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July 29, 2003

EFF & Recovered Memory

This morning as I watched Cory Doctorow gesticulate wildly with Leo Laporte on The Screen Savers about AB 1143, I suddenly remembered that I have met Bruce Sterling.

I met him at a meeting of the CPSR a very long time ago at UCLA, probably around 1987. Everything he was saying was so far over my head that I never showed my face at such a meeting again. At that point in my life I had just read my first Chomsky, gotten my first understanding of what was going on in Afghanistan regarding shiny kiddie bomblets and learned that there was a nation on the planet called Namibia, and of course fallen out completely with the USG over Iran-Contra. In other words, I was becoming overwhelmed by the duplicity of the world and trying to adjust myself in this new light. But as of yet I had still not read Toni Morrison, so I was still above ground and un-repurposed.

But of course the thing that shocked me about this Sterling character was how smart and paranoid he was. He looked as though he belonged in a cube down in aerospaceville (El Segundo) and not standing in front of people exhorting them to refuse and resist. It was this incongruity among other things that made people have to shush me. I simply couldn't believe all the things I was hearing, especially from this dinky looking outfit.

There is a chance that the person who impressed me that evening was not Bruce Sterling, there are a lot of manuscript diaries I'd have to troll to find out, but something about the level of detail and energy he brought to the forum was memorable, and seeing Doctorow brought that moment back.

Posted by mbowen at July 29, 2003 08:16 AM

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