Hardwired (Complete Novel)

The Social Synapse: Neuroscience and the Roots of Human Connections
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Reading the book is like taking a jet ride across a futuristic America, with acceleration forcing you back in your seat all the way.

Below the zone of Orbital control, buttonheads, panzerjocks, dirtgirls, and hustlers scramble for their ticket out of the gravity well. But now, if the criminal underworld and the guerilla underground can join forces, there is a chance to shift the balance of power-- in a war fought on the ground by hardwired commandos, in the air by high-flying deltajocks, and by genius hackers in the neural interface. As Roger Zelazny said, "Hardwired" is a tough, sleek juggernaut of a story, punctuated by strobe light movements, coursing to the wail of jets and the twang of steel guitars-- glittering, nasty, and noble-- and told in a style perfectly suiting its content.

It has all of my favorite things-- blood, love, fire, hate and a high ideal or two. I wish I'd written this one. Although, actually, I think I would be alright if I were, which is a real watershed. And also what this part of — this chapter of life has taught me to really enjoy more deeply and take more seriously are all the many forms of love in life aside from just romantic love or being coupled.

Do people talk to you about that? And another way of looking at love is connection. And that is, in a sense, at a kind of granular level, what love is. Love is connection. And we can take pride in how flexible our minds ultimately are about where that connection is coming. And I think getting into a relationship with someone, asking someone to be with you is a pretty cruel thing to do to someone that you love and admire and respect because the job is so hard. Most people fail at it. And on and on the list goes.

No wonder that we fail at some of the tasks and get irate with one another. And I think sometimes, the older I get, sometimes I think one of the nicest things you can do to someone you really admire is leave them alone. Just let them go. Let them be. And just talk about this. But again, this kind of realism or acceptance of complexity, I think, is ultimately the friend of love. There are legitimate reasons to leave a relationship.

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Editorial Reviews. From Publishers Weekly. After his thoughtful, elegant novel Knight Moves, Williams wrenchingly shifts gears for this heavy-metal adventure. Hardwired is a cyberpunk science fiction novel by American writer Walter Jon Williams. It was nominated for the Locus Award.

Tippett: And because we have that power, in fact — and for example, you are, in fact, arguing — as you said before, some marriages are meant to end. Tippett: Imagining that this is the perfect one, right? Tippett: Something else you name about marriage that I feel is not often enough just named is that — we spoke a little while ago about children coming into a marriage. And of course, children teach us so much.

But also that children are hard on marriages, right? And for — I think, on a more complicated level, if there are problems in a marriage, that can get amplified when children are there. And one of the things that romanticism does is to teach us that the great love stories should be above the mundane. So in none of the great, say, 19th-century novels about love does anyone ever do the laundry, does anyone ever pick up the crumbs from the kitchen table, does anyone ever clean the bathroom.

THIS MACHINE MOCKS FASCISTS

And yet, of course, when we find ourselves in relationships, it is precisely over these areas that conflicts arise, but we refuse to lend them the necessary prestige. Tippett: [ laughs ] Right. That has nothing to do with …. And so we need, in a way — one of the lessons of love is to lend a bit of prestige to those issues that crop up in love like who does the laundry and on what day.

We rush over these decisions.

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Tippett: It is the stuff of life. He would always to do this for us. She was comparing this man, her father, as a father but not as a lover. Tippett: The way he behaved toward your mother. And so one of the things we do as parents is to edit ourselves, which is lovely, in a way, for our children.

THIS MACHINE MOCKS FASCISTS

Sophie Kinsella. She feels a tightness in her throat. There is a certain smell in the room, and Sarah realizes that Danica has emptied her bowels at the last minute. And then Cunningham is there, looking much as he was before, and is to be later. I was very impressed not only by the execution of this novel, which never felt much like a knock-off, but because I really got into both the main characters.

Tippett: You can listen again and share this conversation with Alain de Botton through our website, onbeing. Today, we are exploring the true hard work of love with the writer and philosopher Alain de Botton.

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And the other thing, of course, is politeness, which is an attempt not necessarily to say everything, to understand that there is a role for private feelings, which if they were to emerge, would do damage to everyone concerned. And as I say, it spills out into politics as well.

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The truth is, more than ever before perhaps, in our world, we are in relationship. We are connected to everyone else. Their well being will impact our well being, is of relevance to our well being and that of our children. But we have this habit and this capacity in public to — and also, we know that our brains work this way — to see the other, to see those strangers, those people, those people on the other side politically, socioeconomically, whatever, forgetting that in our intimate lives, and in our love lives, in our circles of family and friends, and in our marriages, and with our children, there are things about the people we love the most who drive us crazy that we do not comprehend.

And yet, we find ways to be intelligent, right? To be loving — because it gets a better result. Compatibility is an achievement of love. I think this is deeply politically relevant. And if we see an atmosphere of short tempers, of selfishness, etc. If we see charity being exercised, if we see good humor, if we see forgiveness on display, again, it will lend support to those sides of ourselves.

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And we should think about that as we approach, not just our personal relationships, but also our social and political relationships. These things are humiliating — little things can deeply wound and humiliate. And most of us are just experts at being pretty strong.

We know how to be strong. But I want to return a little bit to love and sex and eros and all of this. I have to say one thing I really love and appreciate and learned from in your writing is your reflection on flirting as an art, the art of flirting, that it can be something edifying, a pleasurable gift. I think it would be such a pity if we had to drive something as important as validation and self-acceptance and a pleasant view of oneself through the gate of — rather narrow gate of sex.

And flirtation is kind of an act of the imagination. I think somewhere — you also have this lovely film, one of these School of Life films about this. If you think about — why is it exciting to kiss someone for the first time? Not because of its physical feeling, but because of what it means, the meaning we infuse. And I accept you in a way that is incredibly intimate and that would be quite revolting with anyone else.

The Hacker Series #1

Takes delight in us. But we feel often conflicted about it. In many situations, we can hang on on the slippery slope. The darker side of online dating is that it encourages the idea that a good relationship must mean a conflict-free relationship, and therefore, any relationship which has conflict in it, which has unhappiness and areas of tension in it, is wrong and can be terminated because we have this wonderful backup, which is alternatives.