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Download A Stanislaw Lem Reader by Peter Swirski PDF

By Peter Swirski

A sequence of interviews and significant dialogues with the overdue Stanislaw Lem whose writings were translated into over forty languages and feature offered over 35 million copies. should you merely recognize him as a novelist, A Stanislaw Lem Reader is a wonderful creation to Lem's philosophy, clinical hypothesis, literary feedback, and social thought, whereas final completely available to readers strange with any of his works.

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Extra resources for A Stanislaw Lem Reader

Example text

Our sensorium is designed to deal with objects which do not stray too far from the scale delimited by our own bodies and temperatures. If we wanted to know how our sensorium would behave in the vicinity of the temperature of 100 million degrees, which is the temperature accompanying the explosion of the hydrogen bomb, the answer is that we would turn into gas the instant of the explosion. We would not perceive anything; our scale of perception is inherently limited, whether we like it or not. In other words, the world exists independently of whether it is inhabited by mankind or not.

I will give you another example: when I wrote my first novel, The Astronauts, one renowned physicist wrote to me that with the parameters of power and thrust which I gave the rocket, it could never fly to Venus. I wrote him back then -- although I have stopped getting involved in this kind of thing since -- that if I were really a designer of rockets which could fly to Venus, then I would not write novels but design spaceships instead. Swirski: Could you comment on the philosophical or even metaphysical beliefs underlying your work?

Everyone knows that, for all their phenomenal processing power, computers do not understand anything, whereas even a small child understands very well the meaning of a sneeze, because the book the child just lifted from the shelf was covered with dust. This kind of knowledge is available to children almost prelinguistically, being further developed as a result of relevant experience. Nothing like that can happen to the computer since the machine is not capable of amassing experience, being thus, in comparison with children, completely stupid.

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