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The Story of Your Life


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Some time ago I went to see the movie "The Arrival". It's a very good but also strange movie. It basically deals with communication between different species. If we ever met an extraterrestrial civilization, would we be able to understand their language and the way they think? I enjoyed it but the ending was so strange and surprising that I was left with the impression that I hadn't understood everything.

 

I learnt that the movie is based on a short story by Ted Chiang entitled "The Story of Your Life", included in the book of the same title. I enjoyed the original story as much as the movie, and yes, I had understood it correctly. :) The movie is quite different from the original narration, but all the important points are there, I think they did a great job of adaptation.

 

I also found several other stories in that book fascinating. Ted Chiang is a really an original and different science-fiction author. He loves science and logic and languages. His story about the tower of Babel is funny and thought-provoking.

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10 hours ago, Gregexplore said:

Tell us more if you have time.... :)

It's a completely different view of the Biblical story, told from the viewpoint of a digger working in the building of the tower. They want to build a tower so high that it reaches the heavens so they can meet God. Since all the peoples spoke the same language and worshipped the same God, there's nothing they cannot achieve. It talks about technical aspects of the construction, such as the time --many months-- that it takes to reach the higher floors. One interesting comment is that they feel much more sorry for a trowel that fall down than for a man that fall down. They have plenty of workers, but it takes many months to send a new trowel from the ground level.

 

The world is not like we know it, but like Old Babylonians thought it was. In that world the dome of sky is a literal dome, and above it there are supposed to be reservoirs of water and snow.

 

Once the workers reach the dome of heaven, they bring professional diggers to break through it. The description of the technologies they use is funny and at the same time realistic. I won't spoil the end but it's surprising and makes a lot of sense in the context of that Babylonian-style world.

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2 hours ago, carlos said:

It's a completely different view of the Biblical story, told from the viewpoint of a digger working in the building of the tower. They want to build a tower so high that it reaches the heavens so they can meet God. Since all the peoples spoke the same language and worshipped the same God, there's nothing they cannot achieve. It talks about technical aspects of the construction, such as the time --many months-- that it takes to reach the higher floors. One interesting comment is that they feel much more sorry for a trowel that fall down than for a man that fall down. They have plenty of workers, but it takes many months to send a new trowel from the ground level.

 

The world is not like we know it, but like Old Babylonians thought it was. In that world the dome of sky is a literal dome, and above it there are supposed to be reservoirs of water and snow.

 

Once the workers reach the dome of heaven, they bring professional diggers to break through it. The description of the technologies they use is funny and at the same time realistic. I won't spoil the end but it's surprising and makes a lot of sense in the context of that Babylonian-style world.

Thanks Carlos, appreciated

Still giggle inside because of this point : they feel much more sorry for a trowel that fall down than for a man that fall down.

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