We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

Samizdata quote of the day

Because she’d never heard of me, she made the quite reasonable assumption that I was a Dante writer – one so new or obscure that she’d never seen me mentioned in a journal of literary criticism, and never bumped into me at a conference. Therefore, I couldn’t be making any money at it. Therefore, I was most likely teaching somewhere. All perfectly logical. In order to set her straight, I had to let her know that the reason she’d never heard of me was because I was famous.

– Neal Stephenson, describing an encounter with a “literary” writer in a quite wonderful interview over at slashdot. His answer to the question “In a fight between you and William Gibson, who would win?” is so magnificent that it would make me go and buy all his books if I didn’t own them already.

7 comments to Samizdata quote of the day

  • “the reason she’d never heard of me was because I was famous.” – Neal Stephenson

    Neither had I. Well, yes, that would explain why.

  • Do you think that hacking tools should be protected (in the United States) under the second amendment?

    Actually, hacking tools would far more likely be in violation of the Fourth Amemdment.

    The Second Amendment is, quite specifically, about firearms.

  • Jo

    Actually, the 2nd amendment mentions “arms”, not firearms. Construe that as you may.

  • Cyberpunk, my favourite literary genre.

    I must be getting old.

  • S. Weasel

    Hacking tools are usually discussed as speech, protected under the First. If you’ve never visited the Gallery of CSS Descramblers, you’re in for a treat.

    In brief, after a US judge ruled in 2000 that the DVD descrambling algorithm was not speech, a bunch of geeks set about describing the code in ways that would have to be protected: dramatic readings, setting the code to music, printing it on t-shirts and neckties.

    The haiku version is my favorite.

  • There was a perl RSA gag that went around on a t-shirt ten years ago, and I think the shirt was classified as a munition, illegal for export. The old t-shirt page is in the Wayback Machine.

  • Johan

    Neal Stephenson is brilliant. I wonder if he’s writing on a new book(s) now that the Baroque Cycle is done…