Posts Tagged ‘see this is the problem I’m talking about right here’

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

On Writing and the Internet: Data Is the New Alcohol

In Snow Crash one of Time magazine’s all-“Time” best 100 novels!!! — there are these characters called gargoyles, who are people who walk around with a computer and augmented-reality goggles and an always-on Internet connection, and they’re constantly hoovering up information and spewing it up onto the Net.

Everybody thinks they’re really uncool. And at one point one of them gets eviscerated with a blade made of glass.

(Stephenson mocks such people a second time in Anathem in the form of the dudes who carry jee-jahs.)

And yet I have essentially chosen to be one of them. I’m blogging and tweeting and Facebooking on top of the king-hell amount of e-mailing and magazine writing I was already doing. A lot of writers do. Instead of — or at any rate in addition to — building up lots of words and releasing them in big novel-sized chunks, we’re constantly dribbling them out. Like we’re the victim of some unfortunate literary prostate condition. I tell myself it all serves the fiction in one way or another, but the truth is I just like talking to people directly, w/out the intermediary of paper.

I already regret that last simile. About the prostate.