Autor Wątek: Fiasco  (Przeczytany 14144 razy)

peskanov

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Fiasco
« dnia: Kwiecień 20, 2005, 01:31:51 am »
I have read recently Fiasco. As every time I have read a Lem book, I have been totally impressed by it :)
I would like to ask your opinions about many parts of the book that are obscure to me. As there are many questions, I will post them gradually from time to time.
What meanings do you find in the small sub-tales found in Fiasco?
- The gold search.
- The giant ant colonies.

I am puzzled about the gold search tale, is quite large and complex but I can't extract any meaning from it.

The ants tale seems very sugestive of SETI's research for alien life. To reach the center of the ants kingdom, the enthomologist don't doubt to kill most ants and destroy their buildings. Once he reachs the center, he takes an object unknown to mankind and carry it home, but the object serves no purpose to us at all.
IMHO what Lem is trying to explain is that mankind has this childish anxiety about finding extraterrestial life, but this contact can not bring us anything especial because every life form builds it's own "micro-universe". Our needs and our objectives are purely created by chance, and are our exclusive property, probably not shared by other intelligent forms of life.
(An example: most priest would like to know if other planets have a saviour, a Christ, but the question would probably be meaningless).
int i, j = 0xdeadbeef;
    for (i=0;i<4000; i++)
        ((j = (j ^ ((j << 13) | ( j >> (32-13))))) & 1) ? printf (

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #1 dnia: Kwiecień 21, 2005, 05:45:37 pm »
In my opinion the gold search episode may be a sort of warning. Guilermo and Esteban die, because they don't understand, nor try to understand, to ,,mystery of Mazumac" - they seem eager for gold, and that's all. May it be the analogy for human striving to contact unearth intelligence: humanity does the effort to contact, but requires an answer on its own terms.
Or maybe I'm just seeing things :)

I admit I didn't pay much attention to the gold search story while reading Fiasco (that's why I had to re-read it before writing these words).

As for the ants (termites) the story again seems symbolic. So Your interpretation is quite nice; but may as well be another (nothing comes to my mind, though).

I don't think you picked up best examle (that saviour one) because in my opinion this is far more complex matter (I mean the relligion, and it's interpretation). Search for alien supermarket, or trying to speak with the president of their UN, would be more accurate.

« Ostatnia zmiana: Kwiecień 22, 2005, 02:21:00 am wysłana przez Terminus »

peskanov

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #2 dnia: Kwiecień 22, 2005, 01:28:22 pm »
Your interpretation sounds reasonable. I am re-reading Fiasco right now, so maybe I will add something to this idea soon.
About the saviour example, I mentioned it because it's a real one. When people is asked about what does they expect from a extraterrestial contact, this is a common answer. Specially christian priests, of course. They want to know if their beliefs are confirmed by other intelligent species. After all, they consider their beliefs to be universal!
I think this is a perfect example of human myopia, although your example of requesting a reunion with a president could be a better one.
int i, j = 0xdeadbeef;
    for (i=0;i<4000; i++)
        ((j = (j ^ ((j << 13) | ( j >> (32-13))))) & 1) ? printf (

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #3 dnia: Kwiecień 23, 2005, 09:47:56 pm »
Greetings.
So you have read some of the most interesting Lem-Books.

The giant-ant colonies.
They had been a great miracle for me, but there are two theories, which I have got.

1. This should be a indirect way to proclaim the inhabitans of the quinta.
Lem won't explain them directly, and so he choose the indirect way. That's a way of psycho-analysis and could be wrong, naturally.
But I think Lem's thought was (please don't damn me, for saying I know what he think. :) I don't, but I try to construct )
"I can't describe an Alien, because if there will be a contact, my describe is surely wrong.
So I am not allowed to describe, if I won't fail."

These Story is maybe a symbol for the search for contact with extraterrestrial intelligence.
In the End, it fails, after all difficulties the box is empty.
A little bit negative, but perhaps right.

peskanov

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #4 dnia: Kwiecień 25, 2005, 06:04:34 pm »
Cytuj
In the End, it fails, after all difficulties the box is empty.

"The box is empty"; of course, this end is very explicit. Silly me, I missed it, thanks a lot for underlining this. :)

BTW, I have read the gold search tale again. But I don't see any special meaning, it just reads like a cautionary tale. I am sure the are more symbols related to the SETI search, but I did not find them...

Well, I will posting more questions about Fiasco in a near future. Hang there...
int i, j = 0xdeadbeef;
    for (i=0;i<4000; i++)
        ((j = (j ^ ((j << 13) | ( j >> (32-13))))) & 1) ? printf (

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #5 dnia: Kwiecień 26, 2005, 02:56:02 am »
Cytuj
Y
I think this is a perfect example of human myopia,


Well, I regret to admit that the myopia is very common, when it comes to understanding religion; so Your example is still not any worse than mine. Of course I understand what You were trying to say.

As for re-reading Fiasco, I am currently re-re-re-reading Solaris, maybe Fiasco will come around soon :)

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #6 dnia: Kwiecień 26, 2005, 03:01:10 am »
This box is empty as the quest towards ant colony's center was. As is any quest, which is not an exploration, but an attempt to acquire something without knowing what it is.  

peskanov

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #7 dnia: Kwiecień 26, 2005, 06:49:35 pm »
Let's talk about other questions regarding Fiasco.
One of the most intriguing characters in Fiasco is father Arago (I am not sure of the name in the English translation).
Some persons suggest father Arago was created by Lem remenbering his old friendship with Karol Wotjyla.
Is there any similarity beween Arago behaviour and Wojtyla thinking?

Lem has been quite harsh towards christianism, so it's surprising to see that Arago is the most compassionate character of the lot.
IMHO Lem uses the figure of Arago to state that, as rationalism is necessarily limited, mankind needs also a good dose of ethics based on humility.
What do you think?
int i, j = 0xdeadbeef;
    for (i=0;i<4000; i++)
        ((j = (j ^ ((j << 13) | ( j >> (32-13))))) & 1) ? printf (

Terminus

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #8 dnia: Kwiecień 27, 2005, 03:19:38 am »
Well that would be right, more: it agrees with Wojtyla's view (which can be cheked in "Fides et Ratio", published by John Paul II).  Intelect is (as written therein)  a great value, but is limited to certain extent, and without any support it tends to stray.

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #9 dnia: Kwiecień 27, 2005, 07:49:57 pm »
Cytuj
Intelect is (as written therein)  a great value, but is limited to certain extent, and without any support it tends to stray.


You think it is, like written there, Terminus?

peskanov

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #10 dnia: Kwiecień 30, 2005, 12:50:33 am »
Thanks for the info, Terminus.
I am reading "Fides et ratio", and to be fair I don't see a clear relation between Arago and Wojtyla. The problem is that Arago talks very briefly along the book, so I can't get a clear image of his thinking.
I didn't know Wojtyla was so much into philosophy, I guess this could be the main common interest  between Lem and Wojtyla.
int i, j = 0xdeadbeef;
    for (i=0;i<4000; i++)
        ((j = (j ^ ((j << 13) | ( j >> (32-13))))) & 1) ? printf (

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #11 dnia: Maj 01, 2005, 03:34:34 am »
No doubt Wojtyla was a great philosopher. His conclusions were very profound. I am not sure about Arago and what he thinks, I just noticed one similarity.

Cheers.


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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #12 dnia: Maj 01, 2005, 03:35:53 am »
Cytuj

You think it is, like written there, Terminus?


Don't worry, Sogo nobody says You stray::)






« Ostatnia zmiana: Maj 01, 2005, 03:46:21 am wysłana przez Terminus »

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #13 dnia: Maj 02, 2005, 03:27:02 am »
Peskanov, were you get this information from, about friendship between Lem and Wojtyla? I never find nowere anything like this ??? I was suspected this possibility (the same town of living), but never had real piece of information.

peskanov

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Re: Fiasco
« Odpowiedź #14 dnia: Maj 03, 2005, 02:18:11 am »
I read about it in several small biographies, like this one:
http://underpear.gyuvetch.bg/lem/bathww97.htm

However, I still have to read a good biographic book about Lem. I will buy "Highcastle" or "S. Lem reader", sooner or later. Maybe Lem mentions Wojtyla there...
int i, j = 0xdeadbeef;
    for (i=0;i<4000; i++)
        ((j = (j ^ ((j << 13) | ( j >> (32-13))))) & 1) ? printf (