You invest so much in it, don't you? It's what elevates you above the beasts of the field, it's what makes you special. Homo sapiens, you call yourself. Wise Man. Do you even know what it is, this consciousness you cite in your own exaltation? Do you even know what it's for?
Dr. Peter Watts
is no stranger to MetaFilter. But look past his sardonic nuptials
, heartbreaking eulogies
, and agonizing run-ins with fascists
) and you'll find one of the most brilliant, compelling, and disquieting
science fiction authors at work today. A marine biologist skilled at deep background research, his acclaimed
2006 novel Blindsight [full text]
-- a cerebral "first contact" tale led by a diverse crew of bleeding-edge post-humans -- is diamond-hard and deeply horrifying, wringing profound existential dread from such abstruse concepts as the Chinese Room
, the Philosophical Zombie
, Chernoff faces
, and the myriad quirks and blind spots
that haunt the human mind.
's last, shattering insight is not the end of the story -- along with crew
, a blackly funny in-universe lecture on resurrecting sociopathic vampirism
), and a rigorously-cited (and spoiler-laden) reference section
, tomorrow will see the release of
Dumbspeech State of Grace Echopraxia [website]
, the long-delayed
"sidequel" depicting parallel events on Earth. Want more? Look inside for a guide to the rest of Watts' award-winning (and provocative) body of work. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Aug 25, 2014 -
is perhaps the finest author in contemporary science fiction -- and the most rarefied.
A technical writer by trade and a graduate of the distinguished Clarion Writers Workshop
, Chiang has published only twelve short stories in the last twenty years, one dozen masterpieces of the genre whose insightful, precise, often poetic language confronts fundamental ideas -- intelligence, consciousness, the nature of God -- and thrusts them into a dazzling new light.
Click inside for a complete listing of Chiang's work, with links to online reprints or audio recordings where available, as well as a collection of one-on-one interviews, links to his nonfiction essays, and a few other related sites and articles. [more inside]
posted by Rhaomi
on Dec 27, 2010 -
The Folkways Collection
is a downloadable, 24-part podcast series that "explores the remarkable collection of music, spoken word, and sound recordings that make up Folkways Records (now at the Smithsonian as Smithsonian Folkways Recordings)."
posted by Miko
on Feb 16, 2009 -
"A show created by Geeks for Geeks, covering topics that Geeks like to talk about." This is one of my favorite podcasts out there, most topics they cover are talked about in a very smart manner with lots of philosophy and moral quandaries thrown in, and they have gone on to get some great interviews with various people in Geek culture including Christina Hendricks, who plays Saffron from Firefly, and its Producer, Lisa Lassek
(Christina is the sister of one of the geeks), Orson Scott Card
, George R.R. Martin
, Forrest J Ackerman
, Garrett Wang
, and the man himself Joss Whedon
! [more inside]
posted by Del Far
on Mar 25, 2008 -
"The Bodleian Library launches its first series of BODcasts with readings by celebrated poets including Seamus Heaney, Bernard O’Donoghue and Mick Imlah." MP3s of talks and readings given on an evening in celebration of the publication of the journal Archipelago
posted by Abiezer
on Oct 30, 2007 -
This American Life
is now offering free podcasts. A while ago, someone noticed MP3s of This American Life episodes were sitting in a publicly accessible directory. People soon starting making podcasts. This American Life asked them to stop. Most of them did
. Fans of the show were disappointed. Now the podcast is available directly from TAL for free.
posted by scottreynen
on Oct 12, 2006 -
known as one of the principal architects of ambient house,
have receded into relative obscurity since the popular heyday of the electronic music movement in the US. Despite changes in the lineup - the group now consists of a duo featuring founding member Dr (Duncan Robert) Alex Paterson and Thomas Fehlmann.
Paterson's DJ sets are the stuff of legend and I was pleased as punch that they've just put together a podcast (actually a 50.8mb .zip
file containing an mp3) that's available through their minimal website.
posted by beaucoupkevin
on Sep 7, 2006 -
Completely stupid name. Not a bad idea. Enter your city, and it will come back with MP3 links and podcasts from bands soon to play in your town, in a "try before you buy tickets" kind of way. Works quite well for the US
, other countries look like they need updating
posted by Jimbob
on Mar 3, 2006 -