Posthuman Reconstruction of the World as a Simulation in Charles Stross’ Accelerando

Indrajit Patra, Shri Krishan Rai

Abstract


In this paper my aim is to analyze the theme of simulation in Charles Stross’ hard science fiction novel titled ‘Accelerando’ (2005). The discussion shall start by pointing out the enormous significance of the ideas of simulation both in the world of pure science as well as in the fields of philosophy, arts and literature. We shall show by adopting an informational approach and by using the theoretical framework of Baudrillard’s ‘Simulacra and Simulation’ that science fiction novels like Charles Stross’ ‘Accelerando’ treat simulation not just as an abstract mathematical entity existing independently of human beings; rather they treat simulation as an indispensable step for mankind in their journey of ascension to the Posthuman plane of existence. This paper will also try to prove that Stross’ ‘Accelerando’ not only relies upon the description of the effects of use of many incomprehensibly powerful simulation technologies in various forms to produce the effect of estrangement upon the readers but it also implies that the very fabric of reality which deem to be real is composed of binary oppositions between different strands of contradistinctive signs and symbols which in a posthuman world will crumble together to give way to a Posthuman world replete with endless possibilities. This novel like many other contemporary hard science fiction novels implies that the reality is essentially indistinguishable from the simulation once the influence of human perception or consciousness is deducted from the equation and then the entire Universe can be interpreted as one gigantic computational entity consisting of myriads of quantum informational field operators through the manipulation of which we can derive a semblance of power indistinguishable from the actual one.

 


Keywords


Science Fiction, Posthumanism, Simulacra and Simulation, Quantum Nature of Creation, Portrayal of Future

Full Text:

PDF

References


Stross, Ch. (2006). Accelerando. 2005. New York: Ace-Penguin.

Baudrillard, J. (1976). L'Echange symbolique et la mort. Paris: Gallimard.

---. (2009). Simulacra and Simulations. Trans. Sheila Fraser. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 1994. Print.

Rucker, Rudy. Postsingular. 2007. New York: Tor.

Kurzweil, R. (1999). The Age of Spiritual Machines: When Computers Exceed Human Intelligence. New York: Penguin.

---. (2005). The Singularity is Near. New York: Penguin.

Hayles, N. (1991). Katherine, ed. Chaos and Order: Complex Dynamics in Literature and Science. Chicago: U of Chicago P.

---. (1999). How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics. Chicago: U of Chicago P.

Kellner, D., Baudrillard, J. (1989). From Marxism to Postmodernism and Beyond. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.

Vinge, V. (1993). “The Coming Technological Singularity: How to Survive in the Post-Human Era”

Vision-21: Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering in the Era of Cyberspace NASA-CP-10129,

Suvin, D. (1979). Metamorphoses of Science Fiction: On the Poetics and History of a Literary Genre. Yale University Press, 1979.

Lloyd, S. (2006). Programming the Universe. A Quantum Computer Scientist Takes On the

Cosmos Alfred A. Knopf.

Tegmark, M. (2002). The Mathematical Universe," in Visions of Discovery: Shedding New Light

on Physics and Cosmology, R. Chiao, Ed. Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press.

Bostrom, N. (2002). "Are you Living in a Computer Simulation?," Philosophical Quarterly, vol.

, pp. 243-255.

Tegmark, M. (1997). "The interpretation of Quantum Mechanics: Many Worlds or Many

Words," in arXiv:quant-ph/9709032v1 vol. 15 Sep.

Deutsch, D. (1985). “Quantum theory, the Church-Turing principle and the universal quantum computer”, Proceedings of the Royal Society (London) 400: 97–117, 1985. doi:10.1098/rspa.1985.0070




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijalel.v.6n.1p.136

Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.




Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2020 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.