Galatea 2.2: A Novel by Richard Powers

By Richard Powers

After numerous years in another country, novelist Richard Powers -- the fictitious protagonist of the tale -- returns to the US and accepts the placement of Humanist-in-Residence on the huge, immense and prestigious middle for the learn of complicated Sciences. There, he meets Philip Lentz, an outspoken neurologist cause on making a version of the human mind with computer-based neural networks, and jointly they embark on an outlandishly formidable undertaking -- to coach the neural web English literature in order that it could go a tricky master's exam.
As their test progresses, their brain-child absorbs progressively more details, steadily changing into more and more worldly. quickly, it calls for to understand its identify, intercourse, race and explanation for latest. in the meantime, this literary crash path sparks in Powers a parallel awakening, and he starts a reconsideration of his selected career, his decade-long, failed courting with a former student and his obsession with the master's candidate opposed to whom his cybernetic student is slated to compete.

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Captain Nicholas Balaskas faced me across a desk in a forbidding office on Lekkas Street which displayed the blazing phoenix: the compulsory logo and insignia of the dictatorship. At the British embassy, which was then run by a genial old diplomat whose son had been with me at Balliol, I had to sit 26 through a lunch where a reactionary creep of a Labour MP named Francis Noel-Baker gave a lecture about the virtues of the junta and (the first but not the last time I was ever to hear these two arguments in combination) both denied that it tortured its prisoners while asserting that it would be quite justified if it did do so!

I proposed stepping into the Queen’s Lane coffee house. I don’t remember how it went: I was in Oxford to keep some pressing political and sexual engagements that seemed important at the time. The man seemed nice enough, if a bit wispy, and had an engaging grin. He was called Timothy Bryan, which I also remember thinking was a wispy name. I felt no premonition. But next time I saw her, my mother was very anxious to know what I thought of him. I said, becoming dimly but eventually alert, that he seemed fine.

The English army had just won the war. — The Beatles: Sergeant Pepper : “A Day in the Life” N A N C I E N T P I E C E of Judaic commentary holds that the liver is the organ that best represents the relationship between parents and child: it is the heaviest of all the viscera and accordingly the most appropriate bit of one’s guts. Only two of the six hundred and thirteen Jewish commandments, or prohibitions, offer any reward for compliance and both are parental: the first is in the original Decalogue when those who “honor thy father and thy mother” are assured that this will increase their days in the promised or stolen Canaanite land that is about to be given them, and the second involves some convoluted piece of quasi-reasoning whereby a bird’s egg can be taken by a hungry Jew as long as the poor mother bird isn’t there to witness the depredation.

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