Compare these two quotes. The first from Nick Bilton. He’s remarking on the Google I/O experience. The second is from Neal Stephenson’s third novel “Snowcrash.” The parallels are surprising and possibly terrifying:
“Everywhere I looked at the conference, people were wearing Google Glass. Hundreds of them. Maybe more than a thousand! They were on the escalator. At the coffee stations. Press lounges. Lingering in the hallways like gangs of super nerds. They looked like real people as they nibbled on M&M’s and nuts at the snack bars. Except they weren’t; these “humans” were able to take pictures with their eyes and then post them to the Internet.”
Gargoyles represent the embarrassing side of the Central Intelligence Corporation. Instead of using laptops, they wear their computers on their bodies, broken up into separate modules that hang on the waist, on the back, on the headset. They serve as human surveillance devices, recording everything that happens around them. Nothing looks stupider; these getups are the modern-day equivalent of the slide-rule scabbard or the calculator pouch on the belt, marking the user as belonging to a class that is at once above and far below human society. They are a boon to Hiro because they embody the worst stereotype of the CIC stringer. They draw all the attention. The payoff for this self-imposed ostracism is that you can be in the Metaverse all the time, and gather intelligence all the time.