"Since we are having this discussion within the context of Neal Stephenson's novel," Haraway says, "perhaps we should discuss some of his central ideas."
"Sounds good to me," Landow says.
"Good. As we all know, much of the plot centers around L. Bob Rife's attempt to gain control over the human race through linguistic channels, via powerful transmissions of the Asherah virus, the original mother tongue."
"Well, as I have said before, language is the tool of human self-construction, that which cuts us off from the garden of mute and dumb animals and leads us to name things, to force meanings, to create oppositions, and so craft human culture. I find it deeply ironic that Rife, the Lord of Bandwidth himself, in a time of unprecedented technological advances and cultural growth, would use his vast resources to try and set human culture back thousands of years simply for his own power-hungry purposes."
"It is a story bathed in satire and irony," the Librarian chimes in, "that is, according to various reviews in my database. While the idea of a unified language among humans is a romantic one, in this case it would come at the price of free will. Not exactly an even trade. Nevertheless, Stephenson's ideas are compelling, and I do not say that merely because I am a featured personage. I suggest we re-read the summary of the major themes of the novel, and then reconvene to discuss. Perhaps our old friend Mr. Baudrillard will join us."
Yes, I am ready for Stephenson's succinct summary.