aleph symbol with title UNSONG

Author’s Note 4: Moon Landing, Rebbe, Podcast Again

I should probably start off with yet more fanart of Sohu. I guess by this point I’ve gotten the message about character readers like.

Relevant wiki (and other) articles: the Cainites, CREEP, Pardes (ie the four-rabbis-in-an-orchard story) Elisha ben Abuyah, the mitzvah of sending away the mother bird, the marshmallow test, Griffith Observatory, Mayor Ed Koch, the Lubavitcher Rebbe.

The starting quote for Chapter 23 comes from this extraordinarily UNSONGesque video about the Bible predicting the moon landing. Especially interesting because the presenter – believe it or not – was a former NASA engineer who worked on the Apollo missions:

And Ed Koch discusses his meeting with the Lubavitcher Rebbe:

Some of the Rebbe’s miracles, and Chabad’s explanation for why there aren’t more miracles all the time (which I tried to sort of adapt for the interlude). Also, unrelated to the story (or is it?), but this video of the Rebbe is adorable.

More from the subreddit: a historical timeline, Gwern’s analysis of Edward Teller’s Atomic Alphabet, B_For_Bandana draws a cool kabbalistic connection from current news. And r/rational has strong feelings about The Broadcast.

The podcast (not to be confused with The Broadcast) is back and up to Chapter 9.

I was going to put this up on in time for this Author’s Note, but it looks like it needs to be approved and that takes a while. So I’ve submitted it and will be asking readers to vote for it sometime in the near future. In the meantime, take a look and enjoy the other stories on the site.

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9 Responses to Author’s Note 4: Moon Landing, Rebbe, Podcast Again

  1. Barbara says:

    Hey Sohu may get the most fanart but my favorite character is Uriel.

    • Error says:

      Seconded. Uriel is the Only Sane Angel.

      • Jliw says:

        Uriel and Aaron and Alvarez are all great. I think Sohu and her situation are just convenient for fan art; as a character, she’s very — not dull, exactly, but… limited. Like with every other Precocious Munchkin Child, there’s just not too much you can do with her.

  2. Daniel says:

    Was the Ed Koch reference his epitaph?
    ( “My father is Jewish, my mother is Jewish, I am Jewish” )

    Somewhat more relevant because the epitaph is a tribute to Daniel Pearl, whos father, Judea, is one of Eliezer Yudkowsky’s biggest influences, who in turn, is one of Scott’s biggest influences.

  3. Peter D says:

    unrelated to the story (or is it?)

    Well, the organization name – “Tzivos HaShem” – comes from “HaShem Tzevaos” – “God of Hosts (~Armies)” – and we know what happenned to the Heavenly Host in Unsong…

  4. ton says:

    If you’re going to reference the interlude in the author’s note, shouldn’t you post the note later?

  5. Joe says:

    St Therese of Lisieux.—fear them not, these demons, I am not destined to be their prey, but the prey of the Divine Eagle.

  6. OhJON says:


    I followed the link to r/rational re: The Broadcast, and saw Scott’s lovely explanatory comment.

    Followed the link in there to his post on extremism in thought experiments, saw a quote in the comments I wanted to know more about.

    Related reading leads me here. Wherein a Jane West and a Peter Singer are both mentioned in the same few paragraphs. At the end of a long, insanely tangential series of click-throughs and web searches starting with Unsong.

    TINACBNIAC, but it’s at the point where I’m starting to worry.

  7. maybesimon says:

    !!! My fanart !!!
    (I like Uriel best too, but drawing 8-dimensional shapes gets on one’s nerves)

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