Becky Chambers: The long way to a small, angry planet

Toto je taká dovolenková netradičná sci-fi kniha, ktorá popisuje vesmír, v ktorom by sa nám mohlo celkom dobre žiť. Je v nej málo boja, málo morálnych dilem, ale veľa pozorovania rôznorodých vzťahov. A práve tá rôznorodosť je zaujímavá.

Na mojom to-read zozname sa ocitla, keď som si niekde prečítala, že autorka používa neutrálne zámená (xe, namiesto he a she) a že to vôbec nepôsobí divne (napríklad v situácii, kde stretnú novú postavu, o ktorej sa nevie, či je ženská alebo mužská, alebo dokonca sa na ňu tieto kategórie ani nevzťahujú). Na jednu postavu dokonca používa they a dáva to zmysel. Na umelú inteligenciu sa tiež pozerajú ako na postavu. Diverzita, ktorá funguje. 

In Jenks’ eyes, the only real difference in cognitive development between Humans and AIs was that of speed.

Ashby didn’t care much for gravity that couldn’t be turned off.

Am I willing to face the risks? Yes. But I’m content as is, and if you are too, then maybe that’s enough for now. Not forever, maybe, but we don’t need to rush. I can wait for the galaxy outside to get a little kinder.

Druhá  vec, ktorá ma zaujala, boli malinkí imuboti a dentboti. Ako mená napovedajú, jedni sa starajú o imunitu a druhí o zubnú hygienu postáv. Tak som si zaspomínala na kúsok, ktorý som písala do kapitoly Dreaming up the future:

Now imagine that their cell selection was reliable and could be trusted. It would open a field of nano-surgery, where we would not have to go after tumors and their metastases, but we could evict cancer from the body cell-by-cell. Taken one step further, consider an inoculation-like dose given preventively that patrols our bodies and kills the cells that turn cancerous before they can cause any damage. This way the nano-machines act as sensors and surgeons, but other logical steps would be to go into targeted drug delivery.

The big if here is the reliability and we are back to modeling. While an enormous amount of testing would have to be done with live cells and then tissues, it would be very helpful to accurately model the nanomachine-cell interaction in the design process.

And again, why stop here? What if these small surgeons were intelligent? Maybe not the nanomachines themselves since they are too small to contain enough information, but some cell-like vessels carrying these nanomachines that would contain genetic-like programs. Based on what the cell-vessels and their sensors encounter, they produce and release suitable nanomachines, ob- serve the outcome and learn – an artificial immune system. This would need to be very carefully designed and computationally and biologically tested.

Zjavne som nebola prvá, kto mal tento nápad, keďže táto knižka vyšla o 4 roky skôr…

Na záver trochu kritiky. Od knihy očakávam, že sa “niečo stane”. Nejaký konflikt, či už vnútorný alebo vonkajší, postavy nie sú len dobré alebo len zlé, ale komplexné, počas knihy sa nejako zmenia, “narastú”. To tu nie je. Je to také pohodové čítanie, ale niečo tomu ešte chýba. Knižka však má niekoľko pokračovaní a je dostatočne dobrým odporúčaním, aby sa oplatilo ísť pohľadať ešte tam. Vydajte sa na cestu. 

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