I can't stop squirming. If fidgets were Wikipedia edits, I would have completely revamped the entry on guilt by now, and translated it into five new languages.
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APARobin Sloan Quotes. (n.d.). Jar of Quotes. Retrieved , from JarofQuotes.com Web site: https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-cant-stop-squirming-if-fidgets-were-wikipedia-edits-i-would-have-completely-revamped-entry-on-guilt-by-now-translated-it-into-five-new-languages-robin-sloan
ChicagoRobin Sloan Quotes. Jar of Quotes, 2019. https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-cant-stop-squirming-if-fidgets-were-wikipedia-edits-i-would-have-completely-revamped-entry-on-guilt-by-now-translated-it-into-five-new-languages-robin-sloan, accessed .
MLA"Robin Sloan Quotes." Jar of Quotes, 2019. . https://www.jarofquotes.com/view.php?id=i-cant-stop-squirming-if-fidgets-were-wikipedia-edits-i-would-have-completely-revamped-entry-on-guilt-by-now-translated-it-into-five-new-languages-robin-sloan
I'd sit at my kitchen table and start scanning help-wanted ads on my laptop, but then a browser tab would blink and I'd get distracted and follow a link to a long magazine article about genetically modified wine grapes. Too long, actually, so I'd add it to my reading list. Then I'd follow another link to a book review. I'd add the review to my reading list, too, then download the first chapter of the book-third in a series about vampire police. Then, help-wanted ads forgotten, I'd retreat to the living room, put my laptop on my belly, and read all day. I had a lot of free time.
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The space is appropriately shoe-boxy and all the shelves are there. I've set them up with a coordinate system, so my program can find aisle 3, shelf 13 all by itself. Simulated light from the simulated windows casts sharp-edged shadows through the simulated store. If this sounds impressive to you, you're over thirty.
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After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this: A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.
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The buzz about Google these days is that it's like America itself: still the biggest game in town, but inevitably and irrevocably on the decline. Both are superpowers with unmatched resources, but both are faced with fast-growing rivals, and both will eventually be eclipsed. For America, that rival is China. For Google, it's Facebook. (This is all from tech-gossip blogs, so take it with a grain of salt. They also say a startup called MonkeyMoney is going to be huge next year.) But here's the difference: staring down the inevitable, America pays defense contractors to build aircraft carriers. Google pays brilliant programmers to do whatever they want.
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Each big idea like that is an operating system upgrade, " she says, smiling. Comfortable territory. "Writers are responsible for some of it. They say Shakespeare invented the internal monologue." Oh, I am very familiar with the internal monologue. "But I think the writers had their turn, " she says, "and now it's programmers who get to upgrade the human operating system." I am definitely talking to a girl from Google. "So what's the next upgrade?" "It's already happening, " she says. "There are all these things you can do, and it's like you're in more than one place at one time, and it's totally normal. I mean, look around." I swivel my head, and I see what she wants me to see: dozens of people sitting at tiny tables, all learning into phones showing them places that don't exist and yet are somehow more interesting...
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Neel cuts in: "Where'd you grow up?" "Palo Alto, " she says. From there to Stanford to Google: for a girl obsessed with the outer limits of human potential, Kat has stayed pretty close to home. Neel nods knowingly. "The suburban mind cannot comprehend the emergent complexity of a New York sidewalk." "I don't know about that, " Kat says, narrowing her eyes. "I'm pretty good with complexity." "See, I know what you're thinking, " Neel says, shaking his head. "You're thinking it's just an agent-based simulation, and everybody out here follows a pretty simple set of rules"- Kat is nodding-"and if you can figure out those rules, you can model it. You can simulate the street, then the neighborhood, then the whole city. Right?" "Exactly. I mean, sure, I don't know what the rules are yet, but I could experiment and figure them out, and then it would be trivial-" "Wrong, " Neel says, honking like a game-show buzzer. "You can't do it. Even if you know the rules- and by the way, there are no rules-but even if there were, you can't model it. You know why?" My best friend and my girlfriend are sparring over simulations. I can only sit back and listen. Kat frowns. "Why?" "You don't have enough memory." "Oh, come on-" "Nope. You could never hold it all in memory. No computer's big enough. Not even your what's-it-called-" "The Big Box." "That's the one. It's not big enough. This box-" Neel stretches out his hands, encompasses the sidewalk, the park, the streets beyond-"is bigger." The snaking crowd surges forward.
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