Now Reading: Voices from the Street by Philip K. Dick
Just Finished: Virtual Organisms: The Startling World of Artificial Life by Mark Ward
I had a tough time choosing my last book. I knew I wanted something scientific. I also knew that I did not want to read something that was overly detailed and technical. So The Working Brain and Practical Electronics for Inventors were out. At the same time, I did not want to read anything that was over simplified or abstract. So The Coloring Book of the Universe was also out.
I finally narrowed the selection down to either Virtual Organisms or Emergence: From Chaos to Order. In the end, I made the decision based on the typeface and point size of the body copy. Silly? Perhaps, but if I was going to spend an hour a day with this book, I at least wanted it to be as comfortable as possible.
Note to self: Ask about the vision plan.
Anyway, the book wasn’t the deluge of interesting ideas that I’d hoped. In fairness, it was meant to be a tourist’s overview and was also nine years old. But I still held out hope for an interesting jewel somewhere. But instead of finding a jewel, I found what seemed to me to be distorted description of the workings of routers and telephone switches. I know this stuff. If the author misrepresented the facts here to fit his theme, where else might he have done so? In fairness, there were a few passages that did inspire me to blow the dust off some a-life like ideas I had a while back.
In all, suitable for passing a lunch hour… but I think I liked Neuromancer better.