- Mind Meld: Today's SF Authors Define Science Fiction - It's an interesting question, and there are lots of interesting answers here (don't miss part 2). I tend to favor a more broad definition that some of the authors, something akin to John Scalzi's or David Louis Edelman's definitions. It's hard to say though. How does one classify something like The Baroque Cycle. The whole thing takes place in the distant past, and there's not much in the way of scientific speculation (the characters are speculating I guess, but we're not), but it's clearly got a handle on science and technology and Stephenson is clearly a SF writer. I don't know that a definition that excludes The Baroque Cycle is a bad one, but I'd kinda like mine to do so.
- Fledge is a Singularity Skeptic - My problem with the singularity is that no one really knows what it would look like. We can speculate and doing so makes for fun SF, but still, I share Fledge's skepticism for a lot of it:
The proponents of AI argue that if we just add levels of complexity eventually we will have something approximating the real thing. The approach is to add more neural net nodes, add more information inputs, and [something happens]. But my sense of the human brain (which is partly religious and partly derived from my career as an MRI physicist specializing in neuroimaging) is that the brain isn’t just a collection of N neurons, wired a certain way. There are layers, structures, and systems within whose complexities multiple against each other.I'll say that I think a singularity is possible, but I have no idea when. I'm pretty sure it won't be happening in the next 15 years, as Verner Vinge has speculated. Of course, he freely admits the possibility of singularity failure...
- SF Starship Size Comparisons - Interesting. I always thought Star Destroyers were larger than they are...
- Seven Habits of Highly Effective Spaceship Captains - Not as comprehensive as it sounds, but still fun. References to the obvious (Star Trek, Battlestar Galactica, etc...) and the not so obvious (Futurama).
Link Dump: SF Edition
I have a few ideas of longer type posts, but nothings gelling at the moment, so here are a few links I've run across lately: