I woke up this morning lightly feverish, that feeling that says “you will be spending the day in your pajamas on the couch unable to do anything but read fiction”. So I opened up Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom, by Cory Doctorow. The thing I had always heard mentioned about this book is that it’s an interesting take on the idea of a reputation economy, the idea that all commerce is done based on what people think of you, rather than cash and capitalism.
The thing no one mentioned (so far as I’ve seen) is that the effects of the reputation economy in this book are actually kind of horrific. This seems to be a common thing that happens when you read science fiction. Yes, that book you heard about does have lots of cool tech, but it’s actually not as fun as it sounds. Which leaves me wondering whether people who go on about the shiny tech (or social and economic environment) actually read the story, or just the description on the back.