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Author Topic: EP291: Shannon’s Law  (Read 14451 times)

iamafish

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Reply #25 on: May 15, 2011, 02:11:34 AM
interesting premise, went nowhere. Really unsatisfactory ending. Meh.

I also thought Shannon was a girl. Why do people insist on using blatantly female names for male character and vice-verca? Especially with a female narrator. Just bloody confusing!


eytanz

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Reply #26 on: May 15, 2011, 08:13:14 AM
I'm with Electricpaladin on this one - the plotline and ideas were great (though I'm not quite as gung-ho about the internet as either the author or the narrator), but the characters were rather flat. The only character who seemed to have any level of emotional complexity at all was Jetfuel's dad, and that's probably because he was on stage for so short a time he could retain it without being bulldozed over by the narrative.

I did enjoy it, certainly, but I did not find it compelling.



Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #27 on: May 16, 2011, 08:10:45 AM
I liked this story a lot.
The idea of running a Google search on the faerie land appeals to me, and I kinda wish it were true.

On the subject of truth being stranger than fiction, we have here a story of just how fault-tolerant the internet really is.
http://www.dbune.com/news/world/6097-donkeys-take-over-from-dsl-as-syria-shuts-down-internet.html
There's a huge latency on donkey-packets, but better late than never!

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zoanon

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Reply #28 on: May 18, 2011, 12:17:37 AM
On the subject of truth being stranger than fiction, we have here a story of just how fault-tolerant the internet really is.
http://www.dbune.com/news/world/6097-donkeys-take-over-from-dsl-as-syria-shuts-down-internet.html

the first time I clicked on the link I got an error message :P oh the irony.



Frostnight

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Reply #29 on: May 18, 2011, 01:07:26 AM
I love this story!  Great writing, great reading, and I got upset when it ended. This story left me wanting more!!!!!! 



rotheche

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Reply #30 on: May 18, 2011, 11:29:48 AM
Fascinating concept, that laws are shaped by aesthetics, but I agree with quite a few other folks in finding that it felt thin; no real jeopardy for Shannon and his enterprise if it failed, and the characterisation wasn't all that great.  It felt like we were going one way and suddenly, yank the reins and pull that stagecoach to the side of the road because the journey's over.

Oh, and on sneakernets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers  ;D



stePH

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Reply #31 on: May 18, 2011, 02:15:35 PM
I also thought Shannon was a girl. Why do people insist on using blatantly female names for male character and vice-verca? Especially with a female narrator. Just bloody confusing!

Shannon is one of those names that can go either way. Like Dana, Kim, Shane, Lee, Jamie, Jordan, Elliot, Rory, Tracy, Leslie, Ashley, and probably others that have slipped out of my mind at the moment.
« Last Edit: May 18, 2011, 02:17:55 PM by stePH »

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Gamercow

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Reply #32 on: May 18, 2011, 08:57:28 PM

Oh, and on sneakernets: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_over_Avian_Carriers  ;D


Glad there weren't any packet collisions.

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Mav.Weirdo

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Reply #33 on: May 20, 2011, 04:20:42 AM
I liked the story very much, and had no problem with Shannon's name.

My one complaint was Shannon not recognizing that there was an aesthetic quality to what he did.

He was on a quest to be the first one to establish reliable communication with the fae realm. Why? Because it would be cool. "Cool" in this situation is a subjective/aesthetic term.

He says himself at about 22:45 "I recognized her tone, and it warmed my heart; the sound of a techie who was offended at the existence if an inelegant solution to a challenging problem."

An elegant solution is exactly what it takes to communicate with the fae realm. If someone had told him that the fae laws of physics resist kludge* he would have understood that.

*Technically a totally hideous kludge could work, but a solution like that would likely only work once.



CryptoMe

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Reply #34 on: May 20, 2011, 09:57:01 PM
Like many other posters, I also enjoyed the the concept of trying to bring internet to Faerie Land. But all the weird transport mechanism just lost it for me. The reason the internet is so useful is because it is *fast*!! Take that away, and you may as well stick to snail mail or old fashioned encyclopedias.  

One other minor quibble about pronunciation. At 23:28 Mur says  "Jet Fuel... unscrewed her thermos and tit-er-at-ed some caffeine into her bloodstream." That really jarred me, because it's pronounced tie-tray-ted (or tit-ray-ted if you are British). Check out the neat sound clips (both versions) here.



Dave

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Reply #35 on: May 21, 2011, 04:32:47 AM
All I can say is.... <expletive deleted>, Cory Doctorow. You don't lead me on a 70 minute journey based on an interesting premise only to yank the bait away from me at the end and say "just kidding! nothing ever comes of it!" Homey don't play that.

This story had me captivated right up until it ended abruptly with no resolution, no payoff, and not even the faintest hint of an excuse. I expect better from a guy whose name passes for legend on the internets.

I mean, there was even a good, sensible ending telegraphed throughout that story that would have perfectly suited the logic of the world... but nope. Seems ol' Cory got bored after an hour and just decided to wrap it up and go do something else.

Grr. I'm angry. Can you tell I'm angry? I really wanted to like this story. The premise is great. But, as anybody who has read my comments before knows, I'm picky about endings, and this story had none. Or at least none that gave the story itself the credit it richly deserved. The romantic subplot was fine as a subplot, and it even could have made the main plot work, but it... GRR! ARGH! I can't even articulate my thoughts, I'm so peeved.

*sigh*... deep breaths... deep breaths...

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)


Anarkey

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Reply #36 on: May 22, 2011, 01:07:08 PM

His main character in the excellent short story 'Anda's Game' is female.

Huh. Haven't read that one. Is he any good at writing women?

In my opinion his women are the best thing about "Little Brother" and when I recommend it, it is on those grounds.  The women characters in that book are varied, closely characterized and play a gamut of parts from queen of evil to heroine.  The men in that book, by contrast, are a little lackluster.  But I can deal with that if the book will make me happy in its characterization of women.  It's one of the reasons I'm so happy the book is YA.  I sure could have used a book like that when I was a teenager.

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hardware

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Reply #37 on: May 25, 2011, 12:15:29 PM
As most people have pointed out, there is great world-building and a very clever idea here, and it is not really clear why in the end the result didn't matter to them anymore (because they found love ? Doesn't ring true to me). Also, it overdid the technological explanations a little bit, there's not really room for the detailed error-checking algorithms of data packages in a SF story unless you have something cool new aspect of it that could only come from this faeri land. So, a little less education, a little more action would have been good, but I still kept focus during a pretty long story which is in itself a high grade.



stePH

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Reply #38 on: May 25, 2011, 03:22:51 PM
Also, it overdid the technological explanations a little bit, there's not really room for the detailed error-checking algorithms of data packages in a SF story unless you have something cool new aspect of it....

Somebody should tell that to Neal Stephenson :P

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Gamercow

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Reply #39 on: June 02, 2011, 09:09:02 PM

The cow says "Mooooooooo"


El Barto

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Reply #40 on: June 05, 2011, 06:43:59 PM
Being one of those folks who doesn't like fantasy stories, I greatly appreciate Mur giving us a heads-up in the intro that this story had fantasy elements of magic and elves.   Her description of the story also having good sci-fi elements elements convinced me to give it a listen, however.   

And for the first 90% of the story I was glad I did. 

I loved the idea of the boundary between worlds and the concept of dimensions we simply can't comprehend.   I also loved the idea that what we call magic is maybe/probably just physics we can't comprehend, though I think that thread would have been better explored on "their" side of the boundary where the physics were different.

Unfortunately, the end of this story was just . . .  huh?   All the build-up went for . . . nothing.   Shannon's previous comments about never wanting to explore romance with Jet Fuel just somehow faded away into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.  Why?   

Is the point here that wanting love drives creativity and hard work and getting that love makes you indifferent and lazy?   

Maybe everyone on the other side of the boundary is so focused on aesthetics and beauty because they're unable to find love?

I doubt the author intended that conclusion but I sure would like to know why a story that was building up so nicely finished with such a whimper.




Dave

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Reply #41 on: June 05, 2011, 07:19:35 PM
Being one of those folks who doesn't like fantasy stories, I greatly appreciate Mur giving us a heads-up in the intro that this story had fantasy elements of magic and elves.   Her description of the story also having good sci-fi elements elements convinced me to give it a listen, however.   

And for the first 90% of the story I was glad I did. 

I loved the idea of the boundary between worlds and the concept of dimensions we simply can't comprehend.   I also loved the idea that what we call magic is maybe/probably just physics we can't comprehend, though I think that thread would have been better explored on "their" side of the boundary where the physics were different.

Unfortunately, the end of this story was just . . .  huh?   All the build-up went for . . . nothing.   Shannon's previous comments about never wanting to explore romance with Jet Fuel just somehow faded away into a boyfriend/girlfriend relationship.  Why?   

Is the point here that wanting love drives creativity and hard work and getting that love makes you indifferent and lazy?   

Maybe everyone on the other side of the boundary is so focused on aesthetics and beauty because they're unable to find love?

I doubt the author intended that conclusion but I sure would like to know why a story that was building up so nicely finished with such a whimper.



My thoughts exactly.

-Dave (aka Nev the Deranged)


Max e^{i pi}

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Reply #42 on: June 06, 2011, 07:32:03 AM
Did you know the method used by syn/ack, jet fuel and shannon is an actual encryption method?  Steganography is the art and science of writing hidden messages in such a way that no one, apart from the sender and intended recipient, suspects the existence of the message, a form of security through obscurity."
I actually did know that, and I had wondered why they felt it was so clever and innovative. I mean, the solution is obvious...

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LaShawn

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Reply #43 on: June 20, 2011, 07:55:45 PM
Sorry. I listened for 20 minutes, then turned it off because the jargon went way over my head. I'll probably appreciate it a lot better if I read it instead of listening to it. Mur did an awesome reading, but all the server slang was just too much.

But I instantly knew Shannon was a guy. Maybe because I also know a guy named Shannon (whose wife's name is Kriss--awesome couple!)

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