Saturday, July 25, 2009

Sawyer's WWW:Wake

From the first mention of Julian Jaynes Bicameral Mind, it was a kind of "he had me at 'hello'" kind of reading.
The young protagonist asks in the paragraph immediately preceeding the mention, "And who decides what to leave in and what to leave out?" An interesting query to be followed by an helicoid reference to a study of human consciousness.

Caitlin reads Homer noting he, like she, is blind. Iliad and Odyssey not withstanding, Sawyer's brief reference to the importance of self-reflective thought as mirrored in western literature's two early representatives, speaks to the layering of ideas that makes Wake worth more than a cursory read.

Autism, Helen Keller, AI, and "I know I exist...because you exist" becomes Sawyer's invitation to participate in the ongoing philosophical question of Being aka ontology.

As Caitlin learns to apply her experiential awareness to its corresponding words, Sawyer works very hard to repeat his theme in different ways to present thoughts and ideas difficult to communicate because the thoughts and ideas themselves and words used to discuss them are the subject of discussion. To think in terms of colors as "flavors of light" requires a combination of sensory understanding and logical reasoning and gives us "insight" into the mechanisms involved in processing reality.

, Penrose, cytoskeletons, microtubules, tubulin dimer, cellular automata: this is the reason I read sci fi. Shannon entropy, Zipf plots, Doug Lenat, synsets on WordNet and information theory: this is why I love cyberpunk.