Ex Libris Kirkland

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First Written 1999
Genre Scifi
Origin US
Publisher Avon
My Copy cheap paperback
First Read September 05, 2016


I first picked this up immediately after reading Snow Crash - so maybe 2000 ish? 2001? It totally holds up, all eleven hundred pages of it.

Noted on September 14, 2016

Weirdly, the ones who adopted the sternest and most terrible Old Testament moral tone were the Modern Language Association types who believed that everything was relative and that, for example, polygamy was as valid as monogamy. The friendliest and most sincere welcome he'd gotten was from Scott, a chemistry professor, and Laura, a pediatrician, who, after knowing Randy and Charlene for many years, had one day divulged to Randy, in strict confidence, that, unbeknownst to the academic community at large, they had been spiriting their three children off to church every Sunday morning, and even had them all baptized.

Randy had gone into their house once to help Scott wrestle a freshly reconditioned clawfoot bathtub up the stairs, and had actually seen the word GOD written on actual pieces of paper stuck to the walls of their house--like on the refrigerator door, and the walls of the children's bedrooms, where juvenile art tends to be reposited. Little time-wasting projects they had done during Sunday school--pages torn from coloring books, showing a somewhat more multicultural Jesus than the one Randy had grown up with (curly hair, e.g.), talking to little biblical kids or assisting disoriented Holy Land livestock. The sight of this stuff around the house, commingled with normal (i.e., secular) kid-art-junk from elementary school, Batman posters, etc. made Randy feel grossly embarrassed. It was like going to the house of some supposedly sophisticated people and finding a neon-on-black-velvet Elvis painting hanging above their state-of-the-art Italian designer furniture. Definitely a social-class thing. And it wasn't like Scott and Laura were deadly earnest types, and neither were they glassy-eyed and foaming at the mouth. They had after all managed to pass themselves off as members in good standing of decent academic society for a number of years. They were a bit quieter than many others, they took up less space in the room, but then that was normal for people trying to raise three kids, and so they passed.

Randy and Amy had spent a full hour talking to Scott and Laura last night; they were the only people who made any effort to make Amy feel welcome. Randy hadn't the faintest idea what these people thought of him and what he had done, but he could sense right away that, essentially that was not the issuebecause even if they thought he had done something evil, they at least had a framework, a sort of procedure manual, for dealing with transgressions. To translate it into UNIX system administration terms (Randy's fundamental metaphor for just about everything), the post-modern, politically correct atheists were like people who had suddenly found themselves in charge of a big and unfathomably complex computer system (viz, society) with no documentation or instructions of any kind, and so whose only way to keep the thing running was to invent and enforce certain rules with a kind of neo-Puritanical rigor, because they were at a loss to deal with any deviations from what they saw as the norm. Whereas people who were wired into a church were like UNIX system administrators who, while they might not understand everything, at least had some documentation, some FAQs and How-tos and README files, providing some guidance on what to do when things got out of whack. They were, in other words, capable of displaying adaptability.

Quoted on January 31, 2017

[This is the definition of Erika and I's idea of a 'secret badass'] If Tombstone is shut down and grabbed by the cops before Randy can erase those traces, they will know he has logged on at the very moment that Tombstone was confiscated, and will put him in prison for tampering with evidence. He very much wishes that Douglas MacArthur Shaftoe could somehow be made aware of what a ballsy thing he is doing here. But then Doug has probably done all kinds of ballsy things of which Randy will never be aware, and Randy respects him anyway because of his bearing. Maybe the way to get that kind of bearing is to go around doing ballsy things in secret that somehow percolate up to the surface of your personality.

Quoted on January 31, 2017

Middle-class prosperity is lapidary; the flow of cash rounds and smooths a person like water does riverbed stones.

Quoted on January 31, 2017

For more: and really, this is endlessly quotable in long passages: https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Cryptonomicon

Quoted on January 31, 2017

Ex Libris Kirkland is a super-self-absorbed reading journal made by Matt Kirkland. Copyright © 2001 - .
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