Social standards and coding fugues
I got Cryptonomicon for Christmas; chalk one up for Amazon wish-lists. It walks the line between geek culture and popular culture in a way that makes me want people close to me to read it so they'll understand me a little better. This bit from p. 819 struck a chord...
"Who framed me, then?" Randy asks, kind of rhetorically. He was just in the middle of doing some pretty cool C++ coding when he got yanked out of his cell to have this surprise encounter with the Dentist, and is surprising himself with just how bored and irritated he is. He has reverted, in other words, back into a pure balls-to-the-wall nerdisim rivaled only by his early game-coding days back in Seattle. The sheer depth and involution of the current nerdism binge would be hard to convey to anyone. Intellectually, he is juggling half a dozen lit torches, Ming vases, live puppies, and running chainsaws. In this frame of mind he cannot bring himself to give a shit about the fact that this incredibly powerful billionaire has gone to a lot of trouble to come and F2F with him. And so he asks the above question as nothing more than a perfunctory guesture, the subtext being I wish you would go away but minimal standards of social decency dictate that I should say something.
In other news, Advogato does foaf, the Semantic Web social networking standard. Rock on, robogato!