- This salon has passed.
Sci-Fi Odyssey: A Tour Through the Great Works of Speculative Fiction – Stanisław Lem
October 16, 2022 at 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm EDT
Start time where you are: Your time zone couldn't be detected
Come join David White for the next installment of a salon series dedicated to exploring the themes, ideas, and world-building of science fiction. We will be exploring the world of Solaris and discussing the limits of communication with alien lifeforms, what it means to be human in the face of a planet size alien, and how incomprehensible reality can be.
Solaris shows the limitations of human understanding through the lens of communication with an extraterrestrial lifeform. We will reason about minds organized much differently than our own, how communication can break down when both parties lack a common framework, and how alien the world can actually be. We will also reflect on the nature of traumatic experiences and scientific epistemology in the face of ever-changing conditions.
This novel also serves to illustrate the general limitations of human experience in general. A planet sized creature is fundamentally incapable of taking in a moment of experience and defies any abstraction we might wish to place on it. Beyond the ideas of the book, its overall structure is extremely faithful reproduction of scientific inquiry and serves to enable non-scientists to get a sense of the internal scientific process present in day to day work. All of this and more will be fair game for topics of discussion for this salon.
Solaris – Stanislaw Lem