Sunday, September 1, 2013

Snow Crash

I just finished Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson. It's a great book, and if you're at all interested in technology, the Internet, swords, language, religion, or history, I'd recommend checking it out. Wikipedia says,

Snow Crash is Neal Stephenson's third novel, published in 1992. Like many of Stephenson's other novels it covers historylinguisticsanthropology,archaeologyreligioncomputer sciencepoliticscryptographymemetics, and philosophy.

I like that. It's not at all what the back of the book makes it seem like it's going to be about. The back says,

In reality, Hiro Protagonist delivers pizza for Uncle Enzo’s CosoNostra Pizza Inc., but in the Metaverse he’s a warrior prince. Plunging headlong into the enigma of a new computer virus that’s striking down hackers everywhere, he races along the neon-lit streets on a search-and-destroy mission for the shadowy virtual villain threatening to bring about infocalypse. Snow Crash is a mind-altering romp through a future America so bizarre, so outrageous…you’ll recognize it immediately.

The ending wasn't as satisfying as I was hoping for, but it ended pretty loudly, and it was a fun ride.

The book made me think about a lot of things. Mostly though, it made me think of virtual reality, augmented reality, and language. With the advent of stuff like the Oculus Rift and Google Glass, VR and AR are things that will be more present in our lives in the next year, maybe two.

Both VR and AR are wicked cool concepts. I feel that augmented reality might take off a with a little more presence in the beginning, because it seems applicable in a lot more scenarios than virtual reality would be, but after watching this video and sort of realizing really how much the Rift can immerse you into a world, I'm not sure which I'm more excited for. Probably the Rift. If anything like the Metaverse gets developed, I can understand not caring about augmented reality any more. AR can't make you feel like you're flying.