The political world in Snow Crash resembles that of an organized anarchy. We only get a real sense of what the governmental situation in America is like, but we know that the federal government completely collapsed. The American dollar experienced hyper inflation similar to that of Germany in the early 1920's, to the point of where trillion dollar bills were almost worthless. The role of the federal government has been reduced to the equivalent of an overly proud company that thinks it is way more important than it is.
Although the Oankali save the human race from extinction, it does not justify their manipulation and subordination of the species afterwards. Now admittedly, if the Oankali had not come along, the human race would be dead, gone, no more people to stand around and be proud to represent what is "human". However, to be brought back with little control over your major life choices, with often the only alternative being suicide, is not a great second option.
So i attended the talk about the "Googlization of Everything" by Siva Vaidhyanathan, and wanted to comment on an issue which he addressed, and implied that other speakers had also addressed throughout the day. That issue is what exactly will happen to the paper book in the future?
Ursula Le Guin paints a world in her book "The Left Hand of Darkness", that is almost impossible to imagine, and that's what makes it so interesting. Le Guin's alien world of Gethen is one of perpetual winter, filled with a people much like our own. The primary difference between our species and theirs is that they are all of a neutral sex, with the exception of a few days a month, where they decide which sex they want to be. This difference seems silly, and almost impossible to us, for the duality of male and female is so ingrained in our lives.
Margaret Atwood describes a world in Handmaid's Tale that seems to be exaggerated to make a point, and not a realistic possibility. However, a closer look at the psychology behind such cultures reveals it is not as out of the question as we may presume.