From Durham, NC, after having spent the day flying...
I have been reading William Gibson's Pattern Recognition, enjoying it immensely, and I find that in the way of all great books the world it creates in your head it isn't just engrossing, it makes you think about the world outside your head, too. The central character in P.R. is Cayce, a "coolseeker", who immerses herself in culture and can later tell, in an intuitive way, what "works" and what doesn't. Reminds me that this doesn't only happen with consumer products, it happens in business; you have to understand your customers, immerse yourself in their business, to understand what "works" and what doesn't.
In addition to being interesting and thought-provoking, P.R. is also of it's moment, early 21st century online, more so than any other book I've read; you can tell that Gibson immersed himself in the culture at the time in order to write this book. Examples Palmed while reading: "a cellphone large enough to look passé or unusually powerful", "a James Bond set, Brosnan rather than Connery", and of course, "Palmed". Google is featured, as are blogs and message boards, but you can tell it was published in 2003 and not 2009 because Facebook and Twitter are not :) Post-911 security concerns are also more strongly drawn than they would be today. I love the advertising people and their marketing; a character named Bigend comments "I was drawn to advertising when I realized the way products are positioned is invariably more interesting than the products themselves".
Gibson himself is a coolseeker... the patterns are recursive...
Yes of course the title of this post comes from P.R., you must read the book, silly :)