I tried to like this book. I try to appreciate radical thinking even if I don't agree with it. This wasn't worth the effort. Too full of logical falicies, unsupported assertions, magical thinking, and sloppy reductionism. This book is begging for critical review.
Now, where's my nano payment?
Take his thesis to the next logical plateau and his idea quickly falls apart. Most of my thoughts, the information I produce, are not mine. I received that information from other people. In the parlance of the book, I was part of a network of students and teachers. Should I be making nano payments to all the teachers and everyone else from whom I've ever learned anything? His philosophy doesn't ever address the huge analog hole that this human mediation. Why are digital networks special? Isn't a system of renumeration for information sharing in the specific and limited context of digital networks inherently unbalanced?
It's a slog, to be blunt, as an audio book at least. You'll soon realize that what makes it difficult is the rather whiplash back and forth, both in the timeline, and between versions of the characters. As is often the case audio book producers have yet to master the art of the pause that gives the listener cues to when a scene changes. It's an especially pronounced in this reading.
What makes it worth the struggle, however, is that this book goes further in imaging the machinations of a post-singularity solar system than any other. It even extends to thoughtful consideration of the implications of the singularity on interstellar travel and first contact.
It's a complex story and you have to take care to keep the many small segments of the various plot lines strung together into contiguous threads, but it does make for a compelling and epic story of a sort that other authors seemingly fear to attempt.
This book read like a hobby writer's first attempt at a novel. The language is forced and the characters are bland and voiceless. Midway through the book I realized I didn't care about the supporting characters, not that I could tell them apart, and by the end I just wished they would all die. The protagonist's inner monologue is tedious, repetitive, and shallow.
I blame the editor most of all. They should have attacked the manuscript with a red pen and struck out half or more of the words. Nearly ever sentence in the book could have been 3-4 words shorter, and been much better for it. Every third sentence should have been excised entirely.
The voice acting is so over the top it's distracting. That, at lest, gets marginally better towards the end.
The overall concept was decent, and at least initially interesting. Ultimately, though, it was a wasted opportunity. At least the book didn't have a message or overt political or religious subtext. I've seen books like this that made that mistake. What social commentary there is tends be obvious and not very deep.
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