A Stanislaw Lem Reader by Peter Swirski


http://www.nissesfyrverkerier.se/yes-money-can-buy-happiness-essay/ By Peter Swirski

A sequence of interviews and significant dialogues with the past due Stanislaw Lem whose writings were translated into over forty languages and feature offered over 35 million copies. if you purely understand him as a novelist, A Stanislaw Lem Reader is a superb advent to Lem's philosophy, medical hypothesis, literary feedback, and social conception, whereas closing completely available to readers strange with any of his works.

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The futurological boom produced a number of best-sellers, bringing money and fame to their authors as a result of (illusory) hopes entertained by both politicians and the public at large that the future can at last be predicted. Still, the boom turned out to be only momentary. The disappointment caused by its prognostic inaccuracy was as pathetic as the circumstances surrounding the sudden renown of leading futurologists were amusing. Suffice it to look at Herman Kahn, whose death several years ago freed him from being accountable for his predictive errors from his numerous futurological best-sellers (errors much more fundamental than either those of his acolytes or antagonists).

I prefer Beethoven's Fifth Symphony to the Seventh, and the Ninth induces in me a state of wild ecstasy. And I am not even sure that I could articulate why it should be so. My attitude to various philosophical systems is essentially no different. I am irritated by Sartre and his thousand-page ponderosities. Popper makes a lot of sense in what he writes; on the other hand, he is too much like a schoolteacher, wagging his finger ex cathedra while proclaiming that things are such and such, and you cannot disagree with him at the risk of being taken by the ear and thrown out of the classroom.

In other words, to bring women on board a spaceship -- I am speaking of course in a terribly simplified way -- and not draw from this any narrative conclusions, whether sexual, erotic, emotional, or any other, would be a form of falsehood. It would not make sense to have the crew stay in isolation, like two convents, one male, the other female, would it? But if I have a certain narrative and cognitive design to execute, then an introduction of women can be inconvenient, and even contrary to my plan, even if only by requiring complexification.

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