Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam

Philosophy of fiction

I just started reading Cryptonomicon last night. Neal Stephenson is a writer whose work I like, but I keep forgetting about.

There is one bit where he is talking about the soon-to-be-ex girlfriend of one of the characters, and how she had written a paper on beards being one way by which euro-males express their superiority. Within that context, one of the stipulations was that the boundary of self and other is a purely man-made one.

First of all, I disagree with this stipulation in the strongest possible terms. I believe that the interaction between self and other is the seat of consciousness, and it is fundamental to the development of the being.

But the thing that really floored me is the exactness of the terminology that he used in the description of the paper in relation to my own postualtes. We're talking the exact use of terms in the exact fashion.

We're also both fans of information theory. He is able to express its concepts much more clearly than I, and it's cool to see his visualizations.

Makes me feel like I'm not such an idiot. :)

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