In Snow Crash, a novel by Neal Stephenson, Stephenson examines how expanding technology affects a society. He introduces us to a world where a computer virus is altering people's minds, and where they have no control over themselves. He vividly describes how Hiro, the protagonist, must fight the virus to save the future of the world.
Technology is expanding everyday. Our society has grown and expanded and has become extremely powerful because of new technologies. People are learning how to use computers in place of their tasks. The Internet is a prime example is of expanding technology. One can obtain yesterday's and today's news, listen to music, talk to a friend over seas, view pornography, and countless other things in the privacy of one's home via the Internet. There is no way to really regulate what is on the Internet. Essentially, the government has no place on the Internet. This world is free of from laws. As society moves closer to advanced technology, the government becomes removed. There is no way for them to regulate society's actions once everything is computer based. In Snow Crash, Stephenson creates the Metaverse. In this society no laws exist.
Hiro, the Protagonist, is the narrator of the novel. As Hiro tells the story, there is no form of government anymore. The government has long been over, and has been replaced by individual corporations with their own sets of rules. There were many corporations, Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong being one of them, where one could be a citizen and apply for a passport. Mr. Lee owned franchises in Hong Kong and people needed a passport in order to get into Greater Hong Kong (p.99). Information was vital to these corporations. Mr. Lee's Greater Hong Kong asked people to share information with them if the person decided to join the corporation and become partners (p.99). Hiro worked for the CIC (Central Intelligence Agency), where he got interesting information-gossip, videotape, audiotape, or a computer disc concerning different corporations. Large corporations, or any person interested in something he found, paid him for use of the information and used it to their advantage (p.22).
As well as working for he CIC, Hiro is a freelance hacker. He is one of the creators of the Metaverse. The Metaverse is "virtual reality." People here are represented by a pie...
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... the Internet, you can have an e-mail address which can essentially take the place of regular mail as well as the telephone.
With all the technology today, the Internet is still off-limits to certain people. Everyone does not own a computer and because of this, everyone is not computer literate. Mostly middle and upper class people have their own laptops, or computers, and are able to pay for Internet service. Other people, like student's who use their schools computers or people who go to libraries, are forced to use whatever equipment is available, which is, in most cases, not top of the line and sometimes may or may not have the Internet. Soon this world will be computer-based and if you do not have your own computer or at least access to one, you will be behind. The Internet is an important part of computers considering the many uses it offers.
Stephenson foretells how the future for today could be if we allow all these new technologies to take over our lives. Everyone must learn how to incorporate new technology into their lives without letting it consume them, even though it will still consume many. Once it consumes you , you are pretty much a victim of Snow Crash.
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