Monday, September 27, 2010

The Road to Oceania - William Gibson & Zero History: Reading had likely been his first drug.

In NYTimes, June 25, 2003, Gibson presents an idea that may have seeded ZERO HISTORY.
Read: "The collection and management of information, at every level, is exponentially empowered by the global nature of the system itself..." I.e., In every moment, our lives shape the world order and in turn are shaped my it.

As our lives become open books, the transparency of our collective lives creates a new relationship to time. Past and future exist simultateneously in the present. Knowing the present, being fully present, allows us to know and thus shape the future albeit in our own small way. Characters in Zero History embody extremes of influence, from the mild-mannered protagonist to the arms trading antagonist and many, many levels in between from FBI to fashionista.

Gibson, roughly: Ideas have lives of their own; the "order flow" wants to happen; we need to move with the flow or get out of its way, as stasis presents potential problems for simultaneous awareness and realization.

All this aside, my favorite line from the book was a one-off reference to the mediocrity of professionalism.
You've just gotta love Gibson for those underlying glimmers of the man behind the magic. Gibson invites us to see not just the man behind the curtain, but the curtain.