Daily Archives: April 4, 2009

Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

… the book!  Not my life.  =)
 
This was a recommendation from a old coworker of mine.  Finished it in 2 days = good book!  The premise of the book is interesting — "reputation economies" and infinite life.  Your worth as a person is based on the respect that you command from others and their worth in turn.  They call it "whuffie" and people can ping each other’s whuffie level to see how low or how high on the totem pole you are.  It’s kind of like google — you’ll come up higher in the list if a lot of people like you and those people are liked by a lot of people as well.  It’s in interesting premise — the ultimate system of "it’s who you know not what you know".  Another interesting twist was the idea of being able to restore yoursel from a back-up and imprint it into a fresh clone of yourself perserved at whatever age you decide.  Kind of nice… never age, just get wiser, wipe out entire years of your life if you decided it wasn’t worth remembering by just restoring to a old back-up.  Also neat was the idea of "squirting" data directly into someone’s head — the ultimate wi-fi world where everything and everyone was connected.  And as the title suggests, the whole thing plays out in Disney World. 
 
I like the idea of whuffie… especially the ability to ping someone else’s whuffie to see if having their respect would boost your own.  It certainly helps you be more efficient at ass-kissing.  Wouldn’t want to waste your time chumming up to someone who’s got absolutely no pull with anyone.  It’s a neat concept though and I think the idea was that it would keep people more honest, but really it just means your value is completely based on what other people think of you.  Is it too idealistic to believe that’s not the way the world really operates?  Is self-worth is worthless?
 
Oh well… off to the next book.  I’m going to dive into some P.G. Wodehouse.  I bought the Psmith collection as well as an anthology of Wodehouse’s work.  Looking forward to it.  Although part of me wants to reserve it as a reward for finishing Saving Fish from Drowning (the Amy Tan book I started last year).  Books are both like medicine and ice cream for me… except that I actually read books when I’m sick and I neither take medicine or eat ice cream.  That’s beside the point though — some books are just pure mindless dribble for fun and others are food for the brain… and then there are some that I feel I just need to swallow it down quickly to get it over with so I can move on and eat some ice cream.