I rarely read fiction.
There’s not a particular reason why. Until recently, I always tended towards books about God, or tech, or tech gods. It’s probably no surprise, then, to find out that the first two books of fiction that I have consumed in years were technology oriented.
Daniel Suarez wrote two sequential books a couple of years ago – the first called Daemon, the second called Freedom. The extremely short synopsis reads: “A terminally-ill, seemingly ego-maniacal video game developer unleashes a self-sustaining computer virus intended to force a new world order. In choosing between staying the course and surrendering to the ‘darknet’ the true nature of civilization is revealed.’
It you’re a technophile – I’d definitely suggest it.
In the books final conflict, the protagonist elects to sacrifice the valuable ‘credit’ he has earned in this new, game-centric world in order to defeat the terror-bringing villain character – to the elation of all of humankind.
My foray into fiction has left me faced with an incredible question. How much am I willing to risk in order to do the right thing – not just for me, but for others around me? Essentially, what battles am I willing to pick, thereby putting my self and my reputation on the line? I have a list, afrer all. I wondering how much of my own credibility I would be willing to sacrifice.
Admittedly, on many issues, I have a surplus of relational capital that I can afford to spend or “invest”. But I’m left wondering if it’s worth it; if I should wait – hold out for something more consequential – the epic battle between good and evil. I wonder if I would come across as bringing a knife to a gun fight.
Some time ago, when I attended the TEDxCharlotte event, one presenter said (to paraphrase) if you see an injustice, or corruption, or prejudice happening – if you don’t speak up, you are essentially ratifying that behavior. I’ve been convicted by this almost every day since.
Sometimes on cruelties that I see happening in my city.
Sometimes on global events.
Sometimes on relatively mundane things much closer to home.
And I wonder what I should do.