summary Accelerando 108

10 thoughts on “Accelerando

  1. says:

    OK let's start with the fact that the book jacket compared Charles Stross's writing with William Gibson and Neal Stephenson at their bestAs a reader who has a serious crush on Stephenson's writing I instantly had an expectation was set up in my mind as you can imagineHowever this novel was thoroughly disappointing I like hard SF and cyberpunk that explores social s and the impacts of technology and science upon society And can do

  2. says:

    Acclerando is Stross’s most frustrating annoying idea packed difficult dense and arguably best novel Can feel like taking a crash course in astro physics computer science economics sociology while reading a dozen blogs Bruce Sterling’s “Deep Eddy Stories” and Shismatrix and cliff notes of science fictio

  3. says:

    Can Hype Machines Think?Stopped at p 289 This book has been haunting me for months and it isn't even that long The idea of finishin

  4. says:

    Many people recommended this highly to me I found that the plot and ideas as summarized on Wikipedia were brilliant and mind

  5. says:

    I finally understand why Charles Stross is so popular even though I often find his fiction borderline unreadable I think h

  6. says:

    I am trying so hard but I still haven't read a Charles Stross I like as much as I like his twitter feed and that makes me frustrated I want to fall in love with his books This gets closer than the two I've previously read

  7. says:

    Christmas 2010 I realised that I had got stuck in a rut I was re reading old favourites again and again waiting for a few trusted authors to release new works Something had to be doneOn the spur of the moment I set myself a challenge to read

  8. says:

    Hard SF Three generations of an entrepreneurial family invent and scheme and survive the singularity the point where artificial intelligence power bypasses old fashioned organic brains and humans first augment themselves then disassemble the planets to build a solar system wide computer and become something else entirelyWhat a disappointment I can forgive unapproachable characters in hard SF and freuently have I tried

  9. says:

    This book is fantastic hard SciFi in the emergent post human genre From what I can gather this book has done for post humanism what Neuromancer

  10. says:

    This book starts off with a headache inducing deluge of acronyms and technogadgetideas some of which are well known realities now It's something that might be familiar to readers of some other Stross books for instance the ones set in a near future Scotland eg Halting State A geek guru makes a living from freebies given by grateful companies he puts in touch with other grateful companies in order to realise whatever mad idea he's come up

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download ¸ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ↠ Charles Stross

Her fortune in the outer system as an indentured astronaut and Sirhan Amber's son who finds his destiny linked to the fate of all of humanityFor something is systemically dismantling the nine planets of the solar system Something beyond human comprehension Something that has no use for biological life in any form.. Hard SF Three generations of an entrepreneurial family invent and scheme and survive the singularity the point where artificial intelligence power bypasses old fashioned organic brains and humans first augment themselves then disassemble the planets to build a solar system wide computer and become something else entirelyWhat a disappointment I can forgive unapproachable characters in hard SF and freuently have I tried hard to cut some slack because the point of the book is the screamingly insane pace of progress and just how fast and how far we would change into something entirely different But indeed I did have the revelation around the three uarter mark that not only didn t I care whether any of our protagonists permanently bit it or not but the supposedly precarious fate of the entire human race also made me yawn copiouslyBut when I forgive that failing in hard SF it s because the big ideas are awesome enough And these ideas were big sure all intergalactic packet switched router systems and AI cats and what all But there was something so smug Self involved I can t really put my finger on it except that a lot of this book was so in jokey to such a specific stripe of internet age scifi geekery that it tipped over from pleasing into masturbatory Something like thatDoes Stross have anything better to offer

characters Accelerando


The Singularity It is the era of the posthuman Artificial intelligences have surpassed the limits of human intellect Biotechnological beings have rendered people all but extinct Molecular nanotechnology runs rampant replicating and reprogramming at will Contact with extraterrestrial life grows imminent with each n. Can Hype Machines ThinkStopped at p 289 This book has been haunting me for months and it isn t even that long The idea of finishing it began to seem like a chore several weeks ago and at some point I realized that at my steadily decelarating ha reading pace it would haunt me for months if I didn t just stopThis is clearly supposed to be a fun bubbly readable book What turned it into such an albatrossI guess the problem is a fundamental difference between my worldview and the worldview assumed by the book I don t know if the book s view is Charles Stross own view or whether he s just playing around with it this is fiction after all but the difference grated on me page by page sentence by sentence until it ultimately ground me downThis is another science fiction book that depicts the singularity something I ve talked about on here before In that review I talked about how the singularity was originally supposed to be something that was impossible to depict in fiction and that I thought that when writers tried to do it anyway they often failed to sufficiently disorient the reader If you re going to depict something that s supposed to be beyond our comprehension you d better not be too comprehensibleWith Accelerando the problem is uite different Stross is clearly working very hard to make his future continually disorienting Barely a paragraph goes by without some new bit of gee whiz terminology or the positing of some not before mentioned feat of engineering The dialogue is filled with odd terms and assumptions and seems intended to make the reader think again and again wait you guys can do that The intended impression is one of a future receding away from our comprehension at an accelerating rateBut rather than steady accelerating future shock my experience was of a sudden gigantic shock right at the beginning followed by woozy indifference The gigantic shock came from the fact that even at the beginning when Stross is merely showing us the day after tomorrow his world seems fundamentally different from the one I live in Specifically it seems to be a world in which there are no truly difficult technical problems a world in which everyone talks in breezy arrogant language full of colorful metaphors and vague commingled ideas and where this kind of talk somehow leads directly as if by magic to wonderful new technologies and a better world for everyone Typical dialogue runs something like thisIt s the agalmic future You re still locked into a pre singularity economic model that thinks in terms of scarcity Resource allocation isn t a problem any it s going to be over within a decade The cosmos is flat in all directions and we can borrow as much bandwidth as we need from the from the first universal bank of entropyThat s from the first chapter Granted the character speaking here is supposed to be a bit of a wild eyed singularity nut and the fact that he ends up being right is supposed to be somewhat jarring to the reader as much as to the other characters But it s not just his specific ideas that are vindicated it s his whole way of thinking or rather not uite thinking but bouncing incoherently from one glitzy idea to the next like a Wired magazine writer on acidStross own prose sounds like this and as the book goes on as do the other characters A character is described as a strange attractor within the chaotic phase space of Italian politics as though this meant something definite and readily comprehensible Another doesn t believe in scarcity or zero sum games or competition his world is too fast and information dense to accommodate primate hierarchy games Reference is incessantly made to the state vectors of people s brains which appears to be nothing than a way of making the word state sound mathematical This is how Stross describes the political environment of the mid term future future globalism and tribalism have run to completion diverging respectively into homogeneous interoperability and the Schwarzschild radius of insularity At a later point he tells us ominously that the human memesphere is coming aliveThe ultimate effect of all of this compounded over hundreds of pages of dialogue and description is the evocation of a world in which everything that matters can be discussed in these bullshit terms Deliberately or not Stross book is fundamentally a kind of fantasy novel about the alternate universe conjured by breathless tech journalism and Silicon Valley hype A world in which science gets done and technology gets made by people speaking this kind of language and there is no deeper grounded level where the metaphors disappear and everything is hard data and mathThe core personality trait of virtually all the main characters and really of the book itself is a boundless confidence in their own hazy thinking a complete lack of any tether to hard facts to a wide harsh world outside this Wired magazine sci fi headspace The universe itself conforms to the contours of the characters thought patterns and the whole thing ends up feeling like some sort of Brave New World like utopiadystopia Part and parcel of this is Stross complete inability to write engaging human relationships in this world whose fundamental metaphysics is made of buzzwords it s hard to have subtle or uncertain shades of feeling that can t be captured in a tech metaphor or distilled into a snarky uip Fittingly enough most of the sex in this buzzworld is BSDM and pretty stunningly unsexyI ll concede that Stross is relentlessly inventive and that he appears to be pretty talented at this strange task he s set for himself I ve certainly never read anyone else like him A friend on Facebook wrote that he d never read anything so gleefully wrapped up in its own cheerful balls to the wall insanity and I can easily imagine a slightly different version of myself finding that particular package very enjoyable But to actual me it was just grating page after page of fingernails on chalkboard of annoying guy at party who won t shut upI guess it also makes me wonder about all the people who take the singularity seriously as a prediction about the real future Do they find this book as grating as I do A lot of the enthusiasm for the concept comes from people who work in the software industry I ve noticed a lot less of it among scientists even though many of the important barriers between us and the singularity eg understanding the brain better are science challenges not engineering challenges Maybe the Accelerando mindset is simply the engineer s mindset taken beyond the limits of good sense a mindset formed by interacting with human creations that were made to be understood and combined Metaphors sometimes work in that world because it was made by us for us and we re creatures of metaphor they break on the alien crags of the physical universe itself Which might be one reason not to listen to people from the tech industry when they talk about the singularity even when they sound really smartWell I dunno It s a thought

download ¸ eBook, ePUB or Kindle PDF ↠ Charles Stross

Ew dayStruggling to survive and thrive in this accelerated world are three generations of the Macx clan Manfred an entrepreneur dealing in intelligence amplification technology whose mind is divided between his physical environment and the Internet his daughter Amber on the run from her domineering mother seeking. Many people recommended this highly to me I found that the plot and ideas as summarized on Wikipedia were brilliant and mind expanding The writing of the book was intolerable I couldn t get past page 20 It was like reading Wired Magazine Stross drops every current technology name and buzzword apparently without a deep enough understanding to know which might have staying power 15 minutes into the future When slashdot open source bluetooth wimax state vector and terms all appeared on the same page I felt like I was reading a Bruce Sterling novel This guy s trying to impress or snow me with dumb vocabulary rather than telling a story I hope he drops the silly vocabulary and trashy sci fi sentence structure to expand his great ideas in the other books More Arthur C Clarke and less Bruce Sterling please