Stephen A. Fuqua (SAF) is a Bahá'í, programmer, and conservation and interfaith advocate in the DFW area of Texas.

September 28, 2006

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Google

I saw the best minds of my generation destroyed by Google: sci fi short story from Austinite Bruce Sterling. Includes the first Smiths-reference I've ever seen in fiction.

Debbie: why do you access me, when you know that makes things hard for me? Why do you tag, and link to me? Why do you telephone? And why, why, why do you write me silly notes on paper? I am so sick of you, Debbie. Why, why do you hack me? It is just to see the things that you know I am writing about you...

Probably first person to ever allude to The Smiths and Rush in the same piece. Definitely gets the mind thinking about the real-world-social implications of online-social networking, massively multiplayer games, etc. Makes me thankful that I came into the Internet in the beginning of its mass popularization and not well into the curve.

Then again, as I think back to the mid '90s, I was pretty heavily involved in newsgroups, discussion forums and mailing lists. Social networking. And it never distracted me too much. I got bored with it and moved on. There weren't that many other teenagers around there at the time (almost no one I knew had an Internet connection), so even though I was doing quite a bit of "social networking," I don't know that I can really compare that experiene with what's available to kids today. Of course, we always think it was better back in the day.