I'm off to attend the World Economic Forum in New
York, with Bono and Naomi Campbell. Are we flinging
bricks at the Starbucks? Perish the thought!
That police presence is the thickest I've ever seen!
There are four thousand cops around our con hotel.
So we gather inside the Waldorf Astoria, two thousand
businessmen and CEOs and CFOS and CTOs and various
dignitaries and diplomats, and a Science Fiction Author
(that's what my badge declares). All standing in line for hours!
to receive the free "Davos Companion" Compaq handheld.
The Davos Companion sends wireless email and
receives wireless streaming media and we get to *keep it!* Wow!
Many of the handhelds immediately break. The Davos Great and the Good
have to leave their busted machines behind, with their business cards
tucked into them, hoping against hope for tech support.
So, tucking away my Davos high-security radio frequency ID badge, I go
to the scummy part of the East Village for something to eat.
A hole-in-the-wall restaurant urges me to civilly mind my
manners. *This* is New York? Rudy Giuliani, what have you wrought?
Thank goodness a determined New York girl can still get a drink in this
Broadway and Park Place used to be the top properties on the
Monopoly board. Today, they're near Ground Zero.
The eeriest thing about Ground Zero are these spontaneous
street-voodoo folk altars.
The atrocity exhibit is no longer hellish; it's a giant,
mildly toxic construction site. I've seen the Pentagon
as well. New Yorkers can get over anything, but the
American military can treasure an affront for centuries
I gotta hand it to those gracious Swiss hosts
doing the Davos Forum is mighty educational.
Bruce Sterling writes books like Darwin watched animals. Find out more about him, and read tattered electronic copies of Cheap Truth, at the Bruce Sterling Online Index. He lives with his wife Nancy and their two daughters in Austin, Texas.