04. marec 2013

Januarsko branje

Blackout

Mira Grant, Blackout

»I’ve watched a few old DVDs that Alaric dug out of the room’s back closet. Most of them said “safely interacting with the woods” meant being respectful of the wildlife, and backing away slowly if you saw a bear. Personally, I think “safely interacting with the woods” means carrying a crossbow and a sniper rifle whenever you have to go out alone. I’ll never understand the pre-Rising generation… but sometimes I wish I could. It must have been nice to live in a world that didn’t constantly try to kill you.«

Zaključek čisto najboljše zombijaste trilogije (Feed, Deadline), kar jih je bilo kdaj napisanih. Pa verjetno tudi nasploh najboljše zombijasto delo, v katerem so zombiji najmanj pomemben stranski igralec. Odlično!

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The Eternal Flame

Greg Egan, The Eternal Flame

»In the end, everything in the cosmos wanted to make light and blow itself to pieces. The only thing that differed was the time scale, set by the number of photons required to make the leap from solidity to chaos.«

Drugi del trilogije »Orthogonal«, ki spremlja vesoljsko odpravo v vesolju z drugačnimi fizikalnimi zakoni, kot jih ima naše. Tudi v drugem deluje je notri precej fizike, ki je ni vedno lahko razumeti, a se jo da vedno preskočiti. Zanimivo.

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The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

James Gleick, The Information: A History, a Theory, a Flood

»For every village and every tribe, the drum language began with the spoken word and shed the consonants and vowels. That was a lot to lose. The remaining information stream would be riddled with ambiguity. A double stroke on the high-tone lip of the drum [– –] matched the tonal pattern of the Kele word for father, sango, but naturally it could just as well be songe, the moon; koko, fowl; fele, a species of fish; or any other word of two high tones. Even the limited dictionary of the missionaries at Yakusu contained 130 such words. Having reduced spoken words, in all their sonic richness, to such a minimal code, how could the drums distinguish them? The answer lay partly in stress and timing, but these could not compensate for the lack of consonants and vowels. Thus, Carrington discovered, a drummer would invariably add “a little phrase” to each short word. Songe, the moon, is rendered as songe li tange la manga—“the moon looks down at the earth.” Koko, the fowl, is rendered koko olongo la bokiokio—“the fowl, the little one that says kiokio.” The extra drumbeats, far from being extraneous, provide context. Every ambiguous word begins in a cloud of possible alternative interpretations; then the unwanted possibilities evaporate. This takes place below the level of consciousness. Listeners are hearing only staccato drum tones, low and high, but in effect they “hear” the missing consonants and vowels, too. For that matter, they hear whole phrases, not individual words. «

Gleick se je podal na sprehod skozi zgodovino informacije in jo obdelal z najrazličnejših vidikov. Krasen poljudnoznanstveni tekst, priporočam. Poročilo o jeziku afriških bobnov, iz katerega je zgornji citat, je pa sploh odlično. Se pa zadeva dokaj počasi bere in mi je vzela večino meseca.

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Berem: Ship Breaker

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