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review 2018-12-21 14:55
Icing on the Cake: "Consciousness Explained" by Daniel C. Dennett
Consciousness Explained - Daniel C. Dennett



(Original Review, 1992-10-25)


I feel uncoupled.

Who knows for certain: their inner experience of sights, smells, emotions, and the rest?

And this is why I often find the discussion frustrating; from my reading of his work, Dennett has never denied the experience of being conscious. What he is saying is that if you create a zombie doppelganger that resembles you in every way then the "zombie" will by necessity be of such complexity that it gives rise to consciousness. And it will do so from normal, physics-obeying, materialistic processes. It is in this way that we are all the zombies of the thought experiment - not that we are all empty machines that experience nothing.

 

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-12-04 19:32
Droppingly Gorgeous Sentences: "Lolita" by Vladimir Nabokov
Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov,Craig Raine


(Original Review, 1992-02-10)



I can speak and write English pretty well, and I am completely lacking in Nabokov's talent for prose. I do, however, wonder whether the fact that English was his fourth or fifth language may have enabled him to approach writing in a different way. He seems to be very aware of structural features, and I wonder if this skill came out of his ability to speak numerous languages? I'd have to say that's undoubtedly true: the more languages one knows the more one becomes aware of how each one works and, often, greater facility in manipulating them to one's uses.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-23 16:42
Peering at the Self: "Complete Tales & Poems" by Edgar Allan Poe
Complete Tales and Poems - Edgar Allan Poe


(Original Review, 1992-12-16)




Can a reader in this and age fully appreciate Poe? Maybe the age of the reader is significant - I first encountered Poe over forty decades ago - in the sense that time on the planet, life lived, experiences felt and understood, are part of the maturing process essential to entering Poe's visions and dream-states. Some of the comments I’ve read elsewhere suggest a fidgety class of pre-adolescents who have lost - if ever they had - what might be called attention spans. Then again, maybe Poe is uniquely American and the Europeans cannot fully grasp him.
 
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

 

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review 2018-11-17 17:21
Talking a Lot About Cats: "A Door Into Summer" by Robert A. Heinlein
The Door Into Summer - Robert A. Heinlein



(Original Review, 1980-07-28)



Probably the biggest role for a cat outside of Norton is in Heinlein's A DOOR INTO SUMMER --- the hero talks more to his cat than he does to the woman he ends up marrying.

[KK: That doesn't surprise me; Heinlein seems to hate all human females over the age of 12.

 

 

If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.

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review 2018-11-14 08:12
Beams of Energy: "Waldo & Magic" by Robert A. Heinlein
Waldo and Magic, Inc - Robert A. Heinlein

(Original Review, 1980-08-21)


My chief objection to models which suggest we will be much better off with satellites beaming down power to the ground comes in several pieces:

1. I have been told that solar flux in the bands used by solar cells is no more than twice as high in orbit as in, for instance, the American Southwest. Granted, there is some advantage to having the power available for longer periods but even a synchronous satellite would be shadowed for ~2.3 hours a day which would not be at the minimum demand time;
 
 
 
If you're into stuff like this, you can read the full review.
 
 

 

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