Sea of Tranquility, by Mandel

Saturday August 6, 2022

Sea of Tranquility is a lot of fun. There's a good deal of amusing autofiction, and fun mystery and sci-fi aspects. I have a fondness for time travel. It's not very long, and it reads really quickly.

I agree with the author's take on the simulation hypothesis, which is that it doesn't really matter. I think, therefore I am. I think consciousness is a mysterious, special, and important part of this.

You can tell it's sci-fi because in the future there are airships. There always have to be airships. Mandel's airships are not just dirigibles though! They're fast enough for daily global commutes. Exciting. More is not explained.

"I think, as a species, we have a desire to believe that we’re living at the climax of the story. It’s a kind of narcissism. We want to believe that we’re uniquely important, that we’re living at the end of history, that now, after all these millennia of false alarms, now is finally the worst that it’s ever been, that finally we have reached the end of the world.”" (page 165)

"“My personal belief is that we turn to postapocalyptic fiction not because we’re drawn to disaster, per se, but because we’re drawn to what we imagine might come next. We long secretly for a world with less technology in it.”" (page 167)

"A life lived in a simulation is still a life." (page 210)