ddictions ... started out like magical pets, pocket monsters. They did extraordinary tricks, showed you things you hadn't seen, were fun. But came, through some gradual dire alchemy, to make decisions for you. Eventually, they were making your most crucial life-decisions. And they were ... less intelligent than goldfish.
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There is always a point at which the terrorist ceases to manipulate the media gestalt. A point at which the violence may well escalate, but beyond which the terrorist has become symptomatic of the media gestalt itself. Terrorism as we ordinarily understand it is innately media-related.
She knows, now, absolutely, hearing the white noise that is London, that Damien's theory of jet lag is correct: that her mortal soul is leagues behind her, being reeled in on some ghostly umbilical down the vanished wake of the plane that brought her here, hundreds of thousands of feet above the Atlantic. Souls can't move that quickly, and are left behind, and must be awaited, upon arrival, like lost luggage.
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Voodou isn't like that. It isn't concerned with notions of salvation and transcendence. What it's about is getting things done. You follow me? In out system, there are many gods, spirits. Part of one big family, with all the virtues, all the vices. There's a ritual tradition of communal manifestation, understand? Voodou says, there's a God, sure, Gran Met, but He's big, too big and too far away to worry Himself if your ass is poor, or you can't get laid. Come on, man, you know how this works, it's street religion, came out of dirt poor places a million years ago. Voodou's like the street. Some duster chops out your sister, you don't go camp on the Yakuza's doorstep, do you? No way. You go to somebody, though, who can get the thing done. Right?
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It is a way now, approximately, of being at home. The forum has become one of the most consistent places of her life, like a familiar cafe that exists someone outside geography and beyond time zones. There are perhaps twenty regular posters on F:F:F:, and some muchlarger and uncounted number of lurkers. And right now there are three people in Chat. But there's no way of knowing exactly who until you are in there, and the chat room she finds not so comforting. It's strange even with friends, like sitting in a pitch-dark cellar conversing with people at a distance of about fifteen feet. the hectic speed, and the brevity of the lines in the thread, plus the feeling that everyone is talking at once, at counmter-purposes, deter her.
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They'd run all these tests on him and decided he wasn't racist. He wasn't, either, but not because he thought about it particularly. He just couldn't see the point. It just made for a lot of hassle, being that way, so why be that way? Nobody was going to go back and live where they lived before, were they, and if they did (he vaguely suspected) there wouldn't be any Mongolian barbecue and maybe we'd all be listening to Pentecostal Metal and anyway the President was black.
That's what money will buy you, in America, ' Brown had said, firmly. 'People say Americans are materialistic. But do you know why?' 'Why?' asked Milgrim, more concerned with this uncharacteristically expansive mode of expression on Brown's part. 'Because they have better stuff, ' Brown had replied. 'No other reason.
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Case had always taken it for granted that the real bosses, the kingpins in a given industry, would be both more and less than people... He'd seen it in the men who'd crippled him in Memphis, he'd seen Wage affect the semblance of it in Night City, and it had allowed him to accept Armitrage's flatness and lack of feeling. He'd always imagined it as a gradual and willing accommodation of the machine, the system, the parent organism. It was the root of street cool, too, the knowing posture that implied connection, invisible lines up to hidden levels of influence.
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A year here and he still dreamed of cyberspace, hope fading nightly. All the speed he took, all the turns he'd taken and the corners he cut in Night City, and he'd still see the matrix in his dreams, bright lattices of logic unfolding across that colourless void... The Sprawl was a long, strange way home now over the Pacific, and he was no Console Man, no cyberspace cowboy. Just another hustler, trying to make it through. But the dreams came on in the Japanese night like livewire voodoo, and he'd cry for it, cry in his sleep, and wake alone in the dark, curled in his capsule in some coffin hotel, hands clawed into the bedslab, temper foam bunched between his fingers, trying to reach the console that wasn't there.
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People who couldn't imagine themselves capable of evil were at a major disadvantage in dealing with people who didn't need to imagine, because they already were. She'd said it was always a mistake, to believe those people were different, special, infected with something that was inhuman, subhuman, fundamentally other. Which reminded her of what her mother had said about Corbell Picket. That evil wasn't glamorous, but just the result of ordinary half-assed badness, high school badness, given enough room, however that might happen, to become its bigger self. Bigger, with more horrible results, but never more than the cumulative weight of ordinary human baseness.
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Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation, by children being taught mathematical concepts... A graphic representation of data abstracted from banks of every computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light ranged in the nonspace of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like city lights, receding...
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I personally recall that world, which you can only imagine was preferable to this one, ' she said. 'Eras are conveniences, particularly for those who never experienced them. We carve history from totalities beyond our grasp. Bolt labels on the result. Handles. Then speak of the handles as though they were things in themselves.
There are tumults of the mind, when, like the great convulsions of Nature, all seems anarchy and returning chaos; yet often, in those moments of vast disturbance, as in the strife of Nature itself, some new principle of order, or some new impulse of conduct, develops itself, and controls, and regulates, and brings to an harmonious consequence, passions and elements which seem only to threaten despair and subversion.
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She'd first seen Covent Garden after a heavy snow, walking with her hand in Win's, and she remembers the secret silence of London then, the amazing hush of it, slush crunching beneath her feet and the sound made by trapezoidal sections of melting snow falling from wires overhead. Win had told her that she was seeing London as it had looked long ago, the cars mostly put away and the modern bits shrouded in white, allowing the outlines of something older to emerge. And what she had seen, that childhood day, was that it was not a place that consisted of buildings, side by side, as she thought of cities in America, but a literal and continuous maze, a single living structure (because still it grew) of brick and stone.
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Farber says (in my recollection, anyway) the European (or classical) art, including film, is culturally assumed to be a monumental slab. It's about that slab, and how it's been shaped, or what's been carved on it. In "termite art" though, your slab has been wormholed countless times, and its meaning is really taking place in the resulting interstices. The actual art of the piece, in other words, and your enjoyment of it, is taking place in the cracks, and the shape of the slab is coincidental and ultimately meaningless.
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At another time she asked, 'what is a soul?' ' No one knows, 'I replied; 'but we know it is not the body, and it is that part of us which thinks and loves and hopes'... [and] is invisible... 'But if I write what my soul thinks, 'she said, 'then it will be visible, and the words will be its body.
No, " said Blackwell, "she won't, because that would be a violation of the very personal terms I will have established in our conversation. That's the key word here, Laney, 'personal.' 'Up close, and.' We will not meet, we will not carve out this deep and meaningful and bloody unforgettable episode of mutual face-time as representatives of our respective faceless corporations. Not at all. It's one-on-one time for your Kathy and I, and it may well prove to be as intimate, and I may hope enlightening, as any she ever had. Because I will bring a new certainty into her life, and we all need certainties. They help build character. And I will leave your Kathy with the deepest possible conviction that if she crosses me, she will die-but only after she's been made to desire that, absolutely." And Black-well's smile, then, giving Laney the full benefit of his dental prosthesis, was hideous. "Now how was it exactly you were supposed to contact her, to give her your decision?
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Our best analyst thinks it's not a tactical design. Something for mall ninjas... Young men who dress to feel they'll be mistaken for having special capability. A species of cosplay, really. Endemic. Lots of boys are playing soldier now. The men who run the world aren't, and neither are the boys most effectively bent on running it next. Or the ones who're actually having to be soldiers, of course. But many of the rest have gone gear-queer, to one extent or another.
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We have no idea, now, of who or what the inhabitants of our future might be. In that sense, we have no future. Not in the sense that our grandparents had a future, or thought they did. Fully imagined cultural futures were the luxury of another day, one in which 'now' was of some greater duration. For us, of course, things can change so abruptly, so violently, so profoundly, that futures like our grandparents' have insufficient 'now' to stand on. We have no future because our present is too volatile... We have only risk management. The spinning of the given moment's scenarios. Pattern recognition
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And the Flatline aligned the nose of Kuang's sting with the center of the dark below. And dove. Case's sensory input warped with their velocity. His mouth filled with an aching taste of blue. His eyes were eggs of unstable crystal, vibrating with a frequency whose name was rain and the sounds of trains, suddenly sprouting a humming forest of hair-fine spines. The spines split, bisected, split again, exponential growth under the dome of the Tessier-Ashpool ice.
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'Cyberspace' as a term is sort of over. It's over in the way that, after a certain time, people stopped using the suffix '-electro' to make things cool, because everything was electrical. 'Electro' was all over the early 20th century, and now it's gone. I think 'cyber' is sort of the same way.
Home. Home was BAMA, the Sprawl, the Boston-Atlanta Metropolitan Axis. Program a map to display frequency of data exchange, every thousand megabytes a single pixel on a very large screen. Manhattan and Atlanta burn solid white. Then they start to pulse, the rate of traffic threatening to overload your simulation. Your map is about to go nova. Cool it down. Up your scale. Each pixel a million megabytes. At a hundred million megabytes per second, you begin to make out certain blocks in midtown Manhattan, outlines of hundred-year-old industrial parks ringing the old core of Atlanta...
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I guess Twitter is the first thing that has been attractive to me as social media. I never felt the least draw to Facebook or MySpace. I've been involved anonymously in some tiny listservs, mainly in my ceaseless quest for random novelty, and sometimes while doing something that more closely resembles research.
The ecological impact of book manufacture and traditional book marketing - I think that should really be considered. We have this industry in which we cut down trees to make the paper that we then use enormous amounts of electricity to turn into books that weigh a great deal and are then shipped enormous distances to point-of-sale retail.
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Personally I like to imagine something the size of a baby hippo, the color of a week-old boiled potato, that lives by itself, in the dark, in a double-wide on the outskirts of Topeka. It's covered with eyes and it sweats constantly. The sweat runs into those eyes and makes them sting. It has no mouth, no genitals, and can only express its mute extremes of murderous rage and infantile desire by changing the channels on a universal remote. Or by voting in presidential elections.
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As a writer of fiction who deals with technology, I necessarily deal with the history of technology and the history of technologically induced social change. I roam up and down it in a kind of special way because I roam down it into history, which is invariably itself a speculative affair.
You know what your trouble is? You're the kind who always reads the handbook. Anything people build, any kind of technology, it's going to have some specific purpose. It's for doing something that somebody already understands. But if it's new technology, it'll open areas nobody's ever thought of before. You read the manual, man, and you won't play around with it, not the same way. And you get all funny when somebody else uses it to do something you never thought of.