It's the longest Upsideclown I've written, as yet, and it's also late. And like a few of my recent ones I wish I was a decent enough writer to give it a plot, characters and an arc up to ten thousand words or so. It feels too much like notes still, with not enough exploration of the consequences (human and otherwise) and lacking in the potential connections and necessary explanation. Oh well. It does mean that the piece is pretty dense with some of the things that have been going through my head the last few days (possibly this is good): what the world would be like without a diffraction limit (and the effects on economies, city structure and so on), the unknowability of history and different perspectives (cf Prague in 1989), the problems with our simplistic p2p models, what happens between the interconnected nodes in a node-and-arc network (which is a joke, really, because there is no "between": the network defines the space), and the idea that what happens on one network can happen on any other (which I don't really believe because abstraction layers are permeable and context is a property just like size or colour). Most interesting aspect which isn't there: the possible social and political structures we'd have if our virtual and real worlds were thoroughly matted; indeed, if they were the same. Reading it back, I can tell exactly (sadly) what my influences are in this case: the myth of Indra's Net; everything I've read by Greg Egan, and the concept of imageability in Kevin Lynch's The Image of the City (an incredible book; I'll post my notes at some point). And of course the more obvious ones (The Victorian Internet, Guns, Germs, and Steel and the Patagonians in Last and First Men). Reading my own writing is like going to see a puppet show where the strings are lit up.
Anyway. Go read The Mirrored Spheres of Patagonia, fresh today at Upsideclown.