Gibson: Subway paranoia hits Tokyo

William Gibson points to a Tokyo newspaper article about supposed secret tunnels under Tokyo: “AKIRA-inflected secret city beneath Tokyo; retired construction workers whispering about the diamond-cutter required to tunnel existing concrete, when the maps show nothing but soil should have been there…”

Gibson also notes “subway fantasy is a genre unto itself.” Hard not to be when there’s so much disused or abandoned infrastructure just out of sight, just around the corner. I used to be fascinated by the glimpses of old platforms or entire disused lines you could see in Boston on the Green and Red Lines. There are, as you might imagine, dozens of sites about the phenomenon, including this one on New York and this one on Boston. There’s a master list here.

Shaming myself into finishing books

To point 3, I finally made myself finish Small Pieces Loosely Joined. It’s funny to think that I have some prior art for that book, written in 1993, that talks about how the Internet (which for me consisted of Usenet, IRC, and email) has its own semiotics, where words to signify new identities. Eight years later, after the .com boom bubbled and popped, David Weinberger argues that even the Web is largely a creation of our words, in spite of the efforts of folks like the Audblog people.

I still have hard copies of the issue of the short-lived undergraduate research journal Aleph in which the paper was published, but no soft copies of the paper. I’ll have to dig up the paper and re-key it.

Minor site changes

I’ve added a section of the site that I update with some current reading and listening links. Yes, it’s an Amazon promotion. No, I won’t ever make any money from it. I’m mostly just interested in

  1. sharing what I’m listening to
  2. keeping track (you can click the fleurons under each listing to see past entries)
  3. shaming myself into reading more often