Guest Review: WWW:Wake

0441016790

by: ExtraPenguin

Reasons for Inclusion: Blind protagonist. Her Japanese doctor is a viewpoint character for a few scenes. Subplot set in China

Review:

(5/5 stars)

It was an intriguing book, and more about discovery than about domination, and emotionally hopeful in a way that hearkened back to Classic SF. The protagonist, Caitlin Decter, is a 15-year-old blind girl who’s just moved to Canada, and receives a chance for an operation that may let her see. When the implant doesn’t work at first, she is given the Jagster datastream piped into it, and thus can “see” the Internet.

I liked the way Caitlin’s blindness informed the book – not merely the whole “she can’t see and here are her accessibility technologies” bit, but her knowledge of Helen Keller colors her interactions and attitudes towards lifeforms.

The book talks a bit on the statistical methods that are relevant for the data analysis done, as well as on sentience and minds, which is the focus. Julian Jaynes’ The Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind is built upon, as are Helen Keller’s life’s works.

All in all, it’s a refreshingly optimistic book, with a hopeful, awe-inspiring end.

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