Monday, April 30, 2012

Probably Worth Only a Tweet, Part II

If a motion picture is called a "movie", shouldn't a photograph be called a "stillie"?

Friday, April 6, 2012

I See What He Did There

I'm through page 73 of For the Win, Cory Doctorow's 21st Century novel of multi-player virtual reality games and their intersection with bands of far-flung, carbon-based humans facing real, increasingly precarious predicaments.

Already, in fewer than 15% of the novel's rapidly readable pages, FTW has called to mind George Orwell's 1984, Norman Jewison's pithy short story, "Rollerball Murder" (later made into the violent future-sports movie, "Rollerball"), and Thomas Friedman's breathless economic globalism treatise, The World is Flat.

Then, without warning, Doctorow executes a perfect educational ambush and explains how financial arbitrage led to the mortgage and banking crisis of 2008, without ever using the words mortgage, banking, or collateralized debt obligations -- without even mentioning the historical events of 2008, in fact. He accomplishes this in only four pages, written at an eighth grade level, using vorpal blades, gaming gold, and other virtual treasure as currency to illustrate.

I'm now fully convinced of the author's powers. I'm hopeful that if I keep reading, I'll learn how to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict without using the word Jerusalem. I'm pretty sure a vorpal blade will be involved.


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