by Evan Schrager
Stephenson’s depiction of the future world is rather extreme-the laws of our current society seem to have vanished. The pizza delivery cars are allowed to drive at ludicrous speeds (no pun intended). I like his introduction of the “pooning” concept. I think the new magnetic device is a realistic invention that could exist in the future. The Kouriers can be compared to a futuristic hitch hiker-except it is their decision whether or not they “grab a ride”. And if these pooning devices really did exist, attaching to any old car would certainly be illegal. Y.T.’s escape from The Clink also expresses the lack of law enforcement in future America.
Stephenson’s future society is obsessed with the flow of information. Obsessed. There are an abundant number of hackers, whose job it is to find more and more information, ‘til they drop dead. In the meantime, they hope they hit the jackpot by finding out some extraordinary piece of information that somebody in the world needs. The Metaverse allows for the exchange of this information smoothly, through the hypercards. Computer viruses still exist and serve the same purpose they do today, as they crashed Da5id’s computer.
Snow Crash immerses you in the new society-immediacy is definitely achieved in scenes such as the pizza delivery, as well as the fight between Raven and the group of crips in the high grass. An example of hypermediacy can be seen as well, in the sword fight between Hiro and the Nipponese businessman. He cuts him up into pieces, but we know that it was a fake sword fight-the victim’s body frame lay on the floor without insides. This is an obvious reminder that the sword fight was not real. But he can’t respawn for about 5 minutes. Sucker!
While the rules of society seem a bit absurd, the people in the story still act like human beings. The lack of law leaves room for villains such as Raven to wreak havoc at their disposal. His “super-knife” scares me because it passed the metal detector test-what if people with cruel intentions decide to bring them onto a plane in the future, slicing and dicing whoever they wish? In order to prevent our society from becoming the society in Snow Crash, we must uphold the law under all circumstances.