Sunday, January 3, 2016

The Bucket for the Road

Hey everyone. So this one is the last Bucket for this winter break. It’s kind of small, but anyway, hope you enjoy it.

Read -

Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang

This is a Science Fiction short story collection which, for a change, has stories made of equal parts Science and  Fiction. And then some philosophy.

The titular story, 'Story of your Life' is about a mother telling her daughter the story of how she met the father interspersed with bittersweet memories of her daughter's childhood and adolescence. The twist is: what seems like a contrived contemporary plotline is actually buried deep under a reasonably believable futuristic setting: humans trying to understand an alien language (and vice versa) as a first step towards inter-planetary relations. There are detailed speech experiments, painted with a generous amount of linguistic jargon, a slight touch of political drama and beneath it all, as promised, the story of a daughter, as unique as it is universal.

Most of the stories have this structure: a what-if scenario, changed in this tiny, almost insignificant way from the present: A new neurological non-invasive technology causes people to not perceive beauty/lack there of, a radical measure to cure the problem of 'lookism' is narrated as a documentary by an undergraduate student as she deconstructs the meaning of beauty in the face of a new college life.

The first one was different, set in past, having a philosophical ring or rather, a philosophical Mobius strip to it. And another takes the Golem, from the Jewish folklore, and segues into a bizarre theory of letters and codes, not very unlike the human genome.

Well, if that doesn't convince you that it's worth a try, then I don't know what does.

It was most definitely unlike anything I had ever read. I have been trying to find more stories like that ever since. Let me know if you know some!


Listen -

Pond - Man it feels like Space again

Pond is one very strange band. And for them being in the business for as long as they have, a pop album like this one is a really big experiment. But it sure is worth it. If not the entire album, do listen to and watch the title track with it’s video, it’s as much a visual adventure as it is musical.

Courtney Barnett - Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit

Courtney Barnett has had one breakthrough year, it all ending with her nomination for Best New Artist at this year’s Grammys. Her album “Sometimes I sit and think, and sometimes I just sit” is filled with a rather indie rock feel, with caustic lyrics and really witty yet cynical observations. There are times when she just speaks and drones to the beat and guitars at the back, and while it may sound like much, listening to what she has to say is actually a fun experience.

The next year is packed with a whole range of artists releasing new material. From The Gorillaz to Frank Ocean, Kanye and Rihanna to Lady Gaga and Metallica. Do keep an ear open, maybe the next time we come around we’ll be talking about some of them.

Random -

Now. What could we possibly add to the the Random links section that befits the last post?

We could start by asking you to send a mail to your future self. In a way that you can’t chicken out easily. Click here to go ahead with it. Deferred gratification of sorts.

Also, we could alter your perspective of the internet, by asking you to click here

After which we could invade your sensory perceptions through your ears and allow you to make music you can feel with your body, which you can do so here

Finally, we could end on the highest note possible, and make you lose whatever little respect you might have for us, by asking you to click, for one last time, here.

Well. That is all for now.