In this psychological thriller of the cyberpunk era, a virtual reality virus sends Joe Norton on the adventure of his life. PsyBot is every programmer's nightmare: the bug that shows up on the user side of the interface. With instructions to kill and a baffling menu of choices, Norton's all-too-ordinary life in Vancouver is coming apart at the seams. Is the only way out, to go further in? Never mind that one shaky relationship gives way to another, or that his job is jeopardized by a corporate buyout. Norton has another mission to attend to as he discovers that virtual reality is not confined to hardware.
a fascinating dive into the psyche of a mind struggling with reality.
“Beautiful, unique prose, blurring genre and literary fiction”… exploring the limits of free will, personal transformation and the “very nature of reality in this post-digital age.”
A compelling look at the nature of reality, an interesting mystery and a warning about the possible misuses and consequences, intended or not, of future VR.
"The psychological aspects of digital embodiment — combined with the troves of data that consumer VR products can freely mine from our bodies, like head movements and facial expressions — will give corporations and governments unprecedented insight and power over our emotions and physical behavior.
"As one chief data scientist at an unnamed Silicon Valley company told Harvard business professor Shoshanna Zuboff: “The goal of everything we do is to change people’s actual behavior at scale. … We can capture their behaviors, identify good and bad behaviors, and develop ways to reward the good and punish the bad.”
"Early experiments suggest that using this data to manipulate users is well within the means of those who control virtual and augmented reality platforms."