Thursday, June 30, 2016

I don't understand technology

Two recent books (which I largely enjoyed) required some basic grasp of technology (at least "technology" as a sci-fi or thriller trope) and I feel bad admitting that I just don't really understand a lot of it. 

Particularly cryptography. I picked up The Girl in the Spider's Web because it seemed like something one is obliged to do during the summer (yes, I know Stieg Larsssssson is dead and frankly, I hoped that that would mean slightly less over-the-top sexual violence in this continuation). It was ... exactly as expected. This offering had to do with the NSA, prime number factoring, the development and feared theft of artificial intelligence, but really it was just about that damn Millennium magazine getting a scoop and returning prestige, glory and cash to hard-hitting journalism, along with superhuman hacking and toughing-out of bullet wounds. Walk it off, Salander! 

AI was a much more essential part of Central Station, by Lavie Tidhar, but again, sadly I just don't really grasp it. Like, this Singularity thing? Either it immediately ends the world, via SkyNet or the Matrix, or it allows our amazing consciousnesses to be uploaded and survive forever ... I guess? There was a lot of love in Central Station, of which I approve. Love between men, love between women and ancient robot-soldiers, love (or at least endless memories) between generations of families, and then a kind of love between humans and Others, the freed AIs that "escaped" on to the Internet and then could join back with humans by invitation and a golden thumb ... I think a lot of this was lost on me. 
But the robot love, I can dig.

No comments:

Post a Comment