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Readings and Ramblings

This is Readings and Ramblings. It is readings because this is a site for blogging about books and I intend to do that. It is ramblings because I might want to write about something else now and then.

Interface - Neal Stephenson, George F. Jewsbury, Stephen  Bury This is a novel about how bourgeois political campaigns manipulate the electorate. The technology does not currently exist for the manipulation to be carried out exactly the way it is in this book, but it is actually pretty close. Nevertheless, this does illustrate the cynical way these politicians and their campaign consultants view the voters. It can be seen in the real world too. Just how often is such a campaign based on any issues that the people care about? They are based instead on image and fluff. It really does make a mockery of so-called democracy and shows that this so-called democracy has very little to do with democracy at all. Notwithstanding our lack of the technology available in this story, plenty of allusions are made to actual campaign tactics so the illustration stands very well. By the way, this was first published in 1994 and even though no date was set as the backdrop of the story it appears to be no later than that date. All the references to the H. Ross Perot candidacy and the electoral tactics of the 1992 presidential campaign give it a somewhat quaint and dated feel. The conduct of the campaigns still is relevant to the present though.