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#576 2020-10-01 04:42:32

Dobbie03
Resident Metalhead
From: New Zealand
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 1,913
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Re: What are you reading right now?

phuturism wrote:
Dobbie03 wrote:

The Terror by Dan Simmons

Read this recently - really wanted to watch it after seeing the excellent AMC series...    pretty good, nice
historical flavour and detail.

I really enjoyed it, the show was pretty good too.


I like my Metal like my coffee.......Black!

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#577 2020-10-01 06:00:01

Nick
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Registered: 2020-09-05
Posts: 50

Re: What are you reading right now?

Next-book-cover.png

Next by Michael Crichton. I also borrowed Prey, by the same author.

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#578 2020-10-01 23:36:16

hhh
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Registered: 2015-09-17
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Re: What are you reading right now?

I think I've listened to every available Frank Zappa interview now. I learned that he scored one stand-alone TV show, Outrage at Valdez, commissioned by Jacques Cousteau. It's a completely ambient Synclavier piece, terrifying and magnificent...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OAAoAjY7ysU

https://www.zappa-analysis.com/outrage-at-valdez.htm

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KGy0NVx9k84

Frank was contracted, and he delivered the product.

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#579 2020-10-09 14:31:21

twoion
一期一会
Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 3,323

Re: What are you reading right now?

twoion wrote:
twoion wrote:

I have ordered John Scalzi's The Collapsing Empire and will start on it soon. After that, I'll get Yoon Ha Lee's Ninefox Gambit. In case you're wondering: yes, I went through the list of Hugo and Locus award winners and nominees on Wikipedia again and ordered what seemed interesting. Can't wait.

Change of plans. After a fiction reading break, I'll be enjoying these four books (read the Collapsing Empire to its half point last weekend) over the next few months:

Frederik Pohl: Gateway (1977)

Scalzi: The Collapsing Empire - The Consuming Fire - The Last Emperox (2017-2020).

It also has been made known that the final book of the Expanse ennealogy is titled Leviathan Falls and will only come out in 2021. A bit of a disappointment, as I really hoped to be able to read it this year, but not entirely unexpected in its delay.

I also just ordered Children of Ruin (sequel to the much-appreciated Children of Time from 2015) as well as a secret tip I received, the The Living Labyrinth (2016) by by Ian Stewart & Tim Poston, which apparantely can only be had via print-on-demand from Amazon.

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#580 2020-11-21 16:51:19

twoion
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Posts: 3,323

Re: What are you reading right now?

twoion wrote:

It also has been made known that the final book of the Expanse ennealogy is titled Leviathan Falls and will only come out in 2021. A bit of a disappointment, as I really hoped to be able to read it this year, but not entirely unexpected in its delay.

News are out: Leviathan Falls is scheduled for release in October 2021. Time to re-read all the previous books, about 1 book a month smile

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#581 2021-04-14 18:58:07

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,556

Re: What are you reading right now?

We have talked about Hannu Rajaniemi before.
Now I am pleased to announce that he published a post-Covid19-SciFi story (or a bunch of them afaiu) and no other then LeVar Burton reads it.
It's a nice story that picks up the current topics of pandemic, vaccination, and possible lasting effects on humanity in a totally non-cheesy way quite worthy of the author of Quantum Thief.

And again sauna culture is a part of the story.

Several islands called Junfgfruholmen actually exist, and the only one in Finnish waters isn't so far from Hanko.

Last edited by ohnonot (2021-07-04 09:15:40)


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#582 2021-05-23 18:35:45

twoion
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Registered: 2015-08-10
Posts: 3,323

Re: What are you reading right now?

ohnonot wrote:

It's a nice story that picks up the current topics of pandemic, vaccination, and possible lasting effects on humanity.

I'll hold off on that one. Sci-Fi literature is presently a form of escapism to me, and that's a bit too close in time & space.

PS. Most recently added to be my queue shelf: A Memory Called Empire by Martine and Children of Ruin by Tchaikovsky, the former of which is the start of a cycle and the latter of which is a sequel to Children of Time, which I already read in 2019. Pretty stoked on both of them; the reviews are good.

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#583 2021-06-01 10:09:46

Jimbo_G
Member
From: France
Registered: 2017-05-12
Posts: 204

Re: What are you reading right now?

On the SF front, I just started reading Liu Cixin's Remembrance of Earth's Past trilogy and so far I'm enjoying it.

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#584 2021-06-07 09:17:04

Jimbo_G
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From: France
Registered: 2017-05-12
Posts: 204

Re: What are you reading right now?

On the non-SF front, I've been reading "Betty" by Tiffany McDaniel. In the reviews people use a lot of adjectives to describe this book - I'll settle for beautiful and horrifying. It's about a girl growing up in Ohio in the 60s and covers many themes including poverty, storytelling, racism, abuse, family, nature. It's some of the best new writing I've come across in the last few years.

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#585 2021-06-07 13:22:11

brontosaurusrex
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Finished 'To Sleep in a Sea of Stars'. Long scifi book, has at least 2 types of alien 'monsters', not counting the xeno skin, talking cloud read it to me. edit: Certainly an adequate story for a film/series type of thing.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-06-07 13:48:20)

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#586 2021-06-07 17:28:20

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,556

Re: What are you reading right now?

^ added to my library list.
I am currently reading some sort of american crime/action series. Good fun, but too embarrassing to mention here...


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#587 2021-07-05 17:35:42

plemil
Member
From: Värnamo, SWEDEN
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 46

Re: What are you reading right now?

Just finished reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow. Got it as a freebee when adding the FBReader app on my Sailfish X (but switched to Books in the end...). Probably aimed more for a bit younger person but it where quite good with some "1984" wibes to it.

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#588 2021-07-06 06:29:11

Martin
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From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 574
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Started reading "Kafka on the shore" yesterday. So far so good but I have no firm opinion on it yet, obviously. The Swedish translation is a little fishy. Insufficient proof reading?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kafka_on_the_Shore

@plemil This is for another thread but how does Sailfish X work for you?

/Martin


"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth by hitting back."
Piet Hein

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#589 2021-07-06 07:01:30

brontosaurusrex
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Finishing

The Disordered Cosmos (by Chanda Prescod-Weinstein)
A Journey into Dark Matter, Spacetime, and Dreams Deferred

Heavy stuff, got me feeling really guilty for some reason.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-07-06 07:02:01)

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#590 2021-07-06 11:14:14

plemil
Member
From: Värnamo, SWEDEN
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 46

Re: What are you reading right now?

^^ OT @Martin
I recently upgraded my HW from Xperia X to a Xperia 10 II, mainly due to the Jolla decision to not update the Aliendalvik beyond 4.4.
I did have some issues with apps refusing to start etc. and had my eyes open for the 10 II as that where the latest addition to the officially supported devices. So with Sailfish 4 on my 10 II, with Aliendalvik support enabled, but no Google Play, I have as of now access to both Mobilt BankID and Swish. The BankID app always nag about not having Google Play installed, but it works if you just ignore that. Android apps that I have tried are working as expected.
Apart from that the 10 II is a 64-bit architecture so some of the native apps is still a bit behind, but the official Jolla apps are working.  The app I miss most is CarBudget from openrepos.net to keep track on my car stuff, so I just dump my new additions in a Calc-sheet.

/Per

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#591 2021-07-06 18:19:11

Martin
Member
From: Stockholm, Sweden
Registered: 2015-10-01
Posts: 574
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

Thanks.
Seems there is an alternative to the Californian duopoly.
If both BankId and Swish work I assume parking apps also work.

/Martin


"Problems worthy of attack
prove their worth by hitting back."
Piet Hein

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#592 2021-07-08 07:40:35

ohnonot
...again
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 5,556

Re: What are you reading right now?

plemil wrote:

Just finished reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

I like Cory Doctorow. Read his "Radicalized" collection, "Unauthorized Bread" really stood out for me, probably because of the title.

Some critic wrote:

(He) take(s) on political and social themes relevant today — medical care, immigration, white male rage and technological monopolies, among others — [wrapped] in a layer of fiction, thin enough that most of these stories could be happening, if not today then tomorrow at the latest"

... I also have some things to say about SailfishOS; instead of diluting this thread, I posted them here.


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#593 2021-07-09 11:54:15

brontosaurusrex
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Finished 'The God Equation: The Quest for a Theory of Everything (Michio Kaku - 2021)'

It was an easy read, Kaku knows how to deal with mortals. I did miss the futuristic part a bit. To my old self it feels I read at least 10 similar books in the previous years. Up to date (I hope) and with all the resources nicely quoted at the end. Also I don't care about anthropic principles (this surely must all be wrong?) or I don't understand how this must be applied to real stuff (experiments).

p.s. The good futuristic part is Ligo put in space, multiple satelites linked with lasers that will listen to the voices of big bang, or (drums) voices from the mother universe - start of creation - god doing its dice thing.

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#594 2021-07-09 22:15:21

trilobite
Member
From: Saskatchewan, Canada
Registered: 2017-06-27
Posts: 87

Re: What are you reading right now?

ohnonot wrote:
plemil wrote:

Just finished reading Little Brother by Cory Doctorow.

I like Cory Doctorow. Read his "Radicalized" collection, "Unauthorized Bread" really stood out for me, probably because of the title.

Some critic wrote:

(He) take(s) on political and social themes relevant today — medical care, immigration, white male rage and technological monopolies, among others — [wrapped] in a layer of fiction, thin enough that most of these stories could be happening, if not today then tomorrow at the latest"

... I also have some things to say about SailfishOS; instead of diluting this thread, I posted them here.

"Radicalized" is a great collection of stories.  He is not quite as absurd as Kurt Vonnegut and writes quite different.  I find the critique of society as similar.

The Yiddish Policeman's Union by Michael Chabon (whose name is on a lot of TV productions) is worthy.  The Jews were unsuccessful in remaining in Palestine in 1948 and were resettled in Alaska.  And there's a murder.  I'm reminded a bit of Babylon Berlin, both the book and the Netflix series.  A malfunctioning society with addictions, weird relations among people, political drama, strange food.


{Linux-using people I haven't met are friends yet to be made.}

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#595 2021-07-10 02:45:30

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 8,283
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Re: What are you reading right now?

brontosaurusrex wrote:

I don't care about anthropic principles (this surely must all be wrong?)

Went off to the wikipedia page and spent an hour or so:
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthropic_principle
Lots of food for thought.

Wiki pages can be pretty unreliable on detail, but good for getting an overview, and that was the case here I thought.

The simplest anthropic principle is impossible to dispute surely?

Jürgen Schmidhuber wrote:

the anthropic principle essentially just says that the conditional probability of finding yourself in a universe compatible with your existence is always 1

Right?!

But a lot more ideas come up, eg:

Carbon chauvinism.
The universe seems to be fine tuned > soon evolves into the "intelligent creator" hypothesis.
Observers are necessary to bring the Universe into being.
Physical constants are actually not constant. Their values depend on the age of the Universe.
When there are more than three spatial dimensions, electron orbitals around nuclei cannot be stable.

And:

Michael Frayn wrote:

It's this simple paradox. The Universe is very old and very large. Humankind, by comparison, is only a tiny disturbance in one small corner of it – and a very recent one. Yet the Universe is only very large and very old because we are here to say it is... And yet, of course, we all know perfectly well that it is what it is whether we are here or not.

And, surely, this is a generalisation of the individual's paradox: does the world exist if I'm not here? How do I know?

---
Book I've just started reading:
Reality is Not What it Seems by the physicist Carlo Rovelli
About quantum gravity, too early to comment.

Last edited by johnraff (2021-07-10 05:07:26)


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#596 2021-07-10 04:21:31

brontosaurusrex
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Re: What are you reading right now?

Yeah, maybe I don't get it, but what is proposed I think is that the universe is fine tuned for us and that the universe (or multiverse) existence is kinda based on the fact that we can talk about it. But surely whatever theory that put human in the center in the past was wrong.

Observers are necessary to bring the Universe into being.

That must be wrong.

When there are more than three spatial dimensions, electron orbitals around nuclei cannot be stable.

I can dig that. But I can also dig the 11 dimensional version (and the idea that there are no stable orbits, electrons jump over higher dimensions = fluctuations/uncertainty).

conditional probability of finding yourself in a universe compatible with your existence is always 1

Doesn't that imply infinities? Also why not just finding Vogons, which have little to no desire to talk or think about space. If infinities = true then finding myself shouldn't be a problem and not just once, there must be infinite me? Also if infinities then human-centric or vogon-centric fine tuning is equally nonsensical.

Carbon chauvinism.

True.

p.s. To quote Kaku exactly

In other words, you want a unique prediction for the beginning of the universe. So string theory has an embarrassment of riches. Can it predict our universe? Yes. That is a sensational claim, the goal of physicists for almost a century. But can it predict just one universe? Probably not. This is called the landscape problem.

There are several possible solutions to this problem, none of them widely accepted. The first is the anthropic principle, which says that our universe is special because we, as conscious beings, are here to discuss this question in the first place. In other words, there might be an infinite number of universes, but our universe is the one that has the conditions that make intelligent life possible. The initial conditions of the Big Bang are fixed at the beginning of time so that intelligent life can exist today. The other universes might have no conscious life in them.

and

But this still leaves open a question: What does the theory of everything have to say about meaning in the universe?

No. I'am assuming this part is indented to make happy the more theological part of the readers. The carbon can find meaning in a lot of stuff, for example Conway's game of life does look like it has a meaning in certain initial conditions (especially when traveling pieces are self-regenerated - gliders).

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-07-10 05:07:18)

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#597 2021-07-10 05:06:17

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 8,283
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Re: What are you reading right now?

^That wiki page is worth reading I think - the assorted concepts I threw out above are not intended all to be taken as correct, just interesting ideas.

Yes, many versions of the Anthropic Principle seem to depend on the concept of the multiverse, which is of course far from universally accepted.

The essential importance of the Observer in physical events comes from quantum theory - the idea that observing something is an action you are doing to it, which alters it. To go from there to "Observers are necessary to bring the Universe into being" will be a step too far for many people of course, but interesting to play with.

Consciousness vs objective reality...

EDIT:
How would it be possible to discuss a universe in which there were no observers?

Maybe a single omniscient Deity is enough to Observe the Universe into Existence?

Last edited by johnraff (2021-07-10 05:13:22)


...elevator in the Brain Hotel, broken down but just as well...
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#598 2021-07-10 05:14:08

brontosaurusrex
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Re: What are you reading right now?

observing something is an action you are doing to it, which alters it.

I thought this is explained by the fact that the observer is also just a quantum system?

Consciousness vs objective reality

That is a tricky one.

How would it be possible to discuss a universe in which there were no observers?

There is a missing definition of intelligence I guess (intelligent observer is needed) and I assume any level of discussion will not make this universe any different. Why would the universe need any kind of discussion to be? (yeah, this will go wrong for me any second now).

Maybe a single omniscient Deity is enough to Observe the Universe into Existence?

Do we need one? Rule 101 not good enough? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rule_110 < This also implies from another angle that the 'intelligent' observer must be just a part of this rule-set (and can't really step out and observe in any kind of objective way, we are just gliders). I think it also implies there is no real standard solution (unfortunate), no symmetry if you want.

^That wiki page is worth reading I think - the assorted concepts I threw out above are not intended all to be taken as correct, just interesting ideas.

I reread it two times now (not any less confused). I can certainly dig Penrose

Roger Penrose explained the weak form as follows:
                        The argument can be used to explain why the
                        conditions happen to be just right for the
                        existence of (intelligent) life on the Earth
                        at the present time. For if they were not just
                        right, then we should not have found ourselves to
                        be here now, but somewhere else, at some other
                        appropriate time.

And Susskind

...it seems plausible that the landscape is unimaginably large and diverse.

And he was doing so well until

only universes whose properties are such as to allow observers to exist are observed, while a possibly much larger set of universes lacking such properties go unnoticed.

I have some thoughts. Is observer tangled into such reality really a worthy observer or just part of 'automaton'?

Lee Smolin has offered
a theory designed to improve on the lack of
imagination that anthropic principles have been
accused of.
He puts forth his fecund universes theory,
which assumes universes have "offspring" through
the creation of black holes whose offspring
universes have values of physical constants that
depend on those of the mother universe.

If there is 'a single omniscient Deity', it could be Lee himself or at least he knows 'it' very well and personally.

Note: This are all thoughts/ramblings of confused amateur who read many 'wrong books' without fully and deeply understanding them, do your own reading and draw your own conclusions.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-07-10 07:23:16)

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#599 2021-07-10 06:58:59

johnraff
nullglob
From: Nagoya, Japan
Registered: 2015-09-09
Posts: 8,283
Website

Re: What are you reading right now?

^There are so many things that humanity still only partly understands, if at all.

About the quantum attitude to observation - I think it boils down to that there is no such thing as a detached objective observer. We are all, yes, tangled up in the reality we're trying to observe. Worthy or not, I don't know, but also not even sure if there is such a thing as a "worthy" observer.

That's what (some) people mean by "Observers are necessary to bring the Universe into being" I guess.
And "intelligent" observation is just another way of referring to consciousness maybe?

My comment about discussion was not meant to suggest that discussion would bring the universe into existence, but that attempting to discuss something we have no way of observing is meaningless. Like debating how many angels can dance on a pinhead.

There are aspects of reality that science is unable to measure and engage with, but that doesn't mean we needn't concern ourselves with them. (Just as not everything in life can be measured in money.)

But on the other hand, a "universe" outside any possibility of observation or experience is a waste of energy in even thinking about IMO.

When asked whether God existed, the Buddha is said to have replied:
"There may be a god, but that is no concern of yours. Get on with your meditation!"


...elevator in the Brain Hotel, broken down but just as well...
( a boring Japan blog (currently paused), idle Twitterings and GitStuff )

Introduction to the Bunsenlabs Lithium Desktop

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#600 2021-07-10 07:19:25

brontosaurusrex
Middle Office
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Re: What are you reading right now?

But on the other hand, a "universe" outside any possibility of observation or experience is a waste of energy in even thinking about IMO.

That is a problem, going fully anti-anthropic brings quite a dark picture unfortunately, edit: also the annoying question of free will. 

However partial solutions are 'fine' as well and 'we' just invented the vaccine (Actually more than one version of it) for example.  And many other things that make our 'simulation' more bearable, like electricity (no flying cars yet).  edit: I think that is what Buddha is saying, be happy with what is around you/detectable/now and you will prosper?

Also we can probably answer questions like
How does the Thermos know whether to keep things hot or cold?

However when thinking about Kakus book (The Quest for a Theory of Everything), one can't skip those more dark and the same time fundamental and also at the same 'time' not really life-changing thoughts.

I guess if the 'landscape problem' from string theory is explained in another Michio book in the future we have real progress on big questions as well. edit: Hopefully it can stay at least a little carbon-centric and not dive fully into automaton solutions.

Note: This are all thoughts/ramblings of confused amateur who read many 'wrong books' without fully and deeply understanding them, do your own reading and draw your own conclusions.

Last edited by brontosaurusrex (2021-07-10 08:10:50)

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