25

I think the OP is conflating the passage from Cryptonomicon which @JohnRennie posted, and a passage from chapter 61 of Snow Crash between Hiro and Juanita: "Why? Why doesn't [the cult of Asherah] work on you?" "I've spent the last several years hanging around with Jesuits," she says. "Look. Your brain has an immune system, just ...


17

Based on the description on page 454 of Anathem, I've roughed out a model of the Daban Urnud. I've not shown the mass of connecting cables and internal travel tubes as those would distract from the main plan. Blow a balloon out of steel, almost a mile wide, and fill it half full of water. Repeat three more times. Place these four orbs at the corners ...


16

Remember that a key part of the Primer - kept secret by Finkle-McGraw - was that the book was intended to be "subversive." Dr. X didn't know this; also, toward the end of the book, he explicitly says he regrets educating all the girls via the book, presumably because they are not cooperating.


16

The closest I have found to this is indeed in Cryptonomicon. I don't have a page number because this is a Kindle book, but it is towards the end of the chapter titled Home, a little over halfway through the book. The passage is: The friendliest and most sincere welcome he’d gotten was from Scott, a chemistry professor, and Laura, a pediatrician, who, after ...


15

It's never spelled out in so many words, but Wing never knew exactly where Golgotha was, he just knew it's general location. Goto Dengo was Golgotha's designer and knows precisely where it is, but Wing was only the boss of the Chinese slave-workers; he was never told anything but "Dig, here." Many years later, General Wing was prevented from buying all of ...


14

I hesitate to offer yet another answer; this does seem to be something of a theme in Stephenson's writing. But I found an actual reference to intellectual inoculation in Fall, or, Dodge in Hell, albeit in a negative sense. In Book 1, Part 1, chapter 3 Corvallis is reflecting on his upbringing: They didn’t go to church, which—never mind what you actually ...


13

All these answers miss the point that when Hackworth is being sentenced by Judge fang he subverts the books to be linked to the missing primer (the one owned by Nell). "At this point, John Percival Hackworth, almost without thinking about it and without appreciating the ramifications of what he was doing, devised a trick and slipped it in under the ...


13

I don't believe that this is a "blatant reference to Freemasonry", although some parallels may be intentional. However, some parallels would be almost unavoidable, given what Stephenson is attempting with the story of Cnoüs. The idea of the story of Cnoüs is that it is the foundation for the path of the Avout, and the explanation for the creation of ...


12

In the footnotes for Cryptonomicon, Stephenson highlights that... Men with experience in Asia use the word "Nip." The Colonel’s use of "Jap" suggests that his career has been spent in the Atlantic and/or Caribbean. Clearly he's suggesting that anyone with real-world experience of Japan (like him, for example) would refer to Japan as Nippon, ...


12

Part 3 lists several stages in the development of the races. Following the establishment of the seven races, there is a period of weeding out the worst genetic errors: “Correction” was the name given to the phase that had begun after the first round of Gestations, when Eve Moira had fixed errors that had led to several nonviable infants Following this ...


11

Randy is referred to as the "eldest son of the eldest son" of Lawrence Waterhouse Randy's mother and father are never mentioned by name, and the only on page dialog by either of them is "Oh, the gravy boat!" by his mother. Notes: I don't think that all of "Dad's" siblings are mentioned by name, and some aunts and uncles that are mentioned by name are ...


11

I admit that I don't have the math to calculate the odds precisely, but we should start out by observing that the letter "O" is not particularly interesting here. What we're concerned with is the chance of some letter being repeated 5 times in a string of 32 draws. What are the odds of that not happening? I suspect they're not very good. Let's consider a ...


11

I believe Stephenson may have picked that up from the RepRap community in the open source 3D printing world. "RepRap is about making self-replicating machines." At the present state, of course, there are many components that can't be reproduced (yet). The RepRap community calls these Vitamins. "In RepRap jargon, a vitamin (also called an imported part or ...


10

The sickness comes from all the nano tech in the air. Part the First, Nell sees some­thing pe­cu­liar; Harv ex­plains all: "See, there's mites around, all the time...They're in the air, in food and water, every­where. And there's rules that these mites are sup­posed to fol­low, and those rules are called pro­to­cols. And there's a pro­to­col ...


10

A pale-faced white man with a very high forehead-cum-bald spot jumps out of the chopper, looking a lot more athletic than his face and general demeanor would lead you to expect, and jogs across the parking lot directly toward Hiro. This is the kind of guy Hiro remembers from when his dad was in the Army—not the gristly veterans of legends and movies, just ...


10

Actually the Japanese call our country "Nihon", "Nippon" is a very "patriotic" way of saying Japan. No one really says "Nippon" these days and most people will relate the word of "Nippon" to the second world war. And you are correct, we call ourselves "Nihonjin" and not "Nipponjin".


10

Warning: SPOILERS! Short of hiding my whole answer I don't think I can answer without some spoilers. Anyhow, here we go: The Feds are co-operating with Rife, and Rife is the power behind the Reverend Wayne, so although it isn't spelt out it seems likely that the Feds simply handed Y.T. over. In chapter 52 when Y.T. gets to the Core she says (well the ...


10

The very beginning of the book, where Lord Finkle-McGraw and John Percival Hackworth discuss the idea for the primer, made clear that it was intended to produce not just educated girls but subversive ones who can think for themselves and take charge. Then the first set of orphaned girls got old enough for the high-tech "foot binding" process to be used on ...


10

From the Baroque Cycle, we know that: From Cryptonomicon, we know that: I draw a particular conclusion from this, but it is not a truth universally acknowledged.


9

This is answered very explicitly in this answer to another (broader) question here. Essentially, the Primers of the Mouse Army are not the same as that owned by Nell. Hackworth offered to change the Primers that would be made for Dr. X to make them "more Chinese", and a part of the changes he made was that the users would be raised to respect authority - ...


9

Short version: The text doesn't positively indicate anything one way or the other, but states that they are believed to have perished: As for the tiny faction that had split away on Red Hope, it was assumed that they had long since been wiped out by one or more of the hazards and calamities that had inflicted such a death toll on the Swarm. Long ...


9

When film and television rights for books are sold, they often just float around for a long time in eternal pre-production. However, for stuff that is will actually happen, there is some good news. Amazon is making a Snow Crash TV series. Here's the details from the linked article: Snow Crash, a co-production with Paramount TV, is a one-hour science ...


8

Not having read the book, my guess would be it's simply a reference to their collars being stiff and starched, as one might expect job applicants to be dressed their very best to impress their potential employers (i.e. "hard shoes were treacherous on the cobblestones" referring to how dress shoes often have a smooth slippery sole). A starched collar can be ...


8

The pronunciation of the Japanese word for Japan is Nippon. So if Japan is influential in the future, it makes sense that their own name for their country would become dominant elsewhere as well. Like most people refer to the USA as America, even though there are actually many countries in both American continents. Nippon-koku is the formal use (not Nippon). ...


8

I've never seen official confirmation, but it certainly appears so. This is hearsay, but a commenter on Slashdot said (comment removed due to account deletion and can't find an archive for it at the moment): Yes, YT is Miss Matheson...or near enough it doesn't matter. Someone asked Stephenson about this at a reading in Boston, and Stephenson said that it'...


8

Warning, this entire post is spoilers Short version: incarceration was not a viable option, and any coercion would have had political/societal ramifications in a tiny society that needs to work together to survive Supporting cites: The Cloud Ark Constitution is on the light end when it comes to a criminal justice system. The issue is not so much ...


8

No. Ty the bartender doesn't know who the Owners of his bar are, and we the readers are never told either. All we know about them is what we are told through Ty's point of view and what he tells the others in the epilogue, which is not much (and you probably know it all already), but here's a recap: They're "ambiguous" in their affiliations with the Red ...


7

Technically, the millenarians use incantation all the time, to weed out pre-cancerous cells. They investigate a multitude of possible narratives, then collapse the quantum wave to a preferred choice. Of course, those small changes (or even the Teglon) only affected a single person, the incanter. You're referring to Jad's much larger polycosmic manipulation, ...


7

Well there's this bit : Hiro cuts across the Hacker Quadrant, headed for Da5id's table. He recognizes many of the people in here, but as usual, he's surprised and disturbed by the number he doesn't recognize -- all those sharp, perceptive twenty-one-year-old faces. Software development, like professional sports, has a way of making thirty-year-old ...


7

There is no in-book discussion of this, so all we have is speculation. That being said, Land is the most likely answer. The synthetic tribes require land upon which to place themselves, and the traditional states are presumably able to levy taxes upon blocks of land (e.g, "rent") without needing to "trace/follow people's financial activities." The ...


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