[ExI] Slow Tuesday Night

Anders Sandberg anders at aleph.se
Mon May 5 11:21:21 UTC 2014

Keith Henson <hkeithhenson at gmail.com> , 30/4/2014 2:06 AM:
Read this decades ago.  It's still a hoot. 
Fun! Reminds me of Pohl's "Day Million" and Vinge's "Fast times at Fairmont High".http://www.sfcenter.ku.edu/Sci-Tech-Society/stored/day_million.pdfftp://,%20Vernor/Vernor%20Vinge%20-%20Fast%20Times%20at%20Fairmont%20High.pdfSlightly different takes on the same core concept. I find Pohl amusing because what was shocking in 1969 is pretty standard today (I am reading Ann Leckie's "Ancilliary Justice" right now). Unlike Lafferty and Pohl who are in some sense lampooning the present, Vinge tries to sketch out how the near future might actually be - and hence also lampooning the present.

Now I'm off to write some philosophy. I think Lafferty got it right:
"A thoughtful man named Maxwell Mouser had just produced a work of actinic philosophy. It took him seven minutes to write it. To write works of philosophy one used the flexible outlines and the idea indexes; one set the activator for such a wordage in each subsection; an adept would use the paradox feed-in, and the striking analogy blender; one calibrated the particular-slant and the personality-signature. It had to come out a good work, for excellence had become the automatic minimum for such productions.

"I will scatter a few nuts on the frosting," said Maxwell, and he pushed the lever for that. This sifted handfuls of words like chthonic and heuristic and prozymeides through the thing so that nobody could doubt it was a work of philosophy."Hmm, I wonder if I can smuggle in "prozymeides" in my next work?

Anders Sandberg, Future of Humanity Institute Philosophy Faculty of Oxford University
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