William Gibson – quelques extraits d’interview

William Gibson

Excellente interview de William Gibson dans The Washington Post : “Through the Looking Glass

Quelques extraits (le dernier est un joli constat) :

“Politics has, like, jacked itself up to my level of weirdness,” Gibson acknowledges. “I can work with this,” he says, thinking of recent turns of events. “I like the sheer sort of neo-Stalinist denial of reality. That’s what makes it work. It’s interesting. I’d like to see it get less interesting. But I don’t know that it necessarily will.”

Gibson is the man who, after all, in the late ’80s observed, “The future is already here; it’s just not evenly distributed.”

“When I wrote ‘Neuromancer’ ” almost 25 years ago, he says, “cyberspace was there, and we were here. In 2007, what we no longer bother to call cyberspace is here, and those increasingly rare moments of nonconnectivity are there. And that’s the difference. There’s no scarlet-tinged dawn on which we rise and look out the window and go, ‘Oh my God, it’s all cyberspace now.’ ”

Gibson says: “One of the biggest technologically driven changes in my writing is the awareness that every text today has a kind of spectral quasi-hypertext surrounding it.”

“Google is the pièce de résistance of weird [stuff] finding,” he says. “One of the things I’ve been doing in the eBay era — I’ve become a really keen observer of the rationalization of the world’s attic. Every class of human artifact is being sorted and rationalized by this economically driven machine that constantly turns it over and brings it to a higher level of searchability. . . . The tentacles of that operation extend into every flea market and thrift shop and basement and attic in the world. . . .

”Every hair is being numbered — eBay has every grain of sand. EBay is serving this very, very powerful function which nobody ever intended for it. EBay in the hands of humanity is sorting every last Dick Tracy wrist radio cereal premium sticker that ever existed. It’s like some sort of vast unconscious curatorial movement.

“Every toy I had as a child that haunted me, I’ve been able to see on eBay. The soft squeezy rubber frog with red shorts that made ‘eek eek’ noise until that part fell out. I found Froggy after some effort on eBay, and I found out that Froggy was made in 1948 and where he was made and what he was made of. I saw his box, which I’d long forgotten. I didn’t have to buy Froggy, but I saved the jpegs. So I’ve got Froggy in my computer.

”This is new. People in really small towns can become world-class connoisseurs of something via eBay and Google. This didn’t used to be possible. If you are sufficiently obsessive and diligent, you can be a little kid in some town in the backwoods of Tennessee and the world’s premier info-monster about some tiny obscure area of stuff. That used to require a city. It no longer does.“

Cette dernière citation est fondamentale, elle résume la force d’internet et ses implications sociales.

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Echanges…

« If you have an apple and I have an apple and we exchange these apples then you and I will still each have one apple. But if you have an idea and I have an idea and we exchange these ideas, then each of us will have two ideas. »

George Bernard Shaw

Internet est centrifuge

“The Net in particular is brutally centrifugal, fragmenting newspapers into articles, movies into clips, and CDs into songs, all dispersed to servers across the earth. It has never been kind to enterprises that try to gather everything under one roof. Google’s $140 billion value derives not from some comprehensive offering but from simply showing people where the fragments can be found. Total solutions like AOL, Netscape, and — yes — Joost swim against the tide.”

Spencer Reiss, Wired, in « Why Joost Is Good for TV«