Emotion is the motivator. It depends on what you like? You may enjoy his trio 
of novels set in a Space Opera Milky Way, some 10 million years hence. With 
regular humans yet! Ness Sisters Novels set in the 10th Occupation. 

SHADOW CAPTAIN (2019): the second book concerning the Ness sisters, following 
from Revenger.

BONE SILENCE (2020): the third and final novel of the Ness sisters.


    On Sunday, December 31, 2023 at 06:37:02 AM EST, John Clark 
<johnkcl...@gmail.com> wrote:  
 On Tue, Dec 26, 2023 at 9:14 PM 'spudboy...@aol.com' via Everything List 
<everything-list@googlegroups.com> wrote:

 > I'd go with Alastair Reynolds with just about anything he has written.

I read the first 70 or 80 pages of "Revelation Space" but then stopped, I just 
couldn't get into it. Perhaps I should've stayed with it longer.   
John K Clark    See what's on my new list at  Extropolis


 We're sorry we created the Torment Nexus

In the above Science-fiction author Charlie Stross says that he tells lies for 
money and reminds us that science fiction is fiction, and it's true that the 
particular story told is fiction, but if a science-fiction author is good the 
world in which his story is embedded is physically possible and perhaps even 
probable. He says that if science fiction authors wish to make a living then 
their stories had better be enjoyable, and that means there needs to be drama, 
there needs to be conflict. Michael Crichton would have never been able to sell 
his novel "Jurassic Park" if everything had gone exactly as the designers 
originally thought it would and the book was just a tour of an amusement park 
that operated like a well oiled machine and all the people and animals in it 
were happy and healthy. Dystopian stories are much more entertaining than 
utopian stories, and more impactful too; 1984 may be one reason 1984 was not 
like 1984.The only modern utopian novel I can think of is B F Skinner's "Walden 
Two".....well... at least Skinner thought it was utopian, I didn't.

Stross also informs me of a new acronym I've never heard of before "TESCREAL 
'', apparently it stands for Transhumanism, Extropianism, Singularitarianism, 
Cosmism, Rationalism,  Effective Altruism, and longtermism. I believe in 
Transhumanism and Extropianism as originally described by Max More, and It's 
hard for me to believe that anybody would oppose altruism that is effective or 
believes that irrationality was preferable to rationality. As for 
Sngularitarianism, I am as certain as I am certain of anything that we are 
heading straight for a Singularity, but I am not at all certain it will be good 
for me personally or good for the human race in general, it's just a fact that 
we should prepare for it the best we can. I don't know a lot about Cosmism but 
what I do know doesn't sound too bad, it certainly beats the hell out of 
Christianity. But I definitely do NOT believe in longtermism, not because I 
think it's unethical but because it won't work. I used to say that things are 
changing so fast it's foolish to make plans more than 10 years ahead, it would 
be like asking the Wright brothers to work on the problem of airport congestion 
10 years before they made their first airplane; but now due to the recent huge 
advances in AI I think even 5 years is problematic.
I have difficulty understanding Stross's position, sometimes he seems to be 
saying that AI will lead to disaster, but then he says anybody who thinks AI is 
real is a weirdo and is "hyping the current grifter's fantasy of large language 
models as 'artificial intelligence' ". He blasts Ray Kurzweil for thinking AI 
is not a danger and blasts Eliezer Yudkowsky for thinking it is and says it's 
weird for him to be so rational and silly for him to terrify himself over AI. 
In fact Stross names a very large number of people and movements in the article 
but he doesn't have one good word to say about any of them. 
He criticizes Nick Bostrom for focusing "on the philosophical implications of 
digitizing human brains so we can all be raptured up to live in the great cloud 
computer in the sky, a very modern riff on the Christian eschatological theory 
of resurrection", and it would be foolish of me to deny that there are 
similarities between uploading and the Christian rapture, but that's not 
surprising considering the fact that Information is as close as you can get to 
the traditional concept of the soul and still remain within the scientific 
method. Consider the similarities:

The soul is non material and so is information.
It's difficult to pin down a unique physical location for the soul, and the 
same is true for information.
The soul is the essential, must have, part of consciousness,  exactly the same 
situation is true for information.
The soul is immortal and so, potentially, is information.                

But there are also important differences:

A soul is unique but information can be duplicated.
The soul is and will always remain unfathomable, but information is 
understandable, in fact information is the ONLY thing that is understandable.
Information unambiguously exists, I don't think anyone would deny that, but 
even if the soul exists it will never be proven scientifically.
So do I agree with "TESCREAL"? I don't know, but I do know two things, I don't 
like acronyms and I don't agree with Charlie Stross.
John K Clark   

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