Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Athena, the nerd god.

Robin Sloan wrote a beautiful short story (The truth about the east wind), with a very interesting format. It looks at the tension between religion and science, from a Greek tragedy perspective (you should really read it).
"Zeus formed it into a girl and set her free to walk the earth. This was Athena. Pure curiosity. The spark made flesh. 
From the day she was formed, Athena was an omnivorous observer, a kind of super Galileo/Darwin long before either was born. She made measurements and formed hypotheses. She classified plants and bent down to watch bugs up close. She counted the seconds between her father’s lightning strikes and the thunder that followed
.Zeus had formed her well: her eyes were like microscopes, her feet like seismographs. She could taste numbers (even, sweet; odd, sour; prime, umami). She could smell questions. She could hear gravity.
Athena was the nerd god."
Eurus, the East Wind ("He became a mercenary hunter-killer, serving man and god alike. He was the original smart bomb. He was the invisible hand. He was the dagger that came down the chimney. He was the plague a la carte."), tries to kill her, but she escapes because of her scientific knowledge. She ultimately disappears, but is she completely gone? Read the rest of the story, and do not forget that it is our job to blow like the wind!


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