Jun 212007

but have a 2 year old kid…yeah, this isn’t that interesting after all.

But I’ve been reading Snow Crash – cause it got brought up on via comments on Shawn’s little reading list and he’s actually read the book cause of it and I finally found my copy that I bought and there was this one line Shawn told me after he read the book:

Let’s build it.

Now, Shawn recommended Digital Fortress, which was a horrible book, but left me feeling like I wanted to jump into the encryption technology game. So I would have been weary if Shawn was the only one recommending the book, but he wasn’t. He just wanted to build something from it.

Which has made the book a lot more interesting to me than it would have been without it. As it is, I am kind of struggling to make it through the book. Without his comment, I’d have borderline interest in the book. But with his comment, each chapter or two has me thinking of what we could build:

  • A bad ass pizza delivery car
  • A bad ass pizza delivery company
  • Skateboard wheels that will stamp our logo on a fresh dog dropping
  • Computer goggles
  • The Metaverse

Okay – I stopped there. That one just sounded too hard. But now that it’s just me and Sal, for some reason I’m finding it easier to find time to read, so I’ve picked up the book more:

  • A redneck katana (rebar with tape on it)
  • An exercise video, using a redneck katana
  • A motorcycle sidecar with a nuke on it
  • A bit image that would fry people’s brains.

The last one is really the one I’d be most interested in. And kind of what makes the book a little more disappointing for me. I figured that this was the issue – that “Snow Crash” would be something that would crash your brain – but it’s a theme from a short story I read of Phillip K. Dick’s a long while ago. But since he was writing science fiction a long time ago, instead of a snowy image that would only work on programmers who were used to thinking in bits – it was a fuzzy image – kind of how I imagine the 3-d stereograms where you need to look at them with your eyes focused in the distance.

He was building up on some fundamental computer science – where there are always programs that are not representable within a given language. Then, since your brain is a computer, there is some input that it would not be able to handle. And there were these images floating around that would just “crash” your brain if you stared at them. Little kids would find copies of these images and try and see how long they could stand to look at them…but since they were copies or imperfect in some way, they didn’t “crash” the kids. Just give them shivers.

Terrorists, however, had perfect copies of these images and would take over TV stations to put the image up, effectively “crashing” populations. So to protect themselves from the terrorists, some people would let the government filter what they could and couldn’t see in the world…thus protecting them from the terrorists.

I just got caught up in that story with the image that could crash brains and didn’t really dig the whole terrorist/goverment battle aspect. So, I feel like a big part of this Snow Crash book I’ve read before and liked more the first time. But there might be more cool things to build in the book, so I will continue on.

I just don’t like exchanges like:

Hiro: Wait, is it a drug, a virus, or a religon.
Juanita: What’s the difference?

Too neat and easy to write. And I’d be pissed if someone answered a question of mine like that. Unless we’ve been drinking. Then I wouldn’t care. I’d just order another. Anyway, that’s the last exchange I read this morning and I’m not sure I wanna go back.

So I’m here instead. Venting and relaxing. For me, what’s the difference?

The only question left is – who’s gonna take me up on my reading suggestion in Shawn’s comments?

  4 Responses to “what to do when the wife is out of town!”

  1. i watched “mail order wife” but i ain’t readin’ no damn thesis.

  2. Dude – it’s a cyberpunk parody! At least, that’s how I read it.

    Did you read the afterward?

  3. So – at least they credit the “What’s the difference?” line to being a conversation staller. Finished up the book just now. Preferred the action stuff over the pseudo-history/religion lessons. Think that could have been summarized better by the librarian. As it is, I just skimmed it like I do the Russian names in the old Tom Clancy books.

    But mainly, read the book to get to the afterward per Randy’s comment. But my cheap used copy from Amazon doesn’t have an afterward, only acknowledgments, which were actually kind of fun to read. Interesting that he takes credit for inventing the use of “avatar” and then later credits this F. Randall character for it…

  4. Which reminds me, I was in a crowded room, talking to a co-worker about Randy’s blog post a while back where some Disney folks thought that one could design safe chat rooms and when I get to the punchline, of course all the conversations decide to pause, so that the whole room could hear me say –

    I want to stick my long-necked Giraffe up your fluffy white bunny.

    (his full story at – http://www.fudco.com/habitat/archives/000058.html )

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