Linux/Nethead Injokery

I haven’t actually been working on “A Killing in Burma” lately — the semester has kind of turned into a swarm of bumblebees and I haven’t had much time to do anything besides school stuff — but I did get a little work done on my draft of “Ten Spikes and a Hammer,” a story I’m working on about, well, more WWII-era geomantic warfare as remembered by an old man in the late 80s in a rather different American from the one we all remember. (Or don’t remember, as the case may be.)

But when Lime and I were puttering around Busan, some ideas came bubbling up about how I could do a lot more Linux and Web x.0 geekery and in-jokes into “A Killing in Burma.” The kinds of things that would pass for technobabble and webco blather for readers not familiar with it, but also be snicker-inducingly funny for those who are familiar with it.

I won’t give away any of the treats, save two:

  • I can’t find any precedent for the term, “Third World 3.0” or variants thereof. Maybe there is one somewhere, but I haven’t found anything closer to it than this blog post on the notion of “Web 3.0: Social Software in the 3rd World,” or this one, which is a (don’t get me wrong, somewhat valid) rant of the gutting of the 1st world workplace.
  • When the characters finally find themselves in need of the designs for printable weapons to run off from their linux-powered fabber, the Euro-African anarchtivists “holidaying” off the coast of Myanmar suggest they add some of the following repos to their fabber’s software sources: deb-src crunchy-arms restricted world universe orbital
    deb-src crunchy-ammo restricted world universe orbital
    deb-src crunchy-sonic restricted world universe orbital
    deb-src crunchy-chemical restricted world universe orbital
    deb-src crunchy-antiaircraft restricted world universe orbital
    deb-src crunchy-explosive restricted world universe orbital
    deb-src crunchy-deathbots restricted world universe orbital
    deb-src crunchy-wackysh!t restricted world universe orbitalAny preferences as to which collection from the above are the funniest? (After a couple, I think most eyes would glaze over, but I’m thinking I need to keep “deathbots” and “wackysh!t” repos, definitely…)
    (UPDATE: Wow, my page really isn’t wide enough for those repos to be anything other than a huge glob of text. I hope resizing it doesn’t kill readability. And maybe cutting “world universe orbital” wouldn’t hurt either?)

Anyway, who knows when I’ll get around to more work on this thing — a certain other writing gig or two loom ahead of me — but it’s nice to have ideas. And also, I’ve been thinking of the future of fablabs and fabber machines, and what could happen in a world with linux fabber weapons-repos called things like “deathbots” and “wackysh!t.” It’s a disturbing place to visit. even in an imaginary sense, especially if it arrives around the same time that the UN decides shipping linux-based basic fabber machines is the way to liberate the improverished and help them build their economies during moments of sudden and precarious political transition… and I’m thinking the repos would actually have to be run off some kind of PVO2P system (“peer-via-onion router-to-peer” type system (though it’d be called something else 40 years from now, I imagine) to prevent the systems being shut down immediately by various dominant world governments.

As I say, it’s not the sort of world I quite want to live in. But at least there’s no “nuclear”repo. My anarchtivists are thoroughly antinuclear. I haven’t worked out everything yet, but then, I’m not really working on this story (novella? novel?) at the moment…

2 thoughts on “Linux/Nethead Injokery

  1. Hmm, like this one.

    deb-src crunchy-explosive restricted world universe orbital

    And yes, it might make sense to clean up the path a little, not only for your and your readers’ sanity but also for whoever’s doing the page layout.

    Linux geekery is definitely a plus, sez this reader, just don’t go too Doctorow on us or you’ll lose folks. But you know that.

  2. Thanks, I’ll make sure it’s in. And yeah, page layout is a big concern.

    There’s a fine balance between cracking up the people who get it and losing the people who don’t get it, but I’m hoping to walk the line, or straddle it, or maybe not to wobble across it too often. We’ll see how it goes, though!

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