By Douglas Coupland
They're Microserfs—six code-crunching computing device whizzes who spend upward of 16 hours an afternoon "coding" and consuming "flat" meals (food which, like Kraft singles, may be handed beneath closed doorways) as they fearfully experiment corporation electronic mail to benefit no matter if the good invoice goes to "flame" one in all them. yet now there's an opportunity to turn into innovators rather than cogs within the gargantuan Microsoft computing device. The intrepid Microserfs are impressive out on their own—living jointly in a shared electronic flophouse as they desperately attempt to domesticate well-rounded lives and locate love amid the dislocated, subhuman whir and buzz in their computer-driven world.
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Additional resources for Microserfs: A Novel
A gentleman enjoys the contemplation of the 2 " 'Arbeiter' ist eines jener völlig sinnlosen Worte, mit denen wir unsere geselligen, politischen und wissenschaftlichen Unterhaltungen zu bestreiten pflegen. Das jeder sich etwas anderes dabei denken kann, macht es für diese besonders geeignet" (Handwörterbuch der Staatswissenschaften [Jena: Fischer, 1909]). 3 The story of the life and death of Michelangelo seems to indicate that similar attitudes toward art and work prevailed also in the Renaissance.
To begin with, let us recall the most obvious characteristics of manual work: it is a transitive, external activity. By contrast, nothing is more obviously immanent than contemplation. Moreover, work is an activity by way of change; but one distinction of contemplation is precisely that it is of itself a motionless activity and a participation in eternal life. Surely, we cannot approach the meaning of eternity by trying to imagine a line with no end in the past and no end in the future. Rather, we begin to understand eternity by considering motionless activity such as happens when, after having spent a few days, or years, or a lifetime looking for a certain truth, at long last we have the result.
The player seeks to improve his game, and as he grows in skill, he is growing in happiness. 16 16 Max Shoen, "The Basis for Faith in Democracy," in Science, Philosophy, and Religion: Second Symposium (New York: Conference on Science, Philosophy, and Religion in Their Relations to the Democratic Way of Life, 1942), p. 104. Page 21 I have indulged in this lengthy quotation because it so well expresses the common notions about work, labor, play, pain, and pleasure. Yet to "act in self-defense" does not always have to be an entirely miserable condition.