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Book cover for Snow Crash

Snow Crash

Author: Neal Stephenson

Rating: ★★★★★

Genre: Sci-fi

Themes: Dystopian Future, Virtual Reality, Cyberpunk

Format: Kindle

Finished: August 15, 2016

Purchase link

This was my first Neal Stephenson book. I picked it up after hearing about it on the Tim Ferriss podcast. It was a good read overall, but the dialogue was a little sophomoric.

I think the virtual reality, cyberpunk, and dystopian corporate future themes were well thought out, but the interpretation of Babel and the separation of languages was a little too out there for me.

If you are looking for a Neal Stephenson book to read, I recommend you skip this and go straight to Seveneves unless you are really into cyberpunk and virtual reality.

Kindle Highlights

When you are wrestling for possession of a sword, the man with the handle always wins.

as the number of media grew, the material became more up to date, and the methods for searching the Library became more and more sophisticated, it approached the point where there was no substantive difference between the Library of Congress and the Central Intelligence Agency.

To condense fact from the vapor of nuance.

That no matter how good it is, the Metaverse is distorting the way people talk to each other, and she wants no such distortion in her relationships.

Disposal of hacked-up avatars is taken care of by Graveyard Daemons, a new Metaverse feature that Hiro had to invent. They are small lithe persons swathed in black, like ninjas, not even their eyes showing. They are quiet and efficient. Even as Hiro is stepping back from the hacked-up body of his former opponent, they are emerging from invisible trapdoors in The Black Sun’s floor, climbing up out of the netherworld, converging on the

The Graveyard Daemons will take the avatar to the Pyre, an eternal, underground bonfire beneath the center of The Black Sun, and burn it.

Besides, interesting things happen along borders—transitions—not in the middle where everything is the same.

“It’s a software, not a hardware, problem.” “Huh?” “They’re rounding up the usual suspects. CAT scans, NMR scans, PET scans, EEGs. Everything’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with his brain—his hardware.” “It just happens to be running the wrong program?” “His software got poisoned. Da5id had a snow crash last night, inside his head.”

“This Snow Crash thing—is it a virus, a drug, or a religion?” Juanita shrugs. “What’s the difference?”

he stands there reading statistics about his own death even as it’s happening to him. Very post-modern.

No matter how smart we get, there is always this deep irrational part that makes us potential hosts for self-replicating information.