Wednesday, March 26, 2008


Charles Stross once again delivers a romping good read.
Cramming in a good number of the current trendy terms and concepts from the singularist camp, Accelerando is a fast forward look at what might happen if the computers do take over.
Uploading into the net, external mental components, ability to fork yourself into multiple versions, these are the wet dreams of the technorati.

The cat as the family curse is a nice subplot, but does seem a bit Deus Ex Machine; the whole story being centered around the machines does tend to lend itself to those sorts of plot devices however. The idea of a robotic cat that is upgradable really is a nice extension of the Aibo and other products currently on the market.

The idea put forth of a Matrioshka brain instead of a Dyson Sphere as the final outcome of a solar system that has uploaded itself is very compelling. Given the change from consuming all resources to support the human form, to consuming all resources to support the virtual worlds, surrounding the star with ring upon ring of computronium is the next logical step.

The argument that even after upload, the humans will still be supplanted by AI, since the AI will be in their natural habitat and the uploads will be foreigners is also a logical outcome of the changes from physical to virtual dwelling.

The first part of the book has several good arguments hidden in it. What about upload, property ownership, marriage, multiple selves, etc. will the current legal systems of the world handle, and how will these systems have to change to handle the new technologies.

I highly recommend this as a good read.