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Stones of Significance

Stones of Significance [Kindle Edition]

David Brin
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Heard of the "singularity"? A time of transition that some perceive just ahead of us, when our skill and knowledge and immense computing power transform us into... well... godlike beings? An immense topic! But from a writer's perspective, it presents a problem. One can write stories leading up to the singularity, about all the problems. (Little things like rebellious AI.) But how do you write a tale set AFTER the singularity has happened?

Never one to refuse a challenge, that's exactly the topic of "Stones of Significance."

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 200 KB
  • Print Length: 32 pages
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0056A23TA
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #168,437 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

David Brin is a scientist, public speaker and world-known author. His novels have been New York Times Bestsellers, winning multiple Hugo, Nebula and other awards. At least a dozen have been translated into more than twenty languages.

David's latest novel - Existence - is set forty years ahead, in a near future when human survival seems to teeter along not just on one tightrope, but dozens, with as many hopeful trends and breakthroughs as dangers... a world we already see ahead. Only one day an astronaut snares a small, crystalline object from space. It appears to contain a message, even visitors within. Peeling back layer after layer of motives and secrets may offer opportunities, or deadly peril.

David's non-fiction book -- The Transparent Society: Will Technology Make Us Choose Between Freedom and Privacy? -- deals with secrecy in the modern world. It won the Freedom of Speech Award from the American Library Association.

A 1998 movie, directed by Kevin Costner, was loosely based on his post-apocalyptic novel, The Postman. Brin's 1989 ecological thriller - Earth - foreshadowed global warming, cyberwarfare and near-future trends such as the World Wide Web. David's novel Kiln People has been called a book of ideas disguised as a fast-moving and fun noir detective story, set in a future when new technology enables people to physically be in more than two places at once. A hardcover graphic novel The Life Eaters explored alternate outcomes to WWII, winning nominations and high praise.

David's science fictional Uplift Universe explores a future when humans genetically engineer higher animals like dolphins to become equal members of our civilization. These include the award-winning Startide Rising, The Uplift War, Brightness Reef, Infinity's Shore and Heaven's Reach. He also recently tied up the loose ends left behind by the late Isaac Asimov: Foundation's Triumph brings to a grand finale Asimov's famed Foundation Universe.

Brin serves on advisory committees dealing with subjects as diverse as national defense and homeland security, astronomy and space exploration, SETI and nanotechnology, future/prediction and philanthropy.

As a public speaker, Brin shares unique insights -- serious and humorous -- about ways that changing technology may affect our future lives. He appears frequently on TV, including several episodes of "The Universe" and History Channel's "Life After People." He also was a regular cast member on "The ArciTECHS."

Brin's scientific work covers an eclectic range of topics, from astronautics, astronomy, and optics to alternative dispute resolution and the role of neoteny in human evolution. His Ph.D in Physics from UCSD - the University of California at San Diego (the lab of nobelist Hannes Alfven) - followed a masters in optics and an undergraduate degree in astrophysics from Caltech. He was a postdoctoral fellow at the California Space Institute. His technical patents directly confront some of the faults of old-fashioned screen-based interaction, aiming to improve the way human beings converse online.


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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
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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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  28 reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting ideas worth a read. 3 Jan 2013
By Nolrai - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Does what many short stories fail at, flesh out an concept while having an interesting plot and a last minute "twist".
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice but punch line was telegraphed. 29 May 2012
By A Reader - Published on
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.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars To be virtual or not to be virtual ... 14 Nov 2012
By Dr. Lanny S. Buettner - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is one of those stories that narrate to a reader in the future. So you have to read in a ways to get what's happening. I'll only say that the story is mildly disutopia-ic, when artificial intelligences have legal status. It eventually broaches my favorite musings: do fictional characters have free will?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Post-Singularity Reality 14 Nov 2012
By CMStewart - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anybody with an interest in speculative or plausible sci fi should read this highly imaginative and well-researched short story. An intelligent, technical journey down the Singularity rabbit hole.
4.0 out of 5 stars As usual, Brin delivers thought-provoking and timely visions of ... 18 Aug 2014
By DAVID A FLEMING - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
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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