NEIL ARMSTRONG (1930 -2012)


Neil Alden Armstrong (5 august 1930, Wapakoneta, Ohio - 25 august 2012, Columbus, Ohio) „un simbol al odiseei spaţiale”,  a încetat din viață.

„That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind” („Este un pas mic pentru om, dar un salt uriaş pentru Omenire”.) - Neil Armstrong, 21 iulie 1969, în momentul în care primul om a pășit pe Lună.



                    „A reluctant hero of all mankind.”





„Prepare to evolve. Singularity is near ! ”


Ray Kurzweil - „Epoca mașinilor spirituale”

(The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence, 1999)
Traducere din limba engleză de Bogdan Chircea.
                         Volum în pregătire la editura Paralela 45.

„In his 1988 book Mind Children, computer scientist and futurist Hans Moravec generalizes Moore's law to make predictions about the future of artificial life. Moravec outlines a timeline and a scenario in this regard, in that the robots will evolve into a new series of artificial species, starting around 2030-2040.
In Robot: Mere Machine to Transcendent Mind, published in 1998, Moravec further considers the implications of evolving robot intelligence, generalizing Moore's law to technologies predating the integrated circuit, and speculating about a coming "mind fire" of rapidly expanding superintelligence, similar to Vinge's ideas.”


„In his 1999 book  Kurzweil proposed "The Law of Accelerating Returns", according to which the rate of change in a wide variety of evolutionary systems (including the growth of technologies) tends to increase exponentially. He gave further focus to this issue in a 2001 essay entitled "The Law of Accelerating Returns", which proposed an extension of Moore's Law
 to a wide variety of technologies, and used this to argue in favor of Vernor Vinge's
concept of a technological singularity”.

„The technological singularity is the hypothetical future emergence of greater-than-human superintelligence through technological means. Since the capabilities of such intelligence would be difficult for an unaided human mind to comprehend, the occurrence of a technological singularity is seen as an intellectual event horizon, beyond which events cannot be predicted or understood.”

„Proponents of the singularity typically state that an "intelligence explosionwhere superintelligences design successive generations of increasingly powerful minds, might occur very quickly and might not stop until the agent's cognitive abilities greatly surpass that of any human.”

„The term technological singularity was coined by science fiction writer Vernor Vinge, who argues that artificial intelligence, human biological enhancement or brain-computer interfaces could be possible causes of the singularity. The specific term "singularity" as a description for a phenomenon of technological acceleration causing an eventual unpredictable outcome in society was used by mathematician and physicist Stanislaw Ulam as early as 1958, when he wrote of a conversation with John von Neumann concerning the "ever accelerating progress of technology and changes in the mode of human life, which gives the appearance of approaching some essential singularity in the history of the race beyond which human affairs, as we know them, could not continue.”

Presumably, a technological singularity would lead to rapid development of a Kardashev Type I civilization, one that has achieved mastery of the resources of its home planet. Michio Kaku suggested that humans may attain Type I status in about 100–200 years, Type II status in a few thousand years, and Type III status in about 100,000 to a million years.”
„We will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity, an intellectual transition as impenetrable as the knotted space-time at the center of a black hole, and the world will pass far beyond our understanding. This singularity, I believe, already haunts a number of science-fiction writers. It makes realistic extrapolation to an interstellar future impossible. To write a story set more than a century hence, one needs a nuclear war in between ... so that the world remains intelligible.” - Vernor Vinge



Inventivul roman semnat de scriitoarea americană Jennifer Egan, „A Visit from the Goon Squad” (Pe aici au trecut cuțitarii), avînd ca temă centrală trecerea timpului, i-a adus autoarei prestigioasele premii Pulitzer 2011 pentru literatură și National Books Critics Circle 2012.

I love stories which start out in the present day, with a realistic setting, and then end up in the future, like Doris Lessing's Four-Gated City.” - Jennifer Egan

La începutul acestui an, Jennifer Egan a cîştigat cu acelaşi roman şi premiul National Book Critics Circle („Jennifer Egan, A Visit from the Goon Squad (Knopf), a novel at once experimental in form and crystal clear in the overlapping stories it delivers, offering us a sense of youth and what gets lost along the way, the story of an aging punk rocker turned music producer and a kleptomaniac written in a non-linear series of linked stories that continually layer character and thematic content into a cohesive narrative.”).

Romanul „A Visit from the Goon Squad” a fost finalist și la Premiile Pen Faulkner și LA Times Book.

Jennifer Egan, 48 de ani, a primit critici favorabile pentru operele sale neconvenţionale în care abordează problema crizei identitare moderne. Printre romanele sale se numără şi „The Invisible Circus” (1993), „Look at Me”(2001), „The Keep” (2006).

Acest roman arată cît de neaşteptate şi de şocante pot fi schimbările din viaţă”, a declarat autoarea. Ea a mai adăugat că a fost inspirată de seria „În căutarea timpului pierdut” de Marcel Proust.

Încă un roman avînd o temă SF cîștigă Premiul Pulitzer.
Romanul „A Visit from the Goon Squad” este în mod asumat un remake de secol XXI al seriei „În căutarea timpului pierdut”. Scurgerea sinuoasă a timpului, crize de identitate, viaţa cu toate schimbările şi surprizele ei sunt temele abordate de Jennifer Egan.

După „The Road” (Drumul) de Cormac McCarthy „The Cloud Atlas” (Atlasul norilor) de David Mitchell și „The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay” de Michael Chabon,  „A Visit from the Goon Squad” este un exemplar clar de utilizare a convențiilor SF de către un scriitor de mainstream.

„Jennifer Egan is a refreshingly unclassifiable novelist; she deploys most of the arsenal developed by metafiction writers of the 1960’s and refined by more recent authors like William T. Vollmann and David Foster Wallace — but she can’t exactly be counted as one of them. The opening of her novel, “The Keep,” lays out a whole Escherian architecture, replete with metafictional trapdoors, pitfalls, infinitely receding reflections and trompe l’oeil effects, but what’s more immediately striking about this book is its unusually vivid and convincing realism.” - The New York Times

Jennifer Egan is a super-thinky writer in quasi-disguise, a writer who alchemizes Big Ideas into works of emotional intensity and architectural intricacy, the result being sneaky books you can recommend to those friends and relatives who demand “recognizable” characters and thumping storylines, but whom you hope might find tantalizing, beneath these vibrant entertainments, the buzzing circuitry of Egan’s mighty brain.” - Time Magazine

Jennifer Egan s-a născut pe 6 septembrie 1962 în Chicago. A crescut în San Francisco.
A absolvit University of Pennsylvania și St John's College, Cambridge. Locuiește în Brooklyn, New York.
Este autoarea volumelor „The Invisible Circus” (ecranizat în 2001 de regizorul Adam Brooks , avînd-o pe Cameron Diaz în rolul principal), „Look at Me”, finalist la Premiul National Book Award în 2001, „The Keep”, un bestseller în S.U.A. în 2006, a culegerii de povestiri
„Emerald City and Other Stories”.
Textele sale au apărut în The New Yorker, New York Times Magazine, Harper's, Granta, McSweeney’s, Zoetrope All-Story, Ploughshares

„Emerald City” (povestiri) (1993, UK; 1996, US)
„The Invisible Circus” (roman) (1995)
„Look at Me” (roman) (2001)
„The Keep” (roman) (2006)
„A Visit From the Goon Squad” (roman) (2010)

„Was reality the inside of my stepfather's Jaguar, where I sat with my little brother in the back seat during night rides home from downtown, Neil Diamond's Hot August Night playing on the tape deck? Or was it what I saw outside my window as we drove towards the Broadway Tunnel: hookers, strip clubs, addled sunburned hippies, spidery young people with chopped hair and ghostly skin who were clearly in extremis – orbed with a glow of duress even when they were laughing ?” - Jennifer Egan

Jennifer Egan - „Pe aici au trecut cuțitarii” (A Visit from the Goon Squad), editura Pandora M

Titlul original: A Visit from the Goon Squad
Traducere din engleză de Laura Sandu

Editura Pandora M, colecția Literary Fiction
Anul apariţiei: 2012
Nr. de pagini: 352

„A Visit from the Goon Squad”, cel mai recent roman al autoarei americane Jennifer Egan, laureat al Premiului Pulitzer pentru Ficțiune, 2011, al National Book Critics Circle Award și al LA Times Book Prize, a apărut în traducere la editura Pandora M, în nou inaugurata colecție Literary Fiction, cu titlul „Pe aici au trecut cuțitarii”.

Timpu-i un Cuţitar viclean.
Crezi că poţi să-i reziști ?

Din Africa până în Napoli, New York și San Francisco, de la producători muzicali la generali vinovaţi de genocid, Jennifer Egan reușește să ţeasă cu vervă și rafinament vieţile personajelor sale. Urmărim viaţa lui Bennie Salazar, un mogul al showbiz-ului, și a Sashei, mult mai tânăra lui asistentă: un road-movie prin muzica punk a tumultuoșilor ani ’70, prin suburbiile de azi ale New York-ului, prin vieţi încărcate de eșecuri trecute și dezamăgiri viitoare.

Pe aici au trecut Cuţitarii este o poveste despre timp și muzică, despre supravieţuire, despre mecanismele ce se pun în mișcare atunci când destinele noastre se intersectează.
Într-o varietate de stiluri și pendulând între tragedie și satiră, Jennifer Egen vorbește despre iminenţa autodistrugerii căreia îi facem faţă sau în faţa căreia cedăm, precum și despre nevoia umană fundamentală de izbăvire.”

„Un roman inteligent. Tăios. Cutremurător. Aduce în scenă câteva personaje de care ajungi să te atașezi văzându-le făcand lucruri pe care n-ar trebui să le facă, jucându-și rolurile glorioase, dar și înnebunitor de omenești.” – New York Times Book Review

„O carte cu adevărat miraculoasă… A Visit from the Goon Squad este noul roman-cult al prozei americane contemporane.” – Time Magazine, Best Books of 2010