Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from 2019

Whiplash

I am reading 'Whiplash' by Joi Ito. Its a book attempting to make sense of complexity of the new rapidly changing world. Surprisingly, it counters the complexity of the world with simplistic perspectives that are relevant only in certain situations.
I have read the first two chapters so far. The first was about 'emergence' over 'authority', second about 'pull' over 'push'. These are essentially prescriptions for alternate systems of organisations. emergence refers to the capability of living things to respond to situation by organising without authority, without visible co-ordination, animated with simple actions and reactions, not chain of commands. This occurs in nature fairly commonly - ants working together for example. The sum is greater than individual parts.
The second concept of 'pull' is variant of the same theme in a sense. pull is 'just in time' response to a situation, rather than a planned 'push' for an occa…

The king is pregnant

I intend to write science fiction. Hence I am reading it.

Ursula K Le Guin's 'The Left hand of darkness'. 

She wrote this in 1969.
If she were to write it now, I would think it would be a completely different novel.

It is a story set on a cold planet where people do not have one gender. For the most of the time, they are neither male nor female. Once a month, they go in kemmer, a state of being either male or female and desirous of sex. And when they meet an earthling, they think of him as a pervert for being always in kemmer, always male.

This perspective though revolutionary, remains the setting and never quite drives the narrative. And that was disappointing for me when i read the book.
When i picked up the book, all I knew about the book was this perspective on gender. And it made me really curious of what can happen differently in this world. Instead, I got a story that emphasizes the similarity of the human condition across the planets, across the different evoluti…