History Literature / Blindsight

2nd Oct '17 3:35:54 AM ShadowoftheSun
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* YouNoTakeCandle: A number of characters have linguistic quirks that would by normal standards be considered improper - Cunningham, for example, can't use pronouns, referring to everyone as "it", while Sarasti avoids using the past tense when speaking, and whose brain is possibly wired in such a way that he can't even conceive of the past in the way normal humans do.
5th May '17 8:35:57 AM elfsternberg
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* WhamLine: The scene where Sascha and Siri figure out what they're really facing is probably one of the most hair-raising Wham Lines to be found in science fiction. Not in a "If they're right, they're all dead" but "If they're right, ''we're'' all dead" way.
2nd May '17 9:14:16 AM MarqFJA
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* InscrutableAliens: [[spoiler: A variant. The alien ship does make contact, but for hours talks in circles without revealing any useful information. The crew figure out that they're talking to a "Chinese Room"[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room]].]]

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* InscrutableAliens: [[spoiler: A variant. The alien ship does make contact, but for hours talks in circles without revealing any useful information. The crew figure out that they're talking to a "Chinese Room"[[http://en.[[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chinese_room]].org/wiki/Chinese_room Chinese room]].]]



* TitleDrop: "Blindsight" is a real-life phenomenon where blind people, assuming their actual eyes are not damaged, can sometimes avoid obstacles despite not being able to consciously see them. Some part of their brain is still processing visual input despite the normal vision part of the brain being damaged. In the novel, this is used [[spoiler:as a metaphor for the distinction between conscious and unconscious mental processing. The characters experience a kind of blindsight when their cognition is impaired by ''Rorschach'''s powerful magnetic fields. The Scramblers are suspected to be non-sentient beings for whom ''all'' sensation is blindsight. Vampires are implied to be similarly evolving toward non-sentience. And the fundamental horror of the novel rests in the final implication that non-sentient, unconscious cognition is evolutionary superior and will dominate in the universe. Human awareness is portrayed as inherently self-destructive, as evidenced by the creation of the solipsistic cyberspace "Heaven".]]

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* TitleDrop: "Blindsight" is a real-life phenomenon where blind people, assuming their actual eyes are not damaged, can sometimes avoid obstacles despite not being able to consciously see them. Some part of their brain is still processing visual input despite the normal vision part of the brain being damaged. In the novel, this is used [[spoiler:as a metaphor for the distinction between conscious and unconscious mental processing. The characters experience a kind of blindsight when their cognition is impaired by ''Rorschach'''s powerful magnetic fields. The Scramblers are suspected to be non-sentient beings for whom ''all'' sensation is blindsight. Vampires are implied to be similarly evolving toward non-sentience. And the fundamental horror of the novel rests in the final implication that non-sentient, unconscious cognition is evolutionary evolutionarily superior and will dominate in the universe. Human awareness is portrayed as inherently self-destructive, as evidenced by the creation of the solipsistic cyberspace "Heaven".]]
31st Mar '17 1:57:45 AM kluver
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* TranslationConvention: The narrator mentions the crew speaks a multilingual patois they find more exacting, but it's translated for our convenience. The exception is Susan, the linguist, and her personalities, who always say ''precisely'' what they mean.

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* TranslationConvention: The narrator mentions the crew speaks a multilingual patois they find more exacting, but it's translated for our convenience. The exception is Susan, Susan James, the linguist, and who the protagonist trusts to speak for herself, though not necessarily the rest of her personalities, who always say ''precisely'' what they mean.personalities.
13th Mar '17 3:43:36 PM morenohijazo
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* EssentialMadness: The main character's severe autism means he's the only one able to [[AwesomeByAnalysis objectively synthesize]] all of the information and determine just what the deal is with the {{Starfish Alien}}s they discover. Of course he's also unable to bond with other people or empathize with them, so...[[BlessedWithSuck downer]].
** The predatory instincts and complete sociopath nature of the ship's captain (who is an actual vampire) also turns out to be vital in second-guessing the otherwise indecipherable behaviour of the alien vessel and its inhabitants.
23rd May '16 2:05:58 AM Morgenthaler
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* ImprovisedCross: Exaggerated, justified, and deconstructed. Vampires have the vertical and horizontal crosswired in their visual cortex, which causes them to suffer fatal seizures upon seeing perpendicular lines. As would be expected, they went extinct when humans invented architecture.
10th May '16 11:42:46 AM OperativeKlause
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*BigDumbObject: ''Rorschach.'' Although the "dumb" part is debatable, and indeed is debated throughout the book.
14th Dec '15 9:35:08 AM jamespolk
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* CallingParentsByTheirName: Siri refers to his mother in the flashbacks as "Helen". In a large part because she ditched the real world for virtual reality. While he calls his father "Dad" sometimes and "Jim" other times.
6th Nov '15 5:41:55 AM Shnakepup
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'''''Blindsight''''' is a [[MohsScaleofSciFiHardness hard]] ScienceFiction novel by Canadian author Creator/PeterWatts. It's a dark and cerebral FirstContact story that deals heavily with issues of sentience and what it means to be an "intelligent" species. Despite being nominated for a [[HugoAward Hugo]], the novel is hard to find in stores, owing to troubles with the publisher. Deciding he'd rather have the book be easily available for anyone to read, Watts put the whole thing up [[http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm on his website]] [[DoingItForTheArt for free]].

Set in the near future, the story begins soon after an event known as the Firefall has stunned the world and unequivocally demonstrated that we are not alone in the universe. Tens of thousands of alien probes enter the Earth's atmosphere in a perfect grid, scanning the entire planet across the EM spectrum as they burn up. A powerful radio signal is generated, aimed toward somewhere outside the solar system. Scientists track the signal to what appears to be an alien vessel in the far reaches of the solar system. In need of answers that simple unmanned probes can't provide, a ship called the ''Theseus'' is built, packed with as much cutting-edge technology as its creators can muster, for the purpose of carrying a manned expedition of exploration and FirstContact.

A crew full of odd and eccentric specialists are aboard: a linguist with [[ProfessorGuineaPig surgically-induced multiple personalities]], a biologist who has given up some of his neural pathways for [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul senses and perception far beyond what a baseline human can experience]], and a top-brass soldier whose career-defining moment was [[NeverLiveItDown an act of treason]]. The narrator, a information analyst with [[EmptyShell half his brain removed]], is sent to observe these transhumans and translate for the benefit of their earthly masters. They are all led by a [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire]]; a genius, sociopath, and [[ImAHumanitarian cannibal]], who nevertheless is the only one coldly-logical enough to run the mission.

Depressing and pessimistic, yet enlightening, the story explores a variety of topics relating to consciousness, information theory, and neurology, and has received highly positive critical acclaim despite its relative obscurity.

'''''Literature/{{Echopraxia}}''''' (released September 2014), a loose {{Sequel}}, begins in the early 2090s with a new set of characters.

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'''''Blindsight''''' is a [[MohsScaleofSciFiHardness hard]] ScienceFiction novel by Canadian author Creator/PeterWatts. It's a dark and cerebral FirstContact story that deals heavily with issues of sentience and what it means to be an "intelligent" species. Despite being nominated for a [[HugoAward Hugo]], Troubles with the publisher made the novel is hard to find in stores, owing to troubles with the publisher. Deciding he'd rather have the book be easily available despite having been nominated for anyone to read, a HugoAward, so Watts put the whole thing up it out [[http://www.rifters.com/real/Blindsight.htm on his website]] [[DoingItForTheArt for free]].

Set in the near future, the story ''Blindsight'' begins soon after an a global event known as in the Firefall near future has stunned the world and world. Coming to be known as the Firefall, it unequivocally demonstrated that we are demonstrates mankind is not alone in the universe. Tens of universe: thousands of alien probes enter simultaneously burning up in the Earth's atmosphere in a perfect grid, seemingly scanning the entire planet across the EM spectrum as they burn up. A planet, and generating a powerful radio signal is generated, aimed toward sent somewhere outside to the solar system. Scientists track the signal to what appears to be an alien vessel in the far outer reaches of the solar system. In need of answers that simple unmanned probes can't provide, a ship called the ''Theseus'' is built, built and packed with as much cutting-edge technology as its creators can muster, muster for the purpose of carrying a manned expedition of exploration and FirstContact.

A The crew full is made up of odd and eccentric specialists are aboard: specialists: a linguist with [[ProfessorGuineaPig surgically-induced multiple personalities]], a biologist who has given up some of his neural pathways for [[CyberneticsEatYourSoul senses and perception far beyond what a baseline human can experience]], and a top-brass an infamous soldier whose career-defining moment was [[NeverLiveItDown an act of treason]]. The narrator, a information an analyst with [[EmptyShell half his brain removed]], is sent to observe these transhumans and translate for the benefit of their earthly masters. They And they are all led by a literal [[OurVampiresAreDifferent vampire]]; Vampire]]; a genius, sociopath, and [[ImAHumanitarian cannibal]], cannibal]] who is nevertheless is the only one coldly-logical enough to run the mission.

Depressing and pessimistic, yet enlightening, the story explores a variety of topics relating to consciousness, the nature of intelligence, information theory, and neurology, and has received highly positive critical acclaim despite its relative obscurity.

'''''Literature/{{Echopraxia}}''''' (released September 2014),
obscurity. It is followed by '''''Literature/{{Echopraxia}}''''', a loose {{Sequel}}, begins in {{Sequel}} set on Earth during the early 2090s with events of ''Blindsight'', featuring a new set different cast of characters.
5th Nov '15 5:34:04 PM Parakus
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* TheChessmaster: The book deals with entities that are orders of magnitude more intelligent than the average human, so this is almost a given.
** Sarasti, like all vampires, evolved to hunt humans. No matter how hard you try to out-maneuver him, he'll always be one step ahead of you. Waiting. He was sent on the mission for this exact purpose - "vampire logic" might give ''Theseus'''s crew the edge they need against ''Rorschach''.
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