Saturday, May 22, 2004
"...I am very particular about the types of books I read and appreciate not having to worry about what I'm going to find in the story."
The Clean Romance Club -- "Because you deserve a little romance... without the shock."
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Thursday, May 20, 2004
From The Zenith Angle, the new Bruce Sterling:
He was never in his life ever going to fight al Qaeda. Van knew that perfectly well now. Cyber-security was all about computer policy. Infowar was a form of war for high-tech people sitting quietly at desks. Bin Laden didn't surf the net. Al Qaeda were Third World fanatics on low-tech bicycles who talked only to their mullahs and their cousins. Al Qaeda guys got recruited in madrassas and sent to live in Pakistani slums and Afghan villages. They were bitter, freaked-out culture-shocked men. They existed in such a frenzy of rage and wounded pride that suicide was a blessed relief to them. Being a martyr was so much, much better than being al Qaeda that they leapt at a chance to explode themselves in the midst of much happier people. "We long for death more than you long for life." That was their bumper sticker. Accessible Sterling, fun to read because of his insights into TechLand, but as usual not much in the way of catharsis. Which may be part of the point, I guess: his characters are hard-wired to their jobs or the Post-9/11 Terror and how they don't live their lives is the story.
Terrorists didn't fight wars. The whole point of terrorism was to kick a government so hard, in so tender a spot, that the government went nuts from rage and fear. Then the machinery of civilization would pour smoke from the exhaust. It would break down. Back to the tribes and the sermons, the blessed darkness of a world without questions. (pp. 228-9)
The Internet belonged to a world of the 1990s, a Digital Revolution. The people in the 2000s were way over the Digital Revolution. They were deeply involved in the Digital Terror. The nervous system of global governance, educaiton, science, culture, and e-commerce, it was all in a spasm. It had all broken down in a sudden terrible panic in the last mile. The last mile stood between those great, big, fat, global, huge, empty, terrifying fiber-optic pipes, and the planet's general population.
The Net had not just broken. It had been abandoned, cast aside in fear and dread. Because the movie companies, and the telephone companies, and the music companies had suddenly realized that their "intellectual property" would not remain their property for one pico-second, when everyday people around the world could click, copy, and forward all their movies. All their music. All their calls home to Mom. And the people did that. The children of the Digital Revolution were a swarm of thieves. More people had used Napster than voted for the President of the United States. Nobody paid for that music.
People didn't pay. The people were free. In a world like that, there wouldn't be a music business. There wouldn't be a movie business. There would be no such thing as long-distance charges. There would beno long distances. There would be no business. Nothing but it, the Net. And the horror of that freedom could no be endured. (pp. 240-1)
Like the "back to the tribes" quote.
12:41 AM - [Link] - Comments ()