June 25, 2019

15.3: Exhalation (collection) by Ted Chiang post-read: AI, Identity, & Metaphysics in Science Fiction

Welcome to our final episode on Ted Chiang's newest short story collection, Exhalation (https://amzn.to/2X5A0JW). Matt & Adrian start by going through all of the stories in this collection, then go really in-depth on a few specifically, just like we did with Exhalation in our last episode (https://www.spectology.com/e/152-exhalation-post-read-re-reading-stories-philosophy-of-mind-the-heat-death-of-the-universe/). 

 

First 30 minutes: Intro, 2-3 minutes on each story, listing our favorites

29m 10s: "The Lifecycle of Software Objects": Mental & legal frameworks for how to relate to AI

1h 01m 14s: "Anxiety Is the Dizziness of Freedom": Character development & moral thought experiments

1h 17m 02s: "Truth of Fact, Truth of Feeling": How technology changes our cognition & identity

1h 29m 04s: "The Merchant & the Alchemist's Gate": Discussing the medieval Islamic setting

1h 37m 19s: "Omphalos": Short stories as jokes, young Earth creationism

1h 42m 53s: Discussing the structure, endings, & morals of these stories

1h 48m 43s: Wrap-up & outro

 

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Many thanks to Dubby J and Noah Bradley for doing our music and art.

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