“The Perfect Match” by Ken Liu

A nifty short story about social media like Facebook, and where it’s all headed. Definitely worth the read:

___________________________________________________

“I thought I told you I didn’t want that thing installed,” she said as he stepped out of his apartment. Her voice was garbled through some kind of electronic filter. In response to his questioning look, she gestured to the camera over Sai’s door.

Talking to Jenny was like talking to one of his grandmother’s friends who refused to use Centillion email or get a ShareAll account because they were afraid of having “the computer” know “all their business”-except that as far as he could tell, Jenny was his age. She had grown up a digital native, but somehow had missed the ethos of sharing.

“Jenny, I’m not going to argue with you. I have a right to install anything I want over my door. And I want Tilly to keep an eye on my door when I’m away. Apartment 308 was just burglarized last week.”

“But your camera will record visitors to my place, too, because we share this hallway.”

“So?”

“I don’t want Tilly to have any of my social graph.”

Sai rolled his eyes. “What do you have to hide?”

“That’s not the point-”

“Yeah, yeah, civil liberties, freedom, privacy, blah blah blah . . . ”

Sai was sick of arguing with people like Jenny. He had made the same point countless times: Centillion is not some big scary government. It’s a private company, whose motto happens to be “Make things better!” Just because you want to live in the dark ages doesn’t mean the rest of us shouldn’t enjoy the benefits of ubiquitous computing.

He dodged around her bulky frame to get to the stairs.

“Tilly doesn’t just tell you what you want,” Jenny shouted. “She tells you what to think. Do you even know what you really want any more?”

Sai paused for a moment.

“Do you?” she pressed.

via Lightspeed Presents . . . Presents… “The Perfect Match” by Ken Liu.

Another End of the Empire

I just heard one of the newer episodes of Podcastle today: Another End of the Empire. I have to say it’s 2 shades of brilliant, and funny as hell to listen to. A deconstructed story about how an evil fantasy empire meets it’s end in the most practical way.

I’ve never heard any of Tim Pratt’s work before, but he gained a new fan today!

Rob