How William Gibson Keeps His Science Fiction Real – I gotta read more Gibson; just as soon as I finish all the Stephenson. 🤦♂️
One of them showed him an episode of “Cops,” the pioneering reality series in which camera crews sprinted alongside police officers as they apprehended suspects. Policing, as performance, could be monetized. He could feel the world’s [fuckedness quotient] drifting upward.
Futurists he knew had begun talking about “the Singularity”—the moment when humanity is transformed completely by technology. Gibson didn’t buy it; he aimed to represent a “half-assed Singularity”—a world transforming dramatically but haphazardly. “It doesn’t feel to me that it’s in our nature to do anything perfectly,” he said.
He spent time on eBay—the first Web site that felt to him like a real place, perhaps because it was full of other people and their junk. Through eBay, he discovered an online watch forum, and, through the forum, he developed some expertise in military watches. He learned of a warehouse in Egypt from which it was possible to procure extinct Omega components; he sourced, for the forum membership, a particular kind of watch strap, the G10, which had originally been manufactured in the nineteen-seventies and had since become obscure. (A version of it, known as the NATO strap, is now wildly popular in menswear circles.) Gibson noticed that people with access to unlimited information could develop illusions of omniscience. He got into a few political debates on the forum. He felt the F.Q. creeping upward.
Did Gibson popularize the NATO watch strap or was he just ahead of the horological time?🥁