In real life, William Gibson looks like you would imagine. A little older than the Gibson you imagine, but he was born in 1948, so it only stands to reason. He is gaunt and affable, clothes black, smart looking frames on his eyeglasses, more avuncular than professorial. And he really talks like that! Those neologisms and the sizzling chrome-finished turns of phrase? They fall out of his mouth in the course of conversation. He lives the gimmick.
Second in a pair of essays today on freedom and the Internet. Previously: What are the politics of the Internet?
Last week, gracious youngsters from Google, Inc. were stationed below 14th Street, handing cards to commuters. The cards confirmed that those wireless signal bars appearing on certain subway platforms weren’t phishing expeditions by identity thieves or digital phantoms. Rather, they were the fruit borne of a partnership between Google and a wireless Internet provider named Boingo. Log in to their hotspot and get a summer of free Wi-Fi access all over New York City. In return, Google gets to hoard the information they generate, assembling an accurate picture of [...]
In May of 1981, a draft-dodging ex-pat American published his first story in Omni magazine. The event went largely unremarked. After all, Ronald Reagan was just a few months in office then, and that was either awesome or terrible, depending on your viewpoint, plus that was the same month the Pope got shot! Which is why we now have a Popemobile! But there at your local newsstand, or, if you were lucky (or your parents were generous), there in your mailbox in the plain brown wrapper, William Gibson's "Johnny Mnemonic" saw print.
And as you may have heard, the Internet Archive has done the world a service by maintaining an [...]
"Hackers, concealed behind fanciful aliases on the Internet, often appropriate larger-than-life dimensions. In reality, other than in physical proportions, Sabu seemed considerably smaller than life. A defensive-lineman-size man known as Booby, he was raising the two young children of his imprisoned aunt in a public housing project. Court documents showed that Mr. Monsegur, 28, paid bills with stolen credit cards and dabbled in drug sales." —Do You think Richard Price has called Willam Gibson and asked him to collaborate on a slightly fictionalized version of the story of Hector Xavier Monsegur, a.k.a. "Sabu," yet?
The title of the Wikipedia entry for "Real life" differs from its disambiguation page "Real Life" through the absence of one capital letter. But while the "Real Life" (upper case) page will lead you to many films and books and songs of that name, the "Real life" entry affirms, alas, that there is only one real life. "Real life." The topic is abstract, speculative, and possibly even redundant. (Since when, after all, was life ever un-real?) Still, as the extensive entry for "In Real Life" shows us, we have more sure things to say about reality television than we do about "real life." Turn [...]