RE: Egan dismisses Singularity, maybe

From: Damien Broderick (
Date: Tue Apr 23 2002 - 23:49:21 MDT

At 11:26 PM 4/23/02 -0600, mike99 wrote:

>Randall Randall <> wrote:
>Even if he believes "a" or "b", there's also c) it's impossible to describe
>in detail the actions of someone literally ten or twenty times more
>intelligent than yourself.

>In fact, I believe that such entities could make themselves understood by
>lesser beings such as ourselves in so many different ways that these
>super-AI's would make marvelously memorable characters.

Lem kinda did that in `Golem-XIV', then had the AI Sublime away. Banks
himself, however, brilliant and amusing as he is, really screwed the pooch
with his colloquy of Minds in EXCESSION. Bor-ring.

BTW, Egan is caustically entertaining at the expense of less enlightened sf
writers in one passage in SCHILD'S LADDER;
<mild spoiler>

a group of `anachronauts' (early obdurately self-limiting flesher star
travelers) are sequentially `Meaded' or anthropologically scammed by the
advanced humans they meet who've settled worlds ahead of them. The tales
they're told, for their uncomprehending delectation, rehearse varieties of
unorthodox sexuality (in particular) and other social variants that can be
seen by the reader as snide shots at writers such as Ursula Le Guin, Joanna
Russ and others who tried their pitiful best pre-Egan but finally did no
better than proposing `the widespread enforcement of any social or sexual
mores even more bizarre and arbitrary than' those we suffer today.

Damien Broderick

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