fido1.JPG (22854 bytes)             "Let me begin anew by quoting a passage from Stephenson," the Librarian says, "for my data indicates it will lead to a fruitful discussion:

            'There is an informational entity known as the metavirus, which causes information systems to infect themselves with customized viruses. This may be just a basic principle of nature, like Darwinian selection, or it may be an actual piece of information that floats around the universe on comets and radio waves - I'm not sure. In any case, what it comes down to is this: Any information system of sufficient complexity will inevitably become infected with viruses - viruses generated from within itself. At some point in the distant past, the metavirus infected the human race and has been with us ever since' That was from page three hundred and ninety-six."

            "I for one," interjects Baudrillard, "find Stephenson's suggestion that every culture, or other type of information system of sufficient complexity is destined to infect itself with viruses very intruiging. At first I found myself rather hesitant to give in to such an idea, but then I remembered Disneyland, the perfect model for all the entangled orders of simulacra, and no doubt crawling with viruses..."

            "You make an interesting point," Haraway says...

            "Well, I wasn't finished yet, Donna, if you don't mind."

            "Please, Jean, go right ahead."

            "Well, I just have to make a comment on these ridiculous holographic simulations - avatars, I believe they are called. I appreciate the powers of technology as much as anyone else, yet I feel that characters such as Hiro embellish themselves in holographic fantasy far too often. I have said this before: It is the fantasy of seizing reality live that continues - ever since Narcissus bent over his spring...You bend over the hologram like God over his creature: only God has this power of passing through walls, through people, and finding Himself immaterially in the beyond: the day when your holographic double will be there in space, eventually moving and talking, you will have realized this miracle."

            "Uh, Jean," Landow says, "I hate to be the one to tell you this, but that day was realized long ago."

            "Well, what do you want from me? I'm still stuck in the eighties."

            "Our discussion must end soon," the Librarian interjects, "as the sleeping cyborg Fido will soon arise and weave his way back into the adventure. But we still have time for one more comment."

The theoretical discussion concludes...