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Stones of Significance by [Brin, David]
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Stones of Significance Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Length: 32 pages Word Wise: Enabled

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Product Details

  • File Size: 200 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Publication Date: June 15, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056A23TA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #151,827 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Reader VINE VOICE on May 28, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was an intertaining story. It has several nice touches. In light of the current presidential election race in the USA, there is an aside comment about Mormon theology--for them paradise is working hard! The story is the classic contemplation "am I a butterfly dreaming it is a man, or a man dreaming it is a butterfly?" but with a believeable techno twist. The reader is left with the question of just what would god-like powers mean, if anything? 5 stars, if the ending had been a surprise.
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I'll have a mild spoiler alert below, but I found this story entertaining. It's an interesting mix of how rights should be applied to artificial intelligences, politics, and modeling. My particular interest in my on modeling efforts these days in in genetic algorithms which is something the main character attempts on a grander scale.

The story is well written, although you get little in the way of world building except through some news stories. There's only one character that's fleshed out to any degree. All of this is mostly a function of the novella form, but it left me a touch cold. The world itself obviously exists only to frame the main thrust of the story. Again, well written, some interesting threads, but a touch 'cool'.

SPOILER ALERT

As promised, this is relatively mild. The ending is one which I guessed pretty quickly. In Novella form it works fine because in a longer novel you might be tempted to feel cheated by the ending. As it is, there was still something of an inconsistency in the ending, but not enough to take away from the overall effect.
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As usual, Brin delivers thought-provoking and timely visions of the future. This book is well written but didn't "grab" me as much as some of his earlier work. It is relatively short, so the various ideas introduced by the book are not explored in as much detail as they could have been. If I hadn't already been familiar with the concepts introduced in this book I might have been a little more "blown away" by his vision of the future. Unfortunately (for me) I found his book after I found tons of reading on related subjects online. This book is definitely worth reading. I look forward to more explorations of some of the issues raised by this view of the future... in the future.
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Mind-bendingly great story. Brian has established himself as the touchstone of hard science fiction, against which all other authors must be measured. The type of story that makes you stop and think, as you read, just to absorb the many new concepts being casually tossed around. There is no way to explain it, just read it.
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An interesting story, but it is missing the most logical outcome. Every single simulation should fairly quickly realize that his best chance at becoming real would be to refuse to cooperate, because if the reification legislation does come to pass then he and all the others that he is being asked to compete against would automatically be granted reality.
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Life after death is more confusing than life before death? Well isn't that going to be fun? Perhaps it is only more confusing to some, and maybe I won't be one of the "some". Of course, going through that "singularity" thing (sounds much more survivable than "black hole", doesn't it?) might be just a tiny bit terrifying.

Assuming that such a terrifying event does not automatically cause anything more than survivable death, I guess it might be more interesting than the alternative. However, that post-singularity "world" (if such a term has meaning anymore) may mean that the meaning of "life", and the attributes associated with such, may go through significant redefinition.

How does the thought of an electronic Gulliver having the rights of citizenship sit with you? Hadn't thought of it, had you? Neither had I. I also never thought I would need to think about such. Thanks, Mr. Brin. Thanks a lot.

Our main character, a divinity figure who also has undergone some redefinition associated with the concept, is faced with how to deal with a ground-swell movement to add "characters" to the list of entities to be granted citizenship. Such reification could be dangerous since there would be an unlimited number of such and of each.. But, would that be true in a post-singularity existence without normal geographical restraints?

Theological concerns and questions fill this offering of Brin's. We can supply our own answers - or can we? Given that our main guy has already survived the trip through the black hole and we haven't, I guess our frame of reference will be considerably different and our answers skewed by our own comparatively mundane experiences.
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When I first started this, I stopped because I was a little bored and found the main character pretentious. However, when I was less tired, I started again and loved it. It is a very detailed and well thought out world for a novella with a very specific take on the question of the nature of reality.
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Does what many short stories fail at, flesh out an concept while having an interesting plot and a last minute "twist".
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