Monday, April 30, 2007

"The Diamond Age" by Neal Stephenson

Neal Stephenson must really hate glass. In "Snow Crash" (yeah, I know book titles are supposed to be underlined, not quoted like an article, but Blogger doesn't allow for underline because now underline = link).... (Begin again:) In "Snow Crash" he has skateboards equipped with sonic glass-destruction blasts. And in "The Diamond Age" nano-extruded diamond has replaced glass because its cheaper and stronger. He highlights the quaint distortion of perspective through glass. Ok, Neal, we get it: glass is bad. (I'll need to re-read Cryptonomicon to see if it contains glass bashing.)

This isn't a review, just some of my thoughts after reading the book. I loved the book and will continue to read everything Neal Stephenson writes. Without going through his trash, I mean.

In "The Diamond Age" Neal explores the possibilities of nanotechnology. My brain is stuck on Neal's (can I call you Neal? Thanks.) posit that things built in a vacuum can be hollow, thereby contain a vacuum, yet be strong enough to maintain integrity when exposed to normal atmospheric pressure, and thus are lighter than air. I love the premise. Its elegantly simple but my brain rejects it. I want to see if it really works. I don't get to; thats why its called fiction.

Diamond is pure carbon, simple. But doesn't it take enormous pressure to get carbon to align itself in a crystal lattice? Neal, I wanted you to explain where all that energy comes from. Just a paragraph or two lay that piece out, please. Energy is everything, really. Once energy is solved, all physical things like starvation go away.

I enjoyed the node logic of the drummers. It fits my world-view. All are nodes, all have a value. The whole exists as nodes add and delete. The equation never completes.

No comments: