Rather than depicting a gentle authoritarianism, centered on the state, Stross shows a state police force that willy-nilly becomes the adjunct arm of a set of online algorithms, which have gotten rather too good at modeling people and organizations. But if the baby promotions were mixed with random filler products, they would be used; the customers assumed those suggestions had come up by chance. Golems, souls, Pygmalion, elves, genius loci, pervasive game meta-ecology, etc, etc, etc…. I kind of read 16 as: Once upon a time, science fiction writers banged out lean readable narratives that clocked in at around 55, words max. I think that the end result is a kind of Singularity-by-stealth, in which human beings are not uploaded, nor transcended, nor eliminated, but instead gradually incorporated into a society perpetually calibrated and recalibrated by an AI coming to its own, decidedly unorthodox form of consciousness. When the end state is reached, that AI thread discards the emulation of the Toymaker we have been reading. Stross is doing something similar with the material of twenty-first century cognitive and social science, to what Gibson and Sterling do with the alternate paths that might have been taken in a different nineteenth century.
Blakely. Age: 28.
I kind of read 16 as: Once upon a time, science fiction writers banged out lean readable narratives that clocked in at around 55, words max.
Eve. Age: 22.
With ‘Doctor Strange 2,’ Marvel Better Stay the Hell Out of Sam Raimi’s Way
Stross claims on his blog that he is contractually required to deliver a novel of at least , words. Halting State and more recently Rule 34 managed to surprise me without violating my sense of the plausible. So we seem to be thinking that automated systems for manipulation are uniquely harmful.