IT Trends :: Thursday, October 26, 2006

Opinion

Trying to See Past “The Singularity”: Accelerando and Glasshouse

By Terry Calhoun

“How do you cope with a universe in which human scale thoughts are about as significant to the real course of events as the barking of dogs is to air traffic control?”

As I write this, I am putting down the book I just finished at the downtown Washington, DC, airport: Glasshouse by Charles Stross. I recommend it, as well as a previous book by Strosser, Accelerando. I finished the last 100 pages or so of Glasshouse while sitting up against the glass in the terminal on a very gray day, hogging the single working electrical outlet on a two-outlet panel, listening to Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (with headphones).

“It’s hard to say who you are these days, but you ride on anyways . . . don’t you, baby?” was an appropriate phrase to hear as I finished this book, and the uncertainty created by human-designed modifications to bodies, brains, memories, and personalities certainly makes it hard for the characters to know who each other is. Here are some comments by Strosser regarding the singularity an Accelerando...

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