Monday, June 06, 2016

A book abandoned

Cool cover art.

 Amazon link

I read Scott Alexander's extensive review and tried to cancel but too late: the very next day the Amazon parcel arrived. Alexander's review is an easier read than the book itself, which is written in a 'flat' academic style akin to a succession of Wikipedia mini-articles.

I wouldn't have minded if the content had been as described in the back cover quotes ('mind-blowing', 'fascinating', 'stimulating') .. but the ideas are relatively pedestrian, what you would expect if you thought about it a bit; many of Hanson's assertions are plausible without being that compelling.

So after a while of mentally chewing on cardboard, I abandoned.

If a society of brains-emulated-in-hardware-and-software is truly your thing, then it's a lot more fun reading Greg Egan's sublime Permutation City.


Back yesterday from a couple of days camping on the heights above Minehead where we also took in the Civil War reenactment at Dunster Castle.

Clare fronting the view of Minehead from the campsite

Dunster Castle: the women spin and cook behind the cannon

The pikemen and musketeers assemble

I'd anticipated a mass mêlée, a pitched battle of The Sealed Knot - but what you see in the pictures was what we got.

The fighting persons in close-up

I especially liked Ginger Baker (above) who gave us a one-person marching drum solo after the obligatory team musket discharges and pike-drill.

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