Robin Sloan

Mr Penumbra's 24 Hour Bookstore

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l takes a sharp breath and I know
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I feel a little whirl of dislocation—the trademark sensation of the world being more closely knit together than you expected.
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I believe I can now detect a certain strain of weirdness with lab-grade precision.
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The suburban mind cannot comprehend the emergent complexity of a New York sidewalk.
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When I was a kid reading fantasy novels, I daydreamed about hot girl wizards. I never thought I’d actually meet one, but that’s only because I didn’t realize wizards were going to walk among us and we’d just call them Googlers.
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when it comes to all human knowledge, the ratio is just the opposite—in fact, OK accounts for most things that most people know, and have ever known.
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ninety-five percent of the internet was only created in the last five years
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You have to wear that like a pin, like a badge.
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The buzz about Google these days is that it’s like America itself: still the biggest game in town, but inevitably and irrevocably on the decline. Both are superpowers with unmatched resources, but both are faced with fast-growing rivals, and both will eventually be eclipsed. For America, that rival is China. For Google, it’s Face-book.
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So trust me, I know how much sweat goes into those shapes. Typographers are designers; designers are my people; I am committed to supporting them. But now FontShop.com tells me that Gerritszoon Display, distributed by FLC Type Foundry of New York City, costs $3,989.

So of course I will try to pirate this font.
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Well, it turns out a digital font is also about a megabyte, but a digital font costs not tens of dollars but hundreds, sometimes thousands, and it’s abstract, basically invisible—a thin envelope of math describing tiny letterforms. The whole arrangement offends most people’s consumer instincts.
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And it’s usually about a megabyte’s worth of text. (For the record, you download more data than that every time you look at Facebook.)
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Thinking about that, I feel suddenly sympathetic to Kat’s point of view. If we could keep Mat going for a thousand years, he could probably build us a whole new world.
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“No, learning things on the fly,” he says. “It’s what we do at work. Not like the computer guys, you know? They just do the same thing every time. It’s always just pixels. For us, every project is different. New tools, new materials. Everything’s always new.”
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“That was my theory,” I say.

“Yeah,” Kat says, “I decided I didn’t want to waste brain cycles”— she yawns—“figuring out what to wear every morning.”
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Then it takes her approximately three days to find her checkbook.
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I sense an incompatibility between Kat’s belief in a disembodied human future and her insistence on alcohol consumption, but I let it slide, because I’m going to a party.
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you believe that we humans will one day outgrow these bodies and exist in a sort of dimensionless digital sublime, right?
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it’s the surface that matters. People want things to be real. If you give them an excuse, they’ll believe you.
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“Today is the day, my boy,” he finally says, “that I took over this bookstore, thirty-one years ago.”

Thirty-one years. Penumbra’s been sitting at this desk for longer than I’ve been alive. It makes me realize how new I am to this place—what a fleeting addition.
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Sleep je bestanden hiernaartoe (maximaal 5 per keer)