I read this book months ago now and am just getting around to writing my review. Thankfully, I have a pretty good memory of the technology Stephenson dreamed up and can still recall the plot pretty well.
The world of Stephenson’s the Diamond Age is a world in which humanity’s ability to manipulate molecules for nano-scale engineering is nearly complete, hence the name diamond age because diamond will be one of the cheapest, strongest materials once we have the ability to assemble it from carbon. Awesomely, it’s the same world as Snow Crash just quite a bit further in the future. Y.T., from Snow Crash, is actually the instructor of Nell as revealed midway through the book.
Molecular assemblers can make anything given a line to the “source” which brings all the different atoms to each molecular assembler. The size of the molecular assembler dictates how large the objects are that can be built by it and it seems that item assembly costs are based on the complexity and materials of each object. Information is extraordinarily valuable but materials can hold value too when the rarer elements are required. Nothing like a philosopher’s stone has been developed which makes the technology much more believable. Continue reading →
Accelerando is the most singularity centric fiction book I’ve ever read. It follows a family over the 21st century across three generations that become increasingly difficult to connect to as they truly transcend what it means to be human.
I finished this book close to two weeks ago and really just haven’t had the time (or probably more the willpower) to write a review. I saw it suggested as a similar book to my favorite, Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson but it’s really no where close to be as good as that and the story is vastly different. I did enjoy Accelerando but it’s certainly a fringe book and parts were difficult even for me to read through.
I added the word extropian to my vocabulary, which is simply a lovely word about the belief that technology will propel humanity to control increasingly greater amounts of the matter in the universe. I had heard of the term matrioshka brain (like russian matrioshka dolls) before but this book really brought the idea to life. Continue reading →
Amidst all the gloom I have watched and read the past couple weeks, this video stands to combat it. If you have a couple minutes, I urge you to watch it. It’ll brighten your day at least a little bit. It offers a glimpse of hope seldom seen anymore.
The creator wanted to create an unofficial commercial for NASA and I think it’s a great start. With all the funding cuts NASA has faced, I worry about humanity’s future in space. Carl Sagan is the perfect spokesperson for the organization, despite have passed away already. Coupled with the simple music and stirring images, it’s a great video.
And as a side note, I love Carl Sagan’s use of the word terraqueous to describe the earth. It’s a truly beautiful word.