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Sunday
, February 3, 2002
 Books

If machines become conscious, would they remain machines?
Review by Kuldip Dhiman
Mind, Matter, and Mystery: Questions in Science and Philosophy
edited by Ranjit Nair. Scientia, New Delhi. Pages 148. Rs 195.
WHEN IBMís Deep Blue supercomputer played a fascinating match with the reigning world chess champion, Garry Kasparov, and defeated him in one of the games, the latter acquired the dubious distinction of becoming the first grandmaster to have been defeated by a computer.

Books
received

Problems of absurd life
Review by Rumina Sethi
Introducing Existentialism
by Richard Appignanesi and Oscar Zarate. Icon Books, UK. Pages 176. £ 9.99.
"TO be or not to be" is arguably the best summation of existential
philosophy. Lying between the two poles are the concepts of anguish,
despair, anxiety, the absurd, nothingness and so on. But Hamletís "problem of being" does not of course make him an existentialist.

WRITE VIEW
India and Russia in search of post-cold war equation
Review by Randeep Wadehra
India and Russia Towards Strategic Partnership
edited by Shams-ud-din. Lancerís Books, New Delhi. Pages xi+273. Rs 495.
THE post-cold war world has become, to borrow Samuel Huntingtonís phrase, "a multi-polar and multi-civilisational" entity. Russia, shrunk from its Soviet Union size, is trying to carve out a new role for itself. Right from the time of the Czars it has been craving for a substantial niche in the European scene.

 


A sardonic self-story of a true blue Mumbaikar

Review by Bhavana Pankaj
Dangerlok
by Eunice de Souza. Penguin Books, New Delhi. Pages 114. Rs 150.
SHE is a "lapsed Catholic who prays in moments of panic, a vague lefty who likes the occasional good meal in a restaurant and does not feel too much guilty about it, a lecturer who likes her students and her work but likes the occasional day at home alone."

BOOK EXTRACT
The house of blue mangoes
S
PRING 1899. As the ordinary violence of dawn sweeps across the lower Coromandel coast, a sprawling village comes into view. The turbulent sky excepted, everything about it is tranquil.

Capturing the mystique of mountains
Review by Bill Aitken
For Hills To Climb
Edited by Aamir Ali. The Doon School Old Boys Society. pp 441; Rs 500/-
THERE is a strange mystique that is attached to high mountain ranges and in some alchemical sense, a part of it rubs off on those who venture therein. Proof of that mystique is found on several pages of For Hills To Climb where even teenaged schoolboys find themselves consciously transformed by their Himalayan surroundings.

Passages in exile