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Hans Gerwitz

Joined 1 year, 6 months ago

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Tim Maughan: Ghost Hardware (2020, Farrar, Straus & Giroux) 4 stars

Review of 'Ghost Hardware' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

Good story and very solid world building. If you enjoyed Snow Crash but with it was a little darker, you will also enjoy Infinite Detail.

The fascination with Bristol drum’n’bass is a bit much at times, left me feeling like there was a deeper metaphor I was missing. Maybe that’s true.

I worry the shallow, blunt critique of surveillance capitalism (everything is about data) will prevent this from becoming a classic, but it’s a very good read today.

James Gleick: The Information (EBook, 2011, Knopf Doubleday Pub. Group) 4 stars

From the invention of scripts and alphabets to the long misunderstood "talking drums" of Africa, …

Review of 'The Information' on 'Goodreads'

4 stars

The subject matter here is practically designed for me. I love the survey of communications from Baudot through McLuhan. The Hofstadter and Dennett references heighten the sense that this is almost a sequel to [b:Gödel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid|24113|Gödel, Escher, Bach An Eternal Golden Braid|Douglas R. Hofstadter||850076], which was very influential for me. Gleick maintains threads (e.g. to "differences" as photo-bits) that help tie the entire work together without relying merely on Shannon.

Yet, somehow, as it progresses towards the end it seems to let go of those threads, and dive into navel gazing about the nature of culture. It could have woven everything together into the modern framing of information as fundamental to the universe, but instead it wandered into concerns about culture. Those might be interesting, but he hadn't done enough research or laid enough conceptual foundation for it to be authentic here.

I can highly …