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Among Others

Cover for Among Others


Jo Wal­ton is the mas­ter (mistress?) of tone. She writes in tongues. This is an amaz­ing book.

The Lathe of Heaven

Cover for The Lathe of Heaven


I thought I had read ev­ery­thing by LeGuin. I some­how missed this one.

It gets four stars be­cause... come on, clas­sic LeGuin.

The sto­ry is con­cep­tu­al­ly good, and the de­liv­ery is up to her usu­al stan­dard­s. One thing that bugged me a lit­tle was the malthu­sian pes­simism was a bit over the top.

The au­thor imag­ines a world with sev­en bil­lion peo­ple in it (like we have now!) so here's a ran­dom list of what that world is like:

* Ram­pant green­house ef­fect

* Grain is so ex­pen­sive and scarce there's no whiskey any­more

* No cars be­cause no oil

* Port­land, Ore­gon is an over­pop­u­lat­ed hell­hole where lawyers work out of con­vert­ed park­ing build­ings.

* Mas­sive famines (92% of world pop­u­la­tion!)

* Rick­ets and scurvy are ram­pant in the US

* Over­pop­u­la­tion makes ev­ery­one feel cramped all the time

And so on and so forth

Mi análisis pascual.

No­ta de Clarín de hoy, Domin­go de Pas­cuas:

"La may­oría de la gente cree que la re­ligión es pos­i­ti­va para la so­ciedad"

Es, ob­vi­a­mente, una en­cues­ta. Y es un ex­ce­lente ejem­p­lo de apli­cación de una de las téc­ni­cas que de­scribí en mi post "Có­mo men­tir con es­tadís­ti­cas­!" Es­pecí­fi­ca­mente, es una apli­cación de "A­gru­par Re­sul­ta­dos".

El titular de Clarín es porque "para el 59% de los entrevistados la religión es positiva, mientras que el 22% la considera negativa y el 14% estima que no juega ningún papel." Fíjense que para empezar ahí falta una opción, porque la suma da 59 + 22 + 14 = 95%!

Repar­ta­mos ese 5% en­tre las otras op­ciones, y en re­al­i­dad los por­centa­jes son 62%, 23% y 15% (re­donde­an­do). En­ton­ces, sí, la may­oría de la gente cree que la re­ligión es pos­i­ti­va para la so­ciedad.

¿Pero qué es más noti­ci­a? ¿Que el 62% de la gente cree que la re­ligión es pos­i­ti­va para la so­ciedad, o que el 38% de la gente cree que no lo es?

En mi hu­milde opinión... lo se­gun­do. Si apli­camos un poco más de men­ti­ra es­tadís­ti­ca, po­drían haber tit­u­la­do "Cer­ca de la mi­tad de la gente no cree que la re­ligión sea pos­i­ti­va para la so­ciedad".

ESO es­ti­ma­do Clarín, es un tit­u­lar que provo­ca hit­s. Y es igual de cier­to que el tuy­o.

The Waking Engine

Cover for The Waking Engine


I re­al­ly want­ed to read this book, but some­thing just did­n't click for me. I sus­pect I now un­der­stand how those who dis­like Chi­na Miéville feel.

Al­so, some­times the au­thor us­es words strange­ly. He spent a chap­ter writ­ing "cate­nary chain­s". Cate­nary means ei­ther "chain-­like" or some­thing in a spe­cif­ic curve. Since these chains are just ly­ing on the ground he's say­ing "chain-­like chain­s" over and over again, and it just both­ered me way more than it should.

The con­cept of the uni­verse where the book takes place is cool. The pace picks up a lot in the sec­ond half, al­though some char­ac­ters seem to just dis­ap­pear.

Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0, #1)

Cover for Off to Be the Wizard (Magic 2.0, #1)


It's geek ful­fill­ment fan­ta­sy. But like with ev­ery­thing there's good geek ful­fill­ment fan­ta­sy and bad. This one is rather good!

It does have some­thing I love: the at­ti­tude. So, we are all sub­rou­tines in a pro­gram? Ok, so let's have fun with that, no need to get all glum­my and down­beat!

Al­so, good se­quel set­up at the end.

One bad thing: it de­scribes C64 text as white on blue. WTF Scott Mey­er???? That's CYAN on blue!!!!! ;-)

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