(2011-04-30) Sterling Maneki Neko

Bruce Sterling's Maneki Neko story (from 1998?!?) reminds me of Halting State (the SPOOKS ARG bits) and Daemon. The really big network databases, with their armies of search engines, indexers, and catalogues, had some very arcane interests. The net machines would never pay for data, because the global information networks were noncommercial. But the net machines were very polite, and had excellent net etiquette. They returned a favor for a favor, and since they were machines with excellent, enormous memories, they never forgot a good deed... He had first met his wife at a video store. She had just used her credit card to buy a disk of primitive black-and-white American anime of the 1950s. The pokkecon had urged him to go up and speak to her on the subject of Felix the Cat. Felix was an early television cartoon star and one of Tsuyoshi’s personal favorites. Tsuyoshi would have been too shy to approach an attractive woman on his own, but no one was a stranger to the net... Tsuyoshi offered a hand gesture. The woman gestured back, a jerky series of cryptic finger movements. Tsuyoshi didn’t recognize any of the Gesture-s. She wasn’t from his part of the network. (Tribe, Network Economy, Real World Game)

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