Personal computing discussed

Moderators: Captain Ned, emkubed

 
tanker27
Gerbil Khan
Topic Author
Posts: 9239
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Georgia

What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:15 am

(\_/)
(O.o)
(''')(''')
Watch out for evil Terra-Tron; He Does not like you!
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 52804
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 8:49 am

By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Captain Ned
Gold subscriber
Global Moderator
Posts: 27710
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:06 am

just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.

If you go dead tree, you'd best invest in a book stand. Nine hundred pages is an afternoon's work for him.

As for the OP, that's just crazy enough to be true.
Humans sleep soundly in their beds because rough cats stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
 
drfish
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Elder
Posts: 5405
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: Zeeland, MI

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:14 am

just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.


I'm shocked. I've only read Snow Crash and Seveneves and I thought I was behind the curve.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
tanker27
Gerbil Khan
Topic Author
Posts: 9239
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:25 am

just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.


WHAT! (as my 3yr old says) The Cryptonomicon is literally the bible on everything Crypto. But its a good read and yes it kills a lot of trees if you get a hard copy of it, actually all his books do.

Captain Ned wrote:
As for the OP, that's just crazy enough to be true.


What makes the allegation even more interesting is that he was writing about the basic building blocks for Bitcoin and Blockchain in his books years before fruition.
(\_/)
(O.o)
(''')(''')
Watch out for evil Terra-Tron; He Does not like you!
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 52804
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 9:28 am

tanker27 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.

WHAT! (as my 3yr old says) The Cryptonomicon is literally the bible on everything Crypto. But its a good read and yes it kills a lot of trees if you get a hard copy of it, actually all his books do.

Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of starting with. Suggestions for other good starting points welcome.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Captain Ned
Gold subscriber
Global Moderator
Posts: 27710
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:06 am

just brew it! wrote:
tanker27 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.
WHAT! (as my 3yr old says) The Cryptonomicon is literally the bible on everything Crypto. But its a good read and yes it kills a lot of trees if you get a hard copy of it, actually all his books do.
Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of starting with. Suggestions for other good starting points welcome.

If you want to stick with the exploits of the Shaftoe family, The Baroque Cycle is next.
Humans sleep soundly in their beds because rough cats stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
 
cphite
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1020
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:28 am

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:18 am

just brew it! wrote:
tanker27 wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.

WHAT! (as my 3yr old says) The Cryptonomicon is literally the bible on everything Crypto. But its a good read and yes it kills a lot of trees if you get a hard copy of it, actually all his books do.

Yeah, that's the one I was thinking of starting with. Suggestions for other good starting points welcome.


A lot of people are turned off by the combination of great length and the technical subject matter... but there are two really solid works from him that might work as sort of a bridge into his books...

Anathem is a really cool story... kinda weird to get into but if you give it a chance it's great. It's set in an alternate world where, as a result of some past calamity, people who are into science and math lock themselves away (or are locked away) into these sort of monasteries.

Reamde is presumably about a computer virus but frankly the technical stuff is almost in the background and it ends up being a action mystery novel. Of all his books, this one is in my opinion the one that would be most "movie ready" with hardly any alterations. It's a very fun read.
 
Redocbew
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1956
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:44 am

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:29 am

It's hard to go wrong with Cryptonomicon and then the Baroque Cycle. I also really liked The Diamond Age.
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.
 
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
Posts: 22842
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:30 am

Seveneves is the easiest to start; it's the closest to SciFi. Criptonomicon is by far my favorite. The Baroque cycle are just hard to read through. You really have to plow. I read Snowcrash, but it wasn't my favorite. It's crazy how prophetic it ended up being given when it was written.

I think I have all but 1 of his in my library at home. Need to remedy that and get the newest one.
 
Captain Ned
Gold subscriber
Global Moderator
Posts: 27710
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:35 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I think I have all but 1 of his in my library at home. Need to remedy that and get the newest one.

Is your library in a separate building??
Humans sleep soundly in their beds because rough cats stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
 
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
Posts: 22842
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:40 am

Captain Ned wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
I think I have all but 1 of his in my library at home. Need to remedy that and get the newest one.

Is your library in a separate building??

It's a converted carport with ~60% of the walls covered floor to ceiling with bookcases including above and below the lone window to outside.
 
Redocbew
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1956
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:44 am

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 10:50 am

Usacomp2k3 wrote:
The Baroque cycle are just hard to read through. You really have to plow.


I didn't think it was that bad, but then I've also read all the GoT books so far, and The Dark Tower series. The Baroque cycle is like 3,000 pages in total though, so yeah, that's going to take a while.
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.
 
Glorious
Gold subscriber
Gerbilus Supremus
Posts: 11657
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:33 am

Read all of them (except for his first, The Big-U, which I own but have never actually read because the author suggests people shouldn't).

I'd heavily recommend Snow Crash as an introduction. EDIT2: Particularly directed at JBI, as I think it is a much more suitable starting point.

It's a much, much shorter read, with less inter-related character complexity and if you're familiar with Julian Jaynes it isn't as "mind-blowing" as some suggest, but it's still very good (particularly as a tight, introductory synopsis of his style and general approach--if you're not into it: STOP), especially as an artifact of the time (sort of like Dune, whatever you think of it, think of the time in which it was written!).

I'd describe Stephenson as some who write fiction for non-fiction readers, and I think he has annoying predilection for particular weak tropes, and also isn't the best at wrapping things up either ---but....

Yeah. He's probably my favorite writer (of fiction).

I'm seeing him (and getting the next book) at QA thing in a few weeks. I'll scream "DID YOU INVENT BITCOIN"* and see what happens.




*He didn't. LOL.


----


EDIT: My favorite thing involving Stephenson, which might not be of interest to anyone else, is how he explains certain mysteries in Cryptonomicon/The Baroque Cycle in his philosophic/design discussions in otherwise totally unrelated later books (namely, REAMDE and Anathem).

That's how you get to the "root" of Enoch. :wink:
 
tanker27
Gerbil Khan
Topic Author
Posts: 9239
Joined: Tue Feb 26, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 11:54 am

Glorious wrote:
I'm seeing him (and getting the next book) at QA thing in a few weeks. I'll scream "DID YOU INVENT BITCOIN"* and see what happens.




*He didn't. LOL.



Make sure you get it on video! But what if he did!? And its plausible, maybe less so than some of the others that have been mentioned but still.
(\_/)
(O.o)
(''')(''')
Watch out for evil Terra-Tron; He Does not like you!
 
Glorious
Gold subscriber
Gerbilus Supremus
Posts: 11657
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:02 pm

tanker27 wrote:
Make sure you get it on video! But what if he did!? And its plausible, maybe less so than some of the others that have been mentioned but still.


He didn't.

I say this as someone who is obsessed with bitcoin (in a contrary sense), and owns (sometimes multiple copies) and has read everything Stephenson (except the one I own but won't read because Stephenson says no---yes, true story!) has ever written.

Not to be tooooo pretentious, but I'm an odd authority on both. I'd love to harangue people endlessly on either subject, believe you me.

It's not him.
 
ordskiweicz
Gerbil Team Leader
Posts: 289
Joined: Fri Feb 27, 2009 5:44 pm
Location: lowest level of ...

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:13 pm

Hey If you have not read Cryptomonicon - put things down and go read it!

Its a great yarn with terrific and funny writing, great plots and good tech info.

Just started fall yesterday.
 
Glorious
Gold subscriber
Gerbilus Supremus
Posts: 11657
Joined: Tue Aug 27, 2002 6:35 pm

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:16 pm

I'll beat the dead horse: I really recommend Snow Crash first, if you are just dipping a toe in.

Cryptonomicon is like 2.5 times as long.

EDIT: Not a knock against Cryptonomicon, as I've read the thing like 5 times. It's one of the books (and the only fiction one) I re-read like biannually.

I own two copies, and gave a third away.

It's just that Snow Crash gives you the best taste and it is interesting as a sci-fi artifact in its own right(it is a VERY influential work--and presciently nails a few things[and misses quite a few more :P ] we now take for granted). Zodiac is even shorter and much more direct, but it's not nearly as reflective as his later style/approach of writing and the subject matter is unusual as well (not the killer or the constellations, but the rigid-inflatable boat as used by very-"active" :wink: environmental activists).
Last edited by Glorious on Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
 
Redocbew
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1956
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:44 am

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 12:22 pm

Glorious wrote:
My favorite thing involving Stephenson, which might not be of interest to anyone else, is how he explains certain mysteries in Cryptonomicon/The Baroque Cycle in his philosophic/design discussions in otherwise totally unrelated later books (namely, REAMDE and Anathem).


Yeah, there's a connection there for sure. For anyone new to Stephenson I'd definetely read Cryptonomicon/The Baroque Cycle before reading Anathem. It's not required in order to understand the plot, but it's better that way.

Snow Crash would be a good starting point. It's the first thing I thought when reading the headline about the AI pizza inspector from the shortbread. :P
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 52804
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:30 pm

I had a $5 Kindle credit just sitting there, so I used it towards the eBook version of Snow Crash. Read the first 4 chapters on my phone during my commute home. I'm hooked already.
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
Captain Ned
Gold subscriber
Global Moderator
Posts: 27710
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: What if......

Mon Jun 10, 2019 6:55 pm

just brew it! wrote:
I had a $5 Kindle credit just sitting there, so I used it towards the eBook version of Snow Crash. Read the first 4 chapters on my phone during my commute home. I'm hooked already.

Yamamoto's revelation at the moment of his death is magnificent.
Humans sleep soundly in their beds because rough cats stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
 
just brew it!
Gold subscriber
Administrator
Posts: 52804
Joined: Tue Aug 20, 2002 10:51 pm
Location: Somewhere, having a beer

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:58 am

Didn't get enough sleep last night. Up past 1:00 AM reading this damn thing! :lol:
Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
 
drfish
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Elder
Posts: 5405
Joined: Wed Jan 22, 2003 7:53 pm
Location: Zeeland, MI

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:18 am

Sounds about right.
TR BBQ XVI is happening 8/10/19.
 
Usacomp2k3
Gerbil God
Posts: 22842
Joined: Thu Apr 01, 2004 4:53 pm
Location: Orlando, FL
Contact:

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:07 am

Finished reading one of DeMille's books. Good stuff. I think Anathem is next on the list.
 
NovusBogus
Silver subscriber
Graphmaster Gerbil
Posts: 1393
Joined: Sun Jan 06, 2013 12:37 am

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:40 pm

If Stephenson was Satoshi...I'd tell him that all that BTC money the early adopters are widely rumored to be sitting on means he's got no excuse for running out of money trying to make my swordplay game. Just sayin'.
 
bthylafh
Maximum Gerbil
Posts: 4205
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:58 pm

just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.


Cryptonomicon. You must read Cryptonomicon.

After that I think I'd go for Seveneves.
Hakkaa päälle!
i7-8700K|Asus Z-370 Pro|32GB DDR4|Asus Radeon RX-580|Samsung 960 EVO 1TB|1988 Model M||Logitech MX 518 & F310|Samsung C24FG70|Dell 2209WA|ATH-M50x
 
bthylafh
Maximum Gerbil
Posts: 4205
Joined: Mon Dec 29, 2003 11:55 pm
Location: Southwest Missouri, USA

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:02 pm

Redocbew wrote:
Usacomp2k3 wrote:
The Baroque cycle are just hard to read through. You really have to plow.


I didn't think it was that bad, but then I've also read all the GoT books so far, and The Dark Tower series. The Baroque cycle is like 3,000 pages in total though, so yeah, that's going to take a while.


I thought it was a bit of a slog also. This might partly be due to him writing that trilogy's manuscript by hand, with pen and paper.

The parts with Half-Cocked Jack Shaftoe were pretty good, at least.
Hakkaa päälle!
i7-8700K|Asus Z-370 Pro|32GB DDR4|Asus Radeon RX-580|Samsung 960 EVO 1TB|1988 Model M||Logitech MX 518 & F310|Samsung C24FG70|Dell 2209WA|ATH-M50x
 
Mr Bill
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1697
Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Colorado Western Slope
Contact:

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:05 pm

just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.
I love his books but have only read Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Zodiac and maybe Reamde. Has anyone read the Baroque Cycle books? (Well obviously you have.) What would be good next, given what I've read so far?
X6 1100T BE | Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 AM3+ | XFX HD 7870 | 16 GB DDR3 | Samsung 830/850 Pro SSD's | Logitech cherry MX-brown G710+ | Logitech G303 Daedalus Apex mouse | SeaSonic SS-660XP 80+ Pt | BenQ 24' 1900x1200 IPS | APC Back-UPS NS-1350 | WinXP64 Pro
 
Captain Ned
Gold subscriber
Global Moderator
Posts: 27710
Joined: Wed Jan 16, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: Vermont, USA

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:14 pm

bthylafh wrote:
The parts with Half-Cocked Jack Shaftoe were pretty good, at least.

It was in reading those that I finally understood that my occasional bouts of self-destruction were nothing more than appearances of The Imp of the Perverse.
Humans sleep soundly in their beds because rough cats stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.
 
Redocbew
Gold subscriber
Gerbil Jedi
Posts: 1956
Joined: Sat Mar 15, 2014 11:44 am

Re: What if......

Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:18 pm

Mr Bill wrote:
just brew it! wrote:
By some bizarre twist of fate, I've never read any of his books. I really need to remedy that.
I love his books but have only read Cryptonomicon, Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Zodiac and maybe Reamde. Has anyone read the Baroque Cycle books? (Well obviously you have.) What would be good next, given what I've read so far?


Anathem or Seveneves, maybe. I have the new book sitting right here on my desk, but I have to finish the latest Pendergast book from Preston and Child first. :D
Do not meddle in the affairs of archers, for they are subtle and you won't hear them coming.

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: DPete27, Google Adsense [Bot], liquidsquid, Redocbew and 11 guests