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Stephen



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PostSubject: General ideas about book   Wed May 21, 2008 4:21 pm

I love this book. It jumps around a ton and is hard to follow, but well worth the effort. I love the characters, and the world is intriguing and just sucks you in. What are your thoughts on the book?
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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed May 21, 2008 7:04 pm

I like the names of the characters, the don't care attitude, and the cursing in this book. It's like the author doesn't care about the excess details of the book and is telling you that you shouldn't either. It's like he's saying, don't focus on the name, look at what he thinks here and there--or who cares what job Hiro has, it's why he has it that matters.

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Stephen



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Thu May 22, 2008 2:36 pm

And yet Stephenson has put a lot of work in making those details realistic and intricate... I really appreciate that personally. I love when I can pick out little things in a book that are really interesting details, but not important. An example: Nipponese and Nippon instead of Japanese and Japan in most places (FYI, if you didn't know, Nippon is the Japanese word for Japan).
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aitokunaga



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Sun May 25, 2008 1:51 am

"Nihongo" is how to say "Japanese" (the language) in Japanese and "Nihonjin" is how to say "Japanese" (the nationality)in actuality, I think. At least that's what my family and I generally use.

I think it's pretty neat how the author made up words from pre-existing words from another language like "Nipponese" and "Nips" as a derogatory term from that. During WWII "Japs" was used in the same way (as it is in this book as well). Stephenson seems to have thought out things that would happen in the language pretty well.
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TheDirector



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Sun May 25, 2008 8:59 pm

Actually, in another book (Cryptonomicon) Stephens points out that during WWII the American media, and the public said "Japanese" and "Japs," but the American soldiers in the Pacific theater said "Nipponese" and "Nips." In war, each side uses propaganda to dehumanize the other. I guess somehow the public and the military were on different propaganda programs.

John Edlund (gaijin, and more specifically hakujin. And, of course, Amerikajin.)
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Dya Cangiano



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Tue May 27, 2008 9:07 pm

I am going to be very unpopular, but I dislike this book more than I disliked "Death of Dr. Island." I'm not saying that the ideas, characters, and concepts aren't interesting; I'm actually taking a class on Ancient Mesopotamian and Babylonian history so I find the mythology very interesting and actually understand it. However, the writing style is OVERLY detailed and descriptive for my taste. Stephenson's writing sounds like he's writing the screen play for a movie. That's probably just me though. I'm just looking forward to learning more about where the story goes and finishing this book.
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aitokunaga



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed May 28, 2008 1:52 am

I do find the mythology interesting, but I find it a little tedious when it is told right in between the action scenes. The rest of the story goes really fast but the mythology part is very slow. The different paces keep messing with my head. Maybe if Stephenson had put all the myth parts together or something, my head wouldn't hurt so much.
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spleahy



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed May 28, 2008 8:46 am

I definately think the action far offsets the mythology IMO. It's a very fun book and the concepts/social commentary are very well done.
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kevinlb

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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed May 28, 2008 10:06 am

I for one am thankful for the offset of scenes. Without them i would have fallen asleep a lot. Some of the explaining of the gods and what not got really boring. While other parts were funny as hell, like the water of life, and having Enki tricked while drunk to get the em me i can't remember. I really like that Hiro and Y.T. are now coming together on the Raft, and am waiting to see how this turns out.
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kevinlb

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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed May 28, 2008 10:07 am

Oh, does anyone know if we have knives like Raven does? I know eye surgens use very fine ones, but can not remember if they are as thin as what is said in the book.
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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed May 28, 2008 11:08 am

I like the whole general idea of the story. Unlike Childhood's End, this story now has that clear goal in mind. What I like about it is that everything Hiro does makes sense with this goal in mind, unlike the Stars My Destination or the Wizard of Earthsea. Its nice to have a consistent viewpoint character; in fact, I think that the best character stories are the ones where we can sit comfortably with a consistent viewpoint character that does not change with every or every other event (The Stars My Destination). I also like that we aren't rapidly being introduced to new characters and getting them killed right away. Maybe I just like all the cussing and the attitude the author portrays.

It's like Stephenson doesn't care much for the individual scenes and is more interested in telling you the whole story (don't get hung up here, keep reading).

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jmbuehler



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed May 28, 2008 11:57 am

The ending is going to make or break this book for me. I'm a bit indifferent towards the story so far, but it seems like the story is gravitating towards a big payoff in the end. I hope I'm not disappointed!

Quote :
Some of the explaining of the gods and what not got really boring.

Tell me about it. I'm looking forward to the class discussion on this subject, because I completely missed the significance of these passages. I don't like how the action builds into something so intense and exciting, and then the next chapter's a history lesson.
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amandaheise



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Sat May 31, 2008 2:09 pm

I like this book alot but for me there are alot of characters to keep track. The myths the librarian goes on and on about are interesting but at the same time make me lose intrest. Overall i love the book and cant wait to see what happens in the end.
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Derek



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Sun Jun 01, 2008 11:02 pm

great book. the ending could of been a bit better though.
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Wind

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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Mon Jun 02, 2008 1:44 am

*could have

Sorry, couldn't help it!

On topic, awesome book. It's weird, though, because - personally - while Stephenson undoubtedly had clear visions of the setting (his writing style makes it seem that, if he wanted to, he could draw a very fleshed-out picture of any scene from the book), I can't say the same for myself. The imagery in my head was pretty blurry and vague compared to what he probably had in his. Though, the style, overall presentation, and character strength were more than enough to keep me interested.
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aitokunaga



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:19 am

The ending was kind of fast, wasn't it?

Overall, I don't think Snow Crash is a book I will remember reading ten years from now. It just didn't strike me as being a super-duper-wonderful book. I spent too much time thinking, "what????" to like it very much.

Kevin, about the glass knives question you had: They used to use glass knives when cutting material for electron microscopes, but I think diamond blades are the preferred knives now, except for the fact that they are much, much more expensive than glass. I have never heard of the Aleuts using glass knives, though.
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spleahy



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Mon Jun 02, 2008 10:14 am

Wind wrote:
*could have

Sorry, couldn't help it!

On topic, awesome book. It's weird, though, because - personally - while Stephenson undoubtedly had clear visions of the setting (his writing style makes it seem that, if he wanted to, he could draw a very fleshed-out picture of any scene from the book), I can't say the same for myself. The imagery in my head was pretty blurry and vague compared to what he probably had in his. Though, the style, overall presentation, and character strength were more than enough to keep me interested.

I have to say that I agree here. Some parts I couldn't get a clear grasp of the setting which was frustrating at times. However, for the most part I could picture a very detailed world. I just wish the exposition was reduced a bit because that got to be a bit much. Overall, the characters, intense action, and political issues presented kept me interested and wanting more. Good story IMO.
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J.Castillo



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Mon Jun 02, 2008 2:09 pm

I just finished the book yesterday. Excellent. I really
liked it, although I feel that it should have ended differently. Something
about the ending, I can't put my foot on it. But all and all I really enjoyed
it.
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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Tue Jun 03, 2008 11:40 am

I really liked the idea of viral ideas, but I would have prefered that the ability to verbally reprogram humans be left out. I mean, a sf novel usually has super humans (just like it seems to have society with super flaws). I like to keep it real. In my story, society is just the same as it is now, and it makes a mistake that is very likely to be made. The result is catastrophe. Tori isn't super human. In fact, he's kind of sub-human with super human technology.

Not to get off topic, the viral ideas make sense, and therefore would still be real enough to me when L Bob Rife blows them out of proportion. What I'm saying is I like a story that tells about real life delemas, not issues that could happen if society went down the tubes. I mean it still makes for a great story, but you walk away and forget about it. It doesn't make you say, "hmm, maybe he/she has a point".

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TheDirector



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Tue Jun 03, 2008 6:45 pm

Stephenson is speculating about the debate between those who maintain that language is hardwired into the human brain, thus creating linguistic universals common to all languages, and those who believe that language simply arises and evolves, without hardwired structures. The former view is promulgated by Noam Chomsky. Stephenson in effect negotiates a compromise between the linguists, arguing that most languages evolve spontaneously, but that ancient Sumerian is hardwired, and is in essence the machine code of the brain. It is not a completely outrageous position.

One could argue that rhetoric is a high level language for programing the mind. Stephenson posits a low level language that could actually reorganize neural pathways. It is an interesting idea.

John Edlund
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spleahy



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Wed Jun 04, 2008 8:43 am

I really enjoy the idea of viral ideas. I actualy think we have something similar to that today with all the product placement and constant advertising that changes our ways of thinking on a daily basis. Also, his views about religion I believe are pretty acurate in terms of its use. Religion is essentially a tool used as a beakon of hope and guidence in this cold dark world of ours. It is able to teach humans to be good individuals and to overcome the evils of the world that can possess them. When you break religion down to its basics, they all teach you the same thing: be a good person and don't give into evil tendencies no matter how tempting it may be. In this book religion is basically that. It fights off the snow crash virus (which is ofcourse evil) and keeps humans from succoming to it thus keeping them on a path of good.
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amandaheise



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Fri Jun 06, 2008 6:09 pm

The ending of the book was almost too simple and I kinda wish something happened between Raven and Y.T., I also want to know what happens between Juanita and Hiro after they get off the raft!
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Derek



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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Mon Jun 09, 2008 6:43 pm

I still don't know what happened to Da5id.
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kevinlb

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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:19 pm

I too believe that the ending came on too fast. He gave us so much during the rest of the book, and then splat. Nothing but a quick rap up. However, I did like what action there was at the end. And felt that everyone got what was coming to them. Y.T. will be lost in love forever, but hey that's what happens when you do eveyone but Hiro. Shocked
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kevinlb

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PostSubject: Re: General ideas about book   Mon Jun 09, 2008 9:20 pm

I believe that Da5id is still in his current state. Since he was not on the ship, he did not get cured.
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