Thursday, July 17, 2008

We in the Diamond Age

"A constable from the Shanghai police, legs strapped into a pedomotive, was coming down the street with the tremendous loping strides afforded by such devices, escorted by a couple of power-skating Ashantis." Neal Stephenson, The Diamond Age.

I am reading Stephenson's The Diamond Age (1995) in between bouts of thesis writing. I know it is old, but Stephenson is the one holy trinity psycho-si-fi author (the others being Dick - my favorite- and Gibson) that I had not read...until now.
The Diamond Age has been cited as a source of inspiration for Second Life, somewhere I have been spending quite of bit of time over the past year. I am 50 pages in and am enjoying the understated steampunk aesthetic and the expected (post)cyberpunk noir.
Then this morning on the front page of our national daily of choice the above image was prominently featured. These are security guards for the 2008 Olympic village. And it was then that I realized we are now in The Diamond Age.....


meika said...

Couldn't let this one go by.

Look a them.

I just wish that the artificial nanotech coraline islands grown as offshore Hong Kongs were possible too. (Even though real coral grows better with a feed)

We have friend who have just spent a year in Kiribati, apparently if Greenland melts they have about two decades before the meltwater reaches them. If they could grow a n artifical coral they could keep their sovereignty and perhaps their populations near their originals islands...

And Oh, I think it was Snow Crash that second world was influenced by.

On a side note I've discovered that the best and cheapest way to read ebooks is on a second hand Palm pilot (an m125 or older m110) using to convert html files to it.

((((((((ö)))))))) said...

Yes Meika, You are right about Snow Crash and Second Life, I will have to tackle it next I think.
Place is an interesting thing; "sovereignty and perhaps their populations near their original islands" and keeping the places 'alive'. What was once Tibet is now an idea shared round the world but the place it once occupied is now something else.