Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom

A fun little jaunt into what happens when nothing is scarce anymore: it’s the near future, and death has been cured, as well as all scarcity. Instead of currency, people trade in Whuffie, which is basically esteem of everyone around. Doctorow shows us the joys of transhumanism, computer-brains, and post-scarcity economics, but he also shows us the existential angst that can go along with it. His main argument, it seems to me, is that we need something to work toward or against, so if a natural opponent is taken away, we’ll make them ourselves. It was a fun book, and funny, but it didn’t make me think anything Big.