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Saturday, March 22, 2014

The Art of War - A Review

The Art of War is a work whose title should not be new to anyone whose reading ability allows them to read this sentence.

It is considered, by many, to be the most fundamental military strategy manual of all time.

Having consumed and digested the material contained within it I can easily see how all of the military strategies that I have been exposed to derive from this core work.

The only discrepancy that I see in the work is that in an earlier chapters of the book there is commentary about how the enemy's preparedness can be derived based on a number of factors that can be observed from afar and through deduction of many aspects of the environment but in the last chapter is states that this is impossible and that only spies can provide you with the information you need.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

The Time Machine - A Review

H.G. Wells' The Time Machine is an interesting read.
It is quite different from the recent movie based on it.
One of the primary differences is that the book lacks a love story and includes only one trip in the machine.

I do appreciate the additional trips outlined in the movie and the exploration of the paradox possibility through the application of the love story that the movie generated but I find that the original story was compelling and strong without those elements.

The biggest issue that exists with the novel is that H.G. Wells' scientific knowledge is exemplary for the time that he lived. It is, however, lacking compared to the modern knowledge we have constructed.

The biggest examples of this lie in the time until the end of the world and the the ability for large crustaceans to live when the air is thinner than today.

The biggest scientific knowledge that is utilized in the story is that of Natural Selection and Evolution. It is obvious that H.G. Wells has a thorough grasp on this concept as well as many of the socio-economic issues that plagued his time (and plague ours still) for his outlining of the society of Morlocks and surface dwellers is, to him, the natural progression of how socio-economically altered environment would lead to changing what it "the fittest" in a way that alters our evolution.

Interestingly, the complaints that H.G. is hinting at are those that exist today and which drove the creation of the movie Idiocracy and which have been expressed in each age by the adults of that age against the youth of the age including Isaac Asimov through the window of Harry Seldon in the Prelude to Foundation series.

The one thing it fails to address, which ALL time-travel stories fail to address, is that temporal relocation without the corresponding spatial relocation would yield the destination being in the deep void of space.

All in all, this is a classic component of the foundation of modern science fiction and it should be read by all the fans of modern science fiction.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Harsh Reality of Colonization Through an Einstein-Rosenberg Bridge - fiction

What happens when technology allows colonization to happen?

Temporal Gravity - fiction

Gravity affects all dimensions; even time.... we know this.

A Princess of Mars - A Review

I recently "read" Edgar Rice Burroughs' "A Princess of Mars" while commuting to and from work. This is the book that the movie "John Carter of Mars" was based upon. I found that I had difficulty with certain aspects of the book being so different from the movie that was based upon it but I did get over that aspect of my "reading" experience. I was even able to get over the complete lack of legitimate science in how the Martian (or Barsoomian) environment is completely different from reality. The one thing that kept pulling me out of this story was the lack of consistency within itself. Sometimes John's strength was much greater than other times and his agility seemed to vary wildly as well. Additionally, the abilities of the natives seemed to vary wildly depending on the scene that the reader was presented. All in all, it was a reasonable adventure story and it obviously provided an outlet for Burroughs to lay down some predictions of what might be possible with technology in a manner that seemed applicable to his adventure-writing career. But, it does not hold up to modern standards of world creation because he didn't make solid rules to then follow. I will, probably, still consume the other Burroughs books on the topic of John Carter and his Martian adventures.