This timely sci-fi novel is nothing but perfect!
It is very long and action packed. There is no single main character per se, except for a dead high tech entrepreneur who gradually takes over the world.
Aside from him there are several central characters, each of which is quite unique.
Great character development, storyline, pace, pretty much everything. Really good fiction.
Also, in addition to being entertaining, it is very informative. It presents the world from the perspectives of the rich and powerful, the geekpreneurs, the criminals, and it does so with impressive authenticity.
And, of course, one learns what today’s technology is capable of.
Overall, thrilling and hard to put down.
Book Review: Freedom (Daemon Sequel) By Daniel Suarez
Katarina Nolte ¦ 04/06/2015
Freedom™ is the second book in the Daemon book series following Daemon.
Like Daemon, Freedom™ is a lengthy fiction story with over 400 pages. According to a TechCrunch interview with the author, Daniel Suarez, there may be a third part on the horizon at some point in the future.
As in Daemon, a dead guy (Matthew Sobol) rules the world via the computer program known as Daemon.
Freedom™ begins with a quote by Roosevelt about an “invisible government”, an alliance between business and politics, which traditionally is understood to be fascism.
The story is action packed, filled with all kinds of high tech gear, some known and some, generally, unknown.
“We must defend the core of our civilization; which is commerce. And commerce requires capital.”
There is a tug of war between the powers that be who wish to maintain the status quo and expand globalization and centralization and expotentially increased numbers of Daemon darknet operatives who are actively creating alternative, local communities based on a combination of self-initiative, alternative energies and sustainable, small scale agriculture.
The main characters are the same and we learn more about them. Particulary, how those who have accepted the Daemon change and gain new perspectives.
We learn that the Daemon is not a totalitarian, authoritarian program, but is further molded by its followers as times goes by. In other words, the Daemon is merely a tool people use to create new ways of living, so that ultimately the future lies in their hands.
The Daemon also takes over large companies and uses the income to support Daemon operatives and common people, sort of like a high tech Robin Hood.”
Perhaps the most interesting detail of Freedom™ is Matthew Sobol’s assignment for Pete Sebeck. He is to “justify the freedom of humanity”.
“A portable television blared on a shelf behind her, tuned to the most popular tabloid news show in the country – News To America.”
Daemon operatives have their own currency (cryptocurrency) and their own private means of communication within the Daemon darknet called D-Space, allowing them to locate other Daemon operatives and make plans together across the United States and the world. This particular means of communication requires special high tech gear which they manufacture with the help of 3D printers.
A portion of the book is dedicated to manmade desertification. Desertification occurs when trees, bushes, native plants and ‘weeds’ are removed along with native animals. It also involves real estate development, monoculture (agribusiness), and overpopulation. Basically, we cannot live in high numbers on small patches of land while expecting our food to be grown somewhere else by someone other than ourselves, which is what modern civilization is all about.
We should also ask ourselves the question whether civilzations are lost, fallen or simply abandoned when people realize that civilization as a concept is not realistic (sustainable) in the long run.
Freedom™, overall, has a lot of food for thought material contained within it reminding us that we live in times which require an expansion in how we view the world and what humanity’s decisions are based on.
At the same time, too many seem to expect miraculous solutions to be found in technology despite the fact that the Earth’s resources are all we’ve got in real terms, however you look at it.
This is pretty much the best book series ever in the cyber thriller genre. Great fiction, full of suspense and loaded with facts most people don’t like to think about. It really makes you stop and think and is otherwise hard to put down. It has an amazingly good mix of sci-fi, suspense, fantasy, action, drama, romance and futuristic and contemporary crime fiction elements.
The book is like a vision of how the world could be changed for the better with the use of technology in an alternative present/near future.
Phenomenal action scenes. If the Daemon book series were to be made into a film it would, of course, have to be made into a video game as well.
“The Western World was a bedtime story of comforting humanistic bullshit.”
Panic Room – Official® Trailer [HD] | YouTube
“Futuristic security technologies–many developed for the military but sounding as though they came straight from James Bond’s Q–have made their way into the home, available to deep-pocketed owners whose peace of mind comes from knowing that their sensors can detect and adjust for, say, a person lurking in the bushes a half-mile away.”Billionaire Bunkers: Beyond the Panic Room, Home Security Goes Sci-Fi │ Forbes
The best skiing wearables: GPS watches, HUD goggles and action cams │ Wareable
Recon Jet – Smart Eyewear | Smart Glasses | Android HUD
“AiQ Smart Clothing Company produces a line of smart apparel, including conductive gloves for smudge-free touchscreen use, clothes that light up, clothes that give off evenly distributed heat, and even metal mesh clothing that shields the wearer from radiation.”Fashion 2.0 – Complement Your Smart Phone With Smart Clothes – Forbes
Charge Electronics with Your Shirt! | YouTube
“Algorithmic trading (automated trading, black-box trading, or simply algo-trading) is the process of using computers programmed to follow a defined set of instructions for placing a trade in order to generate profits at a speed and frequency that is impossible for a human trader.”Basics of Algorithmic Trading: Concepts and Examples │ Investopedia
“According to the New York Stock Exchange, in 2006 program trading accounts for about 30% and as high as 46.4% of the trading volume on that exchange every day.”Program trading – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
High-Frequency Trading Increases Stock Volatility | Yale School of Management
New Academic Study Says HFT Exacerbates Volatility And Generates Flash Crashes │ Themis Trading Blog
“HFT uses proprietary trading strategies carried out by computers to move in and out of positions in seconds or fractions of a second. It is estimated that as of 2009, HFT accounted for 60-73% of all US equity trading volume, with that number falling to approximately 50% in 2012. High-frequency traders move in and out of short-term positions at high volumes aiming to capture sometimes a fraction of a cent in profit on every trade.”High-frequency trading – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Crusher Unmanned Ground Vehicle- Testing Highlights | YouTube
U.S. Air Force developing terrifying swarms of tiny unmanned drones that can hover, crawl and even kill targets | Daily Mail Online
Ancestral Puebloans – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“The problem is as old as civilization. Societies living in the western areas of what is now the Saharan desert of Egypt collapsed when the region dried out around 5,000 to 3,000 BC. The Anasazi society collapsed due to over population and land abuse between 1130 AD and 1300 AD. Now Mongolia and China, parts of the middle east and the US Southwest face similar problems.”Land Degradation in Arid Regions │ Oceanworld.tamu.edu
“We can transform half a continent of rich grasslands and forest into a wasteland, yet few people would ever notice the difference. It happened in Greece, where the lush Mediterranean forests were cut down and the rich, deep soils washed out into the sea. We expect Greece to be mostly barren and rocky.”The American Sahara: The New Desert Beneath Our Feet │ Wildflowers and Weeds
10 Civilizations That Disappeared Under Mysterious Circumstances │ io9
Lost Civilizations: 12 Societies that Vanished in Mystery – WebEcoist
Urban Ghosts10 Lost Cities, Mythical Civilisations of the Ancient World | Urban Ghosts
“Civilization is unnatural. It is a whim of circumstance. And barbarism must always ultimately triumph.”Civilization – Wikiquote
“We were never supposed to quit being nomadic hunters and create huge civilizations.”Human Civilization is detrimental to the earth, and unnatural | Page 2 | IGN Boards
“What is it we are trying to sustain? A living planet, or industrial civilization? Because we can’t have both.”Sustainability is destroying the Earth | Deep Green Resistance New York
WISDM Lab: Wireless Sensor Data Mining │ cis.fordham.edu
Big Mobile Data Mining: Good or Evil? │ Computer.org
Study: Mobile App Data Mining a Bigger Threat Than Malware | Ipad and Android Enterprise Mobility News │ The VAR Guy
“Analyzing calls, text, and other cellphone data yields clues about a user’s personality, behavior, and even health status.”Cellphone data mined to create personal profiles – Business – The Boston Globe
“The companies that sell information about how much money you make — and whether you’re pregnant, divorced, or trying to lose weight — are facing new scrutiny.”Everything We Know About What Data Brokers Know About You – ProPublica
“Data is the most important– and scariest– commodity in the modern world.”Join Cloudera founder and “Data God” Jeff Hammerbacher at our next San Francisco PandoMonthly | PandoDaily
“Big and dynamic spatial-temporal data have been, and continue to be, collected with modern data acquisition techniques such as global positioning systems (GPS), high-resolution remote sensing, census surveys, and internet-based volunteered geographic information.”Spatial Data Mining and Visual Analytics Lab
“All this information and much, much more is being quietly collected, analyzed and distributed by the nation’s burgeoning data-broker industry, which uses billions of individual data points to produce detailed portraits of virtually every American consumer, the Federal Trade Commission reported Tuesday.”Brokers use ‘billions’ of data points to profile Americans – The Washington Post
They Live (1988) – IMDb
Build a heliostat for solar heating and lighting | IWillTry.org
SunTracker Heliostat Parabolic Mirror | YouTube
“An innovative company from Iceland, however, is suggesting that it may be feasible to produce methanol – a liquid fuel with high heating value that can even work with normal gasoline-powered engines – by refining the CO2 spewed by volcanoes. The energy required to supply this intensive refining process would come from heat created by volcanic rocks nested deep underground.”Using volcanoes to power liquid fuel production │ ZME Science
“Endoliths are organisms that live inside rocks or in pores between mineral grains. These creatures are thought to have been found in a large range of environments – from rocks on the Earth’s surface to miles beneath the subsurface! There are thousands of known species of endoliths, including members from Bacteria, Archaea, and Fungi.”Endoliths │ Science Education Resource Center │ Carleton College
Intelligent plastics change shape with light | MIT News
“The United States is, by far, the largest producer of corn in the world, producing 32 percent of the world’s corn crop in the early 2010s.”Major Crops Grown in the United States | Ag 101 | Agriculture | US EPA
“In the 1960s, the United States exported over 90% of the world’s soybeans. By 2005, the top soybeans exporters were Argentina (39% of world soybean exports), United States (37%) and Brazil (16%).”Soybean – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Major soybean producing countries worldwide in 2012 (in million metric tons) • Production of soybeans by country 2012 | Statista
American Companies in Dubai │ Dubai Employment Tips
Complete Lists of Companies in Dubai – Dubai Companies by Nationality │ Dubai Employment Tips
Dubai Has Recovered Faster Because Of Zero Tax, Economic Free Zones │Forbes
“An estimated 700kg of gold is smuggled into India every day.”Why gold smuggling is on the rise in India – BBC News
In India, smugglers move gold like narcotics | Reuters
“Gold is the traditional Indian gift for brides and helps keep demand high.”Gold Smuggling Takes Off in India – WSJ
“While many British individuals were undoubtedly heavily involved and prospering from this trade, the growing moral consensus against slavery in the empire that had led to the outlawing of such activities in most British dominions by 1838 had nonetheless also begun to spread to the Gulf, even though these sheikhdoms were merely in treaty relations with Britain, rather than formal colonies.”Dubai: The Security Dimensions of the Region’s Premier Free Port | Middle East Policy Council
“Donald Trump is going to build a hotel. Giorgio Armani will outfit apartments, while Karl Lagerfeld will build luxury homes. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt have bought one of the artificial islands Dubai is constructing out into Gulf waters.”Dubai: Land of Luxury, Land of Slavery – Raise the Hammer
“Dubai—any of the hipper guidebooks will advise—is also the ‘Bangkok of the Middle East’, with thousands of Russian, Armenian, Indian and Iranian prostitutes controlled by various transnational gangs and mafias. The Russian girls at the bar are the glamorous façade of a sinister sex trade built on kidnapping, slavery and sadistic violence.”New Left Review – Mike Davis: Fear and Money in Dubai
“Dubai’s Promised Land of Luxury Lures Women Into Sexual Slavery (Bloomberg).”Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery – United Arab Emerites (UAE) │ GVnet – The Web Professionals
India: State govt mulls insurance for farmer suicides │ Asian Insurance Review
Glenn Greenwald: how the NSA tampers with US-made internet routers | US news | The Guardian
Back Doors, Remote Access, Vulnerable Code – Are Chinese Routers Spying On Us? │ World Crunch
U.S. Suspicions of China’s Huawei Based Partly on NSA’s Own Spy Tricks – IEEE Spectrum
Former Pentagon analyst: China has backdoors to 80% of telecoms | ZDNet
Invisibility Crystals – New Innovations for Invisibility Cloaks │ Azom
Multi-use Titanium Dioxide claimed to be the next “wonder material” │ GizMag
Squid-inspired stickers could make soldiers invisible to infrared cameras │ GizMag
The Lightning Gun | YouTube
3D printing with metal: The final frontier of additive manufacturing | ExtremeTech
Stainless Steel 3D Printing Material Information – Shapeways
Metal 3D Printing | Services │ gpiprototype.com
3D Printing Service i.materialise | Stainless steel │ i.materialise.com
Carpet fibre harnesses solar energy and footsteps to generate electricity | Daily Mail Online
Paint your roof with solar power | Forum for the Future
Solar Paint Technology | Solar Energy Research | Newcastle Innovation Energy
Solar Paint on Steel Could Generate Renewable Energy Soon │ Renewable Energy World
The $175 Speaker That Lets You Direct Sound Like a Laser Beam │ Mashable
Daniel Suarez – Sci-fi and tech thriller author
Book Review: Identity X By Michelle Muckley
Katarina Nolte ¦ 11/17/2014
Interesting book, good writing.
This suspenseful, vividly described story draws you in from the very start. It is a futuristic high tech medical thriller with personal automated voice greetings, gene chips and ID cards.
It’s a brave new world in which shopping and commuting are super computerized and strictly controlled. A universal ID card is needed to make purchases and gain access to the subway.
Unpaid bills, a misdemeanor, or a complaint lead to the loss of the ID card and access to basic stuff.
The main character, Ben, a scientist/researcher makes a major world changing discovery. He has figured out how to cure genetic disease by replacing and entire DNA base with an artificial one using (induced) pluripotent stem cells delivered via a virus (genetic modification). The synthetic stem cells are made from human skin in the laboratory.
This is science fiction, of course. In reality genetic modification leads to random results, gene disruption, genetic damage and cancer.
There is a surprising turn of events at the very end. At first it seems like there is a happy ending in sight. Then, there’s a sudden twist in the story. A rather mysterious and puzzling ending, perhaps indicative of a continuation of the story.
Overall, an incredible story. Hard to put down.
Nuclease-mediated gene editing by homologous recombination of the human globin locus │ Oxford Journals
Huntington’s disease: how could stem cells help? | Europe’s stem cell hub | EuroStemCell
International Journal of Impotence Research – Gene and stem cell therapy for erectile dysfunction
Pluripotent Stem Cells │ Explore Stem Cells │ UK
Oligonucleotide – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Bionics – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
DNA Chip – Genetic Testing of the Future │ NDSU
Office of Scientific Research and Development – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
F.Capra. The Turning Point. Chapter 4 – The Mechanistic View of Life
Bringing People Back into the Economy | Center for Ecoliteracy
“If we continue to understand our role in the old paradigm of capitalist patriarchy based on a mechanistic world view, an industrial, capital centered competitive economy, and a culture of dominance, violence, and war and ecological and human irresponsibility, we will witness the rapid unfolding of increasing climate catastrophe, species extinction, economic collapse, and human injustice and inequality.”The Anthropocene Age » EcoWatch
“Picking one group of people (the specialists), who adopt one way of knowing the physical world (the reductionist), to find one set of properties in nature (the reductionist/mechanistic), is a political, not a scientific, act. It is this act that is claimed to be the ‘scientific method’. The knowledge obtained is presented as ‘the laws of nature’ – wholly ‘objective’ and altogether universal.”7. Reductionist science as epistemological violence │ UNU Press
Katarina Nolte, author of "So Long Constipation, Part 1", "100 Steps to a Lean Body", "The Natural Path to Hormonal Wellness, Part 1", "49 Gluten-free Recipes", "50 Gluten-free Recipes" and "51 Gluten-free Recipes". Follow.
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