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The Adolescence of P-1 (TAoP1) by Thomas Ryan, 1977


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#1 Orpheus

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Posted 21 May 2020 - 10:40 PM

Did any of you read this novel, back in the day (or more recently)? Thoughts?

My biggest bugaboo was the idea that the "matchbox TicTacToe machine" could be the seed of any theory of AI. I'm sure you all mastered "perfect TicTacToe long ago. I taught it to my eldest (step)daughter when she was 3, and for all her charms, she was not remotely mathematically inclined. Just because a certain sequence of marbles translates to a perfect game--and there's a way to make marbles converge to that sequence quickly by starting with a random sequence, doesn't mean it corresponds in any way to though, any more than any of the equations that converge to Pi represent any understanding of (or ability to use) Pi.

View PostOrpheus, on 20 May 2020 - 09:51 PM, said:

I dunno. I have a typed manuscript of "The Adolescence of P1" with a weird "1976" frontispiece, which might qualify as a self-aware novel .

I'm told that TAoP1 wasn't officially published until 1977, and didn't end quite the same, so it may have been a pre-pub Copy I got through MITSFS or MIT Baker House, but it is nonetheless how I prefer to recall the book: In my version (basically only a few sentences changed at the very end), P! seemed a bit less cowering, with a bit more of a plan..

View PostRJDiogenes, on 21 May 2020 - 06:42 PM, said:

P-1 is out there, and has altered the galleys to make himself the hero.  :D

I never heard of this book before, but I just checked out the Wiki page.  Rather prophetic in many ways.


#2 RJDiogenes

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Posted 22 May 2020 - 06:34 PM

It seems to be out of print, and for a long time. I'll see if I can track down a digital copy on the web.
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