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September 09, 2011


Hmm...I saw "blindsight", which is a word I'm unfamiliar with, and thought it might be something like hindsight that completely misinterprets things, which is something I'm rather more familiar with.

Other than that, I've got nothing.

Yeah, political nerds of all ideological stripes could have a lot of fun with a term like "blindsight".

One fascinating thing about e-books is e-book spam -- e-books filled with "copypasta" with intriguing titles (many flavored in Get Rich Quick) and offered for a few cents. Enterprising spammers have developed software that does the copy-pasting and formatting and sell that to aspiring spammers. ("With a couple dozen e-books in the Kindle store, each generating a few dollars of passive income per month...")

I haven't browsed the e-book catalogs at Kindle or Nook, but I understand the Kindle e-bookery is overrun with such spam.

In hindsight, Amazon probably should have introduced a higher barrier to entry, such as requiring ISBN numbers for titles sold in its store. Like Apple does with its iBook store.


I have a large pile of almost entirely non-fiction books lying unread next to my bed. Haven't really read a book cover to cover since before my first son was born in March of 2009. More interested in sleeping, I guess (and maybe put off by reading fun things during my day job like this.)

Blindsight is also a science fiction book by Peter Watts you can read for free online. It's about the nature of consciousness, as you might expect, and received mostly favorable reviews. One of his friends is supposed to have said you read a Peter Watts novel when you appreciate being alive a little too much.


In the past week or so I've read three Philip K. Dick books (Clans of the Alphane Moon, We Can Build You, and Game Players of Titan). Are all Dick books about mental illness?

Also Katherine Ann Porter's Noon Wine. Wow. And smatterings of Schoenberg's Harmonielehre and Style and Idea (casual reading/just brushing up/pipe-smoking fodder).

This is all trying to fill the void left by finishing the latest George RR Martin.

[/trying to make the leap from lurker -> commenter.]

Are all Dick books about mental illness?

All of Philip K. Dick's books are about what, if anything, is real.

I rarely read fiction anymore since in its current state fiction seems to be a game of who can be the biggest downer, but I read Jesus' Son by Denis Johnson a couple days ago. It is a revelation. I can't imagine why anyone felt the need to make a movie out of it, the writer made it all plainly visible.

"Are all Dick books about mental illness?"

Kind of. And the nature of reality.

All of Philip K. Dick's books are about what, if anything, is real.

Kind of. And the nature of reality.

Right; I was prepared for that part.

But. The three I just read were explicitly, in one way or another -- either about, addressing, or featuring in some prominent way -- mental illness(es). Especially Clans of the Alphane Moon, in which an isolated society (that used to be an asylum divides itself up by disorder.

I wasn't shocked; I know he had some experiences of his own, and it's a good way to address the sort of radical contingency of reality vis-a-vis multiple perspectives. It was just the way all three books forgrounded* psychosis/schizophrenia (and variations thereof) that surprised me.

*If I can be forgiven some lit-crit speak; in my defense, it's actually the word I need right here.

and tune-namers here? if so, you're invited to come on over and name that tune.

if you're so inclined...

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