• Commented on A purely theoretical dilemma
    Is this just a scam for the galactic mind to get more wetware to execute on? Either as a variation on the door-to-door salesman limited-time pitch, or because the galactic mind is in thrall to its own fundamentalist religion. If...
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    "Computers". Yes, Babbage tried to build a programmable machine from gears and was undone by the strength of the materials available to him and the precision of the machining of the time. However, the Babbage approach wasn't the only one....
  • Commented on A world-building puzzler
    I think you underestimate kinesthetic and visual memory. Craftspeople learn with their hands and eyes, as well as their ears. Many of them may be only marginally literate. So: you can get at least as far as a society that...
  • Commented on Introducing new guest blogger: Genevieve Cogman
    This is some sort of bureaucratic oversight, I'm sure, but Amazon US will sell you both the audio books now, or happily take your pre-order for the physical objects for next year....
  • Commented on Science-fictional shibboleths
    I viewed Anathem's "Smeerps" as a sort of roman a clef for concepts and ideas. But the reason everything has been smeerped becomes clear when the plot resolves towards the end. Not that I cared for that resolution much. I...
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