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April 11, 2006

Diamond Age 1

Stephenson, Diamond Age 1 (rescheduled from 14 Apr) -- Jerz: Intro to Literary Study (EL150)

Well I'm sorry to say I'm not exactly getting into this book, but I hope it gets better. I guess it's just the genre. I like reading about futuristic things, but something this long tends to really be difficult for me to pay attention to.

When I first started reading this I did not know what to expect. I thought maybe it was going to be similar to Forster's "The Machine Stops", but I learned early on that the main character was in fact attracted to women and cared about what they thought of him, so I knew it couldn't have been so advanced that all means of love and attraction were gone.

There's a lot of description in this book and I like that. Stephenson does a great job describing the surrounding area and the different machines, such as the watering things that "were strong enough to withstand typhoons but flexible enough to rustle in a breeze." I definitely liked the idea of credit cards inside your body so all you'd have to do was say what you want. Wow, that would cause such chaotic debt...at least for me anyway! And I definitely need those "infinitesmal fabricules" in my clothes because I am probably the sloppiest person in the world.

Well, I don't really know what else to say about this. I'm eager to hear what everyone else thinks in the class and what exactly they got out of it because I'm struggling.

Posted by AmandaNichols at April 11, 2006 09:29 PM

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While I can't promise you'll like the book, the last two years I've taught it, some students who didn't particularly like the beginning really got into it when Nell got a little older, and the story really starts to focus around her education. Lord Finke McGraw's biography, and particularly his relationship to education, is worth noting, as well.

Posted by: Dennis G. Jerz at April 11, 2006 10:37 PM

Part of the fun in reading science fiction is thinking about the technology featured in the story. I don't think we're too far off from some of it! Look at the devices that Bud has in his ears that play music constantly. I think it's more than a coincidence that his name is "Bud" and he has something very similar to our "ear buds" of today. Sort of funny. But if you look at the e-mail pens that Hackworth carries, they are very similar to Blackberry's and cell phones.

Posted by: Mike Rubino at April 12, 2006 11:39 AM

Mike, I never caught that. Thanks for pointing that out!

Amanda, I didn't mark up the credit card thing. I wanted to talk about that but I couldn't find it. I was dissapointed. I'm really glad that you did though because I was going to say the same thing you did. Imagine how much debt people would be in if we had credit cards stamped in our arms. Kind of reminds me of social security in a way. They'd be marked as a number... eventually that might be their name.

I still don't know what to expect from this book. I'm also into futuristic readings so I'm kind of anxious to know what happens even if I don't understand what the story is about as well lol.

Posted by: Danielle Meyer at April 14, 2006 11:42 AM

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