Reminder: Neal Stephenson predicted Donald Trump in 1994


#1

[Read the post]


#2

“WOOOOO!”

My body is not invalid.


#3

Unfortunately, in the Real World, Elanor is thrown out of the rally for being “suspicious,” thus no one is there to take down Earl.


#4

I was always imagining President Gentle. Seems that I wasn’t the only one!



#5

The physical description is different, of course, but Erwin Dudley Strang’s words make me think more of a certain female politician who stole and election recently.


#6

Unfortunately, I think Interface is for Stephenson completists only. I’m tempted to blame that Mary Sue speech on his co-author, but his name’s on the cover all the same.

There’s a neat sort of spy-spoof set piece at the end–what if the left half of the President’s brain and a ragtag crew of its allies wanted to stage a coup d’etat against the right half of his brain and the shadowy conspiracy that controlled it?–but the characterizations are pretty awful throughout. The character in the blurb here goes on to work for a Senator who’s so insanely right-wing he becomes kind of a leftist (which can happen) and so big an asshole that he’s kind of nice (which can’t).

More to the point of this post, the Strang/Strong character has two character assets that the real Trump doesn’t: he didn’t start out in life super-rich, and he’s actually as dumb as he sounds (and so is not trying to fool anyone).


#7

Who would that be?

(Not Hillary. The most you could say is that the superdelegate system let her win by a larger margin than she would have won by regardless.)


#8

Completely irrelevant, but true fact: Long ago, I worked with George Jewsbury’s daughter, and she never returned my VHS dub of Akira, the one with the great voice acting which I’ve never been able to find another copy of since.


#9

Dude. I feel your pain. I lent my Ravenloft Module and never got it back (Though I did replace it.)

My favorite Chose-your-own-adventure type RPG books - Space Assassin, by Steve Jackson games - with the UK/Australian cover - was lent and never returned. Need to replace that one too.


#10

I’m sure Herr Trump has strong opinions regarding people named Jewsbury.


#11

Well, it’s better than The Big U. The delicious Frank Luntz scene in Interface is plainly a Stephenson concoction/confection, even if it doesn’t make up for the rest of the book.


#12

Whatever the merits of The Interface, Eleanor says something that may give the world some hope as to the looming trump desaster:
Trump is every bit as unlikeable as the fictional Strong/Strang.


#13

Here’s some help with those stolen numbers:


#14

Its still a lot better than The Mongoliad, which I found unreadable. Interface wasn’t even sold as a Stephenson book when I read it, anyway.


#15

Try listening to Mongoliad as an audio book, preferably while you are on a road trip. It’s not great but it’s nowhere near as bad as trying to read it. I got through all three books of it (as audio). It’s… informative. It has its moments.

I thought Interface was ok, not great. There is an amusing list in the book (p360 of the 2005 edition) created by political ops in attempt to categorize the disparate voters into groups:

irrelevant mouth breather
400-pound tab drinker
stone-faced urban homeboy
burger-flipping history major
squirrelly winnebago jockey
bible-slinging porch monkey
economic roadkill
pent-up corporate lickspittle
high-metabolism world dominator
midamerican knickknack queen
snuff-hawking basement dweller
postadolescent road warrior
depression-haunted can stacker
pretentious urban-lifestyle slave
formerly respectable bankruptcy survivor
frosty-haired coupon snipper
cynical media manipulator
reticent gun nut
ufos ate my brain
mall-hopping corporate concubine
high-fiber duck squeezer
post-confederate gravy eater
manic third-world entrepeneur
overextended young professional
apartment-dwelling mall staff
trade school metal head
orange county book burner
first-generation beltway black
80’s junk-bond parvenue
debt-hounded wage slave
activist tube feeder
toilet-scrubbing ex-steelworker
neo-okie
shit-kicking wrestlemaniac
sunbelt condo commando
rust-belt lumpenpaol

source: http://russelldavies.typepad.com/planning/2003/10/segmentation.html
(thanks for saving me all that typing)

Now that I am re-reading it, I get it about some overlap in Trump’s base and the one portrayed in the book. Hmm…


#16

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