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@Dominic
Re: %1M4sIe3B2

@mix I think you are still taking the story too literally. Those things definitely sound like not good things, but are you sure that's really what happened? I mean, whats the source here? maybe all this stuff get revealed after hackworth is brough before some neovictorian court of inquiry, and he puts it like that to avoid seeming like an active participant (he claims he was captured and brainwashed, rather a fugitive in hiding)... I am able to twist the story this way because the particular mindcontrolling aspect of the drummers isn't really very integral to the plot, I mean, you could insert something more like the walkaways into the slot the drummers are in, and keep most of the events of the story the same and it would still work. Like, is it ever explained why the drummers want to liberate the source, other than to create chaos?

Hmm, I think TDA isn't really about the glory of social hierarchy though, that's a backdrop. It's primarily about hackers or tricksters - agents of change slash chaos that exist at the fringes of those social hierarchies, and cause dramatic change to happen (not specifically for better or worse though) - hackworth is certainly that, and the Young Lady's Illustrated Primer is a machine for producing hackers (that somewhat backfires on Mr. X). But I think Stephenson's conception of the trickster is fundamentally individualistic.

But the walkaways arn't like that. They certainly have the technical skills and attitude to pass for characters in a Stephenson novel, but they driven far more by caring for each other, and talk about collaboration and empathy far more than any Neal Stephenson characters I can think of. And most importantly, that's not tacked on, it's integral to the plot, if you removed that aspect of the walkaways it would be a completely different book, whereas I think the drug-cult aspect of the drummers is a only a minor element of the overall story.

@mikey
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@mix
Re: %1M4sIe3B2

hmmm, I trusted the narrtion given to us, either because that's how I explore a story, or because there was enough distance in the narratin to believe it was more 'objective' (hah!).

[SPOILERS] - bail out of this thread and read Diamond Age if you've not already

I think what people find integral to stories is an important story in itself. We've already had an experience where you and I read different things from Cat's Craddle. I felt the drummers were important, they definitelt inserted a magical / surreal aspect to the world. It was ultimately unclear whether the drummers were driving the this revolution, or had been co-opted / hacked. I think that the Seed will emerge from the a subconscious trance space is relevant.

I think you like stories about trickers (so do I) but I didn't read that. I read the story of the fool more. (is the fool a trickers?... maybe, they have similar powers and a tricker isn't always in control or aware of the ramifications of their tricks). I think of hackworth as a fool because while he's critical of the neovictorians, he's also selfish - he hacks the book for his daughter initially yes ... and then gets caught in some blackmail, then slips and falls into a cult orgy computation pit. In the end the story feels like it overtakes him. He was just an uncionscious or accidental catalyst who had very few degrees of freedom after the first couple of chapters.

Certainly while TDA talks about social patterns, the journeys are much more individualistic, whereas in Walkaway you get to stand in the middle of archetypal social dynamics as they unfold... like you're being innoculated to be able to see e.g. scoreboard advocates.

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@rmond
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