Saturday, July 17, 2010

No Maps For These Territories

I suppose it might be a questionable practice to recommend a film that the "recommender" has never seen, but regardless that is what I am going to do in the synaptic event that shall unfold.

No Maps For These Territories is a documentary film from 2000.  In it, author William Gibson rides in the back of a limousine and converses with guests such as Bono, The Edge, and Bruce Sterling.  As one might imagine, the conversational topics include culture, technology, new media, and futurism.  Here is a clip:

I am especially struck by his mention of ATMs.  The ATM is a device that has always seemed to me to be a "money god."  You seek out (possibly after a long quest) and beseech the ATM.  If it finds you worthy, i.e. you have the correct PIN and you have sufficient funds, it gives you money.   However, if you are not of the denominational faith, meaning the proper bank network, your salvation is going to cost extra (fees).
I now consider watching this film to be an imperative.  Oh what I wouldn't give to sit and drink lattes with William Gibson.  Not in a "golly gee, you're my hero Mr. Gibson" kind of way (I learned my lesson when I sort of said that to Nick Rhodes), but to genuinely ask questions about his approach to the craft of writing and attempt to determine how he has managed to be so prescient when matters of technology are involved, not mention other realms of reality.  Granted, this documentary was filmed in 2000 and I run the risk of dated material.  Our post 9/11 state has altered much of what could have been and Gibson, from what I understand, tackles this well in his novel Pattern Recognition.   But it is the evolution of concepts I am interested in and that is what I hope to glean from this film.
And in closing, here is Bono reading from Neuromancer and Gibson being self-deprecating:

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