnal concepts and ideas painted a vivid picture of a weird future where everything is changing much too rapidly - "future shock" or near-singularity, however you want to call it.

I feel like this is emphasised in the characters: Siri, after all, makes his living trying to create some sort of coherent whole out of hyperspecialised fields that he himself can't understand, the biologists are cybernetically enhanced up to their gills just to stay relevant, Susan James had to split herself in four for that same purpose...

Its all too much, much too much for humans, and the avalanche of weirdness and new concepts makes you really feel how fast-paced and anxiety-inducing the world has become.


message 17: by TomK2 (last edited Oct 14, 2020 03:20PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Art- I understand what you are saying. Every person in this book is abnormal, modified, damaged, and not particularly likable.

Obviously, the protagonist Siri Keeton gets the most exposure and explanation. Siri is essentially a two dimensional character by nature of his medical condition. He has almost no empathy, and what empathy and understanding he does have is calculations based on experiences he has had in the past. I think his childhood, his family life, and his girlfriend experience were meant to add depth to his machine like persona. Siri is almost like an AI, and his job and function are what you would give an AI. Sarasti at one point says Siri is there because he is the best in his field. Sarasti himself was only there because humans would not be led and commanded by AI's, and perhaps Siri is the best in his field is party because he is not an AI, and people will listen to him. There is a theme that Siri is not quite a full person after his radical brain surgery as a child, and those background stories are told to simultaneously accentuate that, and provide doubt about that. I haven't gotten to the end of my reread, but I recall Sarasti attacks Siri and injures him, and if I remember correctly the attack was done suddenly and viciously to demonstrate the big difference between Sarasti and Siri. When Sarasti turns out to be a puppet controlled by the AI, was that attack the AI proving to Siri the differences between them? It was the AI that put Siri onto the shuttle to be sent home, and because of what happened Siri feels he has regained his own humanity.

I don't think the "salvation" of Siri Keeton could have been meaningful without all that back story, and the family backstory also allowed for another exploration of human consciousness with the upload into the digital Heaven. While that is my explanation for why the backstory is significant, it does not matter at all if it was told in a way that did not interest you. I did not remember much of the backstory prior to my re-read, so I also ultimately didn't need it for appreciating the larger themes.


message 18: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Oct 14, 2020 07:26PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
I see what you mean Antti, but I do not feel as generous about it as you do. At least not generous enough to attribute intent to something that seems more like an oversight on the author's part.

Besides that I think there was a lack of focus. It is a "human condition" novel trying to be "hard" sci-fi but it is not always apparent throughout the story.


message 19: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Oct 14, 2020 05:04PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
@TomK2

Yes, this is exactly how I took it. My complaint arises mostly from the fact that I wish it was a five star book for me, but all the unpolished bits land it somewhere between three and four stars for the time being.

Edited:
The book is definitely worth reading, especially if the ending will add more to the overall quality.


message 20: by Antti (last edited Oct 16, 2020 05:22AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Antti Värtö (andekn) | 802 comments Mod
TomK2 wrote: "He has almost no empathy, and what empathy and understanding he does have is calculations based on experiences he has had in the past."

What I didn't understand on my first read until almost at the very end is that Siri is an unreliable narrator: after Sarasti has attacked him he overhears the others talking about how unreliable and not really human someone is, and it's pretty obvious they're referring to the vampire, but Siri narrates "They were obviously talking about me."

That made me question every interpretation Siri had made of the others' motivations or actions. He tells the story as if he's an omniscient narrator, but obviously he doesn't understand the other humans very well at all.

At the very end he even mentions how there's no such thing as a reliable narrator to underline this aspect of the book.


message 21: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (last edited Oct 16, 2020 06:34AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Yes, that was a strong twist that only underlined the complexity of the novel.


message 22: by TomK2 (last edited Oct 16, 2020 07:52PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Finished my re-read!

I still give this book 5 stars. It explores the human condition, human sentience from many angles. Everyone is modified or abnormal, and so is not in a way a purely natural human: except Amanda Bates? Her back story and description is delivered midway in the book, was her abnormality being a psychopath or antisocial personality? She allowed the horrific torture of humans, then allowed her colleagues who did the torturing to be themselves tortured and killed just to win a situation. Or was her trans-human modification the implants that made her a one woman army, grunt to general, all in one package?


AS for the many concepts you get bombarded with reading this book, it was meant to piece by piece describe the functioning of a human brain, ways it malfunctions, how it probably became the way it was, all to condition you to the final premise of the book: that sapience and self awareness are an evolutionary accident that should have died out, and is not only unnecessary but actually harmful. No need to focus on the human conditions of greed, corruption, hate, war, selfishness, and all the other flaws that we think will be our undoing, which we hope we can eventually overcome. Nope, none of that matters, our very consciousness is the problem and is incompatible with the natural order of things.

I think it did a good job. And it is way easier to read than non-fiction books on human consciousness. It is hard to accept that you can't believe your lying eyes, but that part really is true. What your conscious self sees really is filtered and manipulated information whose purpose is not to accurately display the environment, its real purpose is to display information in a way that enhances survival. There are too many optical illusions to deny that, and it is a creepy thing to accept.


message 23: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 1 star

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
Sorry I have not participated here. Although I read this book, I did not like it. But I am so glad you guys are having a good time.


message 24: by TomK2 (last edited Oct 20, 2020 01:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Antii - Siri's tale is told after it is all over, AFTER his objectivity was compromised. So it makes sense. When I finished the book this time, I interpreted his admission of bias as a good sign that he had regained some of his former self, it never occurred to me to look for clues that he was biased for the whole tale. But I think there might have been evidence of that in all the little conclusions he made, where he mentioned other possibilities that he immediately discounted. Just like the example you cited.


message 25: by Gabi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gabi | 546 comments I've finally finished the book. It was hard work for me to keep everything together and sometimes I felt like my brain capacity wasn't large enough for it. Surprisingly I wasn't bothered at all by the beginning and the many informations. It felt from the start like it was an integral part of the plot, that is of Siri's character. I also didn't feel like it was too much information, rather that the information given could have been processed in a way better understandable for laypersons. The author has a brilliant mind but lacks some of the abilities for being a good writer imho.

My most imminent question at the end is why the vampire did mutilate Siri. I've read the passage two times but I couldn't get behind the reasoning there. I'd be grateful If somebody could explain this (preferably in layperson's terms ;D).


message 26: by Art, Stay home, stay safe. (new) - rated it 3 stars

Art | 2551 comments Mod
Gabi, the mutilation was done to "jump start" Siri's "humanity" so to speak. There was a bit of foreshadowing to it, referring how pain causes those changes. Siri had to become a more active element, instead of an observer, I guess.

To be honest that is the partially why I felt as if some of the concept were added last moment and not thought through. Vampire/AI appears to be many conflicting things, arguably the mismatch is due to Siri's misinterpretation of it, still that is all too convenient.


message 27: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 1 star

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
Yes, I did get "jump starting" Siri's "humanity" that was what the mutilation was about. I just thought, why? As I did with most of the rest of this book. I mean, I thought the whole reason to include Siri was because of his thought process.


TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments My take on the attack on Siri was that it showed a fundamental difference between Siri and artificial intelligence. An artificial intelligence does not have fear and pain that incapacitates them, but a concious being does. Considering that Sarasti and the AI know as Captain were one and the same, I thought Captain was behind the attack. Siri asks Captain if it was all the AI or was there any of Sarasti involved, and CAptain answers humans wont take orders from an AI. one way to look at this tale is to view it as a chess match between two artificial intelligence. The captain only had human tools to manipulate it the match, but since Rorshach did not understand humans Rorshach needed to be very cautious. Hence the prominence of game theory.


TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Kateblue- in the end, Captain decided that not only did an account of the battle need to be sent back, but that it needed to come from a human who also understood it. As a jargonaut, Siri could tell and translate things he did not even understand. Captain decided a human who could tell the story, explain it, and also understand it was needed. So Siri had to become involved in it, sacrificing his usual objectivity for the benefit of human understanding and insight?


message 30: by TomK2 (last edited Oct 22, 2020 03:23PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Vampires were woven into the tale in various ways. Even though Sarasti was really just an AI puppet, his presence allows for Vampires to be explained.

Perhaps the biggest example of Siri's unreliability was being clueless about the Captain - Sarasti connection, wasnt that exactly the kind of thing he was supposed to be able to observe?

Vampire physiology and dormancy makes long term space travel possible, and introduces a non concious intelligent being on earth. What would a non concious being that is not an alien or an AI be like on Earth? Like a vampire, if evolution was not so fickle as to have them go extinct. And if they had not become extinct, Earth would have evolved intelligent life like elsewhere in the universe, without a concious.

It also provides for a "planet of the apes" type shocking ending as a possibility.

Siri's mother went to the digital "heaven," and it was made to seem like a choice she made. Later in the book an augmented human relates that the changes made kept him relevant and working instead of going to "heaven."Was "heaven" imposed on those who chose not to remain relevant? Or just something people did when they felt irrelevant? Vampire existence was always impeded by living and breeding in the same places and at the same rate as their human food source. The digital "Heaven" was a solution to this problem, their meat just layed down and went to sleep for them. No need to hide anymore, humans in "heaven" were like cows on a farm.

I agree that this first contact tale did not need vampires, but vampires did avoid it being like HAL in 2001 Space Odyssey, or like the rise of the machines in Terminator.


message 31: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 1 star

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
TomK2 wrote: "Kateblue- in the end, Captain decided that not only did an account of the battle need to be sent back, but that it needed to come from a human who also understood it. As a jargonaut, Siri could tel..."

Thanks, Tom. This makes sense. I missed that, somehow.


message 32: by Allan (last edited Nov 08, 2020 09:02AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Allan Phillips | 2119 comments Mod
Finally finished this today, my reading being slowed the last week or two by workload. I gave it four stars, grading it up for its integration of so many different ideas, but down somewhat for its obliqueness and choppiness of structure. Watts brought in so many ideas, it might actually be worthwhile to read the Notes & References BEFORE you read the book. Not all the ideas may be new or original, but his integration of them has a lot of originality to it. Structure-wise, I found that you had to read several paragraphs or even pages to make sense of the events. You couldn't just read one sentence and parse that in your mind, like most books. That said, I didn't have trouble knocking out pages, despite what you would think dense material like this might do. I'm glad I read it, but I can see that it's definitely not for everyone. #227


Kalin | 715 comments Mod
I am still thinking about this book, and while there are some aspects that didn't work for me (unnecessary vampires), there are scenes and ideas that will probably stick with me forever. I can see why this book has been elevated from "just a Hugo nominee" to a "non-winning classic" in the SFF canon.

I have a question though. I read somewhere that the vampires are supposed to represent non-sentient intelligence life as evolved on Earth, but they were replaced through evolutionary accident by homo sapiens. I didn't understand the explanation, if there was one, for how vampires were supposed to be non-sentient. The one vampire character we see in the book seems very much to have a conscious, self-referential mind (insofar as it is the vampire and not the AI throughout the whole book, which is left a mystery).

Anyone want to clarify this for me?


message 34: by TomK2 (last edited Nov 12, 2020 08:55PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments They describe the vampires as being intelligent without a "consciousness." This essentially means the ego that defines "I" for us as individuals, the "me" and "mine" that drives our existence. It is responsible for our perceptions of past, present, and future as it relates to ourselves. The book spends considerable effort to divide the mind into subconscious and conscious. It takes pains to demonstrate that the subconscious is entirely intelligent and capable of problem solving, which it frequently does when you are thinking about something else or even sleeping. The conscious "you" is and overlay on top of the subconscious, and the premise of this book is that it is not only unnecessary, but a step in the wrong direction.

The vampires are intelligent. It is supposed that they are more intelligent without the unnecessary consciousness on top interfering, slowing things down, and confusing things. While not in the book, there are lots of examples of what you perceive being an interpretation added to the information provided by your senses. Blindsight is an example of your perception deleting things from your consciousness that you none the less are actually seeing. It is interesting to pretend that since your perception is not entirely accurate, you or the world you perceive is an illusion. However, it is more accurate to conclude that the conscious "you" perceives things as you do because it enhances survival, even when you see things that are not there or did not occur.

The Vampires don't have that, they perceive things they way they are without the overlaid conscious. Thus, the example of perceiving both aspects of the Necklin Cube, absence of fear, ability to not be incapacitated by pain, and being faster.

We who are conscious have great difficulty contemplating intelligence different than our ego driven, self centered consciousness. One thing our culture can understand is an artificial intelligence, a thinking but unfeeling and inhuman thing. In this book the aliens of Rorschadt and the Vampires are biologic examples of what we would consider artificial intelligence because they lack the consciousness that we possess. In the story the AI and the vampire are indistinguishable?

Now, are you sure the vampire was displaying conscious characteristics, or was it the only way Siri had to describe and interpret what was going on? I did not re-read with that point in mind, I remember very little explaining, interaction, and commentary from the vampire itself, but lots of Siri talking about vampires. It was also a revelation to me when another forum member pointed out that Siri was not a reliable narrator, and this entire story was narrated after the incident was over, when the supposedly objective observer Siri was long past being compromised.

Phew! Well, I tried at least! Obviously, this book provoked a lot of thought for me, and that is why I loved it so much. I may re-read these threads some day and then re-read the book a third time to see if there are subtle answers and proof.

edit: Perhaps the vampires were necessary and not superfluous. If intelligent biologic life without a consciousness was the norm in the universe, why was earth different? Either such a creature had not yet evolved on earth, or it had lost the evolution and survival game to humans. Watts chose vampires to represent this creature as the next step in human evolution, how would you have explained it?


message 35: by Antti (last edited Nov 12, 2020 10:33PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Antti Värtö (andekn) | 802 comments Mod
TomK2 wrote: "They describe the vampires as being intelligent without a "consciousness.""

Very nice explanation! Another way to think about it is to picture the conscionsness as the Pointy-Haired Boss from "Dilbert", who doesn't actually DO anything, but everything still needs to go his approval and he takes all the credit. He's just an unnecessary bottleneck, although he believes himself to be the most valuable employee in the whole firm. Without the PHB the whole firm could be a lot more Lean and Agile, and thus function better and faster.

I practice meditation, and interestingly the end goal of meditation ("Enlightenment" or "Awakening") is destroying the illusion of the self: in essence becoming Wattsian vampire.

There is also the famous philosophical question of "philosophical zombies": could there exist people who act just the same as normal people, but who lack qualia (i.e. are not conscious)? After all, if materialism is correct, then we all are just biological robots, so why would a robot necessarily be "conscious"? I think the Watts pretty obviously refers to the p-zombies by naming his non-conscious sophont species by another legendary undead being.

Then there is also Julian Jaynes' book The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind, about his theory that consciousness is a relatively modern phenomenon and that the Bronze Age people were non-conscious. Watts definitely is familiar with Jaynes' argument and refers to it explicitly, at least in the sequel. Scott Alexander has written a great review of Jaynes' book.


TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments whoa. That review by Scott Alexander was more than I could wrap my.. ahem... mind around, I am not sure I could read the original book!

https://slatestarcodex.com/2020/06/01...


message 37: by Gabi (new) - rated it 4 stars

Gabi | 546 comments Thank you for that great explanation, Tom. I got the gist of the vampires but I found myself not able to explain it to others.


message 38: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 1 star

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
I am surprised there is not some great discussion going on here. So try this . . .

If you could stay "alive" like the MC's mother did, would you? I'm indecisive.


message 39: by TomK2 (last edited Nov 17, 2020 04:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

TomK2 (thomaskrolick) | 312 comments Kateblue- I got the impression that Siri's mother went to "heaven" not as a means to survive, but more because she was self centered and chose to live in an artificial universe that she was master of. Her body was warehousesd, and it seemed that it was still required for her existence in "heavan?" Not sure about that though. keeping the body alive might have been some way of maintaining the pretense that the process was reversible.

But I also know that the healthy me says absolutely not. But a dying me? Well, that is a bit harder to predict.


message 40: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3759 comments Mod
Kateblue wrote: "If you could stay "alive" like the MC's mother did, would you? I'm indecisive."

I guess I might, bearing in mind that I have a condition that takes like two decades from my expected age compared to the average and I still want to see what is behind the corner. But if one presented me with choice - get to heaven today or never, it is harder


Antti Värtö (andekn) | 802 comments Mod
I would upload myself the moment my kids were old enough to move to their own apartments and start their independent lives. I mean, this world is great in many ways, but "heaven" sounds much sweeter.


Antti Värtö (andekn) | 802 comments Mod
Oleksandr wrote: "bearing in mind that I have a condition that takes like two decades from my expected age"

...I only just now realised what you wrote there. I don't know what to say except "damn, that really sucks, I'm sorry for you!"


message 43: by Oleksandr, a.k.a. Acorn (new) - rated it 5 stars

Oleksandr Zholud | 3759 comments Mod
Antti wrote: "...I only just now realised what you wrote there. I don't know what to say except "damn, that really sucks, I'm sorry for you!""

I'll roll on till I can, and there is quite a huge variation so I'm not that bad


message 44: by Kateblue, 2nd star to the right and straight on til morning (new) - rated it 1 star

Kateblue | 3822 comments Mod
Damn, I started this question and then never returned. Z, I agree with exactly what Annti said, and hope that there will be a cure by the time you need it.

I'm leaning toward the "Yes" answer now. I'm one of those people that has the living will that says "keep me alive at all costs." And this option takes away the downside, so why not?


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