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Sunday, March 19, 2017

"The Evolution of Human Science" or "Catching Crumbs from the Table" by Ted Chiang

First appeared in Nature edited by Henry Gee. It was up for the Locus award.

When part of humanity is upgraded to metahumans, whose cognitive thinking we mere humans cannot grasp, what science is left for humanity to study?
At first, they do little but try to interpret metahumans (hermeneutics, that is, interpretation of text). Science falls away. They reverse engineer metahumans technology to better understand. Finally, they decide they need a go-between: They decide to upgrade humans that can bridge the gap.

The second title--the one that the story originally appeared as--is apparently the editor's choice. The editor's is concrete; however, the irony of "evolution"--at least what we assume evolution should be (e.g. progress)--gets lost.

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