[FoRK] Douglas Adams: Is there an Artificial God?

Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> on Fri Jul 13 16:26:21 PDT 2007

On Jul 13, 2007, at 5:40 PM, Lion Kimbro wrote:

> On 7/13/07, Jeff Bone <jbone at place.org> wrote:
>> ...but even then it's not all that thoroughly fleshed out.  (Though
>> The Festival from his book Singularity Sky remains, IMHO, one of the
>> most entertaining things anybody's concocted in this vein.)
>  Ha!
>  I haven't read it yet, but I understand that this gigantic orb  
> spaceship
>  comes to a backwater medieval planet, pelts the globe with cell
>  phones, with the question, "What do you desire?", and just starts
>  giving people whatever they ask for.  The world goes into
>  total chaos.
>  Then a bunch of post-humans come out of the ship, roam the surface
>  of the earth, and make fun of everybody.  ("Critics," or  
> something..?)
>  And this is their idea of a good time;  Something fun to do.
>  Or something like that.
>  I thought it was a neat idea!

Indeed, though one small correction:  it's not a gigantic orb  
spaceship, but rather a giant swarm of various intelligences ranging  
from sub-sentient insect-like hive minds / parasites to more  
sophisticated minds.  The Festival's an entire society, a kind of  
traveling circus with an entire social system / ecology of hangers- 
on, symbiotes, and so on, with a rich and fascinating internal social  
dynamics that's only hinted at in the book...  (The Critics are a  
part of this social ecosystem...)


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