Mathematical Foundations for Computer Science… alebo toľko kníh som v aute ešte nemala

Prvá bola Computational Blood Cell Mechanics.

Aj práca na tejto druhej knihe trvala zhruba dva roky (a to nepočítam učenie predmetu, ku ktorému bola napísaná). A tento týždeň som pre ňu bola vo vydavateľstve. Okrem mojich pár výtlačkov som viezla aj skoro všetky ostatné. Dúfam, že sa z nich čo najviac dostane medzi študentov a študentky. 

Martin M. Šimečka: Medzi Slovákmi

Stručné dejiny ľahostajnosti od Dubčeka k Ficovi alebo ako som sa stal vlastencom

Útla knižočka. Veľmi čitateľná a zaujímavá (aspoň) na dvoch úrovniach. Jednak z pohľadu česko-slovenských reálií a potom z filozofického pohľadu na to, aké sú motívy ľudí aj ako jednotlivcov aj ako národa. Trochu mi škrípal koniec. Bol príliš romantický a jednoduchší, než by si aktuálne dianie zaslúžilo. (Knižka vyšla v roku 2017, takže to môže byť čiastočné vysvetlenie.) Ale aj tak silno odporúčam.

To, čo nazývam ľahostajnosťou voči spoločnosti sa často ukrýva za zdanlivú pokoru: ja predsa nie som lepší než iní a ten, kto si osobuje právo vstupovať do svedomia národa, je arogantný povýšenec. (Tento argument som často počúval na adresu disidentov.)

To je však typické pre slovenské nepochopenie spoločenskej roly elít – od tých intelektuálnych cez ekonomické až po politické. Sú totiž privilegované svojím postavením, ale to ich zároveň zaväzuje k postojom, ktoré si občas vyžadujú odvahu. Slovenskí spisovatelia ju v čase normalizácie nenašli, lebo spoločnosť im za to nestála.

Slovenskí komunisti to možno mysleli dobre, ale záchranou slovenskej elity ju zároveň prizvali k tomu, aby sa aspoň na čiastočný úväzok podieľala na normalizácii. Slovenskej spoločnosti, ktorá sa k tejto dohode ako celok ochotne pridala, tak už nemal kto povedať, že to nie je správne.

Dnes sa javí absurdné, že referendum nebolo vypísané, ale Mečiar a Klaus vedeli, že by ich jeho výsledok dostal do pasce. Neviem, či mám obdivovať ich vtedajšiu odvahu, alebo žasnúť nad ich drzosťou, ale naozaj sa im podarilo rozdeliť štát napriek tomu, že voličom tento plán pred voľbami v júni toho roku zatajili. 

Tri magické knižky na dovolenku

Jednu som mala so sebou papierovo: Ursula K. Le Guin: The Earthsea Quartet. V podstate je to sága rozdelená do štyroch kníh (A wizard of Earthsea, Tombs of Atuan, The farthest shore, Tehanu), ktoré sa dajú čítať aj samostatne a ja som dve z nich už kedysi aj mala otvorené, ale teraz som si ich prečítala všetky spolu.  

Treba ich čítať v origináli alebo v nejakom naozaj dobrom preklade, lebo viackrát som sa pristihla, ako si hovorím, že toto by sa teda ťažko dávalo do iného jazyka tak, aby to ostalo rovnako pôsobivé. Nie je to ľahké čítanie… niekedy smutné, miestami temné, celé filozofické, vyžaduje trpezlivosť a stojí za to. Ursula Le Guin vie písať. (Pre záujemcov, ešte ďalšie, trochu ľahšie, odporúčania: The left hand of darknessWild girls, Those who walk from Omelas…)

A kedysi raz niekto o týchto knihách povedal, že pomôže si ich prečítať, keď sa neviete vyrovnať s tým, že vám niekto blízky zomrel. Ak budete v takej situácii, prečítajte. Pomôže.  

It is very hard for evil to take hold of the unconsenting soul.

To light a candle is to cast a shadow… 

Was I to join them therefore? To let their acts rule my own? I will not make their choices for them, nor will I let them make mine for me.

As a child in Atuan, Tenar had learned how to learn. As a stranger in Gont, she had found that people liked to teach. She had learned to be taught and so to be accepted, her foreignness forgotten.

‘Will you be about the house?’ she asked him, across some distance. ‘Therru’s asleep. I want to walk a little.’
‘Yes. Go on,’ he said, and she went on, pondering at the indifference of a man towards exigencies that ruled a woman: that someone must be not far from a sleeping child, that one’s freedom meant another’s unfreedom unless some ever-changing, moving balance were reached, like a balance of a body moving forward, as she did now on two legs, first one then the other, in the practice of that remarkable art, walking…

‘How she’s changing!’ she said. ‘I can’t keep up with her. I’m old to be bringing up a child. And she… She obeys me, but only because she wants to.’
‘It’s the only justification for obedience,’ Ged observed.

Keď som dočítala Zememorie, tak som sa pustila do knižky, ktorú mala na dovolenke Kika: Kelly Barnhill: Dievča, ktoré pilo mesačný svit. Prvá polovica výborná, druhá sa dala spraviť aj lepšie. 

Každý rok ľudia v Protektoráte obetujú jedného novorodenca čarodejnici, ktorá žije hlboko v lesoch. Už od nepamäti vedia, že len tak ochránia svoje mesto pred jej čarami. Lenže čarodejnica Xan vôbec nie je zlá. Naopak, o opustené dieťa sa postará, nakŕmi ho hviezdnym svitom a nájde mu novú, milujúcu rodinu na opačnej strane lesa. Raz však omylom nakŕmi malé dievčatko mesačným svitom a tomu potom začne v žilách kolovať mágia. Xan sa rozhodne, že dievčatko vychová sama. Dá mu meno Luna a jeho čarovné schopnosti uzamkne do času, keď bude mať trinásť rokov. Lenže s blížiacimi sa trinástymi narodeninami sa kúzla začínajú drať na povrch. Nad lesom sa zlietajú obrovské kŕdle desivých vtákov, pod zemou sa prebúdza sopka a les obchádza žena so srdcom tigra. Z Protektorátu mieri do lesa muž, ktorý je rozhodnutý zabiť čarodejnicu. Čoskoro bude musieť Luna chrániť tých, ktorí doteraz chránili ju. A postaviť sa proti skutočnému zlu…

A potom ešte elektronicky tento cantos: Dan Simmons: Hyperion. Písané v duchu Canterburských poviedok, je to šesť príbehov, ktoré si rozprávajú siedmi spolupútnici. Príbehy sú rozmanité a (pre mňa okrem jedného) zaujímavé, ale nie je to kniha, ku ktorej by som sa ešte chcela vrátiť.  

After fifty-five years of dedicating his life and work to the story of ethical systems, Sol Weintraub had come to a single, unshakable conclusion: any allegiance to a deity or concept or universal principle which put obedience above decent behavior toward an innocent human being was evil.

Prison always has been a good place for writers, killing, as it does, the twin demons of mobility and diversion

I would welcome some glimmer of understanding but, failing that, working on the puzzle will suffice.
 
indicators of true giftedness in a young person: structured curiosity, empathy for others, compassion, and a fierce sense of fair play
 
[as she was getting younger] language was the hardest for him. Her vocabulary loss was like the burning of a bridge between them, the severing of a final line of hope
 
He told me what it was like to be a poet obsessed with perfection, far harsher toward his own efforts than even the most vicious critic. And the critics were vicious
 
It was hard to describe, but I’d seen rooms full of more important personages rearrange themselves to orbit around personalities like his

It no longer matters who consider themselves the masters of events. Events no longer obey their masters.

 

Michelle Obama: Becoming

Hm. 
 
Žiadne vysokohodnotné umelecké dielo to nie je, ale človek sa dozvie veľa malých zaujímavostí (americké reálie). Už len pre ne sa túto knihu oplatí prečítať. Ale okrem toho na mňa urobili dojem dva motívy, ktoré sa tiahli prakticky celým rozprávaním. 
 
Prvý je ten, že záleží na tom, koho poznáš a kto Ťa pozná. Obamovci si cieľavedome a prakticky stále budovali sieť ľudí. Aj v tomto kontexte zrejme platí to outlierovské ponaučenie, že na to, aby bol človek výnimočný, tak si to na jednej strane musí odmakať, ale na druhej musí vedieť rozpoznať a využiť príležitosť, lebo tá sa nutne niekde pri tom odmakávaní naskytne.  
 
A ten druhý, feministicky neprehliadnuteľný, je ten, ako sa Michelle prispôsobovala Barackovej kariére (nevyhnutne, vedome), ako to vnímala (ťažko, nespravodlivo) a ako sa s tým vysporiadala. To posledné ma zarazilo najviac. Len jeden príklad za všetky.
 
My s Mišom nie sme ani zďaleka tak vyťažení ako Obamovci, ale aj tak je pre nás problém nájsť si čas, aby sme mohli športovať (odkedy máme deti). Boli obdobia, keď som športovala ja a vtedy sa on prakticky nehýbal. Teraz je obdobie, že Mišo pravidelne behá a ja sa neviem dostať na plaváreň ani raz do týždňa. Akoby to boli spojené nádoby, spoločný objem času, ktorý sa dá na toto minúť a keď jeden z nás vyčerpá, druhému neostáva. Chce to nemalú vedomú snahu, aby to tak nebolo, ongoing negotiation bez konca na dohľad, lebo život stále beží so svojimi nepravidelnosťami, ktoré akúkoľvek vyhovujúcu dohodu za chvíľu zmetú zo stola.
 
A čo spravili v rovnakej situácii Obamovci? Barack nič. Žil si ďalej svojím životom. Ostalo na Michelle, aby sa s tým vysporiadala. To, že ak si chcela zacvičiť, musela vstávať brutálne skoro ráno, musela jej mama vstávať brutálne skoro ráno, aby k nim prišla a postrážila zatiaľ deti, to sa jeho nedotklo. 
 
A takéto situácie tam boli ako gorálky na šnúrke jedna za druhou. Ťažko sa mi čítali. 
Advice, when she offered it, tended to be of the hard-boiled and pragmatic variety. “You don’t have to like your teacher,” [mother] told me one day after I came home spewing complaints. “But that woman’s got the kind of math in her head that you need in yours. Focus on that and ignore the rest.”
 
[Michele’s mother] listened, but she didn’t absolve him from the choice at hand. Instead, she returned him to his agony with a blithe shrug of her shoulders. “Handle it how you think best,”
 
Now I think it’s one of the most useless questions an adult can ask a child—What do you want to be when you grow up? As if growing up is finite. As if at some point you become something and that’s the end.
 
But as I’ve said, failure is a feeling long before it’s an actual result.
 
It was as close as I’d come to understanding what motivated Barack. The world as it should be.
 
I knew I was no smarter than any of them. I just had the advantage of an advocate. I thought about this more often now that I was an adult, especially when people applauded me for my achievements, as if there weren’t a strange and cruel randomness to it all.
 
Barack was hoping to ride all the way to school with the girls, but he knew it would create too much of a scene. His motorcade was too big. He’d become too heavy.
 
In our life before children, such frustrations might have seemed petty, but as a working full-time mother with a half-time spouse and a predawn wake-up time, I felt my patience slipping away until finally, at some point, it just fell off a cliff.
 
I now tried out a new hypothesis: It was possible that I was more in charge of my happiness than I was allowing myself to be. I was too busy resenting Barack for managing to fit workouts into his schedule, for example, to even begin figuring out how to exercise regularly myself.
 
It went back to my wishes for them to grow up strong and centered and also unaccommodating to any form of old-school patriarchy: I didn’t want them ever to believe that life began when the man of the house arrived home. We didn’t wait for Dad. It was his job now to catch up with us.
 
Our decision to let Barack’s career proceed as it had—to give him the freedom to shape and pursue his dreams—led me to tamp down my own efforts at work.
 
I thanked her again, hung up, and sighed. None of this had been my choice in the first place. None of this was my choice at all.
 
I didn’t understand how he could look at Sasha and Malia, now five and eight, with their pigtailed hair and giggly exuberance, and feel any other way. It hurt me sometimes to think that he did.
 
Barack and I had been through five campaigns in eleven years already, and each one had forced me to fight a bit harder to hang on to my own priorities. Each one had put a little dent in my soul and also in our marriage.
 
In general, I felt as if I couldn’t win, that no amount of faith or hard work would push me past my detractors and their attempts to invalidate me. I was female, black, and strong, which to certain people, maintaining a certain mind-set, translated only to “angry.” It was another damaging cliché, one that’s been forever used to sweep minority women to the perimeter of every room, an unconscious signal not to listen to what we’ve got to say.
I was now starting to actually feel a bit angry, which then made me feel worse, as if I were fulfilling some prophecy laid out for me by the haters, as if I’d given in. It’s remarkable how a stereotype functions as an actual trap. How many “angry black women” have been caught in the circular logic of that phrase? When you aren’t being listened to, why wouldn’t you get louder? If you’re written off as angry or emotional, doesn’t that just cause more of the same?
Tu je ešte jeden rozhovor s Michelle.

Blindsight a Echopraxia

Dve knihy, ktoré napísal Peter Watts. Veľmi, veľmi zaujímavé. Nepíšem, že výborné (to mám rezervované na inú kvalitu), všeličo sa im dá vytknúť, ale sú veľmi podnetné na rozmýšľanie o vedomí, o slobodnej vôli, o tom, čo všetko je život.
 
V knihách totiž ide o kontakt s iným životom. Schválne nepíšem, že s mimozemšťanmi, lebo to už máme zaškatuľkované… možno nie úplne ako zelených mužíkov, ale vpodstate ako niečo ľuďom celkom podobné. Ale tu je ten iný život tak cudzí a tak iný, že naše kategórie jednoducho nie sú aplikovateľné.
 
Treba veľa čítať medzi riadkami. Predpokladám, že kopu vecí mi aj ušlo (a na rozdiel od niektorých iných kníh nemám chuť si tieto prečítať znovu), ale to je práve ten druhý dôvod, pre ktorý knižky odporúčam. 
nature of free will, which Wegner thumbnails as “our mind’s way of estimating what it thinks it did”
 
at least under routine conditions, consciousness does little beyond taking memos from the vastly richer subconcious environment, rubber-stamping them, and taking the credit for itself. In fact, the nonconscious mind usually works so well on its own that it actually employs a gatekeeper in the anterious cingulate cortex to do nothing but prevent the conscious self from interfering in daily operations
 
The game is never over; there’s no finish line this side of heat death. And so, neither can there be any winners. There are only those who haven’t yet lost.
 
It didn’t matter whether shackles were built of genes or iron, whether you installed them after birth or before conception. Chains were chains, no matter where you put them.
 
What do you think vision is?” she asked him. “You don’t see a fraction of the things that surround you, and at least half the things you do see are deceptive. Hell, color doesn’t even exist outside your own head. Vision’s just plain wrong; it only persists because it works. If you’re going to dismiss the idea of God, you better stop believing your own eyes in the bargain.
 
Truth had never been a priority. If believing a lie kept the genes proliferating, the system would believe that lie with all its heart.
 
Brains are survival engines, not truth detectors. If self-deception promotes fitness, the brain lies. Stops noticing— irrelevant things. Truth never matters. Only fitness.
 
We’re not thinking machines, we’re—we’re feeling machines that happen to think

Nedávne knižky

Yuval Noah Harari: 21 lessons for the 21st century – 21 krátkych kapitol, každá na inú tému: vzdelanie, terorizmus, migrácia, náboženstvo, úpadok liberálnych demokracií, pokrok v umelej inteligencii a biotechnológiách, všetko s vyhliadkou na niekoľko desiatok rokov do budúcnosti. Harari je historik, ale v tejto knihe sa snaží interpretovať súčasnosť a poukázať, kam smerujeme a čo z toho vieme (a čo nevieme) ovplyvniť. Ak by ste mali čítať práve jednu knihu z tohto zoznamu, tak túto.

Most people who go on identity quests are like children going treasure hunting. They find only what their parents have hidden for them in advance.

If we are willing to make such efforts in order to understand foreign cultures, unknown species and distant planets, it might be worth working just as hard in order to understand our own minds. And we had better understand our minds before the algorithms make our minds up for us

Questions you cannot answer are much better for you than answers you cannot question

because liberalism is losing credibility exactly when the twin revolutions in information technology and biotechnology confront us with the biggest challenges our species has ever encountered. The merger of infotech and biotech might soon push billions of humans out of the job market and undermine both liberty and equality

You might object that people were asked ‘What do you think?’ rather than ‘What do you feel?’, but this is a common misperception. Referendums and elections are always about human feelings, not about human rationality. If democracy were a matter of rational decision-making, there would be absolutely no reason to give all people equal voting rights

it would perhaps be helpful to view immigration as a deal with three basic conditions or terms:
Term 1: The host country allows the immigrants in.
Term 2: In return, the immigrants must embrace at least the core norms and values of the host country, even if that means giving up some of their  traditional norms and values.
Term 3: If the immigrants assimilate to a sufficient degree, over time they become equal and full members of the host country. ‘They’ become ‘us’.

I am aware that many people might be upset by my equating religion with fake news, but that’s exactly the point. When a thousand people believe some made-up story for one month – that’s fake news. When a billion people believe it for a thousand years – that’s a religion, and we are admonished not to call it ‘fake news’ in order not to hurt the feelings of the faithful (or incur their wrath)

On the other hand, you cannot organise masses of people effectively without relying on some mythology. If you stick to unalloyed reality, few people will follow you 

Truth and power can travel together only so far. Sooner or later they go their separate ways. If you want power, at some point you will have to spread fictions. If you want to know the truth about the world, at some point you will have to renounce power

To run fast, don’t take much luggage with you. Leave all your illusions behind. They are very heavy.

[liberal narratives] assumed that as long as we give students lots of data and a modicum of freedom, the students will create their own picture of the world, and even if this generation fails to synthesise all the data into a coherent and meaningful story of the world, there will be plenty of time to construct a good synthesis in the future. We have now run out of time.

So what should we be teaching? Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching ‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

Most important of all will be the ability to deal with change, to learn new things, and to preserve your mental balance in unfamiliar situations

Ernest Cline: Ready Player One – Približne pred rokom som čítala tri knihy od Suareza, v ktorých sa zaujímavo prelínal skutočný svet s virtuálnou realitou. Aj som ich odporúčala niekoľkým ľuďom, ktorí majú radi podobné čítanie a na oplátku som dostala tip na túto knihu. (Nedávno bol k nej aj film, ktorý sa ale knihy nejako veľmi svedomito nedrží.) Nepáčila sa mi. (Ani ten film.) Je taká… pre zarytých fanúšikov (starých) počítačových hier.

For a bunch of hairless apes, we’ve actually managed to invent some pretty incredible things.

Ramez Naan: Nexus – Toto je úplne iné kafe. Tiež sci-fi, a tiež dosť akčné, ale veľmi zaujímavé na rozmýšľanie. Experimentálna nano-droga je schopná prepojiť ľudské mysle. Niektorí ju chcú vylepšiť a použiť na dobré účely, niektorí ju chcú zakázať a niektorí ju chcú zneužiť. Za povšimnutie stojí, že podobne ako v Suarezových knižkách, pokrok (nech už je definícia tohto slova akákoľvek) v tejto oblasti netlačí Amerika (ani Čína, ani Rusko), ale juhovýchodná Ázia. Je fajn, že má ešte dve pokračovania.

War between those who accept the limitations of “humanity” and those who embrace the power of the possible is inevitable.

Naomi Alderman: The Power – Náš vpodstate dnešný svet, ale niečo je v ňom iné. V mladých dievčatách sa zobudí sila. Dotykom môžu spôsobiť neskutočnú bolesť alebo aj smrť. Príbeh je porozprávaný z pohľadu štyroch postáv (troch žien a jedného muža) a prejde cez všeliake možné situácie, v ktorých sa muži, nie ženy, boja o svoju fyzickú bezpečnosť. Rozoberá aj terorizmus, náboženstvo, stereotypy. A na konci ukáže, že nevybalansovaná sila má nedobné dôsledky bez ohľadu na to, v koho rukách (doslovne) sa ocitne.

They’re doing it because they’ve been told to.’Tunde thinks, No, that’s not the reason. The reason is because they can


there are still places today where boy babies are routinely aborted, or have their dicks ‘curbed’. This can’t have happened to women in the time before the Cataclysm. We talked about evolutionary psychology before – it would have made no evolutionary sense for cultures to abort female babies on a large scale or to fuck about with their reproductive organs!

Rebecca Solnit: Men explain things to me – Z feministických ešte táto. Malá knižka, zopár esejí, nie všetky rovnako dobré, ale tá prvá z nich by mala byť povinné čítanie pre všetkých.

but the out-and-out confrontational confidence of the totally ignorant is, in my experience, gendered. Men explain things to me, and other women, whether or not they know what they’re talking about. Some men.

not to speak of the countless women who came before me and were not allowed into the laboratory, or the library, or the conversation, or the revolution, or even the category called human

Milena Holcová: Lidi aneb Cestování je série omylů, ale jeden je zajímavější než druhý – staršia knižka od mamy českej novinárky, ktorá spolupracovala s Kuciakom. Sú to príbehy a postrehy z ciest po Kube, Pakistane, Afganistane a niekoľkých afrických krajinách. O ľuďoch, kultúre, predsudkoch a všeličom inom. Páčila sa aj Mišovi.

Na cestách jsem nezčernala ani si neoblíbila hedžáb (povinné zahalení žen), ani nepropadla šarmu Fidela Castra. Nepřivezla jsem si žádné suvenýry a obávám se, že ani zmoudření. Zůstávám hluboce zakořeněna ve střední Evropě, jsem jen poněkud zmatenejší. Ráda bych vás touto knížkou přesvědčila, že právě pochybnosti jsou to nejcennejší, co je možno si z cest přivézt.

Pak [Martina] čeká zoufale nudný den v mužské společnosti. Posedávání ve stínu a hledání důvodů, proč nic nejde.

Charles C. Mann: The wizard and the prophet – Dva prelínajúce sa životopisy a svetonázory. William Vogt, jeden z prvých ľudí, ktorí začali šíriť ekologické zmýšľanie, a pracovať na tom, aby rýchlo rastúca ľudská populácia nezdevastovala planétu. On a jeho nasledovníci sú v knižke pracovne nazvaní prophets. Na druhej strane Norman Borlaugh, človek ktorý dostal Nobelovu cenu za mier a odhaduje sa, že vďaka nemu miliarda ľudí nehladovala. Trpezlivo pracoval na tom, aby prekonával limity dané prírodou a veril, že ľudstvo má šancu na prežitie práve preto, že dokáže vymýšľať nové riešenia (wizards).

Moreover, the ship is too large to turn quickly. If the Wizardly route is chosen, genetically modified crops cannot be bred and tested overnight. Similarly, carbon-sequestration techniques and nuclear plants cannot be deployed instantly. Prophet-style methods—planting huge numbers of trees to suck carbon dioxide from the air, for instance, or decoupling the world’s food supply from industrial agriculture—would take equally long to pay off. Because backtracking is not easy, the decision to go one way or the other is hard to change.


middle section of this book, I invite the reader to put on, as it were, Vogtian and Borlaugian spectacles and look at four great, oncoming challenges: food, water, energy, and climate change. Sometimes I think of them as Plato’s four elements: earth, water, fire, and air. Earth represents agriculture, how we will feed the world. Water is drinking water, as vital as food. Fire is our energy supply. Air is climate change, a by-product, potentially catastrophic, of our hunger for energy.


Why and how did humankind become “successful”? And what, to an evolutionary biologist, does “success” mean, if self-destruction is part of the definition? 

Harari o učení

Čítam Harariho 21 Lessons for the 21st Century a je to veľmi, veľmi zaujímavé, strašidelné a myšlienko-štartujúce, takže nejaké pospletané dojmy k tomu určite časom napíšem. Ale dnes som tam natrafila na toto v kapitole 19: Education: Change is the only constant:

… the last thing a teacher needs to give her pupils is more information. They already have far too much of it. Instead, people need the ability to make sense of information, to tell the difference between what is important and what is unimportant, and above all to combine many bits of information into a broad picture of the world.

[liberal education] assumed that as long as we give students lots of data and a modicum of freedom, the students will create their own picture of the world, and even if this generation fails to synthesise all the data into a coherent and meaningful story of the world, there will be plenty of time to construct a good synthesis in the future. We have now run out of time.

If this generation lacks a comprehensive view of the cosmos, the future of life will be decided at random…

So what should we be teaching? Many pedagogical experts argue that schools should switch to teaching ‘the four Cs’ – critical thinking, communication, collaboration and creativity.

Most important of all will be the ability to deal with change, to learn new things, and to preserve your mental balance in unfamiliar situations… Unfortunately, teaching kids to embrace the unknown and to keep their mental balance is far more difficult than teaching them an equation in physics or the causes of the First World War.

Due to the growing pace of change you can never be certain whether what the adults are telling you is timeless wisdom or outdated bias.

Jemisin: The Obelisk Gate a The Stone Sky

Sú to druhá a tretia kniha z trilógie The Broken Earth (prvá bola The Fifth Season). A sú parádne. Druhá je trochu slabšia, klasický osud druhorodených kníh, ale v tretej sa to výborné rozprávanie z prvej knihy vracia s ešte väčšou silou. Konvergujú v nej dávna minulosť a osud matky a dcéry.
Fantasy knihy presne ako majú vyzerať. Komplexný svet so zvláštnou mágiou a narážkami na ten náš, plastické postavy, ktoré sa menia počas príbehu, v ktorom nič nie je čierno-biele, netradičné metafory a krásne písanie.  Tie Hugo ceny boli zaslúžené.
A dúfam, že autorka už má rozpracované niečo ďalšie.
The Obelisk Gate:
They ask to touch her hair and she asks to touch theirs back. This makes them all realize how strange and silly a request that is, and they giggle and become instant friends without a head petted between them.
… speaking as if it, the planet, is real. Alive, I mean. Aware. All that stuff about Father Earth, it’s just stories to explain what’s wrong with the world. Like those weird cults that crop up from time to time. I heard of one that asks an old man in the sky to keep them alive every time they go to sleep. People need to believe there’s more to the world than there is.
And the world is just shit. You understand this now, after two dead children and the repeated destruction of your life. There’s no need to imagine the planet as some malevolent force seeking vengeance. It’s a rock. This is just how life is supposed to be: terrible and brief and ending in—if you’re lucky—oblivion
The Stone Sky:
They’re afraid because we exist, she says. There’s nothing we did to provoke their fear, other than exist. There’s nothing we can do to earn their approval, except stop existing – so we can either die like they want, or laugh at their cowardice and go on with our lives.
Would’ve been nice if we could’ve all had normal, of course, but not enough people wanted to share. So now we all burn.
Not so very different, really, from the people who run the Fulcrums, or raiders, or her father. So where they should have seen a living being, they saw only another thing to exploit. Where they should have asked, or left alone, they raped. For some crimes, there is no fitting justice – only reparation
She wants to be a person.
She wants the impossible, Dushwha will say. Gallat thinks it better to own her himself, rather than allow Syl Anagist to do the same. But for her to be a person, she must stop being… ownable. By anyone.
Hoa just looks at you. How the rust does he manage to convey such emotion with a stone face? Even if that emotion is dry skepticism of your self-abnegating bullshit. You laugh – once, and it’s rusty. Been a while.
“I think,” Hoa says slowly, “that if you love someone, you don’t get to choose how they love you back.”
So many layers in the strata of that statement.
He watches as you stand and stretch, and it’s a thing you’ll never fully understand or be comfortable with – the admiration in his gaze. He makes you feel like a better person than you are. And this is what makes you regret, again, endlessly, that you cannot stay to see his child born.

Computational Blood Cell Mechanics

Trvalo to skoro dva roky, kým sa toto bejby dostalo od nápadu sem a na Amazon. Práce na nej bolo dosť, ale bola som milo prekvapená hladkou spoluprácou s vydavateľstvom.Aj by som povedala, že teraz bude od písania prestávka, ale nebude, lebo mám podpísanú zmluvu na ďalšiu, tentokrát učebnicu.

Keď sú problémy s Mesiacom… (prázdninové čítanie)

Neal Stephenson: Seveneves – Hneď na začiatku niečo rozbije Mesiac. A zistí sa, že úlomky začnú pomaly padať na Zem, pričom za dva roky ju urobia úplne neobývateľnou na niekoľko tisíc rokov. Ľudstvo má teda pomerne presne ohraničený čas na prípravu, a tá nejde ani zďaleka podľa plánov. Ako názov napovedá, Ev, ktoré prežijú, nebude veľa. Kopu zaujímavých podnetov na rozmýšľanie, ale kniha sama o sebe je taká nerovnomerná.  Miestami výborná, miestami otrasná a pôsobí trochu pozliepane. Tri hviezdičky z piatich. 

Doob, who had raised three children to adulthood, had figured out a long time ago that any event largely organized by elementary school teachers was likely to come off extremely well from a logistical and crowd-control standpoint.
[explains] why so many top athletes were African. It wasn’t because they were naturally better athletes but because the bell-shaped curve of random genetic variation was wider. For every African who was a great athlete there was presumably another who was miserably uncoordinated, but no one paid any notice to the latter.
Actions taken here today will cast long shadows into the future.

N. K. Jemisin: The Fifth Season – Pri tejto Zemi Mesiac nie je. A je to trochu problém. Táto kniha je výborná celá, krásne napísaná, chytľavo vybudovaný svet so zvláštnou mágiou, plastické postavy. Autorka je tmavej pleti a keď hovorí o predsudkoch, tak príslušné kúsky by sa dali vystrihnúť a bez akéhokoľvek editovania použiť aj v našom skutočnom svete. A donúti čitateľa uvedomiť si, ako sme prepletení s ostatnými ľuďmi, ako veľmi je to, kto sme, ovplyvnené vzťahmi, blízkymi aj ďalekými. Hviezdičiek? Päť a dobrá správa je, že toto je prvý diel trilógie.  

When we say “the world has ended,” it’s usually a lie, because the planet is just fine. But this is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. This is the way the world ends. For the last time.

You will have to make do with the broken bits of herself that Jija has left behind. You’ll jigsaw them together however you can, caulk in the odd bits with willpower wherever they don’t quite fit, ignore the occasional sounds of grinding and cracking. As long as nothing important breaks, right? You’ll get by. You have no choice. Not as long as one of your children could be alive.

For all those that have to fight for the respect that everyone else is given without question.

“We aren’t human.”
“Yes. We. Are.” His voice turns fierce. “I don’t give a shit what the something-somethingth council of big important farts decreed, or how the geomests classify things, or any of that. That we’re not human is just the lie they tell themselves so they don’t have to feel bad about how they treat us.”

There passes a time of happiness in your life, which I will not describe to you. It is unimportant. Perhaps you think it wrong that I dwell so much on the horrors, the pain, but pain is what shapes us, after all. We are creatures born of heat and pressure and grinding, ceaseless movement. To be still is to be… not alive. But what is important is that you know it was not all terrible. There was peace in long stretches, between each crisis. A chance to cool and solidify before the grind resumed.

You’ve read accounts of attempts by the Sixth University at Arcara to capture a stone eater for study, two Seasons back. The result was the Seventh University at Dibars, which got built only after they dug enough books out of the rubble of Sixth.

Who’s she kidding? It’s love. She loves her son. But that doesn’t mean she wants to spend every hour of every rusting day in his presence.



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