“Nonsense. Let Wired keep all that technohip bullshit. Information technology was an economic centrifuge, a wealth and power concentrator. This was the reality of the Information Revolution: efficiency, productivity, and downsizing; NAFTA, and the Walmartification of once beautiful downtowns… the strengthening of multinational conglomerates relative to poor people, human rights workers and small countries, the end of privacy, the eclipse of democracy, and realistic mayhem in video games..”
Sometimes I feel that way too. All this technology that we help create has implications that are both exciting and frightening. John Sundman’s Acts of the Apostles is set in the near-future, or perhaps the present. This work of fiction feels close to reality.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book — a fun and thought-provoking read. I especially enjoyed the contrast of east coast / west coast geek culture and engineering vs. marketing. Sundman’s crisp descriptions of familiar moments reminded me of Gibson’s Pattern Recognition. As an east coast transplant myself, California continues to be a foreign experience after over a decade in SF. Mountain View is another country entirely.
“…Carl was a California boy – a Porche-driving, volleyball-playing, market-watching libertarian libertine. So when Carl called Nick up and asked to meet him for a beer, Nick expected him to name some fern bar where they served microbrews to archetypal Silicon Valley yupsters like Carl himself. Mad Antonio’s Nut House was no yuppie fern bar. Mad Antonio’s was a dark place of pool tables, tattoos, stale beer and TVs that played tapes of Buster Douglas smashing Mike Tyson’s face. From a barstool deep within Mad Antonio’s there was no way to tell that just outside the door the California sun was shining with a soul-numbing cheerfulness.”
Read more details on John Sundman’s website. In addition to info on his books you can find a virtual Bonehead Computer Museum: “…in theory, the Museum will, at some point, sponsor a competition for most egregious kludge, the winner(s) to be presented a “Todd” award, which we envision as something like a hand holding a pair of pliers in order to pound a screw into a piece of wood.” I have debugged source code that I would love to submit; however, I have no rights to that to-be-left-unnamed intellectual property.