I Must Read This
After reading a 200 kilobyte blog post on “Why Anathem Sucks,” I decided I must read it, especially after reading the following:
Besides, the definition of “bulshytt” alone is worth the price of admission.
Those familiar with Neal Stephenson know he is a right-wing libertarian, with the usual right-wing libertarian fetishes (like the gold standard and pretending that small undemocratic tax-haven countries represent the pinnacle of freedom). This acts as a strike against all of his novels, but usually he’s able to overcome these weaknesses by talking about math.
Anathem appears at first to be about math, which should play to Stephenson’s strengths. But, it turns out it’s really about the philosophy of math, which means it’s completely dominated by Stephenson’s elitist views. On top of that we get a ginormous dose of new-age mysticism.