What Is A Snow Crash?
Sure, my 53rd book from the Time list is Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson.
You might know that. Or maybe you don’t.
But what the heck is a “snow crash,” and how does it relate to this novel?
Great question! I never thought you would ask.
Neal Stephenson explains the term like this in his essay In the Beginning… was the Command Line: “When the computer crashed and wrote gibberish into the bitmap, the result was something that looked vaguely like static on a broken television set—a ‘snow crash’ ”.
The result might look something like what you see in the featured image.
In the novel, the “snow crash” is more than just a computer issue. It’s a drug that is being circulated in the “metaverse”—think World of Warcraft but with just people, not orcs—and will jack up both your computer and your brain.
Wasn’t there a horror film with this concept? You watch a video with a bunch of freaky images and you die a few days later? I wonder if they pulled that from Snow Crash.
My takeaway? I’ll never view my computer crashing the same way again. If you’re on a Mac, what if the little spinning beach ball was actually a spinning sphere of death that infected your eyeballs and left you slumped in your chair five minutes later?
Or, if you’re on a PC, what if the infamous blue screen was the last thing you saw before you floated off into the afterlife?
Good Lord, Robert, what a morbid post.
Anyway, like I said, a computer crash will never be the same.