“It was impossible to expect a moral awakening from humankind itself, just like it was impossible to expect humans to lift off the earth by pulling up on their own hair. To achieve moral awakening required a force outside the human race.”
Welcome back to another episode of Made You Think! In this long-awaited episode, we’re covering The Three-Body Problem, a science fiction trilogy by Liu Cixin. Find out what happens when a military group successfully sends signals into space in hopes of making contact with aliens.
We cover a wide range of topics including:
(0:00) This week, we’re diving into The Three-Body Problem! Spoiler alert: If you haven’t read the book and don’t want anything given away, we recommend you come back to this episode later to avoid learning plot twists and key information.
(6:13) One of the quirks of the alien species is that they are not able to deceive each other. We also talk about the difference between exponential vs. linear culture.
(10:16) The books jump through many genres from a mystery thriller to classic adventure. We provide some of the context of the book and ponder on how other civilizations would view humans in their perspective.
(13:37) Nat, Neil, and Adil share their reactions on the end of the story and the inevitable death that everybody faces.
(15:12) Preserving information and monuments over time. There are still stone engravings that hold up today, but even things like paper and hard drives aren’t able to withstand the test of time.
(19:15) This year, The Three-Body Problem is hitting Netflix as a TV series! We talk about what the show may look like and how they will portray the different dimensions.
(22:52) A lot can change in just a short time. How would humanity react if we found out today that in a few hundred years, humanity would be destroyed by a group of powerful aliens?
(24:12) How the book presented the idea of hibernation and using someone’s skills later as opposed to the current moment. In a way, it’s like time traveling.
(28:58) Escapism, the space cities, and how easy it is to be poisoned by your own environment.
(32:53) Wallfacers and other interesting ideas that the author incorporated into the storyline. The series was very interesting for its many different paradoxes and sociological concepts.
(38:30) There’s the paradox that we have so much we can potentially solve with our technological advancements, but at the same time, do we really have all of the of smaller components and variables of it figured out?
(41:15) The fragility of being human and the importance of micronutrients to our functioning that we may or may not realize.
(47:21) The series is based on the author’s back story in the cultural revolution in China. While written in 2007, the books weren’t translated into English until 2014 where some parts of the story got slightly changed or adapted.
(52:14) Will there be substantial changes in how we understand and view the universe in the next century, and how will these shift our perception of these novels?
(1:00:01) There’s a sense in today’s world that we’ve simply figured everything out, while we arguably have a lot more yet to discover.
(1:01:12) The Dark Forest theory. The idea that there are potentially many alien civilizations that exist, and other intelligent lives we come across would presumably be seen as a threat.
(1:11:30) Nat, Neil, and Adil share their thoughts on which of the books in the trilogy was their favorite.
(1:15:35) That’s a wrap! Next up, we’re reading The Courage to Be Disliked. Make sure to pick up a copy if you’d like to read along before the next episode!
If you enjoyed this episode, let us know by leaving a review on iTunes and tell a friend. As always, let us know if you have any book recommendations! You can say hi to us on Twitter @TheRealNeilS, @adilmajid, @nateliason and share your thoughts on this episode.
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Thanks for listening. See you next time!