Friday, December 09, 2005

just when you thought the world couldn't get any weirder

I'm currently reading this Philip K. Dick novel "The Penultimate Truth" where most of humanity has retreated underground in the aftermath of a planetwide war, fleeing nuclear fallout and chemical weapons. They continue to produce robot soldiers to fight the wars that rage above, and are urged to stay the course by their crusty and charismatic leader: Talbot Yancy, the President of the United States. The reality is that Talbot Yancy is computer image programmed by the upper class living on the surface, which has been clean and healthy for decades. They live in massive estates waited on by robot servants and function like a massive ad agency producing lies for the workers below.

This was all very nice, until I found a cover story on the top page of the New York Times website that confirms my belief that human beings have no limits on weirdness. There is now a booming business in China where nerds are paid around 50 to 75 cents an hour to play video games by proxy for first world gamers.

Let me repeat this, there is an entire economy revolving around people buying and selling player identities in a fictional online universe. These guys get paid to "slay orcs". 12 hours a day, 7 days a week. Just read the article and marvel at the modern world.


Anonymous said...

Just read the same article. Those Chinese are clever folks. The customers are truly weird. It's like taking a helicopter to 500' under the summit of Mt Everest and then starting your climb. What is the point?

Anonymous said...

Not related, but Kitchen Confidential, which you recommended to me or through this blog once, has been made into an awful tv drama series. Perhaps it's already been cancelled. I caught an episode last week which I decided I couldn't bear before the first commercial.