Finished the second book in this series by Walter Jon Williams on Wednesday, it was quite enjoyable. First book is The Praxis, second is The Sundering. There should be a third out there somewhere. The books are well-written space navy procedurals. World building, character building, and technopr0n are deftly brought in for long enough to be interesting and then shifted off stage. Light and enjoyable reading that's not insultingly stupid or trying to Reveal Great Truths.
Friday, February 11, 2011
Tuesday, February 8, 2011
Kevin Kelly's What Technology Wants was a pretty good read, but I found myself disagreeing on a fundamental point... I don't like that it treats technology as something separate from humanity. Perhaps I'd feel differently if I hadn't read The Artificial Ape: How Technology Changed the Course of Human Evolution first, but I did. That book's argument that humanity is ipso facto a product of our technology as well as a creator of it is very strong. Without technology we are a failed experiment, unable to even eat successfully; with it we are the dominant species, and can allow evolutionary flaws to propagate without consequence. Instead of a truly solid book, What Technology Wants ends up as an interesting collection of factoids and anecdotes. Furthermore, it seems conflicted; Kelly has obviously thought a lot about this and seems to have reached similar conclusions; the chapter on the Unabomber is clear, and there are continual references to the willingness of poor people to trade anything for more technology. I suspect that compromises were made for publication.