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This page contains all of the posts and discussion on MemeStreams referencing the following web page: Excerpt from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson. You can find discussions on MemeStreams as you surf the web, even if you aren't a MemeStreams member, using the Threads Bookmarklet.

Excerpt from The Diamond Age by Neal Stephenson
by dmv at 1:38 am EDT, Mar 29, 2009

Dr. X was the ideal man for this job because of his very disreputability. He was a reverse engineer. He collected artificial mites like some batty Victorian lepidopterist. He took them apart one atom at a time to see how they worked, and when he found some clever innovation, he squirreled it away in his database. Since most of these innovations were the result of natural selection, Dr. X was usually the first human being to know about them.

Hackworth was a forger, Dr. X was a honer. The distinction was at least as old as the digital computer. Forgers created a new technology and then forged on to the next project, having explored only the outlines of its potential. Honers got less respect because they appeared to sit still technologically, playing around with systems that were no longer start, hacking them for all they were worth, getting them to do things the forgers had never envisioned.

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