For some reason I managed to miss all of the build up to this book despite Ready Player One being one of my favourite books. So catching this the day it was released was a rear period of excitement and hunger to get reading.
I held off until I have finished the book I was on, so reviews and criticism was already flying all over the internet by the time I turned the first page. Despite these I went straight in with an open mind, but a longing for it to be as good as RPO.
Unfortunately it isn’t. RPT isn’t a bad read, and well worth it for those longing for a new story but don’t expect it to capture your heart. All of the right pieces are in the right places, but for some reason it feels overplayed, padded out by about 30%, and manages to pull on non of the nostalgia strings it should.
I found myself skimming large parts of the text in an attempt for the plot to get to the point much quicker. Although the story is somewhat well rounded, it feels like a book written to be made into a movie due to its lack of detail in some elements of the story but in-depth nitpicking on the 80’s trivia.
Ready Player Two is well worth picking up and reading but does not hold a candle to the first book.
that this invention has the power to drastically alter the nature of human existence. I think it could help humanity. But it could also make things even worse. (Location 368)
Drawing parallels between this and [[Project Human]] with Zichey and Rene Richie. This quote would not have stood out to me so much had I not just listened to this episode.
Leading to my post on Do People Actually Think About This Stuff?
agree that everyone should balance their time in the OASIS with equal time in reality. But it’s not our place to mandate how our users live their lives. Growing up in the stacks would have been hell for me if I hadn’t had access to the OASIS. It literally saved my life. And I’ve heard Aech say the same thing.” (Location 803)
My online life is very similar. It has been the saviour of myself so many times that I cant even give attribution to them all. The amount of awesome people I have met is crazy high, yet social media is the worst, most toxic place I have even been.
Yes, I knew the haters’ opinions were utterly meaningless, and had no effect whatsoever on our real lives. Unless, of course, we let it. Which, of course, I did. (Location 1033)
Social Media as a great filter
was even beginning to wonder if the invention of a worldwide social network was actually the “Great Filter” that theoretically caused all technological civilizations to go extinct, instead of nuclear weapons or climate change. (Location 1065)
I think this is a fascinating idea, the other civilisations got to sage where they developed social media and it caused the death of their society too. I wonder how this fits into Dunbars number? Could it be that we are simply no meant to be able to talk and interact with so many people that the thoughts and ideas spreading will eventually ruin the world? This is a bit too real currently!
Maybe every time an intelligent species grew advanced enough to invent a global computer network, they would then develop some form of social media, which would immediately fill these beings with such an intense hatred for one another that they ended up wiping themselves out within four or five decades. Only time would tell. (Location 1067)
“Some people define themselves by railing against all of the things they hate, while explaining why everyone else should hate it too. But not me. I prefer to lead with my love—to define myself through joyous yawps of admiration, instead of cynical declarations of disdain.” (Location 1588)
If only more people, myself included at time could lean into this. Even this books reviewers should have studied this passage a little better. Life is not for explaining why things are wrong all the time, it’s for enjoying the take away and the little things you do enjoy.
The mind is the only thing about human beings that’s worth anything. Why does it have to be tied to a bag of skin, blood, hair, meat, bones and tubes? No wonder people can’t get anything done, stuck for life with a parasite that has to be stuffed with food and protected from weather and germs all the time. And the fool thing wears out anyway—no matter how much you stuff and protect it! —Kurt Vonnegut Jr. (Location 5681)
This might be the fact I am playing CyberPunk at the moment but reading back on these things makes me draw parallels to all sorts of things. Synthetic modifications to our biology is only a matter of time and could draw into questions what exactly a human is because we could begin to steer very far away from homosapiens. Certainly Yuval Noah Harari believes so.