Yet another weird SF fan

I'm a mathematician, a libertarian, and a science-fiction fan. Common sense? What's that?

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Yet another weird SF fan

Thursday, January 06, 2011

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:

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.

Besides, the definition of “bulshytt” alone is worth the price of admission.


Anonymous Brian Dunbar said...

Anathem is good: my life was enriched by having read it 1 1/2 times.

But this ..

like the gold standard and pretending that small undemocratic tax-haven countries represent the pinnacle of freedom)

.. only proves that the reviewer has read, but not understood, Cryptonomicon.

1:04 AM  

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