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Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future
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Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future [Format Kindle]

Ed Finn , Kathryn Cramer

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Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, an anthology of stories, set in the near future, from some of today’s leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction.

In his 2011 article “Innovation Starvation,” Neal Stephenson argued that we—the society whose earlier scientists and engineers witnessed the airplane, the automobile, nuclear energy, the computer, and space exploration—must reignite our ambitions to think boldly and do Big Stuff. He also advanced the Hieroglyph Theory which illuminates the power of science fiction to inspire the inventive imagination: “Good SF supplies a plausible, fully thought-out picture of an alternate reality in which some sort of compelling innovation has taken place.”

In 2012, Arizona State University established the Center for Science and the Imagination to bring together writers, artists, and creative thinkers with scientists, engineers, and technologists to cultivate and expand on “moon shot ideas” that inspire the imagination and catalyze real-world innovations.

Now comes this remarkable anthology uniting twenty of today’s leading thinkers, writers, and visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Elizabeth Bear, Bruce Sterling, and Neal Stephenson—to contribute works of “techno-optimism” that challenge us to dream and do Big Stuff. Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world. 

Quatrième de couverture

Inspired by New York Times bestselling author Neal Stephenson, some of today's leading writers, thinkers, and visionaries have come together in this anthology of stories, set in the near future, that reignites the iconic and optimistic visions of the golden age of science fiction

Born of an initiative at the Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University, this remarkable collection unites a diverse group of celebrated authors, prominent scientists, and creative visionaries—among them Cory Doctorow, Gregory Benford, Charlie Jane Anders, David Brin, and Neal Stephenson—who contributed works of "techno-optimism" that challenge us to imagine fully, think broadly, and do Big Stuff.

Inside this volume you will find marvels of imagination and possibility, including a steel tower so tall that the stratosphere is just an elevator ride away . . . a drone-powered Internet . . . crowdfunded robots descending on the moon . . . cities that work like a single cell of algae powered entirely by the sun . . . and much more.

Engaging, mind-bending, provocative, and imaginative, Hieroglyph: Stories and Visions for a Better Future offers a forward-thinking approach to the intersection of art and technology that has the power to change our world.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 3.6 étoiles sur 5  11 commentaires
28 internautes sur 28 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Optimism is the New Black 12 septembre 2014
Par Michael Burnam-fink - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Back in 2011, a chance encounter between Michael Crow and Neal Stephenson lead to a discussion about who was to blame for the sorry state of our collective imaginations: the best minds of our generation who spend their time design spam filters and social media apps, or science fiction writers who churn out endless dystopias and apocalypses. From this chance encounter was born the Center for Science and Imagination and Project Hieroglyph, with the goal of bringing scientist fiction writers in contact with actual scientists with a mandate to imagine a world where problems could be solved, as an inspiration to solving them. Now, three years later this is the book, and trust a guy who has read 117 science fiction books since 2010, it is GOOD.

The stories in this collection cover topics including space exploration, entrepreneurship, drones, civil liberties, education, climate change, and more, book-ended by Stephenson's Tall Tower, a 20 km steel structure that could cut space launch costs in half-for starters. Stephenson opens with a classically Heinleinian engineering epic of how the Tower is built--think "The Roads Must Roll" or "Blowups Happen". Bruce Sterling closes with the same tower 200 years in the future, inhabited by the decadent and wicked religious dreamers of an Earth that is being abandoned by the Ascended Masters, and the quixotic quest of a cowboy to ride his old horse to the very top. My two very favorite stories were "By the time we get to Arizona" by Madeline Ashby, who provides a The Prisoner inspired take on reforming American's Kafkaesque immigration system with a six week panopticon trial period in a model border town, and "Degrees of Freedom" Karl Schroeder, who uses augmented reality to provide a fascinating and inspiration lens on democracy, legitimacy, and collective decision making. Not everyone manages to hit as solidly, but there's no filler here, and very few reused ideas.

I've rarely seen such a creative, energetic, and yet solidly themed collection. The tent-poles are pieces from masters of the genre, names that you should recognize like Neal Stephenson, Bruce Sterling, Elizabeth Bear, Gregory Benford, David Brin and Cory Doctorow. All these major talents bring their A game, and fans of any of them should check out the collection. This might just be some of the best science fiction you'll read in a long time: Retro without being old-fashioned, optimistic without being panglossian.

Disclosure notice: While I am a grad student at ASU and have been following Hieroglyph's progress eagerly since it's inception, I have no financial or institutional connection to it. I just think it's super cool.

((Addendum: And Lawrence Krauss is a blowhard. Skip the introduction))
11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Great collection. I was interested because it was inspired ... 14 septembre 2014
Par Christopher Hellstrom - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle
Great collection. I was interested because it was inspired by Neal Stephenson but I enjoyed many of the other stories as well. I don't agree with some critics who think that having a didactic component to art devalues the work. Studies have been shown that reading Harry Potter makes children more empathetic. Reading can change you. Star Trek certainly inspired many people to learn about science as well as the Heinlein juveniles. The other objection that this is blind techno optimism is also wrong. There are a wide variety of viewpoints in this book. Technology is part of our lives. The genie is out of the bottle. We may as well try and get the wishes we hope for. Hieroglyph is a great step toward shaping the future and making the world a better place by using reason, courage, and imagination.
10 internautes sur 10 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Science fiction as inspiration 13 septembre 2014
Par M. McGoffin - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
Having read Erik Brynjolfsson and Andrew McAfee's "The Second Machine Age," and taking away from it the concept of 'recombinant growth,' I can appreciate the value of a work such as this, which aims to put something new out into the world. In short, the inspiration behind this book is incredible and it is high time that it has been published. This comes right on the heels of the renewal of 'Cosmos' with Neil deGrasse Tyson, USC inventing a 3D-printer for houses and infrastructure, and the coming age of automation, starting with vehicles. I commend the author and all of the minds and writers behind this for making it a reality. Read it, take away some ideas, and be inspired.
2 internautes sur 2 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 very mixed bag 7 octobre 2014
Par Arthur P. Smith - Publié sur
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
I was really looking forward to this book - I'd read Neal Stephenson's call for more inspirational science fiction and it sounded like something I would really appreciate. But I am afraid the contributions here from those authors I was most familiar with are the most disappointing. The tall tower and moon/stars stories (two that each seem to be deliberate pairs?) seem to meander through decades without much to show for it beyond the one or two gimmicks in play. I can't say that sort of prospect inspires me. And what's with the dominance of first-person narrative here? Global warming and decline of the natural world are also pretty constant themes throughout the stories - though with some refreshing variations.

General disappointment aside, some of the stories are real gems. Vandana Singh's "Entanglement" has to be my favorite - the prospect of deep intertwining of lives around the world is fascinating, but more than that, Singh presents each perspective in a delightful manner, deeply envisioned in their place, yet also deeply entangled (in ways that aren't clear until the end). Second favorite is probably "Degrees of freedom" by Karl Schroeder, a hopeful look at how similar technology could make governments irrelevant and allow real collective decision-making, in a tale focused on a father and son learning to understand one another. James Cambias' "Periapsis" was also nicely done - much more far-fetched technology-wise, but a sweet tale with a fun romantic and surprising ending.

My impression is the "big name" writers didn't really put their best efforts into this volume, but there are a few pieces of great writing and inspirational story-telling here, so I'm not unhappy I purchased it. Maybe there will be a follow-on volume with a bit more even quality.
6 internautes sur 8 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 The meek shall inherit the earth, as the rest of us will take the stars 19 septembre 2014
Par K. Deines - Publié sur
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
Old, and somewhat trite, but it is an important point insofar as this anthology is concerned.

This is not a collection of ideas for the meek. If you are, it will likely only confuse and upset you. This is not meant for "The Office" or "Twilight" mindset, no sparkley vampires or triumph of mediocrity and middle-management cognitive impairment. If you obsess over the entertainment section of your newsfeed, know what Kardashian (n) is up to at the moment and have downloaded all their branded smartphone apps, you are likely in the wrong place. If your idea of science fiction is pretty teenagers worrying that people don't like them enough, wrong place. If you cannot conceive a future as other than a corporate-ruled cyberpunk urbanscape under a sky the color of a dead TV or a post-crash back to nature/neo-tribalistic environment (zombies optional), you really should not spend money on this book.

One reviewer dismissed this as propaganda. It might be considered such, but propaganda to one is religion for another, advertising for the third, and inspiration to the weird kids at the back of the room who read books the teacher finds vaguely worrisome.

This is "Can Do!" Futurism, not another emo dystopian failure.

This anthology is meant for the unabashedly aspirational. People that want to build the next Big Thing, and by Big Thing I do not mean another damm spam blocker or "Killer App", this is meant for the people of today who 100 years ago wanted to build computers, put astronomical observatories in orbit, or fly to Mars, who motivated the people that took those ideas and got us to the Moon, built computers, and built supersonic airliners. To inspire an idea like a medical or scientific tricorder, and then develop the foundations for the next generation to make one. This book is meant for those people, the ones who want to build a tricorder, how they too can make their own (functioning) sonic screwdriver, the people who willing tilt at windmills that rise 20km above the ground, knowing that they could fail, and charge ahead regardless because they might succeed.
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