Monday, September 22, 2008

Returning from a brief hiatus

Been pretty much away from this homestead of a blog since I was rather tied with work and some events that transpired in my life, which left me..rather changed but slowly jaded yet again. All in all, its another experience to chalk to as a lesson in life once more. I was rather preoccupied of late getting into another e-social network site brought about by workmates. First it was when I was in the call center stints and currently with due to workmates, current and who left the workplace. It was a crazy, messed-up ride for me since it all happened since June. To sum it simply, I got interested with someone, that someone is not ready yet to be involved, finds out that someone is involved with another, me going through the crash of the revelation, me going through period of reflection and loathing and finally the enlightenment of the truth and acceptance. The truth enlightenment came about in a ray of inspiration while looking for reference pictures of the classic "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry. I distinctly remember as quote from the book saying to the effect of :“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.” It also comes to my attention about what I saw with my heart in that someone I was interested but the truth about her is that "You can make a person leave the ghetto but you couldn't make the ghetto leave the person." I guess I'm not cut out to go out with a ghetto person since I'm pretty much a geeky suburbanite. Ghetto people I find rather strange and on uncommon situations distateful given how they carry themselves. I'll try to fill a lot more entries in the coming weeks given how work is and access to the computer is, in spite of owning a laptop which have overheating problems. Stay tuned dear readers.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Intersection of Espionage, Alternate Reality and Technology

Just completed reading Charles Stross' Halting State. Its described to be a thriller set in a world of MMORPGS, personal network computing, and meta organizations. Its a book which requires some background with MMORPGS, IT tech and Espionage to appreciate the content of this book and its story. This kind of mix kinda harkens me to this Millenium Bug inspired thriller Wyrm by Mark Fabi. (Cover below)

Halting State opens up with a police investigation to a robbery of an unusual nature. The robbery in question happens to be conducted in a MMORPG. This prompted an investigation by the police and an insurance claims agency to look into the matter on seperate fronts since it involves both virtual and real world leads. The entire point of the chase later sums up to the idea of intelligence meta-agencies waging an infowar campaign of strike and counterstrike through a ARG (Alternate/Altered Reality Game) called SPOOKS. The McGuffin in this thriller revolves around a certain Nigel McDonald who turns out to a cutout used one of the SPOOKS factions which was later subverted to do some black market work. It was all a cat and mouse game to see who has the upper hand in a game similiar to chess.

I find it quite entertaining given that pervasiveness of MMORPGs have become currently and moreso in the future. The role of Ebay has become a more obvious item of note in regards to the so-called virtual economies to real economies. A lot of technical stuff is a bit over my head since its IT related. I just find it enough to be a fun read at certain parts since my gamer background can discern some gamer-related stuff in the text.

This particular work of Stross is a bit different from his other works Accelerando and Glasshouse which are far future pieces. Halting State is like near future setting based on the trends of today.

It is still an intriguing and entertaining read.