Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom eBook Club, Day One

Comments

1
What I like best about these chapters, and books like this, is when you're just plopped down in the middle of a world and you have to figure out what the rules are. I dislike exposition dumps at the beginning...

I also read Lil as being window dressing, but I think that might have more to do with Jules being the narrator than with Doctorow. Jules seems a bit like a pseudo-intellectual who is happy to float along inside this society without risking too much.

I love Dan. What a mess!
2
What I like best about these chapters, and books like this, is when you're just plopped down in the middle of a world and you have to figure out what the rules are. I dislike exposition dumps at the beginning...

I also read Lil as being window dressing, but I think that might have more to do with Jules being the narrator than with Doctorow. Jules seems a bit like a pseudo-intellectual who is happy to float along inside this society without risking too much.

I love Dan. What a mess!
3
Ugh, STUPID DOUBLE POST!
4
Agreed on the info dumps, @Soupytwist. I think Doctorow's doing just right with the introduction of sci-fi concepts.

And even if a narrator is unaware that a female character has a whole life without him, a good author can slip that fact in along the way. I hope to see parts of Lil's character that even Jules isn't aware of, even with Jules telling the story.
5

You can't turn an omelet back into an egg.
6
Paul - are you reading this on an Android phone? How would you rate that experience?
7
This is frustrating, because I've already read the book and want to discuss it all at once.
8
@7: Check back in on Saturday, when I'll be talking about the whole thing.

9
Paul,

You mistake me for someone who posses patience.

You should also read Doctrow's Little Brother. I actually liked it quite a bit more than this one.
10
The adhocracy isn't an institution, it's a way of life. It's what happens when generic free market forces move into a post-scarcity environment, replacing top-down models like corporations and governments. Things get done not for money, but just because people want to do them -- or want the popularity associated with doing something unpleasant that other people want done. For (incomplete) real world examples, see the Internet and Burning Man.
11
Thanks @10. I'm looking forward to seeing that more in practice in the next chapters.

And @6: I'm not ignoring you; I think I'll be writing more about reading this book on the phone tomorrow. Today's post got a little bit long, so I trimmed that bit. Short answer: It's fine.
12
@9 - read Makers, then go check out Metrix Create:Space on Broadway.
13
Whuffie is an interesting idea. It's basically your street credit rating. It isn't really explained how it's calculated or influenced, though, except by the thoughts and moods of people around you. Presumably, like anything based on public perception, it is prone to quick turnarounds. If you really fucked up big time, you could probably lay low for a while until forgetfulness and nostalgia started to do their work, and then your Whuffie would go creeping back up.