Ted Chiang's 1991 story `Understanding'

From: Damien Broderick (d.broderick@english.unimelb.edu.au)
Date: Fri Sep 27 2002 - 21:34:43 MDT

I finally read Ted Chiang's Eganesque story `Understanding' (1991) last
nite; a brain-damaged guy gets a hormone treatment that causes his neurons
to multiply; he grows smarter. The sequence of ascending orders of gestalt
clarity is done persuasively, although with creeping Eganesque chill,
explained interestingly in the final confrontation. It peters out at the
end, I think inevitably, because we and Chiang run into opacities but he
has to close the story down somehow. I found it in the anthology SUPERMEN:
Tales of the Posthuman Future, ed. Gardner Dozois (St Martins Griffin,
2002); it's also in Chiang's impressive collection STORIES OF YOUR LIFE AND
OTHERS (Tor, 2002). I'd be especially interested in hearing Eliezer's
opinion on this distinctly non-Algernonic version of IA.

Damien Broderick

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.5 : Wed Jul 17 2013 - 04:00:40 MDT