"Conspiracy theories are big because they're comforting. Any conspiracy is infinitely less multiplex than the real deal, which is multiplex to the point of being unknowable."
Maria lives in a world a world that is crumbling. As the Earth slowly floods, the infrastructure that supports her contact with her virtual child, Linda, is lost.
This is one of my favorite scenes from the book, because it clearly contrasts two rather different visions of the future. One is that of the Singularity, which might bring technological nirvana to all humanity. The other is what I call the "Mud Hut future", in which we have lost almost everything we have now due to stupidity. Baxter writes:
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Wearable Energy Harvester
'... he had tightened the chest to gain maximum pumping action from the motion of breathing.'
Drones Participate In Buddhist Rites
'...a prayer wheel swung into view and began spinning at a furious pace.'
Anna Indiana AI Singer-Songwriter
'She is a personality-construct, a congeries of software agents'
Video Manicuring ala Schismatrix
'The program raced up the screen one scan line at a time'
'Feel the AGI' OpenAI Leader Now OpenWorship
'And are all the people willing to be governed by a machine?'
NASA Tests Prototype Europa Lander
Why have legs if they don't walk around?
Tailsitter Drone Aircraft For SAR
'...it was so easy for me to remain motionless in midair.'
Forward CarePod The AI Doctor's Office
'It's an old model,' Rawlins said. 'I'm not sure what to do.'
Mika The Robot-Boss
'the robot-boss was busy at the lip of the new lode instructing and egging the men on to greater speed...'
Yamaha Motoroid 2 No Handlebars Self-Balancing Motorcycle
'He rode the bike with an intense lack of physical grace...'
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