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Ubik

By Philip K. Dick
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Isbn : 0547728247
  • Pages : 240
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 346
  • File Pdf: ubik.pdf

Book Summary:

Named one of Time's 100 Best Books, Ubik is a mind-bending, classic novel about the perception of reality from Philip K. Dick, the Hugo Award-winning author of The Man in the High Castle. “From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from.”—Lev Grossman, Time Glen Runciter runs a lucrative business — deploying his teams of anti-psychics to corporate clients who want privacy and security from psychic spies. But when he and his top team are ambushed by a rival, he is gravely injured and placed in “half-life,” a dreamlike state of suspended animation. Soon, though, the surviving members of the team begin experiencing some strange phenomena, such as Runciter’s face appearing on coins and the world seeming to move backward in time. As consumables deteriorate and technology gets ever more primitive, the group needs to find out what is causing the shifts and what a mysterious product called Ubik has to do with it all. “More brilliant than similar experiments conducted by Pynchon or DeLillo.”—Roberto Bolaño

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Related Books

Philip K. Dick

By David Sandner,Donald E. Palumbo,C.W. Sullivan III
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : McFarland
  • Isbn : 1476639191
  • Pages : 226
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 588
  • File Pdf: philip-k-dick.pdf

Book Summary:

Philip K. Dick was a visionary writer of science fiction. His works speak to contemporary fears of being continually watched by technology, and the paranoia of modern life in which we watch ourselves and lose our sense of identity. Since his death in 1982, Dick's writing remain frighteningly relevant to 21st century audiences. Dick spent his life in near poverty and it was only after his death that he gained popular and critical recognition. In this new collection of essays, interviews, and talks, Philip K Dick is rediscovered. Concentrating both on recent critical studies and on reassessing his legacy in light of his new status as a "major American author," these essays explore, just what happened culturally and critically to precipitate his extraordinary rise in reputation. The essays look for his traces in the places he lived, in the SF community he came from, and in his influence on contemporary American literature and culture, and beyond.

UBIK尤比克

By 菲利普.狄克(Philip K. Dick)
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : 寂寞出版
  • Isbn : 6269532388
  • Pages : 352
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 940
  • File Pdf: ubik尤比克.pdf

Book Summary:

《時代雜誌》百大小說,你借錢都該買 《銀翼殺手》之後,菲利普.狄克又一殿堂神作 他的作品一再被改編,人稱好萊塢故事寶藏 《駭客任務》《全面啟動》《汪達幻視》都源出於他! ◎隨書附: 菲利普.狄克簽名印刷扉頁 菲利普.狄克演講稿:如何建構一個不會在兩天後分崩離析的宇宙 「科幻小說之魔」菲利普.狄克精心打造多重現實絕妙風味小說! 你所能想像的不確定,本書盡數展現! 這個年頭,人類已移民月球,心靈超能者是個日常行業,幾乎像是人資幹部,很多公司都需要他們。 超能事務所老闆葛倫為了生意上的麻煩,前往瑞士的半活賓館諮詢妻子艾拉,因她正處於「半活中陰」態──死後冰凍,偶爾解凍接上儀器,可與活人溝通。接著葛倫拿下一筆大案子,要帶手下前往月球工作。這群人當中領頭的是窮哈哈的心靈偵探,喬.奇普。 甫抵月球,一行人就中了埋伏,奇普等人帶著剩一口氣的老闆葛倫撤退,但怪事卻接連發生──周遭世界開始時光逆流:香菸過期、咖啡發霉、電話資料是幾年前的、銅板成了過時貨幣,僅存收藏價值。甚至同伴也快速衰老、乾枯死去,隊上新來的女孩,竟聲稱有能力回到過去改寫歷史? 然後,死去的老闆葛倫在一些詭異小地方顯靈,留言竟是:你們全死了,我還活著!! 不管如何,奇普必須設法前往這世界的葛倫葬禮,以尋找真正的答案。而顯靈的葛倫再次來訊催促:去找一罐尤比克噴霧劑,抵擋時光倒流就靠它,至少暫時可以…… 臥斧\文字工作者──專文推薦 盧建彰\導演 鄭國威\泛科學知識長 楊士範\The News Lens關鍵評論網媒體集團共同創辦人 陳國偉\中興大學台灣文學與跨國文化所所長 冬陽\文學評論人 馬立軒\中華科幻學會常務理事 曾瑞華\台東大學英美語文學系副教授 龍貓大王通信 一頁華爾滋Kristin Faker冒業\科幻推理評論人及作家 希米露\影評人 TEEPR 叭啦叭啦研究室 林新惠\作家 ──熱烈推薦 ◎各界好評 ▲ 各類沉浸式體驗、線上遊戲等等「虛擬現實」越來越普遍之後,人對於探問「現實」越來越好奇;又或許,在這樣的「現實」裡,人對「我是誰?」也有越來越切身的思索。 而這是菲利普.狄克在半世紀前就寫在小說裡的提問。──臥斧,文字工作者 ▲ 如果你喜歡《銀翼殺手》,你借錢都該買這本書看。對,我可以借你。從第一頁就激發你的想像力,這樣促進國家競爭力的書,我怎能不投入? 科幻迷無法錯過,不,該是無力錯過吧。除非有人出錢不讓你讀這本,而且價錢要夠高,否則我想不出你家會沒有這本書的理由。──盧建彰,導演 ▲ 半生半死,半神半鬼,半虛半實,半夢半醒。菲利普.狄克創作於二十世紀六○年代末的《尤比克》,卻預視了我們這個世紀在虛擬世界中尋找真實、在物質商品中販賣心靈寄託的真實現況。穿越虛實壁壘的《尤比克》不僅無處不在,跨世紀的長效適用性更證明《尤比克》無時不在。閱讀《尤比克》,就是與神同在。──曾瑞華,台東大學英美語文學系副教授 ▲ 菲利普.狄克(Philip K. Dick,PKD)是多數對西方科幻有所了解的讀者都熟知的大師,但多數讀者可能是透過改拍的經典電影如《銀翼殺手》《關鍵報告》《關鍵下一秒》而知道他的故事。PKD的小說有時候並不好讀,因為他是用小說在提問,也就是他在〈如何建構一個不會在兩天後分崩離析的世界〉這篇演講裡提及的(見本書附錄)──「什麼是真實存在的事物?」以及「真正的人由什麼要素構成?」這種哲學討論會帶出一本好小說,但不見得會是討喜的小說。無怪乎,他的小說偶爾會讓人讀起來有點辛苦,但是後座力滿滿。《尤比克》描述的一九九二年,放到三十年後的今天來看,仍有很多科幻想像未能成真,但是在科技大廠和媒體不斷高呼「元宇宙」、更加鼓吹虛擬世界和現實世界模糊化的二○二二年,書中所探討的生死界線、世界和思考/靈魂本質,依然值得我們花上好些時間,咀嚼思考「什麼是真實存在的事物?」──楊士範,The News Lens關鍵評論網媒體集團共同創辦人 ▲ PKD的小說是獻給不嗑藥者的合法不傷身毒品──這個說法雖然矛盾且負面,但可能是我能給予最貼切且崇敬的讚美詞,否則無法解釋閱讀後那輕飄飄的暢快愉悅、超脫但卻基於現實的理解,而這世界也越來越如他所言的瘋狂失控……──冬陽,文學評論人 ▲ 如果你知道《尤比克》是菲利普.狄克於一九六九年所撰寫的小說,肯定驚呼於他的想像與預言。這是部集合科學與宗教、生與死,還有虛擬與現實的小說,其敘述的未來、交通於現實與虛擬的人際互動、虛擬世界的寡頭掌控等,根本就是今日網路的寫照。──希米露,影評人 ▲ 我剛剛還在電腦上打博士論文。但在我思索詞句之際,電腦變成了打字機,接著稿紙在我面前粉碎;所以我只好放棄,一屁股坐在尤比克上,倒一杯尤比克提神、播一首尤比克放鬆,接著開始閱讀尤比克。我推薦尤比克,只要依指示使用,就安全無虞。──馬立軒,中華科幻學會常務理事 ▲ 什麼是尤比克?讀完這本《尤比克》,你會發現自己比以前更搞不清楚尤比克!超能與反超能、友情與仇敵、生命與死亡、未來與過去、真實與虛假……《尤比克》無所不包,更包括尤比克。它是集合的集合(自然也包含自己),一本悖論小說!──Faker冒業(科幻推理評論人及作家) ▲ 菲利普.狄克寫於一九六九年的《尤比克》故事發生在一九九二年,過了三十年讀來,科幻小說已經不是單純的科幻,而是充滿哲學與神學的寓言。或者,這也是作者的本意。書中有許多PKD獨特的構思及語言,對譯者而言,是極度燒腦的挑戰。──蘇瑩文,本書譯者 ▲ 一個極度令人不安的存在主義恐怖故事,一個你永遠無法確認是否已經從中醒來的噩夢。──萊夫.葛羅斯曼,暢銷小說作家 【作者簡介】 科幻小說之魔 菲利普.狄克 Philip K. Dick 1928-1982 1928年出生於芝加哥,大半輩子都在加州度過,曾短暫就讀加州大學,但未完成學位之前就輟學。1950年代崛起於科幻小說界,並發展出迥異於多數作家的獨特風格。1962年《高堡奇人》(The Man in the High Castle)贏得美國科幻小說界著名的雨果獎,並於2015年改編為電視影集;《員警說:流吧!我的眼淚》(Flow My Tears, the Policeman Said)贏得1974年約翰・坎貝爾紀念獎。1982年,導演雷利・史考特將其長篇小說《銀翼殺手》(Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?)改編成科幻經典電影。1982年,在電影上映前夕,狄克因中風導致心臟衰竭,逝於加州聖塔安娜。但一生潦倒的他,才正要開始影響世界。 狄克的作品有25部改編為電影,至2009年已累積約10億美元的票房收入,知名的有《銀翼殺手》《魔鬼總動員》《關鍵報告》《命運規畫局》《攔截記憶碼》等。受到他作品概念影響的,更是不計其數,包括《未來總動員》《駭客任務》《王牌冤家》《全面啟動》《極光追殺令》等,就連《愛在黎明破曉時》導演都改編過他的作品。奇幻教母勒瑰恩跟他是高中同學,但兩人當時不認識,後來彼此因為寫作出版相熟,勒瑰恩一直支持擁護他,甚至稱他是「美國土生土長的波赫士」。 隨著受狄克啟發而備受期待的電影《銀翼殺手2049》登場,他的影響力在當代持續發威,不僅短篇小說改編為影集《電子夢:菲利普.狄克的世界》,經典之作《UBIK尤比克》也被評者譽為是啟發《駭客任務》《全面啟動》《汪達幻視》等好萊塢大片的創意寶庫。 譯者 蘇瑩文 輔仁大學法文系畢業,曾任職外國駐台機構及外商公司十餘年,現為英、法文自由譯者。愛好閱讀、旅行及攝影。常隨譯作情境發展出各種興趣,因而有更多機會接觸不同類型的作品。近期譯作有《黑城》《摯友》《三股髮辮》《書海情緣》等。

Ubik (Mandarin Edition)

By Philip K. Dick
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Isbn : 7894000760
  • Pages : 200
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 310
  • File Pdf: ubik.pdf

Book Summary:

《尤比克》 From the stuff of space opera, Dick spins a deeply unsettling existential horror story, a nightmare you’ll never be sure you’ve woken up from. 乔•奇普为格伦•朗西特的反超能咨询公司工作,保护人们免受通灵师和先知的心灵窥探。在一次前往月球执行任务的过程中,朗西特的行动组遭遇埋伏,朗西特身亡。行动组成员迅速将朗西特的遗体送往苏黎世的亡灵馆冰冻冷藏,并试图与他的大脑取得联系。然而,不仅没有成功联系上朗西特,行动组成员还发现,钱币、香烟等物品均在发生退转,时光似乎在往回倒流。究竟发生了什么事?这是一个让人深感不安的生存恐怖故事,一场你不知道自己是否还会醒过来的噩梦。

“All-Electric” Narratives

By Rachele Dini
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Bloomsbury Publishing USA
  • Isbn : 1501367366
  • Pages : 376
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 634
  • File Pdf: all-electric-narratives.pdf

Book Summary:

“All-electric” Narratives is the first in-depth study of time-saving electrical appliances in American literature. It examines the literary depiction of refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, oven ranges, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, toasters, blenders, standing and hand-held mixers, and microwave ovens between 1945, when the “all-electric” home came to be associated with the nation's hard-won victory, and 2020, as contemporary writers consider the enduring material and spiritual effects of these objects in the 21st century. The appropriation and subversion of the rhetoric of domestic electrification and time-saving comprises a crucial, but overlooked, element in 20th-century literary forms and genres including Beat literature, Black American literature, second-wave feminist fiction, science fiction, and postmodernist fiction. Through close-readings of dozens of literary texts alongside print and television ads from this period, Dini shows how U.S. writers have unearthed the paradoxes inherent to claims of appliances' capacity to “give back” time to their user, transport them into a technologically-progressive future, or “return” them to some pastoral past. In so doing, she reveals literary appliances' role in raising questions about gender norms and sexuality, racial exclusion and erasure, class anxieties, the ramifications of mechanization, the perils and possibilities of conformity, the limitations of patriotism, and the inevitable fallacy of utopian thinking-while both shaping and radically disrupting the literary forms in which they operated.

Narrative Machine

By Zena Meadowsong
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Isbn : 0429649142
  • Pages : 254
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 597
  • File Pdf: narrative-machine.pdf

Book Summary:

Narrative Machine: The Naturalist, Modernist, and Postmodernist Novel advances a new history of the novel, identifying a crucial link between narrative innovation and the historical process of mechanization. In the late nineteenth century, the novel grapples with a new and increasingly acute problem: In its attempt to represent the colossal power of modern machinery—the steam-driven machines of the Industrial Revolution, the electrical machines of the modern city, and the atomic and digital machines developed after the Second World War—it encounters the limitations of traditional representative strategies. Beginning in the naturalist novel, the machine is typically portrayed as a mythic monster, and though that monster represents a potentially horrific reality—the superhuman power of mechanization—it also disrupts the documentary objectives of narrative realism (the dominant mode of nineteenth-century fiction). The mechanical monster, realistic and yet at odds with traditional realist strategies, tears the form of the novel apart. In doing so, it unleashes a series of innovations that disclose, critique, and contest the force of mechanization: the innovations associated with literary naturalism, modernism, and postmodernism.

Consciousness and Science Fiction

By Damien Broderick
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Springer
  • Isbn : 3030005992
  • Pages : 196
  • Category : Science
  • Reads : 765
  • File Pdf: consciousness-and-science-fiction.pdf

Book Summary:

Science fiction explores the wonderful, baffling and wildly entertaining aspects of a universe unimaginably old and vast, and with a future even more immense. It reaches into that endless cosmos with the tools of rational investigation and storytelling. At the core of both science and science fiction is the engaged human mind--a consciousness that sees and feels and thinks and loves. But what is this mind, this aware and self-aware consciousness that seems unlike anything else we experience? What makes consciousness the Hard Problem of philosophy, still unsolved after millennia of probing? This book looks into the heart of this mystery - at the science and philosophy of consciousness and at many inspiring fictional examples - and finds strange, challenging answers. The book's content and entertaining style will appeal equally to science fiction enthusiasts and scholars, including cognitive and neuroscientists, as well as philosophers of mind. It is a refreshing romp through the science and science fiction of consciousness.

Reading Writing Interfaces

By Lori Emerson
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : U of Minnesota Press
  • Isbn : 1452942196
  • Pages : 232
  • Category : Social Science
  • Reads : 941
  • File Pdf: reading-writing-interfaces.pdf

Book Summary:

Lori Emerson examines how interfaces—from today’s multitouch devices to yesterday’s desktops, from typewriters to Emily Dickinson’s self-bound fascicle volumes—mediate between writer and text as well as between writer and reader. Following the threads of experimental writing from the present into the past, she shows how writers have long tested and transgressed technological boundaries. Reading the means of production as well as the creative works they produce, Emerson demonstrates that technologies are more than mere tools and that the interface is not a neutral border between writer and machine but is in fact a collaborative creative space. Reading Writing Interfaces begins with digital literature’s defiance of the alleged invisibility of ubiquitous computing and multitouch in the early twenty-first century and then looks back at the ideology of the user-friendly graphical user interface that emerged along with the Apple Macintosh computer of the 1980s. She considers poetic experiments with and against the strictures of the typewriter in the 1960s and 1970s and takes a fresh look at Emily Dickinson’s self-printing projects as a challenge to the coherence of the book. Through archival research, Emerson offers examples of how literary engagements with screen-based and print-based technologies have transformed reading and writing. She reveals the ways in which writers—from Emily Dickinson to Jason Nelson and Judd Morrissey—work with and against media interfaces to undermine the assumed transparency of conventional literary practice.

The Technical Delusion

By Jeffrey Sconce
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Duke University Press
  • Isbn : 1478002441
  • Pages : 448
  • Category : Performing Arts
  • Reads : 162
  • File Pdf: the-technical-delusion.pdf

Book Summary:

Delusions of electronic persecution have been a preeminent symptom of psychosis for over two hundred years. In The Technical Delusion Jeffrey Sconce traces the history and continuing proliferation of this phenomenon from its origins in Enlightenment anatomy to our era of global interconnectivity. While psychiatrists have typically dismissed such delusions of electronic control as arbitrary or as mere reflections of modern life, Sconce demonstrates a more complex and interdependent history of electronics, power, and insanity. Drawing on a wide array of psychological case studies, literature, court cases, and popular media, Sconce analyzes the material and social processes that have shaped historical delusions of electronic contamination, implantation, telepathy, surveillance, and immersion. From the age of telegraphy to contemporary digitality, the media emerged within such delusions to become the privileged site for imagining the merger of electronic and political power, serving as a paranoid conduit between the body and the body politic. Looking to the future, Sconce argues that this symptom will become increasingly difficult to isolate, especially as remote and often secretive powers work to further integrate bodies, electronics, and information.

Scale Theory

By Joshua DiCaglio
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : U of Minnesota Press
  • Isbn : 1452966494
  • Pages : 352
  • Category : Philosophy
  • Reads : 538
  • File Pdf: scale-theory.pdf

Book Summary:

A pioneering call for a new understanding of scale across the humanities How is it possible that you are—simultaneously—cells, atoms, a body, quarks, a component in an ecological network, a moment in the thermodynamic dispersal of the sun, and an element in the gravitational whirl of galaxies? In this way, we routinely transform reality into things already outside of direct human experience, things we hardly comprehend even as we speak of DNA, climate effects, toxic molecules, and viruses. How do we find ourselves with these disorienting layers of scale? Enter Scale Theory, which provides a foundational theory of scale that explains how scale works, the parameters of scalar thinking, and how scale refigures reality—that teaches us how to think in terms of scale, no matter where our interests may lie. Joshua DiCaglio takes us on a fascinating journey through six thought experiments that provide clarifying yet provocative definitions for scale and new ways of thinking about classic concepts ranging from unity to identity. Because our worldviews and philosophies are largely built on nonscalar experience, he then takes us slowly through the ways scale challenges and reconfigures objects, subjects, and relations. Scale Theory is, in a sense, nondisciplinary—weaving together a dizzying array of sciences (from nanoscience to ecology) with discussions from the humanities (from philosophy to rhetoric). In the process, a curious pattern emerges: attempts to face the significance of scale inevitably enter terrain closer to mysticism than science. Rather than dismiss this connection, DiCaglio examines the reasons for it, redefining mysticism in terms of scale and integrating contemplative philosophies into the discussion. The result is a powerful account of the implications and challenges of scale, attuned to the way scale transforms both reality and ourselves.

Rotherweird

By Andrew Caldecott
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Jo Fletcher Books
  • Isbn : 1784297623
  • Pages : 464
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 793
  • File Pdf: rotherweird.pdf

Book Summary:

'A book with special and dangerous properties' Hilary Mantel, bestselling author of Wolf Hall 'Enthralling' M.R. Carey, bestselling author of The Girl With All the Gifts 'An imaginative tour de force' The Times 1558: Twelve children, gifted far beyond their years, are banished by their Tudor queen to the town of Rotherweird. Some say they are the golden generation; some say the devil's spawn. But everyone knows they are something to be revered - and feared. Four and a half centuries on, cast adrift from the rest of England by Elizabeth I and still bound by its ancient laws, Rotherweird's independence is subject to one disturbing condition: nobody, but nobody, studies the town or its history. Then an Outsider arrives, a man of unparallelled wealth and power, enough to buy the whole of Rotherweird - deeply buried secrets and all . . . Welcome to Rotherweird. 'A remarkable achievement' Sunday Independent 'Compelling' Guardian

Battle of the Linguist Mages

By Scotto Moore
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Tordotcom
  • Isbn : 1250767695
  • Pages : 448
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 750
  • File Pdf: battle-of-the-linguist-mages.pdf

Book Summary:

“It reads like Snow Crash had a dance-off with Gideon the Ninth, in a world where language isn't a virus from outer space, it's a goddamn alien invasion.” —Charles Stross In modern day Los Angeles, a shadowy faction led by the Governor of California develops the arcane art of combat linguistics, planting the seeds of a future totalitarian empire in Scotto Moore's Battle of the Linguist Mages. Isobel is the Queen of the medieval rave-themed VR game Sparkle Dungeon. Her prowess in the game makes her an ideal candidate to learn the secrets of "power morphemes"—unnaturally dense units of meaning that warp perception when skilfully pronounced. But Isobel’s reputation makes her the target of a strange resistance movement led by spellcasting anarchists, who may be the only thing stopping the cabal from toppling California over the edge of a terrible transformation, with forty million lives at stake. Time is short for Isobel to level up and choose a side—because the cabal has attracted much bigger and weirder enemies than the anarchist resistance, emerging from dark and vicious dimensions of reality and heading straight for planet Earth! At the Publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management Software (DRM) applied.

Master Apache JMeter - From Load Testing to DevOps

By Antonio Gomes Rodrigues,Bruno Demion (Milamber),Philippe Mouawad
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Packt Publishing Ltd
  • Isbn : 1839218207
  • Pages : 468
  • Category : Computers
  • Reads : 969
  • File Pdf: master-apache-jmeter-from-load-testing-to-devops.pdf

Book Summary:

Learn how to get the most out of JMeter, improve the productivity of your apps, and integrate JMeter with your Agile and DevOps processes. Key Features Gain insights into preparing test environments and selecting the correct use cases to load test Learn to analyze a load test with Backend Listener, HTML Report Dashboard, and View Results Tree Explore how to integrate JMeter in the software factory Book Description Load tests help identify the maximum number of requests a software system can handle. One popular open source tool for load testing is JMeter. By leveraging the features and capabilities of JMeter, you can perform extensive load testing and fix issues in your application before they become problematic. This book is written by JMeter developers and begins by discussing the whole process, including recording a script, setting it up, and launching it, enabling you to almost immediately start load testing. You'll learn the best practices that you must follow while designing test cases. You'll also explore the different protocols offered by JMeter through various real-world examples. Finally, you'll see how to integrate JMeter into the DevOps approach and create professional reports. You'll discover ways to use the eco-system of JMeter to integrate new protocols, enrich its monitoring, and leverage its power through the use of the cloud. By the end of this book, you'll know all that's needed to perform comprehensive load testing on your applications by using all the best practices and features of JMeter. What you will learn Explore various JMeter concepts, including Timers scope and Assertions scope Discover the types of test protocols and load tests that JMeter supports Design a realistic test scenario using various tips and best practices Prepare your test environment with injectors and the system under test Learn and apply good practices when recording a script Integrate JMeter with Jenkins using Maven Who this book is for This book contains all the valuable information you need in one place and is a must for everybody who is seriously working with JMeter. It might be a little condensed for absolute beginners, but this book is the best you can find if you already have some performance testing experience and want to get further. In particular, it would be invaluable to developers who want to expand their JMeter knowledge into advanced topics or switch to JMeter from other load testing tools.

Inner Paths to Outer Space

By Rick Strassman,Slawek Wojtowicz,Luis Eduardo Luna,Ede Frecska
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Isbn : 1594779996
  • Pages : 376
  • Category : Body, Mind & Spirit
  • Reads : 454
  • File Pdf: inner-paths-to-outer-space.pdf

Book Summary:

An investigation into experiences of other realms of existence and contact with otherworldly beings • Examines how contact with alien life-forms can be obtained through the “inner space” dimensions of our minds • Presents evidence that other worlds experienced through consciousness-altering technologies are often as real as those perceived with our five senses • Correlates science fiction’s imaginal realms with psychedelic research For thousands of years, voyagers of inner space--spiritual seekers, shamans, and psychoactive drug users--have returned from their inner imaginal travels reporting encounters with alien intelligences. Inner Paths to Outer Space presents an innovative examination of how we can reach these other dimensions of existence and contact otherworldly beings. Based on their more than 60 combined years of research into the function of the brain, the authors reveal how psychoactive substances such as DMT allow the brain to bypass our five basic senses to unlock a multidimensional realm of existence where otherworldly communication occurs. They contend that our centuries-old search for alien life-forms has been misdirected and that the alien worlds reflected in visionary science fiction actually mirror the inner space world of our minds. The authors show that these “alien” worlds encountered through altered states of human awareness, either through the use of psychedelics or other methods, possess a sense of reality as great as, or greater than, those of the ordinary awareness perceived by our five senses.

Gather Yourselves Together

By Philip K. Dick
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : HarperCollins
  • Isbn : 0547724926
  • Pages : 384
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 176
  • File Pdf: gather-yourselves-together.pdf

Book Summary:

Gather Yourselves Together is one of Philip K. Dick’s earliest novels, written when he was just twenty-four years old. It tells the story of three Americans left behind in China by their employer, biding their time as the Communists advance. As they while away the days, both the young and naïve Carl Fitter and the older and worldly Verne Tildon vie for the affections of Barbara Mahler, a woman who may not be so tough-as-nails as she acts. But Carl’s innocence and Verne’s boorishness could end up driving Barbara away from both.

The Science Fiction Mythmakers

By Jennifer Simkins
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : McFarland
  • Isbn : 1476627258
  • Pages : 200
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 219
  • File Pdf: the-science-fiction-mythmakers.pdf

Book Summary:

A literary genre that pervades 21st-century popular culture, science fiction creates mythologies that make statements about humanity’s place in the universe and embody an intersection of science, religion and philosophy. This book considers the significance of this confluence through an examination of myths in the writings of H. G. Wells, Arthur C. Clarke, Philip K. Dick and Frank Herbert. Presenting fresh insights into their works, the author brings to light the tendency of science fiction narratives to reaffirm spiritual myths.

A Theology of Love

By Richard Smoley
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Isbn : 1620559269
  • Pages : 240
  • Category : Body, Mind & Spirit
  • Reads : 135
  • File Pdf: a-theology-of-love.pdf

Book Summary:

A spirituality based on love, not fear • Shares key, inspiring teachings from A Course in Miracles as well as Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, and the Sefer Yetzirah, the oldest known Kabbalistic text • Cites philosophical wisdom from Kant, Blake, Jung, and Gurdjieff, alongside cognitive science, to reveal how the world is not difficult and flawed, but our fear-based mind-sets lead us to see it that way • Offers a path to help you regenerate from the “fallen” state and experience God as infinite love and light In the West, theology has almost always meant Christian theology--a hodgepodge of beliefs that are hard to make sense of. Why, for example, should an all-loving, merciful God have gotten mad at the human race because someone ate a piece of fruit six thousand years ago? And why would he send part of himself down to earth to be tortured to death? These beliefs, stated baldly, are nonsensical. Millions of people are realizing this and losing their faith. The time has come to reenvision Christian theology without contradictory teachings laced with fear. It is time for a theology of love and miracles. Richard Smoley reframes Christian theology using logical, consistent, and easy-to-understand teachings of unconditional love and forgiveness. He draws inspiration not only from the Bible, but also from Hinduism, Buddhism, Gnosticism, and from esoteric and mystical teachings, such as A Course in Miracles and the Sefer Yetzirah, the oldest known Kabbalistic text. He explains how the “fallen” state of the human condition, not one of sin but of oblivion, leads us to experience the world as flawed and problematic--not wholly evil, but not wholly good. Citing philosophical wisdom from Kant, Blake, Jung, and Gurdjieff, alongside cognitive science, Smoley reveals how it is not the world that is flawed, but the way we see the world. Sharing key teachings from A Course in Miracles, he shows that our fear-based mind-sets--often filled with anxiety, suffering, and shame--lead us to feel separated from God when, in fact, we are all extensions of a God of infinite love and light. Offering a path to help you regenerate from the “fallen” state and see the real spiritual world and loving God that lies behind it, the author provides ways for each of us to craft our own self-consistent theology. He also lays out a vision for the future of spirituality, a path for present-day religion to transform into something higher and more universal.

Double Indemnity

By James M. Cain
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Vintage Crime/Black Lizard
  • Isbn : 0307778428
  • Pages : 128
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 111
  • File Pdf: double-indemnity.pdf

Book Summary:

James M. Cain, virtuoso of the roman noir, gives us a tautly narrated and excruciatingly suspenseful story in Double Indemnity, an X-ray view of guilt, of duplicity, and of the kind of obsessive, loveless love that devastates everything it touches. Walter Huff was an insurance salesman with an unfailing instinct for clients who might be in trouble, and his instinct led him to Phyllis Nirdlinger. Phyllis wanted to buy an accident policy on her husband. Then she wanted her husband to have an accident. Walter wanted Phyllis. To get her, he would arrange the perfect murder and betray everything he had ever lived for.

Sovereignty, Inc.

By William Mazzarella,Eric L. Santner,Aaron Schuster
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : University of Chicago Press
  • Isbn : 022666855X
  • Pages : 224
  • Category : Philosophy
  • Reads : 230
  • File Pdf: sovereignty-inc.pdf

Book Summary:

What does the name Trump stand for? If branding now rules over the production of value, as the coauthors of Sovereignty, Inc. argue, then Trump assumes the status of a master brand whose primary activity is the compulsive work of self-branding—such is the new sovereignty business in which, whether one belongs to his base or not, we are all “incorporated.” Drawing on anthropology, political theory, philosophy, psychoanalysis, and theater, William Mazzarella, Eric L. Santner, and Aaron Schuster show how politics in the age of Trump functions by mobilizing a contradictory and convoluted enjoyment, an explosive mixture of drives and fantasies that eludes existing portraits of our era. The current political moment turns out to be not so much exceptional as exceptionally revealing of the constitutive tension between enjoyment and economy that has always been a key component of the social order. Santner analyzes the collective dream-work that sustains a new sort of authoritarian charisma or mana, a mana-facturing process that keeps us riveted to an excessively carnal incorporation of sovereignty. Mazzarella examines the contemporary merger of consumer brand and political brand and the cross-contamination of politics and economics, warning against all too easy laments about the corruption of politics by marketing. Schuster, focusing on the extreme theatricality and self-satirical comedy of the present, shows how authority reasserts itself at the very moment of distrust and disillusionment in the system, profiting off its supposed decline. A dazzling diagnostic of our present, Sovereignty, Inc., forces us to come to terms with our complicity in Trump’s political presence and will immediately take its place in discussions of contemporary politics.

Science Fiction After 1900

By Brooks Landon
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Routledge
  • Isbn : 1136761187
  • Pages : 286
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 314
  • File Pdf: science-fiction-after-1900.pdf

Book Summary:

First published in 2003. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Beyond the Screen

By Jörgen Schäfer,Peter Gendolla
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : transcript Verlag
  • Isbn : 3839412587
  • Pages : 568
  • Category : Social Science
  • Reads : 877
  • File Pdf: beyond-the-screen.pdf

Book Summary:

While literature in computer-based and networked media has so far been experienced by looking at the computer screen and by using keyboard and mouse, nowadays human-machine interactions are organized by considerably more complex interfaces. Consequently, this book focuses on literary processes in interactive installations, locative narratives and immersive environments, in which active engagement and bodily interaction is required from the reader to perceive the literary text. The contributions from internationally renowned scholars analyze how literary structures, interfaces and genres change, and how transitory aesthetic experiences can be documented, archived and edited.

Second Variety

By Philip K. Dick
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Isbn : 1681463660
  • Pages : 40
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 820
  • File Pdf: second-variety.pdf

Book Summary:

Klaus took a look at them, leaning over Hendricks' broad shoulder. "You can see what we're up against. There's another type. Maybe it was abandoned. Maybe it didn't work. But there must be a Second Variety. There's One and Three."

The World According to Philip K. Dick

By A. Dunst,S. Schlensag
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Springer
  • Isbn : 1137414596
  • Pages : 234
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 353
  • File Pdf: the-world-according-to-philip-k-dick.pdf

Book Summary:

As the first essay collection dedicated to Philip K. Dick in two decades, this volume breaks new ground in science fiction scholarship and brings innovative critical perspectives to the study of one of the twentieth century's most influential authors.

Decentralized A.I

By Y. Demazeau,J.-P. Müller
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Elsevier
  • Isbn : 044459924X
  • Pages : 272
  • Category : Computers
  • Reads : 182
  • File Pdf: decentralized-a-i.pdf

Book Summary:

Much research in Artificial Intelligence deals with a single agent having complete control over the world. A variation of this is Distributed AI (DAI), which is concerned with the collaborative solution of global problems by a distributed group of entities. This book deals with Decentralized AI (DzAI), which is concerned with the activity of an autonomous agent in a multi-agent world. The word ``agent'' is used in a broad sense, to designate an intelligent entity acting rationally and intentionally with respect to its goals and the current state of its knowledge. A number of these agents coexist and may collaborate with other agents in a common world; each agent may accomplish its own tasks, or cooperate with other agents to perform a personal or global task. The agents have imperfect knowledge about each other and about their common world, which they can update either through perception of the world, or by communication with each other. The papers were originally presented at a workshop held at King's College, Cambridge, and have been revised for this book.

The Twisted Worlds of Philip K. Dick

By Umberto Rossi
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : McFarland
  • Isbn : 0786486295
  • Pages : 316
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 180
  • File Pdf: the-twisted-worlds-of-philip-k-dick.pdf

Book Summary:

Philip K. Dick was one of the most popular science fiction novelists of the 20th century, but the contradictory and wily writer has troubled critics who attempt encompassing explanations of his work. This book examines Dick’s writing through the lens of ontological uncertainty, providing a comparative map of his oeuvre, tracing both the interior connections between books and his allusive intertextuality. Topics covered include time travel, alternate worlds, androids and simulacra, finite subjective realities and schizophrenia. Twenty novels are explored in detail, including titles that have received scant critical attention. Some of his most important short stories and two of his realist novels are also examined, providing a general introduction to Dick’s body of work.

The Heaven of Animals

By David James Poissant
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Simon and Schuster
  • Isbn : 1476729980
  • Pages : 272
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 137
  • File Pdf: the-heaven-of-animals.pdf

Book Summary:

Named one of Amazon’s Best Short Story Collections of 2014 One of Atlanta Journal Constitution’s 9 Best Books of 2014 Best Short Story Collection of the Year, Tweed's Magazine Winner of GLCA New Writers Award for Fiction 2014 LA Times Book Prize Finalist Winner of the Florida Book Awards Silver Medal for Fiction Nominated for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Prize for Debut Fiction “A debut collection of unsparing yet warmly empathetic stories…akin to both Anton Chekhov and Raymond Carver in humane spirit and technical mastery” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review). The Heaven of Animals, award-winning young writer David James Poissant’s stunning debut, has been one of the most-praised story collections of the year. Named one of Amazon’s Best Short Story Collections of 2014, compared to the work of Richard Ford and Amy Hemple in the Los Angeles Review of Books, to Anton Chekhov, Raymond Carver, and George Saunders in the New York Post, and the subject of a full-page rave by Clyde Edgerton in Garden & Gun, this “collection of vicious and heartbreaking vignettes” (The Orlando Sentinel) is a must-read for any fiction lover. In each of the stories in this remarkable debut, Poissant explores the tenuous bonds of family—fathers and sons, husbands and wives—as they are tested by the sometimes brutal power of love. His strikingly true-to-life characters have reached a precipice, chased there by troubles of their own making. Standing at the brink, each must make a choice: Leap, or look away? Pulitzer Prize finalist Lee Martin writes that Poissant forces us “to face the people we are when we’re alone in the dark.” From two friends racing to save the life an alligator in “Lizard Man” to a girl helping her boyfriend face his greatest fears in “The End of Aaron,” from a man who stalks death on an Atlanta street corner to a brother’s surprise at the surreal, improbable beauty of a late night encounter with a wolf, Poissant creates worlds that shine with honesty and dark complexity, but also with a profound compassion. These are stories hell-bent on hope. Fresh, smart, lively, and wickedly funny, The Heaven of Animals is startlingly original and compulsively readable. As bestselling author Kevin Wilson puts it, “Poissant is a writer who knows us with such clarity that we wonder how he found his way so easily into our hearts and souls.”

High Weirdness

By Erik Davis
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : MIT Press
  • Isbn : 1907222901
  • Pages : 550
  • Category : Philosophy
  • Reads : 605
  • File Pdf: high-weirdness.pdf

Book Summary:

An exploration of the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson. A study of the spiritual provocations to be found in the work of Philip K. Dick, Terence McKenna, and Robert Anton Wilson, High Weirdness charts the emergence of a new psychedelic spirituality that arose from the American counterculture of the 1970s. These three authors changed the way millions of readers thought, dreamed, and experienced reality—but how did their writings reflect, as well as shape, the seismic cultural shifts taking place in America? In High Weirdness, Erik Davis—America's leading scholar of high strangeness—examines the published and unpublished writings of these vital, iconoclastic thinkers, as well as their own life-changing mystical experiences. Davis explores the complex lattice of the strange that flowed through America's West Coast at a time of radical technological, political, and social upheaval to present a new theory of the weird as a viable mode for a renewed engagement with reality.

The Lives of Literature

By Arnold Weinstein
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Princeton University Press
  • Isbn : 0691232326
  • Pages : 352
  • Category : Literary Criticism
  • Reads : 141
  • File Pdf: the-lives-of-literature.pdf

Book Summary:

Mixing passion and humor, a personal work of literary criticism that demonstrates how the greatest books illuminate our lives Why do we read literature? For Arnold Weinstein, the answer is clear: literature allows us to become someone else. Literature changes us by giving us intimate access to an astonishing variety of other lives, experiences, and places across the ages. Reflecting on a lifetime of reading, teaching, and writing, The Lives of Literature explores, with passion, humor, and whirring intellect, a professor’s life, the thrills and traps of teaching, and, most of all, the power of literature to lead us to a deeper understanding of ourselves and the worlds we inhabit. As an identical twin, Weinstein experienced early the dislocation of being mistaken for another person—and of feeling that he might be someone other than he had thought. In vivid readings elucidating the classics of authors ranging from Sophocles to James Joyce and Toni Morrison, he explores what we learn by identifying with their protagonists, including those who, undone by wreckage and loss, discover that all their beliefs are illusions. Weinstein masterfully argues that literature’s knowing differs entirely from what one ends up knowing when studying mathematics or physics or even history: by entering these characters’ lives, readers acquire a unique form of knowledge—and come to understand its cost. In The Lives of Literature, a master writer and teacher shares his love of the books that he has taught and been taught by, showing us that literature matters because we never stop discovering who we are.

Forty Signs of Rain

By Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Spectra
  • Isbn : 0553898175
  • Pages : 368
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 709
  • File Pdf: forty-signs-of-rain.pdf

Book Summary:

The bestselling author of the classic Mars trilogy and The Years of Rice and Salt presents a riveting new trilogy of cutting-edge science, international politics, and the real-life ramifications of global warming as they are played out in our nation’s capital—and in the daily lives of those at the center of the action. Hauntingly yet humorously realistic, here is a novel of the near future that is inspired by scientific facts already making headlines. When the Arctic ice pack was first measured in the 1950s, it averaged thirty feet thick in midwinter. By the end of the century it was down to fifteen. One August the ice broke. The next year the breakup started in July. The third year it began in May. That was last year. It’s a muggy summer in Washington, D.C., as Senate environmental staffer Charlie Quibler and his scientist wife, Anna, work to call attention to the growing crisis of global warming. But as these everyday heroes fight to align the awesome forces of nature with the extraordinary march of technology, fate puts an unusual twist on their efforts—one that will place them at the heart of an unavoidable storm.

The Years of Rice and Salt

By Kim Stanley Robinson
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Spectra
  • Isbn : 0553897608
  • Pages : 784
  • Category : Fiction
  • Reads : 655
  • File Pdf: the-years-of-rice-and-salt.pdf

Book Summary:

With the same unique vision that brought his now classic Mars trilogy to vivid life, bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson boldly imagines an alternate history of the last seven hundred years. In his grandest work yet, the acclaimed storyteller constructs a world vastly different from the one we know. . . . “A thoughtful, magisterial alternate history from one of science fiction’s most important writers.”—The New York Times Book Review It is the fourteenth century and one of the most apocalyptic events in human history is set to occur—the coming of the Black Death. History teaches us that a third of Europe’s population was destroyed. But what if the plague had killed 99 percent of the population instead? How would the world have changed? This is a look at the history that could have been—one that stretches across centuries, sees dynasties and nations rise and crumble, and spans horrible famine and magnificent innovation. Through the eyes of soldiers and kings, explorers and philosophers, slaves and scholars, Robinson navigates a world where Buddhism and Islam are the most influential and practiced religions, while Christianity is merely a historical footnote. Probing the most profound questions as only he can, Robinson shines his extraordinary light on the place of religion, culture, power—and even love—in this bold New World. “Exceptional and engrossing.”—New York Post “Ambitious . . . ingenious.”—Newsday

Philip K. Dick and Philosophy

By D. E. Wittkower
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Open Court
  • Isbn : 0812697391
  • Pages : 288
  • Category : Philosophy
  • Reads : 817
  • File Pdf: philip-k-dick-and-philosophy.pdf

Book Summary:

Science fiction writer Philip K. Dick (1928–1982) is the giant imagination behind so much recent popular culture—both movies directly based on his writings, such as Blade Runner (based on the novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?), Total Recall, Minority Report, and The Adjustment Bureau plus cult favorites such as A Scanner Darkly, Imposter, Next, Screamers, and Paycheck and works revealing his powerful influence, such as The Matrix and Inception. With the publication in 2011 of volume 1 of Exegesis, his journal of spiritual visions and paranoic investigations, Dick is fast becoming a major influence in the world of popular spirituality and occult thinking. In Philip K. Dick and Philosophy thirty Dick fans and professional thinkers confront the fascinating and frightening ideas raised by Dick’s mind-blowing fantasies. Is there an alien world behind the everyday reality we experience? If androids can pass as human, should they be given the same consideration as humans? Do psychotics have insights into a mystical reality? Would knowledge of the future free us or enslave us? This volume will also include Dick's short story "Adjustment Team," on which The Adjustment Bureau is based. Philip K. Dick and Philosophy explores the ideas of Philip K. Dick in the same way that he did: with an earnest desire to understand the truth of the world, but without falsely equating earnestness with a dry seriousness. Dick’s work was replete with whimsical and absurdist presentations of the greatest challenges to reason and to humanity—paradox, futility, paranoia, and failure—and even at his darkest times he was able to keep some perspective and humor, as for example in choosing to name himself ‘Horselover Fat’ in VALIS at the same time as he relates his personal religious epiphanies, crises, and delusions. With the same earnest whimsy, we approach Philip K. Dick as a philosopher like ourselves—one who wrote almost entirely in thought-experiments and semi-fictional world-building, but who engaged with many of the greatest questions of philosophy throughout the Euro-American tradition. Philip K. Dick and Philosophy has much to offer for both serious fans and those who have recently learned his name, and realized that his work has been the inspiration for several well-known and thought-provoking films. Most chapters start with one or more of the movies based on Dick’s writing. From here, the authors delve deeper into the issues by bringing in philosophers' perspectives and by bringing in Dick’s written work. The book invites the reader with a casual familiarity with Dick to get to know his work, and invites the reader with little familiarity with philosophy to learn more. New perspectives and challenging connections and interpretations for even the most hard-core Dick fans are also offered. To maximize public interest, the book prominently addresses the most widely-known films, as well as those with the most significant fan followings: Blade Runner, Total Recall, Minority Report, A Scanner Darkly, and The Adjustment Bureau. Along with these “big five” films, a few chapters address his last novels, especially VALIS, which have a significant cult following of their own. There are also chapters which address short stories and novels which are currently planned for adaptation: Radio Free Albemuth (film completed, awaiting distribution), The Man in the High Castle (in development by Ridley Scott for BBC mini-series), and “King of the Elves” (Disney, planned for release in 2012).

The Happiness of Pursuit

By Shimon Edelman
  • Format : Pdf, ePub, Mobi, Kindle
  • Publisher : Basic Books
  • Isbn : 0465029205
  • Pages : 240
  • Category : Psychology
  • Reads : 176
  • File Pdf: the-happiness-of-pursuit.pdf

Book Summary:

When fishing for happiness, catch and release. Remember these seven words -- they are the keys to being happy. So says Shimon Edelman, an expert on psychology and the mind. In The Happiness of Pursuit, Edelman offers a fundamental understanding of pleasure and joy via the brain. Using the concept of the mind as a computing device, he unpacks how the human brain is highly active, involved in patterned networks, and constantly learning from experience. As our brains predict the future through pursuit of experience, we are rewarded both in real time and in the long run. Essentially, as Edelman discovers, it's the journey, rather than the destination, that matters. The idea that cognition is computation -- the brain is a machine -- is nothing new of course. But, as Edelman argues, the mind is actually a bundle of ongoing computations, essentially, the brain being one of many possible substrates that can support them. Edelman makes the case for these claims by constructing a conceptual toolbox that offers readers a glimpse of the computations underlying the mind's faculties: perception, motivation and emotions, action, memory, thinking, social cognition, learning and language. It is this collection of tools that enables us to discover how and why happiness happens. An informative, accessible, and witty tour of the mind, The Happiness of Pursuit offers insights to a thorough understanding of what minds are, how they relate to each other and to the world, and how we can make the best of it all.