Rainbows End and the Next Social Network

I’ve been on a Hugo Award winner kick of late. Just finished Vernor Vinge’s Rainbows End and prior to that Robert Charles Wilson’s Spin. Science Fiction is not as I remember it. (To be honest, I was more a David Eddings, Stephen R. Donaldson, Terry Brooks kind of kid.) In particular, Rainbows End offers a glimpse of a very possible near future: the world’s populace connected by overlapping networks and near complete immersion in a computer-generated virtual reality. I thought it was a terrific read. Then I read this Wired post that describes a similar, probable, scenario. The Wire post linked to Chris Messina’s blog and Tim O’Reilly’s, O’Reilly Radar, and several others, when all of the sudden, it occurs to me: tracking one idea all over the place makes me tense. It’s great to create associations and all that (see how I slapped in some links there? It’s intentional to give you the same who-said-what experience). I’ll stick to reading the Hugo Award winning books where all the postulation is bound together in one location with pages that turn without a single mouse click.

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