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what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites It S Been Two Months Since A Myriad Of Alien Objects Clenched About The Earth, Screaming As They Burned The Heavens Have Been Silent Since Until A Derelict Space Probe Hears Whispers From A Distant Comet Something Talks Out There But Not To Us Who To Send To Meet The Alien, When The Alien Doesn T Want To Meet Send A Linguist With Multiple Personality Disorder, And A Biologist So Spliced To Machinery He Can T Feel His Own Flesh Send A Pacifist Warrior, And A Vampire Recalled From The Grave By The Voodoo Of Paleogenetics Send A Man With Half His Mind Gone Since Childhood Send Them To The Edge Of The Solar System, Praying You Can Trust Such Freaks And Monsters With The Fate Of A World You Fear They May Be Alien Than The Thing They Ve Been Sent To Find But You D Give Anything For That To Be True, If You Knew What Was Waiting For Them what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites what is Consciousness how did the silly human race evolve beyond the herd instinct, beyond our reptile brain how, and why what is the purpose of our individuality, what is the need for our sense of self, what use is Human Connection, why are we even equipped with Empathy for some naive, kinda sorta spiritual folks like myself , these things may explain the existence of God but that s rather besides the point of the question does empathy help us in the long run, does the ability of humans to connect with each other truly offer anything besides constant discomfort and potential danger is a psychopath who does not experience empathy somehow less than human how would a highly developed species that has somehow evolved without empathy or individuality react to a species like ours one that is contantly talking to itself, connecting, empathizing, exploring, throwing itself and its messages out into the void, to seek, to find, to understand, to know exploring all of those questions is the purpose of Peter Watts superb Blindsight the novel is about one of those Ambiguous Threats Appearing in the Outskirts of Known Space future Earth is a fucked up Earth, no surprise there humans regularly ascend into a fake sounding cyberheaven vampires apparently an extremely predatory offshoot of the homo sapien, complete with an anti Euclidean mental bias that explains their phobia of crosses have been revived and now serve the human race the inclusion of vampires may sound cheesy, but believe me, it is one of absorbing things about the novel there is some deadly construct called the Icarus Array located somewhere near the sun, stationed there to protect us sex is an outdated activity perhaps the sole unconvincing part of the novel genuine human contact rarely takes place face to face your usual Cold Techno Dystopia the Ambiguous Threat is noted shortly after a startling Firefly effect occurs over the earth an effect that appears to be the Ambiguous Threat s way of taking long distance pictures of human shenanigans so the silly humans decide to fling a crew of misfits out into the void to engage with said Ambiguous Threat there s a woman who has compartmentalized herself into 4 different and distinctly individualistic personalities there s a military type armed with slaved drones whose biggest flaw greatest attribute is her ability to empathize with her enemies there are a couple guys who project their consciousness through machinery, all inputs mediated by that machinery all the better to study the world around them there is the ship s captain, a sociopathic vampire mentally bonded to his ship s computer brain and then there is our hero a sort of minister of information, missing half a brain, trained to avoid all forms of true connection, unwilling to engage in basic empathy this fascinating crew finds much to be fascinated with when confronting the Ambiguous Threat for one, a spaceship that looks like it s from Dante s Inferno aliens from, well, the Alien films, with some upsetting Predator type invisibility to boot hallucinations and corresonding loss of self within those hallucinations strange communications that sound full of villainous bravado except those communications feel oversimplified, threatening in the most obvious of ways, purposely dumbed downto what end the Ambiguous Threat appears capable of automatically healing its own hull, controlling thousands of asteroids at once, and harnessing the power of a gas giant yet seems oddly powerless, even uncaring things don t add up despite all the crew sees and analyzes, the Ambiguous Threat has a rather terrifying lack of signifiers.the author is clearly a highly intelligent sort, PhD and everything, and the novel is full of Exra Hard Science Action but i think folks are really mislabeling Blindsight if they consider it to be genuine Hard Science Fiction to put it in the corniest of terms this is a novel about the human condition look at the dystopic details of this future Earth, review the cast of characters Blindsight is built on examining all of the different options for humans and nonhumans to connect or not to connect, all the ways that individuals can reach across their individual sense of self to connect with another person s reality the nature of the Ambiguous Threat and the root of our protagonist s problems are disconcertingly connected a rejection of individuality an inability to connect with others the novel is elegantly constructed so that form follows meaning rather than narrative this may be frustrating to folks who eschew literary novels in favor of genre fiction that s understandable narrative tension is definitely lost by the constant switching back and forth between parallel storylines on the one hand, the protagonist s past life of non communication and deliberate avoidance of empathy shades of Dying Inside on the other hand, the mission into the void which itself is rife with pointed character flashblacks but for Watts to have structured Blindsight in any other way would have been to lose the point of it all the novel is not really about a dark space adventure it is about the importance of empathetic connection, its value and its dangers, how it condemns us with one hand and lifts us up to a higher place with the other.oh, and one last thing if that last sentence makes you think that this is one of those enriching spiritual journey type of books, think again this awesome novel is about as bleak and pessimistic as they come an important warning to keep in mind before approaching this dog bites