Many years ago I started reading the Baroque series by Neal Stephenson. I really hated it and abandoned it without finishing, but I was intrigued by his enigmatic character of Root, who was long-lived and seemed to have interesting powers. I saw this character again in another book (Cryptonomicon?), so I knew he was significant in some way.
Then I read Fall, or Dodge in Hell, in which the consciousness of Dodge and subsequent characters are uploaded to a computer for a digital afterlife. Root also appears in this novel. Toward the end of the novel,
when nearly the entire human race has been uploaded to the digital afterlife, a character asks Root, "This has happened before, hasn't it?" which he affirms, suggesting that the entire world is a simulation, and the new digital afterlife is a simulation within a simulation.
My question is, was this a known fact about Root earlier, or was this only revealed at the end of Fall? Was it theorized amongst Stephenson aficionados, given the clues -- his immortality, and the name "Root," which is both related to the German word for "Red" (he has red hair) and the system administrator designation (he appears long before the advent of the digital computer).