January 7th, 2007 § 0 comments

I just finished reading Blindsight, from Peter Watts. I found the book via a very positive indication from Boing Boing, which comments about the book’s release under a CC license due, in part, to the fact that the book was selling way to fast.

I basically could not stop reading the book. It had been quite long since I read something as mind-boggling and mind-expanding. Blindsight is packed with new ideas and concepts. Watts has an impressive command of both science and philosophy, and he’s not afraid to show it. Many of the questions he raises in Blindsight are the kind that make your brain go into overdrive for a couple days.

One of the great themes in the book is the distinction between being sentient and being intelligent, with a sub-theme around the real need of the former for long term survival. Watts presents strong arguments for each case, allowing readers to take their own conclusions. Within this theme, other questions like the existence of free-will, what is really sensory perception, and many other are interleaved in a work that would easily pass for a philosophy book–albeit one dealing with vampires as well.

It’s quite obvious by now that I strongly recommend Blindsight. Considering it’s license, it would be criminal not too as well. The other two books by Peter Watts are already in my reading list.

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