Musashi Mix Inq

May-August 2014

Posted on August 28, 2014

May-August 2014

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Palliativity 176: Pop Love 2012

Posted on December 27, 2012

The Year the World Ended 😉

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The Diamond Age

Posted on June 20, 2011

The Diamond Age, ©MMXI

The Diamond Age, spiritual sequel to Snow Crash, is definitely my favorite book. If Snow Crash was Neil Stephenson's prediction of the last 20 years, The Diamond Age takes a look at our future 100 years from now. The title of the book speaks to the world built within it, when mankind has mastered nano-technology and can finally delicately wield the atom.

Hiro Protagonist's base world of franchise-states and dead-end cyber-life has given way to an extreme return to traditional cultural ties. Enter the Neo-Victorians and Neo-Confucianists of Hong-Kong where the story is set. Nell, the Bildungsroman hero of The Diamond Age, lives in a world of nano-punk with a healthy side of steam:

"Moral reforms and deteriorations are moved by large forces, and they are mostly caused by reactions from the habits of a preceeding period. Backwards and forwards swings the great pendulum, and its alternations are not determined by a few distinguished folk clinging to the end of it."

Sir Charles Petrie, The Victorians

To me, the most fascinating feature of steampunk is that it is based on a universe of tangible technology. Unlike our current micro-tech, nano-tech computers are a physical manifestation of the gears of change. There are no more programers, only gifted craftsmen. There are no "black-boxes" in The Diamond Age except for the minds of people who live within it.

As the story grows, Nell rises from an orphan of the slums to become princess of a world of her own making. A time when humanity can finally unite in a world of drummers' dreams.

Neo-Victorian, interrupted

The Princess of Mice

Warrior Nell

Buddha in the sky with Diamonds

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p.s. reading this story first on paper and then on an e-reader is quite the experience. to hold the current-tech "primer" in my hands, knowing that soon the day will come when the future is upon us.

p.p.s. on the other hand, reading snow crash on an e-reader made me fearful to turn the page, like a late victorian scared by an on-coming train in moving-picture show 🙂

Snow Crash

Posted on June 13, 2011

Snow Crash, ©MMXI

"Snow Crash" is not only one of my favorite stories of all time, it also continues to inspire me to look at the world with fresh eyes. In 1992, Neil Stephenson created the Metaverse, Avatars, MMORPG elements and the constant threat of world altering cyber-terrorism. 19 years later, the novel shifts from speculative fiction to just another day of our lives:

We are all cyberpunks.

Hiro Protagonist and his accomplice Y.T. fight to save a world on the brink of implosion. Information is the currency and coding is the weapon of choice… when a katana, mini-gun or skateboard are not available.

The first page of the novel will force you to finish it, and the last paragraph hits the replay-switch in your brain so hard that I recommend some cranial protection and a sake-bomb. Welcome to the future, care of 1992:

"Why is [Hiro] the Deliverator so equipped? Because people rely on him. He is a roll model. This is America. People do whatever the fuck they feel like doing, you got a problem with that? Because they have a right to. And because they have guns and no one can fucking stop them. As a result, this country has one of the worst economies in the world. When it gets down to it - we're talking trade balances here - once we've brain-drained all our technology into other countries, once things have evened out, they're making cars in Bolivia and microwaves in Tadzhikistan and selling them here - once our edge in natural resources has been made irrelevant by giant Hong Kong ships and dirigibles that can ship North Dakota all the way to New Zealand for a nickel - once the Invisible Hand has taken all those historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani bricklayer would consider to be prosperity - y'know what? There's only four things we do better than anyone else:

music
movies
microcode (software)
high-speed pizza delivery"

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Amen

I need a Hiro

Aleutian at Babylon

End of Days

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